Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Drive: In the Mud

Sometimes, the road ends. Sometimes, only the paving ends, and the road continues as dirt. This can be acceptable. Until it rains, then the dirt becomes mud, and driving becomes much more difficult.

Enter All-Wheel-Drive. There are websites that will go into great detail about how AWD works, how it differs from 4-Wheel-Drive, and how automakers go about making AWD systems.

Let's say you are driving in the mud, and one set of wheels loses traction with the mud. The other set still has traction, moving or trying to move the vehicle. The wheels that lost traction begin spinning. Energy is still being transferred to the wheels, but without traction, the wheels don't move the vehicle. They just spin.

Suffice to say, the AWD distributes energy to whichever (front or rear) set of wheels is not spinning. In other words, while driving, if one set of wheels spins, the energy that would otherwise be put into moving the vehicle with those wheels is transferred to the wheels that aren't spinning - the ones actually moving the vehicle.

As those wheels move the vehicle, the other wheels eventually rotate when they have traction with the ground. The now-rotating wheels begin to accept energy from the transmission. The amount of energy transferred, to the wheels with traction, is proportional to the amount of slipping of the other wheels.

The specifics of the AWD system, the transmission, and the surface that the vehicle is on affect the slipping of the wheels, the energy transfer back-and-forth to the sets of wheels, and the overall motion of the vehicle. This results in a continuously unpredictable affair.

You can still get out of the mud.

If you read and understand above, congratulations. You deserve to watch a video.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Visit: The Creatorspace

If you are within 20 minutes or so of Johnson Space Center, check out Creatorspace in Webster. We got a lathe, 3D printers, a vinyl cutter, and some of the smartest people in Clear Lake!

We recently staffed a booth at the 2015 Houston Mini Maker Faire. If you saw us there, stop on by around 7:00 pm Tuesday at 15502 Hwy 3, Webster TX 77598 - Unit #202, north of El Dorado. We have open houses every Tuesday at 7:00 pm.

If Tuesday is not a good evening for you, you're in luck! At 7:00 pm Monday November 16, Scott Milligan will present the Linux Command Line Interface at the Freeman Library Community Room, at 16616 Diana Lane, Houston, TX 77062. Laptops will be provided!

If you attended the Faire, but don't remember Creatorspace, I was the guy that kept beckoning guests to see the amazing all-electric motorcycle. It was made by Fitz Walker. If you didn't see Fitz near his motorcycle, he was probably taking K-9 for a walk around the George R. Brown Convention Center.

If you don't know what K-9 is, ask a Doctor Who fan.

If you are a Doctor Who fan, Fitz also built the K-9. Get excited, but not too excited. Fitz built a replica K-9, not the actual one from the show.