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  • TR:"Is it worth joining?" "Depends.  do you want to be befriended, pan-handled, insulted by diminutive lawyers, adopted as a surrogate parent, hit upon by latino fascists, blown into the water faster than the wind, embraced by christian refugees, rejected by lesbian separatists, recruited by messianic zionists, and killed in cold blood by the first person who befriended you?  then yes ..."

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Messages - MikeB

1
Guys, relax.  Earlier in the run, when I released the balloons, we were not quite directly downwind and the BB was prevented from turning (by a coned off area) to follow the balloons.  That is why I was remarking (in the video) that I should have waited until later, when the BB was free of the coned area, and I could have made a better job of it.  At that point, recording the video, we certainly were traveling essentially directly downwind.

We had been asking the BB driver, Steve, what the controls were like and if the variable pitch control had much force feedback.  He replied that it was surprisingly little.  Then he also noted that it seemed pretty easy to sense when he was angling off the wind direction, as that would have a noticeable effect in slowing the BB when he got more than some amount off.  He said that turning near a right angle with the wind would quickly bring the BB to a stop.

I had been keeping track of the wind direction, there were streamers and flags here and there to help, and I can assure you that in the part of the run I videoed we were close enough to directly downwind that we were getting full performance for that weak wind.  Angling off wind direction only hurts the BB performance.

If the BB ever get out to El Mirage again, I'll try to manage the balloon demo better, and will either take a less worried friend or just re-think it and do everything myself.

Edit - just noticed comments that if I drove 90 degrees to the wind direction, directly cross wind at 20 mph in a 20 mph wind, that the streamer would point straight back?  No, it would point 45 degrees from straight back.  This streamer was close to six feet away from the side of the car and well above the lake bed, so it would have been able to show that.
2
The day is done and we had some success but also a disappointment.  The balloon release was somewhat a debacle due to circumstances so I have no video of it.  Due to the crowds and huge coned-off area for the top speed trials (think Bonneville Salt Flats) the BB was forced to stay near the side of the lakebed.  I had thought we were heading close to directly down wind but we were not, there was a crosswind component.  Tried my best to release the balloons in line and well ahead of the BB, only to see them tumbling off line as I was grabbing for the camera (was kind of a big deal to kick the rear hatch open and get it closed). 

See attached photo of the balloon bomb load.  The red ones are two feet in diameter.

On the plus side, I did get some decent footage of the BB a bit after the balloon effort, where we were able to angle a bit more directly downwind and the BB was making 20 mph.  We had a PVC pipe across the roof of the car, holding a streamer to indicate airflow direction relative to the car.  This is the 70MB .mov file I have that looks pretty good.

I'm tired now so will think more tomorrow about details of sharing the video.

To cut to the chase, no evidence to support the claim of the cart going ddwfttw. You did not see, nor did you record, the cart catching up to or passing any balloons blowing in the wind.

I do appreciate that you made an honest effort and I hope that you and your son had a nice day in the desert. It must have been fun! Thanks.
Correct, I botched the balloon trial.  We were quite a way ahead of the BB when I released the balloons and my driver forgot my instructions to pull back to the side and hit the brakes, to allow the balloons to catch back up to us while I recorded the results.  So while I fumbled with the camera, we did not get back in position to record before the balloons.  It was clear to see that the BB overtook them as they angled to the side but I have no proof.  I really needed one more helper.

While no balloons, I do have clear proof of DDWFTTW, the subsequent video I took.  The wind was not strong, it was no more than 10 mph, and the BB was making 20 mph as shown on my speedometer.  They had a gps on the BB and it recorded a peak of 22 mph.
The video shot through my car window shows the streamer attached to the pvc pole on my car blowing backward while we stayed alongside the BB.  I will share this video when I can.

One more thing that frustrated me was my helper (a friend, not my son).  After the unsuccessful first balloon release, I said that I wanted to try it again, but this time waiting until we were farther down the lakebed and could get a better straight downwind path.  My friend is a famous worrier and he became concerned about safety.  "There are people riding all around on motorcycles and a balloon might startle someone, causing an accident.  I cannot be part of this anymore".  I told him that was an unrealistic concern, that riders were already alert watching for the occasional divot or bit of sagebrush on the lakebed and that seeing a balloon rolling on the lakebed would be no more than a chance to run over it.  No avail, he refused to drive again if I was going to release a balloon, so I called it a day.

Edit - OK gang, I just created a YouTube account and uploaded the video.

https://youtu.be/kZYma0sttvU
3
The day is done and we had some success but also a disappointment.  The balloon release was somewhat a debacle due to circumstances so I have no video of it.  Due to the crowds and huge coned-off area for the top speed trials (think Bonneville Salt Flats) the BB was forced to stay near the side of the lakebed.  I had thought we were heading close to directly down wind but we were not, there was a crosswind component.  Tried my best to release the balloons in line and well ahead of the BB, only to see them tumbling off line as I was grabbing for the camera (was kind of a big deal to kick the rear hatch open and get it closed). 

See attached photo of the balloon bomb load.  The red ones are two feet in diameter.

On the plus side, I did get some decent footage of the BB a bit after the balloon effort, where we were able to angle a bit more directly downwind and the BB was making 20 mph.  We had a PVC pipe across the roof of the car, holding a streamer to indicate airflow direction relative to the car.  This is the 70MB .mov file I have that looks pretty good.

I'm tired now so will think more tomorrow about details of sharing the video.
4
Quote
I see they record in a .mov file format and assuming we are able to record steadily enough to clearly show what happens, next will be learning how to post to YouTube.  I don't have an account yet but my son does and maybe he will host for me.


Good luck today.  I really hope you get good conditions and some good video.  I'd be happy to convert the video format, edit it, and post it if that helps.


Awesome.  I wonder how I would pass a 100MB file to you, other than put it on a CD or USB stick and mail it.  Maybe we will have multiple files that could be edited and joined.  I really should learn how to do it.
5
..........
I hope they do a balloon test.  I've done what I can to help facilitate it.........
Really appreciate the help Spork, putting me in touch with Neil.  I am heading to El Mirage today with a load of balloons, lots of 12-inchers and eight 2-footers.  I'll probably faint blowing them up, can't find the airbed pump I used to have.

Video equipment consists only of an iPhone 7 and a small Nikon Coolpix L340.  I see they record in a .mov file format and assuming we are able to record steadily enough to clearly show what happens, next will be learning how to post to YouTube.  I don't have an account yet but my son does and maybe he will host for me.
6
Obama did use military bases to house illegal children immigrants.

I'm not sure I've ever heard the phrase "illegal children"  and not been horrified. The idea that young children could be criminals by virtue of their birth has never aged well.


Illegal is an adjective describing the immigrants, not the children, eh?  No such thing as an illegal child...is there?
7
...... With that said, sure, it would be fun to see it chase down some balloons.
Yes it would!  I see a modest chance of that happening this Saturday although proper video with a cell phone may be the biggest challenge.
8
............
To spin a wheel, the belt MUST deform into an arc at the bottom of the wheel, regardless of whether there is any wheel deformation or not, as I said earlier.

To roll on a surface, the wheel MUST deform where it meets the surface, regardless of whether or not there is any surface deformation.
Heinz, this is the same misconception you have been peddling for a long time and I'm pretty sure where you were introduced to it.

You considered the case where you have a rotating shaft with a pulley or wheel, and you want to transmit power to it via a belt.  The wheel is fixed in place and the moving belt has to be brought into contact with it, with some pressure, to create enough friction against the wheel to rotate it, especially with any significant torque.  In this case even the slightest pressure against the wheel will deform the belt (locally curve it) and may have to be significant in order to transmit force / power.  So to transmit any torque to the wheel, make the wheel turn, the belt has to deform.

Then you have been claiming that this is equivalent to a wheel rolling on a surface, and that a treadmill belt has to act the same as what I described above.  This is nonsense; a treadmill belt is backed up by a smooth, flat surface and does not have to deform at all against a wheel to transmit torque to it.  The flat backing provides the force, not the belt tension wrapping around a wheel as with some farm implement.
To roll on a firm surface, a wheel need not have any specific deformation, this is a bizarre idea.  A wheel can have lots of deformation, creating plenty of rolling resistance and also energy loss due to the hysteresis involved in rubber flexing.  Or it can be nearly infinitely rigid against a similar surface, with the least rolling resistance and energy loss.

Balloons anyone?
9
A box attached to the cart?  (Nice damper).
10
Spork, you don't note a likely time of day to observe.  Is there a typical best window for steady winds?  Has Neil said anything about his plans?
Sorry, I don't know his plans.  I can ask if you like.  If you're on facebook I can also introduce you there.

I don't do Facebook so it would be great if you can get a few details of his plans.  I'd love to release some balloons downwind of the BB and video the BB running them down.
11
I might send over a child with a bunch of helium balloons to show what a farce this is.
Hmm.  I live only 80 minutes from El Mirage dry lake bed, and I can get that day off of work.
If you come to the area that day, I will meet you, try to negotiate with the owner to drive ahead and release some items.
You provide the items.
12
Even if you built a circular track and let the cart self start, it still won't matter.  A true believer isn't interested in facts and reality. 
At least in this case the facts have become obvious.
13
Cool.

Will it be sailing downwind or upwind?
Downwind.  He only has the downwind blade set.
Spork, you don't note a likely time of day to observe.  Is there a typical best window for steady winds?  Has Neil said anything about his plans?
14
I haven't had time to read the thread but do these carts really work?
Very well, with the quality of the design and fabrication of the Blackbird.  Instrumented, tracked and videoed a number of times achieving close to 3X windspeed over the ground.  Concept was first proven by small models before a large, more efficient model was built by Spork and JB.
15
Heinz is just trolling now.
I've been waiting for him to tell us about the vibration theory of American politics since he first showed up in this thread.
NOOOOOooooo!
16
Science / Re: The Tides ... Take 5
He is an awesome dancer!
17
Science / Re: The Tides ... Take 5
the actual basis of the discussion
It started with spork making a false statement that the higher tides were caused by the water having to go around land masses.  In order to explain why that is wrong we had to explore all kinds of shit, but mostly in order to know why that was wrong,  you have to understand the amphidromic systems, and why there are no supersonic tide bulges following the moon.

Wait, are you saying that someone here at one time said that there is ocean water moving at supersonic speed with respect to the earth's surface?  I don't think I have seen that.
18
Science / Re: The Tides ... Take 5
As far as I can tell, an object need not be "small" to be in geostationary orbit, nor is there any reason such object, natural or man-made, could not remain there for human lifespan timeframes.

Clearly, a "large" object with significant fraction of earth mass, orbiting at that distance, about 1/10 distance to the moon, would cause a mutual earth - object orbit about a barycenter somewhere in space between the two.  The earth-moon barycenter is 3/4 of the way out from the center of the earth toward the earth's surface.  The earth-moon mutual orbit around this barycenter is what contributes to the tendency of a tidal bulge to form on the side of the earth facing away from the moon.
20
Of course!  You are welcome to take my idea and file for a patent.  :)
21
I never liked those blower / driers.  The farther they are away from the toilet area the better it seems.

But if you use one until your hands are dry, would a greater concern be just the fact that you are using the area close to other toilets and are breathing in the airborne bad stuff?  Instead of dry hands, then the bacteria will have a truly moist environment to enjoy.

I know, a toilet flush safety interlock!  Toilet will not flush until the sealing lid is down in place.
22
Science / Re: The Tides ... Take 5
Think of a guitar string.  Very taut, waves propagate at a high speed.  The string itself does not.
23
Science / Re: The Tides ... Take 5
The moon causes the tides and the bulges are real!  And the Earth rotates under these bulges at about 1,000 mph!  That'll outrun even the largest, deep tsunami.
24
Perhaps miracles no, but such a person most likely did exist, an unusual person to garner that much attention.
25
Science / Re: NH winter cooling
I'm unclear that there are many "facts" established.  Aren't there a variety of estimates, projections as to what the climate changes may be in the future, if any?  But since projections may not include some complex or not understood interactive climate effects, we really just have to wait and watch for the facts to emerge.

I think we can take it as fact that our industrial activities are increasing the atmospheric C02 content at a significant rate as far as the numbers go.  But what does it mean?  My main take-away from scientific concerns dated to 1980 was that we were in effect running an experiment on our own nest.  Outcome uncertain, could involve undesirable climate changes, and if industry and population continued their growth patterns, and we make no efforts to curb carbon emissions, we will not be able to roll conditions back if we end up with bad climate results.

Maybe we will get lucky and it will eventually become clear that atmospheric C02 content is not much of a driver.  If we are not so lucky, there isn't much we can do about it at such a later date.