Construction Log: USB Syntax Error

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Ship Criteria

  • Sub 100 pounds for medium to long range missions
  • Looks great in the daytime, nice at night.
  • Cargo-ready
  • Modest sonic distruption


  • 700c wheels
  • disc brakes
  • Rear derailleur :0
  • Internal electrical wiring
  • 4130 chromoly, with curves


Warp Core

LifePo4 12v 40AH hospital battery, with a spare for longer missions. 18.5 lbs. each

Sonic disruption

Is these such a a thing as a mini subwoofer? Like for a motorcycle? Otherwise I will model my design after JVH Trinity, the inspiration behind this build.


Discrete by day, pretty at night. I like the ones that project on the ground more than LED strips, and I suspect they are more energy efficient being 3 LEDs and a motor. May be interesting making discreet housing for these: I think ABS plastic tubes may be a nice option.

Christened 21-07-24

Construction Log

Total hours: 157 and counting


Spent the day overhauling the read hub (the axle spacing was off), replacing the disc brake pads and cleaned the rotor meticulously, oiled the chain, and added more clear tape over the areas that are prone to wear. I had to haul the bike stand upstairs as I can't fit the ship in the level 0 airlock. Took out the soundproofing material in the speaker to see if it improved the volume levels. 7 hours


Built a custom parking rack from square stock and some 4130 tubing. It'd got a spot for the charger to bolt on. Fiddled with the brakes some more - needed some cotter pins. 5 hours


(Summary of several days of work) Installed all cables and housing, bent front brake tab to help brake alignment - less than ideal. Realized locking brake levers were short throw, but there was a riveted pin I could drill out and move the pivot point to a pre-drilled hole. I used a 4m flat top machine screw. The lever had to be modified to clear the nut but I believe it's good to go. Added clear stickers over parts of the frame that will be rubbed by cable housing. Before that I installed the front disco light bracket. It took a lot of fussing and redesigning, but it wokred out with some titanium spacers on the lower two stem faceplate bolts. 3 hours


Installed handlebar, levers, shifters, grips, and cable housing. internal wires into the handlebars and installed the starboard side sonic disruptor. 3 hours


Installed main cable into top tube. Cut the zip ties holding the headbadge in place during epoxy, things look good. Determined disruptor locations, added pads and clamp rings, drilled holes. Took the bars home, cleaned them up and gave them four coats of clear lacquer. We'll see if the rust is a problem, if so I will strip and paint. 3.5 hrs


Cut cable to control box and added a plug and socket connection. Designed, machined, and welded handlebars. Epoxied headbadge to frame. 6 hrs


designed vinyl mask for scuffing the head tube where the badge will go. Drilled holed on badge for machine screws. Made stainless steel harness for warp core. Made and installed heavy duty connector for the warp core. Installed a power socket for the aft disco light on the seatpost. Made a titanium bracket for the disco light. 7 hrs


Installed BB, rear derailleur, rivnuts, bottle cage. Tried installing the chain but got frustrated as I need to put it in the smallest gear, waiting until after shifter is installed. Went home to find the steel I needed to finish the fork came in. Went back to the shop, installed the bottom crown piece, installed the headset and fork, stem, rear brake, pedals, wheels. Added grip tape to launch step. Installed rear brake, bent it around a lot before realizing the adapter was missing some adjustment washer, so I bent is back. Brought one of the warp cores back, watched a tear town vid and learned how to up up the top to get to the BMS to disconnect the side wires safely. 3.5 hrs


Cut hole in amp case and added heat sink. Connected the two boxes and finished all the control box wiring connections. 6 hours


Using the biggest lathe in the shop, Ryan and I pressed the headset into the head tube. It was definitely a two-person job. Wired up amp in the case and routed to a hole for connecting it to the control box. 4 hours


Cut headbadge shape. Designed and constructed portside zoob control box. Used a broken clipboard for a non-conductive panel - fittingly it used to be a SCUL clipboard. Power from the warp core goes to a 25amp breaker with auto reset, then a kill switch, then a volt/amp display, then to a junction that will send power to the preamp and a 5v transformer for aft disco light, as well as things outside the box: the amp, which is mounted in an identical but heavily vented starboardside box. There's a bundled cable going from the help than will have 12v power and speaker level outputs for the left and right sonic disruptor dish, as well as left and right audio in from mp3p0. It's a very tight fit, but I believe with proper cord management it will be perfect. Currently waiting on some strain relief which should arrive tomorrow. I will also be getting the warp cores. Some stuff is at Seven that I will need to pick up as well, such as the other pelican case and the helm cable. 7 hours


Drilled holes on portside sonic disruptor case for 12v outs and audio in. The 12v out socket required a 1 1/8" hole, which I do not have a properly sized drill bit for. However I was able to file it out from 1" and even got the shape correct to fit the flat spots of the socket correct so there's no chance of the socket spinning loose. Printed design on etching paper and transferred to copper sheet by use of a laminator. I learned later that you can print on the backing paper to shipping labels which is a lot cheaper. Use 000 steel wool, then soy sauce to prep the metal. Rinse off the soy sauce before applying. Vinyl makes a great resist as well. Put in ferric Chloride acid bath for 1 hour. Good results, but could be better. 6 hours


Frame is out of paint. I visited to check it out in person - the sparkle looks great. Nat accidentally put the ship's name upside down but that works to help make the graphic even more cryptic - so I'm rolling with it. Rob pointed out that there's not enough of a bottom lip on the fork for a headset race to rest on. We discussed workarounds, and ultimately I decided to order some more steel to press fit and tack in place. I only need 1/8" but they sell by the foot and so it set me back $15 for the tube and another $13.50 for shipping the tube. It will arrive Friday, the day before I leave for vacation. While I'm discouraged about the setback, I choose to do the right thing and be patient so this project is a 100% success without compromise. 1 hour


Nat got the frame and fork primed. She mixed the paint with me and I was able to make some minor adjustments (more green, lots more sparkle). I was able to peek at the fork through the foggy paint booth window.


The brake mount that I ordered from Nova Cycle supply did not arrive as expected, and it's the wrong part anyway. I had a fork disc brake mount that I was hoping to make work by modifying and adding plate, but it was so far away from what I needed that it seemed hopeless. Turns out Seven had steel ISO brake mounts all along. I welded to the seat stay as it was a munch better fit and much cleaner cable route than if I mounted to to the chainstay. Squished drive side seat stay just to be absolutely sure the chain clears on the smallest cog. The frame and fork are now 'paint ready'. 2.5 hours


Cut off slotted cable stops as they won't work - the cable will bind as the fork turns. Instead I used a short piece of small antimatter tubing to loosely hold the cable next to the head tube. I silver brazed it on, which came out well, especially considering I hadn't brazed in about fifteen years. I weighed the frame and fork - 9.35 lbs, and 2.13 lbs. 2 hours


Designed, machined, tacked and welded racks. Welded about 30 zip guides on the frame, as well as two slotted cable stops for the head tube. 8 hours


Shopped for more parts and designed cable routing and wiring placement. 5 hours


Reamed and faced head tube on big lathe with Tomai. Reamed seat tube to 1.071", took about 20 passes. Slotted seat tube and added relief hole. Struggled with cassette. Unpacked rack tubing. 3 hours


Filed all fork caps. Made pads and welded them to top tube. Drilled holes and filed so the cable fits nicely. 3 hours


Filed all caps on frame. Cut fork ends and filed for caps. 2hours


Happy 25th SCUL! Tacked and welded kick plate. Welded fork dropouts. Headset stack height .540". Made a spacer so I could get the struts on the forks correct. Machined and welded fork struts and for strut stays. 5 hours


Designed head badge. Faced and Chased BB. Assembled to test chain clearance. The drive size chainstay was in the way and had to be removed. Machined a new one that is parallel to the frame and sticks out to clear the chain. Re-tacked re-checked - looks good. Welded rear triangle. The wheelcheck moved a bit but it's okay. Cut the excess tubing off the stays, filed angles, made caps and kick plate, welded caps. 8 hours


Day off for food shopping and Nemo's b-day.


Trying a new approach: making seat stay bridges. and built from those. I was able to successfully take the rear triangle. Next step - component clearance. 3 hours


Attempted to tack dropouts and stays together. Not successful but learned and adapted. Re-bent seat stays to compensate for frame drawing deviation. 3 hours


Aligned the hear tube. It moved a bit but I didn't want to push it. Bent seat stays. made a sleeve for the tubing blocks so they can clamp 1" tubes on the steep angle mill. coped dropout ends on all four stays. Looked through paint color books - I'm excited about 'Hot Wheels Antifreeze green'. 3 hours


Welded frame except for rear triangle. I started a the bottom bracket and worked my way out. The last tubes to be welded were the lowest tubes. I had a lot of trouble as my rear curved tube was not curved enough to reach the boom tube. I lot of filing of the tube above it made it so the rear curved tube could meet up. It took a couple of hours of hand filing to make it work. 9.5 hours


Welded fork. Had to break tacks and remake the stays as the rake was miscalculated. Welded ends on head tube. Coped all straight tubes. 8 hours


Turned fork at crown for headset race. Drilled plug weld holes for fork. Tried to bend fork tubes but .035" was crimping, so I switched up to .045" and it worked fine. All curved tubes on frame are bent properly. 7 hours


Learned how to bend tubes at Seven. What a pleasure to use. Limited to 1.25" diameter - there's a couple of larger sizes but I don't recall what they are. Completed the two bends that hug the thrusters. 2 hours


Unpacked first shipment of 4130 and started construction of the fork. 4 hours


Placed steel tubing order:
  • 8 ft 1 x .049"
  • 8 ft 1 x .058"
  • 16 ft 1.125 x .035"
  • 8 ft 1.125 x .058"
  • 16 ft 1.25 x .049"
  • 8 ft 1.25 x .058"
  • 8 ft 1.25 x .065"
  • 8 ft 1.375 x .058"
  • 1 ft 1.5 x .058"
Got extra tubes for the ones I plan to bend as a precaution, plus I ordered more than I need to cover mistakes. Should have a lot left over. Still need to order head tube, as well as a fork race: 1.570 OD to sleeve over 1.5" tube - may make my own on the lathe at Seven. 1hour


More refining. 4 hours


[[File:Working-title-plans.jpg]] Design. Note: these specs may not be current. This image is for illustrative purposes only. Met with Rob Vandermark about tubing specs and design strategy. He gave me a steel BB shell to start. 2 hours


Conception. Made a sketch. 1 hour