Jackal Takes It To The Streets

[Nick Thatcher] is becoming the world’s authority on self-balancing unicycles.  He’s unveiled The Jackal, his new single wheel vehicle. The Jackal is an upgrade to The Raptor, [Nick’s] 2012 machine. The wheelbarrow wheel has been replaced with a much more fitting model sourced from a motorcycle. The 19″ motorcycle wheel improved balancing quite a bit. Wheelbarrow wheels were not exactly quality components, so they definitely made balancing the unicycle more difficult.

[Nick] upgraded his power system as well. The Jackal is powered by a 450 Watt 1020z geared motor. The 1020z is often found on scooters imported from the Far East. The motor controller  is the same SyRen 50 Amp continuous / 100 Amp peak  model used in the Raptor.

The Jackal’s frame has also seen some changes. It’s now sporting quite a bit of machined aluminum as well as [Nick’s] standby PVC.  The upgrades have paid off in performance. The Jackal can reach about 20 MPH, however the top safe speed is closer to 15 MPH.

Click past the break to see [Nick] demonstrating The Jackal at Makerfaire UK.


17 thoughts on “Jackal Takes It To The Streets

    1. The Ryno videos look really cool, but the $5300 price tag is tough one to handle, slightly cheaper then a Segway, but still really expensive. For myself, an electric foot scooter is way cheaper, lighter to pack and allowed (and disallowed) in the same places Ryno/Segway are, as the first part of my commute would require me to pack a Ryno/Seqway on the bus….

      What I would like is a combo gas (LPG) and electric foot scooter, then I could ride the bike lines on the street to get downtown via gas (per the current law, electric scooters/Ryno/Segways/… are not allowed in non-recreational street based bike-lines but gas outboard engine foot scooters are…), and then use electric on sidewalks upon reaching downtown. That would allow me to skip the bus and save 30+ minutes of one-way commute time.

      1. Remember you can run a 4-stroke gas engine without too much trouble on LPG. You just have to modify the carburetor and install a regulator. To get more power out of the conversion you would want to increase the compression though as I believe LPG does not burn as efficiently at the standard small engine compression ratio’s. Depending on your engine though you might not have to worry. Got it to work on my minibike once, it was fun watching all the old carbon on the inside of the cylinder get thrown out of the exhaust :)

  1. I am always impressed when somebody builds something special out of readily available and cheap components, not so much when they upgrade to “hard to get” and expensive components.

      1. Throwing cash at something will variably improve the product – there’s nothing particularly clever about that – you could do that right at the start if you like, no need for evolution, unless, of course you sell the previous version to pay for the more expensive improvements.

        If he had used the same or cheaper components but improved the design then I see that as evolution perhaps.

        IMHO hacking is about doing more with less.

          1. Thanks for the typo correction – I was typing over the top of a bowl of soup.

            That’s not throwing money at a “product” – that’s “pissing it up against a wall”.

            It’s related to the process of giving away billions of dollars as foreign aid without managing where the money goes.

            I sympathise with your longing, but I don’t want to see your “habit” put you in the poor house… ;-)

  2. His name, on the dropboxetc site you mention, is “Thatcher”, as in “Thatch Industries” and a rather unfortunate episode in British politics.

    The original HaD article mentioning his other scooter gets the name wrong, too.

  3. Well I don’t think it’s just about trying to sell what Nick has made here. The fact that he got up and made something like this pretty much by himself, its inspirational! If anything,it’s a show of what he is capable of engineering!

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