If you grew up in a snowy climate, chances are you’ve ridden a sled or toboggan when you were young. The downhill part of sledding is great fun, but dragging the thing back up gets boring quickly. [Luis Marx] had been dreaming of sledding uphill since he was a child, and decided to make his dream come true by building himself a motorized sled (video, in German, embedded below).
The sled is powered by two DC electric motors driving a continuous track, like a rudimentary snowmobile. The motors were originally designed for electric bikes, and can develop 30 newton-meters of torque each. [Luis] designed and 3D-printed a custom set of drive wheels to link the track to the bike motors. Two motor controllers enable basic speed control, while a beefy battery carries enough juice for multiple trips up and down a slope.
The motorized track is mounted on a clever frame that can swing up or down and is held in place by two spring-loaded pins. This way, you can simply lift the system off the snow when you’re ready to slide downhil, and swing it down again when you want the sled to do the pulling.
With winter nearing its end, the snow near [Luis]’s home in southern Germany was too soft to get much traction, but subsequent tests in a ski resort up in the Alps showed the system working perfectly. It even had enough traction to pull a second sled behind it. Perhaps some proper suspension could make it go faster on the downhill run, too.
Continue reading “Never Walk Uphill Again With This Motorized Sled”
With all the futuristic technology currently at our disposal, it seems a little bizarre that most passenger vehicles are essentially the same thing that they were a century ago. Four wheels, a motor, and some seats would appear to be a difficult formula to beat. But in the 3D printing world where rapid prototyping is the name of the game, some unique vehicle designs have been pushed out especially in the RC world. One of the latest comes to us from [RCLifeOn] in the form of a single-wheeled RC snowmobile.
While not a traditional snowmobile with tracks, this one does share some similarities. It has one drive wheel in the back printed with TPR for flexibility and it also includes studs all along its entire circumference to give it better traction on ice. There are runners in the front made from old ice skates which the vehicle uses for steering, and it’s all tied together with an RC controller and some lithium batteries to handle steering and driving the electric motor.
There were some design flaws in the first iteration of this vehicle, including a very large turning radius, a gearing setup with an unnecessarily high torque, and a frame that was too flexible for the chain drive. [RCLifeOn] was also testing this on a lake which looked like it was just about to revert to a liquid state which made for some interesting video segments of him retrieving the stuck vehicle with a tree branch and string. All in all, we are hopeful for a second revision in the future when some of these issues are hammered out and this one-of-a-kind vehicle can really rip across the frozen wastes not unlike this other interesting snowmobile from a decade ago.
Continue reading “RC Snowmobile Makes Tracks On Ice”
If have ever gone snowmobiling, you may have thought about how to revive that thrill in the more confined atmosphere of an urban environment — to say nothing of their utility. In anticipation of heavy snowfall over the winter in his hometown, [Ben] stripped the essence of the snowmobile down as an emergency vehicle and reshaped it into the Snow Bike.
This compact, winter transportation solution uses an e-bike controller, a chopped up ski, and a heavy snowblower track and a large RC plane motor for power all strapped onto a modified mountain bike frame. The motor mount is machined aluminum, the track rollers milled out of spare plastic — though they later had to be modified as they tended to get clogged by snow — and the front ski is simply bolted on using some 3″ square tubing.
Due to its small size the Snow Bike looks about as stable as a pocket bike, so perhaps some training tracks and or skis might help in deeper powder. [Ben] also notes that the present motor doesn’t have much power so the rider needs to keep it at full throttle to push through the snow. That said — seeing this thing smoothly cruising around in several inches of snow makes us wish we had one of our own.
If this ride isn’t fast enough for you, check out these rocket-powered winter vehicles.
Continue reading “Snowed-In In The City? The Snow Bike Will Get You Where You Need To Go”
One advantage that skiers have always had over snowboarders is the ability to move through flat sections with ease. [Matt Gardner] built this prototype to help even the playing field. When he would normally need to kick, hop, or remove the board and walk he can now engage his snowboard battery propulsion system.
The rig works much like a paddle boat. The two wheels sticking out to either side of the board push against the slow to move the board forward. The drive train is built from an RC plane speed controller and battery, a motor and gearbox from an 18V drill from Harbor Freight, and a couple of 3D printed gears and mounting brackets. He used a 3D printer to make one drive wheel, then used that to make a silicone mold to cast the wheels used above. The entire assembly is attached to the board with a door hinge. This way the rig can be rotated out of the way (and we assume strapped to his boot) when he’s shredding down the mountain. When paired with an in-goggle HUD this will take snowboarding to the next level!
Unfortunately since it’s already April there’s no snow left to test it on, which means no demo video. But he does tell us that a test run on both grass and carpet went well.