If you’re enjoying a Western Canadian summer, two of the best ways to do so involve a hammock, or a boat. Seeking to improve on this mighty duo with a hammock-boat combo, [Jarrett] describes his progress at Vancouver Hack Space.
The boat he chose was a one-person catamaran with an aluminium frame and what appear to be inflatable pontoons, while the hammock is one designed for a garden or patio with a steel tubular frame. A design goal was to not modify or destroy the structure of either item, so the challenge was to securely mount the two frames together. A variety of false starts involving bent steel or aluminium were tried, followed by a final success with the aluminium tubes reinforced with more tube inside them, and the hammock attached with U-bolts.
The testing took place on what appears to be a public lake, and the contraption floated well. When it had been pushed out to a landing stage our intrepid adventurer boarded the hammock — and promptly the whole edifice tipped itself over, depositing him in the drink. Further experimentation revealed that balance was critical, and a revised position could achieve a stable boarding. He paddles off into the sunset as you can see in the video below the break, though as his friends remind him, without his beer.
Commercial hammocks are surprisingly expensive for what they are. Don’t worry though, if you find them to be beyond your budget you can always make a frame for one yourself.
Continue reading “Is It A Boat? Is It A Hammock? No, It’s Both!”
Spoiler alert: group of fun-loving French folks build an animal-or-human-powered merry-go-round that spins fast enough to fling all takers into the lake (YouTube, embedded below). Actually, that’s basically it. The surprise is ruined, but you probably want to check out the video anyway, because it looks like a ton of fun.
Granted, you may not have a well-stocked metal shop or a team of oxen up by the lake wherever you live, but there are certainly details in the video that will survive in translation. Basically, the team took the axle off of a junked car, attached it to a pole in the middle of the lake, made a large wooden drive wheel, and wrapped an infinite length of rope around it.
[Charles] from [Mad Cow] wrote us that there was about a 10:1 ratio between the drive wheel and the arms of the people-flinger. So if the cattle were pulling at 3 km/h, the human angular velocity was a brisk 30 km/h! Then it’s just a matter of convincing a team of cows, or a team of soccer players (?), to put their backs into it.
The [Mad Cow] crew seems to have more than their fair share of
engineering dangerous fun up at their summer hideaway: check out their human crossbow that we featured a few years back.
Continue reading “A Cow-Powered Human Centrifuge”
If you are looking for a way to spice up your summertime parties, try following [Pastryboy’s] lead. After letting the idea rattle around in his head for a few years, he finally built himself the cooler he always dreamed of.
[Pastryboy] was originally inspired by a YouTube video he found a few years ago. He took the basic concept and rolled with it. He started out with a mini fridge he found for $10. He removed the compressor and other plumbing bits. He also removed all of the internal shelving. Any leftover holes were patched up with silicone. Now when the fridge is laid on its back, it’s essentially the same as an ordinary cooler.
Next [Pastryboy] purchased two 6.5″ Boss speakers and an inexpensive head unit. He drilled a few pilot holes in the side of the refrigerator and then used a jigsaw to cut the holes to the proper sizes. Once the speakers were mounted in place, he needed to find a way to waterproof the inside. This was accomplished by using some small plastic bowls. The edges of the bowls were attached to the cooler wall using silicone.
[Pastryboy] was able to run most of the cabling through the inside of the cooler’s walls. The system is powered by a 12V lead acid battery. He chose a specific model of battery that can be stored in any orientation and that can handle being knocked around a little bit.
Next he added a couple of handles to the sides to make it easier to transport. A small bit of ski rope was attached to the inside of the lid, preventing the lid from flopping completely open. [Pastryboy] also added a drain to the bottom to make it easier for one person to empty the cooler. The final touch was to pretty it up a bit. He sanded down the entire thing and gave it several coats of red paint. The end result looks very slick.
Attention Students: Living your life with a devil-may-care attitude will soon come to an end… But while you’re at it, take the summer away from your normal school’s-out activities to hack together something cool while tricking family into thinking it’s good for the career.
That link will take you to Waterloo Labs’ announcement that they’re hiring four paid interns this summer. You’ll need a bucketful of hacking skills from mechanical, to electrical, to coding (or any combination thereof). If the name doesn’t strike a bell be warned; these guys and gals do things like riding the roof of remote-control cars, and playing video games with real armaments.
Is your company offering similarly radical internships? We’d love to connect some hardcore hackers with good summer homes. Send a tweet a to Mike (@szczys) so that we can post an internships follow-up with more opportunities.