I think this is about the point where my wife would have killed the project.
Sure, the trigger isn't some major value-add project, but if it builds a practical skill and makes other practical repairs/upgrades possible, I'd bet you could convince most people pretty easily.
The escalation was a bit unexpected, though, and definitely made me laugh.
Next step is the mill, lathe, grinder, strip sander...
Have you priced a multi-process welder (plus all the extras) by a decent brand lately?
Most people would "nope" out of there seeing such prices, especially for a tool which they may not even manage to get the skills to use effectively.
While it is cheaper to go that route, vs going stick, then wire MIG, then TIG (and needing the room to store each machine) - if you purchase new equipment - it still is a big chunk of money to swallow.
The cheapest route is to instead make friends with someone who has welding equipment; learn to use everything there, then when you get to whatever point you're best at - buy your own equipment.
Myself, I've done a combo - I purchased a used cheapo 120 VAC buzz-box stick welder, which worked ok for small jobs - but I had learned on my brother-in-law's Lincoln Tombstone 220 VAC/DC system. Later, I met a friend who has a complete shop, and I can do just about any process I want there.
Back home, I purchased a HF cheapo 120 VAC flux-core wire feed welder (mainly because I wanted to see what an $89.00 wire-feed welder could do - it's actually not a bad piece of kit, and people do all kinds of mods to it, too - including conversion to DC).
One of these days I plan to get a 220 VAC line run to my garage, but that won't be any time soon; at that point I'll probably purchase a decent MIG welder w/ CO2...
The DC TIG / Stick inverter unit I have at home is a AU$280 one off eBay. It even has high-frequency start for the TIG.
I rent a tiny bottle of argon from one of the industrial gas supply places in town for $5 a month, just to have argon at hand if I suddenly want to TIG weld something, and can get a larger bottle delivered next day if I need it.
This is the unit I bought about 18 months ago, they're currently selling for less than when I got mine: https://tinyurl.com/ebay-dc-tig-au
Sort of like soldering irons, where the <$40 ones are typically trash, the $40~$100 ones are probably fine for home use, and the ones that I bought for work start around $500 (JBC btw, I've convinced our entire engineering lab that they're the best).
When you go really cheap on soldering gear, overall power, tip temperature regulation, tip plating quality, and iron longevity are all reduced, sometimes to the point of unusability.
What do you lose when you go cheap on TIG machines?
the only thing to really be wary about with the cheaper deals is that they often don't include the head, sleeve, controls, ground clamp, argon fittings and regulator. so those might add some hidden cost. regardless you need to budget another ~$300 for a tank and gas.
but the difference between low end and low end professional is alot of money, so I would definitely recommend skimping a little. since the tips are consumed there isn't much of a wear issue really.
a super cheap option is a used stick machine with a tig head if you can live with all of the above limitations. if you upgrade you can carry forward the tank, regulator and head.
My work has an AC TIG so I'm covered for aluminium welding if I need it.
I think the only other thing I've noticed about the cheap DC TIG I've got is the build quality is, well, cheap, but if you handle it with a bit of care they seem durable enough. I've accidentally dropped one of the name-brand ones from 6' up a ladder and it just bounded and kept going. Not convinced I'd want to do that with my ~$200 unit.
Probably a good idea to let the unit run for a good 5 minutes after you've finished welding to make sure it has a chance to cool down. I had a MOSFET blow out on the first one I bought, I think because I was switching it off immediately after doing quite a bit of welding and the fan didn't have a chance to blow away the heat build up. But even after buying two of them I'm still a good ~$1000 in front of a high end unit.
Small anecdote. My wife grew up in a house with no tools, I grew up in one with lots of tools. She is also much more fiscally responsible than I am. So early in our life together she would push back on tool purchases (I have a habit of creating projects that always require at least one new tool).
However, the experience over a few years of how much easier and more reliably a project was completed when the right tool was available, eventually won her over. And now she is perhaps more of a tool advocate than I am!
Pfffft. Spool gun off an engine welder or GTFO.
Just add a transfer switch and you can tell your wife it's a standby generator. ;)
Also, maybe I'm to used to thinking in terms of big things made from thick metal but 200a seems really small for aluminum.
disagree about the spool gun. tig is alot more useful for smaller work and crafts projects. its a stupid choice for structural, but up to 1/2" its fine. and you can do really small work in materials like stainless, brass, Al, cast iron, and bronze. it also requires less prep and cleanup to get a pretty result. (again for non-structural applications)
That was a joke. It's apples to oranges. Most people wouldn't prefer a spool gun over TIG given the choice.
> it also requires less prep and cleanup to get a pretty result. (again for non-structural applications)
This couldn't be further from the truth. Assuming you're not using exotic consumables that are very contamination tolerant/intolerant TIG is far more sensitive to contamination than other processes.
obviously its all dependent on what you're trying to accomplish
In time order my mods have been:
1. Soft start (R/C circuit, heat sunk MOSFET)
2. Replace lead acid with 18650 batteries
3. Reverse switch (they make these for big fancy power wheels, they just reverse the polarity to the motor)
4. Bluetooth remote kill switch (Lazybone - I don't recommend it, the ios app is crap)
5. Turbo button, adds a 18650 in series with the 2 other when the button is pressed
6. 2 batteries in the turbo button for a total of ~16v
He drives very well himself now, with 2 big issues - it is hard to get him to pay attention to what's in front of him at all times and go slowly around pedestrians (that's where the remote stop comes in), and it's so fast now that I need to figure out how to add brakes (maybe I'll just move him to a real go kart with rubber wheels and mechanical brakes). But he's an excellent driver at just over 2 years old and people are always very impressed. Kids are capable of a lot more than we give them credit for.
Once he was sitting in there and messing with the controls, I would run and dance around in front of the car to get him to chase me, which he thought was hilarious. As soon as he was able to go where he wanted and clearly enjoyed it, I thought he would be ready to listen to me tell him what to do, so we would take longer trips with a destination in mind, to the playground or to the drum circle. I would verbally tell him what to do (stop, go, turn left, turn right, reverse, forward, etc), and if he doesn't do it within a couple of seconds, I stop the car with the remote start and hunker down and explain to him what I wanted him to do and show him on the controls. If he continues to not listen to my instructions we take a few minutes time out out of the car and sit on a bench or run around or whatever.
Anyways, keep trying! it's a lot of work but so much fun.
Wouldn't a Bluetooth keep-alive signal be better suited.
Why not use electric brakes first? Take some high-load resistors, and use a high-current relay to switch the motor positive line from the 18650 controller to the resistor bank. For more fun, make a stepped resistor bank so you can control brake power.
As long as the braking power does not exceed the power for acceleration, no need to worry (and you can always start with low braking load). Reversing the motor while the car is in motion is the dangerous thing.
Is children's powerwheel competitive drifting going to become a thing?!
Edit: I didn't realize they were doing autonomous cars now. Past races were definitely done with humans in the cars.
I also did not know about the autonomous competition, but the last blog post is three years old, and the 'register today' button takes you to a form for 2015.
I only see 'autonomous' once and no further details.
If anybody has additional info, I would greatly appreciate it.
Will make sure this post can be read as soon as i can contact my webhosting company, hopefully tonight. Sorry about this!
7-10km/h may not sound very fast, but trying jogging face-first into a lamppost at that speed and you'll soon change your mind.
At some point you'll probably need rubber tires or you'll get a lot of wheel spin.
We use 24 volt lead-acid gel cell batteries - the thing easily gets up to some scary speed (well - scary when you're in nothing but a t-shirt, shorts, and no helmet) on the flat. Plus considering the homemade nature of the whole machine...
I can't imagine what a motor like that in a kids ride-on would be like, at full-throttle...
I am also very grateful for all the good and constructive comments made here, this is exactly what i was going for.
A lot of concerns about safety was lifted, and a few comments made me reconsider some choices i was about to make.
In order to make sure the car does not flip over i will be:
Widening the axle base and wheelbase with 100mm. The new suspension will lower the the car quite a lot, and also lower the point of gravity.
As i mentioned the motor is a 48 volt running on 12 volt until the little guy grows older and more used to the strength and speed.
He will have no control over steering or gas until he understands the very principals of what he is doing.
In case of loss of radio control, the servos controlling the brakes will lock up.
I made a lot of progress on integrating a signal horn into the steering-wheel yesterday, will show this off in a small update in the end of the week.
As for welding, i got a lot of good advise on top of what i knew from researching the subject. If i go for steel or aluminum still remains to be seen, but my Argon gas delivery was postponed 2 weeks, making it likely i will go with steel at least for now.
Thanks again for all feedback! If you think of more, feel free to let me know here or on the blog.
I went above and beyond the original motors when i bought a 48 volt 1000 watt motor of amazon. The motor is meant for a e-scooter, is 200 times stronger than the original engine, so the frame will have to be reinforced.
Too bad it's just part 1.
This made me laugh.
I've been missing the old web for years now and this makes me a bit happier.
I also started writing a web page again recently after throwing away any ideas that it needs a theme or a cms or even a static page generator.
These are really fine (and expensive) ride-on car kits. The little Land Rover can easily carry two kids and pull a trailer.
I never bought one, though, and I'm kind of glad I didn't. Once you get your kid an electric car, they'll never want to ride a bike again. I see overweight kids riding around the neighborhood on electric scooters and my wife and I swore we'd never buy ours an electric vehicle.
another feature idea I just had: put a couple of ultra sonic sensors on the front and back.
on the back: to emulate the reverse parking "beep-beep" indicators.
on the front: to prevent collisions - if you rapidly get too close to something (a wall, another child), it cuts the power to the motor.
Pimping my son != Pimping my son's ride
People have been using "pimp" as a verb in this context since at least the 70's, so I'd say this is a lost battle. The phrase did not come from Pimp my Ride.
edit: my interpretation of your use of quotations is one of many, but I should give you the benefit of the doubt here
I read those quotes as simply indicating that they weren't sure if "street" was the most accurate way to convey what they meant (urban, etc.). It is common to use quotes around a word that is an approximation of the intended meaning.
Thankfully, that usage seems to be petering out?