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Dear Placement

I don’t know if you remember me. We’ve been around one another for a while but I haven’t told you my true feelings. You might have noticed the times where I’ve paused in our conversation and looked off into the horizon, stopping mid-sentence to quell the fluttering in my gut. I’ve needed to say this for while but I didn’t know how.

Last week I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about you, but not in a creepy way or anything. I had an idea about a logo I wanted to make for you, so I got up and drew it. I saved it as the backdrop on my phone. Every time I pick up my phone I see it, and I think about you.

What I’m trying to say is, I want to be on you. I want to be on placement. Please give me a chance. Give this a chance.

About Me:

  • Was an architect.
  • Currently run a software company.
  • I love solving complex technical problems, especially when there is a social component.
  • Negotiating design solutions between competing interests is one area in which I excel.
  • Theme camp organizer for 6 years (SpinCycle).
  • I’ve designed & built big things on the playa. See image below.
  • No joke: I love mapping. I love making them clean and information packed.
  • I’m easy-going, enthusiastic, and hypomanic when I get motivated.

    I’m ready to be involved with the event in a new way. Running a theme camp has been amazing, and I’ll remain highly involved with the organization of SpinCycle, but I’d like to be contributing to the community in a broader way. I think my skill set lines up well with Placement and I’d like to volunteer with the placement team.

    If anyone can help me make this happen, please email me at .

    Rich Porter

  • French Kiwi Juice

    Diplo ft Jahan Lennon – About That Life

    Diplo doesn’t fail to surprise.

    Polycarbonate connectors from Synergy Firehoops

    I love it. It’s been a while since I’ve seen significant innovation in hoop crafting. Once again Scott ( and I’m guessing Abel has something to do with it) up the bar with another innovation. This time with polycarbonate connectors from Synergy Firehoops.

    I’m wondering how they got that polycarb hoop to cut connectors from. Merlin from PSIhoops had sent me a polycarb hoop prototype a few years ago that he had baked in a 10′ wide oven he had constructed specifically for this purpose. This was shrotly after I’d written “The hoop of the future?”.

    Polycarb is an amazing plastic and ideal for this application. These connectors should be bomb. I can’t wait to get my hands on some.

    Launch EDU

    Here’s my recent presentation about GradeCam at Launch EDU. I was nervous as hell.

    Palmer – new motor

    I found our new motor and got it for a ridiculously good price. I just found a video of a go-kart using the motor. Holy crap this is gonna be fun. We’re not gonna gear it for this kind of speed… we’re gonna gear it for San Francisco hills and pulling a trailer of people at Burning Man.

    Palmer Trike rebuild and Maker’s Faire

    Visiting the Maker’s Faire and chatting with electric vehicle builders taught me a quite a bit about my Palmer build and confirmed some of what I have been reading.

    First, the transmission on the trike should go. The maximum torque of an electric motor is reached instantly and stays at that level for the majority of its operating speed range. A transmission is needed for gas motors since the torque varies at different RPM. In order to run an engine efficiently, you need to keep it running in certain RPM range. So when your starting movement, it needs to be geared down so that the engine can rev more for the low speed. Most electric vehicles don’t have a transmission because you get just as much power at a low speed as you do at top speed. With the old drive train on the palmer, I was always a bit surprised that when I tried to downshift going up a hill, it didn’t seem to change our speed at all. That makes sense given this information. So the transmission is getting dropped. That leaves more room for batteries.

    Burning Man lamp installation for Spin Cycle

    I’ve been meaning to post about this and thought I’d throw some photos up. I’m constructing some intricate laser cut lamps for Spin Cycle this year. I’ve been dreaming of doing this for about 3 years and finally I have access to a laser cutter. Sweet!

    here are the first panles that I’ve actually cut out. The process has been tedious to get all the variables right but it’s starting to turn out. Just creating the pattern took hours.

    Palmer – switch out the whole system?

    So here’s an idea, switch out the whole system. I’m not sure yet if this would even work together but I’m thinking of figuring out if it could work. I’m not sure why it wouldn’t.

    This 48v @ 1000watt Controller & Motor kit with this battery setup.

    So what would my battery capacity be?
    Voltage: 12 Volts each
    Style: AGM
    Amp Hour: 18 Ah
    Length: 7.13″
    Width: 2.99″
    Height: 6.57″
    Weight: 13 lb. each

    4 Batteries x 12volts x 18Ah = 864 W/hrs. The capacity isn’t nearly as high as my current system but maybe that doesn’t matter. It seemed like we could ride for days and a comparable scooter has a 30+ mile range. This could work.

    Palmer Twosome powertrain considerations

    So this Palmer Twosome is a bit of a conundrum for me now. It’s built like a beast. It’s 27 years old! It wouldn’t have made it this long had it not been built rock solid.

    The problem I’m encountering now is that this rock solid 27 yr. old electric technology is a bit hard to come by today. I can find an electrical controllers from China for $79 that seem to do the same job as 50 pieces in this trike. Since the Palmer is a 12v system, it’s largely incompatible with parts from golf carts or scooters, which all seem to run on 24v, 26v, 48v, or 60v.

    While disassembling, the motor busted a plate on the inside and I had to pull it open. the brushings are nearly gone and I need to find a replacement piece that I broke. So far I can’t find any info on this motor online. It seems that it’s no longer on the market.

    Why are modern electric vehicle systems running on higher voltage? Time for me to investigate.
    The first and most comprehensible info I’ve found is at Pedego Electric bikes.

    What is VOLTAGE and which Voltage is best?
    Voltage can be thought of as the pressure or strength of electric power. All things being equal (see AMPS below), the higher the voltage the better, because high voltages pass more efficiently through wires and motors. Very high voltages (100+ volts) can give you a nasty shock because they also travel through people rather well, but the sort of voltages found on electric bicycles (12 – 36 volts) are quite safe. As a rule, a 12 volt system is fine for low-powered motors, but more powerful machines work better with 36 volts.

    The article goes on to discuss AMPS and Watts in a very comprehensible way. All of the info is useful for me.

    With our existing 12V system, the Palmer Twosome is slow. On a slight incline with 2 people on board, it moves at a walking pace. On flat ground it might hit running speed, maybe. It’s sounding like the 12v motor is potentially part of the speed constraint. I’d think that with it’s beefy transmission and huge battery bank, it would still be able to hustle but that just doesn’t seem to be the case. This might encourage me to switch.

    The same Pedego article also talked about battery capacity. Battery capacity is rated in Amp/hours. There’s some weird factor about a 20h piece of that equation that I’m not bothering to understand right now. The important thing for me to note is that I should double the capacity theoretically needed due to system inefficiency. Once I get down to the nuts and bolts, I’ll revisit this part of the equation and really determine what I need.

    The batteries that came with the Palmer are two Sea Volt Deep Cycle 215s. They’re 6 volts and have a capacity of 215 Amp/hours. To compare apples to apples, I’m gonna look at Watt/hours on all batteries and figure out how many watt/hours my system needs. After a quick refresher on my math skills,

    Watt = Volts X Amps
    Amps = Watts/Volts
    215 X (Watts/Volts) / Hours X 6V
    215 X (Watts/Volts) ÷ (Hours/1) X 6V
    1290 W/hr in each battery

    These batteries are over $240 a piece and after testing them at O’Reilly Autoparts, they seem to be in good condition. I’m not anxious to drop a $480 component of the system. Two 6V batteries only gives me a 12v system and I’m fairly confident these batteries aren’t gonna play well in series with any other type of battery to up my voltage.