Yikes ! Electric Bikes !

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Effi, Jun 16, 2003.

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  1. Effi

    Effi Guest

    are these things as revolutionary as they look?

    any leads on which are best?

    hmmm...supposedly no license in most states...

    how do they do in the rain?

    here's some of what i saw

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3613100471&category=22703

    http://www.econvergence.net/emb.htm
    a.. Fully electric, powered by rechargeable batteries
    b.. 30 miles per hour top speed
    c.. 0 to 30 miles per hour in 4 seconds
    d.. 20 mile range between charges

    http://www.electric-bikes.com/others.htm

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3613596131&category=22703

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3613100471&category=22703

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3613819236&category=2904

    http://www.zapworld.com/ and check out the personal hovercraft
     
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  2. Pete

    Pete Guest

    "effi" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > are these things as revolutionary as they look?

    They are merely baby motorcycles

    > any leads on which are best?

    it depends.

    > hmmm...supposedly no license in most states...

    It depends.

    > how do they do in the rain?

    same as any other moped.

    > here's some of what i saw

    Or some of what you're selling, maybe?

    > http://www.zapworld.com/ and check out the personal hovercraft

    Basically the same thing as at Hammechler-Schlemmer. If I'm not mistaken, this uses a drive wheel
    underneath to make it go. Not a true 'hover'. Hovercraft are cool and fun, but definately NOT good
    for regular transportation.

    Pete
     
  3. Effi

    Effi Guest

    "Pete" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > Basically the same thing as at Hammechler-Schlemmer.

    something you're selling???

    > If I'm not mistaken,

    that's not being very specific

    > this uses a drive wheel underneath to make it go. Not a true 'hover'. Hovercraft are cool and fun,
    > but definately NOT good for regular transportation.
    >
    >
    > Pete
     
  4. Effi

    Effi Guest

    "Pete" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > http://www.zapworld.com/ and check out the personal hovercraft
    >
    > Basically the same thing as at Hammechler-Schlemmer. If I'm not mistaken, this uses a drive wheel
    > underneath to make it go. Not a true 'hover'.

    i think you're wrong, it says:

    Ride 3-4 inches off the ground Similar technology used by the military Top Speed: up to 15 mph

    > Hovercraft are cool and fun, but definately NOT good for regular transportation.

    i think you're wriong here too, you're just wrong all over

    >
    >
    > Pete
     
  5. Pete

    Pete Guest

    "effi" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > "Pete" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > > http://www.zapworld.com/ and check out the personal hovercraft
    > >
    > > Basically the same thing as at Hammechler-Schlemmer. If I'm not
    mistaken,
    > > this uses a drive wheel underneath to make it go. Not a true 'hover'.
    >
    > i think you're wrong, it says:
    >
    > Ride 3-4 inches off the ground Similar technology used by the military Top Speed: up to 15 mph

    Having helped my son build a very low end, but similar design hover....15mph is not possible without
    some sort of drive mech. Whether a fan/prop, as in a conventional hover, or a drive wheel as in this
    thing....it needs *something* to get up to 15mph.

    Simple leaning and letting air escape out the side will not get you up to 15mph. Unless you're on a
    hill...;) Then you have other problems.

    From www.hammacher.com (search on hover) http://www.hammacher.com/publish/10321.asp?promo=search
    "...the hover scooter provides an unprecedented experience in personal transportation, levitating
    inches above the ground and speeding a single rider across land on a cushion of air."

    "To increase acceleration, the rider leans back slightly while gripping the handlebar, and the
    friction drive wheel at the underside rear of the scooter makes contact with the ground, increasing
    speed up to a maximum of approximately 15 mph. The scooter deftly glides over level, solid ground
    such as concrete, asphalt, or well-groomed grass free of debris, sand, stones, and other obstacles."

    You can buy the Hammacher-Schlemmer toy for $15,000. Ours came in at the grand total of $32. And was
    used about as much as a $15k one would be. But it did come in first for a 4th grade science fair.

    *everything* is "similar technology used by the military". Your car is 'similar' to ones used by the
    military. Your sneakers are 'similar' to ones used by the miltary. Your PC is 'similar' to ones used
    by the military.

    Pete
     
  6. Effi

    Effi Guest

    let's make it easy on you

    stop making up stuff and either cite the site i cite as to your version of how thier hovercraft is
    built, or go suck an egg

    "Pete" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "effi" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > "Pete" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > > > http://www.zapworld.com/ and check out the personal hovercraft
    > > >
    > > > Basically the same thing as at Hammechler-Schlemmer. If I'm not
    > mistaken,
    > > > this uses a drive wheel underneath to make it go. Not a true 'hover'.
    > >
    > > i think you're wrong, it says:
    > >
    > > Ride 3-4 inches off the ground Similar technology used by the military Top Speed: up to 15 mph
    >
    > Having helped my son build a very low end, but similar design
    hover....15mph
    > is not possible without some sort of drive mech. Whether a fan/prop, as in
    a
    > conventional hover, or a drive wheel as in this thing....it needs *something* to get up to 15mph.
    >
    > Simple leaning and letting air escape out the side will not get you up to 15mph. Unless you're on
    > a hill...;) Then you have other problems.
    >
    > From www.hammacher.com (search on hover) http://www.hammacher.com/publish/10321.asp?promo=search
    > "...the hover scooter provides an unprecedented experience in personal transportation, levitating
    > inches above the ground and speeding a single rider across land on a cushion of air."
    >
    > "To increase acceleration, the rider leans back slightly while gripping
    the
    > handlebar, and the friction drive wheel at the underside rear of the
    scooter
    > makes contact with the ground, increasing speed up to a maximum of approximately 15 mph. The
    > scooter deftly glides over level, solid ground such as concrete, asphalt, or well-groomed grass
    > free of debris, sand, stones, and other obstacles."
    >
    > You can buy the Hammacher-Schlemmer toy for $15,000. Ours came in at the grand total of $32.
    > And was used about as much as a $15k one would be. But it did come in first for a 4th grade
    > science fair.
    >
    > *everything* is "similar technology used by the military". Your car is 'similar' to ones used by
    > the military. Your sneakers are 'similar' to
    ones
    > used by the miltary. Your PC is 'similar' to ones used by the military.
    >
    > Pete
     
  7. Zoot Katz

    Zoot Katz Guest

  8. Larry Schudt

    Larry Schudt Guest

    On Mon, 16 Jun 2003 22:39:27 -0500, "effi" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >"Pete" <[email protected]> wrote in message

    >> Hovercraft are cool and fun, but definately NOT good for regular transportation.
    >
    >i think you're wriong here too, you're just wrong all over
    >
    >
    >>

    I dunno... I've never had personal experience with hovercraft but... think in terms of hills or
    gusty winds. I don't think I'd want to be sharing the road with any hovercraft under those
    circumstances. As the previous poster said, "NOT good for regular transportation."

    larry
    --
    To reply by e-mail, be polite. Rudeness will get you nowhere.
     
  9. Pete

    Pete Guest

    "effi" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > let's make it easy on you
    >
    > stop making up stuff and either cite the site i cite as to your version of how thier hovercraft is
    > built, or go suck an egg
    >

    Hang on there, Sparky. Don't get your panties in a bunch.

    Why are you so defensive of this thing?

    The website you refer to is curiously slim on details of this thing. However...the description they
    give is quite similar to the description of the Hammacher/Schlemmer "AirBoard".

    In addition...pictures of the two machines show they are virtually identical. Down to the same decal
    on the side, near the riders foot.

    So..let us use a little deductive reasoning: [text from the two websites follows]
    http://www.hammacher.com/publish/10321.asp?promo=search and http://www.zapworld.com/airboard2.htm

    H/S - Calls it the "Levitating Hover Scooter" But the name on the side is "AirBoard" Zap - Calls it
    the "AirBoard" (Logo on the side unreadable in the picture)

    I/S - " increasing speed up to a maximum of approximately 15 mph." Zap - " It goes up to 15 mph. "

    J/S - "48" H (with handle bar) x 75" Diameter" Zap - "Height incl. handle 1200 mm (4 ft 0 ins)
    Diameter 1600 mm (6 ft 3ins)"

    K/S - Deck is 12" H Zap - Deck height 300 mm (1ft 0 ins)

    L/S - "For single riders ages 16 and up, to a maximum of 220 lbs" Zap - "Total payload, incl. rider
    100kg (220 lb) "

    M/S - "330 lbs" Zap - Approximate shipping weight (TBC) 150kg (330 lb)

    Gee....do you think they might be the same machine, sold by two different vendors?

    From the H/S website - "To increase acceleration, the rider leans back slightly while gripping the
    handlebar, and the friction drive wheel at the underside rear of the scooter makes contact with the
    ground, increasing speed up to a maximum of approximately 15 mph."

    Note the words *friction drive*.

    N/S also states that there is "a stream of air exiting a vent in the back provides light forward
    thrust" *Light forward thrust*. You need the wheel underneath to get up to the 15mph top speed.

    There also appears to be no mechanism on the handlebars for the rider to actuate a rudder, or
    otherwise steer the "stream of air" that comes out the back. Without that...how the hell do you
    steer it? Leaning and letting air escape out one side or the other is *not*, I repeat NOT enough to
    actually steer a hovercraft with any authority. Unless the physics on your planet are different than
    around here on planet Earth.

    So, to sum up. The two machines do appear to be *the same*. The H/S machine does, according to its
    own description, have a "drive wheel" underneath. So it would stand to reason that the Zap machine
    does as well.

    Very cute machines. But as I said...not a true hovercraft.

    Was that so hard?

    Pete when was the last time you studied hovercraft design and operation? I have.
     
  10. Tom Keats

    Tom Keats Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, "Pete" <[email protected]> writes:

    > The website you refer to is curiously slim on details of this thing. However...the description
    > they give is quite similar to the description of the Hammacher/Schlemmer "AirBoard".
    >
    > In addition...pictures of the two machines show they are virtually identical. Down to the same
    > decal on the side, near the riders foot.
    >
    > So..let us use a little deductive reasoning: [text from the two websites follows]
    > http://www.hammacher.com/publish/10321.asp?promo=search and http://www.zapworld.com/airboard2.htm

    Interesting. I've been transcribing a documentary about oddball flying machines. One of the items is
    also called an "Airboard", designed & manufactured by Kevin Inkster's Arbortech company in Perth,
    Australia. http://www.airboard.com.au/frameset/purchase/faq.html This unit employs a drivewheel for
    acceleration, and brushes underneath at the sides to provide a little friction for steering.

    Some other items I've encountered in my work include a "car that flies" called the Sokol, designed
    by Dr Branko Sahr, a "plane that drives" called the SkyCar, by Dr Paul Moller, and Steven
    Bennett's private enterprise Nova space rocket, with which he aspires to win the X-Prize. Lots of
    interesting stuff.

    cheers, Tom

    --
    -- Powered by FreeBSD Above address is just a spam midden. I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn
    [point] bc [point] ca
     
  11. Pete

    Pete Guest

    "Tom Keats" <[email protected]> wrote
    >
    > Interesting. I've been transcribing a documentary about oddball flying machines. One of the items
    > is also called an "Airboard", designed & manufactured by Kevin Inkster's Arbortech company in
    > Perth, Australia. http://www.airboard.com.au/frameset/purchase/faq.html This unit employs a
    > drivewheel for acceleration, and brushes underneath at the sides to provide a little friction for
    > steering.

    From the picture and description, that's the same vehicle as sold at Zapword and
    Hammacher/Schlemmer.
    H/S sells theirs for $15k.

    >
    > Some other items I've encountered in my work include a "car that flies" called the Sokol, designed
    > by Dr Branko Sahr, a "plane that drives" called the SkyCar, by Dr Paul Moller, and Steven
    > Bennett's private enterprise Nova space rocket, with which he aspires to win the X-Prize. Lots of
    > interesting stuff.

    Moller's machine seems to be serious vaporware. It's always coming RealSoonNow.

    You've seen the Pinto conversion that was out in the 70's?

    Thankfully, none of these have taken off...:) People can't handle a vehicle in 2D with guiding
    lines, much less 3D.

    Pete
     
  12. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    >are these things as revolutionary as they look? any leads on which are best? hmmm...supposedly no
    >license in most states... how do they do in the rain? here's some of what i saw

    They are obviously making quite a profit on shipping, so for that reason alone I would not bother
    with them.
    -----------------
    Alex __O _-\<,_ (_)/ (_)
     
  13. On Tue, 17 Jun 2003 21:35:52 GMT, "Pete" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Moller's machine seems to be serious vaporware. It's always coming RealSoonNow.

    Indeed. But he's had working prototypes for a while now, I think, so the main problem now seems to
    be refining it into a package that's costeffective to manufacture and cheap enough to have a decent
    market -- plus finding someone to market it.

    >Thankfully, none of these have taken off...:) People can't handle a vehicle in 2D with guiding
    >lines, much less 3D.

    The most recent "SkyCar" info video incarnation shown on Discovery the other day neatly solved that
    problem by proposing the SkyCars will be completely computer controlled. You just punch in to what
    point B you want to go from point A (he's been watching Minority Report, I guess). I give it 5-10
    years before that tech is even remotely viable, let alone commercially, largescale viable &
    implemented.

    Jasper
     
  14. Pete

    Pete Guest

    "Jasper Janssen" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > On Tue, 17 Jun 2003 02:53:48 GMT, "Pete" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >Basically the same thing as at Hammechler-Schlemmer. If I'm not mistaken, this uses a drive wheel
    > >underneath to make it go. Not a true 'hover'. Hovercraft are cool and fun, but definately NOT
    > >good for regular transportation.
    >
    > What, just because they don't have brakes and it's hard to keep them going in a straight line?
    >
    > Use a variable-strength cushion: carrying some of the weight on the road, with a wheel(s)
    > underneath for steering/braking purposes (with emergency venting for hard braking), and carrying
    > the full weight on the water, possibly using a rudder. If you use a solid rather than spoked
    > wheel, you can use the wheel as rudder, for that matter.

    If you're going to use wheels for steering and braking, what does the air cushion and prop/fan drive
    gain you? Except for over-the-water capability.

    Just beef up the little axles, use the wheels for a drive system as well, and make it a car...;)

    Pete
     
  15. Pete

    Pete Guest

    "Jasper Janssen" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > On Tue, 17 Jun 2003 21:35:52 GMT, "Pete" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >Moller's machine seems to be serious vaporware. It's always coming RealSoonNow.
    >
    > Indeed. But he's had working prototypes for a while now, I think, so the main problem now seems to
    > be refining it into a package that's costeffective to manufacture and cheap enough to have a
    > decent market -- plus finding someone to market it.

    The working prototypes still have the HUGE problem of gas mileage. Without a radically different
    fuel and engine system...there's no way it can be more fuel efficient than a regular ground car.

    > >Thankfully, none of these have taken off...:) People can't handle a
    vehicle
    > >in 2D with guiding lines, much less 3D.
    >
    > The most recent "SkyCar" info video incarnation shown on Discovery the other day neatly solved
    > that problem by proposing the SkyCars will be completely computer controlled. You just punch in to
    > what point B you want to go from point A (he's been watching Minority Report, I guess). I give it
    > 5-10 years before that tech is even remotely viable, let alone commercially, largescale viable &
    > implemented.
    >

    Will the computer control and nav be good enough for a +- 1 foot deviation? That's what's needed for
    takeoff and landing, unless you have a BIG space to land in. And if they were to become
    popular...that space goes away.

    The only way it would work is full computer control after engine start, all the way to engine
    shutdown. Imagine trying to land vertically in a standard parking lot, squeezing between the 2
    SkyCars on either side. And then pray there's no side gust just as you're coming in for a landing.

    Pete
     
  16. On Thu, 19 Jun 2003 16:00:14 GMT, "Pete" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >"Jasper Janssen" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]...

    [Hovercraft not really great transportationally]
    >> What, just because they don't have brakes and it's hard to keep them going in a straight line?
    >>
    >> Use a variable-strength cushion: carrying some of the weight on the road, with a wheel(s)
    >> underneath for steering/braking purposes (with emergency venting for hard braking), and carrying
    >> the full weight on the water, possibly using a rudder. If you use a solid rather than spoked
    >> wheel, you can use the wheel as rudder, for that matter.
    >
    >If you're going to use wheels for steering and braking, what does the air cushion and prop/fan
    >drive gain you? Except for over-the-water capability.

    You say that like it's a small thing. Dude. Why *else* have a hovercraft but for the land/water
    amphibious capability? I mean, it's not for speed or controlled cornering, that's for sure. I mean,
    okay, because of their very lack of controllability they're fun to drive, I'd imagine, but not
    particularly useful -- except on the water where bad cornering ability is hardly restricted to
    hovercrafts.

    I think a hybrid "best of both worlds" design would be cool. By the way, if you've got the huge fan
    for propulsion, you don't need drive to the wheel/rudder assembly. Just for steering/auxiliary
    braking. You'd have to design both the wheel system and the air cushion system to be able to take up
    to 100% of the loaded weight, though. The wheels, because otherwise you can;t ever turn it off, and
    the cushion for water use.

    Jasper
     
  17. On Thu, 19 Jun 2003 15:56:51 GMT, "Pete" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >"Jasper Janssen" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]...

    >The working prototypes still have the HUGE problem of gas mileage. Without a radically different
    >fuel and engine system...there's no way it can be more fuel efficient than a regular ground car.

    Yes, well. But they're coooooooool.

    >Will the computer control and nav be good enough for a +- 1 foot deviation? That's what's needed
    >for takeoff and landing, unless you have a BIG space to land in. And if they were to become
    >popular...that space goes away.

    It shouldn't be hard at all. GPS can get you within yards even on the move, and parking spaces
    delineated by standard white lines painted on pavement shouldn't be too hard to fix on with a bottom
    mounted camera. Th

    >The only way it would work is full computer control after engine start, all the way to engine
    >shutdown. Imagine trying to land vertically in a standard parking lot, squeezing between the 2
    >SkyCars on either side. And then pray there's no side gust just as you're coming in for a landing.

    And that's the real issue: handling, especially in things like wind conditions. Computers are almost
    never the problem, or at least will not be in the foreseeable future, but translating the knowledge
    in the computer of what needs to happen into action in the real world reliably and repeatedly is
    something else. You've got physical limites to deal with, there.

    Of course, most people considering the skycar will own homes, and that often means they already have
    a huge ass parking space tailormade for a thing like that: a flat roof. Or alternatively, you can
    use your back yard or wherever. The SkyCar is not limited to parking at or near the road system,
    like regular cars.

    Jasper
     
  18. Pete

    Pete Guest

    "Jasper Janssen" <[email protected]> wrote

    >
    > You say that like it's a small thing. Dude. Why *else* have a hovercraft but for the land/water
    > amphibious capability? I mean, it's not for speed or controlled cornering, that's for sure. I
    > mean, okay, because of their very lack of controllability they're fun to drive, I'd imagine, but
    > not particularly useful -- except on the water where bad cornering ability is hardly restricted to
    > hovercrafts.
    >
    > I think a hybrid "best of both worlds" design would be cool. By the way, if you've got the huge
    > fan for propulsion, you don't need drive to the wheel/rudder assembly. Just for steering/auxiliary
    > braking. You'd have to design both the wheel system and the air cushion system to be able to take
    > up to 100% of the loaded weight, though. The wheels, because otherwise you can;t ever turn it off,
    > and the cushion for water use.
    >

    hehe...Don't get me wrong. I think hovers are *very* cool. So cool, in fact, that me and my son
    are in the process of designing two. One small, standup 'hoverboard' type thing, and a regular
    size 2 seater.

    But basically, thay are boats that can also go overland. If we are talking about regular, everyday
    transportation systems (car replacements) hovercraft carry a LOT of problems.

    Having 'the best of both worlds' introduces problems in hover mode. You have to carry around all
    that extra weight (wheels and steering mech). And in road mode....the prop also has to overcome the
    wheel drag. And how do you go up hills?

    Pete
     
  19. On Mon, 16 Jun 2003 20:05:57 -0500, "effi" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >are these things as revolutionary as they look? any leads on which are best? hmmm...supposedly no
    >license in most states... how do they do in the rain? here's some of what i saw
    >
    <snip>
    >http://www.econvergence.net/emb.htm
    >a.. Fully electric, powered by rechargeable batteries
    >a.. 30 miles per hour top speed
    >a.. 0 to 30 miles per hour in 4 seconds
    >a.. 20 mile range between charges

    Not a CPSC e-bike since pedals removed, therefore, license & registration required.

    <snip>
    --
    Nobody but a fool goes into a federal counterrorism operation without duct tape - Richard Preston,
    THE COBRA EVENT.
     
  20. Effi

    Effi Guest

    "John Bartley K7AAY (ex-KGH2126)" <6212hgk{invert}@newsguy.com> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > On Mon, 16 Jun 2003 20:05:57 -0500, "effi" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >are these things as revolutionary as they look? any leads on which are best? hmmm...supposedly no
    > >license in most states... how do they do in the rain? here's some of what i saw
    > >
    > <snip>
    > >http://www.econvergence.net/emb.htm
    > >a.. Fully electric, powered by rechargeable batteries
    > >a.. 30 miles per hour top speed
    > >a.. 0 to 30 miles per hour in 4 seconds
    > >a.. 20 mile range between charges
    >
    > Not a CPSC e-bike since pedals removed, therefore, license & registration required.
    >
    > <snip>
    > --
    > Nobody but a fool goes into a federal counterrorism operation without duct
    tape - Richard Preston, THE COBRA EVENT.

    sharp eye, i didn't notice pedals removed....
     
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