Sunday, March 29, 2009

25> Just Some Thoughts...

Here’s a bunch of loose ends.

It worries me that my blog is not that friendly to newcomers. It makes more sense to start from the beginning, which gets more buried with time. I am considering starting a general PRT advocacy blog to feed potential contributors,
I really don’t know what I will do if and when I get some volunteer engineers working on this. I don’t have Autocad, nor any web based design collaboration software. I’ve been told I should start a Wiki.

I’d like to thank Mr. Grant for another “to the point” link. This MISTER FAQ sheet also sights a design issue that I had raised earlier, that being the question of climbing steep slopes with a minimum of available onboard power. It seems they have opted for an external motor, the concept I took to the extreme in my post about raising a vehicle vertically.

I really have to say that there seems to be precious little difference between what I envision and the MISTER or Beamways systems. When I started this blog I was unaware of either. Simply getting a serious discussion about putting the track on top was reason enough to start the blog. I have since become more aware of the degree of consensus on most issues. In reviewing the rejection of the OKI project (Taxi 2000) I am struck by how just a few decisions did them in, particularly too big a turning radius, too big a track too low, too expensive, too proprietary, too unproven. I would like to change that type of outcome. A lot of the problem was the “single source” part. The transit people wanted independently verifiable proof. They wanted a 25 million dollar study. Why not? After all, a big corporation, (Raytheon) was trying to sell them a 45 million dollar, unproven product. Now what if, for example, there were five companies bidding on the track, three on the cars, four on the control system…(you get the idea) If all these people thought that they could provide THEIR parts for a given price and they would perform as advertised, wouldn’t the customer feel a bit more secure? This is not to discount the idea of a primary contactor, but rather the contractor that wants to provide ALL of the solutions “in house.” If the contractor proves inept, the transit authority is left with mud on its face. No, this hurdle, in the U.S., anyway, needs to be approached with a good deal more tact than that. I submit that this is more about pschycology than technology. It’s about public awareness, enthusiasm. It’s framing the issue. It’s politics. Anybody checked out the X prize site lately?

Lastly, about LIMs (linear induction motors) Does anyone have any links to manufacturers besides this (Baldor) site? After comparing torque, weight and frame style specs for various (rotary) motors, I have become a bit disillusioned, especially with the torque/weight ratio. It turns out that the Baldor LIMS compare a bit more favorably than I would have expected. Anyway, I’m toying with designs.


akauppi said...

Would you be coming to the PRT@LHR conference in London this month? I would love to meet you face to face and do some planning.

Dan said...

Dan The Blogger Responds-
Welcome aboard, akauppi!
Sorry, This is, sadly, just a part-time hobby for me, at the moment. I wish I had more time/money to put into the effort. I would certainly be interested in any suggestions you might have, and can be emailed at

Mr_Grant said...

Force Engineering

akauppi said...

Sorry Mr.Grant, if that's your business.

Force should definately revise their psychedelic website, to get credibility. Use one size of fonts and less colers, for a start.

Dan said...

Dan the Blogger Responds..
I agree the site could be a bit better, but give them a break..They are not manufacturers, they are engineers. They probably have Baldor (or somebody like them) manufacture for them. After all Baldor says that they will do custom stuff..
Even if they only have a couple of engineers, if they are good, specialize in just that sort of thing, they could be worth their weight in gold.
Maybe we can get some free LIM pointers from these folks. Thanks Mr. G!
P.S. Did you check out the part about accelerating roller-coasters? It really stimulates the imagination about about hybrid rotary/linear possibilities. I can see a linear boost now and then might be very helpful.(out of stations, up-hill, clearing merge points....)Hmm. I sense a post to explore this further..

Dan said...

P.S. Where's your avatar/image Mr. Grant? I, for one, thought it was classic. It's stoney presence had a certain authority,.. ;)