2 place velomobile

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2 place velomobile

Postby 1JohnFoster » Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:07 pm

Here's my project: 3 place velomobile (2 in front pedal, rumble seat passenger has no pedals). Stitch & glue monocoque 1/8 plywood. "Retro" styled similar to a Mochet. It has to have only 3 wheels to be legal with electric assist. The drive is a 1500W hubmotor from a scooter. Supposed to be 500W max for ebike here in BC, but I figure 1500/3 is still in the spirit of the law. Not sure if a 3 foot wide plywood box full of people will be seen as in the spirit by the goodofficers.

I'm planning on a cable drive linear pedal system. I know it's less efficient, but this is more about plywood box construction, not going for hpv records. And macpherson struts derived from suspension forks. To really get the retro look, I'm mounting the (big) wheels up a bit past the nose. May have to move them back if its too tippy.

Progress so far is the outer body, working on anchoring the scooter trailing arm and rear wheel well.

John
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vm front.JPG
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vm rear.JPG
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Last edited by 1JohnFoster on Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2 place velomobile

Postby jag » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:10 pm

Very nice project. I had sketched a lightweight family velomobile to be built with dacron on a wood frame (like airplanes) a year ago, but still have not managed to convince the wife about electric transportation. Also would probably take me forever to complete (I have a canvas-on-frame canoe that has been in need of recanvassing for years now...)

You show real progress in your pictures. I'd like to follow your stitch-and-glue and maybe try something similar, but maybe fully enclosed for those days when I have a cold and jumping on the eBike at -30C in Edmonton is not so attractive.

What are the velomobile dimensions? Weigth of the parts?
What type/grade of plywood?
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Re: 2 place velomobile

Postby amberwolf » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:21 am

Interesting project; I'll have to follow this one, too. :)
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Re: 2 place velomobile

Postby miuan » Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:10 am

Very promising. Also seems to me, the cockpit would be quite easy to enclose for those rainy days, not sure if one can impregnate plywood to make it waterproof though.
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Re: 2 place velomobile

Postby amberwolf » Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:12 am

Something like Thomson's Water Seal would probably work as well on this as it is supposed to on deckings.
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Re: 2 place velomobile

Postby Jeremy Harris » Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:04 am

Nice project.

I've thought about using wood to make a lightweight monocoque a few times. There's even an old post here where I linked to a neat, very light, balsa wood canoe that used strips of balsa to get nice 3D curves, then covered it with very thin glass cloth and epoxy resin.

I like the idea of something that looks retro, yet is still light and efficient.

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Re: 2 place velomobile

Postby texaspyro » Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:26 pm

miuan wrote:not sure if one can impregnate plywood to make it waterproof though.


Should be no problem... there are a lot of plywood boats floating around out there.
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Re: 2 place velomobile

Postby jmygann » Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:40 pm

I like ... again .... dimensions ?
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Re: 2 place velomobile

Postby docnjoj » Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:54 pm

Very nice looking trike! It reminds me of those old sailboat models I used to build with the frame and bent ply sides. Fun stuff! Good luck with the project.
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Re: 2 place velomobile

Postby 1JohnFoster » Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:15 pm

miuan wrote:not sure if one can impregnate plywood


Two is enough, I'm all done with impregnation. Never did try it with plywood.

Thinking something like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fantom2sits.jpg
Only varnish where the burgundy is, and burgundy where the white is, to hide the corner joint fill. I find the trick to making plywood last is to have lots of drain holes in the floor. Standing water is what wrecks it.

4 sheets of $7 plywood. My big splurge was epoxy instead of polyester for the joints. Most of the rest is junk I aquired.
WxHxL= 32"x36"x76" (just fits out the shop door, with front suspension removed.)
Weight of the body without seat or wheel well is 20lb. The swingarm, shocks, hubmotor, tire is 50lbs! Lots of other stuff will add up fast. 6x12Vx12Ah of recussitated gel cells. ...

First attempt at a rain cover will be a large clear umbrella. I might develop it from there, but it will be hard because with two adults you sit with your arms hanging out the sides. Covered velomobiles of this era tend to look ridiculous, and very un-aero.

Did a destructive test of my dropout mounting:

I'm going to cut the corners of the plate to reduce the stress in the plywood where it broke, and do the real layup with epoxy instead of white glue, add an extra layer of plywood. Should be good for 1000lbs, my target.

John
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Re: 2 place velomobile

Postby LOWRACER » Sat Feb 19, 2011 8:06 pm

DUOQUEST / TANDEM QUEST VELOMOBIL



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Re: 2 place velomobile

Postby LOWRACER » Sat Feb 19, 2011 8:21 pm

QUEST DUO / QUEST TANDEM
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Re: 2 place velomobile

Postby 1JohnFoster » Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:27 pm

Thanks for the reference point Lowracer,

Quest is the best. Will probably go 3 times faster than mine, even without electric assist! Too bad they don't sell those Q2's yet. Also too bad it will cost $15k when they do.

John
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Re: 2 place velomobile

Postby auraslip » Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:04 am

I'd be nervous to use 1/8" ply wood to support loads traveling at any speed....... It would be pretty easy to re-enforce the load bearing areas with metal straps from the hardware store or onlinemetals.com.....

It looks great though! I've dreamed of doing something like that. It's gonna be killer when it's done!
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Re: 2 place velomobile

Postby jmygann » Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:35 am

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Re: 2 place velomobile

Postby jag » Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:10 pm

1JohnFoster wrote:
Thinking something like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fantom2sits.jpg
Only varnish where the burgundy is, and burgundy where the white is,

Image
That is a picture of a cult velomobile. First appeared in 1946. In the 40's the then novel motorcar / automobile was every mans dream in Sweden, but few could actually buy one. Lacking TV at the time, more men had practical hobbies and quite a few built velomobiles, or motorcycle-cars. 100,000 drawing sets of the above pictured "Fantom" velomobile were sold. There were national championships in velomobile pedalling.

Image
http://24volt.eu/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=658#p8269
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Re: 2 place velomobile

Postby 1JohnFoster » Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:59 pm

jag wrote:That is a picture of a cult velomobile. First appeared in 1946. In the 40's the then novel motorcar / automobile was every mans dream in Sweden, but few could actually buy one. Lacking TV at the time, more men had practical hobbies and quite a few built velomobiles, or motorcycle-cars. 100,000 drawing sets of the above pictured "Fantom" velomobile were sold. There were national championships in velomobile pedalling.


Yes, sigh! Those were the days. Today hobby shops everywhere are dwindling away, while Future Shops and Walmarts are paving the world. My son is obsessed with downloading music and playing Runescape, long gone are our days doing balsa models.

Actually the photo I clipped is not the same as your plans - my photo is a 2 person 4 wheeler. Clipped was from wikipedia, it's all over the net, but I couldn't the actual location. The photos in your link show how unstable those one person Fantoms must be, with the wheels way up front. The new VM beside (Leitra?) has front wheels moved far back to keep your CG away from the tipover line. But the antique looks cool. And the french Mochets are even niftier looking, but they are 4 wheelers.
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Re: 2 place velomobile

Postby Gordo » Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:43 pm

amberwolf wrote:Something like Thomson's Water Seal would probably work as well on this as it is supposed to on deckings.

Amber;
Thomson's Water Seal has not worked on cedar decking for me. It may last one summer, if you don't get much rain, but here in the NW, you can not keep up with the drain out from Oct to May. IIRC the silicon content is 5%. One or two days of rain and it is gone. For plywood, a thinned coat of paint as a primer, followed by a good coat of enamel might work better.
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Re: 2 place velomobile

Postby jmygann » Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:43 pm

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Re: 2 place velomobile

Postby salty9 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:10 pm

Boats and canoes are built using the plywood stitch method. The seams and sides are fiberglassed. You may be able to omit the glass cloth on the sides but I would still coat them with the resin followed by a pigmented exterior paint as clear resin doesn't weather well.
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Re: 2 place velomobile

Postby jmygann » Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:28 pm

Do you have a frame design ?
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Re: 2 place velomobile

Postby 1JohnFoster » Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:11 pm

jmygann wrote:Do you have a frame design ?


Nope! it's monocoque. The shell is amazingly stiff, plenty of macro strength. But locally it's weak. You could probably punch thru the plywood. For the lower A-arms, I can attach to the vertex (seam), but the strut top has to angle in a lot and connect part way down the side, so I will have to add a stiffener on the inside there. For pedals, I'm using linear cable drive. Most of the force will be pull against the seat, where it is strong. There won't be BB's so I won't have to worry about anchoring and holding their twisting torque. Also linear drive means the front end can be a smaller radius, and it looks less like a giant baby carriage.

Thanks for the links to the solar trike dudes, and that columbiacycleworks.com yellow VM. <$4k is a great price for a fully enclosed electric drive VM.

John
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Re: 2 place velomobile

Postby 1JohnFoster » Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:19 pm

Finally getting the wheel well/ dropouts together. Mat is messy stuff to work with. Hope it holds together!
wheel well fiberglassed dropout area2.JPG
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Re: 2 place velomobile

Postby 1JohnFoster » Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:51 am

VM Ag in rumble seat.jpg
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VM Ag in driver seat.jpg

VM umbrella up.jpg

VM rear 3quarter.jpg


I keep hoping to get this on the road "in the next week or so", but still amn't there. So giving an update here to encourage myself :?

It now rolls & steers. Brakes are in, but not connected. Working on rudimentary linear pedal system. The motor starts, then quits. Very disheartening. I seem to have damaged something, maybe a power wire to the hall sensor where it goes into the axle. (The rear shocks slipped and the axle end got mashed into the wheel well.) Or I _might_ have mismatched the phase wires, but the motor & controller worked together in a scooter before I ripped them out, I'd be surprised if the cable colours were mismatched to begin with.

So many things on the list to redesign, and I haven't even got it on the road! First on the list is to re-do the steering as cable steering parallel with the bottom A-arm. Just pushing down on one side, the steering gets turned strongly. But I want to drive it as is just to see how bad the bump steering really is.

The basic 1/8 plywood construction does seem OK. Now that it's on 3 wheels, I can lean out, it seems rigid enough, and surprisingly stable. I jamed about 50lbs of lead batteries in the nose which stability.

- John
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Re: 2 place velomobile

Postby John in CR » Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:36 pm

Beautiful job John! I hope that front suspension plan works well so you can share all the details. That's the one part keeping me away from a tadpole attempt.

BTW, it sounds like batt voltage may be dropping below the scooter controller's LVC, Low Voltage Cutoff.
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