Bored, bored, bored

With the weather being wet still this morning I’m still stuck in the house. If I had shoes I could wear in the wet I could go for a walk in the rain and not worry about it. Seriously, the rain wasn’t a problem but the water on the ground was. Drainage has been an ongoing issue in the neighborhood for years, with some areas still ankle-deep for days after heavy rain. Intersections seem to be the worst problems as the profiling puts deep spots at each corner of an intersection without giving an outlet for that water to leave. The crowning of the street blocks the water from going to the other side after it drains out of the middle, inundating pedestrian space while keeping the “car part” of the street clear. And thus the “nobody walks” becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy, as pedestrian spaces become unwalkable.

In other news we have a house-guest spending some time here as issues at home are worked out. Nothing more I can say about that.

On the gathering crypto-currency front, they assure me my app is fixed, but I need someplace to walk before I can check to see if they’re right.

And there’s a barn-burner of a race from Fontana CA on the flat screen. In ten laps I’m wrapping this up and going for a walk.


Weather again

I finally got the Sweatcoin app fixed, just in time for the weather to get too bad to go outside for a walk. We are still a little low in the reservoirs we use for drinking water so runoff that fills them is great.

We just finished our traditional corned beef and cabbage St. Patrick’s Day dinner. Not fine cuisine, just good food and plenty of it.

and I have my new Twitter avatar downloaded.

Cartoon me

Isn’t Cartoon Me distinguished? I wish my real windbreaker looked that good. Thanks to @lartist for making me look so good. Just dropping the hint to go read my arc and maybe click on some ads so they can make a buck off me.

and now I have to go take care of my email and commercial “stuff”.

My feet hurt, have to take a break from collecting crypto

Seriously, I put a lot of miles in this week for as old and decrepit as I have become. I know 59 isn’t old in an absolute sense, I mean there are turtles older than that, but as much abuse as I have put my body through it certainly feels old. And it isn’t the bottoms of my feet that are bothering me, it’s across the top of the arch. I think maybe I’m overdue for a foot massage and that’s why that part of my feet hurt.

On other things I just saw where a pedestrian bridge in FL collapsed during construction, and the thing that bothers me the most about it is I can’t see any rebar sticking out of the broken concrete where the bridge collapsed. It might just be the fact the reproduction of the video via Twitter is just not high enough resolution to see the rebar, but there are a lot of little pieces of concrete that should have some kind of reinforcement keeping the pieces together so they break in larger pieces. And I just got back (21:24) from watching YouTube video of the disaster, and even at full-screen I can’t see any rebar sticking out of broken concrete, leading me to believe there wasn’t any or if there was it was too small and not enough of it.

I wish I had something to report about the Sprint-T, but except for brief flashes of inspiration the only thing that will provide progress in this build will be $$ in large quantities. I did a quick check of weight and if I build the frame from aluminum except for the roll bar, we are looking at a weight of 37 pounds for the frame compared to 70 or so for the kit frame that flexes like wet noodles and has no rollover protection. So with a little here and a little there we are looking at a sub-1400 pound car that has 305 HP on regular gas and gets 20 MPG without even trying, while embarrassing Corvettes and Vipers at stoplights. Heck, if I can make it hook up it would embarrass Hellcats and Demons at stoplights. But the kind of tires I would need to use to do that don’t wear well, like less than 100 UTQG wear rating. In comparison Goodguys requires 200 wear rating or higher to compete and most consumer tires are higher than 350 and go as high as 500. Of the tires I have been looking at most of the 245/40-15 are 200-300 wear rated, and the 255/60-15 are 400-500. So wear ratings of zero might have good traction for a few miles, but then you have cords showing through the tread.

I have to go do email and other mundane things now, so this is all for this post.

Happy Pi day!

3/14 is recognized as Pi Day and in this country we celebrate by eating pie(s). I walked to the store to pick up Mindy Lu’s Fried Pies because they were cheap, and technically pie although they are really turnovers. But pie enough for Pi Day.

Also today, I’m doing calibration runs for my Sweatcoin app walking known courses with known distances and seeing how the app reacts after the update last night. Now I have to go to the local C-store and get a lottery ticket that after taxes will pay me $115k/an after taxes and 2/3 going to Mrs. the Poet. I can manage quite nicely on $115k/an especially with Mrs. the Poet doing the hard part of keeping the house standing (or knocking it down and building another one on the same footprint). But I have to buy the ticket before I can win the Lottery. Buying a lottery ticket is a real-life example of superposition. After you buy the ticket you are both a millionaire and whatever your financial condition was before you bought the ticket. The most famous example of superposition is the famous thought experiment of Erwin Schrödinger where a cat was placed in a box with an atom of radioactive material connected to a device that releases a poison gas when it decays. After the half-life expires the principle of superposition states the cat is both alive and dead until the box is opened.

In other news I have been pondering making the front axle even stronger by changing the mounting of the steering arm from the top to the bottom of the spindle, and sliding the spring mount closer to the kingpin to reduce the bending moment on the axle. Reduced bending moments are the same as making the axle stronger. If I could make another axle I could use lighter materials like aluminum instead of the 2″ diameter 0.25″ wall CrMo tubing on the current axle. And at this point I really have nothing left to say for today.

Time to call an audible

For those not hip to American football slang, “calling an audible” means a late change in plans. The change in plans in this case are for the trip to the lab rat keeper tomorrow. As of this afternoon it ain’t happening, no explanation given, just a call asking to reschedule for next week. This came after I made a trip to the store to take advantage of an expiring cereal sale and checked my Sweatcoin collection and I got just 4 Sweatcoin for the 2 mile trip. I did everything they said to increase my collection and it didn’t do any good. I’m still getting half of what I used to get. Rumors I’m getting are that my initial version of the app had the wrong calibration either converting miles to steps, or in counting steps from the accelerometer in the phone. If calibration is correct the two readings are close and are used to check each other but in some of the recent downloads that calibration was off and the recent update to the app corrected that mistake. Anywho, now I have to walk almost 3 miles to get what I used to get in 1.25 miles. And my feet do not appreciate it.

And I just found out Stephen Hawking died. Now I’m sad.😢

Still thinking, take cover

I have been thinking, and we all know how dangerous that can be. Well, I was thinking about balancing the car left to right with the lighter engine and transmission combo, and what would that do for the footwell issue. Well, it does a bunch for the footwell issue, as much as I can actually move the engine over.

Here’s the deal: to balance my 215 pounds sitting 11.25″ left of center, I can mount the 460 pound engine and transmission 5.25″ right of center. Problem is this causes parts of the bellhousing to stick outside the body. I can move the engine 4.75″ right before cutting up the actual body instead of the firewall, which still gives me a lot of room for my feets and the steering column even using the OBP pedal assembly mentioned a few posts back. Doing the sums for the bellhousing instead of the transmission gives the width of the footwell at 12.25″ when the pedal assembly is only 9.65″, so I can let my toes splay out a bit on either side of the steering column and still be able to work the clutch. I might even have room for a dead pedal to the left of the clutch pedal. Dead pedals are endurance extenders for freeway driving with a manual transmission.

I won’t have a perfectly balanced car this way, but it will be pretty close.

On my endeavours to collect Sweatcoins, I have hit a snag. I’m not getting as many coins per mile as expected, and I can’t figure out why. I was getting 4 per mile when I first started just a few days ago, but now I’m just getting 2 and I can’t figure out why. But I keep walking to collect as much as I can, because it’s still more than I would have without the app.

Watching races again today

Today is the first day of the Indycar season, the St. Petersburg Gran Prix, the street/airport course. Then there is a break between the end of the Indycar race and the start of the Cup race from Phoenix. During that break I’m going to take my new loop and grab some Sweatcoin, hopefully the maximum 5 coins I can get today.

And for those who think I’m joking about dark chocolate as an antidepressant, grab a peak at this report .

Speaking of the Cup race, this is the last event in the current configuration of the track in Phoenix. Among other changes the start/finish line is getting moved to what is now the backstretch as they expand the grandstands to accommodate more people and get them away from Rattlesnake Mountain.

I have been deciding on what tire for just driving around on the street and if I get something with a lot of sidewall height I can keep the same suspension setup for street and Goodguys autocross and just change the tires. So I will set up for the 245/40-15 race rubber that is 22.7″ tall, then swap over to 255/60-15 street tires that are 27″ tall and get that extra 2″ of sidewall to deflect and smooth out the ride. The handling will be a bit tippy-toe on the 255 tire, but since the 255 is for keeping the bottom of the car clear of speed bumps and wet traction, not all-out performance, tippy-toe will be fine. And we are talking tippy-toe only by comparison with the short sidewall tire, in absolute terms the Sprint-T will still be like a slot car, just a little softer slot car. The precision on turn in will still be there, just a tiny bit softer with the 255s. But seriously, for street use even the 255s will have more performance than can be used legally on the street, except maybe getting on or off a freeway ramp. Of course the CG will be 2″ higher with the 255s because physics are immutable. Plus the looks of the 255/60-15 on the car are just really good and muscular.

And this is the kind of idiot I have to deal with while composing the blog post.

Clyde claiming his space

It’s really hard to type when he does that.

OK earned coins don’t carry over on this app

I checked my Sweatcoin app before bed this morning and the 3+ coins I earned yesterday that exceeded my 5 coin limit were gone. Basically you have to earn fresh coins every day. Also I have found a 1.24 mile loop that gets me just about 5 coins so I can max out every day, plus get my exercise for the day.

Getting back to the Sprint-T I found the T5 transmission can weigh as little as 75 pounds and averages 85, and the clutch and pressure plate weighs from 51 down to 15 pounds. So combining the 330 pound Pentastar with the 51 pound clutch and the 85 pound average T5 and you get 466 pounds completely ready to install compared to the SBC at 545 with nothing hanging off the back, leading to a car that weighs under 1500 with no gas in the tank. Now go with the 15 pound clutch and the 75 pound transmission and you’re looking at 1450 easy. Now can you see why I am so high on this engine? It has power like a traditional V8 but weighs just a little more than half as much, meaning to have the same power to weight ratio as the Sprint-T a stripped 2018 Corvette would need to develop 715HP at the flywheel, so as an autocrosser the Sprint-T would have a power advantage over a new Corvette. Out on an open road course or open highway where aero starts to dominate then more horsepower is straight up faster, but that is not what this car is designed for. And I have been running the numbers and it might be cheaper to drill a chunk of aluminum to bolt to the flexplate in place of the torque converter than it would to buy the flywheel for a Pentastar and modify it for the 10.5″ clutch and pressure plate. I could drill the aluminum adapter for roller pilot bearing for a smooth-shifting manual transmission and not have the adaptor cost any more than installing a plain bushing style pilot. Drilling a hole doesn’t cost any different if you change the size of the hole in the design stage. So making a flywheel adaptor from aluminum is slightly cheaper than the Pentastar flywheel, and slightly lighter than the flywheel. If I can get access to a milling machine I can make this.

And I’m going back on my first antidepressant, dark chocolate. It doesn’t have the same effect as SSRI or whatever type of medication that last one was, but I can live with the side effects a lot better. I actually feel better on dark chocolate than I ever did on any of the other meds I was on. I’m going to enjoy this one a lot more than the last med, and for longtime readers of this blog you might remember when I did the dark chocolate to reduce blood pressure trial from back about a decade ago where it allowed reduced levels of medication but did not reduce BP on its own. Given what I have experienced with antidepressants and my BP going up when I quit, I think this was an example of reducing depression reducing stress, which reduced BP.

And while the weather is still good I think I’ll try that new loop again tomorrow to see if I can max out my Sweatcoin take with a single walk.

I earned some crypto today

Now I have to find the exchange rate for Sweatcoin to $. If I’m reading the app right at my current level of membership I made about $0.30 walking to the store and can’t collect the additional $0.18 I earned until tomorrow unless I upgrade my membership. But since I don’t walk 2 miles every day I can just collect my $0.30 and roll with it. I will still collect all the Sweatcoins I earn, just not on the same day as I earn them. As I was saying to Mrs. the Poet, this is still $0.30 a day more than I had before for just doing what I naturally do, walking to and from places and bus stops. $0.30 a day comes to $109.50 a year, just for living my life and keeping my phone charged and with me as I do my thing outside. That’s similar to what I have been making on the one side gig I have a NDA for. I get $100 about every 18 months from that gig. Anywho I earned 8 sweatcoins out walking and I can collect 5 per day, and the current exchange rate is $0.06/coin but it fluctuates rapidly between 0.06 and 0.05 during the day.

I’m not going to be buying many Pentastars with Sweatcoins this year, but I will figure it out somehow. I’m thinking that if I take advantage of the short length of the Pentastar and mount it a bit forward of the rear of the block flush with the firewall I will be fighting for footroom with the transmission instead of the bellhousing which will free up another inch or so of space between the inside of the body and the mechanicals for my feet. If I imitate the installation from the forum article of myduster360 linked yesterday I get even more space, but I would need it because this is for a manual transmission installation and I would need a clutch pedal. This might leave enough room to actually install a clutch pedal in the Sprint-T. I have been looking at pedal units from OBP but I’m still worried about having enough lateral room to mount the unit. The spec sheet lists total width at 245 mm (9.65″) which will be jammed right up against the inside wall on the left and the transmission tunnel to the right if as they say in the UK I got my sums right . I need the DBW throttle pedal to match the DBW throttle body on the engines.

Getting back to Sweatcoin for a min, with the 5 coin max and about 4 coins a mile if I can plot a mile and a quarter loop I can max out in about 40 minutes taking it easy. It depends on how much gets loaded up tomorrow.

OK I scaled that picture

And that is one tall engine, 29.25″ ±. And about 27″ wide. That means while it will fit nicely between the frame rails that are 27″ inside to inside it won’t fit under a hood that matches the contour of the firewall at 22″ tall. Heck, it’s more than 2″ taller than the entire 27″ tall body, and that’s not even counting the crossmember that needs to go somewhere near the bellhousing to triangulate that plane of the frame. Even without the rather tall intake manifold the engine is 23″ ± tall to the cam boxes on top of the heads, which are also 23″ wide.

This is doable, but I’m going to have to put the driver up a bit to see over/around the engine, and the hood is going to look funny sitting higher than the rest of the body. Possible workaround would be to mount the body higher over the bottom of the frame instead of just on top of the bottom rail, while keeping the driver in the same location inside the body with the seat bottom 3″ above the bottom of the body. This will raise the driver 7″+ in relation to the frame. This is not a good thing from a handling perspective as the driver is one of the heaviest items in the car and needs to be kept as low as possible. But a car you can’t see out of forward is not safe to drive even on a drag strip, so I guess the only choice is raising the body to raise the driver’s eyeline above the engine and put the floor at 11.5″ below the seat. Now how to raise the body 7″+ above the top of the bottom frame rail without adding too much weight to the frame? Since the body is not structural in this car, maybe some thin aluminum structure between the frame and the body, or dropping everything the 7″ and making a bellypan to cover the bits. No that part wouldn’t fly as I wouldn’t have the frame to protect everything should I run over spike strips and get 4 flat tires or as it is put in the original design spec nothing below the bead of the rims except tire at normal ride height. But raising the body does improve the space for people as the driveshaft tunnel would be dropped below seat height, making the possibility of a passenger bench seat next to the driver’s race seat for taking someone to the races or on a ride-along at the race.

I guess I could get someone to print up a manifold that drapes over the camboxes on either side and get a smaller vertical profile that way, and maybe even free up a little horsepower without having to raise the body if I get the top lower than the bottom of the windshield at 24.5″ from the bottom of the body, but that still requires a funny-looking hood that sticks up above the top of the firewall. Not to mention the throttle bodies hanging off the sides of the engine, that would stick out the sides of the hood.

And I really should link to the source of those pictures I have been scaling from in this forum thread . Thanks to myduster360 for starting this thread with the build.