Monday 24 March 2014

Mounting Alarm

This morning I took the Fury to work with the GoPro on it's new mount facing forward. This was a chilly experience as there was a sharp frost & the car has no heater - but I digress. The camera worked, the remote worked, the footage (is it still called that if it's digital? Gigabyteage doesn't sound right) was good - if a tad alarming at times, as on several occasions the camera went through undergrowth. Fortunatly I was still the owner of a GoPro by the time I got to work. The camera is held by a tether, but I'm not sure how it would fare being dragged down the road adjacent to the rear wheel.

Sunday 23 March 2014

Mounting Excitement

After the GoPro footage I got  (is it still called "footage" if it's digital?) from the side mount on the last run I did I thought about the mount & wanted the ability to fit it on either side - & fit & dismount it much more quickly.

So I slotted the end & fitted a bolt with a silicone rubber sleeve to the inside edge of both pods, The slot is a tight fit over it & I've fitted a riv-nut at the outboard edge of both pods & the camera mount has a pair of headed bushes. I've modified a GoPro attachment bolt & also fitted a riv-nut to the mount to screw the bolt into when it's not in use - as it's modified I don't want it getting mixed up with the others. It seems to work well, fitting & dismounting takes maybe 15 seconds. Here's a couple of photos - no video yet as all the GoPro batteries were flat.

Thursday 20 March 2014

Well’ard Top

I’ve been playing with my CATIA model again. The object of all this fevered button-pressing & mouse-waggling (it’s a technical term) was primarily to learn about surfacing & also to establish if it was possible to come up with a hard top better looking than the “official” one. I started off drawing something like a ‘60s Corvette split screen roof – I quite liked it & the style suited the Fury..........

....... but the stunted rear proportions made it look a little odd from certain directions.


Next was a “shooting brake” type item that kind-of worked........

......... then a ‘70s looking attempt with an inset rear window & buttresses each side not unlike the original Mini based GTM. 
Again it worked in a sort-of way, but I think I may now have cracked it.

If I was going to pay money for a hard top (which I’m not) I’d want something that gave me something the fury doesn’t currently have, so it would have to be pretty water tight & offer some additional practicality.
What I’ve ended up with is e-type (OK - Mini Marcos) inspired in its window layout – you’ll have to imagine a side hinged hatch, as I’ve not drawn one.

Again the styling isn't ideal - having a roll bar 3" taller than the screen top makes smooth lines tricky

The first issue is of course getting in & out, so the top would also need gull-wing panels & I’ve assumed the side screens would be hinged to the screen pillars as mine currently are so they’d open to a small extent to provide a degree of ventilation. Next problem was re-fuelling, as the tail of the hard top covered the filler cap. The solution is .......... not subtle, but does look rather “’60s lemans Racer”ish as the hard top is cut-away round the filler, a hinged flap could be fitted, but I quite like it open.
Of course the biggest problems are sealing the top against the Fury’s lithe shape & protecting the rear deck from anything carried in the back & sliding about, the former being particularly tricky as wherever the top touches the rear deck, there’s a slope towards the middle of the car. Stopping this leaking would be near impossible. Here I felt I had a stroke of genius, the hard top has a load floor built in which both protects the rear deck from being damaged by sliding stuff, & means that the weather seal is immediately behind the roll bar where the deck is quite flat. The rest of the periphery can be trimmed to – say – ¼” from the body & I’ve put a couple of venting slots right at the back below the load floor so air is drawn out, venting & drying any water that gets between the deck & the load floor, this arrangement also means the fuel filler is very much outside the car, so fumes are not a problem.
So there you go. Will it get made – of course not, I just enjoy the problem solving.

Sunday 16 March 2014

Earth & Mics

Remember on the last run out the Fury was reluctant to start? I took it to work a few times this week & the problem "developed":-

Wednesday - didn't want to start, volt meter was showing 11.5v, but the green light on the power socket was on. I had a look at it when I got home & found the live to the battery a little loose & corroded, so gave it some "copperslip" grease & tightened it.

Thursday - started OK, but it was foggy so I had the lights on, by the time I go to work the Volt Meter was saying 10 1/2v & only the red light was on. I had a look at it lunchtime, scraped the earth terminal to the battery, tightened the 12v lead onto the alternator & tightened the drive belt. Drove it round the site & it seemed fine, took it to my Dad's & home with the lights on, all was well.

Friday, fog again & battery almost flat when I got to work. Got home OK, but then found the earth lead on the engine loose. Tightened that & it's been OK since.

So at least three faults & it still got me home each time - hoorah!

In an effort to show it some gratitude I cleaned up under the bonnet & messed with the remote mic for the GoPro. I'd initially had this clipped to the rear deck behind the passenger seat, but it mostly picked up wind noise, so I moved it down further into the car, where it mostly picked up transmission whine. It's now glued behind the door seal, so effectively outside the car. Here it mostly gets exhaust noise - which is what I wanted all along.

Tuesday 11 March 2014

Windsor - Henley - Blackbushe

The weather forecast was good, a number of the SKCC’s far westerners were signed up, things were looking up.

The first problemette was the route, the .ITN file has 68 waypoints, the TomTom would only accept 50. I reduced the number & filed the resulting route (unchanged as far as T.Y.R.E. was concerned) on to the SatNav. As is so often the case on a blatt-day I was awake early, so got myself ready & even had time for a coffee. I pushed Mrs Blatter’s car out of the way & got the Fury out – it wouldn’t start.
Didn’t even cough.

I checked the fuses & found a 3A one blown “Aha” I thought “that must supply the ECU!” I replaced it & pushed the starter again, nothing – I pushed it again - was that a little cough? The battery’s pretty low by now, I’m already 10 minutes late, one more try before I text saying I’m out.
Wer …… wer ………. Wer ..wer .. wer wer wer werwerwerwer VROOM.

Hoorah – off we go. I usually amble to begin with, give the car a chance to warm through – not today. I arrived in Windsor Great Park with seconds to spare, so after a bit of ribbing about the number of camera mounts on my car, I set the camera up on the new side mount & we got going.
There's a still there to the left

What I didn’t know at this point was that:-

a/ T.Y.R.E. thought the route was the same after the waypoint cull – the TomTom didn’t.
b/ there had been a new version of the route sent out late last night.

This meant I spent quite a lot of the blatt trying to delete waypoints on-the-fly in order to avoid the dreaded “TURN AROUND – WHERE POSSIBLE”
 But oh joy! The roads were almost entirely dry, the sky was blue, the sun was up. Suddenly the winter was a distant memory. But all was not well, the volt meter was showing at best 12v often dipping to 11, was the alternator charging? Should I head home? I had a green light on the multi plug adaptor, so hoping it was just a gauging issue I pressed on. During the inevitable wee stop I kept the engine running to avoid embarrassment, moved the camera to the roll bar & we headed out again.

Photo taken by Phil & shamelessly stolen off the SKCC forum
Last week there were some closed roads & this week was no different which added further layers to my confusion, then we hit Reading. We checked a tunnel for any resonant frequency issues (it was fine), then hit the ring road. Country lanes are fun, but so are three lane dual carriageways with roundabouts every mile. We were “cruising” in line astern along a three lane road when the lights changed just after the leader had passed through. Of the three remaining cars, the first stayed in the middle lane, the second went to the outside, the third went inside. There was only ever going to be one result.
The lights changed, three cars accelerated hard – I delayed a fraction as there’s no point filming an empty road, but then the car in the middle slowed – had he seen a hazard? Mr Plod? A camera on a stick? I backed right off while the third car charged towards the horizon (obviously at an entirely legal speed). It later transpired that the sudden slowing was due to a fluffed second gear.

Also loused up was the route, the first car (the one that passed through the lights) was waiting in a side road, my SatNav didn’t mention any side roads & it looked like no-one else’s did either, we kept a look out for our missing man, but as the breakfast cafĂ© hoved into view, there was still no sign. He was phoned, no response.
We ordered breakfast (one each) & chatted, then our colleague appeared, it seemed he’d followed the route to the letter & sat waiting for us for 10 mins before moving on. He didn’t seem to mind (much), hardly mentioned it at all in fact.

We ate a hearty breakfast & watched the little aeroplanes at Blackbushe, Mrs David T & little Miss David T appeared & we sat in the sun passing the time of day. But all too soon it was time to head back. I moved the camera again, this time to the radiator intake & headed off after Mr Mango, then after a cheery wave, managed to get a clear run along Kennels Lane.
The car didn’t run out of volts & seemed fine, though this morning it was reluctant again when I set off for work, so something’s amiss.

There's a video here - don't ask me why it comes up the size of a postage stamp!

Tuesday 4 March 2014

Virtually Complete

So - still next-to-nothing going on at work, in the absence of anything that NEEDS doing, I've spent some time teaching myself about surface generation on CATIA. What I ideally need is something that's while it's a complex shape, is actually made up of fairly simple shapes. It needs to be something with a shape that's familiar to me, so I can tell what looks right & what doesn't.

Hold on just a minute!

It had to be either the car or my Wife, so erring on the side of caution, I went for the car.

My good friend Chris Chapman drew up the Fury chassis many years ago from dimensions I'd supplied & as I've used bits of it to draw things up I've adapted & added to the chassis model, but apart from the rear valence & a small area of bonnet, I'd never tried to re-create the bodywork.

My first attempt used blocks & cylinders & at best looked "Fury-ish" actually bearing a closer resemblance to a Honda S800
I then moved on to the rear tub, this time using surfaces to create something that was pretty close to being Fury shaped. The technique is fairly simple, draw the cross-section at the front & the back, draw a couple of cross sections in between, join the cross sections up with curvy lines & the computer creates a surface that goes through all those lines. Of course the trick is to get all the lines in the right place & the "tension" on the surface right.

It actually went pretty well & after a day or so it was good enough to make the bonnet look stupid, so
only one thing to do, create a bonnet surface. This was a lot more complex as the wings have to sweep gracefully over the wheel arches & the valleys either side of the hump have to be "just so". It took me a couple of days & it's not by any means perfect, but it's pretty close. Then I went mad. I modelled up the side pods, the doors, the screen (properly) & screen arch, the engine, radiator & put some other engine parts I'd previously modelled onto the engine.

AND I did the wheels.

And I did the lights.

And the dash top.

And most importantly, I made it the right shade of yellow.

By now it was looking quite Fury-like, so I ran off a couple of pictures first with the bonnet transparent, then with all the bodywork see-trough. In the '50s & '60s this sort of thing took a skilled technical illustrator months to do, with CATIA, it was about ten button pushes including taking the pictures.

Having spun it around a lot & looked at it from every conceivable angle, I started playing with some of CATIAs other less technical functions, in perspective mode it's possible to zoom right through the bodywork & have a look round the engine bay.

It's also possible to do an exploded view without any explosives.

This is particularly good fun as there's a scroll bar that moves all the bits together & apart & the whole "formation" can still be zoomed & rotated. Again, several months work for an illustrator reduced to simply selecting a function & sliding a control.

So what's next? I ought to model up the steering wheel & shaft, to make it look complete. I may draw the suspension arms, but I'll need to measure those before I start, so that might not happen.

What I'd really like to do is some actual work, but we'll see..........