Unfortunately, I haven’t posted about how my Cobra is legal now.  In the meantime, how about this.  I recently got a cheap action camera off of Amazon.  Works pretty well, and the video quality is decent.  However, I needed a way to mount it to the Cobra.  I stumbled across the bracket you see below at a Tractor Supply store.  This is meant to mount one of those obscenely bright LED light bars for trucks.  However, it fits perfectly on the FFR roll bar.  Rock solid and good mounting for the camera mount.  I think it was <$15 for the pair.

IMG_2411 IMG_2416

I’m loaded up pretty heavily on classes this semester.  I’m trying to finish up my BS in IS Management.  The workload as I get into 400 level classes has increased significantly.  I have a number of projects that have fallen to the side including:

Learn and understand nRF24l01 radios for Arduino to RPi communication.

Cobra electrical system (This hurts the most, perhaps.  I got the dash “in” but still have some loose ends to tie up before calling the electric done)

Better understand AWS topologies. Related, set up a Puppet server in house and connect it to the XenServer I’ve stood up.  XenServer 6.2 is open source now!  I’d also like to replace VMWare with XenServer and be able to do live migrations in house.  I was having trouble with the Mythbuntu ISO booting properly but it looks like it might just be the distro.

Continue to get away from SageTV.  It still runs.  I’m waiting for the day where that’s not the case.  I think I need to go towards MythTV.  There just isn’t a good alternative.

Around December I need to make a run at the CCDP. I need to renew the CCNP and only need one test for the CCDP.  Might as well add to the acronyms.

Anyway, enough of my sob story.

No, I’m not talking about myself. I’ve embarked on an ambitious project that is sure to never get completed. On my way there I’m working on getting an RN-XV “cheap” WiFi adapter talking to an Arduino. I’ve had all kinds of issues getting it connected and it all comes down to spaces.

I’ll have more detail later about what I’m trying to do but, my immediate issue boiled down to my use of $ in my passphrase. The RN-XV and actually the RN-171 it’s based on has a nice feature of escaping spaces in SSIDs and passphrases with a $ by default. This took some digging to find out but once I did I was able to change it.

Connect to the RN-XV from your console. I used the Adafruit XBee adapter kit through a com port on my PC. Do $$$ to get into CMD mode. From there you can do a couple of things. For my purposes I needed to do the following:

<2.30> get opt replace
JoinTmr=1000
Replace=0x26
DeviceId=WiFly-EZX
Password=
Format=0x0
Signal=0
Average=5

You can see I’ve already changed it here but the default would be Replace=0x24 which is $ in ascii. To change it:

set opt replace 0x26

Then don’t forget to “save” or it’ll revert to the wrong character. You can also check the saved WLAN settings with “get wlan”.

Now that I have it successfully connecting, getting it to do something might be a little more of a challenge. I’m trying to work with this library but it’s proving to be a challenge. More here as I figure that out.

Just in case anyone’s curious, no, I’ve not completely abandoned the Cobra build. The dash is in mid-build. I’ve just be…pre-occupied.

It’ll get done, just don’t know when.

I just discovered that I’m #1 for “cobra build” on Google.  Wow!  Except it’s for the old site.  The one I haven’t updated in years.  So, I’ve put in a redirect to the blog here and just to the Cobra related posts.  Please feel free to look around at the rest though.

And yes, more Cobra related posts coming soon.  I haven’t spent much time at all on the Cobra lately but I’m hoping to be able to get back to the dash soon.  Can’t wait to see those gauges move!

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…should be the only electric rabbit.

I like to keep up with the goings on in the DIY electric car world.  Some day I hope to build one.  I’m waiting on a couple of things first though.  Mostly just trying to get through the multitudes of projects I’ve taken on at home but also so I stop spending money on those same projects.  The other thing is the hope of an Ultra-Cap from someone like EEStor.

In the meantime I read and try to understand the mechanics of motors, controllers and batteries.  There are pretty good strides being made in the power and longevity of modern EV systems.

Here’s the problem I see with the state of things.  The Electrified Rabbit.  Or Jetta.  Or CRX.  Or insert any other non-sexy 20 year old beater.  If you can think of a car like that I can guarantee someone has done an EV conversion for it.  What’s so difficult about picking an exciting car?  Something that stirs the imagination and fires the senses.  I know there area few of them out there.  The FFR Daytona EV conversion is a good example of a cool way to do and EV.  But I’m so sick of seeing cars that shouldn’t be on the road to begin with being elevated to something special just because they have a bunch of batteries.

Really guys!  Make it sexy!

On the way into work this morning I had the thought that maybe it’s come time to sell the Cobra, or what there is of it.  Staring at it every time I walk through the garage is a little bit of torture.  Seeing the empty body shell peaking it’s nose out the main garage door every time it’s open doesn’t help either.

I’m sure I won’t do anything except continue to find 8 hours every 6 months to work on it.  Selling it at this point would be giving up and that would be worse than having to look at it unfinished.

I know it’s been a long journey and at times I’m not sure I’m even half way through it.  Just need to find my way through it.  There have been some low moments through the build but this one might be the lowest.  For a moment I really considered it.

We’re just about into that period where everything starts to get really crazy for the holidays.  I don’t really enjoy it so much.  It’s more a matter of trying to get through it without losing my mind.  Many parties to look forward to, gifts to buy, house to prepare.

That’s at least a little of what I’ve been busy with the last few weeks.  Trying to make it through a number of house projects.  Finishing Belle’s room with some wainscotting, adding some molding to the dining room, various outside projects.  It’ll be nice when these things are done and we can work on some other things.  Like the Cobra, the garage (electric and insulation), possibly a back patio.  The list just seems to grow.  Somehow I really want to drive the Cobra next year.  My tolerance for looking at it unfinished has just about expired.

I did get a new car.  Ya hoo!  Went and bought myself an Audi A3 with the DSG transmission.  I haven’t sold the M3 yet, which is going to be a project all itself.  I’ll try to post a review of the A3 after I’ve driven it for a few weeks.  I’m very seriously considering autox’ing it in Decemeber if the CDC event doesn’t get cancelled.

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I was fortunate enough to be able to take the last week off from work.  Didn’t go anywhere and the kids were still in school.  But, I did have some time to work on the Cobra.  In a nutshell I got all of the wiring in wire loom and routed where it’ll go in the car.  The rear harness is clamped in place but I ran out of clamps so the front is only hanging there.  Got more clamps but didn’t get back to that.  I spent the rest of the time working on the dash.  I went through cutting down most of the old dash wires to bus blocks I put on the firewall.  Then I began cutting the holes in the dash.  I got Stewart Warner gauges from Breeze so the holes aren’t the same size as the standard dash.  I just about have all of the holes cut.  The only ones remaining are for some of the switches.  I still haven’t decided on how I want to handle the headlights.  I might do a pull and turn type knob but I might just use a toggle switch.  Can’t cut the last hole until I decide and I can’t mount the gauges and start wiring them until I drill all of the holes.  It’s a vicious cycle.

I’ll post pictures sometime in the next week or so.

I’ve decided I have another problem that needs fixing.  The garage gets too damn cold.  When the wind blows it pushs the doors in to the point you can see quite a bit of sunlight coming in around the side.  I’m not really sure how to fix that since there’s already weather stripping on the outside of the door that’s supposed to be stopping that.  Add another item to the to-do list.

Still, it was nice to see some progress.  I see some light at the end of the tunnel and when the wiring is done I’ll feel better about making progress.  It’ll be back to mechanical stuff and things like e-brakes and loose ball joints.  🙂

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