This Tuesday I have been at unternehmenslust where I was trying to present the Carla Cargo Projekt for people which are looking for an internship. Hopefully we will find somebody. I could really good imagine somebody doing exclusively the documentation part as open source hardware.
Parallel I did order 2 lenovo thinkpad t400 with dual core 2,5GHhz for me and for Erich. I guess we will travel much soon and need to get prepaired for that. I did freshly installed a linux lubuntu version which runs stable and great. All crypted and installed just the needs. This laptop even when it is old really keeps the potential as beeing a real work station. It was produced between 2008 and 2010 and you could get it for around 1300 EUR starting price. I did get it used for around 130 EUR for one. Crazy or not to get it 1000EUR less from the starting price and is still working great if you not care taking an stable and not “bling bling” operating system.
So it fullfill everything I need. The only question I ask myself is why I should ever need a new laptop?
Beeing an Entrepreneur can be really frustrating. You have no money, it takes time to get ready, no holiday, it is tons of work to do, you recognize that it is long time ago you did meet your friends or did go climbing, your family cant hear your project again…
I am a very enthusiastic person. When I wanna reach somthing I really have this dream in mind and get this closed look which is not open for other stuff. In former times I used to go climbing to get grounded and get back to reality. Actually this is a real adventure with family to do so. Therefore I really falled in love doing gardening work. Nothing else is so easy to access from your home and giving you direct feeling of doing something really meaningful. After work it is the best work out for and really grounds my soul again. Well, most of time I focus also on building stuff which are usefull for the garden. My wife is doing the great planting work.
So I did create here a simple tomato greenhouse. I did use simple bamboo and did order such a great greenhouse foil which you can get easy trough ebay. Just watch the pictures. Hopefully this year we will have some more tomatos than last. More garden stuff will follow.
What a session. Erich did finally mismatch just some values and than it did work. Great job! Now the engine control is working via an arduino leonardo with interrupts programmed and a much better controlling than the simple stuff we did before. I did never believe that this is possible from software side but now the engine speeds up to the speed the driver is driving and slowes down when you slow down. It is still a lot of work to do but this really pushes and motivates us. The jobs we now have to do is real clear for both of us. More design and mechanical construction in the overrun brake mechanism and start of an eagle layout as soon as possible to make the controller part strong for the rough environment. We are psyched and well, need time and money as usual. We wanna make a carlathon power week again in 4 weeks maybe.
And look at these tires. We change definitly back to the bike wheels. They are looking to sexy
I cant say how much times I did move stuff from A to B and from B to C to finally move it again to A but in another arrangement. During all my work I did up to now I made the experience tidy up the workspace and bringing everything in the arrangement you want really can waste your time. You all know those youtube guys having these real cleaned up workspaces. All I get in mind most of the time is that they take more time in tidy it up than in making something. But as I said not tidying up definitly can waste time too. So finding a balance sometimes is real hard.
Anyway at noon Erich is coming and we wanna make a Carlathon Week with an electric focus developing a base PCB Layout for the Electronics. Therefore I did clean up the cellar to have good working conditions. I think there is even no way around that. I have to reanimate the PCB CNC Mill so we can really go on finding fast a PCB base layout. Also I did move the complete construction equipment down to cellar. I hope this makes the work more focused. Construction when 2 childs are screaming is definitly a challenge.
End of the week we will also participate at the Black Forest Venture event in Freiburg. I really go there with no expectations. I thought it is better to start proceedings than never trying it.
To drive to the SPEZI and to participate at the cargo bike race was a really fun story. As usual as we did arrive we did still have problems on the electronics. That’s why we are planning to make a carla cargo action power week in the second week of may. We call it a carlathon, where we try our best in getting ready a fully layouted PCB board. The main problem we did have was that the signal from the HAL Sensor must be well connected otherwise the controller can not interpret the right HAL Signals. In general the code works better and better but we have definitly to improve the PCB for this intensiv and shaking circumstances. As we later figured out we where anyway not allowed to take engine support at the race. We just wanted to participate and wanted to show that you even can take big cargo with a strida folding bike. Thousands of thanks to erich which did a great job. Hopefully next year we will participate and take a bigger trailer with some better bike in front. Definitlly it was fun and of course the interest in th the carla cargo project is growing as we figured out by the reactions of the people.
Now we need a brake of all this exhibitions and will focus again in producing more carla cargo semiprofessional trailers and getting the electronics ready for updating the non engine supported trailers.
This was a real crazy testing. Seems to work. Messengers in the world imagine the new volume capazity you can handle. I hope the people will see this to cause this is a real new market. I could drive with 20km/h easy. I guess the same load on flat street is on 10km/h maximum. The controller was not even on limit. I did drive with 70% of maximum speed. Even it feels real secured to brake. Your braking way doubles I would say. It is working really well and you get a feeling how to handle the longer braking way.
What a trip. And it is still crazy and I do all time find new thinks which inspire me and my following work for carla cargo. First of all it was a little bit of a magic. I am travelling around 700km to get in contact with the who is who in cargo bike business and my voice said no. Sowhere between Frankfurt and Dortmund I did get lost from here. Maybe it was of this old and noisy car screaming to dirk all time telling him what great people I wanna meet. This trip now definityl motivated me to sell the Fu**ing caravan and invest in an electrified long john…
But well lets come back to this great festival. The trip was definitly good to do because I just recognize what it brought to us by reflecting all the things I have seen and also have heared. Its absolutly awesome how much technology is inside of cargo bikes and what you could see there on the exhibition. Cargo Bikes in general are nothing new. There have been real great cargo bikes in the mid of last century and earlier. It was realy astonishing cause it was even hard to find cargo bikes without engine. The most where well equipped even with powerfull mid-engines. I believe that the combine of this new electric engine technologies and the fact that we run into a lot of cargo problems in urban areas will give the cargo bikes and trailers a lot of work in future.
What I was also a bit confused was the fact that there have been I would say over 70% Long John Bikes and I did have generally the feeling that a lot of cargo bikes there are designed also with some attitude to create a life-style product. This is definitly not bad and I realy must say. Yes with such a Butchers and Bicycle Bike I would definitly keep the car beside. The only problem is that the caravan is still cheaper than that bike That does not meen that you guys have to make the bike cheaper. It is all the money worth. Great construction work.
So I missed generally real cargo solutions. The volume and kilograms on a long john bike is on a limit. Even if urban arrow is trying realy to get out a maximum on volume.
So there have been realy less high volume and high load solutions. I was definitly faszinated by the velove 6 wheel bike concept. Awesome that future bikes are still possible. So that keeps me motivated that in future there still will be a lot of place for new bike concepts.
And look at this 3 wheel incredible engine supported dragster from Breet&vanCorven. I would love to see that monster carrying 350kg as they predict it can handl.
So I am getting out of this festival definitly motivated for the future of carla cargo cause we have some features which the most dont have. We have a real simple concept with less maintenance work and a very good price per kg or price per volume. I think these are the main key points for cargo bikes and trailers to get the future transportation problems solved better than cars.
I did write a lot of times what I missed. That does definitly not include that I did not like the festival. It was realy great and well organised. Hopefully next year I will find time for the conference too. But yeah I still missed something. More women in cargo bike business and where the hell was Nico Jungel with the great 8rad. I wanted to get a lift on that monster.
We got out with a lot of work for us to follow up. We definitly focus on the engine part and I am sure if we as Carla Cargo contribute next year on the festival again everything will work well these times including my voice.
cheers to all of you gonna kind of crazy cargo bikers
It is deffinitly clear that making stuff ready for exhibitions without even having the complete solution of a product is somehow crazy. The magic on such deadlines I somehow love is that when you have managed everything right it starts to work by itself. Most of the times hopefully. Up to yesterday noon it was really not clear of the electric support will function for the exhibition. With the great support from Erich from Gießen it is me a real peassure to say YES it is working somehow. It is sill not in the product conditions but look what we have managed to work out in the last two weeks even with having the hardware on 2 different places and getting the final trailer just last week. We have now the following features included:
complete arduino controlled with the possiblity of creating ramps
soft start without any sparks on turn on
self powered arduino
new 48V LiFePo battery which realy now pushes (any) load up to 25 km/h thats the craziest driving feeling you did ever have
The electric board look like a real hacked version now and we will soon start to make a eagle layout and ready printed SMD board for prototyping. To speed up the development process we will publish the code and as I sad bring a version number one of the board soon. Maybe it is a good idea start a treat in the pedelec-forum?
Future Ideas we will work on:
more detailed sensor signal on the overrun brake status
microSD DATA Logging of Current, Voltage, Kilometers…
acceleration sensor for an hill down/up controlling
The only problem on that is we need time, money and finally a small chance of a permit.
Those days I did built a lot. The most of time being in the garage on that great summer weather and building carla cargo to get ready for the exhibitions. Today I have recognized that carla realy needs an engine cause otherwise it is realy tough to drive. Such pitty, I thought there is a way to handle between without engine support directly on the startup. That means to realy hurry up even on the controller part of Carla Cargo.
Beside this working on garage I did made me some business cards and a flyer. That was realy in the last moment. When everything wents well I get the stuff on Friday where we also wanna go to Gießen to pick up Erich which is joining us for the International Cargo Bike Festival.
The last days the weather was real great and I rely enjoyed all time I did spent with my family and seeing the summer getting ready.
Everything is getting so great green. jammi yammi.