Elon Musk Unveils the Tesla Powerwall 2 and Solar Roof


If you’re familiar with the Tesla Powerwall, the new Powerwall 2 claims significant increases in power output over the original. With Tesla’s company merger vote with Solar City expected on November 17th (just two days away), Elon Musk has already given a press conference on their solar roof shingles along with some information on the Powerwall 2 which now available for pre-order.

This video is fairly long, just over 19 minutes.

SkyRunner: A Dune Buggy That Can Fly…Seriously, It Can Take to the Air!


A More-Capable-On-Land Powered Parachute

CNN Money had this video feature on SkyRunner, a dune buggy that is also a power parachute! A friend of mine introduced me to power parachutes over a decade ago, although I’ve never had a chance to actually go up in one. Power parachutes, some times referred to as PPC’s, or, as my friend called them, an ultralight, lightsport aircraft, etc is an aircraft with a motor and wheels, and takes to the air with a parachute. Research for yourself the ins and outs of names for these – also take note these are different from powered paragliders which use a large fan strapped to the back of a pilot.

Unlike SkyRunner, most powered parachutes are fairly limited on land.  Their motor and wheels are generally used for landing and taking off, with moderate runway taxiing and not much else.  SkyRunner on the other hand, is a purpose built buggy with a top land speed of 115 mph.

The Former West Coast Choppers Building


I was recently traveling through Long Beach, CA and came across the former West Coast Choppers building where renowned fabricator Jesse James ran his business. The building is now home to a thrift store, but still has the original gate and door from West Coast Choppers, quite impressive fabrication.former west coast choppers building long beach ca
west coast choppers jesse james gate long beach california

Local Rat Rod


Happened to see this rat rod drive past the other direction on me and after running errands, we had to pick up my daughter and saw it again parked at the school we were picking her up from.rat rod

TroyBilt Mower Deck Repair – Spindle Mount


This one was a chain reaction of events.  It started when I mowed over a rock that is mostly in the ground, only sticking out what would seem an inch or two above the ground.  I’ve gone over this rock before without any problems, but one of the first mowing days of the season when the grass was still fairly tall, I managed to hit it wrong which forced the spindle to pull threw metal mounting whole of the mowing deck.

While looking for a replacement spindle, I found these reinforcement steel plate rings. I previously reinforced one of the other spindle mounts with plate steel we cut out with a plasma cutter.

More to come on this project…

troybilt mower deck spindle
Here was the initial damage, 2 bolts pulled through the mower deck sheet metal (left and right). Notice the cast broke off in the upper mount area as well.

reinforcement plate for mounting mower deck spindles IMG_6677

Ripsaw EV2 Luxury Super Tank – This Thing Belongs in the Bat Cave!


I remember coming across a video of the original Ripsaw tracked vehicle built by a pair of brothers several years ago.  They’ve built several other vehicles since then, and one of the latest out of the Howe and Howe Tech shop is their Ripsaw EV2 Luxury Super Tank.  It looks like it already comes in black and is ready to park in the bat cave!

Where this was filmed looks similar to Christmas Valley Sand Dunes in Oregon, but I’m guessing it might have been on the East Coast.

18ft Custom Fabricated Sliding Gate

custom steel gate temporary install

This one is currently under construction, materials used:

  • 2×2 boxed steel with 1/8″ wall thickness
  • Galvanized welded wire grid

Do You Use NissanConnectEV (Formerly CARWINGS)? Important Service Changes From Nissan…

nissanconnect ev discontinued 2g service of the former carwings

Letter From Nissan

A friend of mine who is leasing a 2014 Nissan LEAF received this letter in the mail notifying him of changes to the NissanConnectEV program. As an owner of used LEAF, I did not receive any notification, so I thought I’d post a copy of his letter to share with others who may not have received one.

What is NissanConnectEV?

Formerly called CARWINGS, NissanConnectEV is an app that you can download for Android or iOS, you must also activate through Nissan.  It allows you to check the progress of your charge, turn your climate control on remotely, monitor your driving habits, and more. Additional information can be found on Nissan’s Connect site.

Don’t Already Have ConnectEV, But Think You Might Want It?

If you don’t already use the free NissanConnectEV, but would like to, you must sign up to activate the service before June 30th, 2016 to be able to use the 2G network service through December 31st, 2016.

Looking for a set of ratcheting wrenches? 50% off sale at Sears!

craftsman ratcheting wrenches speed wrench

Sears has both their Craftsman and Gearwrench and ratcheting wrenches for 50% off. A 20-piece Craftsman ratcheting wrench set normally sells for $119.99 is no $59.99, and a 20-piece Gearwrench set which retails for $99.99 is marked down to $49.99.

An Insanely Fast Vintage Mustang Converted to Electric


A 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback, high performance EV conversion muscle car. Racing at the Texas Mile and more information on this EV beast. They claim this car is capable of 1500hp!