24 July 2023

The Radio Flyer

Here are some pics from today of my baby. The Radio Flyer

The above pic shows my trunk. It is made from surplus ammo can for 50 caliber rounds. It is coated in several layers of spray on the truck bed liner. I have two more that are being modified to be saddlebags on both sides of the rear wheel. The plan is to get some flush-mounted custom tail lights for a motorcycle and run a 12-sealed lead acid battery. The battery will supply power to an Arduino and the LED lights in the tail lights. Since flashing lights are noticed before steady lights, I will use the Arduino Nano to make the tail lights blink my call sign in CW. The mag mount is something that I picked up somewhere. It is a compromised antenna for an HT but the football helmet adds 7 db of gain (Each of Oklahoma University's national championships should be good for a db of gain lol, Boomer Sooner) Once the 2 saddle bags are finished they will have solar panels mounted on the top of them and these will help charge the 12 battery. At some point, I want to add more batteries so that I will have an onboard source of power instead of having to bring a separate battery for portable ops. Once I am able to add an electric assist, the battery will fit on the rear rack under the trunk. 

Here is the mount for my HT. It can easily be operated while riding. If conditions are noisy like if there is a lot of truck traffic I have a 1 ear headset that fits nicely under my helmet. The coax goes from the HT at my handlebar and snakes along the frame to the little mag mount antenna on the trunk. This keeps the coax from snagging on the chain, wheels or other mechanical parts of the trike. I'm not going to work much DX with this HT but I can get on the local repeaters. I'm net control for a weekly net and I have done this while riding the trike. In my local amateur radio club there are 4 of us who have become really close friends. Out of the 4 of us there are 3 recumbent trikes and one recumbent bike. The cities in the metro are adding dozens of miles of paved bike trails each year so the 4 of us meet up quite often and have a nice ride. At this point I am unable to ride by myself so they take me out riding and one has an electric assist and he keeps a tow rope on his trike for me. There are times when I am out riding and hit a bump wrong and my back "goes out" It is kind of hard to explain but I will lose control of everything below the waist. Temporarily paralyzed. Often it feels as if my bones have become heating elements and are cooking my muscles. My skin will feel like someone poured Napalm on me and lit me up. It is a very unpleasant sensation. Because of this I spend 99% of my time in bed. I will be homebrewing the sBITX from a folding tv tray on the side of my bed. Because the seat of the trike supports my entire back, it provides me with the only source of exercise that I can get. I'm almost 49 years old and I have had open heart surgery, my diabetes is nearly out of control, I also have Asperger's syndrome, and high anxiety, Add all of that to my back problems which are spinal stenosis in several places and my Sacrum is becoming detached from my pelvis cradle, which is why they will be putting in a cage to stabilize everything. 
So I will be out cruising the trails on the Radio Flyer and my back could go out, or my sugar will drop like crazy or my heart can act up. When this happens I have to call someone with a truck to come and pick me up. If I had electric assist then I can just turn it on and steer the trik home. I don't need the electric assist to help me go farther or make it easier to pedal, I need it to safely get me home or to a place where I can recover. For most people having an electric assist is a luxury which is awesome and there is nothing wrong with it. If it gets them out of the house then they can add a car engine for all I care. I see the electric assist as more of a necessity based on health.  As said earlier my buddy carries a tow rope on his trike and when I need help getting me home he just pulls me along. It works when he is with me. At a thousand bucks, I'm not going to be able to get electric assistance anytime soon. We are saving up for it though so never say never. 

This is an accessory mount on the side of the seat. I need to move it to the left side of the seat because I am left-handed and it will be easier for me to access everything. This would be the perfect place to mount the head unit of an HF radio. I have a mount that goes on the rear fork that will let me put on a ham stick. If I run a small wire behind me, I can do decent on the radio. In 2021 I had a 20-meter ham stick and was using a friend's KX2 and was operating "Trike Portable" and was live streaming on YouTube. I had a small pile up and was talking to people all over North and South America. I would like to have that set up more permanently and do that more often. Need to get me an HF rig first though. This accessory bar beside the seat is rated for 35 pounds so It should be possible to rig something up. 

Here is the overall view of the trike. I got it new in January 2019 and I have 3,100 miles on it. I try to get on it every chance I get because it is good exercise and it is a lot of fun. 

Well, that was too much information but hopefully, it will let everyone know what my life is while I make my own custom sBITX. 
Aaron K5ATG

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