Bass on Bass

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Homeowner mowers: a quantum leap





 I am particularly lucky to be living at this time in history. Being one who is interested in the mechanics of lawn mowing, I doubt I could have lived in a better time. We are experiencing the convergence of commonality of formal lawns and the emergence of technology that offers a quantum leap in energy efficiency for the machines used to manicure those lawns. That quantum leap in technology includes both enormous leaps in DC electric motor designs and similar leaps in rechargeable battery designs. At the same time I have been gifted the experience and insight necessary to introduce a major improvement in rotary blade design that can amplify the impact of those 2 major leaps in power mowing technology.
The simple fact is that is that per reasonable standards for both user convenience and efficiency of conversion of stored energy to accomplished mowing, for the average homeowner mower operator, the best of current cordless electric mowers are superior beyond comparison to the best of current gasoline powered mowers. 



Above is the current version of the cordless electric mower I have been using for over a decade, has just now begun to show the first signs of need for ANY motor maintenance, and is the platform on which the first, not quite perfect prototype of my new blade design showed it's superiority. It's the Neuton CE5 14" cordless electric mower with 24v SLA battery pack. Below is what I consider the epitome of the "cutting edge" of available cordless electric mowers. It Is the Greenworks G-Max Twin Force 20" twin blade 40v Lithium Ion battery powered mower.


Previous to it's introduction what I considered the latest and greatest was the Recharge Mowers Ultralite, seen below. 
 The state of the art in power systems clearly lies in Lithium Ion battery power.  
The state of the art in blade technology is about to change. That is if the makers of these wonderful machines have the wisdom to license the blade design I am in the process of patenting. Tentatively I am calling it the Eco-Slice Blade Concept (patent and website pending).

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

My Own "Broken Arrow" Event



     This 17 year old movie has a title "Broken Arrow" that brings back memories of my Air Force Reserve days. I served in the AFRES hospital squadron assigned to Earling Bergquist Regional Air Force Hospital, adjacent to the base family housing just outside Offutt Air Force Base. The term "Broken Arrow" has for as far back as I'm aware of been the official term for the event of the loss of a nuclear weapon or the crash of a nuke carrying aircraft.  
     The disaster exercise during my last summer two week duty there was a simulated "Broken Arrow". Obviously, since it was 1975, the supposed downed aircraft in the exercise was one of the strategic nuke carrying B-52s that flew out of Offutt AFB, not the supposed B-3 in the movie (not yet existing, only B-2 stealth bombers exist today). 
     That was the first time I actually saw a tornado. I was manning the radio base station in the hospital's conference room. A severe weather alert brought the exercise to an early close. Just as we were wrapping it up a tornado warning was issued, a real disaster event. 
     As I was disconnecting the radio base station to move it to a basement office near where all staff and patients were evacuated to, there it was in full view a few miles away out the conference. room window. It was, as they usually are, approaching from the southwest. It was white so it had yet to touch down.         
     Somehow I managed to get the radio disconnected, removed and hooked into it's alternate connection in that office. I had never before known of the existence of the alternate hook-up point so I surprised myself with the success. 
     We managed to direct all our personnel to safety. The tornado jumped directly over the hospital, touching down harmlessly in a field across the road from the hospital and base housing. We soon thereafter had everything and everyone back to normal operations.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Repost: Threshing and Winnowing Beans


    This is a re-post of my November 6, 2010 post "Farmer Bills Threshing and Winnowing" I am once again blessed with a large amount of beans drying in the pods. 
     Last week I harvested the driest of both my "Rattlesnake" and "Kentucky Wonder" pole beans.  Some remain on both trellises of beans to dry further before harvest. 
     I placed the harvested beans on the burlap sheet I have and formed the sheet into a sort of bag, just as in the threshing process described below. Then I placed the bag inside of an old nylon mesh bag I have from my days as a youth soccer coach to carry the balls and cones etc. to practices. I then used the drawstring of the outer bag to hang the beans in the garage for further drying. 
     The threshing is for later when the rest of the beans dry and have been harvested. 










   Yesterday afternoon I went out to do something about the dried bean pods hanging from the foliage free trellised pole bean vines. Picking them all off the remains of the stems 1 by 1 is tedious enough but shelling them bean by bean afterward is beyond endurance. Trying the latter for a while I gave up and went in to find a better way. 
    In a few minutes on line I found it, using burlap as the "threshing medium" see the facebook capture.  I hot footed it to the Ace as soon as I found out they had 1 package of burlap left. I adapted the process from bags to the sheet burlap I could get quickly. I just laid out a 3' x 4' piece of it on the patio table, piled the bean plants and pods on it, and gathered the edges of the sheet into a bag tied closed with a length of twine. I found a video of the general method of threshing on You tube. I wasn't about to walk on the bag I made though. I just squished it around a bunch on the patio table, a little like kneading a big hunk of bread dough, until it felt like all the pods were broken up and emptied. A few shakes up and down later to get the beans to the bottom, grabbing handfuls of the loose plant matter out of the opened bag until I couldn't anymore without getting the beans & the THRESHING was done
     There was just enough wind after I finished threshing to try a little WINNOWING by opening the bag and forming the loaded burlap into sort of a hammock and shaking it up and down just enough to get the chaff but not much plant or pod airborne and floating away in the wind. The chaff kind of hangs in the air like dry snow. Then the wind died. Complete winnowing awaits tomorrow. See the facebook image above for the process to be used