Bear with me while I work on the design for my next-generation transport idea. As always for a vagabond, it has to be lightweight, low in bulk, multi-purpose, easily repairable, and a bunch of other attributes none of which come to mind at the moment.

For power, I could use mechanical (stored with flywheels), compressed air, or electricity. Since I also need electricity for my laptop and amplifier, I'll go with 12VDC. Maybe two 6V toy-car sealed lead-acid batteries. Same weight, or slightly more, than the 12V battery but I can distribute it better.

Wheels, one foot or both? Inline or side-by-side? Stable or unstable? Large or small? Larger is better, especially on dirt roads. Stable is better for my weak ankles. If unstable, it'll have to be on one foot only so I can use the other foot for stabilization. And the instability should maybe be front-to-back which means side-by-side wheels (one axle per foot). I'm leaning towards a design with three wheels on each foot, two large (maybe about 4-6 inch diameter) wheels towards the front, with a spherical "wheel" in the rear for stabilization. Needs some work.

For generators (same idea would work for providing mechanical or air pressure), I'm thinking auto-retract cables in a device about the size of a tennis racket grip, with the generators attached to the belt. As you swing your arms, the cables pull the generators, which supply power to recharge the batteries and to boost your speed (by default, the battery does not drive the wheels; instead your own skating speed is supplemented by arm movement). Microcontrollers would be used to supply power only at the critical points, using the stepper motor design briefly discussed recently. Supercaps could be used to smooth out use of the generated power without involving the battery. If even more speed is desired, additional cables could be attached somewhere on the legs. I'm thinking 8 to 10 MPH should be easily achievable without a lot of physical strain.

Hmm, 3 6-V batteries would give me about the 20V I need for my laptop power. Two of the 12V solar trickle chargers could be hooked up across them too. No, but where do I carry the 3rd one? Two can fit in one of the shoulder bags like the one I bought for the laptop, but the 3rd? It could go in my fanny pack instead of the hammock, but I might need the hammock if I ever go into a wooded area as I intend later this year.

Just thinking, I could avoid the smart controller for the driven wheels if I use the generated pulse as the magnet approaches the coil as the signal to gate the power from the open collector of the power transistor to ground through the coil. Hmm, how would that work? I'll have to look at a standard stepper driver design and get some ideas.

Damn, I've got to get to a town that has wireless APs. This 1-hour max at the library, with no easy way to upload from my laptop, is getting to be a major drag. I paid $2.50 yesterday at Joe Perk's to upload by hooking my laptop with my little patch cable to their switch, and it was a real pain for both myself and the proprietors. Their router is wireless-enabled, so why don't they enable it? I asked the guy, he was kind of "I dunno" about it. I don't want to push it and make them think I'm trying to cheat them... they already thought I was going over the 15-minute limit yesterday when I was clearly disconnected. Maybe they thought I was connecting to the net through the power cable??? Or did they resent my using their power? I spent about 10 bucks there yesterday, so I don't think they lost anything with my using 60 watts for two hours (.12 kWH at .10/kWH is .12 cents, right? Or am I calculating wrong? That's point one two cents, not twelve cents).

I agonize about stuff like that too much. I want to be fair to people and it hurts to be distrusted. I think though that it's just that nobody there is technically inclined.

Hey, while at the library today I googled something like "satellite dish 802.11b" (without the quotes) and got a great page about a guy who got 10 freakin' miles point-to-point using two dishes with Apple AirPort cards at each end. Now that would be a great way to hook up the unternet. Hmm, got to update that webpage, I've got some dirt on a few unternets in England to place on there. Another thing that will have to wait till I get back to civilization.

I could really leave as early as tomorrow, provided I could find a safe place to leave my bike. Though I made negligible progress digging my underground shelter, I did at least plant some barrel cactus seeds from the fruits I took from in front of the Deming P. O., to replace the nopal which all died or was blown away in the wind (cuttings I tried to plant a couple of months ago). And I feel a lot safer about my stuff now that I've met my one and only neighbor on the block. I would like to send myself something by UPS though and see if they deliver it! But I'd first have to figure out an approximate mailing address. I'll have to ask Nancy what hers is and extrapolate.

Really hard to get anything done when I have so many conflicting desires. I want to travel and see the world, and learn whatever I can in the process. I want to get ready to colonize the ocean, skies, and solar system, whatever is necessary to find the freedom I need. I also want to communicate and publish what I learn for others to use. I also need to make money to support my bad habits (like coffee, and chocolate pastries). Well, I guess I also need money for meat since I'm not useful as a hunter or fisherman. And for travel until I get one of my inventions working. And in spite of myself I'm still madly in love with a woman who wants to settle down in one place and work on her music for the first time in 30 years of exile, and can't understand why I'm exiling myself to the farthest reaches of the universe. I guess if I ever figure it out maybe I can tell her.

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