Tuesday, 3 January 2012

New Years Resolutions

Firebrox's 2012 New Years Resolutions

1. Move house

Firebrox is presently living in a garage in Basingstoke - although it's a roomy and comfortable garage with all mod cons (electricity, power tools, wireless internet), it's a long way from all his friends in London. So, resolution number one is to find a new place to live. He's looking for about 4 foot by 9 foot of space, 24 hour access, electricity, somewhere near Hyde Park. Can't afford much rent but will pay share of bills

2. Lose weight

Although he's managed to shed 15kg already in the run-up to Christmas by making the second speaker optional, Firebrox is still carrying a bit of flab. Specifically

  • his power amp weighs in at almost 2kg and could be replaced with a much lighter (and cooler, and more efficient) Class D amp like the ones that 41hz sell. If it's sufficiently more efficient this might even mean we could shed one of the two batteries as well - another 7kg
  • the power amp is fed by a car head unit, which has many features we don't need - in fact, the only thing we really do need there is a switch to select the input source, and a volume control. It could easily be replaced with a small portable mixer.

3. Do more street skates

Injury and other engagements means Firebrox hasn't managed more than one skate since the summer of 2011. He's missing his friends

4. Get a job

Firebrox needs pocket money to fund his new toys (above) and is looking for work. If you'd like to recruit him for an event (he comes with a trained babysitter who will ride him and take care of him) please have a look at our Bookings page to see what's involved.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Santaskate: present with presents

As you'll already know if you were there: the Firebrox took its customary place behind the dancing reindeer at the front of the Santaskate, and pumped out traditional Christmas tunage for the three hours that we spent touring around town dispensing Christmas goodwill and cheer to all.

"Pics, or it didn't happen": click on thumbnails for bigger images. Here's the Brox arriving at the setup point:

From Firebrox santaskate
and a closeup of the new shiny drive axle
From Firebrox santaskate
Fully assembled
From Firebrox santaskate
Decoration in progress:
From Firebrox santaskate
And here it is in action (thanks Rebecca Cornford for taking the action photos and letting us use them)
We'll give it a full going over later, but the immediate feedback was that it did not break, that the new back brakes work nicely, and that the lighter faster single-speaker configuration is indeed lighter and faster. And many many people said they were happy to see it again. So now, what do we want 2012 to bring? A new home would be nice.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Brox with one box

Our correspondent from the garage writes:
Bit dark and rainy for a waking up the neighborhood stylee test, but there it is.

In fact, dark and stormy, heck: Igor, dust off the electrodes!

As you see in the picture, we have (or more precisely, Peter has) redesigned the top bracket of the bike to allow its use with either one speaker or two. As the speakers are about 7kg each, this makes the bike significantly lighter and correspondingly much easier for the average chap (or lady) to ride - especially when going fast or up hills.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Back with the back end

As shiny as only a lump of black metal can be, we have the new back end back from Kingsmead on schedule. Pictured, its emotional reunion with the front.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

So what's the plan anyway?

What's the idea here? Is this a one-off, or is the bike being fixed for a return to twice-weekly skating like it always used to be, or what?

We don't know. Right now, the plan is to put the bike back together for Santaskate, and hope that when it turns up glowing and piping and singing and sparking (OK, maybe not sparking) on the 17th December (subliminal message: get your tickets now) then lots of people will say "hey, I'd forgotten how much better the sound on the skate is when there's some proper bass as well as all the asbombs" and among them will be at least one who says "you can keep it in my garage if that helps". Or shed, or lockup, or living room even - almost anywhere that's secure and accessible and less than a couple of miles from Paddington.

In short, yes, we'd like to have it return to the skate regularly - twice a week would be ideal, but at least a couple of times a month and on special occasions - but the principal problem with doing so is finding storage. Let's talk figures for a minute: rented storage from the likes of Safestore or Big Yellow is likely to cost about £30/week - as private individuals (the LFNS is not presently funding the bike) we can't cover that, and even if someone does want to be that generous, that amount could buy us a new amplifier a year. So, does anyone have a spare shed?

Lights, camera

More time in the garage
  • cleaning up the perspex box and removing dirt from the paintwork
  • resoldering the connections for various LEDs
  • affixing headlight and taillight brackets so that the bike can actually be road-legal at night
  • refitting and testing the amp in place: now we have two subwoofers again
Meanwhile the very welcome news from Mark at Kingsmead is that "Friday pm or sat am looks good [for collection]. I decided to build you up a new frame at the rear, so you have a 20mm axles both sides." Looking forward to a more robust rear frame.