Well it works, but as with any new design there are issues. I have put around 19 miles on it and it really does seem to work well, when it will keep running.
First and foremost is the locking up problem. The little springs did a reasonably good job of stopping the lockup on start-up, unless I started it at a bit of a higher speed. High speed start-up would overpower the springs and locking was still an issue. Then came the locking problem while driving. Every time I might hit a bump, or tap the brakes, it would lock up. So, I took the weights off, cut the metal tab off for the outer stops, and welded stops onto the planet gears. One corner of each weight then had to be trimmed so it would not hit the new stops and viola, no more locking. I did get one of the stops a bit crooked, but I will fix that next week.
Second was the drill motor kept cutting out. Apparently, there is a bad spot in the variable speed trigger, and (of course) I found it. With the new stops came a bit of a smoother run at higher speeds, so I upped the speed and the motor no longer stopped randomly… Until the fuse blew… Replaced fuse with circuit breaker and then the chuck loosened up on the chain drive shaft…
The PIE did lock up one more time, because of the crooked outer stop (that I WILL be fixing next week) the weight hit it hard enough to slip past it and lock on the back side. Reset and speed reduced slightly it seems to have worked fine on the last trip around the block, although there is a definite speed to power correlation. More speed=more power!
Once testing on this model is complete, a high-speed unit is definitely on the drawing board!
I do have to wonder why… Why it is that when testing on public streets and roads it seems that every bad driver within miles is attracted to the test vehicle?!?!? Getting tailgated, cut-off, swerved at, nearly t-boned, and behind extremely slow drivers happens every time. I sure am glad it’s Friday!!!