News items for tag recumbent - Koos van den Hout

2018-07-10 Found the original article about Steven K. Roberts and his recumbent bicycle Behemoth
Steven K. Roberts on Behemoth II I noticed the Nomadic Research Labs site was cleaned up a bit more, so I searched again for the article that I read in August 1995 about Steven K. Roberts and his recumbent bicycle Behemoth: "Big Electronic Human-Energised Machine ... Only Too Heavy".

The scans are at BEHEMOTH in Kijk – Dutch Magazine. Interesting detail is that the top left text refers to a picture of a Challenge recumbent. I recently ordered a new Challenge recumbent! Maybe I should find out whether I can find that page of that magazine.

Several things can be related to seeing this article: buying the book Computing Across America, selecting a recumbent bicycle later in life and this idea in the back of my head of future recumbent cycling trips.

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2018-07-05 Future cycling goals...
I had a serious case of 'ooooh shiny' today. I browsed a bit of Northern Canada news from CBC and found the article Dempster Highway drivers flock to new destination — the Arctic coast about the new Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway which connects the Dempster Highway all the way to Tuktoyaktuk on the northern arctic coast.

So I started wondering whether people are cycling the Dempster Highway. Yes, they are. I found several travel stories, Cycling the Dempster Highway to Inuvik, Cycling the Dempster Highway Part 1: Hungrier than the bears - Tasting Travels and Dempster Highway to the Arctic about one cyclist who cycled from Vancouver to Inuvik on a recumbent.

I may have found some future cycling ideas there. Those ideas aren't really new, from time to time I get back to thinking about Computing Across America and Steven K. Roberts.

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2017-08-24 Operated outdoor portable at the location near Maartensdijk again
This morning I had some time and a good reason to leave the house. So I packed the radio, batteries and headphones and loaded all of it in the trailer of the recumbent and cycled to the bend in the road with a table and some trees where I operated portable before.

The local noise was very low again, about S1 on the 20 meter amateur band and about S4 on the 40 meter band. But conditions made the 20 meter band very quiet so I tried answering some calls on the 40 meter band first. In total I had 5 contacts, three of which were activations in the world wide flora and fauna program. Some of the contacts later in the morning were on the 20 meter band after it opened up.

All in all a nice way to spend the morning. Things noticed:
  • My newest lead-acid battery is failing already. It has trouble charging and when the charger thinks it is full it will drop output voltage way too fast. Time for a new battery with more capacity. 20 to 25 amp-hours would be a good value.
  • Getting a rope up in a tree is still annoying, I had to try way too many times. I am looking at fiber poles for portable operations. That would also mean there are possible locations for operating outdoor portable a lot closer to our home. Just a parkbench and some way to tie the fiber mast to something vertical is enough.

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2016-07-13 Another go at outdoor portable operating at a new location
Outdoor setup with amateur radio I recently came across another spot that looked very good for outdoor radio operations. At a bend in a road near Maartensdijk is a nice spot with a number of trees and a table.

So when I had some time I hooked up a trailer to my recumbent bicycle, loaded enough radio gear to make some voice (phone) contacts and went over there to give it a try.

It is a nice spot, located at JO22ND88SW. Not a lot of trees so it got quite windy. Radiowise the 20 meter band was completely free of interference: I managed one contact with TA1BX/M and my honest signal report was 5-by-0: radio quality 5 (good understanding) and signal level 0: the meter on my radio did not move. He gave me a 5-by-5 report.

I heard several other stations that did not hear me due to the bad antenna situation (part of the endfed was on the ground) or due to the pileups they caused. I set my HF output power to 50 watt to get out a bit, this did not drain the battery too fast.

Things I brought along: radio, antenna cable (RG-58 cable, not as good as Aircell-7 but a lot less weight), BNC to PL259 adapters for the cable, the endfed antenna, two charged 12V batteries, headphones, a tablet computer for logging, nylon rope and a filled waterbottle.

Things I can improve for next time: throwing the rope for the antenna into a tree (it took several tries to get a somewhat acceptable height). And I looked into logging on paper, logging on a tablet was not very comfortable. Maybe logging on old-fashioned paper can be the solution, I found some nice templates at Amateur Log book templates. I printed a few of the 'mobile' template and I will try those next time.

Update: The locator was JO22ND88SW and not JO22ND88RU. At this resolution it does matter when the GPS application says the estimated error is 88 meter.

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2016-05-27 Reminded of Computing Across America
Steven K. Roberts on Behemoth II A fellow radio amateur posted an old picture somewhere of Steven K. Roberts on the Behemoth "Big Electronic Human Energized Machine, Only Too Heavy" bicycle, a recumbent bicycle with computers and amateur radio as a joke suggestion to me. But this is more than just a joke to me, I follow the work by Steven K. Roberts since somewhere in the 1980s when I saw an article and picture about him in a popular science magazine. Articles and pictures by Steven K. Roberts are now collected on where some of the old memories seem to have gone the way of the 404 after almost 30 years of gathered digital history have been reorganized.

Steven is still busy with the same ideas, nowadays on a nice sailboat, as can be seen at Blog - Technomadic & Gonzo Engineering with regular projects.

Browsing the site I found some interesting videos such as the ones in Vintage Video: Computing Across America - Hackaday and Computing Across America - April 1988 - Louisville WHAS11 Bernson's Corner -

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2015-09-14 Trying APRS by car and bicycle
Today I took the APRS setup with me. During the day by car (it was raining) and in the evening by recumbent bicycle to the radio club (it wasn't raining that hard in the evening). Both times I had APRSDroid, the Mobilinkd and the radio running for APRS (Automatic Packet Reporting System).

Testing APRS, data received by network and presented by With the car the antenna was sticking up from the left rear window. Most beacons were received by a nearby APRS digipeater and made it into the APRS network.

With the bicycle the antenna was sticking up from the bag on the back. No beacons were received by an APRS digipeater. And I'm not too happy about a 5W transmitter right behind my head. Time to look at the setup.

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2015-01-10 Tracking GPS without sharing the track details with someone else
I wanted to track a ride I made on my recumbent bicycle, but without uploading the track details to some cloud service. The trackdata does include where I was at what time and that's not something I want to share.

Cycling visualisation 2015-01-09 The solution is available and simple: use a local GPS tracker which saves a GPX file. I found one for android: Open GPS Tracker which gives me a file in the end which I can process myself. This application can also display the track on a google map/openstreetmap/opencyclemap (when available).

The colour scale is the speed, you can see the influence of the heavy wind last Friday. Cycling on my recumbent on the dike of the Lek river is great.

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2013-09-13 (#)
Bij het nalezen over de 'counterpoise' (extra aarding om zo het uitgezonden signaal van de antenne van de porto te verbeteren) kwam ik ook wat opmerkingen tegen dat afwijken van een vertikale antenne opstelling ook het signaal sterk achteruit kan laten gaan. Nu hangt de porto als ik hem aan mijn riem hang op de ligfiets inderdaad makkelijk schuin. Zie de foto op mijn Nazca Pioneer ligfiets voor een beeld van mijn fietshouding.

Vandaag even geprobeerd of de porto rechter op houden helpt, op een plek waar ik maar marginaal over de repeater kom leek het inderdaad iets verbetering te geven: ik kreeg een nette rogerbeep, maar geen reactie van een andere amateur waar ik een signaalrapport kon vragen.

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2013-09-06 (#)
Vandaag probeerde ik op de fiets een oproep via de PI3UTR repeater te beantwoorden maar ik kwam er niet verstaanbaar overheen volgens de reactie van de oproeper. Ik fietste op dat moment tussen de huizen van De Bilt. Een paar minuten later probeerde ik het nog toen ik tussen de huizen uit was maar de originele oproeper was toen blijkbaar al weg. Toch weer te weinig signaal richting repeater.

Ik had niet de 'counterpoise' (extra draad ter vervanging van aarding) aan de porto zitten en op de fiets zit de porto natuurlijk aan de riem. Misschien moet ik maar weer een nieuwe aarddraad maken (de vorige is door de katten ingekort..) en voor langere fietstochten naar een betere antenne opstelling op de fiets kijken dan hangend aan mijn riem.

Volgens diverse beschrijvingen moet een counterpoise voor 2 meter amateurband een kwart golflengte zijn. Dus als ik het netjes doe: 51 centimeter draad aan een aardpunt van de porto.

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2013-09-04 (#)
De aandrijfketting van mijn Nazca Pioneer ligfiets was weer aan vervanging toe. Ik ga tegenwoordig voor dit soort onderhoud naar Rijwielpaleis Bilthoven. Klinkt misschien als een ouderwetse rijwielenhandel maar is een zeer moderne en goed uitgeruste winkel en werkplaats waar je ook terecht kan met allerlei soorten racefietsen en met ligfietsen. Ze verkopen ze niet, maar ze zijn niet bang voor onderhoudswerkzaamheden aan ligfietsen.

Vantevoren had ik besproken in de winkel dat ik van de (al een keer vervangen) Shimano Deore aandrijflijn toch naar net iets stevigers/betere kwaliteit wilde. Ik gebruik de ligfiets 4 dagen per week normaal, waarvan 3 met de fietskar er achter, dus het geheel wordt goed gebruikt.

Dus het is een Shimano SLX HG80 9-speed geworden. En een nieuwe set derailleurwieltjes (TACX T4050). En een nieuwe PC-971 9SP ketting. Eigenlijk 3 nieuwe kettingen: de hele ketting van de ligfiets is 2.8 normale kettingen lang.

Ik ben benieuwd hoe dit op de lange termijn gaat bevallen. Op de korte termijn rijdt het heerlijk stil en heb ik het idee dat de fiets net iets beter trapkracht omzet in snelheid.

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