In Defense Of Cheap Tools

In Defense Of Cheap Tools

I have a $400 multimeter in my toolbox. I’m not sure why, but at some point in the recent past, I decided I needed to measure voltage with an accuracy of less than one-tenth of one percent and current down to ten microamps. Sitting on top of it, is that red multimeter that Harbor Freight occasionally gives away free with any purchase. Guess which one gets used most often?

Fifteen Years Ago, An Amateur Astronomer Found An Asteroid That Somebody Had Painted White

It came from outer space or Earth
Asteroid and/or Alien Spaceship

Technically rockets are automobiles, so this belongs here. On September 3rd 2002 an amateur astronomer named Bill Yeung did what amateur astronomer Bill Yeung does best: he found an asteroid orbiting earth that nobody had found yet. Excited to claim the discovery, he named it J002E3 presumably because Spacey McSpace Face was already taken, but something was amiss. For one, nobody had noticed it before, which was odd given its size. Also, it seemed to be painted white. [Continue Reading]

My Doctor Told Me I Needed A Cane, So I Made One With Stuff In My Garage

When confronted with the opportunity to buy something for twenty dollars, I always think “I bet I could build that for free,” and then proceed to spend a hundred dollars in tools so that I can build it for free. Then I spend twenty dollars on beer to celebrate the money I saved. So when my doctor said “You’ll need to buy a walking cane,” I thought, Buy? I have a pile of metal and a welder. So I bought twenty dollars of beer and got to work. [Continue Reading]

Honda S600 – Acquisition and Deconstruction

Honda S600 Acquisition and Deconsctruction

I fell in love with the 60’s Honda S600 after driving it in a video game years ago. I don’t remember the game, I just remember driving the tiny car around like a go-kart, weaving through traffic and laughing, thinking about how fun it would be to drive the little clown car on twisty mountain roads. Years later, after a stint making Formula SAE cars in college, I had the itch to build a motorcycle engine powered car and I remembered the tiny little Honda-kart.

The S600 is a weird part of automotive history; [Continue Reading]

The Most Dangerous Parts of Riding A Motorcycle; Safety With Statistics

Motorcycle Safety With StatisticsYou suck at driving. Well, I mean, not you specifically. You are great at driving. And me, I’m also great at driving. But everyone else? Everyone else sucks at driving. This is especially disconcerting for those of us who travel on two wheels, because while automotive safety has been steadily improving for vehicle occupants, it is still quite dangerous to be outside the car that drifts into oncoming traffic while the driver is liking his friend’s swipe-chat, or whatever it is you kids do these days. I mean, not you, but, you know, other people.

I’ve been dodging lunatic four wheelers for 15 years now and managed to not get hit by any of them up until a couple months ago when another driver decided my left leg should have 17 degrees of freedom. [Continue Reading]

What is it like to daily drive a Dodge Viper?

Daily Driven Dodge Viper

Have you ever played darts with a sledgehammer?

People ask me all the time what this car is like, and it’s hard to explain, but I will try to answer this question here with the help of some reasonable and not-at-all hyperbolic analogies.

A Viper is basically a cartoon on PCP. Remember how in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? there were cartoons mixed in the real world, so there would be a row of normal cars and then a crazy cartoon car at the end? That’s what it feels like every time I walk out to the parking lot. [Continue Reading]

Racecar: Searching for the Limit in Formula SAE

I wrote a book about my experience building and racing cars in college. It’s exciting! It’s amusing! It’s free! (for ebook download!)

Racecar: Searching For The Limit In Formula SAE by Matt BrownRACECAR: Searching for the Limit in Formula SAE
By Matt Brown

Free: PDF | EPUB | iBooks | Kindle
Order: Paperback

中文简体字版 (Chinese): PDF | EPUB
日本語版 (Japanese): iBooks | Kindle | PDF | EPUB

In 2006, a small unavailing university auto racing team began building a racecar that would challenge the best engineering schools in the world. With fewer people and resources than any of the top competitors, the only way they were going to win was to push the limit, go for broke, and hope for more than a little luck.

By the time they got to the racetrack, they knew: In the fog of fierce competition, whether you win or lose, you learn the hardest lessons about engineering, teamwork, friendship, and yourself.

Variations on Extreme Skiing

Variations on Extreme SkiingI always assumed that I’d be good at snow skiing. I do that a lot; I assume I’ll be good at something without any reason to think so. I always thought I’d be good at driving race cars, and so far I’d give myself an A. So skiing shouldn’t be too much different. All the same, I decided to take a ski class before venturing onto the slopes. I found a good ski area, called to check all the details, and left early in the morning so that I could make it there in the 8am to 9am window for ski school signup. 8:15AM, I was 5 miles away from the Loveland ski area. [Continue Reading]