2005 - Volume #29, Issue #4, Page #23[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
"Fun Machines" Operate On Weed Eater Motors
"You can often buy old Weed Eater trimmers for $8 or $10 at auctions. Clean up the spark plug, and you can usually get the motors to run again as good as new," says Pavlik.
He often takes his radio-controlled "bull on wheels" to antique tractor shows. "Kids get a kick out of trying to lasso it," says Pavlik.
The 2-ft. long, rear-wheel-drive bull rides on four lawn mower wheels. The sides and head are made from plywood, with a pair of air horns serving as the bull's horns.
The single cylinder Weed Eater motor drives a generator, which operates an electric motor powered by a small battery. The electric motor chain-drives the rear wheels. Pavlik uses a radio transmitter designed for model airplanes to send signals to servo motors on the bull. The radio was converted to surface frequency in order to avoid interfering with frequencies used by model airplanes.
The bull can go forward, backward, and left or right. At shows, Pavlik slowly runs the bull back and forth down a path. Kids straddle a wooden horse and use a rope to try to lasso the bull to stop it.
"I call it my Beetle Bomb. Kids really like trying to catch it. I've even had a few older guys try to rope it," says Pavlik.
"The battery provides an extra boost on take-off and also can operate the bull on its own."
Pavlik also uses old Weed Eater motors to power homemade miniature dragsters. Each dragster measures 30 in. long and weigh about 25 lbs. It rides on the rear wheels off an old lawn mower, while the front wheels are off a model airplane. The motor chain-drives the rear wheels with the aid of a gear reduction system.
A pneumatic timer is used to set the dragster in motion. The timer clips onto the motor with a wing nut and is wired to the throttle on the motor. The motor has a clutch on it so when the motor is idle, the clutch is released.
In races, the dragster follows a cable strung out about 100 ft. or so. "When we're ready to go, we activate the timer which then pulls the throttle wide open. The motor really winds up fast," says Pavlik. "We run the engine for about 8 seconds and whichever dragster goes the farthest is the winner. One time I raced a dragster on an airport runway and clocked it at 60 mph. I use the same timer on several different machines."
He also made what he calls a "pulling quackter" or "little diesel duck" that's powered by a single cylinder diesel engine off a model airplane. The motor mounts on an angle iron frame that rides on four wheels. A duck lawn ornament was cut up and mounted on the frame. The rear wheels are off the model airplane.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Larry Pavlik, P.O. Box 39, Orchard, Neb. 68764 (ph 402 893-3255).
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