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Gondola with the Wind

" I knew Hullaballoon, and this idea is no Hullaballoon. "
  [vote for,

I was just getting some exercise at lunch, and passed under and around some high power lines in some undeveloped acreage next to our shop.

So here's the concept. High power lines go across both urban and rural areas, often for miles across untamed country.

The vehicle would be pedal-powered, and consist of a lightweight sling seat made of synthetic materials (or leather, for the high end models) with a grooved wheel capable of securely tracking along the top of a high power line.

Articulating supports would mate up with the axle running through the hub of this wheel, and the sling-seat / pedal mechanism assemblys would hang below the wheel.

Belts and pulleys would convey the passenger/s power to the wheel, moving the entire mechanism along beneath the power line at a sedate pace.

When you come to a power pole, all festooned with junctions, insulators, and the like, you manually swing a second set of articulating supports and wheel up in front of you to the line on the other side of the pole, and transfer yourself and all other gadgets to it.

Once you are securely hooked up on the other side, you detach the first set of gear from behind you and go on your way.

I haven't worked out the getting up and down to the line in the first place yet.

normzone, Feb 04 2009

Hey, I could get a job doing this! http://www.flixxy.c...cable-inspector.htm
"There's only three things I've ever been afraid of..." [normzone, Oct 16 2009]

baked. Its called the Schweeb https://www.youtube...watch?v=GDpwkZirSNU
[pashute, Jun 16 2014]


       Why pedal, all you need is a decent coil of wire and an electric motor. Chances are you'll be dead before they get a chance to arrest you anyway.
MisterQED, Feb 04 2009

       //I haven't worked out the getting up and down to the line in the first place yet.//   

       You don't have to. Unless you are grounded at the same time as retaining a certain close proximity to the lines there is "no worries mate". You don't carry the charge, you only conduct it. If you carefully manage that loop there is absolutely no danger.   

       The bigger problem is sag. Lots of electricity suppliers would like to use gold or silver as a conduit. They can't. It is too expensive, and more importantly, cannot support a lot of weight, even its own, too maleable. So copper was chosen. You can apply tension, and there is not a lot of ohmic loss. Hanging several commuters off of this is not a good option.
4whom, Feb 04 2009

       Then this would have to be a single seater device then - no carpooling.   

       I like the electric field/motor option, but I had quiet and exercise in mind. Perhaps as an option for those long uphill stretches.
normzone, Feb 04 2009

       [+] but what [QED] said... note though that the high-tension lines will terminate predictably at a power-plant which won't be near a big city so your commuting options are a bit limited.
FlyingToaster, Feb 04 2009

       I was about to write an anno when my house blacked out. Another fool trying to ride the wires... ;)   

       Slightly more seriously, would the sag when you are in the middle be bad enough so that you might get too near the ground? and zap.
MadnessInMyMethod, Feb 04 2009

       [MIMM] Over time, yes. Copper is dactile and maleable. Each sag compounds.
4whom, Feb 04 2009

       From wikipedia: /The conductor material is nearly always an aluminum alloy, made into several strands and possibly reinforced with steel strands. Copper was sometimes used for overhead transmission but aluminum is lower in weight for equivalent performance, and much lower in cost./
goldbb, May 22 2009

       Do these power lines have enough friction to allow you to grip along the line? I can see this being a security problem.
EvilPickels, Jun 18 2009

       [goldbb] It is true that aluminium alloy is now used. But there are still many thousands of miles of cable still using copper as the conduit with other metals sheathing it to provide tensile strength. So called *legacy* infrastructure architecture still accounts for a large percentage of high voltage cable.
4whom, Jun 19 2009

       watching normzone's linked vid, got me thinking of a helicopter powered by the high voltage cables, can run only off or near the cables. Automatically set to run across 3d routes along the cables for passengers.
pashute, Jun 16 2014

       That's a fun idea in it's own right - you ought to go post that one. I don't know if you will get me to ride it though.
normzone, Jun 16 2014

       I have seen a picture of a pedalled cable bike. It was used for repairs. It did not have any way to get past the towers.   

       I don't think a single-rider bike would bother the high-tension cables at all. The added weight would be less than a few percent, I am guessing.   

       You could probably run an electric motor just off the field around the wires. Stick an antenna out a few feet and harvest the difference. (You can light a florescent tube even on the ground, that way, but you can also light one by rubbing it with your sweater.)
baconbrain, Jun 17 2014


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