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Monday, June 2, 2014

Baby Steps

As mentioned in a previous post, we have started off this season a bit late due to circumstances in life. We have picked up the pace quite a bit in the last couple of weeks, and the ball should be rolling a bit faster now. With the weather finally getting warmer, we are prepping our tools and necessary components to tackle these upcoming mods and episodes.

An STI Episode.

A GTI Episode.

We've got another batch of tools coming in soon for other episodes, but we took some time this week to get two episodes done. They aren't heavily technical episodes, but they have been something both Puyang and I wanted to do in our cars for a while. If you follow us on Facebook, you'll see some of these mini updates as they happen, so be sure to check out the MZ Facebook Page.

Again, because of life circumstances, we are keeping our budget as low as possible on our modifications. However, it would seem that Puyang has a higher budget on the GTI than I do for the STI this year.

In keeping with budget restraints, I decided to create a camera dolly for sliding shots. Some of you may have seen it on our Facebook feeds, but here is the picture of the prototype:

K'nex slider dolly Mk I. (KSD for short)

KSD Mk I with automated sliding feature. (Battery powered motor attached. Working prototype.)

This was an idea that came into my mind about a month ago. I never really sat down and planned this out, but it occurred to me that I needed some tools to help with my film making. However, instead of paying upwards of $200 for a good slider dolly, I thought of building one myself. I'm not great at working with metal, nor wood, so I thought about these K'nex pieces. When Puyang and I were little kids, we got whole boxes of these K'nex building toys. I would create tons of my own stuff, and got relatively good at it. These toys had been sitting in boxes for years, so I'm glad I got another chance to use them. Cost? Well, these were gifts, so it really didn't cost me anything to make this. I spent about six hours on this so far, and I'm not done with it yet. It's sturdy, stable, and makes pretty great shots actually. (You'll see in future episodes.)

This is actually a pretty fun little project, so I am going to continue to do updates on this; we are called Machine Zealots after all, not completely limited to just cars you know. I won't be making YouTube videos on these things though, but will definitely be updating you guys via this Blog, and the Facebook page.

More information to come soon.

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