Friday, July 13, 2007

Pop-Pop steam boat project

Pop-pop steam boats have always caught my attention as a kid. Not surprisingly I found out that they continue to do so. Mechanics, motion, water dynamics, electricity and magnetism have been my personal favorites. Probably that’s the reason I chose Engineering as my profession. Now I do a tangentially-off stuff for my livelihood is an altogether different topic. Recently a discovery channel documentary on boats suddenly reminded me of my interest in “Pop-pop boats”. And I set out to make one myself.

A simple putt-putt boat needs a steam boiler, a candle and a toy boat to hold them. First I tried making a steam boiler myself using coke cans. All my attempts were futile as I didn’t have enough tools like soldering rods, silicone-caulking compound etc. So I simply bought just the boilers which look like in the picture above. My boat being a slightly bigger one, called for a twin steam boiler to propel it.Also in the pic is an oil burner that I made using a coke can.

The next task was to build a boat. A little googling gave me the idea that an empty milk box would be the best bet, as its waterproof and can easily be cut and folded to shape. Here’s how my pop-pop boat looks after completion of painting and installation of the steam boilers. The super glues you get in Dollar stores are sufficient enough to make the joints in boat water-proof.

Take a look at the video of my pop-pop boat exploring a bath tub…..…..

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The So-Hi sojourn.

A camp trip after a longtime came as welcome break from the daily grind.
Communing with nature once in a while has always infused a sense of revival in me. I seem to find no words to describe how it felt every time. Plus this being the first camping trip with my family made it sort of more special…….

The So-Hi campground, about 2 hours drive from NYC, nestled in the foothills of Catskill mountains is picturesque and remote-enough to make you feel that you are out of the NYC life. But the streams and ponds that the camp-ground website talks about are in reality, gutters and puddles. Nevertheless the place was beautiful and the campsite officials were nice & helpful.
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