Fixing my 1958 DKW today

Micheal Jackson Dies

Great shots by Jonathan Haeber of Neverland at night.
More at his site
This is one of my favorites. I love one off control systems like this with big friendly buttons you don’t see on things these days. Someone gave me a button at Maker Faire like this that said simply “FIRE” can’t wait to make the devise to fit the button! RIP Micheal! and RIP Farrah! I feel old today.

Great Pictures of Neverland at night

Hogan is Done WOW!

This thing just keeps getting better! We just started to play with toys and human subjects. Can’t wait to show it off this weekend at Dorkbot




My pictures tonight

Willivolt’s pictures

Boing Boing


Hogan Restoration and Test

I will be showing this at Dorkbot next week!




Thanks to Omega Recoil crew, Alan and Tackett for help in restoring this amazing piece of history!

Restoration Photos

Test Photo’s

Oudin Resonator

This Related post has more pictures of where I found it and links to paperwork for it.

Hogan High Frequency Apparatus


I found this gem at the CBA smithing conference this weekend! Was left outside for a few years, but looks to be in working order. I found a few articles about it, but could use some more insight before we fire it up. Hoping to have it ready for the May Day Party this weekend!

Settings on the  Hogan High frequency apparatus made by McIntosh Electrical Corporation include: Tesla coil, d’Arsonval Solenoid, and Oudin resonator.

Great site: Electrotherapy Museum

Hogan Electrotherapeutic Machine

McIntosh Hogan Oudin Resonator Cabinet

Old Ad

Pictures of one

More pictures of mine



Big steam punk train to roll through West Oakland Tuesday

Come see this great piece of history right in West Oakland!

The train will be on public display from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 21 at the UP freight yard in West Oakland, at 1408 Middle Harbor Road.



The Last of the Steam Locomotives

Steam Locomotive No. 844 is the last steam locomotive built for Union Pacific Railroad. It was delivered in 1944. A high-speed passenger engine, it pulled such widely known trains as the Overland Limited, Los Angeles Limited, Portland Rose and Challenger.

Many people know the engine as the No. 8444, since an extra ‘4’ was added to its number in 1962 to distinguish it from a diesel numbered in the 800 series. The steam engine regained its rightful number in June 1989, after the diesel was retired.

When diesels took over all of the passenger train duties, No. 844 was placed in freight service in Nebraska between 1957 and 1959. It was saved from being scrapped in 1960 and held for special service.

The engine has run hundreds of thousands of miles as Union Pacific’s ambassador of goodwill. It has made appearances at Expo ’74 in Spokane, the 1981 opening of the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, the 1984 World’s Fair in New Orleans and the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Los Angeles Union Station in 1989.

Hailed as Union Pacific’s “Living Legend,” the engine is widely known among railroad enthusiasts for its excursion runs, especially over Union Pacific’s fabled crossing of Sherman Hill between Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyoming.

For more information on steam locomotives, as well as No. 844, take a look at our Historical UP Locomotives section.

If UP 844 is traveling, information will be posted on the Steam Schedule page. Excursion information is updated annually in April.

Tony Sarg’s Sea Serpent in Nantucket 1937

This looks like it was made today for some big budget festival in the desert. If he were around today I’d camp with him. We need a new hoax! “giant snail attacks maybe? Glad to see the cacophony society was going strong way before we were here!

In the summer of 1937, Tony Sarg and several others promoted a hoax in Nantucket.

Sightings of a sea serpent were advertised… footprints were found… stories published…

Then, the serpent appeared on South Beach (now Washington Extension – not where it was intended to land!): it was one of Sarg’s Macy’s Day Parade balloons.

Tony Sarg (1880-1942) was an American puppeteer, illustrator, designer and painter. He is famous for creating balloons for the Macy department store parades and many illustrations for magazines. He owned a store in Nantucket, the Tony Sarg’s Curiosity Shop.

All of Nantucket must have visited. There are photos of this “sea-serpent” from many scrapbooks of the era.

The Oakland Dream 1924

Our house in North Oakland was built in 1925 just one year after this film. It’s nice to see the houses from then, all brand new, no trees and plenty of power lines. It would be fun to find that house today and do a before and after shot. Let me know if anyone reconizes the street. I can imagine my daughter Zolie in the last shot!


My wife pointed out that the address is right in the title of the movie……duh

Here’s a Google map showing the exact house in street view!

View Larger Map

Snow-Motor from 1926


Now that I’ve had a chance to think about a modern version of this I’ve come up with a few updates.

  1. PTO to hydraulic pump,  then use separate hydraulic motors left and right to drive the screws. This would allow much better feathering of the controls and eliminate the need for a clutch on each side and the jerkiness of the steering seen in the film. Did you notice in the Russian film full forward on one side and reverse on the other move the machine sideways!
  2. Lower center of gravity and wider foot print. I’ll scale the vehicle to match modern trucks, so it can fit on normal dirt roads.
  3. A cab for sure, and a utility bed on the rear for moving people and stuff. This will be a work of art as well, so think 20,000 leagues under the sea for style!
  4. I like how aggressive the Russian spiral is. Should I go amphibious too, and could this run on pavement? Wondering if a rubber dock bumper would hold up to the street and dirt in place of the steel spiral.


Recently British adventurers Steven Brooks and Graham Stratford built a specialized vehicle which could cross the Bering Straights from Alaska to Russia, and could traverse water, ice, snow, and the tangled masses of ice ridges that can occur in that area. It could also climb out of the water onto the ice shelf. Their adventure is showcased at the team’s Ice Challenger site. The vehicle was a Bombardier snow grooming vehicle, driven by tracks, to which was added a screw propulsion system.

More info from Patent Pending



The crew that helped me build the snail car (god bless their souls) has a side bet as to when I’ll pop the new project on them for this year, well….. here it is.

I want to build a Playa-Motor based on this 1926 snowmobile and I have most of the parts in my shop, so crew are you ready?


In the 1920s the Armstead Snow Motor was developed. When this was used to convert a Fordson tractor into a screw propelled vehicle with a single pair of cylinders; the combination became known as the Fordson Snow Devil. A film was made to show the capabilities of the vehicle as well as a Chevrolet car fitted with an Armstead Snow Motor.[4] The film clearly shows that the vehicle copes well in snow. Steering was effected by having each cylinder receive power from a separate clutch which, depending on the position of the steering gear, engages and disengages; this results a vehicle that is relatively maneuverable. The promotional film shows the Armstead snow motor hauling 20 tones of logs.

In January 1926, Time magazine reported:

“Having used the motor car for almost every other conceivable purpose, leading Detroit automobile makers have now organized a company entitled “Snow Motors Inc.,” to put out a machine which will negotiate the deepest snowdrifts at six to eight miles an hour. The new car will consist of a Ford tractor power-plant mounted on two revolving cylinders instead of wheels—something on the order of a steam roller. The machine has already proved its usefulness in deep snow previously unnavigable. One such machine has done the work which formerly required three teams. In Oregon a stage line uses a snow motor in its two daily round trips over the Mackenzie Pass between Eugene and Bend. Orders are already in hand from Canada, Norway, Sweden, Alaska. The Hudson Bay Co. has ordered a supply to maintain communications with its most northern fur-trading stations. The Royal Northwest Mounted Police have also gone into the market for snow motors, and may cease to be horsemen and become chauffeurs, to the deep regret of cinema people. A number of prominent motor makers have also been interested in the proposition from the angle of adapting the snow motors equipment to their ordinary models. Hudson, Dodge and Chevrolet are mentioned especially as interested in practical possibilities along this line.[5]”

“An an extant example is in the collection of the Heidrick Ag History Center in Woodland, California. This particular vehicle is said to have been used to haul mail from Truckee to North Lake Tahoe.[6]“

“Despite this interest, the Armstead Snow Motor was not a long-term commercial success.”

A modern variation was done by our very own SRL and is called the Screw Machine. Our variation would sink quite nicely in any depth of snow, but works great on glass.



From Russia
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