It’s been a while since my last post, but here’s an outline of the developments over the past few months:
In February we completed the first grooved frame design. By grooved frame, I mean the LEDs are mounted in grooves that are milled into the surface of the wheel’s metal frame. This was Rev2 – as the last blog post describes.
Rev2 was a good proof of concept, except the LED strips were getting broken solder joints due to movement beneath the skin of the wheel. So I designed Rev3 to include protective tracks that would take up the extra space around the LEDs and solder joints to divert pressure and twisting forces away from the more delicate parts of the LED strips. This worked great as long as the tracks were installed in perfect alignment to each LED pixel. With nearly 1200 pixels in a full wheel, I was getting 1 or two problem spots on each wheel.
This wouldn’t make a reliable/scalable long term solution, so I went back to the drawing board and came up with Rev4, which uses resin casting to encase the LED strips in a completely solid and rigid assembly. Each of these revisions also added wiring improvements to simplify assembly and save space inside the wheel.
It’s been about a month since completing the first Rev4 wheel, and the only issues so far have been with wire management. There are wires and connectors and battery housings, etc coming out of both sides of every section of the wheel that need to be managed to avoid damage during assembly/disassembly/transport of the wheel. To my knowledge, this is the case for every LED Cyr wheel that’s ever been built (unless it has separate isolated circuits/batteries/controllers in each section)
The next major revision will eliminate the need for any loose wiring or connectors that could fail due to pulling/crimping/pinching/stripping a wire. This is Rev5, and it’s nearly done. I have a working proof of concept, and am in the process of packing it all into a wheel. The next blog post here will likely show the completion of that development.
Alongside all these developments, the prices for Beta wheels has also been climbing. At the start of this project when I thought Rev1 was going to basically be the design, Beta wheels were $2300. Rev2 brought this up to $2500. Rev3 moved it up to $2700. Rev4 brought it up to $3000. Once Rev5 is complete, the price will go up to $3500. The final production model, at this point, should be about $4500. Please send me a message on the contact page if you’re interested in placing an order!
Thanks for checking in!
CyrSmith at CyrCraft Customs