Archive for November, 2013

29th Grey Lynn Park Festival to be powered by Segway PTs again

The 29th annual Grey Lynn Park Festival (30 November) will be powered by Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) for the fourth year in a row, and visitors can enjoy Fun Rides on Segway PTs throughout the day.

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Event organiser Hans Heumann has been hiring a couple of Segway i2 models from Segway New Zealand for the last four years.

“Without a Segway PT, I wouldn’t be able to do this” he says. “It’s a huge park and this event takes over most of it, with tens of thousands of people attending. There are hundreds of stallholders, and one of my biggest jobs in the days prior to ‘Show Day’ is marking out the stall locations on the grass using spray paint. On a Segway PT I can zip around the park, measure out, bend down and spray dots and lines in the correct spots as I go.”

“On the day prior, I can get around all the stall holders while they are setting up to complete paperwork and documentation. This year, I am mounting a laptop onto the handlebar of the Segway PT so it’s right there to do data entry at each stop. On the Show Day itself, the Segway PT is incredibly useful indeed.”

In addition to the two Segway i2 models being used for Event Management, there will be three Segway x2’s for Fun Rides that the public can enjoy.

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Auckland ‘Farmers Santa Parade’ tomorrow (featuring 6 Segway PTs)

Six reindeer Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) will be assisting Santa’s Little Helpers run the 79th Farmers Santa Parade in Auckland tomorrow. These ‘helpers’ are of course the staff from Crackerjack Promotions, who organise this – the largest Santa Parade in New Zealand.

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The Auckland Santa Parade features all the amazing pageantry, fun and surprises that have made this annual Auckland City extravaganza a perennial favourite. Heralding the start of the Christmas season, this beloved holiday parade features colourful grand floats representing the cultural diversity of today’s Auckland, lively marching bands, amazing character balloons, plus an appearance by Santa Claus!

This year, our Americas Cup challengers Emirates Team New Zealand will lead the parade as collective Grand Marshal from 2pm. Hundreds of thousands of children and adults are expected to turn out and line Queen Street and other downtown streets on what is forecast to be a beautiful, warm sunny day.

But the staff of Crackerjack Promotions will have been up and about from dawn, running about getting exhausted gliding around with ease on six Segway PTs – ensuring all of the floats are lined up where they’re supposed to be, the performers are ready to go, and all safety precautions are in place.

Crackerjack Promotions have been hiring Segway PTs for Santa Parades since 2007, as well as for other events such as The Pink Star Walk during Breast Cancer Awareness Week. Using Segway PTs for Event Management is an excellent showcase of the benefits they deliver in terms of staff productivity, net efficiency, and public safety.

Historic note: the first time a Segway PT was seen in a Santa Parade was when Philip Bendall and a friend rode New Zealand’s first two Segway i167’s in the 2003 Auckland parade. The following year, these Segway PTs were branded with local radio station regalia and promoted as a highly anticipated appearance in parades up and down the country – from Auckland to Christchurch.

 

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Segway Lithium battery pack fasteners (“bolts”): important information

The incredible range and performance of Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) is provided by a pair of large Lithium ion battery packs. Packed with 92 individual cells and advanced electronics that form an integral part of the Segway PTs Battery Management System (BMS), you can learn more in our article Segway Batteries – advanced technology developed together with Valance Technology.

The batteries are attached to the Segway PT by cap-screw head fasteners (a Kiwi would probably call them “little bolts” in our local vernacular). From time to time you should remove them and check for corrosion. Here is a photo showing one example of how a fastener should look [on the left], and two examples of corroded fasteners – one slightly, one severely so.

The yellow colouration at the end of each fastener is thread-lock compound. This prevents the fastener from vibrating loose. The brown and the orange colours are rust!

If the fasteners that attach your Segway Lithium battery packs don't look like the one on the left, then replace them immediately.

If the fasteners that attach your Segway Lithium battery packs don’t look like the one on the left, then replace them immediately.

Regular checks are particularly important if you regularly use your Segway PT near salt water, or in other wet and damp conditions where the underside of the PT does not get regular opportunity to dry. If corrosion gets in, the fasteners can seize and become very difficult or impossible to remove. Removing seized fasteners can require tools that may seriously damage the battery pack and/or the PowerBase (i.e. the Segway platform).

Each battery fastener has a small rubber O-ring around the underside of the head of the cap-screw. This O-ring ensures a water-tight seal that prevents moisture ingress and subsequent corrosion of the threaded shaft.

Visually inspect the O-ring to ensure it is not damaged. If it is, replace the fastener (do not re-use it).

Visually inspect the O-ring to ensure it is not damaged. If it is, replace the fastener (do not re-use it).

If the O-ring becomes damaged or if the fastener is not tightened to the correct torque then moisture can leak up into the thread, causing corrosion and seizing. Leaking can occur if the fastener is under-tightened. The O-ring can be damaged by over-tightening.

The correct torque to tighten the fastener to is 1.6 N-m.

Replacement battery fasteners are available from Segway New Zealand, and come with thread-lock compound pre-applied. This is a circumstance where any old bolt will not do the trick.

Here are instructions for the correct procedure for attaching the battery packs to your Segway PT.

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Ken Block in Ultimate Gymkhana 6 teases cops on Segway PTs, Police in Lamborghinis

Ken Block once again smokes it up against Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) in Ultimate Gymkhana 6 video:

“Watch as he executes multiple jumps, drifts around [Police in] Lamborghini Aventadors and evades the videogame-themed Redview County cops on Segway PTs in his own unique style.”

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Ken had a previous close encounter with a Gorilla on a rocket-assisted Segway PT in Gymkhana 4….

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….a concept that clearly influenced Avril Lavigne for her ‘Rock N Roll‘ video:

Avril Lavigne in Rock N Roll with Billy Zane lifting off on a rocket Segway PT

Avril Lavigne in Rock N Roll with Billy Zane lifting off on a rocket Segway PT

 

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Taranaki trucking firm JD Hickman uses Segway PT to get around a very big yard

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JD Hickman is a road transport business with serving New Zealand’s largest export sector – dairy industry. Head Office is located in Hawera, right in the heart of the highly productive South Taranaki farming and oil & gas producing region. Owner John Hickman says:

“We have a comprehensive transport mechanism to Fonterra sites with extensive truck movements from Palmerston North and Hawera to the Waikato and Auckland region. A diverse range of equipment and expertise is available to other sectors of New Zealand industry and we are acknowledged specialists in the heavy haul market – with particular focus on supporting our relationships with large oil exploration entities. We have 100 employees throughout major depots in Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Hawera, Wanganui and New Plymouth.”

John has been using a Segway i167 model Personal Transporter (PT) to get around their large Hawera site for the last decade. It is one of the very first Segway PTs imported into New Zealand in 2003.

This Segway PT’s original grey-coloured Nickel Metal Hydride batteries manufactured in 2002 finally “gave up the ghost” this year, so John replaced them with a pair of powerful new Lithium  packs. This battery chemistry originally became available on Segway PTs from 2005. With these packs fitted, range is more than doubled to more than 35 kilometres per charge, yet a full recharge costs only 25 cents.

As the owner of a large business and significant employer, John’s time is very valuable. The self-balancing Segway PT enables him to get around the shunting yard “to keep an eye on things” quickly and silently. On the Segway PT, he stands six inches higher and has an excellent line of sight. The Segway PT safely transverses the vast outdoor and indoor storage spaces – even on days with legendary Taranaki wind and rain. The Segway PT is completely sealed from the elements and operates over the full temperature range experienced from winter to summer.

He recently fitted it with a Front Cargo Bag to carry documents, water bottle and other “handy bits and pieces.”

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Big Boys Toys 2013

Ten years ago Philip Bendall launched the Segway Personal Transporter (PT) in New Zealand at Big Boys Toys 2003.

Philip Bendall launching the Segway Personal Transporter into New Zealand at Big Boys Toys 2003

Philip Bendall launching the Segway Personal Transporter into New Zealand at Big Boys Toys 2003

Segway New Zealand has exhibited at most shows since then, and tomorrow Big Boys Toys 2013 begins (Friday 8 November), and runs until Sunday 10 November at ASB Showgrounds, Auckland.

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Everyone who attends will see Master of Ceremonies Ray Bishop on a Segway x2 Patroller working the crowd in front of tens of thousands of people watching the high-octane performances in the outdoor Skinny Mobile Action Arena.

Public Safety is enhanced at the show with Ambulance EMT staff on their red Segway PT, kitted out with First Aid gear, lights and long-range Lithium batteries for all-day patrolling.

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Let’s Get Inventin’ – this Saturday at 4:30pm on TV2

Get ready for a Segway-powered episode of Let’s Get Inventin’ – check this out from their Facebook page:

New Zealand has one of the highest road cone counts per km of road in the world. Scott Faville (11) from Hamilton was inspired when he noticed a road crew of three men and a massive truck were needed to place out road cones one by one.

Scott’s automated Road cone ‘Coneordinator’ plops out cones one-by-one at the press of a button, and turns a mundane task into a fun one-man job. Scott even re-invents the road cone by making a cardboard disposable version.

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Can Scott ‘Segway’ himself to glory by winning the world’s first official ‘Road Cone Placing Race’ against a team of professionals or will rain and wind blow Scott’s fluorescent cardboard dreams away?

Watch Let’s Get Inventin’ this Saturday on TV2 at 4:30pm.

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