New? Snow Machine Concept

January 28, 2009

Check this video.  This was done in 1924!


Here’s my concept for doing something like this in a one person hi-performance snow machine.



New Stuff on Duc for 2008

June 5, 2008


It is hard to believe I haven’t written anything here since spring 2007!  The Duc was supposed to get a new paint job this winter as well as a new 944cc kit in the engine.  However, I didn’t get heat in my shop until late in the spring when it was almost no longer needed.  I’ll be all set for next year though!

I did change the tires to a new set of Michelin Pilot Power 2CTs which are dual compound tires.  While the wheels were bare, I had them powder painted at Superior Powderpainting in Fenton, MI.  They did a great job!  I also added a little red pinstripe to the wheels to set them off a little which looks nice.  I installed new bearings and new cush drives as well.

Then I installed a set of Dynacoil ignition coils and Nology wires with grounding straps.  I removed the carbs and cleaned them out.  They were pretty dirty inside after two years of running without any maintenance.  The engine was surging under part throttle cruise yet it ran well at WOT and idle.  Now it runs perfectly at any speed and all throttle settings.

I also installed a Yoyodyne clutch slave, Fren Tubo brake and clutch lines, a cool aluminum open clutch cover and a new stock clutch.  The only aftermarket part in the clutch is the pressure plate and springs which are aluminum and stainless.  I figured if I was going to show the world the clutch, I better at least make it look nice.  Lastly, I popped the steering head bearings and cleaned and repacked them.  Steering is much easier and more precise now.  Thanks to Alex Ortner for making much of this happen.  Here are a few photos of the bike as it sits now in June 2008…

\'96 Ducati 900 SS/SP \'96 Ducati 900 SS/SP

\'96 Ducati 900 SS/SP \'96 Ducati 900 SS/SP

Hopefully this will run well for the season and maybe I can do the big bore kit and new paint next year, if I don’t get a 1098 first! 🙂



Concrete Horns work!

August 24, 2007

Take a look at these concrete horns.  We painted them black and reinstalled the new speaker baffles.  I added a steel pipe brace from the back wall of the concrete cabinets to the backside of the baffle (that is my buddy, Scott inside the cabinet!) and then installed all of the drivers.  The system is now operational with the concrete exponential horns and it works great.  The response is much more linear now and extends down to 15Hz.  I hope to hook up my PC very soon and do some measurements so that I can do some fine tweaks and adjustments to make the system more linear, in phase, properly timed, etc.

img_1278m.jpg img_1282m.jpg img_1279m.jpg img_1285m.jpg

We also added pine board walls to the hallway that goes between the studio and the workshop.  You can see these in the last photo above.

More to come…  stay tuned  –  GDS


Speaker progress and wall prep

August 9, 2007

This week, we added some 2x4s to the walls to mount the acoustic panels.  We mounted electrical boxes for AC outlets, wall sconce light fixtures and panels for Mic inputs to the rack and a projector interface panel.  All of the stainless wall plates will come from Semtron www.semtron.com who is the authority on custom stainless wall plates.  We also stuffed the concrete cabinets in preparation for installation of the gigantic speaker baffles.  The screen arrived in fine shape so we can work on the mounts to install the screen up in the joists of the ceiling above.

theatre-026m.jpg  theatre-028m.jpg

Later, GDS


Floor epoxy in theatre room

August 7, 2007

Last weekend we epoxied the floor in the theatre room to match the shop.  I intend to install hardwood eventually but this cleans the room for now and also seals in moisture to protect the hardwood.  It also has a huge side benefit of forcing us to clean the room and that reduced the dust enormously.

 The contrast between the walls and the floor make it much easier to see the details of the speaker cabinets now.

theatre-015m.jpg theatre-019.jpg

Next we will stuff the cabinets with fibreglass and reinstall the new speaker baffles.  Then we can wire up the drivers again for (hopefully) the final time and fire it up to see how well the horns work.

The Owens-Corning 703 acoustic panels should be here this week so we will begin applying those to the concrete walls very soon.  The 109″ diagonal acoustically transparent screen from www.seymourAV.com should be arriving this week as well as a new Oppo Digital 981-HD upscaling, multiformat DVD player.  The screen will be installed in the ceiling just in front of the speakers.  The projector (Sharp XV-Z2000 720p) arrived last week, so as soon as I build a ceiling mount, I’ll work on mounting that as well.  I ordered some Canare wire to make component video cables and I’ll probably also run an HDMI cable from the Oppo DVD player to the projector.

Hopefully, the room will really begin to take shape in the next few weeks.

 Stay tuned…       GDS


Concrete Horns for Concrete Speakers

July 4, 2007

The exponential horns in my new home theatre speaker system are beginning to take shape in concrete.  We formed and poured the right side horn yesterday and today I removed the forms to reveal a beautifully formed concrete exponential horn, attached to the right side main speaker cabinet.  The top of each horn half needs to be finished since we had to reserve a small area to pour the wet concrete into the formed up horns, but that is a small matter of some hand trowel work with some fairly dry concrete.

This is the left horn with some foam in place to space out the backside of the concrete.  This was simply so I could use 3 bags of concrete on each horn half instead of 12.

horns-005m.jpg   horns-002m.jpg

The second photo shows the forms in place as we poured the concrete.  The concrete is approximately 5 – 6 inches thick from the foam to the surface of the horns.  And, this is what it looks like with the forms removed.


Next, we’ll build the left side, finish the edges to make it look nice and then we’ll move on to the new cabinet baffles.    Stay tuned….     GDS


Latest update to the Concrete Speakers

June 19, 2007

Well, it has been a while since I posted an update to the speakers.  They are progressing very nicely.  The speakers are all mounted in the cabinets although this is temporary while I figure out what changes need to be made.  I figured it would take an iteration or two so I determined early on that I would build new baffles eventually.  That time has come.  When the system is cranked up loud, the baffles move in & out far too much.  I will build a new baffle that is two layers of 3/4″ baltic birch plywood with a layer of concrete in between.  Hopefully this will be massive and stiff enough to reduce the baffle movement quite a bit.  Here is a photo of the line array cabinets before they were mounted in the speaker baffles.  These could be standalone cabinets almost.   With the DCX2496 digital crossover, I am able to mute out the subs to hear what the system would sound like with the line array and a tweeter in a 2-way system, and although it doesn’t go as low as it does with the subs, they sound very nice.

Line array boxes

Despite the baffle flexing, the speakers sound pretty good.  The line arrays provide fantastic stereo imaging as was expected.  The Vifa tweeters are incredible, and the bass is deep but not quite as smooth as I would like.  I think that the horns will help this and some stuffing of the big cabinets will help.  You notice it on some music with a deep bass guitar.  On some notes, the bass guitar is loud and forward while on other notes the bass sits back in the mix.  I know some of this is natural but I think these speakers can be better.

I did find out that the system plays cleanly up to above 100 dBA on my handy dandy dB meter.


The back wall of the studio is nearly finished.  It needs a coat of dark gray stain now.  This is the primary bass trap.  This wall is constructed of 2×4 studs set out from the concrete wall a couple inches.  The entire space is filled with fibreglass pink and then a layer of black fabric is placed over it just so we don’t see any pink between the boards.  Then horizontal firring strips are nailed to the studs.  Then pine boards in 1×2, 1×3 and 1×4 size are nailed to the firring strips.  Each board is cut to a semi-random length.  Despite our best efforts, there is still some pattern to it


The next step is to build the exponential horns for the subwoofers.  Stay tuned…                                                         -GDS


GDS Amps 1-day 18W amplifier building seminar

April 25, 2007

GDS Amplification is holding a one-day amp building seminar at our shop in Flint Michigan on Saturday May 26. During this seminar, you will build a GDS 18W kit from start to finish. I will be there to assist and answer questions and teach you how to do it properly. You will be guaranteed to leave with a working GDS 18W amp by the end of the day. You have the option of building a full size 18W with tremolo or TMB. The cost of the course would be the same for each option but the combo kit would be a little cheaper.  Lunch and refreshments/snacks will be provided.  I may even take my espresso machine – free espresso/cappuccino/coffee all day long!

Cost for the kit would be discounted a little from the prices listed on my website. With the cost of the seminar, the overall cost would be slightly higher than just buying a kit but you would get the assistance to build it right in my shop. Transportation to and from our shop would be your responsibility. If anyone wants to come in on Friday night before, I can arrange for discounted hotel rooms and we could probably have a small get-together/greet-n-meet on Friday night.

All tools and soldering equipment would be provided with the option of buying the tools to keep. Of course you would be welcome to bring your own tools too if you wish.

I can accommodate up to 10 people max if there is enough interest. There is a nice airport here in Flint if anyone wants to fly in. We can pick you up at the airport.

The cost will be as follows, depending on which kit you wish to build:

  • 18W Combo – $950
  • 18W Head – $1000 


  • Seminar and instruction on site at GDS Amps shop for one day
  • Lunch (this is going to be good!)
  • 18W kit

  • Full assembly manual

  • Does not include cabinet or speakers 

Special deals will be available for cabinets:

  • 18W head cabinet – $200
  • 18W Combo cabinet – $300 (may be able to do better on these) 

Email me if you are interested.  -GDS


Ducati back on the road for 2007!

April 22, 2007

It has been a busy weekend.  I’ve replaced the water pump on Janice’s BMW, and now I’ve discovered it needs a power steering pump.  This wasn’t the worst automotive job I’ve had to do, but it was the worst water pump R&R.  I could do it fairly quickly now I think.  I also put the kids’ KTM 50 back together and it ran great for an hour this afternoon until the clutch disengaged from the crankshaft again.  I have a new bottom end with a fully intact crank so I guess I’ll have to put that bottom end in the little 50.  It ran great while it ran though so I think Isaac and Winston are going to have a really nice little bike to ride.

I got my Ducati all back together and I just returned from my first shake-down cruise of 2007.   It seems to run fine. I started it on the stand in the garage last week and it started up almost instantly even after sitting all winter.  It did so again this afternoon and it idled perfectly once it warmed up a little.  I am amazed at how well the Mikuni carburetors work on this engine.  I installed a 40t rear sprocket which seems like a good compromise. I installed a 43t rear sprocket last summer when I replaced the chain and it came with a 39t sprocket when I bought the bike.  It seems much less busy on the highway and still moves out pretty well compared to the 43t.  I also installed a set of gold ’99 Ducati SS wheels which look good on the bike but the paint on these wheels is pretty ugly so I’ll be painting these as soon as possible. Probably when these tires go away, I’ll paint the wheels during the tire swap and I’ll probably paint them black.  Here are a couple photos for you to see what it looks like now.

m900-sssp-001.jpg  m900-sssp-007.jpg

The plan now is to rebuild the original engine that came with the bike using the 944cc cylinders and pistons that I bought last fall.  I’ll install that sometime during a rainy weekend this summer and paint the frame red at the same time.   The fenders can come off in about 10 minutes so sometime in the next few weeks, I’ll yank those off, sand them down and spray some new clear laquer on them to show off that gorgeous carbon fibre.  I’m trying to make this bike look nice and run well with the smallest expenditure possible because I am really trying to save for the new 1098!

Later – GDS


Paint for the new GDS shop!

April 16, 2007

Yesterday we painted the shop in the basement of the addition.  I may add some colour later but for now the white is nice, clean and bright.   We haven’t pulled the plastic off the desk or the lighting panel yet because we have yet to epoxy the floor.  Maybe tomorrow we’ll get to that.  The drops on each side of the workbench are airlines.  There is also an airline drop in the ceiling that isn’t in this photo.  There are doors for the shelves on the right but we removed those for painting.  We will also build a pair of doors for the storage access to the right of the lighting panel.


The J-shaped workbench is nearly finished.  It grew beyond the original scope of being a simple, 2×4 workbench.  When we finished the formica top which was the one thing I did want to be nice (flat and clean so I could see small resistors and so that those small resistors wouldn’t constantly roll off onto the floor), I realised I had lots of oak trim leftover from the trimwork we did upstairs so we trimmed out the workbench with that oak.  We had to buy one more sheet of 1/4″ oak plywood but that stuff is pretty cheap.  Now it is a gorgeous oak workbench that would almost be suitable for a boardroom as much as a basement workshop.  The next photo of the desk will be after we remove the plastic and stain the oak.

desk01.jpg  desk02.jpg

More later…  GDS