Converting Motorcycles and Minds
By Bill Moore
Orlando Tony Parker is 52. He has six children and several "grandbabies." He has worked in high-tech as an IBM printer repairman and most recently in low tech as a college janitor. But regardless of his station in life, he continually strives to make a difference.
Informally trained in electrical engineering and largely self-taught, it's his personal mission in life now to inspire what he calls "kids six-to-ninety-six" by introducing them -- with no funding other than his own ingenuity and resourcefulness -- to a better world, an EV world.
For a decade now, I've begun hundreds of EV World podcasts with the phase, "I want you to imagine a future in motion, where all cars are green and bicycles rule..." Tony not only imagines it, he's building it one young mind at a time.
By his own admission, he led a troubled life as a youth from Boston, living in what he calls a "dysfunctional family," one from which he ran many times, only to be brought back. Finally, he ran and never returned. But all along the way, he was curious about the world and wanted to use his mind, while making a better life for himself and his children.
In this video shot in Tony's front yard in the Benson area of Omaha, he talks about why he decided to build an electric motorcycle from scavenged parts. It is, in effect, his work resume, as is the model solar home he built, the toy wind farm, the working wind generator, the model power grid, the toy electric car race track powered by renewable energy. They are also the tools he uses to teach young people about how their world works and how they can help make it better, cleaner, safer.
Below are some of the demonstration tools he uses to teach kids of all ages -- at his personal expense -- about renewable energy and electric vehicles. Both the race track and miniature house run off a small, five Watt solar panel, 12-volt car battery and a home-made AC inverter Parker built from scrap parts.
This is one enterprising and inspiring gentleman you will want to get to know. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tony's Educational "Toys"
Toy electric cars race around circuit powered by solar-generated electric power.
Budget potentiometer to control speed of electric motorcycle.
Solar doll house runs off standard 120V AC current that's been converted from DC by home-made inverter. Light is standard 100 Watt bulb.
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