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Expensive gadgets that everyone wants but doesn't need
By Nick Burklow

Some people choose to live by the motto: "If you have it, flaunt it." After all, the one with the most toys wins, right? And boy, do I have some toys for you.

Tesla Motors Roadster
Tesla Motors was started in 2003 and calls San Carlos, Calif., home. By June, Tesla Motors delivered 500 all-electric, high-performance roadsters to customers.

Power for the roadster is generated by a three-phase AC induction motor. The roadster is able to put out 248 horsepower at 14,000 RPM. This is good for supercar-like acceleration: getting the roadster to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds, and a top speed of 125 mph (electronically limited). Because of the nature of electric motors, the Tesla Roadster has 100 percent torque all of the time. This means you can hit the accelerator and pin your passenger to the back of his seat even if you are going 5 mph.

As with all-electric or electric hybrid vehicles, batteries are required. In Tesla's case, it uses microprocessor-controlled lithium-ion battery cells. The battery pack weighs 992 pounds and contains 6,831 individual cells.

The batteries are expected to last five years or 100,000 miles. A full recharge should take about 31⁄2 hours using the high-power connector. The batteries are recyclable, and the cost of recycling is built into the purchase price of the car.

If this little blurb about the Tesla Motors Roadster has whetted your appetite for top- end, all-electric sports-car performance, you will have to pony up $109,000 to make one your own. If you do buy one, let me know. I want a ride. Visit www.teslamotors.com for more details.

The Seabreacher J
Innovation comes in many forms, and sometimes it pops up where you least expect it. In this case, Rob Innes and Dan Piazza of Innespace created the Seabreacher J, which is the culmination of more than 10 years of research and development. It is designed for the recreational boating market, and the U.S. Coast Guard has approved it for recreational use.

The watercraft does not ride like a personal watercraft. It is flown through the water. The enclosed cockpit seats two and keeps the water out. It has a Rotax engine with either 155hp or 215hp from the supercharged version. This is good for a top speed of about 40 mph on the surface and 20 mph submerged. The engine is easily serviceable at any watercraft dealership, making owning and maintaining a Seabreacher J no more difficult than your standard personal watercraft.

This unique watercraft stands out because of its ability to operate submerged. The Seabreacher J is also able to perform barrel rolls.

Now, for the damage to your bank account. The Seabreacher J starts at $48,000 for the base model, and that figure climbs to $68,000 for the high-performance model with all of the options. Visit www.seabreacher.com for more information.

Tecnologia Aeroespacial Mexicana Rocket Belt
The jet pack is a gadget that any thrill-seeker has lusted after since he or she was a child. Seeing them in cartoons and movies growing up, I wanted one more than anything. Although I still can't have one, someone out there can, thanks to Tecnologia Aeroespacial Mexicana and its rocket belt.

TAM is a world leader in the development and supply of hydrogen peroxide rockets and related technology. The rocket belt it sells is propelled by such fuel. Bell Labs built and tested the first rocket belt back in 1953. Since then, the technology never developed into a usable vehicle. However, TAM has refined the old Bell Labs design and made it much easier to fly.

Juan Gallegos of TAM was able to fly free of a tether after 14 training flights.

The short flight time and limited range are still there. The rocket belt weighs between 124 and 139 pounds, depending on the pilot's size, and is able to sustain flight for 30 seconds. The pilot can reach speeds of up to 60 miles per hour.  

The price is not listed on TAM's Web site, but a little digging tells me it's between $125,000 and $250,000. That price includes the custom-tailored rocket belt, as well as flight and maintenance lessons. Visit www.tecaeromex.com for more information.

 


 

Nick's Pick
Clik Elite Compact Sport Camera Bag: I have acquired a lot of gadgets over the years. Surprising, right? Sometimes, when I pry myself away from a computer screen and see the sunlight, I need to carry them with me. Clik Elite has me covered with its Compact Sport bag.

My Canon T1i fits nicely in the fully-padded 250-cubic-inch camera bag. You will also find a hydration sleeve capable of holding a 45-ounce bladder, as well as the necessary pockets to carry a full day's worth of accessories, snacks and even a rain shell.

The unique side-entry design allows you to swing the bag around to have access to the camera compartment without fully removing the bag. This pack is perfect for on-the-bike outings or a hike in the woods. To call the Compact Sport your very own you need to part with $150. Visit www.clikelite.com more for information.

 

 

 

 

Story published Friday, September 4, 2009 ( Volume 4, Number 5 )

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