Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Battery Update

The batteries I ordered back in April have cleared customs! They should be shipped out of Oregon this week and arrive at my door shortly thereafter!

What's left:
Battery box.
Battery wiring.
Battery charger.
Controller heat sink.

I think my box is second from the left.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

DC-DC Converter

I finally got around to wiring up the DC-DC converter. It's actually for 120V to 12V because I originally planned to have a 120V nominal Lead battery pack. I'm now only at 96V nominal with the Lithium cells, but I think there is enough overlap in the operating ranges of the batteries and the converter so I should be okay.

Two sets of wires from the converter. Red / black for input. Green / blue for output.

I wired the input to include my fuse and circuit breaker on the positive side so it will have a bit more protection. On the negative side, it is wired after the key contactor; so the 12V battery will not start charging until the ignition is turned on. I was debating on whether or not to have it connected at all times or just when the car is running. I finally convinced myself that I didn't want 96V constantly running through any of my circuitry (especially when I'm not there) if it wasn't necessary. (The length of the wire from the converter not being long enough to bypass both contactors may have influenced the decision.)

Here's a shot of the DC-DC output going to the primary positive and negative connections on the car.

Last I heard my batteries had arrived at port and were going through customs.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Stereo Sound

Back on February 16th I installed one speaker into the car. This past weekend I went ahead and built a mount to install a second.

The old mount worked great, so I cut a second one just like it.

The car had a flimsy piece of cardboard "covering" up the wires behind the dashboard. It looked terrible and was in my way so I ended up trashing it. I'll install something better to replace it later.

The new speaker installed!

Stereo sound is good stuff.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Seats and Horn

Our Australian Shepherd dog is not a pet, he's our child (as you could probably tell in the earlier photos). My wife bought new seat covers for the car to style up the interior a little bit.

The seats weren't too difficult to take out - just 4 fairly easy bolts.

Timber helped me put the new seat covers on.

One side complete. This also was a good opportunity to vacuum out the interior.


The old horn sounded about as good as a frog near his last croak. I picked up one of those novelty aooga horns from the auto parts store to replace my old one. I actually received a new horn for Christmas that has a variety of sounds you can play (and record your own), but it turns out it can't be wired into the car's existing switch. I'm hoping to take the car to shows though so I'll definitely plug it in for temporary use then.

I removed the two old horns but left the bracket for my new one.


The horn works great, but I'm a little disappointed in its "aooga". I was hoping to hear something a bit more ridiculous, but it's okay.

On a side note, my cordless drill battery charger was no longer charging its batteries. The spring style connectors wouldn't maintain contact with the battery terminals, and it refused to charge. Replacement used chargers on e-bay are like $30, new ones are impossible to find, and its constructed such that it's impossible to open up and repair. I do think companies purposely design their products to have a short shelf life. I however, refuse to buy an entire new drill set just because the charger is finiky.

So, wa-la, it's fixed!

One small victory for the consumer!