Older blog entries for Nic (starting at number 193)

October 26th, 2006

Over the weekend I bought some nylon hosing from Home Depot with a 5/8" outer diameter and a 3/8" inner diameter. This fits perfectly inside the 3/4" tubing, and the 3/8" bolts fit perfectly inside the tubing, so it acts as bushings for the A-Arm pivots. I'll add some bearing greese and I should be good to go.

12 Oct 2006 (updated 13 Aug 2009 at 18:18 UTC) »
October 10th, 2006

While in the garage I looked at the month-old frame and noticed that it was already rusting pretty badly. I drove to Ace Hardware, arriving at 8:55. It closed at 9:00. I got some "rust stop" and sandpaper for $5.40. My bank account had $5.68. After getting home again I sanded the frame as well as I could, but it wasn't perfect. After a lot of sanding I gave up on perfection and sprayed the "rust stop" on. It has a nice dark black color to it.

A picture is at http://www.craterfish.org/teamprodigies?pictures?2006/Oct

16 Sep 2006 (updated 13 Aug 2009 at 18:18 UTC) »
September 15th, 2006

Today I finished the four A-arms. I set it up with the wheels and took a picture (http://www.craterfish.org/teamprodigies?pictures?2006/Sep). It's about 4'3" between the outer edges of the wheels.

14 Sep 2006 (updated 13 Aug 2009 at 18:20 UTC) »
September 12th, 2006

I don't feel like I've accomplished much as of late. Today I finished cutting all the metal for the front A-Arms, as you can see in the picture at http://www.craterfish.org/teamprodigies?pictures?2006/Sep. It took a long time. I'm in school now, so I only get a couple hours in the afternoon, and being a perfectionist I don't get much done. Usually I make four cuts or so. A lot of work goes into this.. ever measurement must be precise and accurate, and to prepare a piece for a weld it must be ground flat and cleaned around the eges.

5 Sep 2006 (updated 13 Aug 2009 at 18:21 UTC) »
September 4th, 2006

The welder came a couple days ago, and since then I've been practicing welding. My welds still need a lot of work, but I've started the frame anyway. Maybe not the best idea. A picture of what I made today can be found at http://www.craterfish.org/teamprodigies?pictures?2006/Sep - it will hold the two electric motors as well as batteries and motor controllers for the front wheels. You can see where the A-Arm suspension will attach.

August 22nd, 2006

In the past few days I've been designing a security key-in circuit. It works very well. The angle grinder came in the mail a few days ago, and today I cut one of the eight foot lengths of tubing into pieces for the frame. No word on the welder yet. I'm trying to raise some money by selling those motor controllers, so if you want one they're $75.

16 Aug 2006 (updated 13 Aug 2009 at 18:22 UTC) »
August 15th, 2006

I bought some wheels at Pick A Part for $80. I also ordered a MIG-100 welder kit on eBay for $140 which comes with a welding mask and wire and stuff. The welder and the angle grinder probably won't arrive for two or three weeks from now, however, so I'm gonna have to find something productive to do for the project in the meantime.

There's a picture of the wheels at http://www.craterfish.org/teamprodigies?pictures?2006/Aug - check out the nice rims!

12 Aug 2006 (updated 13 Aug 2009 at 18:23 UTC) »
August 11th, 2006

I got back from rowing 16th century style spanish longboats all day, windsurfing, and sailing at Camp Gallagher (one of my favorite places ever!), and got right back to work on the electric car. I finished an on/off circuit which I can now use rather than disconnecting all the circuitry from the batteries. It should be good for 10A to pass through it - enough to power all the electronics, including the computer. When it is off, the motor controller circuits and whatnot use about 3mA. I wanted to keep the power consumption while the vehicle is "turned off" below one milliamp, but I guess three is okay. I also went to Zeigler's Welding and bought 32 feet of 3/4" steel tubing today for $33 (not the best deal, but it saved a lot of driving) and bought a 4.5" angle grinder on eBay for $25 (comes with 5 cutting blades and 5 grinding blades.. pretty good deal!). I'm still looking for a welder I can borrow. I added up prices from receipts I have and so far I've spent somewhere over $400 on this electric vehicle.

I put some pictures up at http://www.craterfish.org/teamprodigies?pictures?2006/Aug.

30 Jul 2006 (updated 13 Aug 2009 at 18:24 UTC) »
July 29th, 2006

I made plexiglass enclosures for the three new H-bridge circuits. They are very prettiful. Pictures at http://www.craterfish.org/teamprodigies?pictures?2006/Jul.

July 28th, 2006

I got the ten MOSFETs I ordered in the mail and set out to repair the damaged H-bridge circuit. I got a good start by melting another MOSFET. I was still working on the flame- blackened board that had an unknown problem. I probably should have just started over, but I wanted first of all to find out WHAT the problem was, and second I already had most of the work done on this board.

After many hours of testing, desoldering, resoldering, and fighting combat stealth mosquitos, I found the problem. Where a 100k resistor should have been, there was a 47 ohm resistor. How frustrating. I took all my test point solders out and began resoldering components in. Just as I was soldering the last connection, the mosquitos launched a synchonized V-formation attack, but I perservered. I connected the board, and it worked. I now have all four H- bridge circuits fully functional.

Tomorrow is my last day before getting ready for camp, and my goal was to have all the electronics for the car done. I will build the plexiglass housings for the H-bridge circuits, and solder the on/off security circuit for the car, thereby completing all the circuitry.

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