Saturday, July 26, 2008

Throttle arrived today!

Less than 48 hours after ordering my pot box, there was a knock at the door and a courier delivered my Curtis PB 6 from Bylong Industries in Sydney (650 miles away). I was very impressed at the speedy service... Thank you to all those people who have donated via PayPal - Even after buying the Pot Box I still have $460 towards the motor & controller.

I also visited the local wrecker on a whim - dreading the possibility of public ridicule for my project, but instead the opposite happened. Not only does he have an N13, not only is he happy to knock $10 off the price of the parts I need, he'll also let me take them off myself, giving me some invaluable experience when it comes to the actual conversion! I am stoked!!

At the moment, I'm only after a heater core and ignition barrel so I can start the modifications and then just slot them into the conversion once the motor comes out. If I have time, I may even swap over the heater coil and wire it up so it's operational before I convert the motor - one less thing to worry about on C-Day (or should that be E-Day??)

I also picked up a missile switch and some wire connectors at Dick Smith Electronics. I asked about industrial battery chargers but they only have toy ones. I'll need to go to someone like Leaver Industries for anything suitable for my EV.

My daughter wants to play on the swings, so I'll post another update shortly!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ignition switch

I'm drawing up some scenarios as to how I can use the ignition switch to start the motor. Without a starter motor, the final turn of the key is not necessary so I need to figure out a way that is simple, cheap and safe to operate the electrics and motor.
Here's a pic of what it looks like at the moment, and I'll update this post with a few ideas later.

Monday, July 21, 2008

"Give us the tools, and we will finish the job"

Well, the job at hand isn't quite as large as the one Churchill was talking about, but I feel a lot better about it now. We went grocery shopping tonight and Aldi still had a couple of their power tool specials available, so I snapped one up.

Many of the converters on the DIY Forum advise using cheap power tools for cutting and grinding since they are so cheap and I'm unlikely to need them again (not being a hands-on kinda guy).

So, for $80 I picked up another cordless drill, a jigsaw, sander and torch. I'll be using the sander to remove the rust from the car body, the jigsaw for cutting out the adapter plate and the drill for all those bolt holes I need to drill...

Made me a very happy shopper!

In other news, I'm adding a panel to the right-side of this blog to keep a running track of fuel prices. Today I made a bargain and got 26 litres for $40 - $1.519 a litre... Let's see how quickly we can get to $2/l - I'm guessing before Christmas.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

No luck at Jaycar

Today at lunchtime I ducked up the road to our local Jaycar. Now that my tax refund has arrived I'm trying to track down a few outstanding components. Here's a short list with guess-prices based on KiwiEV's costings. Hopefully with the dive of the $US against the $AUS they should be a little cheaper now:

Turbo Timer: $12.50
200v DC Digital Voltmeter: $20
160v 500A DC Ammeter + Shunt: $60
200v 10A DC Solid State Relays x 2: $120
160V 250A DC Circuit Breaker: $140
SW200 Main Contactor: $110
Inertia Cutoff Switch: $90
All up about $500.00

I had a long chat with the friendly and expert staff, but they just don't carry this kind of gear. "Compared to what you're doing, all our stuff is for toys" they joked ruefully, pointing me in the direction of a minor competitor.

So now I have to troop all the way up to Archerfield just to get a price list...

On a brighter note, I've spent a whole weekend preparing the car for the conversion. I've removed the dying tint from the most dangerous windows, cleaned the console and dash and started planning the rust removal from the door pillars.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

When fuel hits $10/gallon...

What's the big deal? It's already the equivalent of $8.72 per gallon in New Zealand ($2.18 per litre) and heading the same way here in Australia.

So, I couldn't resist tossing this one in: Check out the lane divisions on the new roads :)

In terms of the conversion, it's been a slow week. I've lodged my tax return but won't be getting much of a refund (and certainly not enough to buy the motor - grrrr). The window tinting has started to bubble such that it's creating a hazard so it had to go. At lunchtime I took a small stanley knife out to the carpark and liberated the back window.
The whole process was surprisingly easy - just had to take care not to nick the demister...
So when I get home I'll use ammonia and soapy water to remove the glue and have a nice shiny rear window instead of a poxy laminated cancerous x-ray film...
Almost got enough money saved to buy the pot box, that will be my tax refund present to myself.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Battery information

I took Friday off work and did a spot of shopping with my wife. At the shopping centre there was a new-ish shop called "Battery World" to which I was drawn like a moth to flame...

We had a good look around and had a long chat with the sales rep. The batteries I'm after for the EV is something like an Ultimate UL-120. Here's the specs:

Capacity (100Ah): 141
Size: 409(L) x 177(W) x 225(H)
Weight: 36.4kg (OOOF)
CCA: 963 at 20c
Thread size: 8mm
Reserve Capacity after 1 hour: 75A
Cost: About $400 each (OUCH) (bulk discount negotiable)

Next time I'll ask about Optima Yellow Tops and see how they compare...

We also spotted a solar lighting kit of $305 which includes a solar panel, battery, controller and 2 12v energy-saver lights. We're thinking we can set up the panel outside and run most of our night-time lighting requirements off it.

I've also been looking around for a Killawatt device to measure the energy drain that our appliances take. That way we can compare the energy stored in the batteries with the appliances we want to run at night. Hopefully we can run a couple of lights and the computer off the solar setup initially, and then increase the number of batteries/panels as required.