Friday, June 22, 2007

Battery Boxes Have Shipped!

Electro Auto e-mailed me again today to say that the battery racks and boxes have shipped and should arrive on Tuesday! I'm curious what else is in this shipment. I ran out and purchased several 1-guage pre-constructed battery cables from Napa today to wire the batteries together, but they were very expensive (16 of them at $12.95 apiece). If Electro Auto ships the battery cable along with the boxes then I can return the pre-built cables. I guess the batteries can sit for a few more days on my garage floor without too much discharge.

I ran out to United Welding Supply today in Portland (on NE MLK) and picked up 20 feet of 2/0 welding cable. At $2.85 a foot, that's the best price I've seen in the Portland area by far. Parkrose hardware had it for $7.00/foot and another place had it for $6.00. Gary from the OEVA was gracious enough to let me borrow his hefty crimping tool so I could attach some lugs to the ends of the welding cable. I'll be picking that up tomorrow.

I volunteer at a local non-profit called FreeGeek that recycles computer parts. They recycle a lot of uninterruptable power supplies (UPS) which often contain high-current Anderson connectors on the dead batteries. I was able to pick up a few of those connectors that fit cleanly on my Zivan NG3 battery charger for 50 cents (yes, less than a dollar!). FreeGeek also sells laptop power supplies. If you can add your own regulating circuit, you can make a battery charger that can be applied to any battery in the pack without disconnecting it. Laptop supplies are typically in the 15-19V range and have a reasonably high current output (4-5 amps) as well as floating outputs relative to the AC wall supply, so they are quite convenient. FreeGeek sells those supplies for about $20 ($10 if you volunteer more than four hours there - cheap!).

Since the contents of the Tuesday shipment are going to determine if I use the $200 in pre-built cables or not, I might take the weekend to lower the motor and replace the washers on the electric motor bolts that came in the upgrade kit from Azure Dynamics. If I don't do it now (before installing the battery boxes), it'll probably never happen...

Another quick note, Rainer from the OEVA dropped by this past week to check out the 914 project. He's over six feet tall and wanted to see if the 914 was large enough to hold him. He squeezed into the driver seat and had about a half-inch of head clearance with the targa top on.

I'm still on re-entry from the 10-day vacation, but with this latest shipment, I'm thinking that I'll break some inertia and get this project moving again. The weather outside is glorious and having an electric convertible would just be too cool.

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