More Upgrades Pre-SEMA Convention in Las Vegas

I updated a few other things, as well. The throttle stuff is easy because it's simply software changes. This new stuff is woodworking and whatnot. Check it out!

The control panel was too far away from the pilot and too high, so I cut the posts and created new mounting brackets out of the pieces of the IKEA chair I'd cut from the bottom of the legs. It's like recycling, kinda. Anyway, this design looks nicer. I'll be painting the wood black this weekend so everything looks more uniform. I'll also be plugging the countersink holes for the screws you see in that photo.

The next upgrade was in the drive electronics and general wiring in the chassis:

The bare-chassis high-amp automotive relays I used originally were welding their contacts closed sometimes. I dumped those in favor of a solid industrial-strength 24-volt contactor. Basically a relay on steroids with a ultra-beefy solenoid inside. Locks on, locks off. Kinda loud when it clicks open or closed, but at least it's robust and can carry current. And, technically, cost as much as two of the bare copper relays in parallel.

I also moved the motor controller down into the chassis out of harm's way and put it on a simple aluminum mount I made with simple bending and drilling. Since the controller is the most expensive part on the chassis (not including the control panel, of course), I wanted it tucked away nicely.

I rebuilt the wiring harness (using that term loosely, of course) so all that heavy-gauge wire is out of the way of the chair and it connects to everything cleanly. I rebuilt the low power wires to ALL have connectors and routed them more cleanly around the chassis under the chair.

Next, I'll be working on the lighting system on the chassis, which includes the headlights, turn signals, brake light, reverse light, Wunderglow™ under-chassis glowy stuff and the circuit to run it all. Should also start seeing more functionality in the control panel, since the lighting depends on that working.

Starting tomorrow, I have four days straight of tinker time for this thing. My goal is to get the control panel mostly going, including sounds.

Andy Frey

StuffAndyMakes.com, Gilbert, AZ, US

My name is Andy and I am a maker. Enough about me. How are you? What did you have for lunch yesterday? Have you made anything cool lately? OK, back to me: I like to make things, with or without purpose. Clocks, shelves, machines that turn themselves off, homemade circuit boards, IKEA chairs with motors, etc. I love to learn how to manufacture stuff myself. I also love to take things apart to see how real-world products are engineered.