Sunday, April 12, 2009

Finally on the road! (Day light only.)

I finally got the Gizmo going enough to test drive it on the road beside my house. The programming of the new Gizmo interface is still being worked on. I tested things with the rear wheel jacked up and the front wheels blocked. Naturally, when the programmer is on the east side of the country and I'm on the other, I have the be the eyes, ears, and hands of the programmer. The strange thing was that the only way I could get the rear wheel to turn was to have regen on and enabled then pull the throttle trigger. A quick phone call and an email later and things started working like expected. We needed to get things to the point that it would be safe to drive while the other things, like regen settings and such, were figured out. I have to program the settings in the controller and give feedback to Ron on the tweaks needed in the interface.

I drove the Gizmo to the April 7, 2009 LCEVA meeting and then trailered it home since I don't have a working headlight yet. I'm still working on the new mount. Hopefully it will be a drop-in retrofit for other Gizmos.

We decided that it would be best and cheaper if I bought the programming interface to hook to my laptop and the Gizmo interface so that we wouldn't be sending boards back and forth across the country just for programming. The programming interface has now paid for itself in savings of shipping costs.

Here is a picture of the board:
This was the dryest location it would fit in. The old one was in the splash of the front right tire. The contactor is on the left and the DC-DC is on the right. I still need to bundle the wiring a little differently but this was good enough for some road testing.

In the next photo you see the cover over the Gizmo interface and that I have mounted the fuse block on the top cover. The fuse block used to be under the rear tail piece and would get water on and through it any time it rained, which is quite often here. This location should be much better since I'll install some splash guard plastic over the entire side when I'm done.

In addition to replacing the old Norm interface with the new Gizmo Interface, I replaced the old two wire speedometer pickup with a three wire version. The old one picked up too much interference when regen was activated and it also frequently gave spurious readings when it got wet. With this new one I actually can get a reading of 1mph. I rarely saw that with the old sensor. The sensor and mount can be purchased from Black Sheep Technology in the Gizmo Parts section.
The wiper relay used to be mounted under the tail peice beside the fuse block. Since I needed to add another relay I decided to move the wiper relay to the same location. The photo below is of the left side of the Gizmo. The spring and rod are for the mechanical emergency brake. I also wanted to get rid of the stack of ground wires going to the negative post of the battery so I installed a terminal block and connected the ground to each post. The gold sheet metal is actually an aluminum kick plate from the front door of one of my rental houses. The tenant's dog literally chewed one edge of it so they had to replace it. I kept it in case I needed some aluminum sheet. Well, here it is, at least part of it. I used two C-clamps and some pieces of wood to make a metal bender. A block of cedar and a hammer were used to make the bends clean. The lower right corner is bolted to the frame using an existing threaded hole. I zip-tied the other side and will probably just silicon the top edge so I don't have to drill more holes in the fiberglas tub. Even without anything holding the top edge, it doesn't rattle.

The relay on the right has a diode across the coil. It is inside the black heat-shrink tubing. I need to add a diode to the wiper relay and the high-beam relay. When the coil in the relay is de-energized the decay of the magnetic field causes a spike in the voltage. The diode shorts this out. I discovered that the headlight relay was wired wrong so that the headlight low-beam was on when the coil was energized and off when it wasn't. I'm wondering if the spike produced every time the headlight was turne on and any time the wiper was run along with any other transients may have been part of the cause for the old Norm circuit failing. It had no "surge protection" in it.

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