Friday, September 18, 2015

The Chicken and the Armadillo

One of the first Texas jokes my then middle school daughter picked up was:

Why did the chicken cross the road?

To show the armadillo it could be done!

The number of armadillo frisbees on Texas highways is proof that for those poor creatures, it's just not in the cards. I'm told that when startled by an oncoming car, armadillos jump straight up in the air to perfect bumper height. Unfortunate.

I tell that story to show you this:

Notice anything different?

It's facing the other direction!

I'm afraid that I did not have a camera crew on hand to capture the first drive, but I needed to show myself that it could be done. It was once around the block and back in the garage. Didn't want to alarm the local traffic patrol with a car that's basically naked in front. 

The good news is that the low hanging battery cage didn't scrape at the end of the driveway. The regen braking will take some getting used to and I suspect that I'll be fiddling with the throttle mapping to get it just right, but my first impression is that it's a smooth and civilized ride.

Now for jumping up to bumper height:

Here is the new configuration for the contactor and precharge relay:

It's considerably more compact than the Better Place contactor module it replaces. I plan to make a cover for it, painted black of course so it disappears.

Pretty as it is, I still don't have the precharge routine figured out - arc welded both this brand new contractor and the one in the back. As long as they are stuck in the closed position, I figured "Why not take it around the block?" And I did, despite the non functional DC/DC converter and ruined contactors. And it was pretty darned satisfying.

We're leaving on a week's vacation tomorrow for a tour of the upper Mid-West with my parents, visiting places that have memories from their childhood. Now I can relax and enjoy the trip knowing that I've at least had one successful spin around the block.

The week after, I'm driving up to Cape Girardeau to participate in the EVCONN that wasn't. Jack Rickard has invited anyone interested to drop by for an open house at his shop. I'll be able to consult with the best and brightest on what I'm doing wrong, and pick up replacement parts while I'm there.

When I get back, we're going to make this armadillo fly!

1 comment: