Power Wheels!

Batteries from Jere!

June 6, 2014 7:28 pm

IMG_20140606_150942Today Jere donated four used deep-cycle batteries for our Power Wheels. They all have a few years on them but other than that we don’t know much about their condition, except without load they read about 12V with a meter.

Here’s some information about these. 67 lbs. Yep. And they don’t seem to loose any weight with age.

My plan is to charge them, then bring them to O’Reilly’s and see what their battery tester says about them. I know their testers aren’t conclusive but it should give us some information at least.

I’m not positive this is the right battery for us, given the weight and size, but we can at least experiment with them…and the price was right! 🙂

And…Jere is joining the team!

Backup Motor Controller has arrived!

June 3, 2014 10:27 pm

From John:

IMG_20140603_180658For our Power Wheels racing team, today the backup motor controller for use with a brushed motor arrived. Actually 3 of them arrived. I opened up and tested one today.

The controller has 4 of these FETs in it with a heat sink which attaches to the case (not pictured.) Hooking it up is pretty simple. I had to put a jumper on the ignition connector and used the 5V out from an Arduino sitting around and a potentiometer for the throttle. I got 24V from my power supply. I used a wall wort for the Arduino.

I hooked the output of the controller to a 12 Volt blower motor which is patiently waiting to be installed in one of my cars. We would use a motor controller like this with a 24V scooter motor or one of the 24V wheelchair motors we have, but I couldn’t get access to one of these tonight and I couldn’t wait to test this thing so I went with what I had. 🙂

This motor controller intentionally cuts out when battery voltage is less than around 20V to save the batteries. I didn’t have an oscilloscope handy tonight so I don’t know the frequency of the PWM.

Our intention is to use a motor controller Tom built instead of one of these controllers, but it is good to have options.

Enjoy my nice camera work: