Large battery operated cart.

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Large battery operated cart.

Postby geospyder » Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:55 am

Our fledgling camp just snagged a large battery operated cart. It has three bench seats for about eight people. We're just in the beginning stages of what to do with it as far as making it a mutant vehicle. Before we go too far are there any suggestions good or bad about using this type of vehicle on the Playa?
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Postby gyre » Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:51 pm

It's easier to change the shape if you remove the body.
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Postby CapSmashy » Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:20 pm

As long as the batteries are in good condition and you have a reliable source of power for charging it up, should be good to go.

I suggest a giant Cootie.


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Postby Captain Goddammit » Mon Nov 30, 2009 4:55 pm

CapSmashy wrote:As long as the batteries are in good condition and you have a reliable source of power for charging it up, should be good to go.

Yep, that's pretty much the deal. Make sure you have a good, powerful charger, not a cheapy 10 or 20 amp thing that will take forever to charge your batteries, and a source of AC power adequate to run it.
Charging your batteries slowly is best for them, but we're only out there a short time!
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Postby gyre » Mon Nov 30, 2009 4:58 pm

More than one set may be called for or larger ones.
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Postby AntiM » Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:31 pm

Also, check the DMV deadlines so you can get it approved and registered.
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Postby EspressoDude » Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:58 pm

Killbuck's Heavy Battle Lounge is made from an electric golf cart with standard golf cart type batteries. It is 2 person. It gets about 6 - 8 miles before the batteries are dead and need serious recharging. Like about 4 hours on a generator at camp.

Think about the weight of 8 people on a larger/ heavier cart. Likely to be half the operating range or less with the same batteries, or more/bigger batteries and longer recharge time.

Does your camp want to listen to a generator charging your batteries all day long??

Better to mount a Honda EU3000 and an 80 - 100 amp charger on one of the bench seats.

Or get a gasoline powered cart and save the hassle of batteries and charger.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Nov 30, 2009 7:56 pm

Espresso Dude is right. I used to camp with ESD and boy, I grew to hate golf carts. They need a lot of fussing. I don't know how your base vehicle does and does not differ from a golf cart, but that's one thing to check. The other thing is that all golf carts have the same start key. If this one is also on that key, I suggest a club or other sort of device that will keep joyriders with that key from fulfilling what they believe to be their mission. And get some sort of insurance.
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Postby geospyder » Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:29 pm

Here is a picture of the cart. I haven't seen it physically yet. But hey it was free.


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Postby motskyroonmatick » Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:36 pm

geospyder wrote:Here is a picture of the cart. I haven't seen it physically yet. But hey it was free.


Image


nice score!
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Postby robotland » Tue Dec 01, 2009 6:14 am

How come Cool Free Shit only comes with mountains in the background!?!?!

She's a beauty!

What Fishy was saying about keys is right, BUT...you can change the keyswitch out, or even install extras (a la' "Missile Launch Protocol"!) that would eliminate having to mess with a Club. (But save the bacon...just throw away the lettuce and bread and crap.)

Cootie Cart.....especially if made from lovely shiny fiberglass....Oh Yeah!
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Tue Dec 01, 2009 7:44 am

Yeah it's worth a mention that you should set up any mutant vehicle so that no one can hijack it. You should definitely install a battery disconnect switch with removable key, maybe under a locked hatch of some design. One of the few fights I ever got in at Burning Man was stopping a hijacker.
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Postby gyre » Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:39 am

http://www.ronfrancis.com/prodinfo.asp?number=AT-70
http://www.ronfrancis.com/images/AT70-INST.pdf
This started out as a normal kill switch.
I added the twist.
This place is one of those that listens to suggestions.
You can also make your own version.
One slick trick is to use a switch that is functional for something else once started, like a mirror adjustment, etc.

One trick I like is exposed switches that are wired in series and only one setting allows operation.
A few three position toggle switches can add a lot of annoyance.
They can only count for starting or for all operation.
Then throw them all into the same alignment when leaving.
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Postby LostinReno » Tue Dec 01, 2009 1:16 pm

gyre wrote:http://www.ronfrancis.com/prodinfo.asp?number=AT-70
http://www.ronfrancis.com/images/AT70-INST.pdf
This started out as a normal kill switch.
I added the twist.
This place is one of those that listens to suggestions.
You can also make your own version.
One slick trick is to use a switch that is functional for something else once started, like a mirror adjustment, etc.

One trick I like is exposed switches that are wired in series and only one setting allows operation.
A few three position toggle switches can add a lot of annoyance.
They can only count for starting or for all operation.
Then throw them all into the same alignment when leaving.


Thanks for the advise! It never even occured to us they would all be keyed the same/similarly. I love the series of exposed switches idea. I have the stuff in the garage to make that happen! :wink: We should have the beast moved in the next week or two. (It's been sitting in my friends backyard for 3 years, supposedly everything works, I'm assuming the batteries are dead though, still free is free and sometimes free turns ugly! LOL!) Then we can start the disassembly! I'm not even sure how many batteries she takes yet. We do have a Yamaha 3000 genny, that we use for our daily hour or two of blissful A/C. We also have a standard battery charger as well as two solar chargers, although that would take days I'd imagine. Might have to experiment with the solar chargers, they were given to us a few months ago and we've yet to use them.
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Postby gyre » Tue Dec 01, 2009 1:42 pm

Glad to help.
Definitely change the keyswitch out.
I like medeco myself.
Good idea to rubber boot anything electrical that you can.
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Postby LostinReno » Tue Dec 01, 2009 5:34 pm

robotland wrote:How come Cool Free Shit only comes with mountains in the background!?!?!

She's a beauty!

What Fishy was saying about keys is right, BUT...you can change the keyswitch out, or even install extras (a la' "Missile Launch Protocol"!) that would eliminate having to mess with a Club. (But save the bacon...just throw away the lettuce and bread and crap.)

Cootie Cart.....especially if made from lovely shiny fiberglass....Oh Yeah!

I love the cootie concept, unfortunately I'm not crafty with fiberglass, that would be sweet though!

How about a bacon mobile?? LOL! Hrmmm???
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Tue Dec 01, 2009 6:57 pm

Unless they are super-huge, solar chargers aren't going to make enough current to help much. They won't hurt... but I wouldn't depend on them as a main power source.
That Yamaha will be perfect. I'd go get the most powerful charger you can.
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Postby motskyroonmatick » Tue Dec 01, 2009 8:12 pm

Figure out what the voltage of the motor is. I am guessing 36 volt. Find that out and start looking for a charger now. They occasionally come up on craig's list for a steal at 50 to 75$. Heavy duty chargers for golf carts are usually pretty expensive and for some reason nearly everybody selling one around here knows it.

Have fun with it. I am a tad bit envious.

I would keep the top in place. a great spot to mount things and provides invaluable shade.
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Postby LostinReno » Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:15 pm

Captain Goddammit wrote:Unless they are super-huge, solar chargers aren't going to make enough current to help much. They won't hurt... but I wouldn't depend on them as a main power source.
That Yamaha will be perfect. I'd go get the most powerful charger you can.

The solar panels are maybe 14" x 12", someone my husbands knows gave them to him. Originally we were going to try them on our trailer battery when camping, but my uncle sold us the Yamaha so we didn't really need them anymore. LOL!
Motsky, I wished you lived closer, we could use all the help we can get and welding skills! (I've got decent electrical skills and that's about it) One of our ideas is the bacon mobile, cover the whole vehicle with bacon looking fabric (kind of a soft sculpture thing) the whole back could be the griddle area, drive out to man in the morning and fry up bacon for the masses! LOL! We gifted about 10 pounds out of our camp this year. Of course storage of 50 to 100 pounds of bacon would be a challenge since my husband doesn't want to work it in '10. Last year he had to work, hauling the liquid waste of the masses to Lovelock everyday so he didn't get to do much. :( On the upside we had someone travel to the outside world everyday to pick up neccessities like ice/bacon for us. So most likely on to the next idea!.......Thank god we still have 5 or so months to figure it out. I just know it's going to cruise by quickly.
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Postby dragonfly Jafe » Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:38 pm

LostinReno wrote:...The solar panels are maybe 14" x 12"....


That is somewhere between 5-15 watts (most likely)...or around 1/2amp to 1 amp at 12vdc. That is at most a trickle charge that will maintain a fully charged battery somewhat and prevent it from fully discharging. It might recharge a golf cart battery system that is heavily drained, but it would take a few months.

A "big" solar panel might be 50-100 watts, so 30-60 of these big panels (or so) would be needed to equal one of those 3000 watt generators.

Use the generator, listen to your Captain (and drink what he hands you).
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:33 pm

I will mention that a friend (one Reverend Gadget from AEZ) had a land boat mutant vehicle in '02 that was entirely solar powered and worked great. The batteries kept him going quite a while after dark, and I drove it in daylight and it was actually providing positive charge to the batteries while underway - but it had a large roof over it completely covered in solar cells. He said it would have been about $7000 worth if you were to buy them at retail. He's a solar-power entrepreneur who had the controllers, cells, batteries, etc. lying around to make it work.

So, it CAN be completely solar powered, but in your case I'd say the generator is way more economical and practical.

Depending on your fab skills, you could also toss the electric motor and put in a gas engine from an old riding mower or some sort of gas-powered thing for super cheap. As it is, you're gonna need a lot of $$ worth of batteries and an expensive charger, unless you score a deal on one.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:57 pm

LostinReno wrote:
Motsky, I wished you lived closer, we could use all the help we can get and welding skills!
If you spend a certain amount of time infiltrating the Reno burners groups, you'll get people begging to weld for you.






Or at least taht's what I've heard.


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Postby LostinReno » Wed Dec 02, 2009 10:05 pm

LOL! Yeah, solar is out, unfortunately we don't have that kind of cash! We have a few battery chargers around the house and access to some heavy duty ones, so the charger is taken care of 8) . We just need to get it home and figure out what we need in actual batteries.
I'm so exited!!! Squeeeee!
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Thu Dec 03, 2009 7:57 am

When you say you have a few battery chargers around the house, do you mean the typical auto parts store units? The one you want will probably have wheels on it, or you'll be waiting forever for it to charge up.
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Postby EspressoDude » Thu Dec 03, 2009 8:32 am

This is similar to a club car villager that has a 48 volt system. That is qty of eight 6 volt batteries. It is rated for 115 minutes at 75 amps, or about 4 horsepower. It operates between 5 and 17 mph. Playa speed limit is 5mph.

Round off 115 minutes into 2 hours at 5 mph = 10 miles that is about 2 complete loops of BRC, maybe more.

Recharge requires a 48volt charger that has to replace the energy taken out. So you need to put back in 75 amps at 48 volts for 2 hours. 48 volts at 75 amps is 3600 watts. If your generator is only 3000 watts, you will need longer charge time. If your charger can't produce 75 amps at 48 volts, it will take longer. If you have 12 volt chargers, you will need 4 of them and likely end up with an electrical fire hazard.

Taking your 3000watt generator and charging while driving will almost keep up with the power drain.

Now add lights and sound to drain more power...

Note that these are approximations, but are close to what you can expect.
Also in most cases these carts are always plugged in when not in use in the default world.
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Postby Dr Helix » Thu Dec 03, 2009 10:03 am

I agree with ExpressoDude. I have built two mutant vehicles using golf carts as starting points; one electric, one gas. The electric was much harder to maintain and not as reliable. And unless you can be on the grid, you are running a generator for much of the day to keep it going. Incorporating a small generator to keep the batteries topped off is the answer, but then you're running SOMETHING. That's why I have gone gas powered and spent a lot of time dampening the noise so it's actualy pretty quiet. One other point. Please make the effort to REALLY turn it into a mutant vehicle. Radical change is key. Gluing on some fur and a few lights is not radical change. Have fun with it though. I'll be excited to see what you come up with
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Postby unjonharley » Thu Dec 03, 2009 12:50 pm

Has any one tryed a wind charger to charge one set of batteries while useing another set?
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Thu Dec 03, 2009 6:30 pm

EspressoDude wrote:Recharge requires a 48volt charger that has to replace the energy taken out.

This is exactly the point that is often lost on people considering electric vehicles.
A little home battery charger or solar panel isn't going to produce the energy it takes, in a reasonable amount of time, to replace the power a vehicle uses.

EspressoDude wrote:Now add lights and sound to drain more power...

My land yacht isn't that radically lit, DMV even said it needs more, and as it is it takes 500+ watts just for the lights... more if I turn on everything, plus a few hundred more for the sound system.

So what should you do? Go for it, none of this is intended to discourage you, just make you aware of the logistics involved in the engineering of a good mutant vehicle. Most mutants are a lot more involved than the average e-taking raver passengers ever know. My vote is convert to a gas motor if you're up to it, I think overall it would be cheaper and work better.
If you stay with electric, think BIG charger, and carrying the generator aboard the vehicle.
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Thu Dec 03, 2009 6:36 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:
LostinReno wrote:
Motsky, I wished you lived closer, we could use all the help we can get and welding skills!
If you spend a certain amount of time infiltrating the Reno burners groups, you'll get people begging to weld for you.


Definitely true! If you lived in Seattle I'd fire up the welder and help you build the thing myself!
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Postby ygmir » Thu Dec 03, 2009 7:17 pm

what do you need to weld?
I'm about an hour and a half from Reno.......and have welders and a small machine shop......
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