The Contraption 2010

Postby LeChatNoir » Sun Jul 25, 2010 10:03 pm

After a long weekend, 90% of the lighting is done. Now just a few accent lights to go and it’ll be all lit up nicely.

Then only the flame effect updates and it’ll be ready to pack in the trailer!!

I think…

I feel like I’m running out of time.
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Postby bigbluedoggy » Sun Jul 25, 2010 10:56 pm

Don't we all, Monsieur Puddytat... don't we all!
If everyone is special... no one is.

I do believe I will go to Burning Man...
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Postby LeChatNoir » Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:03 pm

Oh... and the headlights. I forgot that I've still got to construct the headlights.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:06 pm

Oh Jeez... and tail lights. Gotta wire in the tail lights.
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Postby Elliot » Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:50 pm

:D
I think I read that they now want two proper headlights, and two proper tail lights, like a normal automobile, to make it easier to discern which way the Thing is moving. Which kind'a makes sense.
:D
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Postby unjonharley » Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:55 pm

Elliot wrote::D
I think I read that they now want two proper headlights, and two proper tail lights, like a normal automobile, to make it easier to discern which way the Thing is moving. Which kind'a makes sense.
:D


They gave Cap Goddamnit a boat load of crap about that..

I added a set of LED headlights for running around people.. The bright one would blind them..
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Postby LeChatNoir » Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:02 pm

Elliot wrote::D
I think I read that they now want two proper headlights, and two proper tail lights, like a normal automobile, to make it easier to discern which way the Thing is moving. Which kind'a makes sense.
:D


Yep. I had to track down a matching lantern for another tail light and the Cree LED headlights are plenty bright.
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Postby oscillator » Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:21 pm

Hope those 107 lumen Crees are working out for ya.

I tried the 370 lumens on my MV. Mother Mary and Joseph - 2x370 = what, a million candlepower??? No need to Light the Entire Black Rock Desert. Rolled back to the 107s.

Can't wait to see/hear/touch/taste Le Contraption!
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Postby LeChatNoir » Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:49 pm

They're sitting on my roll-around tool box in the shop. I've tested them in the yard at night and they look like they're gonna be about perfect.

I'm still drawing a blank on how exactly I want the head lamp assembly to look. It'll probably be close to, if not the very last things I address.

There've been a few more additions on the lighting, but I think I'm all but done with it. Twist a couple wires together tomorrow evening and that'll be that. It needed some more accents here and there.
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Postby Risky » Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:35 pm

Popping my head in the garage to say hello.
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Postby Elliot » Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:57 am

:D
Update on the Beach Party Buggy: I simply built a fork.

Image

This pedal vehicle will be my primary Playa transportation this year. I'll probably leave the cloth "body" off, but I have built a roof for shade.

I've been working on a fairly large MV, but two days ago I had to face reality and put that off to next year. Too much left to do in just one month, and no $$$ for materials.

I'll still be toting a piano around sometimes. I have a little spinet that I can tow with the Buggy.
:D
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Postby LeChatNoir » Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:31 am

Damn... no Bigger Boat this year.

But it's a good thing, the ability to realistically assess a project and know when to move it back a notch. A sort of relief, actually, I'm sure.

You'll be there and that's the main thing!
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Postby Elliot » Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:29 am

:D
Very much a relief -- sometimes we have to grow up and accept what's realistic. But I have a good start on the boat, so it should be no problem for next year.

I will indeed be there, with a four-seat pedal-vehicle, three pianos, and "bells on".
:D
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Postby Finnegan » Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:26 pm

You come with what you've got. And you have a fine time! Almost there now..
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Postby Elliot » Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:44 pm

:D
That's it! I always aim real high, because that's the only way I ever occationally hit anything above belly-button-level. :lol:

Finishing my barn/workshop has been a bit of a load this year. Bigger Boat next year.

(And I always have a fine time at BM!)
:D
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Postby Elorrum » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:37 pm

Image
I have one of these flashlights I'm converting to led.... wonder if it would get a ride on the contraption?
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Postby LeChatNoir » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:31 pm

AHAAA HAA HA!

That's the most perfect-ist flashlight ever. Oh, I mean, "purrfect-ist".

It can, of course, get a ride on The Contraption, but you will have to accompany since black cats can be tricky at times. What with all that Halloweeny business they have going for them and all.
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Postby Elliot » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:52 pm

:D
Le Chat Noir, do you know where you will be camping, so I can maybe find you?

I made a change a while back and will be at 9 and Esplanade.
:D
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Postby LeChatNoir » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:56 pm

Not sure of exactly where yet, but it's looking like the 9:00 o'clock side of the city again this year. I'll keep you posted as plans become more final.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sun Aug 01, 2010 8:04 pm

Got the taillights and a couple of additional marker lights done over the weekend. Now it’s just the headlights and re-plumb the flame effect to meet the Fire Team’s criteria. No problem.

Fishy, I even got the seat base tilted back for you. It’s actually more comfortable and I should have done that to begin with. I had hoped to have a full on wheelchair accessible carriage seat, but I just ran out of time. Next year needs a project, I suppose though.




I have a question for some of you who may be more experienced than I in the field of 12v DC electrical systems. I have the alternator, a standard AC Delco, and it's working great. I plan to use the contraption to charge our camp batteries as we tool around. We are using two different types of batteries and I have two of each so they can be switched out. There are 115Ah deep cycles that run our main lights and radio and smaller 7 Ah deep cycles (the kind used for depth finders) to run some other lighting.

Here's where I have a sort of question. I have mounts for each size battery on the Contraption and want to charge both of them while running.

I know hooking up multiples of the same battery in parallel is fine and is done so all the time on solar systems. What I’m not sure of is hooking up a large deep cycle and a small deep cycle to the same charging system. To my understanding, since they are both 12 v DC, there should be no problem with this, but… is there any risk to the alternator by using two different batteries or will the two batteries simply balance out? I’d hate to have some imbalance in the charging system kill my alternator.

The system is currently configured with the alternator feeding the 115 Ah directly and two leads running from that battery to the smaller 7 Ah.

Can anyone confirm or correct my thinking on this?
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Postby Token » Sun Aug 01, 2010 8:15 pm

My understanding is that deep cycle batteries like a 1/10 capacity charge rate.

So your bigguns could take 12A charging and liluns could take 1A.

My fancy microcontroller based home charger can usually double the charge current by pulsing 4x at half duty cycle or some magic like that.

I would recon you need a gizmo between your alternator and the battery to limit the current to acceptable levels.

Them Delcos can pump out over 100A I'm told.
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Postby Elliot » Sun Aug 01, 2010 8:22 pm

:D
I doubt you could hurt the alternator, but a little voice in the back of my head is mumbling something about the possibility of overcharging the smaller battery. :?:

By the way, if you are using a GM CS-130, be aware those are notorious for burning out the rear bearing, so you might want to carry a spare.

Oh... I see Token is ahead of me already.

105 Amps out of a CS-130; even more out of a CS-144.
:D
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Postby motskyroonmatick » Sun Aug 01, 2010 8:47 pm

I think that if you hard wire the little battery to the larger battery you will have an equalization of voltage event if the charge voltage at the time of connection is different. Most likely it will be. In my mind the large battery would push charge in to the smaller battery at a really high rate if the smaller battery voltage is lower. This may be an overcharging situation and hurt the smaller battery. If the voltage in the little battery is higher it will try to push power in to the bigger battery and may be damaged by too quick of a discharge.

All I can come up with right now is running an inverter off of the larger battery to a one amp charger for the little battery. Possibly a battery tender. Yeah you have to step up and down voltages and there is inefficiency there but since it is running of a system that has a large charging capacity I think it would be fine.

My other gut reaction idea is a battery isolator charging system that RV's have but I have no idea how that system would work with low capacity smaller batteries and their ideal charge rate.
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Postby unjonharley » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:09 pm

I was into using different size batteries too..

I do have two deep cell the same size.. One is weak and leaks off the to 10.85 volt in a few days..

Should I go ahead and use the weak one and charge it in line with the other??
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Postby Token » Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:03 pm

Batteries have internal resistance. This is what allows them to be connected in parallel.

Alternators produce variable power output that is not directly tied to the RPM of the engine. The regulator decides how much power us produced by supplying variable voltage to the wet magnets. This is why batteries don't explode when you rev up the engine.

In theory, if your alternator has a built in regulator, you should be able to hook all batteries in parallel regardless of size and the whole thing should work.

The risk will be overcharging the deep cycles since they are designed differently than what the regulator manufacturer figured.

If these were golf cart batteries I'd be worried. If they are RV/Boat cranking deep cycles, you are probably OK.
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Postby oscillator » Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:05 pm

You might try running a small solar charge controller off the larger battery to the smaller one.

We did this on the 300 watt array last year: 4x6VDC 12VDC main bank that charged smaller batteries via the controller -- it was <1 amp as I recall -- worked great.
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Postby FIGJAM » Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:09 pm

Ive been going over this fo 2 months cause I didnt know either.

Did alot of research to get the best charger.

The battery minder site answerd all of my questions.

Charging multiples. Pretty sure they need to be matched and "balanced", They said how balance the batteries on tier site.

I can do up to 6 at a time with the battery minder.
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Postby FIGJAM » Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:15 pm

My understanding is that the deep cycles can take more charge (mine says 14 volts to full charge) so the regulator is set to dissingage the charge before it gets any where near that since car batteries are only charged too 13 volts.
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Postby gyre » Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:25 am

Isolators are just big diodes, and yes you need them.
And yes, fine on different size batteries.

But all they do is protect the batteries from imbalances from the other batteries.
I suspect a charger is a good idea for each one.

Even with an isolator, I was told to use identical batteries from the same lot on my car.


Token, I'd like to her more about your charger.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:19 am

motskyroonmatick wrote:All I can come up with right now is running an inverter off of the larger battery to a one amp charger for the little battery.


That might be good idea. I do have thel wall-wart charger that came with the little one. Like Elliot, I’d worried about over charging as well. I don’t need no completely sealed up deep cycle acid-blaster action. Having the charger minding the small one seems like a logical approach. And I do not have one of the cs-130’s. Just a standard old Delco that puts out around 40 amps at 2000 rpm. Still more than enough since with everything but the headlights on, it’s still only pulling about 6 amps.

The big one is a boat deep cycle and it's the one that's hooked up to the system as the main battery. The little one is a Zeus PC-7.



This inverter here seems affordable and easily incorporated into things.


And here’s a float charger, incase someone didn’t have one.


Having a small inverter on the MV might be handy any way.
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