Sunday, September 20, 2009

Reorganized the Electrical System

When I first got all the parts, I hastily wired everything up and kind of stuck it inside just to see if I could get the droid running, and I had a bunch of battery issues to work out. So over the last couple of days, I've been reorganizing the electrical system. I managed to cannibalize the power switches (which I like) and the charging system out of the scooters and put them to work in the droid. I got some small hinges with removable pins and mounted this pvc panel inside the back door to mount everything one.

I'll be mounting a power distribution board on this panel and the sound system, which I'm working on. I think there will be enough room.

Here's a close up of the switches and the charging ports. Pretty cool:

I didn't know if I could get the chargers to work from the scooters. There's a box inside them with a bunch of circuitry that the charging and accelerator all run through. I didn't want any of that stuff from the scooter, I just wanted the switches and the ability to charge them. But after looking at it and thinking about it for a few days, I managed to hook it all up. I've got two banks of batteries, with two batteries in each. They are 12v. So I've got two pairs of them wired in series to make them 24v. Then I took both banks of 24v and ran them through a power switch and a charger port. Then on the other side of the switch, I put the power leads together to combine the banks. They are wired in parallel this way, so there's still 24 v, but more amp hours. That combined power line goes straight into the motor controllers for the foot drive and the dome drive. I'm running a 5v power line off of one of the motor controllers to the receiver. But I may change that when the distribution board is in there. Here's the backside--it looks messy, but it makes a lot more sense than the tangle I had before. I've gathered up different leads and routed them around the frame on the inside with wiring hooks.

Here's what I've come up with for the batteries. I may have to change it if I decide to switch batteries later. The batteries from the scooter turned out to be 2.75" wide, which is the inside width of the c channel I bought for the foot drives. So I cut some pieces of that, put little caps on the ends, and I ran a wire up over the top so the battery can't come out of the holder. Then I drilled holes in the ends of the battery brackets and screwed them down to the floor of the droid. I'd like to have a dowel or a threaded post coming up for this I think, but maybe later.

And here's the shot from above. You can kind of see the routing of wires around the frame. I left some slack in the wiring going to the back side of the door so that the door can open freely. I've tried to put connectors in the wires in some strategic places so that I can take parts or assemblies out if necessary.

The lighting system and the power distribution board, which I got from Dan Stutgen (spelling?) requires 12v. So I think I'll have to get another battery for all of that, or figure out how to step the 24v signal down to 12.

Next big steps will be getting the four lights in the dome all set up and wired to the slip ring. I need to install a deck in the bottom of the dome for the slip ring and possibly another power board. I'm thinking a lot about Chris James' designs on these parts.

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