Minor update

because you really wanted to see me on it...

As per request here is a picture of me on the scooter.  There is below a picture of the components in their finished places.  Also cool is that I did some range testing and I figure I can get AT LEAST 14 miles on a charge.

Some progress has been made on Sparky.  There are no longer holes in the floor. Yay!  The physical layout for the battery management circut boards has been finalized and I should get started with final assembly this week.  Still on order is a replacement cell for the battery pack.  I just don’t feel good going long distances without it.  The short story is that I won’t be taking Sparky to the EV Expo in Tampa this week.  I still plan on going with the scooter though.

Work is picking up on the Lotus.  Some of the suspension pieces will be coming together in the next week or two.  I have set up a Lotus page to deal with this complex and more technical subject for those who are interrested.


internal layout

Mutants in my backyard!

No, no, no!  It’s not the zombie apocolypse.  I was harvesting and juicing the grapefruit in my backyard today.  Got a total of 5 gallons of juice, 4 in the freezer right now.  I noticed a few odd shaped grapefruit.  They had thick skins and these wierd nipple like things at the bottom end, just like a lemon.  They were smaller than the other grapefruit, and smelled, of all things, a little lemon y.  They taste extra sour and not much, but a little like a lemon as well.  They must be a cross polination with the nearby lemon tree.  So I took the five of these fruits that I had over to my neighbor Eric’s house.  He makes a mean lemonade and loves to experiment, so I was thinking some kind of mutant – ade might be interresting.  It was either that or throw them in the trash.  They just don’t taste that good by themselves.  Picture mixing lemon juice with a little grapefruit juice and drinking it straight.  So of course he loves them. straight.  He’s weird that way.  He eats lemons.  So now he just HAS TO make some “gremlinade”.  (GRapEfruit +  leMON = close enough to GREMLIN)  I’ll let you know how it turns out.  You see, this is what we do for entertainment around here.

On another note, I will be opening a new page on this site soon involving an electric Lotus that I’ve been slowly accumulating parts for.  I think I may be getting to the point where people might get interrested in the build.  Shortly after I get Sparky back on the road, I will start building the Lotus in earnest.  I’m starting with the tub or body of an all fiberglass ’76 Lotus elite that I found in a junkyard.  It used to have a steel subframe, but I was unable to get it before it was crushed.  I will be rebuilding all of the subframe with it’s suspension mounting points out of aluminum.  The original suspension will be replaced with a porsche 944 turbo rear end.  The front suspension is composed of drag racing parts based on a Ford Mustang II.  The drivetrain is an 11″ diameter high voltage (240V) Kostov motor mated to a 500 ft/lb rated modified VW transmission through a dual metalic disc clutch.  The interior was completely gutted, so everything including the dashboard and gauge assemblies will have to be built from scratch.  The fun part is that all of the vehicles systems will be tied though a tablet computer in the dash.  Everything from GPS, 4G LTE internet, music, battery charger, battery management system and motor controller will be controllable though the main computer.  This will be a prolonged build, the most complicated I’ve ever attempted but picturing the end product should keep me motivated.  It should be fun to bring my readers along for the ride this time.


come together

A lot of things are coming together finally.  The scooter is pretty much done and I’ve been doing errands around town with it.  The weather has been great and it has been a real joy to cruise around town on an electric scooter burning no gas.  It’s also fun to see the faces on kids pushing their own scooters as I go by.  Most look and say “hey that’s cool!”  A few just look at my scooter and then look at theirs as if to say “hey, I’ve been having fun playing with my scooter but all of a sudden it kind of sucks”  Sorry kids.

The sun is finally hitting the hydroponic rack consistantly and things are growing much better.  I ate one pea yesterday!  It tasted great!  There are more coming.  Our sweet potatoes are doing great.  I just dug up 6 big ones yesterday.  My wife ate one tonight.  Tomorrow I hope to be harvesting the rest of the grapefruit on the trees and making a few gallons of juice.  It’s funny how we accept such mediocrity in the taste of our for food from the stores when food from our back yard tastes SO much better.

I also hope to have Sparky at an EV expo in Tampa this month.  Work is progressing.  I should have the floor patched by tomorrow and be moving on the the BMS and ventillation system.

The contractor for the last of the solar electric panels came by today and collected the deposit.  (ouch!)  It will feel better after our tax credit a year from now.  Hopefully in a few weeks we will be net zero for electricity!

On a more philosophical note, I’ve been reading a bit lately.  Actually, I’m always reading a bit, but this has relevence to the subject of this blog.  The book is The Self Sufficient Life and How to Live It by John Seymour.  The book is kind of a reference for those wishing to live a sustainable lifelstyle.  It is essentially manual of the varied skills one would find useful for sustainable, agrarian living.  So far, I am through the forewards and introduction and I love it already.  The author originally published the book in 1976.  His view of technology and our continued specialization as members of our industrialized society continue to ring true today.  Mr. Seymour died a few years ago at the ago of 90.  Not a bad span of years for a guy who spent his life doing the physical labor of farming.  Many would look at that as a hard life.  He saw it as a life far more “good” and spiritually easier than the so called “modern” alternatives.  I look foreward to reading the rest of the book.

P.S.  I just found out that the president of the EV club I used to belong to (another long story) has moved away and is now driving oil tanker trucks in Texas.  I once had a friend in Utah who was dead set against the construction of a highway into the wilderness in his corner of the world.  When it became apparent that his battle was lost, he signed up to work on the road crew.  “I might as well get something out of it.  The pay is great.”  I don’t know whether to call that irony or just unfortunate, but I wished him well.  Good luck Mike and drive safe.