A Quick Switch

This project has taught me many things. One that I’m just coming to terms with is know when to push and when to give in. Another is know where to expend your energy.

I’ve been trying to set this electric car up with the motor and controller from a used electric smart car but the controller needs a software hack to operate for my application. I was hoping this would happen in time for my early May debut but it doesn’t look like it’s on that timeline. Another thing I’ve learned is don’t rely on other people to finish difficult tasks quickly. I made the unreasonable assumption that hacking the motor controller would be easy for the people attempting it and that they would finish quickly. I cannot and should not rely on that.

Instead of sinking all my efforts into that motor and controller, I am moving my attention to a new system. I am using a brushed DC motor (forklift) and Kelly controller at 144 volts. This will not be as fast or as sleek as the smart car system, but it is open source and accessible. I am now scrambling to build the custom hardware to make this system operate by the end of April. Maybe it’s a long shot, but I intend to drive this car on graduation. Above is a picture of the motor bolted to the transmission and engine mounts that I’ve fabricated in the last few days. On the bright side… I am much quicker at designing and fabricating now than I was at the beginning of the year!


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