Night before the race, I managed to barely get it functional, but didn't have time for making the TS interconnects and wiring up at least a basic LVC warning for at least one cell, plus I wasn't sure the bike would take the extra 45lbs or so of the TS cells plus mountings, along with all that NiMH and my cargo pods full of stuff for the trip. I also didnt' have time to actually road test it, as I was so tired that I did not think I could safely ride without at least a quick nap. As there was only a couple of hours before I had to leave to catch the light rail at that point, I had to just accept it working or not once I woke up.
With my race gear piled up on the seat, and the 12V lighting pack still charging, here's the pic from just before my nap:
Almost all of my NiMH is on there.
The green 2x 24V 13Ah, the white-wrapped-in-blue 12V 13Ah, and behind and to the right of them the 36V 9Ah:
It's a bit hard to see in the left of the pic above, but the recnetly-fixed 12FET is strapped to the side of the also-recently-fixed 18FET, on teh top tube of the front frame. They clear the pedals and cranks by a few mm.
Since I had some batteries saved from something, I was able to power up that Vetta cycle computer, and found instructions for it on Sheldon Brown's site.
So on it went:
Yes, that is a tire burn mark on the carpet barely visible next to the bike on the right.
I'll have to firgure out how to get that out. I hit the throttle while leaning teh bike over the other way to take the picture.
Almost ran over one of the dogs before I grabbed the brake. Plenty of power in there.
The forks I ended up choosing due to height were the skinny but well-made and strong ones off the Schwinn Sierra. I actually wanted to use the Nishiki becuse they had slightly better dropouts and overall shape, but the steerer tube is not long enough to work on this frame. I considered strongly the crappy shock forks from a freeby bike but I can actually grab the two legs in my hands and twist them, deforming the U-bar across them that holds the brake studs.
I decided that wouldn't be good enough with the stresses I'd put on it, though later after riding I began wishing I *had* used it. The dropouts on the Sierra fork are just too small and there isnt' enough surface for hte washers and nuts to grab, so the wheel nearly spun out first time I got on. (see below).
I had to move the turn signals along with some realy flimsy aluminum strip mounts to the frame itself instead of the fork, as the original mounts are welded to the 24" shock fork with the Fusin on it. Turns out later that was a good thing, as it saved the right one from destruction on the track.
The 9C ended up as the only motor I took due to weight and space, I didn't think it was a good idea to add more weight since it was unlikely I'd fry the motor.
I considered swapping for Icecube's drilled-out covers and the GM stator, but ended up not doing it mostly due to time limits and being so tired I thought I'd make a stupid mistake that would end the whole trip before it began, since I now had evertything actually working at this point.
Then race day, partially crossposted from the halloween race thread:viewtopic.php?p=328381#p328381
Evoforce and two non-ES friends of his picked me up at the far end of the light rail, and we headed off for a long trip to Tucson from the Valley.
The trip itself was interesting and fun, although it was difficult at times to keep from nodding off (I knew if I did I'd feel worse than if I just stayed awake, as I'd only gotten an hour and a half or so of sleep). On the way, I was relacing Evoforce's main bike wheel into a new rim, which had a pretty destroyed rim that I wouldn't have wanted to let anyone ride on. The lacing went well enough, but with the tire and tube sitting upright on the floor in front of the seats we were in, I somehow managed to drop one of the old spokes in there which neither of us noticed as we put the wheel back together later, and it gave him a flat we didn't really have time to fix, essentially putting his main bike out of the race.
When we arrived at the track there wasn't anyone there, because we didn't quite go far enough down the road. His friends rode a couple of his bikes up and down the road, and had a lot of fun--EV grins all around.
He and I finished a basic truing of the wheel on the bike, reassembled the bike and eventually we all went to the correct track, after his friends came back to let us know our problem.
I didn't end up in the race itself, as after riding the track I found two things, one of which I already knew:
--I don't have very good reaction times, which leads to poor control over a fast machine, especially since I have trouble telling how fast I am actually going once I get past speeds I usually ride at (below 20mph).
--Crazybike2 is not the easiest to steer at high speeds unless you lean it WAAAAAAAY over. Which works perfectly fine on the paved track surface, which is pretty sticky even with the crappy tires on CB2. But just touch the gravel/dirt at the edge of the track with your rear tire and that lean is now a slide with a dust cloud to rival an experimental fighter jet plowing into the desert at mach five.
Since I was wearing those new-to-me hockey leg guards, with plastic side covers and all that padding, and I was smart enough to just keep holding the bars instead of trying to reach out, I didn't get any injuries, but it did tear the kneepad leather pretty good.
If I hadn't been wearing them it would've *at least* taken the skin off my knee, and quite likely a lot worse.
Other than a lot of dust and dirt in my face I was otherwise fine. As it happens, it was a good thin I did not bring or use the ventilated side covers from Icecube's 9C/GM, or the motor would've been fillled iwth dirt and gravel at that point, as the front wheel on that side dug itself in fairly well, with dirt packed into the threads and whatnot, and up between the washers/etc, as well as on the side cover.
The bike itself was mostly unhurt, though it ended up doing something to the brakes that later caused me another near-crash, at the opposite end on the other tight curve past the straightaway, just past the pit exit/track entrance. The left side brake (opposite side of the crash) dived under the rim and stuck in a way that left me with no braking power but also no motor power for some reason, and fortunately didn't reach the spokes. I ended up choosing to continue straight-line into the gravel with my feet out flintstone-style for brakes, and I still slid at least 15 feet before stopping, but upright this time. I took it back to the pits to figure out what went wrong and fix it.
I ended up being unsure enough of it's mechanical reliablity and my own handling ability to not go on to the heats or race, but I think I would like to do this again come springtime.
At one point in the practice, I got it up to 31.5MPH on the straight,
at only 60V of damaged NiMH F-cells; I bet if I had done what I wanted to and put the 32V of TS60Ah cells in there, and paralleled the NiMH for 36V more, I could've gotten at least 5MPH more out of that, because the voltage drop on these NiMH is pretty bad at the high current drains I was probably getting.
I have no wattmeter data because I still had the large multipole andersons on the WU I brougth with me and totally forgot to pull one of the TWMs with the small andersons off DayGlo Avenger before I left home (I remembered halfway to the light rail but it was way too late by then). I really wanted to know what performace I got out of it but I guess that'll happen next time.
For the trip up there, I had the cargo pods on, stuffed with my gear and extra parts I might blow up and tools, so it was pretty heavy. It was on 48V for that trip, with the traction pack of 2x 24V NiMH packs from Ianmcnally, and a signal lighting pack of 12V NiMH made of half the 24V pack from Deardancer. A 36V D-cell NiMH from Deardancer ran my CFL lighting only becuase I did nto have time to change it's connector from Multipole to Powerpole (liek the WU); I had also intended to try that one in series with all the others to see what speed I could get but ended up not trying it out because I was afraid of ripping the motor out of the fork dropouts already.
The light rail trip was interesting, as I have pondered but never actually taken CB2 on it. It is too long to do what I originally thought to do, which is stand between the doors; instead it must be put along the seats to one side and placed so that one side's cargo pod is in the "well" where the seats fold up for wheelchairs and the like. THis means that on busy times I probably could not ride the rail with it. Also, I can only ride the rail from end to end, and never get on or off at any other station, because they do not stop long enough to get the bike to or from that position (it takes over 2 minutes, maybe 3 or 4), and there's no way I could maneuver it while they're accelerating or decelerating, even though they have finally figured out that they don't need to gun the throttle or slam on the brakes, at least, so it's much gentler than before.
I was actually able to ride the whole way just seated on CB2, kicked back and relaxing, trying to not fall asleep.
Being pulled back and forth by the braking/starting helped keep me awake, as even with the brakes on, CB2 slid a little bit with each start and stop. The pic shows the Fusin wheel Dogman brought for me, on my trip home. I forgot to take a pic on the way there. Wish I had thought to ask someone to take a pic of me on the bike while on the train.
For the track, I took off the cargo pods,
and hooked up the NiMH in series for 60V, 2x 24V plus 12V, all F-cell.
THe controller used for everything was the 12FET from Ianmcnally that I think had been hooked up backwards to power and blew the caps and melted shunts, so I have no real idea what it's current limit was, since the replacement shunts I used are probably 1/2 to 1/3 of the original ones, at a guess. (I dont' know what the originals were, or even for sure what the new ones are, just what the PCB was marked next to them on the blown analog controller I pulled them from). The controller didn't even get warm, though, probably becuase it's mounted along the side of the front top tube, with it's front end open and the FET side up with lots of airflow.
The motor was a little warm after my practice runs, but not much. Probably the same as my regular commuting with it on DGA.
I never needed to use the Methods controller I had on there, originally there as a backup but also to try with all the NiMH in series.
I couldn't trust the dropouts of the tiny fork I ended up using to hold the motor, after several times (on the trip to the light rail and on the track) of having the motor begin to come out of them when I pushed the throttle down too quickly, instead of gradually. Even what I would normally call gradual still required me to pedal a lot at starts from stops to keep it from coming out. When I first powered it up on the road outside my front door, I almost spun it out of the fork! I had not realized it would be such a problem at only 48V, but it is. Even the torque arm wouldn't keep it in the dropouts, becuse it is not designed for this shape of fork.
I think it might actually have made the problem worse. I had to go back in the house to get a big wrench that I could use easily and quickly to put it back if it were to happen again (as I was pretty sure it would).
While the heats and race were going on, I charged my batteries at Dogman's generator
so I'd have them full for the trip home from the end of the light rail. It took the better part of all that time to finish charging, so if anyone knows how long that was (I forgot to check) then I can guesstimate how much power I used.
I'm only sorry that I did not take more pictures (forgot I had the camera with me until too late for a lot of stuff), and that I chickened out on actually trying to race. But hopefully there will be a next time when I am better prepared.