Friday, October 1, 2010

The lull after the excitement

After those heady days leading up to the Coupe de Volt's maiden voyage, the last few weeks have been a bit of a letdown.  But I trudge forward and am getting things done.  Progress has been made on a number of fronts:

Fixing stuff that's broken: the burnt out headlight and fog light were easy enough to replace, but the backup lights took a little more effort.  I quickly determined that the bulbs were fine and that the problem was in the "back-up light switch" on the transmission.  Fortunately, it was very easy to replace ($15 at Autozone) so I now have working backup lights.  I think the car will pass the safety inspection now (tires are loud but the tread is good so I think they'll be ok, and the alignment isn't that bad).

Battery monitoring: I had previously run 3 wires from the batteries in the front of the car to the rear of the car for the PakTrakr, so the next step is to splice in to those wires to make the connections to the batteries and the PakTrakr remote module.  Each remote monitors six batteries, so I needed 3 remotes to monitor my bank of 13.  The instructions for connecting the batteries to the remotes were straightforward, but it was a little confusing at first as to how to connect the 3 remotes together and to the display.  After a bit of trial and error I finally got it right.  The correct wiring scheme goes like this:
Wire #1 from each remote (to be connected to the negative terminal of the lowest potential battery in the series for that remote) has an in-line fuse soldered to the lug.  So because "Battery #1 is in the front of the car I had to splice that lug/fuse into the wire that I had previously run through the car.  That was really the only tricky part to connecting the PakTrakr wires to the batteries.

Slight modification to the battery box vent: I placed the vent hole in the back of the battery box as high as I could without cutting into the steel frame, but the hole was actually below the top of the batteries!  So I constructed an air dam to draw air from the top of the box.  The air dam consists of a few layers of plywood which are glued together then screwed to the wood.  Here are a couple pictures:

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