Blog / General
Posted on 17 April 2015 at 12:00 am (CET)
The day before yesterday I already said that today would be very fun. And indeed it was, I met some very nice people and was able to ride on an electric 4x4 ATV and also drive in an electric 4x4 UTV. ATV-Europe came to visit today. They're from Zeeland (Most south-west province of the Netherlands) and they sell these ATV's and UTV's throughout Europe. They were very interested in the quad bike I converted myself and were also very curious what I would say about their ATV and UTV. It was all really great, they both were very nice to ride and drive. Ofcourse the ATV was the most fun for me.
Now you might be wondering how they got these things here. Well, just with 2 Dodge RAM's. The ATV on the back and the UTV on a trailer. The whole terrain was suddenly full here. Was really great to see.
The cars were awesome already but I really liked the ATV and UTV very much as well. Just didn't really know where to actually test them so we just put them in the field together with our ponies. This was really fun, they weren't even afraid since these things didn't make any sound but once you'd get a bit close they all started running.
Ofcourse they also checked my own quad bike and thought it was really awesome. They even think that this might be able to sell if I were to put these kind of models on the market for a good price. So who knows, maybe something for in the future. But yeah, lets first see if I can get it approved so I can actually start testing it on the road.
It was all really fun, unfortunately the time just flew by very quickly as well and they had to return home again. But I will definately see them again some time.
And to close off the day even better I just got a response from the RDW that the EMC certification for the controller is okay after all. The directives for this turn out to be pretty much the same for a quad bike and car. This was more or less the only thing that had me worried so I again have full faith now that the rest of the approval will go fine as well. Just 2 more weeks to go, very exciting!
Not a lot of news anymore, right now I'm only busy with all of the documents and drawings that the RDW will need for the road approval test. Unfortunately I already have a few problems with this. The certification for EMC (Electromagnetic Compatibility or in other words interference) of the controller is apparently only for the categories of personal and commercial vehicles. Quad bikes fall into a different category so the certification actually isn't valid. Thankfully the RDW is checking if there really is a difference in the directives and if the certification might still be good. If not I'll have to get a seperate EMC test done which will cost as much as 1500 euros. So I'm not really looking forward to that and hopefully it won't be needed. Will have to wait and see.
Meanwhile I did make some modifications to the motor. I cut out the rubber seal completely so this can't make any contact anymore with the copper wires of the carbon brushes.
I also advanced the brush holder by about 3 mm. The motor should run a bit more efficient now while going forward so hopefully less heat build up as well.
I've already noticed that the motor runs much smoother now, the sound is very different as well. I'm also planning to place an air duct on the side of the heelguards which will guide air from outside of the quad towards the motor. While riding there should always be sufficient cooling then. But this is something for after the approval since I want to be able to test this on the road.
Tomorrow and Thursday will be interesting as well. Tomorrow an appraiser will come here who will determine the value of the quad bike. The quad bike is ofcourse worth a lot more now than original so I want to have it insured properly.
On Thursday I'll get some other visitors. Since I really like this myself and I'm looking forward to it very much I'll wait to tell you exactly what it's about untill after Thursday. It's something American and English but still Dutch as well. :)
Since I was having problems again with the gauge that shows me voltage and current I replaced it. It's the same one again though (EV Display), just a newer version. I think I won't have any problems with this anymore, quality and build of the circuit board is much better than with the version I had before.
All wires already connected.
And placed in the enclosure. I did have to modify a few things to make it fit since this circuit board is a bit bigger.
The new gauge is nicely showing the voltage and current again, hopefully it stays like this now.
I did have a small problem where it kept showing 10 V while everything was turned off. The cause turned out to be a layer of rubber that I added between the circuit board and contactor as isolation. I found out that the rubber I used (EPDM) is slightly conductive. That's never a good thing so I removed it immediately.
Then there's still the problem with the motor that's getting too hot. Coincidentally there's also that same layer of rubber (EPDM) on the protective cover and a few copper wires of the carbon brushes actually touch this. It also looks like the rubber got pretty warm at those spots, it was kind of sticking to the copper. So this could already be a cause for the motor getting so hot.
I also checked the carbon brushes and you can see really good that they've been very hot on the inside.
This definately isn't good and I'll have to find a solution quickly before I can use the full power again.
I also have confirmation from the RDW that I can go there on April 30th at 8 in the morning for the road approval test. So I still have a few weeks to completely finish everything. It will definately be very exciting but I'm still very confident that it'll be okay.
Posted on 15 March 2015 at 07:03 pm (CET)
You don't have to wait any longer, I will now show what the quad bike looks like after working on it for almost 2,5 years. I'm really happy that I chose these colors, everything matches really good and it just looks really great. When I started this project I did have an idea of how I wanted it but it's become even better than I expected. Well, here it is. :)
Ofcourse it's nice that it all looks so good but what's more important is that it did really good again during the third test ride yesterday. This time I went to the industrial area again where my sister works, there's a nice long road there with a dead end so there's not much traffic. I've only tested at high speed now, mainly to see if the motor would get as warm again. This past week I've ran the motor for 12,5 hours at 1000 RPM so the brushes should be seated by now.
But unfortunately it already got too warm again (90 degrees celsius) just after going up and down the road twice in Sport mode. Meanwhile I did reach a new top speed of 84,7 km/h (52,6 mph) though. And it should be able to go a little faster. I think 88-90 km/h (54-56 mph) should be possible. Which is good as that's exactly the speed I had in mind when I selected the sprockets. It rides a lot better as well now, it's fitted with 4 new tyres (Toyo Proxes T1-R) and the wheels have been balanced. You can really notice the difference is at high speed.
After the motor got so warm I only still tested on Eco mode. Was a bit less fun but necessary to see if the motor would still get warm with just half the power. This is also the nominal power which the motor should be able to run at continuously. While it did take a bit longer it unfortunately still got to 85 degrees celsius after going up and down the road 6 times. So something is not right and I already have a few ideas what could be causing it. I'll look into this in the coming days.
Another problem is that the gauge which shows me voltage and current has broken for the second time. And not even during the test ride but just here at home while I was charging the quad bike a bit. I don't really have any faith in it anymore so I'll be replacing it with a different one. I'll just have to take a few fenders off again but this just needs to work properly for the road approval test.
But for the rest I'm very satisfied, the quad bike is working just fine and on Sport mode it's a real pleasure to ride on it. Ofcourse I made another video again so you can see it all as well. :)
Just a few more modifications and then on to the RDW. ;)
Posted on 13 March 2015 at 11:16 pm (CET)
Very good news today, the quad bike is finally completely built up. You still have to wait to see what it looks like right now though, I'll show this on Sunday. Tomorrow I'll probably go out for the last test ride before I go to the RDW with it. I'll make another video again. :)
But as promised I'll already show you a few little details. ;)
The quad bike has really become very beautiful, can hardly wait to share it with you all. Just a little more patience. :)