Monday, October 31, 2016

An Electric Orange

Watch those wayward thoughts- this is a family-friendly blog!
This particular electric orange is a Smithco Sand Star E-Plus from 1996.
Smithco makes the word's premier grooming equipment for golf courses, baseball diamonds, and similar surfaces.  They began producing a battery-electric version of their SandStar bunker rake in the early 90's to answer demands for quiet on the course, and chose a 36 Volt golf car transaxle that would be familiar to any course mechanic.  This one had developed an internal short in the motor, and was donated to me for educational or EVenturous purposes.
This orange ATV comes with two linear actuators, one for the mid-mounted sand rake, and the other for rear-mounted attachments like scrapers and brooms.  It's powered by a 400amp Curtis controller and in impressive condition, save that little issue of a short in the motor....
The battery pack was DOA, and quickly pulled by my experienced battery-shuffling students. 
360 lbs of very dead lead, RIP
We then proceeded to clean up and repaint the corroded battery tray and pull the motor.  To fully diagnose the motor (aka: take it apart and see how it works) we popped off the end bell and pressed out the armature, which was the first hydraulic press experience for these students.  The short was where a field winding wire was attached to a terminal bolt, so we removed that bolt and ground off the old brazing.  A more experienced hand than I will be called upon to braze that bronze.  oh, Dan- got yer eyes on?
The students are eager to see me popping wheelies reminiscent of those 1980's 3-wheeled Honda suicidal ATVs, but it looks like this design topped out at 12 mph.  The math for higher revs has yet to be done....

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