Teddy and I zipped on down in the CitiCar over to the Gertrude Miller community park. It was a nice day out and we spent quite a bit of time walking around the park, laying down next to Happy Creek and taking in the sound of the water, the wind in the trees, and birds chirping about.
Next we headed over to the town square. There was an art walk going on where people had setup crafts such as ceramics, antiques, and painting. Two of the tents looked like the artists did spray painting fairly quick with various techniques to make a complex painting in front of your eyes as entertainment for crowds.
To beat the heat, we walked along Happy Creek. I let Teddy swim in the river for a little bit. We continued up to B & L Custard. This time I tried the strawberry sauce over custard in a waffle bowl along with whip cream and a cherry on top. Teddy was happy with just a plain pup cup.
Arriving home, I loosened up the window locks. I used a Philips head screw driver on the exterior screw along with a 3/8 ratchet on the nut on the other side of the window.
In other news
Two packages arrived in the mail, but one was empty. I tried to request a replacement through the website, but I was being asked to send the original back, or I’d have to pay for it. A phone call to the vendor let me square things up. A replacement is being sent to me.
My Kalimba also arrived in one of them. I’ll be practicing with it while Teddy and I visit the parks.
Each package was also supposed to have a different 3-way 12 volt adapter. The better one of the two arrived just fine.
My chili peppers are ripening. One of the Habanero peppers started turning orange. These are the hottest peppers that I’ve grown this year, and most of the plants had died off.
Teddy and I had a destination with custard on our minds. It was going to be a long trip – perhaps the longest. We took the quickest route without stop-and-go traffic. Along the way someone started asking about the car while we were at a stop light.
I had previously purchased a portable EVSE that turned out to be faulty. A return was accepted for a replacement. I dropped it off at the UPS store.
We arrived at B & L’s Custard, just a few feet from the UPS store. Teddy and I grabbed a quick lunch snack. I went with a small cup, and Teddy got his usual “pup cup”.
Teddy is always happy to get a cool treat when we go out. He was fairly distracted with a dog behind a fence barking at us. While we were there, a gentleman asked about the CitiCar while he was waiting for his order.
The ride home was pretty good. I had a little range anxiety, as I kept thinking the car might be starting to lose some power. It felt like the longest trip we’ve ever been on, pushing the car to its limit.
As I arrived home, I saw a USB charger for a cars 12 volt socket setting in front of my driveway. I had forgotten to clear off the roof before I left. Taking a quick look at the odometer, it registered our trip at 9.5 miles. It certainly was the furthest on one charge.
The contact switch arrived from D & D Motor Systems today. I wired it up to my regulated power supply and a multi-meter for a continuity test. When 12 volts was applied, I could hear something, but nothing was moving and contact wasn’t being made. Bumping up to 22 volts, the contact started to move half way. At 32 volts it was almost instant. Unfortunately, it appears that the coil is meant for 48 volts rather than 12. I’ll have to rethink how I’m going to set things up – potentially using relays, or purchasing a new switch.
I ordered a PlastiFix kit and Super Clean to prepare for repairing cracks in the CitiCar’s body.
Today is Sunday. It’s another beautiful day. We’ve been having brief showers throughout the weekend. The air is fresh, and it felt like a great day to go on another adventure.
I got some tape and put up a little fact sheet on the back window. I also added a QR tag and the URL to this blog so people could learn more about the car, my adventures, and the history behind the car.
Afterwards, we drove over to the Front Royal town square.
Teddy and I took a walk along the Royal Shenandoah Greenway. Its a little path that goes around the whole town. It runs along Happy Creek, down to the Bing Crosby stadium. It also goes through a few parks and along various roads. We took our time casually strolling along the trail. I let Teddy sniff around at his own pace. He would often lead me down toward the creek.
We walked through the Happy Creek Arboretum on a side path with more shade. It’s made up of a few trees, various plants, a side path of mulch, a picnic table, and a few plaques. There is a water fountain for both people and dogs, but it was out of service. The bench looking out over the creek was also occupied, so we continued on.
We made our way towards the footbridge nearby to cross the creek. The two of us often like to watch and listen to the water below. Once we crossed, Teddy made a beeline for another open area leading to the river and startled a group of butterflies.
I let him wade in the creek for a little bit. He was thumping the water with his paw, as if he wanted to swim, but it’s just not deep enough for him. After a few minutes, he came back up the bank and we were off onto the Royal Greenway again.
We made it to our final destination for B & L’s Custard. Teddy got a “Pup Cup”, and I went with a small cup for myself. It was the perfect weather for setting outside in some partial shade along with a light breeze. As always, I had him do a few tricks for a treat beyond his wildest dreams. After he licked his cup clean, I let him lick mine clean as well.
Teddy found something stinky on the way back and had to stop to rub it all over himself. After bringing the side of his face down onto the spot, he rolls onto his back and wiggles around.
We saw the butterflies again on our way back, and I was able to stop and grab some photos before letting Teddy wade in the creek again. They appear to be Canadian tiger swallowtail butterflies.
When we got back to the town square, I took a closer look at the public charger. It offered both CHAdeMO (DC) and CCS Combo (DC). In other words – DC fast charging only. I’ve been starting to take an interest in public charging stations while researching how I can modernize the car.
On the way home, we had a couple people honk their horns and wave at us, and I would honk back. We can’t go far, but it’s been a blast driving through town again.
Charging Time & Voltage
I love making spreadsheets. I measured the voltage and kept a closer eye on the chargers as they topped off the batteries. I now have a few extra metrics to keep track of.
On an 11 hour 41 minute charge back to full, a 7.2 mile trip charged at 1 hour and 37 minutes per mile (0.66 mph). For reference, I can casually walk about 1-2 miles an hour. I suspect this is a low rate of charge for a sealed lead acid battery. It is either due to the batteries themselves, the quality of the chargers I am using, or the fact that I’m using four chargers on separate batteries that are still wired in series.
In addition, the 2.6 voltage drop from my trip comes in at about 0.36v/mile. This gives me a general idea about how much range the car has in its current configuration. Forgetting temperatures, accuracy, resting time, calculating parabolic curves, amps, hills, etc. We are working with ballpark numbers here.
Returning home with a voltage of 48.5 is almost on the nose of a 50% SoC. Ideally, I don’t want to go below a 30% charge at 47.84v. So…
(48.5v SoC – 47.84v minimum)/0.36v per mile = 1.83 miles
From this, it seems the car can go a total of 9 miles (7.2 + 1.8) before the batteries get down to 30%. A dead battery sits at around 46.04v. From the same calculations, I would have 6.81 miles left for a total range of 14 miles. I doubt I would be able to get that far unless it was all downhill.
I’ll continue to monitor the charging time and voltages to see if the total miles has an effect on the average volts per mile and charging duration. For now, I can set a timer to turn the chargers off based on each trips total miles driven.
miles driven * 1 hour 37 min
If the car isn’t charged fully by the next morning, I can simply turn the chargers back on.
Front Royal Town Square
CitiCar odometer readings for a tip to the town square and back