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.
I reached out for help regarding battery cables with other d-car owners and enthusiasts. Along with the advice that I got, one of the locals that I met in the CitiCars maiden voyage was willing to help out with supplies and tools leftover from his EV conversion project. Teddy and I hopped into our little car and zipped downtown to the town square.
We met up and with more understanding of the parts of an EV, I was able to have a more knowledgeable conversation this time and had a lot of questions to ask regarding his setup. learning a bit more about how the guy upgraded his pickup truck. I paid more attention to his setup and had my eye on his use of project boxes to keep things segregated, organized and protected. He had quite a bit of advice when I asked about wiring harnesses and thoughts regarding a themed car that could be easily reverted without damaging the body. His thoughts were to look into Plasti Dip and a brand for “Painless wiring” for quality cables/connections where cables are labeled and easy to install.
He had a large box of thick battery cables and two bags of battery lugs. The box was heavier than I had thought and caught me off guard for a moment. Along with the box of cables, I was able to borrow some wire cutters and a gigantic crimping tool. I opened the CitiCars back window and we stuck everything in with plenty of room to spare. Unfortunately, I forgot to grab the wire cutters…
Teddy and I enjoyed the park and took a stroll down main street. We went through Inklings, posed in front of a mural, and grabbed some ice cream from C & C Frozen Treats. Teddy had some mango while I ordered a quart of brownie ice cream.
By time we left, it looked like a bunch of antique cars were arriving into the town square for a little car show. I had to bail before the rain came. I didn’t make it home in time, and the rain was coming down pretty hard. I kept the wiper on the lowest setting and didn’t run into any problems blowing a fuse this time.
Running 120 volt AC via J1772
The replacement Level 1 & 2 electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) arrived today. I verified that it was operational and setup the CitiCar to charge it’s batteries through a J1772 port. I don’t know if the folks at Sebring-Vanguard had ever imagined such a thing, but I am now able to recharge the car at a public charger. Here is the setup in order from the wall to my cars batteries in my little experiment:
120 volt (5-15) outlet in wall
Level 1 & 2 EVSE (5-15 & 6-20)
EV Charger Power Converter (from J1772 to 120v & 240v)
Five 12 volt battery chargers
Four deep cycle batteries for the motor and one small accessory battery
I was loosing a tenth of an amp with the EVSE and power converter. To add more fun to the experiment, I decided to let the car charge to full capacity through the J1772 setup and see how much the total energy is affected.
Later in the night I started going through the battery cables I received to get an idea of what I had. The cables can be called either 00, double zero, 2/0 and pronounced as “two aught”.
I started taking inventory, measuring inches from the center hole of each lug.
Cables with flat lugs at each end
Some cables also had a 90 degree lug at one end, but the shorter ones didn’t have a lug at all on the opposite end.
Cables where one end has a 90 degree lug
Two long cables were included that were 13 feet, eight inches, and another at fourteen feet, 11 inches. The longer cable didn’t have a lug on one of the ends.
There are quite a few good cables that I can use. The longer cables alone may be enough on their own. Many of the smaller pieces can be used for jumps between switches, fuses, controllers, and such.
I found that I could barely use the 10¾” cable to connect two Chevy Volt battery modules next to each other. I have four cables that are 13¾, and four more at 14¼ that I could use with more slack between the batteries. It’s preferable to have a shorter length to reduce voltage drops. Although with the length of this circuit, the drop would already be fairly minimal.
I spent some time cleaning up one of the most corrosive lugs. I first tried to do it by hand with a wire brush with some progress. I then grabbed my angle grinder with a wire brush attachment and cleaned it up fast. I was finding that I was chasing some of the corrosion down under the heat shrink around the lug.
Things are coming along great. I have many cables that I can clean up and use once the motor arrives. I have the supplies necessary to make my own custom length of cables as well.
One of my tiny car radio modules came in the mail today. I actually ordered three different kinds because it was difficult to judge how big they were. This three dollar radio was originally just for a side project to stick on a repurposed 8-track tape. The idea was to give my 8-Track radio some modern features to play music from a blue tooth device as well as micro SD cards.
I was originally set on installing an 8-Track radio and an Android media entertainment center for navigation in the CitiCar. I’m having a difficult time determining where I should put them. I don’t have much space available on the dashboard to mount things, or the support to mount anything with some weight. I’m considering using one of the little radio modules instead.
I was able to wire the little radio up to work with both five and 12 volts, as advertised. The radio works, Bluetooth hooked up without a problem, and I was able to get MP3 files playing from a micro SD card. One thing of note is that I definitely need an amp. The little radio can put out a signal, but any speaker I try is so low, it is difficult to hear. The voltage supplied to the radio does not make a difference.
It’s been a long week. The weekend is upon us. Although it’s mostly cloudy, it’s a beautiful day out with warm weather. After finding my keys buried in the couch, Teddy and I hopped into the cheese and ran off to the park. Our first stop, like always, was to our local park, Gertrude Miller Community Park.
It’s fun being in such a tiny car. We were able to maneuver into a small area that isn’t wide enough for most cars to park. It was also at a convenient spot where we had enough area to do a U-turn and be on our way.
Teddy will often find his way to the Happy Creek river that runs in between Lions Park and Gertrude Miller Community Park. I let him wade around in a low spot and watch him drink some of the water to help keep him cool.
On the other side of Happy Creek river, there is a little observation deck that he likes to hop up on as well.
We walked around Lions Park, sat in the shade, and then walked past Fantasy Land playground on the way back to the car. Just looking at the castle made me want to be a kid again.
As noon approached, it was time to cool down with a nice cup of ice cream. We drove over to the Front Royal town square. Our favorite ice cream man at C & C Frozen Treats across the street was happy as always to see us visit his establishment for “essential supplies”. I purchased a quart of Diary Free Blueberry Cheesecake to bring home, and Teddy got a scoop for himself.
Teddy and I went back over to the town square to find some shade and to do a few tricks. He’ll do anything for a treat, and ice cream is one of his favorites.
Afterwards we walked around the town square a little bit. The Front Royal visitors center is an old train station, and a Norfolk & Western Cupola Caboose sets in the park. It’s locked off, so you can’t go inside. Usually kids like to play around it, climbing the steps and pretending to ride. It’s been inoperable for a long time, and grass has grown up over the tracks.
One of the main attractions in the park is the town center gazebo. Many bands have sat within the gazebo performing for the local community.
The center of the gazebo has a plaque with an inscription about a time capsule buried beneath. Who knows what treasures it contains?
We found a new mural on the side of one of the buildings. I decided it was time to continue our adventure and have a closer look.
This mural lets you become a part of it. If someone takes your picture standing in front of the wings, you can see what you look like with wings. It’s always a treasure to find these murals around Front Royal. One day we’ll find them all. This one also had bee’s flying around.
As we took a walk down main street, Teddy and I found an interesting little pet friendly shop called “Inklings“. It used to be occupied by an art gallery. We went inside to have a look around. The woman inside offered Teddy a treat. I had him do a little performance for her. I grabbed a bar of soap to remove elbow grease with Rosie the Riveter saying “We Can Wash It!”. In addition, a cup with Lewis Carol on it and quotes from Alice In Wonderland caught my eye.
Main street was closed to traffic so that establishments could use the area to help keep people spread apart. We crossed over and headed towards a hiking store called Mountain Trails. The Appalachia Trail runs through our little city, and many hikers and locals stop by for supplies. A mural of the Appalachia Trail is painted on the side of the building next to its entrance.
The staff were already familiar with Teddy. We hadn’t been there in such a long time, and they were asking to see him do a few tricks. I mentioned he wasn’t going to do them without a reward. A woman offered a treat, but he would only sit. He wouldn’t do the trick to play dead when she asked. I asked for one of the treats and had him doing a bunch of tricks to everyone’s admiration.
Time was moving fast. Even though we parked in the shade, I felt that our ice cream back in the car was going to melt if we took too long. We returned home and I got to unpack all of my loot for the day.