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Daox 06-25-20 10:35 PM

6 Attachment(s)
Alright, I got the mower running again today. It took a bit more work than I first thought.

I got the replacement bearing, but when I went to put it together I noticed this:

The shaft is worn / damaged where the bearings sit. This would toast the new bearing. So, I ended up purchasing a new shaft assembly.

It all went together just fine. I sharpened the blades for the first time in a few years (wow that was too long to wait).

While things were apart, I decided to tweak things a little bit too.

I replaced the driven pulley on the mower deck. I went from a 3" to a 3.5". This slows down the blades about 15%. The objective here is really to lessen power draw. I wasn't able to test this yet as my ammeter is actually broken on the mower. However, I look forward to seeing how this has helped.

I also added a battery acid protection shield over the motor. When I roasted the motor before, it was because the battery dripped acid down into it onto the commutator. This was a fairly simple deal with a bit of sheet metal and my bench vise.

So, how did it all work? Really nicely. It is very quiet now. Before, the mower deck made lots of noise. It sounded like a big blower fan. Now, its not bad at all. And, thankfully the mowing quality is not effected. My grass was very long from the mower not running for the past ~2 weeks. It cut through it like butter. If anything, I would say it bogged down less than it used to. This makes sense as there is now more torque going to the blades.

pinballlooking 06-25-20 10:39 PM

It looks good.
Getting some welding in.

Daox 06-26-20 08:30 AM

Thanks. Its been a very nice refresh. I actually want to continue the update with a few more things.

First off, I think one of my chargers is dead. For a while now I've wanted to move the chargers off of the mower so they don't bounce around and die a premature death. I am thinking this will happen once I get the new charger. I think I asked about 8 conductor connectors earlier when I posted about doing it. I will have to review that and get parts on order too. Suggestions are welcome. The connector has to handle 3A charge current.

Second, I really want to get a 4 cell battery monitor. This will monitor the voltages of each battery individually so I can see if a charger dies, and I can see what the weakest battery is. I would love this to be a bar graph type deal since reading 4 number gauges at once seems dumb. If you have any ideas I am all ears!

Daox 06-26-20 01:46 PM

1 Attachment(s)
This is kind of what I'm thinking of for my battery monitors. 4 of these would probably do the job. I love how there are no instructions on how to actually adjust it though...

Daox 07-14-20 03:45 PM

3 Attachment(s)
I got the LED voltmeters today. Of course, being a cheap product from overseas I started by taking it apart. Inside there really isn't much. Its a single circuit board with one main chip (LM3914V), a resistor and two potentiometers (assuming for meter calibration). The wires are soldered right to the circuit board without any strain relief, so I'll have to fix that as the mower isn't exactly a smooth ride.

So far not too bad. Next I moved on to testing their calibration because who knows what the heck these things are set to. I ordered 5 units and tested each one with my power supply and a multimeter (for greater accuracy).

I was pleasantly surprised by this. Here is the testing results:

max = 13.37V
two red = 11.10V
min = 10.43V

max = 13.42V
two red = 11.24V
min = 10.65V

max = 13.56V
two red = 11.20V
min = 10.56V

max = 13.48V
two red = 11.38V
min = 10.76V

max = 13.16V
two red = 11.22V
min = 10.65V

This is actually pretty darn close to what I want. I typically stop mowing when the voltage on the weakest cell starts hitting 11V. This can likely be achieved without any further calibration by just stopping mowing a bit after I hit the two red LED mark. With the varying load the mower sees, the voltage really jumps all over the place, so super precise measurement is not necessary at all. That being said I still really want these more balanced becuase... ocd? :)

The main point in having these meters is to make sure that no batteries are dropping below 10.5V, and to make sure the batteries are charging properly. For the entire life of this mower, I've just used a single multimeter to monitor what I believe to be the weakest battery. This in theory works but it doesn't cover all the bases. I've had multiple chargers (I use 4x 12V chargers) die over the years. So, I go plug the mower in after cutting the grass, and the battery just never charges. The next time I go to mow I murder the battery because I didn't notice it never got charged. This really sucks because not only do I need a new charger, but now I need a new battery we well. This solution should prevent that possibility.

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