11-6-05 Re: Those “low end” surplus starter generator kits that several people are selling

Hello to All,

Lee Hart wrote:

>My first EV had a 30v 500amp aircraft generator;
>slightlybigger than the one here. But it was also a 1974 Datsun pickup; fairly small and light, >but not as light or aerodynamic as small car. I had twelve 6v golf cart batteries, which is a >rather light pack. I ran it with a 36v/72v contactor controller, and the original 4-speed >manual transmission. Top speed was about 55 mph. Range was 20-30 miles, depending on >speed and driving style. Accelleration was about the same as the stock 4-cyl 1800cc engine; >but it drew 500-1000 amps from the poor batteries to do it. Efficiency was lower than >modern motors (it took two automotive heater blower motors to cool it), though the only >other consequence was a 10-20% loss of range compared to what I could have gotten with a >better motor. It was my daily >commuter for 2 years, doing 5 miles each way to work. The >batteries lasted 2 years, by which >time they were murdered from newbie abuse and could no >longer get me to/from work.

>I think John Wayland had a similar experience with his first EV, a Datsun 1200 sedan. A 30v >starter-generator and pack of 6v floodeds is a crude, but workable way to make your first EV.

Yes, Lee, you remember correctly. At the Plasma Boy Racing video page, towards the end of the selections one can find and download a video from 1984 of Blue Meanie, when it was motivated by a surplus aircraft starter/generator, model 2CM77.
The 30V 500 amp generator (same rating as Lee’s) was force-fed 48V through a three step contactor speed controller I scrapped together, and like Lee said, 1000 amps was a common battery discharge! Far lighter than Lee’s Datsun pickup (2170 lbs. curb weight as a gasser) with 12 golf car batteries, my little Datsun 1200 sedan (1587 lbs. curb weight as a gasser) with just 8 golf car batteries weighed maybe 1800 lbs. and would smoke the back tires. It could hit 70+ mph on a straightaway (I was clocked on radar at 81 mph on a slightly downhill run). At 1984 SEVA Long Distance Rally, the 48V Meanie ran 52 miles on just 8 golf car batteries, though admittedly, we went a tepid 35 mph for the test loop. I out-did Lee by destroying the flooded 6 volters in just 6 months, blowing one of them up in a dramatic explosion that blew the car’s back seat off its mounts! The next set of 8 floodies was treated a little better, but still, with my regular ‘demonstrations’ of electric power, I ruined those in a little over a year. The advent of powerful AGMs, especially the Optimas, was a godsend to an addicted amphead like me!

> My view is that such vehicles are cheap and simple, and work well enough to be usable. And, >they *teach* you a lot about EVs; enough so your *next* EV will be a lot better. Consider >them an EV college course on wheels!

I agree, though I’d say it’s more like a high school shop class on wheels.

See Ya……..John Wayland

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