Monday, July 14, 2008

Purchase and transporting to its new home

On Friday night July 11, 2008, I finalized the deal to purchase a used Twike from its current owner. It was hot and the trailer was just the right size so that with a little padding it was safely on its way to its new home. If you ever need to transport a Twike, the 5' x 9' open trailer from U-Haul (the OA metal one) is a perfect fit. I measured it with a tape measure before I rented it just to be sure. I also used their blanket pads and a inner tube to cushion the Twike for the ride. Right now it is resting at the home of the nice folks at Synkromotive in Northwest Portland. They are the hotbed of EV activity in Portland! It's structure is solid but has a couple of problems. The batteries are shot (10 year old Ni-Cad batteries that were not properly cared for) and some minor parts need fixing/upgrading. The first step is to get some sort of working battery setup to see that all the electronics (controller, charger, battery management system, etc) all work. To that end, I will be trying to condense 4 bad packs into 2 working ones. Tonight I glued back together the two wood pieces that hold the display and keypad. I will reinforce it before I reinstall it to prevent the design flaw that caused the problem in the first place. Once that is done, I can reconnect the display and attempt to charge the existing battery packs. More photos in an album at Fotiki. I also scanned and uploaded photos taken in 1998 in Switzerland by Kent H about the time this Twike was built.


mahvha said...

Very cool, Phil. It was hard to tell from your photos, but I assume yours can be pedaled as well as powered by the batteries. Remember the old MG Midget that came out of a barn for $300? It was all locked up and wouldn't run either. I think it is great that Steve and you are experimenting with alternative fuels; I'm going the more conventional route of driving a hybrid, although in Fort Wayne that is considered fairly alternative (now considered more mainstream with gas >$4/gallon.


M@ said...

A Twike tips the scales at between 5-600 pounds empty (depending on whether you have 2 or 3 batteries, and the battery chemistery (newer chemistries are lighter and store more). SO pedaling a out-of-juice Twike is very similar to trying to pedal a one-speed bicycle up a hill -- it is a ton easier to get out and push. The stock Twike has 5 gears, and first gear isn't really useable much below 10mph... so you can push it faster than you can pedal it when it's dead.

I'm so glad to see more of the Oregon S-LEM Twike's getting on the road.

Twike 433, older sib to 434.