Hack Tragedy!

In classic pre-deadline efficiency, I’ve spent the last two days finishing EVERYTHING before I travel home and can’t work on this stuff anymore. This push culminated, tonight, in my determined wiring up of the motor controller for what would be my electric Roman Chariot.  For now, it’s still just the electric roman chariot Project, and after tonight, it’s even further from getting done.

After two hours of careful soldering with the World’s Most Broken soldering iron, and only a few inches of solder to work with, I had it finished, everything connected as it ought to, and with that gleaming spark in my eye, I plugged in the last few connections and lightly brushed the +36V cable against the contact.  Now a real spark could be seen in my eye, reflected for a split second from the battery terminal.  I mean the batteries sparked, a whole lot at that brief connection, way more spark than I expected.  That meant a lot more current was flowing than I expected, and should have been a warning signal to me that my circuit was off.  

But after two days of COMPLETION I forged boldly forward because I had to see if the throttle worked.  This time I plugged the motor in fully, and twisted the throttle, and.. the motor didn’t change speed at all, but the throttle, in my hand, started smoking.  Not just a little, a whole hell of a lot.

I took several moments to observe my throttle, still smoking, in silence.  When something dies so spectacularly, it’s clear: there’s no going back.  My throttle is toast.

 I will have to wait a whole week until I get back and until I can find another throttle for this scooter, to make any more progress on this.  eit!!


1 Comment

Filed under Electrical Fascination, Learning Experiences, Project Updates

One response to “Hack Tragedy!

  1. Oh no! :(

    Once, almost 20 years go, i drove to the auto parts store to replace the battery in my 1985 Toyota Van. One of the wires that connected to the battery terminal was colored black and the other was unmarked. The old battery was so dirty that i didn’t notice the black-marked wire was actually connected to the positive (red) terminal on the battery.

    So when i brought the new battery out, i connected the black-marked cable to the black terminal and the unmarked cable to the red terminal and there was popping and smoking, and my chariot was also toast. :) I was a starving student back then, so getting it fixed cost me all of my disposable income for a year.