Wire we waiting…

What a day! What does a person have to do to find a piece of red wire? I tried a B&Q the size of a small airport, Halfords, then Maplin, then Screwfix, and none of these people could offer me a simple length of wire in red.

A stickler for detail, I was determined to get hold of the short lengths of red and black wire of a suitable grade for the 72v DC converter part of my upgrade project, and after 15 miles of hilly terrain I really was starting to sweat that I wouldn’t make it home, as one by one the green lights on my power meter dropped off, leaving me descending into the dreaded orange-zone. Fortunately I made it back home with juice to spare and gratefully plugged it back in for a long recharge session.

Finally, in desperation, I did the one thing I really would have preferred not to. I cannibalised my older, more unattractive 12v charger for the small length of red and black wire that I would need. I tried to unsolder the clips so I could resolder them further down on the ends of the newly shortened wires, but my soldering iron couldn’t penetrate whatever they’d done it with. In the end I spliced the wires back together, and wrapped them in black and red insulation tape, so it still works and the scars of the operation are barely visible.

But all in all it was a pretty productive day. I completed, photod and documented the 72v DC converter build, and started the upgrade path to 60v. I was going to go straight to 72v, but it looks like the 72v controller could be some time in making its way from China. I bidded on one in ebay, but got gazzumped in the last 45 seconds – aargh!

My neighbour, a retired electrician, kindly found me some suitable wiring to extend my existing battery circuit to the extra cell, and found a terminal ring of the right size (but alas only the one), something that B&Q did not seem to stock (they only have assorted bags of little flimsy ones).

I also cut a one-battery hole in the seat enclosure, and managed to make it a beautifully snug fit. Once I have one more of those terminal rings for the end of my lead, I’ll be in business. The bike’s fully charged and the extra battery I got is on the optimate charger. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll find someone who stocks a decent range of terminal rings to tide me over to when I switch to the welding cable-grade setup that Ian and Mike already have in place. The big chunky rings for that arrived today, but the cable itself is still on its way.

At least I found some bolts that would fit my battery, they’re too long, but I can bodge the connection with extra nuts and washers until Northwest bikes can send me some of the proper ones with the unsmashed topbox they’re shipping me.

So Building a 72v DC Converter is now in place, and I’m a good way into the 60V upgrade. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be in a position to try it out with the extra battery.

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