Apr 30, 2008

But wait... there's more!

So after the battery was installed properly, next thoughts were: "How am I charging this?". Generally I'd have leads to plug into.. But since this setup uses banana plugs, alternate ideas were needed. The solution was to make a set of leads that plugged in via banana but also have taps to balance the pack.
If you notice, the center port on the pack acts as the tap. From + to the tap, it's the first cell's voltage, and from the tap to the - lead, it's the other cell's voltage (as confirmed by my voltmeter). This is how all lipo balance taps work. It's just giving you each cell's leads for the balancer to discharge each cell individually.
The tap takes a 2mm banana plug. I knew none of the local Hobby shops and electronics stores would carry them. I realized my Micro-T's brushless motor uses those size plugs to plug into the esc. Since the vehicle needs an overhaul, I decided to swipe a plug and wire it for the LiPo balancer. Now, how to plug it to my Blinky? Easy.. Futaba plugs happen to be the right spacing for the Blinky's pins. I only need 3 leads for the pack, so it's a perfect (and cheap) fix. All that's left is some soldering, annnnd....

BTW, if you're in a pinch, a tamiya male plug lead will fit in the tap port.

Gettin ready for outdoor TC racin'

Well the local track by me starts their summer outdoor season this coming weekend, and I decided to make the jump to Li-Po for my Touring Car. Stormer had a good deal, I got a pair of Orion 3200mAh packs for $66 each. Not shabby.
So I unpack the batteries and go to fit them in the car and I realize, there's something that's in the way.
As you can see, the T2's rear bulkhead has a small hump to contour the NiMH cells used normally. This was getting in the way of the battery sitting in right. After consulting the RC forums, I broke out my dremel. It took some small work, but I eventually cleared out the space needed for it to fit in.
Another thing you'll run into with the T2 is that the strap post sits lower than the LiPo does. To prevent some decent bending of the strap, I just shimmed it up with a .032" washer. Easy fix :)

Apr 13, 2008

Here's a visit to gadget corner...

Well today provided to be interesting... I picked up a few things at ridiculous prices..
First was a 2GB Sony Cybervault USB drive.. for $12!! Killer deal, and the pre-installed software was easily removable after a format ;-)

Next, I scored a Staples offshoot Bluetooth earpiece for my car for $20. I must say for a no-named staples licensed product, it's quite good! The mic works really well, I can hear everyone in the car, and the clip on piece is removable which saves breakage. Perfect for travel use. It also came with a spiffy charging/carrying case:

Last but not least.. I found a pair of flops that trumps my Reef Fanning bottle opener flops..
Meet Reef's Dram flops.. now, what's so special about it?
Ka-ching! A hidden polyurethane flask embedded in the heel!
It takes an allen wrench (with bottle opener as well) to open up the cap, which by the way, has a rubber gasket to prevent leakage! It also comes with a tiny funnel to pour in your drink of choice.
Cool thing is that it has a gauge on the bottom to tell you how much is left.. Each flop can carry about a shot and a half's worth. And since they carry these at the outlets, I picked them up for under $20. But that of course was with a discount coupon ;-)

Perfect way to make my coke taste slightly better =)