Wagon/Yard Cart/Wheelchair

I more or less finished Bethany’s cart today.  More or less because while the cutting and welding are finished, it doesn’t have a deck yet.  That will have to wait until I come up with a piece of plywood or deck boards.

The frame had a peg welded to it to keep the front wheel from turning all the way around.  That had to go to improve the maneuverability of the cart.

The frame was designed in two sections so it could be disassembled to fit in the trunk of a car.

I’m more concerned with strength than disassembly so I cut off the T handle and welded the sections of the frame together.  Don’t look too closely at the welds; I’m not much of a welder.

The handlebars (technically called a “tiller”) had a spring-loaded pin that allowed the angle to be adjusted, and also allowed them to fold down flat for portability.  I cut the pin down and trimmed the bottom of the handle so it has a wider range of unencumbered motion.

The handle was too short and the handlebars didn’t allow a centered grip with one hand.  I cut the front bumper off and straightened the steel to use to extend the handle, then welded a pin in place to hold a foam crutch handle.  I don’t know how well it will hold up, but it’s nice and comfy.

The whole contraption is far from pretty, especially since I caught the tires on fire at one point, but it works well.

Our new goat who has yet to be named watched me the whole time from 5 feet away, not the least bit concerned by all the noise.

On the subject of the wind turbine, I got a very prompt email back from the manufacturer of the scooter.  According to the information he sent about the motor, the turbine could make about 2 kW at peak output.

Segway?

Bethany has decided that instead of a garden cart, she wants a Segway.

She seems to think the transaxle assembly from the wheelchair would work well as a Segway base.  I’m pretty sure she doesn’t understand the complexity of gyroscopes and motor controllers.  Neither do I, for that matter.  I think we’ll stick with the wind turbine and garden cart.

I haven’t been able to determine the amps the motor is intended to draw so I don’t know what kind of output I can expect from the turbine, or what size and type of blades to make.  I sent emails to both the scooter manufacturer and the motor manufacturer.  Hopefully they’ll reach somebody who will take the time to look up a 12-year-old scooter for me.

Wind Power

I was given an old, broken motorized wheelchair today.  If you don’t know me, you may be wondering why I would want something like that, and why I’m excited enough to blog about it.  If you do know me, you’re probably cringing already.

I’m planning to build a wind turbine.  I’ve been on the lookout for a good motor for a while, but everything I’ve found has been ill suited for turbine use.  (An electric motor also works as a generator.)  Most wheelchair motors run at a high RPM, which for turbine use means either low voltage output or using gears or pulleys to spin the motor faster.  Using fuzzy math, a motor rated for 24 volts and 3000 RPM will produce 2.4 volts at 300 RPM.  The turbine would have to be spinning dangerously fast to produce a practical amount of power.  My motor is rated for 125 RPM at 24 volts.  With a properly sized rotor, I should be able to produce plenty of power to charge a 12V battery bank.

I’ll take some pictures of the process and document my progress.

I’m also considering turning the frame into a garden cart of sorts for Bethany.  It’s a three wheeled chassis with a pivoting front wheel so stability won’t be the greatest but she won’t be hauling huge loads anyway.  I think I can hinge the steering column and let that function as the pull handle, but that will depend on if it can support that much force.  It may need to be reinforced.  I’ll document that project when I get to it, too.  Actually, the garden cart will probably be tackled first.