ATG (Jul/Aug14) - Bench Testing

If you have any questions about my articles or our products (or just want to chat about golf car repair), feel free to contact me at guru@golfcarnews.com.

Q: S.K. Writes: Mr. Kramer can you please help with some sort of bench testing for controllers so we can run them before we install them?

According to Roger: For some reason this suddenly has been a hot topic. It seems you are not the only one with that request. A test stand not only speeds up processes it helps you with troubleshooting. You will find by taking the time to build one it also becomes a training aid for your techs. It can be used as a Demo Unit for your show room to explain the features and benefits of the motor system you are selling. Ultimately, that is our goal, profit from sales. The more you can educate your clients and personnel, the profit levels will increase. This may become a two or three part answer as this is a very large subject and will not fit into the allotted space I have. That is why sometimes I write condensed versions of things. This one we cannot do that.

So to start with let’s talk about materials. This will depend on how elaborate you want to be.

Switches:
3 Single pole single throw rated at 3 amps will suffice (Mini)
1 Double pole double throw rated at 3 amps will suffice (Mini)
1 Plastic project box 6” X 3” X 2” (you can use smaller just make sure it will accommodate all of the parts)
1 Linear potentiometer rated a 5K to 0 (1/4” shaft)
1 Knob for potentiometer (1/4” ID)
1 Contactor (solenoid) rated at 36 volts
1 Contactor (solenoid) rated at 48 volts
1 Shunt wound motor (closed)
1 Series wound motor (closed)
1 Non conductive mounting board 36” X 18” X 3/4”
1 Push cart or metal frame to mount the parts to (Harbor Frieght)
Spools of 18 gauge wire of assorted colors
Assorted wire ends
Assorted cable ends (6 gauge)
Roll of cable (6 gauge) 15 to 20 foot depending on system (series or shunt)
10/12 Gauge wire (red and black) and cut to length (shunt system)
2 Molex nine pin connector (optional)
2 Single pole double throw contactors (solenoids) for series systems or use a manual forward/reverse shifter. Contactors will give a cleaner look. 36 and 48 volt.
1 Diode rated at 3 amps
1 Pre-charge resistor rated at 250 ohms
1 Ferro-resonant 20 or 30 amp charger (two connected in parallel will double output for amperage)

The mini switch can be found at Radio Shack along with the potentiometer and knob. The contactors should be in your golf car stock. The motor can be ordered through your sales representative. Cables and wire you should have in your warehouse. You can use a PB-6 Pot-Box but that limits you to a 5K to 0 wipe. We will discuss resistive wipe, ITS and voltage for throttle inputs as we go along. In your stock pile of old battery chargers you should have a charger. Or you can use batteries if you have extra and the room to fit them.

TS (Jul/Aug14) - Lyte-Lock Battery Covers

By: Matt Vallez

This originally appeared in May 2012 Golf Car News Magazine and has been fact checked and up dated for this issue

As I am sure you are aware, electric golf carts are powered by rechargeable, lead acid batteries. These deep cycle batteries are designed to give the cart a steady discharge of power over a long period of time as compared to a short-term high amperage discharge used for cranking with automotive batteries. Different golf carts use between 36-72 volts as a power supply by using 6 volt, 8 volt or 12 volt batteries.

By far the most popular battery used to power golf carts are vented, wet cell, lead-acid batteries, sometimes called flooded or traction batteries. Other options are also available; mainly AGM (absorbed glass mat) or gel batteries. The reason the vast majority of golf carts use wet cell batteries are the price. AGM or gel batteries can be 2.5 to 3 times the price of a similar wet cell option. The major golf cart manufacturers use wet cell batteries for most of their markets, although they generally provide AGM or gel cells as an option. AGM and gel batteries are also known as ‘maintenance free’ batteries. This is due to the fact that checking and maintaining water levels is unnecessary. All three battery types do an excellent job delivering power and have similar run time capabilities.

So what is the down side of using the more economical wet cell batteries? There are a couple of things to consider. First, wet cell batteries require regular maintenance mostly in the form of maintaining the water level inside the battery. Second, these batteries are vented for a reason. During the charging cycle, hydrogen and oxygen gases are created and must be discharged into the atmosphere. If not released, the battery case would rupture due to the increased pressure. If you look, you can see the holes located on the vent caps. Unfortunately, water containing sulfuric acid (battery acid) can also be released through these same holes if the water level is not maintained properly or if the battery is overcharged.

The result - The water/battery acid discharge will permanently damage most flooring. This may not be an issue in a cart barn at your local golf course, but a personal golf cart is most likely charged in someone’s garage…well, see for yourself. At this point, the concrete itself has been damaged, so cleaning it will not be an option. Left unchecked, sulfuric acid has been known to eat completely through concrete exposing the dirt underneath.

Lyte-Lock is an easy to install battery cover that absorbs and neutralizes battery acid at the source. Lyte-Lock covers are available to fit most 6v, 8v, and 12v vented, lead-acid batteries. To install, simply remove the vent cap, place the appropriate fitted cover around the vent holes (label/white side facing up), and then replace the cap. That’s it. It is not necessary to remove the batteries or terminal cables. Installation only takes a couple of minutes. Please refer to the safety instructions on the part and listed at www.Lyte-Lock.com before you begin.

The cover has an orange strip across the top which will change to red as its neutralizing potential diminishes. The average life expectancy of the Lyte-Lock cover is 6 months to a year, but this can vary between the individual batteries.

How does it work? Once acid drips on the Lyte-Lock cover either through the vent holes or from around the O-ring, it is absorbed into the glass matrix and distributed across the surface of the cover. The chemical reaction that neutralizes the battery acid creates water, salt and carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide dissipates in the air, the water evaporates, and the salt is contained inside the Lyte-Lock cover. Since battery acid that comes into contact with the terminals can also cause them to corrode, Lyte-Lock covers can minimize this issue as well.

Every couple of months, you should check the water level in your batteries. Make sure to reference the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions and safety guidelines. This is a good time to make note of the orange indicator strip on the cover. Generally, each battery will vent at different rates, so you may notice that your set of Lyte-Lock covers will not all have the same amount of wear. Once the strip changes to red, it is time to replace the covers. Simply remove the cover and discard. Gloves and safety glasses are recommended any time you work with lead acid batteries.

When the time comes to replace your batteries, you will also notice a difference. It is not uncommon for acid and corrosion to build up around the base of the batteries and on the battery racks. Often, this corrosion has to be removed with a hammer and chisel in order to properly seat the new batteries. This should no longer be an issue if you have been using Lyte-Lock.

Lyte-Lock is simple and safe. Don’t let battery acid leave its mark on your investment. Visit www.nivelparts.com or call 1-800-959-0852 and order a set today.

Industry News - July/August 2014

DYER PROMOTED TO REGIONAL SALES DIRECTOR, EAST REGION
E-Z-GO®, a Textron Inc. company and a leading global manufacturer of light-transportation vehicles, is proud to announce the promotion of Chris Dyer to the position of Regional Sales Director, East Region. A seasoned sales professional, Dyer joined E-Z-GO in 2006 as a fleet sales representative and prior to his promotion covered the Dixie Section territory of Alabama and the Florida panhandle.

“During his tenure at E-Z-GO, Chris has demonstrated exceptional sales and leadership capabilities, making this promotion a natural fit,” said Michael Parkhurst, Vice President, Golf at E-Z-GO. “With his knowledge of E-Z-GO products and services, Chris will transition seamlessly into his new role and continue the exceptional service provided by the sales organization in the East Region.”

Dyer will lead E-Z-GO’s sales organization in the East Region, which spans from New York to North Carolina, executing strategic sales objectives, supporting customers and continuing to sell E-Z-GO TXT® and RXV® fleet golf cars, Cushman Hauler™ maintenance and Cushman Refresher™ and Shuttle hospitality vehicles. For more information please visit www.textron.com.

BRISTOL, TENNESSEE POLICE SEARCHING FOR GOLF CAR THIEF
Bristol, Tennessee Police want to find three missing golf carts and the person who took them.

Officers said someone stole one red and two black golf carts from Bristol Golf Carts at 710 Volunteer Parkway on May 12.

Police think someone may have broken into the business by walking through a yard off 7th Avenue. Another cart was damaged, but not taken.

Police said the red cart that was taken looks like the photo to the left. The two black carts were similar to the green cart pictured above.

If you know who stole the golf carts, contact Investigator Mike Anderson with Bristol, Tennessee Police at 423-989-5529.

SOLARIS POWERCELLS ENGINEERING TO RELEASE THE PASSIVE ELECTRON STORAGE ARRAY
Solaris Power Cells, Inc. the creators of the Solaris SMART-CELL “Passive Electron Storage Array” ™, completed a six-month study on the attributes, performance and feasibility of its Passive-Electron-Storage-Array™ (PESA™) Sun Cart™. Over this time period, Solaris Sun Carts™ were rigorously tested with multiple PESA™ array sizes, with and without solar panels, including proprietary circuitry and in three different scenarios. All testing was done by converting an EZ-GO RXV golf cart into a Solaris PESA Sun Cart. This included exchanging the existing Trojan batteries for a Solaris SMART-CELL™ power storage array and replacing the roof with a Solaris Solar Power roof.

Scenario 1: Solaris Sun Carts™ for daily utility and human transportation in the Palm Springs iHub business campus over extensive 6-8 month period. The Sun Carts™ cart was driven during every business day of operation. The Sun Carts™ is rated for a range of 2 miles and is able to charge from empty to full in the sun in about fifteen minutes. Over the past 6-8 months of daily use, the cart has not suffered any mechanical failure with performance speeds in excess of 20MPH.

Scenario 2: Solaris Sun Carts™ with a slightly larger PESA array for residential use. This Sun Cart™ was rated for six plus miles and could solar charge via the Sun from empty to full in a little less than an hour. Three to five times a week, this cart was run from full energy to empty in the neighborhoods surrounding the Palm Springs Airport. It also included the PAL Bi-Directional Electron Router. Results for the PAL Bi-Directional Electron Router are listed in the last paragraph.

Scenario 3: Sun Carts™ for use on a golf course. Testing for this setup included the playing of golf with the cart at multiple courses throughout the Palm Springs area. Predominate testing was done at Escena Country Club and Golf Course located in Palm Springs California and results showed the cart could handle 18 holes of golf at the rate of a typical foursome with enough energy to return to the clubhouse with plenty of power to spare. This cart could be charged by the sun in about 90 minutes and from a 120V outlet in about 15 minutes and it used the PAL Bi-Directional Electron Router.

PAL Bi-Directional Electron Router: Initial data analysis shows that the converted EZ-GO RXVs did not exhibit any loss in performance and that the Solaris PESA ™ Storage Solution will be easily scalable for multiple uses. With no solar panel, the PAL Bi-Directional Electron Router increased the range by an average of 71.0% and on an 80° plus Fahrenheit day in the spring, the PAL Bi-Directional Electron Router increased the range by an average of 59.6%. The PAL Bi-Directional Electron Router and proprietary circuitry included are all part of the total Solaris Power Cells patent-pending solution.

The Solaris Passive-Electron-Storage-Array™ installed Sun Carts™ White Paper will be made available in PDF format at www.solarispowercells.com.

WEST COAST GOLF CLUB TO SPORT CUSTOMIZED E-Z-GO ® RXV GOLF CARS
La Jolla Country Club is receiving a customized fleet of E-Z-GO® RXV® golf cars this spring.

The well-known private club in La Jolla, Calif., near San Diego, recently purchased 60 custom E-Z-GO RXVs and six specialty vehicles to outfit the course.

“We are very excited to be delivering a custom fleet of RXVs to one of the most respected private courses on the West Coast,” said Michael R. Parkhurst, vice president, golf for E-Z-GO. “La Jolla saw value in E-Z-GO’s ability to provide customizable options that help the course distinguish itself from its competitors in a unique way.”

The 60 RXVs arriving at La Jolla in time for the spring golf season are colored patriot blue with pinstriping, and include custom two-tone seats and special gray tops for further distinction.

The E-Z-GO RXV is offered in both electric and gas models to further customize the golf car experience depending on a course’s needs. The electric model offers an innovative AC drive and full-time regenerative braking, while the gas-powered model boasts a best-in-class 13.5-hp engine for lasting operational savings.

“The members of La Jolla Country Club are very pleased with the power, comfort, safety and value of our new fleet of RXV golf cars,” said Clint Whitehill, head golf professional at La Jolla. “In a comparison survey, our members were impressed with the enhanced safety feature of the next-generation braking system and the performance of the AC drive system.”

Located on the Pacific with impactful ocean views, La Jolla Country Club’s golf course is known for its Kikuyu fairway grass, uneven lies and small, fast greens.

NEW PERSONAL TRANSPORT VEHICLE FROM STAR EV
STAR EV (Brand of JH Global Services, Inc.) announces the launch of the new Star Personal Transport Vehicle (PTV). Designed primarily for on road (LSV) use, the ACcel is an attractive and responsive vehicle featuring an aggressive 7 HP continuous and 25 HP AC motor (DC motor optional) with all the safety features for road use including removable doors! The bold and aggressive appearance is matched by a very peppy drive train that will put your head back upon acceleration. The interior is designed with a car like look and features including speedometer, windshield wiper, sun visors, deluxe upgraded seating areas, automotive glass windshield, three point seat belts, lockable glove box, and two rear locking storage areas.

On mostly flat surfaces, the ACcel can go up to 60 miles or more on a single charge. The Star EV ACcel-AC was a featured product 2014 PGA Merchandise Show. Be on the lookout, a four passenger version will be launched the end of the summer 2014!

The ACcel personal transport vehicle can be purchased from any of STAR EV’s 200+ dealers. You can use the dealer locator and check out the ACcel brochure at www.starev.com.

U.S. BATTERY’S NEW VIDEO
Showcases the Company’s Manufacturing Process and Focus

U.S. Battery Manufacturing created a new video that showcases the manufacturing process of the company’s line of flooded lead-acid batteries. From raw lead allot to a finished product that has the highest initial capacity than any other battery on the market, the video follows the complete manufacturing process, testing procedures, and understanding the company’s exclusive XC2TM formulation.

Visit http://youtu.be/k8WsEVEOWfU to watch the video. For additional information on U.S. Battery’s OSPTM battery design for Renewable Energy applications, visit www.usbattery.com.

LITHIUM BOOST TECHNOLOGIES CEO SAM LEV TO PRESENT INNOVATIVE SOLUTION FOR POWERING LOW SPEED ELECTRIC VEHICLES AT NEXT GENERATION BATTERIES 2014
The Speaking Session Will Describe Customer Stories of Successful Lithium, Battery System Installation in Golf Cars and Off-Road Electric Vehicles

Lithium Boost Technologies Inc., the leading provider of integrated Lithium-ion battery systems to power low speed electric vehicles (LSEV), today announced that Sam Lev, the company’s CEO, will present its innovative solution at the upcoming Next Generation Batteries International Conference. The 4th Next Generation Batteries International Conference, managed by the Knowledge Foundation, will take place April 29-30 at the Hilton Resort & Spa in San Diego, California. Sam Lev’s speaking session “Lithium-Ion Batteries in Low Speed Electric Vehicles: A Case Study”, is scheduled for 3.30pm on Tuesday April 29.

In this conference session, Lev will present two case studies to describe the advantages of using lithium-ion batteries in low speed electric vehicles (LSEVs). The speaker will share with the audience two customers’ stories, one of custom-built electric neighborhood vehicle in The Villages and the second of Polaris, electric hunting vehicle in Texas. The presentation will illustrate how replacement of existing lead acid batteries can enhance the vehicle performance while eliminating the maintenance hassle and assuring about 4 times longer battery life cycle.

Fred Merrow (The Villages, Florida) is one of the early adopters of the novel lithium-ion technology for his custom-built “Fred Mobile” neighborhood vehicle: “Now I can take my golf cart out for a long ride and know I will make it back home with no problems. The mileage range went from 12-15 miles with lead batteries, to 48-54 mile range with the lithium batteries on a single battery charge.”

“We’re excited to demonstrate that our integrated lithium-ion battery system that includes proprietary smart BMS (Battery Management System) and chargers is a robust solution that was proven in the field,” said Sam Lev, CEO of Lithium Boost Technologies. “As analysts indicate, the market for lithium-ion battery based transportation is growing fast, and those who catch the early ride on industry trends can win the race and gain a huge competitive advantage. Our unique lithium battery solution provides low-speed electric car dealers with a great opportunity to significantly grow their business and offer the customers state-of-the-art products and services to satisfy their increasing performance needs.”

For more information: www.lithiumboost.com.

GO OFF THE PATH WITH THE NEW STAR EV DIABLO
STAR EV (brand of JH Global Services, Inc.) is pleased to announce the introduction of the STAR EV Diablo on/off road lifted all electric. The Diablo is built on an aluminum chassis, with a powerful AC motor rated at 6 continuous and 22 Peak horsepower. The Diablo also has a walk away braking system, full independent front suspension, four wheel disc brakes and a 16:1 rear end gear to give the Diablo vehicle best-in-class help climbing agility. The Diablo is fully loaded with brushed stainless side nerf bars and front brush guard, speedometer, deluxe seating, color matched roof, 12 volt outlet, clay basket, LED tail lights and more. It comes in 2, 4 or 6 passenger versions and can also be made with a utility box on the back. You can go anywhere in the Diablo, because in addition to handling off road with ease, the Diablo can be made street legal to allow travel on roads with posted speeds of 35 MPH or less.

The STAR EV Diablo can be purchased from any of STAR EV’s 200+ dealers. You can use the dealer locator and check out the Diablo brochure at www.starev.com.

CS (JulAug14) - Club Pro Manufacturing

CLUB PRO MANUFACTURING
Club Pro MFG has a long history of innovation. Its patented Sand & Speed Bottle is a revolutionary design that reduces the replenishment time of sand bottles dramatically. It was the first company to patent a universal golf car enclosure and the first company to offer a heater for golf cars. Founded by Bill and Jack Ridge out of their brother’s garage, today Club Pro MFG is a fully integrated engineering, manufacturing and fulfillment center that, after 26 years in business, continues to bring innovative ideas to the marketplace.

Having developed all the products in its lineup, the newest offering from Club Pro is one that, well, they acquired. At the 2013 PGA Show in Orlando, Steve Tyrer, President of Club Pro MFG, recalled seeing the Encompass Cab System for the first time. “The guy in the booth was giving a demo so I stopped to listen. We had been working on a hard-door enclosure but were still in the early stages of development. This was the best enclosure I had ever seen and knew we had to be involved with it.”

The guy giving the demo was Biff Brown, the inventor of the Encompass Cab System. He was demonstrating his product and receiving great feedback, however, he didn’t have any way to produce it. He recalls meeting Steve for the first time. “Steve came up and told me about him and his company. I was looking for someone to partner with and Steve seemed to have all the right answers to my questions. After about a month of meetings, we struck a deal.”

After the acquisition, Club Pro immediately put its engineers to work, merging some existing patents with Biff’s patent-pending design to create the most functional and stylish enclosure on the market. “Our customers are extremely pleased with the quality of the Encompass Enclosure,” says Rob Sheirbon, president of Foursome Golf Cars in Woodburn, OR. “And our techs love how easy it is to install. It has been a great addition to our showroom.”

The Encompass’s patented curved-door system is constructed of spot-welded aluminum wrapped in Top Gun 11-ounce fabric and allows for easy entry and exit. The large 20-gauge double polished UV-treated windows allow for sufficient airflow and also serve as an armrest when down. Standard colors are Black, Beige and Oyster with custom colors available upon request.

“We are launching the new Carryall model in August,” said Bryan Casey, VP of Sales & Marketing. “We’ll continue to roll out new models throughout the next several months.” As for Biff, he continues to have a role with Club Pro through PR work and development. “Man, I sometimes have to pinch myself!” he says with a big laugh. “Club Pro didn’t buy me, they sold me on who they are and what they do.”

The Club Car Precedent, Yamaha Drive and E-Z-GO RXV models are currently available. The newly designed Club Car Carryall model will be available August 1. For more information on Club Pro MFG, please visit www.golfcartsystems.com.

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