This afternoon I decided to tackle the radiator, fan and A/C condenser mounting. I had previously created the cradle for these items and had just recently received my radiator back from having some tabs welded onto the end tanks
First was the simple task of holding the radiator in place and measuring how much I needed to trim off the tabs as well as mark the holes for the bolts. Everything needed to be held in-place to ensure that I had clearance all around the rad without rubbing and also room for rad hoses and clamps. Then I drilled the holes in the tabs and placed the radiator back into the cradle so that I could mark where the nuts would need to be inserted.
As the welding on the nut inserts was cooling, I hooked up the fan to a 12V power supply just to see just how much air it moved, and holy crap, that thing pulls a ton of air which is great! I then took the fan and started trimming it to fit the back of the radiator cradle. Once all the trimming was finished I drilled some screw holes and used some self tapping bolt/screws to hold it all down tight.
Once the nut inserts had cooled from their initial welding, I welded them into the cradle for the radiator and attempted to bolt it all together. However, there were some more areas on the fan shroud that I needed to trim to allow the inlet/outlet of the radiator to clear. That was a simple task using the cutting wheel on the Dremel tool and then I was able to secure everything with the mounting bolts.
A few days ago the cheap $20 module that I’m using to making the lighting effect for the afterburner arrived. So this morning I figured I would test out my theory and wire everything up. The video at the top of the post shows the end result
After I pulled everything out of the box I quickly came to realize that the only way to configure the modes on the controller was through the included remote control. Of course the battery for the remote was not included and it looked like it took some really weird sized battery. So I did some searching around on ebay for other vendors that sold the product and found one that provided the battery and gave its specs. To my delight the battery that’s supposed to be used with the remote is 12 volts! That means that I can simply use the car’s 12V power supply to also power the remote.
This is actually a good thing because for sure I’d lose that damn remote and be cursing the day I bought it. First task was to unscrew the back off the remote and solder on some wires that I could use to connect into the cars power source.
The LED controller provides either a DC plug to power it with 12V or you can use the terminal connections on the other end. I chose to use the terminal connections because then I can provide both power to the controller as well as power to the remote at the same time.
The controller expects an RGB multi-color LED strip but I’m just going to be running Red LEDs in my afterburner. To ensure that the Red LEDs light up no matter which channel the controller chooses, I simply took all three of the RGB switching terminals and connected them to my single Red LED strip. I could likely also experiment with 3 Red LED strips all being controlled on the separate channels, but for right now I only have one to test with.
Once everything was wired up I simply taped the remote to the unit’s casing so that everything is one simple package with the programming buttons attached. All that was left was to run the audio jack in from the turbine sound effect board and we were ready to test it out
Let me just say that today had both its ups and downs. The downer was that the Discovery Channel got back to me and we won’t have the BatBerry being filmed next week for the HighTech Toys week on Daily Planet. They just couldn’t get everything cleared with Warner Brothers to have it on. I had mentioned before that the turbine sound effect on my throttle quadrant was my favorite thing on the BatBerry so far. But I can truly say that the up-side of today’s progress beats that old favorite hands down
The video at the top of this post shows everything working, so I’ll step you through the details of how it all came together. First I want to give a gigantic THANK-YOU to Rob Williams who did the circuitry work, BlackBerry app and Arduino coding. Without his expert help I wouldn’t have been able to pull it off. He even created me a sweet circuit board with the Wayne Enterprise logo on it!
One of the main goals of the BatBerry is to have the different parts of the car controlled by my BlackBerry, and today was when we made both the mechanics of the car and the software of the BlackBerry come together.
First we figured out the layout that we wanted for the relays. It’s actually next to impossible to find DPDT (Double Pole Double Throw) relays with a high enough amperage that will support the actuators under full load. So simple automotive relays wired together gave us the same effect. Once we had the layout all figured out, Rob started the soldering and I started the drilling and welding to create a mounting plate for all of the circuitry.
We created an area at one end of the mounting plate for a (+) Positive distribution block and a single (-) ground bolt. There’s a total of 16 relays (4 for each actuator to reverse polarity) so each pair of relays shared a mounting bolt.
Thursday was a day of 11 degree weather so there was enough heat for the construction adhesive to work. Process was simple enough, just remove the Lexan, add the adhesive to the back and clamp it in place. I clamped them first thing in the morning before work so that they would have lots of time to cure.
I was able to remove the clamps today and everything is holding well. These will be eventually fiberglassed into the body shell once the weather gets warm again
I figured I had better get out to the garage for an hour tonight after we tucked my daughter in and finish up the port hole fabrication. We have a day of 8-9 degree Celsius day coming up and I want to get some construction adhesive applied to hold these window frames in place. I don’t want to miss my window of opportunity… Pun intended
The construction adhesive will hold these until I get a chance to fiberglass them to the body in the spring. I also drilled a few more holes in the steel frame so that I could add some drywall screws to hold the frame to the plywood base. Once they were secured I just cut the extra length off the back side of the screws.
Last was cutting out a couple pieces of Lexan by tracing the outer circle of the wood. Then it was just a matter of marking the bolt holes and drilling them out. Once I have these all fiberglassed into the body I’ll be able to apply a nice bead of windshield urethane on the surface and bolt the window down in-place for a nice water tight seal. I plan on using a similar technique for the front canopy windows.
It was a long tiring day in the garage Sunday. I was contacted by the Discovery Channel last week about bringing the BatBerry down to the studio to be filmed as part of their HighTech Toys week on the Daily Planet show. So I’ve been working hard to make sure all the gadgets are working.
The main goal for the day was to get all of the mounting mechanisms working for the 24″ linear actuator used for the canopy. The day started at 9am and ended at 7pm filled with high paced fabrication! The video at the top of this post shows the final product
To start this work I needed to strengthen the canopy. I still have lots more strengthening to do (you can see how wobbly the canopy is in the video), but I needed to get the basics done in order to securely mount the actuator arm. The strengthening was done using 5/16″ steel rod that was bent to the desired shape and then welded into place. I’ll be following a similar pattern to the other Batmobile builder’s canopy frame.
Everything was tack welded in-place right in the canopy. The rod was welded to the pre-existing bolt-on plates so that everything could be removed. Once everything was secure I removed the frame and completed all the finish welding.
Once everything had cooled I bolted it back into the canopy shell. Part of the frame was a flat piece of 1/8″ steel with four bolts welded to it. These will serve as the mounting bolts for the arm that will reach down to the end of the actuator. I welded another plate of 1/16″ steel on the top to give a flat mounting point for the plate that will create the removal base.
Yesterday I spent a couple of hours in the garage trying out my window frame concept and managed to make a little bit of progress. I welded all the nuts to the outer frame and also traced the frame onto some 1/4″ plywood.
Then it was a matter of marking the holes on the plywood and cutting everything out. I made sure I kept some alignment marks so that I knew where everything was positioned. I then drilled out the holes big enough so that the nuts would fit down inside the plywood and everything looks pretty good so far. I’ll drill 4 more holes in each metal ring and secure everything with a flush head screw to connect the wood to the steel. But that will have to wait for another day.