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Old 2003.02.17, 12:27 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2002
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Powering the Body

I just mounted LED lights (front and rear) on my Overland, and let me say that it is a pain to connect them to the batteries whenever I mount the body. The body is hard enough to mount as it is without worrying about wires and connections!

Obviously, I have to do something about this soon. I was thinking about plug connectors, so I make a plug connection before mounting the body, and disconnect afterwards. But even that seems clumsy.

I believe someone made a contact connector for a Mini-Z. When you put the body on, it pressed down on two terminals he installed on top of the chassis. But that's too dependent on the body being mounted.

The ideal connection would be completely transparent. You mount the body, and voila you have power, no special connections needed.

Think about this for a second. What connection is guaranteed to always be the same for all Mini-Zs? For all bodies?

The mounting clips.

Look at them, they are just a millimeter away from the battery terminals. If only they touched! If only they could conduct!

So here's my idea.

I'm thinking of taking a bit of copper and putting it over the chassis part of the mounting system, so it touches the battery and makes a positive terminal on one side and a negative terminal on the other.

Then, I would put copper over the body part of the mounting system, so it makes contact with the terminals when mounted.

On the body, these terminals attach to wires which go to a switch, so you can turn power on/off independently of power to the chassis. Then, the body is powered. With a flick of the switch you have access to 6V, for LEDs or whatever.

Sure, you'd have to modify each body for power. But if your're mounting LEDs and whatnot, you're already modifying the body. You only have to modify the chassis once, then any body you've modified to have power just does, with no effort.

Unmodified bodies are not affected by the chassis mod.

Now, does this sound like an idea or what?
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Old 2003.02.17, 01:50 AM   #2
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I used External power source for lights.
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Old 2003.02.17, 02:26 AM   #3
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Thats a good idea. You could use some sort of foil to 'paint' the posts and mounting slots, right? That would work on all cars I suppose...
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Old 2003.02.17, 05:41 AM   #4
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I saw pics of a similar set up. HK-dude had contacts on the front mount. Clean. Simple. and it was away from the antenna.
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Old 2003.02.17, 11:19 AM   #5
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If you find a link to these (or similar) photos, please post it here.

I know my LHS has thin copper sheets for modeling etc. I was thinking of getting one to make contacts from. Maybe later this week.
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Old 2003.02.17, 11:21 AM   #6
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Internal vs. External Power

Tango, of course if you use external power you have no need of this method.

But if you must use internal power, then I think this is the way to go.

I'm going to try modifying my Street Racer and Overland this way.
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Old 2003.03.10, 06:38 PM   #7
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Powering the Body Attempt

OK I finally had time to try my idea.

I got some thin brass strips, and some aluminum foil tape. Both conduct. I decided to try the foil tape.

I tested this on my Overland. So, I'm trying to get power from the main batteries, on the top front terminals (right behind the front wheels). It's a real pain to get access to, especially on the Pajero Overland.

I put photos here.

In the front photo, you can see the two chassis contacts above the front wheels, beside the front shocks. Next are two photos of the left side contact, then two photos of the right side contact. Finally, we have two photos of the body contacts; the rear photo is hard to see, but you can see it in the front photo.

I get good voltage across the chassis contacts. I tested a bit with one body contact and it lit my lights. However, when I mount the body, I find that I do not get power to the body. I suspect the contact is not adequate across the mount, although it seems fine and I press it and I get nothing.

I'll have more time to try it tomorrow. If it doesn't work, I may try the brass strip to make more solid terminals. Also, I may take power from the solder points where the battery case goes into the chassis (hard to explain, but look behind the front shocks).

So the approach has promise, but I need to tweak it a little to discover what works.
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Old 2003.03.16, 09:10 PM   #8
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Reimplementation Success

OK I reimplemented my idea as described, on my Overland.

I made small contacts out of brass. I glued some to the chassis, and soldered them to the main battery terminals.

Then I glued some to the body, off the mounts. These ones had a bit of flex, and an area for use as a terminal.

When the body is mounted, the contacts on the body touch the contacts on the chassis, thereby connecting the body terminals to the battery terminals.

Then, the body lightset is connected to the body terminals. There is nothing to do but mount the body. No extra cables or anything.

You can use unmodified bodies on a modified chassis, and you can use modified bodies on an unmodified chassis.

I'll post photos when I take a few.

If I could do it again, I'd be more careful. I used a butane soldering iron, which was too hot and melted the chassis a tiny bit (not much more than scratches from regular use, though). The glue doesn't like the heat, so likely I'd solder first then glue. I'd have taken more of the front of the Overland apart to get at the area I was installing the contacts. Other than that, it went well.

When I do my Street Racer, I'll be more careful.
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