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Another recent addition is the acrylic base plate upon which the PC board will mount. I ordered an oversized polished-edge section of plastic from TAP and drilled all of the mounting points for the PC board. I also added two hinged standoffs and two fixed standoffs for mounting the base to the frame rails. Fortunately, the PC board has become large enough to use the old body mounting holes on top of the frame rails. One end has thumb screws so as to be easily removeable and allow the entire assembly to be tilted up just beyond 90 degrees. Since the base is clear, the bottom of the PC board will be visible. Also, the calibration adjustment for the LCD volt/ammeter can be easily accessed. Of course, since the board will hinge toward the front of the chassis, I needed to move things around on the PC layout in order to have much of the wiring exit in that direction. The result is the ability to swing the board up without disconnecting any wiring. This should be nice.

The top of the acrylic has been prepped with nylon standoffs for the PC board mounting points. The board will be quite heavy when completely assembled so supports are spaced fairly evenly.

The acrylic is roughly six and a half inches wide, and the PC board is almost a quarter inch narrower. Below, the frame rails sit at just over three inches apart and the axles are twelve inches from spindle to spindle. Why do I point out all these numbers? Well, with things up top coming together, I noticed the chassis seems to look odd because of the narrow frame. I have considered several times over the last few years the idea of expanding the frame width a bit. The logistics of such a change seem simple, and may serve to even out the suspension operation. Right now the axle links are uneven to allow for twisting of the chassis from end to end. The lower links are further apart at the axles than the upper links at the chassis. To ease the explanation, looking from above the links form the shape of a 'W', whereas they technically should be a 'double X'. By spacing the frame rails further apart, the links will even out due to the chassis-end of the upper links being forced outward. I believe this will ease any strain on the mechanics. Fortunately, the top of the frame can be spaced simply by adding longer struts in the form of stainless standoffs. On the downside, the lower suspension mount may be an issue. The entire mount was designed to hold the frame at its current spacing. To expand this would require either a new lower mount or some sort of flange attached to either side. I will experiment and add photos of the results.

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Content Updated: Sunday, September 04, 2016 at 10:25 pdt

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