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Letters and emails should contain complete name, address and daytime phone number. Letters to the Editor are submitted on the condition that Silicon Chip Publications Pty Ltd may edit and has the right to reproduce in electronic form and communicate these letters. This also applies to submissions to "Ask SILICON CHIP" and "Circuit Notebook".

Electric ute vibration
is not good

The article in the June 2009 issue about Mal’s electric ute was great. Mal has certainly taken on a huge project and done it well.

The article mentions significant vibration from the motor. If I may offer the following comment, the addition of rubber mounts for the motor will reduce a lot of the vibration. I’m surprised that Mal didn’t try a pair of ordinary HiLux engine mounts up front.

The “cogging” effect described is symptomatic of propeller-shaft misalignment, which causes vibration and wastes a lot of power. The critical issue with this part of the drivetrain is to have the included angles of the front and rear universal joints equal to each other. Given the change to the length of the prop shaft and the new height of the electric motor, it seems to me that a readjustment of the prop shaft geometry is needed.

Apparently this work is something of a lost art but a good specialist workshop should be able to sort it out.

With good tailshaft angles and rubber mounts under the motor, the car can and should be vibration-free at any speed. Congratulations to Mal for a very neat result in a very complex project.

Warren Dickerson,
Berowra, NSW.

SMD technology is not
too difficult for hobbyists

I wish to respond to Frederik Wentzel’s comments in the May 2009 issue regarding SMD devices being too difficult for the average hobbyist to use.

I was of a similar mindset some time back and as I had no alternative but to use a particular SMD quoted in an article, I set forth and did some research into the matter. After having read a number of articles including your article in the March 2008 issue, I found that it was not some sort of magic as a lot people think but just an extension of what most hobbyists already know.

Possibly the single most important piece of equipment that is required is a temperature-controlled soldering iron with a fine tip, teamed with a fine pair of tweezers, a 100mm diameter magnifying glass and of course, some fine solder. Another essential item is a roll of 1.5mm solder braid. There are a number of other things available which may help but they are not essential.

I would like to encourage all hobbyists to try SMD technology. Do some experimenting with it and you will find that it opens up a whole new world of electronics; one you will love.

Alfred Hirzel,
Waitakere City, NZ.

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