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Robomower part 2 – The Mower

Hooray for Craigslist! $20.00 and a drive across town got me a Craftsman (Re-branded Black and Decker) 24v electric lawnmower. The previous owner was very up-front about the fact that the mower did not in fact operate. At least, he said it would not take a charge. From what I have been able to gather from Google research, the most likely point of failure on these mowers is the PCB, followed by the batteries, and then way back in last place, the actual electric motor. Removing the case revealed a nice-looking motor, some surprising styrofoam chunks, which I assume is either packing or vibration dampening (In either case, it’s going off with Mrs. Zennmaster when she next assumes her role as the Crazy Styrofoam Lady of Sellwood/West Moreland: more on that elsewhere), a simple-looking PCB with a rather impressive capacitor, and a pair of 12v, 17ah batteries. The batteries are a brand that I remember finding in my first motorcycle. I’m pretty sure that on the bike it was a cheap replacement. When I get home next, I’ll be hooking the batteries up directly to a charger, and see how far gone they really are.

My first thought on powering the mower section is actually to borrow some juice from the main battery array that is on the wheelchair. They are both 24v devices, and the wheelchair is clearly intended to do quite a bit of work on a full charge, so I’m hoping that they’ll be able to absorb the needs of the mower as well.

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