If you're having trouble steering, going up a steep hill, that is normal. The Electrak has minimal weight on the front wheels, and since it isn't carrying the mower, the mower wheel pivot shafts must be in excellent condition (no badly worn bushings, etc.) and be well lubricated. If there were front wheel weights available for the tractor, that would help a lot in this situation.
As for the battery voltage indicator (Fuel Gauge) : It "only" registers the voltage. Voltage at rest is deceptive. Voltage under load will tell you the whole story. Don't worry if the load is in the yellow area. If we could measure each battery,individually, under load, we could determine if there is a bad battery, etc.
I always used a secondary set of (12 volt group 27) batteries on the back. That would however, magnify your steering problem on hills. The onboard charger charged them easily and they were kept balanced well. I have a film that I've been waiting to get developed, that I would like to send you some pictures of my battery box made from the weight box frame. As soon as it's developed, I will send you the pictures. My auxilliary batteries plugged into the rear receptacle on my I-5. It was wired directly into the main batteries, thus making a parallel connection to them.
As far as the noise goes, it's only noisy when you're close to it, as any high output high speed industrial fan is. However, you can mow after dark or early in the morning and not bother the neighbors (or your family if they're sleeping in)! That's the cool part!
Christopher Zach <czach computer org> wrote:
Well, at long last the grass was *finally* long enough to try mowing the
lawn with the E20. I made a few observations, and have some questions on
1) The battery voltage fluctuates from the bottom of the green (when mowing
up a hill) to the top of the green (going downhill :-) Is this swing range
normal? At what point do you check the fuel gauge to see how much power is
in the batteries? At rest or under load?
2) The E20 doesn't steer as well with the mower on. In fact at any speed
above L1-2, the front wheels don't seem to provide much input at all. On the
hill I have to slow to speed 1 in order to steer.
3) What is the recommended speed for mowing the lawn? I've been using L
gear, speed 4 (cruise control, no resistors, full field) because D speed
drives the batteries into the red when climbing the hill. Also L seems to do
nice amounts of regen, while D doesn't do much regen braking at *all*. Is
4) How noisy should the deck be? I don't hear any mechanical whines, but the
blades do appear to make a lot of air noise (roar). Would new blades be a
good idea; do I have an aerodynamic issue here?
5) To increase the range (and decrease the voltage drop under load) I have
been thinking of adding three 12 volt Dynasty AGM batteries (100 amp/hrs at
36 volts) in parallel with the six T105's. Is this a bad idea? I would
charge them seperately; I know about the setpoint difference and can put a
second solar charger on them.
My thought is the AGM batteries can provide a lot more amperage over a short
period of time than the lead acid batteries and this might help smooth out
the voltage fluctuations when going up a hill.
Thanks for any thoughts or input.