Saturday, May 24, 2014

MOONSHINE FESTIVAL

Friday night we took my son and his fiance to the New Straightsville Moonshine Festival. New Straightsville, OH was an old mining town where the minors had gone on strike for more wages and ended up setting the underground coal on fire, more or less shutting down the mining operation. After the mines shut down, the locals turned to making what was considered special moonshine because of the quality mountain water. The moonshine became very sought after, both nationally and world wide. Because of the notoriety of the moonshine, the state of Ohio granted New Straightsville a special permit to operate a still during the annual festival, as long as the liquor was not consumed and discarded after production.  Once a thriving town, now New Straightsville is a remnant of the past. 



MOONSHINE FESTIVAL SIGN


STILL

When we arrived in New Straitsville, all of the free parking was taken but one of the local residents was allowing visitors to park for $3.00. Not wanting to walk a mile, we pulled in and gave the owner his fee. We were parked next to a 1965 convertible Corvette roadster and notice that the owner was packing a 9mm pistol. Now this is a pretty good deal. In Columbus, it would cost me at least $5.00 to park and I have never been provided with an armed guard to look after my car. Only in New Straitsville!

Ok, you are wondering what a moonshine festival has to do with electric cars. Well the Friday night feature of the moonshine festival was a garden tractor pull on asphalt. I have seen tractor pulls on dirt but never on asphalt. The tires squealed when taking off and again as the engine was bogging down at the end of the run.These were very customized garden tractors, with most of them having body mods, chrome wheels, and show quality paint jobs. While walking down one side of the street I saw a guy sitting on the steps of one of the businesses, watching the tractor pull and thought to myself, I know that guy. When returning, I saw him again it and it dawned on me that I had seen his videos on Youtube.  It was Greg Grubb who runs a conversion shop in central Ohio. I approached him and said is your name Greg? He answered yes and I told him I had seen his videos on Youtube and had contacted him awhile back. We discussed EVs for awhile and he told me his wife pulled garden tractors. So that is what a moonshine festival has to do with EVs. You can see his Youtube videos at  GREG GRUBB YOUTUBE CHANNEL


ASPHALT GARDEN TRACTOR PULL

Ohio has legalized making moonshine (not technically moonshine because it is legal) and the Straitsville Special Moonshine Distillery has opened it's doors in the town. I got one of the jugs from the first batch and although only 90 proof, it is rather tasty, especially with a little cider added.


STRAITSVILLE SPECIAL MOONSHINE

Last week the garage was cleaned and all of the scrap metal put in the Better Place shipping crate, so Saturday morning I decided to take it to the scrap yard and turn it into cash. I checked the hours on the internet to make sure they were open and sure enough, their hours were listed as 8 am to 12 noon, on Saturday.. All of the scrap metal was loaded in the car and off I headed off to the scrap yard. A truck, loaded with old aluminum siding, was ahead of me as we drove down the dirt road to the salvage yard but when we got the the entrance, the gate was closed. I drove through Hebron, Buckeye Lake, and Baltimore, OH but the other scrap yards were all closed down, so I headed back home. A couple hours shot and a bunch of work loading and unloading some heavy scrap metal, wasted.

On to the car. The bottom balance continues, and I have about 12 cells to go in the first bottom balance. The remaining work needing done before installing the dash was surveyed and the wiring harness for the dash meters was started. About 2 pm, I kind of hit the wall.,as I was a little overwhelmed with the wiring, soI went inside and ended up taking a nap to collect my thought on how to proceed. About 5 pm, I went back out to put different connectors on the instrument pod gauges, and finish running the harness from the front battery compartment to the instrument pod. It is in place now with all of the connectors made up, so all that is left is to run a harness from the motor compartment for the 12 volt system. The Venue 8 Pro was mounted in the holder and the mini USB was connected to help figure out how to run the wiring. Then work was done on getting the solder off of the speaker connections and putting connectors on the wires, so they can be easily removed if the dash needs to come out again. Even though I got a bad start, quite a bit of work got done on the wiring by the end of the day. Even though I was in a 2 year electronics technical program in high school, wiring remains my weak spot, and progress on the car slows when I am wiring.


HARNESS WIRING FOR METERS


INSTRUMENT PANEL WIRING FOR METERS


SPEAKER CONNECTORS

Tomorrow we are going to my parents but hopefully there will be more work done on the car, Sunday evening and Monday because I am really anxious to get the interior back together and the first Better Place module mounted.

Mission accomplished for the day, it was time to relax a little and sip on some Straitsville Special moonshine applejack!

Until next time,

Randy
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