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Workbench Creations is the place for conversation and discussion about do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. This DIY blog will feature projects completed by its owner as well as projects completed by other do-it-yourselfers. Workbench Creations is the place where DIYers can discuss ideas, learn about what others have done, and share their expertise.

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DIY Electric Golf Trolley

Posted July 24, 2008 12:00 PM by Del the cat

I made this golf trolley about four years back as a winter project. I was beginning to find that carrying my golf bag for 18 holes was a bit tough on my back and knees.

I bought the motor/gearbox and 2 back wheels for about £90 from Standel Dawman, a company I found on the Internet.

The wheels have a built-in freewheel mechanism so the trolley coasts downhill and is easy to turn, too. The axle is 12-mm steel rod, drilled to take spring pins that hold the wheels. Later, I modified it to a tubular axle with solid stubs in each end to save weight (and just for the fun of it!). The gearbox provides the left side bearing. The right side has a ball race (steel balls in a plastic housing), wrapped in polythene to keep the dirt out.

Cardboard Aided Design (CAD)

The basic plan was sketched and pretty much done by guesswork, taking some dimensions from a friend's Powakaddy golf trolley. The folding mechanism was worked out by CAD (cardboard-aided design), and was the trickiest bit. The central arm folds, but broke a couple of times. So, I gradually increased the dimensions. I welded-up rods on plates for the main pivots, where the A-frame at the back joins onto the chassis tray and the sliding loop, which locks the two parts of the central spine when in use.

It is all made of plywood bent with the aid of a hot-air gun. Where the radius was too tight, it was laminated out of thinner sheets of ply. The pieces were cut, bent and then glued together with a bit of bracing added in an ad-hoc manner to hold the battery and support the bag. I had to modify it slightly when I bought a new golf bag, but that's easy when you've built it yourself.

Speed Controller Specs

The speed controller should have been easy since I'm an electronics designer; however, I learned a few new things. The basic control is pulse width modulated. The actual variation of pulse width between a gentle crawl (when loaded) and full speed is a relatively small. The controller is based on a hex inverter CMOS chip with a few Rs, Cs, and a pot. This drives a pair of decent power FETs in parallel. I have an 0.15R resistor in series with each one just to "calm things down a tad" as the stall current at switch-on can be rather high, and I wanted to ensure reliability.

The first version flattened batteries rather quickly. I then added a "flywheel diode" (4qdtech.com had some excellent stuff which taught/reminded me of stuff I should have known) that greatly enhanced the battery life.

The other electronic problem was the charger for the 20 Ah gel battery. Many trolleys use bigger batteries, but they are heavy (which is self defeating). My old car battery charger ruined the first gel cell, so I built a two-stage charger, 3 amps up to a certain voltage and then a constant voltage trickle. Voltages and currents were obtained from the battery manufacturer's website, which is the only really reliable source of information.

Reliability and Rubbish

The trolley works very well and has proved more reliable than some of the cheap ones which appeared on the market a couple of years ago. Oh yes ... the front wheel? It came from a child's ride on toy I found at the council rubbish tip!

Now it's time to go golfing!

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#1

Re: DIY Electric Golf Trolley

07/24/2008 12:31 PM

Just tought I'd add a picture of it completely folded...

To show how small it goes.
Del

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: DIY Electric Golf Trolley

07/25/2008 1:42 AM

To me it seems you are not telling us all about this golf cart. This detail gives it away. It can be used as a "tank cross bow" at the same time. You could shoot golf balls instead of hitting them. Or hurry up the slower players. Yes, now I know, its a cross bow pace maker.

.

Tricky stuff mate. Ky.

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#3
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Re: DIY Electric Golf Trolley

07/25/2008 1:45 AM

Now, that's a great idea!

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#4
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Re: DIY Electric Golf Trolley

07/25/2008 3:36 AM

Very Nice ! Where did you source the wheels ? It's driving me nuts trying to figure what you nicked them off !! The drill holes add a definite touch of 'class' to it. It's a super-duper bit of workmanship. Nice one.

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#5
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Re: DIY Electric Golf Trolley

07/25/2008 3:47 AM

Line 4 of the text gives the link to the motor & wheel source.

Cheers, glad you like the holes (they are from our excellent KrisDelTM range of holes which are a press fit into any material).
My brother complained that they wouldn't make any significant weight reduction <slaps furry etc> I explained that they were purely decorative.

I bulled one guy that it was a genuine Art Deco trolley that I'd found and restored! He lapped it up .

The guys at the club are used to it, but I often get visiting golfers chatting to me about it.

Del

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#7
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Re: DIY Electric Golf Trolley

07/25/2008 8:37 AM

Oh, silly me for not reading proper - I thought you would be able to say you'd nicked 'em off a pram or something ! You should ask Admin for a 'Del Creations' Blog - I love the stuff you have done (especially the deer). It would be very popular.

Did you read about the woman who devised attractive things to be pushed into the holes in 'Croc' shoes ? She just sold out to Croc for £20 million ! Bloody hell, we missed out again ! JK Rowling must have skipped a heart-beat, it's always women who think of these cunning things.

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#10
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Re: DIY Electric Golf Trolley

07/25/2008 4:01 PM

It IS truly lovely, but it's a bit disingenous to call it a golf cart (trolley, eh?) when it is so obviously a mini-trebuchet! D'yer lob the balls at the hole, then?

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#6

Re: DIY Electric Golf Trolley

07/25/2008 5:36 AM

Efficient and pretty.

Not much gets made in wood today......all plastic or FG....a great improvement on most modern items!

I personally like plywood for many jobs, strong, rigid, easy to work and join and VERY easy on the eye!

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#8

Re: DIY Electric Golf Trolley

07/25/2008 11:27 AM

That is a great home built project! It employed engineering and artistry. Also the CAD (cardboard-aided design) is a nice touch.

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#9

Re: DIY Electric Golf Trolley

07/25/2008 3:55 PM

Del,

I will be in Scotland in about 3 weeks, would you bring it up so I can use it when i play St Andrews?

Excellent craftsmanship you are my hero.

Jeff

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#11
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Re: DIY Electric Golf Trolley

07/25/2008 5:30 PM

St Andrews .. .I am one jelly-ous pussy cat.

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#12
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Re: DIY Electric Golf Trolley

07/28/2008 8:18 AM

Yeah don't be jealous, It's going to be a long and arduous 5 days but well worth it in the long run.

Me and a mate are going to have 340 golfers on 3 courses a day for 3 days, with and opening reception before and a dinner and prize-giving event after.

But that,s the things ya gotta deal with when your starting a new business. LOL

Check us out if you like at www.standrewsgolfgroups.com if you like. There is a link in there to the event we are hosting.

It's going to be great!

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#13
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Re: DIY Electric Golf Trolley

07/28/2008 8:23 AM

Good luck with the weather .
And beware of the Lynx .

Del

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#14
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Re: DIY Electric Golf Trolley

07/28/2008 8:31 AM

I have heard the weather has been a bit of a bother there of late.

Thanks for the goodwill and I have a knife to take out the Lynx.

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#15
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Re: DIY Electric Golf Trolley

07/28/2008 8:57 AM

Lynx? Don't you mean Tiger?!?

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#16
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Re: DIY Electric Golf Trolley

07/28/2008 5:18 PM

Isn't it spelled "Links"?.....

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#17
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Re: DIY Electric Golf Trolley

07/28/2008 5:42 PM

I wondered how this became a hunting trip.

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#18
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Re: DIY Electric Golf Trolley

07/28/2008 5:44 PM

Yes, us Brits like our puns....

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#20
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Re: DIY Electric Golf Trolley

07/29/2008 7:30 AM

Me too! Especially the kind with blueberries or currants (raisins are OK). Toasted, lots of butter, mmm-mmm-MMM!

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#19
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Re: DIY Electric Golf Trolley

07/29/2008 7:28 AM

I've hunted golfs before. Never saw one though, but they must resemble snakes, 'cause they have these really narrow burrows that go straight down into the ground. Also saw some eggs - round, white, kinda dimpled surface. TOUGH shell! They take forever to boil, and they taste OK, but kinda rubbery with a real stringy texture. You hunt them with clubs, so I guess they aren't real dangerous...

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#21
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Re: DIY Electric Golf Trolley

07/29/2008 8:23 AM

Wow I been hunting the wrong kind of Golfs!

The ones I usually am after are kinda rare. They are kinda large with two big bright eyes and big round black feet. The skin can be a variety of colors too!

You can always tell when you found the right one cause they got a little VW on em.

Hard to kill and not real tasty but can be a real sport to go after.

I hear they are originally from Germany which is why they are so tough.

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#22
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Re: DIY Electric Golf Trolley

07/29/2008 8:44 AM

ROFLMSAO!!!

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Users who posted comments:

Andy Germany (2); DaveB (1); Del the cat (6); double_j_b (5); EnviroMan (5); Kris (2); ky (1)

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