Announcing the Electric Vehicle Conversion Convention EVCCON

We mentioned the possibility of a fall event for viewers/electric vehicle builders here in Cape Girardeau during our last show.

Things have picked up on this front a bit. We got several e-mails from people wanting to cast it in stone NOW and expressed their intention to come. I’ve e-mailed a couple of potential speakers and have had NO declines surprisingly. I’m guessing the concept of a gathering is a little bit pregnant at this point.

We’re going to have it here in Cape Girardeau Missouri September 21 – 25th. This is my favorite time of year in Cape as the summer heat has left and the fall weather is generally gorgeous at this time. Cape Girardeau is located on Interstate Highway 55, 110 miles south of St. Louis Missouri, on the banks of the Mississippi River. It is a very central lcoation to the U.S.

Wednesday, 21 September will be arrival day. We’ll have a welcoming reception at our shop at 601 Morgan Oak Street, Cape Girardeau MO 63703 if you want to Google Map it. We’ll have drinks and appetizers, maybe some music, and let everybody take a look at the facility.

Thursday 22 September we’ll have breakfast at Patty Lou’s diner across the street.

At 8:30 we’ll start classes till 12:30.

12:30 to 1:30 We’ll have a catered lunch in the shop.
1:30 to 4:30 we’ll have classes again.
4:30 we’ll take a drive in electric cars through some of our backcountry winding roads just north of town where I test drive a lot. This is winding hilly blacktop through some beautiful country – particularly in late September.
7:00 PM I’ll probably have a barbecue bonfire in my backyard overlooking the river – 14 Morgan Oak Street. Probably have some sort of music going. Beer. Soda. WHiskey tastings from the distillery.

Friday September 23rd
Breakfast at Patty Louis’s diner.
8:30 – 12:30 classes
12:30 – 1:30 catered lunch in shop.
1:30 – 4:30 classes. Maybe play with the test bench. Answer some questions about our cars.
4:30. Repeat the drive for those without a ride the previous day. Probably screen a movie for the rest at the shop. Revenge of the Electric Car should be out by then.
7:00 Dinner at Port of Cape – local barbecue and bar. Very inexpensive and Fried Catfish on Friday nights. All you can eat as I recall.

Saturday is kind of up in the air at this point. During the day I had planned classes and so forth just like Firday. But we’ve had so many already talking about bringing a car, I’m thinking rather to open it to hte public and actually have a car show. Where is kind of a function of how many cars we wind up with. But if there are a few, I thought we’d spend most of the day with each person taking 30 minutes to show his car and tell us about the build process. If there are a LOT, we’ll take AC Braise Arena and just have an indoor electric car show.

As it is shaping up that a number of people are talking of bringing their cars, I was thinking Saturday afternoon late/early evening we’d do a parade about town – down Broadway and Main Street. I should know in time to make arrangements with the local constabulary and permits and so forth.

Saturday night, I’m picturing formal wine dinner and some comments for the event at Celebrations Restuarant. Great food and quite upscale. I’ll open the cellar and provide the wine. I’ve got pretty good wine actually.

Sunday is departure day. For those with early flights, fly. For those with later, I thought we’d take another about 17 mile drive through the winding back country blacktop roads south of Cape to the River Ridge winery. Jerry is a hoot there. He makes really bad wine but really thinks its great and he loves doing it. It’s very picturesque and he does have a great lunch. Probably some closing comments there. And then off to your respective aircraft.

Speakers who have accepted so far:

George Hamstra – Netgain
Ryon Bohm – Netgain Drives
Wayne – Alexander – EVBlue Conversions – bringing a car.
Sebastien Bourgious – EVNetics Soliton. – bringing a Jaguar or Porsche.
MOI but of course. My cars are here and hopefully the Elescalade will be nearly completed.

We’ve had some already agree to come and bring cars. Most notably:

Duane Ball anbd Scott Smith. Did the Spyder we now own. Currently working on a gorgeous and very unusual Chuck Beck Porsche 904 Replica with Warp 11, Soliton1 and CALB cells.

Tim Catellier – BMW Z3 featured on EVTV.

Eric Kriss, Kriss Motors. – an Electric Porsche Speedster Replica and producer of of CARBON FOOTPRINT – SUPERHERO – THE MOVIE. This convention was Eric’s suggestion originally.

Nathan Knappenburger Illuminati Motor Works Bringing SEVEN, the Xprize contest vehicle.

Simon Wilkinson has indicated he’s coming from New Zealand – not bringing a car though I suspect.

We have decided to call it the EVTV Electric Vehicle Conversion Convention. EVCCON.

Registration for the event is $595 per person.

We will probably discount that to $400 for early registrants prior to 1 July as this helps us with our planning purposes.

I’ve decided to do something very odd, at least with the first EVCCON. We’ve already had several agree to bring very nice cars. Shipping or trailering them is doable, but a signficant expense. So we’re going to WAIVE registration for those bringing cars. It has to be a CAR, not a bicycle or skateboard, and it has to be Lithium technology powered – no lead sleds, to qualify for waived registration. If you have something unusual, I’ll listen to exceptions on the technicals here. But I really don’t do lead. And we’ll waive two people on a car. Speakers are my guest obviously.

At this point, I can’t tell what it will result in. I had kind of had this going for 20 people in my mind, but we’re at 20 now as best I can count. We have a number of other speaker invitations out, but I’ll not mention them until I get at least a preliminary ok that they will come. If you have ideas for speakers you’d like to hear, they won’t shoot me for asking. ANd I’ll ask. All they can do is tell us we are little and ugly and our mother dresses us funny and that they don’t want to come. First time I’ve heard THAT I’ll assure you.

The topic of the convention is going to center around electric vehicle design obviously. We will welcome engineers and workers from OEMs and Universities, but this is not going to be a Volt/Leaf show or really about how cool electric cars are. They are cool. But that’s not a reason for a convention. This is going to be about building them and the design choices made in doing that. For Builders/converters basically.

If we get enough cars involved, we’ll probably open to the public for a few hours on Saturday and maybe have a parade. if that looks like where it is going, I’ll saturate the local media and we’ll get a crowd for both. But it’s not really for the public or what this is about. It will give our attendees a little work presenting and explaining their cars, part of our mission.

So that’s the thinking at the moment. Right now it’s all graven in Jello and I can change lots of things, so if you have suggestions I’m all ears. Yes, we’ll try to be safe but I really don’t want to hear safety suggestions on this one.

We’ll throw it out and see what the reaction is. I plan on beating up the contest winner and making them come anyway to tell everyone about their plans for the pile of components.

Jack Rickard

23 thoughts on “Announcing the Electric Vehicle Conversion Convention EVCCON”

  1. Thatโ€™s a very reasonable price for the course/visit even for a student (tight arse) like me.

    Let us know a demographic of the people interested in coming, that would be interesting. Particulary if there are any from Ireland.

    Padraic McDonnell

  2. Hah. We’ve had someone from New Zealand sign up via our PAYPAL button in the first 60 minutes. Welcome Nick Smith as our first paid attendee.

    This is kind of weird. Why didn’t somebody TELL me they wanted a convention. You weren’t shy about a scattershield. It’s what we used to DO for nine freakin years. I don’t know the FIRST THING about video…..

    Vendor booths? Yes, eventually it will have vendor booths. I hadn’t pictured it this year frankly. But its all possible.

    Jack Rickard

  3. I’m considering coming, but its a long trip from CA to be able to bring my car which is how I’d want to do it, and it is very close to my wedding date, so I’m not so sure I’d get permission to disappear for two weeks driving back and forth across the country. Sounds like a great event.

  4. Sounds like great fun. The convention will generate months of great EVTV episodes. Glad to hear you plan to include safety, those should be great talks and EVTV footage, too, I’m already looking forward to seeing those episodes.

  5. No safety. We’re going to get liquored up, play with high voltage, and then go for a drive. What safety?

    I don’t think I can persuade Winston CHung to send over an engineer. I’d rather invite Winston CHung, and let it be his idea to send an engineer in lieu of if he can’t make it.

    Jack Rickard

  6. Hey Jack!

    Spent the last five days on a business trip to China, and am just now able to catch up with your stuff.

    First, you take a few liberties lumping PID control instabilities into “hysteresis”. They are apples and oranges, though you may only recognize fruit when you see it. You must have specialized in the other half of EE.

    Second, before you get too enamored of China and their possibilities of world domination, you should visit there and try to read your blog. Without some good old US ingenuity, you can’t. You’re banned in China. Don’t take it too personally; so is everyone else on blogspot and youtube.

    Third, how could you have known it was my birthday the day your last video was released? Too much fun! I’m afraid you won’t approach the weed whacker zone until you approach higher currents (>500 Amps?). Went back a couple times, and never saw the magic smoke exit the rectifier module. Was there any visible indication of its failure?

    Finally, How about a “Don’t try this at home. We know we’re not safe. We don’t give a damn about safety.” disclaimer right before you switch on the bench? It’s not that we’re all so hung up on safety, we just want to see future episodes that include all the characters, in reasonably good health. Even if they have all come to terms with thier own mortality. As fun as train wrecks are to watch, they tend to throw off the regular schedule. A few very simple measures could be taken with your bench, at negligible expense, that would prevent serious injuries and not detract from the entertainment value of the videos. Catch it on tape, but not in the face. That’s all.

    Mike Kaindl

  7. Sorry to be hijacking this blog, but I’m suffering from a bad coombination of jetlag insomnia and excitement about the convention.

    For anyone who can’t make the whole thing, can you publish videos of the classes and/or PDF’s of the presentation handouts, etc.? Might there be an ala carte option for just the weekend activities (parade, car show, dinner)? I’m sure the whiskey tasting (and ensuing war stories) alone would be worth the price of admission, but those weekdays are precious to some of us working folk.

    Does the Cape have enough charging stations to support this? Every car will want an outlet.

    Mike Kaindl

  8. Mike:

    No, we are not going to even attempt to make the convention available on video. I’ve done conventions before and I dont’ think you know what you are asking. It would be 40 hours of video. I don’t own the rights to the presentations. etc. etc.

    We do a weekly video . And undoubtedly we will talk about the convention both before and after, and we may include some footage, particularly if the test bench blows up or anyone is maimed by our cavillier safety practices. But the only way you can experience the convention would be to come to the convention.

    That’s not so much a come on as a reality check. We’re going to be going to the convention, not filming all day for four days. And then how would I edit down such a mass of video. And what to leave in. And what to leave out. I’d miss my own convention. it’s kind of logistically impossible.

    No, post convention the world gets parted into two very separate groups. Those that made it to the convention, and those who didn’t. And I’m sure everyone who did had a good reason, and everyone who didn’t had just as good a reason. But it is what it is.

    Jack Rickard

  9. Hey Jack!

    I’m only talking about the 14 classroom hours (8:30 am to 12:30pm, 1:30pm to 4:30pm, Thursday & Friday). Raw footage, no production, no edit, no audience mike, etc. I bet you could delegate it to a volunteer (offer a free admission?), put it on DVD, and $ell it.


  10. While I must say it would be easy to get me confused with the Rt. Hon. Nick Smith (we are both EV nuts, we are both engineers) there is one easy way to tell us apart – I am much better looking! (but that is an opinion generally only held by my wife and myself).

  11. Hi Jack (and all)

    I was trawling the internet and came across an interesting document from the New Zealand Low Volume Vehicle Technical Association – LVVTA.

    “The Low Volume Vehicle Technical Association Inc (LVVTA) was established by a group of car clubs and associations, all with an interest in vehicle modifications, during 1990 when the Government began to introduce regulations that could affect the motor car hobby.”

    If you follow the link below you will find two PDF documents listed – a discussion document and the draft builders specification.

    The new draft standard has been released for comment and submissions must be made by March 31. This document might be of interest to others (who are not bound by such strict complieance requirements) to use as a reference guide for building their own vehicles. Of note in the document is the recognition of resistive pot boxes being a failure mode and they must now have redundancy. Furthermore, it is a REQUIREMENT that power assisted brakes must have a replacement source of assist (air, vacuum) and regenerative braking must be OFF during the compliance certification test.

    There are a couple of minor issues which I will be making comment on but if some of the loyal EVTV viewers are interested in reviewing and making comment, the contact details are on page 4 of the discussion document.


  12. Hi Jack,

    What if I’ll bring my wife along – she has absolutely no interest in the technical part, but have a keen interest in the social part ๐Ÿ™‚
    Would she have to pay full the full fee ?


  13. Hi Jack. The Convention all sounds great. The new ISP-Con. …at the right time and after the subject is beginning to jump past the geek novelty image and creative people are getting interested. …Especially great to do it in Cape in September with the back-country great weather driving opportunities. Glad you’re not doing the safety gobbly-d-goop. Love your enthusiasm and combination of cutting-edge science and real-world practicality… and that you are being the real Jackie that is never afraid to tell it how it is. Wish I could make it to EVCON-1 to say “I was there.” Maybe I will! Take care. – David H.

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