We’ve Gone Green

To an optomist, the glass of water is half full. To a pessimist, it’s half empty. Kind of a point of view thing. Of course, to an engineer, we have a curious instance of a water glass that’s probably twice the necessary size, and undoubtedly mounted in the wrong place anyway. And is there any REAL necessity for it to be constructed of expensive and failure prone glass. ABS plastic would likely contain the water as well, within certain temperature constraints.

This week we DO indeed present for your edification, education, consideration, and approval, one each MILSPEC video, color green.

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We had failed in the previous week to do so. And I suppose we should explain, though I’m not certain why there is such a necessity to do so. There is no program or plan here. We simply reached a Friday and had nothing to say.

We also had nothing done. I’ve been spending a stupid amount of time playing with something I’m not very good at in the first place, physical machining and packaging for these A123 cells. That causes me to rush a bit on the bits I SHOULD be doing and as a result, I’ve actually blown up a bunch of test equipment. I don’t know if these were run of the mill failures or my failures in every case, but I’ve lost a couple of loads and a power supply in a week.

Throughout the week we work on various little things and either shoot pieces as we go along, or get them all set up to shoot quickly on Thursday and Friday. By Friday afternoon, we had NOTHING – everything we had tried to put together either had some weird failure with no explanation or we were waiting on a part, a vendor to explain why, or something similar. We went down the list Friday afternoon and all had incurable delays or halts to everything we had had a notion of doing that week.

So I went home. Had a lovely evening playing bridge and drinking wine with some friends of ours until quite late. And awoke Saturday morning with no video to edit. Nothing more complicated than that.

I must confess, that in recent weeks I’ve been a bit removed from our overall process and there are few cues in the shop that anyone is watching anyway. My e-mail load had dried up over the holidays as people, I guess, were enjoying the holiday. And I was feeling a little bit of end of year reflection on why we are doing this, what we are accomplishing with it, and whether it is really worth a 24×7 365 day effort. After all, I do have electric cars to drive at this point. What’s the emergency, what are we REALLY accomplishing here, and why am I working this hard at age 56. Truth to tell, we’re probably leading this industry by a full two years from where I had thought/hoped we were.

I know that is a bit hard to accept with daily announcements of OEM electric car offerings literally pouring from the screen. Hasn’t the electric car revolution already happened and we are just mopping up the last of the late adopters and conservative majority on this one?

I fear not. More like we don’t have the early tinkerers and innovators sufficiently and properly organized to sponsor an outdoor cookout even WITH the assistance of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). I’m actually a bit discouraged that we have been unable to move that token any further than it currently lies on the ground.

In any event, it’s the end of the year. I think I’m going to slow down the pace and play with what strikes me. This week it is the simple addition of an experiment with green chroma key. I was all wired up for a prolonged battle with Final Cut Pro X over green chroma key. We got a largish piece of green muslin and a frame to drape it over behind us and shot the show on faith with nothing to look at.

There were a couple of tricks but really within an hour on Saturday morning I had figured out pretty much how it worked. And lo and behold, Brain and I could be ANYWHERE in front of ANYTHING with the flick of a mouse. I know this is a very basic technique to any of you advanced video professionals. But to us country boys trying to make our way in the big city, this is astonishing. And to have a weather map that is really a schematic diagram is pretty cool for some of these discussions. Without a schematic, my talking doesn’t really make any sense at all.

I have also been hard at work on TWO different A123 modules. The first, actually described to me by Kevin Wong worked quite well actually. It had a couple of minor problems but was very easy to assemble. Unfortuantely, there’s no point in showing it as we’ve already moved on.

The second was originally described somewhat vaguely by Celso Menai of Portugal. Celso IS kind of the battery guy with a small OEM that is developing a kind of tricycle car that is really quite captivating in the video he showed us at EVCCON. This theme was expanded by Mic of Oz – an Australian who provided an animation of it on Vimeo that I rather liked.

Actually in the time I SHOULD have been making video, I’ve made this module THREE TIMES in prototype form. The last has some 48 cells in a 4P12S configuration for a 40 volt 75 Ah module. It is 19.75 inches long, about eight inches high and about nine inches wide and weighs about 75 lbs. It represents a 3 kWh pack.

The prototype has spaghetti wiring on it for the Cellog 8S modules to monitor individual cell voltages. We bottom balanced the entire set of cells at 2.75 volts during assembly. We’ll be charging it and discharging it to see what happens to the individual cells. Under load, poor connections and so forth show up.

This is kind of a leap of faith. We used nylon threaded rod and some pvc nuts and by following Mic’s instructions and including a nut with every insulated piece, we think we’ve managed the clamping forces as well as they can be managed. But we do not want flexing between the tabs and the spacers in the vibrating environment of a vehicle. So we’ve cast the ENTIRE thing in the urethane resin we’ve been playing with.

Actually for the prototype, we have the opaque resin in the bottom and some nearly clear resin in the top and we want to see where we are. But the thing winds up looking like a 75 lb block of ice with spaghetti wiring out the top.

A123 is of course having their own problems with their over engineered cooling system. We did something quite different. I procured some thin 0.30 aluminum sheet from our ONLINE METALS supplier done in gunmetal anodize. Anodized aluminum is kind of peculiar in that it really doesn’t conduct electricity very well, but it DOES conduct heat. So we made little panels of it with a 90 degree bend at the bottom just wide enough for two cells. We slipped those between each TWO cells with the leg pointing IN toward the center.

When we put the battery in the resin form, we pulled the panels down slightly to where the feet touched the form box ends. Then we poured the resin.

We’ll wire brush the resin off these thin feet, exposing the aluminum.

In this way, each cell makes contact with a full sized plate of thin aluminum. That plate extends to the END of the battery where it hooks into this 1/2 inch foot spanning the height of the assembly. I do hope this wicked any heat from any of the cells to these exposed feet. At that point, for some applications this will be adequate. But you COULD attach a chill plate, a finned heat sink, or just place the battery in an aluminum box with contact at the ends between the feet and the box.

The resin, once hardened, should effectively isolate the clamps and tabs and cells and panels from rubbing, chafing, loosening, and otherwise wearing. This is what I consider and important and unfortunate part of the design. We no longer have discrete cells to work with here and no real access to them (other than the spaghetti on the prototype).

I’m actually ok with this. We don’t have access to individual foils in the CALB prismatics we use. So not having access to individual A123 cells is not so very different, except that we have some in SERIES in this battery making up a 40 volt module.

Note also the lack of BMS. I intend to use these as true batteries. If they go bad, they go away. By bottom balancing them on assembly, I’m hoping to prevent failures. : But a single bad cell in this bunch means inevitable and almost immediate failure. We should really capacity test these as well before assembly.

I’ve ordered a little voltmeter with programmable relay from ColdFusion. I intend to hook this up to a contactor and load situation where I can connect a cell and walk away. When it gets down to a specific voltage, ti will disconnect the cell from the load. Assuming they arrive at nearly identical state of charge, this should take them down to an identical state of low charge. I should be able to read our AH meter to detect “short” cells. And the resulting cells can be combined into an already bottom balanced assembly this way with a pretty good confidence on the capacity as well.

Three such batteries would be a 120volt 75 AH assembly and would drive one of the HPEVS systems very nicely with 9000 wH of storage in a scant 225lbs of batteries. We think this would be a 40-50 mile total range or maybe 32-35 mile range at 80% DOD. That’s not far, but many people do drive less than that each day, including yours truly and frankly. The bare cell costs, delivered to us circa 1/1/12, look like about $1250 per module or $3750 for the pack. With resin, threaded rods, hardware, etc, you might be looking at a round $1500 per module or $4500.

Why is this important? Well, lead acid batteries reportedly cost $2500 and offer a 40 mile range. We happen to know that delivered to your driveway, they are more often $3000 unless you are near a battery store where you can get a deal and pick them up yourself. And the 40 mile range is almost entirely made up – wishful thinking. Lead cell cars usually get 25-30 miles in the first two months, and then it drops horrifically over the remaining two years of life. And they weigh a 1000 lbs.

Three of these modules weigh 225 lbs. They really will do 40 miles. They have the advantage of long cycle life – over 3000 cycles. And 650 amps is nothing for these cells. Our tests indicate about an 1850 ampere power output from this module.

So instead of $10,000 for batteries, you pay a 50% premium over lead, and get the same range (actually better) , MUCH lighter weight, and much longer life. If you WANTED to add more cells later in parallel to double the range, it is trivial to do so.

We did order and receive some excellent braided straps from China to replace our EVWorks source in Australia. The shipping and duties from Australia had become really quite onerous and our final cost per strap was over $5 via this avenue in all cases and in the case of the 55 mm straps considerably so.

The shipping and so forth from China is actually pretty steep as well, I think our UPS was $686 on this batch and then UPS came up with some strange $131 brokers fee on the import of these. In any event, I got 1000 of the 70 mm straps we always use on the 100 and 180Ah CALB cells. And a couple of hundred of the straps for the larger M12 bolts on the Elescalade.

We mentioned that it looked like that put us in the strap business whether on purpose or by accident. THree of our viewers have ordered in the first twelve hours so I guess this will be worthwhile. We’re going to put together a set of one 70mm strap, two 18-8 stainless 16 mm M8 bolts, and two zinc coated M8 Nordlock washers for $7 plus shipping. We’ll work on getting some sort of page up that calculates shipping and totals and so forth to make it easy. The larger set for the 400 Ah cells would be $10 per set, but I would be astonished if anyone but us needs those at all.

What I call 70mm straps have 8x13mm holes on 70mm centers. The strap is actually 98 mm long and 24 mm wide of tinned copper braided wire with tinned copper on the ends. We’ll put some photos on the web page when we get it up.

In the meantime, all of you that did send e-mail and Paypal donations this past week, fearing our demise, we deeply appreciate them. It IS true enough that if we don’t find some economic basis for doing this, it cannot continue forever. But that’s not precisely why we missed a week now. But operating with Brian and I and Rod in a dark shop in the cold of winter, we kind of lose sight that anyone is watching or that anyone cares. There’s no shortage of video on YouTube we are well aware. And so our confidence in our mission naturally wanes. The encouragement is actually as important or more important than the donations, but encouragement in DECIMAL is of course the most sincere. I only contribute actual ducats when I actually want to support something. It’s not just happy talk. And we assume you all do the same. So I was encouraged this week. Our viewership appears to be growing and we appear to have the requisite “stickiness” among a set of viewers that keep coming back. That means eventual success if we simply persevere.

We’re hardly alone in our struggles. George Hamstra has 100 motors with no aux shaft as the result of an OEM failure (I’m telling you selling to OEMs is not all as great as you think guys) and Sebastien Bourgoius reports costs on the Shiva have driven them to an atmospheric $9500 for their megawatt controller. So everyone is having their version of a bad hair day at the moment.

But stay with us. If this thing with Iran doesn’t get resolved here pretty soon, we could ALL be heading for a bad hair day at the pump. And we’re just not sufficiently far enough along with all this to deal with it.

Jack Rickard


51 thoughts on “We’ve Gone Green”

  1. Hi Jack & Brian

    It was great to see you again:)

    I saw John Allan had created little problem for himself since he has injected a grease spray into the engine.

    I want to help John Allan if he wants it. I have repaired DC Motor for 25 years and have a little magic stone he should buy in the U.S..

    He can contact me by mail: hoej@flekz.dk

    Kind regards Allan

  2. Hi Jack and Brian,

    Good to see you back, love the show. I don’t think that Sebastien should worry about the cost of the megawatt Shiva. Just think of what it would cost to build an internal combustion engine car that produces 13 to 14 hundred horsepower. Unless your building an electric dump truck, I can’t imagine why you would want that kind of power for a street vehicle anyways. Kind of hard to make that kind of power streetable anyways.

    As far as OEMs are concerned, I don’t think the DIY market will dry up ever, just as the market for DIY gasoline hot rods and kit cars dry up. Plenty of people still want a 34 Ford or a 49 Mercury. Not all of us want those cars with a V8 anyways. I think it would be cool to have a 49 Merc with an 11 inch behind it.

    Thanks for a great show,


  3. Hello Jack & Brian,
    Yes, I too was relieved to see you on air again. Great show once again, and the green screen was a hit I’d say. I was wondering if there was a way to show closeups of the parts of the schematic you were discussing to follow the theory of your fixes. And you say you had no monitor in front of you to gauge your presentation? Wow, you done good guys!
    And be encouraged; I often discuss and try and bring into discussion at work, the advantages and myths about electric cars, and also have another coworker who now checks in to your shows. He’s now very interested in the electric car. I once owned and operated for a short time, an OEM Ford Ranger EV. I had bought it used about 6 years ago, and it only lasted 10 days, and after fighting with it for 2 years, I sold it,but found that Bluesky Motors battery facility had put software for a NiMH battery pack in a Lead/Acid battery pack, which led to not letting me know I was fully discharging the batteries. My round trip to work and back is about 59 miles each day, so for me an electric vehicle needs to preferably have a 70% depth of discharge range of 60 miles.
    At any rate, I got the EV Grin needless to say. I’ve wanted to build an electric car since Mechanics Illustrated put out plans to build your own electric car back about 1980,but funds have held me up thus far.
    I’m with Allan Hoj in my concern about John Allan having used a Lithium grease in an electric motor. I don’t know if it is conductive,but I was thinking perhaps a Polymer lub on the ends of the shaft might at least eliminate that area as to the cause of the noise. I’ve heard this same sound in an aging aircraft starter/generator,but was not able to attempt a fix, and simply sent it off for repair.
    But Jack & Brian, I will keep watching and supporting you over time as I can and who knows, maybe one day my budget will open up and allow me to also build an EV. Thanks again for your education on EV’s; your show is the only one in town as you say and I’m hoping it’s around for years to come.


  4. Hi Jack and Brian,

    I liked the “new green” show, it’s great to see you all progressing on so many fronts. The white board over the green background was fantastic. Is it possible to have these technical drawings available to us the viewers in some format, a web download site, pdf file or even better a common industry format? If so it would go a long way toward educating us viewers and achieve some standardization in the wiring diagrams we use ourselves and would like to share with others.

  5. Guys, I was not aware of the cost of putting on a web show. That was a pretty large number. I had tried in the past to watch the show streaming but when I found myself needing to leave it in mid show and come back later I would have to start from the beginning again. So I have been downloading it and then watching it off my system, that way I am not downloading anything twice. This leads to my question, what way is the least expensive for EVTV for us the viewers to watch the show? From your site or maybe from You Tube? Also, if the show was made available on Bit Torrent or on a site like MegaUpLoad I would gladly download it from their to try to help save on your band width cost. The nice thing with Bit Torrent is that after the first couple of people have it downloaded they share in the hosting and as more people download the larger the resource pool. Let us viewers know what we can do to help hold cost down like this, I really enjoy the show and I have learned a lot and would like to see it continue if at all possible.

    Jack & Brian, thanks to you both for a great job.


  6. Thanks for the show. I appreciate your hard work doing it. I look forward to it every week.

    It will be exciting to see the cast A123 cells.

    I was just thinking ahead to the point where you actually put the battery modules in a car and I was thinking that if you made each module with half as many cells and had 6 of them instead of 3 then I think you’d be able to easily fit them in a belly pan under any car. I think in one box that volume would be something like 1 meter long by 1/2 meter and probably less than 10cm tall. This would free up the boot space and lower the centre of gravity and all the batteries could be in one box. I’m sure there are disadvantages also. …Anyway it’s just an idea.


  7. Williams controlls.

    I got me a fairly nice looking pedal assembly by williams controls. I bought it about a year ago when I had money. I tried to bench-test it, the position sensor works great but I can’t figure out what kind of circuit is on the other three contacts. (It shows a fixed capacitance on my meter..) I would like to see what Jack did about the neutral switch on his throttle, he talked about it but the schematic was illegible (I’m using a WXGA monitor that doesn’t quite do 1080p resolution — it’s an 8×5 monitor instead of a 16×9). I tried to research the sensor module on my pedal assembly but google has never heard of a 135229 !!! Is my module acceptable? Who can sell me a module that will give me the best results with my Curtis? Williams only seems interested in dealing with people who are working on forklifts and other commercial vehicles.

  8. Nickname unavailable,
    You could furnish the model & your name!
    WM-526 – Electronic Floor Pedal
    WM-532 – Narrow Profile Electronic Floor Pedal
    WM-537 – Electronic Floor Pedal
    WM-542 – Electronic Suspended Pedal
    WM-546 – Electronic Suspended Pedal
    WCS-400101 – Hall Effect Rocker Pedal


    If you were willing to buy an unknown thing on the cheap why not try an old sewing machine pedal to get you by?
    Lets not forget, a lot of cars are now appearing in scrap yards with “fly by wire” hall effect throttles.

    If the pedal you have dictates what controller to buy. Get the controller first!

  9. Jack and Brian,

    Now you have done it. Tossed the hook for next weeks show. Cant wait to see your rendition of your A123 pack. Interesting idea.


    Bandwidth is not free nor as cheap as you might expect. Torrents are slow and usually result in lots of garbage and frankly I’d rather go one place to get my video. I know it will download quickly and reliably. Downloading huge Gigabyte size files gets expensive fast. Most hear would be hard pressed to do it without some sort of money coming in to support it.


    I like the idea of a lower cost conversion with some powerful A123 cells as the power source. Might help draw in some new air to pump thing up a bit.

    Pete 🙂

  10. Thanks, andyj. I’m logging in through google, I’m not sure why my name doesn’t come through. Anyway, The pedal I have is branded as a curtis, The number on the bracket reads “18140800-0006”, which is just as uninformative. There are no identifying markings on the spring assembly. The only other part number is the one I gave for the actual sensor. I was hoping to have a machine shop make me an adapter to fit the firewall. I am definitely not going to try to jerry-rig a pot-box to the rusty old pedal assembly. I want to convert to an electrical signal as soon as possible and not have to worry about it. I kept the old assembly just so I would have a template. — Wish I had done the same for the connector that plugged into the speed sending unit on the transmission (!!!). The other two switches (reverse and neutral safety) on the transmission, I can just cut and splice…

  11. I say switch to youtube exclusively. not only is it free but they even pay you.
    if I understand you correct, you pay the equivalent of a full time guy for the bandwidth at amazon.. 60k$ per year.

    if you cut up the video into 3 parts on youtube or maybe upload a 20 minute show monday, wednesday and friday it could even be profitable just on the youtube aspect alone.
    Ray William Johnson which is the most successful youtuber gets 50-70k$ per 5 minute show he uploads. they pay him. not the other way around.
    you can put that 60k$ a year to better use. and the more successful you get the more you lose with amazon.. so why not switch to embedded youtube.
    you can download video from youtube as well, I do it every week and their compression is even better. I get higher resolution for smaller filesize.

  12. if we take this week’s show as an example at 2 hours 11 minutes, if I download your SD stream it’s 480×270 pixels and 944MB.
    on youtube the 864×480 size is 677MB. the details are a little softer but the size makes up for it.

  13. Dan,
    2,708,259 views vs. 462. *Yawn*

    Good call Lee,
    A central torrent list on JR’s webpage should help his bandwidth costs.

    Nick unk…,
    A Curtis pedal for a Curtis controller?
    You mean this?:-

    Just think, a cell that weighs one pound and gives 30AH with 4″ wide tabs on opposite sides, under A4 in size and 5mm thick which has no issues with 15C. With Lithium titanate (hybrid car) versions that on tests have shown no loss of capacity after 3k cycles@100%. And nobody here can understand why I’m lukewarm with A123’s.

    1. Andyj
      I have not heard of the Lithium titanate (lithium metatitanate) battery before,but the info I got when I googled it was very intereting. One reference states they have a calendar life of 12 years,and can be recharged a whopping 18,000 times? Um,that’s just over 49 years if you recharge once a day! And they can be recharged to 80% in just 10 minutes? Sounds too good to be true.
      Jack what is your take on the Lithium Titanate batteries?

      Jim Holifield

  14. Hello

    Andvj , I tried to get some enerdel cells but with no success so far, the companys trading these batteries don´t respond to me yet, that´s unusual.
    For now I will get some A123 , have so modules to built also 🙂

    best regards

  15. Thanks for the heads up Celso.
    Not sure but did you specify the type of cell you require? It would be deeply upsetting for me in my case because I’ve literally drawn up the whole vehicle around these things!

    Will make an attempt today. Thank you.

  16. Andyj:

    You keep chipping in with this Enerdel cell concept. Ok. I’m game. So where’s your link? Where are you getting them? How have they tested for you?

    I’m a little suspicious in that I think Enerdel is actually GOING out of business NOW. I’m a little hesitant to put thought and time into cells I will not be able to get in the future.

    Mavizen has posted a very strange, if self serving warning about the “fraudulent” A123 grey market cells. Reminds me of the U.S. drug company that was slamming Canadian sources of counterfeit and dangerous drugs – turns out the Canadian company MADE the drugs for the U.S. company under contract.

    Here too, it is a little more complicated world than Mavizen makes out. But I’m told we will be able to get A123 cells for as long as we want them.

    Again, 90% of the crap on the web is unobtainium. I spend a huge amount of time NOW wading through all that for you. If you have a product you want me to look at, I’m ok. But please ascertain first that it CAN BE HAD IN THE REAL WORLD before suggesting it. 90% can’t. I asked my A123 provider about the Enerdel cells and got no reply. Since the Chinese do not tell customers “no” I took that for a “no.”

    Incredibly, Mavizen’s response is to RAISE their prices. They quoted me $65 several months ago, for cells I’m now buying at $20 FOB china. Meanwhile, Mavizen has raised the ticket to $73 in the same quantity.

    I really have no difficulty with them making a profit. But these cells really don’t make a great deal of economic sense to me at the $25.60 I’m actually landing them in the shop floor for. They really don’t do 20 Ah for one thing. ANd the effort and expense to modularize them is at the moment huge.

    I’m kind of betting we’ll see these at $15. And that we can work out the module thing and get it down to something both build able and affordable.

    So if you want to talk smack about Enerdel, do it with a proven link that ships timely.


  17. On downloading the show, another thing I do is I always get the NON-High Def version. It typically is less than half the size and sometimes even about a third the size. I have a pc connected to my tv with a tv out video and the picture is as good as any non-hd channel on the regular networks. GreenEV, as for how long it takes with Bit Torrent, I generally will set the download to run during the night while I’m in bed and I have it the next morning. Speed is not so much an issue then. All I wanted to do was find out from Jack the most cost effective way to EVTV for us to receive the show and also to make a few suggestions that might help. It is ultimately up to Jack but I would like to do what I can to help out.


  18. Cost of putting on a web show. Kind of like the costs of building an EV – variable, and not very material to the doing of it. It will change.

    The CONCEPT of putting on a web show is kind of new, and our way of doing it is quite new. When we started doing this not even three years ago there was no HD on the web at all. There was no bandwidth for it. There was no way to store it. Our files were larger than YouTube would allow then Dan.

    The cameras to shoot it were just coming online. ANd the editing tools were barely able to do the deal. Our RENDER times on EVTV used to be 17 hours. Now a couple of hours.

    Cameras have improved. Editing suites and computers have improved. But the key element has always been our use of Amazon,.com’s global network.

    This was a very early choice and we were very early among a handful of people who even knew there WAS an Amazon Web Services cloud service. I found it phenomenal at the time and it has improved dramatically since then.

    It lets me host enormous files without limit or without comment regarding format. Better, when YOU click a link to a video, it reroutes you to the server nearest your location with the best connectivity. So if you are in France, that is in Paris most likely. Or Stockholm depending on YOUR location. It’s a global network of 20 super sized data centers.

    And so you get much better download times than on YouTube or vie Bit Torrent. The concept is for you to watch it by clicking on it. At the moment, many of you don’t have the bandwidth or PC at YOUR end to make all this work as intended. I can’t be bothered worrying about that. We have to lead the future a little bit. Think of it as English bias and lead angle error.

    But we do pay for storage and bandwidth. The reason YouTube is not a solution is that they are in an ongoing war with their own creative talent largely based on the disparity between advertising revenues and bandwidth. They’ve never had a profitable month since it was launched and continues to be a financial black hole at Google to this day. So they keep mucking with the mix trying to find the right formula. We were on YouTube and I basically quit them in disgust. Later, after we HAD a viewership, they invited us back on somewhat better terms and we can now at least post our lengthy videos in their entirety. We do so only as a convenience to some of our viewers with special format issues. I think we get about 500 viewers a week on YouTube. It is certainly less than 10%.

    I think the bandwidth charges are roughly 14 cents per GB from the core to the edge and 10 cents a gig from the edge on out to end users. Kind of complicated actually. The 14 cents is to serve from the core or the core to one of the edge servers. Once it has been requested on an edge server and transferred, subsequent transfers of the same file are just a dime per GB.

    We’re running about 4GB right now. I think we pay about 15 cents per month per GB storage.

    It’s all quite reasonable, until you start to ramp up. That’s what kills all the YouTube wannabees. They grow themselves out of cash. ANd that could happen here too.

    One of the advantages is the 15 minutes of fame problem. We had an NPR story – about 4 minutes – very nice in September. We served 9000 videos in about four hours. Didn’t bother MY machine at all. That’s because it was on Amazons. If I had this on a local server, it would have just been a mess.

  19. Bit torrents are widely viewed by end users as some sort of panacea. They are not. They actually muck up the bandwidth model pretty badly for Internet Service Providers and other users of the network. We simply do not use them. The model is only interesting if you do not understand packet routing and at that point it gets to be really ugly and inelegant.

    We like the Amazon Cloud model very well. But it is true that it has its costs. As we move into the future, and you get better computers and better bandwidth, EVTV’s strategy will perhaps notn become apparent, but it will be a better video experience for SOME reason. We have a few who have moved to Internet TVs and are watching HD direct streaming and so forth and have the bandwidth to pull it off. The comments from that segment are very encouraging. It just works. You don’t’ really have to “do” anything. We fill the screen.

    I actually make it in 1920×1080. We post 1280×720 HD.264 now. But we could go to 1920 in a New York minute. It would just be larger files. And 1280×720 looks great on an HD screen now.

    Jack Rickard

  20. Good morning and evening Jack,
    Have just sent the seller a message. Noted her home webpage is a domain that is up for sale!! Will attempt to give her a landline and/or mobile phone call when it is a reasonable time in China.

    Seems Alibaba is never updated when sellers become inactive.

    My presumption all along was these Chinese manf’rs not connected to the USA so like A123’s, cell sales can go from strength to strength in spite of the “men with the business models” attempting to commit hari kari.

    For obtaining these cells I’m still surfin’ for a “man who can”, Jack.
    Wanxiang had placed the actual cell prd’n onto a Taiwanese maker. Oh the thread we weave…..

    I really liked those very wide tabs. Would of made cell assembly using extension springs wholly possible.

  21. I’m sorry you all. I have had to turn moderation back on. You would think this psychopathic stalker I have picked up in Denmark would get a clue after awhile that he iS NOT wanted. I have ASKED him to simply leave and not visit. He refuses. If I turn it on for even a minute, he shows up spewing nonsense in all directions.

    It’s bad enough in my private e-mail. We’re just not going to have it on the blog. I haven’t figure out how to just selectively ban a single person on Google’s blog software. If anyone knows,….

    Jack Rickard

  22. Hi Jack,

    As to the Dan problem, the best procedure is a collective effort of everyone on the blog to simply not respond to any of his comments. After a while, sometimes a long while, he’ll tire of no one paying attention to him and spend his time looking for prey elsewhere. As soon as one person responds to him he sees it as a fertile hunting ground. The key is ignore, ignore, ignore.

  23. This guy has already been run off of every forum on the net. We’re his last refuge and he’s pathological. I have received two or three e-mails per day from this guy for TWO YEARS now. He’s not normal. He takes pride in his supertrolll status.

    Jack Rickard

  24. Thanks,I see a couple of people have tested the torrent download. I also notice that 7 people have downloaded the torrent file from me not sure how many have pulled it down from the link on the front page of the website. This leads me to believe that you have downloaded a torrent file and don’t know what to do with it. I don’t really recommend everyone go install a bit torrent client in order to be able to use the file, but if you are curious here is a nice article explaining how to use the torrent file you downloaded.


  25. Hello,

    Your shows are highly anticipated by me, my kids 6 and 9 make fun of my viewing habits. I especially enjoy the news portion of your show. Also Dwayne Balls 904 video,

    Are you watching EVTV …again? (They ask me).

    I feel that I spend about 50.00 dollars a month for DSL at 1.5 MBS. why can’t EVTV get a portion of that?

    I also watched via you tube feed this week.
    My two cents.

    Piston Poppers LOL!!

  26. It confuses me how someone who does nothing, high up in his flat with nowhere to make anything and no money to do it with should go on and on about electric cars, wind turbines, UFO’s, God bothering, Global warming and James May’s pointy fingers on Youtube.

    Route all comments via Disqus so you can filter? 😉

  27. I very much deplore that Dan is from Denmark. I am so sorry for Dan’s behavior it´s absolutely not normal, not even in Denmark.

    However Jack has got me to buy new batteries today, for my Renault Clio Electriq. it´s original with Ni-CD batteries and I Converted it to Lead Acid batteries, and yes Jack is a science project without any ending. So now I have to convert again but with 46 units ThunderSky TS LFP160AHA.

    I had almost given up on my little Clio, but when I saw Jack’s test of the ThunderSky batterys I was hook.

    I very much look forward to getting started and specially know the batteries are stable in their way to behave, not like lead Acid.

    I am grateful for the show, Jack & Brian is doing. There are many great detail what to do and NOT to do.

    I want to create BMS system, but only as a monitoring in order not to deep discharge and over charge the battery.

    Jack, if you want to see the project on video, then send me an email at hoej@flekz.dk

    Sincerely, Allan

  28. Jack, I’ve been an AWS and Amazon S3 user since 2006 and just love it. But I think Vimeo PRO (launched 5 months ago) is now the better solution for EVTV. $199/year for every 50GB makes a lot of sense. ‘Plays’ are up to 250K. The site is a little hazy about download limits though. I think they do use a combination of Amazon S3 and Akamai services.

  29. interesting comment on how a lithium cell works over on EVDL. Again.

    I believe you are mistaken.

    The anode and cathode do not remain unchanged, otherwise the fact that Li ions move from one electrode to another would be relatively unimportant to us. The anode and cathode go through oxidation/reduction reactions during charge and discharge, which is what results in the electrons being available to pass through an external circuit and do interesting things for us.

    While the exact reactions differ, the basic operation of the lithium ion cell is fundamentally the same as that of a lead acid cell: redox reactions result in ions moving from one electrode to the other through an electrolyte, while electrons move through an external circuit allowing useful work to be performed.



    Jack, Your response please.

    Pete 🙂

  30. Pete, ask him most graciously to post the electrochemical reaction for all to see. 😉

    I’ve been in one of these before with some BMS boy and he got quite shirty about it.

    Li cells work with “intercalation”. not a chemical reaction as such, more like electrostatic charges attracting dust into cloth to make a dusty cloth.

    The wiki pages he should read are:
    Intercalation (chemistry)
    Graphite intercalation compounds.

    Failing that, just punch him.

  31. Jack, regarding YouTube bandwidth problems. Remember that Youtube network works in one direction (they send plenty of data from their servers) while Google works in the other directions (Google robots suck the whole internet to index it).
    And they have their own 10e100.net.
    I think combining both traffic types in one network is very effective.

    Btw, I’m using EVTV podcast at http://feeds.feedburner.com/EvtvMotorVerks to reduce the amount of downloaded data: I’m downloading it once and then watch it during subsequent days.

  32. These are all very cunning ways of saving bandwidth, or in most cases getting somebody else to pay for it. We do about 50 shows a year guys. I don’t think we can be talking over 50 cents per show. I know it’s kind of self serving, and I don’t really do the public television station marathon very well, but we’re talking about $25 per year. There is a donate button.

    Steve Connolly of Arizona has left me $10 every week for two years now. He also was the FIRST to show up for EVCCON this year. He’s been a faithful viewer from the beginning and I was very encouraged to meet him and find him bright, articulate, and thoughtful – aware of the planet and all its implications without a lot of chanting or jingoism. I kind of hold him as my mental model for who our viewers actually are.

    His story is that that’s about what its worth to him and he doesn’t look for freebies in life, he pays his own way. I might want to be like him when I grow up, assuming of course….

    But it really doesn’t’ matter. To be economically viable we have to grow a supplier base for whom a channel of information and expanded sales WORKS. Half the guys selling stuff for EV’s haven’t quit their day jobs yet. We’re just a little early to the party. It will happen. We will even help it to happen. But we’re a wee bit early I think.

    Meanwhile, our mission isn’t to figure out how to get Google or Yahoo to pay for our show. It is to devise the best and most efficient and effective delivery mechanism for the future. Once freed of cable and broadcast, video is no longer standards bound in quite the same way. The 4000×4000 resolution of the RED ONE is really only doable online. But it will become doable. Unimaginable resolution, color and detail is in the future. And TV is truly global.

    We’ve actually had a couple of people try to put us in touch with Discovery Channel. I never got to see the episode on the FVT XPrize entry from up in Maplewood Canada. I tried to talk these guys into doing a kit chassis/bnody but they have the dream of producing it and are sure the “angel” investor of their dreams is right around the corner. But Discovery in Canada did a documentary on them. It wasn’t aired in the U.S. and I never did see it.

    National borders just don’t work for us in the future. Continental borders won’t work either. If a component or idea sprouts in Lisbon, it’s mine. I want it. And I’ll have it. And I’ll share it with you – even if you happen to be in China. So distribution alongside Senior/Junior just can’t ever happen. Too limiting. And Brain and I can’t handle all that drama. It overstimulates us and then our wives complain for days…

    Jack Rickard

  33. Lithium ion cell operation is rather well documented so the excuse for these online experts to NOT understand it, or to in ANY way think it is similar to Pb electrochemical processes simply does not exist.

    I would say a key element to understand is that the Lithium ions and cathode or anode materials do not actually share covalence – there is no chemical rebonding here in the normal sense. Intercalation is a way of occupying shared space in a crystal lattice at exposed “corners” which are electrons. Ultimately this gets down to a pretty fine delineation of limited interest to most people, but I think it is important.

    The most important aspect for the BMS cretins who think they DO understand it, at least in their CURRENT explanation, which changes each time we disprove one, is that of internal discharge. This is the basis for their cell drift theory and while interesting, it relies on a shuttle mechanism very familiar with Pb cells that does not exist in ion “rocking chair” batteries.

    Total energy is a function of how many intercalation points there are capable of hosting how many ions. Total power ability is a function of diffusion, both through the crystalline structures and often more importantly through the Solid Electrolyte Interphase (SEI) layer. And generally you can trade one against the other.

    A123 and headway cells have thinner layers of crystalline anode and cathode materials leading to easier diffusion, but lower capacity. Our leggo prismatics have thicker layers of active material, but then are limited to how much instantaneous current they can produce at any one instant.

    What else do you want to know that JP hasn’t already had a nervous electrolyte breakdown over.

    Jack Rickard

  34. Pete & Jack,

    Since I was responding to a “how do they work then” question I’ve posted the exchange below.

    > David Nelson wrote:
    >> I suppose one could argue what the difference is between a chemical
    >> reaction and an electrochemical process. If I’m reading the literature
    >> right, the lithium ions merely deintercalates from the crystal
    >> structure on one electrode and simultaneously they are intercalating
    >> into the crystal structure of the other while electrons pass through
    >> the outer circuit.
    > […]

    == here is the part that was cut out by the responder from my original post ===

    It doesn’t have a charge shuttle reaction like lead acid batteries do. This is why they don’t self discharge if there isn’t a problem with the cell. The electron has to go around the SEI
    layer and can’t go through it so it has to go from one terminal to the other, either through ions in the air, contaminants on the surface of
    the cell or preferably through the desired circuit. For example, discharge is Li+ deintercalates from anode, is carried through the
    separation film by the electrolyte to the athode where it intercalaes. At the same time an electron goes “the long way around the barn.”
    ==== now continuing what the responder quoted ===

    >> The electrolyte remains unchanged, unlike that in a lead
    >> acid cell, and the anode and cathode remain unchanged except for the
    >> slight expansion of the crystal lattice as Lithium ions are inserted.
    >> I see this as being similar to how hydrogen is stored in a crystal
    >> lattice so that it takes up less space than compressed H2 gas. It
    >> isn’t a chemical reaction because no new molecules are formed.
    > I believe you are mistaken.
    > The anode and cathode do not remain unchanged, otherwise the fact that Li ions move from one electrode to another would be relatively unimportant to us. The anode and cathode go through oxidation/reduction reactions during charge and discharge, which is what results in the electrons being available to pass through an external circuit and do interesting things for us.
    > While the exact reactions differ, the basic operation of the lithium ion cell is fundamentally the same as that of a lead acid cell: redox reactions result in ions moving from one electrode to the other through an electrolyte, while electrons move through an external circuit allowing useful work to be performed.
    > Cheers,
    > Roger.

    [response continues in next post]

    David D. Nelson

  35. [continued from previous post]

    Maybe we are both mistaken but likely more me than you 🙂

    I went back and rewatched
    http://chargecar.org/blog/main/Battery_Tech_Talk a gleaned some more
    information. What I posted above was gleaned from “Nonaqueous Liquid
    Electrolytes for Lithium-Based Rechargeable Batteries” by Kang Xu. A
    copy can be found at
    and does talk about the issues with low temperature charging. What I
    gleaned from the video about the specific things relating to LiFePO4
    cells is this:

    With a LiFePO4 cell:
    – Initially there is no Li on the anode, it is all in the cathode in
    the LiFePO4 crystal structure
    – The anode is Cu with a graphite coating due to its weak bonds
    between sheets of C atoms
    – The only place free Li+ ions exist is in the electrolyte
    – LiPF6 is the salt used in a TS/CALB type cell
    – LiPF6 is dissolved in an organic solvent where the Li+ ions
    dissociate from the PF6- ions
    – Unlike a lead acid or NiCd battery, the charge and discharge is not
    a surface reaction, it is a phase change reaction
    – Unlike a lead acid battery, the electrolyte does not take part in
    the reaction, it is merely an ion carrier with free Li+ ions in
    – The phase change reaction during charge is LiFePO4 → Li+ + FePO4 + e-
    – The charge process puts electrons on the Cu anode which draws the
    Li+ ions into the graphite crystal structure creating LiC6
    – The respective crystal structures on the anode and cathode remain
    relatively unchanged

    So the charge/discharge mechanism is not the same as a lead acid cell,
    it is significantly more efficient, for one. I used to go ~4mi/kWh
    from the wall and now, with similar driving conditions I can go over
    6mi/kWh from the wall. No, the weight loss doesn’t account for all of
    it. I tested that too.

    Another tidbit I gleaned is that there is approximately 140mAh/g of
    LiFePO4 of charge/discharge capacity. Li is ~4.4% by mass which means
    that a 100Ah cell has about 31.4g of Li. Given that things are not
    ideal there is likely a little more lithium than that.

    BTW, much of this info is in the first 15-16 minutes of the video.
    Maybe someone can check my notes to see if I’m getting closer to
    “getting it.” 🙂

    ===end of EVDL quote===

    David D. Nelson

  36. That’s certainly closer. I’m uncomfortable with the concept that the anode and cathode don’t change, and the understanding of what the anode and cathode is.

    First, the copper foil and the aluminum foil are NOT anodes and cathodes. They are current carriers. The paste of active material deposited on them ARE the cathodes and anodes.

    And they do change. Actually this is one of the main wear areas limiting cycle life. With each intercalation the volume of the crystalline matrix expands (6 carbon plus 2 lithium) and then with deintercalation shrinks.

    Oxidation/redux are sufficiently generic concepts I think it is perfectly appropriate to characterize these changes as oxidative and reductive. These terms really simply mean the addition or loss of an electron.

    The charge process results in an attraction between lithium cations (pos) and electrons in the current collector. But electrons have a forceful aversion to each other and this is felt in the external circuit as voltage. If completed, it results in current flow and this results in the release of Li+ deintercalating from the anode, passing through the electrolyte and intercalating with the cathode. But note that there is no electron flow in the battery. It is from current collector to current collector.

    The SEI layer kind of cements the crumbling carbon walls of the anode and extends the life of the cell.

    Jack Rickard

  37. Jack and Brian,

    Thanks for your effort. I did not stumble across your site until I started searching for some parts to build a few more 48V Electric Outboards for a few of my friends.

    I was oblivious to the LiFePo4 revolution that is taking over the EV landscape. I watched many of your shows and found them to be entertaining (yea I am a geek) and informative. I am going to upgrade the batteries in my Boat to 100Ahr CALB cells.

    I do agree with you about the BMS systems, but I do have one Idea on Instrumentation. (Call it a BIS or Batter Information System)

    I started thinking about what is currently available that would more or less do what I want it to do. My mind drifted to how the air pressure monitor works in a car. With a little research I found this:


    I love Microchip products and this is almost tailor made for the application. I have been using their PIC processors for years. I love the fact that the processor and wireless chip are designed to operate from 2.0V – 4.0V.

    I am going to order a few of these evaluation boards and see if I can alter them to spit out an accurate Voltage and Temperature. I am not sure if it is a good idea or not, but I am going to try it….

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