Flatenem Series A123 Module

This week we heard from John Hardy of the Midlands in the UK. John is about to publish a new book titled ICE FREE specifically on the topic of converting your car to electric drive.

He suggested a flat pack design and while a little rough and perhaps a little obvious, we pretty much liked the idea.

We’ve been talking about a flat pack for a few weeks to put under a Smart Car build or to test an A123 pack under a Speedster. This concept does well enough.

I suppose we jumped the gun describing the book, but I wanted a little context for the conversation, like who he was and where he was from. The book came up. The problem is it isn’t precisely released yet, so you can’t have one. But it should be on Amazon soon.

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The other aspect we went on with in this video at some length and probably at some tedium was the JLD404AH Intelligent AH Meter. We actually found this meter BY ACCIDENT in a box of stuff we had ordered a year ago. We more recently found this DC Voltmeter that allowed you to set relays based on voltage and we kind of designed a bottom balancing circuit out of this very simply by connecting that control relay to a contactor and a 0.1 ohm 250watt power resistor. This little “bleeder” would bleed a cell at about 30 amps until it gets down to 2.50 volts, or really whatever value you set, and then disconnect the load.

But while rooting through a box of similar meters, we found this Intelligent AH Meter version. We had never hooked it up. And it was no longer available, and worse the documentation was no longer available.

But it was a pretty similar meter and we gradually were able to piece together how to work it. incredibly, the relays could be activated by Voltage on those as well. In fact, you could tie the relays to voltage, current, ampere-hours, or time in a way that is so flexible, you really can’t quite work it all out mentally. It actually lets you set TWO levels an activation threshold and a deactivation threshold kind of like a thermostat.

A thermostat? Well yee. THis is the easiest example, which is unfortunate because this device does NOT measure temperature. But let’s say you wanted to turn on a heater to bring a pot of water to a certain temperate and hold it there. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a relay that would run the heater. IF the water is below 100 degrees for example, it energizes, turning on the heater. When it reaches 140 degrees it reenergizes, allowing the temperature to fall. But at 100 degrees, it comes on again. In this way, it cycles but without hystereses. It has a band gap.

That’s how these relays work. And you can set them on an ascending curve or descending curve. And they can work on voltage, current, amp hours, or time.

The flexibility of all this hurts the head, so I won’t pursue it. But it makes it a very handy little device.

We went back to the guy we bought this from and had a couple of weeks of discussion to get him to reprise it. We ordered a dozen, and put it in the video which we released Sunday noonish.

We also put a description and a way to order on our web site online store. By Monday morning, we had sold twelve. Of course, I already had two of our dozen on the lab bench. So we’re not only sold out, but scrambling to get enough to fill the current orders.

This basically illustrates the ongoing need for instrumentation. We recently reviewed Valery Mitzikhov’s EMW Dashboard. It turns out this hardware isn’t done by EMW at all, but rather by Dmitri Butvinik, an online impresario we’ve crossed swords with before. The hardware literally came apart in our hands. And now that we know where its from, the odds of fixing the 5% accuracy problem are essentially none. I played with some GOOD hall effect sensor s a year ago and found accuracy to be a devilish problem. I assumed Valery, with a Phd in Physics, had some magic sauce on this topic since they used a hall effect sensor. As it turns out, no. He has simply bitten on a Dmitri device assuming it would report accurate current. It doesn’t. And it can’t. In fact it’s a very cheap hall effect sensor to begin with. Dmitri and his followers are big fans of cheap.

In any event, we’re going to piece together this AH meter, a 12v DC-DC converter to power it with full isolation from your pack voltage, a shunt that COULD be mounted with a bit of additional work, and a Operations Manual that yours truly has cobbled together to serve as some DOCUMENTATION for this device.

The device uses a shunt. We get rather inexpensive shunts from China that are 75 mv. Let’s talk a little about current measurement. Everyone KNOWS all this, and in most cases know at least part of it wrong.

Basically to measure current, the most accurate and temperature stable way to do this is with a known small value of resistance. According to George Ohm, the amount of current through a given resistance is a function of the voltage you apply. Conversely, if you measure the voltage across a known resistance, you can calculate the current flow.

To measure high current levels, you want a very LOW resistance value so you dissipate a minimum of current as heat. The power dissipated will be a function of current level, times resistance, squared. So if you have a high level of current, you must have a very low value of resistance.

In the U.S., most shunts are machined to have a resistance where the full current level will cause a voltage drop of 50mv. For example, you might have a shunt that is rated at 100Amps/50mv. That means that if you run 100 amps through it, you would read 0.050 volts or 50 millivolts across the terminals as the voltage drop across that resistance. If we take that voltage and divide it by the current 0.050/500 we get the resistance of the shunt resistor – in this case 0.0001 ohms or 0.1 milliohms. Indeed a very small value. But if accurate enough, very useful.

Chinese meters almost always specify 75mv shunts. And so we are coupling this meter with a 1000A/75mv shunt. In the meter, there is a APuH value where you enter the full scale value of current – 1000 amps. And of course it has a fixed 75 mv input.

Because of this full scale variable, we can actually use ANY shunt with this menu. What you are setting is the number of amperes to display and to count in the AH calculation when the meter measures 75 millivolts. If we had a 500A/50mv shunt for example, it would never exhibit a voltage drop of 75mv until it carried 750 Amperes. No problem. Hook it up to the meter and enter 750 as the full scale current value.

Similarly, if you had a 100A/100mv shunt you wanted to use. How many amperes should you enter for 75 mv? Well, how about 75 amperes?

There are a couple of things to keep in mind here. First, it is just a fixed value of resistance. The maximum current that can be measured is a function of the METER primarily. In other words, we don’t know what this meter does with inputs above 75 mv. So you want more or less to size your shunt so you never exceed the 75 mv.

The other criteria is that the power dissipated DOES heat the shunt slightly. If you run 1000 amps through a 100 A shunt, not good. It will heat it and that will affect accuracy and too much heating and the accuracy goes off permanently. But it is NOT precisely a problem to run 2000 amps through a 1000 amp shunt, or 1000 amps through a 500 amp shunt briefly. We just don’t’ know exactly what the meter is going to do with the information.

The other proviso is that the LOWER you go the more accurate you become. There is no point using a 1000 amp shunt in a buggy that will never do more than 200 amps. The scale is 75 mv to 1000 amps and so 1 mov of change in voltage represents 13.33 amperes. At a 300 amp shunt, each millivolt represents 4 amperes so you have a much more accurate scale, and you’re not going over 300 amperes anyway.

Similarly, the 75 mv shunts are more accurate, all other things being equal, than the 50 mv shunts. You are simply using a wider voltage drop to represent the same change in current.

The EV community has faced a real challenge in finding current measurement and particularly kWh or AH accumulator/counters sized for our use. The only other market for such devices, aside from nuclear power plants, are solar power systems. ANd they tend to be 50 amp and 48v scale items. Similarly, some attention is paid by large boat and recreational vehicle owners. BUt again, 48v and 50amp or 100amp is pretty much the game there.

And so if you want to accurately measure 500 or 1000 amps and you have a pack voltage of 150 or 250 volts, there is really not much out there to find in the way of generic measurement devices.

The ability to measure 50 mv or 75 mv is actually chip based. There are some phenomenal operational amplifier chips out there to do this and have been for many years. The problem is that they are now ENTIRELY surface mount devices. I cannot find one that will measure both directions and provide a useful output in a larger chip format. And I cannot SEE much less solder SMT devices.


Hall effect devices CAN output higher values such as 0-5v or 4-20ma or even 0-10v that can be read with standard A/D circuits in multicrontroller devices such as Arduinos. But they become quite nonlinear outside of their defined range, and it is quite hard to find the zero point, even with temperature compensation. And so at these scales where we are charging at 25 amps and driving at 1300 amps and need to be able to measure both accurately, that can be difficult to do with hall effect devices. And not possible at all with undersized inexpensive ones.

We have used the Xantrex device for several years. It is kind of pricey at $250-$275. I cannot SEE the display in any lighting conditions. And the little terminal board in the back is very difficult to poke a wire into and get it to stay put. But we’ve lived with it. THe JLD404AH is the first meter I’ve found that does what I want, allows control based on AH, and that I can read.

But given the immediate dozen sales, I’m guessing we need to keep looking. Apparently, we are NOT the only people looking for instrumentation.

We’ll try to expedite all current orders and get new stock in soonest.

Jack Rickard

http://EVTV.me

87 thoughts on “Flatenem Series A123 Module”

  1. John Allen’s segment in this weeks show caught my attention. The difference in sound that motor produced from when he first turned it up to the 20 hours later was astounding. A strong case for bedding the brushes in before you push higher currents through the motor. As it happens I’m going to be replacing the bushes in my motor this week and I want to make sure I seat the brushes before the car goes back on the road. I know you can simply connect a 12V PBA battery to the motor and that will do the trick, but clearly the battery would hit bottom before the brush wear in process is complete. I could connect a charger to the battery while the system is running, but of course, I’d need to make sure amps in and amps out are balanced.

    My question to Jack, John and the group, or to people that have done this, is how did you do it? Specifically, what did you use to supply power to the motor over the course of the week? Is a 12V battery/charger combo the way to go, or would a 120v AC to 12V DC converter be a better option? How many amps do you need to send to the motor to bring it up to proper speed?

    1. Tim:

      The motor achieves the proper speed based on voltage. That’s why you use 12v to LIMIT speed. Since it has no load, it only takes a few amperes. I actually just use a 12v battery with a 12v charger connected to it. If the charger can even do 10 amps it will probably keep up.

      And yes, according to Tom from Hellwig, four or five DAYS is indeed not overdoing it at all.

      I also was struck by the sound level difference in John’s piece. I can actually see the sound waveforms on screen when I edit and it was shocking to SEE much less to hear.

      jack Rickard

    1. Surely, one sets the AH counter after charging. It’s effectively the fuel gauge.

      Isn’t there a disparity between charging and discharging efficiencies?

      I think Jack said around 2W on the video.

      If there is no 12v supply, its not working.

      A power off memory; settings and numbers? Good question.
      If its an issue then you’ll have to use a Cycle Analyst. For a normal EV I think Jack has totally done right with its multiple uses, value added and cost savings.

      Hoping I’m right. 😉

    2. The JLD404AH uses 2 watts at 8 to 30 vdc for power.

      You must provide constant unswitched power to it. Another parasitic load.

      I do not believe it saves AH to EEPROM. IT counts while powered. You just leave it powered.

      Jack Rickard

    3. Andyj,

      There is a small disparity in charging and discharging. It is about 0.2% in the case of a 0.3C charge/discharge cycle when counting amps. If you count watts it is about 5%. It does get a tiny bit better if you lower the C rate. I don’t have any numbers for higher C rates but it probably does get worse. The 0.2% is a pretty consistent measurement.

      Doug Ingraham

    1. I think we are planning 3 40v modules for 120v. They will be 3 cells in parallel for 60Ah. And so the entire pack will be 60 x 120 or 7200 wH. But it should be capable of 1200 amps instantaneously by spec and we’ve actually tested to 23C for 30 seconds which would be 1380 amperes.

      108 cells for 54 kg or about 120 lbs in cell weight. I would expect it to come in at 150 or 160 lbs. Maybe a bit more.

      Jack

    2. Would 3 40V modules fit side by side transversally in between the axes floor space? If so, it would be interesting to find out how much of such modules would cover the whole of the floor, as if it was Tesla Model S battery pack and how strong would it be in V, A and kWh.
      If battery pack was made entirely from A123 cells, with some careful rearrangements and black paint, the rest of the EV components could nearly disappear making replica spatially more beneficial than the original car.
      From having conversion done, EVTV would move step further into how much better EV could become over the genuine idea in the moment of the vehicle’s conception.
      There is beauty in it.

    1. It’s actually about very nearly nothing. A press release that basically shows vague progress from an R&D company that does not make batteries and never will make batteries.

      They have made some headway toward better cathodes using a layered manganese rich cathode and some headway with anodes combining silicon and carbon in a nanostructure. Evolutionary, not breakthrough, and much of it really coming out of work at Argonne National Labs, which is where all this hybrid cathode stuff derives, including the Panasonic battery that Tesla will be using.

      GM invested $7 million I think in this R&D company. They intend to license their IP. They will never manufacture anything, and all this is about technology that could not possibly be in a real battery for at least three years and it is rather unspecified WHO would license and use it then.

      THis is PR fluff plain and simple. On a broad sense, it is what I’ve been saying for some time – IF a market for such exotic batteries every DID emerge, there is chemistry enough to go around.

      At the moment, we have Winston, Sinopoly, Enerdel and A123 all going BEGGING and giving away cells right before auctioning off the office equipment at 10 cents on the dollar.

      Basically no market emerged. We FAILED to buy enough batteries to get this off the ground.

      I bought all I could.

      Jack Rickard

    2. Put the way you picture it Jack, I feel sad the game is over before I could even come close to take part in it. There is not a cell I bought and would rather donate to EVTV, as soon as I am in position to. I refuse to feel responsible for EV conversion business dim prospects. Although it is possible I haven’t contributed to it in the best of my abilities because I am too busy grasping for the air, although I can swim, it is tsunami out there. Being young and fit, prepared and daring isn’t enough anymore.
      I couldn’t afford to buy a single CALB, hook it with A123 cell in parallel and see for myself if what you are up to do works. Instead, I can only type and read, while trying hard to change my economic situation. Just as you have been foretelling the future for enthusiast EV conversion shops, only a few can survive, will happen among battery producers.
      Aside from it, there must be a lobby war raging to invest or not in the industry parallel to existing car manufacturing.
      It is documented at least you did your share. I haven’t and would like to think it is someone else’s fault too. I am interested in the matter of EV conversion, feel confident to run a conversion shop, but the money is somewhere else.
      I am not to put out a kidney for a loan. Impediments like this from stipulated example of GM withholding a firm to get their product on the market is politics, with consequences beyond what an EV community could have achieved buying batteries.
      Neither Governments nor battery companies nor OEMs are interested in EV conversion business. Common people think ICE cars are way too expensive and expect alternatives to be cheaper. It is a different story if an EV gets cheaper on the way and a long run. People don’t have power in their pockets and those that do, seek for opportunities to control the market.
      I am aware your experience has proven right much of your writing and would like to think you are wrong about battery prices free fall in relation with battery producers going under. Maybe there is still a chance if us, who haven’t been in position to perform EV conversion, do an effort in order to help showcase those examples who did.
      Could Art/Design/Internet/Media campaign save the EV conversion spark and help it turning into an industrial branch in despite of all odds?

  2. Nenad,
    Using computers to communicate within one minute of connection so there was no phone bill was done one man at a time.

    Then phones became “free” outside office hours. This gave rise one man at a time creating bulletin boards where groups of people came together. A hot bed for chatting, programming and software swapping. After that, “always on” connections between other BBS’s and servers with web pages.
    And so the story unfolded.

    Of course the media attacked us as “geeks” but by God we could party! If only the young started EVVCON. Hahaha!
    Later on rampant commercialisation took over.

    I hope you see how it will compare to us here.

    What we must to do is make something one man at a time that fires up the needs and wants of the public. Make it available, be noticeable, be seen. Let them call us geeks but make sure the smile and enthusiasm on our faces will leave them hollow and wanting.

    1. Dan, wash your ring out.
      It’s obvious because you never listen.

      If you heavily load any cell the efficiency drops and produces waste heat. The variance between charge and discharge rates and efficiencies sadly makes it impossible to simply count back to zero AH then stop the charge.

  3. I did not mean to sound in such a down and dark view of the future of electric vehicles. I was trying to admonish some reality in the battery market.

    One example I use in conversation with people is let us imagine for a moment that Ihave a battery pack the size of a pack of cigarettes and I have already worked it out that it will power a vehicle for let us say 900 miles.

    I’ve tested it, it works. In nosey twoseys the thing costs $12,000 to make, but I’m confident that in building an assembly line, we can get that down to $9000 pretty quickly.

    Now, what would you and I DO with it. I have it sitting here. And I’ve already demonstrated that it works.

    The problem is, that to productize it and be able to produce it, we need about $40million minimum, because I already own a site and a building and so it really won’t’ take much, to do a small pilot production line. $40 million should cover it. Now where are we going to get the money to do that?

    If we pitch this idea to investors, they will immediately have two questions: 1. What’s the market for this device and 2. Who are the competition.

    That’s kind of the opening questions against which all claims of unique and patentable solution are measured against.

    The problem is, there IS no proven market at all. We have a story as to how IF you could drive 900 miles on a single charge, people would want electric cars. Now what they want to know is well, how do you know this? How many people drive electric cars now?

    Our answer is 20,000. Out of a billion cars, the current deployment of electric cars is 20,000 maybe.

    HOw does the CURRENT battery business for cars work. Well, in SLI batteries, which is the BIG market that DOES exist for cars, a tiny handful of large companies dominate it all as a commodity business with about a 6% margin over the cost of the lead.

    Oh. I see…

    Mr. Rickard and Mr. Nenad you’ve given us a fascinating presentation and it is truly an innovative product. We wish you luck with it. We’ll review this information and get back to you some day in the very distant future with a very vague but at least unsatisfying answer to your immediate need for funds….. I simply cannot thank you enough for coming in and please do keep us apprised of any further developments.

    Jack Rickard

    1. You nearly brought me to tears. Finding out yourself this wasn’t any lighter is a relief.

      I see couple of ways if in need for such financing, and both of them would work, because I have some personal experience. In war time Serbia my friend managed to produce the most expensive movie, of almost 5M€. Movies are entirely made with someone else’s money. Producers don’t take anything from their own pocket. This is what I was doing with his latest movie, 10x cheaper documentary which was premiered 2 weeks ago.

      Is it easy? Not at all! Who is the target? People going to cinema or television – meaning – no palpable return! A DVD or streaming media? No one pays for the movies, nor for TV, unless it is Madrid vs Barça.

      Movie production works, because people who put their money are enthusiasts, see it as an advertisement or simply like the project and would like to help, or believe in the filmmaker – these are executive producers and I came across a few.

      The second one, we are actually on the good way of taking this path with posting here becoming such an adventurous and exciting experience. An Open Source project. As a matter of fact, I am posting after having read your third message, indicating glaring opportunities for the inventive ones. I am not quite sure what the analogy would be with software, because UNIX is such a good example of open source project, I don’t know how could a hardware project ever come close to it. Maybe through coupling it with advertisement and volunteering it could be achieved.

      I did spend decades in academia though and it is a field where investigator looks for funding and does what he likes with the findings. Patenting and publishing are the primordial criteria in this economically frenzy society, but giving technology to the people wouldn’t be a break through, it is happening out there.

      Even third investors streak comes to mind and it would be a crowd sourcing. I haven’t yet met a project financed in such a manner, worth $M, but it is still worth a try.

      A fourth idea has always been around, even yourself mentioned it in 2012. It would be through step-up projects which would lead to an EV automobile. Starting with EV bicycle, through EV motorbikes, EV boats to EV cars. We should include as well toys, both – vehicular as well as generally articulated and automated ones.

    2. Where we are good at having strong hold elaborating such a project for any of the four streaks of investors I could think of, and smarter and more experienced could recognize more, is a possibility to elaborate them properly and having prototypes even without their investments.

      What if battery producers eventually go under?! What if some University declares their investigation results an Open Source Domain? How come if someone could come to our factory and earn his batteries making ones for 100 more people, from his neighborhood and likewise take turns? What if a 3D printer makes circuit boards for controller, the parts one needs to assemble an AC motor?

      In my opinion, our largest achievement would be arriving to the point of people start thinking of EV conversion as of something sexy. It should be less advertised as it has so far, for taking care of the planet. What sells is sport and sex. Movie producing formula isn’t such a bad identification.

      I will have to combine them all for lifting off my EV project. Who is the target for my sexy product – everyone. They could even help building it 🙂 That is the beauty, becoming part of something regardless how much is there on your bank account. That is why football is the most important secondary thing on a planet. Who hasn’t kicked a ball and has no opinion about it?!

      EV project really matter, and we ought to prove it. That is what pioneers do, prove to the rest it is worthy giving it a try – nothing more is needed.

      Even as an author of a short movie, I couldn’t convey my passion for the project literally. Nevertheless I went through stubbornly and made my first work to the shelves and sold 1000 of them 10€/copy for a 10 min video, the whole edition.

      People are busy with their own projects, staying alive. I may be penniless at the moment but very much privileged to be in position to read and type about what I see myself tightly interwoven in the future, engaging all my talents and effort, and some friends’ as well.

      For this reason I got touched with your dark scenarios, seeing my future wiped out with a key stroke. I never had serious money, but have learned to manage with little. People help me a lot and believe in me. I am happy in the hardness of my everyday.

      I am far from throwing a towel.

  4. Actually that came out as just as dark.

    But in truth, I have seen this setback with the OEM’s coming for two years. I’ve played the press release dance with the elephants before. They actually DO have a mission to sow fear, uncertainty, and doubt over the competition while they figure out what they want to do and launch some trial gallons. Unfortunately, in this case it was effective.

    The good news is we actually have better batteries than we did, at lower cost. The A123 thing is good news. They were $65. They are $17. That’s fantastic.

    Our components are getting much better and there is sufficient market that some of our vendors are working day and night on exciting new products in chargers, controllers and motors. What we a ret doing today between EVnetics and HPEVS alone is stuff we simply could not do two years ago. We HAVE come a long way and are coming a long way. I think we are going to see some major advances in AC solutions leading to the nirvana – the 200kw AC solution for less than $10,000. I think it will happen this year.

    THe OEM “disaster” really isn’t a disaster. So they over promised and under delivered. Nissan continues to do good work and are working hard at a $9,900 version of a Fast charging ChaDemo station we should be able to get soon, (assuming we can get 3 phase in here). Tesla should start delivering their model S in July at the high end.

    But yes, the market for electric cars basically does not exist. And what that means for the next 10 years I believe is a continuance of the tinkerer innovator stage. And it will basically revolve around geek enthusiasts who continue to spend too much money, too much time and get too little result from and for their efforts. But they will be local stars in their community and somewhat heroic every time the gasoline tops the last figure – this year it is ALREADY $5 and I think we might see $6. The impact of $4 gasoline is just not as shocking as it once was.

    And every time that happens, interest in alternative vehicles grows. But there are questions. I just read an article from a guy announcing that after driving a Leaf a week he can report that range anxiety is REAL. He knows this because he drove 40 miles and the car reported 36 remaining and he didn’t’ dare drive it any more that day. Luckily it just so happened that was all he NEEDED to drive that day.

    And so the mass adoption of magnetic drive personal transportation remains entirely a PEOPLE issue at this point. I’m convinced the cars can do it.

    IF we can get 100,000 guys to go to their garage and BUILD/CONVERT a desirable car into an excellent electric drive vehicle, and demonstrate this vehicle at every opportunity to anyone who listens, in 10-12 years the adoption of electric cars will creep up and at about 8% or 10% the markets for everything will be large enough to consolidate all the by then booming cottage industries and small players and achieve some huge economies of scale. Prices for everything will go into free fall and the natural parts count requirement for an electric vehicle will make them LESS expensive to produce than an ICE car.

    And in that year we will reach one of those tipping poitns where Friday afternoon it looks like it can just never get there and by late Monday morning people are noting that Jack Rickard was no prophet, ANYONE could clearly see how this was all going to turn out, it had been heading for this for over a hundred years and of COURSE all personal transportation would become electric. And it will have already happened.

  5. A few among us recall the lurching progress through slow modems, recalcitrant telephone companies, legal and regulatory battles, and on and on and on with CONSTANT efforts to devise some way to pay me a penny per pixel for every byte that travelled across the Internet. It was GRUESOME. In the end, it was of course inevitable and of course it was all done by AT&T and Microsoft and Charter Cable.

    So read, dream, plan and build. And share that with your peers of like mind. That IS the process and it is how it will actually happen. Yes, it is no coincidence that those who build their own are ALSO the low hanging fruit we were talking about who buy the Leaf’s and the Volts and the TEslas. There is no conflict there.

    Jack Rickard

    1. These days are the home build nascom’s, acorns, Altair 8800’s. The days of the 6502 and the Z80A.

      We have seen the lead acid versions of computers have gone long before.

      Now we have the ZX80, TRS-80, Apples, BBC micro’s and Commodores in garages near you.

      Remember, the internet for most people is only a decade old. We’re getting there!

    2. We truly are Andyj. In many ways this is just an easier sell. Everyone pretty much knows and agrees about oil, oil prices, gasoline prices, and what the future will bring. The advantages of electric cars are pretty obvious. The question is how do I get there and not spend a stupid amount of money doing it and we don’t have good answers yet.

      So the work continues until we do.

      The key to internet adoption was probably trumpet Winsock. MOzilla helped.

    3. Hey watch it, I still have the first Z80 Computer I ever built and my first TRS-80, 300 baud modem, 8 Track Data Storage interface, etc….

      P.S. I still use the TRS-80. I wrote a BASIC program years ago to calculate speed/feeds for my mill and lathe… Still works…

      I am always amazed that the next break trough in batteries is always 5-10 years away….. (And has been going on for the last 100 years or so)

    4. We need a plan!
      A Winsock to spread the word. Talking amongst ourselves like so many places do, waiting for the fish to swim into the net doesn’t cut it.

      Kit and custom car meets. They will see electric as the lower hanging fruit. Let them decide what to build after having a ride and the lack of complexity from the build.***

      “Eco” people, Anti-war people, people who are good with money and know the future means worthless savings and future oil insecurities. Even Craig Vetters mpg runs where plenty of various vehicles including electric motorbikes try but cannot do the distance. Cars are allowed. You can do this, have a great time out through lovely scenery, do great video and make friends who are intrinsically interested and can contribute.

      I guess its called networking. :))

      ***Considered an EV module to simplify wiring a car as an extension of your AH module. Say a waterproof car battery sized unit with DC-DC, contactor, shunt, sockets and what-nots?

    5. Oh my … I am getting old. I know all those terms you’re all writing about. As a 10-yr old kid 30 years ago I learned assembly language on the 6502. Always looked forward to my copy of BYTE, and went straight to read Ciarcia’s Circuit Cellar.

    6. Hehe. I wrote loads of software. Assembly language on the 6502 too. Had the BBC micro which was overloaded with ports. The stuff I made, altered, bought and connected to that. Soo much fun!

      Just been reading the wiki on it. Golden olden days. Even for you, youngsters! Ha

  6. Dan:

    They count current in the controller now and totalizing that to AH is so trivial they don’t even bother doing it. They don’t need it and can’t imagine that you do. The problem is they can’t measure it when charging so it would only be part of the story.

    Putting a shunt in the circuit and measuring and displaying AH or better kWh is no magic. There just aren’t PRODUCTS aimed at us because we are yet too few.

    This should have been a GREAT opportunity for someone. We have a guy in Kansas CIty with a $2000 solution who couldn’t interest ANYONE in paying that much so now he only sells to OEM’s and is having some GREAT conversations with people who want to be OEM’s. Still no life.

    The Concept Valery had is all over it. Execution in this case poor.

    Ok. I’ll find a Chinese meter merchant and give them a list of what I want and order a couple hundred of them and we’ll have it. It won’t be ideal. But none of the obvious players, people with little resource who want to play in the space, ever actually DID anything in it to develop something , except for Dmitri of course.

    But yes, it probably has to be an external device to the controller and charger simply to count ah both directions. A unified charger/controller/DC to DC converter has already been done in the AC Propulsion system but no one else has followed that model and so we can assume it failed.

    Truth is we STILL need, in order of importance:

    1. Good configurable charger.
    2. Instrumentation.
    3. DC-DC converter.

    Motors and controllers are pretty well in hand. Batteries are pretty well in hand. ANd we actually have a selection of totally useless and sometimes harmful BMS systems we don’t need.

    Ultimately we have a huge differentiator between home builds and OEM builds that is serious. That is the ability to take advantage of the already latent ability of these cells for fast charge. Nissan can do FAST charging and are implementing fast chargers. They now are announcing $9,900 ChaDemo charge stations. We cannot use them. That will be bad.

    So I would add quick DC-DC charging to that list.

    Tons of opportunity there.

    1. The 5 kw charger. Configurable as to charge voltage and current and termination current. $1500 price target.

    2. Instrumentation to display AH/kWh and battery SOC. Ideally on Android or iPhone via bluetooth. Something in the $200 to $750 range depending on capability.

    3. DC tp DC converter. 12-15 volt output from 100-400 volt input at 100 amps (1500 watts) for $350.

    4. Fast charger for ChaDemo and ultimately SAE Level 3 – $1000.

    I see a kind of interim charger I would almost be interested in doing myself if I had the time. That is a universal buck boost DC to DC charger that could charge your car from any DC source – another car, a battery bank, etc. This is almost a controller with different software.

    Then a series of front ends to interface it to AC sources, ChadeMo, SAE Level III.

    I would probably do this thing split PI and at 400 amps or so. Input range of 12 to 320volts. Output range of 100 to 400 volts.

    And so I picture solar charging mother bank of used cells at home, and this fast charger working off that battery bank. But facilities to take one electric car and go JUMP CHARGE another.

    An AC rectifier front end would essentially not amount to anything. A device from Ebay and a cap.

    A communications front end would interface it to ChaDemo or SAE Level 3.

    So for the inventive, there are some targets of opportunity that are kind of glaring.

    Jack Rickard

  7. It seems AC propulsion has solved the AC problem, charging problem, vehicle to grid and instrumentation problems anyone know how much they cost? When you consider they are selling a motor, controller, charger, emergency home power and instrumentation that works together $20,000 might not be too much. It may take some of the tinkering fun out of a conversion, but you will have an OEM quality project when finished. E-tracer went with AC propulsion because it is a good system which is well supported, and they are looking to have a 200mph EV by the end of the year.
    I have been gathering parts for my EV I might be money ahead by saving up for their system. Thoughts?

    1. Ouch!
      $20K inc charger & instrumentation? That will tie you into the $40K battery.

      I’ve spent $1.6K (less charger) plus $4.3K in batteries plus $211 in instrumentation. Still need that 95~100v charger. Any thoughts here?

    2. Yes, we tried to work with AC Propulsion several years ago and again recently. They want you to use THEIR batteries which are hopeless and yes, it’s more like $25,000. They really want you to buy FIVE of them. And it’s pretty much a mess. The product support is the problem which usually indicates it barely works and is hard to configure.

      Gentlemen, read my lips. AC Propulsion. UQM. Yahweh Motors. Whatever you like. There is ZERO market and ZERO need for a $25,000 drive train requiring another $10,000 in batteries to make an electric car run. Period. Won’t happen.

      Can some moron cobble together a nice car for $50 grand in parts? I hope so. We’re doing it on the Elescalade. But is that a solution?

      NOt.

      We need to develop small but desirable cars with a $5000 drive train or perhaps a $6000 drive train and a $10,000 power pack INCLUDING the charger. ANd I don’t personally think this will take off until we meet Wayne Alexanders model of we’ll convert any car for $12,500 where there is $2,500 in labor in there.

      When you can make a good conversion for $10,000 in parts and a week of labor, things will move along smartly. Until then, it is a little reachey.

      Jack Rickard

    3. quite right.
      I have been to the mountain, I have seen the promised land. and we will get there 🙂

      acpropulsion’s failure is not integration but only that they don’t try to make it cost effective. they are only interested in high cost demonstrator projects. the integration approach is not a failure, that is how it will be. the acp drivetrain is in every tesla made car and all the mini-Es. a 38kg motor giving ferrari acceleration to a heavy car. many aspects of Cocconi’s design are really smart.

      I have spent years looking at refinement and simplification in pursuit of cost reduction and there is great potential there waiting to be realized.
      an all in one AC PEM for 1000$, 500$ AC induction motor and as little as a 2000$ A123 pack. that’s 3500$ total for a plentiful drivetrain. double the pack and add 20% on the PEM and motor and you can have tesla roadster power.
      verily it is so.
      and adding fast DC charging is a trivial extension with little cost. it’s like letting someone else wash your balls. takes no effort on your part but it’s a leap of faith 🙂

      sure there are few players in hardware so far but there are some. evnetics, netgain warp and a semi retired Cafe electric. plus a few nascent players.
      what’s lacking is not really capability but an appreciation that we need PEMs, not a bag of disparate niche components at high cost. each EV you make is a tapestry of parts that were never meant to work together. which is labor and cost intensive.
      imagine buying a PEM (almost at any cost) that had everything including a single instrument display, just pop it in, connect to battery, 12V car system, the motor and the J1772 plug and that would be it. no contactors, no coolant, no collection of instruments, no concern of isolated supplies, no maybe chargers.

      this direction could be encouraged. we could have a raging revolution before years end because the technology at the required cost is available now.

      you could buy a used workable car for a couple of thousand dollars and add 3500$ in parts and have an EV1. that’s lubrication. that’s fear in the big automakers.
      similarly we could develop a motor adaptor design based on welded square steel tubes as opposed to high cost billet alu parts. I’ve seen it done. it works.

    4. “you could buy”.. Sounds like Dan.
      “and add 3500$ in parts and have an EV1.”. Smells like Dan.
      “a motor adaptor design based on welded square steel tubes”….. By Jove. IT IS Dan!

      Like QVC. But there’s more!

      The man who’s “been to the mountain” “letting someone else wash your balls. takes no effort on your part but it’s a leap of faith”.

      Methinks his priest needs arresting.

    5. Cheap yes. I’d worry that is not stiff enough laterally. Clutches do not take kindly to any waggle.

      Drilled tube.. Then there is a small matter of maintaining alignment. Good luck to him 🙂

    6. I’ve responded far too many times for everyone’s health on here Pete.

      I suggest looking at his Honda Accord. Note his charger sat in the middle of the bonnet.
      If that is safe on a rainy day, I will eat my children.

      He’s going into business doing this.

  8. Just got word that my old 77 MG now has an additional 1500 miles in all electric mode. Frank installed a SolitonJR and 180AH TS batteries. He made some improvements to the car and fixed a transmission problem. He is getting about 73 miles at 55 mph which drops the pack to 80% DOD. He did top balance and use a BMS even though I said he should just bottom balance and ditch the BMS but it is his ride. I think he did things well and he did do his homework pretty well. He is very pleased with the purchase of my old Midget. It was sold with the electric motor/adaptor and a few other EV goodies. He is pleased. So am I.

    Pete 🙂

    http://www.electricmgmidget.com/

  9. The Midget is a seriosly fun little car. I had one in my 20’s with a 1 litre engine: not fast and dubious roadholding but you wore it rather than drove it. Great idea for an EV and illustrates Jacks point about converting a car you like rather than converting something that looks and drives like a lunch box

  10. Jack,

    Thanks for reminding me and everyone the importance of DC isolation for instruments. I can’t reiterate enough how important this is for electric vehicles, given the various points we want to measure that aren’t referenced to ground. This is especially essential if someone wants to measure terminal voltages of separate strings of cells, or other points in the EV. Those Murata converters are really a godsend. I use them to power those cheap LED panel meters (also with bright large 0.56″ digits) that you can buy from Amazon for around $3. Those meters are mostly based on the Intersil ICL7107 chips. After initial calibration they actually are pretty accurate and stable, and most implementation are easy enough to alter to read various voltage ranges.

    One caveat though about using the DC-DC converters. Most metal cased instruments have their chassis internally connected to electronic GND. It’s easy enough to test with an ohmmeter if they are. If the case is mounted in the car, that connection has to be cut.

    1. Perin,
      As an amateur astronomer let me tell you red light is best for night time. Red torches are used for sky map reading etc. It does least to contract the pupils. On the other end of the band, blue is by far the worst.

      I do prefer green and I’d imagine it is better for daytime but this man’fr only advertises blue and red.

      Andrew

    2. In a car red is reserved for danger warnings i.e. the alternator failed or engine too hot. Green is used for OK indications like turn signal indicators. And yellow/orange for non fatal warnings such as the service engine lamp.

      It’s not about night vision except the brightness of the dash lights can be adjusted.

  11. I personally find blue leds, lcd’s and even blue lighting almost impossible to focus on properly and i find it most uncomfortable. It is anreal shame seeing as how I also think that blue is the coolest colour for backlighting etc.
    Red seems a popular colour for vw/audi and a few other oems, likely because of the night vision issue mentioned. I unfortunately find it a bit harsh. I much prefer the crisp white dials on my kia and the subtle green hue of my old xj6.

  12. Air craft use red light for instruments because it doesn’t affect a pilot’s night vision. Has to do with the rods and cones of the eyes. Seems to me that VW/Audi have it right for night instrument lights.

    White with a black back ground seems to work better in daylight; something having to do with how the eyes react to all the colors and none of the colors. Note how well my icon shows up in white and black.

    1. Andyj and Lad, I, of course, have the passing familiarity with the red light rationale/dogma. But cars are driven most during daylight hours, and preserving owl pupil night adaptation would not seem to be a goal–or very doable prospect–given exposure to on coming headlights, street lamps, billboards, etc. So I’m positing a green display would be exquisitely visible during daylight hours [incl. open air driving] and dimmed down after dark might actually keep the eye in mesopic vision mode which might lemonade from lemons optimize visual acuity [near and far] in challenging ambient conditions.

  13. Not being an electric car builder, I have absolutely no right to post a comment on this blog. But I will anyway.

    I watch documentaries on sky TV out of the UK. Shows on car and motorcycle customization seem to be quite popular. Most of these shows are produced in the US.

    Hows about making a series of maybe 3 or so shows on the making of a custom electric speedster. You pretty well have that conversion down. Call it Speedster Trois (pronounce twah).

    The goal of a project like this should be to make money.

    1. It’s an interesting notion. YEs, we do kind of know about the Speedsters and I was out yesterday for the first time in weeks in Speedster Duh. It is without question the best car we’ve done and indeed probably the finest piece of operating machinery I’ve had the privilege of driving.

      As you can see, our format is a bit longer than 3 episodes per project. We kind of weave a lot of stuff in and out of just doing a car. So I’m unclear what the notion of three is about.

      The goal of a project like this should be to make money? In what sense? Do you mean to create a car for sale? Wheeler Dealer style?

      I guess I think that is difficult largely because the cost of the components inherently make an electric car, from Tesla to Leaf to Speedster, a shaky value proposition. They inevitably have to be compared with mass produced gasoline powered cars, and without economies of scale for batteries, controllers, chargers, and motors, this becomes a bit of a fools errand.

      What we are left with is people who minimize the damage by “doing it themselves” eliminating the labor component from the cost – or really providing it themselves. And they are still pretty much in too deep to make it look like a paying proposition. They trade this for:

      1. Personal satisfaction.
      2. Truly they DO get away from gasoline and maintenance costs.
      3. Kind of a unique chance to blow off the status quo.
      4. A kind of minor notoriety on a local basis.

      Wayne Alexander purports that you can make money doing it and by that I think he makes a pretty good living clearing a couple of grand per conversion and knocking them out very quickly for people who have already decided they want one. Th accustom conversion shop concept.

      There are a few of those across the country. And they mostly live hand to mouth. Wayne is in Kansas in an area where his facility costs approach zero. The land of abandoned aircraft factories.

      Welcome to EVTV.

    2. Hi Jack.

      I was not thinking of it in terms of necessarily being instructional, but more in terms of being entertainment and a revenue producer.

      The people that watch these shows are essentially couch potatoes and will never build a hot rod or chopper, but are interested in mechanical things.

      If you interested I would gladly express my druthers on what I like and dislike about the formulas used in the production of these entertainments.

      Just a thought. I’m not attached to it. I like your show just the way it is.

    3. Welcome to the couch club Lee. Have a beer :-))
      Human nature is to judge the bad habits of others as we are ourselves.

      Lee, Look to youtube and search “evccon”. These are the cars that came to Jacks first rally. The majority left theirs at home and bitterly regretted it. Many visited from around the world.
      =====================================
      Hows this.
      Two days for my cells to travel from China, Hong Kong into Germany then UK, Midlands and are now in Liverpool, 30miles(50km) from me.
      Delivery is another three days. haha.

      Just paid import duty and VAT (tax) online and I’m smiling. They are very unscrupulous peeps these Chinese. So far, I like them!

  14. Lee:

    Your characterization of the people who watch these shows is rather woefully at odds with my perception of them, and I have a lot better information on that topic than you do. Many are builders, and you would be quite surprised to learn just how far we reach into OEM’s, industry component manufacturers, Chinese battery makers, etc.

    We are ALWAYS interested in anything our viewers think might improve it. IT doesn’t imply we’re going to do that. But we’re always interested in it.

    Ultimately, you kind of have to pck a path to what you want to be. And some join, and some reject. You have to be able to be ok with the fact that the majority of the 7 billion people on the planet are just not very interested in what we are doing. We intend to add value wherever we can to the ones that are left.

    Jack Rickard

    1. Who wouldn’t like to get a wake up call in the middle of the night if the battery charging becomes critical in order to save a disaster? I am pleased with the opportunities arising from bluetooth connectivity and Android or iOS apps. This remote “babysitting” will become an asset in EV applications.

  15. Jack, I think Lee is referring to commercial tv shows, not interweb EVTV broadcasting. The Trois Series would be a way for you to help ratchet up interest/acceptance to the magic 10% threshold and defray regular EVTV expenses. I’ll throw in my two cents, too: I think you need bring in interns [university and other] and paying ‘workation’/dude ranch converter visitors. The university interns could earn credits/real world work experience in RTF by helping you with the video editing, for instance, and EE, design, and ME students could gain credits/real world work experience in your conversion lab.

    1. I couldn’t agree more with Perin du Bulu. Yet, it mustn’t remain on Jack’s initiative.

      Lee’s proposal could benefit EVTV.

      Nevertheless EV conversions or DIY broadcasting should spread globally. In particular, Jack’s format has its audience, us, the geeks. Mass market addressing needs a digest in order to swallow anything.

      Jack doesn’t need to make a new conversion in order to make the show widely acceptable. An enthusiast could edit the existing “footage” into an appealing or “sexy” format with “EVs for Dummies” approach.

      Why would anybody buy a DVD? Well it could serve as a Diploma, tangible recognition of supporting EVTV. It could be a hybrid DVD, providing links to EVTV contents for broadening further the information and incentive for feedback.

      It could become important to finish the indexation or even reexport all the videos with markers helping tabbing through the existing documentation material.

      Others could help translating the contents. English is far from enough in order to have an idea get global acceptance. Particularly when there is so much to learn and grasp little tips and tweaks.

      The thing is, whether Jack’s comment in concern with buying batteries was in its strict sense or not, he’s done his part. It is on us, younger or not, to spread the word.

      I understand he is doing even more than being comfortable with and any help is much appreciated. As himself prefers doing then writing even error rather than waiting.

      A team is needed.

  16. Yeah… Where’s the EV version of MTV’s “Pimp My Ride”?

    In other news… My Winston 400Ah solar battery is all configured now. Charged up to the top and then drained over two days of running the house to the bottom (3.00V) on my 3kw inverter. Then hand tuned over a few hours with a 60W 12V inspection lamp to be all within 2mV resting Voltage of each other. Then charged up again on solar.

    The charge curve on these things is outragous. Can sit at 76A charge rate non stop and hoover up energy right up until they get to be nearly full. I’m only charging to 3.50Vpc and only seeing <50mV difference at the end of charge in CV mode. At lower currents and at the bottom of the pack (or anywhere in the middle for that matter, I see <10mV difference across the pack).

    The only BMS I have (or suspect will ever need) is the CellLog8 that can send an inhibit signal to the inverter to shut the load down when any cell hits 3.00V. No active balancing, no fuss, no problem.

    I tuned the solar charger to drop down to a float charge level that sees the pack hover at 3.375Vpc and have NO current go into it while the PV runs the rest of the house.

    I did wire my other old lead acid SoC meter (in voltage mode) to output a “5 minute warning” before the CellLog8 “pulls the plug”. The relay on the SmartGauge makes a contact on a toy police car sound chip that goes “woo..woo..wooo” to let you know the battery is about to be “arrested”… Geddit :). I could have chosen any other toy laying around the house with the same sound chip in it, even the Dr. Who Darlek bottle opener that would shout “EXTERMINATE!” when the battery was about to die.

    In other other news… Petrol hit a new high here in the UK. £1.38/L. I saw a guy pour £140 worth into his Volvo SUV. He maxed out his credit card and had to borrow his wife’s (holding up the line to pay).

    1. It’s not going to stop the good folk from this blog and the EV ether from building their own EV, or me planning one – one that doesn’t need petrol.

      It’s just a serving of reality.

      Pity they chouldn’t drop the price to increase demand. Not that that would make a difference.

      Padraic

    2. Padriac, When the warmongers who have pre-bought long on oil are selling fuel at 2.50+ euro’s/litre. There will be another resurgence in demand for ev’s.

      Price does drop markedly with quantity. A charger I want is $500+ in the western world. Alibaba has it at $400 and in singles from the man’fr around $320. Dropping to ~$230 for quantities over 100.

      A real world man’fr would simply design the controller to also be a charger like a regen unit. So forgo even that $230.

      For ev use, profit, ease of assembly, good technique and business sense I suggest…

      sic: “A module to simplify wiring a car as an extension of Jacks AH module. Say a waterproof car battery sized unit with, connectors, DC-DC, contactor, shunt, sockets, sensors and what-nots?”. As a money saving good business model.

      Will save on everyone reinventing that wheel.

    3. Andy

      Yes, and there’s loads of room for improvement when it comes to the cost and supply of components for the conversion market.

      There may not be much of a market right now for “economy” class EVs, but that may not be the case for…how long? If petrol rose next week to 2.50 euro a litre, the Leaf will make a hell of a lot more sense. But it would still cost 30 000 euro after incentives.

      I want a leaf, but the next car I will buy is a small diesel that will do 110 km/UK gallon. Also I will drive slower and less.

      So I see many more people like me doing the same. I think we will see a shift to small cars that burn less fuel, and a change in driver’s attitudes first before we see lines at the Nissan garage for the Leaf. And, the OEMs are not going to produce an EV for less than 20 000 in the very near future.

      But if in the next two years I can build my own EV for 15 000 or less, including the donor car — I will. Most likely it will be a short range vehicle like Damian McGuire’s BMW, but no doubt it will have adequate range and be a pleasure to drive.

      I see this volt thing as a positive for the advancement of EV technology for the conversion market. There are probably enough dumb Republicans that want keep on truckin’, and enough dumb Democrats that want everyone to buy a Volt, BUT there are even more not so dumb people that will do it themselves, do it well, and in ever growing numbers.

      Kind regards,

      Padraic

    4. Headache proof design like this bike conversion kit in which “all connections are either color coded or have a unique matching plug.” [ Basic conversion kit, slide 3: http://solarbike.com.au/conversion_kits.php ]

      “Who holds back the electric car?” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSpOjj4YD8c&feature=related

      Amazing super-low friction wheel which spins for 20 mins may have electric car applications [ advance to 1:20 ]:
      http://youtu.be/TV_Iy24pbeg

    1. EV Builders,
      I thought of a way to make room in your budget to make it more affordable to start your EV project. Late last year, I decided to make a “silent protest” to the Obama Administration and Congress who has been spending my hard earned tax dollars like a teenager with their 1st credit card,because I got to thinking, if I’m getting back a large refund,then I need to try and break even to lessen the “Interest Free Loan” to Uncle Obama. So I went to the office at work, and asked to change my W4 Form from Single & 1 to Single & 5 which were the results from doing a worksheet on how to break even on my taxes at the end of the year. For me and my income bracket, that increased my take-home pay by about $249 every 2-weeks or close to $500/month increase in monthly income. And to my surprise, somehow I still managed to get back over $800 from Uncle Obama instead of my usual $1300. So if you want more information on how to reduce your interest free loan to Uncle Obama and increase your income so that you can start that EV Project you always dreamed of, see this IRS publication for more info: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p919.pdf

      So you can protest both the current administration, Congress AND BIG OIL, all at the same time!

  17. Jack,
    Enjoying the show; still watching it.

    Would you and Brain be interested in reviving Brain’s smart car project with the flatemem pack???

    Also, the weather proofing, there are moisture sensors available that may help as a warning if something goes wrong, a leak or something.

    Kind regards,

    Padraic

  18. Jack,

    Thanks for this weeks show. I just finished watching it. I look forward to it every week.

    I am now, I’m sure in a very annoying fashion, going to make a suggestion for something you could do to improve the show.

    As I was watching the show I was thinking it was a shame you didn’t record the disassembly of the Cadillac Escalade. I’m not saying I wanted to watch 5 boring hours of Brian disconnecting things. If Brian had had to film it that would have made the whole thing go twice as slow for him. What I was thinking though is that you could maybe on some of your projects use time lapse photography. I remembered that you had a Canon EOS7D DSLR and I looked it up, and with the free EOS Utility that comes with the camera and a laptop you can make time-lapse movies. So at the beginning of a job Brian could set up a tripod and the camera and start it taking a pic say every 1-10 secs. At the end of his work you would then have a few minutes of really interesting footage. It wouldn’t be hard to do, and it would be quick to setup. You could use the same technique too for other stuff your building if you don’t want to go to the trouble of presenting to the camera because I’m sure that slows everything down.

    It’s just a suggestion. I don’t know how practical it would be for you to do.

    -Nick 🙂

    1. Oh yeah! I also wanted to say that flatinum is looking great. The silver cells laying on a piece of transparent polycarbonate just looks good. I know your not trying to win prizes for prettiness, but hey it just looks good.

    2. I would love to see time-laps as well. EVTV could get some attention if addressing larger audience with Michel Gondry class of messages. It would surely create a buzz and help the assembling. It could even be a zenith mounted camera, never in the way of video shots. But Brian and Jack are over their heads doing what they already do.

      What I would like to propose instead is, and I will do it this week if my income arrives. If all of us who are enjoying the show and learn from it, at least pay for what Jack mentioned cost him streaming every time we click play the results are the following ($0,25 x 52 shows/year x 3 years x 0,75 = <30€).

      If many of us act similarly it will pile up and help EVTV become self propelled project, get people to do the job better, buy some time off for Brian and Jack.

      It is completely different suggestion: Jack, could I come and help EVTV? I know this and that, tell me what you think. It isn’t easy to build a Team and I think our expectance is ever larger towards EVTV and it is at the most Brian & Jack +1 or 2 at the most.

    3. Nenad, I am working on plans to head there for a few days myself. Your comments on the blog here are uncannily in line with my perspective and your design suggestions and mine are out of the same play book. Indeed, my ultimate hopes in visiting would be to serve as an interview process of sorts where I demonstrate to Jack that talents and ambition dovetail harmoniously with the show and to make him fall in love with the idea of keeping me around! Nenad, shoot me an email Nabil.hanke@gmail.com

      Jack, already I have designed the throttle body adapter in its fullest form in my head. With a couple of measurements, I can get it put together in a couple hours. I’d then like to get it shipped to you yet this week, or deliver it personally. Could you measure for me the diameter of the butterfly valve & the space between the four mount holes?

      Also, I’m under way with assembling my thermoforming heater to form a clamshell to the flatenum pack. I have a few more ideas there as well. I did see the march 2nd video and am curious how you intend to build this monstrosity. I think the clamshell I’m working on is the ticket.

  19. Great show this week Brian and Jack. It felt tender to me looking for excuses for building an e-Commerce branch of an EVTV.

    I see it as a nobel gesture. As if you are addressing a family and close friends. Could be you don’t find as much time for your closest in order to hang with us.

    But, even more working and networking is needed to convert an EVTV into a one stop internet destination where from many adventures could spring off and come back to eventually.

    Jack has already openly asked for help, in order to keep the EVTV running, if there’s public interest for it. Movies are not made if other people are not convinced they are worth doing them. A producer collects other people’s money in order to prepare conditions for the puzzle artists are come up with eventually, within a time and budget frames.

    There are no artist in EVTV’s equation, producers are doing it all.

    Since donations are failing, selling hardware, software, manuals is a way to tangible EVTV contribution to our projects. But it mustn’t become a burden and take even more time off what essentially EVTV is about.

    A Team is needed.

    It may ether come through:
    – volunteering
    – student practices
    – internship
    – outsourcing
    – employment or
    – joint ventures

    or through broadening the spectrum of activities:
    – kit components
    – memorabilia items
    – multimedia production diversification

    I am certainly missing points, even whole branching of opportunities EVTV has.

    But importing something, promoting the product, explaining its application, making a manual for it and commercializing it takes effort. I cannot imagine anybody thinking of you Jack as of a bad guy charging for it, in your e-Commerce, more than it costed you to get it over there!

    It simply isn’t about could you withstand maintaining EVTV but whether the audience appreciates it. It is too early for the market which is still young. This audience is mostly considered friends, which are hard on the buck.

    Selling my short movie on a DVD, friends expected it as a gift, very few offered money for it.

    Who hasn’t had an entrepreneurial effort cannot understand it is a public act. It needs money in order to keep it running. If coming from the own source predominantly, it is a hobby.

    Doubts arise if it is needed at all?!

    EVTV is very much needed. I cannot thank you enough for it. Although it could look silly an unemployed sending donations to a millionaire, it makes perfect sense in my head. It is not for your maintenance but an investment in my future. I plan to have my own project, similar to yours, and am learning a lot from your mistakes and accomplishments.

    It wouldn’t be possible otherwise and I personally know of no other example of such unselfishness. I don’t envy anybody on having what I don’t. I am aware things are passing. There is not one thing I have achieved without someone else’s help. Even if it was a tap on a shoulder, keep on, you are going to be just fine.

    I don’t have regular income, but I am not broke. Jack is far from broke, but EVTV is hardly generating income. If it was an NGO, it would depend on donations. If it is a firm, Government asks for the share of its profits. If no turnover is made, where the salaries come from?

    If EVTV it is for us, it has to be supported buy us, one way or the other. I am aware I still haven’t contributed to it and many of you have. Just wanted to explain I would like to be like you guys.

  20. I think it’s a good idea with the EVTV shop.
    with regard to profit margin, maybe consider running that tight at least to begin with. like your father had vision to do a job profitless or even at a loss to begin with, keeping the long perspective in mind. I think adoption speed has to be worth more to you than 3$ more profit per cell right now. maybe buy 2000 cells on a slow boat from china to keep cost at a minimum.

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