The Spring Offensive – Raid on Heber Springs

I received an e-mail this week from my favorite adolescent delusional mental patient expressing his concern about the future of the 100,000 man army we are raising for the express intent of completely changing the world’s concept of personal transportation.

It is of course true the world’s five largest and most profitable corporations are all oil companies and any one of them features annual revenues greater than the gross domestic product of over 90% of the countries on the earth.  All 50 states tax gasoline sales as the primary means to fund their roadwork , cumulatively about $25 BILLION in tax revenu and are so insanely jealous of those revenues that at least 10 of them have laws on the books or pending to tax electric vehicles, which already comprise nearly 50,000 of our 254 million vehicles here in the U.S.  That’s about 0.02 PERCENT of the total.  The U.S. government raises another $25 billion in gasoline taxes and there are 166,000 retail locations selling gasoline at this point within the United States.  12 countries comprising OPEC and most of the middle east have a vested interest in the continuation of oil sales.  All major automotive manufacturers have a huge investment in the status quo and some serious problems with their business model, including a small mountain of very profitable consummables, when considering a transition to magnetic drive.

With all of that arrayed against us, why do I feel like we have them surrounded?  Well because we very nearly do of course.  And the tiny army of 100,000 we are raising, to convert cars from gasoline to electric one vehicle at a time, is perfectly on pace and almost beyond the pace we can manage at EVTV to keep UP with them.

So who IS delusional here?  My little friend in the mental institution, or yours truly?  It very well could be me.  But am I having fun.

Let me provide a little peak under the sheets.  I was born so poor we couldn’t pay attention.  In fact, we couldn’t afford to live near people who WEREN’T poor so I was probably n my late teens before I realized we weren’t actually quite wealthy.  These things being somewhat relative.  I was blest with a kind of an unusual mind by my parents and grandparents.  And I’ve had a great and adventurous life since.  Spent my youth traveling the world courtesy of Uncle Sam’s canoe club and then did a stint working for the largest and most dicked up corporations in the country – mostly defense contractors.  I retired at age 33, and have since made and lost TWO separate fortunes of almost inconceivable numerics.   Initially in the PC craze and later in the development of the Internet.  Me and Al Gore.  Actually.

And most unusually, I paid VERY close attention not so much to what was happening along the way, nor even why it happened, but more mechanistically as to HOW it happened.  And it is remarkable at this point to near 58 summers with all of that more or less intact while I’m still young and pretty enough to do something about it.

One of the things I learned along the way is that we live in a vast sea of communication, messages carefully and artfully crafted and delivered at no small expense, for the express purpose of manipulating us, not just in our information but even down to our emotions and sense of well being.  It is an enormous curtain hiding the wizards and it is almost entirely SURREAL.  It has no reality component at all.  It is a totally false image, constructed by a huge NUMBER of entities for their own very pecuniary purposes, in a totally cynical fashion.

You may have noted that I’m almost entirely unaffected by the “opinions” and “beliefs” of online poseurs, but to some degree even of our own viewers.  You see I don’t believe those ARE your opinions.  Or your beliefs.  I think they were programmed into you by the machine.  Very deliberately.  Very cynically.  And on a MASSIVE  scale.  I am deeply and personally devasted by each and every one of you that accepts that uncritically, and absolutely hysterical with relief and joy each time I meet another sentient who is resistant to it and questions it.  They tend to be kind of crabby old guys who just never bought in.

Some examples.  Al Gore.  A 24 year old titty blond newscaster was doing an interview of Al Gore during the 2000 Presidential Election.  In one of his replies Vice President Gore made the mark that “Back when we created the Internet……blah de blah blah….”  The newscaster immediately recognized her scoop and ticket to fame, fortune, and career success and armed with all the skills and intelligence it takes to make it through make up and a mic check brayed HYSTERICALLY that Al Gore had made the preposterous claim that he had invented the Internet.  This was picked up by every national news organization and of course every Republican pundit and strategist and by the end  of the week Al Gore was painted as a total moron and a liar to boot.  He lost the election by such a narrow margin that they were examining paper dust and “chaff” from the machines in Florida for a couple of MONTHS before the election was finally decided by the Supreme Court and to this day 99.99% of the population recalls this as the MAIN feature of Al Gore – that he claimed he invented the Internet.
The very uneasy 0.01% are the guys who where there when he did.  Actually, he never claimed to have “invented” the Internet, he said “Back when we created the Internet” with a very editorial “we” but it was true he implied he was part of it.  Actually he was.  Early and often and long for MANY years.  And so involved that as our only real champion on capitol hill, he waited until the perfect moment in the perfect storm, when the NSFNet was scheduled to pull the plug and six or seven companies were poised to put billions into it, if anyone could just define what it WAS and whether it would survive without DARPA.  The perfect chrysalis in the super saturated solution, he introduced the $1 BILLION National Education and Research Network bill – NREN and with NO ONE on capital hill except him, then a Senator, knowing what was in it or why we would want to do that, got it passed by a huge majority just on personal tickets and tokens owed.  NOBODY in either house had any clue what it was except Al Gore.  But it was only a billion dollars and he was good for it politically, by chit, token and trade.

NREN, which stands for National Research and Education Network, was the central feature of the High-Performance Computing and Communications program,legislated in 1991.

I hope you DO understand that this was three years prior to the release of the first browser for Microsoft Windows – November of 93, a story we broke in January 1994. There was no World Wide Web as you know it prior to that. And that 1991 legislation was at the end of YEARS of being active in the use of the Internet and participating in discussions of schools and school children and libraries and so forth being linked globally that Al Gore was always enthusiastically in the middle of.

It was designed to upgrade the existing NSFNet (the central U.S. component of the Internet) to higher bandwidths (initially 4 GB/sec) primarily to meet the needs of heavy-duty scientific and engineering applications. NREN (also referred to as “Gore I”) was the legislative outcome of a long campaign by then-Sen. Al Gore.

Today there are hundreds of NRENs around the globe, all following this model. And the outgrowth of our own is a network now termed Internet2, that is some a bunch faster that the one you are on now. Again, tying supercomputing centers and educational institutions primarily after the fashion of the NSFnet originally.

So here is an example of something 99.99% of the population knows, and believes, and has an opinion on.  Just one problem.  It is COMICALLY untrue by any measure or point of view. A total lie started by an ignorant girl child with a microphone, but that spread through the population to the point that if you mention his name, the normal response is a reference to his claim to invent the Internet.

I can give you hundreds of these examples.  We owe $16 TRILLION dollars to other countries, mostly China and the Middle East, via our U.S. Treasuries and that debt has to be repaid and will burden our children to the nth generation.

Actually the largest holder of U.S. treasuries, some 75% of the total, is the Social Security Administration. Yes, they took the money you sent in and “invested it” – in U.S. Treasuries. They took the “proceeds from the sale and SPENT it, like drunken sailors and whores. Now they ponder the implications of this “serious problem” and the Obama solution is to RAISE YOUR TAXES to pay for the shortfall they stole?

Drinking and driving is the number one cause of fatalities on the U.S. road system.  EVERYONE knows this, EVEN the drunk drivers.  It is just a given.

Except the only point where we would know is the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration database.  And THEY annually put out a document on drinking and driving and alcohol that is curiously unscientific. In fact it reads more like a religious tract. And it is in SPITE of the data in their own database.

Look through their database. It’s open to the public.  It’s terribly technical and convoluted.  But take a week like I did, pull it down and start looking at it through various sliceways.  EVERY auto accident involving a fatality has to be reported by law enforcement to this entity.  Alcohol involvement has held absolutely steady at 40% for the entire reporting period where that has been the law.  In fact, in contrasting and comparing the various data elements contained in the database, you will FAIL completely at drawing any connection between drinking and driving and fatal accidents.  There is a correlation at 40%.  But nothing, including all the enforcement, increased penalties, longer jail terms, MADD mothers, et al, appear to have moved it at all and the rise and fall of fatalities is almost totally disconnected in any mathematical sense from the reported alcohol involvement.

The leading cause of traffic fatalities is evidenced by the direct rise and fall in the percentage of the driving population between 17 and 25 years old in total tandem with the fatality rate.  That’s right.  Mothers can be MADD as hell.  But the adolescents are NOT in danger of the drunk drivers.  It would appear the drunk drivers are victims of the adolescents.

If you ask any police officer how they know to stop a driver for a sobriety test, you would think ti would have to do with speeding and weaving and running over trash cans. Not. They are driving too slow and they always have their brights on. Why? They’re drunk. Their reactions are IMPAIRED. And they don’t want to have a WRECK.

But like Al Gore, you already KNOW the answer.  And no amount of data is going to ever change that.  Because to do so, you would have to admit to being manipulated, and the whole concept is repugnant to our sense of freedom and worth as individuals.  You BELIEVE you are your own man.  And that your beliefs were the careful consideration of your superior mind.

I could easily show hundreds, not dozens but HUNDREDS of examples of this to both small degree and large.  In reality, there are millions.  Because you have millions of entities churning out press releases, studies, and television interviews, all with an ax to grind, to the point that the message ALMOST becomes the reality.

But it doesn’t quite.  Reality continues undisturbed actually.  It has no opinion.  It has no belief system.  It just is.

The GREATEST LIE OF ALL – essentially Satan’s great lie, is that you as an individual are POWERLESS in the face of forces MUCH greater than you.  Vaster, more numerous, measured in millions and billions and brazillians of dollars, people, springbok mating on the Sarenghetti plain, and gallons, and barrels and cars and well – everything.  Huge corporations.  Armies.  Air planes.  Guns.  The President.  The Congress.  We can only hope and pray that THEY somehow act on our behalf because we as individuals are essentially powerless and MIGHT AS WELL GO BACK TO THE COUCH AND WATCH HOW IT PLAYS OUT ON THE TELEVISION………

Is there a clue there?  Was that a crack in the window?  Did the curtain just blow an inch, revealing a sliver of a sole of a shoe?

All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing….  You don’t have to JOIN the Evil.  Just stand aside.  Take it easy…  Relax…   There’s nothing you can do anyway.  You’re just one guy.  You can’t even get permission from your own wife.  And how would you do anything anyway???  You’re busy all the time just eeking out a living…

Comically.  Hysterically comically.  The underlying JOKE beneath the GREAT LIE.  You are the ONLY one that can change ANYTHING.

Look about the room you are in.  Every object in it.  However minute (door hinge pin) or vast (Aircraft Carrier, World Trade Center) ALL of it.  ALL of it.  Each piece started out as an idea in ONE person’s mind.  Not two.  Not three.  Not 30 brazillion.  ONE person conceived of it first.  And it grew from there.  And the early days of growth were funded and executed by OTHER individuals, ONE person at a time. Mano eh Mano.  Eventually, it hit the tipping point and became common knowledge throughout the population.  And today MOST of us have cell phones.  Steve Jobs technically did not invent it. Most of us are on the Internet. And no, Al didn’t actually INVENT it. And Jack Rickard did not invent in any sense or aspect the electric car.

Today, you have no choice.  You are BOUND to go to the gas station and feed the monster with an extraordinary portion of your income just to move freely about the planet.  And feed the monster you will because it very much wants to be fed, and you very much want to go where you want to go.  Despite the fact that the exhaust fumes are gradually coming to light not poisoning the planet, not causing “global warming” but apparently directly causing autism, cancer, Alzheimer’s and a host of other “modern” diseases that just really weren’t much of a gig a hundred years ago.

You ALWAYS KNEW you could kill yourself by shutting up in a garage with the motor running.  But somehow the thought of 250 million of them all starting up each morning with a great bellow and roar would be a free pass because they WEREN’T shut up in the garage??  They were out in the “fresh” air?????

And we are funding the largest transfer of wealth from one country to another in the HISTORY OF THE WORLD. To countries that believe we ARE Satan and must vow to the death to destroy us.

You see the great machine works on TWO fronts.  That that it tells you.  And that that it rather pointedly does NOT tell you.  Like the fact that Social Security is the greatest global ponzi scheme ever invented and if Barney is in jail, so should be every President, Congressman and Senator who has served in the last 75 years.

There were a couple of hundred people involved even casually with the Internet when I first encountered it.  Today it sports 4.7 billion.  There were no accidents.  It grew organically for very specific reasons every step of the way.  One guy, to another, to another.  It merged parallel efforts in commercial online services, electronic bulletin boards, Fidonet, a dozen “other” nets.  And ultimately the entire landline telephone system, the cellular telephone system, satellite communications, intercontinental fiber networks and at the moment it is chomping down on television radio, and the conscious minds of the entire planet.

Bonjour.  I’m a French Model and I wouldn’t lie to you on the Internet.

In reality, the only way ANYTHING happens is by individual initiative.  By the scant few people who never quite conform to the norm.  Who rebel at feeding the machine.  The status quo does not serve. Where the yoke rubs the shoulders a little too raw.  And if the solution they find serves to free them, even in a small way, they pass it on.  And others , increasingly uncomfortable with the game dealt, likwise adopt it.  It grows slowly at first, but with every individual that joins, the mass grows and begins to expand logarithmically.  And something in our nature, when it reaches about 8 or 10% of the population, it flashes over in the space of a weekend and becomes, very much, the new norm. The tipping point.

The beast immediately ingests it, and begins the long laborious task of rewriting it’s history, changing it’s meaning, and attempting to manipulate its future.  But it IS the new normal.

Today, the advantages of globally and universally converting our need for personal mobility to magnetic drive from explosive burning of noxious liquids is so obvious, I need not sell it.  We’re all about spreading it, how to do it, one guy to another on what is at first a slow march up the logarithmic hill.  EVTV is not very much about why.  It’s more about how. Those who “discover us” were already increasingly uncomfortable that “something ain’t right” about this gasoline thing and the prices that don’t seem connected to anything. If it’s all about the price of oil how come these companies are making more money than the Catholic Church and the Federal government. And why are our kids coming home maimed and dead after fighting over empty desert and rock cliffs? And oil….

Iran. Working on nuclear weapons. Weapons of mass destruction. Or maybe a threat to Israel. Or maybe a help to Syria. Or maybe because they imprisoned a missionary journalist monk who just happened to work for the CIA. But somebody has to do something about those guys. It’s the American way.

Actually it’s because they set up an oil trading bourse on Kiche Island and wanted to trade oil for currencies that were NOT U.S. dollars. Ergo the economic embargo. By the way, that exact action predated our invasion of Iraq a few years earlier. Nuclear weapons worked then. Why not now? In reality, our leaders are terrified of the U.S. dollar’s status as a reserve currency around the world to buy oil eroding in the slightest. You were duped for Iraq. And they want to do it again with Iran. And it is ALL about oil. And they’ll murder your children to do it. Not THEIR children but YOURS would be ok.

Unemployment falling at last? No. WE’ve moved over 10 million of them from UNEMPLOYED to DISABLED in four years.

My personal hero this week, is an 85 year old retired engineer from an aluminum plant, who starting in 2003 began a long quest to convert a brand new Toyota pickup truck to electric drive.

This afternoon I’ll take that truck for a drive.  Thanks Gerry Botteron.  You’re my hero.  And no, I never bought into any of that shit either.

Our move into component sales has had one very interesting effect quite beyond the economic, which we never paid much attention to anyway.  It puts us very much in touch with the new blood, the new builders, the new projects just starting life.  And I’m pleased to report that it is at a pace of growth that it is all we can do at EVTV just to keep abreast of, and report on.  We don’t lead anything.  We hold up a lens so you can SEE it going on.  And you can do it yourself. But one camel sneeze and we’re in deep camel do-do. We can only grow so fast at a comfortable pace.

And so no, we have fortunately not reached the steep part of the curve.  But it is building very surely and very stably as more and more individual men, and it is of course 99% guys, take charge of their own personal mobility and build themselves a way out of feeding the monster. There’s a bit of rebellion going on here. A bit of “wait a minute…” happening. At any cost.  At any effort.  And not because it makes any sense at all.   They are simply done participating willingly in something that they have uneasily come to realize is total nonsense and doesn’t need to be that way.  At least not for them. They’ve had enough, without being absolutely certain what it is they’ve had enough of. But they know something isn’t right here….

The question DOES have to be begged…if you can do this for yourself, in your own garage, with hand tools, what the hell IS going on?

Will this grow?


Uh…yeah.  It will grow.  And yes, I will take deep joy and personal satisfaction as it grows from a few sad whacky apologetic but a little bit angry guys in their garages to a mighty army plowing down the road silently, subsuming all that lies before it.

As I’ve said.  I’ve had a great life. And it just keeps getting better…..

It’s not precisely electric. A shaver is electric. A car is Lithium Powered Magnetic Flux Drive. And if we hit the Warp button, you might be best advised to get the hell out of the way…. I’m liquored up. I’ve been playing with high voltage. And I’m going for a drive….

Jack Rickard

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53 thoughts on “The Spring Offensive – Raid on Heber Springs”

  1. Great show as ever. As an aside to the main menu your digging around in accident stats was interesting, particularly the bit about air bags. I have long wondered how many children who have fallen asleep against the door have their brains mashed by side or curtain air bags in trivial side impacts

    1. You think waiting sucks, it wouldn’t load in HD for me this week, it played in HD last week, seems to be an on off thing, I cant figure it out, its beyond my pay grade.

      The video in non HD is just awful. its like watching a video on a Commodore

      Good show Jack, as usual, your right on the mark.


  2. The Brusa for 1495.
    If I didn’t already have three… That’s an perfect offer!!!
    If you have 3-phase current you can charge with up to three chargers parallel. As a visitor you can charge at any normal outlet with one charger.
    Having in mind you can change your battery pack at any time to any size.
    Great offer.

    1. Actually, you can charge 3 in parallel from a single phase, from 240 split phase, and from European 3 phase. The wiring is a bit different but they can certainly be parallelled. You can also split packs and charge in series for very high voltage systems.

      1. Hi Jack !

        If you slit a pack and use different chargers to charge the different parts, isn’t there a risk of loosing the balance of the pack. Or does the Brusas communicate the charging between eachother so they output exactly the same current and taper off the same way ?
        Or can one rely on statistic spread of the differnt cells in pack to be good enough to give them the same average capacity, thus the same charge end regardless.

        Another question how balanced are your packs when you think it is good enough ?
        0.05v ?

        I’m doing a 40s 160ah pack bottom balance now. (thunder skys)
        I have them between 2.82v and 2.74v.

        Going to do a 25s 100ah pack after that. (new Sinoploy, and yes I have them in my garage.)

        Best Regards

      1. Jack Rickard


        SPlitting a pack is to be done with care it is true. But these tend to be very long strings anyway. So a very small difference in voltage/charge is spread among a very high number of cells. A 700 volt pack is 200 cells. So you are charging each 100 cells to 350v. If you are off by a volt, that is .01v per cell difference. Kind of hard to detect without serious test instruments.

        We kind of zero them in since bottom balancing is such a pain in the ass anyway. But 2.74 to 2.82 is probably more than adequate as a practical matter.

        Jack Rickard

    1. Hi Jack. I am new to the forum, and to electric car building. I have enjoyed your shows and blogs over the last few weeks. Thanks for dedication to test substantiated knowledge, it’s refreshing in a world of engineers that seem only able to manipulate algebra.

      I notice many people saying these LiFePo cells need to be kept cool for “optimum life” and yet I notice that you are quietly advocating a different approach where temperatures over 25c would actually be beneficial. I have just purchased one of your AC75s and will be using it with a 36cell pack of 200AH Winstons. When it comes to battery boxes, I was thinking about insulating it rather than cooling it. We have a very stable climate here, external temp from 0c in the winter up to 25c in the summer.

      What would you suggest is the IDEAL temperature to keep these batteries for optimum life span. What would you recommend as the maximum safe temperature to run them at. By safe, I mean the temperature that will not cause damage to cell longevity rather than the meltdown threshold.

      1. The jury is still out on optimum temperature. My sense is 35-45C is the temp these cells seem to like best. After 65C, nothing good is happening with these organic electrolytes. What is most impressive, at least with the LiFePo4 cells we use, is the lack of
        heat gain even during fairly stressful regimens. Like charging at 3C or discharging at 10C. We can see it, feel it, measure it, but it does not seem to match at all reports from the LiCO2 or LiMnO4 communities. Really quite benign for our cells.

        The main temperature component we look for is on the low end. And all the temperature effects we see, diminished capacity, output, etc appear on the cold end. LiFePo4 cells cannot be charged at a temperture under freezing. The hypothesis is that ithium plating occurs and irreversible capacity loss. You can safely discharge of course down to about -20F with ppor performance but apparently no permanent effects.

        1. Hi Jack.. Thanks for that.

          I have a bit of a silly question – please forgive me-

          I have purchased the AC75 that you recently shipped to order to your Amsterdam warehouse. I noticed in your video that you had two of these shipped from the manufacturer, and there was no mention of a load more that you hold in stock.

          I am building this EV as a Dad-Project with my 9 year old son Matthew, hoping to catch his immagination with some hands on back yard engineering.

          He would love to know whether the motor that you have sent to me is the “famous motor that he saw you demonstrating on the video.”

          I know this isn’t the usual flavour of technical query you get asked, however I thought you’d be in favour of passing on our enthusiasm for magnetic drive to the next generation, maybe even a generation that will be the last to remember ICE cars as the majority vehicle.

          1. I’m not sure I understand the question. But I may have the answer.

            We received one prototype AC-75 from HPEVS and showed it on camera. It was immediately purchased by a gentleman here in the U.S.

            We ordered two more and received them within a week. We sold one and shipped the other to our European warehouse.

            We shoudl have two AC76 with the new Curtis controller in next week.

            As these are first introduced, the availability is somewhat limited. So we kind fo get them a couple of them at a time.

            But we get them quite quckly. And so I expect availability to become much easier as these products are proven attractive in the market and trouble free.

            You got an early one. I think they’ll work great. Congratulations.

            Jack Rickard

  3. Jack
    A member of the Electric Auto Association here in Phoenix has a Raptor. He found a guy in California that said that he could rebuild them
    sent in got back blew up sent back got back blew up sent in has not got back yet. Went with a Zilla.

  4. Jack, an interesting blog entry.

    I’ve been invited to bring my conversion to a number of car shows, and over time I’ve learned something. I’m not certain how to put it in words, but I’ll try. The resistance to accept the idea of electric cars seems in part, an unwillingness to swallow the bitter pill that one has been contributing to a broken system. Furthermore, pointing out that when you burn gas, you’re contributing to multiple problems – polluting the air in our cities, funding states that seek our demise, placing our soldiers in peril – does not win you any fans. In some circumstances, my mere presence riles people’s feathers so much I’m greeted with condescension from the get go. For many, accepting electric cars means having to come to terms with this painful fact, and they’d simply rather not think about it. It’s a paradigm shift, and it’s uncomfortable. Of course, people will usually avoid discomfort, even if facing it is better in the long run.

    Interestingly enough the people that are the most accepting of electric cars seem to be service men and women. I was invited to bring the car to an Army/Air Reserve post for Earth Day. Several soldiers and airmen asked me why I converted the car and I replied “In part, so you don’t have to go defend our access to oil.” They got it right away. I suppose if you have enough skin in the game, it’s easier to see different perspective.

    Just an observation.

    Tim Catellier

    1. Tim:

      Interesting input. I may be so thick skinned this sort of thing escapes me. I find almost everyone universally interested in electric cars and intrigued by the whole concept. I don’t proselytize precisely, but I will answer questions and at times get quite a rag on about it. But most find it fascinating or appear to.

      Again the usual experience Lots of concerns about range and recharge time – even here in Cape Girardeau where they rather comically make very little sense as questions.

      There are a few in the online forums but always with some ax to grind. The neutral public is, well neutral. BUt they are certainly interested in the topic and open to new information. But certainlyh here in Missouri they are unlikely to spring the premium before someone “shows them” why that would be a good thing.

      The most total turnaround comes from those who drive one on a test drive and the second most total turnaround is from those who take a ride as passenger. I think the lease or rental programs are probably key to public acceptance. I know of several people who have purchsed Prius hybrids after renting one.

      The other curious aspect to this thing is all that you don’t get to hear. You heard their objections and their posturing. What you don’t get ot hear is their comments as you are driving away. More importantly the conversation where they relate new information at the water cooler at work the next day. In showing your car and answering those questions, I would say the analogy of dropping pebbles in the pond rather fails – picture more dropping concrete blocks in the toilet. Some of the ceramic cracks int eh process. PLanet, health, military, transfer of wealth, green as in environmental, green as in money – there are too many approach points all pointing to the same identical solution. It is exceedingly rare to find such a single product wrap-up on so many disparate problems.

      Jack Rickard

      1. Just like your experiences, most everyone that views the car is fascinated by it, and enthusiastically ask all the unsual questions. I’ve been asked to bring the car to McDonald Douglas for an employee car show a few times, and I’m a virtual rock and roll star there. Can you imagine a more perfect place for a conversion than an audience of computer nerds and engineers?!

        But being in conservative Arizona, I do encounter a fair number of nay sayers, and it always surprses me. I believe it’s this lack of willingness or even fear to question the status-quo like you mentioned above that is the root of the objections. I think that’s the point I was trying to make.

        I do tend to be sensitive to this and make an effort to bring them around to a broader perspective. I sure hope they DO discuss it when they go away. It’s like breaking a rock; you don’t do it with one hammer strike.

        Tim Catellier

  5. Mark Roberts

    loved the commentary on the Big Lie this week. Here’s a smaller lie you quashed back in 28 October 2009, which I find particularly annoying:

    “If you add up all the energy costs of an electric car, it’s not that much less than a gas car”

    You used figures from Doug Cortholf to show that the electricity used to refine gasoline from oil would drive an electric car the same distance as a gas car could go using the refined gasoline. I think the figure you came up with was 7.18 KWh per gallon of gasoline. And you could leave the oil in the ground and not have any of the transportation or distribution energy costs either.

    Incidentally I found some independent verification of this from Nissan (I’ve uploaded the .jpg picture, but don’t know how to link or refer to it) which makes the claim:

    “It takes 7.5 kilowatt hours (kWh) electricity to
    refine one gallon of gas. That same 7.5 kWh can
    power the Nissan LEAF approximately 30 miles.”

    keep up the good work.


      1. Mark Roberts

        ShopCam looks good Jack. But not much happening at the moment.
        Sorry about my double post. If you did something to the site, just as I made my first post that may explain why it didn’t appear to work. I’d delete the first one, but I don’t think I can.

      2. Thank you Jack for the shop-cam, I’m currently planning to attend the 2013 evcon, even if I have to sleep in my car for 6 nights(maybe someone will let me take a shower somewhere). I watch your show weekly, and have learned so much from it. I’m currently purchasing a house (with a garage) with plans to convert my first car within the next 2 yrs.

          1. My wife and I are DISCUSSING (lol) my options now! I know I’m going, even if she does not(lol) and am not quite sure about the cost, because, well, I’m a land lover. Don’t do boats and have never been in a plane, so I plan on driving one of our daily drivers. So I think I’m looking at $200 in fuel and that doesn’t sound like much, but I’m also buying a house and remodeling it too. So as of right now my budget is in the negative territory, even though, it’s probably going to look better by August( I hope). I truly have to tip my hat to Jack for his show today, and what he has done for the ones in my shoes.

  6. Mark Roberts

    loved the commentary on the Big Lie this week. Here’s a smaller lie which I find particularly annoying, that you quashed back in 28 October 2009:
    “If you add up all the energy costs of an electric car, it’s not that much less than a gas car”
    You used figures from Doug Cortholf to show that the electricity used to refine gasoline from oil would drive an electric car the same distance as a gas car could go using the refined gasoline. I think the figure you came up with was 7.18 KWh per gallon of gasoline. And you could leave the oil in the ground and not have any of the transportation or distribution energy costs either.
    Incidentally I found some independent verification of this from Nissan when they were talking up the Leaf (I uploaded the picture .jpg, but don’t know how to refer to it). It makes the claim:
    “It takes 7.5 kilowatt hours (kWh) electricity to
    refine one gallon of gas. That same 7.5 kWh can
    power the Nissan LEAF approximately 30 miles.”
    Keep up the good work,

    1. There is just so much disinformation around. I was talking to an operator at my electricity supplier about a night time tarif to reduce charging costs. He knew all about electric cars. £8 worth of diesel (about 5.5 litres) will apparently take a Golf Blue Motion about 100 miles {I suppose, assuming that you never drive it when the engine is cold) and, he told me confidently, £8 worth of electricity would take a Nissan Leaf about 100 miles. Using the cheap rate he was offering me (7.4 p per kW hour), that implies that the Leaf requires over 1 kW hour per mile.

      Doing my bit for the counter-offensive: I’m taking the headmaster of my son’s school around the block in the Ampera later today and giving him the scoop on charging standards in case the 6th formers start to need workplace charging (“the scoop” mostly acquired from EVTV)

      1. Not forgetting this John,
        You get some youtuber making a daft statement as fact and others blindly agree and pass on the myth. It’s where I first heard this numerically challenged statement.
        Comparing the drive/equipment of a Golf to a Leaf is a non-starter. It only reinforces how little they know..
        So I make 7.4p/3.3miles costs <£1.75 per 78 miles; That diesel does 78 UK mpg at over £6.50. Others in the US claim drives of 4.7 miles/KWH in similar conditions to 78 mpg of the Golf. £1.23 for 78 miles, 19% of cost?

    2. Hey Mark,
      In the UK my 1600cc Ford gives 30 (UK)mpg overall with fuel at £6.10 a UK gallon took £18.30 off me for 90 miles.
      The Nissan Leaf; expect 3.3 miles per KWH. At £0.15/KWH the 90 mile range will cost £4.10.
      Therefore we could make a £14,200 saving for 90,000 miles. The remaining few 1st gen. Leafs can be had from £18K making it by far and away the cheapest car to own amongst any fuelled car.
      The Gov’t grant is recouped to the nation by not exporting cash for oil.
      The free tax disc and big grant for home J1772. Solar panels are now ~$0.6/W.
      Servicing savings.. i.e. 7,500 miles first service for the Leaf… Inspect underside drivetrain/brakes and rotate tyres.
      Great news for EV enthusiasts who need to pinch a few pennies in order to turn their Sunday special into an EV: Vintage car that deserves better than an engine, red light tyre ripper or boulevard cruiser.
      Casting and machining metals plus the heat/chemical treatments plus the outlay for engine fabrication robots has to be far more energy intensive than foil and battery production!

      1. I don’t really know what the comparison would be in creating an automotive engine and lithium battery. I would guess it would be slightly more energy intensive for the battery because it typically WEIGHS more than the engine. Aluminum production is VERY electricity intensive. So my approach is to sometimes back away and examine these things by the ton. The battery just outweighs the engine. But when you add the gas tank, exhaust system, radiator, it gets a lot closer.

        My guess is, net/net nothing to be found here of any consequence.

        The overall energy efficiency of the electric car derives from two rather immutable facts. At the car, you go four to five times father for the same Joules of energy. No amount of study can make this not so.

        The second rather obvious element is that I can convert energy much more efficiently in a plant occupying a square mile, weighing 100,000 tons, and stationary, than I can in thousands of plants small enough to fit in cars. IT is just thermally and by scale more efficient. No amount of study can make this not so.

        So anything tending to refute these things has to be examined critically. And it is usually mere moments before you can see the often silly mistakes in the series of assumptions that are provisos to all these “studies”.

        Continuing this “let’s ignore the trees and consider the forest as an entity” approach. Let’s take a look at energy availability and the future.
        What do we have to do to OBTAIN the raw materials for energy use.

        Oil. They are now erecting BILLION dollar oil platforms to initiate drilling as much as a mile below the surface of the ocean and drilling as deep as 23,000 feet (over 4 miles) DOWN from there. EVERYTHING has to go OUT to the platform and all oil recovered has to be transported BACK to land for use.

        COAL. Two forms. Entirely land based. Deep tunnel and surface strip. Everything must go TO the coal mine and transport FROM the coal mine but it is in almost all cases more conveniently land based.

        HYDRO – falling water. Walk up to it. Build a dam. But it only is where it is. Generally very reliable.

        GEOTHERMAL. Temperatures of a very steady 58 degrees F are available worldwide 36 inches below ground level. Ambient varies widely but this temperature differential represents free energy. Capital intensive plant to take advantage of this is as yet not very efficient. Somewhat capricious with regards to availability depending on season.

        WIND – varies in intensity but offers much opportunity in erecting harvestors in areas of land of little value or alternate use. Electricity produced directly but must be transported and the wind is capricious, indicating a storage system. Capital plant is expensive and requires very high maintenance and upkeep costs.

        SOLAR – talk about availability. It falls on EVERY rooftop. No transport at all in most cases. Capital intensive plant but requires very little maintenance. But capricious like wind and indicates storage system.

        So peering into the future, I really like Solar. And this might in part explain my almost obsessive interest in electrochemical “battery” storage solutions. Everyone is focused on the panels. They really aren’t the central problem here. I think storage is the 800 lb gorilla in the Solar room.

        There IS an alternative that is very interesting and is precisely what I was focused on when I got distracted by this entire electric vehicle thing. It is possible to use solar power to convert water into hydrogen and oxygen more directly. This process has come to be known as photo-catalytics. Some substances, notably TiO2, my favorite substance, can in the presence of certain wavelengths of light and a catalytic, extract oxygen ions from water. This of course remainders hydrogen. Hydrogen is solar energy already in a storage form.

        Ultimately in the far future, there are actually TWO viable forms of energy. The hydrogen/oxygen water cycle is the most obvious, using photo-catalytics to convert solar energy into hydrogen and oxygen and recombining them to extract energy from the hydrogen.

        The other is thermal energy using temperature differentials to generate electricity. Below ground offers a temperature differential. Wells offer a temperature differential. Bodies of water provide a temperature differential. This in fact ignores high thermal underground temperatures entirely which are actually rather widely available.

        And so I look for technological breakthroughs in three areas:

        1. Electrochemical batteries.
        2. Photocatalytics.
        3. Direct thermal differential to electricity conversion.

        Number two actually is my favorite area to examine. But not much time these days. Kind of got distracted by this electric car thing….

  7. I’m showing the evTD at the Austin Makers Faire on Sunday and put together an info sheet to give to interested attendees. I uploaded a copy to the files area so you can have a look and give me your critiques (ouch). Looks like you’ll have to scroll to see both the inside and outside. Also, I printed all of my project blog pages and organized them in a three ring binder so I can show the process if anyone wants a deeper look.

    The AustinEV club sponsored the EV display area – it’s just a small part of a bigger showcase for DIY activity of all types. After it’s over I’ll post a report on my blog,

    1. Fred the evTD is looking superb! Im sure it will be a big hit at the show.. Just a little worried someone will want to buy it from you then and there, proving my longstanding point that you ARE running a (slow motion) conversion shop 😛

  8. You guys give new meaning to talking heads under that Thing. Wanted to say that the motor looks absolutely fabulous under there. looks like it belongs. Your work on the pack and wiring it all up is great. Good to see it coming along. Can’t wait to see a video of this Thing running.

    Pete 🙂

  9. Dear Jack,

    You mentioned in a show that you could tell if something was amiss with your battery pack if it did not terminate charge at nearly the same voltage each time.

    I do not agree. The charger will always charge to the same total voltage it is set at. If three cells were to some how drop charge to only one volt each, the charger would simply over charge other cells to make up the total voltage it was set to terminate at.

    Am I missing something here?

    I was thinking that after bottom balancing, I then set my charger to charge to 280 volts the pack in my case 80 cells @3.5 volts is 280. After charging to 280 volts a few times I then attach a mechanism to (one) of my highest cells and have that connected to the charger to terminate the charge at 3.5 volts.

    Only after attaching a mechanism to my highest cell to terminate charging at 3.5 would your statment be true. “You know somthing is off if the charger does not terminate at nearly the same total voltage each time”.

    If the voltage total does not come out at nearly the same voltage each time with termination triggered by one cell, either the the (one) cell connected to the charger has reacted differently to the charge or any one of the other 79 cells reacted differently to the charge. Either way I would be alerted and a pac inspection would be in order.

    What say you Jack?

    1. I would say I am speaking from experience and you are typing some thought experiments. No, despite teh fact that the charger charges to the same voltage, if you had an ailing cell you would NOT see the same voltage after it settled.

      That said, you’re concept is not entirely bad. Try our digital control voltmeter. IT can measure 3.5 volts quite precisely and features TWO relays you can use to shut off your charger.

      Jack Rickard

      1. Raymond Blackburn

        I was simply wondering how you would tell when their was a aling cell. The charger is dumb it will and should strive to the same total voltage it was programmed to achieve.

        The part I missed in your video must have been, to let it settle and if it doesn’t settle to that same voltage it always did since new it is a indicator the pack should be closer inspected.
        I am just making sure how to identify a problem with the pack by just using the charger. I don’t want to have any extra wires on my pack.
        As you know most of the time we are plugging in at night and the car finishes some time during the early hours. The batteries do get a chance to settle. So if that settled voltage varies to far away from the norm it’s a good time to inspect the pack with a voltmeter. I think I got it now.

        Yes, your JDL seems like it would work well for this, (sounds like I don’t need it) it may or may not help me detect issues with the pack sooner but it certainly would provide redundancy for terminating the charge and that is a good thing.
        If the pack is bottom balance, after charging and terminating charge of the highest cell at 3.5 volts using the JDL, I observe the total voltage, then set the total pack voltage on the charger just a bit higher, I would have two safety terminations in case one failed, though I know they never fail. I do remember you telling someone not to rely on the JDL to terminate charge, perhaps I missed something their as well. I think he was using the JDL because his charger failed to terminate, if memory serves.

        Second thought the (burn baby burn) BMS port on the Brusa may be able to stop the charge when my one battery reaches 3.5 volts? Perhaps I am typing another thought experiment? Then again, if I rely on the Brusa to terminate my one cell when it reaches 3.5 volts I may lose my redundancy? If the Brusa fails to shut off when my one cell reaches 3.5 volts, would it shut off at the total voltage programmed which would be just a bit higher that the total voltage at 3.5 volts?

        When the time comes I will study the Brusa manuals and see, I don’t expect you to tell me everything when I haven’t even researched myself. If I am stuck I will then ask. However if the knowledge is oozing out of your memory recall it would satisfy my curiosity that much sooner.

        You have created a monster Jack, as you have taught me 95% of what I know of electric vehicles. Sorry I am still so dumb. When will the pupil become the master?

        After re reading your comment you say TWO relays for the JDL, perhaps this makes it okay to use the JDL to terminate charge? I am not a engineer so I am not sure how but you would not have emphasized TWO it if it was not important. However I do have a engineer friend to whoam I can inquire about this. Thanks for your show Jack! Good to have Brain back.

        1. Ok. I was a little short with you. I have a moment here.

          On the matter of the charger. It is IMPORTANT to note and I have therefore noted it a number of times, the voltage you CHARGE to is not real. It is a procedural step. Since you are doing the same procedure each evening, in the same way, you should of course come out the car in the morning to the same result.

          So while you will charge your string to 3.5 x N cells, you will never see that voltage in the morning. The cells will settle to something in the 3.32-3.34 range. I would urge you to one morning go out and check ALL your cells after a complete charge. The BMS people and etc all talk about the wild variations in voltage at the end of charge. First, they are not that wild. But after just an hour or maybe two after terminating the charge, they will settle to their open circuit voltage. You will not believe how absolutely consistent that voltage is from cell to cell. I have often checked vehicles with 30, 40, 50, even 60 cells, and found ALL the cells nailed up at EXACTLY teh same voltage to the hundredth of a volt. Like ALL of them at 3.320 +/- 0.003.

          And so for example, on one of our HPEVS 36 cell system, I come out each morning to find it exactly 120.6v. This will bleed down over the course of days due to constant minor loads. But on the morning after charging, it is just always 120.6. This is not something you calculate, but something you observe. And it includes variations in your meter, as you using the SAME meter every day it doesn’t have to be accurate, it just has to be the same.

          If you observe anything different, that is an indicator. It needs to be investigated. The charge might have terminated early. Or you might have an ailing cell.

          Now, backing up your charger is NOT a bad idea. And the JLD404 is indeed well able to do this. Let’s say your CV voltage is 126.5 and you have observed this several times. It’s ok to hook an AC SSR to the AC input of your charger and route 12v through a JLD relay. If the voltage goes beyond 128 say, this failsafe cuts off the AC to the charger. Excellent redundant safety plan.

          I was more alluding to our four digit voltmeter. It also has relays but you can put it on a 10v range and monitor single cell voltages really QUITE accurately for the price of this meter. You can even calibrate it against a better meter.

          Another ploy I like is to have TWO meters – each monitoring 1/2 of the pack voltage. You see, the pack halves should always be pretty much identical – at rest as well as under load. If you note that one half sags further than the other during acceleration, that’s an excellent indication of an imminent cell failure or weaksness.. And we are talking about 3 wires to the pack here to do this bit of magic.

          I never said anything NEVER fails. Everything can fail. You’re kind of bidding your hand and dealing with your “need to know” by function.

          When driving, you need to know about a cell failure. You don’t need to know which cell, or the nature of the failure. You can learn that in MAINTENANCE while parked comfortably in the garage and not dodging traffic while texting on your cell phone and shaving.

          So we try to come up with minimally invasive ways of determining cell health with the minimum expense and the minimum load on the pack and the minimum danger of fire explosion and death.

          I suppose it would make more sense to quickly gen up a circuit board on Sunstone with $60 worth of parts, add some $40 worth of cables, and sell it to you for $2000 with DIRE WARNINGS that you WILL DESTROY YOUR PACK that you paid $10,000 for if you don’t immediately send me the money. Besides “professionals” all use BMS systems. They have to. Liability you know.

          Same objective really.

          There are variations on the theme. Lee Hart designed a BATTBRIDGE at one point. Three or four resistors and an LED that lit if the top half of the pack wasn’t within 1/2 volt of the bottom half. Others have replaced teh LED with an ammeter that actually deflects. It’s all a good technique.

          Obviously, comparing 4 sections would be a little better resolution, at a bit more complexity, and really probably no better solution.

          So observe your car. Obviously if you have a different votlage every morning that isn’t much of an indicator. But I think you will find your voltage in the AM will be remarkablly consistent. If after 100 days of the same thing, on day 101 it is not 120.6 but 120.1, the question has to come up. Why?

          Jack Rickard

          1. Oh, and yes. Forgot to mention. We did have one viewer whose charger DID fail to terminate. Or perhaps he changed teh number of cells. But he quickly figured out he could use his JLD404 to terminate the charge anyway by monitoring the voltage and using the interlock pins of the charger through the relay to terminate the charge.

            This works. But You are relying on a not very expensive meter, and limited life relay contacts in it at that, to save your car, garage, house and potentially your life. I prefer it is the BACKUP rather than the main show.

            Further, it is a little more complicated than that. Each relay on the JLD404 has TWO settings. The voltage at which it trips, and a second voltage at which it resets. You want that second voltage to be quite lower than the normal fully charged voltage. Other wise, you will trip the alarm and disconnect the charger, and then as the voltage falls on the pack since it is no longer being charged, the relay will RESET restarting the charge process. In this case you wlll simply be charging and shutting down and charging again all night long.


          2. Jack I don’t know how you find ways to make even a dummy like myself understand these things, but I get it! I’m a self taught mechanic, have been a tinkerer all my life. Taking toys apart since I was a child just to discovered how they work(my mom use to get so mad too). I learn quick, but my electrical knowledge comes from a high school basic electronics class and from what I’ve learn at I plan on coming to EVCON 2013 to learn more, before trying to tackle my own project. I will attend every year you have it too and plan on driving mine from Louisville, Ky to Evcon when I finish it. I plan on a 1980-1982 Corvette, with the ECobra/ Escalade type setup. I’m going to try for a 160-175 mile range, because that’s how far my mom lives away, and it approx. halfway point to Cape from here. I’ve noticed how you seem to help us less knowledgeable understand. You should do a “How to Build a DC Electric Car” , using the parts that you offer and even a AC one too! I would buy it, just to have something to answer the little overlooked things, like diodes and such. Keep up the good work at EVTV and I have watch all your shows at least twice each, more for the ecobra and escalade. Oh! I was wondering since I live he next to Jim Beam and Makers Mark, is there a particular type of whiskey you would like me to bring on meet and greet day!

  10. michel bertrand

    I can`t remember exactly, But I seem to recall setting the jld relay second voltage quite low as you suggest. For sure it was definetly lower than the resting voltage in the car at that time of 120.8 .So the next time I drove the car and the voltage dropped ,I would be set to charge again. Having had the charger repaired, I still don`t trust it and will use the JLD as a backup shut down. since the interlock wires were disabled by the “repair facility”, I now face the problem of how to shut it down Any suggestions?

    1. Yes, you could use a relay to switch the AC to the charger. You could conceivably use a Solid State Relay for this as well. Control the SSR with the JLD404 relay switching a 12v ON signal to the SSR.

      Jack Rickar

    1. Hi Jack, looking forward to EVCCON again, not looking forward to the 14 hours in cattle class, I have been driving my AC50 powered MX5 on a 44k each way commute since the last EVCCON, it’s like getting out of bed on a really nice day, why didn’t I do this earlier and why isn’t everyone doing it, our govt is opening up our coastline for oil exploration, and our conservation areas to coal mining, they are also in the process of selling off our state owned power supply companies, and passing laws to make it illegal to protest at sea, I wonder who could be influencing all these brilliant ideas.
      Anyway what I have found re charging etc , because my profile on my TC charger is higher than I’m comfortable with, I use the relay in my EX-PERT PRO gauge to cut it off when my weakest cell is at 3.5 volts, this is when the charger is still charging at 23.6 amps, or a little over 1 C on a 200 amp hour pack, I have let the charger run through it’s charge curve and I’m only losing approx 2 amp hours by stopping it short 6 volts, that’s roughly enough power to get me out of the driveway, I also have a timer on my power outlet, I do a quick calculation and set it to shut the power off when the charge is complete, also with the 12 volt system I just have a small pack of 4 x 40 amp hour cells and charge them separately, you may think this is a load of hassle with a different charger and all, but I have the cellpro 8 connected up with an old laptop power supply, works for me anyway and makes it really simple no DC to DC and no alternator hooked up to the main motor, just putting it out there, might help someone.

  11. Robert Turner

    comment on jack’s blog: april 29 2013

    Hey Jack .

    Another set of things I have always said to anyone I get to listen.

    You are fast becoming a Hero of mine, I hope you’re happy with that!

    I have always known that road accidents are predominantly NOT caused by drink driving, and similarly they are not caused by SPEEDING either. The vast majority of accidents ARE caused by a momentary lapse in concentration and the next biggest causes are situations outside the car, such as people, cyclists, cats etc getting in front of the vehicle. There is nothing more soporific than driving a familiar route at 20 mph – you just switch off.

    I have always found it hard to describe in an effective way, How we are almost never thinking independently, we are always reacting and not just to our immediate environment, but more to a cumulative mass of information from our birth to the present. There is now a lot written on this phenomena, but there wasn’t ten yrs ago.

    I had friends who were in both Gulf wars, though I didn’t go myself.

    Here IS a case where Presidents and Prime-Ministers should be Jailed. I don’t mean that in a colloquial way. I mean it in the “If there is to be any logical consistency in International Law” kind of way.

    I would have respected them more if they had just explained the reasons we Westerners needed to subjugate these Middle Easterners, and then just hit it really really hard and fast. That would be kind of, Honest brutal Imperialism If such a thing is possible… yes I suppose it is – “I am going to take your stuff, if you try to stop me I will kill you” yep that’s honest, but I wouldn’t vote for it!

    No one, not even my sister, who is a bachelor of science of psychology, seems to understand the extent of the wizard behind the curtain. A film, I think, Bowling For Columbine, illustrates the state that can be induced in a population, just to sell toothpaste! I think people cant allow themselves to believe it; It is too scary. I gave up broadcast TV in the 90’s. now I cherry pick from the good stuff on your interweb, Jack! . This, I think may emancipate me somewhat from at least part of the brainwashing.

    I love Al Gore pulling cables! Boy oh boy, I remember how much your arms ache when you get that sucker 17 decks down from the bridge! I have spent whole months, just pulling cable when we were short of time and blokes!

    I love the Satan’s great lie analogy, especially as an atheist, realising that you are using the previous set of brainwashing as synonymous for the modern media lies. First I’m thinking ; you must be fearless risking ostracising your American chums, then I figured the Europeans will assume you are joking ironically and the god squad will holler A-men assuming you are devout, cool !

    Luckily I had a Dad, a Mum, Mahatma Ghandi, Guru Maharagi and a friendly Buddhist monk all reinforce the realisation that I am the only one in charge of me and I create my reality by my observation of it and my interaction with it, and cannot escape the responsibility of it . To Do Nothing IS doing Something. And when I die there is just a hole in the air where I used to be, so enjoy the time, it is a rare gift to be here at all and it doesn’t last long.

    And you hit the nail on the head with the “you have no choice” statement. It takes time and effort, lots of effort to get oneself into the condition whereby you DO have a choice. And that is your point, i think, but made specifically about transport.

    For me transport is just one part of the jigsaw. While I do not want to extricate myself from society, and I think that being part of my community is key to a pleasant and fulfilling life, my Father, Sister and I are working towards the ability to just let the world get on with it, while we drop out!

    We have a 13Kw solar array, 4 acres of fruit and vegetables. On the to do list is: a dry-store, a root cellar, an oil press for the tractor, a cider brewery, solar powered freezing room and water storage etc.

    I have 2 sons and 1 daughter who are all out there enjoying the intoxicating sweetmeats of consumer society. But, at any time there is a place here where through a mixture of modern and traditional technologies they can come and live and just chill. I want to give them the choice which you allude to.

    Our village is even called Chillerton !!!! can you believe it !

    I dont understand what a “ponzi” scheme really is or how your social security system works, (I have to admit I thought the US didn’t do socialism)! But we have raging unemployment. On our little Island, which is spitting distance from the mainland and yet costs £72 for a car ticket on the ferry, an annual adult foot passenger season ticket is £1699.60 . figures I heard recently were : population – 120,000. Unemployment (working age people, not young, not old, not sick) 14,500. Available Jobs at the “JobCenter” 134. You need to make a yellow star pin for Arbeitslose ! It is getting grim.

    I have just bought Diffusion of Innovations and Ice Free.

    Take care of yourself Jack, your army needs you!

    With growing affection and amusement the more I read!

    Capt Rob

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