Drink Lightning…Crap Thunder….Drive Electric

Weather being what it is… I got to do another show solo this week. Actually early in the day Saturday with a new camera which it turns out needed some special stroking to get the video out to Final Cut Pro X.
We had a foot of snow and ice on Friday and none of us quite made it to the shop to play EVTV.

If you follow along, we have tornados one week and snow the next and the weather is always interesting here. I had EVCCON in the driest month of the year this year and still had my barbecue rained out. But I actually like variety and yes, a bit of drama in our weather.

I was a bit concerned over the lengthy schematic discussion but on reviewing it a few days later, I’m pretty pleased with it. Paulo Almeida did some inspired work on this re-engineering of the GEVCU and it should be known. I don’t know what future iterations bring, but it is shaping up as a very useful device, for me personally, in a lot of ways that have little to do with electric vehicles. With the very limited four analog inputs and eight digital/PWM outputs, plus four digital inputs, there is still a lot I can do with that for a lot of little projects. I’ve found TWO now current sensors, for example that work via CANbus. I might be able to drive a largish MOSFET or small IGBT using a PWM output. I have some ideas for an electric powered distillation apparatus that could offer very fine temperature control indeed. So just having it in a case and with protected inputs and outputs, that AMPSEAL connector starts to look pretty good for a lot of hookups. And the 84MHz 32 bit processor is truly a useful level of processing power. It would be better at $40 like an Arduino board, but as in all things, you kind of get what you pay for.

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The little Admiral continues to thrill and amaze with his little red boat. The guy that’s with him is shopping to sell electric boats to China. I would be personally gratified to see these batteries go from CHina, to the U.S>, to the Netherlands, and back to China in one grand tour. What few realize is that you can buy Australian wine in Los Angeles at a markedly lower price than you can in Sydney for the same bottle. Similarly, the Chinese government actually subsidizes battery sales and you buy cells here at a lower price than they sell them in China. I’m watching JB Straubel locate adequate battery supplies in the future. The little bit I know about Chinese battery manufacture overcapacity, I guess I just don’t understand these big global trade matters as well as those really smart people in Freemont.

Speaking of which, recall my description of the Supercharge centers. We are one giant step closer to the New York Big Gulp as the Solar City/Tesla alliance becomes clear on the Supercharger front. You see the ONLY source of that much power in that short a time HAS to be batteries. The grid can’t do it and the grid knows it, that’s why they actually have it written into the rate structure an ability to FINE you for “peak” use if you use too much electricity in too short a time compared to your overall use. So massive battery banks fed by both grid and Solar will be the model for fast charge stations. The convenience store to pickup a few HOHO’s and a Big Gulp is the next step. For you Californicators, that would be a Pita Pocket and Vitamin Berry Water but same idea. A small work out area would go big in Oregon and the worlds largest ball of twine to see for the rest of us would probably work. Maybe an Elonbucks coffee bar?

Seriously I’m pleased to see the pace picking up on the national rollout of the supercharge centers. I doubt I’ll ever use one. But they do kind of completely wipe out the one remaining objection to electric cars. I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop. What is BMW and VW and GM to do in response? They cannot NOT respond. They do not want to kiss the ring. And no other response makes any sense at all.

Fast forward three years. How can you sell an electric car into the market, when it CAN’T fast charge and drive across country? Even if all other things were decidedly NOT equal, why would I buy one if there are cars available that can charge for free in 30 minutes anywhere in the country??? The differential looms hugely.

It is certainly within their reach and their grasp for General Motors to spend $100 million on their own national charging network. But it is NOT within their vision. It might be within BMW or VW’s vision, but it is not really within their grasp. They live in a geographic context that simply does not acknowledge the existence of Texas. It is unfathomable to them to start early in the day and drive all day long at top speed and still be within the same governmental entity when you get done in the evening. That we have a single state that would span from Italy to the UK just doesn’t make any geographic sense to them. They have just always assumed that all Texans were liars and worse. I wouldn’t attempt to make a case either way. It reminds me of the Connecticut and Vermont Senators that wanted to build a wall across the U.S. Mexican border. It only makes sense to someone from Vermont. That we would have to hire ALL the Mexicans in Mexico in order to build it, and they would all wind up on THIS side of the wall when we got it done, doesn’t enter into it.

But if electric cars are to become the thing, and if Tesla has a national free quick charge network, how do you compete with that? Free coke for the kids? Balloon animals? No down payment until January?

The only thing remaining is to pass a law against it. I’d wait until they got it built, and then legislate that they have to charge ALL cars if they are going to charge any. That’s the California way. Why it REALLY belongs to all of us already. After all….some yadda yadda, some yadda yadda….Wall Street…yadda, yadda, …middle class….yadda yadda…rich bastards…yadda yadda…..end of life as we know it on the planet….yadda CO2 yadda, warming …yadda, yadda.

That they never get the joke or the story of the Little Red Hen never enters into it. It’s always an original idea. Over, and over, and over again. The nattering of child minds.

It could work. The final option is to bolt on yet another motorcycle engine and hope Jehu doesn’t notice that his electric car takes gasoline to run.

Of course, with the gasoline, your FOAD sounds more like poohey on youey, which is kind of a girlish and gentrified version of the same sentiment. But hey, whatever gets you down the road. We shouldn’t discriminate based on who you choose to love.

Real men drink lightning, crap thunder, and drive electric.

Cinch up your Depends gentlemen. We’re going in…..

Jack Rickard

66 thoughts on “Drink Lightning…Crap Thunder….Drive Electric”

  1. Jack,

    Like I posted in the last Blog, you can easily expand the GEVCU I/O with I/O modules on the CANBUS. Your smart current sensor is only one example of hundreds. That is actually what it was designed to do. You do not have to worry about having all of the possible I/O on the main CPU board that you would ever need. That would drive you crazy with revisions….

    You have the basic I/O needed and you could add a few hundred digital and analog I/O points using the CANBUS and not even get it breathing hard from a bandwidth issue. We have an industrial protocol called DeviceNet and it is just a protocol layer on top of the CANBUS. We add VFD’s, power meters, current shunts, encoders, digital and analog I/O to it for machine control applications. Many systems are in the thousands of I/O points.

    It also simplified the I/O boards as they can be designed independently of the main GEVCU CPU…

    This company makes some modules that are Ideal for use in autos….

    http://www.microcontrol.net/download/flyer_mcan_box_en.pdf

    1. Jeff,

      The controller that I work with on boilers runs servos, VFD’s, and sensors as well. They specify specific braided shield 4 or 2 conductor cables (e.g. Belden 9940 for one). To the point where they state it will void the warranty of the controller. Since my exposure is limited to this one company, I was wondering if other controllers you have used are as particular with cable selection as to specify a couple brands and models that are acceptable?

  2. HI Jack:

    The last two shows were great. I coulc access them easily from EVTV.ME without any downloading problems. I want to lend some anecdotal support to your presentation on blowing DC/DC converters. Because Mark used 200ah LifePO4 cells, maximum discharge in the Morris Minor is less than 3C. The DC/DC converter has never failed. If I understand you correctly (a big if-I barely understand circuits) it may be that voltage sag is not great enough to cause the DC/DC converter to fail.

    I enjoyed the comment by the Tesla guy that you can accelerate quickly from each stop in an EV without annoying other drivers with noise. I put the Morris Minor in a little car show in April. I guy walked up and told my inspired him to get his the transmission fixed in his AMC Hornet “hot rod.” I left him at a light. “I’m getting smoked by a Morris Minor!” I tend to accelerate quickly to the speed limit (okay, slightly over), get in front of the pack, then use the advantage to position myself favorably to do it again. Why not? The car is so efficient I am not wasting much power, and it is solar power anyway. I also enjoy instant cabin heat, and full power available as soon as I turn on the car on a winter morning. I know how damaging it is to run an ICE engine hard when it is cold so I don’t do it. In the Morris I just take off as fast as I desire.

    Wearing an EV grin in Albuquerque,

    John Bishop

  3. Jack,

    Thanks again for continuing to put great shows with invaluable info on week after week. Another excellent show (as usual), and although I appreciated the heads-up that the GEVCU technical discussion was going to bore me to tears, nothing could have been further from the truth. I’m guessing I’m not alone here. While I am not going to be using the GEVCU for my *first* build as I am extremely happy with the AC35x2 set-up from HPEVS, your talk did ring a chord for what I have been researching very recently; namely how to protect inputs and outputs and the general hardening of an Arduino/AVR-based board for [my own] EV use, pot-holes, road salt, and ground leaks be damned. I do hope to one day get to the point where I start figuring out what all this “CAN BUS fuss” is all about, but in the meantime, bambino steps…

    I should preface: noob alert.

    I first admit that I’m a software guy through and through for 30+ years now, and except for dabbling in building 6809 boards and basic 7400 series ICs way back before my conversion to the soft side was complete, I haven’t really kept up to date with the TTL world. So I took the plunge with Arduino fairly recently, in part because of the mention of it on EVTV and the GEVCU project, and also because of the random advice of strangers who, when I suggested the circuit I wanted to build for my EV conversion, often cited the Arduino as the quickest and easiest way to get there. So now that I am back into the silicon swimmin’ pool, It’s amazing on the one hand on how little has changed, and at the same time, how much of it has (SMD packaging, vast IC selection, data sheets as close as a quick Google, computers-on-a-chip, …). Not quite like getting back on the bike, but getting there.

    With my background, the IDE is not proving to be a challenge at all, as anyone with a C/C++ or any other LCB language (Lots of Curly Brackets) will have no problems getting up to speed there — you’ll be blinking LEDs in just under three and a half minutes after unpacking the cigarette-pack-sized box and hooking up the USB cable. I encourage other EVTV-ers to pick up an Arduino starter kit from Adafruit or Sparkfun and have a little fun over the Christmas break for those that want to start getting in on this action. However, trying to source the right opto-isolators and the circuitry surrounding them, is the main focus of my knowledge search right now.

    Along those lines, are you making the GEVCU 4 circuit diagrams and component list available, as you mention the design is open source? I would love to pore over them some more, as on your green screen I couldn’t make out some of the IC numbers, components, etc. In particular, how you made the isolated 3.3V power supply (I am using the Mega2560, so would need to modify for 5V), and for the opto-isos used in the analog/pwm input/outputs, etc.

    As for what I am up to, it involves fun things such as reading pack voltage without tying a hot voltage divider directly to inputs (ouch), getting variable regen (using the Porsche 911s cruise control stalk) to live peacefully alongside the brake transducer for a pseudo-gearing-down feel, and also interfacing with the non-CAN BUS controlled Elcon charger to decrypt the red/green blinkenlights to decode the profile selection and error/alert warnings (GRGR——, etc.), current charge state (S1, S2, S3, etc.), onto an LCD display — as well as triggering such things as turning on and off a J1772 charge port ring, sending a texting the voltage levels and messaging when charging is done, etc. etc. Yes, I should have waited for your Arduino-controlled version, as that would have made some of the latter stuff a lot easier, I am guessing.

    I’m just getting started — this AVR stuff is a BIG bonus to the already extremely rewarding project of converting ICE to EV drive. Drink lightning and crapping thunder, indeed.

    Collin

      1. D’oh! I should have looked there. I have a membership but haven’t hung out in the GEVCU forum before. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction, Mark.

        And Paulo, if you are reading, excellent job on the detail in those files — great work!

        Collin

  4. I ran into this interesting video recently posted on youtube. It is called Five Steps To Not Hating Electric Cars.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddmRJ4rxTxw

    We already know most of what they present but I find it interesting to see what Non EV guys come up with. Of special interest to me was the comment about hearing things without the sound of the ICE. The most amazing one I have personally encountered is the alternating chirps of the rear tires at the limits of traction from the limited slip differential transferring the load from tire to tire when cornering. I also was able to appreciate the comment the one commentator made about the Tesla model S. He said it isn’t just a great electric car, it is a great car.

    Doug

    1. From the comments on the video “…Some guy gave me a lift around few blocks, at the technology show. It was awesome. That feeling, when it just goes, and you’re glued to the seat”

      Couldn’t have put it better myself

  5. Just finished the 13th show in between wrapping presents and handling the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to – like making lunch.

    Great stuff once again. Agree generally on your analysis of hybrids (two of everything hence complex, and in the long run makes as much sense as a hybrid wristwatch); but with one major proviso: for a store-bought car the series hybrid is a useful bit of short term pragmatism. Given the limited infrastructure we currently have in the UK the Ampera (Volt clone) is currently the only affordable way to drive electric if you sometimes drive 130 miles a day. Parallel hybrids like the plug in Prius make no sense at all; they are piston engine cars with an electrically-augmented transmission. A Model S would be great but is almost twice the money. I wouldn’t entertain a hybrid conversion and a pure EV conversion with current battery technology would be pushed for range I think.

    BTW for some odd reason the base price of the Model S in the UK is pretty sharp: £50k for the bottom spec model (a new Audi A8 is I think from about £58k and an S class from £62k).

    1. I get it John. But when I need to drive 130 miles, I just take an old gas guzzler. It’s ok to have TWO cars instead of trying to get two under the same hood.

      If you do 130 miles every day… an electric car probably isn’t there for you, unless you can charge at work. But a Model S will do it.

      50K in GBP is $81,500 in USD. My Model S was $107,000. So no sympathy. But I agree they are too expensive to pose a solution for most people.

      I run around town in an Electric Escalade. If I want to go to St. Louis, we have a white one that uses gasoline.

      Jack Rickard

      1. There was a news article last week about the first LEAF to reach 100k miles. The driver commutes 130 miles (total). He apparently charges at work and makes a little use of the chargers on the I-5 along his route.

        http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1089091_owner-of-100000-mile-nissan-leaf-electric-car-to-be-honored-monday?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GreenCarReports+%28Green+Car+Reports%29

        So I guess if you are determined you can even do 130 miles. It kind of boggles the mind wanting to do so however.

        Doug

  6. Hi All….

    I have a few questions, maybe John can answer it?

    My charger in my Renault gave up on me. It struck the fuse 240VAC @ 16A

    The precharge cuit burned but it does not stop here, the DC output staget is burned as well and the worst part is that the driver stages for DC outputstaget  is burned out, and it is made with SMD where it is hopeless to see what written on the  transistor.

    So now I have to get my old DC motor drives started again, I used it to charge the car when it  had lead acid batterie.

    My question is how will LiFePO4 batteries react to ripple voltage.

    I charger with 3 X 400 VAC and that means thyristorene is on for about 1/4 of the sine curve. I is a kind of Pulse Charger .

    Does the batteries care about it?

    PS: Good show

    Allan

    1. Allan – you are in essence passing applying to the battery a charge voltage that varies between 0 and some maximum many times a second? I have zero experience of this scenario (it would be an interesting experiment though) so I’m reluctant to offer an opinion in case I lead you astray in one direction or the other. There is a paper here: http://www.kohl.chbe.gatech.edu/Publication%20Articles/The%20effects%20of%20pulse%20charging%20on%20cylcing%20characteristics%20of%20commercial%20lithium-ion%20batteries.pdf that refers to “pulse charging” but it means something different. They are I think talking about very much longer pulses

      1. Allan:

        I’m going to come out against it. As long as there is no reversal, the batteries do not really care about voltage excursions with a single notable exception. At about 4.5 v the electrolytes start to break down. So while in practice pulse charging wont hurt it, if the peak component exceeds 4.5v per cell, in theory it could erode electrolytes.

        Beyond that, our no-BMS strategy is kind of based on using proven, quality charging equipment. I don’t really think charging lithium ionic cells using bad boy chargers is really the right approach.

        Jack RIckard

    2. There is pretty good knowledge of the Actia chargers in both the Swedish and the Norwegian forums.
      Check that out. I might have parts that can help you.
      There is a guy in Skåne that repairs the Chargers.

      Best Regards
      /Per

    3. I agree with Jack that this is not really a good idea. However if the current flow in these pulses does not exceed the cell’s max charge current specs and the cell voltage rise during these pulses does not exceed the safe CV setting you could get away with it. How are you going to monitor this to prevent an issue? You would at a minimum want a scope to watch the current waveform and a BMS sampling the voltage at the current peak on every cell so you can keep it from going over the electrolyte breakdown voltage. You can get away with pulse charging on flooded Lead Acid because minor overcharge is not detrimental to the cell. With Li based chemistry it is. Your batteries cost too much to risk treating them this way.

      Doug

      1. A lithium cell looks like an “elko” electrolythic capacitor and a very big one. Our battery is a very big one as well so it is tricky to decide when it does what. At least the capacitor does things a battery normally does not.

        I have been fooling with NiCd and biased AC charging. It did wonders but in the end it resulted in stalagmites growing like knives and cutting through the insulation – short end. Those little mignons got hot. I guess treating Lithium the same you would have seen me in the news.

        When I built a bigger charger for lead acids it did wonders for the 12V battery as well but after a few days one of my capacitors exploded. Those were the days before vents for caps had been invented. Me in my sleeping room, my parents watching tv in the living room, the explosion was louder than the tv and my capacitor unrolled like a role of toilet paper. The mess and smell actually was more like a role of used toilet paper.

        That was the end of lead acid in my sleeping room. Christmess got me a proper power supply for my hamradio. But it was not the end of a mess at Christmass time in my youth.

        Cheers
        Peter and Karin

        1. Hello everyone
          Thanks for all the opinions. When I charged the batteries I measured ripple voltage to 16V AC of the charger and stopped there , I went to look in the scrap bucket where I found me a choke coil from a co2 welder.

          It seemed to be able to carry the current with no problems, how many henry it is on, I do not know (never had purchased the right equipment to measure it) I mounted it in my + Wire and now I have 0.0026 VAC across each cell measured with an instrument with a crest factor of 7

          Still, I find it interesting how the cells react to the type of charge and how smooth the DC voltage needs be.
          Under load of the cell, the same thing will happen, the same pattern as during charging and especially if you use DC Motor, however the frequency be somewhat higher. AC equipment, the frequency will be even higher.
          I am aware of that charging and discharging is not the same. What may worry me is what happens on anode side will insulating layer cracks during charging or what happens …. ?
          Anyway I will try with one charge again. Here at Christmas I will put my storage scope across a cell and see what generally comes in to the battery

          # john It looks good however I think I need some days to swallow the text, if possible and get it right in to my, whats ever is left of my brain 🙂 But Thanks

          I just like Jehu, also have a EMW 10-12 KW charger which not function (DIY).
          http://imageshack.us/a/img59/8173/mrx4.jpg

          The charger is a bit special because it must run 3 x 400 VAC it gives me a DC bus voltage of 560 VDC
          It was supplied with the correct capacitor after the rectifier but IGBT module was too low in voltage and the capacitors on the output side (battery side) was also to low voltage.

          Vallery is reply to my mail and I expect to get it up and running in the near future 🙂

          I expect to get it up and running so I can drop my ABB DC Motor Drive. It does not change that I find very interesting case, Especially if you need to make a quick charger C3 160 AH batteries.

          # Per 🙂 Thanks I contact you over email, in terms of bits to the charger, it is as said the driver stages which is the problem, the 8 Fet transistors can be replaced with an IGBT Module I already have a part.

          http://imageshack.us/a/img600/5286/ngi8.jpg

          http://imageshack.us/a/img189/8452/9isg.jpg

          http://imageshack.us/a/img854/4818/lfr6.jpg

          http://imageshack.us/a/img89/3791/0c40.jpg

          http://imageshack.us/a/img842/3955/fwq3.jpg

          http://imageshack.us/a/img29/7131/cz53.jpg

          Merry Christmas And a Happy New Year With A Lot Of Happy Charging

  7. Interesting Tesla video on snow driving in the model S: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TelUR5Bg9zE

    I think one advantage of magnetic drive that hasn’t been picked up on much is the far more effective traction control that is possible. There is a hint of it in the review of the Merc SLS electric that was mention on the blog a while back: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IElqf-FCMs8

    So Jack what happens when you open the throttle wide in a model S at 5 m.p.h. in the snow

    1. Wouldn’t know. I wouldn’t take it out in the snow. All the yahoos around here sliding around would undoubtedly run into me and dent it up.

      But I can tell you that the Escalade all wheel drive with the 1700 lbs of battteries in the back was like – snow, what snow. I couldn’t even tell I was on any and we had some really slick roads around here. I never felt a tire slip.

      Jack

  8. I really loved those comments on Bitcoin. How in God’s name it plummeted after Chinaland made those apt quotes I will never know. Chinese love bt’s and generally buy under 3 at a time. The US on the other hand with far, far fewer and bigger buyers get the bell dinging quite regularly.
    Check this out….
    http://fiatleak.com/

    1. Not a Tesla but an i-MiEV and it is our second winter now.

      We are driving it offroad sometimes. Not much snow but the soil is drenched and it is uphill. The road is too narrow when a car comes from the other direction so we had to leave the road and wait. After that two wheels in the dirt and two on the road the breaks gripped the wheel turning in the dirt and our car climbed uphill until we were on the road again.

      Driving a VW Rabbit stationwagon we always had to see the garage soon after going on a dirtroad. The i-MiEV with its flat belly seems to be made for that.

      Automatic beats kludge and at low rpm the i-MiEV has little power. Could be the ECU or the permanent magnets. For driving out of a snow trap that is great. I see the nanny working time and again. That is when the road is slippery breaking or driving around corners.

      Not only winter our i-MiEV feels like an suv. We have left many ice cars behind. It may be narrow but our roof is high enough for an suv.

      Cheers
      Peter and Karin

  9. Jack,
    As you are looking for interesting things to control via the GEVCU you might consider the following:

    The Jaguar motor controller, used by FIRST robotics teams (high school), might be a great little device for controlling cooling fans etc. It is a 12V CAN bus controlled motor controller good for 40A continuous and up to 90A for short periods. They can be controlled by CAN bus, or a simple PWM output. They are relatively cheap ~$90 and have several interesting operating modes such as the usual percent of supply mode relative to the supply voltage, an absolute voltage mode (ie regulated output), current mode (set a fixed current/torque), and a speed control mode (requires an optical encoder and PID loop tuning). In speed control mode you can set the rpm and the internal PID loop controls the speed. You only need to setup the PID values once.
    I was thinking this would be great for controlling cooling fans to make them a little less obnoxious. You could ramp the fan speed around a temperature set point. The higher the temp the higher the fan speed. There are obviously many algorithms you could used such as controlling the fan speed based on current draw, throttle pos, temperature or some combination and you could do proportional control or a full PID loop.

    These things are everywhere, and all you need to do is find a high school student to set it up for you!

  10. It is 3am and officially xmas day here in New Zealand. Santa brought me a Miata for me to convert and lots of sunny weather.
    Merry Christmas to all at EVTV and all of my EVCCON buddies. Have a safe holiday season and I will be seeing you all again in August

    1. Hey there Nick!

      You must have been a very good boy last year. Now that you have a conversion in progress I guess you can come back to EVCCON this year . Look forward to seeing you in August and to some conversion update videos between now and then.

      Best wishes everyone and I hope you get the EV Widget you need.

      Doug

  11. Hi EVTV, just a minor note about the recent shows. It seems Brain’s mike is being recorded on the right channel and Jack’s on the left. Which leads to some mild cognitive dissonance for the viewer, since we see Brain on the left, etc…

    Love the show and maybe someday I’ll tackle a 1974 Mercury Capri conversion. Sentimental value for my wife. For myself I don’t think I could go wrong with a Miata.

  12. #include

    String weather = “Frightful”;
    String fire = “Delightful”;
    boolean placeToGo = false;

    for (int i=0; i < 3; i++) {
    letItSnow();
    }

    Serial.println("Have a great Christmas, all you EV customizers out there!");

  13. Nick, I have a 1990 Miata with 150k miles that I am hoping is my next project, so am looking forward to following your build.

    Merry Christmas to all of the EVTV community and Thank You Jack for hosting such a great weekly program to promote EV conversions.

    Randy

    1. Miatas seem to be the “in” thing right now. I’m in the middle of a 2002 as we speak. Our schedule is getting murdered by the guy who volunteered to make the battery boxes; Guess it’s time to finally get my hands on my own aluminum welder (finally).

      I’ve been trying to post a fresh video of the progress every day. Those of you doing a Miata may find our solutions viable. If you have better solutions, please comment in the videos.

      http://youtu.be/HscNR3d6UGY

      1. While the 20-something young adults at the family x-mas party were playing with my 8-core desktop with four monitors they got a healthy dose of evtv.me. A tour of the shop with my conversion parts stash and prototype work-in-progress purpose built ev transmission was also an option.

      2. Nabil, thanks for letting me know about this build log. I am using the CA100 cells as well so it is very interesting to see what you do with the battery boxes. I am only going with 50cells but, as we have GVM weight restrictions here in NZ, the placement is quite critical for weight and balance. I will have to invest in a set of car scales i think. My car does not have aircon (factory) so I dont have that to contend with but let me say that you will miss the power steering at low speed. I am still tossing up whether to keep the mechanical pump or to install an mr2 electric pump. From what i have seen on youtube though the electric pumps seem to make a lot of noise.
        What are you using for a camera and video editing software? My ifirst attempt was going to be with my S3 and windows movie maker, mostly because that is what i have.

        1. Step up to a Toyota Yaris power steering system. All electric. Someone was demonstrating one at the car show in front of the Brase Arena last August at the 2013 EVCCON.

          1. Steve Woodward at autobeyours.com has the Toyota electric steering columns, as a complete unit.
            I believe he was showing the steering system at the airport on “play day”.
            Steve is the fellow who rebuilds wrecked Prius and etc.

        2. Nick, I appreciate your GVWR restrictions. Regarding distribution, there is a possibility to stash a few cells where we ended up putting the radiator.

          All my video is being done on my iPhone 5S and iMovie on it. It’s not nearly as powerful as iMovie on the desktop but I can skip the hassle of transferring files and all that mess.

          1. I borrowed a crimper like Jack sells today and did experiments. I cut apart a lug after I got set up. With that much pressure the individual strands really do disappear. the crimped area looks like a solid copper cross-section even if you polish it like a metallurgical sample ready for acid etch and microscopy. I don’t have the setup to do pull tests but a little bit of the lug squishes out the sides of the dies. With such evidence of plastic deformation I’m sure the wire would break long before pulling out. I don’t have the really good nuke grade shrink wrap so I ran a bead of hot melt glue around the seam between the lug and the insulation before pulling the sleeve up and applying the heat gun. The stuff squeezed out under the constriction of the hot shrink wrap. After cooling I peeled off the excess. Not even floodies would defeat this joint.

    1. I think that is one of the satisfying things about EVs – we can support each other’s priorities. For me it is urban air pollution above all else, and after that energy independence both personally (if combined with solar) and nationally. Climate change is for me about priority number 348. For you it may be the reverse; but if I encourage the adoption of EVs I support your priorities as well as my own and vice versa.

      I’d suggest BTW that this is not the best place to debate the rights and wrongs of current theories on climate change as it is a debate that generates more heat than light. If you want to exchange views with me then please do email me off list via the tovey books website

      1. Well right now John there’s a bunch of free loading CO2 hating climate monkeys who have jammed their 40,000hp antarctic “research” ship in the ice where it was first researched in 1912 with a wooden sailing boat. Imagine the “carbon footprint” for a 40k hp engine in a 57 berth ship.
        .
        I’m suffering an irony overload with this.

  14. Did anyone else notice Jack’s ‘see-through’ suspenders on this week’s episode? Interesting

    I’d still like to see Jack and Brian wear green and do a ‘talking heads (and hands)’ session sometime. 🙂

  15. Enjoyed the 27 December show as always – many thanks.

    I take my hat off to Otmar for his willingness to boldly go into the Bowels of the model S without even a wiring diagram, let alone CAN bus codes

    He mentioned an issue that worries me about modern vehicles – the risk of precipitating an unintentional air bag deployment. If you are in their personal space when they go off they may well kill you

    1. Once terrorists start deploying them with corrugated cardboard and inserted nails the authorities will start admitting they cause more harm than good and research a better means.

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