Rag and Bone Man…Star Date 2013.365

I have been remiss in my bloggerations recently. The holidays. End of year. Kind of a low energy state overall. I’m kind of spinning my wheels on where I should be directing my efforts, with a few too many choices to pick from.

This is a bit complicated by the matter of our vendors and suppliers. Apparently now they are 100% unanimous in that it is ok to provide a date, cash the check, and then deliver it whenever they find convenient, which is of course a month or more later. I don’t have a SINGLE vendor commitment out at the moment that is not at least 10 days in arrears and one is lagging by about 4 months. Well actually if you count the PulsaR, I guess 13 months is the largest.

I rather wish we had never gotten into component sales at all. Oh, CALB pretty much makes cells show up on time every time. But beyond that it is kind of 100%. It’s a complicated business, it has nothing to do with publishing, which is still what I really think we do, and when I look about at all the complaints over such things as JOBS and the ECONOMY and so forth I’m kind of amazed at the Ayn Rand style surrealism of it all. It is kind of accepted that the trains don’t run on time. Incompetence is the norm. Lies are the new truth. Alice in Wonderland. If you aren’t able to PERFORM a job, what difference does it make that you can’t find one? Sales being down has no real meaning if you won’t sell it, won’t quote it, and have no intention of delivering it anyway. The broadstroke incompetence of it is astonishing.

Just when you give up hope, you run into an Amazon.com or a Summit Racing or a McMaster Carr – all ROUTINELY proving execution not just to completion, but to precision. So it’s not as if it cannot be done.

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It does require some attention to detail. I know of no one more vexed by a crippling obsession to detail than Eric Kriss. They say he has CDO. That’s Obsessive Compulsive Disorder for people that HAVE to have their dysfunctions in ALPHABETICAL ORDER. Last week he sent me a now 80 page THESIS on the conversion of a Jaguar Mark 2 from the early 1960’s. Before you get excited, there is no such build, and he hasn’t bought a donor car yet. IT’s a document about a car he MIGHT convert and what WOULD be involved if he does. If any of you ever saw it, you would be immediately frightened away from EVER attempting a conversion. Fortunately he has asked me not to make it generally available. But for those likewise afflicted, let me assure you you would find it fascinating. Direct inquiries to Eric@Krissmotors.com

Anne Kloopenborg of EVTV.EU/New Electric was on holiday but had apparently captured some video of EVCCON 2013, including Eric’s presentation. THis kind of relates. It was about basics of preparing to do a conversion and the attendees went berserk for this session – undoubtedly the most popular of the event. Veterans and newbies alike were rapt. So, although it is an hour, I put it in this weeks video. The guy actually took the ORIGINAL Owners Manual from his SAAB Sonnett conversion, digitized it, updated it for the electrical changes including wiring diagrams, and PUBLISHED IT. It’s available as Sonett Electric Owners Manual at Lulu press. I found it astonishing.

Jehu Garcia continues to astound and amaze with his discoveries of new ways to avoid purchasing actual components for an electric SAMBA bus. THis week, after purchasing an entire CAR in a Chevy Volt, he builds a homemade J1772 EVSE unit – a topic we covered two years ago. But he does use a crowdfunded project from EV Motor Werks, an EVSE kit, to do it and is apparently quite pleased with the result.

I guess last week we included a time lapse video of Otmar Ebenhoech removing the engine from his STRETCHLA, a stretch limosine version of a VW Transporter Type 3 Vanagon Westfalia Camper. He’s braced two of these together to form about a forty foot monster that would indeed be roomy. He actually retreats to the desert often to escape the Corvalis winter and so the local runabout is NOT what this project is about. He wanted the use of the Tesla supercharge network. Of course to use it, you have to have a Tesla Model S. So he bought one. A wreck. Claims it was half off. The front half.

I find this a fascinating project and not QUITE as ambitious as you might picture, albeit ambitious enough. His mission is to get the TEsla running and operating 100%. And then TRANSPLANT it, right down to the dash and door mirrors INTO the Vanagon. A STRETCH Tesla or STRETCHLA. In this way, an obviously superb drive train, 85kWh battery pack, dash electronics, but in a VW camper.

For those of you new to EVland, Otmar is one of the grand old men of the EV movement. He set out to replace the venerable Curtis controller and built the Zilla, eventually a 2000Amp controller that became the darling of the drag racing crowd for obvious reasons as it really would do 2000 amps at up to 300 some odd volts. The units were so popular they essentially became unobtainable. When we came on the scene in 2008, it was a six month wait to get one. Today, they are back in production through Manzanita Micro – more commonly known for their PFC chargers. In any event, Otmar has been converting cars for many years, but he is also the only man I know of to ever attempt to make a roadworthy electric couch. It actually ran down the road. And was also known as the Davenport of Doom.


But I digress. He’s not going to precisely reverse engineer the Model S. He’s to transplant it more or less intact using the same wiring harnesses etc. Still an enormous learning curve and a bit of a challenge with no repair manuals or even wiring diagrams. When I spoke with him this week, he was noodling the airbag system which of course went off in the wreck and he’s trying to figure out how to reset it. He has the wheels spinning now.

More to my delight, he’s picked up an SLR camera that does video and made a run at shooting and editing an actual video this week which we include in our current episode. I’m kind of hoping to follow this entire build rather closely. I think in a general way, it represents the future for us all. As the number of OEM electric cars on the road increases, so does the number of wrecks. I found a Nissan Leaf traction motor on eBay at about $1200 this week and an inverter for about $3000. The problem of course is that we don’t have the CAN bus message digest to control them. While that is unfortunate, it is not an insurmountable issue. With a working car and a CAN sniffer hooked up to the OBDII, you CAN capture traffic and in the end, more or less piece together the commands necessary to operate any equiopment you wnat to on the car. Sometimes the data format can be a bit of cryptology, but for those who like puzzles and codes, it’s kind of a matter of having enough samples and spending enough time on it.

Enter GEVCU. I was supposed to have 27 completed boards TODAY by schedule. Haven’t been to the shop yet this morning but anyone want a SIDE BET on whether they actually arrive today? In any event hopefully soon. Of course, the ASSCLOWNS on the software side have been left without adult supervision for some weeks, and have of course wandered off into a bit of a mess. The wireless module we included in the hardware is there to serve a website you can access from any laptop to configure the device from any browser. That was my design criteria in the beginning – no external programs or special connections or anything like that.

The wireless device we chose does not simply serve web sites. It has its own onboard microprocessor and really a kind of IP operating system. While it does a great deal, it has two main features that led to its selection. It will host a FORM on the web sight that you can modify. But the big deal is that the dedicated processor processes the form. Our Arduino Due doesn’t ever have to. And we can retrieve the variables from the form by simply running a GETNEXT command until it no longer produces return. In this way, we don’t load down the Arduino with this at all. We can check for input during unused time, and quickly get JUST the changed variable data – we never have to even look at the HTML form or scan it or do any of that.

It can also run as its own Access Point, although we have to upload some slightly different firmware. That allows you to access this web form not just from a laptop, but an Apple iPhone or iPad or Android device. Again, using the browser.

When we got to the part about the throttle, I was having some difficulty conveying to the coders the intricacies of throttle maps. So I drew them a picture in Photoshop. This proved productive. And in fact they devised a version of this to actually APPEAR on the web site configuration screen. It kind of takes some Javascript to do this, which is a bit of a problem potentially. But in any event, as you change the sliders to set the regen min and regen max and forward min and forward max points on the throttle, it actually revises the diagram interactively. This is delightful in that it makes it a bit easier to visual this very central issue of a vehicle control unit – the throttle control is just the central function of the box.

I showed in last weeks video that they had taken this a fascinating step further – with a series of dials and gages representing operation. This is visually pleasing, but programmatically flawed for a number of reasons. Remember I said that our Due didn’t have to pay very close attention to our web site. And indeed our web site isn’t even used except for the relativey rare instance where you actually are configuring the box and changing the variables. For nearly 100% of all other time, a tiny check is run on the device to see if there has been a change. It might even be an interrupt that simply doesn[‘t happen with no change. I can’t recall.

With operating dials, we would have to update multiple data points more or less continously THROUGH the web site representing quite a bit of a load.

I see kind of another way of doing that. I recently ordered the development kit from GoPoint Technology. They have an OBDII dongle that works with both Android and Apple IOS. IT also has a little signal simulator and a sample xcode framework for Apple programs. But in reality, the programs are kind of done for us. On the Android side you have TORQUE and on the Apple IOS I think it’s called Dashboard Commander. And there are already an entire array of others me-too applications. Basically, they all provide a visual, (even beautiful in some cases) representation of vehicle data.

The way this OBDII thing has evolved has been somewhat tortuous. But it has converged on a really a standard CANbus architecture. But it has the concept of PIDS – Parameter Identifiers. There are well over 100 standardized PIDS that almost all cars recognize that will return things like engine rpm, speed, throttle position, fuel level, etc. A PID is simply a two digit hex code buried in a CAN message. The scan tool or Torque application or whatever simply makes a CAN bus message with this code in it and puts it on the CANbus. The ECU/VCU is then supposed to respond with a standard CAN message with the data, in a standard format, representing that value.

Note that many OEMS have extended this architecture by sometimes HUNDREDS of PIDS to enable diagnostic software. They typically don’t publish these elements but there is a cottage industry out there decoding them. The point is that OBDII is endlessly extensible. And so the Torque App and Dashboard Commander have made provisions for adding CUSTOM PIDS. You simply give it a number and a data format and associate it with a graphic to be displayed. The program sends the PID, receives the data, and displays it using that kind of dial or meter or graph.

And so of course the proper architecture here is to display operational data from the GEVCU on the OBDII. For a lot of reasons. But mostly, that we HAVE a second CANbus, can filter messages, and can operate on interrupt to service this ONLY when we receive a PID. Dramatically reduces overhead on our GEVCU, AND improves operation of the display interface far beyond anything we can do on a web page.

MORE. There is nothing to prevent us from putting standard PIDS on an EXISTING OBDII interface. It’s the same process only more by broadcast to the EXISTING INSTRUMENTATION IN THE CAR. And so we should, on a more modern car, be able to drive the fuel gage, the temperature gage, the speedometer, the tachometer etc at the same time and on the same bus and basically override or replace the ECU data.

And so this is the way I would see operational data displayed generally. Use the vehicle’s existing displays and then augment with an iPad or an obsolete iPhone I had upgraded. The configuration web page is for maintenance to update the operating characteristics of the device. While its parked. The rest of the time, it should require very nearly zero machine cycles and stay out of the way.

We actually have TWO ways of configuring the device. USB connection to the serial port on the GEVCU and this wireless web site. The important part about that, other than it requires almost nothing in machine resource while driving, is that it NOT require special software on the users end, or special hardware, or special operating system. We want the device to be entirely agnostic to configuration. The wireless will be the easiest and most intuitive. And the serial port always available as a backup. But a dozen years from now, I still see wireless and a browser as being standard issue on whatever we are running. And I still see a USB serial connection and aterminal program actually being available as well, with no updates or action on our part.

This is all part of why it just doesn’t do to have a bunch of kids writing software with no adult supervision. Without an overall concept of the architecture, let’s call this the CDO asshole, a vision of where it’s going, it’s kind of hard to get all the parts to work together without devolving into a mess. I don’t think any of them have a clue as to ALL that GEVCU will be able to do and will become in the future. And while I’ve got a bit better sense of it, I’m a little vague on the ultimate end of it all myself. But I can tell you I’m pretty excited about it.

And lest you think this is all random, one hope I have for it is as a useful tool for Otmar to bring his STRETCHLA, or for that matter his DAVENPORT OF DOOM, under full command. Essentially, a little bitty black box key to a Pandora’s Box of wrecked electric car parts, that can be obtained inexpensively and used to build fantastic custom electric vehicles and restored vintages from the past in ways we can only imagine now. Or boats. Or airplanes. Or…

I have 10 Coda complete UQM drivetrains kind of running late at the moment, but on their way. For example.

Stay with us. 2014 promises to be JUST THE BEGINNING. But a very exciting one I think.

Jack Rickard

51 thoughts on “Rag and Bone Man…Star Date 2013.365”

  1. I very much enjoyed watching Eric’s presentation again. There was of course pieces that I missed the first time, so it was much appreciated. Happy New Year EVTV.

    1. Thanks for the link. I see that “Extreme Ice” is from 2009, so not sure if Nova did something more recently, but I do highly recommend “Chasing Ice”, which is on Netflix right now:


      Have a Happy 0x7DE everyone! May all your builds be rewarding, your accidental contact with the positive rail be minimal, and all of your components arrive on time…

  2. I think young Otmar may need to weld some lengths of railway line to the floorpan of this Vanagon(s) to avoid wrapping it up into a pretzel. I was just reading an Auotcar test where they put a Model S (2106 kg, 410 BHP*) up against a lighter and more powerful Aston Martin Rapide S (1990kg, 550 BHP). To quote the normally staid Autocar “The Tesla tore the Aston to shreds. As in, it left if for dead up to about 120 mph”

    *Tesla might just have some ex-CALB employees working for them. Autocar put the Model S on a rolling road and estimated the power “at the flywheel” (!?) at 444 on one run and 428 on another. Under promise, overdeliver.

    1. By law an in the US ICE engine must put out within +- 10% of the rated output. This was done after the 426 hemi was rated at 375hp ( more like 500hp). As far as I know there is no such requirement for electric motors….

      Something to think about..

  3. Great holiday update. I think 2014 is going to be full of interesting progress on the OEM re-application front. Title-less blog was a surprise…usually they are very creative. Perhaps it is like art where the absence of something actually has great meaning.

  4. oh, and as far as used Nissan Leaf parts…why not just purchase new. You can order from any dealership parts counter or get a discount online from many parts suppliers.


    You will not find a few key components like the battery which they refuse to sell at any price, but most of the other parts are available. Attached above is the motor, inverter and charger. Should work pretty good with the new batteries that will arrive at EVTV in the next few weeks (assuming that they are also not late). Put a GEVCU to manage them all and you have a nice 80kW system with 3kW charger and 21kWh of (use-able) capacity.

  5. Jack,
    You had mentioned that your were waiting patiently for viewers/builders to send in pictures of their work. I looked pretty hard and cannot find any button to click that will take you to a page where one can upload that data. I know that I use the link you sent me, in reply to my email.
    On a different note, I was blown away after viewing Otmar’s video to see that his help in pulling that battery pack from the Tesla was my 1st. cousin Debbie who lives out in Oregon but hails from Michigan. Otmar helped her convert her 1972 Karman Ghia. It’s a small world!

    1. No, I mentioned I was patiently waiting for Christopher Fisher to finish the PHP code for the pages you are beta testing at registry.evtv.me.
      The development process has of course been longer and more complicated than originally estimated. We invented that by the way and have applied for a patent. Hopefully in the future, any OTHER software developments that take more time than originally envisioned will have to license that from us for a modest royalty.

      We are indeed connected in so many and varied ways that it takes the full time efforts of Hollywood and dozens of cable channels, a Trillion dollar industry just to keep us entirely blinded to the existence, breadth and depth of it. An interwoven tapestry of such complexity and at the same time such simplicity that only God himself could have woven it.

      You, and I and Otmar and a scant handful of others represent an anomaly in that interconnected woven global garment of humanity. As each of you demonstrate your electric car, boat, davenport or barcolounger to others, the ripple builds like a tsunami, with unbelievable forces rippling just under a barely discernable surface flutter as they build inexorably toward a rather large flap of the rag I’m afraid – but a very necessary one in the future. Kind of like taking the living room rug out to the clothes line for a good beating.

      You see Tom, you really have had a wonderful life….

      1. Part of the ripple are products like John Hardy’s book. I gave one to my father for Christmas and he is already halfway through it. The questions have changed to “what does it take?” to listing former cars that he thinks would make good conversions (MG Midget, Karmann Ghia, etc).

          1. It is not mandatory I remain unenlightened. I just bought ICE free through Jack’s store. Now, as soon as they row it across the pond…….

  6. Here are some interesting statistics from the national fire incident reporting system. Approximately one in seven fires responded to by fire departments across the nation is a highway vehicle fire. This does not include the tens of thousands of fire department responses to highway vehicle accident sites.
    Unintentional action (32 percent) was the leading cause of highway vehicle fires.
    Eighty-six percent of highway vehicle fires occurred in passenger vehicles.
    Sixty-one percent of highway vehicle fires and 35 percent of fatal highway vehicle fires originated in the engine, running gear, or wheel area of the vehicle.
    The leading factor contributing to the ignition of highway vehicle fires was mechanical failure (44 percent).
    Insulation around electrical wiring (28 percent) and flammable liquids in the engine area (18 percent) were the most common items first ignited in highway vehicle fires.

    1. I saw a vehicle fire on the way home from work the other night on interstate 70 outside of Columbus, OH. It was a Chevy truck and from the smoke, appeared to be a diesel fire. A State Patrolman was trying to put it out with a fire extinguisher and the Fire Department was just arriving on the scene. There was no mention of the fire on the local news that evening and I have not seen any national news articles of Chevrolet trucks being recalled because of a fire hazard; Go figure!

  7. Instead of USB serial you can use Bluetooth. Bluetooth at its core is just a wireless serial cable. To the GEVCU the Bluetooth module would appear the same as a USB Serial. This is a very easy way to get an android phone to connect to a physical device. Unfortunately iPhone is harder because of Apple’s lockdown.

    If you are curious look for a HC-05 or HC-06 module. They also come on nice breakout boards that you supply power to and serial comes out.

    1. I ran across this company in an advertisement in STREET RODDER magazine. Although it looks quite possible for the GEVCU through canbus to do these functions in the future, one could buy this module now. http://www.isispower.com/products.html?ProductID=ISISINNET and then use a smart phone to activate mosfets to control most anything one would want to switch on and off in an EV. Check out the website, it pretty informative
      Mark Yormark.

      1. Yep, the ISIS modules are available now. Unfortunately, they are extremely expensive. The module you linked to seems to be just an add-on module that interfaces with the rest of the system. For reference, the motor controller module is $516 according to their site. Practically no matter what you do the ISIS hardware will set you back well in excess of $1000. It is up to each person to decide whether this is worth the price or not. Perhaps it is worth it to a variety of people. The GEVCU hardware is certain to be cheaper. I’m not involved in the pricing, I don’t know what the GEVCU price will be. But, I can reasonably assure you it will be vastly cheaper than ISIS hardware.

        One thing I do like about the ISIS hardware is that it is modular. You can order just the modules you need and put together a customized system.

      2. Ha! I was just about to post up the ISIS Power info as well that was in the back of one of my parts catalogs… Their website is abhorrent, but the info is there if you dig. Seems more of a compliment to GEVCU than substitute. There are mentions of CAN signals, of course mobile control of anything in the vehicle, custom programming, (though I saw no specific mention of fuel gauge signals, I’m hopeful) and even the VintageAir Gen IV controls through digital dashboard, it’s own Wifi network, and I was also interested in the battery monitoring/disconnect if voltage is low (suppose you could power a relay for high voltage pack, even though they intend it for 12v lead acid?) complete with lighting settings, delays, and a host of other possibilities.

        If one had the budget, I should think it a very sweet system for complete rewire of a vintage/replica project, and many possibilities for an EV…

    2. Getting rid of 12V Lead Acid?

      Very interesting interview, Anne.

      Looks like our i-MiEV is feeding some 1/3 kilowatt to the DC-DC converter to keep the 12V Lead Acid happy. Seen with a 12V Lead Acid charger (5A model) it is 2.5A most of the time. When the car is ready to run, my guessometer (pliers amperemeter) sees some 20A on the 12V cables to the battery.

      Jacks 10 Ah bamboo battery or CALB CA180FI (4 of them) that is question here. I have seen us running the car some 5 hours but is rarely more than 100 kilometers, 65 miles. The DC-DC wants to push the poor Lead Acids to some 14.4V.

      I would like to get rid of the DC-DC in the first place but it is built into the charger. No way.

      Happy New Year
      Peter and Karin

  8. Hey Jack, no the did not make Unobtanium for me. The brewery is owned by some NASA engineer friends of mine and most of their name selections are on the line of science, space travel or some local spots of interest. A few examples are Lakia (Russian space dog), Monkeynaut (for our own space travelers), Lilly Flag named after the train depot here,… etc. I thought you might enjoy this one because of the name and of course it is cured for a year in whiskey barrels.

    1. BTW, the Unobtanium is 11.5% alcohol. Last year the stores sold out in 6 hours. This year I was there when it was delivered at 10AM and they were out by 8PM that evening when I went back, They would only sell two bottles per customer so I guess the name fits. That is why i went back that evening to get two more fortunately my wife went and bought me two as well so I’m good.

      1. Paul,
        I have an Elcon PFC3300 charger that has stopped working. This charger is the same as the TCCH and It does not have the CAN bus option. I don’t see or smell any burned parts. Jack has mentioned that you have reverse engineered some of the circuitry and have found some issue in the “precharge” circuit, that makes 12VDC and drives a relay.
        Could you provide more details on where this circuit is located and what to look for. It would be nice to be able to resurrect this charger and have a backup.


      2. Hi, we bought one for our SMART CAR conversion, If I’m not mistaken it was close to 800€. You have to tell Curtis what you want it to show. It has no standard software, they will create the gauges and functions according to your specs. Our’s is sitting in a box waiting for someone to have time to play with it.

  9. I just received the new EVTV catalog today. That is a very nice piece of work. More than 70 pages with lots of great pictures and descriptions, tips and tricks, and I loved the showcase at the front where you give a few examples of completed projects from other viewers.

      1. I’m not sure if I got the catalog because I had purchased some batteries and straps, or if it was because I bought a ticket for the 2013 EVCCON. Either way, it is very nice and I’ve been showing it off to everyone with an interest.

        I’ll be showing the catalog around the Dallas Makerspace meeting tomorrow, and at the North Texas Electric Auto Association meeting in a week and a half. The Dallas Makerspace has several members who own commercial electric or hybrid vehicles, and several others have expressed interest in converting to electric. We even have a 50A J1772 charge station in our auto work bay area.

        1. I got mine too. I have to say, I like the addition to the EVtv repertoire for people like my dad who write checks and still use the mail order system. (unless it is urgent and then he asks my mom to order it on the “internet” using their “web-site”) 😀

  10. Awesome! I received my catalog today. Jack, your all in now! You may be late in the game, but your the only one offering parts with a solid reputation (as bad as it may be). I joke, you and Brian have both solidified yourselves as a “player” in the EV parts business. Is this really how you want to retire? Whatever the reasons are, please keep up your fantastic customer service and product support. That’s part of what I am paying for with your price structure. And I am not complaining one bit.

    All the best,
    Aaron Lephart

    1. Hey Jack,
      Did you mention this battery technology before? I went back to your archives and could not find it.
      http://phys.org/news/2013-11-holistic-cell-high-performance-cycle-life-lithium-sulfur.html#nRlv In particular I noticed the 1500 plus cycles on these lithium/sulfur batteries because of the newly developed polymer matrix that managed the batteries expansion rate that is inherit with the this type of battery. Managing the expansion rate means less material fatigue which means more cycle life for the battery.
      Mark Yormark

  11. Hi Jack, great show again this week. On the subject of the build photos in the front of the catalogue have you thought about an EVTV Calendar featuring a different build photo for each month?

  12. Enjoy following your adventures. Curious about the heating problems on the escalade. In particular when you mentioned Evans coolant. It seemed you were mentioning water and coolant mixture running through your heating system. But if you use Evans you are not supposed to use water, correct? Also, at minimum, if you were boiling evans coolant, you were seeing well over 300F of coolant temperatures since most evans formulations boil well above 300f. That for sure would damage standard hoses and pumps for cooling systems.

    As you may or may not know, Evans coolant is used in applications like yours because you gain the boil over protection without the “pressure” of a normal automotive cooling system as as you don’t add water so you don’t get the same corrosion of your cooling/heat system and finally when it freezes it doesn’t expand, it contracts, so you don’t need to worry about it being stuck somewhere really cold and breaking things like heat exchangers.

    I used Evans coolants in my supercharged v6 drag car that was seasonal both in my cooling system and my liquid/air intercooler system. Thus I didn’t need to worry about things cracking in minnesota winters if I didn’t get every single ounce flushed out. (And yes, at the cost of Evans, you do capture and filter anything that comes out of the system so you can reuse it later)

  13. Enjoyed this week’s show as usual. Three random suggestions/thoughts…

    1. Do you have any mounting tabs or similar of bolting the GEVCU in?
    2. I’d vote for two pages per car in the book so that you can use bigger pictures
    3. You mentioned this week about instructing Preston in bottom balancing. It would probably bear repeating on camera as it has been a while since you went into it. The need to let things settle is significant and a view on how close they need to be would probably be helpful

    1. Just my 2c worth here based on Johns’ post…

      2/ What about a 2 page spread for the top 5 (or top 10) cars and then a page per car thereafter?

      3/ Bottom balancing review – yes please, I would like a recap as I will be soon embarking on balancing 50 cells. Anne touched on Celso “battery whisperer” Menaia performing some sort of series / parallel bottom balance technique that I didn’t quite catch. It seemed to be rather quicker than doing one at a time. Maybe a precis too of the equipment used. I have a PowerLab8 and I can no doubt source load resistors or whatever else may be recommended. If we can stay awake while watching a battery charge I am sure we can handle watching one discharge too. 🙂

      1. Hello
        I will try to to explain my procedure for bottom balancing
        – 1 – discharge your cells, fastest way is to connect all in series and use some kind of load ( resistor, electronic load, solar inverter,.DC motor..etc.)
        – 2 – stop discharging when one of the cells reach some low voltage 2.9V or 2.8V
        – 3 – disconnect all the cells
        – 4 – Wait a few hours, usually it´s time to go to sleep by now 🙂
        – 5 – Connect half of the cells in parallel or if you can connect all the cells in parallel
        – 6- connect a powerlab or electronic load and set to discharge to 2.750V
        – 7- after the powerlab/electronic load finish discharging , do the other half of the batteries, if you manage to connect all the cells in parallel skip this part.
        – 8- Time to sleep again, resume next day
        – 9 – repeat step 6 and 7, 8
        – 10 – disconnect all the cells, wait one or two hours check voltages of all cells they should be bottom balance , if not to your satisfaction, repeat step 6 , 7 and 8

        hope this helps , best regards to all

  14. just got online with the shop cam and there seems to be a spyder convention. About 6 people gathered around watching it do tricks or something. 13Jan14 1pm pacific time.

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