The Trouble With Learning Curves

Is you have to keep learning. Actually, it’s not a bug. It’s a feature. And at the point where the pace of my education slows, probably leads to my departure from the EV scene.

Despite my almost famous dislike of YouTube, they do continue to reinvent themselves. We’re up to about 2500 subscribers now there – people I think of as unable to deal with the JWPlayer for some reason or other and mostly trying to watch EVTV on Apple iPhones or something. I’m quite devoted to the Amazon Cloud platform and we will continue with it.

But the pace of development at Google/Youtube continues.

One pet project, which they seem enormously taken with which makes little sense to me because it is SO bandwidth intensive, is the concept of “live events” or “live streams”. Google HAD a very nice feature in that I could glance at my contacts list and see who was currently online and if they had a webcam. If so, I could simply click on them and initiate a video call. We could see other onscreen and chat just like George Jetson’s videophone I saw as a kid. Anne Kloopenborg, our EVtv presence in Amsterdam, and I do this fairly often and at really zero cost.

Unfortunately, Google has complicated this a bit with the concept of “hangouts”. They just cannot abide the success of Facebook and are desperately trying to counter with a horrid mix mashup of things on Google+ with Google Friends and so forth and I can hardly make out what its all about. But now, instead of “clicking” on Anne, I have to go to my Google Hangout and INVITE him to join me.

In theory, this is an upgrade. And indeed the advantage is you can invite others and have up to 10 people in your “hangout.”

They have expanded this with a concept called “Hangouts on Air.” I THINK this scenario is you can have up to 10 “friends” on screen, but an unlimited number of people can watch that 10 as kind of a live web video cast.

Meanwhile, YouTube introduced last June a concept termed “Live Events”. Live events was again, streaming, “live” video rather than recorded videos. A podcast/videocast “live” event. In theory, you promote these to your subscribers ahead of time and it is somewhat interactive as viewers can of course post comments.


Our “live” presence has thus far been limited to an old style web cam view of the shop, with no audio at all. It’s perched high up on the wall and gives a good view of the entire shop. We forget its there. I’m often out in front of it, picking my nose and scratching my private parts blissfully unaware. I really didn’t think anyone would actually be watching it ever. But quite regularly, I’ll be in the shop and get a call from one of our more intimates on my cell phone asking me what iS that thing I’m standing next to.

Frankly, I confess some agnosticism/cluelessness on the difference between produced video, video that is delayed 60 seconds, and the concept of “live” video. If it’s a thousand miles away, the concept of “when” gets a little vague in importance. But I am hearing noises in my e-mail box and they have grown somewhat persistent.

One of the things I have learned over decades of dealing with a readership/viewership is that there is a major disconnect between what they are TELLING you they want, what you are HEARING that they want, and what they REALLY want. The puzzle is figuring out what will really scratch the itch.

What I really think I’m hearing is a desire for interactivity. To be part of the story. We have some of that in the commentary with the blog which has been popular and I am to be faulted for not being more active in these blog pages. Some personal time management issues but in truth, I’m a lot better in writing than in person or on video so I should in fact be doing more of it.

But I think the desire for interactivity is for a richer, higher bandwidth VIDEO style interactivity.

As there have been group gropes on Skype etc and video casts such as Nikki Gordon Bloomfields podcasts and Bo somebody’s EVCAST long gone, it is surprising to think of this as plowing new ground. But indeed it IS new ground.

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An interesting aside. When YouTube introduced Live Events last June I think you had to have 10,000 subscribers to use the service. That was reduced to 1000 subscribers and now recently 100 subscribers. In truth, I have a second account on YouTube with NO videos and NO subscribers and I actually set up a “live event” there. So anyone, i.e. YOU can set up a live event right now. You don’t actually NEED me at all to do an interactive session on the latest EVTV video. Or similarly a Google Hangout on Air.

But for the sake of argument let’s assume that I spend most of the week sitting around wishing I had something to do. And the concept of a “live” segment was on the table offering kind of a longer/wider format with interactivity. That offers some advantages. Right now, if we want to hear from Otmar we have to have him do a video, we download it, edit it into the show. We introduce it. Show it. Then comment on it. But we never really talk to Otmar on the video. So this also goes to the heart of “live interviews.”.

We actually DO occasionally get visitors in the shop and occasionally DO tape an interview. But they often come on the weekends. If I go in to meet them, I’m by myself. I recall Ed Clausen came and we taped a great interview. But the batteries on the microphones died in the middle of it, and since their was nobody minding the camera, I didn’t catch it. So you never got to see the interview which was very enlightening. Ed was explaining to me that he had bought a Leaf and had no NEED to do his custom conversion that he had planned and he was dropping the idea. With essentially no prompting from me, he then provided a LIST of things that he couldn’t do with the Leaf that he found frustrating and got really pretty wrapped up in it. I very demurely mentioned that when you build your own EV, you get to control anything you want. By the end of the interview he was back on the DIY EV thing and subsequently purchased a BMW and is in the process of converting it now.

This goes centrally to the core of the EV issue, but I lost the interview to technical issues. Frustrating. Anyway, returning from that segue, the concept of a talking heads video after the fashion of the communist youth league every morning on MSNBC, it is technically possible to form an EVTV coffee klatch with regulars such as Anne, Jehu, Brian, and myself and then include guests in the discussion such as Otmar or Brian Seymour of HPEVS or Paulo Almeida from Lisbon or Sebastien Bougouis, Matt Hauber, etc.

Of course, I kind of forfeit the current luxury of taking shots at them with no possibility of timely response. That is probably a good thing to forfeit frankly.

The editing and processing has come quite a ways and I normally have the video up and available pretty solidly on Sunday morning. And so many of our viewers tend to watch EVTV on Sunday afternoon. As we are verbosely and famously two hours long, when I say “watch” I’m kind of stretching things optimistically here. I would guess most viewers are tinkering around with their cars or a circuit or something on Sunday afternoons and have us kind of droning on and on in the background – a kind of white noise machine for their Sunday afternoon siesta/putter/tinker/hack/software development cum bratwurst grilling chores. NOT to imply AT ALL that anyone has actually napped through such an episode…or that their attention was anything less than rapt…

So that’s kind of the concept. Add a Sunday afternoon live interview segment with a bit broader participation than just the fat guy talking over the top of Brain. A talking head session.

I would love to expand that to having “callers” either video phone ins or voice phone ins. Technically we would probably start with text chat comments. But I would like to get to a technical level where individuals could indeed “call in” using video and voice and be added to the “team” interactively.

How to do all that is a little problematical and probably technically dangerous. Let me provide an anecdote, or as Richard often claimed, an antidote. This past Sunday, I was experimenting with YouTube live events and a software program titled WIRECAST that seems to be the software dujour for this work, which I ruefully found out about 15 minutes after purchasing the pro version of BOINX. In any event, i had a cheap Logitech Webcam that was HD anyway and was experimenting with different bandwidths and links to YouTube for streaming for live events. There is a check box for “private” or “public” and I thought of course that I had checked “private.” Unshaven, sitting in my PJs, in the bedroom, I looked up to see 21 “watchers” and a scrolling bar full of comments about my muttering and camel cigarette smoking. They DID serve a useful if embarrassing function in helping me adjust the microphone as I had to turn off the speakers to avoid feedback. But for two hours then I kind of riffed verbally on questions they would put on the screen in text. Over a couple of hours, 176 people joined in the fun averaging 26 minutes each.

Several were people I’ve NEVER heard from directly that had been watching for years. They claimed to have watched EVERY EVtv video ever made. I’m pretty sure I haven’t watched every EVtv video ever made. It was an eye opener.

In comparing Google Hangouts to YouTube Live Events, Youtube has a vastly superior HD video presentation for no reason I can fathom. They are both offered by the same company. But the video is much better on Youtube.

Google hangouts makes it pretty easy to add other talking heads to the mix. AND you CAN “link” it to the Youtube Live Events where your Google Hangout on Air shows up on YouTube. But it still has the inferior Google Hangout video resolution.

We also need a bit more professional presentation than you see on these Google Hangouts generally. So I really need this WIRECAST program to deal with our professional video cameras instead of little logitech webcams, to do green screen backgrounds, titles, lower thirds, music rolls, etc.

Our MacPros have tons of processing power and I’ve just upgraded the office from 2Mbps uplink to 5 Mbps uplink. Of course we have like 50 Mbps downlink. So I just need a high resolution way to establish links with guests, stream THEM into Wirecast, mash it up, and stream THAT out to Youtube. I think. I also think things like Skype are back at Google Hangout type resolutions. And it has to be something the guests can do without taking a course in Internet video.

So I’m open to ideas assistance. Maybe Jehu will rescue me here. But we are working on the CONCEPT of a Sunday afternoon EVTV coffee clutch/discussion open forum. I just have to find the right tool mix.

I’m actually quite excited over something we’ve alluded to for some time. Kind of an advanced topic but it goes directly to the heart of the beast.

We were basically a publication seeking advertisers. Not “sponsors” or “support” in the way you think of it. I’m a publisher, and historically and demonstrably one of the best in the world. I got there by learning how to provide an advertising channel that returned far more than it cost to the people who bought advertising. But it only worked for a certain type of advertiser. At the time of the sale of Boardwatch Magazine, we had 24 advertisers ON ANNUAL CONTRACTS including Cisco Systems, Sun Microsystems, Microsoft, – really ALL the major players in the Internet space of the time. The company we sold it to had NEVER DONE an annual contract with any advertiser in their entire history of operation. One of our ad salesmen at the time, who was actually a saleswoman more properly, now works at CHARGED Magazine. Brain was the advertising honcho. Laurel Zimmer worked for him and is now at CHARGED magazine.

In any event, unlike most publications, Boardwatch caused direct and measurable response that very quickly convinced our advertisers that we were essentially “free” – with a page rate of $7800 that per reader was probably the highest in print publishing worldwide.

The EV industry is quite fragmented, unorganized, and the parts I’m interested in tend to be mom and pop shops that we could graciously term “inexperienced in such matters.” But along the way, we encountered the phenomenon of online web shops offering EV components. They competed viciously on price, had no margin for their products, and despite low operating costs and mostly drop ship arrangements, they had little control of product or when it arrived, and inevitably generally had to steal from their customers to eat.

Cost of EV components being what it is, we were swarming with walking examples of guys who had paid $10,000, $12,000, even $16,000 for parts an NEVER RECEIVED THEM. Worse, as it turns out, while they will put Martha Stewart in jail under the dubious rubric that she “lied to the government” (an act I had always assumed was a constitutional obligation as citizen), prosecutors, law enforcement, consumers groups, have ZERO INTEREST in doing anything about such fraud. In the case of James Morrison, we had 23 victims out about a quarter of a million dollars and the law enforcement agencies insisted it was mostly a civil matter and simply stealing money and not shipping products was not really a matter for law enforcement to become involved in.

The high expense of components, the absolute helplessness if the vendor simply screws you, and the resulting demonstrated propensity for them to do so had an absolutely chilling effect on the whole concept of EV conversions.

My immediate reaction was that this might be one frontier we had arrived at just a bit TOO early as publishers. Not to be alarmist, but every morning I wake to an odd confluence of a clock ticking and a gas pump meter running. The sound is like tinnitus ringing in my ears all day. And its the last thing I hear at night. Tick tock. Clickety click. Tick tock. Clickety click.

So we kind of got INTO the EV components business. We don’t belong there. And I didn’t want to be there. It’s not something we are equipped to do well. Worse, we didn’t really get into to it to compete in it. We kind of see it as something we have to take over COMPLETELY.

I kid about having an Internet price match guarantee – find a higher price anywhere on the Internet and WE’LL MATCH IT. The point is, we insist on, both from our suppliers and our customers, a sustainable margin leading to a viable business model.

I am personally wounded and discouraged, each time one of you “shops” me on the Internet, locating battery cells for six bucks cheaper somewhere else. Or save $60 on a motor. From conversations with several of you, I understand you cannot imagine why this would be, any more than I can imagine why you would do it in the first place. There is a gap, a disconnect between us. I see a very short vision, missing a huge thing.

Why is this? Well, because we have to be able to write the big check. You see, most of the guys with the stuff you need, don’t want to deal with a bunch of little checks. They would rather dump the stuff on somebody that can write one big check, even if it is ultimately less money, than to deal with 600 little checks over the course of two years. Why is that? Well because you guys are a pain in the ass of course. And our BIG check is actually their “little” check, all things being relative.

But in a way, we are aggregating you, from a minuscule band of individual builders strewn across the entire planet in an almost uniform 0.000001 percent of the population, into an identifiable group that might be a market for something and might have just a tiny WEE bit of buying power.

What COULD this lead to.

1. Purchase of 50 Siemens motors, 16 eGeardrives, 50 DMOC 645’s, an eTransit Connect, 30 Brusa chargers, and assorted etc from the AZD liquidation.

2. Followon purchases of 40 eGearDrive units.

3. Followon purchase of 100 Siemens AC motors.

4. Five UQM Powerphase 100 drive trains.

5. Purchase of 72 Better Place Renault Influenza battery packs, which have 48 Nissan Leaf battery modules in each.

And more to come. It’s about gaining access to OEM quality components for cars, rather than demonstrating how holy and pure it is to build them from scraps and discards and inappropriate washer machine motors never designed for that.

But beyond aggregating your purchases into something that larger entities can deal with, we are still small and wind up with a lot of homework to make all this work. Because after they have sold it to us, they want nothing to do with us, at least for now. And so we kind of have to cobble together how to deal with it and integrate these components into custom electric vehicle builds. Ergo the GEVCU can opener project.

Yesterday, I sent a GEVCU unit to Brian Hall of Thunderstruck. He’s kind of volunteered to take on the mission of an object module for the UQM Powerphase unit.

But it has led us to an endless series of work projects. The simplest but most irritating example is 158 pumps I picked up at the Azure Dynamics auction. I thought they were junk, and couldn’t find the plug for them. Paulo Almeida quickly located the plug, and between us we developed a lot of information about this pump.

Turns out it is not junk. It’s the electric water pump of choice in the BMW. It’s often used by modders and tuners to replace the belt driven pump on a lot of cars. It’s variable speed. Of a very advanced design. Does 30 liters per minute under pretty good pressure and is probably THE ideal pump for what you need a pump for. It is available as a BMW part for $366.64. We’ll have them in the store WITH the correct plug at $99.




But its a year later. We finally got around to learning what it was and digging up a connector for it. And we’ve got piles of this stuff that are NOT useful until we decode what they are and how to use them. I have 17 ELFA Duo DUAL inverters in back that originally cost $12,000 a piece and are commonly used in busses and yachts. I haven’t had time to even OPEN ONE UP.

Here’s another example. Somebody help me. Lear Corporation makes an onboard 3.3kw charger. It is used on the Volt I believe and on the Coda absolutely. Made in Taiwan. Very OEM quality and for our purposes VERY SMALL. It is liquid cooled, CANbus controlled and I can get quite a few of them as each Coda sported two. But I can’t find ANY documentation on them whatsoever.


Similarly a Delphi 2.4kW liquid cooled CAN DC-DC converter.


The DC-DC converter might be overkill. But the Lear charger is remarkably small, and can do up to 400v charges at 8 amps. On a 60Ah pack that’s less than 8 hours and of course you can easily use two of them. By being liquid cooled, they are much smaller and lighter than the chargers we use. As you are not using the charger when you are driving, and conversely not driving when you are charging, the charger would actually add a bit of heat sink to your inverter cooling circuit. Probably also a little pressure drop, but now you have a pump that can handle it. As to the DC-DC converter, what’s wrong with overkill???

So the mission here is to UPGRADE the quality of YOUR EV conversion, and ultimately to get you access to and good use from much higher quality OEM components at prices LESS than the OEMs are paying. We have to have a viable business model where the people who have these things believe we can deal with them – and write the big check. The truth is, the batteries outgrew your forklift motors and if you try to drive them two hours on the freeway they just burn up. The future of custom EV’s looks like the components you see in the Volt, the Leaf, the Tesla. The Spark. The Fiat500. The BMW i3.

I never heard of the Pierburg pump because they want nothing to do with people like me. They’ve sold 35 million pumps since 1996 to OEMs. That’s two MILLION pumps a year. But if we can basically COOP you guys into at least a tiny market, we can have 158 of them in the back room and sell them to you for a third of what BMW customers pay for the things.

In this case, I can see farther not because of any giants with shoulders, but largely because I pulled my head out of my ass. Anyone that wants to emulate that act is invited to do so. There’s a little pressure in the beginning, but it will pop right out of there if you keep pulling on it. Component sales was not my first pick, but I notice there aren’t very many NASA scientists flocking to the genre. It can’t be that hard.

You can change the world. But you kind of have to act like an army. Not a herd of cats wandering around in a lighting storm.


At this point, you kind of see what we are about. And it isn’t about making Jack rich. He already was. Next week, we should receive our Better Place batteries. If they are received in good order and look like a good value, it is my intention to make them available, a 24kWh lithium battery pack, at $3600 each. I do not believe you can put together a pack that will actually produce the full usable 24 kWh, using any Pb chemistry cell I’m familiar with, at that price. For the magpies that will immediately tear and shred at the details of that, note that lead acid cells are usually not depleted below 50% SOC in EV applications in the hope that you can get 4 years out of them instead of two. So divide the Pb AH number in two to get Li AH.

On another topic, viewer Bill Bayer put me onto a book recently that I not only think you should read, but we’re adding it to the online store. Bill is himself a bit interesting. He first contacted us from Afghanistan where he would watch EVTV. He was in the Air Force. Returned to his stateside assignment in Alaska. Finally got out of the Air Force (I think) and retired to the Northeast. He has built an electric Rokon MotoTractor – this is a kind of motorcycle for the woods that has been around since 1966. Very ruggedized. Both wheels drive and kind of have swamper tires on them. Wide wheels. He has posted it on our Custom Electric Vehicle database and while I don’t really see us as doing motorcycles and bicycles on that database I allowed this one as it is so unusual. He’s also started a Ford Ranger build.

In any event, he recommended a book called Internal Combustion, by Edwin Black published in 2006. I Kindled it and took a look and immediately got sucked into it. IT’s kind of an overall look at energy monopolies, governments, priests and kings and how they basically take whatever YOU need to live and make sure you pay THEM for the privilege of using it – starting with firewood and certainly going through our current oil companies. In a very detailed fashion, it devolves into a battle between the forces of good (electric cars) and the forces of evil (internal combustion) around the turn of the 20th century with deeply detailed description of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison’s plans for an electric car future and how they were foiled, by greed and a lust for money.

Black is clearly biased, goes over the top in each chapter, and goes for the throat on every page. There is no pretense of literary neutrality here. That’s a bit disturbing. Except for the part that I share all those biases. I quickly got caught up in the tale and learned much history I thought I knew, and apparently only knew part of. Deeply researched. In the end, we diverge. He wants hydrogen fuel cell cars, and I want battery electric. But it was a gripping tale, a real page turner, and very very instructive.


Edwin Black is the award-winning, New York Times and international investigative author of 120 bestselling editions in 14 languages in 61 countries, as well as scores of newspaper and magazine articles in the leading publications of the United States, Europe and Israel. With more than a million books in print, his work focuses on genocide and hate, corporate criminality and corruption, governmental misconduct, academic fraud, philanthropy abuse, oil addiction, alternative energy and historical investigation. Editors have submitted Black’s work nine times for Pulitzer Prize nomination, and in recent years he has been the recipient of a series of top editorial awards. He has also contributed to a number of anthologies worldwide. For his work, Black has been interviewed on hundreds of network broadcasts from Oprah, the Today Show, CNN Wolf Blitzer Reports and NBC Dateline in the US to the leading networks of Europe and Latin American. His works have been the subject of numerous documentaries, here and abroad. All of his books have been optioned by Hollywood for film, with three in active production. His latest film is the screen adaptation War Against the Weak, based on his book of the same name. Black’s speaking tours include hundreds of events in dozens of cities each year, appearing at prestigious venues from the Library of Congress in Washington to the Simon Wiesenthal Institute in Los Angeles in America, and in Europe from London’s British War Museum and Amsterdam’s Institute for War Documentation to Munich’s Carl Orff Hall. He is the editor of The Cutting Edge News, which receives more than 1.5 million visits monthly.

Mr. Black is a professional speaker and wants a fairly hefty honorarium, which we normally don’t do. But I have nonetheless requested/invited him to come address our little group at Electric Vehicle Conversion Convention this August and he has provisionally agreed to do so and has expressed interest in our group and cause. We have nothing firm at the moment, but we have kind of broken into violent agreement and lacking some untoward event or scheduling conflict, I think he’ll be joining us there.

As we have Otmar and Damien also agreeing to come for the first time and to speak, this coming EVCCON is shaping up as something a bit special.

Jack Rickard

78 thoughts on “The Trouble With Learning Curves”

  1. Just finished Internal Combustion. I’d be in violent agreement with your summary: the first bit is highly educational if rather polemical. The second half gets rather lost in hydrogen and biofuels with not even a mention of lithium ion – but then I suppose it was written 8 years ago. Hydrogen always was utter lunacy in my view though.

  2. Hi Jack,
    Since it doesn’t cost anything I use skype to videochat with my folks in St. Louis from California. My internet speed is the same both directions about 2-3 mbps. it works well enough but is not up to high def standards. Supposedly it is possible to do a conference call but I’ve never tried doing it. The upload speed is a key factor in this two way calling. Since most isp system are mainly concerned with downloads it would be a good idea for folks interested in the live chat check their upload capabilities. I use the following link to test my speed up and down.
    Thanks for all you do,
    Don Zacher

  3. Hi Jack,

    I think you’ve got the battery pricing dead on there, I’ll take one if shipping to the UK is feasible, maybe the UK guys interested all need to come forward and confirm so a bulk ship can be organised 🙂

    I very much enjoyed watching you “in the wild” so to speak the other night, was it turkeys I could see on your PJ’s? You just need to figure out moderation to keep Dan from haunting the venture now I think lol!!

    Keep up the good work.

    1. The packs have been delayed AGAIN for some reason. They cleared customs last Wednesday, and now UPS is telling us they will pick them up next Tuesday, fully 13 days after they cleared customs. I am ready to fire UPS generally and ship by pony express or something. Absolutely the most unprofessional experience I have had with them.

      The battery packs weigh about 600 lbs. Anne Kloopenborg has arranged to ship 10 packs to Amsterdam. If you are in the UK or Europe and want one, you need to contact him soonest to get one of those 10. I doubt we’ll have any left for a reshipment. They’ll take about 5 weeks to get there.

      Jack RIckard

      1. Jack do you think there would be any shipping cost savings for multiple packs in one shipment, say to a Northern California Hub? I am posting here so others from the area may chime in (Cough* PalmerMD/ Brian Hall).

        1. Might be. And shipping to your nearest UPS terminal is often a very good option on these heavy things to avoid lift gate charges. If we could do a single shipment with 3 packs for example to a single terminal under somebody’s name, it might save a bit.
          Jack RIckard

        2. I’m good for a group shipment. I know that Pete McWade is very close by, and he and I would probably use the UPS shipping terminal in West Sacramento, how far are you from there? Actually I wouldn’t mind driving to the bay area, if most of you are over there.

          1. Well If Pete is in for one then I would drive up there. I am in the South Bay (Sunnyvale) and have a terminal near by if someone else in the south bay were to join instead of Pete. I will be doing work in Davis next month and would be easy for me to swing by if you were to take delivery. I’ll even have a truck with a lift gate for work at that time.

          2. I’m in for at least one if not two of them. I think then a single shipment to west sac or even sac would be fine.

  4. Hi Great show as usual!
    Funny advert in the last blog for the “posh” Volt, I guess they wont be selling it in Europe!
    I downloaded Internal Combustion on Sunday night after watching the show, only read the intro so far, very interesting though. Hes pretty scathing about GM!
    On another note I see Tesla shares are doing nicely! I love re-reading “experts” comments advising shorting Tesla, I guess some of those hedge funds are keeping their fingers crossed for any bad news! Wonder if they are thinking of finding a way to sue Tesla (al la Porsche) because they may actually loose their shirts!

  5. I have been watching and waiting in the shadows. This Renault battery pack deal looks like an amazing deal. I am going to look at a RX-8 tomorrow and unless its burnt to the ground I will buy it. Then Ill be ready for batteries. (Cart before the horse).
    Will this pack be a viable companion for the DMOC/Siemens combo? I thought THE EVTV drive-train special would be out of my price range due to the cost of the pack, but this pack make it very appealing.

    1. There’s a wee bit of a problem matching this with the Siemens/DMOC combo. The voltage is great at 360v. The energy density is quite good at about 24kWh for the weight. But the power density is unimpressive. The Leaf and the Influenza have motors that do about 80 kW and that’s about what these cells are rated for. Like 225 amps for 30 seconds. The Siemens/DMOC can do 300 amps. It would work. But you may not have quite the hole shot you would with CALB cells.

      On the other hand, it will drive like a Leaf unless you’re finished car is a lot heavier.

      You can put two packs in parallel and have tons o power, and 48 kWh for range. But you’re looking at 1000 lbs of modules. Probably not a good idea in an RX8.

      So a stack of a hundred CA60FI’s gives you 335volts and will easily do 600 amps for 30 seconds, which is twice what our controller can do. Or the Nissan cells 48 modules will do 360v and ostensibly 225 amps which is plenty for daily driving, but could fall a little flat on heavy acceleration.

      Not having actually tested these, and just going off the spec sheet, I’m typing myself smart here.


      1. Jack,
        I’m talking to Anne about one pack. I’d have to break it into pieces to keep below regulatory 120 volts anyway. I’m assuming it has something like the Leaf pack inside which can be easily taken apart and recombined. Can you confirm this?

        1. I’m not sure I understand the question. Do you normally have trouble taking things apart? It’s the putting together that always poses us a challenge.

          But yes, they are in three boxes that contain standard Leaf modules. There are some assorted other useful bits, contactors, switches, connectors.

          Jack RIckard

          1. Jack,
            Sometimes, but then it’s mostly something I’ve put together myself. Standard Leaf modules is answer I wanted to hear. Thanks.

          2. OK, so let me make sure I understand this: if I split the pack into the three boxes and wire them in parallel, I wind up with a 120 volt pack capable of 675 amps for a short burst and maintain 24kWh. Sounds like a match for an AC50 or AC75 with a 1238-7601, or am I missing something?

            In any case, put me down for one.

  6. Jack,

    The VALUE that you offer is EDUCATION and SERVICE.
    The EDUCATION part is very obvious, the weekly show. I had never change oil on my car, or wire more that a switches and plugs in my house and now I am converting a Miata NB. I go slow because I have to learn the basics along the way. I know now the difference between Amp, Volt, Watt, Energy and Power…. – you may laugh but most guys (physicians, bankers, accountants…) on the street don’t have a firm idea about that, try it, I have…
    The SERVICE part is having most of the parts in the store AND answering everybody’s email and phone call.
    After communicating with you, we decided that for me a simple (you said first project) system was best so HPEVS was selected. The motor is now in the car with a custom mount, the battery boxes fit in the nose of the car and where the gas tank used to be. I am waiting on Brian to answer a list of questions (some I am sure are quite dumb, but I need to know…) to order my CALB 100Ah, charger….
    I imagine that the service part becomes overwhelming by answering the same questions for dozens of guys all year long. So I would suggest a question-answer segment on the show (for me it doesn’t need to be live but I would participate when I can) and a list of documents and link that people can access – FAQ: e.g. the rule of thumb for range estimate 100 Wh/1000 Lbs/Mile, what car to convert and why?, Pro and Con of AC-DC motor… The question that I have now are very different that my questions of last summer.
    I promise you that if I can do it, most guys who have enough interest to read the hundreds of pages of FAQ could do it.

    The VALUE you offer has a cost. I don’t mind paying the extra 10-15% more because I know that I am not alone and that you provide my EV EDUCATION and SERVICE.

    Thanks – Jack

    PS. Tell Brain, Brian that I am waiting on his email about the wiring questions ( an other item for the new FAQ part of the website)

    1. Erick:

      We have viewers at all levels, and they are all learning and changing. Part of the art of what to leave in, and what to leave out, is you can’t do it. I can only fail, in public, every week. Hopefully, I fail more usefully than most. I’ve been communicating technical information since about 1979. Part of the strangeness of EVtv is that I have Phd EE’s and people who couldn’t put two batteries in a flashlight and get it right before the third try basically sitting side by side watching the same show.

      As to the value, my point with this blog, and with others, was that it goes quite beyond that. It’s stone soup. I put in a stone, and start heating water. You guys bring the meat and vegetables. And we have soup. There are certain “necessaries” for this movement to continue and to thrive. And most of it is pretty simple, more and better components at lower prices. So how do you LOWER prices while RAISING them. Well because if you lower them, none of the providers can make any money and they go away. Now it’s not only more expensive,but you can’t get some of it at all. And what you have left is incompetents, shady traders, and outright mountebanks.

      It’s like communism. Lowest common denominator becomes the top mark available. It is my observation that the bling and gadgetry we would like to have and really need to have to do better electric cars, there is a concerted effort to prevent our getting them. Or if we get them, being able to use them.

      As to the get, there are small stocks of quality OEM components available usually from bankruptcies and liquidations but other distress situations as well. The problem is, unassembled you guys aren’t really a market of anything, but if you were, there is no way to reach you. So to obtain these goods, some of which literally get dumped and buried in the trash, somebody has to be able to write a check of sufficient size to matter to those people.

      We didn’t bid against the little guys at the AZD auction that were trying to pick up a motor. We bid on CRATES of motors with almost no competing bids. Nobody could write a check for 30 motors on a pallet. The liquidation company doesn’t care. Whatever is the least work for them. They’re not going to break it down on the chance it will bring more. They just want to move it out of there. eGearDrives? It was a cube with 16 in it. The pumps I talk about today – 158 in one box. The Better Place batteries – sure we’ll take 10. They don’t want to sell 10. What will you pay for say….72. From a half world away. Sight unseen. And the liquidator doesn’t know squat about them either. He’s a jewish lawyer.

      If we pull this off, we kind of become the junkyard of the electric car world. But that means OEM quality components. We need two things to do that:

      1. A little bit of buying power. They’re looking for somebody to make a decision and make a check happen quickly. Larger denominations are better.

      2. Technical expertise. If the basic operating manual is considered proprietary IP, and we don’t know what’s inside it or how to make it work, it might as well be land fill. We have to be able to decode how to use Delphi DC-DC converters and Lear chargers, and UQM inverters.

      Would you believe UQM and Delphi require you to sign the most ridiculous Non-Disclosure Agreement you’ve ever seen just to look at the documentation provided with the product? It obligates THEM to nothing,absolutely nothing, and basically says even if you do NOT disclose the information, they can STILL sue you and you’ll pay for their lawyers and try the case in their venue! The OEMs don’t mind signing it because they have larger legal teams than the vendors do. They know the vendor can’t make any part of it stick.

      So that’s what I think we are doing. Attempting to aggregate the buying power and technical expertise of a very diverse, globally dispersed group of enthusiasts.

      So if you just HAVE to have $6 off on that CALB CA60FI cell, and aren’t smart enough to figure in the $9 braided strap, then no $3600 24kWh lithium battery pack will ever come your way. They’ll be sold for scrap metal instead, which suits the manufacturer just fine. Sixty flood damaged Fisker automobiles were SHREDDED with absolutely nothing wrong with the motors, inverters, chargers, or batteries. Fisker made a point of making sure NOBODY got ANY of it.

      Of course, now THEY are bankrupt and have been sold off as scrap to the Chinese.

    2. Education – yes absolutely. My first degree was in engineering, I have a (long lapsed) airframe and powerplant mechanics licence, and I have written a book on EVs. But I also learn a huge amount from the weekly shows – loads and loads – and continue to do so. And the one-to-one emails, and the support in battery testing…..

      And it is such fun – watching the show is one of the good bits of any week

      So thanks again guys.

  7. Jack,

    Don’t worry about getting the green screen in your live broadcast. It’s going to be a big hassle to do that. I actually miss you doing the show from the garage. It was nice to see some disassembled Electric cars in the background. Put any kind of electric vehicle stuff in the background and call it a day. If not a car then maybe some batteries with tangled wires attached…or anything EV related. I’m sure everyone will be happy with that.

    1. Based on my calculations those three packs of 16 modules should each be approximately 12″ x 9″ x 22″ (30cm x 22 cm x 56cm) in size and weight 134lbs (61kg) each. So, about 130 Wh/kg. The rest is cooling, heating, contactor, BMS and whatnot.

  8. I had an interesting chat with a friend last night. He just bought a 2012 vw diesel. I got to hear about how wonderful it is and how he could almost circumnavigate the country (Ireland that is!) on a single tank etc etc. Apparently I’m wasting my time and money on ev. The conversation then turned to the myriad of emission control systems that themselves need supervisor systems fitted to the car. I had heard in passing about diesel particulate filters (dpf) but had never really investigated in detail. The owners manual was quite an interesting read. The car must be driven in a certain manner or the dpf will clog , a light illuminate and urgent main dealer action will be required. As of feb 2014 an EU mandate means these dpf systems cannot be removed or disabled or the car will fail annual inspection.

    What really struck me was the linear thinking at work. Problem , solution which introduces another problem , solution which introduces another problem and so on.

    My friend lives locally and works from home. If the car did ten miles a day that would be a record. I suspect I may have a vw in for conversion in the not to distant future!

    1. Damien, the DPF is a most hideous device, and guaranteed to cost £1000’s over the life of a new diesel car. All the taxi drivers locally here are switching back to petrol now because the nature of the taxi’s driving cycle is guaranteed to cause early failure of these very expensive devices! In 20 years time people will look back in horror at the absurdly overcomplicated, expensive and dirty Edwardian derived ICE car and wonder how it managed to last for over 100 years!

      1. Paul, and Damien! Yes after years of driving diesel company cars, I switched back to petrol for my private Mazda 6, modern diesels are great, fast etc but ultimately very complicated, to the point where after the 3 years warranty is up you should sell the car, Audi, VW, Mazda etc all have known issues with DPFs etc. Nice remark about Edwardian ICEs, I was thinking the other day that if one of the great engineers of the past, Brunel, Stephenson, Watt etc, showed up now, they would look at a “modern” car shake their heads and say “is that the best you can do”.
        I used to to love ICE’s ive sold race car parts, Ive built engines etc, But now it just seems all so crude and old fashioned. Pistons, crankshafts, valves springs, its just so old!

        I found a nice way to demonstrate how inefficient an ICE is, convert the HP to KW (say 100 KW) then apply the approx figure that about 5-10% actually gets to the wheels, most of the rest goes as wasted heat, so now imagine 90 x 1 KW electric heaters under you bonnet (hood!) just blowing all that hot air to waste!

        1. My favorite description is that an ICE engine converts gasoline into heat and blows it out the front of the car through the radiator. As a side effect, some little bit of forward motion is generated.

          Jack RIckard

          1. Here is an interesting evaluation of an ICE system from uncle sam. It shows the largest losses are in heat generation @ ~ 60%
            Adding up the losses from the ICE + idling = ~ 75% So that is about 25% usable power for accessories and turning the transmission.
            So even with a DC motor, the mfgrs data puts them in the 87% efficient range with the controller losing maybe 5%, so you’re looking at 82% efficient vs 25% efficient.

  9. Thanks for the “Internal Combustion” recommendation — sounds fascinating. I just picked it up on (i.e.”audio books”) and I’ll give it a listen after I finish Daniel Suarez’s “Influx”.

  10. Hi Jack, For the Lear charger it does look just like the volt charger as you eluded to. A new one from chevy is $870 and probably the only way to know for sure is to buy one from GM to compare. That doesn’t help with documentation per se but many of your viewers own volts (myself included) and could sniff out the CAN commands while it’s charging so you can get them running. This is assuming that if they are physically the same that they are programmed to same, which being to different manufactures is far from certain. I have been looking to do do this for all of the volts components as their motor and inverter are very nice, small powerful packages too.

      1. Cool link, thanks. There is some neat stuff in that user area. It is definitely made by lear. But if it is the exact same one programmed the same way as the CODA will dictate if you can use a volt to crack it instead of having documentation.

  11. Jack,
    I keep returning to your site to soak up all the knowledge you have. I ended up buying an RX8 and am ready to start my first conversion. Your videos, blogs, and user comments are invaluable. Have you though of adding a “General” sub forum to It could include FAQ, Announcements and a place where users could ask questions that are not related to this weeks blog/video. I understand forums to be a double edge sword as the are good to organize information but require moderation to prevent off topic discussion and rants. The users on this site seem like they can play nice. Just a thought.

    1. I second your comments, and suggestion.
      I would post items to the FAQ, and have questions for other EV converters.
      I am converting a Miata with an AC75 – Curtis – CALB approach, but have no formal electrical education.

    2. Arbies – if you are converting an RX8 it might be worth having a word with Mike Schooling about power steering. I don’t know if it applies to all models but I believe that he had to spoof a CAN signal or somesuch to avoid burning out the power steering. There may be others around who have experience of this

    3. Arbies. I personally find forums such as Endless Fear and DIYElectricJunk to be one of the most damaging threats to the EV movement, probably exceeding the oil companies themselves. They are loaded with poseurs and wannabes who read each others posts, add what “only makes sense”, to themselves anyway, and repost it endlessly. The end result is a coven of people typing themselves smart and posing as “EV experts.”

      I originally fell prey to this myself, and have in the interim helped to heal literally hundreds of others that following this self aggrandizing “advice” in these forums, they spent many thousands in treasure and many hours of frustrated time trying to get something to work that never will, at least that way.

      Susequent to our acquisition of a number of Azure Dynamic parts, which I knew little about and where information was short, we did put up some “forums” really on a separate service to post drawings, specifications, CAN logs, etc regarding these parts. I’m pleased to report that our viewers avoided all that. There is little by way of speculation. Many questions, a very few of which are answered, and then usually by software, drawings, PDF data sheets, or other data.

      These are neither terribly active, nor terribly entertaining. There really aren’t any flame wars. And nobody cares what your opinion is. If you have a drawing to contribute, some information about the manufacturer, etc. it is welcome.

      In short, we don’t have a forum for discussing EV’s in general, the meaning of life, nor how very expert I am or anybody else is here. I cannot imagine a scenario where we would start one.

      I suppose the closest you will find would be these messages with the blog entries. The blog itself is where I post additional ancillary data to the show or often to what I’m working on post show. Graphs. Photos. Spec sheets. LINKS to other things. For example, in this one there is a photo of the book jacket and a LINK to our store on the Internal Combustion book. And that is essentially gratuitous. It is for those needing a hardcover copy of the book. Most of us at this point read almost solely with a Kindle or Apple Tablet.

      I do rant on regarding my opinion in the blog, which I think, aside from the show itself, is an appropriate place to do so. And so the comments in the blog are generally the “opinion” forum. Though often viewers will likewise post links and additional resources.

      I’m very gratified at the “culture” if you will surrounding EVtv. It is really very very different from the Endless Fear and DIY electric junk genre. And I think in a positive way.

      1. How about an EVCCON topic in the forum? My thoughts are for a place where people who are attending could arrange transport logistics together, such as one three car trailer from califonia would enable more car attendees. And/or share hotel accommodations, etc.

        1. I think this was Chris Fisher’s original hope for the annual EVCCON LinkedIn pages. I’ve had great luck making assorted travel plans by posting there the past couple years. Of course, more options is always a good thing 🙂

    4. Paulo Almeida has been very very useful in the development of the GEVCU. He has acquired a Mazda RX8 I believe and intends to install a Siemens DMOC power plant in it. I gather it is an excellent, if challenging, donor choice. I think if you will contact Paulo and stay close to him, you will do well with your conversion. He generally wins his battles with technology.


    5. I agree the “culture” here is great. I was looking for somewhere to ask questions and didn’t want to fill the blog comments with my personal needs that may not help the community.
      I know everyone is looking forward to the Better Place Battery Packs, me included (For $3600 I’ll take one), but I was wondering if you foresee selling out your incoming stock? If not would you be willing to crack one open and sell individual canisters?
      After you previous comments about the Siemens/DMOC/Better Place Battery combo leaving something to be desired, I turned back to HPEVS packages. I think a perfect combo for my RX-8 would be an AC75/76, 144v controller, and 1 and 1/3 Better place packs (63 canisters). This would allow 3 strings in parallel or 157.5V and 195Ah @ 2-3C on the pack it would reach the 500A the controller can push. 536lb or batteries around 100lbs lighter than 50 CALB 180’s
      If you sell all your stock or don’t want to sell canisters Then I probably go with an AC 75, 108v controller and a single Better Place Pack. Same concept three strings in parallel but probably wont be able to make the 650A peak the controller can output.

      I will definitely have to get in contact with both Mike and Paulo. Looks like a lot of the RX-8 is ECU controlled and I eventually want to make it a seamless install with all factor options working. When I first started looking for donor cars, the RX-8 came to the forefront for the following reasons:
      Its a good looking car.
      Seats two regular people and 2 small people.
      Donor cars are starting to become really cheap. Reason : Rotary engines have a habit of failing after 150000 miles, national average is 1500 miles a year. RX8’s came out 10 years ago. So the failure rate of RX8’s on the road is going to go up. It costs 1500-3000$ to rebuild a rotary, so most people will not want to pump that kind of money into a 10 year old car. If you can find a rotary mechanic in your area (some one who know it doesn’t have pistons)

      1. That is really the best way Arbies. Get with somebody who is doing something similar and type and experiment among yourselves. I not only don’t know all about RX-8’s, I don’t know squat about all SORTS of cars out there. We’re kind of a VW Fahrvergneugen shop and I don’t really know about VW for that matter. You kind of have to research it and work it with people who have actually done it. The urge to find Yoda or a Guru leads you to people who LOVE to pose in that role. The problem is, the more they enjoy it, the more likely they are to be useless or worse, harmful to your cause.

        By way of example, I’m going to reverse myself on the power output capability of these cells. The manufacturer kind of puts it at about 80kw but we have in hand a pretty good USDOE study of these particular cells indicating 200 kW for 10 seconds. That’s pretty good actually. About 550 amps. And more than enough to power aSiemens/DMOC that tops out at 400A realistically through the window.

        I may also have to reverse myself on the price. I am actually astounded at this. But UPS Logistics has totally failed us and left the batteries in storage from February 12th, to today, the 25th, which is 13 days, incurring another $19,000 in storage charges somehow along the way – welcome to New Jersey. They are desperately trying to make this our fault for not providing an IFS sheet on the stuff. That isn’t working so well for them as they haven’t recently requested one and we don’t have any way of knowing what they need. But I’ve further learned, and communicated to them, that we sent them these documents 45 days ago, at their request then, and they confirmed at the time they had all they needed. Turns out not.

        Then there was a snowstorm. I don’t know much about New Jersey weather. But if they had a snowstorm for 13 days, they must be pretty far under the drifts at this point. A day delay to weather? Yeah, I’ll buy it. God is probably punishing New Jersey and I probably approve. But not 13 days.

        A guy with the company requested I approve the additional storage charges. I emphatically declined. And he reflexively sent off to his boss that I had approved it. I guess he thought I HAD to approve it or else what were they going to do with these three containers of batteries sitting there accruing more and more storage fees. I wasn’t at all unclear and I find this beyond incompetent, but truly miraculous. I clearly told him no we wouldn’t pay it but if the batteries weren’t here this week we were going to sue him for the full retail value of the entire shipment. He took that as a YES???

        I gather it’s just a way to get the batteries in motion and they will bill us for the storage. I have no idea where that will leave us, but probably with more expense. I would guess we will have to adjust but as it is spread among 72 packs, assuming all check good, then we are probably looking at an additional $300 to $400 per. $3900-$4000. Not precisely the cost of lead, nor to plan.

        Bottom line is we DO and we LEARN and we share that with you. I know it would be great to have a magic FAQ that would answer everything. If you find one, send me a copy.

        I will say that overall, and with all my whining, I’ve never had so much fun in my life. It’s all a big puzzle, and if it was open the box and follow the instructions, I have to tell you Arbies, I wouldnt be doing it. We got the DC motor and Soliton thing down pretty well, and I think we’ve moved about 2 each in the last six months. We’ve moved on to stuff that is more difficult and appears to be better.

        If I were you, I would use the Siemens, the DMOC645, the Nissan Cells, and the GEVCU on your RX-8. Why? Solely because that is what Paulo ALmeida is doing. That way you are on the same page. In fact, you are the start of the RX-8 club. And yes, I have heard your tale before and it is convincing. Apparently the rotary didn’t work out and some very nice cars are going begging with blown engines. Suburu has a similiar situation. THeir loss. Our gain.

        If you want, I will put up an RX-8 forum and you and Paulo can lead the charge and form your own little group.

        As to cell availability, always hard to predict. Ten go to Anne off the top. Brain has worked some deal with a Kansas City university team for 10. We will reserve two for the DOKA project. Leaving 50. I probably have 16 others who have asked me to reserve some for them, often not decided as to whether to buy one or TWO. I have informed each of them that we are not really holding a waiting list. Well, one guy is on the list because he sent me a check two months ago for one. It just showed up in the mail.

        When we RECEIVE them, I’m going to kind of survey it. We’re not going to TEST each and every one. I’m going to open a few, check all the cells, and see if I get a reasonable voltage. If we have any failed cells doing that to about five of them, we’ll have to dig further. If all are good, we’ll sell them as is.

        Initially it is packs only. But if we DO have packs with bad cells, obviously we’ll cannibalize to make them up, and at that point there should be spares. No guarantee, no warranty, no support. But I’ll probably bust one and use the cells where if someone gets a pack that has a bad cell or two, I can make them well.

        In truth, I expect cannibalization to be the concept. When you see these packs you’ll see why. They are kind of verticle as shown in the photo above to be inserted behind the seat of the Renault Influenza. I cannot imagine anyone actually incorporating that into a car on purpose. It wasn’t a better idea, it was a bad idea, leading to a bad place, which we hopefully will benefit from. But you’ll have to take the pack apart, bottom balance all the cells, and put them into boxes just like we always do.

        Jack RIckard

          1. Isn’t that a phenomenon. There are actually a couple of dozen guys who sort of bought into my predictions of Tesla, and they are more or less funding dream builds on the rounding errors in their gains. I think my original call was at $30. I recall going WAY out on a limb at $140 in a blog saying if you like it at $140 you’re going to LOVE it at $200. And I have alluded all along that this could be one of those momentum stock plays that just goes stupid like AOL or many others and you see a $500 stock price.

            I also described IN DETAIL why and how Apple should acquire Tesla, Solar City, SpaceX, and Elon Musk all in one smooth move. Look at where THEY would be had they done as well as you! They apparently have danced, and Apple still can’t figure out how to lead. And Elon’s still worried about his cars! If he were the CEO of the merged companies, he wouldn’t have to worry now would he? But he’d have $160 BILLION Apple chips to play with.

            Within just a few years, Apple would be the largest electric utility on the planet, literally buying sunshine and selling electricity to people using their own roofs. What a gig is that? And everybody’s car would have that same bitchy Iris voice telling them where to go and how to get there.

            Jack RIckard

    6. RX-8 is an interesting choice. Put a REAL rotary engine in that buggy. I drove an RX-8 for a number of years; attracted by the offbeat engine and some of the physical advantages it lent. But in real life the Renesis Wankel is really kind of a pain in the ass; temperamental, inefficient, prone to heat problems, early death and rather demanding of attention. Driving in traffic was a pain due to the non-existent torque and low rotating mass. Really had my fill of feathering the clutch. On the open road the handling was wonderful though. Replacing that fussy power plant with a smooth-pulling electric drive sounds appealing. At one point with the 8 I realized that gasoline engine designers, for over a century, were essentially endeavoring to make internal combustion engines more like electric motors. They made some good progress but we’re at the point where you can have the real thing!

    7. Play nice? What is the fun in that….

      I do see one great source of Info here. I recommend that you sign up for the EV Database. Most (If not all) of the owners/builders have their email address in the profile. You can ask any questions you like. I suspect that most would be happy to answer…

    1. I don’t John. I know it has a CAN communicating BMS, but I don’t really know what it does. I know it monitors temperature, voltage, and current, but have no idea if it is truly module level, equalizing, or any of that.

      Jack Rickard

  12. Please Help – very novice EV converter

    I have started a EV conversion, with a Miata second generation. I am using a AC75-Curtis 144volt cooling kit, and adapter plate (all from EVTV) and plan to order the CALB 100 Ah x46 for ~160 volt very soon.
    I have most of the mechanic part done, the motor is in with a custom mount of my design, battery boxes are almost fitting… I am waiting on a roll bar…

    Now I need to figure out all the details on wiring…

    Would any of you share with me your high and low voltage diagram?
    I am hoping that some of you with electrical knowledge would you be willing to help me by reviewing my diagram and answer electrical questions?
    I have no electrical background, but I am learning and I want to get this working nicely
    Thanks – Erick Gerday

    1. Erick:

      We used to publish our version of the HPEVS schematics. They have entered so many changes over the past year we have discontinued this. I would suggest downloading the LATEST HPEVS schematic and manual on the AC75/Curtis 144v from them. If you have any specific questions, we’ll do our best to answer them. E-mail to most effectively.

      Jack RIckard

    2. Erick,

      That sounds like a perfect bill of materials for your conversion. That Miata is going to scream.

      I am using the HPEVS AC35x2 system, which is only very slightly more complicated as there is two controllers rather than one, and I was able to figure out how to wire it all up using only these 3 resources:

      The top of the list the one Jack mentioned, which is the HPEVS On-Road Wiring Schematics. Brian Seymour has done an excellent job on these, and the newest v5.13 now has some great FAQs in the right hand margins (all questions I pretty much asked prior to this version being available). Also as a nice touch it has some rollovers so you can see actual pictures of the components that match the circuit diagrams.

      Another one that proved extremely handy, is this EVTV blog post from about 3 1/2 years ago, the high and low voltage diagrams Jack did of the fabled “one that got away” beige moon-eyed speedster:

      A final one that I highly recommend for any new HPEVS converter, is the meticulously detailed Sonnet Electric Owners Manual by Eric Kriss, which is worth the $50 price alone just for his high and low voltage diagrams:

      Now that I have my system all wired up on the bench, I do want to create a detailed wiring diagram much like Eric has done, but currently I am having too much fun building my own mo’ better version of the JLD 404. And then once the weather (and thus the garage) warms up, I do have this nice Porsche 911 to de-ICE so I can dump what’s on (and under) the bench into the car…

      Good luck on your conversion!

      – Collin

    1. not again

      Jack, not only in building electric cars but in naming files as well, there is a lot of creativity in evtv.

      Takes me some 11 hours to download via our high speed internet.

      Enjoy carnival.
      Peter and Karin

  13. Wayne Bennion

    Jack, I seem to remember seeing you deciphering OBD packets. Can you tell me what software I could do that with on a Ford Ranger-EV? I can get my laptop to talk to an ELM327 OBD-II interface, but I am lost trying to read what comes across, much less send commands.

    1. The leaf CAN is 100% broken. You can unplug the body control computer and talk direct to the inverter. All you need is a throttle input pot and a device that can talk CAN. You can bypass everything else in the car talking direct to the inverter. The CAN commands are not posted on the forum at this time out of respect for nissan. It would be super easy to steal a leaf with such info posted.

    1. Those batteries look great, so much so, that I am buying.
      There are a lot of cars that are going to benefit from such a fantastic deal.
      I can’t wait to see how many different places that they end being used in.
      They will be perfect for lightweight projects like mowers and golf carts and tons of other places that the larger batteries just don’t fit!

      1. I think at this rate, they’ll all be gone by the end of the week!!

        Jack, Please keep a pack and break it down for spare cells and for those who might need a few extra cells on top of a full pack to meet their needs

  14. I bought one of the little Pierburg pumps from the EVTV store and made a little video showing how I was able to control its speed via PWM. They are sweet little pumps and quite capable. I also suggest you connect the PWM pin on the pump to the positive side of the 12v power supply through a resistor, I used 1K, which I explain in the video.

    1. Well, I’ve learned a bit more about the Pierburg pump since my post above. I killed the YouTube video, it was just too wrong.

      It looks like you can connect the PWM pin directly to the V+ pin on the pump, no pull-up needed, as per the Pierburg spec and my further observations. Controlling the pump speed is a lot easier than I initially thought, even though I tried the easy way first. For the latest you can check out my.pdf document on the subject here:

      Having micro controllers inside things like pumps just doesn’t make reverse engineering them any easier.

      1. Klaus,
        I am currently trying to control a pump which i think is similar to the one mentioning above ( I tried by tring to control using the setup in your pdf, but only managed to start it up and run at full speed all time with no effect when setting input on either of the other pins.
        Do you think this is a different pump, or maybe reference me to other documents?

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