Monday, December 31, 2007

Now that the motor is on its way, I need to carefully consider the controller. The problem I am having is that none of the controllers I am finding really suit my need. I need to be able to set an idle speed for the motor to keep the auto tranny happy, so I am considering building my own. I know the basics of a PWM controller, and I have an idea on how to build one, but I need to find some 400 AMP transistors and diodes. I will be making another visit to Radio Shack to gather the smaller parts I need, and will start on it.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Motor Choice, for Real This Time...

Well, after more searching and an e-mail from a fellow EV'er, I have chosen an ADC K99-4007, and ordered it. There was a great deal on it, and its identical to the K91 except for a different shaft, that I should be able to use just as easily as the K91 shaft. This motor is a surplus, but apparently brand new in box and never used. This motor will fit fine in the Civic, and is more powerful than the A00 by a longshot, so it should work just fine. I can run this motor at 84 volts, which I think I shall do since thats the max of the Kelly Controller.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Charger Update

Well I finally have the charger all wired up for a test fire, and it worked! I got a constant 92.6 Volts from it with no load. Right now it looks very messy, with tons of excess wires hanging out and no place for the resistors to be mounted. My next part of this is to neaten up the mess, then create a box for it, build a housing for the resistors that also acts as a heatsink, and then build the charge controller. I am still figuring out the charge controller, but my uncle says he can help my with that part. Hopefully I will have a picture in a few weeks of the completed charger, but I have finals coming up and Christmas, so who knows how much time I will have to work on this.

Sunday, December 2, 2007


Well, all I have to say is that's its a good thing that I have not purchased any main parts yet. I decided to take some measurements of the engine compartment, and to my dismay the L91-4003 DOES NOT FIT! There is only 19 inches from the tranny to the wheel well, and the motor itself is 18.57 inches, and that does not include the adaptor plates and coupling, which is at least an inch, and I think 3 inches will be the real plate.

So, I am sticking to the A00-4009 as it is the only affordable motor I can find that will fit. I have also decided on AGM batteries for the fact that they are maintenance free, and also they are safer in case of an accident. I just need a Costco trip to check battery prices and see what else the offer that might help me out.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Another Change

After more research, mainly on powering the accesories, I have looked back into my motor choice. The ADC A00-4009 is a single shaft motor, which is fine for driving the car, but leaves me looking for another motors for the AC compressor, power breaks and power steering. So I am going back to the drawing board, and after more research for the ADC L91-4003 that has two shafts on it, and it can take more power to improve efficiency and range. The actual cost of the motor is cheaper than me using the A00 and a second 1HP scooter motor system for accesories and powering the car.

I can run the ADC at 84 volts, which is the max of this controller, but the motor can be run up to 120 volts, and some people say 144 volts for more HP. So that leaves a future upgrade nice and easy, maybe when this current pack of lead-acid batteries die out, I can go for a 120 volt Lithium-Ion system and a higher end controller.

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Charger Prototype

Ok, so I setup the charger prototype and it worked! I used hard drives to regulate the 5 volt line, and to keep a constant load for the ATX switching power supplies to stay on. I am going to get some 10 Ohm 10 watt resistors to regulate the power better and get closer to the 12 volts per ATX PSU. With both power supplies in series, I got 22.75 volts, only 1.25 volts off from the 24v, which is pretty good for only being a prototype.

I took a video, but I didn't get any fireworks, so I don't think I will upload it yet. I will keep it on my files in case I decided to make a DVD out of this conversion.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

EV Resources

I think it might be a good idea to list my resources, since I haven't yet. All of these websites I have found extremely helpful. Photo Album of hundreds of EV across the world Conversion blog by Jerry Halstead- Extremely detailed and useful EV Calculator, and the most useful tool I have come across so far.

It's raining again, so I am taking a stab at the ATX power supply daisy chaining. I have two ATX PSUs, and I have modified one of them with the removed ground and plan to test it tomorrow outside when the rain stops in case anything happens. I still have to wire the PSUs up to each other, and create a power switch. Tomorrow I plan on hooking these up, and setup the volt meter and a video camera to record this. If it works, then I am on the right track. If this goes up like the 4th of July, then I will have a very sweet recording.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


So after about 4 hours of rummaging around the house for parts, looking through boxes and boxes of just about every piece of hardware that I have ever taken apart, and a trip to Radio Shack, my throttle is done. It cost me a whopping total of $3.15 for the 5K Ohm Potentiometer, and a lot of mess from my searching.

So here is what this thing is made of:

An electrical light box and a VCR Head. Yes, a long time ago I took apart a broken VCR I had found at the dump to see how it works, and I kept the moving parts because I thought they were cool. Well, now they have use!

The VCR head fits perfectly on the potentiometer, and I have a small holder that I plan on permanently mount to the head and the potentiometer, but I will get to that when I install it. The throttle cable on the Civic connects to a wheel, so I am using this head to mimic the wheel. I am also going to add a spring mechanism to force the wheel back to its original point so when one lets off the gas, the car slows down.

OK, lets talk about another thing that has my friends and family asking questions about. The budget for this thing. Well, I have some dough in the bank, and hope its left after next semester's book supplies, but so far my main source of cash has been a bucket in the living room. I have taken a large bucket and labeled it with "Electric Car Money" and told everyone to shove their coins in it, because face it, you come home with coins and never use them. Within about 15 mins, this bucket was half full. I counted it last weekend, and stopped counting at $82, and I have added much more since then from cleaning out the cars, bedroom hidey holes and other places around the house where coins collect.

Friday, October 26, 2007

More Power to the Engines Scotty!

Well, I finally figured out have to daisy chain ATX power supplies to create my charger. The problem is that I need 7 ATX power supplies with at least 8 Amps on the 12 volt line, and I only have three. So I will have to do some more dump picking to get the 4 more, but my cousin says he might to get some for me. We will see.

So this is the basics on what one does to daisy chain ATX supplies. And I will update this when I actually do it for real. DISCLAIMER: Neither I or Blogspot or Google, or anyone else affliated with this site are respsonsible for any bad things that happen, damages and what not. Do this at your own risk, because it is extremely dangerous. (But in the unlikely chance that you create a wormhole, discover artificial gravity, or faster-than-light travel, I will gladly take credit for that!)

1. Choose an ATX power supply to be your primary source, and set it aside as it will not need any modification.
2. On the second ATX, and the ones after it, you must completely disconnect the ground from the casing. If you do not, daisy chaining will not work at all, and the power supply will most likely shut down, or get blown up.
3. Then link up the ATX supplies to each other like you would when creating the series of batteries.
4. Since ATX power supplies are switching, there must be a constant load on the 5 volt line. For now one can use a hard drive to do that, but a proper resistor would be better, to keep the voltage regulated at a more constant value.
5. Plug them in and see what happens.

The next thing on my list of things to do was to research more parts, prices and such. Well, in that search I discovered that I can build my own Potbox, which is the throttle control for the car. Potboxes are expensive, most of the time $70 and on up, but all it really is a 5K Ohm Potentiometer in a sturdy box. So, this weekend I am going down to Radio Shack, and picking up 5K Ohm Pot for $3, and I will get to work making a strong casing out of a steel computer case, and then hook up some wires with connections on them.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Rain, Rain, Rain

So it has rained just about all week, so any outside work was out of the question. And I don't have a garage for this project. So I decided to build a mock up battery using sturdy poster board. It's a nice yellow box that is slightly larger than the T-1275 its is modeled after for worst case senarios.

I am also going to start to work on my battery charger that will be made out of ATX power supplies. I am trying to figure out if I can put these things in series, but I have had no luck finding out. I might just have to try it and see what happens. I want to make a system that allows me to just plug in the ATX boxes without modifying them.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Parts Change

After some more research, and looking at what I really need this EV to do, I have selected different parts. I am changing to an ADC A00-4009 Motor and a Kelly 24-84 V 400 Amp controller. These two are less exspensive as the previous parts I had chosen, and will do the same thing for me. I have been looking into my realistic budget, and I am trying to keep all of the conversion parts to a $2,000 budget. I am very close to that as of right now, and I hope that I can sell parts from the Civic to make some more money.

So now I have an ADC A00 that will have 12 HP @ 72 Volts, which is more than enough for what I need. Remember, my goal is about 50 miles at 45 MPH, but all I need is 25 miles at 40 MPH, so if I design it higher, it will fullfill all of my daily needs.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Twitching Windows

So I spent most of this weekend fixing the Power Windows on the Civic. What I thought would be an easy 10 minute replugging turned into about 5 hours of trial and error. I had to find the grounding for the power windows control and one was really easy to get to and clean. The other consisted of removing a bunch of electrical systems underneath the steering wheel. Those ground connections were has 11 years of corrosion on them, so it took a bit of sandpaper work to clean them up. Now I have the power windows working, but for some reason the windows on the right side of the car won't function using the drivers control panel, but will work if you use the switch on the door.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

It has Started!

This project has officially started since I now have the car! I will be posting my progress, but mostly for the next few months it will be posts of research on parts and batteries.

Let's get to it then. This project is converting a 1996 Honda Civic LX to an electric vehicle. My goal right now is a range of 50 miles at 45 MPH and keeping to a very low budget, so I will be making as many parts myself as possible.

This is my part selection as as today-
D and D ES-15A 12 HP Cont. 40 HP Peak motor running at 72 Volts
Alltrax AXE7245 Controller
PB-5 Throttle Control

Trojan T1275 150 Ah 12 Volt deep cycle batteries

I am going to keep the Power Steering, Power Breaks and Air Conditioning and I hope use the existing pumps and rig up a motor to all three of them.

As for heat, I had this brilliant idea. Since I am keeping the Automatic transmission, I was thinking of have the transmission fluid flow through the exisiting heater core, and use a small electric defroster for the windshield. New England winters are pretty darn cold, so I hope that will be enough.

I am open to any suggestions, and donations too!!! Parts are always helpful!