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!