Wednesday, December 31, 2008
The PakTrakr is a device that monitors each battery and displays the info. It displays each battery's Voltage, State of Charge, any warnings or problems. It will also state the total State of Charge of the entire pack becoming a fuel gauge for the EV.
Hopefully I will get more done this week and be able to post pictures and more EV driving test results.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
I also ordered new headlights and once I get those in I will get the EV inspected. I didn't get anything fancy since most of the aftermarket headlights use HID lamps and I have been told those are not legal in MA. So I just got brand new JDM Crystal Headlights, which are essentially OEM replacements and will use the existing bulbs.
Friday, December 19, 2008
1- I hate politics
2- I need new headlights
3- I need to install my blower
4- I really hate politics
Well this is how my day went. First I wake up to find my finals are postponed till next week due to weather, so I get out and throw the chargers on the EV for a freshen up charge. Then after 2 hours, I pulled the plug on the chargers and plugged in a ceramic heater to preheat/defrost the EV. It worked wonderfully. I had the car defrosted and heated in 15 minutes and then I went off to the inspection station.
I first took my time getting there. I choose the roads that were the most flat and kept to the speed limit of 25 MPH. Then was the stretch of 40 MPH state road that I feared, and actually forgot about (I was going to avoid it, but forgot until I got there) and decided, what the hell, I floored it down the hill and the EV got up to 32 MPH, I wanted more juice, so I threw it into third gear and it went up to 35 MPH, I went back to 2nd gear and it held there. After 2,000 ft of this 35 MPH stretch was a hill that the speed limit drops to 30 MPH and the EV dropped down to 30 MPH going up.
So I finally get to the station and I check the battery levels and motor temp. Now the batteries read 104.1 volts surface charge when I left (they were definitely not fully charged)and read 97.4 volts when I got there. Now, you are supposed to wait an hour before measuring the voltage to determine the actual capacity left. The motor itself was barely warm, due to the high RPM and the internal fan actually working at 30-35 MPH.
I go up to the inspection guy and tell him about my EV and I need an inspection. He right away tells me that I will not pass because of the glazed headlights. Great, just another $150 expense. Then he goes on to tell me that he can't inspect it without a special form from the EPA or the RMV stating the conversion is inspection-worthy. So now I have to hunt down this mystical form and who ever needs to sign it.
Then I made my trek home. I decided to take the back roads to limit the AMP draw. That was a mistake. The back roads are really hilly and the low speeds mean low RPM, which means the internal motor fan is pretty useless. When I got home, that motor was hot and smelled funny. While I stayed in the motors temperature range, performance dropped like crazy once the motor got hot. My AMP draw went from 180 AMPS of accelerating to 120 AMPs and it was awful.
My total travel for this trip was 6.2 miles, in 20F weather and my batteries read 97.9 after I let them sit for an hour. So I had 63% power left in the pack, but it is my guess that the pack itself was really only 80-85% capacity to start with due to the cold and that I didn't let the chargers fully charge the pack.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Tomorrow I will do another charge and do some more driving. I need the motor brushes to be fully worn in before I attempt anything drastic and they look like they are 65% worn in, so they have a way to go. Hopefully I will gain more power once the brushes and batteries are fully broken in. I am itching to take the EV on the flat stretch and see if it will go up to 40 MPH like it should. Depending on the traffic I might just do that tomorrow after charging the batteries.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
This the my PB5 finally properly connected to the throttle cable. I spent more time than I care to admit figuring out how to mount the cable to the PB5, but I finally found two little car pieces with the proper width and hole pattern, and it looks really good too!
And here are all the batteries nice and snug and they got another full charge today. The only thing stopping me from driving it again is that vacuum leak.
Most of this EV is proof of concept. Some things that I want to do is build a stronger motor mount, buy proper cable and lugs for the best connections, install proper gauges and insulate the batteries. Hopefully today or tomorrow I will get in a test drive and see if it will do up to 35-40 MPH in 2nd gear like the calculations say it should.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Oh, and today was the first day of snow so the nice weather has pretty much ran out. Tomorrow it will be cold, but sunny so I can hook up everything before it gets too dark.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Now back to the paper work. Today I went to the insurance company to talk about the EV and they had never done one before. In there books, they didn't need any information on if it was gas powered or electric, as long as it was still the same Honda Civic and VIN number. BUT I needed to get the title changed to ELECTRIC in order to get the inspection done. So I have filled out the paperwork and on Friday I go into the RMV and start the annoying process of waiting in line. That should be fun.
So after that adventure I have to finish up the EV and figure out the inspection process. The RMV might require a special first time inspection. We'll see what happens, but I do plan on getting everything done for an inspection and joy ride. I still have to make the mount for the smaller accessories motor, A/C and P/S before I can go for the inspection. It doesn't have to function, but it should be installed so I don't show up with rope holding things together.
Monday, December 1, 2008
But I have a new set of problems. My inspection sticker has expired and now I have to talk to the insurance company about the EV and getting the title changed. I hope they will work with me, or I will have to shop around for EV insurance.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Today we got most of the battery racks mounted, and tomorrow the last rack goes in. I redid the main cables and tomorrow I also drill in the holes and mount them to the breaker. Then I get a couple of S hooks from ACE to mount the control tray and straps for the batteries.
It's amazing on how many little things you can do and have just about nothing to show about it. But a lot of that those little things got done today. My dad worked on the bolting down the battery racks while I worked on the control tray and main wiring. Right now I am estimating an hour left to strap the batteries down and install the control tray and test the low voltage system. By tomorrow night the only thing I want left to do is the vacuum brakes and blower cooling. Then on Wednesday I am going on a couple mile trek around town to test the EV before my Thanksgiving day voyage.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
This is the battery tray for the lower three batteries in the trunk.
This is my control tray setup with just about everything wired up.
Here is 12 volt blower and the plumbing components I have to force the air into the motor.
This the the blower assembled for the most part. I couldn't find any decent sheet metal to make the grill attachment for the motor so that's next on the scavenging list.
Now this it my 12 volt Thomas Vacuum Pump and the insanely large vacuum chamber I have. I will be cutting down the pipe so it actually fits in the car. It's about 4 inched too long at the moment but I wont be modifying it until the control tray is installed and I see what room I have to work with.
Friday, November 21, 2008
I started making tray for the control box and controller from the shelving piece. I did a test fit last night and today I made it sturdier and trimmed it down. Tomorrow it goes in, then I get to work on finishing the little things like making the cables shorter from the controller to the motor, and modifying the main positive cable so it can hook up to the circuit breaker.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Once the chargers were activated, I went back to the hood section and started to layout the control box and vacuum brakes. Well my mind must have been frozen too because I just stood there and could not think of what to do. I was "thinking" for about an hour before I called it quits and went in to check on the DIY Electric Car forums for some motivation. And to warm up.
I must say I do my best thinking when I am driving. I was coming home from dinner and I had the most brilliant idea for mounting my control systems. A shelf. We have a boat load white metal grate shelving that has been sitting in the basement for years. I can take one of the shelf trays and cut it to fit the engine compartment. I can then mount anything too it and it won't impact the controller heatsink or weigh too much.
Monday, November 17, 2008
On Wednesday I am going to try out my new chargers that arrived today and I am going to work on the front control box and controller setup. I have to shorten the wires on the motor and make new connections on them. I also have to make new connections for the cables that will connect to the circuit breaker. Then I will install the vacuum brake system and set it up with a temporary ON/OFF switch until a get a real vacuum switch. I am literally scraping up the pennies to get the EV to a driving state.
I have also ordered a 12 volt blower to help cool my motor. My K99-4007 will be much happier with the blower and should take those hill much better once the brushes wear in for 100 or so miles.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I measured out the material needed for the last battery rack and tomorrow I am going to go buy 4 feet of angle iron.
List of What I must do before the Thanksgiving joyride:
- Connect main cables to circuit breaker
- Build brackets for controller and control box
- Install vacuum pump system
- Secure Batteries
Friday, November 14, 2008
I have the Control Box 99% done. The only thing left is to label the connections and add a "High Voltage" warning sign.
In this box I have the low voltage system (12 volts) and the main contactors for the high voltage system (96 volts). This box is essentially the hub for the EV electrical system. The barrier strip has connections for the ignition wire, controller power, contactor power and throttle. The PB5 Throttle box is also built onto the box. I want to make the front compartment look as simple as possible, which was the purpose of this control box.
I am still trying to keep my EV deadline of Thanksgiving and my list of things to complete is shrinking. Tomorrow I am going to setup my tarp over the car and finish installing the circuit breaker. Then I will work on securing the batteries and making the front tray that will hold the control box, controller and vacuum brake components.
Also, I ordered two more chargers, one to replace my bad charger, and one as a spare. They should arrive on Monday and hopefully I will have most of the EV completed so I can work on insulating the batteries, venting them and installing the chargers into the trunk.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tomorrow I am going to finish the control box and try to get the circuit breaker installed in the car. It's amazing how much the control box has cleaned up the wiring. I even mounted the PB5 Throttle to the side of the box and I think it looks really great. I hope to mount this control box and the controller on a modular board so I can move them for working on the EV or put them into another EV if a make one with similar specs later down the road.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Here's a summary of changes I need to make and what I need to do before Thanksgiving:
- Bolt down all the batteries
- Make better cables and get lugs for the controller and motor
- Create a forced air cooling system for the motor
- Beef up the motor mount and bolt it down
- Complete control box
- Mount breaker into cabin
- Finish Vacuum Brakes and PVC tank
One of my chargers also died today, I think one of the internal relays gave out. It makes thing ticking sound and then displays "Check Error" and shuts off. So I will buy another bunch of chargers on eBay.
I have this Tuesday off from classes so I am going to make my small part shopping list and get as many things down as possible.
I would like to be able to drive this to my cousins house for Thanksgiving, which is 12 miles away, and then plug it into charge when I arrive.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
I never took it past 25 MPH because of lack of power brakes, but it still had power left AND I was going up hill slightly. I am also almost done with the vacuum brake setup, and once that is installed I will attempt a drive outside of my dead end neighborhood. There is this really nice 1/2 mile patch of relativity flat road that has a 40 MPH speed limit and it's just outside my neighborhood that I might try out tomorrow morning since there will be little to no traffic at all.
Then I tried out the chargers again and only got an hour or so of charge because rain came back. So here is a few pics of my 8 batteries in the trunk and my charger setup. Surprisingly all 8 chargers are only pulling 4-5 AMPs from the wall, but I think that has to do with the fact the chargers have different charging schemes.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
And I have a plan on how to do that: I know that three chargers have the same exact charging scheme, so I will use those on the front three batteries. The other 5 chargers will be used on the rear batteries.
This weekend I plan on taking the control board out, build the front battery rack, install the vacuum brakes, and what ever else humanly possibly I can do. But before that I will take the EV out for another drive to drain the rear batteries down and then settle in for a nice full charge and hope it doesn't take eternity.
Monday, November 3, 2008
So lesson of the day: Always keep these suckers charged! I knew I should have done a charge on Friday, but didn't really get around to it. I hoped to drive it again this afternoon thinking I would have a 2 hour charge, and I even pumped the tires back up. I bet this low state didn't help my tests out at all too.
I spent about 4 hours charging the batteries and I think I need to do some modifications to some of my chargers. Three batteries charged fine but the other 2 were taking their sweet time. They were also the lowest of the batteries when I bought them. I took them off the charger and later this week I will go back and setup those 2 batteries again and let them do an equalize charge and let them gas a bit.
This is what the battery voltages looked like when I unplugged them and then drove back up the driveway:
Battery 1 - 12.78v
Battery 2 - 12.66v
Battery 3 - 12.83v
Battery 4 - 12.83v
Battery 5 - 12.82v
When I have time I am going to take apart a "good" charger and a "bad" charger to see what settings are different. I believe there are potentiometers than can be adjusted, so I want to make sure all the chargers have the same settings.
ADC K99-4007 on Kelly Controls KDH09401
60 Volts || Peak = 14 HP || Cont = 6.7 HP
72 Volts || Peak = 22 HP || Cont = 8.5 HP
96 Volts || Peak = 29 HP || Cont = 10.0 HP
So running at 60 volts is just about the same as a really oversized golf cart. Up a slight hill really stunk and it took a while to accelerate to 25 MPH with an open road. But once I got up there, the momentum and extra weight of the batteries kept the car moving nicely. My hope is that the performance at 96 volts will be decent up to 30 or 35 MPH.
If I just throw another 12 volt battery in the trunk I should get a serious increase in performance. I may do that because my front battery rack isn't even close to being done, but I still have the huge urge to drive it around. When complete, I should be getting at least 2x the performance I am getting right now, which should be great.
This afternoon I am going to pump up the tires and put the chargers on for a fresh charge since I haven't down it in a week or too.
I also have to start to think about an electric heater or defroster because the mornings have been cold and the car windows have been frozen.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
So I got the plates machined on Friday! It was great, I went over there and planned on leaving it for the day, but one of the machinists was free and did it for me right on the spot. Took about 20 minutes and they didn't even charge me! I had each of the bolt each counter-sunk 1/8 inch and now the ticking sound is completely gone. There are excellent people at the R.J. Moran Machine Shop and I will be doing business with them again, I know that.
I also decided to take a pic of my control board before I get to neatening it up. I was going to work on the box this weekend, but I decided to put the motor back in and drive it around.
Now for the goods. I reinstalled the motor and control board back into the EV and I adjusted the low voltage setting on the controller and drove it. I left the controller at 75% maximum output, and man was it sluggish. It drove like an oversized golf cart and i could barely hit 10 MPH up a mild hill and I could get to 15-20 MPH with a slight down hill and a long runway of road. So here is my video of that test:
Then I had a few things to do, came back and decided to set the controller to 100%. What a difference! Not only was is much peppier, I was hitting 15 MPH easily and got up to 25 MPH before slamming on the brakes to avoid the little kiddies playing in the road. Sadly, I didn't get a video of this run. I have clocked about 2+ miles so far in my EV!!!
The performance seems rather low at the moment because of four factors.
1) I am only running at 60 volts, and the torque for my motor is rather low at this voltage. So essentially it is an oversized golf car.
2) I had sticky front brakes that need some attentions and this is definitely created more drag. 3) My PB5 throttle control doesn't go all the way because of the limited throttle cable, and the actual design of the PB5. I haven't measure how far it actually go, but I think I only get 75-85% of total throttle output.
4) the tires are really low on pressure. I mean really LOW, and this is adding unwanted rolling resistance.
So on Monday I plan on pumping up the tires and giving it another go and see if there are any performance increases.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I have found a nice water proof box that I will use and install the contactors, low voltage control system, fuses and precharge resistor in. My goal is that the only exposed electrical system will be this control box and the Kelly Controller. I will get a decent heatsink for the controller and have it mounted securely and make a clear casing for it out of plexiglass so you can see if, but the elements stay away from it.
I also recieved my vacuum pump! I now have to make a vacuum tank, get a pressure switch and some tubing. It was somewhat difficult to use the brakes without the power assist, and with the extra weight of the battery pack, it is a must.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Ok, done with story telling, back to reality.
After spending most of Saturday trying to figure out why the car wouldn't engage into gear, I had the bright idea of going down to AutoZone and getting a OBDII Scanner to check the car's computer. BTW, the scanner costs $152, but it is considered a rentable item, so you get your money back when you return it. (Making AutoZone the most epic car parts store around)
So I get back and plug this into the car to get some readings, and it said it couldn't find the ECU/PCM. Just peachy.
I found out that I never replaced a fuse I took out back in July (For the Fuel Pump) was also the main fuse for the ECU/PCM. Once that weas replaced, I was welcomes with ticking sounds from the PCM and blinking dash board. After another hour of going through the manual, I found that the wire labled "Engine Ground" is actually the ground for the PCM, so I needed to ground it. All was happy and no more blinking dash and I was able to get some error codes. This also fixed the shifter not letting me move out of Park without using the override key. Now it works just fine.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Then this picture is worth 3,720,000 words!
Yes it moves! Ok, you will hear a few noises. One noised is a ticking that is from the motor coupler that I haven't fixed yet, and the other was a quick grinding sound, which is entirely my fault because I am used to driving a stick and not an Automatic. I pushed the shifter forward to go into neutral like I would in my car, but the Park is forward and neutral is pushing the shifter down! AAHH!
The initial tests seems rather underpowered, but I believe that was because of the settings I used on the controller. I was using a 60 volt pack, but I have the Low Voltage setting to 56 volts. The pack will sag under load, and it probably sagged past the 56 volts and then the controller kicked in the current limting. It really should be around 52 volts. I have had the controller limited to 75% output, but I will reprogram it when I reinstall everything.
Wednesday the Vacuum Pump should arrive and I am glad because those brakes needed A LOT of forced to slow the car down. This afternoon I am removing the motor again to get the bolts countersunk and to clean up a bit. So many things left to do - make a control box, front battery rack, bolt down rear battery rack, make new cables, create vacuum setup, and setup the charging system.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
I called it quits for the day and went back to my school work. This weekend I will take everything apart again (I will have this motor decoupling down to an art soon) and on Monday try to get the holes on the motor plate countersunk. The torque converter bolts and one of the motor bolts is a heck of a lot closer than I originally thought, so even with a slight pressure the bolts hit each other.
I may try a test drive up and down the drive way again and record it to have something to post, and to show off the annoying ticking sound. That and I want to test out the drive train to make sure it actually works and hope I don't have to solve more problems.
Monday, October 20, 2008
This afternoon I am putting the motor back in. It's already lined up hanging on rope, but I was busy cleaning up the compartment and went off to visit relatives.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
I will call up the machine shop tomorrow to see if I can get the coupler adjusted so it grips the shaft better and to get a few holes counter-sunk so the bolts won't hit each other.
So here is my problem. My transmission won't engage into gear and I have to figure out why. It's the curst of the Automatic transmission, but I can't put in a stick so I need to figure out how to fool the PCM to function. I am searching online for any information of the Auto not engaging, and I think it won't because of a throttle position sensor missing.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I figured out what the ticking sound is, for the most part. It's my coupler. I think the key broke and because the tapered coupling didn't hold the shaft tight enough. I found this out when I drove the car down the drive, and when to drive back up and it wouldn't go forward. I could feel the car going, and then slip and that's when the ticking sound appeared. My driveway is on a very slight incline, but enough that I needed three people to push the car back up.
Now I have to remove the motor and adapter to check the coupling. I have removed the board that housed the controller and high power electrical components and either Thursday or Friday I will remove the motor and figure out what to do. I will most likely bring it back to the machine shop to fix it and my dad will be coming along since he is the mechanical engineer and make sure that the taper will be tight.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
As it stands right now, I really can't complete my PIC controller without an oscilliscope. I have found one I like on eBay for $325, so that is at the top of my list, right next to vacuum assist When doing my trial I found the brakes a little hard, but I haven't really tried them out yet on the road. I do know that I need to install the vacuum assist if anyone else in the famly is going to drive it. I am searching onlie for decent deals of the 12 volt vacuum pump, but I am also going to find out what cars used them and check out the local junk yards. Then I want some backlit large LCD display volt meters, which seem to go for $11 on eBay. I have also found schematics for making my own pack monitoring device that I am going to try and build eventually.
So instead of boring everyone with the story behind the rest of the items, here is the list:
-Vacuum Assist Pump
-Homemade Pack Monitor
-Small solar panel for AUX battery charging
-PicKit2 USB Programmer so I can use the high end 16MHz PICs for my controller
Monday, October 13, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
My plan for the day was to reorganize the hood and create battery trays. Instead I got a call from my old Audio Visual teacher from High School and spent the day in the high school's auditorium setting up for the school's fall play. I hadn't done any AV work since I graduated in 2007, so it was like old times. Usually the AV students hang the lights, focus and setup the stage, sound systems and set, but this time all the upper classman were not around and I was called in to help teach the new freshman and to get things going since they were a day behind. It was actually quite good (and free food!) so I didn't feel bad about not working on the EV.
And when I got home, I found my controller sitting there on the table! Not only was it here a week earlier than expected, it was the next model up than what I had ordered! So I now have the Kelly Controls 24-96 Volt 400 AMP with REGEN, worth about $200 more than what I paid. I had about 30 minutes of "Oh crap will this even work" and then I found on the EV Album that a few people have used the regen models on their series wound motor to no ill effect. Except regen doesn't work. I am perfectly fine with this since this is only a temporary controller until my PIC controller is done.
Now I have changed my plans for the rest of the weekend. I am now going to rewire the car and setup the Kelly Controller and try out a 60 volt test run. I hope to try it out tomorrow since it should take too long to reinstall my temporary chunk of plywood and control circuits. Once I have done a test run (or attempted it) I will go back to finish my battery racks. I know I am jumping around a lot, but I really want to see this thing move! (And so does my family and half the neighborhood!)
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
The engine compartment isn't organized too great. I can only get three batteries in the front, which is all I need. I was hoping to get four in, but the batteries were too large and the brake lines, motor adapter and transmission got in the way.When I post the picture tomorrow you can see the crazy battery setup I have. And in order to get the three batteries in the front, I might have to change the location of the 12 volt aux battery.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
I started to plan out my front battery tray this afternoon. I have to clean up the engine compartment more, rearrange the wire harness and motor cables. It's going to be a tight fit, but I found a picture of another 95 Civic with 5 group 31 deep cycles batteries in the front, so it is definately possible. My card board battery model is taller than the real battery, so that is throwing my off a bit.
This weekend I am going to a family yard sale to sell off old stuff in the name of my EV. Hopefully I will make a few bucks to start paying back the cost of the controller. Then I will be getting to work modeling the front battery rack.
So while I wait for the forms to go through, I am going to get to work on the front battery rack. My dad found some old L metal peices I can use to create the template for the front rack. I am going to try and get 4 batteries in the front, but three will suffice. If I can get 4, I will replace the small car battery with another deep cycle.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
So I have decided to start to save up for a 96 volt controller that will meet my needs until my homemade controller is complete. I need about $600 for a Kelly KDH096400 96 Volt 400 AMP controller, so I am hoping anyone out there willing to spare a few bucks will.
I am also long overdue for come pictures of the rear battery rack and the front motor mount, so I will try and take some if the rain ever stops.
Friday, September 26, 2008
As for my own controller design, I have my current sensors arriving today and I am still working out a few problems in my design. The design itself looks fine, but the 15 volt source I need doesn't. I was going to use a LM317T adjustable voltage regulator, but it is only 1.5 AMPs max and my math says I need at least 4.5 AMPS for the IGBT driver.
I have a computer gig to do this afternoon, so hopefully that will pay for the temporary controller.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
The second generation controller has many new features and fixes, such as a microprocessor, 16KHz freguency, IGBT driver, Hall Effect current sensor and a large freewheel diode. Eventually I will hook up an LCD display to it and add some more feaures. This controller is still early in it's development, with parts being ordered this week. I have lots of work to do on this software for it, creating IDLE control, Performance/Range settings and what ever else I can thing of. I have gone through this particular design a few times, and showed to some professionals and it should work perfectly fine. Ideally I would want to make this as customizable as possible, and maybe make a small side business in the EV controller market, but that is probably a few years off.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
But the car did move under it's own power! Tomorrow I am going to make sure nothing happend to the coupling because there were some loud sounds from that area when I jammed the car into park and shutdown the motor.
The second gen controller has a true IGBT driver, and should be ready to test this weekend. It will be getting a go over from a few professors and IGBT experts tomorrow.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
So there I am, camera rolling, everything connected. I start up the car, contactors close, cooling fan comes on, put it into reverse and hit the pedal. NOTHING HAPPENS.
After 5 minutes of taking measurements, it hits me. I modified the current limiting wrong, so it forced on, prevent the car from moving. (Well at least that worked!)
It gets better. So I go to remove the controller, shut everything off, flick the breaker and proceed to remove the controller. In an act of complete stupidity, I drop the wrench across the B- and M- terminals, and it sparks blowing the logic board away. The capacitors were still charged, and found their way to there desitnation by toasting the controller.
I had breakers and fuses for every other part of the system except dropping a fraking wrench across the terminals. Now I have to repair it, which should be as simple as replacing the three chips and some bench testing. I also am almost done laying out the microprocessor controller and hope to have that is some sort of a testing phase in the next week or so. I just have to order a hall effect current sensor and plan on having it completed before it gets cold out. (It's water cooled, and that will provide my heat for the cabin.)
Friday, September 12, 2008
The rear battery rack has both coats of paint on it and is all dry and ready to be installed. I also made a test cable yesterday, and will make the rest up today. Before I mount the rear battery rack, I am going to do a test fit to make sure all 5 batteries fit.
I also have to adjust my controller battery current limiting from 500 amps to 250 amps for many reasons, but one is that if I don't, the controller can be called the EgoBuster. Set at 500 amps and you step on the pedal, the 250 amp breaker would blow before the current limiting kicked in, and that would make anyone's ego bust up. I can just picture going for my test run and stepping on the throttle to see what my controller can do, and blowing the breaker before I go anywhere!
So what's left:
-Install motor mount
-Install Rear Battery tray
-design and install front battery tray
-Make one last modification to my controller
Drive it. If I can get the front motor mount welded today, I can wire up the rear batteries and do a 60 volt street test!
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Today is a wasted day because 1)- It's raining and 2)- I am in classes until 9:00 tonight.
Tomorrow I plan on painting the rear rack, buy the materials for the front motor mount, and mount two 12 volt fans to the controller. During my test, it got warm to the touch pulling 25-45 AMPs, so more cooling would be nice.
And on the topic of controllers, my second gen microproccessor controller is in the works with so many nice features. I have an IGBT driver on the way that is compatible with it, and I also am going to order an isolated current sensor. And I have also solve my heat problem in the EV. I have a water cooling system for my IGBT, and I am going to use it on the second gen controller, and route the water through the exsiting heating system. It should be up in the 90-150F range, so plenty of warmth for defrosting the windows. I also am trying to integrate the status display into this edition of the controller.
My hope is that I can build a successful, powerful controller that I could put into production in a few years, after gathering data and abusing it to the best of my ability. My hope is to eventually have a controller that can be programmed for specific motors and battery sizes, as to maximize range and performance.
Monday, September 8, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
Thursday, September 4, 2008
As the plates go, I should have the spacer plate cut out and cleaned up tonight! I hope to have the motor and transmission assembled tonight and make the last cut outs for the drive shaft and the engine mounts because the plate covers them at the moment.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Now this hole isn't perfectly round because we used a sawz-all on it. A machine shop would have been the best way, but the reality is it would probably take a few weeks to get it machined, and it would cost money that I don't have.
Oh, and I also bought eight Schumacher SC-600A chargers and tomorrow I will post pictures of them. I have one for each battery, and they will charge at 6 AMPS.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Today I also build another controller circuit, this time using a PIC processor and a 16 KHz frequency so it can't be heard. My other controller used a discrete hardware setup, but had an audible 2 KHz frequency. I will keep the old board in the gloved compartment as a backup in case anything goes awry...
Tonight my dad and I drilled a few 1/2 inch holes in the motor adapter plate to see how easy it is, and it was a breeze. Tomorrow I will mark up all the bolt holes on the larger plates and drill those, and also drill the holes in the spacers. It's coming together really fast and I might just have the motor in on Monday since I will be going away this weekend.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday, August 4, 2008
I also have been working on th electrical system for the EV. All the normal electrical systems are working and I am figuring out which wires I will use to the contactor/ignition setup.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Here is my setup. I have the car parked under a large tree branch that I will use to remove the engine, and I also put my canopy over the car to work in the rain. I have a stack of wood that I am using as a bench for the junk ICE parts and the soda bottles are full of oil and antifreeze.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Tomorrow I will drain the last antifreeze bolt and rip out the engine tubing and hoist out the engine. It should go much faster now that I have decided to just junk the engine and tear it out.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
And now this is what it looks like now:
I only had about an hour of usable time due to rain and removed the 12 volt battery, air intake and unplugged most of the wiring on the engine. Tomorrow, weather permitting, I plan to drain the oil and antifreeze and remove the engine. I am quite surprised how little I am actually removing because I am keeping the A/C, power steering and power brakes. I also am keeping the radiator because the automatic transmission needs it. It's my esitmate that this whole process would only take 2-3 hours assuming everything was setup and the weather cooperated.
I am still awaiting my coupler and it's final cost. Depending on the final cost of the coupler, I may order up a vacuum pump for the power brakes. Hopefully tomorrow I will get some inclination on the status of my coupler. I am also working on the aluminum plates for the motor to transmission adapter.
Hopefully today I can start some gutting in between rain storms and I might even set up my 10' x 10' canopy.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
I have also took the time to go back and learn some more PIC Programming. I have found a few tools to help me along, and I will be able to make a decent programmable controller. I am thinking of getting an LCD display to use with it and have a monitoring system. One feature I plan on making is an Economy/Performance button. The Economy mode will have a low current limit to lower battery consumption and the Performance will raise the current limit to increase acceleration. The Ecomony Mode will probably have a current limit of 100 AMPS from the batteries, limiting the motor to about 10 HP, and the Performance Mode will limit the current to 300 AMPs, or 35 HP.
I am going to have to design this on paper to make programming easier. I have been doing some programming, but a visual drawing with the features, ports and limits would make it quicker. And maybe a larger protoboard for testing.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
It's driving me crazy that I have run out of things to do on this project. I am actually grateful that I took a summer class because the optional homework keeps me from going crazy just sitting around. I have even gone back and redid all my motor, battery and range calculations from scratch just to make sure and keep me busy.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Now that the coupling is finally being made, this weekend looks like the start of the destruction of the ICE. Nearly nine months of planning and collecting components has come down to a 3 inch chunk of steel, the smallest, yet most complicated part of the whole project!
Sunday, July 13, 2008
So I have designed up a circuit that will use relays to turn on the 24 volts to the controller, the 48 volts to the contactors, a few fuses for them and an interlock relay so when the car is plugged in it can't be turned on and driven away.
On Monday I am going to call the machine shop again to see if they can make the coupler this week. They were busy before I went on vacation and I never got around to calling them and dropping off the components before I left.
As for the car gutting, there is still 3/4 of a tank left so we are going to drive it until its empty, try to find a place to steam clean the engine compartment and hopefully start the gutting on Saturday.
And finally I have gotten my controller test video up! It's running off the DeWalt batteries for a total of 66 volts (some cells are shot), and using a tiny weed whacker motor that was made for a much lower voltage, but serves it's purpose of a low-amp tester.
Monday, June 30, 2008
I have also done a nice high voltage test with my controller using DeWalt batteries in series. I had 66 volts and it worked great. I used a weed whacker motor and took a video of it, but for some reason it is having a hard time uploading.
Friday, June 27, 2008
I am still trying to get the coupler machined. I am going to call another local company tomorrow, but if that doesn't go through it may have to wait two weeks because I will be on vacation. I may also be getting some more batteries and chargers tomorrow, but we will see.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
And my third milestone is that I finally have a Destruction Day. July 14 is day after we get back from a family vacation and when my dad is giving up the Civic. So I have a month to get my coupler machined and plates all drilled and now that I have a actual start date I hope to get a machinist working on my coupler next week.