Monday, June 30, 2008


Very good news, I finally found a machine shop to machine my coupler! I am going over the finer detials with them and got a really good price. I hope to be able to drop off the components before I leave on vacation so they can work on it when they get the time. Tomorrow I am going to call them and see if that works for them.

My circuit breaker came in today. It's an AirPax 250 AMP 125 Volts DC breaker that is massive. It came in a huge packing box, but it great condition. I bought it off eBay for $20, which is a steal. It was brand new, surplus and measures 10.5 inched in length.

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

Contactor Trials

I spent most of the afternoon in the nice cold basement watching Star Trek: Enterprise and making my starting system for my EV. I am using the casing from an ATX power supply and I have placed both contactors in it and I am considering painting it a nice color.

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

Getting Ready!

Ok, so I have the accesories motor, which is a 1.5 HP @96 volt motor that will be used to run the power steering and the air conditioning. I also have my two contactors that will be the main power switch for the EV. I have some 10 gauge wire that will be used to provide the logic power to my controller (24volts) and also to be used for the contactors.

My coupler is almost ready to be machined. I had to go back and make the drawings more detailed, and to make things go quickly the machine shop will only do the coupler and I will drill the plates myself. Tomorrow they should get the new drawings and it shouldn't take them too long to machine it up. If I am lucky, they can do it tomorrow and Friday.
Oh, yes I almost forgot. I have also ordered my last important part, the circuit breaker. I have a 125 volt 250 AMP circuit breaker on the way that will be my main safety feature and will also be my second cut-off switch next to my contactors. I chose a circuit breaker over fuses because my controller is expermiental and I really can't afford to be cooking fuses like crazy if anything goes crazy.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Motor Fun

So I finally decided to cut the motor shaft myself. I have been debating this part for 6 months, and I really have no idea why I didn't do it earlier. It was so easy to do. A brand new hax saw blade and I was set. It took about 10 minutes of slowly cutting and turning the shaft for the best cut. I did it all by hand so reduces the chances of any accidents, and it went great.

This week we are going to contact a few machine shops and hopefully get the coupler machined.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Major Milestones

Well I have accomplished three major milestones in my quest toward an EV. The first was that I finally fixed the power windows! The ground wire is shot somewhere between the door and the G551 ground section on the car. So I jumpered the Power Window Ground to the Power Lock ground, which ends up at the G551 anyways and now they work.

This is the door with the interior taken off and the wiring cables exposed. Honda was actually nice enough to leave two junctions opened on the power windows ground and the power locks ground so all I had to do was remove the electrical tape, add a new wire and solder it. Then I taped it all up, put the car back together and it worked once again.

The next major milestone is that I received my plates, spacers and couplet materials for my adapter system. This weekend I plan on making exact templated from poster board for each plate for easy drilling. I believe I can drill the plates myself and next week my dad is taking the coupler pieces and drawings to a machinist and see if he can do it.

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.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

More Summer Heat

I actually did some work on the car today, but not the kind I was really looking forward too. We had a few parties and events today and the windows decided the completely fail in between them, rolled down. I spent a good chunk of this afternoon trying to find the problem and get them closed before it rains later. The wire harness from the door to the car is pretty shot and the grounding wire is no longer connected so all the control for the power windows failed. I took apart the door control panel and connected a wire from the panel to the battery ground, started the car up and managed to close the windows. I should have taken some pictures, but dark clouds were coming and it slipped my mind. They still do not function and I really can't fix it until I take the car apart since part of the dash probably has to come out. At least they are now closed and I know the exact problem with them. I am going to do some more research and read through the factory manual to figure out the best way to repairs the whole wire harness.

I am also learning to program my PIC microprocessors so I can make a more advanced controller. Right now I have a motor that can accept 96 volts and nothing higher. My more advanced design will have the ability to limit to output voltage, so I can set it to output no more than 96 volts, but allow for battery packs up to 156 volts. This would allow my to make my 96 volt system and if I find the range isn't enough or I want more, all I have to do is add another battery until I reach 156 volts.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Summer Sweat

Not much happened today except yard work and installing the window air conditioners. It was 95 F and humid and I did not like it one bit!

So after losing a few gallons water, I decided that I should make a specifications book of my EV. A few people have shown interest in my design so I am making a few pages of my research relevant to my Civic, range estimations, coupling designs, controller desgins, explanations of component choices, component lists and pricing.

I have been toying with the idea of a DIY Electric Car magazine and have been posting my thoughts on the DIY Electric Car forums and I think I will make a demo magazine using the research I have done and my own conversion. I just need to get some really good pictures of my car and components so maybe tomorrow I can set some decent pics up and write a bunch of stuff. I already have 4 or so pages of written research so it shouldn't be too hard to come up with a 20-30 or so page magazine. Like a small magazine version of my blog to hand out to curious folks.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Raw Materials

Now I am making the final measurements before I purchase all the the aluminum and stainless steel for my adapter system. I am figuring out the best way to piece the system together and keep the costs down. Hopefully I will have everything set and I will purchases the metal tonight. I decided to make the plates my self and to get the coupler machined and I should be getting it machined for a good price.

I also have acquired all the heavy gauge cabling! It was great actually, I was mowing the lawn and found a spool of heavy gauge wire behind the shed that my dad put there a few years ago because he had gotten it and had no use for it. There is over 40 Ft of 3/0 gauge equivalent wire and it should be all the wire I need. This is about a $200 savings so I am psyched!

Update: I have ordered all of my aluminum plates, spacers and the stainless steel piece that will be used for my coupler. All I have to do is wait for the pieces to come in and find a machinist for the coupler. I have e-mail a few and they either did not return my e-mail, or are booked until mid July which is too long for me.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

First Battery

I have bought my first out of the eight EV batteries. It's a Walmart MAXX29 12 volt 125Ah deep cycle that has shown great promise so far. It was manufacted this month (May 2008) and was fully charged when I bought it. I hooked it up to my controller and motor and it ran great and was still fully charged after 20 minutes of playing with it. My last battery barely lasted 5 mins on testing and completely gave out after 15 mins so this is a great upgrade. 96 volts 125 Ah will give a 12 KWh pack of batteries. I hope to be getting some more in the coming weeks while I am still getting my adapter plate and coupler made. I may order the raw materials this week so I can attempt to lay everything out so the ready for a quick machining.