Monday, May 30, 2011

No Gas

Well I just got treated to a cool video from Nissan. Thought I'd pass it along. 

Check out Plugin Americas little adds too.
Plugin America has some funny vids too. Plugin America YouTube's

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Video Embedding

Playing with JW Player. Here is a vid from my server. Jay Bird. I took this footage during a bright sunny spot between rain storms today.

It might be slow because I am downloading a large file right now from the web. Should play fine tomorrow with out to much trouble. Just testing anyway. It wont be up long.


Crazy weather we are having. Normally it is hot and sunny by this time. We have been having lots of rain. Yesterday when I removed my differential I got a nasty sunburn on my legs. Today it is cold and raining with spots of dry and sun. Damn, another weekend day wasted. Well I am working on video stuff right now. Learning Final Cut Pro. Going to work with Motion too. A new learning curve for me but one I need to know. So days like this I can get that done.

Pete :)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Differential removed

I removed the differential from my parts MG today. Hit it with my soda blaster and it just peeled off the paint. I had to scrape off some deep gunk but it came out pretty clean. I will hit it more to clean it up more and will repaint the main part again with black. Then install it into the electric MG. I also got news from Synkromotive that I will be getting a new update firmware for the controller. I am going to be getting some information on charging too. Did a quick video but not sure if it will be posted. Just simple and quick. Waiting for a new camera and software. I will be doing some more videos soon. Going to try to have one at least every two weeks. Kinda hard when I work full time.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Vicor Megapac

Here are a few pics of the Megapac and a plugin brick. The bricks are not bare bricks. They are set to plugin to the Megapac. Works like a charm. You can set up these bricks in series or parallel and you can use more than one voltage for different needs. Like 15 volts for the main voltage and 12 for powering contactors and some with low amp output or some with high amp output. I have three 5v 40amp bricks in series for 15 volts and each is modified to output less than 5 volts so my controller is happy. I may change this as I also have 5.2v bricks at 24 amps that can be connected in series and set to output lower voltage or even higher if needed. They say up to like 10% more or less. I have six big Megapac's. You can use DC or AC power to power these. So they will take AC in and output DC or you can use DC in and get DC out. These can be set up to charge single cells too but with no controlls. They must be monitored if you use them to charge cells.

Pete :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Vicor Brick

Vicor Bricks for Mega Pac. I need to reduce the voltage output of each brick in series so my end voltage is about 13.4 volts. My controller balks at 14.8 volts but works fine at 14.6 and under. I finally decided to go to RadioShack and purchase some 100K ohm resistors. They are used to lower or raise the voltage a bit from the factory setting. I have 3 bricks in series each puts out just under 5 volts each. Nominal is 5 volts. It is under because I am at the lower input voltage for the MegaPac. I was successful at soldering in a resistor and now have 4.57 volts output. That falls well within my needs. About 13.7 volt output now and my controller will be happy. However it is a real pain in the ass to solder them in so I am purchasing some molex pins for the molex connector and just solder a molex on the end of each resistor and plugging in the resistor. It will allow for easy changing if needed and if I need to change the output I can unplug and slip on a new resistor. I can raise the voltage or lower it. Depending on the needs. Some can just leave the mega pack at the nominal voltage and just run at 15 volts. I'd have done that too but my voltage requirements require me to have less than 14.5 volts. I may use two sets. One for my controller only and the other set for the car so I can use 15 volts for my main power for the car. Simple and easy.

Pete :)


PB-6 working again. It was a loose bolt that holds things tight in the frame of the unit. Put in new lock washers and it is all tight again. Recalibrated the pot and it works smoothly again.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

PB-6 Troubles

PB-6 Troubles again. When the throttle is opened it runs but when the spring returns the throttle it takes off faster. There is one very very small dead zone where it stops. I will recalibrate the pot to the controller and if that does not work I will replace it with my other throttle. I don't want to do that but I guess I will if needed. Still needing to swap out the differential.

Pete :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

WarP Speed Sensor

Well I got my WarP Speed Sensor for my MG. I installed the sensor. I tried to drive two stock MG tachs and neither one work. I did snitch my sons tach out of his bug to see if I could use that one. It is an aftermarket VDO tach. Worked like a charm. Bummer that the stock tach would not drive with the sensor. I purchased an aftermarket tach today but it was too fat. Not by much but still too fat. I don't want to open the stock gauge hole so I went to take the gauge back but, dang, the store was closed for the weekend. Most of the stores around this hole close early. Not like the big city where things are open 24/7. Well, it looks like I need to either open the hole for after market gauges or just leave the dead tach in place and install a pedestal mount or pod mount tach. Bummer. But at least the sensor works. Time to do some disking for our garden. About 200 ft long and 15 ft wide.

Pete :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

EAA Meeting

I took my MG to the meeting on Saturday and showed it to everyone that showed up. We had about 12 folks there and one other EV. It was an electric Harly Trike. Just converted to lithium with a grand total of 4 miles logged before coming to the show. He used GBS lithium cells for a 100 AH 48 Volt system including BMS from He was so glad to ditch the lead. Finally got the lead out. He now has cargo room in the rear box and has his shocks back as well. His pack is only like 150 lbs. It is less but I don't remember exactly. Every one poured over the MG and Bike. We talked at the meeting about what kind of vehicles make good conversions and costs and kits and such. Use what you want and what you like rather than just some old junker lying around. Do it right. Don't bother with a kit and just source the components you need and find good quality parts new or used. Don't rush into a build and plan it well. Know your needs and desires and be reasonable with your expectations. A good 50 to 100 mile vehicle is possible but it will require a good plan and some skills. If you don't know, find out.

I was able to take two for a ride in the MG and they were duly impressed. I was impressed too because the car did not falter one bit and I was able to show them that EV's are not slugs. I showed them about driving in lower gears with the motor at higher rpms to keep the battery amp draw to a minimum and showed them about starting in higher gears like 2nd and 3rd. 2nd in the MG is quite good but much more sluggish in 3rd.  Don't bother in 4th. So up to 45 in second is good and at 45 in 2nd and two passengers the amp draw was 45 to 50. Nice. That is what I like. So don't over rev and stay in the higher rev range if you can. It will help.

Meeting was like 2 1/2 hours long and we hung out for another 45 minutes or so and did those two drives for the new to EV's folks.  Hope to see more next time.

Pete :)

Electric Auto Association is a good place to go for information and links too. Look for a chapter in your area and join in the meetings and maybe even join.

Friday, May 13, 2011

EAA Chico Chapter Meeting

I will be taking Black Midge to the Saturday meeting to show off the car. It is not fully ready but it is clean and drivable at this point. More fun stuff will be coming but for now it is going to go into prime time. I will report what happens at the meeting. If others here locally have any ideas or projects I will try to include them in one of our saturday doings shows.

Pete :)  

3KW Elcon Charger

For the second time the 3KW charger tripped the circuit breaker while charging on the 120 outlet. Looks like I need to set another outlet for dedicated only purposes. It is not really shared but I think the breaker is like only 20 amps for this particular outlet. I will dig later to figure that one out.

Pete :)

Brakes Done

Well, I found out that not only was the pedal assembly needing attention the master cylinder was in fact bad. It held pressure for only a few seconds and it leaked past the internal seal and would go flat unless you kept pumping the pedal occasionally. This is not a safe thing. I also found out that the brake light switch went bad as well. My parts car had a good master cylinder so I cleaned it and replaced it and bleed the brakes. Now I have good brakes and no loss of pressure. I think I still have a tiny bit of air but I can remove that later. For now its good. So I have replaced the drivers side wheel cylinder and shoes, the brake light switch, the master cylinder, and cleaned and replaced the pedal assembly. Now I can focus on changing the differential. When done it will be a fine little vehicle. Charging is being done now. Cells could be better balanced but that too will come later.

Pete :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pedal Assembly

Well the dirty work of installing the pedal assembly back into the car is done. Any missing bolts were replaced and it is all good. I did not give the paint enough cure but at this point it does not matter. Mostly it is not visible anyway and it will finish curing over time. All that is left is to bleed the brakes. I may be able to hook up my vacuum setup to bleed the brakes alone and to replace a good portion of the old fluid. Time to charge the car. :)

Big-E Project

Our Big-E project is still moving forward as is our buggy. I purchased some suspension components for the VW Bus so we can begin the lowering process. I will however need to use that new soda blaster on some components and on the underside of the bus. I will get more photos of that as soon as I can. Same for the buggy. I think I will pull the buggy out after this coming weekend due to rain coming over the weekend. No need to pull it out in the wet. Right now it's sitting covered. I think I may use that soda blaster to clean the old crappy paint off the motor on the buggy then repaint it. It is a tiny starter/generator style motor and it  should clean up the adaptor plate real nice too. Then we can finish our testing of the Kelly Controller with the starter/generator style motors. If it works and lives then there will be a viable option for owners of these little motors to actually use them once again on their buggies but have a real smooth controller rather than the old contactor style speed control. Those were fine long ago but today they are not.

Pete :)

Brake Issue

Well I went out and purchased a portable Soda Blaster to do my cleaning and paint removal requirements. Wow. That sucker really works great. Not only does it clean grease and grime like yesterday it removes paint with no damage to the metal and it takes off light rust as well. Heavy rust is not on the table with these blasters. No biggie. I have sand for that. I used the blaster to clean the pedals and the whole assembly and then used some rust converter on the parts then I got some good primer on then painted the whole thing yesterday. It is now nice and shiny black. Two coats of rattle can but good quality enamel were used. I have the shaft assembled and I used never seize on the shaft for the lubricant grease. It works great and I have never ever had any trouble again with any thing that has that stuff on it. EVER. So it will be installed back into the car this evening and I will be up and ready to go before dark. I still have to go do 8 hours of my normal job so I won't be doing this till around 4:30 today. Almost time to jet off to work. It is now 5:50am pacific time.

Pete :)

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Well I found out yesterday that the master brake cylinder was not the problem. The problem is the pedal assembly. I had to remove the entire pedal assembly and take it apart. Once cleaned it worked again. This time I am going to use a coating of graphite and use never seize compound on the shaft to prevent further rusting and to promote good clean pedal movement. I am going to go today to pick up a dry soda blaster for a ton of small parts I need to clean. I am going to try it on the external body of the master cylinder and some other parts like the pedals and then repaint them before re-assembly. I should be up and running soon.

Pete :)