Thursday, November 15, 2012

Data Recovery

Data Recovery sucks but it has been successful. I am currently saving all the files I was wanting to save. Once done I will reformat the drive and continue on. It was an issue of putting the drive in a Macbook that was not compatible with the newest OS. My bad. I now have nearly 5T of disc storage space at home. 1T specifically for video. FCPX is an excellent program. Now that I have the junk off my machine I am moving along quite well.

Pete :)

More Delays

Got the new hard drive setup and pretty much all is good except all of a sudden my external hard drive no longer boots one of the partitions where all my video is stored. Drats. Digging into the matter to try to recover as much as possible before reformatting the drive. What a waste of time. If I can't get the files needed I will have to do the Fast Charge Discharge testing all over again. Ug. Besides that all is well. The drives are so large that even using the macs time machine to back up requires another drive at least as large if not larger than the main drive being backed up. It sucks up lots of space. I now have a large 1T drive for my video storage while I process video. :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Video Progress

Well, I ran into an issue with the new Final Cut Pro X and could not for the life of me figure it out. Well it happens that there is a program out for the mac called MacKeeper which is a program to keep your mac safe. Well, it is actually a problem program and has caused many problems since its inception and continues today to cause problems. The program is more like a virus and does not keep your mac safe. I did a full clean install of OSX and Final Cut Pro X and I am now back in the game. So if you have a Mac and you have MacKeeper you WILL have troubles. There is no doubt. If you see the program DO NOT down load the program. If you do you might consider doing a clean install and ditching the program. Just dumping the program is not good enough. A clean install is the only way.

I am glad I did this as I also decided to update my laptop with a 512Gig SSD drive. I love the new silent drive. Kinda like my car. I like. No more hard drive whine. It just works. So my laptop is all solid state with the only moving parts are the keys and screen hinge. That's all. Well I do still have my dvd drive but there is a product out that will allow you to install another hard drive in your computer and allow you to take that dvd drive out and make it an external drive for the very few times you may find you need it. I have not used my drive for a very long time. Some new macs don't even have them. I am ditching it and going to install another 512 gig SSD drive. That will give me plenty of storage and plenty of quick access and no worry about the drive crapping out.

Pete :)

My A123 Fast Charge video will be up soon.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Slow Charge

I did another charge discharge but this time I did it at an 8 amp current. The charge/discharge algorithm is set for CC/CV and it set to terminate at C/5. Not sure if I should go that low for the amps. So with the fast charge I got like 11 amp hours in and another two if I finished the charge at 20 amps instead of 45 amps. End voltage for the slow charge/discharge is set for 3.5 volts on the high end and 2.5 on the low end. So with the slow charge I got 13 amp hours and the same with fast charging. The cell is puffed from my initial FAST CHARGE to 3.7 volts. Ouch. I do believe it damaged the cell by over volting the cell. I am going to try one more cell but will for sure stop before 3.7 volts. 3.5 or 3.55 will be about it even with fast charging.

One thing I noticed is that the voltage drops and reaches 3.1 volts it is quite obvious that the charge is over. There is really very little amp hours from that point on. It took a good hour plus to pump in 2 amp hours. So at that end 3 volts is really the end of charge. See the Graph. It is right there. Can't refute that. Not when it is repeated over and over. The more graphs that are done the more it becomes obvious. No need to use a BMS either to fiddle around with that last bit. Just need a good smart charger and controller. Set your voltages to 3.5 on the upper end and 3.0 on the bottom resting voltage. So on your controller you could set your voltages to 2.5 under load before cut back or off as once the current is lifted the voltages will rise.

I noticed that the peak voltages are pretty much the same on the Hi-Power as well as the end voltages. The voltages drop at around 3.0 volts and peak at 3.5. You could even do 3.45 if you wanted.

Here are my last Graphs.

Second Fast Charge

I had unexpected results from my first Fast Charge. I was asked to do it again. I did a fill up charge to 3.5 volts at 20 amps CC/CV and terminated at C/5. That resulted in about 2 1/2 additional amp hours. I then discharged the cell at 20 amps to 2.5 volts then hold until the current drops to C/5 then terminate. That resulted in a total of 13.99 amp hours removed from the cell. Disappointing that the cell only held 14 amp hours. From a cell that was touted as a 20 amp hour cell. Anyway I then connected up the MegaPac to the cell and did another Fast Charge but this time stopped at 3.65 volts. I was able to put in just under 10 amp hours. Below are the graphs of the charge/discharge on the Power Lab 8 and the last two are the Graphs during the Fast Discharge. I did get more video but because it takes so damn long to process I decided that the Graphs are good enough. No real need to watch paint dry again.

The MegaPac is once again set at 5 volts and a solid 45 amp output from the module. 

These graphs are from the charge/discharge using the Powerlab 8. Such a wonderful tool. 

These two are from the latest FAST CHARGE at 45 amps

Unexpected Results

I have been setting up a battery testing bench to do some of my own Fast Charge tests on cells at a high amperage rate. I have a power source, JLD Volt Meter, and AH meter from Jack Rickards shop to keep watch on the cells and to turn them off when I wanted. Well I have not quite figured out how to set up the JLD switches yet. But with that I do have it all set up with my power source, meters and my PowerLab to monitor and log the voltage graph. I started out with an A123 cell that had been discharged to 2.9 volts at 20 amps then shut off. I then turned on the power source and began to monitor and log over time and on video. The power source is a 5 volt 40 amp MegaPac module. It holds 5 volts well and pumps out a solid 45 amps. During the entire test the voltage rose and the amperage stayed solid on 45 amps with no hiccups. The voltage rose to more than 4.5 volts at 1 ah pumped into the cell. The voltage rise was far higher than expected but at 4.7 volts and 10 ah's the test was terminated. It was terminated not because of heat but because of swelling of the cell. I saw an ever so slightly swelling of the pouch and knew I needed to shut down. The two unexpected things was the fast voltage rise and the fact that the cell and terminals were not hot at all. Heck they were not really warm either. So I am baffled at the voltage and as it was only 10AH were pumped into the cell so it was not overcharged. The cell was plenty empty. It has a similar curve to what Jack had with his test but mine had much higher voltages and it was confirmed that the high voltage was not a fluke on my system. I even did the same test on a Hi-Power Cell and even went to 4 volts and 45 amps and put in 77 ah's into a 100 ah cell. But at those high voltages damage does occur and gassing does occur. Yes even with LiFePO4 cells. I used the A123 because I was able to charge at a much higher C rate. The Hi-Power only got charged at under 1/2C. Not terrible high.

My power source is a MegaPac Power Factor Corrected output. It holds a solid 45 amp output at 5 volts real well. I am going to assume that the issue is with my power supply. 5 volts should not be that much of an issue for a cell that can or should handle with no trouble 3.8 volts and it should handle a solid 3C of charging and I was not even at that current rate. Yet I got slight puffing and pulled the plug early. You will see on the video what I am taking about. One thing I did notice was that there was more puffing after the cell sat overnight. I looked and felt it and you can see and feel the puffiness of the cell. It is much more so today than right after the test. So gassing continued even after the power was pulled. Voltage is sitting at a cool 3.34 volts.

Here is a rough graph I exported from the PowerLab 8 after the test. I have to go back and reexport the text file for Excel.

Monday, November 5, 2012


Sold before I even had a chance to see it. See what happens when you have full time job. Go to work and loose out on a killer deal. Sucks.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Still Hunting

Still hunting for another Ghia. Damn, I really love these little cars. My very first reaction back in High School to a VW Ghia was Yuck, what an ugly car. It was actually a piece of crap. Then I remember seeing my first Notch Back. I had to stop and go have a close look at what that cool looking car was. I was surprised to find out it was a VW. Never before had I seen one . The Type III is the best handling of the early VW's in stock form. I really liked my 67 Fastback. Had plenty of Busses over the years and really like the 13 Window Deluxe. Plenty of room and lots of visibility. The Panel Bus really requires good dual side mirrors to see around the vehicle. While in the service I had a 62 Mini Cooper, 70 Nova and a 72 VW Ghia with Factory Air. Damn if it was not the best air conditioner I have every used in ANY car I have owned since. I am looking at a 66 Red Ghia right now and it is a daily rust free driver. Price is right and should provide a good daily driver as an electric. Since I have all the components I can do the change rather quickly. Not like the 62 Roadster that is requiring much in replacement parts to make it road worthy once again. Thankfully it is almost ready for the motor to be installed. The other Ghia I was looking to get is just a bit out of my desired price range for what it is. It looks good but this one is just as good looking. I like red and my First Ghia was the 72 which was Red as well. My favorite color is Yellow and Sage Green. My Bus will be Sage Green when we finish that project.