Wednesday, February 27, 2013

EVSE Problem

I purchased my current EVSE in Aug 2011. It is just over a year old and starting this past week when I disconnect my EVSE requires a reset in order to charge. I have word into the company but since it is out of warranty I am afraid it will cost a bit which will require me to send it in to be fixed leaving me with my 110 EVSE to take over the task of charging until it gets sent back. Bummer. It is a sealed unit and is water tight. It resides in my car port and is not abused. It gets dirty on the outside.

Owl Fun

This is live footage from Oklahoma City, OK. Two babies. One three days old. Pretty cool. Rare opportunity to watch live.
Streaming by Ustream

Saturday, February 23, 2013

New York Taxi

What a cool Taxi. Straight from NY. What a cool color. Nissan should adopt that color for those that charge from the SUN. Solar Yellow maybe?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Grid Alternatives

Well we went and joined Grid Alternatives to help and learn about installing solar panels. Grid Alternatives installs solar for qualified low income folks that own their own homes. Most systems are small but one thing the program does is gets those that are interested in solar an avenue to become a certified installer so they can start their own businesses. Our goal is to not only help but to also to get our certifications to start our own business. My wife and I went on our first volunteer site build today in our local neighbor hood. It is a small system but we got our hands on and helped build the system for the house. The last thing is to put the panels on and connect the micro inverters then turn on the system. Being a micro inverter system the install is super easy. Both my wife and I will become team leaders and then we will work towards our certifications for the business. I still work so I can't attend all the builds. Tomorrow we must work and will miss the panel install portion of this particular build. Bummer. But I do have to work. We both do. There are usually two builds per week so we will have plenty of builds to go to. Just wanted to share this with you all.

If your interested in helping and learning contact Grid Alternatives.

It was great working with others with the same interest. I like helping and learning. 


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Aaaaaa Fiat 500 E Mmmmmm

Well its good to see that the Fiat 500 E will be coming out and its good to see that it has a pack the same size as the Leaf. Guess the aerodynamics suck because the range is not much better. But its cute as a button. I don't like the pricing. If they are serious they will need to drop the price like Nissan. I'd bet that they would do quite well if they became serious about this cute car. It has a nice following and I and my wife for one love the looks of this cool little car. Going electric is the next best thing they could do. I love that Electric Orange. If the price is on the same level as the Leaf I will buy another. Might even just ditch the projects too if that happens. Yes, I am one of those that feels that home conversions will go away if the price comes down to a reasonable level. $26000 would do it for me. It would be better if the rebates remained for a while too.

Pete :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Standards War

A little bit on standards war. It is about as simple as getting everyone on the same page with a simple but effective plug that will not only do level II but will also do fast DC charging. I can see where the need for CAN is in implementing standards as most vehicles are CAN operated or have CAN support. There are those die hard souls that still think the plug in the car should still be the standard household plug because it best fits the GRID. Well it is not so. The part that plugs into the car has nothing to do with the GRID but every thing to do with the car. It is what is plugged in and out daily and sometimes more than that. In a lifetime it will have over 2000 uses and needs to still be tight and work properly after that time. The J1772 fit that but some others are showing that a sleeker design is just as effective. I actually like the Tesla Design and the Design in the UK for their standard. I don't however like the looks of the original Chademo. That too with change but that is another story for later. I have a video I did today that is mostly a slam because of one persons insistence on having a household plug and that its not a simple thing unless its used. Yes, they have been used for a long time but it has not been without issues. Cheap extension cords being a big deal if you don't get it right and having cord ends melting because of too much power for the weenie cords. I have one that I thought was more than good enough to use to extend my original 110 evse a few extra feet to reach my car. I plugged it into the wall then the evse into the extension cord and the end got hot and melted. Ouch. Never again. Either plug the evse in directly or be sure you have a very robust extension cord. I decided to make a robust cord. It was easy and never again did I have a hot or melted extension cord plug. The EVSE and the J1772 or the equivalent is what you should use. They still connect to the grid and all the OEM electrics and plugin hybrids come with a portable evse for emergencies anyway for use in any household plug for a slow safe charge.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Not much here

I decided to double check my work getting the 914 running and since it had been so long since it ran I wondered how well it would start today after sitting a full day. Well, just as hoped, it fired without even touching the throttle on the first crank of the engine. I need to have a look at the starter to see if its loose. The engine still runs well so I am good to go from here.

Im still pondering the motor/controller setup. Guess it might be DC after all. That way I can use the Synkromotive for FAST DC or AC charging. No need for the Pulsar with the Synkromotive.

Now that the air is getting more like spring around here and we have more light after work I can begin finishing up the Roadster. Its time to get the motor installed and the batteries in and the Synkro setup for fast AC charging.

If I do decide on DC for the 914 I will buy another Synkromotive controller for that one too.

I still need to setup my AC and finish up the connections on the wall. I am going to setup for 60 amps into the pack. That should suffice for my home charger. Might even set up a small 15 amp circuit so I can plug in anywhere and to be able to use any AC outlet.

I need to remind that this is for 110 and not 220. I am setting up a 200 amp 110 circuit box in the garage. The Synkromotive controller has no way to reduce the 220 voltage to 110 so we use 110 and then bump that to 192 volts. If the controller were able to handle like 300 volts then we could do this with 220 wall volts. We need a good inductor for bumping up the voltage and I have a few to use.

However with DC we can pump it up to some real high voltages like 156 volts stationary pack then bump that up to the 192 volts needed for a 60 cell pack. The closer to the nominal voltage without reaching the minimal nominal voltage the better it works. But it always needs to be less so the inductor can boost it up.

CC/CV charge algorithm. You have full control of the end voltage. Works great. Ives from Synkromotive uses his AC charging daily. I hope to do DC for my Roadster.

Friday, February 8, 2013


Well how de do. The Porsche Lives. The guy I purchased it from was having trouble starting the car but it turned over and got fuel. I checked and it got spark too. Now, mind you its an old fuel injection system of California Vintage and utilized a vacuum advance for the distributor. Typical of the old VW engines the cloth covered rubber vacuum lines got brittle and lost the ability to hold a vacuum. There was no fuel leakage so I knew that the fuel lines were good. But the crazy thing would not start. Today I took off the distributor cap and checked the cap, points and wires. All pointed to being good and it was. The one thing these old suckers need is a good vacuum when you start up for the distributor or you don't get the proper advance for proper starting. I did not have a new line but was able to trim the ends just enough to give some good vacuum for the distributor. Once I did that I gave the key a twist and got it to chug, then chug again and then again then it just fired up and stayed running. For not running for like 3 years it did pretty darn good. No smoke, No missing and it actually has good power for a 1700 cc VW Type 4 engine. One quick trip on the road and all is good. Now to check out the brakes. Another easy fix. It does stop but I do need to have a look at them. So for now the Porsche gets to keep its engine and will get some more road time with it. Not that I like gasoline but since I have projects on the table already that need finished first I will enjoy the 914 for a bit more with the engine in place.

Pete  : )

Thursday, February 7, 2013

More 914

Well today the rain came early before I could cover the car so instead I just let the rain wash the dust off and when I got a break in the rain I went out to get some pics. It's still on the trailer but it will be removed soon. Not likely today. Maybe Sat. So here you go.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


The 914 has arrived home. My Son went out on my behalf and picked up the car for me today. He was duly impressed with the condition of the car and he gave it a real good look over for me. The car is an original 73 Porsche 914 wearing original Signal Orange paint and its in excellent condition for being original and being a car that saw plenty of miles on the road. I can say I have never seen better for an old car. I love the color. I fell in love with the Signal Orange long ago but never thought I'd have one wearing that color. It is dusty and in need of a bath. Its been garaged all its life so I need to keep the car protected as well. I will get it a cover for when its out side. It will not be converted right away but it will be converted. Interior is just as clean. Perfect? No but very very nice.

I will have more photos of the car tomorrow. I will clean up the dust first then dry it off and then do a photo shoot. For now a simple pic at the time of pick up will have to suffice.

The Porsche also comes with Original Pedrini Alloy Rims with Original Porsche Center Caps like the ones shown below. They are nice rims. They are much nicer than I had thought. The ones pictured are to show the style.

Pete :)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Dry California History

I just committed to purchasing a 1973 Porsche 914. The car is a California Car and dry and rust free. A rare thing with these cars and like the VW Bug quite frequently have rust issues. Even the dreaded Hell Hole for the 914 is rust free. Very nice. I am sure that once I dig deeper I may find something but the price is good even if there happens to be some deep hidden gunk. So far none has been found. It is the original color and in good condition. Good enough to polish and go with it with out a repaint. That is awesome. I will get the vehicle running very good with the gas engine before removing it as I can sell a turn key engine for a decent price. I'd bet I could get at least 1K from the engine as a complete turnkey. I was considering changing the R&P to more like the performance transaxle I have for the VW Roadster. Anyway I am happy with the purchase and will be getting to work on it soon. The VW Roadster is still in limbo but I will continue soon. Yea Yea I know. Ive been saying that for some time now.

I now have a new microphone to use for my videos and I have a microphone boom for my smaller Shotgun microphone. I have some new lenses for my camera so I can take better photos and video. Still working with them as they are from old SLR cameras and converted to use for my Digital Camera.

So plans are to convert to electric in the near future. I am going to take suggestions on what system would be best and if any can help directly with this conversion I will welcome the help. I can do a DC system but my focus is on doing an AC with this but not with the Weenie AC24 from Electro Automotive. I am not sure if the AC50 with the Curtis will be much better. I do want decent performance but I am not looking for a hotrod. Just a nice sports car equal or better than the originals. There are some choices out there but I am not sure which to do. The only real accessible choice right now is the HPEVS system available but I still do not see the AC51 and the 144 volt controller nor do I see the AC75 in its manufactured glory ready for prime time. There is the Scott Drive System but that is still a bit elusive to consider quite yet. There is the option of finding an industrial AC motor and have it rewound but I would still need a custom adaptor made. Rewinding a motor is an interesting idea but I would still need a controller. I could actually buy one of the AC motor from the Fire Sale as well as a controller ready to go. But still need to get a control unit and a configuring cable and software to be sure it is set up correctly. DC still happens to be the easiest conversion but I am concerned about the long distance driving with brushed motors over time.

So nows your chance to have some input on a conversion that is not your own. I welcome parts and accessories that are spare and I welcome trading stuff I have to help fund this ride.

Do not hesitate to post your ideas or helps. I will consider every thing.

Here are some photos of the 914 for you. Still in all the dust and beauty of the barn/garage.