Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Live Video Streaming

Well, Ive been hammering out some serious testing for doing some live video streaming. On a budget it is going to be a tough call. I found a couple services that may work but there are problems. I have a fast enough internet connection to do streaming video and do good streaming video. Its something I have wanted to do for the past year. So far I can stream via my iPhone from make.tv and it does pretty good except the video can be choppy. I have turned down the quality and not gotten any better. I used my own wireless here at home so my phone would have no issues. Not. The others including make.tv have audio sync problems and very high delay rates. That totally sucks. I also get audio feed back that sounds like crap. At this point I think I am going to stay with video and then just post video to watch. Live could be cool. The costs are high for services if its a hobby like mine would be. The free services are slow, filled with ad content and have little in the way of features. Features cost a crap load of money. Like $99 per month. Ouch. Some even in the $399 and $999 per month. Seriously? Really? Best have some serious equipment and money coming in do pay that per month. Out of my league. Still looking for hardware to allow me to do some quality streaming. My Sony Camera will do some killer HD output so that equipment will be fine. Just need a good reliable hdmi decoder that will work on my computers. Prefer to do this mobile. Arrrrg. Google Hangouts is OK but still need a way to have it recognize the camera. Computers don't have HDMI in. Only HDMI out. So an encoder is required but will the encoder allow the program like Google Hangouts recognize the decoder as a video source. I have a nice usb out video camera that does pretty good output but does not do audio. The audio I can supply won't sync up. So that setup is useless. For a web cam it would be OK.

Does anyone have any great ideas on how to setup a solid quality video stream for some weekly video fun with building and talking EV's?

Pete :)

Friday, February 14, 2014

E Käfer Project

My VW Käfer Roadster Project is about to get on the road. Once on the road we will be doing video and other projects with the car. I am going to make it a fair weather rally vehicle for loads of fun around our little town. Setting up a different way to do the DC charging tonight. Should be a much better way.

Pete :)

Thursday, February 13, 2014


Been mucking around some more with the DC charging. The firmware is not fully functional but the reason is because there was little interest in DC charging with the controller. The good news is however that the new updated AC charging scheme is actually usable with DC charging as long as you setup the transformer sensing circuit. That however requires you to have an AC source as well as a DC source. Its not as elegant as I'd like but have put in my piece to Synkromotive to see if they can do a similar sensing scheme but use DC instead of AC. If that is the case it will open the DC charging for anyone with a Synkromotive controller and allow you if you want to use AC as well. I like the DC route because it can provide very high input currents for super fast charging if you have the proper DC source. My external inductor works great. The problem with the current DC firmware is not the DC charging portion but switching back to drive mode is one single setup. I want no complex setups or setups that require more than one switch to make work. It should be able to be setup without having to use your computer to switch from drive to charge and back and should not require a computer to determine if your charging from AC or DC. So its my hope that this will all come together soon.

If you have the ability to charge from DC it would open up using old golf cart chargers and welders and even directly from solar panels or banks of batteries if you have an off grid array. If you happen to be at an RV site you can just plug into AC but you'd have to have on board a transformer to step down 110 or 220 to an acceptable level for charging your pack.

I think its a perfect move to super fast charging from a multitude of sources all in one package. No expensive chargers that are limited to one pack voltage.

It is my hope that there will be a true interest when we prove it is quite a viable thing. One controller and little else.

Can any one say controller/charger in one? Who else can do this? I can also charge from 24 volts to a max of 192. Who else can do that? None.

More on charging

I found an issue that needs addressed. The inductor is not in the most ideal place. I will move it to a better connection point. I also found out that the Synkromotive controller does not like the contactors with the economizer on the contactor. It has a hard time telling if its a viable connection. Best are the contactors without the economizers. I have three Curtis Albright Mag blow out contactors. I don't like them as they are bulky. So I modified one of my Kilovac contactors by removing the economizer. I don't mind because these were purchased for only $5 each. I got a total of 4 for $20 bucks. What a steal. I got them at a VW show from a guy selling off electric city bus parts for ev conversions. Cheap. I got the contactors. Sweet deal. So after some more testing tomorrow with the inductors in a better position and the modified contactors I hope to rectify an issue. I can make it work as I want but I want it to all work as it should. Digging issues out is not always an easy thing to do. The position change should be a big deal. May just fix the problem.


Well, Ive been testing and testing and more testing with the welder as my DC source for charging with my Synkromotive. A new firmware version is in the works and should be a major improvement. I have installed my external inductors in series with my motors field windings. The change in frequency makes the motor field windings buzz or hummm with the controller in charge mode and charging. Using my clamp multimeter to check amperage I was getting a solid 24 amps into my pack.  Since the welder I am using for my DC source is old it also does not provide a clean DC output. The controller does a pretty good job of cleaning things up. It bucks that low voltage through the inductors and field windings to the pack voltage needed to charge the pack. The welder provides about 75 volts and up to 150 amps of output. This is an ideal voltage and since the welder is connected to 220 volts that 60amp circuit becomes 120 amps on the 110 side of things. So with that much current available I can pump in some pretty good currents. I set my current on the controller to 75 amps but that is not what goes into the pack. I am going to do some more tomorrow and set my current level at 150 amps to see how well it will handle that power. The benefit of this controller being a charger allows you to save space, weight, and gives you the ability to charge no matter what your pack voltage happens to be. There is no bulky heavy equipment and there is no need for that. I am going to be mounting the inductors on the car but the weight is minimal. It is actually not required to have an external inductor. One of my upcoming tests will be with Solar Panels directly. I'll wire up a bunch of panels and set them out and connect up the power to the car so I can charge directly. Not from batteries. But straight from the panels. Should be smoother but would take a whole lot longer. My inductors are from some old medical equipment that was discarded and I swept it up. I have some excellent quality 1/0 cables too. They are marked as ground but if covered could be used for anything. The quality is just too good to be thrown away. The inductor is a dual wire 5.5uh inductor. I have two. I have them in parallel then connected to the motor field windings. These make the field windings hum. Power goes into these before entering the field windings. The three contactors below are the main, charge and forward contactors. Also seen are two shunts for amp meters for both the motor and battery amp checking. The controller will do this for me so these are moot unless you want a mechanical gauge. I like the gauge. You can also see my throttle connected to the board. This board is fully a demonstration board for the purposes of testing and moving if needed. I can take out a couple cables and then just pop out the whole assembly. Makes for an easy way to check that your connections are correct before committing to a final installation. It is also great for demonstrating different things. Like a dual external inductor. I can connect up different ones and compare output. So my log functions are working so I can do some quick checks and log them and label them and then compare the graphs. It shows what happens if you use this or that. These are not huge inductors but they do work. My hand is in the photo to give a good indication as to the size of them both. So until tomorrow.

Friday, February 7, 2014


Just gotta watch this new commercial.

Swept Space

Wooo Hooo, finally after 5 years I get to sweep my space in my Garage for my Bug. I will be out of the rain tomorrow. Until I get the shop up the garage space will be mine, all mine. :) Its wet and we need it badly. I will be taking a vacation day tomorrow to work on the space and car. Things are lookin good.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Rain is here

Finally we get some water. Much needed water. Hope it stays around for the week. Well the wiring issue has gotten much better. I removed all the garbage for now. There are a few that need cleaned up a bit but for the most part the main stuff has been cleaned up and fixed. I have high and low beams, rear parking lights and blinkers and dash lights working. I have the dash lights coming on when the key is on. Not yet connected to the light switch. I will advertise for the light switch and emergency switch. The blinkers are not on the regular rear lights but should be. The fronts were removed and replaced with extra blinkers. I am going to use the parking lights in the head light housing for the front blinkers and I am going to change out the Ford Tear Drop rear lights for some stock early tail lights. I will be sure my blinkers are working properly. It will bring back the VW look but still be a one off Roadster. I now have my ground setup but I will be putting in some more grounding straps to the body and chassis. VW's are notorious for real crappy grounding so it is imperative that the grounding be real good and solid. My time ran out so I will connect up tomorrow and video on Sat, Yes, even if its raining. Well, I guess as long as it all works. High power connect tomorrow after work. Small connections are done.

Pete :)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

More Rain Coming.

More rain on the way. Was busy today with the Bug. Working on the cars 12 volt system. Oh crap, what a disaster. Good thing is that it looks like most of the original wiring is actually still there. Lots of extra wires that don't belong or are not connected. I got power from the 12V aux battery to the front Key and got the head lights working including the High and Low beams. Had to clean the floor mounted switch. Yes, the high/low beam switch on the old VWs are floor mounted. No need for steering column switches.

Kinda like this one. Exactly like this but not quite a nice looking but it does work.

I so much like the simple nature of the VW wire harness but you know, some folks can just screw up anything. Even as simple as the most basic of wire loom harnesses. Tomorrow I do the back up lights and then send power to the controller. I will have the main power cables connected to the controller tomorrow too. Still not sure if I will have a video this week. 

I need a light switch and the emergency switch was removed when the car was converted to the open top roadster. So I will put one back in but hidden under the dash so its out of sight but still there and functional. Then I need to get blinkers working. That is not so important right now. 

Pete :)