9:12am July 27, 2007 - It's Alive!

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

This morning, I hacked together a serial cable to talk with the ccShell program provided by Azure Dynamics to communicate with the controller. You need to contact Azure Dynamics directly to get the.ccs file that works with ccShell; it's not available on their FTP site. Here's the hacked up serial cable attached to the laptop. After setting up Hyperterm for 19,200 baud N,8,1,no handshake, I was able to turn the keyswitch and get a boot screen and binary data dumping out the serial port.

2007 100

Battery Equalizer Schematics Rev 1.0

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

I'm currently working on a battery equalizer for the 914 EV based on the whitepaper at the following link: [link] The above two schematics show the circuit that I'm experimenting with using 12V batteries. It seems to work fine on my bench. The circuit above costs less than $10 per battery in parts and I hope to make this available to everyone to help people make their batteries last longer. By clicking on the images, you can get a much larger version of the pictures.

2007 131

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Trending Sources

$92.22

Plugs and Cars

a barrel on January 18, 2007. NY Times reports: Oil Prices Continue to Rise $91.86 per barrel at Friday's close. A little context: oil at its lowest this year? 50.48

2007 100

V2G Test Drive

Plug In Partners

Xcel Energy announces six-month test drive of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles DENVER - Six plug-in hybrid electric vehicles ( PHEVs ) will be on the road by the end of 2007 as part of a demonstration test of vehicle-to-grid ( V2G ) technology by Xcel Energy.

2007 100

The Cash Back Hybrid

Plug In Partners

By John Voelcker First Published October 2007 Google , a former CIA director , the Natural Resources Defense Council , a U.S. N ot that long ago, the idea that the transportation sector might actually provide energy back into the stationary generation sector was pretty much on the outside of the bell curve of acceptable thinking. Today the VtoG concept is a respectable topic in respectable circles.

2007 100

Ford, VW Ante Up

Plug In Partners

2007 Ford Motor Company has embarked on a bold mission to bring back the Escort name in a revolutionary new Plug-in Hybrid vehicle. M omentum for a Plug in Future continues. First, there is this story from Volkswagon. Apparently, VW is set to unveil an Up!-based based minivan in Tokyo, followed by a plug-in hybrid sedan at Los Angeles. Since the goal of the Up !

2007 100

The 60,000 Volt Question

Plug In Partners

23, 2007 -- General Motors Corp. I f there is any doubt that GM is serious about PHEVs, here is one more story that indicates that they are indeed very serious. GM Could Reportedly Produce 60,000 Plug-in Hybrids in 2010 Source: GreenBiz.com by Jeff Green at Bloomberg OAKLAND, Calif., could reportedly produce up to 60,000 Volt electric cars in 2010 , its first anticipated year on the market.

2007 100

The Plug In Scooter

Plug In Partners

Piaggio launches hybrid scooter 02 Aug 2007 Italian manufacturer Piaggio , the maker of Vespa , has launched an environmentally friendly hybrid scooter by mechanically and electronically linking a traditional combustion engine with an electric motor. G enerally, when we talk about Plug Ins , we think about automobiles. And there has been some big news on that front in the last few weeks. Toyota has now moved to have a plug-in approved in Japan and will test them on California campuses.

2007 100

Here Come the PHEVs

Plug In Partners

Audi Metroproject Quattro T his has been a big week of announcements from car manufacturers. One is from the new auto start up Fisker. Fisker's high end-plug in CNET News Blog Posted by Michael Kanellos Fisker Automotive. Think of it as a marriage between the Chevy Volt and the Tesla Roadster. The company is planning to come to market in about 18 months with a high-performance, high-end, plug-in hybrid sedan. The car will cost $80,000.

2007 100

An E-mail from Azure Dynamics about the DMOC445

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

Thanks Beth Silverman * From: Tim Kutscha [mailto:tim_kutscha@yahoo.com] Sent: Monday, September 17, 2007 8:34 PM To: Beth Silverman Cc: tim_kutscha@yahoo.com Subject: Re: tapping into the encoder signals to drive the RPM gauge Hi Beth, I hope you had a good two days off last week. I recently sent off an e-mail to Azure Dynamics, the maker of the DMOC445 AC motor controller in the 914 kit.

2007 100

Ford and Edison

Plug In Partners

Ford, utility join to promote plug-in vehicles Reuters India Sat Jul 7, 2007 DETROIT (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co and power utility Southern California Edison will announce an unusual alliance on Monday aimed at clearing the way for a new generation of rechargeable electric cars, the companies said. Henry Ford and Thomas Edison M omentum for Plug-ins continues to build as two of the biggest names in transportation and energy meet.

2007 100

BMW H2 BS

Plugs and Cars

With hydrogen as a fuel option, the car is so expensive and made in such limited numbers it has no MSRP and is not rated on the EPA Green Vehicle Guide for 2007 or 2008. Terry Tamminen, Arnold's green guru, showed up at the Santa Monica AltCar Show in a BMW Hydrogen 7. Mr. "Lives Per Gallon" ought to be ashamed to lend his name to BMW's greenwashing. But of course he's been hydrogen's biggest booster, despite its inefficiencies and impracticalities. You can't beat a free car and free fuel.

2007 100

Snatching the Transmission Back

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

Well, I'm back to square one again on the tranny. Rennsport Systems kept my transmission for over two months and didn't work on it. I asked the good folks over at 914world.com about the situation and most people suggested that I was waiting far too long and paying far too much for what I was doing. Two folks highly recommended I go out to the Rennsport shop without calling ahead of time and just take the transmission back, just to be sure they didn't start working on it as I drove over.

2007 100

Easy as A123

Plug In Partners

P erhaps the most important milestone in developing Plug in Hybrids is the availability of an affordable, practical, and powerful battery pack. Here is a significant announcement by David Vieau , CEO of A123 Systems.

2007 100

Plug-in Hybrid Bills in Congress Scare Auto Makers

Plugs and Cars

The Senate bill is known as the FREEDOM Act ("Fuel Reduction using Electrons to End Dependence On the Mideast Act of 2007"); the House bill the more prosaic "Plug-in Hybrid Opportunity Act of 2007." The Detroit News Autos Insider column today is reporting on Congressional efforts to promote plug-in hybrids and the backlash from the automakers. Toyota made the car, the Prius, that made plug-in conversions possible, and now they are trying to rein in the desires unleashed.

2007 100

The Volvo Recharge

Plug In Partners

A nother major manufacturer is unveiling their PHEV at a car show. This time, it's Volvo. Here's the story from duemotori.com. Volvo Cars is introducing the Volvo ReCharge Concept , a plug-in hybrid with individual electric wheel motors and batteries that can be recharged via a regular electrical outlet for maximum environmental benefit.

2007 100

Still waiting for the Transmission

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

Well, it's been over a month since I've posted since the holidays are here and I'm still waiting for the transmission to get back. I talked with a guy at Rennsport Systems last week and he said he'd see what was going on and get back to me. Still haven't heard from him. I'll try again tomorrow. On a more positive note, Ross Cunniff got his 914 AC kit running recently and Bob has been making progress on his BMW 325i performance EV (see links at right).

2007 100

Tata Takes On Air

Plug In Partners

Air-Car Ready for Mass Production Bob Ewig Popular Mechanics May 31, 2007 The world's first commercial compressed air-powered vehicle is rolling towards the production line. W ith all of the accelerated development in advanced batteries, most car companies are focusing on that technological track. Here is an exception from the largest car maker in India.

2007 100

Volt for Real?

Plug In Partners

F or those who think that GM is not serious about its new PHEV , the Volt , here is a piece that makes you think they are: The Volt To Be Lutz's Legacy May 21, 2007 So, I heard General Motors’ Bob Lutz on National Public Radio’s “Wait. Wait Don’t Tell Me” this past Saturday.The GM product boss said the vehicle he is most excited about, and the one he thinks will be the most significant for GM, is the Chevy Volt.

2007 100

DOE Funds PHEVs

Plug In Partners

The submission deadline is Thursday, May 31, 2007. T he Department of Energy is moving forward to develop advanced batteries for PHEV s. Here is the story. DOE to Provide up to $14 Million to Develop Advanced Batteries for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S.

2007 100

Hair Dryers Installed

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

I took a few hours today to get the small hairdryers installed. In order to have a convenient switch to activate the hairdryers, I hijacked the defroster knob switch. I was lucky enough to have this option on my car. The wires from the defroster knob sit in their own plastic tube, so it was easy to find the yellow/red wire going towards the center wiring column of the car under the clutch pedal. This wire provides 12V when activated, just the thing I need to fire up the 12V DC relay.

2007 100

Serial Port and Hood Pin

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

Today was a bit slow. I received some AMP pins in the mail that fit the special connectors on the DMOC445 controller. To make the serial port more robust, I crimped the pins onto the ends of the 16-gauge wires and inserted them into the 8-position connector that came with the DMOC. Here's the finished connector. It's far more reliable than the simple sockets I had soldered to the end of the cable. See this post for the prior implementation.

2007 100

Dedicated Charging Outlet and Hairdryer Coupling

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

After sleeping for 14 hours last night, I think I'm somewhat recovered from that nasty cold. I dropped by Parkrose hardware after work and picked up some stuff to install in the EV. Since I have a gas range, I replaced the 240V breaker for the non-existant electric range with a 20-amp 120V breaker dedicated to charging the 914 EV.

2007 100

Running the AC24 at High RPM - maybe not

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

I'm still big-time sick today, but recovering quickly. In my efforts to understand the torque of the AC24 motor a bit more, I looked at the datasheet online at Azure Dynamics: [link] Hmm, it looks like the optimal operating point is really around 4500 RPM and torque drops off quite a bit at higher revs than that. In my frenzy to go on the freeway in first gear, I didn't really look at the operating characteristics of the motor.

2007 100

Initial Fuel Gauge Driver Schematic

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

Since I'm stuck indoors today to recover from a sore throat, I put together the following schematic to drive the fuel gauge based on the pack voltage. Click to enlarge the image) With the exception of the 4N25 opto-isolator, which I salvaged from a dead UPS, all parts are available at Radio Shack. I hope to implement this soon. Comments and feedback are welcome

2007 100

Finishing the Rain Gutter for the Engine Compartment

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

The major project of the day was finishing the rain gutter under the engine compartment lid. The original gutter was too deep and interfered with the rear battery box. As described in a previous post, I purchased a piece of ABS plastic from TAP plastics and bent the edges to make a rain catch. Here's the plastic that I bent a few weeks ago.

2007 100

Finishing the Serial Cable and Testing the Fuel Gauge

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

I had a bit more time today to work on some other small projects. Here's the 914 patiently waiting for its rebuilt transmission from Rennsport Systems. It'll be awhile since Rennsport won't start on the rebuild until November. Up until this point, the serial cable from the DMOC445 AC controller to the passenger seat was routed along the outside of the car.

2007 100

Giving up the Tranny to a Higher Mechanic

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

After receiving admonishment from two mechanics about driving around with a resonant frequency, I dropped the transmission out of the 914 and gave it to the experts at Rennsport Systems this morning for a precision overhaul. This is the fourth time dropping the motor/tranny, so I was able to do the whole process in less than an hour. Giving up the tranny was an ego battle for me because I had spent so much time rebuilding the transmission in the first place.

2007 100

Stamp of Approval

Plug In Partners

E PRI and the National Resource Defense Council have recently released a new study which shows the environmental as well as the economic benefits of plug-ins. Plug-in hybrids seen as vehicles for change A study projects lower emissions and sufficient power grid capacity.

2007 100

On the Road Again

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

I started commuting to work again today. I think the transmission is making slightly more noise than before but otherwise the car is fine. The RPMs are limited to 5300 RPM, so I won't have any resonant activity. I'm really happy that the tachometer is hooked up. It really helps me keep tabs on what happens to the motor/transmission at different speeds under different driving loads. It's also much easier to watch than the speedometer hidden behind the right edge of the steering wheel.

2007 100

Financial Times on Th!nk

Plugs and Cars

Financial Times Deutschland has a report on Th!nk nk Global. Putting a little flesh on the bones of previous reporting. 10,000 Think City electric cars in 2009. Parts manufacturing in Thailand and Turkey. As previous reported, plan is to sell the car (€25,000) and lease the battery. Zebra batteries first. Online marketing and sales. Think says it has battery supply contracts with three companies, and is moving into production.

2007 100

Getting the Tachometer and Lights Working

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

After receiving an updated.css file (ccShell config file) from Azure Dynamics for the DMOC445, I was able to access the EE1SpeedoDiv variable. After setting this to a non-zero value, I attached a scope to pin 25 of the main DMOC connector and (yay!) got a pulse train corresponding to the RPM of the motor. Here's the pulse train on the oscilloscope. It has a 50% duty cycle and swings the full 12V range. This makes it ideal to drive the 914 tachometer.

2007 100

Replacing the Pilot Bearing

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

I purchased a new pilot bearing for the flywheel to see if replacing it would help with the rattles. Flywheel - it's what's for dinner! I've found during my transmission rebuild that heating up components in the oven (200 F) sometimes helps with removing the bearings, so I heated up the flywheel prior to replacing the pilot bearing. I also put the new pilot bearing in the freezer to make it smaller. Here's the heated flywheel, clutch side up.

2007 100

Thoughts at the End of the Day

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

Well, the car is all back together again. I really can't say it's any better than before; however, I've learned a tremendous amount in the process. After balancing the flywheel twice, adding rubber grommets, replacing the transmission mounts and putting in a new pilot bearing in, I still can't get the vibrations to go away or diminish much.

2007 100

Trying a Different Transmission

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

Last week Craig at Camp914 offered to lend me another transmission to see if I had vibrational issues. I drove out to Camp914 this morning. I wish to express much gratitude to Craig for letting me borrow this spare tranny. Since it's an older tail-shifter and many of the external pieces are missing, he even gave it to me. Here's my test setup again. The working transmission is tied to the motor at left and resonates at 5400 RPM. Here's the alternate transmission.

2007 100

Subaru to Begin EV Sales in Japan in 2009

Plugs and Cars

Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) has issued a press release, according to Green Car Congress , announcing that 2009 rather than 2010 will see the sales of the first 100 electric Subarus in Japan. FHI's President Ikuo Mori foresees the price down below $20,00 by 2012 for this subcompact, as production ramps up for the Lithium battery packs.

2007 100

Electric Smart Car ForTwo Delivered by Mercedes

Plugs and Cars

Mercedes-Benz has delivered the first of 100 electric Smart ForTwos to fleet customers in the UK. Coventry City Council will be using the electric Smart in its fleet. Smart Car of America has the most complete report, straight from Daimler, with most of the relevant stats. The energy storage is a sodium nickel chloride battery. Same battery the first new Th!nk nk City cars are said to be using. Only stat missing in the report is the size of the battery pack.

2007 100

Getting Expert Advice on Resonance

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

After spending most of yesterday researching machine resonance, I chatted with one of the mechanical engineers at work today about the resonance problem. After drawing a picture of the motor/transmission assembly, it became rather obvious to both of us that we have the equivalent of a vibrating violin string. The motor/transmission is attached to the car somewhat rigidly at both ends.

2007 100

Popular Mechanics Takes Aptera for a Drive

Plugs and Cars

This wingless Jetsonian vehicle has seemed to me to be too much design, too much gadgetry, too much website, and not enough practical, buildable car. I thought I could smell the vapor. Well, Popular Mechanics asked and the Aptera folks let them in. The magazine's Ben Stewart took the all electric car (3 wheeler) for a 20 mile spin in Carlsbad CA. And he came back impressed. There's video , lots of stills and most of the basic stats you'd want to know. And plans for a serial plug-in hybrid.

2007 100

Doing Vibration Research

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

At the suggestion of Paul J, I started doing research on vibration analysis today. There are several online tutorials regarding vibration analysis.

2007 100

More Resonant Experiments

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

My friend Rick dropped by tonight to run the accelerator cable and monitor the RPM on the laptop while I put my hands on the motor/tranny to get a better feel for what's going on. We ran the motor with the transmission attached for weight without the clutch friction plate. I also put the transmission in first gear to guarantee that the input shaft was not turning and contributing to any vibration.

2007 100

Electric Car Salute to Al Gore in Oslo

Plugs and Cars

Electric cars, including many Th!nk nk City cars and at least one RAV4 EV, turned out in large numbers to salute Al Gore, lining Oslo streets as he drove (in a gasser) to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. click on the photo below to see more photos thanks to ElBil Norge , click on the video image to see Youtube video.) Electric car advocates know that nothing can take a bigger bite out of greenhouse gas emissions than switching from internal combustion to electric drive.

Resonant Frequencies

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

After successfully spinning the flywheel and pressure plate at 9000 RPM, I felt confident that things were looking good with the motor. I re-installed the clutch friction disk and bolted on the transmission. After spinning up the system, it started rattling and skittering across the floor around 5500 RPM. This is a royal pain.

2007 100