July, 2007

Hacked Serial Cable Details and Bad Relay

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

A few people asked me about how I hacked together a serial port since AC kit people will need this in order to configure the controller correctly. I basically took three 16 gauge wires (smaller would be fine) and soldered on crimp sockets at the end of each one.

2007 130

Let My People Convert! - The A123 Challenge

Plugs and Cars

Les Goldman wants you to convert (your hybrid.) Easy as 123. So he proposed at the California Air Resources Board ZEV workshop on Tuesday. An ARB ZEV meeting is ordinarily a predictable affair.

2007 130

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 130

Debugging, Debugging, Debugging.

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

Okay, things don't seem to be working too well. We have three issues: 1. The controller simply cuts out at high acceleration (bad) 2. Many times the controller doesn't even start up at all 3.

2007 130

Hoods Installed

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

Well, we're getting closer. My friend Rick and his friend Amy came over today to help install the front and rear lids. I was rather relieved when both lids closed without any interference.

2007 130

Pictures from Randy

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

One of my fellow 914 AC kit EV'ers is Randy Pollock. He's been extremely helpful in my understanding of how this kit works. About three weeks ago, he sent me a few pictures on his own 914 AC EV project that uses the Electro Automotive kit.

2007 130

Closing the Boxes and Fixing the Suspension

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

I took a few minutes (just a few) to go out with friends to celebrate. Here's my girlfriend Krista enjoying a very brief ride to the bottom of the driveway. The front tires still bottom out when I turn the wheels too hard, so I'm holding off major test drives.

2007 130

More Trending

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.

2007 130

Close, but no Cigar.

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

I didnt' get a chance to do much tonight, but I did hook up the final fusible links in the battery system. Before hooking up the links, I jacked up the rear of the car and put in on jackstands just in case something started happening with the motor. I also put the transmission in neutral.

2007 130

Wiring and Rewiring - Getting Close!

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

Ugh, I'm dehydrated, exhausted and mad at this inanimate object. I must love doing this conversion. There's a fine line between a hobby and insanity) Tonight was spent attaching all the copper bars to the battery terminals.

2007 130

Hauling Lead and Confusing Connections

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

Tonight was an evening of heavy lifting. These high-capacity 8-volt golf-cart batteries are 70 pounds apiece. I'll definitely take some ibuprofen before tomorrow. Here are the batteries in the front box. The fuel compartment box. And the rear box.

2007 130

Busy Day - Time to get your WooGah On

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

Whoosh! Despite being exhausted from yesterday, I got up early this morning and just cranked through a bunch of EV stuff on my day off. Here is the board that the charger tray mounts to.

2007 130

We are Green for 12V Electrical!

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

Whew! I spent the evening debugging the small sparking issue I ran into yesterday. The behavior was interesting in that the keyswitch relay closed for about a second and then released. In the process, the DC-DC converter turned on (indicated by red LED) and then slowly decayed to the off state.

2007 130

More Wiring and ACK, It Doesn't Fit!

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

Yesterday I ran out to Parkrose Hardware again to pick up the remaining wire I needed (hopefully) and all the bolts/nuts/washers for mounting the stuff in the front trunk. Continuing with the wiring, here is the bundle of EV wires in the front luggage compartment, covered with the flexguard.

2007 130

Forcing a Fit and Letting Sparks Fly

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

Well, after yesterday's letdown with the front battery box not fitting into the steel frame, I loaded up on caffeine and pulled out the grinding wheel. Here is the front battery box not fitting into the front rack.

2007 130

Wiring up the Front Compartment

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

I finally got to work on the electric car again today. The next major task is wiring up the front compartment. Here is the 9-in-1 wire for the AC kit pulled through the grommet between the passenger compartment and the fuel compartment.

2007 130

Hanging out with NEDRA

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

Summer events have held me back from working on the 914EV, so I headed out to Portland International Raceway to get a boost of inspiration from NEDRA (National Electric Drag Racing Association) to continue the project. Here are some photos.

2007 130

Ford and Edison

Plug In Partners

Henry Ford and Thomas Edison M omentum for Plug-ins continues to build as two of the biggest names in transportation and energy meet. It is a good example of how electric utilities and car makers can begin to work together.

2007 130

Norwegian Investors Rally to Revived Think Electric Car

Plugs and Cars

The Aftenposten reports (in English) on the success Jan Olaf Willums is having at the helm of the revived Think Global. Many of Norway's tycoons and heirs are making significant investments in the company which is planning production of as many as 10,000 cars by 2009.

2007 130

Routing Thick Cables

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

My friend Rick came over last night to help me feed the thick cable bundle through the driver-side heater duct. I didn't get any action shots, but here's the result. Here is the left side of the passenger compartment under the fuse box with the cables routed down into the heater duct.

2007 130

Despite the propaganda, waiting for plug-ins

Plugs and Cars

Despite the Prius ads pushing an anti-plug-in message, many are waiting for a hybrid that can plug in to cleaner, cheaper domestic electricity. Daily Economy Fuel Tip surveys why people don 't buy hybrids now.

2007 130

Working with the Fusebox

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

I took this morning off from work to continue with hacking the fusebox wiring. Here is the fusebox area with the left speaker grille removed. I also removed the remnants of the rotten heater duct from the heater opening at the bottom of the picture. This is the fusebox.

2007 130

Preparing the Front-to-Rear High-Current Cables

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

The next major step is to prepare the bundle of wires that connects the front batteries and controls with the rear batteries/controls. I use my front hallway to measure, cut and line up all the specified wires in the instructions.

2007 130

Hacking Big Cables

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

Work was pretty quiet today with the July 4th holiday in the middle of the week, so I took the afternoon off to work on some of the high-current cables. Here are two of the PowerPosts that I purchased yesterday from West Marine.

2007 130

Motor Cables and High Current Posts

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

The instructions for the AC kit tell you to slide the motor speed control box through the two-inch hole that was cut in the wall between the engine compartment and the rear luggage compartment.

2007 130

Power calculations

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

After looking at the specs on the ElectroAuto website, I'm thinking that a maximum input power rating of 50000 watts is really too much. Here are the ElectroAuto specs: AC24 Aircooled Motor Length Diameter Weight Controller Efficiency 15.55" 9.45" 83.6 DMOC445 83% Specifications @ 156 V Input Ft.Lbs. Amps RPM HP KW Peak/Maximum 54.57 280 rms 12,000 57.66 @ 4,500 rpm 43 Continuous 22.12 180 rms 12,000 18.77 14 55 Ft-Lbs peak is 75 Newton-meters. The controller is programmed for 100 Newton-Meters.

2007 100

Is GM Playing Games with the Volt?

Plugs and Cars

As I've blogged previously , I want to believe as much as the next guy that the Volt - GM's announced plug-in hybrid - is real. I believe enviros have spent way too much time pushing for higher CAFE standards and ignored alternative methods of getting clean cars on the road. The enviros gave up on electric cars, let the automakers and California off the hook just as the cars were proving themselves viable and popular.

2007 100

Wow, This is Really Fast! NOT!

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

Just a quick update. I removed the jack-stands, cleaned out the garage and fired up the 914EV. It responds properly to the accelerator, but at full throttle, the car goes about six inches a second both forward and reverse. Looks like I've got more DMOC parameters to adjust. Fun, Fun.

2007 100

First Driving Test!

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

Well, I carefully fixed the black grounding wire to the motor encoders and the system seems to work fine now. I got the AC motor to rev up quite quickly in neutral. Both forward and reverse movements are fairly smooth. For yucks, I drove the car around the block. It has very slow acceleration, probably due to all the battery weight. I drove it in second gear. Third gear seems to not want to go in, at least while the car is stopped. The regen braking seems to work fine.

2007 100

Top Climate Scientist on Lessons Not Learned from Electric Car Debacle

Plugs and Cars

Dr James Hansen is perhaps the top climate scientist in the country. From his post at NASA he warned Congress and us what's up with global warming long ago. There are some lessons we need to learn as we are inundated with adverts about "clean coal," if we are not to get snookered as enviros did over the electric car.

2007 100

Plug-in Hybrid Race on as Toyota Tests NiMH PHEV; A123 Challenges CARB to Authorize Conversions

Plugs and Cars

From today's NY Times Toyota to Test Plug-In Hybrid, Rivaling G.M. Toyota said it would provide prototype versions of plug-in hybrid vehicles to researchers at the University of California, Irvine, and the University of California, Berkeley.The prototype plug-in hybrids will be powered by two oversize packs of nickel-metal hydride batteries Yesterday, in Sacramento A123Systems , the battery manufacturer being used by GM for the Vue and Volt, challenged CARB not to wait for OEM plug-ins.

2007 100

Toyota's Plug-in Prius: Out of the Pod, Into the Podcast

Plugs and Cars

Toyota's plug-in Prius comes out of the closet. No translation needed. Take a look.

2007 100

Ford in the PHEV Race, too?

Plugs and Cars

MSNBC and NBC News have report on plug-in hybrids , focusing on the Volt. But there's some news about Ford, too, buried within. Ford is also in the plug-in game and could get to the finish line first. It is already testing two plug-in hybrids, [Ford's Sue] Cischke told the Chicago Tribune, and it expects to deliver the first road-ready vehicles for testing in California by 2009. Hat tip to Earl Killian.

2007 100

Dodd forsees federal fleet of hybrids and electric cars

Plugs and Cars

YouTube Democratic Debate Mon Night at the Citadel: QUESTION: Hi, I'm Stephanie. We're in the Bay area, in my bathroom, because this is one of the places where I use compact fluorescent light bulbs. I use these to decrease my personal energy use, and I hear politicians talking about alternative energy to delay -- to decrease our energy impact as a whole. So my question for you is, how is the United States going to decrease its energy consumption in the first place?

2007 100

Toyota Hot and Cold on Plug-in Hybrids

Plugs and Cars

A month or so ago word was Toyota was postponing the new generation Lithium Prius. That seemed to be a hint that Toyota wasn't moving too quickly on plug-ins. As if to confirm that notion, recently a Toyota spokesman in DC was denigrating plug-in hybrids as Hymotion/A123 and Rob Lowe were making a plug-in splash in Congressman Ed Markey's global warming committee.

2007 100

Plug-in Hybrid Study: Electricity Better

Plugs and Cars

The basic question addressed, which appears on the study homepage (epri-reports.org) is this: How would air quality and greenhouse gas emissions be affected if significant numbers of Americans drove cars that were fueled by the power grid? Simply put, the study found what advocates of electric transportation have long held to be true: as regards greenhouse gases and pollution generally speaking, the worst electricity is still better than petroleum.

2007 100

Is Toyota taking the Plug-in Hybrid plunge?

Plugs and Cars

Green Car Congress reports Toyota to Obtain Permission for Public Road Test for Plug-in Prius in Japan.

2007 100