SJEAA Meetings


– Looked at Coulomb chargers in downtown SJ.
One 208vac SPI and one 208vac Avcon charger were replaced with 120vac Coulomb units.
-Arguing about loss of 208v chargers in the 4th st garage with Tom Dowling.

Tom Dowling claims they will put in 208v Coulomb chargers when the connector standard is turned into a real product.

Coulomb rates:
$10 setup fee.
$15/mon for 10 night time charging sessions.
$30/mon for unlimited night time charging sessions.
$20/mon for ‘grid-friendly’ charging sessions.
$40/mon for unlimited ‘grid-friendly’ charging sessions.
$50/mon for unlimited chariging anytime.

– Titled, registered #2 truck.
Also ordered HOV lane sticker and San Jose parking sticker.
Ordered orbital buffer and supplies for polishing the paint.
Looking at Gel Cell batteries as they last a long time in the Solectria’s.

– Range on #1 truck was 12 miles.
Nicad pack needed to be shorted to zero volts.
Range and voltage is greatly improved.
May need to deep cycle a couple more times.
New 240v variac helped make recharging very fast.
This can only be done with flooded Nicads.

-The heater on the #1 truck works great!!

– SJEAA website updates
Added 3 links to DMV for the various EV stickers required for parking, charging and commute lane riding.
Will add more manufacturer and other links via the SFEAA website.

– Got rid of both S10 bumpers and the bed toolbox via Craigslist.

-My official weight loss for 2008 was 44 lbs.
Celebrated by having my first ice cream in many months.

– Made a schematic for the heating and air conditioning systems.
– Scanned and imported 3 different drawings to make the schematic.
– Used it to repair the AC and heater systems.
– The AC and heater never worked per the original owner.
– Air conditioning now working!!
– Heater has upgraded element and gets hot very fast.
– #1 truck will be getting an upgraded heater asap.
– AC had corrosion on the black box control connectors.
– Bad crimp too.
– AC works but connector is still intermittent.
– May have to solder crimped wires.
– AC increases output by the compressor running faster based on positon of temperature knob.
– The blower was on all of the time.
– Found wiring issue and rewired to correct blower issue.
– Factory had made some bad choices for wiring the heater and ac.

Heater works now as it was a pot that was trying to supply current to two relays at the same time.
– Only one relay would energize at a time and cause the heater element to smoke before the water pump was running.
– Now it turns on with a button.

The precharge board schematic looks to be finished.
– This will take the place of the precharge relay that does not last that long.

Heater temperature controller idea.
– Can use part of the precharge circuit to control heater temperature!
– Could run with any voltage EV heater up to 500 volts.
– PWM to the heater from zero to about 5 khz or so.
– Led and temp would be mounted on the dash.
– Opto isolated from dash.

The lithium cells were removed as I overcharged them and they now have a reduced capacity of 10%.
– When I can get a data cable fished from the box to the cabin, I will reinstall the lithium cells.
– 3 New 50ah Hi Power Lithium cells are due to arrive next week for evaluation.
– The good news is that the cells went many hundreds of miles without issue.

Lanny is putting some Lithium cells into one of his Rangers as we speak.
– http://southtownelanes.com/ranger_lifepo4.html
– NIMH Ranger hardware used for the BMS.
– Only monitors every 4th cell.
– 100ah pack of what looks like Hi Power cells (from Thunderstruck Motors).

Had some cells that appeared to be low on electrolyte only to discover they were just very undercharged.
– They spewed KOH and had to be removed and cleaned up with vinegar.

Pack was ground faulting during the last rain.
– 3 sides of the lid had new weather stripping. The 4th side that leaked had a different and softer material.
– The 4th side now has the better material like the other 3 sides.
– Also cheated by tweaking the software so the truck is not so sensitive to ground faults, until I get the battery box water tight.
– With 500 terminals, 5 times more than a lead acid pack, it’s easy to get a ground fault.

Nicad pack now has 12k miles on it as of this week.

The tilt bed on both trucks now has two gas struts per side.
– Makes lifting the bed easier.
– Holds bed up without a prop rod.
– Sometimes in the garage the bed needs to be held down. Prop cable?
– Can demonstrate outside.

The #2 truck has an unpainted roll pan that needs to be finished and installed.

Blog is http://rotordesign.com/blog

I’m down 38 lbs.

#1 Nicad truck
It rained!!
Had to add Rivet nuts to holes on sides of battery box to correct stripped threads.
Taped paper towels into each corner for use as water detector.
Replaced worn out weather seal with natural gum from McMaster.

-Lithium
Cells have 400+ miles on them.
Zero issues so far.
Ordering Hipower brand lithiums for testing as well.
Same format as Thundersky’s.
BMS needs to just be installed for monitoring cells.
Got interupted due to rain.
A multi conductor cable needs to be threaded from pack to cabin for data line.
BMS tested fine on bench.

#2 truck
Purchased in running condition with ruined pack.
Added 35ml of water to each of 6 cells, and charge cycled, to no avail on one EV-1 batt.
Needed Emeter heater and a/c fixed.
Emeter and Heater repaired.
Installed diesel truck block heater.
Factory defect in heater controls.
2700w heater element turns on before the water pump operates!!
Works great!!
Hinged bed works awesome!
Used Heim joints.
Added 2nd pair of gas struts to lift bed.
Bed lifts nicely.
Bed stays up easily without prop rod.
Plan to upgrade nicad truck with 2nd set of gas struts too.
Battery box needs nearly all holes helicoiled.
Added fuses to Dolphin to protect electronics.
Ordered tons of parts from GM.
Rollpan, antenna, blower switch, and cupholders.
Adding a blog to chronicle progress.

-Borrowed a board designed to replace the precharge relay on US Electricar vehicles.
Intend to reverse engineer and add to my vehicles.
Could be super reliable!!
Relay is $229.

-Dave’s Soleq wagon is running ok.
Regen is not working due to busted pot return spring.
But at least it’s driveable now.
He just bought a non running Solectria recently from Ebay.

-Home Power Magazine had an incredible article in their Oct/Nov 2008 issue that contains real test data on the cycle life of various brands of lead acid batteries!

-Bought a 240vac Variac for charging cells after a deep nicad cycling.

-The truck is 35lbs lighter because the driver lost 35lbs!

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