Wednesday, September 25, 2013

More testing


I have been driving and checking things out, I have a bunch of meters to keep me entertained.
The top is a amp hour meter and will show voltage and amps if needed.
The bottom set is one for each pack, front and rear.
The readings shown are after a 40 mile drive.
I still need to finish the dash, the meters have programmable outputs for control of external items and I plan on using some of them for lights and buzzers for low battery and range warnings.
I may use one to cut off the charger as well.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

First Drive

I modified the indicator for the warning light panel to use some of the indicators for the error lights and run indicators that come from the drive. While I had the soldering iron out I wired up the isolated DC/DC to the amp hour meter.
I pulled wires to the interior for indicators, meters and switches.
After a glitch with the programming of the watt hour meter, I got it reading correctly, I dropped the car off the stands and moved it under electric power for the first time but I only went 15 feet.

 I checked the brakes, as the car had not been on the road for a long time. The rotors were pretty rusty and I may have to address some sticky calipers. The front tires are rubbing the spring mounts and I added 5mm spacers for now, I will get the proper tires in the future.
I aired up the tires and install lugnuts, each wheel only had 3 when I purchased the car.

I decided to not complete the dash and give it a test drive, I found a few issues, the tachometer was acting a bit strange, I decided to remove a few reflectors and drop the pulse input to the controller per recommendation of controller instructions. I reprogrammed the controller and changed the ramp and rpm limit. 
The tach was still intermittent, I finally realized that driving with the hood off was causing improper reading from the optical tachometer pickup.
I have a few issues with the brakes, as well as the the speedometer cable is causing a fluctuation in speed.
I did a quick acceleration test and it will burn the tires and accelerate pretty well, I saw 700 amps at one point, but the batteries were not fully charged.
After the test drive I dressed the wires under the hood and secured things. I cut the acrylic sheet and drilled and mounted it over the front batteries.  The electric vehicle stickers were installed as well.
The hoses for the cooling are connected, but I haven't filled the system or connected the pump. During all the testing the controller barely got warm and the fans came on for a little bit.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

It Lives!

I wired up the low voltage and shortened the high voltage cables and hooked them up to the controller.
The controller set an error when power was applied, as expected. I hooked up the computer and after several attempts got the controller programmed and throttle calibrated. I started the controller and got power to the motor and checked the drive through the gears. The tachometer pickup could be better but I had a pretty steady reading.
I will need to adjust a few things after a test drive, which I hope to do this weekend after I install some meters to monitor the batteries.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Controller install

I installed the new controller and started getting all the wiring started, a lot of changes due to the new controller.

Monday, September 9, 2013


Following many attempts to contact the manufacturer of the controller I have decided to go a different direction. I found a deal on a slightly used Solitron 1 and it is on the way. The controller solves a few issues, I have not been able to get an interface for the first controller in 5 months of trying that would allow programming and logging. Speed sensing and over speed shutdown is built into the Solitron as well as logging. The controller is 1000 amps and should be plenty for my setup.
I will need to revamp my mounting ideas as the new controller is quite large, 20 x 8, and I will have to move some things around.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Setbacks Happen

Things were going well on the long Labor day weekend, I was making progress on the wiring and battery install. It looked as though I was on track to drive to an EV meeting on Sept 7, but things don't always go according to plan. I fitted the batteries and was making the connections and running the high voltage wiring. The panic disconnect was wired and front pack installed as well as the fuses for the heater and DC/DC converter then I broke the jaw on the crimping tool, no big deal.
I decided to get a little charge on the batteries, the charger would not start, some type of error.
I thought I would run the motor on the full pack voltage, nothing! I had an error on the drive that would not clear and would not allow the drive to run. If I have it right, it looks like a throttle error. Both the controller and hall pedel were checked by netgain before I installed them, not good
I tried to boot the charger and find the error, the problem is it is DOS based, I tried a few computers, the emulator programs didn't allow communication.
I finally got an ancient IBM computer to access the charger and found a problem with the temperature sensor input, I jumped them with resistors as I had no sensors and the charger started, finally.