Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Epiphany: If I use a cylindrical cells, I can put together a modular pack that will handle my daily commute with a lower initial cost. I may need to charge at work, and watch my Amps carefully, but at least I will be on the road. As funds allow, I can add more batteries. Sure, the $/AH will be higher, but if my goal is decent acceleration and a 10.0 mile round trip, this really makes sense.
Big Break #1: One of the guys on ElMoto.Net was selling a 72V charger made for Headway batteries. It was a bargain so I jumped at it, thinking it could be used for any LiFePO4, and even temporarily for SLA's, if I stay that route a little longer.
Big Break #2: Headway comes out with a new bigger cells (40160S). These 16AH cylindrical cells will do 5C continuously and 10C for 30 seconds.
So I dropped a small fortune on 25 cells, bus bars and holders. Only problem now is all the empty space that is left.
Friday, July 2, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
This video doesn't have much of the EV's in it, but I neglected to take any pictures (doh!), so I can only blame myself.
Earth Day Video
The Earth Day experience has inspired met get this thing road-worthy. I need to start securing the batteries in the racks so they don't shift around. First on the list is a Guard for the left side of the Upper Battery Tray - to keep the batteries from falling out.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Technically, I've got dozens of things to finish up before El Gixxer is road worthy, but I just can't wait. In EV Motorcycle lingo the first ride has been coined "Frankenstein Mode". Components are are jury rigged and zip tied just good enough to get you down the block. It's not pretty but it works.
Acceleration with my 17AH battery pack is pathetic, and top speed seems to be about 20MPH. Nevertheless, it was just as thrilling as hitting triple digits on any other bike.
After four trips down my street and back (probably 1.5 miles total) the batteries were definately done, but it was enough to put that mile-wide EV grin on my face.
Friday, March 12, 2010
The Alltrax had the the LED indicating green, but when I twisted the throttle gently nothing happened. Fully opening the throttle turned the LED red. Panic!
I then realized I hadn't engaged the contactor. A flip of the switch and the contactor clicked closed. Now the rear wheel spins happily in response to my twisting wrist.
Cue Oingo Boingo's song "Weird Science"
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Monday, March 1, 2010
I started playing with the battery layout. The six 17AH units fit with room to spare in the upper battery tray. The maze of wires is starting to hit home.
The "dedicated charger for each battery" scheme has one serious drawback - cable management. Where am I supposed to stuff these things?
Sunday, February 28, 2010
I really liked the previous location under the tank. Because it was toward the rear of the steel tank, it shielded the rider from a meltdown. So my plan is basically put it in the same place, but a little higher to clear the battery tray fasteners.
I found a cool piece of 3/8" thick acrylic in a salvage pile. It had several holes cut into it, probably to hold or display something. Perfect for mounting the electrical components, however, not strong enough to hold the controller. But it was so cool looking, so I had to use it.
I trimmed the Acrylic to fit the front 3/4 of the frame opening. Conveniently a couple of threaded inserts were already located on the front edge (formerly for some rubber pads to support the tank). I drilled and tapped a few more spots on the frame rail to finish securing the piece.
I trimmed a scrap of 3/8" aluminum plate(leftover from my motor mounts) to span the frame rails and support the controller. Some creative filing and grinding was required to work around the welds. A few drilled and tapped holes later, the controller is mounted.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
The old saying goes: "hard to see the forest for the trees" (or something like that). It's now clear to me that I'm getting bogged down in details but not making any progress. So, I'm going to focus on getting things running without wasting too much money. (wait have I said that before?)
I have these B&B 17AH SLA batteries sitting in my garage, salvaged from a Data Center UPS. From the start, I've wanted to use them to get educated and test things out, but hadn't figured out the charging method that would worlk for them and Lithum. Occasionally I hook them up to my Battery Tender Plus, to keep them in shape, but there is no way I'm putting six of those on the bike, just for short term use. Fortunately, one of my brethren on El Moto was selling six of the ACI SuperChargers at a reasonable price.
After getting the chargers, I plugged them all in to make sure they are charging properly. Now I'm taking turns connecting one of the Gixxer's headlamps to each battery for about 30 minutes, then connecting the charger and a volt meter to observe the charging cycle.