Friday, September 6, 2013

New To Me Insight

Courtesy of a now sad War_wagon, I give you Lumpy: Lumpy, to me, is the little dog in the textbook for my high school German class. It does look a little Daschund like.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

New Electric Toy

The Prius arrives at it's new home. With help from Dave and the VEVA trailer. It was procured for a very low price because of a transaxle that had been inadvertently run dry.

When I took off the oil pan, this is what I found:

Some things that should not be beautiful are really beautiful...They are a symbol of dark forces at work... Like the steel filings from a transaxle sump magnet.

Soon I will replace the transaxle. You can follow the progress here: Orange4boy's Rescue and Revival of a 2003 Prius

Monday, September 21, 2009

Not remotely related to the Auranthetics (unless you count the fact that both the stereo and the auranthetics rock) is my attempt to repair the stereo from my Previa. This is my crash course in electronics. Something I have always wanted to learn since I started to become involved in electric vehicles.

Here is the main power board. Bulged cap beside the torroid is a 4700uf 16v rubycon series px 12.5mm x 25mm. There is just about 1mm on each side of it. Above the mofset there is enough room to put something bigger and run wires down to the original mounting holes but I'm not sure that is a good idea. On the right, you can see my temporary solution to the replacement of the two rubycon 680uf 16v wxa series 10mm x 10mm. I have yet to find something close. The only close things I found were 10 x 12.5mm 680s which may just barely fit. I did find some 12.5 x 30mm 4700uf 16v units on ebay but as a lot of 150. I may email the seller for a deal on a couple and see if he bites.

Each of these caps have a low ripple current rating and high impedance probably because they are so small. Everything I have found close is much better in both these areas. So i may see some improvement when I'm done.

The CD player takes up 90% of this space with a little left over by the heat sink.

I popped one of the bulged 680uf back in for the photo. It's the black one just below the brown nichicon. the plastic cover is half melted off.

This is the board side where the 680's are from so you can see they are parallel.

Here is my temporary solution for the 2 680's. One 2200 of better quality. The stereo works much better now but the big bass gets clipped (plus noise) when you turn it up too much. I think this has to do with the 4700uf which is also bulged.

That's my space issue... but just above it there's lots of room to put one sideways.

one more view.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

More Misleading Economists

I recently read an article in Hybrid Cars which includes an interview with Xavier Mosquet, a co- author of a recent report by the Boston Consulting Group called "The Comeback of the Electric Car" They paint a gloomy picture to consumers about the hidden costs of electric cars. The group was part of an auto task force advising President Obama on the auto manufactures bail out. The report is a sloppy bit of work and highly biased towards ICE cars due to some glaring omissions.

1)The true costs of oil are not represented which make the report highly skewed. Oil is
highly subsidized so the title is very misleading. They base their report on the pump costs alone. Add in a few wars for oil and the picture would be very different.

2) The costs of ownership do not include service costs which are quite high for ICE vehicles and would be substantially lower for an electric car. Also resale values for an electric car would be higher due to the longevity of electric motors.

3) Cheaper batteries are coming and this report only covers Lithium Ion and at an inflated price.  Large scale NiMH batteries, as in the EV1 gen2 and RAV4, would be much cheaper, and actually available, if only Cobasis (majority owned by Chevron) would licence the technology or at least sell the batteries on the open market. Why not make the cost of batteries a variable in the graphs like the costs of different ICE technologies? Hmmm?

Someone didn't do their homework.

A shoddy report at best, anti-electric propaganda at worst.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Cry Baby

Is it just me or does the European version of the Volt perfectly mirror the winging, whining, sad sack GM executives pleading to be bailed out?

Honestly, who designs this crap?  

Monday, February 16, 2009

All Electric Snow Blowing Video

Shot this while clearing my driveway.  There is a part in the middle where my belt slips (later fixed)  RoboTrak is unstoppable!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Introducing Robotrak: The Remote Control Tractor

Robotrak has a new home! And what, or whom, you ask, is Robotrak? Well let me tell you. It's a short story and it begins thusly....

First, the earth cooled... OK, OK, I'll skip that part.

So, on to the story at hand... It starts with the snow:

Where I live, on a small island off the wet coast of BC, precariously close to the 2010 winter scams, we usually get 6 inches of wet snow tops. When It snows our precariously (yes i like that word) steep driveway becomes a luge track. A luge track without banked turns.

Normally, with our old 6" snows we could get by driving the driveway with chains and shovelling the worst parts. This would last for a few days, a week tops. Our driveway is about 1000 feet long, winding down from the main road, across the creek at the bottom, past our house and up the other side of the valley about another 500 feet up to my parent's house

Recent years has brought more and more snow and not the wet variety. This year we got 12" then another 12", then when we thought it was all over we got another 12" followed by another 6". Then it started to rain and rain and rain and rain then it froze. You get the picture. Shovelling roofs, digging out the Previa from behind 4 foot snow walls, etc. You know, a nice light Ontario winter, in BC. Now we are in siege mode. We have to hike in, uphill both ways carrying our provisions on our backs.

We have no plow, or any other large scale method of moving snow. Remember, this is Vancouver, where a snow blower is someone who does a lot of coke.

In a moment of desperation we fitted my parent's 4WD Tercell with chains on all four wheels and started down the hill from my parent's into 22" of wet snow. One giant snow wedge later, the Tercell was stuck with it's wheels hanging limp at it's sides. FAIL! On to plan B. Wait, there is no plan B? We need a plan B.

I started looking for a snow blower, hoping to find a solution to our little problem but everyone was sold out and craigslist was full of people trying to cash in selling junk for way too much money. "Wait, here's one in Chelan... where the hell is Chelan?"

On one of my searches I came upon a vintage Elec-Trak with a snow blower attachment and I knew I had found my plan B. Problem was it was in Vermont. Much searching came up empty until I tried the Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association. I had seen an Elec-Trak at the last VEVA show and had been impressed with the solidity, size and weight of these buggers. Made in the late sixties to the early eighties by General Electric, they have six deep cycle batteries stowed away giving about 4 acres of mowing power! The gentleman showing his Elec-Track was very helpful and complimentary about my Auranthetics. This was in the summer of 08.

I sent out my request on the VEVA email list and I got a reply from a Dave Kohen, who turned out to be the same guy who was at the show. He had an Elec-Trak that was looking for a new home...but there was one problem: It was remote control. Wha? Wait, this is a The ET was converted to remote control by another member, an electrical engineer, naturally, who liked to mow his lawn from his porch. He even had a video camera hooked up so he could mow from indoors in inclement weather. The member had moved to a condo so he had no more lawn to mow. Alas, the video attachment is no longer with the vehicle but it's still all there. AND IT'S ORANGE! It was obviously meant to be.

I went to look at it at Dave's place. Dave has several Elec-Traks and some super cool projects like a micro hydro power plant and a suspension bridge. We negotiated a deal and I anxiously awaited delivery of the Robotrak.  About a week later it arrived

So I fabricated a plow, and bought a vintage snow blower attachment... from Nebraska... That's another story though. I've made a new battery box, an auxiliary power pack and installed a set of heated, yes heated Volvo seats I had sitting in storage.

Robotrak is fitting in nicely in her new home as a multi task mower, plower, driveway maintainer, log skidder, trailer tower and general electric doitall.

This is Robotrak in happier times and warmer climes with it's previous owner.

This is the shot of the new battery box. (note the joystick control and lack of steering wheel)

And here it is carrying it's first commercial delivery of glass. The plow has a crazy carpet attached to act as a low friction surface for better plowing.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Do It With Electrons Not Hydrocarbons

This is how it's done.  A little unassuming vintage car converted to electric stomps on corvettes and big block hot rods.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Money Shot

Finally had a chance to shoot the bikes together.  Thanks to a good friend who volunteered her garden and her time to help. 
Thanks, Alison

Monday, September 1, 2008

Aerodynamic flow simulations (aero nerd heaven)

Dream mod for my Previa is a boat tail.  I prepared a few videos to see if the flow works out.  This is from a free program called Flow Illustrator.

The flow is the most stable on the boat tail version and wake and mixing are the smallest.


This view shows a deflector wing and belly pan.  Too much mixing and unstable wake behind the wing.

Here is the stock simulation.  Note the turbulent mixing under the van as well as the wavy, unstable large wake.

My next major project for the Previa will be an under belly pan. 

Don'tcha just love the interwebs?