Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Now Mia is here the ElectroBeat goes off the road for urgent repairs/upgrades at last!

I have been seriously winging it with the ElectroBeat for well over 18 months now, the car was never properly finished in the first place and it is well past due a number of urgent upgrades, in fact the recent issue with the odometer/mph gauge intermittently cutting out (speed would drop to zero and then jump back up) finally convinced me to start looking for an alternative EV to tide me over hence the recent and very lucky Mia find.

Here is a list of the things that need addressing on the Electrobeat

1) Fix the speedometer, I think this is a simple cable break somewhere in the loom, so trace and replace wires.

2) Pull the front battery box and test a couple of banks, I think I may have a couple of failing cells in there somewhere as the voltage drop seems to have increased dramatically recently when under extreme load (i.e. heavy foot)

3) Build a rotary wafer switch 6 pole 12 way to allow me to check the individual banks cell voltage whilst driving, this will be very useful in spotting failing cells as they often only show a problem when under extreme loads, the output of said switch will be the £20 HobbyKing battery test meter that shows voltages for up to 6P cell blocks, the Beat is using a 5P configuration, this would also allow for simplified battery balancing as I could also connect my balancing BC168 through this switch and then balance each set of 9 cells in a bank without the need to disconnect/reconnect and move the BC168 around the car to reach each set of cells, I hope to break out all the balancing wires for all 12 banks of 9 parallel cell packs around the dash somewhere so I can either run the battery monitor or battery balancer from the same 12 way 5 pole switch (need 5 poles as the cellpacks I used in the beat are 5S1P)

4) Remove the charger and insulate it properly from the car chassis not sure exactly how I will do this as there is literally no room for rubber washers AFAIK, this will become evident when I strip the charger from the car.

5) Replace the failing LCD Display in the charger (replacement screen already procured)

6) Update/mod the firmware in the charger so that it allows cv cut off of over 3.99, I need 4.20 for LIPO packs, Thread “10kW / 60A DIY charger open source design” post #2823 on the DiyElectricCar forum posted by arber333 “show the way” using this code 

“Well let me show you the way... I figured out the firmware setting to go over the 3.99V in setup. It goes like this:

// wrap at 3 (for 100s) or at 9 (for 10s and 1s) 
if(x == 0 && digit[x] > 4) digit[x] = 0; // from original 3 , i change to 4 - so you can select 415 for Lipo cell
if(digit[x] > 9) digit[x] = 0;”

7) Mod the charger to provide J1772 EVSE charging capability (not urgent but would be nice)

8) Fix temp sensor on Charger (I broke this during a minor overheat of the charger (monitored, hence the “minor”) after all 4 crappy fans I was using finally failed.

9) Replace the single large fan I am currently using with 2 smaller but as powerful fans, I need 2 fans for fail safe just in case fan fails during unattended charging.

10) Install/connect the rev counter possibly wire to rev meter on dash (would be nice) I will definitely connect it to the controller so that the data feed from the Ethernet port includes RPM information.

11) Install the MPH sensor for the Charge analyst

12) Install the push button controls for the charge analyst 

13) Fix the burned ring terminal I bodged during my last battery box fitting when I dam nearly blew my hand off! (I forgot to insulate the positive and negative terminals (WTF!) whilst lifting one of the three battery boxes into the car and BANG! Three grams of copper instantaneously vaporised and spread around the inside of the motor bay giving it a nice purple haze!

14) Install a LVC loop test button to the dash so I can test the functionality of the Low Voltage cut out Circuit

15) Install a HVC loop test button to the dash so I can test the functionality of the High Voltage cut out Circuit

16) Get some new front tyres fitted.

17) Replace the Lead Acid battery with a Lithium Pack to reduce weight (optional but would be nice) with an LVC this time (already bricked a 12V LIFEPO block due to leaving my lights on one day! DUMMY!

18) Investigate replacement suspension struts (I think the extra weight of the battery boxes is putting greater strain on the tiny suspension struts as I find that it bottoms out when I hit speed bumps to fast) SLOW DOWN YOU MORON!

19) Replace the radio with a decent one that works (the radio is Japanese and wont pickup hardly anything) and strip out the CD changer (and flog it on eBay) as it is very inefficient compared to MP3.

20) Install some sound proofing in engine bay (I notice that even with the hood down the extra covering over the engine bay is enough to completely silence any gear whirr or motor noise) It won’t need much, a couple of inches of sound proofing foam should do.

21) Install a PC that runs from the 12V or Traction Pack so that I can log data (optional)

22) Install a Wireless router connected to PC above for possible battery monitoring BMS etc (Optional)

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