They say that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man would be named King…. I guess I’m not convinced…
This week we ran our longest show ever, and had to cut much of that. It’s feast or famine here, depending on what parts come in or are available. Right now we’re buried. We really finally after months of waiting have the necessary batteries for the Cadillac Elescalade, but are working furiously on the eCobra at the same time.
We actually cut a good bit of the show and put other bits off to next week. But it was still a bit of a press.
Mark Kriss, brother to Eric Kriss contributed an interview with Ludmilla Ng of Sinopoly Battery Company. Sinopoly, recall, is Thundersky Battery renamed, and currently in a furious legal battle with Winsston Chung. The company accuses Chung of submitting FORGED documents in the legal proceedings and it is all a little beyond me regarding the battle.
But the “news” buried in all that is some new “black” Sinopoly batteries that are something of an advance. The 66 Ah cell is 10% more energy than the previous 60 Ah cell, but it is ALSO much lighter at 1.8 kg vice 2.5 kg. And to Eric Kriss’s interest, the 200Ah cell is in the same size and weight as the previous Thundersky 160Ah cell. Winston Battery Company does NOT have access to this factory and does not offer these cells.
Ludmilla insists that they are going to continue this increase in energy/weight at a very aggressive 10% per year. And they are pricing at $1.05 per Ah for less than 10,000 Ah and $1 per Ah above that, which rather undercuts CALB and even Winston Battery. Sinopoly appears very aggressive.
Eric is the star of this week’s show. He had a very unnerving vibration in this drive train of his Beck Speedster electric. He removed the motor and had the flywheel, clutch, and pressure plate dynamically balanced, reassembled, and is all good to go now. In this weeks episode, we assemble the adapter plate, flywheel, clutch and pressure plate on the eCobra, and again mention the importance of doing this.
It is a very simple spin balancing procedure, and does NOT reqquire a magician machinist to perform. Most NAPA auto parts places, but also almost all full service autoparts dealers, do a set stable of routine machinging for automobiles. Most commonly, turn rotors and drums, and indeed do this very routine flywheel balance. They basically assemble the flywheel, clutch and pressure plate into one assembly, and mount it on a spin balancer. They then gradually remove material from the back of the flywheel with a drill to bring the whole assembly into balance. It’s typically less than $100. But don’t even bother installing without doing this.
In our Speedster Redux, recall that we burned out a clutch with the 1000 amp Soliton1 and replaced it immediately with a Kennedy Stage IV racing clutch and 3000 lb pressure plate. They arrived overnight and we had them IN the next day. Unfortunately, we neglected to do this basic machining, and indeed we have a slight “buzz” in our drive train. Not bad, but not likely to improve either.
Eric does a walkaround of his very excellent Speedster build, pointing out the improvements and changes he made ot our Speedster Duh design. Most notable was his use of 200Ah cells. As we have driven Duh 111 miles on a single charge using the 180Ah cells, this would imply a max range of his Speedster of 123 miles. That puts his 80% range at 98.4 miles. And that’s pretty good. Ours is 88 miles so he gets a safe range increase of 10 miles – very substantial.
He also takes us on a drive to a car museum to view a 1908 Bailey Electric. I kind of got the impression they spent more time with the curator looking at the Speedster than with Eric looking at the Bailey.
This kind of build was what we were wanting to foster as our mission. A highly desirable car in its own right, that happens to be electric, and built in a very workmanlike fashion that you might expect in any factory built car. When people see this, and you driving it, with a 100 mile range, pleasurable performance, and NO gasoline and NO mess and a CLEAN engine compartment, the reaction is universally positive.
We also had some fun with J1772 this week. One of the old guys that renovates buildings for me here in Cape did an install of our Clipper Creek J1772 charging station. We plugged it into the Mini Cooper, pressed the button, and it immediately started charging per design.
We also received a beautifully machined custom billet aluminum J1772 inlet port from David Kerzel of modularEVPower ($160). As we have an enormous billet aluminum covered gas cap for the Cobra, as is customary on Cobra’s, we endeavored to marry the two. This is the only gas filler cap I can imagine sufficiently enormous to actually put a J1772 inlet inside of. And I managed to squeeze in a soft LED light ring as well. We used Kerzel’s little circuit board to simulate the J1772 copilot signals but also to work the proximity switch and light the LED ring. Very cool.
Mounting it to the car was a little gruesome, and complicated by the fact that you are going to be plugging in and unplugging daily for years. The inlet had to be recessed BELOW the fiberglass of the car so that the cap could be closed, while sticking upt THROUGH the fiberglass sufficiently to allow the plug to lock into position. We made an aluminum mounting plate and used the mounting screws for the cap, along with some spacer nuts and washers, to stand it off very securely. Kerzel had actually machined tapped holes for #6-32 screws into the rim of the inlet piece. Very nice job.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is implementing rules requiring noisemakers for electric cars. I would urge you to ignorre this stupid law. Passed overwhelmingly by both houses of Congress, this addresses the potential for blind people to be run over by electric cars they can’t hear. We’ve investigated and found the total number of blind people so far massacred in this way – Zero. in fact, there have been no injuries and we cannot find a verifiable story of a close call.
In any event, we think they got the cart before the horse. We do not think blind people should be allowed to drive AT ALL, electric or not. And what difference it makes whether the car makes noise or not is entirely beyond us.
So these learned people, our very best and brightest, cannot do ANYTHING about spending our money like drunken sailors and whores to the extent that they are now BORROWING 40% of the annual budget, but they do have time and common cause to address something that is, and has never been, a problem at all, with an almost unanimously adopted measure to require YOU to do something hysterically embarassing in public to accomplish NOTHING.
Most advocates and organizations, faced with such tyrannic stupidity, organize a letter writing campaign to Congress to make their views known. And they provide everyone a sample letter so they will know what to say?
We rather presume our viewership is exceptional in that they are probably bright enough to write a letter. But for those of you who need it, here is a sample letter to your Congressman on this very considered issue:
Dear Congressman/Congresswoman Pluketthamner:
Sincere Registered Voter in Your District
It’s brief. It’s to the point. And it can be encoded in Braille very easily so they can read it with their fingers…
I suppose you could even send it by finger directly…..