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This week you get a twofer as I didn’t post a blog with last week’s show. I was gonna…. and….see….what happened was…..see….

Actually, it is embarrassing. THe sheet with the data on it for the follow up test still lays next to the motor. Every day I was going to bring it home and do the blog. Still there.

So we don’t know WHAT happened. Actually we did get our answer. It just wasn’t a very dramatic or satisfying one. It appears that 57% of the gain in efficiency comes from the material, and 43% or thereabouts comes from the split brush design. So you need it all.

I also have yet to receive my order of Helwig brushes, so we can’t make them available. A couple of viewers have already asked about ADC motors. Yes, Helwig Makes them. No we’ll probably not carry them.

We did a lot of wiring on the Elescalade this week but I didn’t shoot any of it. It’s just wiring. The starter to the START input and the J1772 circuit to another Soliton input and a bunch of 4/0 cables that were a pain to make up. I can spinet the motor, but there are problems.

The worst of the problems is the tach signal. The Soliton insists we don’t have one. I’ve tried 1.5.1 and version 1.5.2 of the software and it just doesn’t pick up the tach. This is VERY frustrating as we tested THAT tach on THAT adapter plate with THAT soliton a dozen times on the bench. In the car, with the motor turning, no input according to the log program. I’ve got a little hand held oscilloscope I’ve bought that is a marvel. Of course I don’t know how to use it. It has about seven buttons on the whole thing and no clue what they do. I’ll have to actually read the book. I detest that. Males should NOT have to read instructions.

Maybe my pull-up resistor is bad. We do have three magnets now instead of two. But the Soliton has pulse settings for both 3 pulses per revolution and 6 so that can’t be it. IF it is a bad sensor, which as I said we tested numerous times, this is horrifying news. The entire motor assembly, and everything we’ve stacked on top of it, would have to come out. I’d rather give myself a root canal with a wine corkscrew.

Somewhat more serious is a glitch with the ECU. With the pickup hooked up to our reflector ring, the ECU cycles the throttle position back to off about once a second no matter the accelerator position. Reviewing the Cadillac manual, I find that in comparing the crankshaft position signal (RPM)to the manifold pressure, if they don’t match, the system purportedly throws a Type A DTC. I’m not certain, but I think that means it sets the throttle plate to minimum. I’m GUESSING here. But it would appear we do need the manifold pressure signal.

Fortunately, the MAP sensor puts out a pretty simple voltage between 0.2v and 4.5v indicating manifold pressure. I’m thinking we can take the MOTOR CURRENT output and scale this 12v pwm signal to a 0-4.5v dc that might correspond. MAYBE if I do it with a potentiometer voltage divider, I can get it to spoof close enough to the expected signal to make it work.

The system also uses mass air flow and indicated engine coolant temperature in some calculations. But they appear to result in TYPE B DTCs and I don’t’ think those are as serious. I plan on putting the engine coolant temperature probe in the moutning bolt hole on top of one of the motors to get a digital read of motor case temperature on my normal display. But the MAF signal is a 2000-9000 hz 5v square wave. I can do this, but it would take an old function generator or something on voltage controlled oscillator mode. Kind of complicated.

So we spent a lot of time this week on wiring and mysteries and troubleshooting and there’s not a lot to show. We’ll work some of this out and hopefully be able to recap a bit next week

For this weeks’ show I let our viewers bail me out. We had a visit from Mike Orr of Cincinnati who has made a J1772 EVSE box. He sold one for $650 and didn’t really make much on it so he wants to ask $750 or $790 for them. Problem is, it is a 25 amp system and it would have to be MORE to get it up to 70 amps, which would be useful. As there are readily available EVSE now at hardware stores for $1000, this is kind of a loser. But we tested his box on the Escalade and it worked fine. It looks great. It’s hell for sturdy. And it’s quite small.

Andrew McClarey did some of our video graphics when we upgraded our intro. He had a nice build of a Fiber Fab Valkyrie he stole on eBay. Well, it’s gotten nicer. He originally did this in lead and was trying to convince me lead was where it was at. I of course was trying to convince him that LiFePo4 was where it was at and that lead was dead. As it turns out, he has a brand new set of CALBS in the car now and WOW does it make a difference. He and a buddy are also working on a BMS that does have kind of a cool looking display.

Royce Wood of course continues on his Couger. But he’s also doing a conversion for a friend of his. Royce, but a camera. I don’t like your camera. But I do like the conversion. Royce has advised us on some of the intricacies of the Cadillac. He has operated an auto repair service for many years. And he’s now getting into conversions. Where did you hear about this model – three years ago? It’s happening.

In last weeks episode I talked about maybe doing a boat at some point. Anne Kloppenberg of Amsterdam was here at EVCCON last year and is just a HOOT to be around. This guy just spews energy and enthusiasm. He’s done pretty well installing solar panels in Amsterdam. But he was talking about converting an old Glastron speed boat to electric drive. THIS week he sends us some video of the first run. It DEFINES the concept of the EV Grin. Literally WOOH – WOOH MAMA – LOOKY WHAT I BUILT.. as he speeds across the water at 53 km/hour with the sound of the prop, but NO engine sound at all.

This is cool for us. But cooler for him. I’d like to have an electric boat here on the Mississippi. But in Amsterdam, they are very down on you spilling that oil slick from your gas or diesel engine all over their canals. Quite environmentally conscious there as well. The only CO2 they want in the air is that that comes from burning Marijuana. They actually made CIGARETTE smoking illegal there, but EXEMPTED Marijuana smoking from the law.

And so Anne faces a serious business opportunity in making electric speed boats. The demand could be huge.

Finally, I riff a bit on hydrogen. You will be surprised to learn that my first love was not electric cars but hydrogen. Hydgrogen may be God and I am certainly of the religious orders surrounding it. It has one proton, and one electron. It is unity. It is the lightest element, and it comprises 75% of the mass of the universe, unless you buy into dark matter theory. Yes, 75% of everything is hydrogen. IT is the most reactive substance in the universe. The party girl of elements, it will combine with ANYTHING.

Therein being the rub. You have to PRY it lose. And it becomes a heroic loser as a fuel for personal transportation. I mean HEROIC. I got in a riff with some truly off planet types on LInkedIN that turned into a huge personal attack because I wouldn’t buy into their hydrogen promotion efforts. So it was game on and I was slashing back. But it took me back a few years and my utter fascination with hydrogen.

I still think it holds the secret to all understanding of the universe. I just don’t think I want to be in a car with it. Too many steps. It is, to say the least, inelegant in personal transportation.

EVCCON 2012. We’ve finished our first discount increment as of June 1. I am delighted to report, and a bit frightened to contemplate, that we have 125 registrants for the convention scheduled Septermber 26-30 and 29 cars. As we had a total registration of 128 and 28 cars INCLUDING ALL OF MINE at last years event, we are already larger than we DID last year. Today being the 3rd day of June, 2012 Year of Our Lord.

The basic math is 375-400 attendees and 50-60 cars. But my trade show experience indicates something else. We always said you cannot have a trade show for 300. It’s the number you can’t have. If you get to 300 industry insiders having a meeting, there will inevitably be 700 others show up to watch them. That’s why you can’t have 300. You can have 100. You can have 200. You can have 250. You could probably have 275. And then you can have 1000. But you can’t HAVE a convention of 300.

This is like King Liunitis and The Battle of Thermopylae. Yes, there were indeed 300 Spartans. But what gets forgotten is that there were also 700 Thespians that came to watch.

As 125 of you discuss your plans to attend, the cars you’re bringing, the side meetings you’re going to set up, etc. It just causes the 700 to want to come watch all the more.

Fortunately Brain saw this coming and has put us in the ShowMe Center Arena. รŸo we’ll have lots of room. But I don’t really know where this goes in 2013.

See you there.

Jack Rickard