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What a bizarre world we live in.  Since biting down on the bad news and taking the hit – announcing the cancellation of EVCCON 2015, I’m both bemused and confused in that it doesn’t appear to want to BE cancelled.  It’s apparently showing no signs of cancellation.  As I thought I was the sole arbeiter as to EVCCON existence or cancellation, I’m a bit surprised by this.  But I guess I shouldn’t be.

We have kind of left the door open by announcing we would host an “open house” here at the shop for those who had already made travel arrangements that couldn’t really be changed.  For a few, we were actually but a stop on a world tour, for example.

I’ve had precisely TWO EVCCON registrants demand a refund – a father/son team who have never before attended and are mostly interested in batteries for the RV industry.

But we’ve been overwhelmed with a frightening number of people instructing us to keep the money and they’ll be coming ANYWAY.

So let the games begin I guess.  I have almost no staff, and most of the preparations made don’t make much sense anymore.  Ray’s of Kelso will still be catering lunch.  Bella Italia will still do an opening reception.  And I’ve been playing with the set/showroom this week.  We still don’t have my desk there quite cleared up, but I have a day or two.

When we announced the FIRST EVCCON I really had pictured it being here at the shop.  The response was kind of overwhelming and we chickened out – moving it to the hangar at the airport (I own it and it was much larger).  In years after, we found even larger easy to do venues were not THAT expensive and so we’ve had it at the ShowMe Center and the AC Brase Arena and it was comfortable, but scattered. Sessions over here and EV acceleration and maneuverability demonstrations at the airport and of course shop time at the shop.  We were driving all over town trying to do this thing.

But I had originally installed a THEN top of the line Epson video overhead projector in the showroom for the first one.  It’s just never been used.  We got it working this week. I even got a little speaker system that we had in the shop that can pair bluetooth for audio hooked up.  And so now we can do a  wall sized projection of a MacPro laptop screen, audio, and all.  In quite high HD resolution as it turns out.  It’s really pretty good.

So we will have sessions in one room, test benches and cars and shop in the next, catered lunch, all in one spot.  As long as we have about 50 people, this should work great.

EVERY year I’ve scheduled a barbecue for Thursday evening at my house overlooking the river.  EVERY single year it has rained.  THIS year, it is currently listed as ZERO PERCENT CHANCE of precipitation.  It’s just gonna happen.

I actually upped the game on trophies this year with a solid crystal grand EVCCON 2015 winner and nice elegant acrylic trophies for the other awards.  They’re paid for an here, so I’m kind of planning a Saturday morning car show at my house and the adjoining river overlook park.   I think there are still at least 10 or 15 people bringing cars that I know of.  It will be a much prettier, cozier and more scenic place to show off an array of electric vehicles.

Since our first EVCCON, we have also had a very nice Isle of Capri Casino open in Cape Girardeau.  I thought Friday evening we could just all go to the excellent buffet they have there, and then go upstairs to a patio that overlooks the river for after-dinner drinks and of course fine turkish tobacco which preclude the use of premiums or coupons.

As to sessions, we had arranged for Craig Smith, author of Car Hacker’s Handbook 2014 and the principle at Theilabs to come in and speak on Automotive CAN hacking techniques.  He literally stole the show at DEFCON this past August.

And for the rest, we’re still working on it, but basically Collin and I and perhaps Ed Clausen will be doing a LOT on OEM components, the CAN tools we’ve developed in the past year including EVTVDue CAN Microcontroller, the CANDue shield, the Generalized Vehicle Reverser Engineering Tool (GVRET) and Collin’s SavvyCAN application which has made so much of what we have been doing possible.  John Hardy will do some battery test results presentation and discussion.   But it will be a very CAN heavy week.

I intend live demonstrations of the Chevy Volt charger, Chevy Volt Accessory Power Module, the Delphi DC-DC converter, and the Tesla Drive Unit.

So if we have a theme, it will be  the migration to OEM electric vehicle components, and how to deal with CAN to implement them, and how to deal with CAN somewhat more in depth to reverse engineer things so others can further the reverse engineering work themselves.

Those who have registered for EVCCON have overwhelmingly noted we should NOT refund the registration and they will be there.  So, if you come to the open house, we will NOT refund the registration.  If you stay home, we will.  That sounds like I’m paying you to stay home.  But in practice, not.  But I would note that those of you who DO wish to come, may of course bring anyone along you like at no additional cost.  We’ll have food for about 50, when it runs out it runs out.  But if you weren’t bringing your nephew due to the cost, throw him in back and bring him on.  As it turns out, a significant part of our viewership have never attended EVCCON because they just didn’t GET how we could charge $549 for  an electric car event when everybody else had them for free.  And so they are suddenly interested if they don’t have to pay the $549.  If THAT is waived, suddenly renewed interest.

I find that discouraging, and have generally encouraged them to stay home in past years and pray over those ducats even harder, hoping somehow they will learn to breed.

Those who have attended an EVVCON of course laugh at this.  They’ve been to both and kind of vote each year for their druthers.  In past years, we’ve literally dumped wine and prime rib over their heads, rented dynometer teams, had the SCCA come in to do autocross, and so forth. And of course they’ve learned to game the system by registering early or signing up as a co-hostage bringing a car or developing a great presentation to present as speaker.  But the value proposition has always kind of been there for all.

If history repeats, Mark Wiesheimer will be opening the shop each morning about 8:00.  We’ll put on a pot of coffee, and sessions start about 9:00.  You can play with cars in the shop or attend the sessions as you please.  The concept is a more relaxed more hands-on EVCCON.  The Green VW Thing needs to be finished.  The Karmann Ghia and the Mini Cooper are inoperable.  There’s a brand new Smart electric factory model WITH a brand new battery we’ve never managed to actually start.  My wife actually had an engine fire in her classic 1963 MGB if you want to start one from scratch.  I think Byron is bringing his eTransit Connect with intent to heat.  So there should be plenty going on in the shop.

I’m hoping Mark Wiesheimer and Collin can get the Ebenspacher heater working with the new CANDue shield with LIN.

And ideally, we’ll cap it off with a beautiful sunny Saturday morning car show, award the trophies, and for the racing inclined, the NEDRA sanctioned electric vehicle event at Dyno Dom’s raceway in Sikeston has been moved to Saturday evening starting at 4:00PM to show up/warm up and I think 6:00PM for the main event.  As this is a much larger crowd than their Sunday turnouts we’ve always gone to, I think this might make the NEDRA event a pretty serious show.  More center stage if you will.

So it is going to be a very different event than what we’ve had.  As to whether it serves better or worse remains to be seen.  But I’ve always found that things happen for a reason.  And when they do,  the most positive reaction is to go with the flow and be open to change.  That’s what we’re going to do.  The results will be very very interesting…

If you have agreed to speak and make a presentation, contact me immediately.  The old brain cells aren’t all firing these days.  And I still have a couple of slots left if you have any ideas.

We can use this blog entry for the itinerary and I’ll simply edit it as we add sessions or revise the schedule…

So ok, oldguys, cinch up your Depends.  We’re going in……




1000 – 1700 Open house at EVtv Motor Werks – 601 Morgan Oak Street. Attendees will be arriving throughout the day.
Once you check into your local hotel or accommodations, come down to the shop at 601 Morgan Oak Street for an informal tour of the shop.
1700 – 2100 Welcoming Reception at EVTtv Motor Werks shop – 601 Morgan Oak Street. Appetizers and drinks at this opening mixer at the shop. Pickup registration packets and credentials. Meet the other attendees in an informal setting. Catered by Bella Italia.


0800 – 0900 Shop open 8:00 – coffee pot is ON.
0900 – 0950 Opening Session – Welcome Remarks by Jack Rickard
0950 – 1000 Coffee Break
1000 – 1150 Steve West and Nick Smith – Future of Charging Infrastructure.
1200 – 1300 Lunch – Catered by Ray’s Restaurant
1300 – 1350 Jack Rickard – Adapting OEM EV Components to Custom Electric Vehicles
1350 – 1400 Break
1400 – 1450 Jack Rickard – an Introduction to CAN networks.
1450 – 1500 Break
1500 – 1550 An Introduction to Arduino Due and CAN.
1550 – 1600 Break

1600-1700 Tom Brunka of Helwig Brushes – Brushes for  AC Motors
1700 – ??? Shop Time at EVtv Motor Werks – Dinner on your own.

0800 – 0900 Shop open 8:00 – coffee pot is ON.
0900 – 0950 John Hardy – Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery Testing Report
0950 – 1000 Coffee Break
1000 – 1150 Collin Kidder – CAN Analysis with SavvyCAN and GVRET .
1200 – 1300 Lunch – Catered by Ray’s Restaurant
1300 – 1350 Craig Smith, Car Hacker’s Handbook 2014. – Politics and Legal Environment of Automotive Security
1350 – 1400 Break
1400 – 1450 Craig Smith TheiaLabs – CAN Reverse Engineering Techniques
1450 – 1500 Break
1500 – 1550 Demonstration of Tesla Model S Drive Unit
1550 – 1600 Break
1600 – 1700 Demonstration of Chevy Volt Charger, Chevy Volt DC-DC Converter, Delphi DC-DC Converter.
1730 – 1930 Barbecue Dinner at Jack’s House overlooking river.

0800 – 0900 Shop open 8:00 – coffee pot is ON.
0900 – 0950 Arduino CAN_DUE Library – Advanced Techniques Collin Kidder
0950 – 1000 Coffee Break
1000 – 1150 CHAdeMO Fast Charging Standard – Collin Kidder and Jack Rickard
1200 – 1300 Lunch – Catered by Ray’s Restaurant
1300 – 1350 Byron Izbenhaard. Azure Dynamics eTransit Connect/heaters/AC/CAN.
1350 – 1400 Break
1400 – 1450 Session
1450 – 1500 Break
1500 – 1550 Session
1550 – 1600 Break
1600 – 1700 .Session
1730 – 1930 Shop time. Dinner on your own. Casino Buffet Visit?

0800 – 0900 Shop open 8:00 – coffee pot is ON.
1000 – 1400 Electric Car Show at Jacks House and the River Overlook Park – Lunch Provided
1400 Presentation of Car Show Awards
1600 NEDRA Sanctioned Electric Drag Race at Dyno Doms in Sikeston