Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Back on the road again!

Last night I finished buttoning up both packs after soldering in all the connection wires between the groups of cells and adding in a fuse holder to each pack. I also had to create new carry straps. My first design was a fail as it had metal catches and was designed to be used for a load tie-down. Unfortunately, there is not enough room between the batteries for this to work properly and I nearly had a situation where I get to batteries in the car and could not remove them. After some thought, I went back to the original Twike design which is a knotted loop of rope. I did do a wrap of duct tape on top and bottom to prevent it from dislodging. That worked great. I charged the batteries for the first time and did some tentative drives around the neighborhood. I don't think the cells are balanced yet as they are in various states of discharge when I joined them. The car will do a balance charge when doing a normal charge (jog charge is at a faster rate and avoid the balance phase). I put on 8 miles in the evening giving my kids rides. If it all goes well, I will put in the back shelf cover and try to drive it to work tomorrow (about 16 miles round-trip). If that all goes well, I will attempt to take it to the OEVA meeting in Portland tomorrow night. Only about 9 miles or so but I do have a elevation climb of about 1200 feet (at night with the lights and wipers on :-) Wish me luck.


Lex said...

glad to see you back on the road! I've been doing distance training with mine now that its back in business. I've learned a lot and can basically double my range with smart driving. I now want an adapter so we can plug into EV charging stations, any ideas?

Anonymous said...

Hey I work near 185th in Hillsboro and I saw you today driving. I took note of what the vehicle was called and started googling and came across this website. Just thought you might like to know that your efforts have peaked curiousity. Although the somewhat recumbnant position does resemble an obgyn exam.

Phil Hochstetler said...

Hi Lex, you want an adapter for a J1772 connector. This is possible as the car natively charges on Europe 240v. Here in the USA, we use 120v more commonly so yours has 2 step-up transformers to convert the 120v to 240v. I have not done this yes, but might consider it in the future. Cost should be around $200 with most of the cost in the J1772 connector.

Phil Hochstetler said...

Thanks Anonymous. You will see me in the area as I drive around.

Don Zacher, aka Zak said...


I like your twike, nice job. If you don't mind email me about hooking up the tb woods inverter to DC. I've downloaded the inverter docs. If you are interested I'm developing a battery pack for using A123 20ah pouch cells.