• Project Updates 12/1/2020

    Adam Curtis12/03/2020 at 23:51 0 comments

    As winter settles into New England, a home-built electric car is going to need a heated garage. But that's not happening, so a battery heating system will have to do! I have a liquid heater from a smart car I bought from EV West along with the coolant pump from that same car. I will use these for now to keep the batteries toasty, and in the spring I will re-route the coolant system so that it can switch between cooling and heating the batteries depending on the weather. 

    The DC/DC converter is in prototype phase 3 now and will probably stay this way for the life of the car. I missed a few details like the various heights of things, but I think that fuse should work even though it's tilted over...

    I updated the throttle cable for a final set of tests before machining the parts from a billet of aluminum. I ended up removing the cable housing and cable from the original throttle and attaching a lighter weight cable and cable housing to the original piece that clips into the fire-wall. I made a hole through an M8 for adjustability (essentially identical to the stock setup, but at the exact right length for my throttle position and with a more flexible cable to accommodate the tighter radius of my throttle pulley, which is on a 320 degree potentiometer. I may upgrade to a potentiometer with a smaller range, something like what you find in the Curtis pot boxes (no relation). 

    I just got some old wheel covers from a fellow Insight owner, but I haven't had a chance to get a picture with those mounted yet. So here is the best glamour shot I have to date. 

  • "Little Bits" 11/10/20

    Adam Curtis11/13/2020 at 14:10 0 comments

    Part of any good EV conversion is falling in love with the vehicle your working on. This Insight was in pretty rough shape and missing a lot of parts, so I've been visiting the scrap yard and slowly fixing or replacing the little things. Cue the makeover montage. 

    Here's a before and after of my headlight restoration.

  • HV Box 11/9/20

    Adam Curtis11/10/2020 at 01:15 0 comments

    Need to put together a sealed box with all the HV components so they aren't just flopping about in the back. One of my friend's cats nearly steps on 200v last weekend. 

    I really enjoy modeling parts. 

    Note on Fuse. Up until now I've been using cheep high current fuses, but these are actually only rated for 32v... I'm going to spring for some A30QS300 made by Ferraz Shawmut and sold at allfuses.com

    The switch is a gigavac BD9523, which I only just now realized is rated for 32v only, so I'll be ordering a higher voltage version. 

  • Project Updates 11/1/20

    Adam Curtis11/08/2020 at 15:36 0 comments

    My search for a windshield is still on-going. Also looking for cheap rear wheel covers in blue. My front bumper cover is cracked but I've Frankenstein stitched it back together with Zipties, would like to upgrade that. I have a Silver one, but not sure how well that will paint up with color match. 

    Balancing battery cells manually using iCharger. 

    Prototyping the DC DC converter

  • DC DC converter

    Adam Curtis11/03/2020 at 02:08 0 comments

    I've made a working prototype for the DC DC converter using a 

    DCM4623xD2N17C8y7z chip. It has been set to charge the 12v system to 14volts. I've just added a 10k pot to adjust the output voltage between 12.6-14.4v depending if I want to maintain the lead acid battery, run the lights, or bulk charge it. I've designed and ordered a circuit board, so the next iteration will be cleaner, will use anderson style connectors for the 12v side, enable charging with a key-on signal and will feature LEDs for on and fault states. Additionally there will be an external pot, so I can play around with adjustments from the drivers seat. 

  • Thus far

    Adam Curtis09/16/2020 at 15:49 0 comments

    I've been working on this since spring 2020. 

    -So far I have gotten the motor spinning. 

    -Written 127 emails and visited the internet of old Solectria groups to track down appropriate .ccs and .par files.

    -Then overcome a problem where there was no power and car "stalled" (I disabled the charge error in the DMOC 445)

    -Designed and printed a little custom throttle and zip tied it to my pedal

    -Strapped batteries in the trunk

    -Bled the brakes

    -Drove up and down a driveway