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Archive for May, 2010

Broken Handlebar Repair

While in New Zealand, I broke the handlebar on my KH24. The thin tubing failed due to too much stress on the joint. The braze held up fine, and it broke right above it. While in NZ, I quickly re-welded it together (temporarily) with a MIG welder and a face shield that I totally couldn’t see out of. The result was a weld that held up for a few months..but that was about it. So, it finally broke again. I cut the bad part off the handlebar part and ground some of the paint away. Notice the replacement tube in... [read more]


Plug Bug: Tie rods and axle bolts

I’m installing disc brakes on the bug, as they will help me stop faster in the event of an emergency. I figured this would be an easy project, but I also ended up getting lowered drop spindles and a 2″ shorter front beam (I think dropped bugs look cool). The spindles: It turns out, I need a special VW tool to remove the tie rods. So, it’s back to California Imports and buying more stuff so I can take these things off: I then figured I’d put back on the front tires and install the rear disc brakes. Well, I... [read more]


Plug Bug: Battery Box Simulation

(Another old post — I’ve been having trouble uploading pictures from home). The best way to see if the batteries will fit is to do some mock ups. I made some crude ones out of cardboard boxes. Here’s where I plan to put some of the front cells: And the rear: I may end up modifying the rear seat slightly to hold two more cells in a more square and uniform pattern.


Plug Bug: Power/Energy Required

This is an older post I never ended up publishing. Basically it is my process of how selection and research — especially with my particular commute and the hills I have to tackle. How much energy will my bug need for what I want it to do? How do I figure this out? I started out on the DIYElectricCar Forums/Wiki page – How Much Power Will I need? This left a lot of unanswered questions, mainly because my physics is now 10 years old and rusty. So, I dug through some of my old books and read a bunch of stuff... [read more]


Plug Bug: Interior Out and Rust in Back

The project is slowly moving along. I’m working on restoring the car and took most exterior stuff off in preparation for body repair and paint. I’m planning on upgrading to disc brakes and lowered spindles to drop the front a little bit. I’ve been taking a lot of pictures as I go; mainly so I can remember how it all goes back together! The worst amount of rust is the luggage compartment behind the back seat. After I pulled the carpet away I noticed there were holes rusted through. I’m planning on building battery boxes here, and instead of ordering... [read more]


Plug Bug: Battery Research

How far can I go? That depends on how fast you want to go, and how many hills you hit. Here’s some great info on the diy forums that got me started. I want to go 100 miles at 65mph (excluding hills and acceleration, for simplicity). Realistically, that probably won’t happen because it will cost too much and take up too much space (and too much weight!) I’m going with a 154V DC system and 48 Thundersky Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries. The nominal volts per lithium battery is 3.2 V. What Ah do I need per cell? At 65mph on... [read more]


Plug Bug: Final motor selection

After lots of research, I finally decided on a DC motor. I really want to have an AC system, but I have several issues: 1. Cost — it is at least 3k more, possibly a lot more. 2. Availability — not many AC retailers sell to the individual, or, if they do it is really expensive. 3. The EVE AC40 motor I wanted to use uses the MES-DEA controller, which looks difficult to work with — especially for my first time doing a conversion. 4. DC has been done so often and there is a huge community of people I... [read more]


Tandem Unicycle Practice

I brought the tandem unicycle with me to Yosemite this past weekend weekend. I was hoping Louise and I would get a chance to ride it, but she was sick all weekend and it started raining/hailing/snowing. Luckily Scott Bond and I practice a bit before the storm set in. Here’s a shot video I made of the footage. Enjoy!


Plug Bug: More motor comparisions

I’m trying to figure out the best motor for my project. I’m now down to considering the EVE AC30 (or AC40) versus the DC WarP 9. The WarP 9 data is all given at 72v rated on the dyno by Netgain; I simply doubled the RPM and assume the torque output is the same up until about 4000 RPM; I’m not sure if that assumption is correct. Here’s a graph of Torque vs RPM for the various motors: I know the HPGC AC50 will be underpowered for what I want, but this chart makes it look like the WarP9 is... [read more]


Photography: Yosemite El Cap and Clouds

HDR picture from 3 RAW images. Yosemite, May 9, 2010



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