Tuesday, August 27, 2013


This week I decided to test the charging relay and when I applied power, nothing happened. I checked the 12 volt battery and it was under 1 volt. After looking around the car I found the drivers side door was ajar and the interior lights had run the battery down. I hooked up the DC-DC converter to AC and let it charge until the voltage came up to 13.2 volts then disconnected the charger. When opening the drivers side door, the interior lights came on and the battery was still holding above 13 volts. It is good to know my bottom balance on the Ballistic battery worked and there did not appear to be any damage but may still install a timer circuit to take out the interior lights after a couple minutes, to prevent this from happening again. The battery is only 2.3 A/h but I only intended to have it power up the J1772 circuit and turn on the DC-DC converter when charging. I ran the lead acid batteries down a couple times when I forgot to unplug the DC-DC converter and wanted to have a way to shut it down when the ignition switch is turned to off.

The engine compartment is done and I am preparing to install the motor cradle. There will still be a few wires to run and some loom to install but I need to wait until the motor is in to decide on the routing.


The controller will need to be removed from the motor to get clearance for the cradle to go back in and some wires will need to be tied up out of the way to keep from damaging them. The speedometer plug was pulled off when I dropped the cradle but thanks to EBAY, another one is on the way.


Only two batteries left to bottom balance and the pack will be ready for the initial charge. Out of the forty, four of them will not hold a charge, so that will leave me with 36 cells. None of them took more that 80 A/H and some of them only took 60 A/H. At 3.65 volts per cell, I will need to have the charger cut off at 130 volts or so but the charger is currently going to 156 volts and then doing a constant voltage stage. I changed the setting on the Zivan to "7", that is supposed to be for lithium but I will need to closely monitor the first charge.  There are a couple adjustments inside the charger for voltage and current so I am hoping the voltage can be turned down far enough using them. I have a chip for the Zivan that allows it to be programmed with a PIC3, so eventually, I want to install it so I will have a little better control of the charger. The Synkromotive Controller also has a charge function but there is no documentation on how to hook it up. There are settings in the set-up program but I am not sure anyone has tried to hook it up to AC using an inverter. If anyone has hooked the Synkromotive Controller up as a charger, leave a post and let me know how it worked out.

Thanks for viewing,


Monday, August 19, 2013


The battery bottom balancing continues and I am getting close to putting the motor cradle back in the Fiero. I
put together a Punch List of items to be completed while the cradle is still out of the car.

Punch List
  1. done   Connect ground to frame from 220 box 
  2. done   Straighten Negative battery lead 
  3. done   Mount 2 Rear relays 
  4. Redo driver side loom -  find and wire new speedometer connector
  5. Remount front to back battery cables
  6. done  Remove red wire from the tunnel (to heater contactor)
  7. done  Remove the black wire from the tunnel ( to vacuum pump motor)
  8. Remount heater wires
  9. Cover computer cavity
  10. done  Cut metal sticking out on front engine compartment firewall
  11. done    Rotate loom on fusible link wires 
  12. done    Tighten 220 plug nut 
  13. 13    Test relays
  14. 14    Touch up engine compartment paint 
  15. done    Change charge setting to lithium (position 7) on charger
The C500 switched 12 volts (2 wires), wire from the starter switch, and tachometer wires have been spliced into the connector and it has been installed. I used plenty of wire so I should not have to splice these wires when making the final connections.


Two relays have been installed and the charger relay has 12 volts connected so when the charger turns on, the normally open relay closes and puts power on the relay and when the charger is off, the switched 12 volts will be applied to the relay through the charger's normally closed contact.


I have been putting off sliding under the belly of the Fiero to re-mount the battery wires from the front to back packs and the heater power wires. They were bundled together along with the power wire for the vacuum pump and the heater relay wire. I am going to use a relay and get 12 volt power in the front of the car for the vacuum pump and use the starter wire to get power to the relay for the heater. That way I will be using original 12 volt wiring in the wiring harnesses for 12 volt control power and the only wires running on the outside of the car will be for the battery packs. I put loom on the 2/0 battery and heater power cables, where they made any bends or contacted any surfaces and used conduit hangers to mount the wires in the tunnel.


There will either be an aluminum cover over the tunnel or a belly pan to cover the wires so they will not be exposed, after the car is running and I can get it on a lift.

Hopefully by September, I will have the motor cradle back in the car and can start on the battery boxes.

Monday, August 12, 2013


This year's trip to EVCCON started out at 6 am EST from Ohio and I finally made the trip without getting side tracked, arriving at my Hotel in Cape Girardeau, MO around 3:00 PM CST. Around 5:30 PM CST I made my way over to the shop to pick up my credentials and the bag of goodies provided by EVTV.

Al Gajda was still tweaking in the new battery pack on his 39 Dodge pick-up conversion and did not have enough time to bottom balance before the convention started, so was carefully monitoring after each drive. The open source crew was working to get the DEMOC 645 to drive the Siemens motor on the VW Thing, and Brandon Hollenger was completing wiring on the London Taxi, the winner of the EVCCON I, Build Your Dream  EV Contest.

As in the past, EVTV had a very nice welcoming reception with good food and an open bar for the attendees. There were four of us from the Columbus, OH area and another from Akron, Ohio, so it was good to get together again. What is surprising is how many made the convention from other countries; New Zealand, Australia, and Great Britain to name a few. The attendance seemed down a little this year and it appeared there were fewer cars this year but still a strong showing.

It was surprising to not see NetGain Motors, Net Gain Controls, and Evnetics in attendance this year. HPEVS was the only manufacturer with a booth and EVTV was the only parts vendor. It was obvious there is somewhat of a shift to AC motors in the future of EV builds and with HPEVS and Curtis Controls new product offerings would seem to be the Manufactures poised to benefit, at least in the short term. There is also talk of using an industrial controller to drive the HPEVS motors, as the Curtis Controllers are seriously limited with respect to the capability of the motor.  There also seemed to be some interest from the NEDRA drag racing group that was in attendance in the AC electric motors.

When I got to the shop there were so many builders to talk to, I just forgot to take any pictures but thanks to Jehu Garcia, I didn't have to. The link below is a recap of the first few days of EVCCON III.



1973 OPEL GT











I would have liked to put the $800 or so it costs to attend EVCCON and the week off work into the Fiero Build but felt the relationships developed at the convention will be more than worth the delay in the build.

Sunday, August 4, 2013


Tuesday around 4 am I am going to leave for EVCCON. That should get me to Cape Girardeau, MO
by 11 am central time when the shop opens. My Hotel room should be ready by early afternoon so I can check in and rest a little for the open house that evening. Al Gajda's 39 Dodge ev conversion was at the EVTV Shop over the weekend and you could see him installing the batteries on the EVTV WEBCAM . He must have got them in and the truck running because it is off of the lift and no where in sight now.

Getting the 12 volt power hooked up has been my main priority this week and I cleaned and installed the new C500 right half connector.



The battery was connected so I had my wife turn on the key so if there were any shorts, I could have her shut off the power and could quickly disconnect the battery if needed. She turned the key and nothing happened. I plugged in the IOTA DC-DC converter and the lights came on so I was a bit confused. From inside the engine compartment I could not see the top of the battery and when I stood up, found I had not hooked up the negative  battery  terminal and was out of crimp terminals, so finishing the 12 volt connections would have to wait until the next day. As there is no starter on an EV, I probably got a little carried away on the battery and battery charger cables, but I had them already and figured, they won't hurt anything.

The next morning I was off to ACE Hardware to pick up the crimp terminals and got the battery hooked up. The little Ballistic battery was able to power up the headlights and all of the 12 volt systems seemed to work just fine, so I went to the wires on the C500 connector and checked voltage on them.



Just as I suspected, pins B! & E3 were connected to the pink wire that had been spliced in the wiring harness and are 12 volts when the switch is turned to the run position.. Pin A4 is connected to the purple wire that was spliced in the wiring harness and is 12 volts when the switch is turned to the start position.

The basic 12 volt wiring is done and all that is left is to put loom on some of the wires going to the terminal block on the front firewall and to tidy up the main battery terminals. The ground terminal is an aluminum nut rivet and I picked up a stainless bolt and washer to connect the terminals to it. Also I put one of the solid trunk panels in that is from a 1884 Fiero, to see if it was going to provide enough protection from the elements for the DC-DC converter, battery and contactors; It appears it will.



The wires coming in on the left harness go to the AVC2, the one on the right is the positive and the one on the left is the negative. The harness coming in from the bottom is coming from the Zivan Charger. The left wire coming out of the loom is the positive to the common terminal on the charger contacts, the one coming out of the loom on the third terminal from the left is the normally closed contact and the on furthest right goes to the normally open contact. The terminal above will go to the relay that controls the main battery contactors. The two wires on the top left are the positive and negative.


The original build had a wire running under the car to power the brake vacuum pump so I will look for a switched 12 volt wire  in the front of the car to turn on the pump when the key is switched. on. There is also a wire to turn on the heater contactor running underneath the car that I will try to power form an existing harness wire. If I don't need the starter wire, I may run it to the heater switch under the dash and use it to operate the heater contactor.

The battery bottom balancing continues and I have about 25 to go. The capacity information will be good when I start putting the pack together as I may just leave out some of the lower capacity ones. Since I am bottom balancing, I think real low capacity cells will keep me from fully charging the good ones.

As I said last week, I will try to do a post or two from EVCCON and will post some links from some of the other converters who are posting from the show.

Thanks for  viewing,