Saturday, May 17, 2014


This week the dual volt amp meters arrived from China and work began on fitting them into the instrument panel. The clear cover on my instrument cluster had been cut to mount the digital meters the original owner had installed but I found a bezel on EBAY that appeared to have the clear cover included. I emailed the seller and started working on making a box to mount the meters in that would fit under the glass. I used a plastic electrical box that had to have one end cut off and to shorten the length, then melted back onto the box and had everything ready to start mounting the meters but when the seller emailed back to tell me that the auction was only for the metal bezel and the clear cover was not included. So on to plan B. As luck would have it, the cuts in the clear cover were wider than the meter but could be trimmed for the width of the meter to fit in securely. I filled the gaps in the width with aluminum tape and painted it black. With the face plate on, you can not see the gaps in the side, so that is how it will be mounted.


A connector was installed on the pack voltage wires (can be seen hanging down on the bottom center of  the instrument panel in the picture above) and a small fuse will be added to the line when it is hooked to the battery pack. The meters were powered up to make sure they worked before installing the instrument pod back in the dash. Now it is on to running the wiring while the dash is still out of the car. One of the JLD404 contactors may be set up to light up the battery light if the pack falls to 95 amps, just under 3 volts per cell and I may use the temperature light to hook up the temperature probe wires coming out of the Warp 9.

Bottom balancing the Better Place cells continues but even though I left the JLD404 with a light bulb hooked up for as much as 24 hours on each cell, they still keep bouncing back up. I believe my strategy will be to go through all of them, then pull a small load on the pack and read the voltage on all of the cells as the pack drifts down to see how close they are. There is no wattage in the cells and as soon as the small light bulb hooked to the JLD404 comes on, the voltage instantly drops to 2.7 volts and the JLD404 shuts it off. 

Doesn't seem like much was done but when you figure in a trip to Advance Auto to pick up paint and wiring supplies, fixing the hole in the instrument panel pod, painting the pod, and installing the meters, a lot of time is involved. There is still quite a bit of wiring to work out, the connection from the controller to the Dell Venue Pro, mounting and wiring the JLD404, and running the wires to the 12 volt and pack dual meters in the instrument panel. Then I will be able to start putting the dash back in the car. 

The garage is a mess and I can't seem to locate the bag of screws for the instrument cluster and switches that mount onto is, so hopefully tomorrow, with a good shop cleaning, they will turn up.

Thanks for visiting,

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