Saturday, October 18, 2014


After taking the car on the 20 mile interstate test drive, the voltage had settled around 119.5 volts and even though, there should be another 9 watt hours in the pack, according the the JLD404, I  decided to go ahead and charge. At $0.15 per kilowatt hour, it cost me $1.04 to put 6.786 KWH into the pack.

The voltage and current were lowered last week at the end of the charge, so this charge dropped from 18 amps to 17 amps. I watched the end of the charge a little closer this week and the charger still is not shutting off as soon as I would like. At 138.2 the average half cell voltage is 4.312 volts or 0.112 volts over the recommended cutoff voltage.

I decided to stay with the Zivan NG3 charger because it only weighs 15 pounds and it fits neatly in the space on the engine side of the trunk, tucked away and barely visible. The drawback is it can not be programmed without sending it in the the manufacture rep in California, paying $75 and hoping they program it the way you want it programmed. Enter DIY Electric car and a thread on putting a PIC chip in the charger that can change the voltage cut off. I got one of the chips but have never programmed it because the original HiPower cells I purchased were never going to work. Now that I have the Better Place modules, it is time to put the Pic chip in the Zivan charger, get it back in the car and hooked back up to the J1772 and 220 volt sockets.

I left the chip with Mark Weisheimer when he worked on the Zivan charger after I blew one of the IGBTs., so contacted him to see if he had ever loaded the code. He has been heavily involved with reverse engineering the CAN commands for the Lear charger, used in several of the OEM electric and hybrid cars, so I was a bit worried he may not have time right now to program it but was relieved to get a reply telling me he would program the chip and help set it up in the charger. He also gave me some good recommendations on setting up a back up system to shut off the charger, just to be safe. I have a JLD404 and a spare contactor, so it is just a matter of wiring it up to shut off the charger if it's programming fails to do so.

A couple of the rollers on my garage door had pulled loose and the door would hardly close, so I made a trip to the hardware store for some new rollers. After working on it for a couple of hours, it is opening and closing just fine now. Also, the garage cleaning continued to try and set up space to charge the other two Better Place modules and still get the car in when it gets cold. Shouldn't be long and I will be able to get the car back inside for winter.

Until next time,

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