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  #11  
Old 10-18-2011, 12:37 PM
Yukon_Shane Yukon_Shane is offline
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Default Re: Tr-Amp: 1990 Geo Tracker Conversion

The charger is a tough call. I would have really liked to be able to adjust my parameters in the field; particularly as the thinking around charging seems to continue to evolve.

If you're either electronically inclined (or brave) you may also want to check-out this Open Source charger concept http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums...rce-59210.html

I think that you may even be able to purchase a completed charger from emotorwerks for a reasonable price. something to think about...
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  #12  
Old 10-20-2011, 12:14 PM
PeterH PeterH is offline
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Default Re: Tr-Amp: 1990 Geo Tracker Conversion

Hi Shane,

I'm dragging my feet on the charger issue... hoping that by the time December rolls around and my batteries show up, there has been some movement in the charger world.

If not, I'll go with the Elcon and just suffer with a charger I can't reprogram.

Meanwhile, question: When you de-iced your rig, did you remove the Tracker's computer? I was working on removing all of the dashboard and everything behind it last night and it suddenly occurred to me to wonder if we need the computer for anything. I'm hoping not in a vehicle this old... I haven't pulled it yet, but I didn't take much care in cutting wiring from the old ICE either.

I'm removing all the old Air Conditioning plumbing from behind the dash and cleaning everything else up. Of course all that foam gasket material between the various air handling components is all long dry-rotted away so I'll have to come up with a replacement.

I am amazed by all the crap I found behind the dash and in the heater core and circulating fan area. You'd think the factory would design a better intake from the outside. Must have dumped 2 pounds of leaves and other junk from the various components in the dash!

Feels good to have some cleaning to do while I wait for a new adapter plate. Can't just sit on my hands for the next few weeks!

Pete
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  #13  
Old 10-20-2011, 01:54 PM
Yukon_Shane Yukon_Shane is offline
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Default Re: Tr-Amp: 1990 Geo Tracker Conversion

Hey Peter,

I didn't pull out the computer but I really don't think it would matter. Like you I wasn't terrible careful when pulling out wires and I haven't had any problems with any of the electronics that I wanted to keep. I think that the computer in this vintage of tracker is probably primarily emissions related so that the vehicle would comply with federal emissions rules. If I remember corrrectly it was around 1990 that all vehicles had to have an OBDII compatible computer that would allow the user to plug in and look at basic emissions equipment information (o2 sensors errors, etc.). That being said I'm no expert in this area and wasn't bold enough to remove the computer completely.

On the dirty car front you'll get little sympathy from me. My tracker spent the last 5 years of it's life being draged behind an RV from one end of Canada to the other. I've found enough dust and sand I can probably make dent in reclaiming the tar sands.
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  #14  
Old 11-10-2011, 01:06 AM
PeterH PeterH is offline
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Default Re: Tr-Amp: 1990 Geo Tracker Conversion

Hi Shane,

I'm sitting in my hotel in Riyadh reading threads and spending money on ebay for parts. Told the wife to expect lots of packages while I'm away. :-) Just ordered a J1772 receptical and control board for my build.

Question: What are you doing for an emergency disconnect on your build?

I'm hoping to find something that is enclosed and electrically activated to disconnect the main pack if needed in an emergency... or, if I need to disconnect for maintenance.

Any word on your batteries?

Thanks,
Pete
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  #15  
Old 11-10-2011, 10:22 AM
Yukon_Shane Yukon_Shane is offline
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Default Re: Tr-Amp: 1990 Geo Tracker Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterH View Post
Hi Shane,

I'm sitting in my hotel in Riyadh reading threads and spending money on ebay for parts. Told the wife to expect lots of packages while I'm away. :-) Just ordered a J1772 receptical and control board for my build.

Question: What are you doing for an emergency disconnect on your build?

I'm hoping to find something that is enclosed and electrically activated to disconnect the main pack if needed in an emergency... or, if I need to disconnect for maintenance.

Any word on your batteries?

Thanks,
Pete
Hey Pete,

Batteries arrived yesterday! I'm super excited to break into them this weekend; I'll post some pictures later this week. The 100 AH are alot smaller/lighter then I thought they'd be, I'd measured the pack size out a few times but I guess I hadn't really given much though to how small each individual battery would be.

Emergency disconnect: I wasn't sure how best to approach this so I asked Randy at CanEV what they typically do/suggest. He supplied me with a high amp/volt breaker and what essentially looks like a choke cable with an emergency shutoff switch attached to one end. I'll drill a hole in the breaker switch arm, run the choke cable through it and mount the emergency switch in the cab were it's easy to reach in the case of an emergency. I think this approach is fairly commonly used, it allows you to physically disconnect the current from the battery pack without you having to put your hands anywhere near the high voltage circuit.

The breaker won't replace the use of a class T fuse (a definate necessarity) but it does allow you to diconnect the pack for maintenance and in the case of emergency, etc.

There are certainly more elaborate approaches including this device http://rechargecar.com/product/ev-ez-safe-disconnect

I think alot of folks also run a low voltages disconnect switch that essentially just disconnects the 12V power to the controller. This approach doesn't make alot of sense to me seeing as it's essentially the same as just turning your ignition off. That being said, in an emergency it'd be better to have a red button to push rather then trying to remember to turn off your ignition. With the evnetics controllers you can also achieve a similiar result by just pressing on the brake which (assuming you've tied into the brake light circuit) will cut current through the controller.

I hope that's helpful. I'll post some pictures once I get my disconnect installed and let you know how it's working.
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  #16  
Old 12-02-2011, 06:04 AM
PeterH PeterH is offline
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Default Re: Tr-Amp: 1990 Geo Tracker Conversion

Hi Shane!

What is the word on your batteries?? Your last post said they'd been delivered so I'm been watching and hoping for an update. :-)

I've had to cancel my order for 160 Ah HiPower cells and I'm going with 130 CALBs. the CALBs might be delivered before the holidays but the HiPower weren't going to even be shipped till Feburary.

Thanks,
Pete
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  #17  
Old 12-02-2011, 10:03 AM
Yukon_Shane Yukon_Shane is offline
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Default Re: Tr-Amp: 1990 Geo Tracker Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterH View Post
Hi Shane!

What is the word on your batteries?? Your last post said they'd been delivered so I'm been watching and hoping for an update. :-)

I've had to cancel my order for 160 Ah HiPower cells and I'm going with 130 CALBs. the CALBs might be delivered before the holidays but the HiPower weren't going to even be shipped till Feburary.

Thanks,
Pete
They arrived! sorry for the lack of updates, a combination of cold weather and a busy schedule has kept me from working on the project much over the past few weeks.

I ordered from CanEV which was a positive experience. Randy at CanEV was very good at communicating with me via email and letting me know when there were delays in the shipment, when they'd arrived at his business, and when to expect them at my door. That being said, I think if I was in the U.S. I would probably have ordered through CALIBPower and saved the wait times. The batteries arrived with all the hardware required (bolts, washers, connectors, etc.) and were very well packaged in two crates and strapped in groups of 5 as per my request.

I've started the process of top balancing the pack by putting all the cells in parrallel and using a small 3.7V, 10 amp charger from Chennic. Unfortunately I realized after connecting half the pack that I wouldn't have enough stock connectors to finish the job because they'd only sent me enough connectors to facilitate a series connection of the pack which is half the number needed to connect them all in parrellel. So I've been stripping out sections of 10 gauge wire to finish connecting the rest of the pack so that I can start the charging process.

Assuming the pack was shipped at half charge my little Chennic charger should take around 250 hours to charge the entire pack so just over 10 days! Actually now that I think of it, because the charger is just a simple constant voltage charger, the current will taper off over time so it'll probably take even longer....

Sounds like a long time but I can't think of a better way to safely charge 50 100aH cells in parrallel safely. Plus I'm not really in a hurry, I still have to figure out the battery box, BMS and state of charge metering. This little charger will ensure that the pack never goes over 3.7 volts, well below the 4 V limit of these thundersky cells so I think it's a good, low cost approach to top balancing these cells.

I should be finished with my wire stripping tomorrow and start the charging process so I'll post some pictures of the process.

On a more exciting note (battery charging isn't very exciting) I think I'm finally starting to get my head around the design of a reasonably priced fluid cab heater. Still in the conceptual stages but I'll post more soon.


Shane
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  #18  
Old 01-13-2012, 09:22 AM
PeterH PeterH is offline
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Default Re: Tr-Amp: 1990 Geo Tracker Conversion

Hi Shane,

How are you making out with the batteries?

I got my set of 45 CALB 130s a week before Christmas. They are still in the crates but I'm just about to mount the battery boxes. So I'm trying to decide how to keep them at a reasonable temperature.

Thanks,
Peter H.
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  #19  
Old 01-13-2012, 09:51 AM
Yukon_Shane Yukon_Shane is offline
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Default Re: Tr-Amp: 1990 Geo Tracker Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterH View Post
Hi Shane,

How are you making out with the batteries?

I got my set of 45 CALB 130s a week before Christmas. They are still in the crates but I'm just about to mount the battery boxes. So I'm trying to decide how to keep them at a reasonable temperature.

Thanks,
Peter H.
Hi Peter,

I've been following your build, looks like your making great progress.

My build is getting close to complete now. It took me a couple of weeks to complete the initial top balance of the back with the little Chennic charger I bought (not sure I'd do it that way again). I put all the cells in parrell and just left the little 3.6 V, 4amp charger on it until the voltage of the pack came up to around 3.5 V and the charger was down to less then 1 amp. At that point I decided it was close enough.

Since then I've just been working on the battery box which should be done this weekend. I've sacrificed the back seat so the box location won't be too difficult but I'm really interested in seeing how you make out with your battery location(s) as I think your design will be much more practicle from a day to day perspective.

Received my miniBMS system this week as well so that's ready to go. The only major component I'm missing is the "fuel gauge" and other monitoring. I'm hoping to get this component from EMotorWerks who are working on a comprehensive monitoring design that I think will work well. Unfortunately it seems to be taking a bit of tiem for this product to be completed so I might have to go with something a bit simplier for now.

I'm still struggling with the cab heating design plan. I think I'm back to using a fluid/tank heater rather then the ceramic heater option. I've ordered a "Kat's" tank fluid heater from amazon so we'll see what that looks like when it arrives.

As for battery heating; my battery box is going to have a sheet metal base so I think I'll just mount a simple AC pad heater to the bottom of that sheet metal for now and see how well that works. It should heat the batteries evenly enough and I don't expect alot of heat will be require.

I'll post some pictures after the box is completed this weekend.
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  #20  
Old 01-13-2012, 10:07 AM
PeterH PeterH is offline
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Default Re: Tr-Amp: 1990 Geo Tracker Conversion

Hi Shane,

I'm having trouble with selecting a BMS at this time also. I was going with the centralized version of the MiniBMS until my local vendor told me he spoke with the engineers who designed it. They suggested I look at the Orion BMS because they have been having thermal problems with their centralized version.

The Orion BMS is more expensive but offers a lot more options. I think that includes keeping track of amp hours. I need to go back and re-read and maybe send them an email with more specific questions. If so, that eliminates the need to purchase a seperate component for counting amp hours as my "fuel gauge".

My local vendor has designed his own tiny tank heater for heating the cab. It went into a build and had a few problems so I think he is working on version 2.0 at the moment. I'll probably give version 2.0 a try because version 1.0 worked well, but lacked a few safety features that it needed. I'm waiting to hear from him on this subject.

Looking forward to your pictures... I'll update my build with some more pictures after I finish with the last two boxes and put them all in place. Not going to permanently mount them until I determine a good solution to the battery warming issue which is nearing the top of my priority list. :-)

Thanks,
Pete
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