EV Grin and a fun little mystery

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EV Grin and a fun little mystery

Jeremy Green-4
So, my Honda CRX EV is finally back on the road after 11 years of inactivity.
I took the EV apart 11 years ago because the water pump needed to be replaced and there were a few other upgrades I wanted to do.
Then, my brother moved his shop to another state and then 8 1/2 years ago I had my first kid.
So, it sat idle for a long time and as these things tend to do (with me), the scope of the project got much bigger.
I decided to upgrade the controller and replace my transmission with a later model Integra transmission since there were better clutch options and it is a much beefier transmission.
So, this involved custom mounts and a new adapter plate.  Of course, I couldn't find anyone who had the adapter plate I needed so I decided to machine my own on my CNC machine.
The CNC machine had been moved to my brother's new shop in RI (from Massachusetts) and needed quite a bit of work to get it going again (again, as I tend to do, I made it a bigger project by replacing the windows controller software with EMC 2 running on linux).
So, it was quite a while before I actually had the adapter plate machined (December of 2010).
Anyway, I'm back on the road with a Zilla controller and 64 CALB 100 ah cells (unfortunately, the old blue case ones).  
I went from having a range of around 25 miles to what looks like 65 and the car is a much more reasonable weight.
There's a lot to be done still but at least now I can drive the car!

So, on to the fun mystery.  I was testing the car out on the highway the other day and noticed that under hard acceleration, the brake light came on.  I was a little confused and thought either the fluid was low and sloshing or that I had messed up the wiring for the idiot lights.  Then I realized that one of my high voltage cable goes right next to the master cylinder and, the float switch for the brake fluid level is a reed switch.  So, under hard acceleration when there was a lot of current going through the cable, it was generating enough of a magnetic field to cause the reed switch to pull in.  I only had to move the cable a tiny bit to get it to go away.
I expected to be having to track down some problem in the wiring.  I was happy to find it was a simple (and interesting) problem with an easy fix.

Glad to be back among the EV drivers!  I almost broke down and bought a leaf a year or so ago…

                        -Jeremy

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Re: EV Grin and a fun little mystery

SLPinfo.org
Jeremy,

Congrats!  I'm sure I'm not alone in this but I really admire your
persistence.

Peter Flipsen Jr
 On Apr 10, 2013 12:17 PM, "Jeremy Green" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> So, my Honda CRX EV is finally back on the road after 11 years of
> inactivity.
> I took the EV apart 11 years ago because the water pump needed to be
> replaced and there were a few other upgrades I wanted to do.
> Then, my brother moved his shop to another state and then 8 1/2 years ago
> I had my first kid.
> So, it sat idle for a long time and as these things tend to do (with me),
> the scope of the project got much bigger.
> I decided to upgrade the controller and replace my transmission with a
> later model Integra transmission since there were better clutch options and
> it is a much beefier transmission.
> So, this involved custom mounts and a new adapter plate.  Of course, I
> couldn't find anyone who had the adapter plate I needed so I decided to
> machine my own on my CNC machine.
> The CNC machine had been moved to my brother's new shop in RI (from
> Massachusetts) and needed quite a bit of work to get it going again (again,
> as I tend to do, I made it a bigger project by replacing the windows
> controller software with EMC 2 running on linux).
> So, it was quite a while before I actually had the adapter plate machined
> (December of 2010).
> Anyway, I'm back on the road with a Zilla controller and 64 CALB 100 ah
> cells (unfortunately, the old blue case ones).
> I went from having a range of around 25 miles to what looks like 65 and
> the car is a much more reasonable weight.
> There's a lot to be done still but at least now I can drive the car!
>
> So, on to the fun mystery.  I was testing the car out on the highway the
> other day and noticed that under hard acceleration, the brake light came
> on.  I was a little confused and thought either the fluid was low and
> sloshing or that I had messed up the wiring for the idiot lights.  Then I
> realized that one of my high voltage cable goes right next to the master
> cylinder and, the float switch for the brake fluid level is a reed switch.
>  So, under hard acceleration when there was a lot of current going through
> the cable, it was generating enough of a magnetic field to cause the reed
> switch to pull in.  I only had to move the cable a tiny bit to get it to go
> away.
> I expected to be having to track down some problem in the wiring.  I was
> happy to find it was a simple (and interesting) problem with an easy fix.
>
> Glad to be back among the EV drivers!  I almost broke down and bought a
> leaf a year or so ago…
>
>                         -Jeremy
>
> _______________________________________________
> UNSUBSCRIBE: http://www.evdl.org/help/index.html#usub
> http://lists.evdl.org/listinfo.cgi/ev-evdl.org
> For EV drag racing discussion, please use NEDRA (
> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NEDRA)
>
>
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Re: EV Grin and a fun little mystery

Jeremy Green-4
It does take a lot of persistence to overcome my innate tendency to overcomplicate things…

Thanks!

On Apr 10, 2013, at 2:24 PM, "SLPinfo.org" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Jeremy,
>
> Congrats!  I'm sure I'm not alone in this but I really admire your
> persistence.
>
> Peter Flipsen Jr
> On Apr 10, 2013 12:17 PM, "Jeremy Green" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> So, my Honda CRX EV is finally back on the road after 11 years of
>> inactivity.
>> I took the EV apart 11 years ago because the water pump needed to be
>> replaced and there were a few other upgrades I wanted to do.
>> Then, my brother moved his shop to another state and then 8 1/2 years ago
>> I had my first kid.
>> So, it sat idle for a long time and as these things tend to do (with me),
>> the scope of the project got much bigger.
>> I decided to upgrade the controller and replace my transmission with a
>> later model Integra transmission since there were better clutch options and
>> it is a much beefier transmission.
>> So, this involved custom mounts and a new adapter plate.  Of course, I
>> couldn't find anyone who had the adapter plate I needed so I decided to
>> machine my own on my CNC machine.
>> The CNC machine had been moved to my brother's new shop in RI (from
>> Massachusetts) and needed quite a bit of work to get it going again (again,
>> as I tend to do, I made it a bigger project by replacing the windows
>> controller software with EMC 2 running on linux).
>> So, it was quite a while before I actually had the adapter plate machined
>> (December of 2010).
>> Anyway, I'm back on the road with a Zilla controller and 64 CALB 100 ah
>> cells (unfortunately, the old blue case ones).
>> I went from having a range of around 25 miles to what looks like 65 and
>> the car is a much more reasonable weight.
>> There's a lot to be done still but at least now I can drive the car!
>>
>> So, on to the fun mystery.  I was testing the car out on the highway the
>> other day and noticed that under hard acceleration, the brake light came
>> on.  I was a little confused and thought either the fluid was low and
>> sloshing or that I had messed up the wiring for the idiot lights.  Then I
>> realized that one of my high voltage cable goes right next to the master
>> cylinder and, the float switch for the brake fluid level is a reed switch.
>> So, under hard acceleration when there was a lot of current going through
>> the cable, it was generating enough of a magnetic field to cause the reed
>> switch to pull in.  I only had to move the cable a tiny bit to get it to go
>> away.
>> I expected to be having to track down some problem in the wiring.  I was
>> happy to find it was a simple (and interesting) problem with an easy fix.
>>
>> Glad to be back among the EV drivers!  I almost broke down and bought a
>> leaf a year or so ago…
>>
>>                        -Jeremy
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> UNSUBSCRIBE: http://www.evdl.org/help/index.html#usub
>> http://lists.evdl.org/listinfo.cgi/ev-evdl.org
>> For EV drag racing discussion, please use NEDRA (
>> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NEDRA)
>>
>>
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Re: EV Grin and a fun little mystery

Tom Keenan
In reply to this post by Jeremy Green-4
Congratulations on getting it back on the road!  Owning an 'older' EV has
its challenges!

Tom Keenan

-----Original Message-----
From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf
Of Jeremy Green
Sent: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 11:18 AM
To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List
Subject: [EVDL] EV Grin and a fun little mystery

So, my Honda CRX EV is finally back on the road after 11 years of
inactivity.
I took the EV apart 11 years ago because the water pump needed to be
replaced and there were a few other upgrades I wanted to do.
Then, my brother moved his shop to another state and then 8 1/2 years ago I
had my first kid.
So, it sat idle for a long time and as these things tend to do (with me),
the scope of the project got much bigger.
I decided to upgrade the controller and replace my transmission with a later
model Integra transmission since there were better clutch options and it is
a much beefier transmission.
So, this involved custom mounts and a new adapter plate.  Of course, I
couldn't find anyone who had the adapter plate I needed so I decided to
machine my own on my CNC machine.
The CNC machine had been moved to my brother's new shop in RI (from
Massachusetts) and needed quite a bit of work to get it going again (again,
as I tend to do, I made it a bigger project by replacing the windows
controller software with EMC 2 running on linux).
So, it was quite a while before I actually had the adapter plate machined
(December of 2010).
Anyway, I'm back on the road with a Zilla controller and 64 CALB 100 ah
cells (unfortunately, the old blue case ones).  
I went from having a range of around 25 miles to what looks like 65 and the
car is a much more reasonable weight.
There's a lot to be done still but at least now I can drive the car!

So, on to the fun mystery.  I was testing the car out on the highway the
other day and noticed that under hard acceleration, the brake light came on.
I was a little confused and thought either the fluid was low and sloshing or
that I had messed up the wiring for the idiot lights.  Then I realized that
one of my high voltage cable goes right next to the master cylinder and, the
float switch for the brake fluid level is a reed switch.  So, under hard
acceleration when there was a lot of current going through the cable, it was
generating enough of a magnetic field to cause the reed switch to pull in.
I only had to move the cable a tiny bit to get it to go away.
I expected to be having to track down some problem in the wiring.  I was
happy to find it was a simple (and interesting) problem with an easy fix.

Glad to be back among the EV drivers!  I almost broke down and bought a leaf
a year or so ago.

                        -Jeremy

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Re: EV Grin and a fun little mystery

Jeremy Green-4
Thanks!  It's been good fun.  I've mostly been pleasantly surprised.  I remember when I first converted it that it was annoying dealing with all the rust and I often thought that I should have spent more on the glider (it's an '87).  Now that it's been sitting in my garage for the better part of a decade, it doesn't seem all that bad for an '87.
There have been a few bolts that I was really thinking were going to be a pain to remove but they came right out.
Of course, then today I tried to swap out the torsion bars in the front suspension and they are pretty firmly in there.  I'll be taking the air hammer to them tomorrow…

But, it's fun to drive and better than it ever was before.
Thanks!

                        -Jeremy

On Apr 10, 2013, at 8:59 PM, "Tom Keenan" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Congratulations on getting it back on the road!  Owning an 'older' EV has
> its challenges!
>
> Tom Keenan
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf
> Of Jeremy Green
> Sent: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 11:18 AM
> To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List
> Subject: [EVDL] EV Grin and a fun little mystery
>
> So, my Honda CRX EV is finally back on the road after 11 years of
> inactivity.
> I took the EV apart 11 years ago because the water pump needed to be
> replaced and there were a few other upgrades I wanted to do.
> Then, my brother moved his shop to another state and then 8 1/2 years ago I
> had my first kid.
> So, it sat idle for a long time and as these things tend to do (with me),
> the scope of the project got much bigger.
> I decided to upgrade the controller and replace my transmission with a later
> model Integra transmission since there were better clutch options and it is
> a much beefier transmission.
> So, this involved custom mounts and a new adapter plate.  Of course, I
> couldn't find anyone who had the adapter plate I needed so I decided to
> machine my own on my CNC machine.
> The CNC machine had been moved to my brother's new shop in RI (from
> Massachusetts) and needed quite a bit of work to get it going again (again,
> as I tend to do, I made it a bigger project by replacing the windows
> controller software with EMC 2 running on linux).
> So, it was quite a while before I actually had the adapter plate machined
> (December of 2010).
> Anyway, I'm back on the road with a Zilla controller and 64 CALB 100 ah
> cells (unfortunately, the old blue case ones).  
> I went from having a range of around 25 miles to what looks like 65 and the
> car is a much more reasonable weight.
> There's a lot to be done still but at least now I can drive the car!
>
> So, on to the fun mystery.  I was testing the car out on the highway the
> other day and noticed that under hard acceleration, the brake light came on.
> I was a little confused and thought either the fluid was low and sloshing or
> that I had messed up the wiring for the idiot lights.  Then I realized that
> one of my high voltage cable goes right next to the master cylinder and, the
> float switch for the brake fluid level is a reed switch.  So, under hard
> acceleration when there was a lot of current going through the cable, it was
> generating enough of a magnetic field to cause the reed switch to pull in.
> I only had to move the cable a tiny bit to get it to go away.
> I expected to be having to track down some problem in the wiring.  I was
> happy to find it was a simple (and interesting) problem with an easy fix.
>
> Glad to be back among the EV drivers!  I almost broke down and bought a leaf
> a year or so ago.
>
> -Jeremy
>
> _______________________________________________
> UNSUBSCRIBE: http://www.evdl.org/help/index.html#usub
> http://lists.evdl.org/listinfo.cgi/ev-evdl.org
> For EV drag racing discussion, please use NEDRA
> (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NEDRA)
>
> _______________________________________________
> UNSUBSCRIBE: http://www.evdl.org/help/index.html#usub
> http://lists.evdl.org/listinfo.cgi/ev-evdl.org
> For EV drag racing discussion, please use NEDRA (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NEDRA)

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Re: EV Grin and a fun little mystery

Al-57
In reply to this post by Jeremy Green-4
Congrats on getting your EV back on the road.

I hope you have a BMS on your cells and have the Zilla battery current limit
set to no more than 300 to 400 amps.

Al



----- Original Message ----- Glad to be back among the EV drivers!  I almost
broke down and bought a leaf a year or so ago…

-Jeremy

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Re: EV Grin and a fun little mystery

Ben Apollonio
In reply to this post by Jeremy Green-4
From one Massachusetts EV-er to another, congrats!

My own was 9 years in the making.  Also, with a Z2K, I think you may have grabbed the title of peppiest EV in the state -- unless someone here bought a Tesla, of course :)  Seriously, how come everyone out here in the northeast builds curtis-controlled lead sleds?

As to your little mystery, my 914 does something similar:  whenever I pass through a certain current range, the wind shield wipers go off!  I thought it went away when I swapped out my T-Rex for a Zilla (after the former exploded), but it came back this spring whens I made some changes.  Someday I'll have time to fix it...

Anyway, cheers!
-Ben

On Apr 10, 2013, at 2:17 PM, Jeremy Green wrote:

> So, my Honda CRX EV is finally back on the road after 11 years of inactivity.
> I took the EV apart 11 years ago because the water pump needed to be replaced and there were a few other upgrades I wanted to do.
> Then, my brother moved his shop to another state and then 8 1/2 years ago I had my first kid.
> So, it sat idle for a long time and as these things tend to do (with me), the scope of the project got much bigger.
> I decided to upgrade the controller and replace my transmission with a later model Integra transmission since there were better clutch options and it is a much beefier transmission.
> So, this involved custom mounts and a new adapter plate.  Of course, I couldn't find anyone who had the adapter plate I needed so I decided to machine my own on my CNC machine.
> The CNC machine had been moved to my brother's new shop in RI (from Massachusetts) and needed quite a bit of work to get it going again (again, as I tend to do, I made it a bigger project by replacing the windows controller software with EMC 2 running on linux).
> So, it was quite a while before I actually had the adapter plate machined (December of 2010).
> Anyway, I'm back on the road with a Zilla controller and 64 CALB 100 ah cells (unfortunately, the old blue case ones).  
> I went from having a range of around 25 miles to what looks like 65 and the car is a much more reasonable weight.
> There's a lot to be done still but at least now I can drive the car!
>
> So, on to the fun mystery.  I was testing the car out on the highway the other day and noticed that under hard acceleration, the brake light came on.  I was a little confused and thought either the fluid was low and sloshing or that I had messed up the wiring for the idiot lights.  Then I realized that one of my high voltage cable goes right next to the master cylinder and, the float switch for the brake fluid level is a reed switch.  So, under hard acceleration when there was a lot of current going through the cable, it was generating enough of a magnetic field to cause the reed switch to pull in.  I only had to move the cable a tiny bit to get it to go away.
> I expected to be having to track down some problem in the wiring.  I was happy to find it was a simple (and interesting) problem with an easy fix.
>
> Glad to be back among the EV drivers!  I almost broke down and bought a leaf a year or so ago…
>
> -Jeremy
>
> _______________________________________________
> UNSUBSCRIBE: http://www.evdl.org/help/index.html#usub
> http://lists.evdl.org/listinfo.cgi/ev-evdl.org
> For EV drag racing discussion, please use NEDRA (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NEDRA)
>

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Re: EV Grin and a fun little mystery

Lee Hart
On 4/11/2013 10:48 PM, Ben Apollonio wrote:
> Seriously, how come everyone out here in the northeast builds
> curtis-controlled lead sleds?

Maybe because of pioneers like Bob Batson and Bob Rice? They are/were
old hands at working with older simpler designs.

Money may also be a factor. The west coast guys I've met have all been
willing/able to spend a lot more cash on their EVs than the midwest or
east coast folks.

Another factor is harder to quantify. The west coast seems to be much
more "open" to the idea of EVs than the rest of the country. When I
worked out there, it was common for folks to say, "You're building an
EV? How interesting! Go for it!" But out east, and in the midwest, the
comment is more likely to be, "You're building an EV? What a stupid
idea! Give up; it'll never work!" So, it may be that it's hard to get
"psyched up" to put a lot of time and money into a fast EV when you get
less reinforcement or appreciation from those around you.

> As to your little mystery, my 914 does something similar:  whenever I
> pass through a certain current range, the wind shield wipers go off!
> I thought it went away when I swapped out my T-Rex for a Zilla (after
> the former exploded), but it came back this spring whens I made some
> changes.  Someday I'll have time to fix it...

Recognize that an EV's power system is controlling a huge amount of
power! The controller is doing hard on/off switching, the motor has
arcing brushes, and the high power wiring is often spread out in the
open and even bundled right next to low-power 12v wiring. It is very
easy for noise from the propulsion system to get into the 12v system.
The car's designers wouldn't have taken that into account.

Bundle your propulsion wires into pairs that are kept close together.
Put the batteries in a grounded metal box. Ground the outer metal case
of the motor and controller. Don't run 12v wires right next to high
voltage, or run them through the same holes.

--
For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, obvious,
and wrong. -- H.L. Mencken
--
Lee A. Hart, http://www.sunrise-ev.com/LeesEVs.htm
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Re: EV Grin and a fun little mystery

Jeremy Green-4
When I first converted my EV, I got my motor from Bob Batson.  He was definitely steered me towards the older, simpler designs.  
He was a pleasure to deal with but we weren't quite on the same page about performance.
I ended up with an auburn kodiak controller and SCS-225 batteries.  The batteries were a nightmare and the silly combination posts were tough to get a good connection to.  A few of them ended up melting and having to be recast.  It was a good starter pack for me though because as a lot of new EVers do, I destroyed it in a pretty short time.

I do agree, many New Englanders are a bit baffled by EVs.  More so when I first converted the car in the 90's.  All of the auto parts places around thought I was nuts and getting it inspected was always a hoot.  The NAPA store guys down the road liked to reminisce about James Worden coming in a buying stuff and the crazy things he was doing.  I think this was before solectria, when he was working on solar vehicles.

So, we've had some cutting edge stuff going around here, it just seems to be mostly at MIT and the like.

                        -Jeremy

On Apr 12, 2013, at 12:48 AM, Lee Hart <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 4/11/2013 10:48 PM, Ben Apollonio wrote:
>> Seriously, how come everyone out here in the northeast builds
>> curtis-controlled lead sleds?
>
> Maybe because of pioneers like Bob Batson and Bob Rice? They are/were old hands at working with older simpler designs.
>
> Money may also be a factor. The west coast guys I've met have all been willing/able to spend a lot more cash on their EVs than the midwest or east coast folks.
>
> Another factor is harder to quantify. The west coast seems to be much more "open" to the idea of EVs than the rest of the country. When I worked out there, it was common for folks to say, "You're building an EV? How interesting! Go for it!" But out east, and in the midwest, the comment is more likely to be, "You're building an EV? What a stupid idea! Give up; it'll never work!" So, it may be that it's hard to get "psyched up" to put a lot of time and money into a fast EV when you get less reinforcement or appreciation from those around you.
>
>> As to your little mystery, my 914 does something similar:  whenever I
>> pass through a certain current range, the wind shield wipers go off!
>> I thought it went away when I swapped out my T-Rex for a Zilla (after
>> the former exploded), but it came back this spring whens I made some
>> changes.  Someday I'll have time to fix it...
>
> Recognize that an EV's power system is controlling a huge amount of power! The controller is doing hard on/off switching, the motor has arcing brushes, and the high power wiring is often spread out in the open and even bundled right next to low-power 12v wiring. It is very easy for noise from the propulsion system to get into the 12v system. The car's designers wouldn't have taken that into account.
>
> Bundle your propulsion wires into pairs that are kept close together. Put the batteries in a grounded metal box. Ground the outer metal case of the motor and controller. Don't run 12v wires right next to high voltage, or run them through the same holes.
>
> --
> For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, obvious,
> and wrong. -- H.L. Mencken
> --
> Lee A. Hart, http://www.sunrise-ev.com/LeesEVs.htm
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