Sunday, May 31, 2015


It's been a pretty good week.  It's pretty obvious that I won't be on the road in May.  How about June?

I don't have a picture, but the front motor mount is installed.  It was designed by Rob, machined by Larry, and installed by Greg.  I'll try to get a picture next week.  It's pretty!

In the photo below you can see that the cooling system is connected.  It's the bottle and gold thing to the right of the batteries.  Peter got it all hooked up and filled on Friday.

The other big accomplishment was to finish the high voltage wiring.  The box in the middle of the picture contains two safety switches to disconnect all of the high voltage and two relays which do the same except by computer control.  High voltage goes to the motor controller, the DC/DC converter, the two battery chargers, and the other battery boxes.

The big gold thing is a pre-charge resistor.  It keeps things from blowing up (sort of).

I ran all of the wiring in orange split loom.  That will protect it from vibration and wear.  It is probably overkill, but it seems like a good idea.

Cooling lines and power

DC/DC converter to change 320V to 12V

Charging plug
With "gas" cap

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Busy busy this week.  We are still shooting for on the road by the end of the month.  Wiring is underway!

Jack Rickard at EVTV asked for a video so here is my attempt.  


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there.  I'm grateful that mine (Sara) is alive and well and fixing me breakfast this morning.  I know that's not the way it's supposed to be, but she insists and I want her to have what she desires most.

Here we are in '63.  I wish I had that car!  Although she's a nurse, Mom has always been very good at feeding my engineering and science side.  We have done a lot of projects together.

 Ben, Dave, Mark, and Jon finished lowering the back end 3 inches.  You can see that they made some blocks and plates and got some long u-bolts.  Another matter that they solved at the same time was to move the rear end 1/2 inch towards the drive's side so that the drive shaft doesn't hit the battery box.  (it was uncentered before)

Duane got the steering linkage done and Mark painted the steering column.  Mark has also been working on the contactor box and it's looking good.

Next week the bed should be going back on along with the tilt mechanism and we'll start wiring.

Ruth and I had a nice meeting with Matt Meiller on Friday.  He runs a company in Milwaukee area called Peak Gain that specializes in antenna and RF design.  They seem pretty pumped to help us get the truck talking to the cloud and reporting to the wide wide world.

The last two pictures show all of the batteries save two in place.  We had one bad battery and room for one extra, so that will make 101 total.  You can also see Peter's handy work.  Just on the other side of the batteries is the pump/reservoir assembly for the cooling system.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Gaining Inertia

Things are progressing nicely, but first, some interesting news.  We are in discussions with the good folks at Renesas with regards to some fun and nerd-alicious aspects of the Electric Studebaker.  Renesas is a huge microprocessor manufacturer (huge company, not huge micros). I attended a great meeting with them today and met a bunch of nice folks.  Why not keep going to the extreme eh?  Let's put her on the IoT (Internet of Things).  Updates to follow.

In the mean time, back at the ranch, things are pulling together.  We have our work cut out for us, but it all seems achievable in the next 25 days.  (On the road in May!).

Jason has started a list.  As soon as everything is X'd out, I guess we're ready to go.

Jesse has been doing an extraordinary job on the truck during the last few weeks.  He has rebuilt the differential and painted the frame and differential (note the orange!).  Then with the help of Greg, the battery boxes are now installed and ready to take batteries.

Here are the front (left) and rear (above) battery boxes.  Additionally, Greg has finalized the mounting of the motor controller.  It's the box just left of the batteries in this picture.

Now Peter is in process of plumbing the cooling system

Another big job that Jesse has tackled is to bottom balance the batteries.

He is hooking each battery to a power resistor (the gold thing on the right side of the table) and dumping the power into it.  They get very hot, hence the fan. The idea is to drain all of the batteries to the same exact point.  That way when they are charged, they all get an equivalent charge.

This is a tricky (and somewhat controversial) element of EVs.  We are ascribing to the EVTV method which they have had very good luck with (and no fires).  Here is a very good article for those interested.

 And, to end the post, Jason and Rob have been working on several aspects also.  They found a new seat.  Surprisingly, there were two (!!) Champ pickup trucks at the junkyard where they found the seat (both very bad shape, one with a tree growing through it).

I'm pushing them to finish and they are cranking hard.  We're going to be on the road in May boys, new seat or not.

On the other hand, there is a good chance the old girl will be going to California in October, so she'd better look like a movie star!