Friday, June 29, 2012

Hyperion EOS 1420i Net3 Charger

After having bought the Revolectrix Cellpro Powerlab 8 charger a while back, the thought occurred to me that I don't need this charger since I need to charge 14 cells! I bought the Hyperion EOS 1420i Net3 charger instead. It has half the power of the Powerlab 8, but I won't need to do two cycles in order to fully charge the pack. My intention is to make this process as easy and repetitive as possible so it's a good decision.

The Hyperion has 2 7 connector balance ports so can charge 14 cells at one time. It can also be programmed via a PC to customize many of it's settings. The USB cable is also standard with the kit.

Anyway, does anyone want to buy an unused Revolectrix Cellpro Powerlab 8 charger? :)

Contact me at:

ambroseliao at gmail dot com


HP 600B Power Supplies Modified (slightly)

I took a few minutes to open up the 575W 12V HP server power supplies to remove the handles last night. It was fairly easy to do. All it takes is a big screwdriver to pry them off.

Unscrew 7 screws along the top right and side of the power supply...

Put a large screwdriver under the metal tab.

Gently pry until the two connecting points pop off. You can then either file down the sections that remain on the side cover or do as I do and just leave the little burrs there since it doesn't really move or cause any problems.

14 A123 20Ah Cells in a Harbor Freight Case!

I tried to fit all of A123 20Ah prismatic cells into the small Harbor Freight case I bought. Here's the result.

The fit is tight, but it should work! Be careful with the tabs and be sure they don't make contact with the aluminum case!

Here are some shots of the cells stacked in the case.

More later,

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Delphi Metri-pack 480 Connectors Arrived

A friend who has recently joined the Tidalforce club just sent some Delphi connectors to me! I've been wanting a few of these for a while now but didn't want to shell out the roughly $50 to buy the minimum order of 10 of them! Thanks Ryan!

It sure is a complex connector with a lot of parts. I'll probably need to find the instructions on how to put them together! This image occurred to me when I saw the black seal locks which reminded me of eyebrows!

Big Smile for Ryan!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Harbor Freight Battery Case!

I went to the local Harbor Freight store to buy some parts for the A123 battery pack build and happened upon a tool case that should work to hold my finished 45V 20Ah A123 pack! It's called, "Store House Aluminum Case" and the dimensions are 11-1/2" x 7-1/2" x 4-1/2".  The part number is 36870 and it costs $15.99.

Here are some photos. As you will see, the batteries fit into the case just about perfectly. There's room for the wiring and perhaps even a couple of Cell-Log 8M battery monitors.

The way it came from the store.

The top with the nice handle and two latches.

The bottom of the case includes steel reinforcements to hold the lid open. 

The battery sits very comfortably inside the foam lined case. There's a bit of room so some padding will need to be added, however, the total stacked size of all 13 or 14 cells should fit in there quite nicely!

As you can see, there's lots of room for the tabs and any connection methods that I can think of. I can easily punch some holes in the sides for wiring and I'm thinking of putting a window in so that I can view the two Cell-Log 8M monitors that I plan on installing in with the battery.

More later,

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A123 20Ah Prismatics Arrived!

A big box from California arrived this morning very quietly at my front door.

The box was in good shape. JD's wife did a good job in repacking the box. Here are some pics.

The cells are packed in a very light semi-hard plastic trays and the A123's fit nicely into them. There are two per tray so the big box contained 7 trays. I measured each cell and the majority of them were at 3.308 or 3.309. A couple were slightly below that at around 3.298 or 3.290. Nothing significant, IMHO.

I stacked them up like pancakes and I marked each cell's voltage on the white paper label on the negative terminal/tab. Some of them were mysteriously marked 900mAh 3.7V as you can see in the top cell.

Some of the terminals/tabs were slightly bent and there was one with a small portion of the tab cut off, but otherwise, they were just fine. The foil pouches they are made of bend very easily so any deformity can be quickly and easily corrected.

I now need the JST-HX connectors I ordered to arrive so that I can hook them up to my Revolectrix Powerlab 8 charger to see how they perform.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

How to Construct an A123 20Ah Pack

I've been thinking of how I'm going to series the 13 or 14 cells that I'm buying from Oatnet in order to make a 45V pack and I think I've settled on a simple method. It's best outlined by poster named Electrodacus.

He simply folds the tabs over each other and drills holes through the tabs and uses 3 screws with washers to connect them. Since I plan on putting them in series, I simply need to alternate the packs so that the positive and negative terminals connect so that I make a 13 or 14 pack. I hope to get the packs by this weekend so building the packs will be my latest project!

I don't have any unused printed circuit boards sitting around but I do have some bits of formica which I think would do the job well.

More later,

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pics of the HP DPS-600PB Power Supplies

I got the power supplies in last week and so am posting some photographs here. They are not as large as I thought they would be. They measure about 12" long including the handle, 2.25" wide and about 3" tall. They aren't very noisy either.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Bought 14 A123 cells today!

Oatnet over on Endless-sphere and I had been talking for a couple of weeks about me buying some excess A123 cells from him. He had over ordered some and wanted to clear some inventory. I hadn't heard back from him for a while but yesterday, he let me know that he had posted his batteries on ES and was wondering if I was interested in them. He had separated out 14 cells which were not technically up to snuff for his taste and wanted to offer them at a lower price. I JUMPED at the opportunity to get these cells from him. They had various issues. First, there was one that was slightly lower in voltage than the others. Then there were 12 which measured okay but had some slight Teflon insulation issues which seemed to me to be more cosmetic than functional and lastly, there was one cell with a slightly misaligned tab. None of these issues seemed terribly critical to me (famous last words?) so I ordered them from him today. The total was for right around $310 including all shipping and fees! That's $22.15 per cell! As you may remember, I had figured that the optimum number of cells for my Tidalforce bikes would be around 46V so 13 cells would be optimum. 46/13=3.54v per cell which is a healthy number that Rick over at EVTV.ME recommends. He states that the lower high charge limit doesn't reduce the capacity by any significant number and increases longevity significantly. JD's sale thread is here: Jack Rickard's show on how to build an A123 pack.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Power Supplies to Feed the FMA Revolectrix PowerLab 8 Charger

The Revolectrix Cellpro PowerLab 8 (PL8) charger is a beast. I got mine in the mail the other day and it's really built very well. It can output 1,000Watts if fed the right power. You may not know that most RC (remote control vehicles) battery chargers aren't designed to plug directly into the wall and so don't use AC power. They require an auxiliary power source. The manual for the PL8 specifically reminds you to configure the input power source each time you use it! You can define either a car battery or an external power supply. The distinct impression is that it can outdraw your power supply if you're not careful!

The manual also says that if you want it to output 1,000W then you need to feed it well over 1,000W of power. The higher the voltage, the better. Now, most high end computer power supplies are well built and can provide a healthy 12V rail and so can feed about 250-500W of 12V power. That's fine but not nearly enough for the PowerLab 8.

I did a little research and see that most folks in the RC community are connecting two surplus server power supplies and feeding the 12V rails in series to double the output to 24V. This produces a significant bump up in power output!

Many server power supplies are built very well and meant to put out full power and provide very stable, smooth power for years on end. They are ideal for use as a charger power supply.

TJinTech has a particularly well written how-to here:

I read at JJ604's description of many power supplies that would work if put in series and based upon his recommendation, I ordered 2 of these HP Proliant DL380 DPS 600PB 575W power supplies today!

I'll be modifying them to work in series to get over 1,000 out of them so that they can feed the PL8 properly!

More later,
email: ambroseliao AT gmail dot com (replace the AT with @ and dot with "." and remove all spaces to get my email address!

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Visit From an e-Biking Neighbor

A few months ago, I met a fellow ebiker while taking my Tidalforce iO cruiser out for a quick run. He came alongside me and introduced himself. He was riding a folding bike called a Downtube 9FS. What what really got my attention though was the huge hubs on his 20" bike! He had an EMS 1,000W motor and front hub battery on his bike! He was thrilled to see that there was a  fellow e-biker and owner of a Tidalforce bike! In case you don't know, EMS or Electric Motion Systems was the company that was formed from the ruins of the Wavecrest Labs or Tidalforce bike company. The technology is amazingly similar in many ways. The motors and hub batteries look very much alike and are based on similar technologies and many of the employees were former Tidalforce employees. EMS was also known as E+.

Steve stopped by Saturday morning to talk ebikes since he had heard that EMS had recently gone out of business. I got a chance to finally see an E+ bike up close and take some pictures.

This is actually Steve's wifes bike. That explains the uhm, interesting basket on the back. She often takes her little terriers out riding with her and they love the custom basket for the view! The orange fabric is to protect the pups from the edges of the basket and to tie the basket lid to the basket itself.

The E+ Downtube 9FS in all it's orange glory. This is a pretty amazing little folding and full-suspension ebike!

The E+ NiMH 36V 9Ah front hub battery

The 3 pronged front hub battery connector and charging port. Steve said that you disconnect this plug to connect the charger.

The matching female plug attached to the front fork.

The hole in the frame near the seat tube where the wires exit. I don't have a photo of the front hole.

The rear battery and controller connector tucked along the frame just below the rear brake bosses.

 The LCD console along with the removable console connectors.

The left hand grip with the throttle placed on this side. Steve said that it was more comfortable than the right side because it was too far away from a natural thumb position. 

The right side with the trip shifter and bell. 

The data connector to the console is a 6 pin affair.

The data and power connectors enter the front hub here very similar to the Tidalforce connector.

The rear motor dropouts and motor. Steve says that the bike is ridden on trails a lot so that explains all the dirt and grass! Notice the disc brake mount on the motor and the disc brake mount on the frame used as the torque arm mounts.

The rear derailleur sits very low to the ground on this 20" wheeled rear. Steve says that it was a challenge to fill the tires with air since the gap is so small. He found a motorcycle L adapter that works in this situation.

Here's the motor which is very slick looking compared to the ribbed Tidalforce motor. It reminds me of the newer Crystalyte motors. These came first, I believe.

I'm not sure the make, but here's Steve's compact LED headlight mounted to the steering tube.

All-in-all, it was a very pleasant way to spend a Saturday morning. I hope to go visit he and his wife at their home in the near future and perhaps go for a long ride together!

More later,

Friday, June 8, 2012

Cellpro PowerLab 8 Charger

In transitioning to the A123 20AH Prismatic cells, I've been eyeing the different charger options out there. One of the top chargers in my eyes has been the Cellpro PowerLab 8 Charger. It's a very powerful, and easy to use charger that Jack Rickard at EVTV.ME has shown and likes a lot. Jack is a prolific and very professionally produced Youtube video producer. Each week, he puts out a one to two hour long show dedicated to electric vehicles and electric vehicle conversions. Highly recommended. Here's one of his shows featuring the A123 20Ah prismatic builds he's done.

Well, to get to the point I'm trying to make, I just bought one NIB (new in box) for a great price so I hope to get it soon to take a look at it working with my current batteries and soon (hopefully) with some A123 20Ah cells.

More later,