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I created this page with a dual purpose, one of which was to remind me what my day to day duties consist of as a
hardware manufacturer. The other was to give a glimpse to the viewer what's going on here as well. I hope to update
it at least weekly.
6/9/10 Spent part of the week dealing with a laptop trying to install SP3 on. What a nightmare, I think I must have
visited every problem site to try to get it to work. As of today, once it reboots after the install I get the splash screen,
then nothing afterwards. Pretty sad for 2010, I surf only to see Win7 isn't faring as well as touted either. Forget vista,
you have to upgrade office. Something more exciting, worked on a lower cost Gen1.8 revision, that works with one AC
input voltage. This way its not a full Gen2 upgrade and most of the internals remain unchanged. I'll get some
feedback as to how it works in the vehicle from a customer later this week. From what I could test here, it looks good
and costs much less to upgrade. And if you don't need to charge over the international AC voltage range, then its
more EV dough in your pocket. More to do, gotta go and play with XP. Anybody seen my hammer?
Thoughts? Ideas? email me here
6/20/10 Salute to all the dad's out there, you're still needed even if it doesn't seem your any good at it. The field test
for the Gen1.8 Charging Mod is working as expected. This will drastically reduce the cost of the upgrade from Gen1.5
to Gen1.8 down to $75. It will have the G2 benefits at a fixed AC input instead of Gen2's international AC input range.
Ditched the SP3 update and got a cheap (and newer) laptop to handle testing with. The old one might end up as
dyno hardware if I can find another PCMCIA GPIB card that's cheap. Still doing testing on the 2.4kW charging
hardware. Need to locate a larger fan to keep a dual AC input setup cool. More building to do, back to work.
6/28/10 Last few weeks the lab test time is shared to refill the bank tank. Creating a flooded charging system control
scheme to better handle flooded charging and charger throttling. Revised System Upgrades page to show Gen 1.8
changes and pricing. Building up test hardware this week to start on Li-Ion cell testing. Looking into advertising to get
the EV word out. Found an issue with the recent HV adapter build, likely caused from sealant etching solder
connections that were trimmed after conformal coating was applied. More building to do, back to work!
7/5/10 Adding more international shipping to the EV accessories list of items. Still building up the cell test hardware,
its allot of wiring to do. Travelling in the next few days so email responses will be delayed. More building to do, back to
7/28/10 Boy, how time flies! I thought I wrote an entry here a few weeks ago >>EDIT, I did, it was on another computer
that didn't update the blog, so I nabbed it and posted it below.<< Thus far I've completed a interface board for the cell
tester and verified it able to change the load current with Labview on part of the load (600A worth of modules on 1
heatsink). Still have a bunch of wiring to do to finish it up and another heatsink to load up. Starting to stock completed
boards on the shelf to reduce the time lag between orders and shipments. Also still doing some lab sharing to keep
the bank tank in the green zone. Getting prepped for another board build this week as well. The remaining orders to
date are 2 chargers (0.5 of a kit each) which are 95% done, awaiting the final pack voltage calibration from 2
customers. So onward with sub assembly builds for the time being. I think I'm forgetting something, but for now, this
entry will suffice. More to do, back to work.
7/17/10 Catching up on board builds, component orders and organizing things to flow better on the website. Still need
to work on the cell tester along with component quals for existing and new designs. This is when the weather turns up
the heat, so usable shop time is compressed to early & late hours. Board fabs are also coming up, but I have a few
boards that need a tweak or two to make them better. More work to do, better get back to soldering!
8/9/10 Finished up some board fabs, putting them in the queue to be loaded. Nearly done with the cell tester
software, 600A worth of electronic load is done with another heatsink of 400A capacity left to build. Had to retrain
myself when it comes to programming with LabView, forgot some of the intricacies to handle certain tasks. Still have to
create the excel reporting / graphing functions, but I'll do some preliminary tests just to see if the software is acting as
it should. Time for some ZZZ's, more to do in the morning!
8/21/10 Finishing up on board builds, 600A of cell testing electronics is up and running. To date, (2) 400A tests have
been run on 2 different 100Ah cells, with a difference in Ah capacity noted for each cell. Hopefully, manufacturers will
send in cells and take this opportunity to show off their product and grow the database of cell info. For those in the
market seeking to buy, able to make informed decisions regarding their purchase. Cell temperature data is in the
works, need to build a Peltier system to handle that task. More to do, back to work.
8/29/10 Back from a week's trip from the bay area to refill the bank tank, its good to be back. Took some of the
mechanical work with me to do between work and sleep, so the build schedule doesn't come to a halt. Ordered a few
more current mode modules for the 2nd cell load tester. Organizing the workload for the week, and contacting a few
LiFePO4 manufacturers for samples to test.
9/5/10 GFI's can be a real pain! A customer had a charger that was tripping his GFI. If I have the details correct, the
GFI didn't trip with his compressor plugged in to the same outlet, giving the impression all is well. Got the charger
back here and tested it on a GFI and it wasn't tripping, but when the customer installed it and plugged it in, it tripped..
After checking everything out resistively, it was time to check out a GFI in the lab. The GFI didn't trip until it got down
to 22K (Line to Ground), equating to < 6mA. Even though the charger measured open for all case to I/O's to ground
the GFI was still preventing the charger to power up. The customer purchased a new GFI, installed it and guess
what? He's back in EV mode. Odd that new GFI's now have wearout LED indicators...Other things on the to-do list,
awaiting more CCM modules to arrive for another 600A cell testing heatsink, continuing forward on the build
schedule. Looking forward to some 10C testing soon!
9/12/10 The day after 9 years ago...And still remembering...Doesn't feel all that long ago to forget.
The build schedule is moving forward with more boards to build. Got some new DC-DC and Charger mosfets in to
test out and see how they do. Thus far the DC-DC ones look great, with less power going to heat. Still waiting for
more current regulator parts to arrive to build another 600A cell testing assembly (have 400A of parts) but its starting
to seem as though its not going to happen, hopefully its not the case. More to do, back to work!
9/20/10 Another system ships today (first half) before the customer got his T/S cells in. Have a new 9" DC motor to
Dyno test in a month, needed a custom shaft adapter made, so that will delay the testing until it arrives. The shaft
adapter will let me play around with regen and other field configurations to see what I can do with the controllers and
the best way to control it. Got my 10 extra current regulator modules in, so that will get me another 600A worth of cell
testing capability. Managed to get a 500A Gen1.5 trade-in system rebuilt to Gen 2 standards. If you're considering a
LiFePO4 pack purchase, have your vendor contact me regarding cell testing. More to do, back to work!
9/27/10 Another week rockets by and its review time. Parts are on order to adapt the new 9" motor to the Dyno, they
are on a slow track to save on machining costs. Need to schedule this weeks build priorities along with loading the
2nd 600A cell tester heatsink. Some parts on order have shown up as allocated, simply meaning only enough stock
is carried for a few elite (well, paying) customers. Seeing some parts actually now in stock, eases having to get them
ordered to get them in time for a build.. More to do, back to work!
10/3/10 Been a busy week, finishing up a charger for a customer, waiting for Dyno parts to arrive (scheduled for the
20th of Oct) and getting some parts on order to refresh items normally stocked Since this is the time of the year that
things tend to slow down, I've decided to take on full time work. This year presented many financial challenges and
since the hobby market tends to be the most sensitive to (negative) market fluctuations, it made more sense to do
this rather than close up shop until things picked back up. Sub-assembly builds will continue over the fall and winter
months to minimize delays when orders come in. So while this seems orders in general will be delayed, having
sub-assemblies in stock will reduce these delays when the build cycle starts up. Repairs may take a little longer but
will be completed in a timely manner. Thanks for your patience, this will put Belktronix in a stronger position in the
long run. More to do, back to work!
10/11/10 Finishing up a charger build and getting more LionMon parts on order, designed a HV Adapter for the EV
Display, hope to get some positive feedback from the customer (like it works!). Getting stuffed full of info at a new
job. Almost forgot just how much info a company can pour into you in a day. Small update for the week.. More to do,
back to work!
10/17/10 Another week speeds by, finished up a custom HV adapter for a EV Display, sounds like its working well.
Need to do some LionMon calibration this week to finish up a system build. Got charger SiC diodes in for the 1.2kW
charger build to install. Dyno parts due this week to do some testing on a new EV motor to see how it compares to
the ADC and Warp series motors. Got to get some Litz on order, I'm running low... More to do, back to work!
10/24/10 Parts shipped but still not in to Dyno the 9" DC motor, should be arriving this week. Finished LionMon Cal
for a 120V system customer. Contacted EV Displays designer to see if a component on the PCB can be changed to
a higher voltage part, but no reply... Thus far the adapter can go up to 158V which is too low for charging AGM's or
46 or more LiFePO4's. More to do, back to work!
11/2/10 Got the adapter shaft in but found out the fit was looser than expected on the motor shaft, so a 0.005 shim
was used to take up the slack. Even with that there was still 0.008" of runout which would cause problems out at the
pulley so more tweaking is needed to bring it down to 0.001" (ie..sanding), thus far there is still more to be done (only
at 0.004"). ... Have a charger to finish testing, a charge monitor to finish. More to do, back to work!
11/8/10 Not much success with getting the runout lower on the shaft. Seems my first hunch was a better one (get a
longer shaft put in at the factory). Assembled the pulley on the shaft but it registers at 0.01" runout (visible by the
untrained eye), with a stiff tooth belt will only cause it to be unstable under load. At motor speeds it can cause the
idler to vibrate and have damaging effects if it decided to break free. Thinking about what to try next, could take the
rotor out and have it worked on as an assembly but the expense to do that is a tad high to bear. Still more to do and
finish up, back to work!
11/22/10 Still no ideas to resolve the pulley wobble. Haven't been able to locate deep offset pulleys which would let
the coupler sit back on the shaft. Most mfgr's design the coupler and pulley to be centered on the shaft. Shipped out
remaining hardware to complete a kit. Deciding whether to continue LiFePo4 testing since most mfgr's have been
unresponsive for a 3rd party test site, guess if you want hard data you'll have to rely on what they say unless I get
some funds to purchase cells and test them. Doing board fabs now to reduce ship time when a kit is completed. Still
more to do and investigate, back to work!
11/28/10 Thinking of using a 8mm 48T blower pulley, they have the drive section offset to one side of the pulley, but
a coupling needs to be fabricated to fit the motor pulley. Likely more money to spend to make it to work... Board fabs
moving along slowly, ordering parts to get sub assemblies stocked. Slow week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, hope
you had a good one! Got to get back to work...
12/12/10 Ordered a blower pulley and hub shaft for the 9" motor to test, should be in next week. Hopefully it won't be
a big deal to get it running true as the shaft adapter was. Building up PCB assemblies to have ready for system
orders. Other than that, Christmas time is fast approaching, so if I forget to update before then, have a great
Christmas. Got to get ready for 2011 so its back to work...
12/21/10 Still a no show on the blower pulley and hub shaft. Continuing on board fabs and builds Tested a LFP60
cell for a friend and found it to be lacking above 1C. Need to locate the date code decoder to see how old the cell
actually is, which might explain its lackluster ability. Christmas time is fast approaching, have a great Christmas.
12/25/10 Have a great Christmas!
Pulley arrived but doesn't fit the bore hub tightly. I'll see what the machinist can do about it.
1/4/11 Happy New Year! To start things off I found the T/S cell didn't care if I cycled it a few times. It must be the early
1C version. Not good enough for EV use. Also found the crankshaft hub's bore is too large (1.25" Vs 1.125") so its
time to see about a custom pulley with a deep offset. This venture isn't yielding anything but lost green and time...
Now it depends on a custom bushing or pulley. Hopefully something good will come from all this...
1/21/11 Didn't realize time has gotten this far ahead of me. Updates: Motor is at the shop in an attempt to get a
blower drive pulley to work, still having runout issues (0.03") which might not sound like allot, but when the belt is
tensioned with 200ft/lbs at a few thousand rpm can generate considerable vibration. Board fabs are slow moving but
being built to replenish stock. Tested a friends T/S cell, not looking good, it can do 1C just fine but can't do 4C even
though the datasheet has curves out to 5C. Either this cell is used, or the older 1C (rev 1) material. Tried to cycle it
with 1C charge 3x, but no difference in high C discharge. Hopefully CHP will introduce their 5C continuous cell! More
to do - back to work...