4-10-06 Episode 77: Battery-Powered Dragster on Monster Garage Tonight!

Hello to All,

Just wanted to remind everyone who receives the Discovery channel, that our own Rich Rudman and Shawn Lawless will be on TV tonight on the Monster Garage show. Should be a hoot! My local TV listing has it on at 8:00 pm west coast time.

I met the guy who does the voice over for the show while we had White Zombie on display at the Rod & Custom show this past February. He was excited to tell me that he was scheduled to do his part for the show the following Monday. He was pretty pumped up over doing this episode, and told me seeing White Zombie and the drag racing videos of it jerking the tires off the ground and blowing off muscle cars took him by surprise. I think we helped prime the pump for him to be really excited about the electric Chevy Rich and Shawn helped build.

See Ya…..John ‘Monster Garage rejectee’ Wayland

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4-10-06 Re: AC vs DC; Newbie Question

Hello Osmo and All,

Osmo S. wrote:

DC vs AC … what about sepex, PM, BLDC and whatnot. Do they all belong in the category of DC? Or does DC stand for a brushed series wound motor only. If so, why aren´t the others hardly ever discussed in this group?

When talking EV sized brushed wound field type motors, it is generally assumed that they are series-wound types. They don’t have to be, they could also be shunt wound, sepex, or PM types.

BLDC (brushless DC) motors are as complicated to control as AC motors are, in that they require an inverter or they cannot run. A BLDC is really an AC motor who’s inverter is generally built into the motor case. It’s an AC motor that has no brushes but you feed it raw DC power…hence brushless DC.  Once the power gets into the motor it’s routed through an inverter that converts it to three phase AC. Most are synchronous types where the rotor is a permanent magnet, so they have different characteristics compared to induction type AC motors. Today’s BLDC motors have changed and many now have three feed wires that get power from an external inverter. To me, I call this an AC motor, but the companies that build these still insist on calling them BLDC….go figure! In a nutshell, a BLDC motor is essentially an AC motor, thus an EV BLDC system with EV levels of power have the same high cost as the induction type AC systems. Unique Mobility makes EV sized BLDC systems, but I think they’re priced in the $20k range. I rode in a Humvee powered by four Unique Mobility 100 hp BLDC motors, it was incredible! At $20k, you can see why we don’t talk much about them or use them often.

On a much, much smaller scale, I do own an EV that’s powered by a BLDC motor, it’s my very early model Curie board scooter. When other scooters of the period (pre-2000) were still stuck in 12V land, had a PM motor that ran at 57% efficiency with a binary controller (an on-off switch) and used a friction drive or belt drive, this one ran at 24V, had a chain drive, and employed Curie’s own design BLDC motor at about 95% efficiency with variable throttle control due to the built-in inverter-controller on the backside of the motor. Scooters back then were rated at 15 miles range per charge, but in reality got about 6-7 miles before needing a recharge. My Curie was rated at 12 miles per charge and easily did it. It was also way faster on top end, and off throttle it coasts forever so you only need to blip the throttle once in a while to cruise along. After a few mile son a regular PM 12V scooter, the motor got very hot to the touch, but the Curie BLDC feels barely warm. Today, I have five board type scooters, but my favorite is still my original Curie with its BLDC motor. I just bought a new 36V Curie that has a real disc brake, and full suspension and all, but the disappointing factor is its PM brushed motor. It even has the warning ‘Caution, motor gets hot!’ I assumed when I ordered this scooter, it would be an upgraded version of my trusty Curie …not!

As to sepex and PM, yes, these are considered to be good ‘ol DC motors. There aren’t many large PM motors readily available in road going EV sizes, and a PM of this size would not have the ultimate low end torque of a series wound type, thus, they are not popular. Sepex are also, not readily available and they require more complicated controllers. Randy Holmquist of Canadian EV has rewound Kostovs that are turned into sepex types. Jim Husted could also turn any motor into a sepex type. Sepex have really taken over in the forklift industry and with gear ratios changed to improve low end torque making them on par with series wound types, they work very well, with the added plus of very controllable regen.

Hope this helps…

See Ya….John Wayland

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4-9-06 Re: AC vs DC; Newbie Question

Hello to All,

Mike Phillips wrote:

The biggest thing that bugs me about most DC systems is the huge
amount of current the battery’s have to supply just to leave a stop
light. That’s hard on everything involved.

Huge amount of current just to leave a stop light? Where do you get that from? The average 144V-192V DC systems do not have to use ‘huge currents’ just to leave a stop light. My 156V car takes just 50-100 amps to leave a stop light at speeds matching traffic flow. In order to match the not-too-exciting 100 kw AC system’s ‘maximum’ leave the stop light capability, it still only takes about 300 hundred amps through a transmission, something most everyone uses with these DC systems. The huge currents (really not all that huge) only come into play when one wishes to demonstrate the 144V-192V DC system’s 6-7 second 0-60 acceleration capabilities, such as when wanting to dust off one of those lower powered 100 kw AC systems :-)   Using quality AGM batteries (wimpy gel cells need not apply) like Optimas, Hawkers, or Orbitals, the high currents are not a problem at all, in fact, these tough batteries seem to thrive under such treatment…witness my Optimas that finally died after 6.5 years of nearly constant high current acceleration blasts! Witness the Exide Orbitals that never, ever failed under repeated 1/4 mile drag strip runs. Witness the Hawkers in White Zombie that never, ever failed throughout the 2005 racing season.

With most AC systems you
need higher voltage to get the watts up, but the battery pull 500 amps
max on the high powered systems I am familiar with. Many limit to 200
amps. That makes battery and interconnect choices easier.

You can get the exact same results in a high voltage DC system, so I find this comparison you’ve made interesting, because it’s an apples to oranges thing. High voltage AC to low voltage DC? If you want the low current battery thing you ‘seem’ to be saying is the AC’s advantage, then simply run a high voltage DC system….you know, apples to apples.

In White Zombie, at 348V, it only takes about 50 amps from the battery pack to accelerate as a normal car does in average street driving, and it takes a whopping 20-25 amps to cruise at 55-60 mph. Driving as if I were in a 96V Rabbit or a Solectria Geo Metro, the car uses about 40 amps from the batteries to accelerate up to speed. The difference of course, is that my high power DC setup gives me the option of pulling 1000 amps from the high voltage pack (if I so deem it necessary and have it programmed the max battery amps this way) for extreme acceleration, something the 100 kw AC system you are comparing to, cannot remotely achieve.

The beauty of the 144V-192V DC systems is that you can afford these, they give superior acceleration when compared to the 100 kw AC systems that are double the cost, and using quality AGM style batteries, in particular the three brands I’ve mentioned that have a proven track record (pun intended), there really are no cabling or connector issues.

The only AC failure I’ve ever known was when the 12v accessory battery
got hooked up backwards ;)

The AC powered S-10 (Hughes Dolphin 50 kw) I had in my possession years ago failed, big time. The repair would have been so expensive that the truck was salvaged by the owners instead of being repaired. A DC truck would have been back on the road at minimal cost. The AC systems Victor (Metric Mind) sells have a very good reliability record.

It seems odd that you would favor an AC system at twice the cost, twice…because it ‘bugs you’ to pull high amps from a battery pack, when a DC system at the same voltage does the same thing while also giving you far more available power at far less dollars.

See Ya……John Wayland

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4-9-06 DC Controller Reliability vs AC Systems

Hello to All,

Michaela Merz wrote:

Hmm .. I think we all agree that a blown DC controller can cause some
problems. What about doing something about it? …a secondary system monitoring motor voltage and shut the system down if something seems to be wrong?….a way (for an electronic circuit) to know the difference
between a PCM signal and a constant DC on the motor? It could trigger the
mains before the driver knows that the controller went south….ways to detect this kind of dangerous conditions and to prevent a ‘runaway’ car :)

It’s already been done…it’s called a Zilla with Hairball.

All Zillas are controlled by the Hairball interface. First and foremost, Cafe Electric builds the most reliable DC power stage ever, period! His power stages simply don’t blow, that in itself is amazing, but when you consider the very high up-to 2000 amp currents (even the ‘small’ one kicks out 1000 amps!) and the industry leading up-to-348 volts and they still don’t blow, is incredible! Lesser controllers have a hard enough time managing 500 amps and 156 volts :-) The Zilla controllers power the worlds quickest electric drag cars, and don’t blow even under these extremes.

I’ve got credibility here and have ‘been there, done that’ in regards to blowing things up. The 5300 lb. Red Beastie electric Toyota truck Dick Finley and I put together was the ultimate test bed for seeing how robust controllers were. With a 2500 lb. battery pack capable of running the truck for hours on end at high average currents and at very high currents during hill climbing events, it ate 6, count ‘em, 6 controllers! Having been involved in too many conversions to list over my 26 years of EVing, I’ve blown up more controllers than most, believe me. I think my ‘We blow things up, so you don’t have to’ mantra was part of Otmar’s inspiration to make his Zilla line of controllers bullet proof (or would that be plasma proof?). The original Godzilla controller used to set world records in White Zombie never failed, ever. It lived through everything I threw at it, including the melt-down of the armature in the 11 inch Kostov under full power. It’s still in perfect condition and awaits its new owner (I’ll let him tell everyone when he’s ready).

In the very unlikely event of a Zilla power stage failure, the Hairball instantly drops out the contactors, and in many circumstances, it will sense a problem ‘before’ the power stage can blow and not allow any contactors to pull in.  Old fashioned Curtis controllers don’t have this feature, nor do many other old tech designs. I was at Oat’s side when he was first working on the Hairball interface, and even gave him my input on his ideas for its features and multitude of protection circuits…even threw some of my own ideas at him ;-)   The prototype interface was a mess of tangled wires strewn all over the place as he was first conceiving the idea, looking very much like what the cat coughs up…hence, Hairball.

DC controllers ‘can’ be every bit as safe and automatic in their control systems as any AC system, the Hairball/Zilla combo is proof.

See Ya…..John Wayland

Zilla biased (for good reasons) and sponsored by Cafe Electric

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4-8-06 AC vs DC

Hello to All,

I always enjoy the AC vs DC debate. One point very rarely brought up though, is what you get in terms of performance in return for your dollars invested, especially when the price of the AC system hovers in the $8000-$10,000 range. Yes, a  68 kw AC system can be had for about $6000, but that’s on the low side of power for a conversion and is more comparable in power to older tech 120V DC systems. To get up to the power level of today’s common 144V-156V DC systems being used that easily top 100 kw, the AC system will cost you closer to $8000.  For $8000-$10,000, you get an AC system with about 100-130 kw of power. For the same dollars for DC….listen up newbies and pro AC folks,  you get up to 600 kw!!!! I’m talking about raw power that can be easily had with a Zilla Z2K, stout AGM batteries, and either one BIG DC motor or a pair of DC motors.  Now, in real life, due to the fact that batteries sag under high current loads, no one that I know presently has actually gotten their 600 kw of power delivered in their EV, but I do know that 350 kw has been had :-) We’re talking about THREE times the power for the same price…I’ll repeat….THREE times the power for the same price! Not just two times the power, THREE times the power!

From Metric Mind’s web page, specialists on AC systems (good folks to do business with) comes this statement:
>Zilla 2K comes to mind….with a DC motor becomes $6100, just $800 less than a complete AC solution (100 kw).

It goes on to admit that even the Z1K at half the power of the Z2K still has more power than this AC system, but the power level thing is down-played. The problem I have is where the Z2K, a 600 kw system is compared to the 100 kw AC system, where this part is left out…..The Z2K Zilla package delivers SIX times the power for the same price (if a powerful enough battery pack is used) and in practical terms, it delivers THREE times the power!

A nice 100-130 kw AC system ‘can’ match the power delivery of the average gas car, but so can an affordable 100-130 kw DC system.
The big difference in this power range, is that a simple pack of just 13 AGM 12V batteries (156V) and a Zilla Z1K will easily make 130 kw of delivered power. Here’s the approximate cost to do this….$2000 for the Z1K LV model, $1450 for 13 Optimas or Orbitals, and $1600 for a 9 inch DC motor, for a total 130 kw package of $5050. A 100-130 kw AC system will cost you about $7000, but to run it to the power level of around 100 kw, you need a 300V battery pack. That pack will cost twice as much as the 156V pack for the DC system, even if you run smaller AGM batteries so that the overall pack weight is the same (same approx. range) as the 13-battery DC pack. So, for $7000 for the inverter-motor combo and $2800 of batteries you are up to $9800! We’re looking at twice the cost for the same level of performance. When using battery management modules, the cost of these is doubled with the 300+V AC system, too.

Am I dissing AC? Of course not. I love AC. My Insight has it, many of the forklifts I work on have it, and one of my favorite EVs I’ve driven, the EV1 had it. From time to time, I think about converting Blue Meanie to a 130 kw AC system. After all, I already have a really fast DC Datsun 1200, why not have a little regen fun and do the other 1200 as an AC system? The only problem I have is price for what you get in return. With similar weight lead acid battery packs, I’ll pit my DC powered car to ‘any’ AC powered car in terms of range per charge, 0-60 acceleration, top speed, and over-all fun factor. On the other hand, a direct drive AC Blue Meanie with a higher tech battery pack is a fun concept.

From time to time, I get to hang out with Victor (Metric Mind). A few weeks ago, he and I got together at his place. I found myself smiling at his latest AC system with a very compact inverter module and a motor that was, well, more ‘motor-like’ than some of his other square AC motors. It screamed ‘Blue Meanie’ at me. I also nearly tripped over stacks of Ovonic NiMH batteries, the same models that were  used in the EV1 I drove for 140 miles per charge years ago! I was thinking a set of them and that nifty compact AC system would turn Blue Meanie into a 150 mile per charge machine, while still maintaining ‘respectable’ performance. Alas…..it would cost about $10,000 to get these toys.

For now, I’ll be putting a pack of Hawkers into Blue Meanie to get it back to snuff (the 6.5 year old Optimas are finally ready to be recycled). Until I take the AC plunge, I guess I’ll have to settle for 0-60 in six seconds, a 120+ mph top speed, and the ‘city driving only’ range of 25 miles per charge (unless I get some really new model Hawkers I’m not supposed to talk about yet).

Kudos to Victor for helping to make AC systems available to backyard converters. It’s great to have these systems available at more reasonable prices than the $20-$30k systems of the late 90′s!

See Ya…..John Wayland

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4-2-06 Re: Motor options

Hello to All,

Electro Automotive wrote:

We don’t recommend less than 96V for a very basic street car, nor do we recommend above 144V on the 9″ motor.

I’ve run Blue Meanie’s ‘properly advance timed’ ADC 9 inch motor at 156V for I think, 10 years now. Not a single motor problem, and the original brushes are at around 75% still. Many others, like John Bryan and his 192V Ghia with its XP super torque’n 8 inch ADC motor, have also not had any problems at all….nor has Bill Dube’s 192V Wabbit…this list could go on and on.
>Your privilege.  But I sell these and have to warranty them.  I want the factory backing >me up.
Shari, perhaps you are unaware, that  ADC left Corbin hanging when their 8 inch motors all started to burn up, due to how they shipped them at neutral timing, then didn’t back their product up. They immediately blamed everyone else, including the controller designers who’s output stages toasted when the motor arced to death. Funny thing (just using your own words, Shari)…when the owners of Corbin Sparrows advanced the timing, magically, all their motor and controller problems vanished. Damon Crocket’s DC Power Systems left the road going EV market over the Corbin fiasco after losing lots of money trying to do the right thing by warranting their Raptor 450 controllers that were burning up due to ADC’s improperly-timed motors that were fire-balling.

I have this funny idea of knowing the manufacturer (ADC) isn’t smart enough to advance the timing to 10-12 degrees so that their motors will run properly for the market they sell them for…EVs.

>I would love to see you tell Gary Dieroff to his face that he isn’t smart enough to build >a motor properly.
Shari, please at least quote me accurately. I said “(ADC) isn’t smart enough to advance the timing to 10-12 degrees” I never said they weren’t smart enough to build a motor properly. They once did ship them properly timed, then, when Gary was less involved in the whole EV motor business, they without warning anyone, began shipping motors timed at neutral without the ability to change timing holes. Actually, I’d love to talk again with Gary. I’ve talked with him face to face before, and had no problems talking straight talk with him. He’d more than likely want my input, as he did back in ’96 when he was amazed at the power I was extracting from his 9 inch motor back then. We talked for some time track side, about proper motor timing and how the ADC 9 inch had the ability to run at higher voltages when properly timed.  I doubt you ever have similar ‘high performance’ conversations with him over 96V conversions, though :-)

Can you say Corbin Sparrow?

That’s Corbin’s problem, not ADCs.  The Sparrow had problems with several drive systems.
Shari, you need to get your information correct before presenting it as fact. The Corbin Sparrows had drive problems ‘specifically’ with every motor controller they used, until motor timing was corrected that stopped arcing. ADC was silent about their culpability in this. I had to personally drill and tap a Sparrow motor for a friend who had one to advance the timing. Guess what? After the mods were done, the car stopped blowing controllers due to arcing caused by ADC’s motors they sold that were shipped at neutral timing! The car also accelerated far better, too.

Add in the fact that most of the Electro Automotive designs feature very heavy conversions with lower than average power, and you are asking the motor to work under even more duress. Most of the Electro Automotive designs use the squealing Curtis controller

Here we go again.  I’ve never heard the Curtis squeal except backing out of a parking space, when it serves nicely as a pedestrian warning.  In forward motion, I accelerate through that low speed squeal too quickly to notice it.
Perhaps your hearing is impaired? Review the EVDL archives of all the complaints from EVers, especially those who were embarrassed at parade events, EV car shows, etc. over comments about the noise their Curtis powered EVs made.

(Yes, even in my pitiful low voltage, low current car, I can accelerate that quickly!)

Prove that,  please. Please show data on the 0-60 of your 96V Rabbit conversion. At the sagged voltage under the 500 amps that squealer makes, you’ve got 40 hp to move 2900 lbs…..yeah, I bet it really hauls! I’d bet you’ve never, ever, drag raced it on a track with real timing devices. I’ll help you out here… My guess, is that it would have a 2.5 second 60 ft., that the 0-60 would take 17-19 seconds, and that top speed on level ground might be a real 85 mph, given several miles to get there.

And as for low performance, I have more often been held back in a 96V Rabbit by slow gas cars than vice verse. I have even passed gas cars going uphill….Sweeping generalizations about “most people” are usually misleading.

And you talk about sweeping, generalized statements? This hardly backs up your talk. Try hard facts, please. Try it like this….

The stock 1981 Rabbit weighs 1775 lbs., has 74 hp, and takes 12.6 l-o-n-g seconds to get to 60 mph. In today’s terms when the average economy car does the 0-60 run in 8-9 seconds (even the squeaky clean running 70+ mpg Honda Insight does it in 10.4 seconds), a 13 second 0-60 time is considered s-l-o-w! Keep in mind, this is for the light weight gas version…I haven’t gotten to your  2880 lb. EV conversion yet.

Now, pull the gas engine out that weighs 220 lbs. and the light weight gas tank and fuel lines and such, and you ‘might remove $250 lbs. of stuff. Now, put in the ADC 9 inch at 143 lbs., the adapter set to mate it to the tranny at ~ 30 lbs., a controller and braketry at 20 lbs., and the brackets and cabling for for all the batteries at around 50 lbs., and you just negated the weight you removed. Now, add in 16, 70 lb. batteries and you’ve added 1120 lbs. to the car. 1775 lbs. + 1120 lbs. gets you 2895 lbs. (100 lbs. more than Shari’s claimed 2880 lbs.) Now, most Rabbits weighed more, as in the 1983 version that weighed 2000 lbs……2895 lbs. + 225 ’1983′ extra lbs., and the car now weighs 3120 lbs.  Gee Shari, sounds an awful lot like my quote “a 96V Rabbit, a small car that unfortunately weighs in at over 3000 converted lbs.”

Let’s just round the conversion weight to 2900 lbs. and give Shari the nod here. Shari, again, please give the 0-60 time of a 2900 lb. car with 40 hp to move it, compared to a 1775 lb. car with 74 hp that we know does 0-60 in 12.6 seconds, and that is generally regarded by all automotive testers, experts, and drivers to be very slow in terms of acceleration power.

And the poor ADC 9″/Curtis 20x6V Voltsporsche?  90+mph. Yeah, pretty sad and inadequate.

Actually, it is when you consider several things….like how long it takes to ‘finally’ arrive at 90 mph, as in the 0-60 time of probably 16 seconds, and as in how it slows on steep hills struggling with all the extra weight (1400 lbs.  of lead) and only 50 hp to drag it all up said hill.

Rant:
There are a lot of different kinds of people who drive EVs.    This means “most people you hang out with”, which is generally a like-minded group, a subset of the EV universe, not the whole.

Actually, I like to compare EV performance to the gas cars we all want to replace them with, something you seem to nicely avoid when talking about 96V conversions.

If we could refrain from calling other people’s well-loved conversions “dogs”, “slugs”, “underpowered”, and similar slurs and recognize that satisfactory performance is very subjective, then I will continue to refrain (as I have until this moment) from comments about testosterone poisoning and cars as penile prosthetics.

End Rant

Whew….thank god the rant stopped!

Shari, you triggered my post when you used the disrespectful wordage “We have this funny idea that we believe in following manufacture ratings…” in response to Jim Husted’s sincere and knowledgeable comments. Your tone was derogatory at best, and Jim certainly didn’t deserve the treatment.

You need to read what you write before taking a holier than thou stance as in the above comments. To be clear, I only referred to my car I once owned that I very appropriately named ‘Sluggo’. You’re now telling me I can’t name my own cars? I also quite accurately stated “most of the Electro Automotive designs feature very heavy conversions with lower than average power”.  Compared to the stock 1775 lb. Rabbit, a 2900 lb. Rabbit is a ‘heavy conversion’.  Compared to the 2000 lb. 914, your 120V conversion 914 at 3400+ lbs. is indeed, a heavy conversion. Your 96V Rabbits are slow, either compared to stock gas Rabbits (which can run off and hide from your conversion) or other Rabbit conversions with considerably better power to weight ratios. I also stated “a prescription for low performance” in regards to a 3000 lb. car with just 40 hp…no knowledgeable automotive person would call that anything but the honest truth. Apparently, you have a problem with an honest assessment of things like this?

If you want to talk about your conversions as being reliable, affordable, or in being adequate to get from point A to point B, that’s fine with me, and you’ll get no arguement.  Expousing the performace of heavy low voltage, low current conversions as comparable to gas cars though, is not wise, nor is challenging the opinions of expert electric motor folks like Jim Husted. You might just learn a few things from his 25+ years as a DC motor rebuilder.

Please, the slurs only came from you, Shari….”testosterone poisoning and cars as penile prosthetics”. I rest my case.

See Ya…John Wayland

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4-2-06 Re: Time to review the plan…

Hello to Steve and All,

Steve wrote:

Books and internet research are one thing, but the experience of this list (plus my experience with 3 EVs) is priceless. I want you to have an idea what I was trying to accomplish, budget, and my performance expectations.  Also, I want to tell you what I am basing my calculations on.  Then, we can have an informed discussion.

I agree with your take about the cumulative knowledge that’s available here on the EVDL, and I like the clarity you’ve laid out.

First, what I am trying to do (design inputs)
1) Small, light weight commuter car.  Note, around here, a commuter car goes 45 – 50 MPH for 10 miles back and forth to work each way.  Why?  Smaller, lighter, etc. means more efficiency, less batteries, less weight to lug around, better handling, easier to fabricate, lower cost to build and maintain.
2) A 20 mile usable range, 365 days a year, rain or shine, hot or cold.  It gets down to the mid 20’s here and as high as the high 90’s.  Of course, for my calculations, the mid 20’s yield the worst case range.  I don’t want to kill the batteries, so I was planning on a 70% DOD max (nominal on the coldest day, 80% DOD absolute worst case on the coldest day if I have to make an extra stop on the way home).

The answer here is pretty simple, and it’s a tried and proven concept when talking about available, affordable lead acid
batteries. To get the range you’ve outlined with the 70% max depth of discharge, you need to follow this formula….when your EV is finished, the battery pack should be 1/3 the total weight of the vehicle. In other words, if the completed car weighs 3000 lbs. with the battery pack, then the pack should be 1000 lbs. To get your Festiva to fit this prescription, it would have to weigh around 1900-2000 lbs. stock,. The added electric motor, brackets, charger, and cables would pretty much equal the weight of the gas engine, exhaust system, gas tank, etc. you remove, so you’re still looking at around 1900-2000 lbs. Now you can clearly see that you need about 1000 lbs. of batteries to get that 1/3 battery weight target.

- 84 V pack – flooded lead acid – 6 V batteries (T125’s)

Perfect. 14 X ~ 75 lbs. = 1050 lbs. of batteries. This pack would be far cheaper than any 1000 lbs. of AGM type lead acid, and if you can keep average cruise currents low, the higher ahr of the flooded batteries will go a long ways towards best range per charge. However, at just 84 volts and a safe max discharge current for these flooded type 6 volters of about 500 amps, you’re never going to get the other goal you’ve outlined here:

I want GOOD ACCELERATION!  Better than the ICE version (which was very
slow).
At least as good as my Toyota Corolla with 1.8 L, 4 cylinder engine.  I’m
not asking for a drag car, but I need to keep up with the hectic traffic
here in
Atlanta.  If it can’t do that, I’m not wasting my time or money.

Pulling the 500 amps max. safe current from your 6V flooded batteries will cause the not-too-stiff 84V (nominal) pack of flooded batteries to sag down to around 65 volts. 65V X 500 amps = 32.5kw, or about 33 hp. Just 33 horsepower to move a 3000 lb. car, should make it pretty obvious this low of a voltage at 500 amps is not by any stretch of one’s imagination, going to give ‘good acceleration’. In fact, even if you doubled the amount to 66 hp, it still would only be ‘OK’ acceleration in a 1.5 ton vehicle. Maybe now, you can see why most everyone else these days, run at least 144V. At 144V and using low-sag AGM types 12V batteries, 1000 lbs. of them would only sag to maybe 125V at 1000 amps to give 125kw, or about 130 hp.

Back to your requirements of low cost though…..you ‘could’ still get by with the inexpensive 84V pack of golf car batteries and get ‘OK’ 0-40 mph acceleration, by spending a bit on the controller and dissing the old tech restrictive SCR controller…read this, get a Z1K Zilla. With this compact controller, you could dial-in 1000 motor amps and still keep the max. battery amps to 500. The controller will be able to boost the motor up to 1000 amps while its voltage goes from 0 – 40 volts as it revs up. After that, the motor amps would fall to keep the max. programmed battery amps at 500. This set up though, would protect the flooded batteries from over-current while still giving your 3000 lb. Festiva very decent low speed traffic type acceleration, probably not as quick as the 1800cc Corolla in the 0-40 sprint, but not too far behind. From 40-60 mph things would definitely be tame, but probably acceptable for your needs. This is beginning to look similar to your ‘option #4′.

To reduce costs in option #4, you could find a used EV motor, I would think for $300-$400 dollars if you looked hard enough and put out enough feelers. You could certainly find a 48V forklift traction motor for a few hundred bucks, and with simple timing adjustments, it would work very well. You could also build a basic charger with a timer shut-off for maybe $200.

My money would be on the 84V pack, the Zilla Z1K controller, a basic charger, and a used forklift or smaller EV motor. You’d end up with an affordable EV that has pretty good off-line acceleration, ‘OK’ 40-50 mph performance, and sluggish 50-65 mph performance. You also end up with an EV with a 30-45 mile range, depending on temperature and other conditions. I agree, keep the clutch.

Just my two cents worth….

See Ya……John Wayland

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4-1-06 Re: Motor options

Hello to All,

From Jim Husted:  At only 84 volts I doubt you can feed a 9er.  Most people are running 2X to 3X the rated voltage of the motor.

Electro Automotive wrote:

Huh?  Maybe most people you know run 2x – 3x the motor’s rated voltage.  Maybe they are drag racers.  Maybe they melt motors.

Yes, guilty as charged as to the drag racer thing. This happens though, at the ‘very’ high voltages and ‘very high’ currents where we are pushing the performance and durability edge. On the other hand, with expert motor help from Jim Husted, so far, melted motors are a thing of the past for now.

We don’t recommend less than 96V for a very basic street car, nor do we recommend above 144V on the 9″ motor.

I’ve run Blue Meanie’s ‘properly advance timed’ ADC 9 inch motor at 156V for I think, 10 years now. Not a single motor problem, and the original brushes are at around 75% still. Many others, like John Bryan and his 192V Ghia with its XP super torque’n 8 inch ADC motor, have also not had any problems at all….nor has Bill Dube’s 192V Wabbit…this list could go on and on.

>We have this funny idea that we believe in following manufacture ratings, thus maintaining warranty.

I  have this funny idea of knowing the manufacturer (ADC) isn’t smart enough to advance the timing to 10-12 degrees so that their motors will run properly for the market they sell them for…EVs. Can you say Corbin Sparrow? I also have this funny idea of running an EV’s motor at higher voltages for far less average current to keep the motor running cooler, the com. and brushes lasting far longer, and for making power on order with what the gas version originally had (or even more).

I would suggest that running these motors at between 96V and 120V is probably way harder on them, than at higher voltages, because to get any semblance of acceptable power at these lower voltages, the average current needs to be way higher than when run at the higher voltage levels, thus more heat and com. damage. Add in the fact that most of the Electro Automotive designs feature very heavy conversions with lower than average power, and you are asking the motor to work under even more duress. Most of the Electro Automotive designs use the squealing Curtis controller only capable of 500 amps. On a 96V Rabbit, a small car that unfortunately weighs in at over 3000 converted lbs., considering 6V wet cell voltage sag under 500 amp draws, there’s only 40 kw of max power, or just 40 delivered hp to move 3000 lbs. of mass….argh! Talk about a prescription for low performance and an overheating motor!

The 108V Ford Escort conversion I used to own that I lovingly named ‘Sluggo’ had a 9 inch GE motor that got so hot I could barely touch it. With its low performance Curtis controller and low performance wet cell pack, this over weight 108V EV had miserable acceleration and hill climbing ability, and a motor that was always very hot due top high average currents at low voltages.

I find it rather amusing to hear Shari arguing motor durability with the likes of Jim Husted, a guy who’s adult life has been immersed in electric motor design and repair, a guy who makes his living working on all models of DC motors for EV use, and the guy who co-designed and built the world’s most powerful, the world’s quickest and fastest, and world record setting 8 inch DC motor!

See Ya……John ‘high voltage’ Wayland

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3-30-06 Re: Fast Street Car with Twin DC Motors

Hello to All,

Roger Stockton wrote:

I think John’s concern is with adding *any* additional contacts and
wires into the motor loop due to their associated losses.

Correct.

As soon as the motors start spinning, the back EMF is going to make
their effective resistance great enough to make a few milliohms
difference in wiring resistance unimportant.

Yes, but it’s the all-important launch at the strip, where there’s very little back emf at first, that’s the most important area where any high current losses count, big time. I agree, once the car is moving along and the motors are spooled up, there would be very little difference caused by F-R contactors.

Look at it this way; Matt’s car is running the same controller as
John’s, and a pair of 9″ motors, and he is getting *very* respectable
performance (perhaps even better than John’s when you factor in vehicle
weight) even though he does have a reversing contactor in the motor
loop.

Yes, but if he were to rewire the motor(s) circuit more directly and leave all the cables and contacts for forward-reversing out of the loop, he’d probably pick up .2 – .4 seconds! That’s not important for everyday driving for sure, but for 1/4 mile drag racing and chasing after a record, it’s HUGE.

My concern would be that a reversing contactor relies on current flowing
though the NC and NO contacts depending on the direction selected, and
usually NC contacts are rated for less current than the NO set.

Again, correct. Otmar’s 914 has experienced this problem already. Here’s a car that pulls BIG currents all the time, as it’s his rolling Zilla test bed. The NC contacts that rely on spring pressure burn more quickly than do the NO contacts that are closed under more pressure from the magnetics of the coil.

I would
think that wiring the reversing contactor so that it must be energised
for forward “gear” so that the NO contacts carry the heavy race current
would be a good thing to do.

I thought about that as well, but it only adds even more 12V current to be draining all the time, and the default mode is having the car in reverse if the 12V power is interrupted to the forward-reversing set.

For vehicles trying to set world records or for those that already own the record and are chipping away at precious fractions of seconds, every little thing counts. I’ve found that eliminating the high current losses in the motor loop circuit has improved the car’s 60 ft. and 1/8 mile times. Having just one high extra high current contactor for the front motor (that would open the field circuit so that a smaller F-R set could reverse it) with the old dual motor setup, caused an unbalanced wear condition of the brushes and coms between the two motors. Where I got rid of that contactor, the problem went away, and the 1/8 mile times improved.

For vehicles that are mainly for street with setting world records a secondary concern, the reversing contactor sets work fine. If I were to suddenly retire White Zombie from track racing and turn it into a ‘street only’ vehicle, I would have no problem installing F-R contactor sets. For now, where we are a mere .151 seconds away from hitting the 11′s, I’ll stick to having just fat 4/0 cables and thick copper bus bars inter-connecting the twin motor sections of the Siamese 8.

See Ya……John Wayland

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3-29-06 Re: Fast Street Car with Twin DC Motors

Hello to Don and All,

I see my buddy Jim has already responded, but I’ll throw my two cents worth in as well.

Don Cameron wrote:

I am **very** interested in this DC siamese motor config of John’s and
Matt’s.

Cool. It’s not everyday where we see an AC guy who’s also interested in DC systems, especially high performance DC systems  :-)   Yes, the extreme power delivery of twin DC motors in a series-parallel and fed with 2000 motor amps is addicting. As Jim pointed out, currently, White Zombie’s Siamese 8 is the only one of its kind. I’m hoping there’ll be more to come, though.

Here is what I undestand so far (from what I have read here, the
archives and off the net):

- single Zilla 2K controller
- 300+ volts of high current batteries
- two 9″ Warp motors, mechanically in series, with the brushes advanced

Or….two 8″ ADC. Warp, GE, or whatever.

- no transmission, just a rear end (around 4.1:1)

Yes, no tranny. White Zombie runs with a 4:57 ratio and smallish (but big for a Datsun 1200) 24″ diameter rear tires. It still hits 106 mph in the 1/4 mile due to its expertly crafted 8 inch Siamese motor spinning at around 6800 rpm with so far, no apparent damage from high rpm (fingers still crossed) I am planning on a rear ratio change to in fact, a 4:11 to allow the car to hit 115-120 mph and stay within a safe rpm range. I believe there’s enough off-line torque, so that the taller gear set will not detract from the 1.59 60 ft. time it presently does with the 4:57 ratio.

- electrically the motors are initially series for lots of torque, then via
BF contactors (Bubbas) are switched to parallel for lots of power

When I did the ‘Afterburner’ bypass with the 240V pack of Orbitals, it was indeed, done with twin Bubbas. The controller was completely out of circuit at that point and the motors were connected in parallel directly to the pack….quite the rush when the button was hit! Now, with the 348V Z2K setup, I uses a trio of Albright SW200 contactors….one for the series connection, the other two for the parallel connection, Both modes are with the controller always in circuit.

- in series each motor only see half pack voltage (obviously)
- in parallel the motors can see full pack voltage, however this is limited
by the controller to 170V to prevent arc-over.
- about a 6000RPM redline on the 9″ motors

Yes, and as stated, 6800 rpm @ 106 mph. The car actually goes faster than this, and with the pedal still down as it flashes through the traps, the speed is still rising to probably 110 mph or close to 6900 rpm with the Siamese 8 before we get out of it.

So, a few questions:

- it appears there is going to be a lot of contactors if this is going to be
a street vehicle as well as a fast race car:
2 contactors for main power

I use one, plus a manual disconnect.

2 contactors for series-parallel switch

I assume you’re talking 2 reversing type contactors. It can be done with three SP/ST contactors as well.

1 contactor for reverse (or is it two?)

With twin motors, it’s one reversing set per motor.

- how does one switch from series to parallel? If it was just the
contactors, that would be understandable, but it appears to be controlled
from the Zilla controller.

Actually, it’s controlled by the Zilla’s Hairball, not the Zilla itself. It can be done automatically by virtue of full throttle and the current ramping down to 1/2 the max selected current, or, with a manual control via a push button.

- is the series/parallel switched under full load?  Is it a real rough shift
(like drag race scarey – BANG?)

It doesn’t have to be when manually controlled, but if under automatic mode, yes….full throttle, yes, a big BANG with your  head against the seatback! For a more sane street driving experience, a manual control over the series-parallel contactors, where you switch them off throttle, results in very smooth operation that is seamless in effect with no banging, no tire squealing at switch-over.

See Ya……John Wayland

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3-26-06 Re: High Voltage Nationals Plea

Hello to All,

electric-plum@juno.com wrote:

As most of you know, Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois will be holding the HIGH VOLTAGE
NATIONALS May 13, 2006.

However, this might NOT happen if we don’t have at least 20 participants
racing in the EVent. Also, if you know any NEDRA  “record”
holder, have them contact me directly as we have a sweet deal for them.

Record holders that have committed so far are John Wayland, Bill Dube’,
Jack Knofp, Darin Gilbert, and Brigham Young Univ.

Yes, the Plasma Boy Racing Team will be there. You can add Father Time and one of his bikes, too.

This is your chance
to rub elbows and fenders with the best in their class. HVR’s “Aggravated
Battery” dragster will also be there.

Where’s all your own local EVers? Surely with such a prominent race in their own back yard, you can get at least 10 more EVs from the area….right? I’m doing some arm-twisting to get more EVs to the EVent, too.  Rudman keeps talking about his fast Fiero…maybe I’ll shame him into bringing it with us back east! Maybe Rod and or Rich could get Gone Postal up and running. It’s a record holder, so maybe some of that mileage seed money would help get it there as well. Who knows, maybe Victor would be interested in caravaning with us from Portland and bring the ACRX?

There is NO entry fee for any EV.    Prizes include trophies and cash
awards.

Bob Rice…yes, bring your bunny Rabbit! Anyone from the east coast wanna run against White Zombie? Come on everyone, this is going to be one fun EVent! Matt, Lowell, Steve? You guys from Florida have got some hot machines now…come on, make the commitment and join up with us in the Chicago area! Bob Salem, could you make it with your minitruck from Columbus? That would be yet another hot electric to wow the crowd!

Looking forward to the trek eastward….

See Ya….John ‘Plasma Boy’ Wayland

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3-26-06 Electric Nissan 240SX vs Modern Gas Performance Cars

Hello to All,

A good ‘ol comparo is just the thing to put an exclamation mark on Matt’s recent achievement of blasting through the 1/4 mile in just 13.3 seconds, so I thought I’d educate those who may not be into performance cars, on just how powerful and quick Matt Grahm’s ‘Joule Injected’ electric 240SX is.

Admissions:

(A) I’ll mostly reference relatively new gas cars, since older gas machines are nowhere near as clean running as an electric car is, though there are two representatives from the 60′s muscle car era. For the most part, it’s today’s lower emission type performance machines vs Matt’s zero emission electric car. Also, it’s generally known that today’s hi pro gas cars are quicker and faster than their legendary 60s era muscle car brethren, though old farts stuck in the past don’t often realize this :-)   In fact, many of today’s hot 4 banger import machines can blow the doors off ‘most’ of the 60s era muscle cars, and they do it while passing stringent crash standards, clean air standards, and fuel economy standards, three categories the old muscle cars would all fail.

(B) Given two vehicles that run the same 1/4 mile ETs, one a gas car and the other an electric car, the electric is nearly always substantially quicker off the line and up 60 mph because of the electric motor’s huge torque at zero rpm. Thus, with  two cars that both run 13.5 seconds, the race goes like this…the electric jumps off the line and by 60 mph is perhaps 2-3 car lengths ahead of the gas car, by the end of the 1/8th mile the gas car is now picking up speed at a higher rate and is now pulling up on the electric, and by the end of the 1/4 mile, the gas car has caught the electric as they both flash through the traps. Both cars run the same ET, but the gas car has a higher top end speed, while the electric has a quicker 0-60…see how this works?

OK, on with the fun…..

(1) In recent years, to many folks’ astonishment, the once stodgy ‘old man’s car’ Cadillac has transformed it’s model lineup from blimped-out bulbous huge land yachts into America’s premium hi performance sedans. Today’s Caddys are muscular and fast and corner like sports cars. The top dog model is the CTS-V, a $52,000 400 hp road burner who’s borrowed-from-the-Z06 Corvette V8 jams it from 0-60 in 5 seconds flat and runs a 13.4 second 1/4 mile (2005 model). Road & Track magazine described it as having ‘explosive straight-line performance’. Guess what? Matt’s electric car beats it in the 1/4 mile! I estimate Matt’s car runs 0-60 in 4.5 seconds, too, so it toasts the Caddy here as well. If the Caddy has ‘explosive performance, I wonder how they’d describe Matt’s EV?

(2) OK you say, what about a real sports car? How about Porsche’s newest, the $70,000 Cayman S? This Boxter derivative with its midship-mounted 291 hp flat six rips 0-60 in 5.1 seconds and does the 1/4 mile in 13.4 seconds (2006 model)….Matt’s electric beats it in both 0-60 and the 1/4 mile run!

(3) How bout the new $35,000 2006 Charger R/T with its highly touted 350 hp Hemi V8? It too, would get roasted by Matt’s electric Nissan, since the Charger’s 0-60 of 5.9 seconds and its 14.1 second 1/4 mile ET are no match for Matt’s electric car.

(4) Just for fun, the 68 Charger R/T with a mighty 440 V8 rated at 375 hp (old hp rating) ran 0-60 in 6.5 seconds and managed a 14.9 second 1/4 mile ET. Lowell Simon’s electric Porsche would beat this car by a half second through the 1/4 mile! Matt’s car would be 1.6 seconds quicker…an eternity in 1/4 mile terms!

(5) Exotic? Try this….the $83,000 2003 Masserati Spyder GT has a 390 hp V8 and runs 0-60 in 5.0 seconds and has a 13.5 second ET.
What fun it would be, to find a well-healed dude in his Masserati, tell him your Japanese car has been converted to run on batteries, then leave him in the dust! Oh yeah, almost forgot to say it….Matt’s car beats this one, too.

(6) The $26,000 300 hp 2006 Mustang GT V8 runs 0-60 in an impressive 4.9 seconds and manages the 1/4 mile in 13.5 seconds, but it would get beat by Matt’s EV.

(7) In light of the above, the 68 390cid 335 hp V8 powered Mustang GT ran 0-60 in 7.8 seconds and did a 15.2 second 1/4 mile ET.

(8) The $32,000 2003 Subaru STi with its brawny 300 hp turboed flat four does 0-60 in just 4.9 seconds and runs a 13.3 second ET. OK, this car is a match for Matt’s EV, but the EV would still get it in the 0-60 run.

(9) The $50,000 2004 Audi V8 version of its S4 hi pro sedan, has 340 hp. It runs 0-60 in 5.4 seconds and the 1/4 mile at 14.0 seconds. Matt’s electric 240SX would blow its doors off.

(10) I saved this for last. The $36,000 Nissan 350Z sports car with its powerful 287 hp V6 runs 0-60 in 5.7 seconds and does the 1/4 mile in 14.3 seconds. Matt’s electrified Nissan beats the new gas powered Nissan by a full second in the 1/4 mile!

I hope you all had fun reading this, and I hope those of you who may not always follow the EV drag racing stuff will now have a better appreciation for what guys like Matt are doing to keep EVs in the spot light. I bet there are a whole bunch of dazed gasser folks who are still stunned by what they saw an electric car do at the Moroso Race Track the other night!

See Ya…John ‘Plasma Boy’ Wayland

Posted in EVDL Posts | 1 Comment

3-24-06 Hawker and AeroBatteries Team up with Plasma Boy Racing Again

Hello to All,

While my friends across the USA in Florida are all ready tearing up the track, we’re still ramping up for the 2006 racing season. I’m happy to report that today, a pallet of 30 brand new Hawker AeroBatteries arrived at the dock of Northwest Handling Systems. I want to publicly thank Hawker, and especially Dick Brown of AeroBatteries for their unwavering support! Dick’s enthusiasm over our racing efforts has been awesome, and Hawker has been very generous in their sponsorship.

After a pretty heavy day of wrenching on forklifts with service calls all over the city, the stormy Spring day ended on a fun note as I and my ride-along younger tech arrived late returning to Northwest Handling System’s back equipment yard. There’s something very exciting about getting back as day’s light was fading away, opening the slider gate, and positioning my service truck to receive a load of feisty Hawkers. Unlocking the service shop’s doors (everyone had already gone home for the weekend) we went in to fetch the pallet of batteries. The fun started with me choosing one of countless powerful Crown electric reach trucks to do the deed. I chose an AC drive RR5225 stand-up rider-reach machine as the tool for the job at hand. Able to hoist 5000 lbs. straight up 25 feet with effortless ease, the 700 lbs. of AeroBatteries wasn’t much of a challenge for the powerful Crown :-) Still, loading 700 lbs. of batteries by hand would have been a lot of work. I drove the load outside down a ramped grade, and then positioned the forklift at the rear of my service truck. Using the Crown’s multifunction handle I raised the load, side-shifted the carriage to perfectly center the pallet, then used the reach function to extend the batteries into the back of my service truck…the hefty Isuzu truck barely noticed the extra 700 lbs. in back. There’s something very cool about using an electric vehicle to load batteries for my electric vehicle!

The batteries are now at my home, still in the back of the service truck parked in the shop driveway. Tomorrow, I’ll fire up my own electric forklift and use it to retrieve the pallet of batteries…more EV fun!

With a brand new pack and the other mods we’ve got planned, 2006 should be a fast year for Plasma Boy Racing!

See Ya……John Wayland

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3-24-06 Re: Congratulations to Matt Graham and Lowell Simmons!

Rich Rudman wrote:

OOOOOOoooo!
Looks like Matt Graham  is the first into the Madman’s 100 for 2006. He beat
Wayland!.

Madman.

Uh….Madman, not to try to take ‘anything’ away from Matt’s accomplishment, but duh….our track doesn’t even open until late April :-)
Living in the same Pacific Northwest area as I do, you of all people should know this. Unlike balmy Florida, we have to wait for drag racing weather to return after the Winter’s ice and snow, and the early Spring’s rains are behind us.

By the way, when will ‘you’ make it into your own Madman’s 100?  ;-)

See Ya…John ‘Plasma Boy’ Wayland

Way to go, Matt and Lowell!

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3-23-06 Re: Congratulations to Matt Graham and Lowell Simmons!

Hello to All,

Charles Whalen wrote:

Congratulations to Matt Graham and Lowell Simmons for their outstanding
performances at Moroso Racetrack in West Palm Beach last night!

I second that!

Lowell set a new world record of 14.55 seconds in Miramar High School’s Porsche 944,
beating the previous record by almost 2 seconds!

14′s is moving! There’s many classic muscle car guys that would be seeing Lowell’s EV’s taillights!

Matt Graham also made history in his Nissan 240SX by being only the third (full-bodied) car ever
to break the 100mph barrier in the quarter mile!

Yes, that’s terrific, but the slightly lower speed run of 99 mph was done in a stunning 13.3 second blast! We’re talking just 3/10ths away from running 12s!!! I predicted Matt’s machine could run 12′s….stay tuned, it’s only a matter of time. A near 3000 lb. EV running low 13′s?? That’s quite an accomplishment.

See Ya…….John Wayland

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3-20-06 Re: 12V ‘House’ Battery

Hello to All,

Dmitri Hurik wrote:

Ok, not exactly EV, but if anybody could help that would be cool. I need an AGM battery for starting an ICE lawnmower that has low self-discharge and long life. Probably around the 12-14ah range. I looked at the Hawker Odyssey 13ah.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a better quality battery.

They claim it’s really tough….

They are ‘extremely’ tough. Search the EV list archives for my many posts about ‘the Amazing Hawkers’, and many posts from others reporting the same.

>can sustain being left at 0% charge for weeks/months and still recover ….

Hmmm…that’s a tall claim. I ‘have’ had this exact battery taken down to zero volts and left there for three months, and upon a recharge, it came back without any cell reversals. Now, did it still have the same capacity? I doubt it. You can’t get away from permanent sulfation.
In general, it’s never good for any lead acid battery to do this.

>and sit for years…

This is absolutely true with Hawkers. I have quite a few 8 year old Hawker 16 ahr versions that have been sitting for long lengths of time that still work well. Again though, there is going to be some permanent sulfation that will occur if you let a battery sit so long unused and uncharged, so they really can’t sit for years and power-up to 100% capacity.

….but for $80+ seems like a bit much for just a 13ah battery.

Not when that same battery can deliver 500+ amps repeatedly without any noticeable degradation of the battery! 28 of the slightly larger 16ahr version of this battery powered my race car at 750 amps for 13 seconds to a world record back in 2000. Hawker toughness and long life are legendary on this EVDL. The internal inter-cell straps are very robust and can sustain high currents without melting. Small Hawker batteries can deliver HUGE currents and are worlds away from ordinary batteries of the same size and weight. All of these traits may not be applicable for you though, for merely starting a lawnmower.

Speaking of Hawker, what are people’s general opinion on Hawker batteries?

See my web page about White Zombie, for how I feel about Hawker batteries:

http://www.plasmaboyracing.com

See Ya……John Wayland

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3-12-06 High performance couplers (and White Zombie mods)

Hello to All,

Jimmy wrote:

This is a question for you guys that like to do mega burn-outs.

OK, I guess that qualifies me :-)

Are there any tips on
materials for couplers used in the high performance applications like the
Current Eliminator or some of the NEDRA cars?  Do you guys use tool steel
or just a cold rolled bar stock?

When running the twin 8 inch motors in White Zombie equipped with a battery pack capable of delivering 2500+ amps of current and after using the brutal 2500+ amp ‘Afterburner Bypass’ a few too many times, the coupler between the motors, and the cold rolled steel motor shafts, keyways, and the key stock pieces, were getting torn up and worn to where something was going to break. Perhaps the wear was just from pieces not quite being machined just right or aligned perfectly. In any event, when we designed the new Siamese 8 motor, we wanted the shaft material to be strong. Dutchman Motorsports chose a high strength rating of stainless steel to machine the super long shaft out of. Maybe Jim Husted can recall the exact material number and its hardness rating? If my memory serves me correctly, the cold rolled steel shaft of a stock motor is something like a ’30′ rating where the special stainless shaft has a ’130′ rating…Jim? This shaft has a splined output that mates into a beefy Spicer U-joint yoke. You can view it here:

http://photos.plasmaboyracing.com/buildsequence/Shaft_Spicer

We also wanted to have the new Siamese 8 setup to be as simple as possible. The new design got rid of the obvious, the two separate motors and their motor bracket-mount in favor of a single unit that still acts like two motors (25 lb. weight savings), and so it also eliminated the motor-to-motor shaft coupler. It also got rid of the rear motor output flange, the flanged U-joint coupler that attached to it, the heavy all steel two piece driveline, and the center support bracket and carrier bearing assembly. Now, there’s just the Siamese 8 with its splined output shaft, and a light and strong aluminum driveshaft (10 lb. spinning mass weight savings) that slides onto the motor shaft.
The new motor is also 7 inches shorter than were the twin motors on their mount bracket, so the Siamese 8 sits flat and parallel to the ground, unlike the old twin motor affair that was so long it had to sit on top of the front transverse frame rail of the car and poke downward so the back end of the rear motor would clear the tranny bell housing body tunnel.

If things go as planned, the car will soon shed even more weight when we change out the heavy steel case Ford 9 inch differential  and replace it with a much lighter all aluminum unit from Strange Engineering. The continued weight reductions, plus a taller gear set in back, high rpm field weakening, and a fresh battery pack (thank you Hawker AeroBatteries), should help us achieve this year’s goal of running an 11.5 @ 115 mph…on DOT tires.

See Ya……John Wayland

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‘Simply Given? was:White Zombie Update…

Hello to All,

Neon John wrote:

Look at how much farther ahead John is simply by
virtue of being given high performance batteries and the one-off
custom-built motor. …’

Jeff Shanab wrote:

Ouch, a little harsh don’t you think? I think john is fast because he
bloody well worked at it. he earned the sponsership he now gets by
proving himself. he developed the dual motor in this application , the
one off custom built motr came from his lessons of blowing things up, in
the best spirit of racing.

Thanks Jeff, I appreciate this very much.

I do take issue with Neon John’s comments that I was ‘simply given’ batteries and a one-off custom motor.
Simply given batteries? There was nothing simple about arriving to today’s status of being sponsored by Aerobatteries and Hawker. Do I appreciate it? Of course I do. But to imply it was simple seems to be quite a slap in the face.

As to that motor that was ‘simply given’ to me as well, think again! The twin motors that were morphed into the Siamese 8 were my motors, motors I paid for from my work in the early beginnings of NetGain and the build-up of what was then known as Bad Amplitude, the NetGain rail dragster back in the Chicago area. Though I received sponsorship from Dutchman Motorsports while we were developing the custom stainless steel armature shaft in the form of deep discounts, some freebie items, and lots of personal free labor and moral support from the Dutchman himself, I paid money for materials. Jim Husted did donate all his time and labor, plus copper, misc. motor parts, and shop materials…again, very much appreciated. Jim however, would be the first to tell anyone that I wasn’t simply handed a one-off custom motor. Tim Brehm, too, was a big part of the Siamese 8 project…so was the Madman Rich Rudman, and along with the Dutchman, the three of them made long trips over into central Oregon to Jim’s shop in Redmond. The five of us spent many late night hours huddled around lathes, presses, and other machinery at Dutchman’s machine shop. I also received lots of help, as I always do, from Marko Mongillo at the metal shop, where we made the heavy duty motor brackets. Of course, I return the favor when I help Marko, as I’ve been doing for the past month or so as we’re working on his ‘Baby Blue’ re-conversion project.

The amount of time and energy we all put into the Siamese 8 project would exhaust most folks, trust me! I’d say I’ve got close to 3K of my own money into this one-off custom motor. I deeply respect Jim Husted and am in awe of his fine craftsmanship, but let there be no mistake, all aspects of the Siamese 8 had to be approved by me, and most all of the racing tricks put into this motor were learned the hard way, by me. Keep in mind also, that I openly share all info about everything I do in regards to racing and the items we either design or modify. One of my goals is to make it easier for others to join in and race and or daily drive their EVs. You can check with anybody, and you’ll never hear one word about me slamming the hood shut, or cloaking the car from view, or refusing to share what I know with other competitors, friends, fellow racers, or just strangers interested in what we do. In fact, I’ve kept everyone on this EVDL abreast of the entire project with my constant postings, so I find it odd that Neon John would make the comment ‘simply given’….oh well.

See Ya…..John Wayland

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Look Mommy, it’s the Ice Cream Car!

Hello to All,

I know what you’re all saying about now, Wayland’s up to more weird stuff again. What’s up with this goofy title? Read on.

I had written:

Sunday is White Zombie time, and as I type this, Tim Brehm is on his way here. The new pack of Aerobatteries are being installed today, but this time there’ll be 30 of them, not the regular 29….this is racing and if we can push something a bit to go quicker and faster, than so be it. I’ve also got the master’s OK on my 360V plan, so it’s not as if he doesn’t know what I’m up to :-)

The battery change-out went very smoothly. Of course, with the image of plasma balls still very clear in my mind, when ever either adding or removing the stubby thick copper bus bars between the terminals of numerous powerful Hawkers, extreme care and diligent work are a must.

About the ‘need’ to replace the previous 348V stack of Hawkers, came this second request from my friend Myles Twete:

If Hawkers can “routinely” dish out 800+ amps without harm, why did you need a new set in less than a year >of drag racing? I know I asked this before and maybe I missed the answer, but your claim does beg the >question.

When we race our EVs and have a battery company sponsoring the batteries to us, they want us to push them to the limits. We get to push the envelope and hopefully set a few records, they get real world R & D and get to see how far their products can be stressed. It’s a win -win deal. What I have talked about in the past about, is the ability of the tough Hawkers to take a full year of racing punishment with no battery failures. This is a fact, none of the Hawker Aerobatteries failed, ever. Other batteries I’ve used have blown up, melted, reversed cells, etc. Remember Woodburn ’04? I tried the imported made-in-China 29 lb. 35 ahr 12V UPS style batteries under the Exide name (because I could not get Hawkers at the time) in White Zombie. About 100 ft. after launch with a 900 amp current draw, two batteries blew up. I swapped out the two blown batteries with fresh ones, then turned the current limit down to a dismal 500 amps, and promptly blew a third battery up right at the start line. Clearly, these batteries even at more weight and 9 more ahrs of capacity, were not close to being as robust as were Hawkers. I’ve also blown up Optimas under the duress of drag racing. To be fair, I later went with the made-in-America Exide Orbitals and as many will remember, had fantastic reliability and awesome power delivery, though these ‘are’ 40 lb. larger sized batteries. Hawkers too, can be destroyed, but my point is, that they can be pushed more to the extremes, pound for pound, than any other lead acid battery I’ve ever used…period!

I wouldn’t dispute that Hawkers are the cats meow, but I gotta know—did high currents and heat kill >those Hawkers or did lack of batt regs do it, or what?

Again, neither high current or high heat killed any of the 29 Aerobatteries used in White Zombie. Now, any time you heat lead acid batteries to 120-130 degrees while racing, and at the same time, you suck 1100 amps from these small 24 lb. batteries, it certainly isn’t ‘good’ for them. After a racing season is over and the batteries are allowed to sit idle after repeated cookings at the track, they do loose capacity…they aren’t the same as brand new anymore. That said, the Hawker AeroBatteries delivered as promised. In fact, with their 5 second rating at 925 amps, I’d say that at 1000 amps most of the way down the track for 12 seconds, they exceeded our expectations. The majority of the 29 batteries are still rock’n a year later after all those HARD runs and high temp racing nights where we got the batteries soooo hot, touching the rear seat area aluminum tray would almost burn one’s hand.

We ‘did’ super heat the pack on the last night where we tried to bust into the 11s. After the last run of the night, when Tim returned from the track to the pits, the Lexan cover over the rear seat area pack was fogged, so we managed to gas some of the batteries. Many months later in my story ‘The Names have been Changed to Protect the Innocent’ (posted at the Plasma Boy web site under ‘Wayland’s Words’, I mentioned how a few of the batteries seemed to be out of equalization compared to the rest. A few weeks ago, Tim and I pried off the lid on one of the lazy batteries and found pooled electrolyte in the battery top that had collected after the gassing incident last year, which explains why a few batteries were lagging behind all the rest of them. It was more than likely the extreme temperatures we took the batteries to, more than the bump up from 1000 to 1100 battery amps that caused this. I have spares that could be dropped in to replace any weak batteries to restore the pack to near new status, but with a brand new pack of batteries on hand, it just made sense to use them instead. All of the batteries that were in the trunk location are still perfect and read 12.97V + or – a few hundredths after a refresh charge, most likely due to how they stayed a bit cooler with their compartment floor exposed to 100+ mph cooling air. All but a few in the rear seat compartment read the same 12.97V + or – a few hundredths after a refresh charge, so except for the few that we pushed a little too hard, the batteries are still in excellent shape. These batteries will go on to power up other projects.

From Myles’ 1st email:

Is it typical for racers to replace their batteries annually….

Let’s see…. is it typical? No. Usually, getting sponsorship for racing batteries is very difficult. The norm is, that once you do get a sponsored pack, the batteries have to last for several years. This time around, with the car performing up to and past expectations, and especially with Dick Brown’s help (AeroBatteries), Hawker has been 100% behind our efforts of pushing the performance envelope with their batteries. After doing exactly as we said we’d do…set a new world record ‘in the 12s’, they were more than pleased. This year we’re looking towards the 11′s, and realizing how important it is to have a strong pack to achieve an ET in the 11′s, I requested a fresh pack for the 2006 season. I’m very grateful Hawker has once again, stepped up for us.

OK, back to Sunday’s battery removal -installation. We had to find a spot for the 30th battery. Unfortunately, the rear seat area and trunk area battery enclosures had not a bit of extra space for the 30th battery. I decided to place this battery in-between the two packs and mounted it in its own aluminum tray piggy-backing it to the aluminum support bracket just behind the rear seat bulkhead. Though not as tidy as having it fit inside one of the trays with the rest of the batteries, it does look ‘interesting’ and it offers a full view of what these batteries look like. We topped off the new 360V pack with .5 amp charge, and 5 minutes after the charger was shut down, the pack rested at, get this, 406 volts! Driving the car up and out the shop driveway skimmed away the surface charge and the pack rested at 391 volts. Tim and I took a sedate 5-6 mile cruise, which include a 2 mile ~4% grade to negotiate and were amazed to see the pack not falling below 365 volts or so under the load. 40-45 mph cruising had the battery current draw so low that the 1500 amp analog Simpson meter’s (with its 20 amps increments) needle barely moved. I estimate the average current was between 10 and 15 amps. After the short drive, we returned to recharge the pack.

About a half hour later, there was still good light in the late afternoon-early evening for taking a few digital photos, so we drove the car over to the neighborhood park for a little photo shoot thing. Tim got a little nervous when I directed him to drive up and into the park using the paved walking paths clearly marked ‘No Motor Vehicles Allowed’. It was OK, I’ve done this before with Blue Meanie and had gotten away with it. The Datsun 1200 is small enough, it can drive on the paved walkways to where the tires stay on pavement all the time. I do respect those at the park using the walkways, and if I find folks near us, I ask if it would bother them, of course, taking the opportunity to point out the car is electric powered and won’t offend them with noxious fumes and all. As in previous park car stuff, everyone I talked with seemed thrilled that we had brought an electric car. On this warm night, there were quite a few people enjoying the park. As Tim and I slowly and carefully glided White Zombie past young families with their small children playing on swing sets and past couples walking their dogs, we got quite few smiles and slightly surprised looks, but the best one came from a little kid, maybe five years old. As the white car with all the colorful stickers rolled past, she said “Look mommy, it’s the ice cream car!”

See Ya……John Wayland

Less than 3 weeks until the High Voltage Nationals!

Note: Photos of the new battery pack are up at the web page in the White Zombie section under ‘More Voltage’
http://www.plasmaboyracing.com

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White Zombie Update…360 Volts…More HP!

Hello to All,

I got an interesting phone call Friday night from one of our local EVers here in Portland, Jay Donaway. He was wondering if we were going racing with White Zombie at PIR. You see, Oregon’s weather in the Spring can be anything, going from foreboding black clouds and hail, to sunshine, then wind, then rain….this is during the course of one day! This is how Spring has been so far, that is, up until this week. We’ve had a few days where the temps rose from cool high forties to low fifties, to high 60′s with one day even touching 70! Then yesterday, we reverted back and the day started off cold and rainy but then, it cleared up dramatically and the day turned into early evening with the temps in the 60′s. The forecast is calling for glorious mid 70′s both Saturday and Sunday….drag racing weather is finally here! In fact, the 7 day outlook has no rain in sight and high 60′s every day.

With this backdrop, I told Jay ‘no’ to going racing. What, perfect drag racing weather after waiting all Winter, and team Plasma Boy is absent from the race track? Here’s the deal. We’ve made a commitment to show up at the High Voltage Nationals in Joliet, Illinois, just three weeks from now, an we’ll be there as planned. It would be foolish and selfish, to go racing, break the car, then be a no-show at this first-ever race where lots of people are counting on us. Instead, the car is being ‘pumped up’ and readied for its debut at the Route 66 track more than half way across the great USA.

Each weekend has been packed with EV building activity, much of it going into Baby Blue, the 276V Datsun minitruck I wrote about last week. Marko and I worked on Baby Blue again yesterday, Saturday. Today, Sunday, is White Zombie time, and as I type this, Tim Brehm is on his way here. The new pack of Aerobatteries are being installed today, but this time there’ll be 30 of them, not the regular 29. Though the Zilla tops out at 348V nominal, it’s the ‘nominal’ part we’re dancing around. Assuming a pack at 360V can rise to 450V under charge with each battery peaking at 15V, to keep in the safe operating area of ‘under 450V’, the max nominal pack recommended is 29 batteries at 348V. We’re pushing things though and are going with 30 batteries and will do ‘charging things’ in a certain way to stay out of trouble. I do not recommend that others try this with their street Zilla powered EVs and I certainly don’t want to cause Otmar any grief over this, but hey, this is racing and if we can push something a bit to go quicker and faster, than so be it. I’ve also got the master’s OK on my 360V plan, so it’s not as if he doesn’t know what I’m up to :-)

Other changes to the car include the high rpm field weakening circuit that’s nearly completed, and the still-to-be-done gear ratio change to a taller 4:10 over the present 4:57 ratio. Hopefully, our killer hole shot won’t go away with all that low end torque we have on tap, and the taller gear set will keep the car in series mode longer for an even quicker 1/8 mile time than the present best 1/8th mile of 7.59 seconds. In the parallel mode with a slightly higher voltage pack behind the controller and the taller gears to pull against, the motor torque will stay stout longer as the controller is held in current limit longer. Top end acceleration should be very strong. Near the end of the run, Tim will hit ‘the button’ and bring on field weakening to keep the Siamese 8 humping all the way up to 7000 rpm and hopefully, terminal speeds exceeding 110 mph through the traps as we bust into the 11′s.

Will Jim’s mighty Siamese 8 hold up to this? Will the Hawker Aerobatteries stay together? Will the Zilla keep its smoke in (stupid question)? Will Marko’s minitruck not break down? Will its generator keep running? Will the charger hold up under continuous high currents across the country? We’ll all find out in less than 3 weeks from now at Route 66!

See Ya…….John Wayland

Plasma Boy Racing ‘We blow things up, so you don’t have to’
http://www.plasmaboyracing.com

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Re: longest range?

Hello to All,

Mike Chancey wrote:

John Wayland wrote:

I agree with both of your assessments. The truck’s acceleration was borderline, it was very heavy and felt cumbersome to drive, it slowed down on steep hills, and it took forever to get up to near 90 mph, but amazingly it ‘did’ reach the very high 80s on level ground.

The component choices have changed quite a bit since the Beastie was built.
Ya think? Certainly, things are soooo much better nearly tens years after Red Beastie was conceived and built!

Things you couldn’t go then you can do now. I wonder how it would drive with the batteries wired in one 240 volt string with a Zilla 1K for a controller? I don’t think the performance would be quite so tepid, though you would have to be careful on the battery current.

Yup, excellent idea. I’d do the 240V pack and go with a Siamese 9 permanently left in series wiring mode and keep the 5 speed manual. The Z1K is compact, yet very powerful. You could restrict battery current to 250 amps to protect the wet cells and give them the same very long life (35k + est. miles on the Beastie’s pack and still had 60+ miles range when I sold it), but be able to send 1000 motor amps for the first 1/3 -1/2 the available motor rpm into the Siamese 9. This would make about 4 times the torque that I got with a single 9 inch at 450 motor amps.

Add on a PFC-50 for charging and you could have a very awesome EV.

Yes, that would have made charging so much better.

What do you think?

It’s something someone might want to do. You’d still have a very heavy conversion, but it would perform much better than the one Dick and I built.

See Ya…..John Wayland

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Re: Battery comparison

Hello to Richard and All,

Richard Acuti wrote:

Optima batteries I’m familiar with. I have one in my DeLorean. I visited the Orbital website and it seems to me that Orbitals are the same thing only they are manufactured by Exide.

Is this correct?

No, not correct. Similar? Yes. The Exide Orbital in fact, got its start as a made-by-Optima cheaper version of the Red Top starting battery. I was at the factory and got to see Both the Optima and Exide versions being manufactured. Back then, Optima made a rather bland looking all grey colored battery with the identical case as their regular RT and YT batteries (only all grey), but stuffed it with less active materials, so the Exide licensed battery was lighter and only had 650 cca instead of the RT’s 800 cca ratings. That was then….today, Exide has their own design battery they build themselves. Though it looks like an Optima, it is taller, narrower, a pinch longer, and 40 lbs. vs 44 lbs. for the YT.

>Does Orbital have an advantage over Optima?

In tests performed by qualified EVers, the mighty Exide Orbital can blow away any Optima YT with 2000 amps discharge capability vs about 1400 max amps from a YT. The rated ahrs is different, as one might expect between a 40 lb. battery and a 44 lb. battery, at 50 ahrs vs 55 ahrs.

Hawker batteries appear to be a different animal. AGM technology but they appear to be smaller for lighter duty. Definitely not traction batteries…not for a 4 wheel vehicle anyway. I’ve read that some of you use them for accessory batteries. Is this correct?

Way off here. Hawker batteries ‘can’ be smaller, as they make a lot of models to choose from. Lighter duty? This one had me laughing, sorry, I’m not making fun of you. Hawkers are legendary for their ‘extreme’ heavy duty nature! Little 13.5 lb. Hawkers belt out 800 amps all the way down a drag strip! I know of no other lead acid battery (excluding TMF type) that can routinely do this without harm. Hawker also makes deep cycle AGM group 31 12V batteries (larger than the group 34 Optima YT and the same size as Optima’s group 31 model), and very soon will have an Optima sized drop-in replacement. Yes, many use the smaller sized Hawkers as 12V accessory batteries, but many have also used larger hawkers to power their entire EV. One of my EVs runs on 29 Hawker batteries.

See Ya…..John Wayland

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3-7-06 Re: EVLN(Blue Meanie shown on wind powered car blog)

Hello to All,

Life is funny, isn’t it?

I’ve always enjoyed Bruce’s EVLN posts, and I read most all of them. It’s a great service that I know most of us appreciate. I’ve always secretly wanted to have something I’ve done with EVs end up as one of Bruce’s EVLN news bulletins. When White Zombie finally cracked the 100 mph barrier in the 1/4 mile, or better still, when it posted it’s 12.1 second ET @ 106 mph, I was certain it would make the cut for being part of his EVLN bulletins. You know, something like ‘EVLN (Street legal electric car breaks 100 mph in the 1/4 mile)’…..or……’EVLN (Street legal electric car runs 12 second 1/4 mile)’, but nope! Nothing but tumble weeds blow’n by…not a peep, not a mention :-(

Imagine then, how I felt having completely given up on ever having any of my EVs making the grade to be in an EVLN bulletin, when I scanned Bruce’s latest EVLN listing and stumbled across this:

> EVLN(Blue Meanie shown on wind powered car blog)
> [The Internet Electric Vehicle List News. For Public EV
> informational purposes. Contact publication for reprint rights.]
> — {EVangel}
> http://www.makezine.com/blog/archive/2006/03/wind_powered_electric_car.html
> [Image of under the hood shot of Blue Meanie]
>
>
You would use the electric power in the city, and on
the highway you would use the windmill /fan inside a wind tunnel
on top of your car. When the car gets up to a certain speed, you
engage the the wind turbine to power the car, in effect setting
it on cruise control. Would the 2 sources supply each other? The
wind tunnel powering the motor, the motor making the car go so
the fan can catch the wind?”

Pictured here – John Wayland’s battery powered “Blue Meanie” 1972
Datsun.

Having my EV associated with the goofy idea of perpetual motion, and god forbid, a ‘windmill’ atop my car, is just too much! Please, say it isn’t so….please, make it go away :-(

See Ya…..John Wayland

Posted in EVDL Posts | 2 Comments

3-1-06 The Names have been Changed to Protect the Innocent!

Hello to All,

For all you young guys out there, this post’s title is a tag line from the original cops and bad guys TV series ‘Dragnet’ (readers should now hear the familiar Dragnet theme song in their heads). Yes, it’s true, the adventures of Plasma Boy and his sidekick the Electric Monkey continue (you’ll have to ask Tim about his name). Saturday was an absolute hoot when Tim and I took White Zombie down to PIR (Portland International Raceway) to go head to head with the cops!

I had written:

> With a special invite from the police, White Zombie will be allowed to dice it out with the cops at their driver’s training program…the driving school where cops learn to chase the bad guys and deal with outlaws attempting to elude…White Zombie will roast its tires and drag race police cars, as the officers turn on their lights and sirens in hot pursuit…. all the while at least one video camera will be rolling!

Sometimes, things work out exactly as planned, and Saturday was just the case…well, except for the weather forecast. It was supposed to be a sunny day in the low 50′s, but it was grey and overcast, windy, and in the mid 40′s all day. Oh well, at least the overcast bit made for good digital picture quality. I drove White Zombie to the track with Tim following in the Northwest Handling Systems service truck, our rolling workshop-charging station our company is good enough to let us use. Arriving at PIR, it was strange to simply roll through the ticket gates without stopping to pay the entry fee. As we got closer to the track area, we could see perhaps 15 cop cars and a few other ‘interesting’ vehicles. It felt absolutely weird, purposefully driving right into the midst of where all the cops were, where the norm is to be on the lookout for these guys :-) We set up camp, powered up the generator, and started to recharge the car. Soon after, a small group of guys approached us, none in full uniform but several with cop’s coats on, all packing heat! Our past coworker and friend, let’s call him ‘Officer Bill’, was there to greet us and all of them were super friendly and excited to see the car. Tim handled the show and tell thing, while I got the video cam, digital cameras, and other stuff ready.

It didn’t take long for the first item of the day to take place…doing a tire shredding burnoff right next to a cop….well, make that several cops! Let me tell you, asking me to do this, was like asking your cat to ride atop the vacuum cleaner with it powered on. I mean, geesh, I’ve always avoided stunts like this, for the obvious reasons, but now here I was, being encouraged to ‘light ‘em up’ sitting next to a cop! And light ‘em up, I did! It’s all captured on video, and it’s way cool. White Zombie is poised next to a police cruiser, cherries on, as Plasma Boy starts the tire ignition sequence. As the tire smoke thickens, the cop car is soon enveloped in a cloud and all you can see is his lights flashing through the haze! What fun!

After the smoke cleared, it was time to drag race a cop. Yes, you heard me right, I drag raced a cop! The sheriff at the wheel, let’s call him ‘Sheriff Fred’, was none other than the master trainer in charge of everyone assembled on this day. Sherriff Fred is way cool, and when off duty has been prepping his new drag car, an ex-pursuit Camaro complete with a stroker 383 V8, and the light bar and everything! After witnessing the power of the Zombie, Sherrif Fred asks if I could give him a head start at the line. I agree. So here it is, Plasma Boy in White Zombie lined up with a Sherriff in a Ford Crown Vic cop car with performance chip and revised suspension…I’m ready to smoke Smokey! There’s no staging lights or christmas tree, only another cop yelling ready, set, GO! The cop car ignites both rear tires, its V8 roars, and he takes off fairly impressively. I wait a second or so, then nail the Zombie, also lighting up both rear tires, more than I want to, with a not-so-impressive launch. The pack seems tired to me, but nonetheless, I easily catch the cop car at about 70 mph or so, right as the Zilla decides it’s time to shift from series to parallel. With the Siamese 8 now humping at full boil, White Zombie jerks ahead of the cop as I extend my arm out the window and wave ‘Bye Bye’ to the cop. At 100+ mph, I’m at least 10 car lengths ahead of the cop. We slowed to make a U-turn and return back, something one could never do during an actual 1/4 mile drag race. To add to the fun of the video, Officer Fred turns on his lights and siren behind me, and for probably the only time I’ll ever be able to, I totally disobey him and continue to elude! This is more fun, than any human should be allowed to have!!!! Back in the pit area, in front of his peers, Officer Fred says to me, “Thanks for blowing my doors off!”

As we’re charging the car back up, another officer asks if we want to race the MazdaSpeed sedan that’s got 280+ four banger horses. One of the instructor officers uses this car as a bad guy vehicle, but it’s also used to teach other rookies how to drive safely at high speeds. The fast and furious Mazda was really tearing up the track! Another cop had driven his bright yellow Z06 Corvette to the track, and he too, wanted to take on White Zombie. Unfortunately though, I was more focused on the battery pack that didn’t seem to perform up to full potential and so passed on this challenge. Remember those Rudman regs we have for the Hawkers? Since the pack had given power so well last Fall, we never got around to getting them installed on the pack :-( Now, here I was wondering what was up with the batteries, when I found 5 of the 29 batteries had wandered away from the rest and were only about half charged! For several hours, I used a 35 amp 12V supply to individually bring up these 5 stragglers, one that took an additional 16 ahrs of juice! Once the five were pretty close to the rest of the batteries, I let the series charger bring the whole pack up at a very low level charge current. After this much needed recharge, the pack was rock’n like it used to and was now sitting at 378 volts static.

Tim and I were ready for a late lunch and decided to take a 5 mile cruise in White Zombie over to the area’s Jack in the Box. I asked Tim to behave himself, especially since we had been given so much freedom to do bad car things by the cops. And so we motored off driving as if our ride was once again, a little ‘ol Datsun econo car. We made it all the way to the burger joint without a chirp of the tires, without any undue neck pain, and current draws were at 50 amps and under. The pack voltage stayed nice and stiff. After we ate and were headed back to the track, passing through an intersection we spotted a glossy black Subaru WRX, it’s intercooler-feeding hood scoop standing out as if it were ready to suck up something. To the uninitiated, these bad boy street machines are fitted with potent 227 hp turbo fours that give the all wheel drive compacts performance on par with the stock muscle cars of the 60s. There’s even a variant called the STi that packs 300 horses! So, as we pass through the light, the Sube driver’s head follows the wacko be-stickered Datsun with fat tires with interest. Sure enough, he takes a right to come up from behind on our right side on the four lane road we’re on. Perhaps 20 car lengths in front of him, is a car traveling along. Tim bets that at any moment, the WRX will be hammered hard and that the driver will want to show us his stuff blasting past our pesky old Datsun, then cutting in front of us to take our lane. To bait him on, Tim stays at the speed limit in the fast lane. Suddenly, my right ear picks up the whistle a turbo spooling up to full boost as the Sube’s 4 banger growls deeper…he’s going for it! The black machine comes up on my right swiftly, and though Tim’s well aware of what’s going on, he says to me, “Let’s let him think he’s got us.” The Sube swooshes past us at a good clip, but just as his rear bumper is about 4 feet in front of White Zombie’s fender, Tim slams the pedal down….instantly, and I mean ‘instantly’, the Zombie’s rear tires bark and break loose as I am absolutely rammed hard into my seat….geesh, this car hauls ass when you’re a passenger! If I had to pick the strongest point of acceleration power this car has, other than its incredible launch, it’s from 40 mph to 90 mph, with the series-to-parallel shift somewhere in the middle. We rocket ahead and fly past the still-accelerating Sube as if he’s put his car in reverse. I strain against the G-force to turn me head in time to see a look of absolute astonishment from the the Sube driver’s face….then the second wave of power slams me back when it up shifts to parallel, the tires squeal a little, and the Zombie again rushes forward with a vengeance. Tim let the car rip up to something very illegal, as I protest for him to ‘get out of it’. He does, finally, then coasts down from high speed lower and lower to something closer to the speed limit as we signal and lane change to the outer slow lane. A moment later, the Sube rolls slowly past us to our right, looking a bit depressed, but trying to save face by not actually making eye contact with us.

We returned to the track, coming into the area slowly and respectfully. I actually felt a bit guilty for our sins, but oh well, what was done, was done. With the pack performing well now, we put the car back on charge. Within 15 minutes or so it was again, ready to play. By now, the Corvette cop and his car had gone home for the day, but as Tim pointed out, we’ve already toasted a few Vettes, no biggie. The MazdaSpeed sedan was also off the track, but it’s not anything all that different from the hot Mitsu’s or WRX STi’s we race against all the time. What we really wanted, was to race another cop car!

First though, Tim needed to be assured the pack was up to snuff, so we staged another burnout. This one was pretty awesome, I must say! With the wind whipping the smoke and all, and the good sound quality we got on tape, it’s a video to watch! It was so severe, we had chunks of tire on the roof and hood of the car…the cops loved it! It’s a pretty over-the top burnout, very Goldie-esque.

After the tire burn, Tim invited Officer Bill to strap himself into the Zombie’s passenger seat (yes, it’s now got a new seat belt). We wanted to make it more fair for the cops, so we added a passenger to weight the car down some :-) The track was cold and we never let the air pressure out of the drag radials, so the Zombie had pretty bad traction problems. In fact, the cop car got the jump on Tim when wheel spin kept the electric car from launching hard. Tim lit ‘em up for 50 feet or so with smoke peeling off both rear tires, let off the throttle, then nailed it again…the tires spun a second time when the Zilla went into parallel mode. After another 100 feet or so more, they finally hooked up and White Zombie lunged ahead blowing past the cop car still at full stride (after the ride Officer Bill told me it felt like they were hit from behind by a freight train).

Towards the end of the day, Sherriff Fred had just given officer Bill’s wife a polite spin around the entire PIR road course (2 miles) in his Crown Vic V8 cop car. I approached as they returned, and profusely thanked him for allowing us the opportunity to join them and have fun with the cops & bad guys routine. He looked at me (as I was wishing I had been taken for a spin) and said, “Want to go for a ride?” In seconds, I was in the passenger seat! Sherrif Fred is a very nice man with a great sense of humor, so as we start to head onto the track, he says to me, “We’d better stop and get some helmets…we’re going to need them.” Oh-oh, what’s he got in mind? We swing close to the guard rail, and as he’s being handed his helmet, I get out and run over to get mine. Tim’s there to lend a hand cinching mine up for me, grinning from ear to ear as he knows I’m about to get the ride of my life. Evidently, Tim had been informed that when Sherriff Fred goes for the helmet, things are going to get exciting. We pull onto the track right at the start point for the 1/4 mile drag section, my familiar zone. Sheriff Fred nails it, both rear tires spin and squeal, and the throaty V8 pulls hard as we accelerate up to speed, faster and faster. I say to him, “Ya know, it’s much better riding in the front seat, than back there (pointing to the caged-in bad guy rear seat). He gets a chuckle out of that one as he continues to push the car faster. We cross the 1/4 mile marker at a tick over 90 mph, respectable speed to be sure, but I’m compelled to say, “My car’s doing 106 mph right here, I think you need an electric motor!” again, Sherriff Fred grins, and again, his right foot hasn’t moved….now we’re past 100 mph and rapidly approaching ‘turn 1′ at PIR…..Oh Oh…he’s not slowing down!! GEESH!!!! (now squirming in my seat and bracing myself). I never dreamed a large car like this Ford Crown Vic police cruiser could corner the way this thing did! We flew threw the curve in a 90-100 mph four wheel drift, then straightened and braked hard, then approaching the next twist in the track, he slammed it hard again as the V8 down-shifted with tires squealing and my cheeks stretching…..WHOOIE!!! The excitement never let up…ever….as we covered two miles of twisting track interspersed with straightaways very rapidly! The man can drive! Now I knew why ‘he’ was the master trainer. We took turn 9 (the last corner) very aggressively, leaving the pavement, catching grass, fishtailing, power sliding, then regaining a sense of direction to land back on the track….nearly filled my shorts on that one!

The final blast of the day was the most outrageous burnout of all. Tim at the wheel again. The video is pretty cool!

Somebody arrest me, I’m having way too much fun!

See Ya…..John Wayland

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2-27-06 Portland Rod & Custom Show, the Wayland Report (pt. 1)

Hello to All,

OK, I’m back to 100% energy level after recuperating from the four days of the car show. As I had previously written, White Zombie had been invited to be part of the EV display that also featured two of Father Time’s creations (there’s so many to choose from)….his bright blue electric Legend car and one of his outrageous electric motorcycles. It was a three day, Friday – Sunday show, but the load-in for the show’s participants was on Thursday, with the show opening to the public Friday morning, so for participants, it’s 4 days of intense car stuff. Tim and I both took Friday off from work so we could work the booth at the show.

I was giving a forklift controls class Wednesday – Thursday, so it worked out perfectly that I was not in my work truck taking service calls all over the place, wrenching on stuff, and in general getting banged up and filthy. Instead of driving my service truck to and from work as is the norm, I drove electrically to work both days. Having an EV at one of my classes is a great way to break the ice with out-of-town students, and the newest young guys at our facility hadn’t seen my EVs in person yet. Having an on-road EV at the shop is also a great tool for showing the similarities an electric forklift has with a highway capable EV, and of course, for demonstrating the differences as well. It’s also something the higher-ups like when they’ve got customers or manufacturers’ reps in town at our facility for meetings and such, as the electric cars are a fun sideshow….”Over here is a Crown RR5225 reach truck, over there is a new Crown PE4000 rider pallet, and over here is the world’s quickest accelerating electric car…the guy who built it, is our corporate trainer and a senior field technician.”

The entire week, Portland was under the influence of that arctic air that enveloped much of the country, and though nowhere near as c-cold as it gets in other places, still, at 20-24 degree morning temperatures and with a 20-25 mile east wind coming at you and with our west coast humidity we get in the winter, it was very cold. East of the Cascade Mountain range in central Oregon’s high desert country (places like Bend and Redmond that I often write about) has a completely different kind of cold than what we get here in the Willamette Valley. Over there in the higher altitude arid region you can walk out of your hotel coat-less to get stuff out of your vehicle when it’s 12 degrees outside, and it just feels brisk. On my trips for service calls to the area, I often work outside in it…it’s a kind of cold that’s easy to put up with. Here in Portland with the wet air and the seemingly constant east wind huffing out of the Columbia Gorge into Portland’s east side, geesh, it’s cold!!

Wednesday morning, I drove Blue Meanie to work. With its new stickers good till ’08, and the current registration and insurance info back in the car where they belong, I’ve cleaned up my act. Indeed, a new Plasma Boy was at the wheel…no speeding, no antics, and very careful attention paid to all traffic lights :-) Before going to the freeway, I stopped by the local Winchell’s and picked up 2 dozen donuts to bribe my new students with. On the freeway east, the old battery pack did great on the 6 mile drive to work, heater on full all the way, and 60 mph speeds fighting dead into the strong winds. Being such a little car, the 1500 watt ceramic element does a good job of keeping me warm.

At work, with the car temporarily parked inside the service shop area, the PFC charger efficiently put back the electrons used while donut chomping mechanics had fun going over the car. Lifting up the hood exposing the eye candy under there…bright yellow Optimas, pretty green Zilla and Manzanita Micro boxes, tidy stainless steel bracketry, ruby red and onyx black clear car audio 1/0 power cables, and the now 13 year old 9 inch ADC motor still boldly visible and still looking fresh and new, always brings out a few ‘Wows’, but it’s the remote control motorized rear battery tray (simple as it seems) that’s always a big hit. “Where’s the rest of your batteries? (everyone follows me around back to the trunk, as I secretly click button #2 of the remote in my pocket….c-clunk…the trunk lid pops open…..click #4 and …Whirrrrr, out slides the stainless steel tray with 7 more YTs) ….”Oh, here they are!” :-) :-)

Thursday, I wanted to drive White Zombie, both for showing the students my ‘other EV’ and, to exercise the pack a bit so the trip to the show after work would be an easy 16 mile drive that wouldn’t pull the pack down too hard. This car doesn’t have a built in heater, though I do have plans for one. My backyard EV shop is insulated and warm, so the car is at least comfortable when you first get in.
I borrowed the compact PFC20 hotrod charger out of Blue Meanie (it’s easily comes out with the removal of one thumbscrew) as taking the bigger PFC50 (on loan from George Tylinski) was too awkward. Sidebar…my new PFC75 is being made for me by the Madman. As on Wednesday, it was windy and cold again. By the time I arrived to work I was wishing I had a heater! The show and tell thing was fun, and everyone seemed to enjoy seeing the more radical EV. I was unable to keep the car inside our warehouse shop area due to all the forklift activity, so it sat outside to cold soak all day. Still, the PFC charger had it all amped up for the ride back to the Wayland EV juice bar. Heater-less and with the interior prechilled, the drive home was a c-cold one!

After a long work day wrenching on electric forklifts and doing his super busy foreman stuff, Tim headed west to his place 30 miles away in Scapoose to get cleaned up, while I got home driving the Zombie in just 10 minutes (eat your heart out, Tim). We had it planned that he would meet me at the Expo Center since it’s located in northwest Portland a lot closer to his place than my house. I would drive White Zombie the 16 miles or so from the east side along the river on Marine Drive, which is also the way we also take to get to PIR for our weekend drag racing runs to PIR. I put the car on charge with it back in the warm shop while I showered and got cleaned up (and warmed up) for the night’s activities at the Portland Expo Center setting up the EV display. I took my damp shower towel to the car for a quickie wipe-down, vacuumed the inside, and aired-up the tires. The worn out BF Goodrich drag radials don’t hold air so well these days, and need to be aired-up about every 5 days or so. Though the EV shop was warm, the temperature outside had dropped to about 22 degrees, but with a 20–25 mph east wind still puffing away, it felt way colder!

I wasn’t about to be miserable on the 20 -25 minute drive to the center, so I put together an interesting last minute EV heater. I grabbed two spare 24 lb. Hawker Aerobatteries, the same models I use in the car, and wired them in parallel with 1/0 short cables to make up one 52 ahr 12V battery. They had been sitting for 6 months unused, so I discharged them with a pair of aircraft landing lights for about 10 minutes, then recharged them with a 40 amp Todd supply. After this one shallow cycle, I put them on the passenger floor just ahead of the seat. I then grabbed a spare 1200 watt inverter and wired it up with thick cables to the twin Hawkers. Next, I got one of my garage sale specials, a 1200/1500 watt 6 X 6 X 6 inch, glowing nichrome wire type cube style electric heater I picked up some time ago for $5, and placed it in the car next to the inverter and batteries on the floor. With it plugged into the 120 vac inverter, I now had a nifty heater! The inverter is under-rated and can actually put out 1600 watts continuous, so if I needed to, I could run the heater in the 1500 watt mode. Of course, 1500 output watts is about 1700 ‘consumed watts’ from the batteries, so that’s ~ 150 amps with the batteries kneeling to 11.5V under that load! The Hawkers are tough and I knew they’d be up to the task. At about 75 amps discharge per battery, I figured the 24 ahr (C10 rating) batteries could last 12-15 minuets before falling to the 10.75 V the inverter’s low battery alarm is set for. With a mix of 1200 & 1500 watt settings on the heater, I figured the setup would be good for 20 minutes of heat.

I loaded up White Zombie with a large poster, it’s support tripod, and a few other show items and headed out for the drive to the show. It had only been inside the shop for about an hour, so it never did get all that warmed up after its day-long cold storage. It didn’t take long for the car to get cooled off, and by the time I was a couple miles from home approaching Marine Drive, I switched on the inverter and powered up the heater at the highest power 1500 watt mode. In the darkening evening, the elements glowed a friendly orange and sent instant hot air into the cold cabin to warm me up in a hurry. Once I was comfortable, I turned the heater down to the 1200 watt setting and had a nice warm drive.

Tim and I were in phone contact and decided to have our dinner near the center. We met up in the parking lot of the Subway sandwich place near the Expo Center. As he got out of his ride, Tim was his usual self and jabbed me on how he was all warm and comfy driving his Chevy pickup into town….”How’d you do with no heat?” (ha, ha, ha) I told him I’d done just fine, and that in fact, I was kind of hot :-) The low battery alarm had ‘just’ started to whimper at me as I had pulled into the parking lot. We had toasted sandwiches, then headed the additional mile on over the Expo Center. The twin Hawkers had bounced back nicely and put out enough juice to run the heater at 1200 watts until I made into the Expo parking lot, where again right on cue, the inverter’s low battery alarm just started to annoy me. It was crude, but my last minute heater had worked out great.

There was a lot of shivering while waiting to get in, but after a few phone calls and finally getting in touch with Father Time, we eventually saw one of the large roll-up doors lift, to let us drive in with the car. It’s weird to come in from the cold colorless darkness into the brightly lit and warm Expo Center filled with colorful hotrods, dragsters, muscle cars, exotic motorcycles, and anything else automotive you can imagine! We got a lot of stares as the car silently rolled in past dedicated motorheads lovingly caressing and polishing their machines. About all you could hear was the beefy rear end’s Detroit Locker ratcheting it’s ‘click, click, click, click’ sound as we turned this way and that over to the ‘electric’ booth.

The first thing on my mind was to find power to plug into, to give the car’s batteries a well deserved recharge. It was about 7:30 pm. The priority for others though, was to get the car positioned in our cordoned-off area alongside FT’s drag bike and the Legend car. Once we had it in place, we resumed the search for outlets. The pack wasn’t in any danger and it had made the trip just fine, but the idea of leaving the expensive pack 60% or so discharged for 4 long days was not an option, I’m really not into permanent sulfation! Surprisingly, in a huge place like the Expo Center, power outlets were in short supply. Seems we needed to have the facility’s maintenance man, yes you’ve got this correct…one guy for this entire immense building we were in, to come to us where he’d arrange to supply us power. We were told he’d lift up one of so many floor mounted grates where power sockets are in casket-like dugouts, then run cords under long yellow rubber floor runners over to out area. We were also told there was a $75 charge for each booth requiring power….nice! Tim and I made our way to the show’s announcer desk, told him of our need for power, and heard the page go out over the echoing system…. ‘MAINTENANCE.S.S.s.s.s TO.O.o.o. THU.U.u.u.u.. SHOW.O.O.O.o.o.o DESK.K.K.K.KK.k.k.k.k……’ Then we waited, and waited. No maintenance dude! We kept busy detailing the car and all, but I really wanted to get the car plugged in, knowing that minus a 40-50 amp 240 vac outlet and instead having to rely on 120 vac and a max ‘not popping the breakers’ draw of 15 amps or so, the car would need a couple hour charge time. We returned to the desk, and another page went out. Then we waited, and waited, and still no maintenance dude! It was approaching 8:00 pm and we would be booted out at 10:00. Tim and I had been searching all over for one of the floor crates to break into where we could run extension cords to our area, but the nearest ones were 100′s of feet away. Tim being Tim, the ultimate in resourcefulness and all, had been searching relentlessly. He started laughing all of a sudden and called me over to the car. Get this…..right under the rear end of White Zombie…I mean, right under it, was a floor grate! It’s lid was unlocked, and under it, an array of power outlets.

The maintenance guy never did respond to the page, by the way. With the PFC20 plugged in, we set the output into the pack at a tepid 4.5 amps with the batteries sitting at 377 volts for a 1700 watt charge level. This made the draw from the 120V power socket about 1800 watts, or about 15 amps. It worked well and we never popped the breaker, which was a paramount issue because if we had, who knows where the breaker panel was located, and we’d never be able to get the maintenance dude to help us! It took just about 8 ahrs to fill the pack back up to 425V under charge to where the charger went into the 15 minute finish rate charge. With an average driving voltage of about 360 under the 45 mph cruise speeds over 16 miles, this amounted to 180 whrs per mile, higher than Blue Meanie’s 160 whrs per mile, but considering those fat rear tires and the non LRR type of front tires the car has, 180 whrs per mile seems pretty darn good.

We talked about setting up a DVD and TV display for playing videos, once we knew we had ‘the power supply’ right under the car, but we hadn’t brought the gear with us, and we also did not know whether such a display was permissible at this EVent, so after the car was show-ready, we packed up all the wipe-down towels and cleaners, and left to get some rest.

Stay tuned for a lot more excitement and fun in part 2…..

See Ya…..John ‘Plasma Boy’ Wayland

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2-22-06 Re: White Zombie to Elude the Police this Saturday!

Matthew D. Graham wrote:

> Oh come on, John!! Are you kidding us?? You lead a charmed life, my friend.
> Just when I think, “it can’t get any better” you go ahead and pull off this
> stunt! Great publicity AND you get to play cops and robbers?
>
> Congratulations!!

Yes, it’s going to be fun! The weather report is in our favor, too. Last week’s c-cold 14-24 degree Portland area temps have given way to bland grey days with 40′s and rain, but the clouds go away on Friday, and Saturday is forecast to be sunny and dry at near 50 degrees, warm for February in Oregon! This is perfect for some outrageous tire ignition sequences and a little high speed straight-away activity.

It came about this way…..a friend that used to work with Tim and I as a forklift wrench, Jason, left the company last year to pursue a new career as a police officer, something he had been working towards for a long time. Jason was my ride-along when he was pretty new with our company and I gave him field training…glad I was ‘nice’ to him :-) He was high on EVs, took a great interest in all my EV activity, and was at the Wayland home on several occasions for fun EV stuff. He’s now a cop, but still wants to hang with the Plasma Boy Racing gang. He had called both Tim and I to offer his help with the race car on his days off. Tim told him about my idea of having a police cruiser with lights on in a photo shoot thing, and Jason ran with the idea and talked to his superiors about it. One thing lead to another, and a simple photo shoot with a cop car evolved into having White Zombie ‘getting it on’ among multiple cops car at PIR on their driver’s training day. Hmmmm….I wonder if that friendly cop that pulled me over a few weeks ago, will be there?

Speaking of training…the nice office staff lady that assists me in my role as the company’s corporate technical trainer at Northwest Handling Systems, is married to a cop. He’s reportedly, excited to see White Zombie in person at the officer’s driving school EVent.

We’ll keep everyone posted on how this thing turns out.

See Ya……John Wayland

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2-21-06 Wayland’s Hawker AeroBattery Info

Ryan Bohm wrote:

> I didn’t see any answer to this question either. So right now, Aerobatteries are just a John Wayland special product :) So John, where can these things be bought and for how much?

Sorry to be so late in answering this and other emails. The big car show this past weekend sucked up 4 days of my life.

The nice folks at Hawker Aerobatteries can be reached here:

http://www.aerobatteries.com/

The web page needs to be updated, as the battery spec page has errors as someone else pointed out already, but the phone number and the sales email are listed. They are located in Texas:

Aerobatteries L.P.
309 Airport Dr. Tyler, Texas 75704
903-592-2176

The Aerobattery is not just a rebadged Odyssey model PC925, though it ‘is’ a very close cousin to it. Aerobatteries are made by Hawker’s aerospace and military division and come off a completely different assembly line than do the Odyssey models. Mine were ordered minus the steel case and are just 24 lbs. each. Hawker has many versions of their batteries with various names and labels. Aerobatteries however, ‘only’ come from the best quality military spec batteries, so you know the batteries you get from them are top notch. The mil spec aerospace batteries are made with different construction materials to increase resistance to damaging vibration, and, they have to pass more stringent testing to make it out the door. I’ve been told that Hawker only uses the highest purity lead for the plates in the mil spec versions, too.

Hawkers are never inexpensive and are priced higher than other batteries an EVer can choose, but the name Hawker is synonymous with ‘tough as nails’. I’ve never seen a small AGM type lead acid battery take the kind of punishment the compact Hawkers can withstand. I’ve also, not seen other AGMs stay so well equalized in high voltage series strings the way Hawkers do. Lastly, the Hawkers have incredible shelf life, as witnessed by the way my 7 and 8 year old Hawkers are still rock’n and hanging at 12.55V or so, and with a discharge cycle and a charge-up, go right back to 12.78 or so…not bad for 8 year old batteries that had been abused in too many ways to list!

I can’t say enough good words about these guys at Aerobatteries, and it’s not just because they worked together with Hawker to get sponsorship of White Zombie. Dick Brown, the main man at Aerobatteries, was ready to write his own check to get me the batteries for the car. He collaborated with Hawker though, and got the factory behind our project. Dick is completely amped-up over EVs and may even show up at the Midwest EV drag races in May at the Route 66 Raceway. You simply could not find a nicer man to do business with. Dick can also set you up with other versions of Hawker batteries. He is working on a special pricing list for EVers who buy in EV quantities, too.

If not for any other reason, if you are considering buying a set of Hawkers for your EV project, please give the guys who are supporting EV racing your business as a way of thanking them for their support. EV racing helps the entire EV community by pushing products to their limits, spawning new EV products (the Zilla and the PFC chargers are a direct result of EV racing), and making the general public aware of EVs, in a way that can’t be ignored. While GM crushes EVs and spins them in a negative light, the EV racers are out there to make sure EVs don’t get forgotten or misunderstood.

See Ya…….John Wayland

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2-21-06 White Zombie to Elude the Police this Saturday!

Hello to All,

On the heels of our 4 day whirlwind Rod & Custom show, Tim and I are at it again this coming Saturday, when we drive White Zombie down to PIR and be as bad as we can be! With a special invite from the police, White Zombie will be allowed to dice it out with the cops at their driver’s training program (closed to the public all day). This is the driving school where cops learn to chase the bad guys and deal with outlaws attempting to elude…sounds perfect! White Zombie will roast its tires and drag race police cars, as the officers turn on their lights and sirens in hot pursuit…. all the while at least one video camera will be rolling!

It should be one heck of a photo shoot!

See Ya…….John Wayland

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2-19-06 EVs Knock Down two 1st & one 3rd Place Trophies at Rod & Custom Show!

Hello to All,

It’s been a l-o-n-g weekend! This is just a quickie to let everyone know, that much to our complete surprise, all three of our racing EVs took home trophies from this weekend’s Portland Rod & Custom Show.

Father Time’s electric Legend Car took first in its category over some pretty heady gas car competition, and in a field of too many racing motorcycles to list, his compact ‘Frankendragon’ electric motorcycle took an impressive 3rd place.

White Zombie beat all contenders in the ‘Unlimited Race’ category and won the first place trophy.

More to follow after some much needed sleep.

See Ya……John Wayland

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2-17-06 EVs on Display at Portland Rod & Custom Show

Hello to All,

Just a quick reminder to let everyone know Father Time and I have our drag racing electrics on display at the Portland Rod & Custom Show today, through Sunday at the Portland Expo Center on Marine Drive. The show just opened at 12:00 and already, our fast EVs are creating quite a buzz. The guy next to our booth has some very expensive, very high end classic car and motorcycles on display, and he’ll be playing White Zombie drag videos on his DVD trunk-mounted flat screen through the car’s hi fi sound system….cool!

One of this show’s big sponsors, as it turns out, is Hawker Odyssey. There’s a wheel standing electric golf car running on Hawker batteries at this show. I told Scott, the Odyssey rep., that I had a 12 second street car running on the AeroBattery version of the PC925 batteries he reps. I then told him we pull 1100 amps for 12 seconds, and his eyebrows shot up! Father Time let him know about Frankendragon, his electric motorcycle running on Hawkers, too. We’re supposed to meet him at our booth later tonight to give him a tour of the car.

Should be a fun weekend!

See Ya……John Wayland

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2-16-06 Re: Hawker AeroBattery ‘correct’ Info

Hello to All,

Joel Hacker wrote:

>> Correct, but the motor loop current delivered by the Zilla Z2K ‘is’ at 2000 amps until that >ramps down eventually matching the selected battery current limit, which is usually set at >1000 amps.

> Isn’t the above true, because the Zilla Z2k can support a series/parallel configuration for the motors?

Yes.

> When you first
> start off in White Zombie, I assume that the motors are in
> series because they need all the current, and then at some
> time during your run, they switch to paralleled to get the
> full voltage of the pack, and the current is split between
> the two motors.

Yes.

> Is that why you have the change mentioned above?

No. The change down from 2000 amps to 1000 happens due to the motor back emf as it spins ever higher in rpm. The current naturally ramps down, so that even though the Zilla offers up a full 2000 amps, the motor only consumes what it can…thus, the motor gets the full 2000 amps for a good while from 0 rpm on up as it begins to pull rpm. There’s a point where as rpm climbs, the motor simply doesn’t suck the amps it did at lower rpms. Upon receiving a full throttle signal, the Zilla waits until the current ramps down to 1000 amps, then switches over to parallel where the motor can again, suck full current due to the higher imposed voltage across it. Eventually however, at speeds around 90+ mph, the 2000 amp current again, ramps down due to motor back emf.

One of the changes we’re doing to White Zombie very soon, is a rear end ratio change to a taller 4:11 compared to the present 4:57. This change ‘could’ negatively affect the incredible hole sot the car presently has with its 4:57 ratio, but upon careful evaluation, Tim and I are thinking it won’t and perhaps, it may even improve it further. We’ll have to wait to see if we are correct or not. What we are very sure of though, is that a ‘taller’ 4:11 gear set will keep the motor in that 2000 amp sweet spot longer at the top end, and, hoping to hit 115 or so at the end of the 1/4 mile, it will also keep the Siamese 8 from over-revving. It presently, is singing along at a lofty 7200 rpm at 106 mph.

The other change being added (almost completed at this time) is field weakening. This will be interesting, to say the least. It should also, help the motor pull hard at the top rpm levels, but care is needed to use it only at the highest rpm areas.

See Ya….John Wayland

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2-15-06 Hawker AeroBattery ‘correct’ Info

Hello to All,

Notice I’ve changed the subject line from ‘Busted in Blue Meanie’ to the new topic this thread has evolved into. I completely agree with recent complaints about not changing subject titles when it’s appropriate to do so. Also, as to not simply hitting ‘reply’, I was guilty of that for a long time (but I nearly always changed the subject line when needed) because I was ignorant of how it ruined the whole thread thing as recently pointed out. Mark Farver squared me away on this about 6 months ago, so I now always start with a fresh ‘New Message’ if I am going to veer away from a topic.

Anyway, I thought I’d better clear a few things up on the high quality, tough-as-nails Hawkers I’m using in White Zombie.

Rich ‘Madman’ Rudman posted:

> The Aero battery that Plasma Boy is using is good for only 1100 amps, and at
> that he has thermally Damaged them.

I absolutely loved this! Good for “only” 1100 amps??? Folks, keep in mind these are small batteries you can hold in one hand…and they ‘only’ can make and sustain 1100 amps for a 12 second run!

As to ‘thermally damaged them’, I want to clear this up, too. The night this happened we got the pack so hot we could barely touch the batteries without getting burned, yet they always delivered the 1100 amps we asked of them. Not a single battery failed. We did, however, get some gassing at the end of the night after repeated 1100 amp runs when the batteries were super hot in temperature…not excessive gassing as in spray or anything, buy enough to have made a light fog on the inside of the Lexan clear cover on the last run. The fog quickly went away, but it was a gassing event for sure. With their case plastic so hot and softer than normal, the vent cover tops bulged up a bit. The next day after cooling down all night, they remained bulged up. When lightly pushed on with one finger, the deformed tops ‘oil can’ and go ‘blip-blop’as they dent inward with the push, then when you release, they rebound back up again. That’s the extent of the ‘thermal damage’ I’m aware of. The batteries still perform great, and the pack still sits at 377V an hour after charge, for right at 13.0V per module…pretty much what they did brand new. White Zombie seems to have very good range still, and as evidenced last week when Tim took both Ryan Fulcher and Jim Husted for a high-amp’n ride, they still also seem to easily sock out BIG amps.

> No 2000 amp run on those toy batteries.

Yeah, toy batteries that have run multiple 12 second runs, with one down near 12 flat…’toy batteries’ that propelled my street legal door slammer to a world record with the lowest ET and fastest top speed of any other electric sedan.

> The Orbital XCD34 EXTREME Duty Purple label Battery can do 1850 amps for 10
> seconds With a Watt peak of 13.57Kw and a Sag of 7.43 volts. But they Weight 40 lbs. Not 26 lbs.

Correction, the AeroBatteries weigh a pinch under 24 lbs. each, not 26 lbs.

From Hump:

> But it looks to me like John’s batteries are MIL-SPEC Hawker Odyssey PC925′s. www.enersys.com
> 27Ah (10hr rate), 26lbs(with *removable* metal jacket), Orange, 5mOhm, 2400Amps short CKT, 6.64L x 7.05W x >5.04H inches. 500 cycles at 80%DoD.

Correct, mostly. Yes, the AeroBatteries are relabeled MIL-SPEC Hawker Odyssey PC925′s. The version AeroBatteries supplied me with, at my request, were ordered minus those heavy metal cases, so again, the weight per battery is 24 lbs. each.

From Madman:

> So … we don’t have 2000 amp Lead Acid 26 lbs batteries…

Correct, but the motor loop current delivered by the Zilla Z2K ‘is’ at 2000 amps until that ramps down eventually matching the selected battery current limit, which is usually set at 1000 amps.

> But we do have 800 amp 16lbs Hawkers.
> Two of these come close to out watting the Orbs and are less weight.

Another correction, at least from my perspective. Yes, I know Dennis has told you he can pull 800 amps from the 16 ahr Hawkers, but in my extensive experience with these models, I regularly blew batteries every 4-5 runs when set at 800 amps current limit. At 750 amps, the batteries were much happier and didn’t blow on a 13 second run. So, I don’t agree with Rich on these batteries…I call them 750 amp batteries.
Two of the 16 ahr batteries then, weigh 27 lbs. and can belt out 1500 amps. That does seem to out-do the 24 lb. models I use that in my testing, since I call them ‘reliable 1000 amp batteries’. I have zero complaints so far though, as running 12.1 @ 106 mph aint too shabby! We expect those figures to improve this year, too.
There are real advantages for not going with Rich’s idea of the 58 small Hawkers. Using the 29, 24 lb. AeroBatteries makes possible a dramatic reduction in the amount of heavy copper buss bars, heavy cables, and heavy battery hold-down brackets needed, when compared to the amount of copper and bracketry needed to inter-connect and secure 48 of the smaller 16 ahr model batteries. I’m talking about a 30 lb. savings in weight here. Now take that 30 lbs. and add it to the 87 lb. weight savings of using 29 of the 24 lb. batteries over using 48 of the 13.5 lb. batteries, and the car just got 117 lbs. lighter! I thought this out carefully before selecting the batteries I am using in White Zombie.

> The Orbs are not going to set records, the Hawker, and Areo Hawker are.

I’m not sure I agree with this, either. White Zombie didn’t seem to have much of a problem setting its SC/B record with its powerful set of Exide Orbitals :-) I believe records can still be set using either Optimas, Orbitals, or Hawkers. I must admit, it feels good to have returned to my Hawker roots.

From Roger Stockton:

> It is people like Rich, John, Dennis, and Rod who we rely on to collect
> the real world data on how long the internal connections will survive X
> amps before blowing or damaging the battery…

Thanks, Roger. I agree with you. EV drag racers fortunate to be sponsored by the battery makers, return the favor with real world test data from the extremes of racing. This info is useful for determining the durability of batteries as used in daily driver EV conversions, and ultimately, serves both the manufacturer and its consumers. Additionally, I must admit it’s fun to play with batteries at their limits of the performance curves!

From John Westlund:

> I stand corrected then. However, 1100 amps out of a 24 pound
> Hawker is still very impressive. What voltage do they sag
> to, at say, 1,000 amps?

See for yourself, here:

http://www.plasmaboyracing.com/graphics/plots/zombie-Oct-22-2005-run6.png

For those who don’t want to decipher the graphs, it appears that during the first 4-5 seconds of discharge @ 1100 amps, the pack kneels to about 235 volts. That’s 258.5 kw of power, or a real delivered 346 battery hp! The last part of the run, the batteries do sag lower to 162.4 volts.

Hope this clears up the questions by others about the AeroBatteries version of the Hawkers I use in White Zombie. Many, many thanks to Dick Brown of AeroBatteries and to Hawker for their continued support for the 2006 season.

See Ya……John Wayland

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2-13-06 Busted in Blue Meanie!

Hello to All,

Its’ all Otmar’s fault…..

Now that he’s an Oregonian and is within a 2 hour’s drive of Portland, we get to see each other more often than when he was one of those Californians. On his last visit to the Wayland laboratory, as usual, time was spent in his outrageous s-t-r-e-t-c-h VW bus with the tunes cranked through the Wayland sound system. After abusing me with some limp, bass-less acoustic earth muffin crap, Oat finally put on some downright funky stuff. I was immediately drawn to it (he knew I would be) with its low 5 string electric bass, killer drum mix, gurgl’n Hammond B3, and the requisite Fender strat clik’n 9th cord grooves :-) Even though it was sourced off Oat’s iPod and formatted in dismal lo-fi MP3, I could still imagine how it might sound with full fidelity. Yup, in an instant, I was hooked on Jon Cleary and the absolute monster gentlemen…had to have that CD!

About a week later I decided to seek out this hard-to-find recording, and after Internet searching and a confirmation phone call, I was happy to find that one of Portland’s many hippie type record places, Music Millennium on Burnside, had exactly one copy of it. The off-the-wall record shop is about 5 miles from my place, so I decided to drive Blue Meanie for the early nighttime music run.

As I’ve written lately, the aged pack of Optima Yellow Tops are pretty tired after now, 6 years of service, so the car’s normal 25 mile range is down to about 10-12 miles. Yeah, I know, I’ve got no real excuse here. My EV shop is lined with new Exide Orbitals. Let it suffice to say that swapping out the 13 YTs and installing 17 Orbitals (different footprint and profile) in an all new configuration isn’t a simple job. When you consider the car’s unique rear motorized battery tray that would need to be reworked, the new quad 8 subwoofer enclosure volume it has to clear, and all the other physical restraints of a small 70′s econo-car, it’s really pretty reasonable to think of how I might keep putting off the project. I’m also not 100% ready to use Orbitals, either, as I’ve grown awfully fond of the Hawker AeroBatteries that reside in White Zombie! A high voltage pack of the feisty orange batteries would sure look cool against the car’s violet pearl over royal blue paint, and 100 lbs. more of lead would possibly bump the car’s range to around 30 miles per charge…336V @ 1000 amps would be fun, too! I digress….

The PFC20 hotrod charger had just topped off pack, but the cycled to death Optimas were only sitting at 157V static for about 12.1V per battery :-( In their younger years the YTs (156V nominal) would pretty much hang in the 167-169V range, but 6 years later, 157V is all they’ve got left. The temperature was on the cool side at around 45 digrees, not lead acid range-friendly conditions, but I did check the LRR tires and found them sitting at 50 psi. With the pack just off the charger I headed out to get that CD.

As I pulled onto Glisan Street and mildly accelerated, the pack that used to stay stiff at 1000 amps of current, now fell to the 135V range with maybe a 400 amp draw…hmmm, better drive conservatively this time….better behave myself. I settled into a 40 mph cruise but had my eye on the Emeter reporting just 151V under a very light 45 amp draw. Still, even with a restricted amount of battery power, this car is soooo fun to drive! I was enjoying the ride as I glided along in my trusty EV friend, now 26 years as an EV to this month, February, since back in 1980 when it first ran on battery propulsion. Even with 6 year old batteries, it still had ample power, but with a 10 mile run ahead of me this was going to be a tepid cruise.

Glisan is pretty level for the first mile and a half heading west from my house, then it dives down a steep hill before leveling out at a lower area just as you approach the busy high traffic four lane north-south 82nd Ave. that Glisan intersects. I had nursed the car slowly up to speed, closer to 48 mph… a bit above the 40 mph speed limit but certainly not what any reasonable person would consider speeding. The idea was to crest over the top of the hill at a pretty good clip, then go off-throttle down the hill with the clutch pushed in for the ultimate in low rolling resistance, to milk as many miles range as possible for this little trip to the CD store…the things an EV addict does to run on electricity! I was concerned about the pack to the point where I was actually planning my strategy ahead, thinking of how I would handle the light at 82nd, & Glisan, should I have the misfortune of having it change at the last moment to red. Would I give up on seeing yellow, hit the brakes and stop for the light? Doing so would throw out all the advantage the hill gave me, and, cause me to use more precious current for another take-off from stop. Would I see yellow and stomp the accelerator to make the light? Doing so would also throw some of the advantage the hill gave me with the extra high current draw such a stunt would suck up, and, it would have me driving on the stupid side of the law, too. Believe it or not, I actually had this little discussion in my head as I crested over Glisan hill.

OK…..as I get a small roller coaster effect lofting over the hill, I see the light down below at 82nd is green….not really a good thing, because it’s about a half mile down the hill to reach the light. Will it stay green and allow me to go on my way? Will it instead, turn to yellow-then-red and halt my progress, robbing me of the momentum? So here I am, coasting down the hill at maybe 50 mph, right in that speeding ticket range. I make it within maybe 200 feet of the intersection when the damn light goes yellow! In that brief brain dump of mine, I again weigh the options….stop and loose all the momentum….nail it, suck big amps and fly through the intersection and still be on the losing side of the power equation, and, risk getting a ticket if there happens to be a cop in the area (and also be a hazard for others)…….man, what should I do?

I went for it, and while letting out the clutch in 4th, slammed down the pedal! To my surprise, the old Optimas still had some punch left, and as the Zilla pulled as many amps as the batteries allowed, Blue Meanie rushed up to probably 65 mph or so….OK, maybe as high as 70! As the car and I fly over 82nd the light’s still yellow, but probably turning to red as the Meanie’s rear bumper clears the far west lane of 82nd. It was kind of a rush, being bad and all, but I had made it, no one got hurt, and Blue Meanie was really zinging along now. Before I coast down gently to the speed limit while covering the next mile or so on zero amps, I decide I had better scan the rear view mirror, just in case their might have been a cop in the area…..D’OUGH!!!!! To my horror, I see a Portland Police cruiser pointed south on 82nd, yeah, right at the intersection I just flew through! There’s two cops inside, and they’re in the inner lane. I see their heads twist in synchronization as they follow the path of my car…..damn! As I’m watching in the mirror, I see them jump ahead into the intersection as they do a tire-smoking 90 degree cookie, cutting right across the lane to their right (how they kept from being T-boned by the car next to them ready to go through the green light, I don’t know)…they don’t have their lights on yet, but it’s obvious, they’re in hot pursuit of ‘me’! Damn! I now have this sick feeling as my genitals are receding into my lower abdomen, and I know I’m busted! What do I do now, to minimize the damage? If I stand on the brakes, in the fading light of the day the bright red brake lights will signal I’m having to use the binders to hunker down from speed….that’s an admission I don’t like at the moment. I decide against that and instead shift down to 3rd….damn, it’s an electric…no compression to slow me down! Where’s that regen when I need it? So here I am, still flying at 60 mph or so in a 40 mpg zone, with cops coming up on me in full pursuit at maybe 75 mph. Damn! I’m gonna have to hit the brakes, and as I do, my world’s now suddenly lit up with the brightest LED blue and red flashers known to man!

OK, I’ve accepted it, I’m busted, time to give up….right turn signal on, and I take the next available street off Glisan into a neighborhood I’m instantly familiar with. It’s coincidentally, the late Dick Finley’s old area where he once lived, and where he too, often terrorized other motorists with tire smoking antics in his rocket Renault EV. 82nd used to be his hunting ground where he’d egg-on muscle cars at stop lights. He loved being the ‘old man’ in the funky Renault that would roast both front tires for 100 feet in 3rd from rest. In that brief moment of panic as the cops have collared me, I can feel Dick smiling down on me and saying, “I never got caught, you moron!”

Next frame….I’m pulled over, have gotten my license out and realize my driver’s window isn’t able to roll down with the electric lift switches disconnected (been working on the new stereo lately and have some things not quite finished). Cops don’t like it when a suspect suddenly opens the door as they approach….I sure hope they don’t Taser me, though the old Optimas would probably like it.
I also realize that the glove box is temporarily out of the car, thus, my registration and proof of insurance aren’t with the car…..D’OUGH!!!!! Icing on the cake….I’ve got expired tags, too! Geez, I’m toasted here….I’m going downtown, for sure. I now have visions of my wife with steam coming out both ears. It’s definitely not my finest hour, I’ve been bad, and I’m going to have to pull off a miracle to get out of this one. Time to summon up all that Greek BS I’m full of and put it to use.

So the male cop is near my door now, and his female partner is on my right with her requisite 2 foot long flashlight. He’s a big strapping young guy, probably 27-28 years old and to my surprise, doesn’t look all that upset….she’s pissed though, is scanning the inside of the car, and looks as mean as a rabid dog! It’s about 6:30 pm, so it’s more night than day as the cop car’s lights are pulsing the once peaceful neighborhood, their extreme intensity red and blue LED flasher banks combining to flood the area in a purple aura. There’s folks walking their dogs on either side of the road, curious to see what degenerate has been apprehended, and there’s a couple looking out their front door. Unbelievably, I ponder in my defective brain the scene that’s unfolding and say to myself, “this would be such a great photo opt!”

Back to reality….I need to ‘carefully’ open my driver door, and as I do so, I s-l-o-w-l-y hand out my driver’s license as I’m recalling recent police officer shootings of traffic stop victims they interpreted as being hostile and having put them in life threatening danger. One stupid move on my part, and this could be the end of Plasma Boy! As the license is extended out the cracked-open door I say, “My window doesn’t roll down…sorry.” I notice the officer’s hand is already over his weapon, but he seems to understand I’m just a goofy guy in his little old econo-car going too fast. I ask if I can get out of the car, and with his partner ready to assist if something goes wrong, I’m allowed to emerge from Blue Meanie….whew…no bullets, no Taser.

Male cop……..”You know why I pulled you over?”

Plasma Boy….”Well, I can think of three reasons.” (I’ve decided honesty’s going to be the best policy here, he seems to be reasonable)

Male cop (now grinning and chucking a bit)……..”Three? This is going to be good…let’s hear ‘em.”

Plasma Boy….”One….not that I’m admitting anything of course, but…..I was ‘possibly’ speeding?”

Male cop (with a bigger grin and still chucking)……..”Yeah, that’d be one one of them.”

Plasma Boy….”Two….that…..’pink’ light back there?”

Male cop……..”I’d say red. I’ve gotta know…what’s the third one?”

Plasma Boy (ready to make his play for forgiveness)….”Oh yeah, three…..you figured out this was an electric car, you think it’s cool,
and you want to check it out, so that’s the real reason you pulled me over.”

Male cop……..”An electric car? Really? That explains your ‘VOLTS’ plate. Geez, the thing sure accelerates! I saw you pick up speed in
a hurry as I watched you blow that light.

Female cop (still not amused one bit)……..”I’d say so! You put on quite a demonstration for us. Are you an idiot? You didn’t see us
right there?”

Plasma Boy (addressing the rabid dog)…..”I’m really sorry, officer, that was stupid and I apologize….wanna see my motorized battery
tray?”

And with that, it was show and tell time. The officers were way cool, especially considering how guilty I was. The neighbors walking their dogs came in for a look, too. We chatted about all things EV, and about my other electric Datsun, and I of course, I told them about electric drag racing while emphasizing that we did our serious runs only at the track. And then, I remembered the idea Tim and I have been kicking around about getting a police officer to allow us to do burn-outs with their cop car’s lights on and all. The officer at hand was very interested and said he was sure that we could work something out, so long as I gave him a ride! I told him we’d get back to him in a few days to see what we could work out for a fun photo shoot. After a good ten minutes or so, he told me he still had to check my record out, and asked me to hang by my car…which I did. While the officers were in their patrol car together, I purposefully stood in front of the rear plate to hide my expired tags!

After a fashion, the officers reappeared to hand me back my license stating, “Mr. Wayland, you have a perfect driving record. I see no reason to ruin that for you tonight…..cool car! Oh, and we know about the expired tags, so you can move away from the plate now…go get those tomorrow!”And with that, they turned off their lights and drove away. Man, talk about dodging a bullet!

Getting back in my car, I was still trying to come down from the rush of it all. The Emeter told me that the pack was still doing OK, so I got turned around and headed down to the record store to pick up the CD….and yes, I dutifully cruised at 40 mph all the way. The rest of the story isn’t anything exciting, as Blue Meanie made it back home even though its pack was sagging pretty bad. I put it on charge right away. The batteries seemed to like the heavy discharge and took a deep drink from the charger. When finished off and left to rest for about a half hour, the pack was reading 162V static. Those Optimas just keep bouncing back.

See Ya….John ‘but officer I couldn’t have been speeding, it’s an electric car’ Wayland

Note: Blue Meanie has a fresh set of tags now, good to Feb. ’07

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2-4-06 Re: Ultimate end for the old ICE

Hello to All,

Mike & Paula Willmon wrote:

> What do most of you do with your old IC engines taken out for conversions?
> The obvious one for me is to try to sell it to defray some of the cost of
> the conversion.
> Has anyone had luck doing this?

I found my Datsun 1200 that is now Blue Meanie, back in early 1980, I think, in February. It was in pretty rough shape and had an abused life at the hands of a drugged-out looser dude. Because it wouldn’t start and was given up for dead, I bought it for exactly $190. It was a dark and rainy night….seriously, it was. Before leaving to go look at the car, I had assumed the guy was clueless about cars (I was correct) and also assumed he had used all the wrong parts (correct on that, too), so I brought certain items with me. A common problem among the average Datsun owners of the 70s and 80s new to imports, was that they’d use ‘merican made Champion spark plugs sold by the typical car parts store, instead of the high quality, correct heat range factory Japanese NGK plugs. The made-for-Datsun Champions were awful and would fail in as little as two weeks. Sure enough, as I stood out in the dark street in the rain storm working on the car, once I had pulled all four of the rusted, ugly, fouled Champions and had inserted the nice NGKs I had brought along, the car fired to life and ran smoothly on all four cylinders….off I went with my sad, dirty, and abused little 1200 into the night. Two weeks later, after pulling the engine and replacing it with an aircraft starter-generator, I sold its 1200cc 4 banger for $250! I didn’t just defray the cost, I ended up getting the car for free with $60 extra in my pocket :-)

Mike, I’m sure there’s someone out there looking for a nice Mitsu motor for their vehicle that would be thrilled to hand you some cash.
My daughter’s boyfriend has a little Mazda pickup I used to own, that is in great shape with a very straight body, a clean interior, rock’n tunes, nice wheels and tires, even a perfect working tranny. It’s a nice little truck, except for its tired 2.2L engine that’s ready for a full rebuild. It doesn’t make financial sense to shell out $800-$1000 dollars for an engine rebuild when the truck’s only worth that much in its entirety. It ‘does’ make sense, however, to spend $250-$350 for a good running used engine we could drop in to extend the life of his ride. We’d love to find someone like you, that’s doing a Mazda truck conversion who’s ICE is still in good running condition that we could drop into his truck.

I bet there’s a lot of folks in a similar situation with a Mitsubishi product that would love to buy your engine.

See Ya……John Wayland

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2-4-06 Hybrid Efficiency vs Barbeque Sauce

Hello to All,

I can’t resist responding to John…

Neon John wrote:

> I also know because I’ve seen the efforts, that any of the auto makers
> could match whatever economy is being achieved with hybrids if and
> when the customer becomes willing to accept a different driving
> experience and butt-ugly styling optimized for aerodynamics.
> Specifically, an economy-optimized CVT.

John…ever hear of the Insight CVT? Better yet, ever driven one? I thought so…..your answer was no, correct? Your economy optimized CVT has been around since 2001…you need to get up to speed! Yes, a conventional ICE can get pretty good acceleration and better-than-average mpg hooked up the CVT. However, take the same engine but modify it to be a cleaner burning Atkinson cycle type, or a fume sniffing lean burn type, then include the electric side of the hybrid equation, and you’ll get far higher mpg and far more acceptable acceleration. This is something Toyota and Honda have already figured out…why is it so hard for you to get? Oh, I remember now…using your own words…you just don’t get it.

Oh yeah, one more thing…turn off the IMA (integrated motor assist…there’s a little trick we Insight owners know about that allows you to do this), and the CVT Insight (and the 5 speed model, too) suddenly has far less acceleration power, emits more pollutants, and because it no longer has the low end grunt of the electric motor to help it accelerate and keep up speed with varying road grades, it gets 5-8 mpg ‘less’ since one has to bury their foot on the gas pedal so much more often to maintain the performance they were accustomed to when the IMA was there to lend a hand.

The Prius uses the Atkinson cycle engine to get low emmisions, then regains the acceleration power lost due to this type of engine’s lower performance, by using electric torque to fill what’s missing…and, they power the electric motor with kinetic energy normally thrown away by conventional non-hybrids, through regen deceleration and regen braking.

The Insight uses a special lean burn engine to help it get stratospheric mpg at the cost of no low end torque, then regains the acceleration power lost due to this type of engine’s lower performance, by using electric torque to fill what’s missing…and, they power the electric motor with kinetic energy normally thrown away by conventional non-hybrids, through regen deceleration and regen braking.

In both cases, special designs of gas engines can be used where they once would have been considered unacceptable because of the performance hit they bring. These off-the-beaten-path engines can now match the acceleration power (and more often than not, exceed it) of more conventional gas engines when the normally lost energy thrown away in compression braking and friction braking is recaptured by regen, stored in batteries, and used to feed an electric motor. Both the Prius and the Insight provide substantially better acceleration and produce lower emissions, than ‘any’ minimalist economy car remotely close to them. The highest mpg Geo Metro got in the low 50 mph area, but had close to zero crash protection, ran quite dirty emissions wise, and struggled to get to 60 in under 15 seconds. The hybrids from Toyota and Honda have exceptional crash safety ratings, are cleaner burning the most all other cars available, and run 0-60 in ~ 10 seconds….not a muscle car by any stretch, but acceptable by most consumers’ standards, where the Metro was certainly not. The answer is clear…hybrid technology does indeed, work.

> Hybrids are, IMHO, an expensive and transient gimmick, at least for economy.

Uh John….how’s a car that can really deliver 90+ mph a gimmick? My Insight gets 65-68 mpg in town and 75-80 mpg on the freeway when I’m not even trying to get super mileage and am just ‘driving’ the car. It gets even better when I do ‘try’ to squeeze the most out of it, usually above 90 mpg at 57-62 mph! On 400 mile round trips between Portland and Seattle, I routinely get mid 80 mpg returns.

Where’s your conventional, non hybrid car that can match a hybrid in all areas? Where’s the non-hybrid car that seats four, runs squeaky clean, passes or exceeds crash standards, gets 60 mpg, and runs 0-60 in 10 seconds like Prius does? Where’s your conventional, non hybrid 2 seater that runs squeaky clean, passes or exceeds crash standards, gets 70-90 mpg and runs 0-60 in 10 seconds like Insight does? Clattering, stinking, vibrating turbo-diesels aren’t in the running, either. They are far dirtier and far slower if their mpg starts to get close to a hybrid. Yes, you can match the hybrids’ acceleration with a turbo-diesel, but at this point the mileage is way under the hybrid and the thing still runs dirty emissions wise.

Again, only the hybrid offers the ‘complete’ combination of clean running, high mpg, and decent acceleration.

> Of course, since I’ve been associated with two of the big three auto
> makers, what do I know, right?

Of course, since I’ve been associated with my own car now for 6 years, what do I know, right?

See Ya….John Wayland

owner of a gimmick car that only gets 90+ mpg :-(

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2-2-06 Electric ‘Power Breakfast’ this Sunday at the Village Inn, Portland

Hello to All,

This Sunday, Feb. 5th, we are having another one of our fun electric breakfasts here in Portland at the Village Inn restaurant at 102nd & S.E. Stark St. at 9:00 AM. All friends and EVers are invited to pull up a chair, stuff their face, and enjoy the rowdy noise at our table. Notable EVers that I know will be there so far, are Father Time, Rod Wilde, Tim Brehm, Jim and Matt Husted, and yours truly. Rudman usually can’t resist the temptation, and Marko Mongillo might make it, too. Hopefully, Victor can bring his ACRX and Ralph Merwin can show up in his immaculate electric Prism. Tim and I will be driving White Zombie and Blue Meanie, so local EVers, drive electric if you can.

See Ya…….John Wayland

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2-2-06 White Zombie & Father Time-machines Together at the Portland Rod & Custom Show

Hello to All,

Wow, 2006 is really shaping up to be quite busy for us at Plasma Boy Racing! The year’s excitement starts out in just two weeks, when Father Time and I display our racing electrics at the prestigious Portland Rod & Custom Show. Both White Zombie and Blue Meanie have been shown in the original Portland Roadster Show in years past, and the hi pro EVs created quite a buzz. A few years back, this spin-off show was started, and today it’s one of the biggest hot rod shows on the west coast.

J.N Foods, the folks Father Time built the blue Legend electric car for, are hosting the booth and have invited us to bring White Zombie and display it along-side the Legend car and one of FT’s electric drag motorcycles. You can catch a glimpse of the Legend car here:

The details for this show can be found here:

\

This should be a real hoot, and it will be a great showcase for our hi pro electrics. 10s of thousands will attend this show, so the EV exposure will be huge. I can hardly wait to see the reaction of hotrodders when they see ’12.151 @ 106.25 mph’ posted next to WZ and watch it on video blow off muscle car after muscle car! We plan on promoting NEDRA EVents, daily EVs as alternatives to the foreign oil dependent gas car, and of course, the fun of building and driving a muscular electric hotrod on the streets!

Maybe I should sent a personal email to President Bush and invite him to see what patriotic Americans have been building in their backyards? That’d make a pretty good photo-op, the president doing a burn-out in White Zombie…or, dressed in leathers on Father Time’s electric drag bike!

See Ya……John Wayland

http://plasmaboyracing.com

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1-29-06 Re: New feature…EVs spotlighted at dragtimes.com

Hello to All,

Yeah, another one of my favorite EVers writes:

John Westlund:

> I want Rich Brown to list his mid 14-second “Daulin’ 7″
> Mazda RX7, Otmar to list his high 13-second “California
> Poppy” Porsche 914, Wayland to race and then list the “Blue
> Meanie” Datsun 1200 which would probably achieve low 14s,
> the Woodburys to list the Tango prototype that does sub 12s,
> and Rob Salem to list his electric VW Rabbit pickup
> “Electrk” with its 14.9 second pass.
>
> That’s five more home built hi-pro EVs to be added. High 14s
> and below is quite respectable.

Agreed, especially in reference to all the non-Wayland EVs listed. Blue Meanie will hit the track, probably this year, but only after it gets fresh batteries and a tranny that’s as small and light as its stock 4 speed, but that won’t get destroyed by the BIG torque its 9 inch ADC now cranks out under the current flow from Oat’s incredible Zilla Z1K controller. The DCP 1200 Raptor was powerful, but after a few seconds, its 1200 amps ramped down to I suspect, 800 amps or so…never broke a tranny under it’s rein. The Z1K, though rated 200 amps lower, evidently, has more continuous power delivery….witness the two 4 speed trannys it’s eaten in the last year!

Blue Meanie is still scheduled for its fresh 204V system, the completion of its revamped sound system, and the return to running the period-perfect American racing 4 spoke mags, a signature look for 70′s hot street and racing Datsuns. I’m pretty certain it will turn-in mid to high 14 second ETs. Lower ETs in the high 13′s ‘would’ be possible, but only if a posi type rear end was installed, and, wider rims fitted with fatter, stickier rubber. These last mods are only in the ‘maybe’ category, as I really like the current light weight rear axle and thin, LRR tires that allow this car to travel reasonable miles per charge on a small lead acid pack….sometimes, compromise is good. Besides, I already have a really quick 1200.

> A lot of heads will turn after finding that a mid 14-second
> EV can be built for about $8-10k, and a high 13-second to
> low 12-second EV for about $15-18k(speed heavily dependent
> on weight). How many would love such a car as a daily
> driver, without having to constantly maintain everything
> associated with an internal combustion engine, and without
> having to pay the oilman?

Well said.

> A cheap to run daily driver that never needs to go to the
> gas station and can kill most cars on the road… Nearly
> everyone would want one.

Again, well said.

See Ya…….John Wayland

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1-29-06 Re: New feature…EVs spotlighted at dragtimes.com

Hello to All,

I always read Steve’s posts, because he usually has a strong grip on reality. I also find all of what he accomplishes, pretty amazing. He makes particular good sense again with this:

STEVE CLUNN wrote:

> I was thinking of putting mine in but a 17.25 1/4 don’t seem that impresive , . Don’t want >people to think electrices are slow :-) .
> Steve Clunn

Agreed, and thanks for realizing this. I’m thrilled to have quick and powerful electrics being recognized at the DragTimes.com website.
Anything in the 14′s and under deserves to be there. Anything slower, will only serve to make folks currently getting blown away by these machines, start to yawn. It’s important to submit only the more exciting timeslips of top performing EVs, and to refrain from diluting things with slower EV time slips.

This isn’t meant to discourage other EVers from getting their EVs on the strip…you have to start somewhere. Get out there, race your EVs, improve them, come up with new ideas, get those ETs lower and lower, and when you’re in the fast crowd of the 14 second and under boys, then submit your time slips for all to see and be impressed by.

Thanks again, Steve, for these wise words.

See Ya…….John Wayland

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1-29-06 Re: New feature…EVs spotlighted at dragtimes.com

Hello to All,

Ralph Merwin wrote:

> John Wayland writes:

>> The opening page at Dragtimes.com just changed. Now, in the upper left corner there’s new >wordage referring to two new featured pages, one for ‘Muscle Cars’ and one for ‘Electric Cars’! >How cool is this?

> I’m not sure this is good news. It puts electric vehicles in a different
> category than ICEs, but the intent was to show how EVs are just as capable
> as ICEs…

As always, Ralph brings up a good point…hmmmm.

> Why aren’t White Zombie or Maniac Mazada listed under Mucsle
> Cars?

Of the 15 muscle cars featured, the bulk of them are 9 second screamers, with three dipping into the 8′s, one is in the 10′s, and the slowest two there are 11 second machines. White Zombie is not in this league (yet), but Maniac Mazda certainly is with it’s near 11 flat run. Taking Maniac Mazda out of the new ‘Electric Cars’ section would leave just three electrics, and I think Brooks wanted to have enough EVs to neatly fill the page.

As to the normal term ‘muscle car’, it’s generally meant to refer to the 60′s and early 70′s American iron powered by powerful V8s, like Road Runners, Camaros, Mustangs, Chevelles, GTOs, Cudas, etc. When I first saw the new category posted, I thought the Dragtimes.com section for ‘Muscle Cars’ would have featured the more classic cars with their original 1/4 mile street stock times, like a 396 Chevelle Super Sport running a 13.8, a Boss 302 Mustang doing a 14.2, a Road Runner with a Hemi 6 pack doing a 13.7, etc. Instead, Brooks decided to feature simply outrageous machines, all of which are stuffed with a big, built-up V8 of some kind. The little Capri at this page for example, which stock had either a 4 banger or an under-whelming V6 (back then, hot 300 hp V6′s weren’t roaming the streets yet), seems out of place when the term ‘muscle car’ is used. Yes, this Capri is badass, but it’s not representable of the classic term ‘muscle car’. The same can be said for the little ’81 Dodge Charger displayed, because stock, it wasn’t even close to the original 440 Dodge Charger of the 60′s who’s name it stole. This weird, unpopular car that the Chrysler group marketed was a gutless 4 cylinder econocar (yes, there was a turboed version but it was still an under-performer) that many were disgusted with when Chrysler put it on the market and soiled the mighty ‘Charger’ name by affixing that proud name on such a dismal car. Anyway, my point is, that these two former economy cars now fitted with formidable racing V8s do indeed, belong in this group of scream’n machines, but they do not in anyway, represent what the classic term ‘muscle car’ usually stands for.

Counterpoint….the muscle car came into being, when Detroit took their small to mid-sized sedans and stuffed monster V8s into them. The original GTO was merely a Pontiac Tempest that usually came with an in-line six (maybe 100 hp?), that was perversely stuffed with a muscular V8…instant muscle car! Ford took their Falcon that usually came with an in-line six, stuffed in a big 390 V8 and made the ‘Thunderbolt’…instant muscle car! Mustangs that originally came with small but spirited V8s like the 289, eventually had fire-breathing 390s & 429s….muscle cars. The original Baracuda had a wimpy six as its base engine…this car was slowly morphed into the Cuda that could be had with a 426 Hemi….muscle car. My point here, is that the entire spirit behind the term ‘muscle car’ is a smaller car stuffed with a BIG power engine giving it ridiculous, but oh-so-fun power. Sooooo….. I guess the little Capri stuffed with its 514 monster V8, and the weirdo ’81 Charger stuffed with its 440 V8 ‘do’ qualify. In this vein, so does a little ‘ol Datsun econobox stuffed with a hotrodded electric motor with 700+ ft. lbs. of torque and 240+ hp, or a Mazda with twin motors that runs 11 seconds!

Food for thought, I guess…..

See Ya……John Wayland

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1-28-06 New feature…EVs spotlighted at dragtimes.com

Hello to All,

The opening page at Dragtimes.com just changed. Now, in the upper left corner there’s new wordage referring to two new featured pages, one for ‘Muscle Cars’ and one for ‘Electric Cars’! How cool is this?

See Ya…..John Wayland

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1-26-06 Dragtimes.com, let’s keep up the votes!

Hello to All,

In case some of you have slumped off on what was once a daily voting schedule, you might want to take a fresh look at the Dragtimes.com page. Though the electrics are still in the 1-2-3 spots, there’s a hot high 10 second Vette who’s been climbing the ladder fast, and has jumped up nearly 200 votes today! He’s already blown away the Subaru guy that ‘was’ holding onto the 4th place spot, even though this morning he was a ways behind that car, and he’s now only about 250 votes away from taking Maniac Mazda’s #3 spot. By tomorrow, unless we re-energize our voting campaign, he could overtake one of the electrics, perhaps all three before the end of this month! At the same time I’ve seen this Vette climb so rapidly, I’ve noticed the daily votes added to the EVs has declined, so it’s obvious some aren’t voting, that once were. This is no time to rest on our laurels, so let’s hit that ‘vote’ button each day!

Come on, this would be a real feather in our cap to get the electrics featured as cars of the month, so how ’bout continuing with the voting support? The Vette is at 1593 votes right now at 8:50 pm west coast time….he was under 1500 votes earlier today.

Thanks in advance….

See Ya……John Wayland

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1-26-06 Re: World’s Quickest and Fastest Street Legal Electric Car?

Hello to All,

Mike Ellis wrote:

> Exactly why I thew in the question about NEDRA along with quoting your
> site.

Your comments were buried in your responding post to the ‘Whooie, elec does it again!’ thread, and though I caught them right away, I felt many others probably did not, so I changed the title in my response.

>And I hope everyone gets that I asked this more for discussion’s sake
>than in any way trying to knock you or the Zombie.

I was not offended at all by your comments, rather, I thought you raised valid issues. I think everyone else also took them in a positive way.

> You’ve been an
> inspiration to me a way that the X1 never could for exactly the reasons you
> cite. You can build your racer on less money than it takes to buy most new
> cars and it’s a REAL car the public will see the X1 as a toy, but the fast
> DC electrics that you, Matt, and others are driving will show that REAL cars
> that people could drive to work can perform.

Thank you for this. Though I admire others in their efforts to promote quick and fast EVs, I do grow tired of over-priced vehicles that don’t represent what most folks think of as a car. I’ve said it for years now, that the AC Propulsion guys should build a recognizable ‘car’ with real car features, you know, like functioning doors and that is affordable while still having amazing performance. $75k Volkswagons don’t count. Something in the $20-$25k range with 0-60 in under 5 seconds and a 100-150 mile range does. It might be hard to hit these price points due to the high cost of one-off lithium battery packs, but if the rest of the car was in line with other cars, the high cost of the batteries could at least be dealt with, discussed, and reasoned to be able to come down in price with mass production. As it is now, the tZero and now the X1 seem to only make electrics look bad because of their minimalist features, lack of common sense, and exclusivity for only the well-heeled with money to burn who don’t live where it might rain sometimes.

I give credit to the AC propulsion guys though, for putting out the dollars and effort to prove the incredible range and high specific power capability of a lithium-based battery pack, but I still feel it would have been far more impressive to show a steel bodied production car running 250 miles on a charge, than a curious looking fiberglass toy doing 300 miles.

Matt’s 13 second electric Nissan 240SX to me, is far more impressive than the $150,000 eleven second skeleton X1 or the tZero, and I believe Joule Injected will inspire far more folks, too. Give Matt and the other young EV hotrodders another year or two, maybe less, and I bet they have street cars that will overtake White Zombie! I’ll be the first to run over and shake their hands when they do…of course, running from Oregon to Florida might be a little tough!

> I.E., when I show friends
> videos of what EVs can do, I show your races, not the tzero against a
> supercar.

I’m happy to hear this.

>> each time they get asked where their machine’s doors were, they could
>> honestly say they got blown off… or that they’re on the car that won? :)
>>
>> -Mike

That’s good :-)

See Ya……John Wayland

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1-25-06 World’s Quickest and Fastest Street Legal Electric Car?

Hello to All,

About the Wrightspeed X1 prototype, Mike Ellis wrote:

> My understanding is that the fastest street legal EV we generally talk about
> is White Zombie at 12.151 in the 1/4 mile. However, if that car (the X1) gets
> 11.95does that mean it’s the world’s “World’s
> Quickest & Fastest ‘Street Legal Electric Car’”? Does it meet NEDRA rules?

Interesting points. Here in the US, pretty much all 50 states have DMV manuals that require all street legal cars to have ‘adequate fenders and bumpers’….two items the Wrightspeed skeleton machine does not have, so at least here, it does not pass as being a street legal car. It does appear to have some funky bicycle-like fenders that most probably would not pass as being adequate, but it hasn’t any bumpers at all. It also doesn’t even have a windshield, side glass, rear glass, enclosed fenders, a roof, or any doors. For any ‘thinking individual’ the term ‘car’ isn’t even appropriate….race machine, yes…..experimental craft, yes….Real car? No.

As to passing NEDRA rules pertaining to its 11.95 second run, no, it doesn’t. The video of the X1 racing against the Porsche and the Ferrari at Infinion Raceway, is reminiscent of AC Propulsion’s video stunts…no timing lights, no starting tree, and just two folks waving goofy white flags to start and end the time trials :-( The run against the Porsche wasn’t even from a standing start, rather, both cars were rolling along at around 10 mph or so when the goofy white flag sent them down the strip…yeah, real accurate stuff here! For at least the two 1/4 mile runs in this video, the timing lights were off, the ET boards were not on, and most likely, they had friends with stop watches doing the math. This is far from being credible and it’s far from being accurate, and yet, the voice-over guy for the video claimed an 11.1 ET.

In stark contrast to the above, my claim as to having the ‘World’s quickest and fastest street legal EV’ is factually backed up by time slips from NHRA drag tracks. At my web site, along with the posted 12.151 ET @ 106.25 mph, I also note ‘per NEDRA’, meaning it’s officially recognized by the organization solely dedicated to promoting races and recording electric vehicle 1/4 mile drag times in accordance with the NHRA.

For years now, we’ve cordially invited the AC Propulsion guys to enter one of their machines in a NEDRA EVent…they’ve never been to one. We’ve asked for official NHRA timed results….never seen any. I have no doubts that if they would, we’d see impressive ETs, but I bet they’d fall short of the various claims over the years.

The X1 would have to either achieve this run at a NEDRA sanctioned EVent, or, at any NHRA track with a 2nd backup run within 1% of that time. White Zombie earned its record by hitting 12.181 @ 105.2 mph as a backup run to its 12.151 @ 106.25 mph pass. I ‘do’ think the X1 could reproduce its high 11 and a suitable backup run, and I wish they would, so it could set a new record in the ‘Concept Vehicle’ class. According to the Wrightspeed folks, their machine is both quicker and faster (they say it hits its top speed of 112 mph before it reaches the end of the 1/4 mile) than White Zombie. If you take their word for it, the X1 can indeed out-gun my car, however, following NHRA rules, the X1 would not even be allowed on a certified drag track because street cars have to have roll-up windows or they can’t run on the track. If Tim and I showed up to race and the driver’s window wouldn’t roll up, we’d be escorted off the track.

Here’s some food for thought…White Zombie’s power train dropped into this skeleton frame with those high dollar lithium cells at 1500 lbs. total vehicle weight, would make this ‘thing’ run in the mid 10′s. Would it be impressive? Not in my book, because it would still not be a real car.

We’re hoping that with a few new tricks, White Zombie will make it into the 11′s this year. I’d love to race side by side against the X1 this summer. I wonder what the folks at Wrightspeed behind this promotion (and the same press corp they’ve courted) would think when the $150,000 high end skeleton machine fitted with high tech AC power trains, high tech batteries, and it’s high tech racing chassis, got beat by a full bodied old ’72 Datsun sedan powered by common lead acid batteries feeding a DC motor, and built in some forklift mechanic’s back yard shop at 1/0th the cost? I think this would actually help them, because each time they get asked where their machine’s doors were, they could honestly say they got blown off.

See Ya…..John Wayland

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1-24-06 Re: Whooie, electric does it again!

Hello to All,

Rush wrote:

> This was sent to me by someone. A Porche Carrera GT getting zapped by an elec car….
>
> http://www.ptreyeslight.com/stories/jan19_06/electriccar.html
>
> and here is the manufacturer http://www.energynext.org/

I love EVs….I love quick and fast EVs, however, to call the Wright Speed a ‘car’ is really a stretch. Showing this rolling tube chassis beating expensive exotica seems silly. This thing doesn’t have a roof, or doors or any real body to speak of. It’s a rolling tube skeleton being tauted as a ‘car’…give me a break! It’s another one of AC Propulsion’s tricks of using something that barely passes as a car, then pitting it against real cars.

>Fantastic!!!!!

I’d characterize it as disappointing and darn close to a smoke and mirrors exercise.

From Mike and Paula:

> Maybe we need to put together a film about real life electrics. I mean ones
> that get driven every day and ones that people can afford to own…No doubt the flash of the
> X1 will open eyes, but the real life cars will convince them.

Couldn’t agree more with you on this!

From David Roden:

>If you check the links, this makes sense. A very light racing vehicle with an AC Propulsion >T-zero-type power train is racing portly street-legal sports cars, so of course it has the >advantage.

More common sense from David:

>According to both websites cited, the car has achieved a quarter mile time of 11.95 seconds. I >don’t know whether that’s official, and I don’t follow EV drag racing that closely, but it seems >to me that somebody on this list has run low in the 11s with a more or less street legal EV >setup. Yes? No? And hasn’t Dennis Berube run in the 10s? Or is my memory playing tricks >on me?

I agree with David. Why not do the ‘right thing’ (pun intended) and build a real car, you know, one with a full body and interior appointments, with a real roof, and real doors, then install the miracle AC power trains and ‘then’ match it up to the same exotica cars? Answer? It would get its newfound doors sucked off, that’s why! The best 1/4 mile ET they publish is 11.95 seconds, about 2/10′s a second quicker than my all steel bodied door slammer running on non-exotic lead acid batteries and cave man DC….this year, we’ll be quicker than their skeloton car. Rod Wilde’s all street bodied Maniac Mazda with its world record 11.2 second 1/4 mile ET, while partially gutted and running in the Modified Conversion class of NEDRA’s divisions, is still a real car and would blow the X1′s doors off…oops, sorry, it doesn’t even have doors to get blown off! Dennis Berube’s rail has run way quicker than a 10 second run….how’s an 8.8 second ET hit you? Of course, Dennis’ machine is a pure race vehicle, so the comparison is mute…or is it? In some ways, Dennis’ rail is more of a real car, than the X1 is! At least the Current Eliminator has bodywork!

I find the AC Propulsion tactics tiring. First, the tZero, a fiberglass kit car that’s barely passable as a real car gets compared to other full bodied machines, now there’s a rolling tube frame being touted as a ‘car’. Come on guys, how about making a real car with a nice advanced battery pack and AC drive, that runs mid 13′s, gives 100+ miles range, and actually has a roof and doors? I for one know they could do this and would be soundly impressed by such a ‘car’.

See Ya…John Wayland

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1-22-06 Re: 12volt alternator or dc-dc convertor

Hello to All,

Jody Dewey wrote:

> how about running an 8 volt battery AND a 6 volt in series for your aux
> system? Then you could have 14 volts.

Mark Grasser wrote:

> I do recall, now that you mention it, that there are 14 volt batteries (7 cells) available for the >hot rod drag boys that run the 1/4 mile without an alternator. This is a perfect option for you >guys that don’t want to do a DC to DC.

No, it’s still not a ‘perfect’ solution. I know, been there, done that already. Way, way back in 1980 when I first put Blue Meanie on the road as an electric conversion, it took me about two months of miserable nighttime driving with yellow, dimming headlights, to figure out that using an unassisted 12V battery sucked. I didn’t know about DC-DC converters, and they were certainly not readily available back in the stone early 80′s. I studied available small deep cycle batteries, and found an 8 volt wet cell with the exact same ahr rating of the same brand’s 6 volt battery. I bought the pair and had myself a 14V supply to ‘sort of’ mimic a gas car’s 12V system with an alternator running and providing 14.2 volts of system power. Yes, the car suddenly had bright headlights and all other 12V items ‘sort of’ ran as intended. The problem though, was I was now packing about 70 lbs. of batteries just to have an ‘OK’ 12V system, and, I had to come up with a custom charger to replenish the 14V battery.

More importantly though, is this 14V supply was always in a declining balance, whereas I would start off with bright lights, but each time I switched on other 12V items, you could see the headlights react and dim accordingly as each 12V item was turned on, such as the heater fan on high, or stepping on the brakes, or turning on the rear window defogger, or cranking up the sound system…..each additional current draw would sag-down the 14V battery lower and lower. In addition, after so many minutes of driving, as the battery was depleted, the voltage would continue to fall. After a half hour of driving, the headlights were pretty dismal again.

This type of nighttime driving is unacceptable to me. I want the lights to be bright from start to finish, the stereo to always have the power to please, the wipers to always work as they should…I could go on. For me, a properly set up DC-DC that supplies a regulated and constant 14+ volts (and drops back to a 13.1V float when the vehicle is parked) is the only acceptable solution for an EV’s 12V system.

See Ya…….John Wayland

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1-21-06 Thank You, Roderick Wilde!

Hello to All,

I want to publicly thank Rod Wilde for all his dedication and hard work serving as NEDRA president all these years. His energy and drive is something that is needed in a president, and losing him in that position is a BIG loss for our sport.

Rod and I were two of the the founding EVers that dreamed up the idea of NEDRA, and when I was the original president he served with me as Vice President. It’s funny, because at one time he and I were staunch competitors who really didn’t want to like each other :-o It all started back in ’94…..man, I’m sounding like an old geezer!

For nearly 5 months now, Rod has been trying to get new rules and new voltage divisions past for the good of all EV drag racers. He set up a rules committee, and I was asked to be part of that committee. Quite frankly, many of the proposed rule changes adversely affected my own EV, but I voted for them because I could see they would make electric drag racing safer, open new areas for innovation, make it possible for new world records to be set, and in general, improve the sport. Rod and all of us on the rules committee wanted to have everything done before the turn of the year so that, in particular, the competitors at the first NEDRA EVent in 2006, Battery Beach Burnout, could have a shot at setting new records in the new classes and divisions. Rod was ‘very’ active throughout the process, and when things got bogged down, he would inject his energy and push things back into gear. He demonstrated strong leadership through the whole ordeal.

We’ve lost Rod as president now, but he’s still an active NEDRA member, so we’ll still be hearing a lot from him….thank goodness for that! Thank you, my friend Rod Wilde!

See Ya…….John Wayland

PS: Ken Trough has a synopses of the recent turmoil within NEDRA at:


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1-20-06 Re: 12volt alternator or dc-dc convertor

Hello to All,

mike golub wrote:

> OK, but why do I need to charge my accessory battery
> (w/ a DC-DC convertor) when I’m waiting for a traffic
> light?

So your headlights don’t drop by as much as 3 volts (from 14.5V down to a sagged 12V battery at 11.5V) and go yellow and dull, so your wipers won’t slow down and chatter as they struggle to sweep your windshield free of water and or snow, so your heater-defroster blower won’t slow down and can continue to circulate ample amounts of air, so your electric element rear window defogger will keep the window heated properly, so the turn signals can continue to snap on and off smartly, etc., etc.

Regular gas cars with alternators already suffer from this effect, though not as severely because unlike an electric motor that stops turning when the vehicle stops moving, the gas car’s infernal combustion engine has to idle (and waste fuel while it continues to pollute the air), and so keeps the alternator spinning. Still, with the ICE spinning slowly at idle, the now slower revving alternator can’t keep the system at 14.5V anymore, and as the system sags to 13.2V or so, the lights still dim down, and the wipers still slow down, etc., etc.

With an EV, you can have a superior 12V system by using a DC-DC converter that is unaffected by motor rpm and always keeps the lights bright, the wipers moving swiftly, the air movement constant…..or, you can use the alternator off the rear shaft of the electric motor and have a miserable 12V system that uses more power and provides an up and down 12V system that’s inferior to the already poor system of a gas car :-(

For me, any chance to make an EV out-perform a gas car, is always the way to go.

See Ya…….John Wayland

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1-19-06 Re: Battery Beach Burnout

Hello to All,

As a founding NEDRA member and current active member, I’m very excited to see the EV drag racing scene expanding. Good luck to everyone at the first ever ‘Battery Beach Burnout’. Be safe, smoke those tires, and above all else, have fun!!

See Ya……John ‘Plasma Boy’ Wayland

“Rubber ought to be laid electrically” (Dale Glubretch)
“My EV would be zero emissions, if my tires would stop smoking” (Otmar Ebenhoech)

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1-19-06 Re: Joule Injected race day (Part 2)

Matthew D. Graham wrote:

> the car ran a 13.607 at 98.39 mph!

I love it when my EV predictions come true! How awesome is this? I told Matt in Redmond at our Hi Torque’n burger fest, that with taller drag radials and the LSD his car would run mid 13′s right out of the box.

I’ve predicted low 13′s – high 12′s with exercised and heated batteries at this weekend’s Battery Beach Burnout races for Matt…still standing by this. Get those Exides heated up by repeated runs and fast recharges, and when they’ve hit 120 degrees or so, look for the 100 mph barrier to be blasted through and 12.8 – 13.1 type ETs! I’ll take a stab and predict a 13.2 @ 101 mph will be the run that gets Matt into the 100 mph club!

It’s so exciting watching Matt and his car raising the bar…and yes, I’m watching my rear view mirror for a sinister black Nissan!

See Ya…..John Wayland

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