This week we start to wrap up the Speedster Part Duh and send it off to Special Editions Inc. in Bremen so they can have a look at what we’ve wrought.
We did something a little unusual in the video. We have found a way to do “pretty good” audio in a windy convertible. And we did a drive in the Speedster. In professional television land, which by the way we are no part of and do not want to be confused with, there is a concept called “dead air”. This is where your chippy blond chick forgot her lines or a guest says something shocking and nobody talks for awhile. It is considered a Television faux pas as you need to hear some idiot yacking at every possible moment. If nothing else, cut to commercial.
The Speedster DOES make some noise. The tranny is pretty noisy as we use Redline ATF synthetic in it to minimize friction – a very lightweight oil for a transaxle. We also have a pump for the cooling system and two fans going. But it still fails to produce the roar of a real speedster. That lets you hear a lot in the world and it is one of the advantages of an EV.
So we filmed a drive. But instead of trying to fill it with yack yack, which most of you have heard from me before anyway, we just drove the car. The effect is interesting. You may find it very boring. But you will hear what I hear when I drive it, unless I’ve got my iPhone going through the stereo.
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We have had some last minute successes before shipping. I added a very ordinary automotive coolant sensor to the chill plate and connected it up to the temperature gage on the Speedsters original Combi gage. Incredibly, it sorta kinda worked. I swapped it out from a 250 degree model to a 220 F model and now it works very well.
We tapped a hole in the chill plate and ran some threads in it. Screwed in the sensor. You have to ground the chill plate. And you connect the green wire in the engine bay to the sensor. Incredibly, the center of the gage is 75C. At 85C, which is when our controller goes into current limit, shows about 3/4 gage. At normal 45-55C, it is at the bottom. I am just delighted.
In this episode of the video, we tried the EVWORKS fuel gage driver. I didn’t see much how this thing could work for us. And initially, it sure enough didn’t. But we played around with it and did get it to move the needle. The problem was that it was moving it BACKWARDS. When the car was fully charged, the gage showed empty. And as you drove the car, it moved toward full. Interesting, but hardly useful.
We reversed polarity of the hall effect sensor, thinking we could charge to full, and discharge to empty that way. Good thinking, but it didn’t appear to work.
Well, we don’t call it part DUH for nothing. DUH. We had it on the 2/0 cable to the rear of the car that does in fact drive it. But the charge cable connects to the negative terminal block at the same place the cable does. We were charging AROUND the device. When we the smaller charging wire back through the sensor, IT WORKED!
It’s a little bizarre and this product needs some further work, but I’m astounded. The parts count on it is nothing. And it more or less accurately drives our fuel gage.
Here’s the problem. You have to fully DISCHARGE the car. Then flip off the maintenance switch and back on to reset the fuel gage driver. Then charge the car. It will read full when you get done charging. Then as you drive, it moves toward empty.
And here’s the other problem. If you shut off the maintenance switch to do like, maintenance for example, you’ve just reset the fuel gage driver and have to go over the entire tedious procedure again. NOT what I want actually. But it is very neat that this thing does sorta/kinda drive this old style gage.
I’m attaching the latest version of our Control and Instrumentation schematic.
Eric Kriss has received his Porsche Speedster kit from Special Editions and is starting a project. Kriss played piano on a Grammy-nominated blues album, later founded a record company and still later co-founded private investment firm Bain Capital. He also started a healthcare company, directed the financial rehabilitation of two Massachusetts cities and, under then-Gov. Mitt Romney, helped balance the state budget and restructured its turnpike administration after a tunnel roof collapse.
But you can find what he’s REALLY about at http://krissmotors.com. He’s a veteran kit car guy with a Cobra and a Saab Sonnet done and done. This will be his first electric.
Eric is also the guy who posted our index to the shows if I don’t disremember this all correctly.