Saturday, October 13, 2007

Bye-bye, controller :-(

After some back and forth with Azure support, they recommended I send the controller back for a firmware upgrade. So, out it comes, leaving an empty hole in the back of the car:

Although it's not immediately visible, I disconnected the most-negative cable from the battery pack before removing the controller - avoids the possible short circuit of a high-voltage high-amperage power source.

Note the black box on the right of the first picture above - that's the Canev electric heater in my current favored placement of it. I'll run the ducting through the passenger's side heat duct and then into the heating system in the front. It will hopefully pick up warmish air from the controller and heat it further, blowing it into the passenger compartment. Here's a better picture of the proposed heater placement (comments welcome):

The options for mounting the heater are not very good:
  • In the front - it interferes with the hood closing
  • In the passenger compartment - probably noisy and easy to kick
  • In the engine compartment - exposed to the elements, prone to short-circuiting
  • In the rear trunk with the controller, as shown
Finally, here is the controller, all boxed up and ready for the top to go on. I constructed my own shipping crate out of 3/4 inch plywood and 2x2 wood stringers. I did not trust my very expensive controller to the mercies of a cardboard box. I surrounded it tightly with foam, and squirted spray foam in the corners to further bolster the shock absorption. And the controller itself is enclosed in a very thick black plastic bag to avoid moisture from getting in. Hopefully it arrives safely.

While I wait for it to come home, I've got a few miscellaneous things I'll work on:

  • Install the heating system
  • Install a 3-way switch for the regen braking (off, auto, brake pedal controlled)
  • Hook up a couple of lights in my dash to the Zivan charger outputs, so I can get some idea of its status without opening the hood
  • Install a very small 12v power supply to run the fans while the charger is going
  • Upgrade my high-voltage meter from 130V max to a digital voltmeter with 160V max
  • Install the hold-down bars on the battery boxes
  • Finish the interior trim (door panels and kneepad)
  • Install the front and rear valences, and the rocker panel
We'll see how much of this I get done in the two or so weeks the controller is expected to be gone.

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