Friday, November 6, 2009

October.... OOPS, November update...

Kind of missed the October update for a couple of reasons; a job change coupled with not a lot progress. Basically, I spent the month working on sourcing a hub motor for the front wheels and designing the interface for the cool little embedded computer I bought.

First the motors - I found a hub motor on (basically, a market place where Chinese businesses can connect with buyers) that might meet my requirements. I have ordered one that should be here early next week and I'll get a chance to see if it is going to work. It is a BLDC motor and controller rated for 6KW so it will be interesting to see how it works. The other interesting thing I found was a blog by Shane Colton. He built and mounted a couple of BLDC motors on a Razor scooter and designed the controller to power them; really cool stuff. But the main reason the oracle of the internet (otherwise known as google) directed me to his blog is that he has an idea for an axial flux BLDC motor that would be PERFECT for my hub motors. If I could get four of these motors plus the 10KW controllers......

As far as the little computer. One of my hobbies is programming little embedded computers so of course, the Electric '02 is going to have to have one (or two, or three...) And since a battery monitor is pretty much a requirement with the value of the batteries I'm carrying around, I thought it would be really interesting to combine it into a touch screen computer that could do some other things (mp3 player?, GPS?, etc). I bought a Technologic Systems TPC-TS7390 which is a Arm based computer with a mounted LCD touch screen running Debian Linux. I found the Qt Gui programming language and after a lot (too much in my mind) work setting up the development environment, I'm starting to work on the GUI. It isn't much to look at yet but it is fun. But this lead me to my other great google find: Automon. This is an application built by Donal O'Connor on the same TPC-TS7390 that interfaces with your car's on board diagnostic system (otherwise known as the thing that turns on the "Check Engine" light). Cool thing about Automon is that the OBD system is always collecting information about how your car is running and Automon is able to access that real time. Donal designed a cool interface that allows you to see engine rpm, speed, temps, etc. Really something worth while to check out.

Well I guess that is it for now. I'm hoping to have more to report next time.

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