Guages


Making a Cheap battery State Of Charge gauge more accurate

Making a Cheap battery State Of Charge gauge more accurate
Making the SOC meter more useable
I had to buy some speed controllers and other EV parts for my yard machine, so I took a chance and got what was supposed to be a 36 Volt system battery SOC gauge.
kelly controller SOC gauge

I took out a variable voltage power supply, and checked the led display's SOC against a Trojan battery company equivalent voltage chart, and found that it was not even close. I could not use it as it was, and the thing was glued together with no way to get inside.I took my band saw and cut the outer tube so the back could be removed. The circuit looks like a series of resistors that make up a voltage divider and some op amp comparators to turn on the leds when the voltage rises over the voltage divider taps. This type of comparator can be quite accurate, but it depends on voltage references and precision resistors,which this unit does not use. What was most interesting was that there is a potentiometer on the circuit that can adjust the divider current to make the whole scale move up or down. I set the power supply to the 100% SOC voltage according to the trojan chart, and then adjusted the pot so the 100% led just came on. I then adjusted the power supply down until each led went out, and noted where the 50% SOC was so I knew when to get to a charger. While this setting may be a bit temperature sensitive, it at least made the gauge usable.
To gain access to the pot, without cutting open the whole case, drill a hole in the indicated place on the back cover and you should be able to adjust the gauge without cutting it open. Of course one could calculate the precision resistor values required for accurate SOC throughout the range, and replace the 10% resistors that they used, but relative SOC is all I need so simply getting the 100% and 50% points will be sufficient accuracy for me.

creature comforts 1

creature comforts 1
Creature comforts
I have been saving a cool bucket seat that I picked up at least ten years ago so I cut off the mounting brackets welded on some angle iron and steel tube, and welded the whole assembly to the torque tube. The front to back adjustment was retained, so big and little people can drive the machine. The handle bars tube is pretty big, so rather than looking for some custom hand grips, I made my own. Some 1/8" buna -n closed cell foam with adhesive back was applied to the bare steel. The foam was carefully wrapped with black electrical tape, which was then painted with PVC pipe cement to hold it together.I covered the tape with a nylon braid to give some grip, and tucked the end into the tube end and tapped in a wooden plug to hold things together.Feels nice.

Real time external MPG display

Real time external MPG display
Rear Real Time MPG display
Back in 2002, I decided that I wanted to let the other drivers on the road know what I was getting for MPG.
I mounted a tiny color video camera on a bent piece of solid # 14 wire, which I stuck into the slot between the dash bezel and the steering column bezel. The camera was carefully focused so that only the bargraph and MPG displays were in the field of view. I made a waterproof rear LCD video display and fed the video signal to the monitor.
It was a bit too dark for full sunlight viewing, but was quite readable under most other conditions.
I hated it. I felt compelled to drive in my most efficient way, since everyone was watching, and finally took it out for that reason. Now if I were a hard core hypermiler that always got super numbers, it would have been another story.This was before MIMA, so maybe I need to dig it back out?