131: Saturday 13th March 2010

Since I got my tax disc on Tuesday I have had some driving experience now. The batteries seem to have woken up a bit and now I have a confident 18 mile range with some charge still left. I am going to spend some time rigging up the regen through the clutch switch so that it is disabled if I press the clutch pedal at any time. Hopefully this will extend the range a bit further, but definitely give a better feel by providing a bit of "engine braking" and a lump of regen charging when the brake pedal is pressed. There is a choice of levels 0 to 5 for each of "lift-off" regen and brake regen, so I can have a play with these settings and find a good compromise between comfort and regen charge. I also have been in touch with my supplier of the battery discharge indicator as it was showing full when my batteries had run right down. this caught me out one time and I managed to just about trickle home. I found out the gauge was set up for forklift trucks that run for 7 or 8 hours and it only updates once every hour. Since I can flatten my batteries in less than an hour it is next to useless. The supplier is sorting me out with a replacement that shows the instantaneous level. I also need to start making the converter circuits to use the rev counter as an ammeter and the fuel gauge as a charge level indicator. I am currently using the 12v battery gauge as a rough guide to the charge left, but it doesn't change much.

In general I am very happy with the way it drives and today was the first time since Tuesday that I have used my Ford Fiesta. We went to football training that is a 36 mile round trip. I got rid of the old engine off my driveway today also. I have taken off most of the parts that can be sold. I will be making my gauge converter circuit calibrateable, so if you are interested, I can make more. I am also going to make an individual battery monitor display that shows the level of each battery on 10 bargraphs so I can see the state of all the batteries at-a-glance.

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