Saturday, June 12, 2021

 I just finished reading "Project Hail Mary" by Andy Weir and I noticed a HUGE shoutout to Cody, the YouTuber behind Cody'sLab and Cody'sBLab.  Here's a screenshot:

Thursday, June 25, 2020

The ESP32 ProtoBoard Home Page

This is a placeholder for documentation for the ESP32 ProtoBoard.

This will be the location for documentation and sample code.

The bitly link is:

Saturday, June 2, 2018

DC Voltage & Current Sensor with CANbus Output Device Home Page

The "DC Voltage & Current Sensor with CANbus Output" Device Home Page.

This is a placeholder for documentation for the DC Voltage & Current Sensor with CANbus Output device.

Monday, November 6, 2017

My Tour of the Tesla Gigafactory - September 22, 2017

At long last, I can reveal my super-secret, super-geeky event - a tour of the Tesla Gigafactory! Due to confidentiality, details are light but what is there is interesting, and you get to see several early Tesla Model 3 cars.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The 914E is For Sale

Short Story: My restored and electric converted Porsche 914E is for sale.  According to my records, I've got about $40,000 into it, not including my own labor.  I'm willing to make a very good deal to give it a new home.  Please contact me at to discuss.  The full restoration and conversion process is covered in excruciating detail here in this blog.

Long Story: I've been living in Thailand now for almost 4 years.  I've had a few plans come and go in that time and now I realize that I'm likely here for good, and not returning home.  The Thai government's policy on importing cars is frankly ridiculous, so bringing it over here is not in the realm of possibility.  My costs for storage and insurance keep adding up, so I've come to the realization that it's time to sell.

To get the car on the road, you'll need 1) a set of batteries since I pulled the originals and sold them to a golf cart shop and 2) a shock absorber due to a de-trailering incident.  This gets you a daily driver capable of about 50 miles of range and a top speed of 70 miles per hour, but not at the same time!

The car is located in Paso Robles, California, halfway between L.A. and San Francisco, near the coast.  It can easily be picked up by a car transport company or you can come and get it yourself and trailer it home.

A short history of the car for those who don't want to read from the origin story of the blog: It's a 1973 Porsche 914, with the factory 1.7 liter engine.  I bought it on eBay with the description of "It looks good from 10 feet."  I drove it home and could see the rust and other issues from about 9 feet.  I stripped the car down to the frame and gave it to a restoration shop.  They gave it back in fully restored pristine condition.  I then converted it to full electric using the ElectroAuto Porsche 914 kit, along with several customizations of my own.  I happily drove the car and took it to several car shows, winning First In Class at Warbirds, Wings and Wheels.  When I took early retirement and moved to Thailand, I put the car in storage in an airplane hangar, under the watchful eye of the owner of the hangar.  I've visited the car since leaving and she's still in perfect condition under a car cover.

So that's it.

If you or anyone you know might be interested, please contact me at

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Battery Pack and Related Electrics Version 2.0

I spent the afternoon of my birthday playing around with a new Lithium ion battery pack design for the 914, if I ever return to civilization.

To save money and complexity, I'll keep the existing Curtis 1231C-8601 controller which is rated for a maximum 144V pack and 500 amps.  This is still sufficient for me driving through town.

Based on years of experience at EVTV with the China Aviation Lithium Battery Company (CALB) 180AH CA-series cells, I know how to bottom-balance them, charge them and discharge them safely.  This is in deference to the many YouTube guys building up Tesla-like 18650 packs from dodgy laptop battery packs.  I did the math to determine I need 42 of the CALB cells at a nominal 3.4V each.

I brought up an old SketchUp model I made a couple of years ago and worked out how to place these batteries and other components.  I'll fill up the rear battery box where the gas engine used to be and put the rest in the battery box where the gas tank used to be, with a good amount of space left over.

This means I can remove the 2 single-battery-sized boxes from the trunk and weld some steel plates into place, prime and paint and turn it back into a fully usable trunk.

I also gain all of the capacity of the battery box where the spare tire used to be right in the front.  I created shapes matching the sizes of the rest of the components I need and fitted them all into place.  This means the new TCCH 4KW or 5KW charger I'm looking at and its controller, the new GEVCU controller, the existing relay board and the existing DC-DC converter all fit inside the front box.  The TCCH is air cooled but the box already has an exhaust fan that switches on during charging, so it looks like it will be a perfect setup.

Cleverly I'm moving the 12V auxiliary battery from it's ugly, nasty, breaking-off-prone mounting bracket on the front of the front battery box to inside the gas tank battery box due to some newly available space.  I'll run the 12V wires down the passenger side of the frunk to the DC-DC controller and leave the high voltage battery pack wiring where it runs now down the driver's side.  There's even still a bit of empty space so I'll play with the position of the batteries to maintain side-to-side weight balance and fill the gaps with some stiff foam.

So, here's the layout.  I've also built up a list of to-do items, some must be done concurrently with this major upgrade, while the rest can be done at my leisure.  I'll bling up the installation by replacing the white plastic battery pack lids with transparent lids.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Tesla Paris Chambourcy Showroom and Service Center

From the Paris Ouest Tesla showroom, I took another series of trains and subways to get as far as I could to St. Germain, home of the famous PSG football team.  From there it's a 20 minute bus ride to Chambourcy.  I made it to the store with about 15 minutes to go before closing time, whew!  I took some pictures and had a chat with one staffer until closing time.

Tesla Paris Ouest France Showroom and Service Center

While in Paris I discovered two Tesla locations, one easy to get to and one difficult.  I went to the easy one first in Paris Ouest.  I did a series of subway and outer-region train rides and a long walk to get there.  Turns out it's a service center only now, they moved the showroom two weeks ago to the other location that's about 30km away to the west.  The staff were very helpful, pulling out a map and showing me what public transport I'd have to take to get there.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Tesla Tilburg Netherlands Showroom and European Factory

The Tilburg factory is a 2 hour walk, train, bus and walk in the pouring rain but hey if I'm that close I have to do it.

I walk into the Visitor center at the factory to find that it's not the factory anymore!  It's now a showroom, service center and warehouse since September.  The very helpful man there explained everything and pointed me towards the new factory just down the road.

I walk in more pouring rain to the new building.  This is a massive building, about 200 meters wide and 40 tractor-trailer-loading-bays long.

I walked into the first sliding glass door but it looked like an employee entrance, so I went out and then into the next door which led me into a big visitor room with floor-to-ceiling glass walls looking right into the factory.

The "factory" is what I would call final assembly, about the size of a basketball court, done this way to reduce the taxes payable for fully assembled cars brought into the country for distribution around Europe.  The cars come four to a shipping container, with the wheels bolted onto the hubs so they can roll.  The cars enter what is labelled "General Assembly", riding on a smart cart and they move in an S-shaped work line where the car is grabbed from above with a big claw-like hanger.   The wheels come off, the battery pack is installed, the drivetrain(s) are installed and then the wheels go back on again.  They fill it with windshield washer fluid and then flash the software at which point the car is driveable.  The car is lowered onto another smart cart and makes its way to final inspection for paint and water leakage.  It comes off the cart and goes through an indoor test track about 900m long with bumps designed to make squeaky things squeak.  They then are driven over into the detailing area then parked waiting for shipment though Europe or for local pickup.

All this time, several people walked through the visitor area and nobody seemed to be worried about me with my nose pressed up against the glass.  Finally a young man walked over and introduced himself.  He was the Delivery Specialist, handling about 8 - 10 local pickups every day.  One customer with a new titanium colored Model S drove past me and out the door with a huge smile on his face.  I told my story and we talked for about half an hour.  He then told me it was OK to take pictures through the glass, I said I hadn't up to then because of the no-picture rule in Fremont but he said there are no secrets here, so he took a few pictures of me, then I took a few more.  He then went back to his desk and brought out a stainless steel Tesla pen for me, I'm very thankful for his gift.  Well that was an awesome visit.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Tesla Amsterdam Zuid-Oost Netherlands Showroom, Service Center and European Headquarters

On the Amsterdam city outskirts is another Tesla location.  This one combines a showroom, huge service Center and the Tesla European headquarters.  All support calls in Europe come here and staff is available in all supported languages.

I thought it was interesting that Tesla had a big "we're hiring" sign outside the office.