September 27th Meeting Minutes

A total of 14 members and 1 guest attended the meeting.

BarCampMilwaukee6 is this weekend!

If you haven’t yet, go visit their website at http://barcampmilwaukee.org/

Membership Promotion

Jason proposed that we actively engage the public and recruit new members.  He volunteered to lead a small group and make contact with people at area schools and colleges.  More to come shortly.

Jumpstart Sponsorships

Rich presented an idea to sponsor people who regularly attend meetings and help out at the space, but lack the disposable income necessary for membership.  Candidates would be eligible for two or more months of part-time or student level membership.  A fund has already been set up using donations from other members.

Jason noted that PS:One and other groups offer incentives to bring in materials, clean the space, teach classes, etc. and earn points which can be redeemed for merchandise, discounted dues, and more.  More details to come.

Doorbell Project

It was noted that Shane, a regular at the space but not quite a member, was left waiting outside in the rain last Friday without anyone to let him in.  People were in the space, but did not know he was out there.  The group discussed the need for a doorbell to alert occupants to the presence of guests waiting outside.  Ross volunteered to help build a system with a bell and lights and began working shortly after the meeting.

Electric Car Club Meeting October 9th

As usual, the Electric Car Club will be meeting on the second Sunday of the month.  Tom asked for a few volunteers to come to the space and help direct any guests that attend the meeting.  People will hang out between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM with the meeting somewhere in the middle.  Tom noted that Ben is working to make the group an official chapter of the Electric Automobile Association.


DIY Plug-In Hybrid Car

Two summers ago, I built my own electric car. It’s a conversion of a ’96 Geo Metro from gas to electric. While I experimented with several different voltages, in the end I went with a simple 72V battery pack. Overall, it’s great, other than a rather short range.

Recently, I started finding that I was doing a lot of travel JUST A LITTLE FARTHER then I could go on a charge. One of the friends at the Makerspace had a propane generator kicking around, and said I could have it if I could fix it.

Hmmm…. Plug-In Serial Hybrid anyone?

Click the “read more” below for the rest of the story, including videos

Essentially, I fixed up the generator and mounted it, a fuel tank, and the battery charger in the cargo area of the car.
The generator makes electricity, and the charger pushes it to the batteries. The charger can NOT put out as much power as the car uses on cruising, so it’s NOT and “infinate range extender” the way the Chevy Volt is. Instead, it simply extends the range of the electric car by having the batteries deplete more slowly.

Here’s an overview video.

I made several videos as I was working on the project, and I think they explain everything better than I could explain by text.

Here are a few of those videos in chronological order.

And if those videos aren’t enough for you, check out my DIY instructions over at http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Plug-In-Hybrid-Car/