Ex-7 - Electric RX-7 conversion
This is a continuation of what started as the "ElectraVan" project. The van lost it's suitability for a conversion and carputer platform, so I'm taking the components: Batteries, Motor, Controller, Charger, etc., and installing them in this cool 1988 Mazda RX-7 that I found with a bad engine. The project is moving quickly now, so I hope to be posting updates regularly until it's done.
Here's the car in my buddy's workshop - he's doing all the mechanical updates for the conversion from stinky to clean electric drive:
We wanted to get rid of the transmission completely, but we still need some kind of gear reducer and were unable to find anything suitable. So we kept the tranny for the time being, but got rid of the clutch & flywheel and direct-connected the motor to the input shaft of the transmission. Here's the motor installed and racks for 4 batteries above the motor and 2 more in front with the rack for the controller next to them:
The car will have 20 lead-acid batteries: 10 in the trunk, 4 behind the seats in the area below where the top folds down (in former spare tire space. The Spare will be replaced with a can of fix-a-flat and a AAA card), and 6 in front. If we could get rid of the transmission and move the motor further back into the hump, we could have fit 2-4 more batteries in the front for better weight distribution. Hopefully that's a future mod. Here is a view looking behind the seats into the trunk area. The rack in the foreground is for 4 batteries behind the seats, and further back you can see the trunk, where we cut out the floor to lower the batteries as much as was could. There is a space just in front the the rack (see 4 studs?) Those studs will hold the battery charger, and the area to the left will hold the carputer and audio amplifier:
Finally a view of the gutted interior. Series II RX-7's had a huge Pioneer radio in the center console. The lilliput will mount there along with a few other controls for the hybrid drive. I will also have a Labjack Data Aquisition Device (Similar to a Fusion Brain) that will manage and monitor all the EV Systems and provide status and control:
That's it for now. I'm happy to answer any questions and I'll be posting a lot more as we finish the wiring and begin driving it.
Hybrid Drive COntroller Screens
If I have the pics thing working now, here are some screen shots from the controller program I've been developing. Data will come from onboard sensors and from a serial link out of the controller. It will be integrated and stored on the carputer, and real-time displays on the touch screen. The program I'm using will let me create a button to minimize it, allowing me to jump back to the front end if I want. I still haven't quite figured out about embedded aps in RR and I'm not up to speed on centrafuse. Any thoughts on using either of those with custom aps - seamlessly?
Here's the splash page (I need to get a better pic of the actual car for this one):
This page has gauges for battery status. Top row is for the 240V main propulsion pack and the bottom row is for the 12V aux. battery:
This page is is an early stage of what I hope will be a useful performance / economy monitor. Each quadrant of the big bar graph in the middle represents energy flow to & from the battery pack and hybrid generator as well as regenerative energy during braking. Bottom graph will be a cumulative economy monitor:
This screen will be a status for the generator, battery and controller/motor. Icons will be dynamic - will flash, change colors, or have a symbol overlay to add information. Pressing on any icon will go to a details page. I hope to have this pop up if there is an alert:
I'd love any comments on RR vs. Centrafuse as a front end to integrate with this....