Hack your prius with prius batteries

Adding extra battery capacity to hybrids is becoming pretty common, but this one is better than the average lead acid trunk fest. The pack was built from three prius NiMH packs picked up from salvage yards. These batteries can’t simply be bolted together, but with some research and effort you can save some nickel from the junk yards and cut your fuel bill.

Maker Faire 2008: Electric motorcycles

Builder [Justin Gray] brought a pair of electric motorcycles to Maker Faire last weekend. Pictured above is the R84, which has 28 LiFePo cells and an 84v AC induction drive providing 54HP. All of that is stuffed in a 2000 Yamaha R1 frame. You can buy it now for $14,000.

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A123 LiIon battery pseudo extra

Every so often I have to slap myself in the head. I’m surprised that we haven’t covered these things by now. DeWalt’s been selling a LiIon 36 volt battery pack that’s full of the latest A123 cells. These are the same ones that were used in the Killacycle. (I think they’ve got a new batch of cells now).

A while back, [Jeff] sent in a circuit for using multiple packs, leaving the internal BMS in place. [The link is fixed now]

[Robert] sent in a scooter that’s been designed to run these same cells. The custom fabrication and machine work looks fantastic.

XBox 360 Hacking 101 extra

[BlueMoon] let me know about a translation of an interview posted over at xbox-scene. The original dutch version is here. It’s a very good overview of XBox 360 security and the exploits needed to take advantage of the hardware.

If you dig EVs, you might want to check out my latest experiment. I’ll be building a EV, but each step of the process will be defined by reader votes. It’s $1/vote, with the idea that the votes will pay for the project.
[Jay] sent in a little info on streaming audio and sometimes video to your Wii.

[Robert] sent in his research on building and testing diy GSM antennas for extending rage range.

Siamese electric motors

I’ve been meaning to post something about these for a while. Jim builds motors for EV hobbiests on the side – one of his cooler creations is the siamese electric motor. Some others have used belt drives to combine motors, but Jim actually builds the motors into a single unit. He built this set of 8 inch twins for the White Zombie drag racer.

I pumped Jim for more details, but he’s not done tweaking his next set of siamese motors. So, why is this even a hack? It’s a nice piece of machine work, but it gets interesting if you consider some stock specs. Most EV cars get 9″ motors – these are rated at 19hp or so. They take some monster hardware just to drive – high amperage, high voltage. Running a pair of 8hp motors can produce similar power with significant cost savings – everything gets cheaper. To generalize, you need a $1500 motor and $1000 controller just to get in the game. Not to mention that rebuildable forklift motors can be had for a song.