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So I finally picked this up to play with and get working. It’s been sitting at my pastor’s house unused, unworking for a while now. I’m hoping to use it to sandblast and re-finish the staircase in my house, as well as help with the Jetta conversion. What, you may ask? It’s a rotary screw type air compressor. They’re known for massive quantities of flow (this one will probably do 12-16 SCFM @ 150 PSI) as well as for being very quiet compared to a piston-type compressor.

Problem is, I’ve never worked on refurbishing a rotary screw air compressor before, and there’s no nameplate on this one. I know WHAT it is, but not who made it or how old. If you can help ID it, or know someone that might, PLEASE share this with them!

I was told that it originally had a 5 HP single-phase 230V AC motor on it. The coupler for the motor appears to be a lovejoy connector. I’ve got a 3 or 5 HP in my basement that needs re-wired that’ll work fine for testing it. I just don’t have any diagrams or manufacturer repair manual to go from to start checking connections, wiring, and piping. Hopefully I can get some more (and better) photos in short order, but this is what I could grab this morning.

So I’m looking at ordering hard drives, and I see that the one in my laptop (only 128 GB) is pretty full up. I tell my wife I’m going to order one to put in here for more space, as I don’t need the speed so much (I don’t use this computer very often or very hard; longer load times won’t really be noticed). The following conversation ensued:

“Didn’t you just put that high-speed drive in there?”

“Yeah, but it’d be better elsewhere and I need more space here. So I’ll swap the bigger one here, and move the fast one to another computer. Hard drives are kind of communal property; they tend to circulate to whichever computer can use them best.”

“Ah. So hard drives really are whores, then.”

“Ummmmmm…lolwut?” I was totally confused on how she got there. It seemed pretty random to me. Then she explained:

“Well, think about it. First off, they get shared by everybody. Secondly, they often times end up with viruses. And a lot of times, they got those viruses from porn.”


I died. Logic like that? Bulletproof.


Why Rush? Well, because I’ve got some Moving Pictures. Here’s some bench test vids of the controller for your enjoyment!





So after realizing I didn’t need to fight with the USB-Serial adapter, because I had a laptop with an on-board port next to me, I fired it all up and DING! Win. Now, to fix the power LED and assemble it all…

Figured out why my EV controller power light doesn’t come on. It would seem I soldered the LED in backwards…ugh.


Beyond that, I can program the chip and fuses, and it would seem that it’s communicating via serial, but I’m not getting any feedback to RTD Explorer.

Still Alive

This was a triumph…no, it really was. After this long dark age, there’s something to report and should be (slightly) more regular updates from here on out.

Programming via USBtinyISP

I managed not too long ago to finally get a programmer kit from Adafruit to build a USBtinyISP programmer for loading code onto the ATMega168 microprocessor that is the ‘brain’ of our EV motor controller. After a little research and some trial and error, I think I’ve got our control board programmed.

We’ve got a copper bus bar coming on Tuesday that’ll get cut to make the 3 main bus bars of the controller – 3/8″ x 3/4″ x 45 1/2″ long, 99.99% pure electrical conductive copper. It’ll get cut in thirds to make the 3 bus bars of the controller. Once all this is up and ready, we’ll only need a capacitor bank to begin testing the controller on the go-kart!



RT @300mpgben: One whole summer of converting a car to electric, condensed down to easy-to-watch short videos. via @YouTube #ev


Ben is an awesome guy to talk to. He’s certainly inspired me, and his work is amazing.