- Connect the accessory battery. No smoke. No blown fuses.
- Connect the Anderson connector to put the traction battery voltage to the DMOC. No smoke or sparks.
- Turn the key to the "on" position. The usual warning lights come on then go off except for "service engine soon" (yep, better check that!) and "low fuel" (no gas here!). The vacuum pump runs for about 8 seconds, then shuts off. Other than that, nothing.
- Put it in neutral. Press on the accelerator. Nothing. No spinning sound. Bummer.
- Hook up the laptop to the DMOC. Read the ccShell instructions. 1st thing it says to do is load the .ccs file that came with the DMOC. Oops. I forgot to bring the file! Go home with my tail between my legs.
- Connect the laptop to the DMOC.
- Turn the key on.
- Check the "Drive Enable" configuration. Yep, it's looking for the signal.
- Disable the signal, save the parameters. I hear a nice ka-chunk as the contactor closes. Yes!
- Disconnect the laptop, close the hood, get in the car.
- Put it in neutral. Press on the accelerator. I hear spinning!
- Put it in reverse. Back out of the garage. I'm moving!
- Put it in forward to drive out toward the road. Nothing. I feel a little rocking motion, then the motor kicks out. Reverse, 1st gear, 2nd gear, doesn't matter.
- Put it back in neutral. Motor spins. Hmm. Transmission problem?
- It's late and I have to go. So I get some help and push it back in the garage. That's a bummer.
Later that night I do more reading. There are a number of variables and parameters that could cause the motor to cut out, related to torque limits, current limits, what have you. I figure I'd better connect the laptop again and see what the DMOC is saying. The next day I'm anxious all day. It's almost as bad as when my wife was expecting - the anticipation is killing me! As soon as I can, I get over to the car again.
- Connect the laptop to the DMOC. This time I use a longer serial cable so I can run it out of the hood and through the open passenger window so I can keep communicating with the DMOC.
- Turn the key on.
- ccShell says the last error was #16, PS_FLT_CHARGER_ERROR. Apparently it's an error related to inadequate grounding or shielding. Hmm. It also says that in subsequent revisions of the software this error has been deleted, and can be ignored by setting a variable.
- I set the variable to ignore the error.
- I get in the car, put it in reverse. Back it out of the garage. So far so good.
- I put it in 1st gear. Forward motion!
- I drive out toward the road. I slap on plates from my other car.
- I drive to a friend's house. We chat. I show him the car. I drive home. I turn the regen on, then off, then on, noticing how it changes the driveability. I like it when the ammeter shows negative amps. Recovering energy - cool! All in all a 4 mile trip, speeds from 30-45 mph. Very satisfying.
So, my take from the experience.
- The EV grin is real. And very satisfying.
- Pick-up was not great. I was able to get up to speed, but it took longer than I liked. On the other hand, I noticed that I was never pulling more than 150 amps. The paperwork says that the max current is just under 300 amps, so maybe it comes tuned down at first and the pick-up can be improved?
- The car needs some (non-EV) work. Back-up lights don't work, one of the headlights and fog lights are out, the tires are LOUD, it needs a front-end alignment, and there is some noise/vibration from the drive train (transmission?).
I'm off for a week now, taking my daughter to her first year of college (in IL), so nothing's going to be done for a while. Next steps: fix the broken things, install the Pak-Trakr (battery monitoring), finish the dash switches (that control the cabin heater and DMOC regen settings), install the battery box lids, and get the car registered!
I'm excited and motivated again!