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Make Faire: PHEV in Houston; CalCars Gets Unusual Donation; DIY Documentation advances
Jun 28, 2007 (From the CalCars-News archive)
This posting originally appeared at CalCars-News, our newsletter of breaking CalCars and plug-in hybrid news. View the original posting here.
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It's a bit more than a month since the May Maker Faire in San Mateo, where our team converted a Prius to a PHEV for the second year in a row. You can see photos of that event at­wiki/­2007_Maker_Faire and on a middle page of car owner Jim Philippi's blog about his Prius at­index.php?showtopic=26951&st=120

Finally, Jim Philippi and his family have a working PHEV that drives past Houston's City Hall every day. The car worked briefly as a PHEV at the end of the Maker Faire, but then faced a series of problems that have finally been resolved, with the help of a dedicated group of troubleshooters. You can read Ron Gremban's wrap-up technical report at­group/­eaa-phev/­message/­938. Jim hopes to organize a team to do another conversion at the Maker Faire in Austin this October 20-21­austin/­2007.

At the Maker Faire, CalCars was the happy recipient of a $500 check from Armando Ramirez of The Ramirez Office, a Coldwell Banker affiliate real estate broker in Petaluma, CA. See the photo at­photos-groups.html. It's the first installment on a $5,000 donation for 2007 with contributions each time he closes a property sale. He explains it in his community update mailings he sends out frequently and at­about_armand.htm.

Armando contacted us a few weeks before the Maker Faire, saying, "To summarize, I'd like to make a donation! ...I'm a real estate agent and fellow Prius owner (2007, just got it in march) in up in Petaluma....Eventually my girlfriend and I would like to convert my Prius to a PHEV....There's a ton of hybrids up here so I'd eventually love to spread the word on plug-ins with the first PHEV in Sonoma County - put some green racing stripes on the Prius, trick out the wheels, throw a page about it on my website, you get the picture! I think you all are doing an awesome job, I really appreciate the news feeds, keep it up!

We would be pretty happy if others followed this inspiring example. (We're still scraping along on the fundraising side, and still relying on what we can accomplish with the help of many volunteers.)

We now have a queue of 50 people waiting for the final debugging and re-layout of control boards -- including one person planning three conversions using Nilar's nickel-metal hydride batteries. (Nilar already did one conversion from our plans -- see­where-phevs-are.html.

You can read Chris Ewert's call for help in the final push to document the Do-It Yourself conversion at­group/­eaa-phev/­message/­908 -- and see the documentation in its current incarnation at­wiki/­Template:PriusPlus-Doc_Process, where the sections are divided into: PriusPlus Main page for the CalCars PriusPlus DIY Documentation PriusPlus-Theory Info on the operating theory of the system PriusPlus-Mechanical Info on Mounting Batteries and other hardware. PriusPlus-Electrical Info on the High Voltage wiring and systems PriusPlus-Electronic Info on the low power control electronics PriusPlus-RawData All resource files, schematics, images, etc.

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