We just added a link on our Projects tab describing safety equipment, pack-building tips, and shop tools. Check it out here, and let us know what you think.
Those of you who build batteries know how difficult it can be to find a quality source of BMS units. We’ve gone through boxes of them ….
Our requirements included all the basic protections, plus we wanted a thermal shutdown by way of an attached thermistor. We also needed our optimal unit to perform cell balancing, and we needed it to be able to handle a true 35 amp continuous output current.
We’ve settled on a vendor for our 12S 35A LifePO4 needs, and we’ve been so impressed with them, we are now adding them to our product offerings. You can check them out here. Feel free to call us if you have any questions or concerns before adding them into your own projects.
A lot going on here at Grid Vision. We’ve rented industrial space to warehouse our growing inventory, and to expand our battery-building activity.
We’ve also gone through a series of website security upgrades. Every web admin should look at what the folks at Nginx and ModSecurity have put together, and use the combined tools to tighten up. We’re averaging about 75 login attempts per hour into our systems, with an occasional “advanced” attempt to crack things.
We’ve been busy with admin and plumbing tasks, but we will be getting into writing up a few projects for everyone to follow soon.
We will soon be offering NEW 18650 Li-ion and 26650 LiFePO4 cells here in our store.
In grad school I took a few courses dealing with global trade, the World Trade Organization, and other, at the time, mundane topics.
Today, as I work with a customs broker to complete an import form required by US Customs, I find myself reading the Official Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States International Trade Commission to identify the exact codes I need to determine the tariffs I will be required to pay, while also learning about various satellite tracking options I have to watch my shipments move across the seas.
It’s actually quite fascinating to jump into the global trade business, and move from rote classroom theory into real-world, hands-on applications. In some nostalgic way, I sense the excitement early traders must have felt as they navigated all the obstacles and opportunities associated with global trade.
For those of you interested in our adventure, here’s a condensed update:
- We opened a store on Ebay, and we’ve been so busy designing product ads, making sales, shipping packages, and reordering product that we almost haven’t had time to do anything else. The Ebay selling platform is actually quite amazing, and we’ve really had our hands full keeping up.
- We’ve negotiated pricing with several overseas vendors on a handful of different products. This has led us to learn about genuine “shipping,” and we’re expecting to visit the port in Tampa soon when our SHIP-ment arrives. I think we’re gonna need a bigger truck soon.
- We’ve negotiated a bulk purchase agreement with a major solar panel manufacturer whereby we buy up front in bulk, and the manufacturer ships directly to our customers to help minimize shipping costs for everyone in the chain.
- We’re seeking industrial space in the St Petersburg, FL area.
That’s it for now. Gotta run. We are continuing to fill out our product offerings, and we’ll be photographing/documenting several helpful projects in the next few weeks.
We recently announced a halt to our website development plans until we could move the domain to a new hosting environment.
That is now complete. After spinning up a virtual Linux machine at Digital Ocean we locked it down, built out the infrastructure, and relaunched the site. If you decide to open an account at Digital Ocean, please use our referral link here: Digital Ocean New Account Credit. It will provide you with a $10 credit, and eventually it will put a few credits toward our costs as well.
When we originally launched our site on Godaddy, we were on an overcrowded shared server with only basic user functionality. On one of our visits to the site via SSH, we noticed that we could get into the files of a few hundred thousand other websites. That stopped us in our tracks, and we immediately set out to rebuild somewhere else. Of course we called Godaddy support and told them about the security hole, but they were too arrogant to even listen to what we were telling them. After the third phone call, we just gave up and stopped trying to help them.
Digital Ocean provides an excellent cloud environment for spinning up a machine, and building it out as you like. We’ve used Amazon AWS before, but Digital Ocean is much more user-friendly, and globally robust. We’ve launched a primary server in New York City, and a development server in Toronto. Yeah, we wanted a patch of turf outside CONUS to store our stuff, and Canada has been looking pretty solid lately.
So we’re now in complete control of the plumbing and intricacies of our site. We’ll be writing a short project piece on our experience that we expect will help a lot of people looking to do what we’ve done. There’s a lot of bad information out there, and we took copious notes as we forged a tight, clean, security-first platform.
Here at Grid Vision we love our Jeeps, but the “B1” all-electric 4WD from Bollinger Motors has our full attention. Production is scheduled to begin in 2019/2020, and we’ve already signed up to buy one when they become available.
The DIY community has been swapping out gas engines and replacing with electric motors for quite some time, and companies like Tesla are making their mark with all-electric offerings. But for off-road enthusiasts and beefy truck and Jeep lovers, the E-news has been thin. Jeep plans on having an all-electric Wrangler on the road in 2022, and that is certainly the right direction, but by then, I will still be enjoying the new car smell of my electric B1 with an electric sports car filling my other parking spot. By the time E-Wrangler comes to market, I will still be several years out from spending any more money on another automobile. I just hope the window is still ripe for gas Wranglers when I decide to sell mine. I’m counting on there being someone slow to the party, and still willing to pay for a gas-powered 4-wheel drive when Bollinger is on the road and with Jeep Wrangler shouting about eventually getting there themselves. I hate to use the word “sucker,” but I already know E-vehicle owners say it under their breath when they finally sell their last gas guzzler to someone still willing to buy them.
So back to the B1:
Any stereotype about electric vehicles and their owners is about to get upended when this thing rolls off the production line, and you can bet that if one ever breaks down on the road, the gas and diesel boys aren’t likely to stop and help out. Well, the good ones will, and the intellectually curious ones will, but you know there are going to be those angry, sensitive types that will never figure things out.
Jeeps and big trucks drink fuel like fraternity brothers drink alcohol. If you want to make a ton of money, put together a conversion kit that makes it straightforward to swap out gas and diesel drive trains and refit with a powerful electric motor and battery pack. The main bottleneck is the reality that one size doesn’t fit all. The only way to have a successful conversion kit is to focus on a specific model and build the kit for that model. Perhaps make the kit modular at the edges so a few modifications can make it fit into a long list of vehicles. If you have ideas about doing this, and you want to speak to a potential investor, give us a shout. We’re interested. (And we know some investors).
Note: there is such a conversion-kit company out there now and we own a few shares, but we’re just not sold on their ability to succeed yet. And there’s something a little less than clear about them from a financial reporting standpoint. Anyway, go sign up for a B1, and just deal with selling your current clunker when the time comes. You’ve still got time to work on your credit score, so get to it.
Full disclosure: we are buyer # 17,867 on the B1 pre-production list, and that is a free option I’m more than willing to own. Not many options in life are ever free. I digress….