What tools and equipment are recommended for working on a conversion?

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jalovick
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What tools and equipment are recommended for working on a conversion?

Post by jalovick »

Hi,

Something that may be overlooked when considering EV conversions is what tools and equipment are required or recommended to do a conversion.

Some items are obvious, such as basic tools, but what else may be required for testing and validation of things as you progress through the process?

Some basics:
- Insulated tools for working on HV components
- Wire strippers
- Crimpers (for regular 12V cabling and a potentially set for HV cabling, if you don't get cables pre-made)
- PPE, such as high voltage gloves, goggles, an insulated stick and a mate to pull you away if the worst happens?
- HV rated (type 3?) Multimeter

Some additional, for testing before installing into the vehicle:
- Bench power supply (12V/14.4V, 5V, 3.3V other voltages?)
- Spare batteries (I've seen Damien suggest around 60V worth is a good amount)

What else does everyone recommend?

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Re: What tools and equipment are recommended for working on a conversion?

Post by johu »

Some lifting tools
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Re: What tools and equipment are recommended for working on a conversion?

Post by jap »

Image

These work fine too instead of a hoist, if you have somewhere to hang it securely.
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Re: What tools and equipment are recommended for working on a conversion?

Post by arber333 »

I like the hand winch system... but i rather bought motorized 12V variant :).
https://www.ebay.de/itm/Power-Series-12 ... SwFCheIfBt

2T Stands
https://www.ebay.de/itm/2t-Unterstellbo ... OSwPhle~Ej~

EDIT: I just found those lift stands...! I think i will try them out.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Switzer-Vehi ... 0005.m1851

Jack with rocket lift is a must!
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Professional ... %3A2334524

Cable crimping tool
https://www.ebay.de/itm/Hydraulische-Pr ... SwMwNfdHt6

Small connectors crimping pliers
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Self-Lock-SN ... SwMX1fPpmR

MIG welder of course, also capable of flux welding
https://www.ebay.de/itm/Inverter-Halbau ... SwAzZbNgu7

A PC laptop with dock station like Thinkpad X210

A USB CAN tool like Canalyst II, driver and software in english
https://www.hklrf.com/CANalyst-II-USB-t ... _5071.html

Also you need hand tools like M10, M13, M15, M17 and M19 spanners and other tools. Unless if you have a japaneeze car DOH!

EDIT2: I just noticed theese! Since i dont have a car lift theese can come handy for under the car work. I think i will buy a set and write a review.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Switzer-Vehi ... 2585769997
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Re: What tools and equipment are recommended for working on a conversion?

Post by P.S.Mangelsdorf »

Learning to use (and having on hand) a MIG welder is a good idea. Being able to fabricate mounts for motors and batteries yourself is very useful.

Also, an angle grinder/deathwheel is very useful for removing unwanted metal and cutting new metal for fabricating new parts.
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Re: What tools and equipment are recommended for working on a conversion?

Post by Gregski »

arber333 wrote: Mon Nov 09, 2020 9:04 amA USB CAN tool like Canalyst II, driver and software in english
https://www.hklrf.com/CANalyst-II-USB-t ... _5071.html
I just pulled the trigger on this CANalyst-II USB to CAN Analyzer CAN-Bus Converter Adapter Support ZLGCANpro on AMAZON for $84 bucks, so I will observe and report
61SOoQenK0L._AC_SL1200_.jpg

based on these Reviews how could I say No?
reviews.jpg
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Re: What tools and equipment are recommended for working on a conversion?

Post by Gregski »

and my vote goes for Arduino IDE download it, learn it, love it!

Arduino is two things:
1. cheap small hardware (which costs money)
----1a small circuit boards with microcontrollers on them
----1b small "adapter" boards which sit on top of 1a above and extend their capabilities, these are called "shields"
2. software called IDE which you can download for free

IDE stands for Integrated Development Environment it is a free software download that I say is like a Notepad on steroids, it allows you to write C or C++ code without you realizing you are actually doing it, then it compiles it for you from human readable words to machine code (Assembler maybe) and then you upload it to their hardware, one of many many different small circuit boards that fit in the palm of your hand
IMG_5327.JPG
Code written in Arduino is called a "Sketch" because they are Italian and don't know any better, ha ha
Sketch.jpg
But why? Why do I need this stuff? I don't know how to program, I just want to convert an old car to electric?

if you want to go on the cheap spending tens of dollars on tools and utilities instead of hundreds of dollars, you may be required to "roll your own" solutions if you know what I mean, this may require buying Chinese knock of gizmos, doo dads, this and thats and then downloading other peoples code to make the stuff work, often times that code is written in Arduinoese but will require some tweaking some changes here and there, so the sooner you face the missing Libraries wrath of Arduino the better, ha ha

Image

Getting started with an IVT-S and Arduino Uno CAN bus shield



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Arduino IDE Download.jpg
IMG_7181.JPG

IMG_7184.JPG
IMG_7188.JPG
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Re: What tools and equipment are recommended for working on a conversion?

Post by arber333 »

Gregski wrote: Fri Mar 04, 2022 5:06 am
arber333 wrote: Mon Nov 09, 2020 9:04 amA USB CAN tool like Canalyst II, driver and software in english
https://www.hklrf.com/CANalyst-II-USB-t ... _5071.html
I just pulled the trigger on this CANalyst-II USB to CAN Analyzer CAN-Bus Converter Adapter Support ZLGCANpro on AMAZON for $84 bucks, so I will observe and report
Dont forget, software is a separate link inside my other post. First install the driver, then the software. Then run english version of program.
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Re: What tools and equipment are recommended for working on a conversion?

Post by mark »

What bench power supplies are people buying these days? Are any of the different ebay / AliExpress / Amazon ones better than others?

How many do you have? Do you connect them in series to get a higher voltage?
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Re: What tools and equipment are recommended for working on a conversion?

Post by mark »

Back with another question.

Are any sub-$300 oscilloscopes worth buying? If not specific models, what capabilities would make an oscilloscope appropriate for use on projects here? I have an old tube oscilloscope for working on audio gear, but it maxes out in the 1KHz range.

I don't mind headless (or whatever the appropriate term is) since I always have a few extra computers around.
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Re: What tools and equipment are recommended for working on a conversion?

Post by nkiernan »

mark wrote: Fri Nov 25, 2022 2:52 pm Are any sub-$300 oscilloscopes worth buying? If not specific models, what capabilities would make an oscilloscope appropriate for use on projects here? I have an old tube oscilloscope for working on audio gear, but it maxes out in the 1KHz range.
I was looking at the same thing recently and the Rigol 1054Z was suggested as a good option
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Re: What tools and equipment are recommended for working on a conversion?

Post by mjc506 »

My cheapy LHT00SU1 + pulseview has been fantastic. Several digital channels (pulseview supports various protocols) plus 1 analogue (-10 - +10V from memory). No good for HV stuff, but great for the low voltage side. Plus, if you plug it into a laptop and unplug the laptop charger, it becomes isolated...
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Re: What tools and equipment are recommended for working on a conversion?

Post by arber333 »

I am using this one and i am really impressed.
https://hackaday.com/2020/06/28/hantek- ... -reviewed/
https://www.amazon.com/Hantek-Oscillosc ... B07MQJR6W9

Ever so much because its truly isolated and just plain good enough for field work. Also it has a PWM signal generator which is really useful.
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Re: What tools and equipment are recommended for working on a conversion?

Post by arber333 »

mark wrote: Thu Sep 29, 2022 7:40 pm What bench power supplies are people buying these days? Are any of the different ebay / AliExpress / Amazon ones better than others?

How many do you have? Do you connect them in series to get a higher voltage?
I have two of those and they make do...
One 30V version and one 60V
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001 ... 1802VbV9Li

As i wired my cells in groups of 8S i use 8S or 16S charger to stabilize groups of cells
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005003 ... TeicphE0rt
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Re: What tools and equipment are recommended for working on a conversion?

Post by Pete9008 »

I'd say decide what you primarily want to do with it as that heavily influences the best type of scope to go for. I have three scopes and do regularly use them all but for different things.

The first is a 4channel, 1Gsps, 60MHz scope (similar to the Rigol recommended by nkiernan but older - the Rigol does look like a good choice for this type of scope). For debugging electronics on the bench, particularly analog, this is the type of thing I'd go for and for proper electronics work it would need to be 4channels, at least 60MHz, at least 1Gsps and with protocol decoding (mine is missing the decoding being older and does limit it's usefulness). If you are are not doing electronic design/debug work it is probably a bit over the top though which is where the other types come in. It's takes up a fair bit of space, needs mains power and is reasonably expensive to replace if it gets damaged (e.g. falls when balancing on top of the engine or when you overvolt the front end doing HV stuff!).

The second is a similar to the one mjc506 suggested and tends to get used whenever I'm doing digital work (I2C, SPI, UART, LIN, CAN, etc) as the protocol decoders make life so much easier (even when doing software the ability to see whether what you think is being sent over a comms link is actually being sent can be very useful). It also has a lot more channels (just scoping a full SPI bus can use all 4channels on a scope). I've even used mine to read and decode the data bus to a broken graphic LCD display which couldn't be done with anything else. It also takes up much less bench space and using the the PC screen makes looking at large amounts of data so much easier. The downsides are that the cheap ones can be a bit iffy on triggering and capturing large/fast data sets. They are also fairly useless if there is a signal integrity problem, the digital channels can't do anything here and the analog channels are very limited in resolution and speed.

The third is a Owon HDS272S, very similar to the one arber333 suggested (might even be the same inside but with a different case!). It was bought to use when the first scope was too big and awkward and the second too limited and has actually been used a lot more than I expected. The analogue front end seems pretty good, the capture rates are excellent and the ability to float it makes differential measurements very easy (for example looking at CAN bus signals). The main downsides are the limited number of channels, no protocol decoding and a fairly awful user interface!

To sum up the first two mostly get used on the bench for design, debug and problem solving. The last one gets used in the garage on the car.

If you want one scope that can do everything it has to be the first one. If it is for use in the garage debugging an install then the third. If you want to do design/debug work using comms links then the second is worth having.

Edit - forgot to say - get some reasonable scope probes too, the cheap ones can be pretty awful. And always try to use the probe on x10. The x1 setting can be useful but loads the circuit and affects the measurements a lot more, best case you just lose bandwidth/signal amplitude, worst case it changes the system being measured enough to affect operation and all the measurements are invalid! x1 is also more likely to kill the scope input if you connect it up to the wrong thing!
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