Energy vs. power (rant!)

This is just because every other YouTube video I see about electric vehicles seems to get these two confused, so here goes…

(TL;DR: kWh = energy – either carryied with you (in the case of battery capacity) or used during a journey. kW = power – the rate at which you can convert energy from one form to another (i.e. the maximum rated power of your motor))

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Supercharger: worth the upgrade?

According to Electrek, Elon Musk in the 2016 Tesla Annual Shareholders’ Meeting clarified some things about how the Model 3 will work with the supercharger network, specifically that it will only be available as an optional package.

Ultimately I like choice, however this could be quite a pricey one. If, as in the Electrek article linked above, supercharger access is a $2500 (£1730 at the time of writing) add-on, you’d really have to make regular use of them for it to be worth while. How regular? As if by mathematics, we can find out…

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VAG’s “extremely complex” EPA-avoidance algorithm


Douglas Adams was a wise man

… it is easy to be blinded to the essential uselessness of them by the sense of achievement you get from getting them to work at all. In other words … their fundamental design flaws are completely hidden by their superficial design flaws.

This becomes more and more applicable as time passes, I’m sure…

Model differences and other things I’ve learned when researching the 2003-2009 Kia Sorento

What sounds simple enough soon starts getting entertaining. I’d been asked “which Sorento is the best for…” questions more than a few times now, so I’ve decided to publish all that I know about them as there’s more than a few subtle and not-so-subtle differences between the models.

As ever, this is what I’ve found and what has worked for me. Do not take it as bible and do your own research. Please also feel free to tell me that I’m both an idiot and wrong by correcting my mistakes where you find them – I’m sure there’ll be some. Otherwise, hope this helps! Continue reading

Buh-bye apex seals, it was nice knowing you…

Well, the inevitable failure happened, albeit a lot sooner than I’d hoped – 49,700 miles and one of the rotors lost compression on two chambers, implying that one seal had given out. If it had waited until summer I’d have had alternative transport, but as it stood it managed to pick the worst bloody time to let go.

It was loaded on to a transporter (cheers Adrian!) and delivered to Rotary Revs where Ben and his crew performed a complete engine rebuild for me in under a fortnight. They really are a superb bunch of chaps up there and have consequently won my business for life!

The car is now feeling a deal better than it ever did before and is generally more eager about everything it does even though I’m still in the be-nice-to-it running-in period, implying it wasn’t exactly in rude health when I first bought it.

But I’m not bitter – the Zoom-Zoom is back, both literally and figuratively!

Laureline GPS NTP server review

My day job has had me fiddling around with network time recently, and in doing the research for how best we can get a properly robust, stable and non-internet-derrived time reference set up, I found the Laureline GPS NTP server on Tindie.

This thing is a neat little 50mm x 80mm board that will plug in to an active GPS antenna (3.3v / 5v selectable) and, ultimately, provide stratum 1 NTP service via a 100MBit ethernet port. At $128 it’s an order of magnitude cheaper than some of the commercial offerings from Symmetricom, Endrun and so on, so I decided to buy one to evaluate it. Continue reading

Step one of the ‘electric 8’ project has been completed

I actually have a working RX-8 now – a moderate-mileage PZ-edition that is incredibly pleasant to drive.



This will be used as a bit of a data donor, allowing me to record the CAN bus data over time so that when the internal combustion engine is removed from the car that will be turned in to an EV (not this one – it’s too good to mess with at the moment!) I can synthesise all the data required to keep the rest of the systems happy.