BCMS and Battery Boxes

I caught some nasty flu on Thursday and needed to sit at home during almost whole weekend. Luckily wife with baby were out during it - visiting parents, so they were safe. Once I was feeling better I resumed some works on electronics and programming. I sent an order for battery module 45 PCBs. I expect to have them on Friday.

I've started programming the PDA graphical user interface. I'll use IPAQ or similar PDA with PocketPC 2003 system which will be mounted in the dashboard and give all information about car, batteries, temperatures, etc. For starters I just made it read the serial output sentences which are generated by BCMS. The protocol is NMEA which is widely used in GPS devices. I've created some custom sentence names which are used in my BCMS. The idea is that I'll have all parameters information along with GPS position of the car which will help car performance analysis after. Below is PDA emulator's program's simple screen which reads the data from serial port and displays in simple text fields. The parameters displayed are actually measured by BCMS.

When I got better on Sunday afternoon I went to garage and made a short session working on battery boxes. I welded the top mounting flange with one hole for initial mounting of the box. I also welded a M8 bolt part at the botom of the box where the batteries are being put. This bolt will be used to secure and press the batteries with V-shaped frame shown below. This will prevent any possible swelling of the cells.

Next will be a lot of grinding of the boxes to remove excess metal from the welds and improve aesthetic view. Nasty part will be cleaning the welds in inner corners of the boxes as it is not yet done properly. Then I will put stainless steel sheet into the boxes walls and they will be almost finished. Almost... There will be plastic retainer bars inside to stop cells from bouncing in the box. And also some plastic or maybe metal sheet cover on top of the boxes with openings at both ends to allow access for boxes interconnections.


  1. Love the optical illusion - 1st pic. Or is it my eyes (should get off computer and go for a walk)

    Maybe a tablet PC like this
    this one you could be used for all that including full GPS, graphs, music, maybe video when not driving.

    "Nasty part will be cleaning the welds in inner corners of the boxes" perfection my friend :)

  2. Yes, I have the idea regarding mini tablet PC too. Ideally I would need 7" touch-screen device which would well integrate into car's center console. I'm looking for some Windows powered device with such screen on eBay for good price. I'll be able to compile my dashboard program on any Windows platform device. For now I can use my HX4700.
    Welds inside need some cleaning would not allow steel sheets to lay flat so I'd have to do them even if I would not be pursuing the aesthetics.

  3. Hello,

    I'm a member of Finnish eCars.Now! - community effort, and we have already made Open Source dashboard (called eGUI) for cars. Feel free to use that, if you would like. More can be found from

    http://www.ecars-now.org (general info) http://www.assembla.com/wiki/show/ecars_now (software)
    http://yty.vox.com (my blog)

    I have also started my own conversion, you can find it from http://www.yty.net/c

    With best regards from Finland,

    Henry "Henkka" Palonen