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Inaugural Maker Faire

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Revision as of 06:48, 24 March 2006 by Rjf (talk | contribs) (→‎Monday, April 24: return home details.)
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Join us at the Inaugural Maker Faire, April 22-23, 2006, San Mateo Fairgrounds, San Mateo, California. The faire, brought to you by Make Magazine and O'Reilly Media will convert a stock Toyota Prius into a Plug-in Prius PHEV in just 2 days or less! Make is a celebration of all things do-it-yourself, and we're absolutely ecstatic to participate in this event!

The Details:

  • When: Saturday, April 22, 2006 (10am - 6pm), Sunday, April 23, 2006 (10am - 5pm)
  • Where: The San Mateo Fairgrounds, 2495 South Delaware Street, San Mateo, CA
  • Admission: $12/Adult; $5/Teens; $25/Family; Under 12 free

O'Reilly and Make

O'Reilly Media is the premier information source for leading-edge computer technologies. The company's books, conferences, and web sites bring to light the knowledge of technology innovators. O'Reilly books, known for the animals on their covers, occupy a treasured place on the shelves of the developers building the next generation of software. O'Reilly conferences and summits bring alpha geeks and forward-thinking business leaders together to shape the revolutionary ideas that spark new industries. From the Internet to XML, open source, .NET, Java, and web services, O'Reilly puts technologies on the map.

Event Preperation

We have a big job ahead in preparing for the two day conversion. We realize that people are rightly getting enthusiastic about the event, however we need to make sure that people have realistic expectations.


The MakerFaire car and our initial documentation and recommended components will initially specify lead-acid batteries -- low cost, but heavy and large. We hope to be able to locate a supplier of better Ni-MH or Li-Ion batteries, but can't say when we'll succeed. So for now, anyone attempting to complete this type of conversion with lead-acid will end up with a vehicle with the following characteristics:

  • 10 mile low-speed electric-only range, 20-mile Mixed-mode half-electric/half-gasoline range at summer temperatures; less at below 70 deg F.
  • In ambient temperatures of 50 deg F or lower and low states of charge (SOC), and in lower temperatures at any SOC, potential errors (due to high battery internal resistance) may cause the car to stop running. It is highly recommended that the OEM battery be used in such conditions.
  • Approximately 200-cycle full discharge life (in a year, you may need to replace batteries at a cost of up to $1,000).
  • Net weight increase of 300 pounds (assuming you keep existing battery in place, which we highly recommend)
  • Because of the additional weight, slightly reduced rear-window visibility, some additional load on rear shock absorbers (until we develop a source for heavy-duty springs), possibly slightly poorer road handling (equivalent to keeping a 300 lb load in the cargo area), and reduced remaining load capacity.
  • Due to the additional weight and the simultaneously marginal performance of the lead-acid battery, city-driving mileage may decrease by 10% when electricity is not used to offset some of the gasoline consumption.

EVent Schedule

Tentetive plans for the road trip and conversion.

Thursday April 20

  • 12pm - Noon Departure Photo-Op at SSCC.
  • 11pm - Leave Seattle.

Friday April 21

The Drive is 813 miles and about 14 to 16 hours. Leaving around 11pm on Thursday April 20th gets us there about 3pm on Friday the 21st. route

  • Meet up with the crew for dinner and gameplan discussions.

Saturday April 22

  • 9 am - Can we stage early?
  • 10am - Gates open
  • 11am - Begin installation
    • Front: Dash teardown and fake CAN-View and other LV control wireing installation since it's already installed
    • Rear: HV Disconnect and dissassembly
    • Outside: Cut and assemble battery rack components, may need pre-cut rack parts
  • 12am - Continue tasks
    • Rear: HV crimping (borrow professional crimper, may demonstrate hammer crimper
  • 1 pm - Finish tasks
    • Front: Finish with front and re-assemble internal body pannels
    • Rear: Finish wiring HV contactors
    • Outside: Finish battery rack
  • 2 pm - Lunch
  • 3 pm - Install HV and LV circuits
  • 4 pm - Install and secure batteries into rack
  • 5 pm - Install interconnects and charger
  • 6 pm - test, test, test! Gates close
  • 7 pm - tear down booth

Sunday, April 23

  • 9 am - Can we stage early?
  • 10am - Gates open
  • 11am - Finish the conversion & start giving people rides perhaps?
  • 12am -
  • 1 pm -
  • 2 pm - Recharge and Lunch, then start giving more rides
  • 3 pm -
  • 4 pm -
  • 5 pm - Compile initial drive data. Gates close
  • 6 pm - tear down booth

Monday, April 24

Depart before 4pm in order to arrive back in Seattle by 8am Tuesday, rest and freashen up.

Tuesday, April 25

"Arrive" back from the trip to SSCC just before noon for another Kodak moment.


These are some of the things we might want to do in order to enhance the documentation process.

  • Component Photos
  • Participant Photos and Bios
  • Write in updates to hard copies of instructions and parts lists


  • Video interviews
  • Multiple time laps video
    • (2second frames at 30 second interval on 60 minute tape equals 15 hours of recording).
    • Hatch mounted camera looking down into rear end, frame bumper to rear seat.
    • Windshield mounted camera, looking through from outside at dash into rear, lay down seats.
  • Wandering guy taking closeups and comments from visitors, use a video stabalizer tripod thingee.


  • Audio descriptions of individule tasks for voice overs.
  • Long Play Audio recording of the play by play to capture any choice spontanious commentary.


Things that we might want to bring along to display durring the conversion.


EAA Chapter, CalCars, PlugInPartners


CAN-View, Charger, Batteries


CalCars talking points, etc, ...

Bumper Stickers

EAA, CalCars, Maybe sell some?


(need power, not just to charge)

  • Ryan has 19" LCD and computer system for EV/PHEV videos, PPT presentations, of perhaps the website.
  • Maybe power up the Prius 12v system and play videos on the MFD screen from external composite video source.

Post Conversion Events

These are events which we hope to be attending durring the first month following the conversion. These and future events will be posted at the SEVA:Current events page once they are finalized.

Weekend, April 29-30

We might be attending the UW EE school event planned for the weekend of the 29th. See

Weekend, May 5,6,7,8

We may attend some of all of these:

  • 'For what its worth . . . We'd love it if you could have the Prius+ here a few days ahead of time - over the weekend. As it happens, the Washington State Apple Blossom Grand Parade occurs on Saturday morning, May 6. We are currently planning to have a small convoy of Advanced Vehicles (bio-diesel, all-electric ATV, and etc.) in the parade. If your vehicle was here, we would be sure to get it as much advance publicity as possible. The parade is a HUGE event for this area and generates a lot of buzz. The only caveat right now is that we were late getting our application into the Grand Parade administrators . . . They'll have to make a special decision about letting us in or not.
  • In addition to the parade, there's a very well attended "Classy Chassis Parade and Car Show" on May 5 and May 6.
  • We plan on attending the May 8th Port of Chelan County AVI Tech Group meeting.

Thursday June, 1

Apollo Alliance has a tentative conference June 1st on the East-side which we might attend.