My name is Horacio Calvento and I'm an E.E. and technician in (almost) all trades, from Long Island New York, I manage an electronic repairs store in the area and I own a 2004 Prius. I'm a participant at Priuschat, CleanMPG and various Yahoo groups regarding Hybrids with the screen name of "MRBIGH".
I'm a co-founder of New York-Long Island Prius Owners Group (LIPOG.org) and an enthusiast on the PHEV field, doing my own car upgrades and mod. I became interested in PHEV after a lot of reading about and now using ( not very satisfactory) and extra Prius traction battery in my car with a novice switch over of packs and having a lot of / ! \ signs in the dash board. I came across Blue Prius thru the CalCars modification. Later I learned, while I was representing NY State in the 2006 Hybridfest in Madison WI, through another participant (T. Dore)with an all electric vehicle, that Blue was in the hands of (or better said, working with him) Rich Rudman and his Manzanita Micro hardware. I finally spoke with him yesterday for over an hour, July 31, 2006, and he give me some explanations of the actual hardware in use and the perspective of having a kit available soon, of which I'm interested to use based on my needs and $$$ availability. The extra traction Batt doesn't cut my cake and the BMS is a pain to figure out and crack down.
Update Feb 16, 2007
I ordered one of the first PFC40HM converters from Manzanita Micro in "production" and after a confirmed ONE month delivery time it took over 3 months for it to show at my door steps and with-out any technical paperwork supplied for the proper connections (I got really screwed by the fabricator), the conversion of my "DUAL PWR-PHEV" was successfully after a cumbersome negotiation with Rich Rudman (not recommended to other members) and completed by mid December 2006 and presented to the public and assisting media in our monthly LIPOG.ORG meet-up. EVERYTHING was a success!! Information on the Vehicle presentation and a Power Point download of the principle of operation can be found also at LIPOG.org Now mid February 2007 I'm working in a prototype on a AC/DC to DC charger/converter similar to the MM but at 1/3 the asking price with available semi-assembled components and my own electronics for BMS for the PbA's; Information on this products will be OPEN Source in the near future.