AGM battery experiment

I have been converting my car to AGM ( active glass matrix ) batteries and in the process dealing with charging circuits , transistors and as a side effect, high current op amps and ultraviolet leds.

The standby voltage needs to be 2.3V per cell and an automotive regulator is not good for that. I use 2.4V per cell to charge with a 0.2C ( 1/5 of ampere hour capacity ) current limit for each of the batteries. In operation, the lights, electric windows, electric seats, lighters, wipers, and various other less critical systems are operated by the generator. This is the greatest current drain and I have modified the wiring so that I can have a better regulated voltage on the environmental and engine control computers. It uses a vacuum system to adjust shock absorbers and that is also operated from the generator only when the engine is running.

It has two battery systems which operate the starting of the engine and the computers, which are arranged to be separate and isolated in operation. In addition I am designing a 60 hertz sine wave oscillator and a set of transformers to allow 12 volts to be converted to 120VAC at 20 amps or a total of 2.4 KW power at 120VAC. In the process of the oscillator design I wondered what hfe means. That is transistor gain and sometimes it is called beta ( β ) IIRC. It seems that this is [ hybrid - forward - emitter ], which is interesting but gains ( pun intended ) me nothing.

I have also been repairing and redesigning much of my instrumentation to complete a project for atom level material construction and so it has been rather hectic as it seems that one thing leads to another and all the parts have to function properly, consistently, and remain stable. I also had to modify my atomic force microscope and make some modifications to my oscilloscope. In that process I ventured into dealing with Atmel microcontrollers and their interface for some simple control tasks. Atmel uses a RISC processor and has Linux specialty support for GCC. In my case I am using one of my laptops with the parallel interface ( printer ) for clock and data. Nobody uses parallel printer interface anymore AFAIK so using it for that seems to be the best solution. I was tempted to code my application in RISC machine code directly, but resisted and used C.

In the process of repairing the car I needed to create a key for the doors and trunk. That was an interesting adventure and actually very simple to do with a dremel tool and a lock insert. I won't comment on what all that I discovered in that process, but it is something interesting to know. I am also designing an Earth based GPS that allows me to locate objects at various scales, down to nanometers. That is for the AFM and some other applications.

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