• henrystar

    Richard 1:39 pm on September 1, 2015 - 2 days ago

    After-hours trading I guess are smartypants trying to beat the market. Does it work? Or, when the market opens each day, does Mr Market poop on such people? Has anyone studied this?

  • 16

    Nicu 6:13 pm on August 31, 2015 - 3 days ago

    I’m not sure to what degree I have expressed here my passion for EVs, race driving and my adventures with my shifter kart (that I miss dearly since we moved to Geneva, about 2 months ago).

    I have this plan for several years already to build a crazy powerful electric kart – think 100+hp – to beat my Tesla Roadster test drive experience:

    I have read tons of materials in the different areas (electronics, motors, batteries, manufacturing techniques etc.) and been experiencing with electronics for quite some time now. Even my Robox 3D printer was a step stone towards learning CAD techniques for printing and later CNC. And my shifter kart I have bought, it was also part of the plan (reuse the chassis and store, sell or throw the engine away).

    I have come to realize that I cannot do that by myself for many reasons (space, time, experience, knowledge) so I gathered a team of 5 including me and a professional mechanic, software engineer and electronics / electrical engineer (still waiting for his answer to my detailed 30-page project). We have a garage back in Romania (the other 4 members of the team live nearby that place) and I might try to fund everything from my pocket – unless the taxman takes everything that I have left.

    So I wonder if I should start a Kickstarter campaign while I have no prototype to show yet, or if I should take it on myself and try to build on the cheap a quick kart to beat the world record for 0-62 mph acceleration time (which stands at 3.45s). Then, reaching for external funding may be easier. Unless someone does that in the meantime, I think I can do better than 3.4s with less than $10k. But that is just an intermediary goal, ultimately I am aiming 1.5s but will be happy with 2s as well.

    I am reaching to you to get advice, ideas and hopefully some cheers :)

    • SB

      SB 4:52 pm on September 1, 2015 2 days ago

      I noticed in Horace Dediu’s twitter feed that he has a home EV project – converting a beetle to an EV. Perhaps not much overlap there, but maybe some … and cars and I believe racing are an interest of his – I think he also posted some recent road-rally photos.

      I am skeptical about your Kickstarter prospects – the most successful campaigns have wide general appeal.

      • SB

        SB 5:20 pm on September 1, 2015 2 days ago

        but what do I know about what has wide general appeal .. apparently flamethrowers do:–weird-business-news-182735902.html

      • SB

        SB 5:53 pm on September 1, 2015 2 days ago

        Here are the batteries for his car – a bit much for a kart:

        • Nicu

          Nicu 10:19 pm on September 1, 2015 2 days ago

          for the kart, we mostly need power and low mass, not range; after 10-15 minutes of hard driving, the driver badly needs a break; I think with 2-3 kWh you can race the hell out of it for 15-20 minutes; option 1 : fast charging batteries + patience while you have a KitKat; option 2: 2 or 3 sets of batteries, so you stress them less by charging them slower

      • Nicu

        Nicu 6:34 pm on September 1, 2015 2 days ago

        Thanks for your reply. I have checked some (very) successful funds raising campaigns and they tend to have something in common: most of the cash come in the form of preorders for some finite product. Simply trying to achieve something new does not cut it so much.

        So it is probably better to develop some subsystems ourselves and when we have something clearly superior to what’s out there (like a high power / low weight motor controller, for example), then try to raise money to transform it in a quasi industrial product.

        There was quite a movement of DIY EV builders 5-10 years ago and most are extinct due to the high costs but even more so daunted by the complexity of making subsystems work together (I have seen people on forums complaining they have spend 2-3h / day for 2 months to program such a controller with no success).

        Our plan is high performance, contained costs, great looks (depending on taste, of course) but especially ease of configuration / set-up.

        I’ll keep you informed. I might even create (finally !) a FB account for the project once we start ;)

    • conshmillo

      conshmillo 7:01 pm on September 1, 2015 2 days ago

      Hey Nicu. This is Vilo. A big fan of your project. Reason being that I have a similar idea for the street legal electric trike. Like you I collected a ton of information on electric motors, lithium batteries and controllers. I built small CNC (am building second one), bought welder etc. If you need some direct experience building your DIY CNC I am here. There is actually Romanian guy building killer DIY CNCs but they are quite expensive. You can find a ton of info on For electronics I have been messing with arduino (duemillanove). It has a ton of shields and is quite inexpensive. You can even do your own controller with it with custom PWM. That is if you are going to use DC motor. Like you I am thinking to use kickstarter. I am thinking more along lines like sharing the electronics and motors setup or some battery part than whole project. There may be people like you or me that like to build stuff and want to buy some element of the project. In any case I wish you good luck with that and look forward to see you to proceed with that. I will jot down some stuff when I think of anything useful for you. Cheers.

      • Nicu

        Nicu 7:42 pm on September 1, 2015 2 days ago

        Thanks Vilo. Let me split the reply by topic:

        • I have only reached the conclusion that we will probably need a CNC machine for rapid aluminum prototyping and even small batch production. This may include custom pedals that precisely measure the position and be waterproof, custom connections for cooling conducts to include temp, pressure and volume sensor but especially a small but powerful motor controller. For this thing I want it to have both air and water cooling and be waterproof, as in later stages karting is fun in the rain too, but all components are exposed.
        I am thinking to get one like that for the shop when time is right
        In the meantime, I have found small shops that do aluminum parts in small batches (even 1), plus anodizing shop ;)

        This CNC machine is another intriguing possibility, for my apartment, so I have a very rapid iteration loop.

        • We are going with BLDC / PMSM three phase permanent magnet motor. I am salivating at these specs for several years already:
        134 hp for a few minutes for 12.3 kg of motor
        We will probably start with a much simpler setup, using this guy

        • Doing that, electronics is more involved, we have to use field oriented control to get maximum control, avoid vibrations / noise / unnecessary stress for components and have max efficiency. I have been playing with TI microcontrollers. They have a line C2000 which is powerful enough and has both hardware and software (libraries) features for controlling 3 phase motors. Here my expertise / experience ends, because on top of too much engineering documentation, I have no experience working with 100V or higher. And then, we want to approach a pro level with fully opto-isolated controller.
        We will start for the first prototype just by buying a Sevcon and / or a Kelly controller.

        To build our own controller, there are now very powerful MOSFETs (up to 150V) and IGBT (up to 600V) that can handle 200+ Amps each, all below $10 (and cheaper if you buy in quantity).

        • For the batteries, probably Headway to the first prototype and A123 Systems (26650) for the real one. Headway are a bit cheaper, don’t need a spot welder and cells are larger, up to 200A (burst). For a low voltage, low perf system, they are perfect to experiment with.

        We will probably need a super-capacitor module (that we will build) to help the batteries, for max power, max regen, but also to smooth out the harsh PWM power chopping.

        • The final step of the project (after max performance is met), is to have a Raspberry Pi or equivalent as a central computer that will connect to all systems, including an iPhone (or equiv.) that will be a dashboard on the wheel. This will transform our machine in a software platform and we can improve from there (like telemetry, talking to the team / coach via bluetooth, using GPS to record and analyze all driver actions etc.).

        In short, much too much for one inexperienced man. We have very big technological plans, but will start with a very simple and cheap system made only from commercially available parts. We will improve components one by one from there. If we achieve great quality / performance, there will probably also be some commercial opportunities, at least to pay for our materials and work. I will consider it a success even without this later aspect.

        • Nicu

          Nicu 7:45 pm on September 1, 2015 2 days ago

          Have only reached the conclusion recently.

          Probably many other typos, sorry for that and the long reply.

          Cheers and good luck with your project too !

          • conshmillo

            conshmillo 8:58 pm on September 1, 2015 2 days ago

            • We are going with BLDC / PMSM three phase permanent magnet motor. I am salivating at these specs for several years already:
            134 hp for a few minutes for 12.3 kg of motor

            That’s one sexy beast motor. One look at it and I knew it’s a halbach array based axial flux motor. Great weight to performance ratio. Any idea how much they are selling them for?

            • Nicu

              Nicu 10:02 pm on September 1, 2015 2 days ago

              yes, they are not very expensive starting at around $4000 but you will need to add some sensors, shipping and handling etc. – max $5000 or so

              the problem is that today’s controllers that can give it so much power are at least 8.5 kg and $4000-$5000, and those from Sevcon that are water proof (IP 66), you probably cannot even buy as consumer

              so if we want to go to max plaid before Elon, we have to innovate with the controller ;)

          • conshmillo

            conshmillo 9:03 pm on September 1, 2015 2 days ago

            Check this out. Here is the dude that build one based on similar principle (halbach array) from the scratch:

            • Nicu

              Nicu 10:10 pm on September 1, 2015 2 days ago

              looks good, not the same tech as EMRAX I think; EMRAX is an outrunner, meaning most of the exterior is turning, not only half of it

            • conshmillo

              conshmillo 1:34 am on September 2, 2015 2 days ago

              they are similar in the use of halbach array which flips unused magnetic force of motor’s magnets and pumps it to the side that is used. basically doubling the magnetic force for the same amount of weight.

            • conshmillo

              conshmillo 1:37 am on September 2, 2015 2 days ago

              btw. are you thinking in wheel motors or out. transmission from regular cart or not?

            • Nicu

              Nicu 7:24 am on September 2, 2015 1 day ago

              Actually I plan to fully reuse a shifter karts chassis (including cooling system, with small modifications). They have hugely evolved in competitions over the last 50 years and get to 115 mph “safely” (for race driver standards). This way we will be surely classified in the kart category, but also cuts a lot of work. Not to mention the tires here (I will do it below).

              Therefore there will be an an 50 mm in diameter rear axle on which the wheels are attached. The motor will spin that either with a chain or belt. Yes there are very light but strong belts available today (kevlar and steel wire reinforced).

              The main problem in this setup is that there is no differential. But the chassis is very well thought out, when you turn front wheels, interior wheel is pushed down and exterior (front) wheel is pushed up. Therefore in the corner you will mostly be on 3 wheels (rear interior wheel is 1-2″ in the air). Here’s your differential that allows you to take corners at very high speed (I have already measured 2.8g lateral on mine: not the best tires, not the best driver).

              Chassis is also flexible to allow for the above and other optimizations such as keeping all wheels on the ground in straight line, despite the lack of a suspension system. We will try to replace present components (engine, fuel tank, exhaust system) with electric components of equivalent weight, placed more or less in the same configuration. In such a way we hope to obtain a racing beast, not only a dragster that is good in a straight line.

              Tires: I use training tires that can easily go above 2.5g. They are made to last 3-6 hours of driving. But there are another 2-3 levels of adherence above, culminating with race tires. Those can go to 3.5g but only last 1.5 hours or so. Most of the weight of the kart in on the rear axle and under hard accelerating you can actually approach 100% – will try to avoid flipping over. Ground clearance is at most 2″ and rear tires diameter is 11″.

              If you’re not familiar with what a shifter kart can do, take a look here

    • Nicu

      Nicu 6:45 pm on September 2, 2015 20 hours ago

      Good news for my project: we are a complete team of 5 now :D

      I should have some liquidity starting November in my Romanian LLC. Shortly after, I will source the components for a simple working prototype, probably a Motenergy ME1115 motor (air cooled to avoid complexity), Headway battery cells so they are easily mountable. Not sure if I want to go with a Chinese Kelly controller or with Sevcon.

  • conshmillo 10:51 pm on August 28, 2015 - 6 days ago


    OSX Yosemite. Nowadays known as sluggish garbage.

  • henrystar

    Richard 11:48 am on August 26, 2015 - 8 days ago

    Apple versus Tesla? Who will win? Place your bets!

  • Nicu 1:25 pm on August 24, 2015 - 10 days ago


    Quick analysis this morning: excluding book value from market cap, we are below 3.5 enterprise value / TTM cash flow (used estimates for this quarter, very mild assumptions) – this is the bargain of the decade !

    • SB

      SB 4:48 pm on August 24, 2015 10 days ago

      Days like this I bemoan living on the Pacific Coast. It seems like there are often deep discounts in the early market.

    • Zee

      Zee 12:05 pm on August 25, 2015 9 days ago

      AAPL is up today 6.% in the pre market:) When was the last time you remember seeing that hmm.

      • Zee

        Zee 12:27 pm on August 25, 2015 9 days ago

        Our Great Recession in 2008-2009 saw Apple beating expectations QoQ. No? I can’t remember what percentage Apple’s growth was during the G.R. nor who made up the consumer demographic behind the growth. Could the US demographic that fostered Apple’s growth during the G.R. similarly be behind China’s growing consumption of Apple products that Cook spoke of to Cramer, yesterday? Cook’s talking to Cramer did save the day from China’s Black Monday. That said. It makes factoring current 2015Q4 earnings a bit easier.


    Nicu 7:48 pm on August 21, 2015 - 13 days ago


    max pain attempt : in today $107 @ 14c 2 minutes ago

    • Nicu

      Nicu 7:49 pm on August 21, 2015 13 days ago


    • Nicu

      Nicu 8:19 pm on August 21, 2015 13 days ago

      not this time

      • SB

        SB 10:08 pm on August 21, 2015 13 days ago

        overwhelmed by China hand-wringing.

        • Nicu

          Nicu 8:57 am on August 22, 2015 12 days ago


  • 9

    Richard 2:51 pm on August 20, 2015 - 14 days ago

    I hope that AAPL is buying up stock, at these fire sale prices!

    • Nicu

      Nicu 2:44 pm on August 21, 2015 13 days ago

      I cannot prove it but I’m pretty sure they do ;)

    • eatingbeets

      eatingbeets 7:43 pm on August 21, 2015 13 days ago

      Picked up a good chunk at $105.75! Cannot see this going much lower but who knows.

    • eatingbeets

      eatingbeets 1:14 pm on August 24, 2015 10 days ago

      yep. sliding farther today it looks like. I’m going all cash at opening until I see where this lands. Can’t stomach another 2012…

  • 2

    conshmillo 9:10 pm on August 14, 2015 - 20 days ago

    So Apple is now “me too” company?


    • Nicu

      Nicu 12:13 pm on August 15, 2015 19 days ago

      They have always been “me too” company. They have never been the first to do something, but most of the time the best of doing some things. And with that opening new, incredibly large markets.

      • conshmillo

        conshmillo 7:55 pm on August 15, 2015 19 days ago

        Sorry Nicu but I don’t share that view. I believe that after the Jobs’ death bunch of dilettantes took over the company and now run it. I think it is the bunch of people that felt oppressed and restricted (for a good reason) under Jobs. I think Jobs horses had been either forced out of the company or left on their own (Scott Forstall etc.). These dilettantes now run wild and clueless. I think Tim Cook is a great been counter but other than that he has no clue. He can not lead. He is being led by likes of Jonathan Ive who is a buffoon that can not produce decent stuff without guidance. His censors are messed up. They way I look at Apple is that it is company that is over the hill. They can’t keep up the way things are. If I was long terms investor I would unwinding now.


    Nicu 2:35 pm on August 13, 2015 - 21 days ago


    in 5 lots Nov $135 C @ $1.16

    • Nicu

      Nicu 2:01 pm on August 14, 2015 20 days ago

      + 5 lots @ $1

    • Nicu

      Nicu 3:23 pm on August 17, 2015 17 days ago

      +5 lots @ $1.23 – was hoping to get them lower, and they may go back below $1 in the short term; but I just want to be ready if there is a liftoff :)

    • Nicu

      Nicu 2:43 pm on August 21, 2015 13 days ago

      improved 5 lots to Nov $130 C @ 45c

  • 2

    Richard 2:01 pm on August 11, 2015 - 23 days ago

    Should I yawn at the changed yuan?

compose new post
next post/next comment
previous post/previous comment
show/hide comments
go to top
go to login
show/hide help