Z-Car

Verizon FIOS box keeps beeping and red battery light is on – Cheap Replacement

Battery-Girl-2

So you suddenly notice that your FIOS box, usually mounted in your basement or garage, is beeping. On closer inspection, the red replace battery light is on. If you call Verizon, you will also learn that they will not replace the battery, it is your responsibility. They will sell you a new one, but it is not cheap.

Save yourself time, frustration, and money!  There are DIY solutions that will help you solve this issue.  Don’t waste your time trying to contact Verizon, or paying someone to turn off the beep.  This will only leave you frustrated, and out a lot of money.  

Now that you know this, you have two options that will save you a lot of money.

The first is to simply reset the unit. It seems that the FIOS box will often erroneously report that you have a bad battery, when you actually do not. To do this, unplug the FIOS box. Then open the battery compartment. Inside will be the sealed battery with two wires coming from it. Remove either the black or red connector, it may be easier to do if you slightly remove the battery by pressing down on the two plastic clips holding it place. Then wait for a minute or two after unplugging the battery. Then reconnect, close up the panel, and plug the box back into AC. At this point, you most likely will notice that the red light goes out, and no more beeping.

If this does not work, it means your battery is bad. Replacing your battery is a very easy process, and a new battery is amazingly cheap.  Don’t pay an outrageous amount of money for an “official” battery.  A OEM quality battery can be had for less than $20. You can buy a replacement locally, or order from Amazon here.  To install, remove power, open box, and remove both connectors.  Remove the battery and replace with the new one.  Make sure you hook up the red lead to the positive battery terminal, and the black lead to the negative.  Close everything up, and turn back on.  Congratulate yourself on saving some bucks and eliminating the annoying beep.

 Verizon FIOS Battery Backup

fios battery backup


Chrysler’s Super Secret Electric Trio

After the big splash last week with GM’s Volt announcement, Chrysler has decided to release information on their previously secret electric car program. Chrysler announced plans today to introduce a full line of electric vehicles by late 2010, including cars, trucks and SUV’s.

Chrysler Chairman Robert Nardelli introduced three new cars; an extended-range electric Chrysler EV Minivan, an extended-range electric Jeep EV , and a fully electric sports car dubbed the Dodge EV. Like GM, Chrysler is dealing with a technology that isn’t quite ready for prime-time. Chrysler is currently working with “four or five” out of the dozen lithium-ion battery companies to have something ready by 2010. Chrysler is launching a new joint venture with General Electric (Chrysler CEO Nardelli former employer) aimed at developing even more advanced battery systems

Chrysler, which was acquired a year ago by private-equity group Cerberus Capital Management LP, has been searching for partners to help it keep in the race to launch high-tech cars that cut fuel consumption and greenhouse-gas emissions.

Dodge Electric Vehicle
The planned Dodge EV will be a rear-wheel-drive sports car that seats two and has a 268 horsepower electric motor that creates a stout 480 lb-ft of torque. Performance is zero to 60 in fewer than five seconds and a 13 second quarter mile time. All of this comes with a driving range of 150-200 miles on an eight hour charge. Do these numbers sound familiar? They should, the EV is built on a Lotus Europa platform, and sports almost the same technology as the Tesla Roadster.

Jeep Electric Vehicle
The Jeep Wrangler EV will have an engine capable of producing 268 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. The estimated range is 40 miles electric; 400 miles total with gasoline assist.

Chrysler Town & Country EV
“The Chrysler EV combines the electric-drive components of an Electric Vehicle with an integrated small-displacement engine and generator to produce additional electricity to power the electric-drive system when needed. This provides all of the positive attributes of an Electric Vehicle and extends the driving range to be equivalent to today’s gasoline-powered vehicles – without compromises.”



Lightning strikes twice!

Lightning Car Company - Lightning GT

My friend Pete sent me an email about the new Lightning GT from the Lightning Car Company based in Britain.   This Telsa competitor has over 600HP on tap, courtesy of individual electric motors mounted in each wheel hub.  The projected 0-60MPH is in less than 5 seconds, and claims a top speed of over 130 MPH.  That is similar performance as the Telsa, but surprisingly has similar range estimates of over 200 miles to a charge, while being much heavier.

The NanoSafeTMLi-ion battery system that is utilized can be recharged in as little as 10 minutes when connected to a 3 phase electrical system.  The battery systems uses nano titanate structures instead of traditional graphite, which are claimed to greatly increase safety and longevity. That type of recharge time is currently unheard of, however most homes are not equipped with three phase power.  Perhaps this is a way for traditional gas stations to stay in business.  Plug in, get your latte and newspaper in the morning, and by the time the clerk is done with you, your Lightning should be recharged.

2015 Update

Amazingly this company is still in business, however they still do not have a product that they can sell.


Who Killed the Electric Car

EV1

EV1

We watched Who Killed the Electric Car last night on the Tivo.  I am surprised that I have not watched before, but I guess I figured it would just be a rant.  Surprisingly, I felt they had a very balanced message, rightfully placing the blame on pretty much everyone.

 

  • Consumers – wanting huge SUV’s instead of smaller efficient vehicles
  • Car Companies – Too addicted to ICE (Internal Combustion Engine)
  • Gas Companies – wanting to preserve current profits $$$
  • Government – Not mandating change
  • CARB – Switching from a mandate for electric to hydrogen at the last minute

The funny part is that if Toyota, GM, and Ford all had continued production of their EV’s, they would be selling like hot cakes today.  Toyota had a very usable RAV EV, GM had the EV1, and Ford had the Th!nk, which they have since sold to a European firm.  All of these cars were in production, and could be sold today.  And, with the advances in battery technology (imagine a EV1 with LiON batteries!), they would be even better, and cheaper.

Let’s hope the car companies can get their EV’s back into production, and start getting practical PHEV’s into production.



BMW – Mini to Produce Electric Cars in California

It looks like consumers in California will soon be seeing electric Mini’s on the street. The Mini’s are made in Oxford, England. These examples will be partially assembled alongside the normal cars, minus the engine, gearbox and fuel tank. Then they’ll go over to parent company BMW’s facility in Munich, Germany, to be fitted with all the necessary electric drivetrain components and batteries before heading west.

BMW sources told Automotive News Europe that 490 of the Minis will be leased to selected customers in California and 10 will be used as show cars.

The electric cars will have yellow roofs, and will allow BMW to meet California’s requirement that carmakers start selling zero-emission vehicles.

PML Mini QED

Too bad that they are not bring the bad-ass PML Mini QED. Those blokes created a Monster electric Mini that features four 160HP electric motors, one on each wheel.  The car has been designed to run for four hours of combined urban/extra urban driving, powered only by a battery and bank of ultra capacitors.  A claimed top speed of 150 mph, a 0-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds, and a reported range of 932 miles when the ICE hybrid gas motor provides additional charge for the on-board batteries.  In this hybrid mode, fuel economies of up to 80mpg can be achieved.