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  #1  
Old 10-02-2008, 07:49 AM
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Default Final Controller Selection 120V

Okay, I've browsed through (and posted to many) of the other controller threads, but excluding the batteries this will be the most expensive purchase for my conversion so you guys have to put up with yet another post!

Anyways, I'm buying the controller this month. Now which one. (I'm using an ADC L91-4003 motor.)

Criteria:
120V Nominal (162V Peak with Lithium)
Prefer Made in USA - Enough manufacturing has left the country already.
Prefer silent.
I'm not rich.
Reliable.
Don't need major customization / fine tuning. If I plug it in and it works acceptable I'll never mess with it!

Kelly Controllers:
24V-120V, 400 Amp, $799 (Max Voltage is 136V, so a no go with Lithiums)
24V-144V, 400 Amp, $899 (Max Voltage is 168V - acceptable)
It's $200, but Kelly also has nice assemblies for their controllers: http://www.kellycontroller.com/mot/Assemblys.html
Upsides: Cheapest, Nice Assembly, Quiet
Downsides: Questionable quality, hit/miss customer service, Made in China

Logisystems:
72V-120V, 550A, $1210
120V-144V, 550A, $1250
Upsides: Made in USA, Okay Pricing, Quiet
Downsides: Common problem of chirping tires in reverse? (Probably not an issue with my motor though.)

Curtis:
1221C, 72V-120V, 400A, $1075 (although this price is old)
1231C, 96V-144V, 400A, $1550 (although this price is old)
Upsides: Time-tested reliability.
Downsides: Not quiet, recent cost jumps have made it fairly pricey.

Zilla:
No longer in production and way out of my price range.


Right now I'm leaning to the 120V-144V Logisystems (Kelly 144V as 2nd choice). Anyone have any inputs? (Or know cheaper prices on these controllers?)

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 10-02-2008, 08:40 AM
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Default Re: Final Controller Selection 120V

Yea, there are more to choose from. Here is another.

http://www.navitastechnologies.com
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  #3  
Old 10-02-2008, 08:51 AM
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Default Re: Final Controller Selection 120V

From what I have read/heard, I think the Kelly controller quality is kind of hit/miss also. There are a few posts on DIY where the Kelly controller failed (in some cases quite horrifically, caught on fire). One of the guys in our EV Club had an Kelly, the first one failed, he got a replacement. Once it was working, it worked ok. I believe he thought the controller might have been over rated also. He has since sold the car but he was in the process of putting another controller into it. Anyways IMO, I would go for another company's controller that has a better track record. It might save you more money in the long run.

About the noise thing you talk about, I assume you mean the Curtis wine. Several people actually like that noise, it lets them know the controller is starting and people around the outside of the car know that you are there. Especially the second point. I take my car to a lot of shows and with people walking around; they don't know you are there. You can't honk at them, which will startle someone so bad it could give them a heart attack. So you either sit patiently or lean out the window trying to get their attention. So the Curtis wine isn't all so bad and it only happens when you initially take off and shuts off pretty quickly. So I wouldn't throw out Curtis just because of the wine.

Another popular controller you don't mention is DC Power Systems. I have the Raptor 600 in my car. It has worked flawlessly for me. I bought the car already converted, so I didn't have to install it but it has worked great for my car. You would have to check on the price, I am not sure how much they go for. But a couple of people in our EV Club have this controller and we all like it. So it could be an option for you.
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Old 10-02-2008, 02:52 PM
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Default Re: Final Controller Selection 120V

If you've never heard the "Curtis Whine" in person, I'd suggest you find someone in your nearest EV club with a curtis-equipped controller.

Something I've noticed is that in person it doesn't sound nearly as loud or annoying as it seems on a youtube video.

Maybe it's just my weird hearing loss issues, but most youtube videos tend to sound piercingly loud, whereas in person not as much. That's not to say it's not noticeable.

I selected Curtis 10+ yrs ago when there wasn't much alternative, and though that conversion was never completed, I will likely select Curtis again.

I like the fact that people can hear me at low speed, especially in parking lots. I have been "snuck up on" by silent EVs, and it's almost as startling to realize there's a car rolling towards you that you can't hear as it is to get honked at by a car you can't hear.

If I end up choosing another controller, I'll only do it if I can find a soft, pleasant "alert system" like a quiet low-note whistle that I can toot politely if someone is not paying attention.

Curtis may have "outdated" equipment in the views of some, but they are arguably the most prolific PWM controller manufacturer for series-dc motors. Everything from golf carts to industrial trucks to powered pallet jacks to forklifts to EVs to.... whatever... have Curtis controllers in them. They make a good product, stand behind their product, and aren't going to disappear tomorrow.
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  #5  
Old 10-02-2008, 04:54 PM
84bertone 84bertone is offline
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Default Re: Final Controller Selection 120V

Just a comment on the LogiSystems so called reverse "tire chirp problem".

I experienced the same thing and it turned out to be the pot box that was causing the tires to chirp in reverse. The pot box would ramp up the ohms much too quickly as one stepped on the accelerator and consequently chirp the tires. I solved it with a precison wound 1 k potentiometer which is only in the circuit in reverse gear and I can now back up with the utmost of precision.

In summary, I do not believe that the LogiSystems controller is any more susceptible to this than any other controller.
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Old 10-02-2008, 07:53 PM
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Default Re: Final Controller Selection 120V

Thanks for the responses!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gottdi View Post
Yea, there are more to choose from. Here is another.

http://www.navitastechnologies.com
Do they have a 120V model available? - The highest I saw was 96V.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zemmo View Post
Another popular controller you don't mention is DC Power Systems. I have the Raptor 600 in my car. It has worked flawlessly for me. I bought the car already converted, so I didn't have to install it but it has worked great for my car. You would have to check on the price, I am not sure how much they go for. But a couple of people in our EV Club have this controller and we all like it. So it could be an option for you.
From what I've read it looks like DC Power Systems no longer makes controllers. Does anyone have a link to a seller?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TX_Dj View Post
Something I've noticed is that in person it doesn't sound nearly as loud or annoying as it seems on a youtube video.

Maybe it's just my weird hearing loss issues, but most youtube videos tend to sound piercingly loud, whereas in person not as much. That's not to say it's not noticeable.
I just got the latest pricing from EV America - the 1221C-7401 400A still sells for $1075. Do you know the operating voltage of this one? And does 400A really mean 400A? Or should I spring the extra $200 for Logisystems 550A? (Although I'm not sure if I need anywhere near 400A. Any idea how many amps my Spit will pull with decent acceleration?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by 84bertone View Post
Just a comment on the LogiSystems so called reverse "tire chirp problem". I experienced the same thing and it turned out to be the pot box that was causing the tires to chirp in reverse. The pot box would ramp up the ohms much too quickly as one stepped on the accelerator and consequently chirp the tires. I solved it with a precison wound 1 k potentiometer which is only in the circuit in reverse gear and I can now back up with the utmost of precision.
Good to know!

Last edited by ClintK; 10-02-2008 at 07:54 PM. Reason: Another Question
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  #7  
Old 10-02-2008, 08:08 PM
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Default Re: Final Controller Selection 120V

From what I saw on their site, they will build custom controllers according to your needs. You will need to ask them about what they can build and how much. I was going to ask about a 48-158 or so voltage controller with at least 1000 amps peak and at least 350 continuous. Just to be sure I have enough controller power.

Pete : )


Quote:
Originally Posted by gottdi
Yea, there are more to choose from. Here is another.

http://www.navitastechnologies.com
Do they have a 120V model available? - The highest I saw was 96V.
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  #8  
Old 10-03-2008, 05:49 AM
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Default Re: Final Controller Selection 120V

A friend of mine who services fork lifts and golf carts swears by Navitas controllers. He says they are the best he's ever worked with. He also likes the fact that they are Canadian-made. You do need to figure in the cost of the programmer though($250 if I remember right).
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  #9  
Old 10-05-2008, 03:15 PM
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Default Re: Final Controller Selection 120V

Per a PM suggestion, I contacted EV Craft (www.evcraft.com). They have a 120V 400A controller, operates at 20KHz so its quiet, made in Canada (I believe), and costs $849 + $35 shipping. I prefer buying from Canada far more than China, and the price is definitely right.

I am taking a second look at the Curtis 1221 though. Price is good and it sounds like nobody really minds the sound.
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