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Discussion Starter #1
Well this is exciting news, finally our small dedicated team has created prototype full featured high power high performance motor controller. The schematic, bill of materials, all the code .. all open source!

This controller hardware design is built on a long long history of controller design for commercial and military aircraft, sport performance fully electric car build experience and hard core engineering at its finest. by forum members Arlo, nitrousnrg, Highhopes & Maxi (code monster from Endless Sphere). The four of us founded www.powerdesigns.ca to centralize the work so if you’re interested to learn more about us or EV technology please check us out! a Very special shout-out to Benjamin who’s VESC software the Axiom controller is based on; #respect.

The Axiom control board has a lot of built in flexibility for various motor position feedback methods, communication and supports a wide range of voltage and current applications. This particular embodiment was paired with 650V 600A rated IGBTs mounted on a cold plate with a large format brick capacitor (metalized polypropylene) custom designed for powerdesigns.
It was put on the bench for functional verification earlier this year and new code features have already been added and merged into the wider VESC project. We’ve since produced a handful of prototypes for our early adopters who graciously agreed to put the board through the paces in their particular application.


CONCEPT


1st PROTOTYPE

Since this forum is all about DIY and we love the DIY culture, we made this controller open source and wanted to post it here in the hopes you will find it useful for future builds. Want to code up your own features or need to modify the CANbus comm to fit your application, no problem! Its open source, YOU have all the power. We're just cleaning up the schematic now to get it ready for a near future post so keep an eye out for it. the datasheet too will be posted soon.
 

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Its always hard to predict the future. But for now we have some beta control boards out in the wild with a few more to sell. Soon we will develop an enclosure and full package and might offer the entire controller but I don't know if we plan for any large production numbers as large scale production is quite costly and our team loves to develop new things.
 

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This looks really great--nicely done guys.

I just sold my RMS PM100 and am looking for a higher power replacement. I might be interested in trying out one of these.

One thing that I don't have time for is hand assembling a board, I've tried going down that road a few times and never been able to complete it. Perhaps if there are others who are interested we could do a group buy for getting some boards fab'd and assembled?

Edit: It wasn't clear if you guys were going to be selling assembled boards, but from the hackaday it sounds like you will. So that would work.
 

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So here's a question...Any plans to start characterizing motors as a service to go along with the controller? I've been in contact with RMS (Who are great, BTW!) about some projects I have in mind, but this product may fit better with my overall goals.
 

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Controllers always seem to be the missing link and the largest unavoidable cost for DIY builds.

I'm really excited about this.

Had no idea this was in progress, seems you guys just appeared out of nowhere :p

Keep us posted.
 

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So here's a question...Any plans to start characterizing motors as a service to go along with the controller? I've been in contact with RMS (Who are great, BTW!) about some projects I have in mind, but this product may fit better with my overall goals.
Hi! -marcos here-,
There is already some base code to make it easier to spin up the motor for the first time (see attached)
Its a wizard where you can choose your motor type, it shouldn't be hard to add new and very specific motor models.

It wasn't clear if you guys were going to be selling assembled boards, but from the hackaday it sounds like you will. So that would work.
Yes, we do sell assembled boards. The DIY approach comes with very high risks that we prefer to avoid.

Had no idea this was in progress, seems you guys just appeared out of nowhere
Yup, to avoid missing great content like this:
https://hackaday.io/project/164932-axiom-100kw-motor-controller/log/162657-block-diagram-explained
make sure you follow and like the project here!

Cheers
 

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Hi! -marcos here-,
There is already some base code to make it easier to spin up the motor for the first time (see attached)
Its a wizard where you can choose your motor type, it shouldn't be hard to add new and very specific motor models.

Cheers
Thanks! How does the firmware handle IPM's? RMS, if they do a full characterization on the dyno, runs a lookup table, no?
 

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Thanks! How does the firmware handle IPM's? RMS, if they do a full characterization on the dyno, runs a lookup table, no?
In general terms its handled Texas Instruments style:
http://www.ti.com/lit/an/spracf3/spracf3.pdf (fig 11)

Its based on the parameters of the machine. We have yet to see how it behaves with a real IPM, the MTPA control loop was performing well in simulations last week and this week its the time for field weakening to hit the bench.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
of course its easier if you hard code in the parameters if they're known (and its all open source code so you can totally do that). but the end goal is to make it more intelligent and user friendly and its not that far out of the question for the controller to characterize ANY motor applied to the terminal by use of frequency response and other measures. like marcos said, you can read about some of the new code features recently added not only to this controller but to all users of VESC platform in the logs of the HackAday post here

the Axiom controller is the real deal. it really is high power, high performance and schematic, BOM and code really is (or will be soon) open source.

might seem we came out of nowhere, but we've been in the scene for a long time just in the background. we've been developing this for quite some time, you can see some of the early work over on Ivan's Garage forum and of course thousands of posts on Endless Sphere. me personally, i focused mostly on the technology development of the controller so i haven't posted to DIYElectricCar too often (not having an EV sort of limits that). but i've been lurking professionally here for years ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
if you look at the picture in the first post you can see what portions are really the DIY parts. not the IGBT modules, heatsink.. those you buy. the gate driver is the most critical part of the system, if its not rock solid the whole thing will fall apart. we well know how to design gate drivers, i've been designing them back when the only ones on the market of any use at this power level were from IGBT-concept or my own. for this particular project we figured it was just easier for the DIY crowd to buy the matching gate driver commercial off the shelf from IGBT-concept (now under the product umbrella of Power Integrations, also a great company). so what's left? the DC link capacitor we can supply but you can also buy three suitable capacitors such as Cornell 944U or Kemet C44U which are a good choice. in fact, that was the stye selected in an earlier version of our controller and it worked well but it requires the user to make custom copper busing which is not super easy for all DIYers. so we sourced an alternate solution, something capable of the performance enhancing features that the metalized polypropylene can give but does not require custom busing and we found it. That left just the control board and the firmware that runs in the processor. How to make this DIY .. open source? took some doing.. but its there now. Axiom control board + VESC platform. that was the last key to the DIY controller puzzle and now that problem has been solved!

so we truly hope to catch your attention. keep following the thread. maybe try out the Axiom controller. hopefully log into HackAday contest and "LIKE" the Axiom project. we can make the Axiom controller great. the talent of forum members is amazing. the amount of knowledge shared, experience gained, willingness of strangers helping strangers and then becoming online friends here is truly amazing. the power we have together, to build great EVs and to share... well, we're on board with that trying to do our bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
... What's it gonna cost?
right now we have produced ~20 units for test by early adopters around the world. we're making sure we have the right combination of components in the right package size to suit the application. once we have that nailed down we'll be in a better position to estimate the prices. that's one-off pricing.. its not cheap. the part numbers are all there on the block diagram on HackAday and the Axiom control board is $530 + shipping (that's no other components and no enclosure, just the control board populated & tested). so you can kinda picture the costs of one-off pricing.

to get cheap you have to build in quantity, reliably. that's actually a big undertaking in of itself.. its sort of the reason why we're competing and hopefully win the HackAday contest. The winning entry is going to receive some professional help with the manufacturing portion and receive the funds to do it. Thus we could get the tooling just right and apply the funds towards the first bulk order to keep the costs down. I have no idea what that would be at this point.. so i can't guess.

What i do know is we need your help to get there. Please log into HackAday and "LIKE" our project! that would be a great first step and much appreciated! :D
 

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Please tell me this would be a great replacement of the nissan leaf controller.
I have followed arlo's bikes and crx build. I have a lotus europa that I would love to put a leaf motor and trans into. Even though my lotus was never "fast" with the original motor, it would be embarrassing now that a miata could take it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi Crater, yes its possible. the control board (Axiom) is not pin-for-pin compatible with leaf so an adapter board would have to be fab'd but that's pretty easy for us to do (and not an expensive process). right now we're gearing up to test Axiom control board on a leaf motor using a more hacked in place configuration because we're validating that the simulated MTPA control algorithm works just as good on the real life machine.

btw - that's arlin who is doing that. he holds the world record so if/when he says its good... you'll know its ::GOOD:: :cool:

once that's done, we'll come out with a professional adapter board that can mate the two together quick & easy
 

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I have officially "Liked" you guys on Hackaday.

Hope to have one of these powering a Leaf motor in my CRX here in Perth. I'll look after the batteries though :p
 

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What I am looking to make is an equivalent to the RMS PM250DZ, so 600Arms Peak phase current and 800VDC maximum bus voltage. Would this be able to handle that? I think I would need 1200V 900A rated IGBTs.
 

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I saw this on the eevblog forum and haven't taken a serious look at it yet, but the OP is doing a good job holding his own against some good and not-so-good questions.
 
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