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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I'm looking to begin a discussion about peoples experience with Paul and Sabrina's controllers.
I'm working on my first EV conversion and am very interested in their controller. But as they're not a "manufacturer" with the accompanying documentation, I am hoping to find some experienced users info.
Anyone?
Thanks!
 

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Hi
I built two of Paul's 500 amp units and I'm currently using his 1600 amp unit

500 amp unit
The kit and instructions are superb - I did manage to blow my first one up but as this was the first electronic thing I had ever built my learning curve was very steep - and I should not have left it open in a dirty garage for 9 months!

The second one was much easier and worked fine

Then I got one of Paul's 1600 amp 400 volt units
It's been working well - Paul has made a few software changes for me

Very pleased with both of them - work well, very cheap, I learned a ton - and Paul is very helpful
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Duncan,

Thank you for your reply.

I've been reading through the DIY for years now and have finally found the right project to "start" my EV adventures.
I have a 38 volt DC forklift pump motor that should work for an ATV conversion.
I've been advised that I need a controller rated at 150 to 175 Amps for an hour and 400 to 500 Amps for 1 minute.
Fine - and I've been looking at various off the shelf options.
BUT, when I discovered the P&S 's controllers it seemed like they were more versatile for voltage input. As in, I can use it for a larger motor project at some later date.
I'm also trying to figure out what other parts I'll need to go with the P&S controller.

What was your first conversion project?

Thanks again.
 

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... It did die on me at the drag races back in March - but I have acquired a replacement! which is now in the car - final re-assembly and back on the road today (I hope)
Just to clarify for gabtrac - it is the motor in Duncan's car which died, not the controller. And the car is custom-built (with Subaru suspension parts), rather than a conversion of a production car.
 

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Hi,

This is a great thread for me to keep in touch as I have recently got two P&S DC Control Boards, and I'm slowly doing a Chevy S-10 Conversion and I will be happy to share my P&S related stuff here, and I'd love to see what others are doing... so thanks and please do keep it coming. During my dialog with Paul he was very helpful and he did offer lots of relevant info and recommendations on compatible parts such as the throttle, links to IGBT's etc. which I would be happy to share if anyone is interested.

cheers!
-Ocean
 

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Paul is still active on ecomodder.com. http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/paul-sabrinas-cheap-3-phase-inverter-ac-controller-10839-318.html#post560622

Through the years his controller(s) evolved from DC, to AC 3 phase, to universal DC/AC, all with power stages.
The controllers are a good representation of the progress in the ereas of EVs, electronics and microcontrollers.
His latest version is a "logic board" only for the Leaf inverter+motor.
As can be seen in the posts following the post in the link above.

Really great stuff. I have read a lot of the posts on ecomodder (not all).
He did get a lot of support from "expert engineers" and other contributors.
 

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The difficulty I'm having is that there's never an overview of these projects telling you what's going on. If you have followed all 7000 posts of the discussion over the years you'd know, but there's never a summary and "where we are now".

Like, this started as the OpenRevolt project, and there's still a wiki for that, but it hasn't been updated in ages and there's no files available. There's no one that tells you that it kinda switched over to the P&S site and that it's not as open anymore. Or that there are old versions with errors in them, that you'd never get told unless you asked the right person. There was never a wrapup posted that, this is X and X works this way.

Paul's said stuff like "Oh we lost those files 8 years ago, there are no more boards like that" etc. Which is fine, it's just, unless you stumble across those specific posts, you don't even know what you don't know.

I would like to build a simple DC controller, but I can't find decent documentation on any controller that was at any stage of 'This now works." Only "Here was a revision as we were working on things".

Just my two cents. I'm not saying anyone owes me anything (they don't), I'm just lamenting that, from someone who wants to take advantage of this open source project (kinda the point of having one?), it doesn't feel accessible to me. Unless, it seems, I was capable of engineering it myself, which defeats the purpose.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok!
Thanks to all of you.

First - Ocean - I would be very interested in anything you could share. My next project (if I ever get through this one) will be an S-10.

DUNCAN!!!
Amazing - you're out of my league, but I'll be giving it the old college try.
I too am building a house. Seems like I'm just a little behind you in my timing.

Ok, so my first question of many to come - how difficult is it to program the P&S and what hardware do I require?

I'm not sure if mentioned that I've been lurking all over this site learning as much as I can for a number of years now. The problem is, I can't remember half of what I've learned...
Please bear with me.
Thanks.
 

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Hi
Re-House
Have you designed it yet?
If not I can give you my tuppence worth

Reprogramming the P & S
For me that is the most scary and awkward part!
So I kept mine as simple as possible!

You will have an issue if you build one of the earlier units -
(1) There is the base level programing - I skipped this by buying a chip that Paul had already done
(2) the final programing - can't be too hard because I managed - BUT you may need an old machine with XP on it

Overall the most frightening part of making your own controller is programing it - but Paul has been incredibly helpful
 

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Thanks Duncan,

The reason I asked about the programming is that I'm a Mac guy. Regular PC stuff is way off my radar so even the simplest of maneuvers is complicated...
I have an old PC laptop that I used to program my first drone, but it wasn't pretty.

I designed the house. Plans and permits all done. Just now coming out of the ground.
The house is why my entries will be slow to come.
 

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Programming issues with microcontrollers for a DC traction motor?

Well, in that case I've got good news for you.

DC traction motors have been used for propulsion for decades without the aid of microcontrollers.

Although Paul has done a splendid job with his controller board, it is still basically a buck regulator.

There are a lot of good ASIC buck regulators available, for instance the LM2694 that I'm using in the buck stage of my charger design.
It has hysteretic control, which is ideal for DIY No programming needed.

But it does run at a frequency that is probably too high for a 144V/500A power stage.
But who knows, I haven't done the math for modern IXYS mosfets and schottky diodes and it might very well be possible to lower the frequency enough.
 

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I have been using my open revolt controller since Sept. 09. My conversion is an 87 Ford ranger. There has been no problems with the controller.

Programming was done on a parallel port programmer I made. Changing the program can be done with RTD Explorer with a USB to serial cable adapter.
Even with windows10.

I still have schematic and BOM.

Alvin
 

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Thanks Alvin, can you provide more details
re:programming was done on a parallel port programmer I made. Changing the program can be done with RTD Explorer...

Cheers
 

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The RTD Explorer is a program to set the parameters of the controller.

You can load the controller software from there if it has been programmed before. I am not sure if it will do it on a new chip.

It can be done from the parallel programmer.

Here is the link for RTD.

Here is another link to the controller.
 

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MattsAwesomeStuff is right that the documentation hasn't been great. I never knew how to make changes to the Wiki, and then the person who was storing the files quit storing them. I have been so busy the last couple years with 2 full time jobs, but now as of today I am unemployed (in greenland!) , so I hope in the next couple months to be really improving the documentation (in between looking for a new job haha). There is a new DC control/driver board that I had made that will be here in about 4 days. If anybody wants the software and whatever else for it, they are welcome to it. the same goes for the AC control/driver board. You are welcome to the most recent files. Since I'm a little "website design" challenged, I just email it to people when they ask for it. My email is [email protected].

Here's a video of someone who got my new DC board (I ordered a couple and assembled them to make sure it was all good before getting a batch done):
https://blackfamily-my.sharepoint.com/personal/jeff_potkettle_black/_layouts/15/onedrive.aspx?id=/personal/jeff_potkettle_black/Documents/EV Project/MidgetWOT.mov&parent=/personal/jeff_potkettle_black/Documents/EV Project&slrid=78ef629e-d0e2-5000-8f80-7375769e162b
 

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MattsAwesomeStuff is right that the documentation hasn't been great. I never knew how to make changes to the Wiki, and then the person who was storing the files quit storing them. I have been so busy the last couple years with 2 full time jobs, but now as of today I am unemployed (in greenland!) , so I hope in the next couple months to be really improving the documentation (in
between looking for a new job haha). There is a new DC control/driver board that I had made that will be here in about 4 days. If anybody wants the software and whatever else for it, they are welcome to it. the same goes for the AC control/driver board. You are welcome to the most recent files. Since I'm a little "website design" challenged, I just email it to people when they ask for it. My email is [email protected].

Here's a video of someone who got my new DC board (I ordered a couple and assembled them to make sure it was all good before getting a batch done):
https://blackfamily-my.sharepoint.com/personal/jeff_potkettle_black/_layouts/15/onedrive.aspx?id=/personal/jeff_potkettle_black/Documents/EV Project/MidgetWOT.mov&parent=/personal/jeff_potkettle_black/Documents/EV Project&slrid=78ef629e-d0e2-5000-8f80-7375769e162b


Hey Paul I hope the unemployment was not something that a bad thing happened to you! Hope things are ok otherwise.

Hey would you happen to have the latest documents on your synchronized dc controller design that you did way back?

Also what is this new DC board for? What are the new improvements?
 

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It just required frequent traveling, but my wife has M.S., and can't drive herself, so I need to be near home, and can't take long trips. Otherwise she and my little kids get stuck at home for extended periods of time.

Oh no, the SR controller. Hmm... I don't have those. I made the boards several years ago, the hard drive went bad, and I never re-did it. This is just a surface mount version of the DC control/driver board that plugs into up to three 600v 600amp IGBTs. Fairly similar to the one duncan has, but also has a USB plug for conversing with a computer using realterm.
 

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I never knew how to make changes to the Wiki, and then the person who was storing the files quit storing them.
With open-source projects, there tend to be 2 kinds of people:

1 - Those that can participate.

2 - Those that can benefit.

The trick is to get more people to help participate. If you're the one doing the engineering, you shouldn't also have to shoulder the effort documenting it.

If I knew where the project was at, or had/would be building one, I'd be happy to contribute to the documentation.

Losing the files, ugh. There have to be free places to store those files, websites designed exactly for open source projects.

You are welcome to the most recent files. Since I'm a little "website design" challenged, I just email it to people when they ask for it.
Thanks, much appreciated.

Not sure what your goals are, but in terms of an open source project, if you want it to be as accessible to as many people as possible who could benefit from it, getting it hosted on a central location is definitely the way to go. For example, unless someone stumbles across this thread, and they've heard of the project, how would they know who or how to get a hold of the files?
 
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