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Discussion Starter #1
The last time I sent an ElCon charger to Sacramento for re programming, it took them six weeks.

I have read through as many threads as I can find on the subject of reprogramming Elcon PFC Chargers, including this one:
Elcon/TC Charger Firmware: Facts

Arduino boards, FET driver, 3846 SMPS, 1/2 H-bridge,...?!?!

Are there any kind of simplified reprogramming instructions for stupid people like me?

I.E. Buy this converter cable, install a “ElCon Charger Control” program on your PC, plug the cable into your USB port and the charger, run the program...?
 

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The last time I sent an ElCon charger to Sacramento for re programming, it took them six weeks.

I have read through as many threads as I can find on the subject of reprogramming Elcon PFC Chargers, including this one:
Elcon/TC Charger Firmware: Facts

Arduino boards, FET driver, 3846 SMPS, 1/2 H-bridge,...?!?!

Are there any kind of simplified reprogramming instructions for stupid people like me?

I.E. Buy this converter cable, install a “ElCon Charger Control” program on your PC, plug the cable into your USB port and the charger, run the program...?



No, not really.


It is not especially complicated but there are things you have to know. The charger uses a Phillips P89LPC938 Processor and is programmed through the 5 Pin connector under the label on the side of the charger.


You need a device programmer and software that can program this chip. Hard to find these days because it's old technology. I have an FDI USB In-Circuit Programmer for LPC9XX – USB-ICP-LPC9XX. It uses flash magic software (free).



https://www.teamfdi.com/product-details/usb-icp-lpc9xx


Then you need a file with the desired functions in intel hex format.



If you don't have this file then it has to be generated by someone with a Keil Compiler.


I can do all of this.... what are you trying to do exactly?
 

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Yes my understanding is with the CAN technology, an mcu keeps sending a "keep charging xV yA" every 15 seconds or something

and if that "heartbeat" signal stops for any reason, then after say 30sec the Elcon automatically shuts down

That seems like a much better safer protocol than relying on the BMS to halt charging and the default is the charger just keeps going.

Of course redundant failsafes should be there anyway.

Plus the ability to customize the charge cycle according to circumstances

fastest safe charge when needed

reducing current when the cells get colder and v/v
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
No, not really.
I can do all of this.... what are you trying to do exactly?
Hi, Pdove,

Thank you for the reply… long story short, I don’t even want to change the algorithm, I just want to lower the voltages. It is a PFC 4000, eight years old.
But it’s a daily driver and I really don’t want to wait six weeks.
I would be glad to pay you whatever reasonable amount you charge… Can you do it in less than six weeks? LOL…

I also have about half a dozen PFC 3000s... I bought them super cheap after Triac in Monterey went belly up. They would be about 10 years old, but they’re brand new (or at least, completely unused.) Elcon has said they can’t reprogram them, but they wouldn’t say why. I’d like to send you one of those and find out if the reason they can’t reprogram them is electronic or political. Maybe Triac owed them money or something.

Are you interested in doing this for me? For a price, of course.

PS...Try to stay dry today.
Thanks,
—Douglas
 

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Hi, Pdove,

Thank you for the reply… long story short, I don’t even want to change the algorithm, I just want to lower the voltages. It is a PFC 4000, eight years old.
But it’s a daily driver and I really don’t want to wait six weeks.
I would be glad to pay you whatever reasonable amount you charge… Can you do it in less than six weeks? LOL…

I also have about half a dozen PFC 3000s... I bought them super cheap after Triac in Monterey went belly up. They would be about 10 years old, but they’re brand new (or at least, completely unused.) Elcon has said they can’t reprogram them, but they wouldn’t say why. I’d like to send you one of those and find out if the reason they can’t reprogram them is electronic or political. Maybe Triac owed them money or something.

Are you interested in doing this for me? For a price, of course.

PS...Try to stay dry today.
Thanks,
—Douglas

I don't know if I could do 6 weeks turnaround right now because I am moving at the end of June. If you waited till July I would have more time.


Now, as far as the PFC 4000 goes it should have several voltages already programmed into the charger. The button on the side is for changing the number of cells. There should be a Label on the side telling you the voltage of each position 1 through 10. Like the one in this picture.


Send me pictures of all the labels on one of your 3000's and I will tell you if they can be reprogrammed.
 

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That seems like a much better safer protocol than relying on the BMS to halt charging and the default is the charger just keeps going.

Of course redundant failsafes should be there anyway.

Plus the ability to customize the charge cycle according to circumstances

fastest safe charge when needed

reducing current when the cells get colder and v/v

Actually, the TCCH chargers do not rely on a BMS. The curve is programmed into the charger.



One would only need a BMS with the can controlled chargers.
 

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Actually, the TCCH chargers do not rely on a BMS. The curve is programmed into the charger.

One would only need a BMS with the can controlled chargers.
Obviously if the charger is programmed correctly then fine, but that is not the topic here.

And I never said a a BMS is needed.

I am saying the CAN option is better.

Safety reasons as outlined above.

Relevant to OP is also flexibility, no need to "program" your desired profile, can adjust as desired on the fly.

And a BMS is not required in any case, CAN being a trivial protocol can set up with many different MCUs for under $20.
 

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I don’t even want to change the algorithm, I just want to lower the voltages
What we mean by "charging algorithm", more usually the "profile"

usually is meant to include the voltage setpoints.

Even if you do succeed in getting the "hard coded" programming adjusted, you should investigate the CAN option, if that is available for those old models.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
And a BMS is not required in any case, CAN being a trivial protocol can set up with many different MCUs for under $20.
I am 99% sure that my charger is CAN enabled.

When I first ordered it, eight years ago, I was very new and green to the field… As I recall, somebody told me to “order all the bells and whistles.” Maybe Michael Bream. He is who I ordered it from. He and I are fairly close. But these days he’s swamped… Two years out for just about anything.

I’m going to meet with Trent, his chief engineer, on Wednesday. Maybe he can help me figure it out.

To be honest, electronic stuff like this is still very much my weak point.

If it IS CAN-enabled, then what do I need to program it?
 

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Google for Arduino CAN modules, or find a high school geek to take it on if you don't want to learn.

The ELCON specific codes required are also documented out there.

Or, these BMS already include the ability to control Elcon via CAN, could just buy one I s'pose.

There are sniffer tools to intercept the messages if not all are documented.

Emus
Orion
Elithion
EPS

Maybe more now.

There will be upper & lower voltage limits by TCCH model, and of course a maximum current.
 

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Some notes I dug up, from Eltek FlatPack threads but might give you jargon to use googling

CAN buss controller alternatives to smartpack

Leonardo CAN from Hobbytronics
code from Remmie http://www.hobbytronics.co.uk/leonardo-canbus
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=71139&start=75#p1205303
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=87896&start=25#p1303046

---
Raspberry Pi rPi alternative
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=71139&start=225#p1393712
 

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I am 99% sure that my charger is CAN enabled.

When I first ordered it, eight years ago, I was very new and green to the field… As I recall, somebody told me to “order all the bells and whistles.” Maybe Michael Bream. He is who I ordered it from. He and I are fairly close. But these days he’s swamped… Two years out for just about anything.

I’m going to meet with Trent, his chief engineer, on Wednesday. Maybe he can help me figure it out.

To be honest, electronic stuff like this is still very much my weak point.

If it IS CAN-enabled, then what do I need to program it?

Not sure what you have been told but these charger have one of two things. Either they have software that requires a CAN formatted message every second to remain on or they have a per-programmed algorithm in them that does a constant current /constant voltage charging curve. If it has the curve then it will have 10 possible combinations of voltage and capacity that can be selected with the button on the side of the unit.


Like I said send me pictures of the unit and it's labels so I can read them and I can tell you more about what you have.
 

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I understood that the installation of the CAN option overrides the "canned" options programmed.

Isn't it possible to revert back to the latter controls by disabling / removing the CAN unit?
 

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I understood that the installation of the CAN option overrides the "canned" options programmed.

Isn't it possible to revert back to the latter controls by disabling / removing the CAN unit?

No, To change from CAN to non-CAN they unit must be reprogrammed.


The 89LPC938 chip has EEPROM and Flash memory that holds the program.


It is too small to hold more than one configuration.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Send me pictures of all the labels on one of your 3000's and I will tell you if they can be reprogrammed.
OK, here you go:
 

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It is not a CAN model and it can definitely be reprogrammed.


There should be another label like the one I showed with the current algorithm that is programmed into the unit.


Those are made up of two 1500 W units connected in parallel.


One unit is the master the other unit has the slave program and is controlled by the master.


What do you want to do?
 
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