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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our new production model Synkromotive controller arrived today. It will be installed this weekend in the MG and we will report our findings. It has been a long haul but the production models are coming. No known beta units have failed. It is one solid controller. It is an excellent robust controller. I was unable to kill the beta unit. I ran my beta in excess heat and it never go hot. Ever. It is a very programmable controller with many nice functions. An excellent user interface has been in use since the first Beta units.

Check out the site for specs. The pdf shows the gui user interface and what sort of things it will do.

Pete :)

We are very happy campers. Our new production controller arrived on our door step today.

http://greenev.zapto.org/63ev/63_EV/Production_Synkro.html
 

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Pete,
Let us know how the production model does with the new IGBT's as opposed to mosfets. We have had a very good experience for almost a year with the beta unit. Still awaiting our new replacements. Absolutely love the GUI we have showing on our displlay screen. The programmability and data logging are great teaching tools for me with my EV class.
Steve
 

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Our new production model Synkromotive controller arrived today. It will be installed this weekend in the MG and we will report our findings. It has been a long haul but the production models are coming. No known beta units have failed. It is one solid controller. It is an excellent robust controller. I was unable to kill the beta unit. I ran my beta in excess heat and it never go hot. Ever. It is a very programmable controller with many nice functions. An excellent user interface has been in use since the first Beta units.

Check out the site for specs. The pdf shows the gui user interface and what sort of things it will do.

Pete :)

We are very happy campers. Our new production controller arrived on our door step today.

http://greenev.zapto.org/63ev/63_EV/Production_Synkro.html
Pete,

Thanks for posting. I've been patiently waiting for mine since I ordered one back in Aug 2009 ... yes nearly 18 months ago. The guys there have been pretty good about keeping me informed about what's going on but it's nice to see a production version in someone's hands at last! Now ... wonder when mine is going to ship?
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I will be installing mine tomorrow and will do some test runs with it. I will be calling Ives and will ask about how the roll out is going. My indications are that it will still be a bit slow but will be ramping up speed for assembly. He also had some plain old business garbage to clear up as well. Its lots of work for a small company. Ives sounded very very good and very happy things are moving forward. To the future.

Pete :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Install moving along real nice. Had to remove the dash to get access to some wiring so I can clean things up and get the voltage and amp gauge connected and working. Going to try my Zeva Plus to drive my fuel gauge. Should be powered up tomorrow.

Pete :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well this evening after many evenings of mucking around behind the dash and engine compartment, I have successfully communicated with my new Synkromotive controller. I had to do some serious rewiring to clean things up and to build a new mini hairball for the controller. The mini hair ball will be changed because I don't like it but it is fully functional for now. Tomorrow I should be able to get a successful test of the throttle and contactor and motor. Then on Friday I should have it ready to go for some road mileage and video. I have a pack voltage of 112 volts to start.

Pete :)

Busy at work so time in the evening is short but moving forward. Much slower than I wanted but moving forward.
 

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Pete,
By "hairball", do you just mean an interface where you have all of your leads from the controller going to, say, a terminal strip, so you can easily wire it up?
Also, any indication from Ives as to when other controllers will be ready for shipping? I still have not heard a word from him in three months.
Steve
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Pete,
By "hairball", do you just mean an interface where you have all of your leads from the controller going to, say, a terminal strip, so you can easily wire it up?
Also, any indication from Ives as to when other controllers will be ready for shipping? I still have not heard a word from him in three months.
Steve
Yes, I mean a terminal strip. Found out its not so easy to wire up on that terminal strip I am using. I will find an easier one to use.

No idea about when the others are being shipped. Sorry.

Got mine all wired up and power to the motor. Just got done with that test. Now to clean up my mess and take it for a spin.

Pete :)
 

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Also, any indication from Ives as to when other controllers will be ready for shipping? I still have not heard a word from him in three months.
Steve
I e-mail Ives every couple of months ... and a day or 2 later he sends out one of his status updates to everyone (I think). If you got one of those, and reply to it he might be able to give you a more detailed status. If you've not got one of those updates (the last was on 1/24) let me know.
 

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Stuart,
Thanks, I have not gotten an "update" since December. I have not gotten an email or return phone call from Ives since that time period. I keep hoping I will hear something especially since this is for the EV class I teach at my high school where my students worked very hard to raise the $2800 we sent to Synkromotive last February for two controllers and only(fortunately) have the one beta unit to show for it. We have another project that will need a controller soon and do not have funds to purchase one....really need our original order shipped. Sorry to vent, but I am very frustrated and have been more than patient.
If you will send me the latest "update", I have 11 students that could use some encouragement about now.
Thank you,
Steve
 

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Stuart,
Thanks, I have not gotten an "update" since December. I have not gotten an email or return phone call from Ives since that time period. I keep hoping I will hear something especially since this is for the EV class I teach at my high school where my students worked very hard to raise the $2800 we sent to Synkromotive last February for two controllers and only(fortunately) have the one beta unit to show for it. We have another project that will need a controller soon and do not have funds to purchase one....really need our original order shipped. Sorry to vent, but I am very frustrated and have been more than patient.
If you will send me the latest "update", I have 11 students that could use some encouragement about now.
Thank you,
Steve
Steve,

Sorry to hear that. I originally ordered though EV Components and the infamous Mr James Morrison (to be 'fair', I got everything I ordered except the controller). When Morrison 'did a runner' I made contact with Synkromotive directly, originally with David Boyd and then with Ives Meadows and I'm relatively comfortable then all is kosher - if a bit delayed!

For you and anyone else who is waiting here are the updates I have received from Synkromotive - some directly to me, some to an apparent e-mail list which appeared within a day or do of me asking David/Ives for an update:

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From: David Boyd [mailto:D[email protected]]
Sent: Friday, February 12, 2010 2:33 PM
To: Stuart Flower
Subject: Re: Stuart Flower

Hi Stuart, Don't recall if I replied to you or not. Our email was a bit screwed up switching back to a POP account recently...


We are presently waiting on the first pilot boards from our assembly house, which should arrive Monday or Tuesday. We'll be building up 5 units for heavy testing over the next couple weeks to make sure everything is go for full production. If everything works as expected, we'll test one to failure, and have 4 for customers, of which yours will be one. I expect we'll be done with testing by the end of Feb, barring any unforseen circumstances. We hope to have production in full swing by mid March with stock on the shelves by end of March. Our last big issue to wrap up is dealing with our Chinese buss bar vendor, who has been giving me grief lately. But we have enough in house to build these 5 pilot units, so I don't see that holding up yours.


Feel free to contact me with any questions. and thanks again for all the patience!


Cheers,
David Boyd

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From: David Boyd [mailto:D[email protected]]
Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 2:26 PM
To: Stuart Flower
Subject: Re: Stuart Flower

Hi Stewart, We have had more problems with our Chinese vendor. Finally got the payment debacle straightened out, and now they informed me the nickel plating is coated with clear lacquer. They did this last time, and I EXPLICITLY told them over and over not to do this again. Really ruins the conductivity!! So now they are replating them after stripping the coating. If I could have gotten an American company to make these I would have, but no one here would guarantee the extrusion die. Very frustrating!


I am hoping to have units beginning of April. I will keep you posted as I get more info. I am very sorry this is dragging out, believe me! We never thought this manufacturing phase would take so long to get ironed out.


Keep in touch,
David Boyd

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From: David Boyd [mailto:D[email protected]]
Sent: Sunday, June 06, 2010 5:20 PM
To: Stuart Flower
Cc: Ives Meadors
Subject: Re: Stuart Flower

Hi Stuart, I have a couple built this week, so send me your shipping address and I'll get one out to you next week. How's the conversion coming? If you could send some pics of the vehicle, that would be great.


Also, do you have a copy of the original invoice from EV Components you could email me? With all the crap going on there these days, I would like to have their original invoice just to make sure we've covered our part of the deliverables. <snip> no need to see what he said about Morrison </snip>

Thanks again for the patience. We should be in full production in July, and finally over our long development hump (I hope!!)


Best regards,
David Boyd

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From: David Boyd [mailto:D[email protected]]
Sent: Thursday, July 29, 2010 5:47 PM
To: Stuart Flower
Subject: Re: Stuart Flower

Hi Stuart, I guess Pete <that's Gottdi I believe> in CA put this blog together. First I've seen of it, and from the looks, I think I should have him redo our website! That's another project I need to get to...


He is correct about production schedule. There have been a number of hurdles to cross, but I believe I finally have them sorted out. Finally have the Chinese heat sinks coming in, and next batch of boards should be done mid Aug. I'm trying my best to keep the momentum going and get our product out there, especially with the demise of Zilla lately.


Glad to hear you're using lithium! That should be one kick ass pack! Great for putting some real power to our controller.


Keep in touch, and I'll let everyone know when we get close.
Cheers,
David Boyd

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From: David Boyd [mailto:D[email protected]]
Sent: Monday, September 20, 2010 1:13 PM
To: Stuart Flower
Cc: Ives Meadors
Subject: Re: Stuart Flower

Hi Stewart, Happy B-day! No, I won't ask...
There is news at Synkro, but not exactly what you're wanting. We have been going through some tough times and a transition was in order to simplify the business focus. Since my partner Ives Meadors is the brains behind the product, I have decided to step out of Synkro and focus on other EV ventures more mechanical in nature. Ives will be taking over the business and will be updating all users/Beta customers, etc. I will cc him here so he knows more about you, and I am compiling a list of all our customer contacts for him to get acquainted with. He is dedicated to getting the controller into production quickly, and is more capable of doing so than I. I expect you will hear from him soon.


Hang in there, I'm still sure you'll love the product. I still believe in it, and think it's the best out there for the price. Thanks again for all your patience as we've made the difficult leap from concept to production.


Best regards,
David Boyd

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to be continued (original post too long)
 

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And here are the rest of the e-mails I received:

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From: David Boyd [[email protected]]
Sent: Sunday, September 26, 2010 8:20 PM
To: Stuart Flower
Cc: Ives Meadors
Subject: Re: Stuart Flower

Hi Stuart, After 3 1/2 years I'm stepping away from the company. Ives Meadors, my partner is now taking over Synkro, and taking the controller into production. He can answer any questions you have about controller shipments and production from here on. I'm on to other ventures.


Best regards,
David Boyd

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From: Ives Meadors [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 11:54 AM
To: [email protected]
Subject: progress

All,

Please READ THE EMAIL BELOW I just received this morning!

This marks the end of the long wait for the bus bars.


Ives Meadors
www.Synkromotive.com


-----Original Message-----
From: Michael
Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 8:03 AM
To: Ives Meadors

A 600lb package arrived this morning for Synkromotive Where do you want it ?

Mike

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From: David Boyd [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Friday, October 01, 2010 1:45 PM
To: <removed to protect identities>
Cc: Ives Meadors
Subject: Regarding Synkromotive transition

Greetings everyone, My apologies for the mass email, but there has been a major transition at Synkromotive and you were all somehow in my inbox at one time or another.


After 3 1/2 years as a founder of Synkromotive, I am turning over the reigns to Ives Meadors, my partner in this venture. We have strived to develop the highest quality components for the EV market, and are near to production on the first product, the DC700LV motor controller. It is a great product, and Ives is committed to bringing it to production. I however need to move on to other ventures due to lack of cash flow from years of development and business diversions. For those of you who are Beta customers and early buyers of 'pilot production' units, I believe Ives has every intent on honoring the contracts and replacing those units in the field. I am not sure of his timing, so please contact him for any further information. For all future business, he will be your immediate contact as well. His info is;
Ives Meadors
[email protected] or [email protected]
503-771-9102
2351 NW York St
Portland, OR 97210


If you wish to contact me personally, my other email is [email protected]. After this evening, my synkro email will be discontinued. My phone number will remain the same.


Best regards and wishes to you all, and keep in touch if you like. I hope you're all driving EV in the near future!


Cheers,
David Boyd

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From: Ives [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Monday, November 08, 2010 6:37 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Synkromotive Progress Report November 2010

60 DC controllers arriving in mid/early December:

Assembled boards are ordered and due in December. And as seems to be common in this economy, the preferred IGBT was not in stock so the same substitute part used successfully in the 5 prototypes earlier this year will be used in the upcoming batch. Final assembly, test and QC will be done at Synkromotive.

Cases are within reach of December. A final quote is under way and due in today. Two competitive quotes for harnesses are in. Lead time for these require a decision this week to also arrive in December.

An assembly jig has been designed and tested. A rework strategy has been devised for the poor quality Chinese machine work on the bus bars in stock. The rework will likely be started later this week. Semi-automated test fixture and software development will start last week of November.

Boards for a more foolproof (or fool-resistant) lead-acid battery charge balancer and a revision of the DC controller requiring less manufacturing precision are also due in at the end of this week. Work on these revisions will not begin until late next week. It is possible power ratings will jump up in the late spring batch of controllers, depending on test results and part availabilities.

Ives Meadors

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From: Ives [mailto:ive[email protected]]
Sent: Monday, January 24, 2011 12:48 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Synkromotive Progress Report January 2011

While cresting the top hill this has not been an easy month.

Most of early January was lost to shop lease renegotiation and moving preparations along with testing being thrown off course. The test fixture was a complete failure and I have had to revert to manually test units after losing a few valuable days on the fixture. The benefit of a fixture is to ensure constancy between units.

During manual testing a couple of bugs were found last week further stalling progress. The bugs were resolved on Friday with one being a microprocessor revision correcting previous errata. The other was a more frequent occurrence of an issue seen once or twice in the previous test unit but was dismissed at the time as a test motor issue. This re-tuning has been the first semi-dependant motor parameter so far.

The sample inventory of internal cooling ducts was depleted so this weekend the duct design was briefly reviewed and an alternative solution was tested. With the bulk of inventory on hand; the remaining build time was measured and found to be very encouraging. I have a couple of units built only needing the new duct installed and retesting so I hope to ship the first one if not 2 units today.


Ives Meadors
www.Synkromotive.com

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I think Pete (Gottdi) got one of the 2 controllers referred to in the last e-mail.

I hope the above gives you some comfort.

Regards
 

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Stuart,
Thanks, I have not gotten an "update" since December. I have not gotten an email or return phone call from Ives since that time period. I keep hoping I will hear something especially since this is for the EV class I teach at my high school where my students worked very hard to raise the $2800 we sent to Synkromotive last February for two controllers and only(fortunately) have the one beta unit to show for it. We have another project that will need a controller soon and do not have funds to purchase one....really need our original order shipped. Sorry to vent, but I am very frustrated and have been more than patient.
If you will send me the latest "update", I have 11 students that could use some encouragement about now.
Thank you,
Steve
Well, my controller just arrived today if that's any encouragement. I know for a fact Ives has been working hard to get the controllers out the door. There are 60 units in production right now so if you had a beta yours should be showing up any time now.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, my controller just arrived today if that's any encouragement. I know for a fact Ives has been working hard to get the controllers out the door. There are 60 units in production right now so if you had a beta yours should be showing up any time now.
Excellent news. Did a short run today with my new Synkro. Ives got the logs sent to him. I guess I am still in beta mode because I just logged and sent like I always did. Not a second thought about it. The drive was without a hitch once all the components were installed and tripple checked. I had to reposition my throttle but it finally worked without binding.

I do not like how the MG handles. I like VW's way better. Hands down the VW is a much better platform.

The Synkro performed as expected and according to my settings except the battery amps were set to limit at 200 amps but got a touch higher a few times. Mostly however it did hold at 200 battery amps or less. I am going to set the battery amps to a higher setting. Good performance in acceleration for the limits I put on the controller. It is only a 112 volts for the pack. Not much more than the 96 volts I had before. Now to drive some miles tomorrow to drain the pack so we can check the low batteries to bring back up to match the pack. This will be a slow process but now that I have it done I will put some miles on the pack. :)

Pete :)

Pete :)
 

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Pete, sounds great! keep us posted. I really like this controller and hope Ives gets it all together. The EV community needs a controller with this performance and functionality at this price point. I agree on the VW handling. When properly set up, they handle like on rails. I am biased though, mine turns 50 this year! Gotta love the bug.

Stuart, I have gotten most of those up to the last one. Thanks for sharing. Like I said, I would just like to be kept in the loop by Ives. I know he is busy, but a simple email would be appreciated.

Rich, thanks for the encouraging news. I was on his email list but the problems with the server may have bumped me off. He does have my phone number...

If any of you guys are able get through to Ives, can you please have him email me an update to. kickngas at yahoo dot com
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Did a real nice run today and got the Synkro adjusted. I set it for 400 battery amps max and that was nice performance. 300 amps would be better for the batteries. Cutback and error were set and the car ran very nicely. Still don't like the MG like I do the VW but with better performance it did surprisingly well. Once I got the feel for how the MG ran I was much more comfortable driving it. Still I am mighty large for such a tiny car. Car will be up for sale next month but with the Kelly Controller.

I am well pleased. The Hi-Power did ok but I found one that dropped low but not dead. Put in another and now charging as I write. Checking every 15 minutes. Going to check to end of charge. The take it for another drive tomorrow when I get home from work.

Pete :)
 

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Did a real nice run today and got the Synkro adjusted. I set it for 400 battery amps max and that was nice performance. 300 amps would be better for the batteries. Cutback and error were set and the car ran very nicely. Still don't like the MG like I do the VW but with better performance it did surprisingly well. Once I got the feel for how the MG ran I was much more comfortable driving it. Still I am mighty large for such a tiny car. Car will be up for sale next month but with the Kelly Controller.

I am well pleased. The Hi-Power did ok but I found one that dropped low but not dead. Put in another and now charging as I write. Checking every 15 minutes. Going to check to end of charge. The take it for another drive tomorrow when I get home from work.

Pete :)
Gottdi, can you post some closeup shots of your controller wired up in your VW? I looked around on your website and couldn't find any high resolution pictures.

The end caps seem less brittle than the original beta unit caps am I right? Overall, I'm pretty satisfied with the build quality from what I can tell on the exterior. TIME TO HOOK THIS BABY UP. WOOOOO!!!!

Don't you love the prelabeled wiring harness ;)? Here are a few more pictures if anyone is interested.

http://www.hvbikes.com/apps/photos/album?albumid=11003255
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I will get some photos tomorrow. I did not get the wire harness. I got one with my Beta but not the new one. I had built my own anyway for the Beta to only include that which I was going to use. I still have that harness. Going to make another one as well. It is actually hooked up to my MG right now so I could get some logs into Ives. I will be pulling it in the next week so I can install the Kelly back into the MG and give that one a try as well. Then the MG will be up for sale. :)

Pete :)
 

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Hey guys, good to see you're making progress with your controllers.

Is this controller $2800? Don't mean to start anything, this is an honest question: Why would anyone prefer this controller over a higher powered, and seemingly more refined, Solition-1?

JR
 
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