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Old 02-22-2010, 01:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
EV test pilot
bennelson's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Oconomowoc, WI, USA
Posts: 4,435

Electric Cycle - '81 Kawasaki KZ440
90 day: 334.6 mpg (US)

S10 - '95 Chevy S10
90 day: 30.48 mpg (US)

Electro-Metro - '96 Ben Nelson's "Electro-Metro"
90 day: 129.81 mpg (US)

The Wife's Car - Plug-in Prius - '04 Toyota Prius
90 day: 78.16 mpg (US)
Thanks: 17
Thanked 662 Times in 387 Posts
Ben's "Cougar" ReVolt Controller

Hi everyone,

I thought I would separate out a dedicated thread from my Electro-Metro information for just my experiences with the "Cougar" - the very first ReVolt Open Source EV Controller.

This controller was the one originally constructed by MPaulHolmes.
He built it, then tested it in his EV SuperBug at 72V. That was spring of 2009. He then sent it to me to test at higher voltages, to "test until destruction", which only took me about 4 days. Once I found a design flaw, I mailed it back to Paul for design improvements and repair.

For a number of reasons, I didn't end up getting the controller back until the fall, but it did now come with a cool "Contactor Control" lead - the magic yellow wire that makes the car that much more automated by having the ReVolt run the main contactor and pre-charge for me.

The other super-cool new feature available was the RTD Explorer software, designed by Adam. With a laptop computer, I could now see and graph information directly from the controller. Amperage, pedal position, PWM, and other vital intel could be graphed and saved for later analysis.

Unfortunately, this also got me in trouble.
I managed to get a "tablet" pc, which I thought would be perfect to run as an in-car display, directly connected to the controller. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that the way the power was rigged to the tablet pc meant that the RS232 port (which carries power! I didn't know that!) pushed a little too much voltage into the logic board of the controller!

Poof! The controller stopped working. Thank goodness no magic smoke was let out! All damage was confined to the logic board. Too bad I am not so good at troubleshooting electronics! Paul tried helping me do a bit, but in the end, it just seemed easier to build a new board.

So, that brings you up to the present time - me building a new logic board for the Cougar. The really weird part is that the PDF file of how to build to controller is photographs of THIS controller! It's a very strange form of DejaVu.

Here's a little video of what I did just the other day.

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