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Old 04-26-2010, 03:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hondo's new controller

As some of you know, last year Paul Holmes built an Open Revolt controller for me that I put in my electric Fiero. I made the mistake of mounting it directly to the transmission via a metal plate (don't do this). It might have been ok but I hadn't mounted my flywheel properly to my motor and I had a vibration problem. It wasn't too bad at low rpms but at about 3000 it sounded like a semi was on my back bumper. The controller worked great, but after several weeks of this beating, it failed. I sent the controller back to Paul and he fixed what I had broken. Instead of having him send it back to me, I had him send it to someone (who will remain nameless) who needed a controller for a test vehicle for a prototype charger he was working on. I haven't heard back from him since then and was in need of a new controller for my Fiero. Paul, I know you are going to read this so, first off, I want to say thank you so much for all you did for me, and all the other diy guys out there. After all I put you through, I didn't have the heart to bother you with building another controller for me. I thought about building one myself but, a man has to know his own limitations, and my soldering and electronic skills suck. So, I went shopping. I was going to get a Logisystems cntroller until I found out that they are no longer making the hi-amp controllers for cars and are focusing on the NEV market. Then I went to Cloud Electric's site. There I found a Kelly 800 amp controller for only $1,198. It was the best deal I could find, I know Kelly has had some troubles in the past but the guy at Cloud said that their new controllers were a lot better. So I sent them a certified bank check on a Friday, and I had the controller on the next Thursday. I installed the controller over the week end and backed the Fiero out of the garage. It took off great, until I got to around 200 amps and that was it. It would only go about 30 mph and nothing I did could get it to pull any more amps. As you can guess, I was very disapointed. Then I remembered that while programming the controller through the included cable(it was REALLY easy with the program they have), I had set the low volt shut down at 99 volts (I have a 108 volt system). I had forgotten how much the volts go down when you start drawing higher amps. I reprogrammed the controller to have a low volt shut down of 76 volts. What a difference. I can now pull 800 amps and the thing accelerates like a rocket. Well ok not a rocket, but at least no one is honking at me for going too slow. I drove it 10 miles to work this morning and the battery cables weren't even warm and the controller was just barely warm to the touch. Time will tell how good this controller is (I fixed the vibration problem and mounted the controller to the body via an aluminum plate) but in the mean time I am very happy with it. Paul, my hat goes off to you and all you other guys who can actually build your own controller. But for the skill challenged people like myself, $1200 is a lot better than $2k for an 800 amp unit.

Hondo

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Old 04-27-2010, 10:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
faster Fiero
 
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well.......

OK, my EV grin has turned to a frown. Last night when I was driving home the controller was working great, until I got to the 4th stop light. After stopping for the red, when the light turned green, I pushed on the accelerator and- nothing. It is so fun to push a car backwards to the side of the road during rush hour. Luckily one of my neighbors saw me pushing and came over to help. We pushed the car into the closest business parking lot and he gave me a ride home. With over 3000 miles since conversion on my Fiero, it was the first time it ever left me stranded. I went back with my van and tow-bar and pulled the Fiero back home. When I apply throttle, I get a red led light on the contoller, which the manual says might be controller damage and to contact Kelly. I called them this morning and left a message to call me back. I will keep you guys posted on how they take care of this problem.

Hondo
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Old 04-27-2010, 06:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hondo,

Your problem might be in you pedal. Count the series of red LED flashes. If the red LED flashing twice with a short pause and then four flashes, then you pedal is out of range. You can reprogram the controller for the percentage of dead zone on each end. If you controller is currently set to 10% then change it to 20%. What this will do is cause you to push down on the pedal a little more before you begin to move. This is a safety feature that basically will not allow the controller to operate if it senses the pedal is pushed down a little when the controller is turned on. Some pedals when released don't go all the way to the end of the rotation of the potentiometer or hall effect, which ever you have.

Just a thought....
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Old 04-27-2010, 06:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks Steiner, but I don't think that is it. I get a constant on on the red led when I apply throttle and I can hear about 8-10 "bumps" like it is trying to go then the light starts flashing the 3,1 code for frequent rests. I did have the throttle set at 10% so I will go home and try 20%. I got an email back from Kelly saying that an engineer would email me back later due to the time difference. So the tech must be in China.
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Old 05-26-2010, 01:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It's Back

Well, I ended up sending the controller back to China for them to test. They said that something went wrong with the opti-coupler. The tech told me that it probaly happened while charging the batteries and that the pre charge resistor should not be connected while charging even though their wiring instructions showed to hard wire it over the main contactor terminals so the controller sees the full pack voltage all the time. I wondered about hard wiring it because I had used a 40 watt light bulb mounted inside the car when I had my Open Revolt controller in the car. It really worked pretty well, turn the key to turn on the pre charge resistor, wait for the light to go out, then turn on the main contactor. Anyway, I got the controller back yesterday and hopefully I will get it all hooked up tonight. I will put a switch on the precharge resistor so I can disconnect it while charging. I'll keep you all posted.

Hondo
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Old 06-01-2010, 11:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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On the road again

Well, it works as good as before. Now time will tell, it worked great driving to work this morning. I did install a switch to disconnect the precharge resistor while charging. I also used a small 12v garden tractor battery to run the controller that is TOTALLY isolated from vehicle ground. I am getting some "stray" voltage from the acid mist like Ben was getting on his Metro and I wanted to make sure none of it got to the controller. I will keep you all posted.
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Old 06-02-2010, 12:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Need a fan

I really pushed the controller hard last night on the way home from work and it got a little warm. I noticed that it started limiting the amps and would only let me pull around 300. When I got home I felt the aluminum plate that it is mounted to and it was very warm. (my Open Revolt never got that hot) I will find a fan and get it mounted as soon as possible. This morning I decided to take the freeway to work and the Fiero quickly got up to 70 mph pulling only 400 amps while accelerating. Once I got to 70 mph I was able to cruise at that speed while only pulling 150-175 amps. The controller was only slightly warm when I got to work, but I will still get a fan. So far, so good.

Hondo
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Old 06-02-2010, 11:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hondo,

Glad to hear everything is working for you.

I don't know if Kelly has changed their design but a year ago they were over rating their controllers. I went through several and the last one that I got (which is still working) was sent to me pre-programed for 80% of peak power. I think they realized they were overating them and simply lowered the peak output. I looked inside one of the first ones that blew up and was quite surprised at what I saw. They actually don't have a metallic path for the heat to transfer to the outside cover. It is basically a small oven in there which eventually conducts heat to the outside cover. This is a very poor design which causes the controller to fold back rather quickly due to temperature limits.

Paul connected his mosfets to an aluminum heat spreader that was directly connected to the outside cover. This is a much better design.
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Old 06-03-2010, 02:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Well, I got the idea from Ian Hooper in Australia. hehe. There was no idea that was original with me.

I'm so glad your controller is working so well now, Hondo!
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Old 06-03-2010, 02:47 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Well, I got the idea from Ian Hooper in Australia. hehe. There was no idea that was original with me. I'm just a professional ripoff artist, but I always get permission.

I'm so glad your controller is working so well now, Hondo!

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