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Old 03-09-2015, 11:07 PM   #1761 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Astro View Post
Whoohoo... road trip.

Actually that is quite a road trip, i am guessing thingstodo will be flying
Road trip would take 2 - 3 days ...

.. so yes, I'm flying. For a vacation near Phoenix

The control board will be coming along for the ride.

Hopefully we can:
- get the controller talking serial
- make sure I didn't break anything else!

Bonus - get my laptop configured with MPlab so that it can build and download the current software

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Old 03-10-2015, 01:11 AM   #1762 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thingstodo View Post
The control board will be coming along for the ride.
Hopefully we can:
- get the controller talking serial
- make sure I didn't break anything else!
Bonus - get my laptop configured with MPlab so that it can build and download the current software
Don't forget to get Paul to autograph it.
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Old 03-10-2015, 01:47 AM   #1763 (permalink)
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Well, I have MPLab 8.83 loaded, added the files from the instructable to a project, and tried a build. Apparently I don't have a linker loaded?

Gotta go through the MPLab install again ... I guess I missed a step ..
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Old 03-12-2015, 08:34 PM   #1764 (permalink)
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Finalists have been chosen for the Instructables contest! Unfortunately, I wasn't one of the 37 projects. haha. I'm not sure exactly what they are looking for. A 16w arduino charger made it. Just not a 200kW AC motor controller. haha. I think I'm giving up on Instructables contests. The last time I entered one, I was beat by LED sneakers (and 40 other random things).
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Old 03-12-2015, 11:40 PM   #1765 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by MPaulHolmes View Post
Finalists have been chosen for the Instructables contest! Unfortunately, I wasn't one of the 37 projects. haha.
Many people would not even know what an AC controller is. I work with lots of this type of people!

Don't take it personally - we're behind you! You do great work.
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Old 03-13-2015, 12:12 AM   #1766 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by MPaulHolmes View Post
Finalists have been chosen for the Instructables contest! Unfortunately, I wasn't one of the 37 projects. haha. I'm not sure exactly what they are looking for. A 16w arduino charger made it. Just not a 200kW AC motor controller. haha. I think I'm giving up on Instructables contests. The last time I entered one, I was beat by LED sneakers (and 40 other random things).

Not really surprised. With no visibility of the actual votes, they could choose whoever they like. My trust of seemingly large internet organisations is pretty low when they could actually be anything from a massive company to a teenage kid operating out of a corner of his mums living room. I mean who is going to check on them if they choose various family members of the site owners? Nobody. Who knows what country they are actually residing in? Are there competition laws in that country?

Then again, LED sneakers. Isn't it obvious how LED sneakers are going to save the world. I mean the magnitude of the benefit to everyone from having LED sneakers is so obvious.

Paul, stick with making it possible for people to save a car, save a lot of money, save the planet, etc. It might not have the same benefits to mankind as LED sneakers but we like it.
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Old 03-14-2015, 12:53 AM   #1767 (permalink)
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Paul,

I'm glad thingstodo and Astro replied first. They did a fine job of saying what I would have attempted, but botched with some frustrated blubbling...

You and your works are respected in your community. A problem with this is that your community and it's efforts are beyond the comprehension of most folks. (especially the LED sneakers crowd. )

I'm sure I'm speaking for others around here that we appreciate your work and love you for being willing to take on such huge tasks.

- e*clipse




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Finalists have been chosen for the Instructables contest! Unfortunately, I wasn't one of the 37 projects. haha. I'm not sure exactly what they are looking for. A 16w arduino charger made it. Just not a 200kW AC motor controller. haha. I think I'm giving up on Instructables contests. The last time I entered one, I was beat by LED sneakers (and 40 other random things).
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Old 03-18-2015, 03:58 AM   #1768 (permalink)
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Visit with Paul

I drove over to visit Paul, Sabrina and their boys this afternoon.

After a few minutes to collect some things, like a battery, some gator clips, a usb-to-serial converter, and a serial cable ...

Paul loaded the program into the ACController board without issue. The board was functioning properly ... but it was waiting for the throttle to be in the correct range (0.5V - 4.5V) before interacting with the serial port. My throttle cable was not connected (I thought that was step 2 - I guess it was required in step 1!) So what I was doing with my serial cable did not really affect anything.

Paul commented out a couple of lines, then got the relays to click on in sequence with his laptop, PICkit 3, USB-to-serial converter, and serial cable.

After that, we swapped in my laptop first - it will run the controller in debug with a RUN command from the debug dropdown even though it complains about wanting to rebuild the hex file.

Next we put in my PICkit 3. Yep, still works.

I had forgotten my USB-to-serial interface at home .. so I now know that the controller talks at 38400, with the firmware loaded right now, if I get a USB-to-serial loaded correctly and build a serial cable. Only 2 variables left! The serial cable that I brought with me sort of fell apart when we tried to install it on the controller board. Perhaps that's one of the reasons I had trouble? The board did not respond well with that serial cable installed ... so it IS an issue.

I'm looking forward to getting the controller board back home, connected up and talking with my laptop.

I could not get MPLab 8.83 to build a new hex file (it complains about a missing license) so I tried MPLab X, which ALSO complains about a missing license. SIGH!!!

So I'll check into the MPLab forum and see if I can get a license for one or the other, perhaps both, MPLabs? And get a build done without errors. A NEW build (separate from the one that is running now).

We found out that you can no longer download MPLab C30 from the Microchip web site. So Paul is considering biting the bullet and upgrading to MPLab X, figuring out what needs to be revised (if anything) ... stay tuned!

Paul also let me have some of his new IGBT driver boards .. enough that I should be able to ham-fistedly solder at least ONE of them to work ..

A short arduino program (mine) is intended to run my beta test for the IGBT driver, that will drive a 24V old-guy scooter rear axle built into a 5-year-old sized electric version of Mader ( ala CARS fame). My recycled Curtis controller (the original idea for Mader) is not responding to repeated attempts at revival. Of course, this assumes that I can solder the IGBT driver board ...

A 5-year-old grandson not-so-patiently expecting the project to be completed before summer ... is likely enough incentive to make it happen.

I also got a short tour of Paul's workshop (sort of like a mad scientist's lair). For some reason, I didn't take any pictures

Paul, Sabrina and the boys were looking forward to Pizza for supper (I think I stayed too long and delayed their supper ) I guess they were not too upset, since they invited me to tag along to the local pizza shop a few miles away. Excellent Pizza!

That's all I can remember!
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Old 03-18-2015, 05:29 PM   #1769 (permalink)
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haha nice summary! Well, you didn't cause us to delay our dinner. It's just that the pizza place is the only hangout in town, (or walmart or the new bowling alley haha), so we thought it would be fun to show you it. I'm really glad you were able to come down here. Now I just need to get that BOM together and email it to you!

It was like a brother from another mother. I waved my hand to describe something, and he was all "Oh, the usb to serial communications connector". LOL. That never happens with anybody I'm around! It was a really nice visit. And the debugging was nice and smooth.
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Old 03-18-2015, 06:37 PM   #1770 (permalink)
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fyi, I did get it to compile cleanly in mplab xc16 in post 1643, with some scant notes. No way of knowing if it works right though. I would gladly try the latest code and post a binary for a test if there is a current repository (before you download hundreds of megs).

Also it is often considered to use the motor as a boost charger. I was looking for a software implementation of PFC and found this, which happened to be for the DSPIC30 (i.e. PFC.c). PFC is good as you can get more charging power for a given breaker/circuit size, forcing the input current to an in-phase sine wave. I grabbed html versions of the source, will clean it up and see if xc16 can compile it, unless someone beats me to it.


some ancient pool pump with active microcontroller based pfc project

using the MC instead of a dedicated pfc chip makes some sense here, as it is already connected to all the gate drivers and a fair bit of etc.
Edit: since the motor inductance is fixed, might be useful to be able to tweak the boost charger pwm frequency for best efficiency.

Edit found a copy of the original project here, much better than the spam site
http://www.eevblog.com/forum/beginne...led-ac-motors/ MT2268.zip though some of the register names might be different from initial glance.

edit2: compared to ACIM FOC, you probably won't find PFC terribly challenging


Last edited by P-hack; 03-18-2015 at 09:43 PM..
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