Phoenix ESC arrived and Boxer is happily boxing!

nasukaren's picture

My replacement ESC from Castle Creations (the Phoenix HV-110A) finally arrived today, along with a Castle Creations USB programmer for it. The Phoenix HV-110A is considerably beefier than the ELF controller that I burned out. I reprogrammed the Phoenix using the very nice USB programmer (notably: BRAKING off) and installed it onto my Piaggio.

If you have the right QuickTime codec installed, you can watch a very boring video of my biking revving up to speed.

Yes, that is indeed duct tape holding the motor wires and everything else together. My anderson powerpoles will arrive on Monday....

On the road, the moped ran just great, with a maximum speed of 20 kph (15 mph) as predicted by the voltage * kV (24V * 130 kV) of the motor. I also very quickly tripped the 30 amp fuse that was protecting the batteries. Luckily I had bought a whole pack of 30A fuses and had them in my pocket. I decided to go to a higher voltage as that would increase my top speed as well as lower the max amps drawn at the same speed.

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I wanted a bit more speed so I wired up the RC racing NiMH packs that I had gotten into a single pack: 9.6V 3800 mAH packs * 4 == 38.4V 3800 mAh megapack and plugged that into the system.

With 38.4V, my top speed increased to 30 kph (20 mph) and -- more importantly -- I could get to this top speed with popping the 30 amp battery fuse. However, if I tried to go up a steep hill, I would pop the fuse. I need to wire two 30 amps in parallel to get 60 amps -- or put in a 60 ~ 90 amp circuit breaker.

The ESC definitely got warm, in the high 30C range (90-120F). I think I will use active cooling for it. I have some CPU fans that I got at clearance that should do the trick. The motor barely broke a sweat, I do not think I will need to do much in the way of cooling it.

The moped was definitely a lot of fun zipping around the neighborhood with it.

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It got dark so testing was over for today. I spent the night rewiring the ESC into the test-box for my low-voltage systems and put a big CPU fan on all of it.

All in all, very very exciting. All that remains is to get some more NiMH packs and wire them in a 3P 4S configuration to get a 38.4 V 11.4 Ah pack. This should be enough to get me to work with a comfortable margin to spare.

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Re: Phoenix ESC arrived and Boxer is happily boxing!

It's so cool what you're doing. I had been drooling over that motor long before I got the xm-3000. Looks like a fan could do a lot of good on that ESC, it already has fins. Loved the video, its pretty quiet.

Misc. notes

Some miscellaneous notes that are bouncing around my head.

  • The Phoenix HV-110 has a listed max volts of 50 volts, which I thought would mean I could use 40 NiMH cells, with a nominal voltage of 48 Volts. However, you are limited to 36 cells NiCd/NiMH which gives a max nominal voltage of 43.2V. This is a little bit of a bummer since I had planned on doing 5S packs of 9.6V which would have given me 48V. I think this is because although the nominal voltage is 48V in that case, the peak voltage (fresh off the charger) can be in excess of 60V and the FETs most probably aren't rated that high.

  • It turns out that I could've bought the 180 kV motor instead of the 130 kV motor. As it stands, I'll either have to get a smaller V-belt or a larger front pulley if I want a max speed of 45 kph (30 mph). No worries.

  • I'm wondering what the best way to charge my NiMHs is. They don't sell many 38.4 V chargers, so I may just stick with 2 x 19.2 volt chargers and charge 2 packs at a time. I may want to get even more chargers so I can do the entire megapack at the same time.

Re: Misc. notes

We're all wondering how to charge big NiMH packs. If you find out something let us know. Your chargers detect pack temp right?

Re: Misc. notes

Sparc-san

Yes, they detect temperature (or at least have a temp lead) but the packs still get kinda warm. :-( Wondering what to do.

K

Re: Misc. notes

I came across this and thought of you:

http://www.powerstream.com/dc-oet.htm

Re: Misc. notes

Sparc-san

Thanks for the thought! Unfortunately, it's pretty much the same DC-DC converter that I was previous using:

> Input: 34 to 75VDC/700ma, 34 volt turn-on voltage.

So it'll also drop out at 34 volts.....

>Output: 3.3 at 3.5A and plus and minus 12VDC 350MA.

and it's not very powerful at 12VDC.

My care-package from Digikey arrived last night and I built my new DC-DC circuit using the LM2576HVT-12 buck converter. I finished it late last night and could only bench test it, I'll give it a road test today. The nice thing about this buck-converter is that it'll handle input voltages from 14V-60V and regulate it down to 12VDC with 88% efficiency @ 3 amps continuous.

I just hope it works ok on the road and all my solder joints don't fail when it gets shaken up!

Karen

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