New Kelly KBL72401E

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PJD
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New Kelly KBL72401E

I just ordered a replacement for the Kelly KBL72401B in my C124 - which while working, is acting up. On top of my previously reported regen issues, motor noise has been very gradually increasing very slowly but surely - the only way to tell is that I've come to perceive the the once-pleasant rising turbo-like whine a an an annoying vibrating buzz until going quite fast. Also, my old e-max - which I used to consider noisier than the C124, is now in comparison, nearly silent.

The new controller with the "E" suffix is supposedly much quieter and smoother. (Per Terry at Current) It has different dimensions - 47mm shorter, 16mm wider, 22mm taller. Might need to modify the heat sink a bit.

I will need a RS232 to USB adapter cable to configure the controller. Anyone got one to loan or sell? PM me if you do. Thanks.

PJD
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Re: New Kelly KBL72401E

Actually, come to think of it, the controller can be programmed on my desk - and my antique desktop PC has a an old serial port - I'll probably be able to scrape up an ordinary serial cable somewhere.

antiscab
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Re: New Kelly KBL72401E

RS232 cables are pretty cheap

heres one from hong kong:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-USB-2-0-to-RS232-Serial-DB9-9-PIN-Cable-Adapter-GPS-PDA-/400542371323?pt=US_Parallel_Serial_PS_2_Cab...

and another one within the US:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/USB-to-RS232-FEMALE-Serial-DB9-Cable-Adapter-for-XP-NEW-/350200599448?pt=US_Cell_Phone_PDA_Cables_Adapte...

I normally buy a dozen or so from hong kong to make sure I always have one on hand - but then I lose stuff pretty often

Daily Ride:
2007 Vectrix, modified with 42 x Thundersky 60Ah
Vectrix 60Ah Lithium Tyres Fuel Registration Insurance cycle analyst 2 x TC Charger & MC
conversion

PJD
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Re: New Kelly KBL72401E

This brings up an issue - when I ordered my first (Chinese)e-scooter, I had expected the motor/controller system to be as quiet as the electric vehicles I was already familiar with - in my case metro (subway) cars or streetcars ("trams" for you Ozzies) - they may make a high faint whine pulling away, but the motor is completely silent - just wheels-on-rails.

So, I was disappointed at that crude rough growl the e-max and later, my C124 make. I had expected to only hear tire and wind noise and nothing else. I hope this controller produces the desired result.

PJD
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Re: New Kelly KBL72401E

When setting the configuration of the new Kelly controller, I encountered something the people at Current told me nothing about. The last settings - after the controller temperature shutoff settings are something called "smooth setting" these settings include:

Smooth Enable/disable, inflection point, low accel, low decel, hgh accel, high decel. The defalut settings are "enable", 10, 100 127, 100, 127.

Matt or anybody, do you know what these settings do? Thanks.

MEroller
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Re: New Kelly KBL72401E

I strongly suspect the "low accel, low decel, hgh accel, high decel" settings will simply limit current to the set values, and the "inflection point" is the point at which the low and high sections converge. Feel free to ask Fany C. for more details. I know about the inflection point from him.
But knowing Kelly I am pretty sure they have not modified that waveforms in any way, the grwoling will simply reduced with less current, and thus acceleration will also be less :-(

My rides:
QvR vR one, erider Thunder 5kW

Johnny J
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Re: New Kelly KBL72401E

If it wasn't for the expensive/complicated programming solution, I would totally recommend a Sevcon controller since my E-rider is almost completely silent.

PJD
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Re: New Kelly KBL72401E

Well, here is the result of the test ride...

I configured the controller settings per CuMoCo's recommendations. I left smooth settings where they were. CuMoCo told me the the scooter would be quieter and have noticeably more starting torque - I noticed neither, in fact it was producing a bit of a "sputter" upon starting off.

I tried enabling the "noise reduction" setting. The result was less starting growl and less of that sputtering, but at the expense of a some starting torque.

I then tried disabling the "smooth setting". Oddly once disabled, re-enabling it did not bring back those five settings on the configuration window.

I then took my third test ride - still no performance improvement - in fact it was probably a bit worse than the old controller. But at least the regen was working properly, and the old controller's annoying bbpppbbbpppbbbpppTT! from the motor upon stopping was fixed.

But then - exactly coincident with hitting a moderate bump in the road, the controller stopped completely, aside from a some sputtering noises from the motor. No error flashes from the controller or BMS. I smelled a slight whiff of something hot or burning. I was able to coast the scooter down hill most of the way home then a hell of a workout pushing the scooter uphill to the house.

So, I guess we can assume that Kelly still has some QC problems - but now I have to deal with a someone in China instead of nearby Ann Arbor, USA. I regret not insisting that Current sell me the controller. I suspect that Kelly, like so many Chinese manufacturers, probably practices lots of QC for products going to OEM's with a nice contract, but they sell crap to retail schmucks like me.

Time to put the malfunctioning - but at lest operable old controller back in. What are people's experience with Kelly's warranty service?

PJD
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Re: New Kelly KBL72401E

Regarding Sevcon controllers, supposedly John, formerly at Current, was hoping to use Sevcon controllers in their scooters, but they would not return his phone calls or e-mails.

PJD
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Re: New Kelly KBL72401E

I strongly suspect the "low accel, low decel, hgh accel, high decel" settings will simply limit current to the set values, and the "inflection point" is the point at which the low and high sections converge.

What current would there be for deceleration? I got a response from Fany (male?) It follows:

Hi Paul,

We upgraded the software version to 0404 for all KEB/KBL controllers.The hardware is upgraded also.

We added the smooth control parameters in the user program.
When you enable the smooth funtions,you will see five more parameters.
You can adjust the low speed acceleration and decleration rate,and high speed acceleration and decleration rate in the user program.
The inflection point is at the joint of low speed and high speed.
But this new software version needs the new firmware and hardware to support.
Sorry,it only can be useful on the new controllers which are produced after July.2013.
Your controller can support this new functions.

Usually you don't have to configure it if you think the current setting can drive the motor smoothly.

Thanks,
Fany

Clear as mud. What does this physically mean? Deceleration and acceleration in any kind of motor vehicle is controlled by the human-operated throttle and brakes, what does it mean in the sense used here?

MEroller
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Re: New Kelly KBL72401E

I suspect (male) because I talked to him on the phone, and the voice was lower than any female with regular hormone levels would have ;-)

First of all, a Kelly controller will only save a newly programmed setting into it's memory if the controller is turned off and then on again after quitting the programming. If you leave it on after quitting nothing will have changed yet.

It is interesting that Fany talks of a "rate". It would imply that the new settings simply regulate how much time the controller takes to apply motor current in reaction to "throttle" changes.

I.e. when you put on full throttle at standstill, then the controller will increase motor current at the low speed acceleration rate, so if you set this to a higher value (I assume...) the motor current will take longer to reach the maximum you asked for. This is what I do manually to reduce mechanical wear and tear to the resin keeping the coil wires in place: When starting from standstill and I can help it I tend to apply the throttle very gently until the scooter begins to roll at more than walking pace, and then I apply whatever throttle setting I like. This way the rough bangs of the block commutation do not cause such a groan when the motor is still very slow. When it speeds up a bit the inductivity begins to smoothen the current rise after commutation so the groaning is reduced. I suspect this is what these new settings do...

And as for quality/warantee issues with Kelly products, they handle these very professionally. But be prepared to pay return shipping yourself, and they will send a replacement at their own cost. And my privately ordered controller was in no way lower qualty than the stock Kelly that was in my bike.
I assume you may have some hall switch trouble in your motor, not necessarly a glitch in your new controller too. Or it may be a loose elctrical connection if it quit on you after a bump?

My rides:
QvR vR one, erider Thunder 5kW

PJD
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Re: New Kelly KBL72401E - AND an Important Owners Bulletin!

MEroller,

The controller was most definitely bad. The motor has two sets of hall sensors to provide a backup - and it malfunctioned with either set connected. All connections were re-checked and good. I put the old controller back in and it runs - albeit still with the problems I bought the new controller to fix.

Note that the controller drove the motor poorly (sputtering and very noisy at low speed) even before it failed entirely.

I am getting a replacement - I only had to send the old controller back to Steven Li in the Los Angeles area, I would already have had the new controller on Friday had I not forgotten to leave a signed that it is OK to just drop the package at my door. The delivery from China, via DHL Express, is incredibly fast - It goes on a direct nonstop flight from SE China to Cincinnati, Ohio - and then immediately on a truck to Pittsburgh and is ready to deliver to my house 5 hours later.

I'll report how it works.

PJD
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Re: New Kelly KBL72401E

Time for an update.

The replacement controller, this time -without- waterproofing, is in and working fine. Kelly seems to be balking at refunding the waterproofing option (even though it was the probably cause of the failure) - claiming that they shipped the replacement it for free, so I should not be complaining if they pocket the option. (Chinese business practices are sleazy and enraging)

The regen issues are fixed; however, using the following settings that Current recommended:

Torque mode
77% motor current (308A)
60% pack current (240A or 4C)

yielded little or nothing much in the way of performance improvement. Curiously, changing the motor current setting, even raising it to 100% yields no low-speed torque improvement - even though, presumably, "torque mode" would mean the throttle controls torque - i.e. motor current - so wide open throttle should produce current up to the set limit.

Today I decided to fiddle with the settings some more - and fiddling is the only thing one can do becasue Kelly provides zero documentation on controller configuration. Kelly controllers can be set to operate in torque mode, speed mode, or "balanced" - presumably some programmed blend of torque and speed control. I decided to try "balanced" mode and 100% motor current. Wow! Much better! It had scary amounts of torque especially at low speed - accelerates from a stop up 15-20% up-grades like they are 15-20% down-grades. I was afraid all that torque and current might break something. After some trial and error, I settled for 85% max motor current.

I still don't have a good understanding what the five 'smooth" settings do, and with five settings to permute, it would take a couple days if I have to do it by trial and error. So I will leave them on the default settings.

Lessons:

1. DON'T get the "waterproofing" option. It appears they accomplish by simply filling the case up solid with potting resin (it was as heavy as a brick). I'm sure everyone can imagine the problems with this approach unless the thermal properties of the potting were very carefully chosen. Simply sealing the terminal and connector end-plate intrusions with silicone provided adequate rain proofing for most applications.

2. Don't use "torque" mode if you want access the full controller current at low speed. I'm not sure why, but the Kelly controllers are programmed to be stingy with current at low speed in "torque" mode, but not in the other modes, where they will allow the full max current you set it to until the throttle-determined speed is reached. The down side is that it might be harder to ride for maximum range and economy. I'll determine that in the next few days.

3. Kelly badly needs to provide configuration documentation in understandable English.

MEroller
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Re: New Kelly KBL72401E

Been there, done that :-) "Torque mode" in general means throttle voltage is translated into current (within strict limits hardwired or firmwared into the controller - more on that later!).
"Speed mode" in general means throttle voltage is translated into motor RPM. And "Balanced mode" somehow mixes the two to by far the best mode in Kelly controllers!

Here now my two graphs on WHAT EXCTLY goes on in Kelly Controllers, concerning Motor and Battery Current. They should be almost self-exlanatory to the "reasonably skilled" person ;-)
Max Battery Current variation

Max Motor Current variation

The gradients of the dotted lines are firmware limits and cannot be changed - only their location.

These graphs were gleaned from my 5kw 72V bike, so your Ampère values will be higher.

My rides:
QvR vR one, erider Thunder 5kW

PJD
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Re: New Kelly KBL72401E

What mode was used to make those graphs. Balanced?

This brings up the issue - why did Current, specifically John Harding (who left the company under some kind of presumed legal settlement gag-order on commenting in this forum) choose torque mode over balanced mode - even though balanced mode is clearly better? John seemed to be always worried about exceeding the temperature limits of the Quanshun motors, so he programmed two-step limits on the maximum throttle signal to the controller based on motor and motor lead temperatures). These limits were initially quite restrictive and would trigger a low power mode where the scooter would hardly climb a hill at all after 20 km of riding on a hot day, but were since relaxed considerably as they found out that the motor can tolerate higher temperatures than originally thought. The temperature limits are user-configurable via Currents BCU software but I have not changed any settings. But obviously, changing the controller mode is going to change the effect of the BCU temperature settings. It's been a fairly cool summer here, so I am not hitting the temperature limits to find out.

And on another issue, I always had a suspicion that the test pilot BCU uses an open-source (Arduino or other) micro controller hardware and programming. I have not opened the BCU case to find out. If this is the case, aren't we owners entitled to the source code for the BCU? I'd like to get rid of the way the BCU program shuts of the regen at below 10 mph.

We are also long overdue for wiring diagrams for the scooters, but I'm drifting way off-topic.

MEroller
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Re: New Kelly KBL72401E

What mode was used to make those graphs. Balanced?

Yes, balanced. By FAR the best compromise for these Kelly Controllers. And I naturally started out with the maximum 100% / 70% setting at full battery charge, and from there reduced either Motor or Battery current settings, so the voltage drop in the battery would remain as similar as possible over these 19 x 2 test runs. But the back-EMF slopes down to 80km/h were thus slightly reduced every time with the state of discharge of the battery. That end of the controller map is not influenced by controller programming, only by battery voltage and motor back-EMF.

Speed mode brings quite a spectacular power burst above 30km/h at full throttle, which would increase thermal load on the motor. Torque Mode ist quite the opposite, it allows far smaller max. currents than what Balanced Mode allows, so the original approach of keeping the motor at low temps worked best with Torque Mode. But these motors can really take quite a thermal beating before they suffer damage, so balanced will not hurt them if the maximal currents are kept within reasonable limits. But a thermistor in the motor, directly connected to the controller, could allow far higher short-time current bursts while limiting currents when things get too hot in a habitual sense. I would LOVE to let my controller loose on the motor at the 100 / 70% maximum setting, but only with a thermistor burried in the coils...

My rides:
QvR vR one, erider Thunder 5kW

PJD
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Re: New Kelly KBL72401E

On my scooter, the torque above 30 kph in was always pretty good, it was below 30 kph, and especially the first 10 kph that was a problem - especial if having to make a left turn from a stop through a gap in fast traffic while pointing up-hill. It was character building. But now, it will will leap forward from a dead stop and the throttle is a bit twitchy. I definitely needed it to be in torque mode when taking the motorcycle license figure-8 test. There is still a narrow speed-band of annoyingly loud growling and vibration from fast walking speed to 20 kph or so. I have the "noise reduction" activated, and it works well - but only for the first 10 kph at best - it seems to be deliberately designed to "switch-off" right when the noise reduction is most needed.

And all this time, I, and I suspect most other current owners, are thinking: "Well, this electric vehicle technology must not be sufficiently mature yet - I'll just have to put up with the sluggish performance as part of 'doing the right (green) thing'", when all along, it was just a matter of a poorly-documented (in a western language) software setting.

And I just noticed you have a 800 amp Kelly...

MEroller
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Re: New Kelly KBL72401E

I NEVER tolerated the sluggish takeoff performance, it was complete rubbish and at times outright dangerous, just like you wrote. That is why I upgraded as soon as it was clear that no programming on earth would bring my "200"A controller to actually PUT OUT 200A, let alone from standstill (just 20A there ...). However -

And I just noticed you have a 800 amp Kelly...

- that is not "quite" correct LOL !!!
The KBL and KEB differ in their naming convention: Where in KBLs the digits 3 through 5 signifiy the maximum allowable current, they stand for 1/10 the of max. electrical power output in KEB (which only lack the CAN-Bus output), meaning my controller is rated at 8000W max. That translates to a peak phase current of "only" 350A and 140A continuous, so it is tad less powerful than your new toy ;-)

But in my case the growling is worst at walking pace and quickly gives way to wining.

My rides:
QvR vR one, erider Thunder 5kW

MikeB
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Re: New Kelly KBL72401E

Well, dang. I've been tolerating the slow takeoff performance since day one. And now I'm mostly stopped riding the scooter, taking the PHEV car instead, so I'm not far from selling my C130. So now it appears that the solution to my complaint was one software reconfiguration away from me the whole time? This just might get me riding again...

My electric vehicle: CuMoCo C130 scooter.

PJD
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Re: New Kelly KBL72401E

Mike,

And while you are at it, it is probably safe to just set the max motor current to 100%. I'll probably do it this weekend. You may recall that I always thought John was being way too over conservative and nanny-like regarding the settings.

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