how to program a sevcon gen4

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how to program a sevcon gen4

Postby spkpn » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:21 pm

Dear all,

I bought a used sevcon gen 4 controller. The seller (a member of this forum) assured me that it was possible to program/set up the controller with nothing else but a usb-can converter (no handheld etc). In fact he told me

programming is possible without the handheld, you just need a pc and an usb-can converter


after I specificly asked for SOFTWARE OR HARDWARE necessary by mail!

However, after reading this post:
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=35552#p518745

I am not sure anymore whether I was misled by the seller of the device! Please help me in finding out.
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Re: how to program a sevcon gen4

Postby liveforphysics » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:29 pm

I've never used anything but a $99 USB to CAN adapter for all my sevcon programming.

Even Sevcon doesn't use the handheld thing.


Getting the program into the sevcon is 0.001% of the difficulty in programming a sevcon to work WELL with a motor. If this part seems difficult to you, you're in for a long trip down frustration lane, and it's no fault of the controller or whoever sold it to you, it's just the nature of setting up an ultra tuneable controller like a Sevcon Gen4.
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Re: how to program a sevcon gen4

Postby VoKuS » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:43 pm

That was so honest, it hurt a little reading!
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Re: how to program a sevcon gen4

Postby spkpn » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:48 pm

Getting the program into the sevcon is 0.001% of the difficulty


which "program" are you referring to? Or do you just mean the "settings". What is the other 99.99% and why keep people tell me that I need either a handheld or a software from sevcon?

rgrds,
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Edit: What exactly means "to work WELL"
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Re: how to program a sevcon gen4

Postby spkpn » Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:47 am

Is it the case that while it is *possible* to set tup the controller with just a 99$ device (without Proprietary software and/or any handheld) BUT it is much much easier to get it done with that one:

http://www.electricmotorsport.com/store ... n4prog.php

I mean why would anybody pay $900 if something equally good can be bought for $99?
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Re: how to program a sevcon gen4

Postby SplinterOz » Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:26 am

Based on this Pdf http://www.quadmotion.se/shop/files/214845_Sevcon48V/Gen4_Product_Manual_V2.2.en.pdf it talks about the proprietary programming software.
Unless you can generate the correct CAN commands I don't see how it would be easy without the software.
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Re: how to program a sevcon gen4

Postby spkpn » Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:07 am

you're in for a long trip down frustration lane, and it's no fault of the controller or whoever sold it to you, it's just the nature of setting up an ultra tuneable controller like a Sevcon Gen4.


If, as it seems to be tha case, it is possible to set up the controller with a proprietary piece of software (in fact, this is the intended way to do it) while it is like a superhuge PITA without that software, then, frankly, the seller was misleading me when he told me (in particular as I am obviousely not knowlegable of the matter) that no software at all is needed to use the controller!

consider the following:
Somebody buys a piece of hardware for his linux based computer. Now, if the guy is told that he wouldnt need any additional software to use the device, then he certainly expects that the driver software is either included or freely available, regardesless of the fact that he could write his own drivers because he could find all the infos necessary of the hardware. He would feel even more screwd, if he later found out that there is a proprietary software suite for the device with drivers and many more usable features.

If a device is meant to be used together with some other device/software, then it is just misleading to say that nothing else is needed to use the thing, even if there is a workaround. Particularly so, if the *workaround* requires much more effort/knowledge to accomplish than the intended way to use the device.

So yea, I feel screwd. Also, I am not rich, I have two kids, a wife and two part time jobs because my phd scholarship is just not enough for 4ppl. Ironically, the only thing I dont regret of having bought (for my conversion) so far, is the a123 batteries I ordered from a shady source in china, where everybody told me that it was a risky thing to do (also I knew it was a risky transaction).

just my 0.5$

spkpn

PS: All I wrote is based on the assumption that using the proprietary software faciliates setting up the controller.
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Re: how to program a sevcon gen4

Postby Arlo1 » Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:28 am

what are you planning to run with it?? And there is a seller on the forums selling the sevcon gen4?? Or did they only have one?
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Re: how to program a sevcon gen4

Postby spkpn » Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:01 am

I think the seller had only one controller, I bought it as a used item.

what are you planning to run with it??

I plan to get a motenergy me0913 to use the controller with. My hope now is, since the motor is a quite common one, that there is somebody out there who has this motor run with that particular controller and is able and willing to provide me the data that I need to "upload" to the controller and can give me advice on how to do it (as long as the same data can be used for same models of motors).

rgrds,
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Re: how to program a sevcon gen4

Postby genawin » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:23 am

I plan to get a motenergy me0913 to use the controller with. My hope now is, since the motor is a quite common one, that there is somebody out there who has this motor run with that particular controller and is able and willing to provide me the data that I need to "upload" to the controller and can give me advice on how to do it (as long as the same data can be used for same models of motors).


I think i can offer you a little help , but i'm far from an expert , The Gen4 is a high quality controller and perfect for the ME0913 - but it has taken a very long time to set up and i would not recommend it to anyone that was inexperienced.
Last edited by genawin on Sat Jul 27, 2013 5:13 am, edited 1 time in total. View post history.
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Re: how to program a sevcon gen4

Postby Zak650 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:41 am

I too would like to be able to program a gen4 8035 to run the ME0913 PMAC Motor. I have two of the original single stack Mars pmac motors and would like to setup both running in a timed together parallel mode or with two controllers in a master/slave setup. Then get two ME0913 motors with two controllers master/slave as the vehicle progresses.

Does anyone know if you can get more regen output out of a PMAC than and induction motor. There doesn't seem to be a lot of information about regen in the Gen4 manuals.
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Re: how to program a sevcon gen4

Postby jamo96 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:34 pm

liveforphysics wrote:I've never used anything but a $99 USB to CAN adapter for all my sevcon programming.

Even Sevcon doesn't use the handheld thing.


Do you still need the sevcon PC software along with a USB to CAN for programming?
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Re: how to program a sevcon gen4

Postby liveforphysics » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:02 pm

jamo96 wrote:
liveforphysics wrote:I've never used anything but a $99 USB to CAN adapter for all my sevcon programming.

Even Sevcon doesn't use the handheld thing.


Do you still need the sevcon PC software along with a USB to CAN for programming?



Yes.
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Re: how to program a sevcon gen4

Postby jamo96 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 4:24 am

liveforphysics wrote:
Yes.


No worries. I'll have to purchase and have some fun setting up my go kart - viewtopic.php?f=34&t=40631

.... hopefully the years spent at uni help make it slightly less painful!
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Re: how to program a sevcon gen4

Postby Jozzer » Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:24 am

To be more specific, you need the USB-CAN adapter made by IXXAT - none other will work (and they cost a lot more than $99 here - more like £300! - though there is a used one here for $200 - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/USB-to-CAN-Co ... 2571a6ba02).
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Re: how to program a sevcon gen4

Postby SEVCONONE » Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:30 am

Regarding the Sevcon controller used with a Motenergy (Mars) ME1913 motor The following may be helpful as i have gone all through some of the problems to do with programing.
Firstly you need an open can bus dongle between your PC / laptop and the Gen4 controller with the right protocol. Any old canbus interface will not do I bought the IXXAT USB to CAN compact as this was recommended by Sevcon in the UK. You then obviously need to wire in a subD socket to the controller to connect the dongle. Then you download the usb program and Monmin program onto your laptop so the dongle can communicate these are supplied with the IXXAT dongle on CD.I am still working with the Sevcon agent in the UK for the PC program either PCpak that I think is for older Sevcon controllers or the one in the Sevcon manual. By the way if you bought the Gen4 controller secondhand you need to download the manual from Sevcon UK if you do not already have it. It would be impossible to set it up without the manual. I am waiting for the DriveWizard program to access the firmware on the controller so will keep you posted
This is very important if you have a mars ME motor Talk to John at Motenergy and ask him to email you the the motor configuration file for the Sevcon controller. This will set up all the motor parameters for the ME motor as they use a 48 volt Sevcon Gen4 controller to test run the MARs (ME) motors. If you have any problem email me at hi.tech100@yahoo.co.uk and I will send you the file.
One thing the Sevcon controller is not EV specific it is a multi purpose industrial controller used for fork lift trucks, pumping systems etc They are not yet geared up for the EV market, so the programing is long winded and not user friendly a good knowledge of canbus programming is useful and I am not really into it much but does make the controller very versitile You can connect and run all sorts of devices from it including digital displays.
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Re: how to program a sevcon gen4

Postby bigmoose » Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:59 am

Sevconone, please keep us all up to date on your progress programming the Sevcon Gen4. Insight into the programming software will sure be useful to folks, as was your CAN bus interface data. We need to ask Luke for the name of the $99 CAN interface that works for him.
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Re: how to program a sevcon gen4

Postby Jay64 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:37 am

Is it possible that since this particular unit from the OP was a used one that it was already programmed? Maybe that is what the seller meant when he said you don't need any software etc, it might already have a generic setup for that motor. It sounds like this controller has tons of parameters that can be adjusted for your particular build/usage needs, but it could have a good base line that will make your motor work well.
I also have a gen 4 controller with that motor, but we are still in the build stage of this project, so we haven't gotten to the programming stage yet. So I can't give any info on that. But I think we should get more info on this site regarding this controller and some of the parameters that matter for our EV usages. That is the spirit of this forum. I will try to share as much info as I can when we get to that stage.
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Re: how to program a sevcon gen4

Postby Jaesin » Sun May 26, 2013 3:39 pm

Has anyone here already contacted sevcon about a good set of parameters for the ME0913.

It would be great to have them posted here for reference I think allot of people, including myself, favor this combination and could make use of the information.

Thanks ahead of time,


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Re: how to program a sevcon gen4

Postby John in CR » Mon May 27, 2013 4:00 pm

Just how advanced are these things? Can it be programmed to advance the timing by a certain number of degrees either above a preset rpm or at the flip of the switch?
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Re: how to program a sevcon gen4

Postby toolman2 » Mon May 27, 2013 7:31 pm

sorry john, not for us mortals..
back in the real world though, burties timing module can, and can give you a few % more efficiency and 10% more speed up top, you could become a fan.
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Re: how to program a sevcon gen4

Postby liveforphysics » Tue May 28, 2013 1:00 am

John in CR wrote:Just how advanced are these things? Can it be programmed to advance the timing by a certain number of degrees either above a preset rpm or at the flip of the switch?


Yes. It has a beautiful timing advance function they call "field weakening". If I had a gen4 and the programming dongle and software sitting in my lap ready to use, I would set it down and contact one of the very few experts in the world at tuning them and pay for a day of his time on a dyno to end up with something rideable.

Consider it on the difficultly level of setting up your own standalone engine management system, a few times, and with more faults during the tuning session.
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Re: how to program a sevcon gen4

Postby John in CR » Tue May 28, 2013 2:14 am

liveforphysics wrote:
John in CR wrote:Just how advanced are these things? Can it be programmed to advance the timing by a certain number of degrees either above a preset rpm or at the flip of the switch?


Yes. It has a beautiful timing advance function they call "field weakening". If I had a gen4 and the programming dongle and software sitting in my lap ready to use, I would set it down and contact one of the very few experts in the world at tuning them and pay for a day of his time on a dyno to end up with something rideable.

Consider it on the difficultly level of setting up your own standalone engine management system, a few times, and with more faults during the tuning session.


"Field weakening" may have some similar effects but it's certainly not a change in the timing. I've seen the effects of a change in timing, and it's something I'd like under my control. That's not to say that field weakening isn't something good too. It sounds like I want both actually. The "very few experts" part turns me way off though, because this stuff isn't rocket science and if Sevcon set the programmer up to need a rocket scientist for tuning then it's a no-go for me.
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Re: how to program a sevcon gen4

Postby Lebowski » Tue May 28, 2013 2:18 am

John in CR wrote:
liveforphysics wrote:
John in CR wrote:Just how advanced are these things? Can it be programmed to advance the timing by a certain number of degrees either above a preset rpm or at the flip of the switch?


Yes. It has a beautiful timing advance function they call "field weakening". If I had a gen4 and the programming dongle and software sitting in my lap ready to use, I would set it down and contact one of the very few experts in the world at tuning them and pay for a day of his time on a dyno to end up with something rideable.

Consider it on the difficultly level of setting up your own standalone engine management system, a few times, and with more faults during the tuning session.


"Field weakening" may have some similar effects but it's certainly not a change in the timing. I've seen the effects of a change in timing, and it's something I'd like under my control. That's not to say that field weakening isn't something good too. It sounds like I want both actually. The "very few experts" part turns me way off though, because this stuff isn't rocket science and if Sevcon set the programmer up to need a rocket scientist for tuning then it's a no-go for me.


You should ask Arlo1 to build you a controller based on my chip :mrgreen:
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Re: how to program a sevcon gen4

Postby John in CR » Tue May 28, 2013 2:39 am

Lebowski wrote:You should ask Arlo1 to build you a controller based on my chip :mrgreen:


Yes, I know, but remember I need 2 and you had concern about the shared stator iron of 2 controllers causing a problem for the phase current sensing.
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