New 'Mini Monster' Programmable Controllers Coming

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New 'Mini Monster' Programmable Controllers Coming

Postby BenMoore » Sun Aug 30, 2009 5:43 am

In a technology trickle down from the big end of controller town comes...

The 'MINI MONSTER'' series of controllers.

6-FET circuit boards with IRB4110 brawn and '116' chip brains promise to do a big job in a small package. Yes, the wait is (nearly) over for compact, multi-kW, instant-throttle, high-voltage capable, feature rich, programmable and affordable ebike power control :mrgreen: :!:

...Well, alright, I have 9 cute little yellow circuit boards in hand and am waiting on a box of power parts that seems to be afraid to land...
However, the mission is clear: smaller, smarter and sexier controllers for all (with discount prices to members)!

Stator has received one of my 100V boards, is installing his own 4110 FETs, and will be testing the limits soon.

I will be building and testing as soon as my own 4110s land and then be offering various voltage/current/feature configurations for sale (perhaps including some DIY kits). The controllers will be built with tinned 10 gauge cables, precise shunts, Anderson power connectors, Crystalyte style connectors, and sealed on/off buttons (and debt to Method's procurement services!). Prices will depend on the final cost of (my own) labor.

    Specifications so far:
      Size: 100mm x 65mm x 35mm (4" x 2.55" x 1.25") - a bit longer than a credit card.
      Voltages: up to 100V
      Current handling: up to at least 60A continuous at 50V, yet to be determined at higher voltages (probably less)

      Available Features (all programmable):
        Low Voltage cutoff and tolerance (LVC)
        Regenerative braking
        Current limiting (battery and phase)
        Cruise control
        Speed limiting
        3 speed selection (timing advance?)
        Anti-theft (Motor lock trigger)

This series of controllers were inspired by Method's original 6 FET, 60A modified, Infineon unit as well as the pioneering work and spirit of so many other ES members. The '116' chip based boards offer much faster throttle response and greater programmability than the previously used Infineon chip based models and represent great value in capabilities and features. After following months of the exciting developments with the monster, 18-FET controllers and waiting for someone to turn their attention to the 6-FET baby of the family, I thought it best I just source the boards myself and get the party started.

- Ben

Flower Power - organic interface in lieu of silicon.jpg
Flower Power - organic interface in lieu of silicon
Last edited by BenMoore on Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New 'Mini Monster' Programmable Controllers Coming

Postby Miles » Sun Aug 30, 2009 5:51 am

8) Good initiative.
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Re: New 'Mini Monster' Programmable Controllers Coming

Postby voicecoils » Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:41 am

Cool. I think you'll find a market for what you're doing. Especially once the sensored RC dudes get things happening... :mrgreen:

I might even be willing to boot into MS Windows if phase current limiting can really be programed with these babies. 8)
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Re: New 'Mini Monster' Programmable Controllers Coming

Postby icecube57 » Sun Aug 30, 2009 9:25 am

I would be intrested in a 6 fet period. The 12 fet is small but not small enough for my bike. I would probably like a 100v50A configured one. Whats the price?
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Re: New 'Mini Monster' Programmable Controllers Coming

Postby TylerDurden » Sun Aug 30, 2009 9:30 am

DIY kit is very appealing.
Have a Nice Day,

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Re: New 'Mini Monster' Programmable Controllers Coming

Postby rkosiorek » Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:31 am

very interesting. depending on price i would also be interested in at least one. i have a couple of projects looking for a good inexpensive controller. so far the most reliable i can find are kelly or the original 12FET crystalyte with 4110's both af which are too expensive for the current projects.

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Re: New 'Mini Monster' Programmable Controllers Coming

Postby stator » Sun Aug 30, 2009 2:49 pm

As Ben mentioned, I am building one of these little monsters and will be testing it's limits. I just started building yesterday. Here are some pictures of the power section.

The holes in the board are too small for 10 gauge wire, so I crimped 45A Anderson Powerpole terminals to the wire and rolled the terminal end to fit in the hole.
wire_termination.JPG
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I'm using copper house wire (romex) for the busses.
copper_busses.JPG
copper_busses.JPG (37.1 KiB) Viewed 8729 times


Wrap the FET leads tightly around the copper bus wires.
wrap_fet_leads_around_bus_wires.JPG
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fet_leads.JPG
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Lay the upper FET lead flat along the power trace to increase the surface area contact.
fet_leads2.JPG
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one_phase_soldered.JPG
one_phase_soldered.JPG (39.17 KiB) Viewed 8724 times


power_bottom.JPG
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power_top.JPG
power_top.JPG (39.46 KiB) Viewed 8710 times
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Re: New 'Mini Monster' Programmable Controllers Coming

Postby swbluto » Sun Aug 30, 2009 3:02 pm

How hard would it be to have an unsensored version that could synchronize well with RC motors? Pedal-first crystalytes already exist but they don't seem to syncrhonize well due to, I'm guessing, too low of a BEMF sampling rate and/or probably slow or inaccurate algorithms.

It's just a matter of the firmware to make it unsensored, right? I might be willing to whip up an uncensored firmware version, if the source code is available to modify.
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Re: New 'Mini Monster' Programmable Controllers Coming

Postby stator » Sun Aug 30, 2009 3:21 pm

I've made a schematic of this 6 FET Xie-Chang board. Except for the power supply section, the circuit is common to the whole family of controllers. That included the Infineon and 116 based 6 to 18 FET versions. If it has this symbol on it, it is from Xie_Chang.
xie-chang_logo.JPG
xie-chang_logo.JPG (6.69 KiB) Viewed 8739 times
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6fet.pdf
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Re: New 'Mini Monster' Programmable Controllers Coming

Postby Hyena » Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:43 pm

Sounds good. I was going to buy an infineon 9 fet shortly but if these aren't too far off I'll hang out a little longer.
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Re: New 'Mini Monster' Programmable Controllers Coming

Postby methods » Mon Aug 31, 2009 1:04 am

I look forward to seeing how much current you can run at 100V.

I might take this moment to point out an interesting thing about the 18 fet controllers: I am personally running 4 of them on different bikes.

Running high voltage (say 24S) on a high KV motor (say a 10x6 9C in a 26" wheel) with a low current limit (say 30A) seems to create much more heat in the controller than just letting it rip -> :idea:

24S on a 10x6 at 100A seems to run cooler. Sure the motor starts melting after only a few bursts but the controller stays cool.

I ran this by Justin and he laughed at me a little - pointed out that Rdson is not really the issue here - the real heat contributor is all the work that the diodes in the fets are having to do dealing with all the angry currents swooshing around.

My point: Whoever makes the call on how much the little guy can "handle" at 100V should be sure to test in a situation where current limiting is at a minimum.
I would suggest a 5305 in a 24" wheel.
Then test again with current limiting at a maximum - like with a 5302 in a 26" wheel.

This will be a great thread!
I will stay tuned and stay out of your way.
(got my EV to play with now :P )

-methods
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Re: New 'Mini Monster' Programmable Controllers Coming

Postby voicecoils » Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:05 am

methods wrote:...Running high voltage (say 24S) on a high KV motor (say a 10x6 9C in a 26" wheel) with a low current limit (say 30A) seems to create much more heat in the controller than just letting it rip -> :idea:

24S on a 10x6 at 100A seems to run cooler. Sure the motor starts melting after only a few bursts but the controller stays cool.

I ran this by Justin and he laughed at me a little - pointed out that Rdson is not really the issue here - the real heat contributor is all the work that the diodes in the fets are having to do dealing with all the angry currents swooshing around.


Interesting point, I wondered about that myself. Running my little bafang at 77-88v with current limited anywhere from 4A to 14A (using the plug in CA). The Xlyte 35A analogue controller would get hot (I popped one, haven't repaired it yet...). At the time, I thought the current limiting seemed to be making the controller heat up faster, but couldn't figure out why. The alternative was no current limiting and then I'd melt my Bafang. Tradeoffs :lol:

The more torture testing of the new 6 Fet baby controller the better I say 8)
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Re: New 'Mini Monster' Programmable Controllers Coming

Postby ZapPat » Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:23 am

swbluto wrote:How hard would it be to have an unsensored version that could synchronize well with RC motors? Pedal-first crystalytes already exist but they don't seem to syncrhonize well due to, I'm guessing, too low of a BEMF sampling rate and/or probably slow or inaccurate algorithms.

It's just a matter of the firmware to make it unsensored, right? I might be willing to whip up an uncensored firmware version, if the source code is available to modify.

Not only firmware is needed, since you have to have to be able to sample all three phase voltages to determine the switching points. To accurately detect the motor's waveforms at low speeds you need something that will read fairly low voltages, and that can also filter out the noise present as to not trigger any false switching.
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Re: New 'Mini Monster' Programmable Controllers Coming

Postby ZapPat » Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:12 am

methods wrote:Running high voltage (say 24S) on a high KV motor (say a 10x6 9C in a 26" wheel) with a low current limit (say 30A) seems to create much more heat in the controller than just letting it rip -> :idea:

24S on a 10x6 at 100A seems to run cooler. Sure the motor starts melting after only a few bursts but the controller stays cool.

I ran this by Justin and he laughed at me a little - pointed out that Rdson is not really the issue here - the real heat contributor is all the work that the diodes in the fets are having to do dealing with all the angry currents swooshing around.
-methods

This is why most of my bikes use 44V nominal (50V max) battery packs. This voltage gives me between 40 and 45kph (27-30mph) at full throttle and leaves even a 6fet controller cool at full speed. If I were to go to 88V instead of 44V, I would almost always be traveling at partial throttle which would make my tiny controller get much hotter when pulling lots of current. My own 6fet controller gets hot *very* fast at 44V with an 80A+ current limit, but only when accelerating and going up inclines. Slow trail driving is very hard on the thing, as the controller is working hard to match the battery's higher voltage to the motor's own low self-produced voltage at low speeds. I also have a two wheel drive bike using two of these small controllers, and I really love them here! They don't take much room on the frame, and they rarely get very warm since the load is shared between the two. It feels like a tank on the trails!

Working a controller in it's current limiting mode will give you the same heating as with partial throttle at high currents - inside the controller these two situations produce the same difficult conditions (as Methods described above, although the large FET switching time in these controllers has much to do with it too).

Someone wanting an 88V setup but not wanting to go 60mph full speed might opt for the slow wind motors, like the NC 6X10's, to get less controller heating. It seems they are hard to find though... :|

Anyways these little controllers are surprising for their size, and I am sure that the ones Ben will be assembling will wipe the floor with those crappy stock 12fet controllers we see everywhere... and they are less than half of the size! As a side note - assembling these small things can take a *huge* amount of time (I've done 3 so far), so consider this in the price Ben's going to be asking.
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Re: New 'Mini Monster' Programmable Controllers Coming

Postby BenMoore » Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:36 am

Stator,

Nice work on the power traces and thanks for the pics and schematics.

swbluto,

ZapPat wrote:
swbluto wrote:How hard would it be to have an unsensored version that could synchronize well with RC motors? Pedal-first crystalytes already exist but they don't seem to syncrhonize well due to, I'm guessing, too low of a BEMF sampling rate and/or probably slow or inaccurate algorithms.

It's just a matter of the firmware to make it unsensored, right? I might be willing to whip up an uncensored firmware version, if the source code is available to modify.

Not only firmware is needed, since you have to have to be able to sample all three phase voltages to determine the switching points. To accurately detect the motor's waveforms at low speeds you need something that will read fairly low voltages, and that can also filter out the noise present as to not trigger any false switching.

A bunch of tiny, add-on sensorless boards from Keywin went out to people a while back but I haven't seen any reports. Anyone?
eBike 1: Crystalyte 408/4012 in 20" rear, 72V LiPo, 20A controller on Trek Y dual suspension
eBike 2: Avanti Electra (axial flux motor) overvolted - very noisy!
eBike 3: Bafang BPM, Modded ecrazyman controller 50A, LiFePO4 batt
eBike 4: 2kW RC motor with wye/delta switching (Turnigy SK6374-170,12S LiPo) - under construction...
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Re: New 'Mini Monster' Programmable Controllers Coming

Postby ZapPat » Mon Aug 31, 2009 8:49 am

BenMoore wrote:Stator,

Nice work on the power traces and thanks for the pics and schematics.

swbluto,

ZapPat wrote:
swbluto wrote:How hard would it be to have an unsensored version that could synchronize well with RC motors? Pedal-first crystalytes already exist but they don't seem to syncrhonize well due to, I'm guessing, too low of a BEMF sampling rate and/or probably slow or inaccurate algorithms.

It's just a matter of the firmware to make it unsensored, right? I might be willing to whip up an uncensored firmware version, if the source code is available to modify.

Not only firmware is needed, since you have to have to be able to sample all three phase voltages to determine the switching points. To accurately detect the motor's waveforms at low speeds you need something that will read fairly low voltages, and that can also filter out the noise present as to not trigger any false switching.

A bunch of tiny, add-on sensorless boards from Keywin went out to people a while back but I haven't seen any reports. Anyone?

These PCB's use cheap lm339 comparators to simulate the hall sensor signals, they must cost peanuts to make. I seem to recall some people having problems with high speed operation, but have not tried one myself yet. I'm hoping to get one from keywin, but I'm not really sure he understood what I wanted since he replied "i can not supply sensorless adaptor ,but i can supply the sensorless module building on controller board". I don't really get what he means here, unless he has them already mounted to the main controller PCB? If I'm lucky I'll have at least one sensorless module/controller option when I receive the controllers in a few days.
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Re: New 'Mini Monster' Programmable Controllers Coming

Postby ZapPat » Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:52 am

I was wondering what mods have to be done to a 6FET controller to make it compatible with 100V? I changed both the electrolytic bus caps and also the logic supply one (all were rated at 63V), and will of course limit the current going into the logic supply to not overload the lm317. Any other mods necessary?

And to keep regen working above 75V could I just feed the logic supply with a lower voltage than the battery voltage (like 1/2 the voltage or so), or does the controller sample the battery voltage directly from the FET's power traces? If it does sample right off the battery bus I would have to change the voltage sense resistor's ratio (?) to trick it.
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Re: New 'Mini Monster' Programmable Controllers Coming

Postby stator » Tue Sep 01, 2009 1:35 am

ZapPat wrote:I was wondering what mods have to be done to a 6FET controller to make it compatible with 100V? I changed both the electrolytic bus caps and also the logic supply one (all were rated at 63V), and will of course limit the current going into the logic supply to not overload the lm317. Any other mods necessary?


I think that is all you need to do.

And to keep regen working above 75V could I just feed the logic supply with a lower voltage than the battery voltage (like 1/2 the voltage or so), or does the controller sample the battery voltage directly from the FET's power traces? If it does sample right off the battery bus I would have to change the voltage sense resistor's ratio (?) to trick it.


There is a voltage divider made up of R10, R11, and R12 feeding a analog input pin on the MCU. I just noticed I omitted the values of R10 and R11 on the schematic. They are 10K and 7.5K ohms respectively on my board. This voltage is used for the low voltage cutoff as well as the regen limit. You can increase the value of the sum of R10 and R11 in order to further divide the input voltage. Then you would increase the voltages in the parameter designer software by the same ratio. For instance, if you double the value of R10 + R11 (from 17.5K to 35K), the 55 EBS Limit would give you 110V and a
Halt Voltage setting of 21.5 would give you a LVC of 43V.
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Re: New 'Mini Monster' Programmable Controllers Coming

Postby europa81 » Tue Sep 01, 2009 4:03 am

Sexy, promissing ! Want-have-impulse is here !

2 questions:

(1) is the electric braking adjustable ?
(2) how hard would it be to programme an audio-subroutine to use the motor as speaker (as some RC-models do) to announce start-up, ready, alarm etc ?

Thanks
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Re: New 'Mini Monster' Programmable Controllers Coming

Postby BenMoore » Tue Sep 01, 2009 6:53 am

europa81 wrote:(1) is the electric braking adjustable ?


The software indicates that there are 3 electronic brake strength levels: "0: normal, 1: strong, 2: very strong". I don't know if anyone has tried them yet.

For those new to the term, Electronic braking (EBS) is not be confused with regenerative braking. EBS dissipates braking energy through the motor (ie heating it up), while regen directs braking energy back into the batteries (charging them). Regen has the advantage of recouping some energy of course but batteries and BMS must be able to handle it.
eBike 1: Crystalyte 408/4012 in 20" rear, 72V LiPo, 20A controller on Trek Y dual suspension
eBike 2: Avanti Electra (axial flux motor) overvolted - very noisy!
eBike 3: Bafang BPM, Modded ecrazyman controller 50A, LiFePO4 batt
eBike 4: 2kW RC motor with wye/delta switching (Turnigy SK6374-170,12S LiPo) - under construction...
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Re: New 'Mini Monster' Programmable Controllers Coming

Postby ZapPat » Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:26 am

BenMoore wrote:The software indicates that there are 3 electronic brake strength levels: "0: normal, 1: strong, 2: very strong". I don't know if anyone has tried them yet.

For those new to the term, Electronic braking (EBS) is not be confused with regenerative braking. EBS dissipates braking energy through the motor (ie heating it up), while regen directs braking energy back into the batteries (charging them). Regen has the advantage of recouping some energy of course but batteries and BMS must be able to handle it.

EBS on this controller is done using regen, so you will need a battery and BMS capable of taking negative current. As far as I know, the term "EBS" doesn't exclude the possibility of using regen to slow down, I think "plug braking" is the braking type you are talking where no regen happens (and your motor gets hotter too as you mention).

I've been using the EBS/regen option of these small controllers for a couple months now, and always set it to "2:very strong". I just jumper the "BK" pad to ground permanently, and then use a switch between the EBS- pad and ground to activate the regen brake when needed. I still keep one front V-brake on the bike, but don't use it very much anymore except for extra bursts of braking power and to completely stop. The bike I've used it most on is a 2WD rig, so I assume I get twice the braking power than with one motor... and yet I would still like it to be more powerfull sometimes! I feel much more secure going down steep hills using the V-brake/regen combo than the v-brakes alone, but my one gripe with it is that it only can be turned fully ON and OFF, nothing between.

As for how much charging current to expect when using regen: I get up to and sometimes even over 20A of charging current with my 2wd bike and the EBS very strong setting. The faster you are going the higher the regen current of course. I think many BMS's would actually let the negative regen current go into the battery automaticaly through the FET's diode (and have no control over it in this case - watch out!). Be sure your cells can take the charge currents you'll be giving them, and don't go braking down on a big hill with a newly charged battery either!

And many thanks Stator for the voltage sense resistor info! I'll try the mod on my first 6fet 100V capable controller build, quite similar to your own mods although mine aren't so nice looking. :lol:
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Re: New 'Mini Monster' Programmable Controllers Coming

Postby stator » Sat Sep 05, 2009 1:41 am

I finished wiring the rest of my controller.

completed_wiring.jpg
completed_wiring.jpg (30.45 KiB) Viewed 5831 times


I'm going to be testing with two Bosch Fatpacks wired in series. That's 83V hot off the charger and 60V when it is drained (LVC). The "any voltage" transistor mod will be needed to cover that voltage range. There isn't much room to put it in there. A small switching regulator, like the one philf made, would be nice. It could plug in to the PS-1 holes. Maybe I should get this module: http://www.alliedelec.com/Search/ProductDetail.aspx?SKU=394-SPEC&MPN=R-78HB12-0.5L.

In order to allow regen, I changed the value of R11 from 7.5K to 11K. Setting the voltage to 75 in the software should give about 87V. This will also change the LVC measurement, so a software setting of 52 should give a LVC of about 60V.

I built a 1 milliohm shunt for the current sense. That's another tight fit.

Now, on to the testing.
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Re: New 'Mini Monster' Programmable Controllers Coming

Postby John in CR » Sat Sep 05, 2009 3:20 am

That's exactly what I need, BAD. I have $ and I have 65 real IRFB4110's for trade too.

John
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Re: New 'Mini Monster' Programmable Controllers Coming

Postby BenMoore » Sat Sep 05, 2009 10:26 am

Stator,

Its... Medusa....will its powers also turn those who gaze directly upon her into stone?!
eBike 1: Crystalyte 408/4012 in 20" rear, 72V LiPo, 20A controller on Trek Y dual suspension
eBike 2: Avanti Electra (axial flux motor) overvolted - very noisy!
eBike 3: Bafang BPM, Modded ecrazyman controller 50A, LiFePO4 batt
eBike 4: 2kW RC motor with wye/delta switching (Turnigy SK6374-170,12S LiPo) - under construction...
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Re: New 'Mini Monster' Programmable Controllers Coming

Postby John in CR » Sat Sep 05, 2009 6:29 pm

BenMoore wrote:Stator,

Its... Medusa....will its powers also turn those who gaze directly upon her into stone?!


It is kinda cool that the fat wiring coming out of it looks almost more voluminous than the actual controller. Maybe call it the Anaconda, or Tiger Snake Controllers if you're down under.

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