Successor to the infineon clone controllers in the 1000-2000w power range?

neptronix

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Confession, i haven't caught up with controllers for 10 years.
I still use old infineon 9-18FET models because they are simple, well documented, cheap, had good FETs, and very reliable.
I also have phaserunners but they are too expensive for builds with cost constraints.

I would like to move on to programmable sinewave or FOC controllers, but there seems to be no clear winner as to has the best one.

I've browsed threads for a while and the consensus seems to be:

KT - has problems with drag on direct drives when throttle not engaged, otherwise seems good?
Sabvoton - seems to be good?
Kelly - continues to have below average reliability and also full of quirks for many, same as the 2010's
Powervelocity - website broken and not responding to emails.
Cutler MAC ( supposedly still sells infineon clones ) - Not responding to emails
Nucular - Can't buy the 6F, no cost mentioned, imagining not cheap
Fly by night Chinese brands - Not interested because you won't get support down the line.

Given that i want:
+ Relatively cheap for cost constrained builds
+ Supports phase advance/field weakening of some sort
+ Supports a 3 or 2 speed switch
+ Supports a CA
+ Halfway decent FETS ie 3077 or 4110 grade

What would fit the bill best?
 
I'm not up to date either on Infineon clones but that last ones I played with are simulated sine-wave Xie Chang "Infineon 4" clones which have all the feature you are looking for and I'm guessing you were using "Infineon 3" clones; so a bit newer but still old by today standards. See my Rocky Mountain 2WD build where I utilize two different sized .

What Cycle Analyst are you working with? If it's just the "simple" 2.4V or older; I would think the controller wouldn't matter since it uses an external shunt.

Also, I know that 3077 or 4110 are now old-school (I was schooled on ES Facebook) as well and FETs seems to be popular in the new TOLL package vs the old T0-220. Even some of the cheap ones have half the resistance of the old and trusty 3077 or 4110.

I usually suggest KT controllers since they are opensouce and programmable etc... but what about a good VESC unit; the software is unbeatable as far as programming and most of them are FOC?
 
Pretty sure i was using the 3xx series, all with the modifications made to support high eRPM motors like the MAC.

I have a cycle analyst direct plugin ( quite old ) and a standalone. The standalone can still be purchased so maybe a DP connector isn't a hard requirement.

Ah okay, so they've been putting better FETS into controllers instead of worse ones?

I hear the KT opensource firmware is buggy and i wonder why you would use it vs stock.. and is there a fix for the direct drive motor drag issue.. if so, i may give one a spin.

VESC is an option but i don't see a lot of experiences with them on ebikes and wonder if there are some drawbacks.
 
I haven't experience the drag problem with KT controllers; but then again I've only ever used one. Perhaps I need to look more into that before recommending them again.

I agree that VESC isn't used all that much for ebikes but it seems to be growing at a steady pace. I use a 3shul VESC (definitely not a budget option though) on my mini-moto/scooter and am going to start using a cheaper VESC on my off-road bicycle. The unit I'll be trying is Makerbase 75/200 and is around $100 USD. It seems like many of the VESCs for sale in this price range don't live up to their specs but I also feel like most people are excepting too much and running too close to their advertised limits.
 
Yeah RC motor ratings are usually based on peak values versus continuous so i would guess the controllers are rated the same..
IE.. 100A ESC? expect 25-33A continuous.

I've looked at a bunch of VESCs but never see accompanying ebrakes, throttles, pas units, etc.. i'm imagining you get this thing and you have a wiring job on your hands instead of an easy plug things and and boom it works experience. Am i right?
 
I've looked at a bunch of VESCs but never see accompanying ebrakes, throttles, pas units, etc.. i'm imagining you get this thing and you have a wiring job on your hands instead of an easy plug things and and boom it works experience. Am i right?
... correct. AFAIK, I've never seen a VESC with an ebike suitable harness; especially one with PAS but I have read it does/can work.
 
I use a VESC on my bike, have done for the last 3 years commuting. I have 3 types, V4, V6 and V75. All are good for about 1.5-2KW. I use a standard thumb throttle at 3.5v. I also have a bluetooth board plugged in, allowing me to monitor speed, power current etc in real time on my phone, and also set up the motor.
You can use PAS, but it needs to be quadrature, and it takes the Rx and Tx pins for the comms port, unless you recompile with different pins. The V75 has a 2nd UART, so you can use PAS and comms at the same time (not used it as this is as this needs to fitted into a waterproof box to be practical).
There is also a further analogue input that could be used for a torque sensor, but I haven't tried that yet.
All needed to be fitted into decent waterproof housings and the correct connectors added - so not really a plug and play, but the customisation possibilities make it far and away the best controller out there.
I am currently using a Q100CST, at 500w 44v. 22mph on flat, 26mph with pedalling. VESC is set to FOC and field weakening and current control.
As of this morning on the way to work, the free hub on the Q100CST failed again (3rd time), so no peddaling for me - the motor will have to drag me home on its own.

Cheers
 
I think VESC will be the way forward for many more applications, unlike all those other controllers if it's missing a feature, which it is missing some, it can be added either to the firmware directly or as a lisp script. And you have more options to pick your quality to price ratio, there are very cheap VESCs with mostly good enough quality and very expensive ones with exceptional quality. The real annoyance is waterproofing the damn things although there are a few options that are waterproofed already.

Now having installed 3 different VESCs on 3 bikes, 4th one on the bench here are some pros and cons and your feature list.

+ Relatively cheap for cost constrained builds
Yes the cheap ones are quite cheap for what you get, but too cheap in some cases. The cheap ones normally cut corners on less than optimal board design and filtering so can be hard to tune or problematic when being pushed to high phase currents. And the cooling design is less than optimal on some cheapies.

+ Supports phase advance/field weakening of some sort
All of it and more than more controllers with full MTPA support and a sea of tunability.

+ Supports a 3 or 2 speed switch
If I recall there is no way to change modes with a switch although could be added to the firmware by somebody so inclined.

+ Supports a CA
Correct me if I'm wrong but the CA can mostly just passthough a throttle signal and handle things from there so, kinda?

+ Halfway decent FETS ie 3077 or 4110 grade
Even the cheapest ones have now have TOLL FETs on aluminum MPCBs and some higher end models moving to TOLT.

Support in general is pretty available and seems to be getting more available over time as they become more popular, I think though less support will be needed over time as it seems like a lot of support people often need is due to difficulty tuning motors which seems to be often related to the earlier very cheap VESCs that cut corners (poor board design, less filter caps than needed, no phase filters, etc) but now even the cheapest versions seem to be improving.

Ease of install I think still has some ways to go to match other controllers, many requiring additional waterproofing, more wiring needs to be done and tuning often is very easy and takes a few min but sometimes requires more work. So far my experience is that hub motors both geared and direct tuned very easily even with trash hardware, more complex motors less so, but that could be the poor hardware.

I think the phone app is a plus over many of these other controllers for many people, makes settings easy to use, gives you a very cheap and full featured dashboard if you want it.

As with everything in life there are going to be some tradeoffs if you want cheap stuff.
 
This "adapter" from spintend solves a LOT of the common "vesc isn't for ebikes" issues.

PAS, though, is definitely a weak spot for a VESC controller -- the VESC firmware just doesn't really support it super well. I think there is some support for it, like you can select it as an input type, but I think you'd end up much, much happier with a CA getting the pas/throttle/brakes/etc inputs and just feeding the VESC the resulting output signal, which it'll be very happy with when scaled to the 0-3.3v range.
 
Excellent responses, thanks for informing me!

I love that sprintend also sells the accessories to make the bike control work.
That adapter includes the option for a 3 speed switch or let's say 3 throttle level switch.

I looked at a ton of VESC pages and never saw any seller catering to the ebike market at all.

Packaging of the VESCs seems non-ideal. At a minimum we probably need to bolt on a heatsink and also downrate the controller to account for the much heavier duty cycle of an ebike versus a scooter, etc.

Has anyone solved the packaging problem?
 
In my experience the VESCs are easier to mount in some ways because they are so small and some come with heatsinks that are suitable enough, or rather are just as good as the ones you get on most generic ebike controllers so that is to say not enough if you want to push the controller real hard but good enough for decent continuous power output with airflow. So far I've never had any of these controllers thermally throttle themselves but that's partly due to conditions and duty cycle.

As for waterproofing though, there are some options but they are limited. So far I've either just siilconed everything sealed or siliconed some parts sealed and made a case that seals the rest.

You might take a look at this list to get an idea of some of the options out there. Although that's certainly not exhaustive. If you've got a project in mind might be worth it to find one that's suitable and give a go, sometimes it's hard to know how things work for you until you try.
 
For the brief period they were available the Grinfineon controllers were awesome.
Programmable, sinewave, CA compatible out of the box, and very compact. Only downside is the lower power they max out at of around 25A.
I have two....one is slated for my Giant Revive fat bike build (if I ever get around to it) the other drives my old solar blue BikeE CT.
The (slight) bump in efficiency has helped that blue CT keep going with it's 10 year old 600+ cycle battery that would otherwise no longer have enough capacity for my needs.

Cheers
 
Don't remind me, i missed that era.. 😓

Sabvotons still in the running for the successor?
 
Sabvotons still in the running for the successor?
They seem to be the goto in the fatbike world for the 3-5kw kits these days. I believe you also see a lot of RISUN controllers, but I think those are just sabs rebranded a bit?

If you can manage to not vomit while using the software for the initial setup, they seem to do ok and, typically, have all the standard "bike" features. (There's a thread around here about someone trying to make an alternative PC app to configure sabs, but I think it stalled out. Which is a bummer, because the software is truly awful.)

One other things that's a bit...weird with sabs is that what parts of the "bike features" are available tends to morph a bit. Like, you'll sometimes see the 72100 with a three speed -- but sometimes not.
 
Here is my mini VESC 6.7, with BT module to communicate with my phone. Box is custom made and replaces the original heatsink, so all of it is in the airflow. 100mm x 50mm x 40mm. Black caps are to cable tie it to the frame. 3 connections, battery, motor and throttle - motor runs sensorless so water-ingress to the motor won't cause issues.

Run at upto 1kw without geting near to overheating, with an ambient temp of around 18deg.

The format of the mini makes it easy to fit into small boxes, maybe even a battery mounting, although I haven't tried that yet.
 

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They seem to be the goto in the fatbike world for the 3-5kw kits these days. I believe you also see a lot of RISUN controllers, but I think those are just sabs rebranded a bit?

If you can manage to not vomit while using the software for the initial setup, they seem to do ok and, typically, have all the standard "bike" features. (There's a thread around here about someone trying to make an alternative PC app to configure sabs, but I think it stalled out. Which is a bummer, because the software is truly awful.)

One other things that's a bit...weird with sabs is that what parts of the "bike features" are available tends to morph a bit. Like, you'll sometimes see the 72100 with a three speed -- but sometimes not.
I tried using one on my fatbike but it's algorithm didn't support my fatbike geared hub, just for direct drive. Every other time I needed lots of torque the motor choked.

I think VESC will be the way forward for many more applications, unlike all those other controllers if it's missing a feature, which it is missing some, it can be added either to the firmware directly or as a lisp script. And you have more options to pick your quality to price ratio, there are very cheap VESCs with mostly good enough quality and very expensive ones with exceptional quality. The real annoyance is waterproofing the damn things although there are a few options that are waterproofed already.

Now having installed 3 different VESCs on 3 bikes, 4th one on the bench here are some pros and cons and your feature list.

+ Relatively cheap for cost constrained builds
Yes the cheap ones are quite cheap for what you get, but too cheap in some cases. The cheap ones normally cut corners on less than optimal board design and filtering so can be hard to tune or problematic when being pushed to high phase currents. And the cooling design is less than optimal on some cheapies.

+ Supports phase advance/field weakening of some sort
All of it and more than more controllers with full MTPA support and a sea of tunability.

+ Supports a 3 or 2 speed switch
If I recall there is no way to change modes with a switch although could be added to the firmware by somebody so inclined.

+ Supports a CA
Correct me if I'm wrong but the CA can mostly just passthough a throttle signal and handle things from there so, kinda?

+ Halfway decent FETS ie 3077 or 4110 grade
Even the cheapest ones have now have TOLL FETs on aluminum MPCBs and some higher end models moving to TOLT.

Support in general is pretty available and seems to be getting more available over time as they become more popular, I think though less support will be needed over time as it seems like a lot of support people often need is due to difficulty tuning motors which seems to be often related to the earlier very cheap VESCs that cut corners (poor board design, less filter caps than needed, no phase filters, etc) but now even the cheapest versions seem to be improving.

Ease of install I think still has some ways to go to match other controllers, many requiring additional waterproofing, more wiring needs to be done and tuning often is very easy and takes a few min but sometimes requires more work. So far my experience is that hub motors both geared and direct tuned very easily even with trash hardware, more complex motors less so, but that could be the poor hardware.

I think the phone app is a plus over many of these other controllers for many people, makes settings easy to use, gives you a very cheap and full featured dashboard if you want it.

As with everything in life there are going to be some tradeoffs if you want cheap stuff.
This "adapter" from spintend solves a LOT of the common "vesc isn't for ebikes" issues.

PAS, though, is definitely a weak spot for a VESC controller -- the VESC firmware just doesn't really support it super well. I think there is some support for it, like you can select it as an input type, but I think you'd end up much, much happier with a CA getting the pas/throttle/brakes/etc inputs and just feeding the VESC the resulting output signal, which it'll be very happy with when scaled to the 0-3.3v range.
I just got my VESC on the mail, I'm running 2WD on a fatbike so got two FlipSky 75100 Alu V2, plans are to connect them via CAN, and try to run on both throttle and PAS. Any suggestions on getting PAS and bluetooth working? I've seen some code for custom builds on Github using only a 3 wire PAS but didn't do my research to see if my Flipsky accepts custom firmware. (my PAS sensor is KT)
 
Any suggestions on getting PAS and bluetooth working?
PAS? No. I only briefly looked into it and walked away after finding it was deep forum maybe's and read-the-code archaic incantations. For bikes that are truly bikes, I've just stuck to CA+Phaserunner's. If I'm venturing into a power/speed arena beyond bike territory, I just take a look in the "let's be honest" mirror and admit the pedal assist isn't needed.

As for bluetooth, I've always used metr devices (now voyage), but a cheaper bluetooth dongle should get you operating with the VESC tool mobile app.
 
I just got my VESC on the mail, I'm running 2WD on a fatbike so got two FlipSky 75100 Alu V2, plans are to connect them via CAN, and try to run on both throttle and PAS.
After you do this, I recommend turning on the traction control, assuming the motors are identical, it is a nice bonus. My bike with a very similar config, fatbike, 2WD, flipsky 75100 dual via canbus benefited nicely from it. While certainly not perfect the traction control does keep the front wheel in control when conditions are loose.
 
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