293: Wednesday 9th August 2017

No photos today, but good news I have my AC drive system running.

First time I powered up the system I had an error 18 (Severe B+ Overvoltage) flashing on the LEDs. I had already got the software and cable to configure the drive, so I thought I'd just go in and set it up.

I couldn't find the cable...! I paid nearly £60 for this on eBay and turned the house and garage upside-down trying to find it before I reluctantly ordered another (another £60). It came quickly from Germany. I connected my laptop and after a bit of dialogue with the guy in Germany and a few windows registry settings changed, I could set parameters in the motor controller. This might be useful for others as the Curtis 1239e controller is still quite new. The hardware set-up has some slight differences with 1238. The reason I chose this model was the wide range of voltages (72v to 144v) that is can work with and the 12v control side that is not affected by the drive battery pack voltage.

So the error 18 was not due to overvoltage, but with the controller being configured with a low voltage, so I changed the battery pack setting to 121.6v and then the fault cleared. I linked out the interlock for the throttle and then I had a main contactor fault. This was preventing the main contactor from closing (error 39).

At this point I went to enter the settings that I had been sent from Jeremy who sold me the motor and drive. The next problem was that I could not open the excel sheet. I tried everything and I was getting errors from windows. I went to work the next day and opened the file no problem on my pc at work, so I did a cheeky 'save as' in various excel version formats to my cloud drive at home. I printed a hard copy just in case. When I got home I decided to just use the hard copy and put the settings in the controller.

When I keyed on with the new settings the contactor gave a nice click after the pre-charge had built up enough voltage at the capacitors on the B+ terminal. I then had an error 47 sequence fault. I wired the throttle switch to the interlock input and then the fault was still there. I used the input monitor screen to note the throttle min and max voltages and then entered these into the parameters. The fault code cleared.

When I powered up there were no fault codes, so I checked the gearbox was in neutral and operated the throttle pot... Nothing...! I looked at the input on the screen and I could see the input for the throttle switch, but no input for forward or reverse. I checked the wiring and found I had omitted a connection to the forward and reverse relays for the signal supply. I had removed this from the circuit because my old DC drive had 120v control signals, so had a 120v supply to the relay contacts. I replaced this with the 12v supply and then I could see the input for the forward switch working on the screen and motor came to life. I checked the reverse input too. I put it into 3rd gear and gave the drive a little bump with the throttle to check the motor was turning the right way for the car to go forward. All o.k.

I noticed at this point that my battery monitor was showing extremely low on 2 of the bars. I check the individual batteries with my multi-meter and they were really low. I had suspected these 2 batteries of being faulty or damaged some time ago, but this was just from being left alone with the Anderson connector disconnected (no load), so they were self discharging somehow. Next job is to reconnect the charger and get everything bolted down and secured so I can go on the road.