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Hello everybody, and Help!

 
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Mike



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 3
Location: San Francisco, California

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 12:34 pm    Post subject: Hello everybody, and Help! Reply with quote

Greetings from San Francisco, everyone. I'm new to the list, have been lurking and browsing, and have been meaning to sit down and introduce myself, except that I put that off so long, here I am with a problem. So hello, and HELP!

I've owned an E-10 for about a year and a half (this one, actually, as it appeared a couple of owners ago: http://www.austinev.org/evalbum/608), and for the most part everything was fine. Until it stopped running a few months ago... creaked to a halt... let the problem-solving begin:

Long story short, the right controller was just fried: one of its three large capacitors was dead, and upon opening the case there were many smoked, cracked and otherwise mosfet (I think) chips. I don't know why that happened but there it was.

Miraculously, there was a controller for sale on ebay --even already set up for the right-side the owner said, and he assured me it came off a working Solectria E-10. I believe that.

Installed the new controller, no help. Switched things around, and it appears the right controller works, the left controller works, the right motor worked... but no dice on the left motor. (Note: swapping wires around, both controllers spin the right motor, neither controller spins the left more than at a crawl).

Still more miraculously, there was what appeared to be a brand new motor for sale on ebay (exact same kind as in the E-10), so I bought that, installed it yesterday, and... no help. Right controller spins the (elevated) wheels (when the left-side is unplugged and out of the equation), Left controller spins the right motor when hooked up that way, but still no motion on the left motor by any arrangement possible.

Now. On the face of it, it looks like the left side motor is again dead, but I'm just not buying that. First of all, the first (apparently dead) motor I took off didn't seem dead (it would move the wheels r-e-a-l s-l-o-w, remember, same as last nights result, and it spun freely, with no smoked smell or other indications of failure), and second, this new motor does in fact appear to be new: it doesn't have any signs it was ever installed, and in addition I had a nice email exchange with its seller, who seems an honest and decent guy. I believe it is a working motor.

I am totally perplexed. Has anybody run into anything like this before? Does anybody have any suggested diagnostics I can run on the new (or old, for that matter) motor?

(For what it's worth the chassis/pulleys/belt installations seem okay, and in any case, when powered from the Right side everything hums... as long as the left side electronics is taken out of play).

The failure mode just seems too peculiar in both (the old and new) motors (slow, but not completely dead) for this to be a coincidental actual motor-hardware failure... I was careful with the wire/terminal hookups, but is there a chance I hooked the cables to the motors wrong, or would it even make a difference if I did?

(Also, the resistance in the cables appear equal in ohms throughout...)

Thanks in advance for any advice anyone might have to offer.

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Mike



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 3
Location: San Francisco, California

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 2:29 pm    Post subject: ahem. well. nevermind. Reply with quote

a couple of hours later:

okay then. After consulting with a person smarter than me, he suggested the possibility that (when I installed new Anderson connectors under the bed hooking up the controllers to the motors), I might have accidentally misconnected one or the other of the cables...

Bingo. Sure enough. I swapped two wires, and the truck now moves. whew.

I don't mind being an object-lesson here though: it never hurts to have somebody else double-check your work.

I still don't know for sure why the first (right-side) controller self-destructed, but from the start I suspected the above-referenced Anderson connectors (the red/white/blue plugs connected all the heavy-duty electric cables in the truck). One of the per-side set of three (I recollect it was the blue one) was melted on both sides, and I supposed that (as the diminished conductivity of the plug caused the electrical current to have to struggle more through an increasingly higher-resistance [due to that self-produced heat] connection) it may have subsequently backfed heat into the control box, causing all that damage, but that's just a theory.

My only cautionary tale here would be: have a look at all those connectors, folks: they get old and may crack (like the broken one I earlier found under my hood, connecting the battery charger to the packs), or they may get hot, and melt. Which may cause all kinds of grief, if you don't get lucky on ebay, like I did.

Anyway. Sorry for the false alarm, but maybe my story here will remain in archives for somebody else to get some use out of when seemingly mysterious things happen.

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ThomasHudson
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Joined: 26 Sep 2005
Posts: 130
Location: Port Washington WI

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations on getting that all sorted out!

FYI, Solectria sent out a maintenance advisory several years ago that recommended filling all those Anderson connectors with non-conductive grease to prevent salt- and other material corrosion and associated failure. I'll see if I can find the copy I got. Doing this makes them very messy to deal with but it can prevent this kind of incident.

I appreciate getting the information on this failure mode!

The only somewhat similar failure I've experienced is that one of the three connector pins on my Force's battery charger's main power inlet somehow corroded and caused a bad connection, heated up and the bad/intermittent connection caused one of the internal fuses to fail.

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Wolf



Joined: 31 Mar 2007
Posts: 27
Location: Illinois

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 6:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Hello everybody, and Help! Reply with quote

Do you want to sell the burned up controller?

I would like to take a look at repairing it. :)


Mike wrote:
Greetings from San Francisco, everyone. I'm new to the list, have been lurking and browsing, and have been meaning to sit down and introduce myself, except that I put that off so long, here I am with a problem. So hello, and HELP!

I've owned an E-10 for about a year and a half (this one, actually, as it appeared a couple of owners ago: http://www.austinev.org/evalbum/608), and for the most part everything was fine. Until it stopped running a few months ago... creaked to a halt... let the problem-solving begin:

Long story short, the right controller was just fried: one of its three large capacitors was dead, and upon opening the case there were many smoked, cracked and otherwise mosfet (I think) chips. I don't know why that happened but there it was.

Miraculously, there was a controller for sale on ebay --even already set up for the right-side the owner said, and he assured me it came off a working Solectria E-10. I believe that.

Installed the new controller, no help. Switched things around, and it appears the right controller works, the left controller works, the right motor worked... but no dice on the left motor. (Note: swapping wires around, both controllers spin the right motor, neither controller spins the left more than at a crawl).

Still more miraculously, there was what appeared to be a brand new motor for sale on ebay (exact same kind as in the E-10), so I bought that, installed it yesterday, and... no help. Right controller spins the (elevated) wheels (when the left-side is unplugged and out of the equation), Left controller spins the right motor when hooked up that way, but still no motion on the left motor by any arrangement possible.

Now. On the face of it, it looks like the left side motor is again dead, but I'm just not buying that. First of all, the first (apparently dead) motor I took off didn't seem dead (it would move the wheels r-e-a-l s-l-o-w, remember, same as last nights result, and it spun freely, with no smoked smell or other indications of failure), and second, this new motor does in fact appear to be new: it doesn't have any signs it was ever installed, and in addition I had a nice email exchange with its seller, who seems an honest and decent guy. I believe it is a working motor.

I am totally perplexed. Has anybody run into anything like this before? Does anybody have any suggested diagnostics I can run on the new (or old, for that matter) motor?

(For what it's worth the chassis/pulleys/belt installations seem okay, and in any case, when powered from the Right side everything hums... as long as the left side electronics is taken out of play).

The failure mode just seems too peculiar in both (the old and new) motors (slow, but not completely dead) for this to be a coincidental actual motor-hardware failure... I was careful with the wire/terminal hookups, but is there a chance I hooked the cables to the motors wrong, or would it even make a difference if I did?

(Also, the resistance in the cables appear equal in ohms throughout...)

Thanks in advance for any advice anyone might have to offer.

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Mike



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 3
Location: San Francisco, California

PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 4:43 pm    Post subject: Controller, and Anderson connector goop Reply with quote

Actually, Wolf, I would in fact like to sell the controller. Right now though I am trying to sell the truck, and if it goes to a technically-adept buyer, that salvageable controller might end up being a tasty little add-on that could conceivably enhance the sales prospects. Let me get back to you on that.

Tom, I'd like to hear more about that Solectria Service Letter, vis a vis the compound recommended for protecting those terminal connections. What was the goo, specifically?

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