Tuesday, February 10, 2009
So, above we have a picture of my home built controller project in its current state, along with a couple other staples of college life that are continuously inhabiting my desk. Might not look like much right now, but it's actually quite a step forward. I've got it up to the point where it's able to power my 600A IGBT. Granted, it's currently running a motor I pulled out of a VCR that was in the trash behind one of the frats, but it should, in theory, be able to take quite a bit of juice. All that's really left are a couple little programming tweaks, some, uhh, minor wiring upgrades, etc. and it'll be ready to drop into a car. I've got a monster heat sink taking up the other side of the desk, and a few 2200 uF caps are on the way as I type. I've also got a few isolation issues I have to take care of. The logic input to the gate driver will be isolated with an optocoupler, and I'm currently searching for an isolated DC/DC converter to provide power to the "dark side."
Oddly enough, this is actually really exciting for me. I've been working on and off on a home made controller for a good long time now, probably a little over a year, and I finally have enough knowledge that I can probably make one work reliably. Since I've used a surplus IGBT and mostly inexpensive electronic components, the cost for this thing should come in well under $200- quite a bit better than the $1800 or so you might find yourself spending on a Curtis. Of course, that doesn't include the two programmers I've gone through in the process of learning to program, or the mini laptop I ended up buying because it was the cheapest thing I could find with Windows XP, or the several dozen chips I've fried for various inane reasons, but it's still worth it.
Anyway- stay tuned, more developments soon!