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!

3 comments:

coal_burner said...

Why not charge the caps using a small secondary contactor hooked up in series with a big resistor? set up a timer circuit that lets the caps charge through the resistor for 3 or 4 seconds before closing the main contactor. No arks no muss no fuss.

Adrian said...

This stuff is way above my paygrade, but nice to see people competing with the big boys.

All the best and hope you get that flash of inspiration that makes you famous.

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