Lebowski's motor controller IC, schematic & setup, new v2.A1

Electric Motors and Controllers
arber333   10 W

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Re: Lebowski's motor controller IC, schematic & setup, new v2.A1

Post by arber333 » Jan 28 2020 7:09am

amberwolf wrote:
Jan 23 2020 12:27am
thanks--i don't have any yet to open up; it's just a hypothetical. had to verify the potential for the idea first, then i have to find a pair someone (or a couple of someones) is willing to let go for next to nothing (so i can afford the project).

(there's a pair in the for sale section i'd actually asked about and then somehow forgot, almost a year ago, apparently. i can't actually remember why i didn't get them at the time :( :oops: ).
How much power do you need and how large an inverter?
For large application I would totally recommend Volt inverter. It has two totally identical power stages inside. It is run via 5V interface which starts from HV being applied to inverter. It requires 48V minimum for stable start. IGBT signals are LOW side signals. Fault signal is pulled to GND while everything is good. When fault condition happens a fault output sends a 5V pulse on its line. Current sensors are 5V, 2.5V centered analog signal as well. It all applies very well to Lebowski controler.

Another application i would recommend would be Prius. Though it has asymetrical power stages. If symmetry is no issue it would maybe be good option since there is also 1kW DCDC 12V converter inside that only requires 12V enable signal to work. Current sensors require +5V and -5V supply. It is also built with HW protection features. I couldnt short it no matter what i did it would only tik at me. It works from 100Vdc up to 300Vdc

If you require very small power section, you may want to search for damaged Volt inverters. There is a third power section hidden under the main cap. I suspect it can handle 50A at 400V because i saw it uses 50A current sensors. Maybe for your application you just build a chip interface for two brains and you can connect to power section. Here Tom and I have disected this PS.
https://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/s ... stcount=48
https://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/s ... stcount=52

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Re: Lebowski's motor controller IC, schematic & setup, new v2.A1

Post by amberwolf » Jan 28 2020 10:22pm

arber333 wrote:
Jan 28 2020 7:09am
How much power do you need and how large an inverter?
from the previous page:
amberwolf wrote:
Jan 22 2020 8:48pm
i'm going to need one (two, really) that can handle 3-4kw+ each to each run one of the hubmotors in the sb cruiser's rear wheels.
more power available won't hurt ;) but i figure if i can doulbe the power i have available now, it should do just about anything i need it to for a little while. ;) (espeically since i'll be fixing all the stuff that breaks over time for a while).

though i didn't specify the voltage; presetnly i'm running on 14s2p 20ah eig nmc c020 cells, but i can go up to 28s if necessary. (if i do, i pretty much have to go down to 1p because of pack size and weight, at present; this would limit peak currents to 200a and continous 100a, rather than the 400/200 i can theoreticaly get now, with my aging cells).

the trike is around 500lbs-ish with me on it, and i can easily carry up to a couple hundred more pounds of stuff and/or dog(s) on it, and then there's a trailer that can carry up to maybe another thousand pounds, though i probably only need that much capability every couple years or so, i use a trailer for up to 200-300lbs every few months or so.

at present it's a pair of mxus 450x motors (one 4503 and one 4504), but the 4503 (I think) had a stator-winding short (presently fixed with hv insulating lacquer) so i am going to be replacing it with an ex-stromer-mountain33 ultramotor (minus it's internal controller) to see how that works out. both mxus's have snapped axles, i've welded them back on but who knows how long those will last. (have plans to replace axles with large diameter hollow tubes, for wires to go thru, and then use clamps to secure those to the frame, but that requires new covers for larger id bearings, and other significant machining work i can't do at present, or afford to have done).

i also just got a qs205 thats got both axles sheared off, but should be electrically fine, that i need to weld new axles to as well, then put in a wheel...or it could be used as a middrive if i could find a transaxle cheap that would handle the torque, and adapt to drive the two rear wheels via chains from the ends of the axles (rather than directly, due to the way the rear end is built to keep teh deck low)
For large application I would totally recommend Volt inverter. It has two totally identical power stages inside. It is run via 5V interface which starts from HV being applied to inverter. It requires 48V minimum for stable start. IGBT signals are LOW side signals. Fault signal is pulled to GND while everything is good. When fault condition happens a fault output sends a 5V pulse on its line. Current sensors are 5V, 2.5V centered analog signal as well. It all applies very well to Lebowski controler.
if these are available really cheap (in the $50 range, hopefully), and are not gigantic, and don't require modifying smd parts, then i'd be able to use one (presuming one will run two motors; otherwise i'd need two).

Another application i would recommend would be Prius. Though it has asymetrical power stages. If symmetry is no issue it would maybe be good option since there is also 1kW DCDC 12V converter inside that only requires 12V enable signal to work. Current sensors require +5V and -5V supply. It is also built with HW protection features. I couldnt short it no matter what i did it would only tik at me. It works from 100Vdc up to 300Vdc
well, the protection sounds good, as does the dc-dc, but i guess i'd have to go to 28s to use it. i don't know what "asymmetrical power stages" means?

If you require very small power section, you may want to search for damaged Volt inverters. There is a third power section hidden under the main cap. I suspect it can handle 50A at 400V because i saw it uses 50A current sensors. Maybe for your application you just build a chip interface for two brains and you can connect to power section. Here Tom and I have disected this PS.
https://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/s ... stcount=48
https://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/s ... stcount=52
i'll take a look at those threads. what is a "chip interface"? (presumably to have two lebowski brains run the one inverter?) if it's something that's got a thru-hole pcb already available and the parts are really cheap, i could probably solder one up, but if it requires smd stuff or i have to design it and build it from scratch....that's probably not something i could do these days.

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Re: Lebowski's motor controller IC, schematic & setup, new v2.A1

Post by arber333 » Jan 29 2020 3:15am

Sorry, i didnt see your power requirement. Volt inverter is like 15kg and 300cm x 20cm x 15cm box. It may be overkill in price also, i saw everything from $150 to $400 online. But for 100kW powersection it is not too much.

You can also get Toyota Yaris inverter G9200-52010 which is smaller and lighter than Prius and Camry inverter. I have seen that PS for $100.
Its power is less, but for you i dont think it will be an issue. I think both sections could handle 200A. Asymetrical means that MG1 section is rated for 600A and MG2 only for 300A i think. I may be mistaken, there is not much data on Toyota like that.
See here my visual comparison https://openinverter.org/forum/viewtopi ... t=10#p3098.
Also there is some comparison with other Toyota products: https://info.ornl.gov/sites/publication ... b26762.pdf

You can also get Honda IMA inverter working with Lebowski like Tom here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deUlqjwdXz8

That is about what i know about readily available power stages. Or you can design your own using 3phase IGBT or mosfet modules and Lebowski schematic. But i must warn you building your own power stage is expensive. Ask me how i know :).

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Re: Lebowski's motor controller IC, schematic & setup, new v2.A1

Post by fechter » Jan 29 2020 8:59am

At system voltages below about 100v, FETs will be a better choice than IGBTs. IGBTs will have more voltage drop and make more heat. You don't really want to need water cooling on a bike. But IGBTs can work and if the current is low enough you might not need water cooling.
"One test is worth a thousand opinions"

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Re: Lebowski's motor controller IC, schematic & setup, new v2.A1

Post by coleasterling » Jan 29 2020 10:38am

Kiwi and I are working on a board for the 08 Civic IMA inverter right now. Hoping to have something functional in the next few weeks. It will involve chopping the existing board to leave the gate driver power supply and grafting on a Lebowski chip. A full drop in solution may come later pending initial testing, but it is tough to want to get rid of a nicely designed, existing solution.

If you look around eBay, you can typically get an IMA inverter for $50-60. I'm patient enough that I've gotten my last three for $35-40 each shipped.

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Re: Lebowski's motor controller IC, schematic & setup, new v2.A1

Post by amberwolf » Jan 29 2020 6:51pm

arber333 wrote:
Jan 29 2020 3:15am
Volt inverter is like 15kg and 300cm x 20cm x 15cm box. It may be overkill in price also, i saw everything from $150 to $400 online. But for 100kW powersection it is not too much.
if i were to rebuild the motor axles so they wouldn't snap, and then the trike motor mounts and framework so they wouldn't snap, then that kind of power would probably do it's best to flip the trike on it's back even at very low throttle levels. :lol: just 4% of that power is what I have now and it'll get me to 20mph from a stop in a few seconds. ;) of course, my battery wouldn't handle taht anyway, so i'd have to limit power regardless. at least i know that i wouldn't be able to overheat the powerstage.

but aside from that, the size and weight is similar to my whole battery, and while one of them would technically fit under the trike between the wheels where the grinfineon controlelrs are now, 33lbs is probably too much to add (especially if i had to add battery to support the controller voltage needs).

if i can cut the casing and heatsinking down, and use someting much lighter for waterproofing, leaving just a minimal heatsink that's enough for my power usage, maybe it would save enough weight to be usable?

but the price...is higher than my budget. (unless one or more of a few things happens: if i can return the grinfineons i have for a refund, since i have to send one back for repair anyway...or if i get a *real* raise at work next month when they do reviews, or someone wants a used sevcon or something in trade, etc).

You can also get Toyota Yaris inverter G9200-52010 which is smaller and lighter than Prius and Camry inverter. I have seen that PS for $100.
Its power is less, but for you i dont think it will be an issue. I think both sections could handle 200A. Asymetrical means that MG1 section is rated for 600A and MG2 only for 300A i think. I may be mistaken, there is not much data on Toyota like that.
as long as it's still something i can essentially just wire up teh lebowski brains to and "go" (yeah, i know it's never that simple), that asymmetry doesn't matter--it's still way overkill for my purposes, as long as it doesn't hurt the inverter.

still expensive...but if it only takes one, it'd be the same as two $50 braindead kellys or whatever. ;)

the question is whether it *is* nearly plug-and-play, or how much diy circuit-building i have to do to make it work. :/



That is about what i know about readily available power stages. Or you can design your own using 3phase IGBT or mosfet modules and Lebowski schematic. But i must warn you building your own power stage is expensive. Ask me how i know :).
that's never going to happen. i don't have the ability/budget/etc to design and prototype pcbs, or budget to blow stuff up repeatedly to find all the problems. or the time and energy to do it over and over again (almost all my energy these days gets used while at work, and my time when not at work usually spent dozing/waking/dozing so i can go back to work the next day).

that's the reason i'm looking to splice a known-working powerstage directly to the lebowski brain. even doing that is likely to strain my abilities and budget, but it is the only way i'm likely to get controllers that can be programmed to do "exactly" what i want to do (with the exception of braking down to zero and holding the trike there electrically, since that's unfortunately no longer an option in the l-brain, last i read, a while back).


if i had hte money, honestly i'd just throw it at someone to do this for me. :lol: i'd just want the hardware there and working, and basically setup for me, but with the option for me to tune it as i use it for future changes, etc. as much fun as i often have doing this stuff, i just don't have enough energy and time (at the same moment!) to accomplish much of anything anymore.

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Re: Lebowski's motor controller IC, schematic & setup, new v2.A1

Post by amberwolf » Jan 29 2020 7:21pm

fechter wrote:
Jan 29 2020 8:59am
At system voltages below about 100v, FETs will be a better choice than IGBTs. IGBTs will have more voltage drop and make more heat. You don't really want to need water cooling on a bike. But IGBTs can work and if the current is low enough you might not need water cooling.
well, we're talking about my "little" sb cruiser trike, 500lbs with me on it, 600lbs+ with a typical load in the back, 800-900lbs with a big load in the back, with something around 3-4kw for each motor (so up to around 8kw for the whole thing). i wouldn't mind more, but i think that's all i actually *need*. (no, i haven't calculated it out... :oops:)

in general that's only needed for a few seconds at startup, unless i'm hauling a very heavy load (rare) or going up hill (haven't had to do that yet).

mostly i'm just trying to get enough power to "guarantee" greater acceleration than the cars around me, for the rare instances i require that to get out of someone's "way" when they do something they shouldn't.

and enough to accelerate at least as fast as any car from a stop at a red light when it turns green (i can almost do that now...but sometimes i get someone revving their engine and roaring around me before i'm through the intersection. as long as i can clear the intersection itself, i'm usually able to be at the road edge area and "out of their way" so not a problem, for most impatient drivers.

the rest of the time it's 1000w or less to cruise at 20mph, unless it's windy, and then it's up to around 1200-1800w or so if it's bad enough.


presently it's two mxus 450x hubmotors in ~22" total diameter wheels (including the tires), 35a grinfineons running on 14s2p eig nmc 20ah cells. (but it can be remade into 28s1p if necessary; some other smaller 2p configurations are possible within the space available right now). one fo the motors will be changed out for a stromer mountain33 ultramotor because of problems with the 4503 i think it is.

have just got hold of a qs203 (?) with both axles sheared off but is otherwise fine that can go on there, kind of considering a middrive thru a transaxle/diff if i can find a cheap enough (but still smallish/lightish) to run it thru instead of as a hubmotor. but that's for the future...requires significant changes to the trike frame itself as well as yet more money....


i'm not really set on any specific setup, just trying to find something that "works" and is reliable, and if possible redundant so i cna't get stuck somewhere without power to move, as i can't pedal enough to really do a whole lot; just not physically possbile for me anymore.

so if a single brain and controller with a middrive would do it, id' be perfectly willing to do all the frame changes (i just have to do it as a module i can splice into the existing frame after cutting out whatever is needed from the existing frame, to save time since i can only do this sort of thing on my "week off" every few months, and it *has* to be working again at the end of that week. :oops:)

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Re: Lebowski's motor controller IC, schematic & setup, new v2.A1

Post by amberwolf » Mar 24 2020 12:35am

i've been poking around on ebay as often as possible, and so far have not found anything in volt inverters less than about $200-$250 shipped. only one yaris inverter has shown up, and it's over $250. prius inverters from various years (don't know which year i'd need?) are in the $100 range, some with free shipping. the honda ima seems around $220 on up.



total power:

i only need around 4kw per controller. more is better, but that's all i "need"--basically doubling the power i have now. it's for dd hubmotors, presetnly 2x 450x mxus in equivalent to 22" wheels, one left side one right sde.


voltage:

my present battery is 14s2p eig nmc (c020 cells). so with that configuration, i'm limited to "52v" systems or less.

however, the cells are modular and i can with some effort turn a 14s2p pack into a 28s 1p, for "104v" systems. i can go higher than that, too, by a little bit, with the available space in battery area, but charging may be a problem (i have four meanwell hlg-600h-54a units, so can series two for 28s, but beyond that, i'd have to come up with some other solution).



one of my main limitations is cost, i'm making more money than usual with the whole pandemic thing cuz of overtime/etc at work, but that won't last long, so i don't know how much extra i will end up with. right now it's enough to pay for the two brains, and a little leftover.


but ease of diy connection to lebowski is even more of a limitation. i'm not really going to be able to figure out what to connect where or to design and build conversion parts and bits, so i need whichever inverter i end up with to be able to essentially directly hook up the lebowski brain to the inverter's gates, etc., and "go", after setting up the brain for whatever outputs it needs to do, etc.

i can hack up a lot of stuff, if i know where i'm supposed to cut and solder and wire and whatnot...and i can test to be sure these things are working, but design and whatnot is just past my abilities / time available right now.


size/weight is another limitation; the sb cruiser trike is "large", but that's compared to a bicycle. :oops: so it doesn't really need car-level power, or car-level size of stuff, so smaller and lighter is better. i realize that i'll have to live with something that's much larger than i would really like or need. (and that if i'm using something with ten times the capability i need, i'll "never" be able to kill it.... :lol: ).






with the 1kw 12v dc-dc built in, and the much lower cost, the prius inverter seems like a better buy, but it looks *much* larger than the others. and it only works on 100v minimum, so i'd need higher than 28s to guarantee operation down to battery lvc.


the volt inverter is huge, and heavy. but it would work on my existing battery / charging setup. and it sounds a lot easier to hook up to the lebowski brain.

i couldn't find the voltage info for the yaris inverter. guessing it's the same as for the prius?

same for honda ima; not sure of it's minimum voltage, etc.


two braindead kelly KBS 72181E i can get cheap, though i'd need at least six current sensors that would cost more than the braindead controllers.


similarly, the volt controller appears to have the compatible sensors already, dunno about the honda or toyota stuff?



so...for those that have already done this kind of thing, what would *you* do?

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Re: Lebowski's motor controller IC, schematic & setup, new v2.A1

Post by arber333 » Mar 25 2020 2:47pm

VW Golf GTE hybrid inverter would be appropriate for you i belive. It has 600A power stage and 2kW DCDC 14V converter.
Its rather small and compact too.
I just need to get my hands on one to make an interface board for Lebowski.

A

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Re: Lebowski's motor controller IC, schematic & setup, new v2.A1

Post by coleasterling » Mar 25 2020 5:50pm

https://www.ebay.com/itm/08-HONDA-CIVIC ... SwiONYNfyl

There's an IMA inverter module that's the same as what we're using. You're right, though. There don't seem to be many online right now. You could make an offer to several of the higher-priced ones referencing sold prices that I quoted before.

As far as I'm aware, and kiwi may correct me, but I don't think the IMA inverter has a minimum voltage. It has 300V rated IGBT's and 300A current sensors.

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Re: Lebowski's motor controller IC, schematic & setup, new v2.A1

Post by amberwolf » Mar 25 2020 6:13pm

according to that link, it's a "*08 HONDA CIVIC POWER DISTRIBUTION UNIT". and it's only about $40 before shipping. it looks like a plastic case, not a metal one like all the other inverters ive seen when looking for these, so far. that just doesn't sound right. are you sure that's really the "complete inverter" that would have at least two powerstages in it, to run from two lebowski brainboards, to run two separate hubmotors? (one left rear and one right rear)

also, how easy is it to drive it from the lebowski? (if it just involves cutting traces and wiring in a brainboard, i can probably do that...if it requires building other interface stuff, it may be beyond me right now).

i think you answered this with "300a current sensors", but does it already have lebowski-compatible current sensors, or will i need those, too? (becuase that's at least $60-80 per motor, from what I can find, for three of those acs units plus shipping).

if you're sure, i'd go ahead and get it...but if its going to need the sensors, its' likely to be cheaper to just find one of the units taht already has those in it....

(i'm beginning to have troulbe keeping track of which has what features :oops: )


this page
https://www.ebay.com/itm/06-07-08-Honda ... 4123684544
appears to be the honda inverter itself.

so...which one am i actually looking for? :?


do you have a thread for the project? it would be helpful....


arber333 wrote:
Mar 25 2020 2:47pm
VW Golf GTE hybrid inverter would be appropriate for you i belive. It has 600A power stage and 2kW DCDC 14V converter.
Its rather small and compact too.
looks like those are going for several hundred to well over a thousand dollars on ebay (not including shipping). so that's never ever going to happen, especially since i need two powerstages, one for the left hubmotor, and one for the right, and with no other info provided i have to assume i need two of those.

keep in mind, i don't need much power, only around 8kw or so, around 4kw per motor (i'll take more if i cna get it, but not at those prices).

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Re: Lebowski's motor controller IC, schematic & setup, new v2.A1

Post by coleasterling » Mar 25 2020 6:21pm

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R ... 1&_sacat=0

There's a search with better terms. Not as cheap as the first I linked, but still pretty cheap.

They are a single motor drive module, not dual like the prius/volt/VW/etc...Yes, I'm 100% sure that is the inverter. I've taken apart a couple. Search for Honda IMA on DIYelectriccar and look for mine and TomDB's posts. Beware, his pinouts are wrong.

The plastic case is the capacitor and enclosure as one piece. It is somewhat difficult to fit a lebowski brain into the unit, but kiwi has said it is doable. The test unit I have just has a hole cut in the top of the enclosure and the brain sits outside. Yes, the current sensors are compatible.

The IMA inverter is air-cooled, not water/coolant and is not exactly environmentally-sealed like the other units. It was meant to live inside a cabin, not in the engine bay.

If I remember correctly, what you linked is the DC/DC. Note there are five lugs on what I linked. 2 DC in - 3 3ph out.

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Re: Lebowski's motor controller IC, schematic & setup, new v2.A1

Post by kiwifiat » Mar 25 2020 8:00pm

If you are looking for 4kW per controller then this design by Lebowski will do the job:

viewtopic.php?f=30&t=91689

It is also easy to assemble and takes the BobC Lebowski brain directly. The Honda IMA will also work but is overkill for your application and it requires a 12V supply in order to power the isolated gate drives which may or may not present an additional hurdle for you. It may not be too difficult to hook a BobC Lebowski brain into a dead Kelly provided you can identify the gate drivers and of course they were not fried when the Kelly failed. Do you have any photos you could post of the Kelly internals that might help?
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Re: Lebowski's motor controller IC, schematic & setup, new v2.A1

Post by amberwolf » Mar 25 2020 8:13pm

coleasterling wrote:
Mar 25 2020 6:21pm
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R ... 1&_sacat=0

There's a search with better terms. Not as cheap as the first I linked, but still pretty cheap.

They are a single motor drive module, not dual like the prius/volt/VW/etc...Yes, I'm 100% sure that is the inverter. I've taken apart a couple. Search for Honda IMA on DIYelectriccar and look for mine and TomDB's posts. Beware, his pinouts are wrong.
well, the first one you linked apparently also has another of similar price from the same seller, so since i need to drive two motors, i'll ask what the combined price with shipping would be for both--sometimes i can get a deal on things like that, and anywhere i can save money on one thing leaves it to spend on something else i also need. (cuz there's lots of stuff i "need" for one thing or another).

does the ima need to be the specific part number(s) that are in the one you linked? or just make sure it is one that looks identical on the outside, and for a 2008 honda?

i did find some of y'all's posts with the pics of the ima, but couldn't find a thread by you and kiwi specific to matching it up with the lebowski brain (tomdb's mentions it, iirc). still poking around there though.
The plastic case is the capacitor and enclosure as one piece. It is somewhat difficult to fit a lebowski brain into the unit, but kiwi has said it is doable. The test unit I have just has a hole cut in the top of the enclosure and the brain sits outside. Yes, the current sensors are compatible.

The IMA inverter is air-cooled, not water/coolant and is not exactly environmentally-sealed like the other units. It was meant to live inside a cabin, not in the engine bay.
given my typical conditions on the trike rides, it's not normally a concern, but i can fix that with a different enclosure, or modifying that one. i can also fit the brain outside the enclosure in it's own, if the brain doesn't need cooling of it's own, that's easy.



If I remember correctly, what you linked is the DC/DC. Note there are five lugs on what I linked. 2 DC in - 3 3ph out.
ok. i guess it makes sense--it just seemed like the motor controller would be a much more expensive part than the dc-dc. i guess that doesn't hold true for used parts due to the market demands?

would be nice if the cart parts market used the same terms we do for things. ;)

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Re: Lebowski's motor controller IC, schematic & setup, new v2.A1

Post by amberwolf » Mar 25 2020 8:48pm

kiwifiat wrote:
Mar 25 2020 8:00pm
If you are looking for 4kW per controller then this design by Lebowski will do the job:

viewtopic.php?f=30&t=91689

It is also easy to assemble and takes the BobC Lebowski brain directly.
i appreciate you pointing me to it...if i can't afford any other method, i probably already have most of the parts from other failed attempts to build those powerstages (assuming i can actually build them successfully). i'd just have to send off for a pair of pcbs, and find the electronic bits n my bins or in other "dead" electronics (except the gate drivers and the current sensors). i should even have some 150a 100v fets in the right to-case style in my ancient "controller experiemnts" bin that haven't been used yet.

but so far i haven't even been able to get some of the build/wiring/etc stuff for my trike lighting and control switches unit done, between time, energy, not-so-great-aging-eyes, and my hands-randomly-go-numb problem (which only really happens a lot when i actually need to do things like this).

so, simple or not, i'm not sure i would get that unit done right without too many fried things. (i've tried to build controllers / power sections before, and never got them working right; just kept blowing stuff up with no reason i could find). technically, i've got a degree as an electronics technician, but while i understand quite a bit of basic stuff, an engineer i am not. :oops: so wherever i can simply "hack two things together" to make something do what i want, it usually works out...whenever i have to build it from scratch, it doesn't usually work out.... :(

i'm not exactly a normal thinker, either. (in case you can't tell from my wierd posts)


fwiw, i have a couple of the bobc power boards that use those six-fet ixys chips, and was going to try my hand at building them up, as they're pretty simple, but i can't find anywhere to buy the chips anymore. :( the one place that will still let me order them (but doesn't actually stock them) requires something over a dozen as a minimum order (i only need two, maybe three if i wanted a spare chip), so it'd cost a few hundred dollars. :(

but in either case, i'd need to buy six current sensors, and that's another large expense. (apparently they come in the honda ima already)

The Honda IMA will also work but is overkill for your application
i don't mind overkill, as long as it isn't expensive, and isn't gigantic. overkill leaves room for expansion of my needs. :)


the trike is large (for a bicycle-trike), but that's so it will fit large or lots of cargo (or the dogs) in the back, and small cargo under the seat. there is room for electronics under the cargo deck but it has to be water-sealed at least fairly well because we do get flash floods, and i have at least twice ended up in water inches above the cargo deck top. (the actual water level was lower than that, but waves from passing cars and from me riding into the flooded street slosh it a lot higher). when it does flood i don't usually have a choice of routes at that moment, that would be any better. doesn't last long, but long enough to force me into riding thru it, usually to get home from work. :/ so far cheap chinese controllers have survived.... so it doesn't have to be perfect sealing, just good enough.

and it requires a 12V supply in order to power the isolated gate drives which may or may not present an additional hurdle for you.
a simple dc-dc from the traction battery ought to be able to do the 12v, right? would one dc-dc work for two ima's, or would it require separate ones for isolation? how much current would be required? i'm sure i can find a cheap but reliable 12v dc-dc i can use for this, if i don't already have something (like an ac wallwart that can run from dc; i have a dell laptop charger brick that does several amps that might work, and several other similar bricks).

It may not be too difficult to hook a BobC Lebowski brain into a dead Kelly provided you can identify the gate drivers and of course they were not fried when the Kelly failed. Do you have any photos you could post of the Kelly internals that might help?
not yet; i don't have the kelly's yet. still waiting on maitilupas to reply; could take a few weeks of back and forth to get a purchase worked out, guessing $80-$100usd including shipping for a pair of kbs72181e's that in his words, are "in brick mode one because of a failed auto identification and the other from a fall down. they both have a red permanent light , i cannot connect them to the pc.".

the first one sounds like the typical "self-bricking because you spun the motor while connected to the pc" problem some kellys have, the second sounds like it was from a crash that could've damaged fets (if the phase wires shorted), but if the crash just damaged control wiring the fets are probably still good. i don't know how long it will take to get those kinds of details from him.

the gate drivers are probably discrete transistor stuff, like most of the generic controllers out there, so probably easy enough to identify the input to them coming from the mcu.


but if i can get honda-quality stuff for not much more than that, with essentially the same challenges of hooking them up to the brains, i'd rather do that than mess with the kellys. :)

i also don't mind being a "beta tester" for how to work out hooking them up and setting them up, if y'all would like, as long as it doesn't prevent me from using the trike as my commuter every day (especially nowadays, as i could get called in to work again for overtime when others don't show up due to the virus thing).

if there isn't already a thread somewhere on how to use the imas with lebowski brains, with great detail about resources, parts suppliers, costs, what pins / wires are what, what signals go where, etc., one should be started; i can help write / edit / etc. if needed. (i just need the information itself). if enough info is present, it could be a good start on getting people into more reliable controllers for their higher power projects, rather than going with the "typical chinese stuff" that doesn't have much (if any) support or information out there.

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Re: Lebowski's motor controller IC, schematic & setup, new v2.A1

Post by kiwifiat » Mar 27 2020 10:35pm

amberwolf wrote:
Mar 25 2020 8:48pm
a simple dc-dc from the traction battery ought to be able to do the 12v, right? would one dc-dc work for two ima's, or would it require separate ones for isolation? how much current would be required? i'm sure i can find a cheap but reliable 12v dc-dc i can use for this, if i don't already have something (like an ac wallwart that can run from dc; i have a dell laptop charger brick that does several amps that might work, and several other similar bricks).

but if i can get honda-quality stuff for not much more than that, with essentially the same challenges of hooking them up to the brains, i'd rather do that than mess with the kellys. :)
Yes a simple dc-dc 12V will work fine, a couple of hundred milliamps is all that is required to power up the isolated power supplies for the gate drivers.
amberwolf wrote:
Mar 25 2020 8:48pm
if there isn't already a thread somewhere on how to use the imas with lebowski brains, with great detail about resources, parts suppliers, costs, what pins / wires are what, what signals go where, etc., one should be started; i can help write / edit / etc. if needed. (i just need the information itself). if enough info is present, it could be a good start on getting people into more reliable controllers for their higher power projects, rather than going with the "typical chinese stuff" that doesn't have much (if any) support or information out there.
Search out TomdB's posts. Follow the link to the Diyelectriccar forum, Tom posted a PDF of his findings on the IMA inverter. Take note of Cole's warnings about the gate drives. Tom's doc has them back to front, that is the high gates are marked low and the low gates are marked high. If you connect a Lebowski controller per the document it will not run. I made an Ass of myself by ASSuming the docs were correct and wasted a lot of time trouble shooting everything on a long list of possibilities. Sods law dictating that the gate drive configuration was last on the list :oops:

The CPU on the IMA inverter interferes with the lebowski controller in certain circumstances. There are multiple solutions to this. You can do as Tom did and cut some traces going to the IGBT gate drives, you could do as I did and give the IMA inverter a frontal labotomy by completely removing the main processor. Another clever option credited to Damien Maquire over on openinverter.com is to identify the reset pin on the original cpu and use that to put the chip into tristate thus leaving the inverter free to be controlled by the Lebowski brain. The IMA inverter is a nice peice of kit for the price, for higher performance or folks who want 200V capability at a reasonable cost it is unbeatable.
Last edited by kiwifiat on Mar 28 2020 12:11am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lebowski's motor controller IC, schematic & setup, new v2.A1

Post by amberwolf » Mar 28 2020 12:09am

kiwifiat wrote:
Mar 27 2020 10:35pm
Yes a simple dc-dc 12V will work fine, a couple of hundred milliamps is all that is required to power up the isolated power supplies for the gate drivers.
good, that makes that nice and simple. :)

Search out TomdB's posts. Follow the link to the Diyelectriccar forum, Tom posted a PDF of his findings on the IMA inverter. Take note of Cole's warnings about the gate drives. Tom's doc has them back to front, that is the high gates are marked low and the low gates are marked high. If you connect a Lebowski controller per the document it will not run. I made an Ass of myself by ASSuming the docs were correct and wasted a lot of time trouble shooting everything on a long list of possibilities. Sods law dictating that the gate drive configuration was last on the list :oops:
i'll keep that in mind when reading his stuff. ;) i haven't yet read it all in detail, just skimmed thru for pics and very basic info mostly, when getting an idea of what i'd be getting into. :oops:

The CPU on the IMA inverter interfers with the lebowski controller in certain circumstances. There are multiple solutions to this. You can do as Tom did and cut some traces going to the IGBT gate drives, you could do as I did and give the IMA inverter a frontal lebotomy by completely removing the main processor. Another clever option credited to Damien Maquire over on openinverter.com is to identify the reset pin on the original cpu and use that to put the chip into tristate thus leaving the inverter free to be controlled by the Lebowski brain. The IMA inverter is a nice peice of kit for the price, for higher performance or folks who want 200V capability at a reasonable cost it is unbeatable.
i think i'd probably go with the reset pin idea. that way the whole unit is completely intact in the highly unlikely event i ever have to do something different with it, or someone comes up with a simple easy way to use the built-in brain independently of the car's other electronics.


and not to be annoying, but just to check what's been said: this honda ima doesn't have a lower operating voltage limit (other than the gate drivers being powered externally) and should be able to operate on a 14s pack (52v nominal)?

just planning ahead for what i have to do to the trike to convert to these. :)

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Re: Lebowski's motor controller IC, schematic & setup, new v2.A1

Post by kiwifiat » Mar 28 2020 12:20am

amberwolf wrote:
Mar 28 2020 12:09am
and not to be annoying, but just to check what's been said: this honda ima doesn't have a lower operating voltage limit (other than the gate drivers being powered externally) and should be able to operate on a 14s pack (52v nominal)?

just planning ahead for what i have to do to the trike to convert to these. :)
I have tested it down to 18S lipo and up to 48S. Given that the 12V supply powers the gate drivers I see no reason why the inverter would not run on 10S upwards but for the reasons outline by fechter IGBT's are suboptimal for applications below 100V.
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Re: Lebowski's motor controller IC, schematic & setup, new v2.A1

Post by amberwolf » Mar 28 2020 1:51am

thanks--i can live with "suboptimal", if it's reliable, and i end up with the control features i'm after.

it also then gives me the easy option of switching to 28s (or whatever) later if i end up with the busbars for 28s1p (or the space and need for two 14s2p packs in series).


i'm pretty sure the design of the generic ebike controllers i'm using now is "suboptimal" in it's own way, enough to be worth replacing with this kind of powerstage. ;)

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Re: Lebowski's motor controller IC, schematic & setup, new v2.A1

Post by kiwifiat » Mar 28 2020 2:55pm

amberwolf wrote:
Mar 28 2020 1:51am
thanks--i can live with "suboptimal", if it's reliable, and i end up with the control features i'm after.

it also then gives me the easy option of switching to 28s (or whatever) later if i end up with the busbars for 28s1p (or the space and need for two 14s2p packs in series).


i'm pretty sure the design of the generic ebike controllers i'm using now is "suboptimal" in it's own way, enough to be worth replacing with this kind of powerstage. ;)
Those are all good points and there is no doubt that those generic china controllers are suboptimal in almost every way imaginable aside from being cheap.
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