Thursday, April 26, 2012

Kostov 11" Motor

   I decided to finally finish the brush replacement for one of my Kostov 11" motors. These are the older style Kostov Motors. When I was checking a few things awhile back I realized that the brushes had fallen apart and that the motor had been driven in that state for some time. The wires imbedded within the brushes just fell out. While it was connected it was very difficult if not impossible to SEE that they were damaged. When I was checking some things I noticed one that was bad. The cables into the brushes were rattling around inside the brushes for some time and wore away the hole. Slapping around inside and arching. The interesting thing is that the motor will still run in this condition. It is all fixed now. New brush ring and brushes with new springs. Perfect. So we will try out the motor in the VW and see how well it will run.
   The brushes are also square to the commutator. The motor is neutrally timed and has interpole fields. The brush ring can be advanced or retarded as needed. The motor is a series motor and not a SepEx motor. It can be used as a low speed generator as well if needed. If used with regen it would provide a tremendous amount of torque. I will not be using Regen with this motor. I do have some cool things coming but that is not about motors. I do have two Kostov 11" motors and one may be sold. If you are interested please contact me. It will need new brushes. It has a fan as well.
   I made a quick show and have started the brush break-in so I am hoping it won't take too long to do this.  The motor does not sound terrible loud but after processing the video the sound is horrendous. Much louder than I hear. The microphone actually picks up EVERY noise and replays it all. There is no mistaking that its noisy. The brushes are fully square on the end and have tiny shallow factory grooves in the end of the brushes. While running you can see the grove marks on the commutator but when the brushes are broken in you will not see them. Since these brushes are square to the com the surface is not terrible large. The Warp motors have angled brushes and are advanced in timing for use in an electric vehicle. The Warp motors should not be used in a reverse running motor because of the angled brushes unless Warp provides a brush ring that will be for the opposite direction. The Kostov motor however can be reversed with no ill effects on how the motor runs.

Pete :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Total Energy Detective On the Watch

Well, I finally got our Total Energy Detective system up and running properly this afternoon. Had to do some final tweaks but it works. I may have some noise issues and may need to get a filter but over all it is doing well. I am going to get another set of readers and just check the garage usage. Pretty much the car is  connected to the garage. If you want a good system The Energy Detective 500 is a good choice. You can monitor main solar and net and single circuits if you want. It is amazing how much power an electric water heater uses. Gotta get that solar hot water done asap. That alone will save a bundle. Even though we have solar we do use more than we make.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Kaylor with Series Controller Project Continues.

I am still continuing with the Kaylor project for now but just using a standard off the shelf Series Motor Controller. To do this all you need to do is shunt the field from A+ to B+ then connect all else as usual like it was a series motor. I tried this the other day but had forgotten to shunt it properly which caused a massive feed back or plug braking effect all the time and it heated the motor pretty hot and the controllers (I tried with two different ones) scorching hot on one side. So I did not take that any further. A couple guys suggested that maybe the field was not correct and I went back to my old Kaylor Manual I have and I did in fact have it connected up wrong. I was amazed at how quickly they became scorching hot under no load conditions.
  Yesterday I decided to give it another try since the Kelly was no longer usable and it would only take a short time to connect the series controller anyway. This time the field was shunted properly so the motor is really more like a series motor now but it has fine windings for the field instead of thick fat heavy ones like a series motor. Got it all connected and low and behold it worked and it worked well under a no load condition. Also I played with it for a very long time and the controller remained totally cool to the touch during the entire time. The motor did warm up and I expect that.
  The motor is an old Military Starter/Generator with one field connected common with the armature. I just finished the connection so it acts like your normal series type motor. Our series motors are connected that way via 4 terminals and these only have three usable terminals with one connection deep inside the motor. These motors are also interpole motors so we can leave them neutral timed. An interesting thing is that they spin into the long side of the brushes which seams opposite what it should be and what most series motors turn.
  The motor I am using right now also has split brushes like the Helwig brushes except mine don't have the soft top. It is interesting that the split brushes are NOT NEW.

Pete :)

Kaylor/Kelly Project has been pulled

I got word back from Kelly this morning that they are willing to give me a 40% discount on a new Kelly SepEx controller but they will no longer be doing software for the half bridge requirements that would power the old Military Starter/Generator style motors. The high power M side of the SepEx controller died in testing. The engineer from Kelly that has taken on the project for us no longer works for Kelly. Not exactly sure when he left but they have no intention on continuing the project. So on their end they will not continue and since we can't the the project is officially dead. I am however going to continue with the Kaylor project with a straight series motor controller to see how it holds up with one of these controllers. I almost bet it will work fine but there will be no regen available. So if you can live with no regen but have one of these motors you can still utilize a good controller and have a blast and have good throttle control and no more contactor style clunky speed control.

So in a nutshell the Kelly portion of this is dead. Oh well. Had to give it a spin anyway. Now back to our regularly scheduled mucking around and building and on the the Synkromotive stuff which is long overdue. You will like what is coming.

Stay tuned! More is on the way.
Pete :)

Anyone want a Kelly Door stop? Anyone want a 40% Discount on a Kelly SepEx controller? Pay me and I will ship it to you. I still have a high power series Kelly that may be a good candidate for someone.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Curtis Clone Lives

Well today I got the Curtis Clone to actually work. It actually worked the other day but I did not realize that it was so sensitive. I put on the old pot and it worked but was so sensitive that it was almost micro movements that got me to control the speed. Anyway it worked. The Clone got hot just like the Series Kelly Controller. I assume now it is because of how we have the motor wired and that its feeding a compensated shunt motor. "Major" used that term. It is when one field is connected directly and internally to the armature circuit. So I am feeding a shunt motor which just wants to go one speed no matter the load placed upon it up to the point that the motor can't keep up and it will then settle into that speed for a given load. I think that is why.

So I will be putting my GE 9" Series motor in the Bug and test the controllers again. The controllers should run fine and pretty cool too up to a point with no heat sink.

I will be testing the Kelly SepEx controller again because Kelly said it needed 72 volts to operate the controller rather than 12 volts. So I remounted the controller and connected 72 volts to the controller and fused the line with a 2 amp fuse. I then connected the old pot and got a weird brzzzp then a fault. Did it again and got the same fault.

What I found with the Clone is that one pot will work with that one and not the other and vice versa. Strange but I am suspecting that one pot is a 5k pot and the other is a 5V pot. One works with on but not the other. I think that the one I tried yesterday is the 5k and Kelly says it needs a 5v pot. So I will when I get home connect up the 5V pot and see what happens. The Kelly should still work. The faults are not faults that will render the controller dead.

So here is the quick video of the run with the Curtis Clone.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Kelly Controller

Once again I will attempt to revive the Kelly. I was using only 12 volts to power the controller and Kelly said it needs to be pack voltage. So I will feed it pack voltage and fuse it with a 2 amp fuse. It may still work after all. It may have just been on the edge of working when it was connected with only 12 volts to power the controller internals. So back to the SepEx Kelly to see if I can get it to work. Seems like it should as the faults don't indicate a malfunction. Since I can use the Evnetics potentiometer I now have a good working potentiometer that I can use for the regen braking. Might work better. So all may not be lost after all. I will report the findings. Its been raining on and off for a couple days now making it difficult to work on the vehicle. I have my car port filled so the work is out from protective cover.

Pete :)

Beta Again

Well I put the BETA Unit back in the vehicle to check my potentiometer and get absolutely nothing. I tried some different combinations without any positive feed back to give. I can't comment on the controller if it will not work. It is sort of like a Curtis 1221C Clone and wires up the same too. It uses either pack voltage to power the unit or 12 Aux power. I tried both. Neither produced any results in todays tests. As soon as I can I will put in the Synkromotive controller to see how well that powers the motor under the same conditions. I know the Kelly works but one side gets awful hot for a no load condition in a very short amount of time. So without further input from the provider the Beta will be pulled and shelved. I need to get more information on connecting things up if that is the case. I checked a Curtis schematic and all looks great. No go just sucks. I'd rather see it smoke and blow than do nothing.

Further Progress

Well the Kelly SepEx controller is toast. So I decided to mix it up and put in a series beta controller and jumper the starter/generator motor so it can run in series like mode. I connected the controller up and hooked up the PB-6 which is is designed to use and had some strange results. See the video, it explains it better. The PB-6 is just crap. It was one of those Clone PB-6 potentiometers on the market. Maybe that is why I had some weird stuff going on with my first ever conversion before I went to the Synkromotive and the Evnetics throttle potentiometer. Well anyway the potentiometer was toast and I found another I had lying around and found that it worked but not until I mounted yet another controller. The other controller was that Huge Kelly controller that I had gotten when I had first got the MG conversion. If you remember it fried within 5 minutes of connecting it and before any full on power was ever applied. Well it was sent back and returned fixed at no charge and it works. Well when I first connected it up to the potentiometer it did not work. Period. But it did tell me I had a fault. The Kelly will tell you will blinking lights in specific sequences that a problem has been encountered. Well the problem was a throttle fault code and no matter what I did it would not release the code. The Beta Controller has no such system and it is non computer adjustable. So the Kelly assured me it was the throttle and I went on the hunt to find an old potentiometer and I found one that was not installed in a box and never used. It will work in the PB-6 box. So once that was connected it worked flawless. Well sorta.

What I found was that the lower edge of the controller even in the brief non load running of the controller was just getting a bit warm. After less than 5 minutes of playing and NO load on the controller the bottom edge was so hot it was nearly untouchable. This is not a good thing. Not sure why. I make mention of that in the flick.

I will assume that since I replaced the potentiometer I will be able to get the Beta unit to run. It is to be driven with no heat sink to see if it will go into thermal cut back mode.

I sent into Kelly a report of the excess over heating of the one side of the controller. Other than that the controller functioned exactly as expected and feels pretty powerful too.

Pete :)

That is this weeks musings. More to come.

First part of the flick is with the Beta Unit and the other is with the Fat Kelly Controller.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Well today after getting home from work I was able to do some parameter changes to the controller. We have no heat sink yet or cooling fan on the controller or motor. Our runs can only be short before stopping. I was also able to figure out that the throw on the throttle was not even half what it should be. I mounted the throttle on the center hump behind the E-Brake lever and could reach back and give it full throttle. I was able to get the controller to pump out 550 motor amps max. Controller is rated for 600 amps. I also reset the parameter for the regen function to volts rather than amps and changed the motor function to speed vs torque. Being that one of the problems was just low throttle I will rest it to torque if possible tomorrow.

I am however thinking I either blew my motor or controller during the last regen test this evening. I was able to get some regen function and it put in about 35 amps back to the pack and slowed the car. It stopped regen at about 5 mph. The switch for regen is more or less a switch. I am using a throttle pot but it acts more like a switch in that once it reaches a point it just turns on. There is no mechanical control. It is either on or off and the amount is controlled by the setting. I first had it set to 10 then to 50. At setting of 10 it worked and dumped in about 35 amps and slowed the car to about 5 mph before the regen actually stopped. That is a know parameter of the motor and controller. I liked the regen but wanted to check more. So I upped the setting to like 50. I then took it out and did a check and it was much stronger regen but the amp meter still only showed like 35 amps. But it was noticeably stronger. I did it a second time and at about 15 mph it quit regeneration and the car was unresponsive. Both the controller and motor were hot but  the controller is not providing any error messages. So at the moment I do not know if its the motor that shorted because of over heating or if a part of the controller blew. Hard to tell. I saw no magic smoke nor did I smell any magic smoke. It was hot and there was a wee bit of smoke wafting from the motor but figured it might be the webs within the motor that were smoking. Still not sure. I allowed it to cool thinking maybe that was the issue but still no go. Still no error from the controller.

It will be an easy test to see if the controller is dead or the motor. I have another motor and can hook it up to the controller rather easy and give it a quick test. If the motor runs the problem is the old motor and not the controller. I'd be bummed if its the motor. Not so much if its the controller. The controller is a BETA unit anyway.

Remember guys this is BETA TESTING at its finest. This is what I am supposed to do. Bust things. I just need to know what. If the controller it may only be a circuit board that is easy to replace. If that is the issue I may ask for a 96 or 120 volt model of the newest SepEx and have them provide a new bit of software. If the motor is dead and the controller is still good I will heat sink it and try again with the other motor. It will be my last motor but this motor will have cooling as well. When done with this controller I will try another controller and will try it at 96 volts. Another BETA TEST. But it will be series only. I can connect the little motor up to run ilke a series but be limited on amperage to the fields. No regen will be possible with the configuration. If the controller is toast I will pop on the other controller and give the little motor a good spin.

Pete :)

So progress was made even though I busted something. I will confirm more later. The video is really just a video of the amp meter. Not terrible exciting.

I wanted to mount in the motor compartment to witness any failures. I need a GoPro Camera for that sort of stuff. Anyone want to donate one?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Kaylor Test

Finished connecting everything today and took the vehicle for a quick run. The final results of the install went well.

The resulting test was dismal at best. I was not able to get past 25 mph and it did not feel like 600 amps were being feed into the motor. Heck it did not even feel like 200 amps were being fed into the motor. It did go and we did get some regen but the throttles are a bit crappy. I am using a TPS but I can't control it and adjust it like I can with the Synkromotive controller. I tried adjusting the controller to help with the throttle and it did help a bit. I set the controller for Speed, Balanced, and Torque. Neither netted any more than 25 mph. Oh I forgot to say that the voltage is 78 volts and the max operating voltage for this model is 90 volts before it goes into over voltage cutback. I am not sure why I am not getting the power to the motor. I had this sucker working before with the old controller and it pushed my Ghia to 62 mph. Something is still not quite right but I will keep hunting to see if I can figure out what is wrong. 

I am open to ideas. 

Pete :)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

More Progress

Made some headway with the 66 Bug project. I got every thing connected except the throttle and made sure it all worked. I will have to take the motor out soon to check the flywheel. I am getting something out of balance or not tight. I can test once I get the throttle connected. I am going a different sort of setup with the throttle. I want the throttle in the vehicle.

I am also going to check out a nice Kelmark GT that is VW based. The nice thing is that I have a nice 69 Pan that is more or less ready to go and its the same year as the body. This pan has new pan halves in and Ghia disc brakes. I have nice rims that would look great. I'd leave it stock height for now. It would look killer if it was lowered.

Once again I am hunting for a killer project. Light weight and fun and fully enclosed. No open top. Much better for here.

Pete :)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Bit More

Got a bit more done on the 66 Bug today. Been working on three projects at one time and no time to do them all. So a bit on each as time allows. Longer days allows for more to be done but we have been having spotty rain the past few days. Got rained out today. Short but ended my work. Oh well. I have the battery box in the rear seat area. Got the main cables strung from the box to the motor compartment. Motor is installed and getting the controller panel cleaned up. Made a few new cable connections to clean it up a bit. I will test in the next day or two.

This is a project that is using the old Kaylor Starter/Generator Motor setup with the software modified Kelly SepEx controller. It is a 72 volt 600 amp controller with modified software from Kelly. It has been a long time coming but the Regen Function will be tested on the road real soon. It has been tested on the bench and it works. But how well on the road is yet to be seen. No matter if it goes well or not I will post the results.