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Thread: Questions on Curtis Controller 1238-7601

              
   
   
  1. #1
    Senior Member Hugues's Avatar
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    Question Questions on Curtis Controller 1238-7601

    I read the Curtis controller manual found here:
    http://www.uqac.ca/~riceazar/1234_36...uly11_os11.pdf
    seems to be the latest version, funny that Curtis do not post their manual online...at least for the 1238

    I got a few questions after reading it, i sent them to Todd from Electric Motorsport, but i thought i'd post them here as well in case someone got the answers. I'll probably post his answers here too.

    Questions:

    - Is the brake function the same as regen ?
    - Is the regen function activated on my controller ? how can i use it ? how can I wire it ?
    - I'm gonna use a BMS and i would like to reduce throttle input when reaching LVC, how can this be wired ?
    - There are many parameters for my controller, programmed by your guys ? If so, is it possible to get an extract of these parameters ?
    - On the main contactor menu, is the MAIN ENABLE on or off ? is the PRECHARGE enable ?
    - In the motor menu, you can set in how many seconds the max rpm is reached, what is the value ?
    - Is the motor temp enabled ? How can i get the reading on the display ? do i need to connect a special probe ?
    - In the battery menu, you need to set the nominal volatge of my battery, at which level is it set ?
    - I presume the initial setup procedure was carried on, right ?

    thanks for any feed-back,
    Regards from Switzerland
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugues View Post
    - In the motor menu, you can set in how many seconds the max rpm is reached, what is the value ?
    - Is the motor temp enabled ? How can i get the reading on the display ? do i need to connect a special probe ?
    I'll take a shot at a couple of your questions :-) You're in torque control mode so timed acceleration is not applicable. That function only applies in speed control. And I think the motor Temperature is enabled. It is in the 6 wire lead with the encoder. It will display on the spyglass. You can set parameters for the cutback and cutout temperature IIRC.

    Do you have a program handheld or PC adaptor?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Hugues's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lugnut View Post
    ....

    Do you have a program handheld or PC adaptor?
    nop,
    and not sure i need that for the moment,
    just want to understand the parameters that are set and how they impact my build.
    They should print them after programming and put in the carton before shipping,
    Regards from Switzerland
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    Senior Member ARC EV Racing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugues View Post
    - Is the brake function the same as regen ?
    Generally yes, except when the manual talks about the EM brake which I think is an option for controlling some kind of mechanical braking device.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugues View Post
    - Is the regen function activated on my controller ? how can i use it ? how can I wire it ?
    Wiring/use of the regen brake is covered in the manual but that depends on how the controller is configured. It can be configured for regen off-throttle (feels like engine braking) and/or regen controlled by a brake signal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugues View Post
    - I'm gonna use a BMS and i would like to reduce throttle input when reaching LVC, how can this be wired ?
    We're going to be doing something similar with ours this year, but I've written that into our custom VCL code. I don't think you can do this with the standard software unless you were to frig it by making it think the motor had overheated or something. Our custom code is compatible with the Manzanita BMS so if you were to use that I could send you a cut-down version of our software.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugues View Post
    - There are many parameters for my controller, programmed by your guys ? If so, is it possible to get an extract of these parameters ?
    You can get an extract of the parameters with the Curtis programming station and an interface board. Search this forum/the internet or contact Curtis for that. The programming station will let you play with all of the controller settings.

    www.arc-ev-engineering.co.uk

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    Señor Member podolefsky's Avatar
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    I'm not certain since I didn't get my Curtis from EMS. From HPEVs they come programmed as:

    -Regen on (same as brake, but not EM brake as stated above). Default is 10% with throttle off. If you connect a 5k potentiometer (like a PB-6) to the braking input you can have variable regen (I think it's up to 100% by default).
    -Contactor/pre-charge is on. Should be set up for a 24V contactor (LEV200 is recommended)
    -One way to do throttle cut back is to have the BMS trigger a relay that puts a 5k resistor in parallel with your throttle. That will effectively reduce the throttle output - that's what the miniBMS manual recommends. (Although doing it through VCL is pretty cool).
    -Motor temp is enabled. The sensors are already in the motor and controller. You should be able to just plug in the 840 display and get temp for the controller and motor.
    -I think if you got the 7601 it should be set up for 96V.
    - Noah Podolefsky -
    The GSX-E

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    Empulse R #24 frodus's Avatar
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    There's 2 types of regen. There's off throttle, and then there's brake input regen. Both are separate and adjustable.

    For the most part, keep everything as it is. The curtis manual assumes a virgin controller, HPEVS has set these up already for a motorcycle and you shouldn't NEED to adjust much, if anything. DO NOT touch anything in the motor menu, that is already set as well. Just keep it as is, wire it up as shown on the wiring diagram. Get it working and THEN we can figure out how to limit throttle.

    What BMS again?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Hugues's Avatar
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    Hi guys,

    me again on this topic.

    Got some information back from Electric motorsport. It's not 100% crystal clear to me, and as it took quite a while to receive this info, i thought i might ask for advice on here. So here's how it goes, Q is my question and A is Electric motorsport answer:

    Q: how can i wire for regen then if it is activated ?
    A: It comes pre activated with proportional throttle regen.

    Now my question to you guys: this means i have nothing to wire apart of my throttle ? If so, it means as soon as i roll back the throttle, regen will kick-in progressively ? If so, i'll give it a try. I'm just wondering what happens if i just go downhill let's say and i just want to coast, not brake in any way. Can i avoid regen to kick in ? On my mountain bike regen is activated only when i press the brake level. No problem for me to try this new way, just want to be sure i understand.


    Q: for my BMS to reduce throttle input when reaching LVC, how can it be wired ?
    A: LVC is on the controller settings. A relay or throttle cut out circuit can also be used.

    OK, but that does not tell me how I wire my BMS to the controller. Or are we back to the option of my BMS impacting my throttle output through a simple circuit, as mentioned earlier in this post ?


    Q: can you check if MAIN is enable on my controller ? Or can i check this myself ? this is an important safety feature than i need to have in order to certify my bike
    A:Main has an enable switch.

    I'm not sure i get it here. Is this important function activated or not ? I guess the only way to know for sure is to buy a programmer and read the settings....


    Q: what is the nominal voltage set in the controller menu ?
    A:Typically they are set to 48 and 72VDC depending on the application

    Well this is the second time I ask and I'm still not very happy with this answer. If this parameter is important, then heck i should be told if it was setup to 96V or something else.

    All in all I'm not completely satisfied with the level of after sales service I get. It's till a 4'000 USD + order, i thought it would deserve clear-cut answers without having to wait too long.

    I'll buy this damn programmer I guess.

    sorry for the rant.
    Last edited by Hugues; 08 May 2012 at 0931.
    Regards from Switzerland
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  8. #8
    Señor Member podolefsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugues View Post
    Hi guys,

    me again on this topic.

    Got some information back from Electric motorsport. It's not 100% crystal clear to me, and as it took quite a while to receive this info, i thought i might ask for advice on here. So here's how it goes, Q is my question and A is Electric motorsport answer:

    Q: how can i wire for regen then if it is activated ?
    A: It comes pre activated with proportional throttle regen.

    Now my question to you guys: this means i have nothing to wire apart of my throttle ? If so, it means as soon as i roll back the throttle, regen will kick-in progressively ? If so, i'll give it a try. I'm just wondering what happens if i just go downhill let's say and i just want to coast, not brake in any way. Can i avoid regen to kick in ? On my mountain bike regen is activated only when i press the brake level. No problem for me to try this new way, just want to be sure i understand.
    As far as I know, the default is 10% regen at zero throttle. If throttle > zero, there is no regen.

    I think what they mean is you can hook up a throttle pot (like a PB-6) and use it to vary the regen amount. For example, on my bike I have a PB-6 connected to the clutch lever to vary regen amount.


    Q: for my BMS to reduce throttle input when reaching LVC, how can it be wired ?
    A: LVC is on the controller settings. A relay or throttle cut out circuit can also be used.

    OK, but that does not tell me how I wire my BMS to the controller. Or are we back to the option of my BMS impacting my throttle output through a simple circuit, as mentioned earlier in this post ?
    In the controller settings, you can make it scale back motor current at LVC. This will accomplish what you want, you just need to get into the controller settings if it's not already set correctly for your pack. (If your pack is 96V, LVC would be about 80V...I have no idea if EMS set it there for you or not).

    The difference between this and the BMS is that the controller is monitoring the pack voltage. If you have a single cell hit LVC, the controller probably won't know it but the BMS will. So in that case, you'd need the extra circuit to protect that low cell.


    Q: can you check if MAIN is enable on my controller ? Or can i check this myself ? this is an important safety feature than i need to have in order to certify my bike
    A:Main has an enable switch.

    I'm not sure i get it here. Is this important function activated or not ? I guess the only way to know for sure is to buy a programmer and read the settings....
    If you mean main contactor, it should be enabled by default.


    Q: what is the nominal voltage set in the controller menu ?
    A:Typically they are set to 48 and 72VDC depending on the application

    Well this is the second time I ask and I'm still not very happy with this answer. If this parameter is important, then heck i should be told if it was setup to 96V or something else.
    It's probably 72V. I'm not 100% sure, but I think they come from HPEVS this way...I don't know if EMS changes any of the default settings unless you ask them specifically.

    But, overvoltage is probably set to 130V (or more - mine was at 140V by default). So you should be able to hook up your 96V pack and go without problems.


    All in all I'm not completely satisfied with the level of after sales service I get. It's till a 4'000 USD + order, i thought it would deserve clear-cut answers without having to wait too long.

    I'll buy this damn programmer I guess.

    sorry for the rant.

    Sorry they're not more helpful. They probably get tons of emails with questions and have a set of canned answers, and they're not customer service experts. But yeah, for $4000 you'd think they would be more helpful.

    Maybe try emailing them again and ask if they have a document with all the default settings.

    Probably good to have a programmer. You'll be tweaking things anyway.
    - Noah Podolefsky -
    The GSX-E

  9. #9
    Empulse R #24 frodus's Avatar
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    Email me directly and I'll help. Ill give you some support. Sucks that other vendors aren't responsive.

    Shoulda bought from me.

    What bms again?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Hugues's Avatar
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    Thanks guys for the help,
    I'll dig into all this more in details when I get my bike rolling, by that time I should have found a programmer, at least to read the settings.

    Travis, you're too cool man, thanks. I haven't bought my BMS yet, I'm waiting to see how much clearance I'll have on top of the cells. If all clear then I'll go for the distributed BMS from Lithuania, if not, the centralized version from Mini BMS

    Thanks
    Regards from Switzerland
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