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RE: [force_ev] Re: Force still dead

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  • Will Beckett
    Earl, When you pull the big plug, measure the pack voltage at that point. I wonder if there is enough power getting to the DC to DC, have you measured the
    Message 1 of 7 , Jan 15, 2003
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      Earl,

      When you pull the big plug, measure the pack voltage at that point. I
      wonder if there is enough power getting to the DC to DC, have you measured
      the voltage at that point. Since it comes on but then goes away. I wonder
      if there is a loose connection on the input of the DC to DC that is not
      allowing enough current flow to the DC to DC.



      -Will

      Will Beckett
      Beckett PC Solutions
      4189 Baker Ave.
      Palo Alto, CA 94306-3908

      (650) 269-7011 cell
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      "Let me make it easy for you!"



      -----Original Message-----
      From: Earl Killian [mailto:force_ev@...]
      Sent: Wednesday, January 15, 2003 9:17 AM
      To: force_ev@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [force_ev] Re: Force still dead


      David Roden (Akron OH USA) writes:
      > Date: Tue, 14 Jan 2003 02:52:45 -0500
      > From: "David Roden (Akron OH USA)" <roden@...>
      >
      > By "LCD display" do you mean the amp-hour counter?

      Yes. The AH meter does eventually come back to normal, though
      sometimes it takes hours.

      > Does the charger act normally?

      Hard to say. Plugging it does something, but I'm not sure how much.
      The green light on the dash starts flashing, for example, but it
      doesn't eventually go solid after a while to indicate a full charge.
      The yellow light in the trunk comes on and the green one flashes.

      > What happens if you turn on the ^headlights^ with the ignition ^off^?

      The same thing: the electrical system goes dead and then AH display
      displays garbage.

      > With the ignition on, can you get any heat from the heater (I'm
      > assuming you have the standard electric heater)?

      No, everything is dead when I turn on the ignition.

      > What happens if you pull the big plug between the controller and
      > the battery pack, then try to turn on the ignition?

      I'll have to wait for it to come back to life after the headlight test
      before I can answer that.

      Other data:

      I was once able to drive it for a minute after I unplugged and
      replugged some cables, however the problem started again the next time
      I tried to drive it. I.e. it is slightly intermittent.

      When this first happened, I measured the voltage at the orange plug
      around 180V. Kevin thought this was high, but not unreasonable. Now
      I measure it as 34V. That does not sound good! I guess the batteries
      have been discharging.

      -Earl


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      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • David Roden (Akron OH USA)
      If you measured 180 volts across the pack at some point, I hope it was right after charging. It wouldn t make sense otherwise. (Orange plug? My car hasn t
      Message 2 of 7 , Jan 16, 2003
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        If you measured 180 volts across the pack at some point, I hope it was right
        after charging. It wouldn't make sense otherwise. (Orange plug? My car
        hasn't any orange plug. Is that the one that goes to the DC:DC converter, or
        the one that goes to the controller? Or something else?)

        I'm assuming this is pack voltage on that orange plug. If that be true, and if
        you are now measuring 34 volts across a 144 or 156 volt pack, there's a
        ^major^ problem. Either the pack is severely over-discharged (and probably
        damaged as a result), or you have a loose connection OR at least one junk
        battery in the pack.

        The amp-hour counter will keep working down to around 10 volts or so, and it
        uses only a tiny amount of current. This means that if you have a very high
        resistance connection (or battery) in the pack, it'll still deliver enough current
        and voltage to operate the amp-hour counter ^until^ you put another load on
        the pack. That could indeed be the load presented by the DC:DC converter
        when you try to use anything in the 12v system. When you do that, the
        resistance causes the pack voltage to go to nearly zero, and the amp-hour
        counter quits entirely.

        Have you checked all the interconnects between the batteries? One or more
        might be loose or damaged. Battery terminals can loosen over time because
        of lead creep. Be sure to also check the cables going from front to rear
        battery boxes. Also check the connections to the shunt and main fuse (look
        inside the front battery box). It might even be a burned or melted post on one
        of the batteries; this happens sometimes when a terminal loosens.

        As mentioned above, it could be one or more really bad cells or batteries.

        Connect a voltmeter's negative probe to the most negative terminal of the
        battery pack. (You'll need to add an insulated extension so you can move
        the meter to reach the other end of the pack.) Turn something on to apply a
        load, and touch the positive probe to the positive terminal of that battery. It
        should read around 12.8 - 13.2 volts. Move on to the positive terminal of the
        next battery, and see if the voltage increases about 13 volts. Then go on to
        the next positive terminal and see if you get about 13 volts more. Keep going
        and testing at each point for that ~13 volt increase.

        Be careful! Wear rubber gloves, protective clothing, and safety goggles. As
        you proceed the voltage gets higher and higher, up to 144 or 156 volts. This
        can give you a very unpleasant and dangerous jolt.

        If the problem is in the pack, you should eventually find the point where the
        voltage you measure drops drastically instead of increasing. By visual
        inspection and probing around the battery terminals with your meter, you
        should be able to determine where the problem is.

        If the batteries and interconnects all check out, keep following the wiring and
        testing at every terminal until you locate the problem. I would suspect that
        you'll spot it pretty easily as it's apt to have evidence of considerable heating.

        Of course I could be way off on this; long distance diagnosis is always a
        challenge. But it does sound like you have a main battery pack problem.

        David Roden
        Akron OH USA
      • Earl Killian
        I spent half of yesterday working on the my Force with Kevin Doherty of Solectria (who had been up in Napa working on a Solectria bus). We eventually found
        Message 3 of 7 , Jan 18, 2003
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          I spent half of yesterday working on the my Force with Kevin Doherty
          of Solectria (who had been up in Napa working on a Solectria bus).

          We eventually found that one of the pack fuses (the front one
          unfortunately) was bad. It wasn't completely open, it had a
          resistance of 2K ohms or so, so that I would read 170V at the power
          connector going to the motor controller one time, and 34V another,
          depending on the current.

          We unfortunately got distracted by the fact that the DC to DC
          converter was crackling, and went so far as to open it up, and tried
          all sorts of tests (this despite the fact that it had been tested on
          the bench at Solectria and returned as ok). Apparently a low voltage
          to the converter will cause crackling.

          So there are two things to watch out for in future.

          Now I have to wait for Solectria to send me a new pack fuse and DC to
          DC converter (or to reseal/retest the one we opened) before I will
          know if it is really fixed.

          -Earl
        • Tom Hudson
          ... Whoa. Hopefully this will get you going again. Good thing to file away for future reference! Thanks for the report, Earl. -Tom Thomas Hudson
          Message 4 of 7 , Jan 18, 2003
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            > We eventually found that one of the pack fuses (the front one
            > unfortunately) was bad. It wasn't completely open, it had a
            > resistance of 2K ohms or so, so that I would read 170V at the power
            > connector going to the motor controller one time, and 34V another,
            > depending on the current.

            Whoa. Hopefully this will get you going again. Good thing to file away for
            future reference! Thanks for the report, Earl.

            -Tom

            Thomas Hudson
            http://portdistrict5.org -- 5th District Aldermanic Website
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