Thursday, February 11, 2010

Motor Controller: The Creation of a 144V 700A Open Source Motor Controller

First, I want to start off by saying that I did not come up with the design or idea for this controller. It was designed by a very smart man named Paul Holmes, and its called the Open ReVolt!

More information on how this open source project started and has gone since, can be found over at Its almost 300 pages of collaboration between forum members, and an awesome open source project if you ask me!

A friend and fellow eco-modder Ben Nelson knew Paul through ecomodder and had the privilege of being the tester of the first prototype. He told Paul that I wanted a motor controller for my EV Motorcycle I'm working on, and that I'd had troubles with other controllers I had tried (they were used curtis controllers), and that we were interested in possibly using one for my motorcycle. Paul kindly sent us a big box of parts to build a 144v 700A motor controller!

This past weekend at our bi-monthly "EV Build Days", Ben brought the box of parts and we started working on the control board. Ben and I had an official lesson on how to solder - in the past I never did small electronics, just 12V stuff in my car; audio and lighting. After that, we both went at making out control boards; Ben was making a new one for his controller, and I was making my first one for mine!!

We ended up getting all of the "R" resistors on the board soldered in, and thats perty much the extent of what we accomplished, not a lot I know, but not bad for the first time EVER...right?

Tonight I'm going to have another chance to work on the control board, I'll try and take as many pictures as I can. We took some pictured before, but Ben's DSLR was running low on battery, so I ended up just taking 2-3second video clips of the progress; once ben uploads them, I'll post!