4QD will be closed from midday Friday August 15th 2014, reopening Tuesday August 26th. Some technical support may be available during this period.
4QD will also be closed from midday Friday September 5th 2014, reopening Monday 15th.
This section of the site will be a repository for service and other technical information pertaining to 4QD's range of motor speed controllers.
Much of the information here is posted in response to customer's requests. The fact that the information is on this part of the site and is publicly available does not imply that we are inviting anyone to utilise it willy-nilly. Much of the information here requires some technical expertise and is given 'as is' without any warranty. In particular, unless you have contacted 4QD about your own situation you may not even have any way of knowing whether it applies to your controller or not.
Controllers found to be not faulty
Many controllers that are returned for repair prove not to be faulty - and as there is no fault - the warranty cannot cover repair! Therefore there is a test/handling charge for testing and handling these.
This charge will be made - unless the fault has been reported to us by email and we have agreed that the controller may be at fault.
Controllers damaged by external fault
Unfortunately there are some failures that are not caused by a manufacturing defect but are due to motor and other problems outside the controller. Several of these are covered on the page about MOSFET failures. This type of failure is not caused by a fault in the controller and is therefore not under guarantee!
Furthermore, it is usually not possible to tell from an examination of the controller exactly what caused the failure. Any attempt at diagnosis relies as much on you, the customer, giving a full and accurate description of the exact circumstances preceding the failure.
Unless you explain how you consider the failure to be under warranty we have to assume you have abused it!
Technology advances. controllers improve. If a controller is over 5 years old, it is generally uneconomical to repair it. If you return it for test/inspection, there will generally be a handling charge for assessing it.
All controllers are naturally covered by a warranty against defects in manufacturing for one year (in practise, we do not usually hold to a strict time-limit). If there is a manufacturing defect - then we will not charge.
So, for any failure under the guarantee, we require:
DIY repairs and modifications
Be warned also that 4QD can take no responsibility for your technical proficiency (or lack of it). Do not undertake modifications or repairs unless you are sure you are competent to do them and fully understand the what you are doing. Be sure also that the information you are using does apply to the repair you are trying to do: controllers are updated over the course of time and (even is we could put all the information on this site) we have no way of assuring the info you are using does apply to your controller!
Be warned also that 4QD will not be held responsible for any damage you do whilst attempting to repair or modify your controller or as a consequence of your attempts at modification. Since these modification details are available to anyone, their incorporation may invalidate all guarantees on your controller!
If is doubt, contact 4QD for assistance: however the amount of assistance we can give on older controllers is limited.
These are generally not available: with the advent of computer aided design circuits tend not to exist except as electronic data.
Furthermore, repairing high current controllers is a very specialist business. Few people have the required expertise. Also modern electronics are very reliable. With many thousands of controllers in the field, we do not even run to a proper service department ourselves as returns are few - and most of those are not faulty. We also modify controllers frequently if we find any pattern of failures, in order to 'customer-proof our designs. So it's really not possible to justify writing a proper service manual!
If you have a problem, you should first contact support (use one of the 'Contact' buttons) with details of your problem. Make sure you say exactly what controller model it is, and give the issue number.
If we agree the controller should be returned, then instructions for return are below.
Equipment returned without prior communication will not receive priority and may not be repaired under guarantee.
Modern electronics is very reliable so there is little repair work. This means that in general distributors cannot service equipment, so if you return items to them they can only forward it to us, adding to the time delay and expense and adding another link to the chain of communication!
It may be that you are technical enough to repair equipment yourself, and that you wish to do so: if so, tell us. Be warned though that, whilst DIY repairs won't automatically invalidate guarantee, 'inexpert' repairs will! Also, any attempt at DIY repairs will almost certainly remove anything that could have enabled us to diagnose the original cause and if we can't tell what caused the failure - it's not under guarantee!
When returning equipment to us, be certain to include a letter with the item stating your name, address and the symptoms of the fault. Failure to include a letter in the parcel causes a lot of extra work here and will usually result in a service charge being made!
If you have been in prior contact, send a copy of the email with the parcel! Plus your name and address.
If you know what caused the fault, please say so as this can reduce fault finding time significantly! You should also indicate how you wish to pay in case the repair is not covered by the guarantee - maybe send a credit card number - as contacting you causes extra work (so extra charges) and takes more time.
You can pay via our secure server - order 'unlisted product' and use the notes to explain what the payment is for.
There is a page explaining how to go through the checkout with an empty cart in this way.
European Economic Community
No special paperwork is needed - other than the green customs sticker.
Non EEC Countries
Customs and excise in all countries are a problem: UK is no better and if you are returning things, they will have to pass through customs inspection.
All goods imported into UK are subject to import duty, VAT and handling charges. If the British customs do not know that the equipment was manufactured in England and is being returned for repair - then they will make a charge.
Therefore if you are not in the EEC, it is very important to mark the parcel and any paperwork
'Faulty equipment of EEC manufacture, for repair. No commercial value
You will need to fill in a customs form: declare the goods truthfully as, for instance, Motor speed controllers. You will probably have to declare a value - but clearly as the goods are faulty, the value is nominal only, maybe 2% of their listed price.
DO NOT declare their value as being the price you paid: if they are dud, then clearly they are not worth this much. If you tell an untruth on the paperwork - UK customs may think this is the true actual value and may charge you appropriately!
Failure to do this will probably cause the UK customs to slap on a heavy charge - for which we will bill you!
Some countries may also have customs 'temporary export' forms. Certainly South Africa does (P.T. 619 - 1986/87). Filling one of these in should speed the incoming customs clearance of the equipment when it is returned to you.
Make sure the carrier you use is fully pre-paid. Some carriers slap on a customs clearance handling charge, even when no customs duty is levied. Currently only UPS (that we are aware of) do this, so please avoid them.
The address to which to send any returns is:
Charges for service must be prepaid. Charges are levied on a fixed scale and a separate page lists the standard service charges. Note that these charges are for equipment that is as supplied by 4QD and which has not been altered in any way.
You may pay for repairs by cheque, credit card or cash. Payment must be in Pounds sterling.
If paying by credit cad, you may wish to use our secure server: full instructions are available, but in essence you order an unlisted product and use the comments section to quote the repair number and other payment details.
4QD are not a component distributor therefore we do not generally sell spares (though you are welcome to email sales to enquire) - other than MOSFETS (see Replacement MOSFETs) and relays
All of the components we use in our controllers are very common items and are available from many different sources.
If there proves, in the future, to be any significant demand for spares, this policy could be changed. However currently the demand is close to zero - there is no demand even for the existing service manuals, so we do not expect this situation to alter.
If there is evidence that the equipment has been tampered with, repaired by non-approved or by inexpert persons or modified in a manner not agreed by 4QD, then it will be considered as being 'modified' and 4QD reserve the right to refuse to service it.
This proviso particularly applies to any mechanical modification such as removing power terminals or soldering to them: boards thus modified will not fit our standard test equipment and cannot be serviced.
Note that the presence of instructions or information on this site (or elsewhere) concerning the equipment or modifications to it, does not necessarily constitute 'permission' to modify it.
These controllers are effectively obsolete: they are still made for some customers but only as demand warrants. However, the circuit is similar to most of our controllers and the mechanical implementation is simple, so they are a good learning tool. A full circuit diagram, development history and description is therefore available to members of 4QD-TEC