We know that our controllers go into some hostile environments, but this range robot must be well up the list.
Wonder if the dummy has a name?
With a sense of style reminiscent of a Patek Philippe watch advert a customer sent us this picture of the two cars he built.
Each is fitted with one of our Pro-150 controllers.
4QD were delighted to attend this years Train Mountain Triennial in Oregon. For those who haven’t heard of it, the scale of this model loco event is simply staggering, 37 miles of 7″ track with around 400 models from 8 countries. All hosted by the most amazingly friendly volunteers. Here is just a small selection of the many, many pictures we took…
We like this overhead shot of 3 teams from the recent Greenpower Goodwood event. We’re particularly proud of the Team Chicken car from Bromsgrove School at the bottom of the frame, these guys kindly ran one of our prototype Porter 10XXX units, I’ll let them take up the story of how it went……
“Firstly, we were able to complete approximately another lap further than the xx. And this then leads me onto the best factor we had from the xxx. The tail off seemed to be much, much, much slower. Before we would go strong, slow a little and then very slow for the last lap or so. The xxx allowed us to keep pushing at a far faster pace with only losing a few seconds per lap (over a 2.4 mile Goodwood lap) during the last few laps. This then allowed us to gear up and get the Kitcar to an average 26.5MPH over a race. Your controller did not heat up at all. The only cooling we had on it was a computer heatsink with thermal paste. We came first Kitcar by several laps, and 8th/11th overall out of 100 teams (43 Kitcars). It was so impressive that we are looking at gearing right up next season if tests continue to be successful.”
Our controllers end up in all sorts of applications, this mining train must surely have one of the hardest working DNO-10s out there.
As keen sailors we love getting involved with nautical projects. The owner of this magnificent ketch wanted to get smoother control over the operation of the mainsail outhaul which is powered by a hydraulic ram with the pump being driven by an electric motor. Our marinised Porter 10XX fitted the bill nicely.
We’re getting a lot of interest in our Pro-160 that is in development so we thought we’d share some good news…..
Admittedly these are rev 1 boards, and the software still has a way to go but it makes a motor run forwards and backwards, and we’re seeing sensible current readings on the display.
A lot of effort has gone into getting the internal power supply able to operate between 12V and 100V which gives us the foundation for a very flexible range of controllers. We’ve also got a water cooled heatsink designed which will allow this baby to handle some big numbers.
The rev 2 gerbers are going to the factory next week so we’re expecting what should be sample ready hardware in May.
Nico has done a great job on the schematics and layout, now it’s over to Erica for some software magic.
Well it’s actually a French loco to be honest, but as Marc Roulin sent us this picture of his loco running at the Swiss Steam Park we couldn’t resist the title.
Using a Pro-150 driving twin 500W motors.
Here’s a preview of our update to our BCM-524 battery meter. The old analogue model has been extremely popular and features in many designs. However battery technology marches on and we wanted something that would give more accurate results with lithium batteries and other types with flat discharge curves. We’ve used an ATtiny micro to produce a programmable replacement that can work with the small voltage changes these batteries give. Other features include temperature compensation, and a switchable output that can be used for a low voltage cut-off. Oh, and it still has the same hole spacings so it’s a direct physical replacement in most applications.
The first model will be suitable for 12V – 24V, we’ll produce some standard voltage curves for the common battery technologies, but if you want something custom please let us know.
Pronch Mulholland brought his PDQ power trike in for some TLC. We’ve now found a way to fit our Porter 5 into the existing control box making for a neat installation that retains most of the existing wiring. We’ve written up some quick notes on how we did it and included a wiring diagram.
The supersize battery box is made from steel and houses 3 x 15AHr sealed lead acid batteries. It gives much better traction for hill starts as well as extending the range.
Drum roll………. 4QD are pleased to introduce to the world our new baby – the SST-31.
It’s a small but perfectly formed, very clever, single direction controller for 12-35V and up to 30A.
It’s built around a Picaxe microcontroller, so as well as providing basic motor speed control, it can accept multiple control inputs and also has spare outputs for controlling ancillary equipment.
It’s ideal for the smaller motor control project, particularly those that need some element of customisation. We’ve made the software open source, and the Picaxe development system makes writing your own programs easy.
Not really our normal line of work, but we do know a fair bit about batteries and mosfets, so when we were asked if we could design a PCB for a Vape mod machine it seemed rude to say no.
An exciting day for us – we’ve just received the first PCBs for our new Pro-160 controller.
This is a modular, relay free progression from the Pro-150, headline features are
Where’s my soldering iron? – lets get building!
I had to share this picture of Michael F’s Bay Cruiser for no other reason than the simply outstanding colours!
It’s got a 2.5kW motor running at 36V and is controlled by a 4QD-300L with a closed loop fresh water cooling system.
The Guys at the Broads Authority sent us this picture of a Kapf Solar boat that they have re-powered using 2 of our 4QD-300X controllers.
Should make for some lovely days out on the water!
Is this a mini monster truck, or a monster mini truck?
Either way it’s a great piece of engineering and a totally new take on what to do when the kids say “Dad, can you build us a car please?”
A water cooled 4QD-300L is fitted to deal with the high currents that this beast needs.
Here’s a sneak preview of our soon to be launched Softstart. This is a small motor controller stripped down to the basics that gives a progressive start-up ramp to eliminate the large torque spikes that occur if a motor is switched on instantly via a relay or switch. We’ve designed this using a small microprocessor which means that the ramp time is configurable, and also given it a couple of other inputs so that it can be used for a variety of other simple switching tasks. We’ll be making the code available to allow [encourage?] experimentation.
Here’s a lovely rendition of an early Renault Voiturette that a customer has built. It’s using one of our Pro-150s driving a pair of electric scooter motors.
Here’s a prototype electric trials bike that a customer brought in today. Really powerful and very light, it’s using a Lynch motor and one of our 4QD-300s which we are modifying to give the required throttle response.
Here’s one of our Pro-150s driving the turret ring gear on a pretty serious looking Humvee. It’s a challenging application as it has to change direction rapidly, and the EMI and physical environments are hostile.
Seeing as how we’d melted our air cooled test load, we knew that we needed something that could handle some really high currents. Here’s a quick video showing how we built a water cooled dummy load.
This mighty machine has been built by Doug Wilkinson. It weighs in at 1200 lb and is using a 4QD-200.
I’ve just got to share this clip of Scarletts Ferrari, it’s using one of our DNO-10s and looks absolutely stunning. I guess that’s what happens when your Dad restores cars for a living – not that I’m jealous – oh no!
Follow the links to see some of the other fantastic cars he’s made.
Steve W sent us this picture of his Robot Wars contestant Gyrobot. It’s using one of our Porter 10XXs to control what must surely be one of the most powerful rotating energy weapons we’ve seen so far. We’ve made some mods for him to allow the current limit to be adjusted, and he’s also trying out a prototype heatsink arrangement to cope with the rather unusual power profile.
Mr B sent us this picture of a highly classified Xmas panto prop built out of a commercial scissor table with one of our Porter 10s driving a hydraulic pump.
Oh not it’s not……
…and here they are…. the first results for our new range of cooling options for the 4QD-300.
The finned air cooled heatsink gives approx 50% increase in performance and this can be increased further if a fan is fitted.
It’s the water cooling that we like the most though, it turns the 4QD-300 into a real powerhouse. More detailed results at higher currents to follow once we have uprated our test rig!
We’re still working out the pricing for these but please get in touch if you are interested.
Here’s a picture of our embryonic test set up for the soon to be launched water cooled 4QD-300. On the left is our current air cooled load cell, ammeter, and data logger. Front right is the 4QD-300 fitted with the water cooled heatsink. Right rear is the control and pump for the water. We’ve left space for a second pump which will be needed when our water cooled load cell is ready. Can’t wait to run this lot and see what results we get.
Jeff Ivers sent us this picture of his tow truck that he uses to haul a gravity racer to the start line.
Fitted with one of our Pro-150s
Here’s a sneak peak at our uprated 4QD-300X. We’ve had a custom heatsink made which really improves it’s ability to handle high currents for extended times. During testing it melted our test rig and was still only warm to the touch! Full details will be announced once we’ve built a new test rig.
The heatsink itself will also be available as an aftermarket upgrade.
We’ve also got a water cooled version coming soon that will take things even further, and be particularly suitable for electric boats.
Here’s a picture of MR Speed Squared, a 2016 Robot Wars competitor. Using 2 of our DNO-10s and a DMR-203.
Patsy brought a couple of PDQ Powertrikes to us with broken control boxes. We fitted one with a Porter 5, and one with a DNO-05 to see if we could get reverse, however we discovered that the motor has a one way clutch that prevents reverse from driving. The standard twist grips were swapped for our Magura throttles, and we fitted one of our key switches to the DNO for security.
Two weeks later Patsy sent us this picture of the neat bag she made to tidy it all up
And the verdict:….
"The power box is working briliantly, so speedy that I tend to do wheelies unless I am careful. The battery is lasting longer too........ Thanks again for doing a great job on the trike."
We love this video of a customer putting one of our Porter 10s through its paces…
Chris Sharpe sent us these pictures of his enduro bike. It’s running a 4QD-300 controller, Lifepo4 batteries, and an Agni 95 motor.
A big thank you to the Electric Boat Association for inviting us along on their trip around St Ives / Earith.
In the foreground is Cedric Lynch’s remarkable electric canoe. It has no batteries [apart from a very small one to “get under bridges”], uses a small Lynch motor, a model aircraft propellor, and one of our old 1QD controllers. Goes jolly fast it does too!