We CAN Control the Motor!

See the pun there? As of tonight we have successfully controlled our Emrax 228 motor with CAN signals coming from our hybrid controller! This is huge because it shows our full downwards data pipeline is working. Next step tomorrow is to hook up the web app so we can display this data in real time and meet with our sponsors SunEdison to show them our work!

P.S. Today we also welded some frame members in the chassis to start mounting the motor and engine!

Technical notes:

  • Battery pack we used is 140.2 Volts nominal, controlled with Orion BMS.
  • The BMS and motor controller (BAMOCAR D3) are powered by 12V power supplies limited to 3 and 10 amps respectively.
  • We had to create a precharge circuit that hooks the battery pack to the BAMOCAR. If you hook them up directly you will get a huge surge of current through the controller that can destroy components, the pre charge circuit charges the BAMOCAR gradually. Watch out for the internal circuitry of the BAMOCAR when designing this.
  • If you have questions about programming the BAMOCAR software (NDrive) please contact us at dartmouth.formula.racing@dartmouth.edu. It’s too complicated to put here in this post.
  • The SunEdison board we used to do this does not have CAN ports so we used an Arduino CAN shield from Sparkfun and some RS-485 shields to communicate with the processor through some UARTS.
  • PLEASE do not try this without high voltage training. Notice our safety procedures, clear directions, and clear exit path in case things went wicked wrong.
  • Also note the big red button, ALWAYS have a safety shut down for bench tests!
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