Friday, 28 August 2009

Fail again

The VFD tripped again yesterday when I went to drive it.

Today i swapped the current sense board from the spare VLT6042 to the VLT5042. The PCBs are similar enough but the current reads about 2x as high. The current sensors must be different in each board. Damn. I am awaiting a call from Danfoss to see if the drive has a different setting for different current sensors. Its a long shot I know.

There was a resistor array on the VLT5042 current sens board that was in a socket. I have soldered it in in case it was loose.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

So far so good

After resetting the Danfoss speed controller today, the ute hasn't missed a beat.

Time will tell weather the fix is permanent. I certainly hope so!

The Electrolux might just be fixed.

I gave the Danfoss service guy a call this morning about my earth leakage trip problem. He suggested the following.

  1. Copy the program to the LCP (Menu 7 - upload)
  2. Reset the controller using a key sequence only a contortionist can perform
  3. Copy the program back to the controller from the LCP
  4. Give it a go.
Well I connected up the motor as I had previously done an earth leakage test on it (it passed)
I turned the ute on held the brake down and pressed the throttle. Sure enough it predictably tripped.
Then I performed the sequence above, and retested up to max current with my foot on the brake.

So far so good. Lets hope this sorts it out. Apparently the hall effect current sensors can build up an offset giving a false current trip. Resetting the controller forces the system to recalibrate using the offset.

The service tech mentioned for this fault to occur requires about a 20% current imbalance between phases which is more significant than I had thought.

Why didn't I call him 2 weeks ago???

Fingers and toes will be crossed on my drive to work today!

I will update in a few days the outcome.

Too many hobbies - Arcade Machine

A friend of mine ('Striker') recently offered me cocktail arcade machine without a game board inside in exchange for fixing another cocktail cabinet machine. This is something I have wanted for years and never got around to building. The complete cabinet was a Godsend.

After a steep learning curve and a trip with the screen to the local tv repair guy, thanks Horst, I was able to get Striker's machine going and then bought the parts for mine.

The cabinet is a Taito of about 1982 vintage. It has 2 player positions and an original 20" monitor that can be rotated to horizontal or vertical depending on the game board.

I had to pick the 2 round locks (like laptop cable locks) to open the lid and the coin bin lock. This was actually quite fun. It was surprisingly easy after watching a few YouTube videos on the subject. I found the grand sum of $2 in twenty cent pieces.

After a lot of inspection, googling for schematics and some advice from the Aussiearcade forums I started the rejuvenation, including removing old chewing gum.

I cleaned up the mains power supply and removed the redundant wiring.
I removed the switch mode supply as it was faulty.

I installed a new power supply, new cable harness and the best part of all 60 in one game board.
The connector on the original cable harness was quite unusual and could not be reused.

I now have 60 classic games to play. I love it, the kids love it, even my wife likes to play it.
The favorite at the moment is Pinball.

Each player position only had one 'fire' button so I moved both buttons to one side, and added 2 new buttons to the other. The new buttons work fine but don't fit quite right. I would like to keep the exterior original so I am looking for some 2 original and quite rare Taito buttons the same as this one pictured.

Helicopter Flight and ILLW

The weekend before last was International Lighthouse and Lightship weekend. This is where many lighthouses around the world are opened to the public in commemoration of the often lonely and dangerous work the lighthouse keepers used to do.

The Amateur radio club I belong to, the MWRS, set up a station at Barrenjoey lighthouse on the Saturday and Sunday.

I was fortunate enough to be invited by Yves and his partner Connie, fellow MWRS memebers, to go for a flight the in Bell 47 he flies. We went from Bankstown airport to Parramatta, followed the Hawkesbury to Barrenjoey lighthouse. We circled the lighthouse twice and returned to Bankstown via the northern beaches, The Opera House and the Harbour bridge. The weather could not have been better, and the views were nothing short of spectacular. The rough route can be followed by APRS

For those not in Australia, I recommend you take the time to look at the photos.
I have uploaded the photos to my flickr account.


Unfortunatly my electic ute (pickup) has had some problems. The VFD is tripping with an earth leakage fault. The problem has been intermitent and usually restarts, but this time it let me down and I needed a tow home. I have been testing a few thigns, and short if getting a new motor there is not much I can do. The good news is a new motor is only about $400. This will also give me the oportunity to rewind the old motor for higher top speed. Something along the lines of this post.