Friday, May 22, 2015

Consolidating Controllers

Stepping into some unknown territory here: With the charger and DC/DC converter mounts looking very elegant on the front of the motor frame, the controllers for those devices need to mounted somewhere close. The signal cables are roughly a foot long, so the passenger side of the framework seems to be the logical place.

You'll recall that the Lear charger and DC/DC converter are both OEM units from a Chevy Volt, and each has a little black box containing a small computer for configuration and control.

This is the charger and you can see the controller to the right. The DC/DC converter has one just like it.

With those devices mounted to the front of the motor, it leaves a very inviting area off to the passenger side where the controllers can be placed and have their cables within reach of the connectors.

Initially thinking I'd somehow tie the two controllers together, everything I tried looked like a cobbled up mess. So here's where we think outside the box(es). What if we combine the two controllers into a single box, one that is waterproof and has nice tabs for mounting? 

So here's the result:

All of the contents of the two black boxes have been transferred into the single gray circuit box with computer boards, gland nuts and USB ports all in one.

The control board, USB, and cables on the left support the charger, the stuff on the right will connect to the DC/DC converter. The one unknown is whether there will be EMI (electro-magnetic interference) issues with them in such close proximity. I have to think that the little black plastic boxes provided little or no shielding, so it shouldn't be any worse.

The USB ports for configuration are on the top for easy access. With the cover in place and the connectors exiting the bottom, it looks very tidy. I may add a terminal strip between the two boards and tie both into a single 12 volt and ground to further reduce the wiring clutter.

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