[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: (ET) ET new technology and abandening the ICE

Mmm... I'm over 30 years old. And still going pretty well.

I'm not going to blast the Alltrax controller; it's probably a great product. I just don't see the reasoning behind going with a more complex solution when a simpler one can do the job.

Then again my 68 911L Porsche has carburators. Which do require a little bit of work to keep running, happy, drop of oil, etc. But I will say this: When I was on the highway and my accel cable broke I simply turned the idle screws up to 4,000 RPM and drove the car home.

When my 95 Dodge Caravan with it's computer controlled 3.0L engine decided it didn't want to run anymore I was dead as a doornail. There is no way you can bypass the MPS, or work around a shot computer. You're stuck on the side of the road.

Yes, carbs have their downside (less efficient, more pollution) but the computer that they rely on is in your noggin. Same for the E20. When it comes to technology I like my products to be as dumb as a box of hammers.

Simpler to fix in a pinch. Like when it's snowing.


Rod Hower wrote:

The GE control is over 30 years old.
Well designed but not the best upgrade for
this machine.  I think the Alltrax control offers
simplicity and better operation for people that
can't deal with failing relays and SCR's that
are over 30 years old. I'll admitt that my mower
solution is not for everybody, in fact it's probably
only for me since I have access to free parts to
perform this operation.  However, the Alltrax control
offers many users a simple and effective replacement
an antiquated control.
--- Chris Zach <czach computer org> wrote:

> You need an Alltrax control!

I need an Alltrax controller like I need a hole in
my head.

Seriously: The Elec-Trak controller is the model of
simplicity and logic. I have seven speeds times four gears; that's enough to get me the speed control I need. I have regen and braking for excellent overall speed control. And I have a little circuit that measures the armature current and shuts down the field weakening circuit automagically when I overload the motor.

And cruise control with a little light. What more
can I need?

This is not a car, where you want a wide amount of
speed settings. I have 28 possibilties between 0 and 7 miles per hour. That's not bad. And besides, I usually use this thing for constant speed applications like mowing the lawn or blowing snow. Having a controller that never gives me the same speed twice would be annoying.

There might be a point in the fact the the E15's
controller is a lot more parsnickety. This appears to be the case; it's logic board tries to do a lot of things that the inherent nature of having contactors does for the E-20 (there are no timing circuits on the E20 for example; the contactors provide the time for you). And the E20 reverses the motor the *right* way: By reversing the armature with contactors as opposed to the field with relay points. The E15 was a cheaper design, but one can fix that too with simple discrete components.

So for $5.00 for four diodes from Radio Shack my
controller is fixed. And will probably last for another 30 years. At which time I'll simply replace the components again instead of scratching my head looking at a solid-state thingie. I'm sure Radio space shack will
sell diodes in 2034.

Probably the only remaining weak link is the relays.
And to be honest when they die I could just build a 36 volt to 24 volt power controller for $5.00 and replace the relays with modern 24 volt ones. Sealed too. $25.00 and that's all done for the next 30 years.

There's a place for everything. A contactor
controller doesn't really belong on a car (like the Renault electrics) and a digital control doesn't really belong on a lawn tractor.

As for using the tractor: My E20 is my main mowing
and plowing machine. The simpler the better. BLDC mower motors are nice, but it adds complexity when the omputer blows out.

Chris Zach

Rod Hower wrote:

I plan on ordering one tomorrow.
I know there are diehards on the list that prefer
to keep original equipment, but I will upgrade


to the latest technology.  Like others on the list
I plan on using this tractor as a practical


and don't care much about keeping it original.
I would have converted an ICE machine to electric,
but it's much easier to get an Elec Trak going,


if it is 30+ years old.  My mower deck will use 3


motors from work with lots of 'engineering' to


the mower blade.  I would have used the original


mower motors, but the blade and mounting hardware


in very bad shape and required me to dismember the
parts. I'll post pictures when the job is finished.
Lots of work, but worth the effort since I don't


to listen to the gas engine.
--- Chris Zach <czach computer org> wrote:

Ok, the breadboard is fixed. Basically what I did
was replace all four of the diodes with good old fashioned 3amp diodes

from Radio Shack. The

larger diodes have a forward voltage drop of .5
volts as opposed to 1.0 volts for the smaller ones. So I took a drill, enlarged the holes in the PCB slightly, and soldered in the new diodes.

Put it back in; works like a champ. As a bonus,
speeds 6 and 7 now come online. Now if I could just get a voltmeter that *works* and a bulb for the cruise control switch I would be 100% set for
the summer.

Meantime I will put in an order for 22 ohm


and the other oddball types and replace everything in the fall.


Elec-trak mailing list
Elec-trak cosmos phy tufts edu


Elec-trak mailing list
Elec-trak cosmos phy tufts edu