Thursday, January 29, 2009

Controller Update

I spoke with Jim, the owner of LogiSystems this afternoon and thoroughly discussed my controller issue. First I will say that Jim has always been very polite, straight forward, and accessible through all of their problems. I have also heard this same thing from quite a few others who have called him about their failed controllers. I truly believe that he has the same goal as I do, which is to have a working controller in my car. I feel no need to be irate with him over this situation.

He did a post-mortem on my controller and found that it had a catastrophic failure. Duh! He said that it was the most badly damaged controller he has seen, even among the ones they have deliberately failed as test units. He did learn that the control board that was the source of the prior LogiSystems problems had not failed - which is a bit of good news I guess. He said that about 100 defective controllers had been repaired with no failures except mine. I have heard of no other failures and several other successes with the repaired controllers, so I do believe him. My controller was too badly damaged to know exactly what went wrong, but he said it looked like a direct short of full battery voltage/amperage across the main busses - which should be impossible in the controller.

At his request, I had also sent him a copy of my wiring diagram. He said the diagram was great and we discussed several aspects of my wiring with respect to how the controller works. We agreed that there should be no reason for this type of failure due to my wiring. So the end result is that we really have no idea what actually went wrong - not such good news. I was hoping for a definitive answer to this problem.

At this point, my thought is that if mine is the only repaired controller that failed, that is only a 1 percent failure rate among the prior defectives, and a much lower failure rate among all controllers they have shipped. This failure rate can probably be expected. I am going to assume that I am just the unlucky bastard who got a bad component or some other unfortunate defect with the last controller. I will further assume that the replacement unit will work as expected. I requested last week that they upgrade my controller to a 750 amp version, which they did and it was shipped out today.

So, I will put on my steel underwear and give Logisystems another try. Perhaps I should sell tickets this time and make an event out of it. In addition to getting my fire extinguisher refilled, I should probably pick up a fire suit and helmet for the next test drive.

Friday, January 23, 2009


LogiSystems controller #2 blew up causing a small fire. There was no damage to the car or other components.

Honestly, I don't even know what to say at this point. Words cannot adequately express the array of emotions I am feeling. After all of the hard work, long hours and money I have spent on this project, all I have built is "character" - which is precisely what I need to rely on at this moment.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I Have Control

Two months to the day after blowing up my LogiSystems motor controller, the repaired unit has finally returned to me. In recent conversations with LogiSystems and in the blogosphere, I have heard of no failures and a couple of successes with the latest round of repaired controllers, which is certainly encouraging. Hopefully all of the company's controller issues have been worked out and I can now get the Duster on the road to do some serious test driving.
I have to work the last of 7 midnight shifts tonight and then have several days off. The weather will be warm tomorrow so I plan to reinstall the controller and see what happens.