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Discussion Starter · #361 ·
it would be really nice to be able to disable the ability to change critical settings via the serial interface
This exists. I have two DIP switches on the RevB PCB:
-switch one prevents reprogramming the flash memory (hardware lock)
-switch two prevents updating any EEPROM values (what you've described)
 

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Discussion Starter · #362 · (Edited)
Or are we going to have to wait for Linsight to push over 200 amps?
You'll almost certainly need to wait for LiMCM (previously known as "Linsight").
Based on Peter's research, my understanding is that the OEM MCM's quad current sensor delta compare error gets too large above +40%. This is probably because the OEM MCM current sensors aren't great, and also possibly because they're railing (they operate from 0:5V). LiMCM can of course ignore railing current values... and just keep on pushing.

Keep in mind that the G3 Honda Insight NMC lithium cells are only "warranted" to 20C (100 A) continuous discharge. Obviously Panasonic isn't going to honor any warranty for these 'reclaimed' cells. The cells themselves can briefly deliver several hundred amps, but pushing much beyond the warranted discharge rate is going to affect long-term cell lifetime. We'll cross that bridge when we get there... LiMCM is many months away.
 

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I'd probably be on different cells ultimately. I'm looking for high voltage first, high amperage second, high capacity 3rd but still way in front of cost. Even weight management is in front of cost

I'm fully prepared for my lithium setup to exceed $5k all in

I'm not planning on having a very long discharge at full current. I imagine the worst would be like 50 to 110mph up a grade so maybe 20 seconds

I'd think there'd be very few places I'd need assist above 20kw for any kind of extended period
 

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Discussion Starter · #364 · (Edited)
Supply chain updates:
I've now purchased enough parts to build QTY100 LiBCM PCBs. RIP my bank account ;)... but I'm glad to have secured these parts given the present supply shortages (which obviously I'm helping contribute to).

RevB PCBs should be here end of next week. When they come in I'll drive down to Austin... hopefully with a RevA LiBCM running in the IMA bay, to get some "road mileage" on the design.

Firmware update:
I'm working on an MVP, with details to follow soon. Smooth sailing so far... just building up each thread. My goal is that this will all build within the Arduino IDE, since that'll make it easy for people to tinker around with. I'll also have an even easier option where customers just download the compiled hex file and upload it (via USB) using a point-and-click hex-loader app.

The Arduino compiler makes some goofy decisions. In past projects, I've ended up making the compile file just a simple "include" statement, that then calls into a different (more standard) build process. That's a bit down the road at the moment, but all this is to say I'm definitely thinking about the end-user when it comes to upgradeability.
 

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...When they come in I'll drive down to Austin...
??Texas Meetup to see this 1st hand and ogle it?? Black's BBQ on me if interested.

To me, this is one step away from getting Mr. Fusion available for our G1's.
 

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John, I've got a couple of questions:

1) With LiBCM, how would I know when to turn off the charger? I've got a HybridRevolt charger for my NiMh battery and it has a digital voltage display. I just charge it until it stops increasing. Is there any way to know the SOC of this lithium pack?

2) When I charge my NiMh pack, the car gets confused about the SOC. If I drive it like that, it goes into recalibration mode and takes a while to straighten itself out. To solve this problem, I bought a "SOC reset" gadget from Mike Dobrowski that plugs into the diagnostic port, and I set it to "Full" whenever I charge it. Will something like this be necessary with the LiBCM?
 

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Discussion Starter · #367 ·
@LowCarbon
1) You can leave the charger plugged in indefinitely. LiBCM handles all the logic, just like your laptop or cell phone. LiBCM doesn't need the key to be on to charge... it is self-powered, as are the onboard fans.

1) LiBCM will have a robust USB interface. You can plug LiBCM into your laptop and print out pretty much anything you want. Eventually there will be (at least one) LiBCM-specific screen solution that will plug directly into the LiBCM PCB, and/or the USB port.

2) LiBCM will always remember its state of charge, even if you remove the 12 volt battery and/or IMA battery.
If you want to manually set SoC to any value, that option is available via the USB interface... but LiBCM is very smart and will automatically adjust SoC based on its own internal knowledge of the battery. For example, if you set the battery size to 10 mAh @ 10% SoC, and there's actually a 5000 mAh battery @ 60% SoC, LiBCM is going to automatically adjust the parameters. In that sense, any value you manually enter is just a guideline for LiBCM to start from.
 

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Discussion Starter · #369 ·
??Texas Meetup to see this 1st hand and ogle it??
Sounds great, but I can't commit to more than a few hours... I'm usually on a mission when I'm in Austin. My company is near the Domain in Austin. We've got a small private parking lot and super-wide, rarely used road... so venue can be there. Someone else organize it and I'll be there.

Black's BBQ on me if interested.
Chisholm Trail BBQ is king ;)...
...but any TX BBQ is better than the swine they serve here in TN.

To me, this is one step away from getting Mr. Fusion available for our G1's.
At least right now LiBCM has one major thing in common with Mr. Fusion: they're both non-functional... but I'm sure I'll have something working soon. Tonight I finally made the MCM happy enough to not disable the entire IMA ;). When I first started there were about a dozen P-codes (most of which were because the IMA system wasn't fully connected... just sitting on a bench).
 

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Should I invest In a set of G3 batteries now?

Jag35 has 4x new in box 18S Modules for $421.68 delivered.

I'm worried these modules will go out of stock by the time the LiBCM board is ready, perhaps I'm being too presumptuous.
 

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Discussion Starter · #371 ·
My understanding is that he's selling these modules SUPER fast. My goal is to get as many insight owners as possible to hoard these modules now, so that they are available to convert the G1 insight to lithium in the future. @Eli bought a dozen or so complete pallets, so he wins the award for "insight owner hoarding the most 18S lithium modules". Still, I want to make sure we get as many packs as we can for our little community, while they're available and cheap.

If for some reason LiBCM doesn't pan out, you can always resell the modules later. Note that at this point LiBCM is pretty much a sure thing, but that's a forward looking statement. Legal disclaimer: LiBCM is an unreleased product... but I'm SUPER excited to release it!
 

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Sounds good, I'm glad I asked.
I just put in an order for the batteries.
I will have no expectations and except full responsibility for my actions. :)

I decided to sit out the first alpha release (unless you really need someone),
but I will be ready to get involved for a beta release or final release.

Great work so far!
 

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So 18S cells have become available again, but has anyone seen the 12S modules on sale again?
 

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So 18S cells have become available again, but has anyone seen the 12S modules on sale again?
This is my question, precisely! I missed the first purchase opportunity. But I also fear buying QTY2 18S modules and then not being able to do anything with them because I don't have a QTY1 12S module.
 

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This is my question, precisely! I missed the first purchase opportunity. But I also fear buying QTY2 18S modules and then not being able to do anything with them because I don't have a QTY1 12S module.
I plan on modifying a 18s into a 12s.
It should only require a new/modified connector of some sort, a bus bar perhaps, and a spacer block to take up the space leftover by the 6 removed cells.
Not as great as just buying a drop in 12S, but it should tidy up nicely.
I bought 4x 18S so maybe i'll make two 12s and sell one off.
 

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Considering the abundance of 18S modules, and that a 54S setup would fit just as well in the stock enclosure as a 48S, what additional difficulty would be involved in setting up LiBCM as a 54S configuration? I know it was mentioned that it should support that just fine so long as the cell voltage was limited to protect the vehicle DC-DC, but what specific hardware considerations are there? If it's just a matter of adding a third 18S connector instead of a 12S one, then I'd much rather run 54S than go through the hassle of sourcing a 12S module or converting an 18S to a 12S.

Edit: Just ordered four 18S modules, should get them midweek.
 

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Discussion Starter · #377 · (Edited)
Notes on the discussion over the past 24 hours:
-54S does NOT fit "just as well in the stock enclosure." The primary issue is that the high current leads won't have enough room if an 18S module is in the bay closest to the junction board. This will require the high current leads to route external to the pack, and I haven't figured out a safe way to do that just yet. For sure, converting an 18S module to 12S - while still using the 18S enclosure - will not work.

-The LiBCM PCB supports up to 60S onboard, which includes 54S (QTY3 18S modules). The firmware will not support it at initial release, but it will be added over time. For the initial release, 48S will be the ONLY supported configuration. If you plug in more cells, LiBCM WILL NOT WORK (until a firmware update down the road). If you try to circumvent this, then the MCM will throw P error codes. I'm not focusing on fully resolving these limitations for the initial release... if you want to use LiBCM at release, you'll be using 48S (or writing your own firmware).

-If you plan to use QTY3 18S modules (54S total), you will need to wait (possibly several months) to use them with LiBCM. The timeline will ultimately depend on how many 48S LiBCM modules I sell at launch... fulfilling those orders is going to be a full time job for a while.

-54S has other limitations, too... for example, LiBCM modifies the MCM Connector E voltage, which is the actual pack voltage (e.g. 215 VDC is routed to the MCM via Connector E). At initial release, LiBCM's ConnE spoofing circuit is optimized for a 48S configuration. It's likely the 54S configuration will need a larger adjustment range, so that the MCM will think the pack voltage is lower (and thus allow regen)... this will require removing the "48S ConnE resistors" and adding larger-valued "54S ConnE resistors". As much as I'd love to just put the "54S ConnE resistors" on the PCB right now, technical limitations in the isolation circuitry prevent that from working as easily as you might imagine.

When the 54S solution becomes available, I'll offer an upgrade service, wherein I remove the 48S resistors and populate the 54S resistors. This service won't cost more than $20, plus shipping both ways. Of course, you can do this yourself if you know how to solder SMT components... but don't attempt it if you don't know which end of the iron to handle... this is dangerous HVDC and you could let out a bunch of magic smoke and/or kill yourself.

Note that you can technically use the 48S-configured LiBCM in a 54S configuration without changing these resistors, but the OEM MCM won't like the higher voltage, and will at best prevent regeneration... at worse it'll disable everything... I don't know, as I've never tested the OEM MCM at 215 volts.

-Yes, the 54S solution will require one new harness. The PCB itself already has all the connectors populated, so no other PCB modifications are required (except as noted above).

-The "alpha release" is just me. The beta testers have already been selected, and will be getting PCBs around the end of June. If I haven't messaged you, then you are not a beta tester. LiBCM will probably go on sale to the general public about a month after the beta testers get their boards... unless they find major issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #378 ·
One additional thought:
If anyone here is mechanically inclined, you might consider designing a copy of the 12S enclosure's side plate... that's the only part that's different between the 12S/18S mechanical enclosure. Said part is a stamped and folded piece of steel. You'll need QTY2 (identical) parts per 12S-converted module. My guess is that if you order QTY200 parts (enough to make QTY100 12S-converted modules), the per-piece price will be ~$10 (so $20 per 12S module).
 

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Thanks for taking the time to thoroughly answer my questions. I'd forgotten completely about the 12S leaving extra space for the leads by the junction board and was just thinking of it from a 'modules fit inside the frame' perspective. I'll plan to start with 48S for now then, can always upgrade to 54S later on when and if that becomes a viable option.

You mentioned in Post 304 that you'll likely be selling the BCM mainly through Eli, but may also sell some PCB-only to individuals. For those of us purchasing our own modules who are not in the beta, will we be able to buy full kits without batteries from Bumblebee, or will we need to purchase the PCB directly from you and source the other components on our own? Either way is perfectly fine, just want to have an idea of what I'm in for, assuming you know at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #380 · (Edited)
I'm always down to answer questions... it's what I do. For some reason, when I can't sleep I still answer questions in the forums for a company I haven't worked at in nearly a decade... I just like answering technical questions.

For those of us purchasing our own modules who are not in the beta, will we be able to buy full kits without batteries?
Absolutely yes, but I'm still undecided about whether or not the kit is "complete". It will depend on how easy the installation process becomes with the new connectors that @Bull Dog found recently... if they make the installation process substantially safer/easier, then I might offer a complete kit, sans the batteries.

If for some reason the new connectors don't work out, then offering a "complete kit" would be a misnomer, which might trick inexperienced customers into thinking they can handle the conversion process... if these new connectors don't mechanically work (there are several reasons this could be the case), then selling a "complete LiBCM kit" would be unsafe/unwise... of course I'll certainly still sell the PCB regardless, but it might be the case that only the most devout customers - who are willing to purchase the individual components - are going to be able to successfully/safely complete the conversion. For everyone else, there's Eli.

Again, this 100% boils down to whether or not the new connector solution works out.

Certainly any initial kit I offer will include (with long-winded rationale):
-the aluminum end plates. Someone is going to make a 3DP model of this plate and propose that people print their own. To that person, I will pre-emptively say: a 3DP plastic end plate is not going to provide the rigidity to retain these modules in a car crash. I do not recommend using end plates that are not at least 0.125" aluminum. Obviously you can't just go to a sheet metal former and say "I want QTY3 aluminum plates please." I mean, they'll make them for you... for $500/each. So that's why I ordered several hundred of them, and will include them with any and all LiBCM kits (whether they go to Eli, or you the customer).

-the high current leads. I've seen some janky crimped connectors over the years. I don't want someone to construct a poorly-made cable and then burn their car to the ground when they try to source 100 amps through it. FYI: If your crimper isn't specifically designed for 4 AWG wire, it's not going to be up for the task. I good 4 AWG crimper will have 18" long handles at minimum... that's how much force you need to apply.

If anyone wants to take over the "make cables for LiBCM" project, I'm happy to convey my knowledge. The raw cable is ~$1.05 in bulk, and the connectors are ~$0.80 each. The per-LiBCM cable BOM cost is about $14, whereas you could probably sell these cables here on ic for $50 shipped... I'll let you work out the details. On my end, I don't want to make these cables forever. My initial thought was to have my manufacturing team assemble the entire LiBCM kit, but honestly the volume is too low... my team likes to make hundreds of widgets per day, whereas I suspect LiBCM kits are going to sell in the "dozen per month" range. Certainly my crew will make the PCB, as our PCB line is nimble and can make whatever widget they want on any given day... be it QTY50 LiBCM PCBs, QTY100 GrBLDC BLDC controllers, etc.

-plastic safety cover. If I don't include it, nobody will take the time to make it. It's really important that you not kill yourself, so I will provide this cover along with every LiBCM kit I ship.

-I should probably include the ribbon cable adapters with the kit, as the consequences of assembling that part incorrectly will be a destroyed PCB and/or the chips on it. These cables are going to be a chore to make... so again, long term if someone wants to take over the "make adapter cables for LiBCM" task, send me a PM and we'll chat.

-From here, all remaining components are off-the-shelf... so I might as well include them, too.

...

Everything is still up in the air.

(Same question as above, but) ...from Bumblebee,?
I doubt Eli is going to want to sell the kits personally. His business is setup to handle the entire operation, and his customers fit in the "I want to buy a finished, drop-in replacement battery" category.

or will we need to purchase the PCB directly from you and source the other components on our own?
I will almost certainly distribute LiBCM as a complete kit for at least the first QTY100 units (whether they go to Eli or individual customers). I've already purchased all the parts to sell QTY100 LiBCM kits... and they're pretty specific to that project, so obviously I'm going to want to use them for LiBCM. For example, I'm not sure what I'd ever do with QTY100 constant current 450 mA off-line LED drivers...

...funny tangent: I purchased QTY2000 90 watt 24 volt power supplies for a project in 2015... about a month before we released the product, we realized we needed more power, so we ended up purchasing QTY2000 120 watt 24 volt supplies... the original pallet of power supplies sat in our warehouse for four years... I was so convinced I'd find a use for them. And then one day we found a buyer who paid us fifty cents on the dollar for them, and just like that they were gone... and then six months later I designed a product that would have used them.

After the first QTY100 LiBCMs ship, if there's still demand, long term I'll probably only supply the complete PCB... hopefully someone else can step up to the plate and adopt the "send me a complete kit" customers... I will then sell LiBCM PCBs to that person, and s/he can handle the transactional business.

I don't intend for LiBCM to be a long-term time sink for myself personally... I am not the type of person that wants to build widget X for the rest of my life. Long term, people are going to need to take over the distribution side of these products. My long term commitment is that I'll keep providing LiBCM PCBs as long as there is demand for them... once my crew in Austin is familiar with the PCB, I can always make as many PCBs as anyone wants with a single phone call.

Of course, the entire project is open source, so at any point anyone else can start selling the PCB, too... if that occurs, I will gracefully bow out of the project... as I've said multiple times, I'm not in this for the money. I've never understood my proclivity towards insight, but here I am.
 
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