Leaf Gen 1 Inverter Board

Nissan Leaf/e-NV200 drive stack topics
nkiernan
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Re: Leaf Gen 1 Inverter Board

Post by nkiernan »

Alibro wrote: Tue Sep 12, 2023 3:25 pm I don't yet know if my shunt is faulty or I'm doing something wrong

Just for the shunt, did you work through the few openinverter wiki articles for the shunt to test it separately from your system and prove its ok and configured as needed?

https://openinverter.org/wiki/Isabellen ... te_Heusler

https://openinverter.org/wiki/Getting_s ... bus_shield
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Re: Leaf Gen 1 Inverter Board

Post by Alibro »

nkiernan wrote: Tue Sep 12, 2023 7:33 pm Just for the shunt, did you work through the few openinverter wiki articles for the shunt to test it separately from your system and prove its ok and configured as needed?

https://openinverter.org/wiki/Isabellen ... te_Heusler

https://openinverter.org/wiki/Getting_s ... bus_shield
Thanks for your reply, no I hadn't looked any further once I realised the shunt was causing me trouble but figured I would try to get it working with the most simple setup first then figure out the shunt later. I'll have a look at the links this evening and give that a try tomorrow.

Having said that with default version 1.5 from Damiens Github I'm still struggling to get the inverter and VCU to play nice together.
Sometimes it works and sometimes not and I still can't quite find a pattern to it. Earlier today I was getting Output 1 and 2 by disconnecting and reconnecting the 12V battery then turning on the ignition but now its doing nothing even though I can see the pack voltage of 353V in the serial monitor.
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Re: Leaf Gen 1 Inverter Board

Post by Alibro »

Alibro wrote: Tue Sep 12, 2023 3:25 pm Hi guys
So I've spent a couple of days playing with my Nissan Leaf Gen1 VCU and have not got much further so would appreciate any input.
When I connect the ISA shunt the VCU throws a wobbly and reports all current, temp voltage etc at full scale. But worse it won't reset until I power the VCU off and on and it does this with or without james@N52E01 software tweaks. I don't yet know if my shunt is faulty or I'm doing something wrong.

So I decided to park the shunt for now and try to work without it and see if outputs 1 and two (to drive the contactors) work with the default SW and they do..... sort of.

If I turn on the ignition Input 1 comes on immediately and input two a second or so later which is great. The serial monitor is showing the correct pack voltage too so I although I haven't tested it yet I suspect the car would drive.
However if I turn the ignition off then back on again I get nothing and don't get anything until the battery is disconnected and reconnected.
I tried putting a switch on the positive feed and from the battery to the feed for all so that I could reset everything with the ignition off and it didn't work nor did it work on the negative feed.
At this point I'm more than a little confused as to why disconnecting the battery works but just removing 12V from VCU and inverter doesn't.

I had this setup temporarily working previously but it was cobbled together and I was using timers instead of the VCU to drive the contactors and somehow ended up with welded contactors. I also had the issue then of having to disconnect the battery to get it working so I appear to have an issue somewhere.

Any help appreciated
So with the shunt CAN and low voltage disconnected I moved on and spent several days playing with it until I found a method of connecting and sequencing that works pretty well. It is not perfect and I've since had another issue but it worked well enough to get wheels spinning almost every time I turned on the ignition.
I'll come back to this later and write it out but I want to confirm it is OK before misleading everyone.

Now I have a couple of issues.
1. If I turn off the ignition and back on again it seems the inverter caps are still charged and it won't play nice. I have to wait for a minute or so for the voltage to drop below 150V before turning the ign back on.
2. The motor temperature up to now has always shown as similar to the inverter temp but suddenly is off the scale.

Hoping the two issues above would not cause any issues I bolted the wheels back on and took it out for a test drive. I got about ten feet before it cut out and wouldn't go again so I had the push of shame back into the garage. :(

I'm working on the issues now but any suggestions welcome.

EDIT: It looks like I have a bad connection somewhere between the motor and inverter as when I messed with the wiring the temp fell to where it should but now the RPM is off the scale. I'll strip the loom back and check it.
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Re: Leaf Gen 1 Inverter Board

Post by Alibro »

Just another update as the issues above seem to be getting worse and even with the shunt low voltage disconnected I'm getting the motor rpm and temp off the scale.
I've checked the motor to inverter wiring plus I've moved the VCU into the passenger foot well so I can rule out interference but still getting the issues mentioned above. Sometimes it shows the correct readings but mostly I get rpm and/or motor temp off the scale.
As far as I can tell going by the Nissan Leaf service manual the readings from the motor at the inverter connector are OK as both temp and rpm connections are measuring within the resistance range listed.
If anyone has seen similar or has any suggestions please share.

This is what I'm seeing every time I turn the inverter on.
IMG_20230919_210454676_HDR.jpg
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Re: Leaf Gen 1 Inverter Board

Post by Alibro »

So it's starting to look like I've killed the inverter. :cry:

I found a short between one of the resolver connections and ground and with it cleared I now have normal temps from the motor but still getting full scale on the rpm. I've double and triple checked the other connections but no joy.
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Re: Leaf Gen 1 Inverter Board

Post by JaniK »

oh crap, but now you have a good reason to buy newer inverter with more power then? allthough still sucks.
Any opinions are my own, unless stated otherwise. I take no responsibility if you follow my way of doing things and it doesn't work. Please double check with someone who knows what they are doing.
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Re: Leaf Gen 1 Inverter Board

Post by Alibro »

JaniK wrote: Wed Sep 20, 2023 6:38 pm oh crap, but now you have a good reason to buy newer inverter with more power then? allthough still sucks.
Thanks mate, I was thinking about that but everything has been designed and crammed in to fit the Gen 1 inverter so if I need to replace it I'll stick with what fits.
Before going that far though I plan to pull the top off the inverter and have a look, just in case it's something silly like a bad connection or blown fuse.
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Re: Leaf Gen 1 Inverter Board

Post by Alibro »

I found another fault!

There was a bad connection between the Nissan Leaf cable and the inverter so I guess they don't like being plugged in and out too often.
IMG_20230920_210640088_HDR.jpg
As soon as I jumpered the dodgy joint the rpm dropped and we had motor spin. :D
It means that I can't trust the connector anymore and will have to bypass it which is a pain but if it works then so be it.
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Re: Leaf Gen 1 Inverter Board

Post by Alibro »

So I sorted the fault mentioned above and the car is driving again but I have another question for you guys
Has anyone any spare Cinch 5810130065 enclosures for the Gen1 VCU you would be happy to sell?
I can buy them from Mouser, Farnell and Digikey but don't feel like forking out £28 for a plastic box. This is the price for one including handling, VAT and shipping.

If not did anyone ever design an enclosure that can be 3D Printed for it? I can easily bodge something together but it would be nice to have something properly designed for the job.

Thanks
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Re: Leaf Gen 1 Inverter Board

Post by Bratitude »

Alibro wrote: Wed Sep 27, 2023 11:10 am
If not did anyone ever design an enclosure that can be 3D Printed for it? I can easily bodge something together but it would be nice to have something properly designed for the job.

Thanks
I found the oem cad files, cleaned them up and posted them here : https://github.com/bratindustries/molex-headers

works good
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Re: Leaf Gen 1 Inverter Board

Post by Alibro »

Bratitude wrote: Wed Sep 27, 2023 12:40 pm I found the oem cad files, cleaned them up and posted them here : https://github.com/bratindustries/molex-headers

works good
Thanks mate
Are these in Solidworks format and if so can I import them into other applications?
I never got past Tinkercad for 3D editing. :lol:
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Re: Leaf Gen 1 Inverter Board

Post by Alibro »

Mmmm
I installed Freecad, exported as STL and opened it in Cura and all looked OK until I sliced it and for some reason Cura sliced it as a solid part. :o
So I installed Fusion 360 and tried again with the same result. :?
So next I tried using the Prusa3D slicer and it looks much better so not sure why Cura didn't like it but I'll try to figure out how to use the Prusa slicer and give it a try so once again many thanks to Bratitude for this. :D
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Re: Leaf Gen 1 Inverter Board

Post by Bratitude »

Alibro wrote: Wed Sep 27, 2023 5:03 pm Mmmm
I installed Freecad, exported as STL and opened it in Cura and all looked OK until I sliced it and for some reason Cura sliced it as a solid part. :o
So I installed Fusion 360 and tried again with the same result. :?
I’ll post them as a stl that’ll be much easier for everyone
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Re: Leaf Gen 1 Inverter Board

Post by Alibro »

Bratitude wrote: Thu Sep 28, 2023 3:51 am I’ll post them as a stl that’ll be much easier for everyone
That would be great thanks, I don't know if it will help Cura as it looked OK until I sliced it and it looks OK in Prusa Slicer but I've never used Prusa before so will take a while to figure it out.
When I get it printed out I'll report back with photo's but in the meantime I've already started printing out a box I found on Tinkercad and adapted.

This is the base https://www.tinkercad.com/things/6VjywRjsr4r
And the lid https://www.tinkercad.com/things/7TBGB94stQi

It is not as neat as yours but should work well enough until I can print out the correct one. I want to hide it in the passenger foot well so it needs to be as small as possible.
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Re: Leaf Gen 1 Inverter Board

Post by Alibro »

Either I'm doing something wrong or there is an issue with the STL files I generated as in Prusu Slicer it is building this as a solid object, filling interior but even worse it seems to screw up parts of the design as well. Once again it looks OK until I slice it.

Like I said my CAD knowledge begins and ends at Tinkercad so I don't know how to fix this.
Before you post the STL files would you mind taking a look at them in a slicer please?

Thanks
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Re: Leaf Gen 1 Inverter Board

Post by Bratitude »

Alibro wrote: Thu Sep 28, 2023 9:07 am
Before you post the STL files would you mind taking a look at them in a slicer please?

Thanks
I’ve printed a few boxes and connectors, they fit and work great. Maybe check in support and infill settings.
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Re: Leaf Gen 1 Inverter Board

Post by Bratitude »

molex-memx-enclose.STL
(1.62 MiB) Downloaded 75 times
heres an stl of the box
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Re: Leaf Gen 1 Inverter Board

Post by Alibro »

Bratitude wrote: Thu Sep 28, 2023 8:31 pm molex-memx-enclose.STL

heres an stl of the box
Thanks mate, I'll have a go at printing it tomorrow. :)
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Re: Leaf Gen 1 Inverter Board

Post by Alibro »

This STL file works a treat, no glitches or unwanted infill so it'll take around 26 hours to print but still way better than forking out nearly £30.

Thanks again. :)
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Re: Leaf Gen 1 Inverter Board

Post by Alibro »

So a massive thanks to Bratitude for posting the STL file for this case. I printed it out over a couple of days and this is the result.
IMG_20230929_135111782.jpg
IMG_20230929_135020764_HDR.jpg
IMG_20230929_135049365_HDR.jpg
IMG_20230929_175219549.jpg
IMG_20230929_215634216.jpg
IMG_20231001_125804826.jpg
The last photo shows it after I removed all the supports but if you look carefully you can see a line half way up where I had to turn off the printer over night. I have a Creality CR10S which can restart a print after power off but it is not perfect and so restarted slightly off line but it's not a big problem as the VCU still fits fine.
I could have tried printing without support which would have been much quicker but didn't fancy waiting 10 hours or more to see if it would be OK.
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Re: Leaf Gen 1 Inverter Board

Post by Alibro »

Once I got the cable issues sorted I concentrated on getting the timing right for turning on the inverter. For a while I struggled to get it to work reliably if turned off and on again but I think I've resolved this by using Output3 from the VCU to power the Inverter.
When I get it documented I'll post the sequence but I wanted to ask how others are using the VCU outputs to control startup.
I found the VCU threw a wobbly if I tried driving any kind of relay direct so instead used these little timer modules and this seems to work fine.
The VCU switches the negative on Outputs 1, 2 and 3 so I guess it didn't appreciate me shoving 12V Pos into it through the relay coil
IMG_20231003_113117815.jpg
I'm not using the timing function as they are all turned right back rather just as a way to use the negative output from the VCU. I guess one of the Arduino relay boards like the one below would do the same job and might be a bit neater.
Untitled.png
Is this the kind of thing others are using?
https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_De3IGUP
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Re: Leaf Gen 1 Inverter Board

Post by Alibro »

I tried a relay module similar to the one above but for 12V rather than the arduino controlled one in the photo.
It works OK but for some reason the timer modules work more reliably.
What I mean by that is with the timer modules the inverter turns on correctly every time I turn the ignition on without fail. With the relay module sometimes it goes through the sequence OK but the inverter doesn't enable drive. Maybe there is a small delay even with the timers turned all the way back but whatever the reason I'm going back to them.
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Re: Leaf Gen 1 Inverter Board

Post by Alibro »

Alibro wrote: Fri Oct 06, 2023 7:50 pm I tried a relay module similar to the one above but for 12V rather than the arduino controlled one in the photo.
It works OK but for some reason the timer modules work more reliably.
What I mean by that is with the timer modules the inverter turns on correctly every time I turn the ignition on without fail. With the relay module sometimes it goes through the sequence OK but the inverter doesn't enable drive. Maybe there is a small delay even with the timers turned all the way back but whatever the reason I'm going back to them.
So the timing issues I mentioned above were not because of the relay module but are related to the dc to dc charger :?
I'm not sure why but if I mess about with timing of the charger startup, it effects the reliability of the inverter startup. I now have the car turning on and working every time I turn the key. :D I also have most of the startup driven by the VCU through an 8 way relay block similar to the one above. This means the VCU is controlling all parts of the HV system.
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Re: Leaf Gen 1 Inverter Board

Post by Alibro »

Alibro wrote: Fri Oct 27, 2023 12:12 pm So the timing issues I mentioned above were not because of the relay module but are related to the dc to dc charger :?
I'm not sure why but if I mess about with timing of the charger startup, it effects the reliability of the inverter startup. I now have the car turning on and working every time I turn the key. :D I also have most of the startup driven by the VCU through an 8 way relay block similar to the one above. This means the VCU is controlling all parts of the HV system.
Looks like I spoke too soon
On the day before the MOT I charged the car but when I turned it on I got nothing. :o
I messed about connecting it several different ways but eventually had to leave it kinda intermittent. Once on it stays on but it only worked intermittently.
Still looking for a reliable setup. :?
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Re: Leaf Gen 1 Inverter Board

Post by Alibro »

Alibro wrote: Tue Oct 03, 2023 10:38 am Once I got the cable issues sorted I concentrated on getting the timing right for turning on the inverter. For a while I struggled to get it to work reliably if turned off and on again but I think I've resolved this by using Output3 from the VCU to power the Inverter.
When I get it documented I'll post the sequence but I wanted to ask how others are using the VCU outputs to control startup.
I found the VCU threw a wobbly if I tried driving any kind of relay direct so instead used these little timer modules and this seems to work fine.
The VCU switches the negative on Outputs 1, 2 and 3 so I guess it didn't appreciate me shoving 12V Pos into it through the relay coil

IMG_20231003_113117815.jpg

I'm not using the timing function as they are all turned right back rather just as a way to use the negative output from the VCU. I guess one of the Arduino relay boards like the one below would do the same job and might be a bit neater.

Untitled.png

Is this the kind of thing others are using?
https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_De3IGUP
I think I have the car running reliably now and starting up correctly.
Output one of the VCU triggers the precharge.
Output 2 triggers the timer module (soon to be changed) which powers the positive contactor. At the same time it also sends power to the Mitsubishi Outlander charger 12V power, ignition lead and voltage sense lead. This means the dc to dc converter cannot go live through the precharge resistor before the positive contactor has closed.
The inverter 12V supply and ignition are powered by the ignition switch.

I had an issue with the timer module glitching when things like the lights were turned on and causing the pos contactor to open. I've since been told the outputs should be able to drive the contactors directly. Is anyone else out there using this VCU and if so how are you connecting the contactors as I'm still using a timer module to drive mine? I'll be changing this soon as the timer modules are a bit flaky and relying on them to keep the car driving is not a good idea.

I also had issues with the VCU hanging if I had a USB cable plugged into it while it was getting 12V from the car. This is not an issue any more as I now have the voltage showing through the WiFi, previously I was using the laptop to keep an eye on the pack voltage while charging. Has anyone else seen similar behaviour?

Has anyone upgraded their software to allow regen? I know it is not essential but it would be nice to get back some power when slowing down.
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