Building an open source inverter logic board – Nissan Leaf inverter – How to build an electric car

Building an open source inverter logic board – Nissan Leaf inverter – How to build an electric car


hey folks this is shame from Foreman TV welcome to the channel today I’m getting my soldiering iron out and we’re doing some work on the inversion [Music] [Music] hey folks welcome back for those of you new to the channel this is my project to put a Nissan Leaf motor into a Porsche 911 we’ve been doing videos looking at both the car itself and the Nissan Leaf motor and its controls over the last few weeks have been doing a fair bit of work on the car with removing the engine and investigating the space I have and now I’m just kind of waiting on that side of things for a few parts to arrive and a little bit more equipment which means I can put my attention back on the motor and its controls so the inverter now as you’ve seen in some of my older videos we were spending quite a lot of time investigating the the can side of things trying to control the inverter that way this was going to be one way I was looking at controlling the inverter as we work through trying to get control of it and see what sort of power we can get out of it going down that route obviously would have left us the whatever power Nissan had tuned it to no well I’m comfortable that I understood the the kind commands and the logic behind it including like the checksum of which messages need to be sent I was having problems with the actual network side of things of the communications getting blocked whenever they they were connected to the inverter the only way around this was going to be to spend quite a bit more time and probably bit more money getting better better equipment and boards to be able to send those kind of messages I was using very cheap stuff off eBay and I kind of weighed that up in terms of the overall project and trying to get this live and I decided that for the moment I’m going to actually progress all the way through to I guess the second phase of things which was to put a different logic board into the inverter which will give us more control over what we’re doing the motor in the power stage on the nice I believe can definitely have power than this and have it tuned for and by using a replacement logic board with the existing power stage I can see how much we can actually get out of that I think we’ll probably hit a limit on the inverter before we hit a limit on the motor so there might be a future stage after this where we get a totally custom inverter with a slightly beefier power stage and potentially the same same type of logic board so this video anyway I’ve gotten the components for this logic board it’s a combination of having to build out an adapter that fits into the Nissan Leaf with then a plug-in board that actually contains the the logic so why don’t you join me as we build it out and I’ll take you through the different components and we’ll get it at least installed into the inverter and then we can start taking this project forward so here’s the Nissan Leaf adapter board it’s designed to follow the shape of the native Misun leaf board so it should bolt him perfectly and then it takes the inputs and outputs that the leaf will send or receive and converts them through resistors and capacitors into what the new logic board means and then the logic board actually does the the processing so let’s get building [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Music] [Music] all right so we built our adapter board salted everything on it I decided that I wasn’t gonna try soldering surface mount components onto the actual logic board so I bought that pre-populated all I had to do was solder in the adapters or the connectors to align it into the adapter board and a connector to add in a Wi-Fi dongle to allow us to play with the software so the only thing that I’ve done the non-standard on this is this section of the board is designed to have the connector that is native to the leaf to have that basically D soldered from the existing board and put in and I’m taking a slightly different approach to this I still want to see if I can crack the can side of things on the the leaf object board as is so I’m gonna leave it untouched and what I’m gonna do is basically wire this up at the moment using some just plug-in connectors and yeah use that to control it for actually having it in the car I’ll probably get some some sort of automotive connector so I can just plug all the connections in from outside the inverter to the inside but we’ll leave these types of connections on the inside so I can play around with things as much as possible so I’ve already plugged in two wires going to where the can signal goes to and I’m just going to attach a bunch more for the other signals that I’m interested in in this first part of the testing so it’s not everything but there are things like we’ll have the inbound signals for the telling it to you know move forward to go in reverse to hold things we also need to have the 12 and 5 volts power and also the resolver once we get to controlling it but we’ll do this in stages so I think at the moment that the key piece of information really is to get the 12 volt and round signals connected here and then the inbound signals which go around here [Music] [Applause] [Music] so they’ve got an array of wires coming out and in a great little mini wiring harness and it’ll plug into these then to allow us to connect to various components so essentially about power over here and in this kind of block we’ve got a combination resolver connections connections for twist you can for telling you oh sure that it needs to reverse or that it’s got parking brake on but it needs to switch on these are all dependent two key piece of information so yep we’ve got something to connect to and we’ll then go from there we’re gonna try and fire up this board standalone for the first time and no idea what’s gonna happen haven’t tried this yet off-camera or anything like that so let’s see all right we’ve got some blinking lights both on the logic board and on the Wi-Fi dongle so that’s pretty exciting I’m just gonna go off camera quickly and log see if I can log onto the the Wi-Fi and then we’ll see if we can see the software for controlling the inverter okay this is quite exciting so we’ve got power to our open inverter logic board sitting on a leaf adapter board we’ve got the Wi-Fi dongle plugged in and I’ve got the tablet running the software to and look at the inverter and we have all sorts of cool stuff showing up so basically this is the this is the interface where I’ll be able to look at what’s going on in this board either to set up configuration on how I expect the motor to run so that’s what kind of these values here need to be set for so I’ll need to do some digging read through the documentation again and make sure I’m happy with what setup here and then once that is set up it will then be able to see values on here that are potentially coming in from the inverter or from from other other items so this is a big step in the right direction so next thing is to play around its board a little more and then install it into the inverter and start wiring things up I’m not going to wire everything up straight away we’ll do it do it gradually and make sure that everything is working before you move on to the next phase that’s very exciting a big milestone hit now that we’ve got our dropping board built and some of the wiring kind of connected we’ve taken a look making sure it can connect to a tablet so we can edit settings and stuff the only thing we can really do now or the only logical next step is to put it in our inverter in place of the leaf logic board so let’s get to it to be a little bit more painful than I’d hoped all the screws are very sensibly Loctite to Dayton but the Loctite is stronger in a lot of cases then the metal and the screw heads so I had to cut a flathead slot into four of them and two of them their head just came off the off the screw so we’ve still got three points that we can hold things in on and I’ll get some new some new screws at some point and so everything’s looking neat and tidy but for the moment we can go ahead so there we’ve got the heat sink for the logic board and yeah a couple of couple of screws that we can use the studs to line everything up and then the rest wheel there will actually swim through so let’s get the new logical [Music] well that fits really well and Cl screwin what ones we have and yeah it should be good there we go one open-source logic board installed on our inverter I’m just pretty exciting so I’m gonna need to do a few more things to make sure that everything is properly connected bolted in there’s no dust or residue from the screw in that I had to do and yeah hopefully in the next episode we can start actually playing around with it so that was actually quite a lot of fun I’ll be honest I haven’t soldered anything for years probably the last time I did it I was a teenager so it was quite good to have a chance to to do it again I’m very glad I chose not to buy the unpopulated logic board itself because that was really small surface mount components and I dread to think what sort of mess I would have made of it but we’ve got it installed in the inverter now and basically it’s ready to start doing some tests I’ll try and document as much of that as possible and you know whatever is interesting irrelevant I’ll put together as a video I’ll be going through this as you would with any other software testing setting up some configuration testing a bunch of scenarios seeing what’s happened I don’t know how long it will take me to actually get did a hundred percent working and turning the motor but we’ll get there eventually it’s really interesting to see this logic board which is kind of been built to quite a generic design so it can power a range of different or control and range of different types of motors compared to the complexity that’s built into the the Nissan Leaf one is a much more simple elegant design I think on display here and it’s gonna be interesting to see what sort of what sort of control we get out out of it but yeah thanks for for joining me on this as I say I’ll show you much more about this board as I get my head around it and we get to grips of what I can actually do but till then thanks for joining us if you’ve liked what you seen and you’re not already subscribed please consider subscribing and throw in any comments or questions you might have but till next time see you then


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *