Controlling the controls

Luckily, the Kelly controllers, while requiring some fancier wiring (pre-charge resistors, their own power source) than other motor controllers, were extremely easy to program. It is all taken care of in the series of menus seen below. To connect to the computer, you use the provided adapter (rear of the controller, above) to the serial port of a computer. The controller needs to be powered on to connect, but through its own power connection, not the power connections for the motor. The controller is powered through the power and ground prongs of the rear plug. Above, we used a pair of 9V batteries in series to power them. They need a minimum of 12V DC  to operate.

Once you start the controller programming application on the computer, it helpfully asks you not to run the motor while connected, and then walks you through setting the controller up. Here, we chose whether the motor should run at half in reverse (didn’t matter because we hadn’t yet implemented a reverse switch), and whether to have the controller auto-off if started up with the throttle pressed. We decided that was a usefully safety feature to avoid unintended starts.
 While you can choose from two different types of throttle controller, ours responded to either setting. We did set it so that some throttle movement was ignored, hoping to compensate for vibration as we bounded along in our unsprung kart.



Here we set whether to cut out if the voltage went above or below a certain level–important if you have a system that provides more voltage than a particular component can handle. You can also choose from a light, medium, or heavy load. We figured that propelling a human around a race-track should count as heavy.

After setting up the controller, you cycle its power to ensure the new options are loaded, and you’re good to go.




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