Help with 18v15

I received both 18v15 controllers today, hooked them up and get the same errors on both, i get Limit/Kill in red… I was able to get rid of the first error which was in the advanced tab by disabling safe start, but how do I get rid of the limit kill switch to start the motors? i’m connecting to it using USB on linux, but i also tried windows and same problem… i made sure the firmware is the latest too and i tried 2 different 18v15 controllers with 2 different motors, i know the motors are good cause they work directly on a 12vdc battery, there’s a section in the manual on why this type of error would be caused but i dont fully understand it… what can I try from the default settings? do I need to jump some pins? please help

got one of the motor controllers to work with all 4 dc motors, however the 2nd only works in reverse, when i try to forward with default settings it doesnt work, it only moves little as if its forcing and this with all motors… what can I check? or is it a faulty board? i notice the temperature red flag goes off preventing the motor from turning

Hello, starguy.

I’m sorry you are having trouble with the Simple Motor Controller 18v15.

Did you order it assembled or as a partial kit? Have you soldered anything to the board? Have you connected anything except USB, the motor power supply, and the motor? There are multiple holes for GND and VIN on the board; you’re using the ones near OUTA and OUTB, right?

Please disconnect all motors from the controller that is not working. Using the Simple Motor Control Center, could you please reset that controller to its default settings (Device -> Reset to deftault settings…), then command it to drive forward (set the speed to 100.00% using the “manually set speed” box). Let me know what temperatures the control center reports. It sounds like your board might be overheating, so please be very careful to not let any part of your body or anything flammable touch the board while you are doing this.

The temperature should hardly rise at all. If it rises more than 10 degrees I would click the “Stop Motor” button just to be safe.

–David

Did you order it assembled or as a partial kit?

  • Assembled

Have you soldered anything to the board?

  • I have not

Have you connected anything except USB, the motor power supply, and the motor?
There are multiple holes for GND and VIN on the board; you’re using the ones near OUTA and OUTB, right?

  • I have connected USB, OUTA, OUTB and power in the right pins by looking under the board and the manual to make sure of the proper locations.

Please disconnect all motors from the controller that is not working. Using the Simple Motor Control Center, could you please reset that controller to its default settings (Device -> Reset to deftault settings…), then command it to drive forward (set the speed to 100.00% using the “manually set speed” box). Let me know what temperatures the control center reports. It sounds like your board might be overheating, so please be very careful to not let any part of your body or anything flammable touch the board while you are doing this.

  • After doing your test with a 12V battery the temperature rises to 39C or so and then the motor breaking engages and a red flag appears for over temperature, the temperature is about 100C+ also if i leave it at 100% breaking/32 appears instead of “driving” like the reverse shows.

The temperature should hardly rise at all. If it rises more than 10 degrees I would click the “Stop Motor” button just to be safe.

It sounds like your board is overheating, but I have a lot of trouble understanding your description. I wouldn’t expect anything special to happen at 39 degrees C and I wouldn’t expect the motor controller to allow itself to reach to reach 100 C. The default configuration of the simple motor controller is to shut off when the temperature reaches 85 degrees C. Maybe I’m misunderstanding. Could you break your description up into multiple sentences and make it clearer?

Did this controller ever work correctly for you?

–David

It sounds like your board is overheating,

  • Yes it is.

but I have a lot of trouble understanding your description. I wouldn’t expect anything special to happen at 39 degrees C and I wouldn’t expect the motor controller to allow itself to reach to reach 100 C.

  • You told me to run the motor, when I first move the motor forward to about 25% or so the temperature goes from about 24C to 39C which causes the motor to stop with BREAKING/32 instead of RUNNING, if I then continue over to about 70% FORWARD then it goes beyond 100C and stops immediately again with the status of BREAKING/32. Why is it going into BREAKING/32 mode at 39C if it’s only supposed to at 85C? I don’t know. In any case it reaches over 100C at a certain point and does not work at all in forward mode in ANY case.

The default configuration of the simple motor controller is to shut off when the temperature reaches 85 degrees C.

  • It is definately shutting itself off because of the over heating problem.

Did this controller ever work correctly for you?

  • It has not since I just received it about 3 days ago, I emailed ben at pololu dot com asking for an RMA # and have not received one, I paid a lot of money for your products and need them to work.

Regards,

** Update

I re-ran your tests and looking closey the temperaruture rises over 100C quickly from the moment i move the forward tab. It happens so quickly that its hard to tell the temperature but its 3 digits.

Hello.

I cannot find any record of a recent RMA-request email from you. Can you tell me what date you sent it? Can you try sending it again to our general email (www at pololu dot com) and post again when it is sent?

By the way, we test all our controllers before they ship, so it was very likely working at one point. It sounds like something about your setup damaged one of the MOSFETs.

- Ben

ben at pololu dot com Thu, 9:15 am RMA

This was copied/pasted just now from my sent folder in my email. So last Thursday at 9:15am, titled RMA and it didn’t bounce back to me. All I did was connect the 18v15 as the diagram showed and used the utilities provided, if you wish not to issue me a RMA# I that is your business decision. I did not purposely damage the device, my other 18v15 works fine and so do the other 4 DC motors I also ordered from your company.

Regards,

I definitely didn’t receive any emails from you on Thursday, nor have I received any lately with “RMA” in the subject. It’s possible our spam filter blocked it, but I looked into it some and didn’t see any record of your email there, either. Please try emailing us again and then post in this thread (that way I can tell if it doesn’t get through again).

I never thought (or meant to imply) that you deliberately damaged the board. My point is that you likely unintentionally damaged the board, so you should review your connections and procedure in detail with an eye towards anything that could possibly have gone wrong or might not be the way you think it is. Otherwise, there’s still a chance you will inadvertently do the same thing and kill your other (or replacement) motor driver. We are still happy to take a look at your board and repair it if possible.

- Ben

I emailed you earlier:

www@pololu.com Mon, 6:55 pm + RMA

So this is the second time I email you with a request for an RMA#, plus you have my formal request here because you don’t seem to be getting my emails. As far as the procedure, I did the same thing on both boards, one works 100% and the other works at 50%, I don’t know what else to tell you.

Regards,

I think your email is not getting through, because I still don’t see anything from you in our system. Are you using the email associated with your Pololu forum account? If not, please or PM me your email address and your sales order number.

You don’t have to tell me anything. I just want you to be aware that there could be problems with what you’re doing, so try to be extra-critical of your setup, and don’t treat the fact that one driver is working as validation that your system or engineering practices are sound.

- Ben

Just as an update, your emails both arrived this morning. It looks like there might have been a problem with your mail server. Someone should be contacting you with an RMA number shortly.

- Ben