Sunday, July 28, 2013

Just a quick note

Over the past week I installed the regulator aboard Viking Star, and have made three runs.  Two long and one with lots of starts / stops.   I have been working through issues, but still have a few to go before I can declare it has a basic level of functionality.  I am facing two right now:

  1. During startup, when I release the main engine starter button, the regulator faults  with INA-220 I2C read errors.  They are random in nature, but directly associated with the releasing of the starting button.
  2. When running with the Arduino regulator, I seem to under-read the battery voltage.  When I switch back to the standard fixed voltage regulator, the Arduino regulator correctly reports the voltage.

Both of these are making me think there might be something with how I have installed the regulator.  It is complicated in that I left the original regulator in place so I can switch back and forth easily.  But I am wondering if there is a ground loop that is causing coupling of the starter as well as loading on the line during running (causing a voltage drop, and hence under-reading of the battery voltage).   I just need to get down in the engine room with some meters and/or O-Scope, but have been working instead on the DC Generator / Watermaker as we started using the watermaker for the 1st time after installing the integrated controller / regulator...

Hopefully will get some time next week to make  progress.

ps:  some may have noticed I snuck in rev 0.0.2 of the source code, and its associated .wrd file describing the ASCII interface.  I did that to support the person who is working on a GUI for smart phones and such.  Figured it would be better for him to use the latest ASCII syntax while developing, and the code will still work in a kind of 'demo mode' on a standard Arduino as long as the "#define TESTING"  is enabled.

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