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Old 09-28-2016, 03:31 PM   #1
BobBoyce
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Default Alltrax Controller on an ETEK DC Motor

Back in 2003 I ordered a Briggs & Stratton ETEK motor. For those not familiar, it is a permanent magnet DC motor that was available in various horsepower ratings and was touted as having the Harley Davidson mounting bolt pattern. The highest horsepower stock ETEK available was rated for 8 HP, though custom builds were available. I ordered a custom built ETEK based upon the 8 HP model. With a 1" motor shaft instead of the usual 7/8" shaft, this one they said was rated for 16 HP at 60 VDC. I never had the opportunity to test it.

I called Alltrax and asked which controller I would need for this motor. They recommended the AXE 7245, 24-72 VDC 450 Max Amps. So I bought 2 of them, one to use and one for a spare. The project was for my wife, who became ill soon after and eventually passed. I put everything in storage. A few days ago I decided to pull one of the controllers out of storage to see if I could go ahead and upgrade the software in it. I contacted Alltrax, gave them all of the data label info along with the motor info, and asked for a program update. Their response was that this controller was not designed to work with permanent magnet motors. There is no E at the end of the model number! I looked a my wiring diagram, and it clearly shows this controller being used with a permanent magnet motor. It does not have an A2 terminal. I suppose that this variant was made before they started making a seperate model number with the E for PM motors? Essentially an E model without the E. I responded back with this info, am now waiting for a reply. I've been itching to try out that ETEK motor in something.

Bob
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Old 09-28-2016, 06:54 PM   #2
jakesnake27
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Default Re: Alltrax Controller on an ETEK DC Motor

Wow, never knew that Briggs made an electric motor. Very fascinating. Interested to hear what they have to say...
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Old 09-29-2016, 12:12 AM   #3
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Default Re: Alltrax Controller on an ETEK DC Motor

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Originally Posted by jakesnake27 View Post
Wow, never knew that Briggs made an electric motor. Very fascinating. Interested to hear what they have to say...
Yes, it was a manufacturing license of the Lynch motor design. The price was very reasonable as well. Too bad it did not take off any better than it did. The brushes were the weakest link in the Lynch motor design. There were no windings in the traditional sense. There were bars positioned around the rotor that behaved as the windings, with brushes contacting the ends.

The ETEK (Lynch) motors evolved into a brushless DC (BLDC) motor design, and others carried on with the development. I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to buy one of these while they were still in production.

I called Alltrax, and according to the fellow that designed my version of AXE controller. they were not really designed for PM motors. They tried, but the use with actual PM motors turned out to be problematic. The problem was related to the motor being too good of a generator when you back off of the throttle. He said the SR series was designed to handle that better. So it's not a matter of working, it's a matter of how long it will survive the abuse. It's a great controller for series wound motors though. I guess my idea of a more efficient EV was just too many years too early. Since I have no interest in building any new series wound motor driven EVs, I guess I'll just list them on eBay at some time in the future.

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Old 09-29-2016, 06:52 PM   #4
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Default Re: Alltrax Controller on an ETEK DC Motor

Interesting. Is this what your motor looks like?

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Old 09-30-2016, 02:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: Alltrax Controller on an ETEK DC Motor

Columbia continued to use the ETEK motor from about 2002-4. About two years ago we had to discontinue sales of the brushes because we could no longer acquire them from Briggs.

We used the Sevcon 4 post controller as our controller of choice, but have since discontinued those as well, although you may be able to locate some in the aftermarket or used parts world.
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Old 10-01-2016, 07:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: Alltrax Controller on an ETEK DC Motor

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Originally Posted by jakesnake27 View Post
Wow, never knew that Briggs made an electric motor. Very fascinating. Interested to hear what they have to say...
It was short lived as it was garbage.
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Old 10-01-2016, 09:53 PM   #7
jakesnake27
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Default Re: Alltrax Controller on an ETEK DC Motor

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It was short lived as it was garbage.
Must've been.
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Old 10-09-2016, 12:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: Alltrax Controller on an ETEK DC Motor

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Originally Posted by jakesnake27 View Post
Interesting. Is this what your motor looks like?

Very similar. I think that is the 3 HP version. The one I bought is longer front to rear, much larger terminals, and a larger motor shaft.

The brushes were a maintenance nighmare on the smaller ETEKs. The larger ETEKs had a much improved brush system. The brushless DC version available now is supposed to be much better. I would not know for sure since I never bought one of those.

Bob
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