It sure looks like the schematic for the precharge board is done. I see something that does not make sense yet it matches the original board perfectly. It was a fair amount of work. But I’ve noticed that the #2 truck has a hard time booting up sometimes. I think the 24k miles on it has worn out the precharge relay. The #1 truck is on it’s second precharge relay. Commuting with the #1 truck will surely wear out it’s second precharge relay, quickly too.

At some point I need to get a board made and start testing it before the precharge relay goes out completely on the #2 truck. I may also make a 2nd board layout that is exactly the same as the original board. Right now the components are in the same place but the traces are routed differently. At least I did find all of the data sheets for the parts. The capacitors were the toughest to find by far. I do need to open a Dolphin and look at those two tapped holes on the Dolphin floor to see if they match up to the holes in the original precharge board. That would be nice if all Dolphins were tapped to mount a precharge board!!

Last night I finally got the blower to stop running when the selector switch was in the off position. It turns out that USE wired it in such a way that it grabbed power from an always on source. Although it appeared that I also added to the issue. The blower was tied to a 3 amp circuit for power. So when I turned the blower up to high, it popped the 3 amp fuse. Now it’s rewired straight to the heater/ac fuse and gets all the juice it needs. The 3 amp circuit is now independent and works fine. All of this also made me update my heater/ac schematic yet again. I have not looked at an air conditioned truck before so I am not sure if my wiring will match. I made this system work the way that is the most useful and makes the most sense. This truck was an early version and their ac wiring was not tested enough to find any bugs. The big thing is that the heater and ac never worked from day one according to the original owner. So I think now the system is wired correctly. Buying the factory S10 manuals used from Ebay made a huge difference in diagnosing the electrical and vacuum issues with the #2 truck!

I also bumped the regen in first gear to the maximum. The first time I tried it the truck shuddered like mad, but without faulting. The pack voltage jumped from about 330v to 380v. There is a limit to the voltage and I exceeded it. This really points out how high the pack impedance really is. This pack is shot.

When the dash gets taken apart the orange heater switch has to get pulled out. So the small panel that it is mounted to clips into the dash bezel. One of the molded in tabs snapped off. I used my standard repair of CA (CyanoAcrylate) and Kelvar strands to fix it. It may make the tabs too stiff which would require them to be shaved down a bit so they can be installed/removed easily.

I also added 2 12v batteries to the #2 truck’s pack. The pack is showing such low voltage output as the seasonal temperatures get down into the 30’s. Then the charge curve had to be increase up to 400v since there are now 27 batteries in the pack. That should get the truck around the block over the next few months. I did notice that the 592AE processor would not accept a full download of the .set file. I think it might be because the file was for a 5B5AA processor. The only real difference is in the checksums being different. So I went through manually and changed the several settings to match the nicad settings so the truck will charge higher and run on a lower pack voltage if needed.

I have this other circuit design that looks like it could be modified
and adapted to actually giving real temperature control to the USE heaters.
Since the heater element runs on pack voltage this would be a high voltage
control with a pot on the dash that changes the temperature. The pot
would be opto isolated for safety. It would be just a single board
that connects after the heater relay to pack voltage, and uses high
voltage fets for controlling the power to the heater element.
Depending on the space available, it could mount in the heater box

Interestingly the pressure sensor was not wired in even though it was
in the factory schematic. It’s easy to see where is could be added
into the circuit, but clearly had never been wired in when the AC was
installed. You almost cannot see the pressure sensor. It is wired in
right under the Dolphin and on top of the AC compressor. No mating
connector in sight. It was so hard to reach I could not test it’s
continuity with my meter. The spare compressor I have shows infinite
resistance at no pressure. So I am assuming that my charged system
would show close to zero ohms. This means the compressor could be run
without pressure, at least on this truck.

Slick system. As the temperature knob is rotated warmer, the
compressor slows down. It pulls around 5 amps from the pack at max
output in about 75 degree air. So it’s not well loaded for a max amp
test. That will have to wait until summer.

This truck is becoming a keeper.

Yes!!!!! The air conditioning is fixed!!! What a bunch of work that was!! The story goes like this. The factory had a learning curve as they built their first few vehicles. The #2 truck was an early version. So the wiring for the AC and heater had been set up in a way that was very untested. Instead of a switch to turn on two relays, they used one of the pots that is part of the temperature control on the dash. As the pot is rotated, it slowly brings the voltage up to the coils of the two relays. The problem is that the relays don’t come on at the same time!! So the heating element would turn on long before the water pump would and smoke the heating element. That’s why this truck never had a functional heater. The air conditioning had a bad crimp at the AC controller plus the ground for the AC controller was corroded badly. I had to clean the pins and sockets up for each of the 12 connections. That’s all it took!

I also added the lighted dash switch that most trucks have to turn on the heater. Now the AC and the heater can be run completely independent of each other, or at the same time. Nice!!

The wiring to the AC compressor and controller can reach the top of the Dolphin. This will allow me to test my spare AC parts.

What really made this debug work well, was spending a week making a schematic from crummy notes that had been faxed from the factory 12 years ago. It was a lot of work. But it made the debug of the AC system far better. Now I have a massive 18″ x 24″ drawing of the entire AC and heating system. This never existed before! I’d like to add AC to the #1 truck now that I have a schematic, parts, and wiring.

The only odd item left to repair is the heater/AC blower. It’s always on. Even when the selector knob is off, the blower runs. It’s speed can even be adjusted from the fan switch. I didn’t see any rigged wiring. But I suspect the wiring was modified somewhere and it needs to get fixed.

The last couple of days I worked hard on getting a schematic for USE air conditioning finished. I am hoping to get the AC in the #2 truck running. It’s fully charged with freon but won’t turn on. So far I found one broken wire at the Sanden temp control unit. I jumpered it but it still won’t run. The time spent today did help get the schematic more complete. I even plugged in a spare system to the truck’s AC wiring but it still won’t run. I hope to figure this system out by the end of the weekend.

Yesterday the truck failed an important test. It rained and it cause a ground fault. Even with all new seals on the lid and gasketed washers, it still ground faulted. So I got into the pack and checked for ground faults with the volt meter. The ground fault was floating around as it had on me earlier this year. So I tried the meter in low current mode set to milliamps. It showed the same location for a ground fault. Removing the cells showed some KOH streaking. Cleaning it up did not change where the ground fault was shown to be. So I went to the new process that I had figured out last Feb. I removed a cell interconnect at the lowest voltage reading relative to ground. I kept pulling one copper bar at a time until the voltage suddenly shot up. It ended up showing me that the ground fault was in the rear drivers corner of the pack. Removing the 8 cells in that area showed that there was water between the corner of the cell and the wall of the battery box. So I cleaned off the walls and cells with diluted vinegar and reassembled the pack. That took care of that ground fault!! This time I moved the mylar insulator into the corner to help isolate that corner cell from the box if it gets wet again. There is another smaller ground fault on the passenger side of the pack. I just vacuumed in that area and called it good for now.

The rear edge seal was a different material since I had run out. So I tore it off and installed the correct material. Since the two ground faults I found were right under that seal, this could help.

Also I adjusted the ground fault setting in the software to give it more tolerance since having 252 nicads or 504 terminals is almost 5 times the terminals that a regular lead acid pack would have. Between that and having flooded nicads, the pack is more prone to having ground faults. So I will see during the next rain how it all functions.

The #1 truck now has dual gas struts on each side of the bed. With my back trashed this week, it is very apparent that dual struts makes the bed easier to lift. It’s also a great benefit to not have to have a prop rod to hold the bed up. Ironically the bed now needs a rod to hold them from going too high up when I pull the truck in and out of the garage during repairs.

I also removed the class 3 trailer hitch to save weight. There is now a lot of room back there for an additional battery box. The roll pan is dented up from hitting the hitch when the bed tilted up. So I’ll have to smooth it out with an old cheap long flexible kitchen knife like I did with my first car about 30 years ago.

The battery box lid received new screws and sealed washers to hopefully help with making it more immune to water leakage and thus ground faults.

It’s been cold out. I am seriously thinking of taking the new upgraded heater out of the #2 truck and putting into the #1 truck. I suppose I could just buy a second new heater.

Here is the Thundersky BMs slave boards freshly mounted to the cells and about to be remounted into the truck. The BMS master board and LCD will be installed at a later date.

Here is the Thundersky BMS slave boards freshly mounted to the cells and about to be remounted into the truck. The BMS master board and LCD will be installed at a later date.

The Ready light LED died after what seemed like a short 13 months of service. So I replaced it and added a 100 ohm resistor to it and the other 2 led indicators as well.

The Ready light LED died after what seemed like a short short 13 months of service. So I replaced it and added a 100 ohm resistor to it and the other 2 led indicators as well.

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