Sheffield Eco Motorsports

Shell Eco Marathon

Welcome to the University of Sheffield Eco-Motorsports team website. Feel free to look around.

Sparks of joy and despair...

We finally got the first prototype PCB for our motor controller made. The soldering took a fair bit of time (especially with the 58 pin pre-driver chip) but in the end it was all put together. With hesitation, we plugged in the board to the power supply... and for a few fleeting moments, everything was serene...

… then things started going downhill.

The first issue we had was a smoking capacitor. An error in reading the schematic had led to us soldering the capacitor in reverse polarity. Once that was resolved, we plugged it back in, and this time, a diode started smoking. Same problem as before…

So we took some time out to go through each component again to make sure everything is correctly soldered. And finally, we had a board that wasn’t smoking when subjected to a 12DC input. We probed around different test points and most things seemed to be in order.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t use it to actuate the motor because the pre-driver IC required a ground connection to the heat-pad at the back.  We have made the changes and ordered a new PCB.

More as the story develops…

Chatura Samarakoon - Technical Systems Lead

Contact Us: sem@sheffield.ac.uk