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volts

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Curtis controllers are configurable but they charge £380 to send out the cable and software. After having buying an expensive controller I was not expexting that. In practice if you are working on any curtis system you will end up needing to configureit. I feel the software should be free and the cable a reasonable charge. Can I make my own cable and do it myself?
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ampman

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You are not the first person to raise this issue. People have tried making their own with mixed resultsI have also started a poll on curtis controllers, because I've had issues with them myself.

Edwin on buggiesgonewild forum posted his try using a converted KPG4 cable and borrowed sodtware!



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volts

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Where can I get that KPG cable. Can you post link to the other forum post about it?

Edit I found that thread on BuggiesGW but they dont let you register with any free email such as hotmail or gmail. That kind of rule is just as annoying as Curtis controlling (excuse the pun). You cant win!

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iampy

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I have the same issue, and where can I borrow the programmer software from? [wink]
I got a qote from Curtis for the 1311 programming kit and it was too much.
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BobBoyce

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampman
You are not the first person to raise this issue. People have tried making their own with mixed resultsI have also started a poll on curtis controllers, because I've had issues with them myself. Edwin on buggiesgonewild forum posted his try using a converted KPG4 cable and borrowed sodtware!


I know this is an old thread, but the topic is definitely an important one. When I first started working with Curtis controllers, things were much different than it is today. Curtis used to supply software to anyone that set up an OEM that bought or worked with their controllers. For 4 years all was well. Almost 10 years ago, I was advised that if I wanted to continue with my OEM status, that I would have to sign a 5 year NDA, and lease factory level programming stations from Curtis on a year to year basis. After the first 5 years, I had to renew my NDA, and they had me change out the leased programming stations to more secure ones that required more than a simple serial to TTL level serial conversion. These new programming stations report back to Curtis over the internet so they can monitor how you are using them. Once my firewall detected this communication, I disconnected those new programming stations from my companys network, and they have not been able to report in. My lease and NDA expire at the end of this year, and I am NOT going to renew. They offered to renew me for a single programming station and I refused. I decided to just buy my own OEM handheld programmer and OEM programming station from online vendors. My business has been designing EV and NEV prototypes for upstarts. Once I hand over a prototype to the client, my job is done. I am so fed up with being limited by components manufacturers and increasing governmental regulations that are being pushed upon us by politicians bribed by lobbyists from the regular automotive industry, that I am closing my doors this year.

I was in the UK and Asia during 2012, working with a major UK automaker that has cars made in China. The UK and Asia seem to be a lot more open to EVs than here in the US. When a major automaker is introducing an EV as a production automobile that complies with all federal standards, the laws are uniform. Smaller companies trying to enter the EV or NEV market must deal with laws that are conflicting from one state to another, or even from city to city within a given state. What is allowed to be operated on the roadways in one city or town is illegal in others or outside of those city or town limits. We make headway with NEV regulations, then get pushed back by greedy local governmental agencies that look at anything innovative as a new "cash cow" to be regulated, permitted, and allowed to be operated as long as you pay their prices. This affects the bottom line of those trying to encourage the sales of EVs. I'm tired of fighting a losing battle. It's like they are intentionally trying to stifle the EV market in the US.

Sorry for the rant. I'm just fed up with Curtis and their current business model. They want to only work with major automakers anymore, and refer all smaller OEMs to their 'partners' that are competitors to each other.

Bob

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ampman

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Reply with quote  #6 
Hi Bob
I haven't done any DIY evehicle design for a while but wouldnt use a Curtis controller these days, price and configurability being the first two offputs.

What sort of vehicles was your business working with, are you talking EV cars / motorbikes or powered mobility scooters/wheelchairs etc?
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BobBoyce

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My introduction to EVs was with EV conversions in the early 80s. I had already been into alternative energy production, so it was a natural to look into using alternative methods of moving vehicles. After all, electric cars predated internal combustion driven vehicles, and some of the longest life battery technologies had already been around for a while back then. When my health deteriated, prior to getting too far into disability, I designed my own power chair. It was capable of 35 MPH on the road, yet could still be used for shopping and moving around inside of a house with nimble precision. I beat my disability, and was called upon to design an electrohydraulic control system for heavy equipment. I met that challenge, and developed a line of electrohydraulic controllers that far exceeded expectations. I valued safety above all else, oversampled operator and sensor inputs, and put many safeguards in place to protect life and property. You can't have a backhoe or forklift going nuts when a joystick pot gets dirty or malfunctions. It was during that time that Curtis contacted me about collaboration. I had not patented my designs, so I was glad to share with a major mover in the controller industry.

Just because I value safety, does not mean that others do. Bean counters are the worst thing you can bring into an equation where the value of human life hangs in a balance. Lowering the cost of controller design means migrating from processors with the capability of oversampling inputs and lots of processing power to handle safety routines, to PICs with barely enough processing power to handle the tasks at hand. It means streamlining code for making it fit within constraints rather than keeping safety priority one. I'm not going to say any more along those lines.

Most of my more recent work in the EV field was with autos and NEVs. I would consult with companies on proposed new designs, many times taking an idea and working it through to a complete prototype, ready to drive. There are some well known EVs on the market today where I had been involved in one facet or another. I'm sure you can understand that I'm not allowed to name names. NDAs are a standard contract in this industry. No company wants it to be known that some of their design work was outsourced.

I hope this has answered your questions.

Bob
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