Dimension Engineering controller question

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cp4449
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Dimension Engineering controller question

Post by cp4449 » Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:23 pm

I fried my DE controller. Does anyone use them, and could you provide a drawing on how to hook it up with a reverse switch? Please pm me Thanks
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Bob D.
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Re: Dimension Engineering controller question

Post by Bob D. » Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:23 pm

Do you know why your controller fried? They are very robust but will not tolerate the input voltage being reversed. Doing that is an instant death pop.
Using analog control you cannot have a seperate switch to select forward or reverse. Direction and speed is done with a single potentiometer. Using the boards 5v and 0v pins you are appling voltage to S1. 2.5v is stop. 5v is full forward, 0v is full reverse.
I think you could use a properly rated switch to swap the motor leads to select forward and reverse and set the pot up to be just a throttle. Probably would negate the regen feature of the controller doing this.
I don't know what is involved or how to utilize the serial input features. This may allow seperate for/rev and throttle functions using a microcontroller.
I am currently trying to figure out how to marry two of the Dimension Sabertooth 2x60 for 4 motors controlling it with an actual EMD diesel control panel. Would like to stay analog but be able to select forward and reverser with the locos reverser lever. My thought is to use various precision resistors for each of the 8 power notches and to select the 0v-2.3v and 2.7v-5v feeds to these with the reverser. 2.5v applied with reverser in neutral. Maybe even have the motors disconnect with the reverser in neutral.
Hopefully someone has some insight on setting these controllers up. Very popular with the robotics crowd.

Bob
3/4" Juliet II 0-4-0
3/4" Purinton Mogul "Pogo"
3/4" Hall Class 10 wheeler
3/4" Evans Caribou/Buffalo 2-8-0
3/4" Sweet Violet 0-4-0
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3/4" Kozo A3. Delayed construction project

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JoeKahan
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Re: Dimension Engineering controller question

Post by JoeKahan » Mon Dec 31, 2018 3:43 am

You might try their website. I found and downloaded lots of info from there when I had a question about the controller in my box cab.
https://www.dimensionengineering.com/
Joe Kahan
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Erskine Tramway
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Re: Dimension Engineering controller question

Post by Erskine Tramway » Mon Dec 31, 2018 9:30 am

My battery motor 'Sparky' has a Dimension 'Syren50' controller. It has a reverse switch, and is set up in 'Manual' mode. My speed control is a 'pot' that I drive with the 'feather' on an old Centralab rotary switch. The rotary is just there to provide notches, for feel, and repeatability. Here's a picture before I trimmed the lengths of the 'feather' and shaft.
2-5-13 speed control.jpg
Here's my wiring diagram. The Bell is a programmable greeting card sound module. One push to start, another to stop. The lights are a kitchen 'puck' headlight and a hot-rod shop Red LED for a marker. They are wired so that when the headlight is on on one end, the marker is on on the other.
control wiring.jpg
Mike
Former Locomotive Engineer and Designer, Sandley Light Railway Equipment Works, Inc. and Riverside & Great Northern Railway 1962-77
BN RR Locomotive Engineer 1977-2014, Retired

cp4449
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Re: Dimension Engineering controller question

Post by cp4449 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:53 am

Mike, I assume that the reverse switch is wired to S1. I will look at my set up and see what I have done wrong. Also, what is the resistor value for the battery level indicator ?
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cp4449
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Re: Dimension Engineering controller question

Post by cp4449 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:54 am

Oh, and I have a “Sparky” also
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Mike Walsh
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Re: Dimension Engineering controller question

Post by Mike Walsh » Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:20 am

I had a Syren25 for my Maxitrak 0-4-0 electric.. But it could never "perform". Then the ONE night that I ran at nighttime (St Croix) I noticed that as I incremented the potentiometer for the throttle past ~35-40%, I was seeing a red glow coming from the circuit board. Come to find out, the error light was starting to glow at that point and would increase in intensity until I hit 100%, and once the error light started coming on, I got no more power.

I will admit that I made one repair to the ckt board which was a terminal block (the connection broke between the block and the PCB). I dont think that this is the issue, but who knows. One drawback to the setup that I went with was that if I ever lost connection on the reverse switch, it'd default to "full on" mode in one direction. Some fail safe, huh?

One day a friend offered his $12 12v controller to test (it was sitting in his parts box in his truck at a meet) and it only required four wires - two for motor, two for battery. The rest was self contained. So I gave it a shot. I could not keep it from spinning wheels. So the Syren25 is either underpowered for a 14a motor or something else is wrong with the unit. In any case, I ordered my own $12 controller and am installing that next chance that I get.

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Re: Dimension Engineering controller question

Post by Bob D. » Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:27 pm

CP4449,
That is not a resistor for the voltmeter. That is a shunt for the ammeter.
Which controller model do you have?
Bob
3/4" Juliet II 0-4-0
3/4" Purinton Mogul "Pogo"
3/4" Hall Class 10 wheeler
3/4" Evans Caribou/Buffalo 2-8-0
3/4" Sweet Violet 0-4-0
3/4" Hunslet 4-6-0
3/4" Kozo A3. Delayed construction project

1 1/2" A5 Camelback 0-4-0

cp4449
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Re: Dimension Engineering controller question

Post by cp4449 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 1:43 pm

It was a SyRen 25. The main chip went poof quite spectacularly. I was following a diagram that another member of the club did. His did not blow. If I stay with DE, it will be the SyRen 50 next time. I may also go with 4QD

I am interested in the $12.00 controller Mike. Who makes it?
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Erskine Tramway
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Re: Dimension Engineering controller question

Post by Erskine Tramway » Mon Dec 31, 2018 3:47 pm

cp4449 wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:53 am
Mike, I assume that the reverse switch is wired to S1. I will look at my set up and see what I have done wrong. Also, what is the resistor value for the battery level indicator ?
I suppose I should have labled the connections on the board. I'll have to do that. The problem is that the Direction switch is an SPST switch, one direction is "ON" and the other is "OFF". There is no Neutral position. I don't like that much, but turning off the pot cuts the voltage to the point where it stops, and you can reverse without hurting anything. And, if things REALLY go 'sideways', I've got one of those rocket launcher style switch covers over the main power switch, that I can slap down to shut it off. I always shut off the main power when I get off the motor anyway.

As Bob D. said, that isn't a resistor, it's the shunt that came with the Volt/Ammeter.

Here's what the Controller looks like. The switch on the end is a rotary that controls the head and marker lights. The red button is the electronic bell. The 'trolley' style speed control handle came from McMaster, it's a standard crank casting. All the wires go to terminal bocks, so that I can pull the Controller assembly if I have to without disconnecting anything directly.
7-17-14 controls finished.jpg
Mike
Former Locomotive Engineer and Designer, Sandley Light Railway Equipment Works, Inc. and Riverside & Great Northern Railway 1962-77
BN RR Locomotive Engineer 1977-2014, Retired

Bob D.
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Re: Dimension Engineering controller question

Post by Bob D. » Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:11 pm

Mike,
Do you have your controller dip switches set for option 3, analog one dir throt, for/rev S2 input? That uses Ov as motor stop. I would think this is fairly good failsafe.
There is no mention of this option on my Sabretooth 2x60. I don't know if it is an omission or not supported.

Bob
3/4" Juliet II 0-4-0
3/4" Purinton Mogul "Pogo"
3/4" Hall Class 10 wheeler
3/4" Evans Caribou/Buffalo 2-8-0
3/4" Sweet Violet 0-4-0
3/4" Hunslet 4-6-0
3/4" Kozo A3. Delayed construction project

1 1/2" A5 Camelback 0-4-0

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Erskine Tramway
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Re: Dimension Engineering controller question

Post by Erskine Tramway » Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:22 pm

Here's the wiring diagram with the Syren50 board terminals labeled.
control board wiring.jpg
I was wrong about the reverse switch, it is an SPDT switch. One side goes to the black (Ground) wire and the other to the red (Power) wire. The center green wire goes to terminal S2, to control the direction. Thrown to the black side, it gets 0 volts, to the red side, 5 volts. The green wire from the 'pot' wiper contact, goes to S1 to control the speed. If you have a pot failure, you get full speed right now, and it takes off like a big bird. Not my idea of 'fail safe', but that's the way it is. The bell board has it's own battery power, it's control is a Normally Open push button.

Mike
Former Locomotive Engineer and Designer, Sandley Light Railway Equipment Works, Inc. and Riverside & Great Northern Railway 1962-77
BN RR Locomotive Engineer 1977-2014, Retired

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