Intermittent power loss
For the second time recently my 2004 Duffy 21 Classic stopped responding to the throttle in either direction...foward or reverse. After swtiching off the ignition and waiting several minutes it started responding again. What could be the problem?
Hi Ed, the likely suspects are the throttle and the speed controller. Here's a write-up of a throttle rebuild, as well as a description of some of the symptoms:
Thanks. I’ll check this out.
Happy to help. I expect most electric motor shops would have no problem rebuilding a motor and diagnosing the throttle/speed controller.
I'm using Alltrax XCT speed controllers on both of my electric boats. Neither boat came with the stock controller, and I found the Alltrax really easy to program with a laptop. For throttles I'm using single axis joysticks like the JR Merritt Pro-4. The Alltrax controller will use several different kinds of throttle, and you just tell it which in the programming software.
I'm having the same issue. Sudden loss of both forward and reverse. Controller clicks in both directions but no power is running to the motor which I verified via a multimeter. I have 12v power and all battery cells are good. I would like to replace the controller with the alltrax one you mentioned in an earlier post since these infraspeed ones seem so prone to failure. Just want to find out how difficult it might be. Seems like my existing controller has proprietary plugs going into it. Not sure if they all operate in the same way and if I could just replace the ends of the old cables and use the alltrax. Anyone with advise would be most appreciated.
@laramik Have you checked your throttle (aka actuator) for proper continuity? This is a common failure point that would result in sudden power failure in either direction and is the most simple component to fix or replace. The Infaspeed throttle has two microswitches, and if one or both break or are out of alignment, the controller will shut down as a safety precaution. If you haven't already checked the throttle, I'd suggest you start there first with a continuity multimeter. If the problem is a microswitch, they are available quickly from Amazon, but you need to know how to solder or find someone who does. You can also send the throttle to Duffy to be repaired or even buy a new one from them, but in either case, it's fairly expensive.
In terms of your original question, you didn't mention which controller you currently have (Duffy has used several brands/models over the years), but generally, replacement of a different brand of controller is not a plug and play job. You'll need to be familiar with electrical wiring, you should have an electrical schematic of your boat, and it's likely you'll have to change connectors. You will also probably need to program the new controller with the parameters appropriate for your boat. My understanding is that Duffy has a complete kit for conversion to the AllTrax controller, but again, I think it is pricey.
If you are not comfortable with diagnosing the problem and don't have a nearby Duffy dealer to help, look for a good local golf cart technician, since most of the Duffy components are common to golf carts. In any event, you will want to make sure that you have a clear understanding of the problem before throwing expensive parts at the boat.
Good luck, and please let us know your outcome!
@laramik My Duffy had been stripped of everything except the motor. No controller, throttle, or even wires, which is why I went with the alltrax. If I'd had more to work with, I would probably have kept it closer to stock.
I'll go down in a while and snap some photos to show you how I installed the alltrax. One important point is to make sure you know whether your motor is a shunt wound motor or a series motor. The controllers are different, and using the wrong one can let the magic smoke out of your wires.
More later. Too hot to go out now
Ok, I took a couple of photos, but they didn't show the wiring clearly. Everything is screwed to a sheet of plywood, but I can't bring it out for a good photo without undoing a lot of cables. More useful is the attached page from the Alltrax user manual. The controller is the model SR48400, for series wound motors. The shunt motor controller is similar, but simpler. You'd want the generic version controller, as the others are made for specific brands of golf carts with special plugs and connections.
The controller works with a pair of contactors, otherwise known as relays. The positive battery cable runs through a fuse, and is switched by the main contactor, which is controlled by the ignition key. The positive current runs through the main contactor and into the battery plus terminal on the controller.
The battery negative cable comes to the battery negative terminal on the controller.
The third main terminal on the controller is the motor negative terminal. Here's where things get interesting. The motor negative current is switched by the second contactor, the forward / reverse contactor. The forward /reverse signal is controlled by the throttle stick. There is a complicated switching arrangement by which the f/r contactor sends current to the different terminals of the motor.
The controller also has terminals for signals from the key switch and throttle.
Here's a link to the Allteax website to download the manual.
Hopefully that will help you a bit.
@grant Thanks for posting this! Can you give us the model number of the series wound motor you are using? If you don't have the model number from the plate on the motor, maybe you can post the year and Duffy model of your boat?
so I didn’t check the micro switches because I am getting an audible click from the contactors when switching into forward or reverse that are inside the infraspeed box. Are you saying I could still get that clicking if the micro switches went bad? If so, I’m comfortable soldering and have found them and a potentiometer online. Some good news though, Upon opening the infra speed box it turns out I have a rebuilt curtis controller, model 1204-413. These seem quite easy to find and even get programmed for both the battery setup and potentiometer throttle. I’ll check the switches tonight. I don’t have any power at the motor for sure though in either forward or reverse as it stands and the brushes are in good shape as well the motor spins freely by hand so I’ve ruled out a stuck shaft. Thanks so much for the help so far everyone
@laramik I'm not sure if you'd continue to get the clicking if the microswitches are bad, but I'm a big believer is checking the simple stuff first, then moving to the more complicated. Good news about your Curtis controller. If you end up getting a new one, perhaps you'll want to see if you can get your current Curtis controller repaired so that you have a spare on hand.
Thanks also for the motor info.
Good luck, and please let us know the outcome!