Home screen with the status of 2 water tanks showing the percentage of capacity remaining. Touching the tank icon will cause the absolute outflow in litres to be displayed.
MicroSpeed slider controls
The LP Gas and Intruder Alarm functions of the VanSecure Alarm System can be built into the MotorPac controller.
The MotorPac Comprehensive Motor Control.
The standard mover control switchgear as supplied by ewiks is limited in some respects. It can switch current to the motors effectively but that current is switched either fully on, or fully off - nothing in between. This means that caravan starts and stops will always be abrupt and jerky. Also dual axle caravans are at a disadvantage because turns are made with the motor(s) on the outer radius under full power, and the motor(s) on the inner radius standing still. The inner wheels therefore are dragged laterally across the surface, under great friction and with some damge possibly done. The Motorpac comprehensive caravan mover control electronics are able to modulate the power supplied to the motors.
The MotorPac can accept data from 2 flow meters inserted into the outlet pipes of the caravan's water tanks. The quantity of water drawn from the tanks is recorded by the control unit and reported to the mobile phone app, where it is referenced to tank capacities entered by the user. Themobile phone app displays the remaining tank contents as a percentage of tank capacity. Touching the tank icon will display the absolute number of litres withdrawn from the tanks since its last fill.
When a tank is filled its outflow meter is reset by double clicking a button on the screen. Should the controller be switched off the metered value for each tanks is stored in non-volatile memory.
The capacity of each tank can be up to 200 litres and the user presets the capacity of both tanks with a slide control.
LP Gas & 4 Zone Intruder Alarms
All the functions of the VanSecure Caravan LP Gas Alarms and Caravan Intruder Alarm system (see complete information here) can be seamlessly incorporated into the MotorPac controller. Alarm annunciation is by SMS sent to a phone designated by you, as well as by screen display (while in Bluetooth range), and a small audible buzzer that can be muted by a switch,
Indvidual alarm zones can be armed/disarmed by a toggle switch and the master Arm/Disarm function is performed from the mobile phone from outside the caravan when it all closed up. The armed/disarmed status is preserved until changed by the mobile phone app even if the power the the controller is interrupted.
The LP Gas alarms, of which there are two, cannot be disarmed. The primary detector is installed at floor level in the kitchenette (LP gas is heavier than air), and a secondary detector may be placed in the cylinder storage area if this is not in the open air.
Gas concentrations of more than 1000ppm are detected, and reported by SMS as well as a local buzzer and mobile phone screen.
LPG Gas Cylinder Weight Monitors
The control unit can monitor two load cells which, when placed under LPG gas bottles, can to measure their weight and report this to the mobile phone which will display it on the screen.
The empty weight of a gas cylinder, which is always clearly marked, can be entered on the mobile phone so that only the net weight of the gas in the cylinder is displayed. The load cell is placed under the cylinder so that the lower bowl rests on the metal button. The clamp around the cylinder is loosened so that its full weight is borne by the load cell.
Tow Bar Weight Measure and Display
The controller can connect to a load cell placed under the jockey wheel and display the weight on the jockey wheel, corrected for the tow bar location, on the screen of the mobile phone. This compact unit is easily portable, it weighs only 1 Kg and is deployed under the jockey wheel within seconds. A correction factor is automatically applied to account for the jockey wheel's loction in relation to the tow bar.
Battery Voltage Monitoring and Reporting
The battery voltage as received by the MotorPac controller is monitored and reported on the screen of the mobile phone. Because small variations in component tolerances can create reading errors there is a facility to calibrate the voltage meter using a slide control.
Combo Turns are turns where, by holding down a single motor button (and the Combo button), both motors in a given direction are energised simultaneously, but the motor on the inside radius is given only 50% power while the outer motor receives full power. This feature is critical to turning 4-wheel caravans, but is also very useful with single-axles. Combo Turns can be made both left and right as well as forward and backwards.
On this screen there are four slide controls - one for each motor/direction Moving the appropriate slider increases the power to that motor from 0 to MAX* any slider returns it to 0% power output. Motor currents are still monitored and limits are still invoked to protect the motors from damage.
*The value of MAX can be preset for all sliders by double-clicking the DactylTech logo and moving the slider to the desired MAX power level. No slider will exceed that level. Double-clicking again saves that MAX for future use.
The MotorPac controller can connect by umbilical cable to a Caravan Leveler extension, which will provide all of the functions available in the Levelation stand-alone leveling controller at a fraction of the cost.
In Summary the MotorPac Contains:
Motor Current Monitoring
The X-Leveler Extension unit provides full-function leveling control
The Jockey Wheel Load Cell
This easily portable unit, which weighs only 1Kg, and deploys under the jockey wheel or its jack screw in seconds, gives a highly accurate measure of the weight on the trailer's tow ball.
The app corrects for the jockey wheel's position relative to the tow bar.
The MAC Address
In the Bluetooth Communications world the master device (the mobile phone) needs to know the Media Access Control (MAC) address of the slaves (the remote control units). For security (to prevent others taking control of your caravan) the Caravan Pilot app (CPX.apk) needs to be given the MAC address of the remote control unit, which is given on an attached label. To facilitate easy switching between two control units from a single phone 2 MAC addresses can be entered.
When establishing a Bluetooth connection between the mobile phone app and the control unit for the first time you will be asked for a Pairing Pin. This is PIN is 1234.
To enter the MAC address double tap on the Caravan Pilot heading. A list of progammable parameters shown at right will appear. These include the SMS target phone number for VanSecure alarm system, the 4 zone identifiers fornthe alarm zones, a check box to clear the sequential SMS numbering, and 2 MAC addresses. (If only one MAC address exists the lower line will show only spaces).
Edit the upper (or lower) MAC address to what is reflected on the product label and double tap the Title at the top of the screen. The data as entered will be saved.
When installing app updates it can be expected that the data previosly entered in this area will be lost, and you will need to re-enter it.
From V6.0 upwards the Android operating system requires the user to grant permission for an app to use system resources such as the camers flash. The first time (only the first time) the flash is used you will be asked to grant permission for it's use. When this happens the app will be paused by Andoid and will have to be manually resumed.
MotorPac X4 - Tandem Axle Extension
Four-wheel caravans 2 need additional motors driven by power switchgear that works in sync with the primary equipment. MotorPac X4 provided what is needed - a dual 32A circuit breaker, 4 motor direction relays, and SoftStart current ramping with ComboTurns that harmonises with the primary axle. CurrentGuard protection afforded to the first axle is duplicated with the tandem axle. Heat sensors are only applied to one axle as the temperatures are assumed to be similar on the tandem.
MotorPac X4 has its own housing which is placed in close proximity to the main MotorPac, its own 50A Anderson power input, four motor output wires, and a signal cable to control all functions.
Why Motor Protection is Important
An electric motor that is turning generates a bac EMF (Electro Motive Force) in proportion to its rate of rotation that limits the current that can pass through the motor. So a motor that is turning ( the faster the better) protects itself. Conversely, the slower the motor turns the higher will be the current flow and hence the heat generated in the armature windings. Should the motor stop entirely there will be a virtual short-circuit through the motor and the current will be limited only by the DC resistance of the conductors in the circuit, which for operating efficiency is kept as low as possible.
How to Protect Your Motors
The cheapest but least satisfactory option. They are inaccurate and imprecise. And they are often awkward to get to and inconvenient to replace when blown. Also, the fuse will protect against grossly excessive motor current, but it does not protect against the slow over-heating of a hardworking motor that does not actiually stall. Electric motors that that are staionary pass a very high startup current as described above which, though it might not actually blow the fuse, will heat it up significantly and bring it closer to blowing at the least provocation, such as the next inrush of startup current.
Less inconvenient since they are re-settable and may be located more accessibly. But still not very accurate since their tripping current may be 30% higher than the rated current. The same concerns about heavy-load overheating apply. Circuit breakers are able to withstand high instantaneous currents such as occur when a motor starts from standstill without ill effects.
Electronic Current Limiting (CurrentGuard).
This is an extremely accurate protection with a very quick response, and it is self-resetting which means it requires no user intervention. Overheating due to a heavy workload may be slower to arise since the current is more accurately limited, but it can still occur.
Temperature Monitoring and Limiting (ThermoGuard).
As a low-cost final measure this gives protection against the destructive overheating that results from working the motors hard without crossing any critical boundaries that would otherwise shut them down.
The ewiks motors each draw up to 360 Watts of power from the caravan's electrical system. This power is converted either into kinetic energy delivered to the caravan wheels as motion, or as heat from electrical conductors and mechanical friction. While operating under load the motors will generate heat a lot faster than can be dissipated to the environment and, since thermal protectors cannot be used in permanent-magnet motors, this poses a potential threat of damage to the movers.
With this feature the temperature of the motor casing can be monitored and displayed on the screen of the mobile phone. The controller will also independently shut down both motors when the temperature of either one exceeds 70°C. When the motor temperature returns to a safe level operation returns to normal.
ThermoGuard can be added to both the basic remote control unit, as well as to the All-in-One MotorPac. It requires no alteration to any wiring, the probes simply plug into a socket and start working immediately.
The feature is fully compatible with CurrentGuard, which uses the display area while the motors are active and protecting the motors against excessive currents.
MotorPac Core R2500
X4 Dual Axle Extension R1500
Levelation Leveling Extension R1500
VanSecurity Gas & Intruder Alarm Extension R1500
Water Flow Meters ea R350
LPG gas cylinder weight monitor R200
Jockey wheel weight sensor R500
Digital Temperature Probe R200
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