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Fuelmaker Computer Replacement?

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  • Fuelmaker Computer Replacement?

    I am going to investigate replacing Fuelmaker logic boards with a user programmable dedecated control computer called the Arduino. Fuelmaker logic seems to be failure prone and very expensive to repair or replace.

    http://www.arduino.cc/

    They sell for $35.

    The arduino could read the pressure, temperature, methane detector sensors within the fuelmaker and control the compressor motor and fan. The basic logic would be simple: run the compressor until a certain pressure is attained or until a certain time has passed. Shutdown the compressor if it overheats or any methane is detected. The arduino could use the existing fuelmaker lights to display status as is done now.

    The computer code would be community developed and free to all to use or modify.

  • #2
    Re: Fuelmaker Computer Replacement?

    Sounds great. In addition to a straight timeout, a 'failure for pressure to rise' timeout would be good, too, to detect a leak or compressor failure. I've got some controls and programming experience if I can be of help in the project.
    02 GX
    01 GX
    03 Crown Vic
    06 GX
    Home Fueler

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    • #3
      Re: Fuelmaker Computer Replacement?

      This is a great idea. Its I/Os and communication ports seem to be sufficient to run the Phill. All we need is the program sequence of the Phill to rewrite it to the arduino. There's no need to write a timeout line into the program, just add a digital hour meter. Compressor failure can be written by writing an over amp draw line into the program. Leak detection on the Phill is done a number of way; one it first "sniffs" the cooling air and then pre-pressures the fill line and waits for a hold pressure. This is done within the first 30 seconds of power up and repeats the sequence once an hour and loss of pressure initiates a shutdown. Here is the current breakdown of the Phill's program:

      A pressure sensor connected to the low-pressure fuel gas inlet line is connected electrically to the main controller. If the pressure sensor sends a signal to controller that a gas pressure condition below a pre-set limit is being sensed, the controller ensures that the appliance will not start up if it is already shut down; or will shut it down if it is running.
      The motor controller circuitry is located within the casing, in the blow-down volume. The wall of the casing acts as heat sink for the heat produced by the motor controller circuitry and as a shield for incoming and outgoing electromagnetic emissions.
      The main controller is connected to receive signals from gas flow sensor, flammable gas sensor, source gas pressure sensor as well as from the manual inputs on the control and display panel and other sources such as the high pressure outlet gas sensor. The main controller is able to activate the motor and govern its speed through a variable speed motor controller.
      2009 GX
      2000 K2500
      2002 Cavalier
      1998 Contour
      Phill powered by solar power

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      • #4
        Re: Fuelmaker Computer Replacement?

        Fantastic Im so glad to hear that there is another way to control the FM4 fule maker than that of replacing it with a way expensive Fuel maker brand computer.. Excellent!!! Love computer guro's...

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        • #5
          Re: Fuelmaker Computer Replacement?

          To this end we need as many schematics as we can get our hands on. Copies of any Service manuals (as opposed to the Operations and Installation Manuals which are readily available) for any of the Fuelmaker Product line would be most useful for the reverse engineering of the Fuelmaker.

          If any effort to program the Arduino is successful then the new owners of the Fuelmaker assets could partake of this community developed codebase and enhance their product line. We all would benefit. Any computer (Windows, Mac or Linux) can be used to develop and upload software to the Arduino. The open source software is free to all.

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          • #6
            Re: Fuelmaker Computer Replacement?

            I'm going to write one in C++ with an interactive GUI. I can write it in Linux but is going to be harder and take more time because of the error issue with the arduino. I'll give it a damian frame so as it can be run on a Mac or any Mac with an intel chip. I'll put it on my FTP in 2 versions so anyone can upload and mess with it.
            2009 GX
            2000 K2500
            2002 Cavalier
            1998 Contour
            Phill powered by solar power

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            • #7
              Re: Fuelmaker Computer Replacement?

              Does anyone in the southern California area have a trashed Phill (or parts thereof) that I can use as a test jig for developing the control logic computer replacement?

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              • #8
                Re: Fuelmaker Computer Replacement?

                I have a FMq2-36 with a (supposedly) bad board. The unit runs for a couple of seconds and stops. Working on a replacement board would be fantastic!!!!

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                • #9
                  Re: Fuelmaker Computer Replacement?

                  Ironic that the board comes from Italy!!!!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Fuelmaker Computer Replacement?

                    any word on the schematics??? i would like to repair my own board... if anyone has them please let me know..
                    -jason

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                    • #11
                      is there any update to the replacement board?

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                      • #12
                        Hi,
                        My Fuelmaker FMQ-2 stops running after a few minutes, sometimes after 2 or 3 restarts it might run for an hour or so.
                        According to the indicator lights the electronics are bad.
                        I would love to replace it. Has anyone found a solid solution yet? or maybe someone has some more information on programming
                        I very much appreciate any answer.
                        Thanks,
                        John (The Netherlands)

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