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Topic: wireless controller confusing fix  (Read 651 times) previous topic - next topic

RJMaestro

Hello:  I cannot fix this if I don't understand what is going on.  Any help will be greatly appreciated.  Here is the puzzle:  I have a wireless controller for a snowplow.  the plow started to act sporadic or not at all.  I took out my multi-clamp-on meter to check voltages at the plow.  All appeared correct.  I clamped the meter onto the plow in order to look at something and then forgetting about the meter I attempted to operate the plow, expecting nothing to have changed.  Amazingly the plow worked like new.  What!?
I was ecstatic (I really need my plow ).  I gathered up my tools.  Retrieved the clamp-on-meter and thought... "fixed".  Tried the plow one more time and...nothing.  Went back to the plow to check voltages thinking o.k. it's a loose connection somewhere.  Got out the clamp on again.  Clamped it near the receiver just to secure it, so I could take some voltage readings.  Found nothing wrong so I tried the plow... now it works.  OK.  long enough story.  With the clamp-on-meter set to voltage and placed at or near the receiver the plow operates like new.  Turn it off and it stops working.  I suspect the meter is amplifying the signal from the hand held controller.  The receiver end of the electronics is encased in resin so I cannot get at the components.  If I am correct, I'd like to put together an amplifier to replace the clamp-on-meter.  Does this make sense?  Any sketches known that I can build?  ( the wireless hand held is over $200 and I am not ,
at this point positive it is the problem.  Any suggestion will be appreciated.  sorry for the long story.

Delta_G

This is something that worked before and now it doesn't?  So why do you think it suddenly needs an amplifier when it didn't before?  It sounds more likely to me that you've got a wire connection problem and when you hook up the meter you are completing a circuit or fixing a connection somewhere.  Maybe you've lost your ground between two components and the meter just happens to serve to connect them.  I don't know, but if this is something that worked before I wouldn't be trying to hack it together with a meter I'd be trying to figure out how to fix it like it was before. 

So what is it exactly that this thing does?  It drives a snow plow?  On the road?  When you say, "tried the plow and ... nothing" what do you mean exactly?  It didn't start?  Or it didn't drive to where it was supposed to?  or it ran but it didn't plow snow?  Sorry, I know a lot more about code and electronics than I do about snow plows.  I live way down south.  I can maybe help you but you're going to have to bring me up to speed a little on what you're looking at since I can't be there to look at it with you. 
|| | ||| | || | ||  ~Woodstock

artisticforge

Hello:  I cannot fix this if I don't understand what is going on.  Any help will be greatly appreciated.  Here is the puzzle:  I have a wireless controller for a snowplow.  the plow started to act sporadic or not at all.  I took out my multi-clamp-on meter to check voltages at the plow.  All appeared correct.  I clamped the meter onto the plow in order to look at something and then forgetting about the meter I attempted to operate the plow, expecting nothing to have changed.  Amazingly the plow worked like new.  What!?
I was ecstatic (I really need my plow ).  I gathered up my tools.  Retrieved the clamp-on-meter and thought... "fixed".  Tried the plow one more time and...nothing.  Went back to the plow to check voltages thinking o.k. it's a loose connection somewhere.  Got out the clamp on again.  Clamped it near the receiver just to secure it, so I could take some voltage readings.  Found nothing wrong so I tried the plow... now it works.  OK.  long enough story.  With the clamp-on-meter set to voltage and placed at or near the receiver the plow operates like new.  Turn it off and it stops working.  I suspect the meter is amplifying the signal from the hand held controller.  The receiver end of the electronics is encased in resin so I cannot get at the components.  If I am correct, I'd like to put together an amplifier to replace the clamp-on-meter.  Does this make sense?  Any sketches known that I can build?  ( the wireless hand held is over $200 and I am not ,
at this point positive it is the problem.  Any suggestion will be appreciated.  sorry for the long story.
Replace the batteries in the handheld.
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RJMaestro

Thank you for your responses.  The plow is attached to the front of a pick-up truck.  The controller activtes the plow to turn the plow blade either left or right and also up and down.  The plow used an electrical circuit to open and close hydraulic valves and a pump motor to hydraulically manipulate the plow blade (right, left, up or down).  All voltages read ok.  The controllers have been changed (first thing).  The clamp-on-meter does not need to make any physical contact with the plow in order to make the plow work. It has to be on though.  I think it has to be with the signal coming from the hand held controller but why would a multi-meter amplify this signal?  Thank you for your interest.   

RJMaestro

Sorry:  I ment the batteries were changed.

artisticforge

Sorry:  I ment the batteries were changed.
Describe the snowplow.
I am not being trite.
I have two snowplow.
One of a Bobcat tractor with a hydraulic 5ft snow blower/thrower mounted on the front.
The another is a Kubota Tractor with a 4 ft bucket on the front and a 4 ft PTO driven snowblower with Hydraulic controlled chute.

Describe the clamp-on-meter.
A good description of the clamp-on-meter may help to solve this riddle.

I am just trying to get a clearer image of what you are dealing with.
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Delta_G

Some pictures may truly be worth a thousand words. 
|| | ||| | || | ||  ~Woodstock

RJMaestro

Hello:  The plow is a Snow-Way.  A medium duty snow plow.  The clamp on is a hand held multi-meter with
a  jaw that can open and be placed around a conductor in order to take amperage readings without having to insert the meter into the conductor.  Voltage and resistance reading are taken via the usual probs on the end of leads (+ and - ).  If I was confident in sending pictures I would, but I am not.  I hope this helps give everyone a clearer picture of the set up is.  It is an electrical problem and I think it is with the transmission between the hand held transmitter and the receiver and the clamp on meter is somehow correcting the problem.  I could just leave the meter on at the plow but I would rather come up with a more permanent fix.  Thank again.  Any ideas? 

Delta_G

I could just leave the meter on at the plow but I would rather come up with a more permanent fix.   
Just know that the permanent fix will not look anything like simulating a multimeter connected to the circuit.  You should correct whatever went wrong so that it works the way it used to.  Most likely, there is a grounding issue somewhere between two circuits and your meter provides a pseudo connection between two circuits and let's them seem to work with the same ground potential.  Even if that gets it to operate, there's no guarantee that it will keep operating.  It could stop just as suddenly. 

Instead, go in there and find the (most likely a) ground wire that is either broken or has come loose. 
|| | ||| | || | ||  ~Woodstock

artisticforge

Hello:  The plow is a Snow-Way.  A medium duty snow plow.  The clamp on is a hand held multi-meter with
a  jaw that can open and be placed around a conductor in order to take amperage readings without having to insert the meter into the conductor.  Voltage and resistance reading are taken via the usual probs on the end of leads (+ and - ).  If I was confident in sending pictures I would, but I am not.  I hope this helps give everyone a clearer picture of the set up is.  It is an electrical problem and I think it is with the transmission between the hand held transmitter and the receiver and the clamp on meter is somehow correcting the problem.  I could just leave the meter on at the plow but I would rather come up with a more permanent fix.  Thank again.  Any ideas? 
So the clamp-on-meter is acting as a large inductor.
How heavy to the clamp-on-meter?
You need to inspect the wire or wires that you clamped around.
I am assuming that the meter hung from the wire or wires.
It may have provided enough weight to produce a good connection.

You have a poor connection somewhere close to where you were hanging the meter.

Concerning pictures.
Take pictures
transfer to computer
bundle up in  zip archive
attach zip archive to posting

the pictures would help greatly.
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Delta_G

#10
Jan 07, 2018, 04:21 am Last Edit: Jan 07, 2018, 04:22 am by Delta_G
No, don't zip them.  Just shrink them a little maybe so they're not huge.  This thread explains how to put them inline in the post without having to host them anywhere but as attachments.  This is the preferred method. 

http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=519037.0

|| | ||| | || | ||  ~Woodstock

RJMaestro

Thanks everyone.  I am going to re-check all the wiring .  I will let you know what (if anything) I find.

RJMaestro

re-checked everything.  All is OK.  No bad grounds.  No broken wires.  Voltages all check out.
Just to clarify.  The multi meter is not in physical contact with any thing only placed near the
receiver and the wiring and then the plow works.  The meter only needs to be in the "on" position.
I believe the meter is intercepting the signal from the transmitter and amplifying .  I'd like to know how and why this happens and if there is a electrical circuit I can build to replace the meter permanently.  It is a 12 volt system.  Thanks again.  Any help is appreciated.

Delta_G

#13
Jan 13, 2018, 01:20 am Last Edit: Jan 13, 2018, 01:22 am by Delta_G
and if there is a electrical circuit I can build to replace the meter permanently. 
Again, this is the wrong way to fix something.  You don't know that the meter fix would last for very long.  It's not a fix.  It's a side effect of a symptom.  Don't rely on that.  Find out why that is happening and fix it so it works like it did before without the hack. 

I can't explain why the meter does what it does without seeing some sort of wiring diagram and knowing where exactly there you are putting the meter at the very least.  A picture of all of this might be nice.  Either way, it's hard to diagnose what you can't see.  You're going to have to get us up to speed on what you've got there if you really want anyone here to be able to work it out. 
|| | ||| | || | ||  ~Woodstock

artisticforge

re-checked everything.  All is OK.  No bad grounds.  No broken wires.  Voltages all check out.
Just to clarify.  The multi meter is not in physical contact with any thing only placed near the
receiver and the wiring and then the plow works.  The meter only needs to be in the "on" position.
I believe the meter is intercepting the signal from the transmitter and amplifying .  I'd like to know how and why this happens and if there is a electrical circuit I can build to replace the meter permanently.  It is a 12 volt system.  Thanks again.  Any help is appreciated.
You really need to help us.

We need pictures of the snow plow and the clamp-on meter.

We cannot diagnose what we cannot see.
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