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fisher-Paykel motor controller

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by philba, Jun 6, 2006.

  1. philba

    philba New Member

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    Well, I had a real shocker. Our 4 year old washing machine, made in NZ (or is it Australia?), bit the dust with a nasty burnt electronics smell. service guy comes, figures out its the motor controller. cost? 380 $US!!! hooo-leee-sh*t. I coughed up the cash as it was cheaper than buying a new one but I'm royally p----d. machine seems good as new with the replacement.

    So, I kept the dead one and opened it up expecting to find something burned but nope. it looks clean. I know the fault is within because the new one made the washer work. my goal is to figure out the problem and fix it for a spare. It turns out it's more than just a motor controller - its the power supply, motor controller (lots of FETs), sensor interface and there appears to be a 40 pin microcontroller (house marked, of course). Oddly enough, its a single sided board with a mix of TH and SMDs.

    anyway, before I go and figure out the schematic (at least parts of it), I was wondering if anyone has experience with this unit? Or maybe some one can point me in the right direction. Maybe some of you aussies or kiwis? It's from a Fisher-Paykel clothes washer GWL-11, I believe.
     
  2. rockin_rick

    rockin_rick New Member

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    I also have a GWL11. Mine is relatively new, and hasn't given me any troubles (yet). I'd like to see some pics of the board, if you would post some.

    What did your unit do when broken? I'm assuming nothing at all? No lights, no beeps, nothing?

    Online reviews indicate that the controller board is often a problem, so I wonder if the circuit is poorly/under designed/protected (internal cause of failure) or if perhaps it is easily susceptible to lightning damage or such (external). Are there any MOVs or similar on there for lightning protection? Perhaps I'll put a surge protector on mine just in case....

    (It would be nice if the beeper was a little louder, huh? I'd wire something up but I don't want to void my warranty....)

    Rick
     
  3. philba

    philba New Member

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    It died with that nasty "aroma d'electronique flambe'". Unit was completely dead - unplug-replug did nothing.

    surge protection wouldn't hurt. The repair guy was saying that the newer appliances are all much more susceptable to power surges and no one builds in protection. sigh, the walmarting of applicances is upon us. I'm looking into putting them on all my appliance circuits. I live in an area that isn't subject to much lightening at all and it was a clear day with no power problems when the unit blew so god only knows what the problem was.

    I haven't taken pictures yet but when I do I'll put them up..
    It does have what appears to a be a MOV on it. Also, there are 2 "dip can" (??) fuses on the pcb (they look like short electrolytics). one does appear to be blown but I'll have to desolder to make sure. I doubt that is all it will take to fix it but it is a clue

    yeah, the beeper is pretty lame. we keep our laundry room door closed so it's useless.
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. philba

    philba New Member

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    Upon closer inspection, I think I found the/a culprit as i was taking pictures.
    [​IMG]
    sadly, the plastic with the lettering on it was blown away so it's hard to say what the chip is. I don't think it's a bipolar transistor since it gets the LM393's output through a 47K resistor. probably a mosfet of some sort. any thoughts on what it might be?

    I'm going to trace that part of the circuit out, maybe it will becomes obvious. Of course, there may have been something else that caused this chip to blow so the story is far from over.

    the manufacturer has been extremely unhelpful - "you must talk to an authorized service representative"

    Once the 1 year warrantee on the replacement part is up, I'm cracking it open to figure out what the chip is, if I haven't figured it out by then.
     
  6. philba

    philba New Member

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    oops. I thought I had included the picture (I'm pretty sure I did...)
    [​IMG]
     
  7. RODALCO

    RODALCO Well-Known Member

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    Sorry guys, I can't give you any details re this machine.
    I live in New Zealand but don't use F&P because of all the electronics packed in and very expensive service or back up.
    Washing Machine i use is Simpson, (Australian made) with a simple electromechanical timer and rotary knob. Very reliable > 10 years old now.
    Dishwasher i use is Westinghouse (Australian ) with electronic timer :mad: and already problems after three years. The programme only starts via the timer delay e.g. after 1 or 2 hours after starting the d.w. cycle.
    I reckon that the electronic parts simply don't last in the arduous environment with humid temperatures and steam and soap fumes I guess.

    Back in The Netherlands, my parents had an AEG Lavamat washing machine which lasted for 16 years when the actual washing drum bearings worn out, mechanical clockwork timer of course. Also they had a Miele dishwasher which lasted about the same time with no control problems, only a water pump was replaced once, with lose plastic impellor over the 16 year period.

    IMHO, Electric controls are poorly designed and, or made to fail just after the warranty period expires. If not that than it is plastic, which has it's usuall fatigue problems too.

    On your photo I think that it is a mosfet, thick track at terminal 3 and heatsinked through cct board via terminal 2 and rear of case.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2006
  8. Nick9494

    Nick9494 New Member

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    Looks like the Grey controller?
    I've got another dead one in front of me.
    The item in question is a FET, IRLL3303 - 30V, 4.6A, 0.031R.
    It seems to be part of the power supply that generates the 15V rail.

    Have yet to figure out how it all works but apart from the inlet choke there are no other magnetics and all likely capacitors appear to be in emi suppression roles to make a low voltage supply from 150 - 300 odd volts..

    Appears to be a string of resistors from the center tap of the main filter capacitors that supplies current to the circuit. This could supply too much current. The big diode from the emmitters of the low side IGBTs is a kicker, perhaps the back emf from the motor when all switches are opened is used to derive the 15V rail and that fet lets it happen then clamps when things start to get carried away. A few micro seconds late or higher than expected dv/dt and pow, Vds is exceeded and the magic smoke escapes

    Perhaps a traditional small transformer & bridge transplant would get the 15V rail back. Would need to rethink recirculation paths when the IGBT's in the brige turn off as well...

    The F&P has evolved since first came out - production costs cheaper each time. Motors in first models were wound with 1 mm wire. This now down to 0.4 mm

    I've been wrecking F&Ps for about 2 years, the motors make good generators once you profile the poles to reduce cogging torque.

    Nick.
     
  9. philba

    philba New Member

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    thanks!

    guess what happened 10 days after the replacement controller was dropped in? yup, it blew again. a week's vacation put a lot of delay into getting the repair guy out but it appears to be a blown motor that killed it. I still don't have a price for the motor but I'm probably going to nix the motor repair if it's over $50-100. I will get a new controller since it's under warrentee. Hope I can get something for it on ebay.

    I can't believe those FP idiots didn't protect the controller from over current on the motor. F*cking expensive machine, rediculous replacement parts cost and they can't spare a friggin $.25 fuse???? I hope FP goes bankrupt. what crappy engineering. you would think a NZ company wouldn't fall prey to the Wallmart syndrome...
     
  10. HarveyH42

    HarveyH42 Banned

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    Last year, my neighbors washing machine got fried during a thunderstorm, it was basicly new (maybe 1 year). He knew I was into electronics and fixing stuff, so gave it to me. I was kind of shocked to see all the electronics on the controller board ($157 to replace). Didn't see much in the way of protection or even a fuse, so figure replacing the board would leave it open to the same failure in the future. I have an older washer, with mechanical timers, sits on my back porch exposed to rain and weather. I've been using it for over 15 years, and it was well used when I got it. Nope problems or complaints. So, just playing around, found there was no DC voltage on the circuit board, schematic said there would be 12 Volts. Replaced the step down with a slightly larger one (closest I could find lying around...), everything worked. So, figured cool, free washing machine, but didn't want to use it, because I knew lightning (we get a lot here) would eventually take it out again. So, it sat in my carport for about 6 months, before I gave it back to the neighbor (his son moved in down the street).

    Wondering if this is some sort of scam fo replacement parts. Control boards about half the price of a whole new washing machine? Seriously lacking in protection, can't image how it was designed to last more than a few years.
     
  11. Nick9494

    Nick9494 New Member

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    Machine is 4 years old eh?
    Second controller lasted 10 days eh?

    I've seen these things dead with 2001 date codes on the parts. The shaft seal goes and lets water weep into the motor. In some the bearings are nearly seized, in others there is barely any evidence of water damage.

    A closer look at the supply suggests to me that the motor winding itself is part of a SMPS. The string of resistors from the filter capacitors just bleeds enough current into the 470u capacitor to fire up the supply, the bulk of the current coming from the motor winding once enough charge has bled in to fire up the circuit.

    I'd say your stator is starting to develop a shorted turn due to water ingress. :mad: Flash over or an outright shorted turn :eek: reduces the inductance of the winding and causes the current to rise faster than the controller can deal with, taking out the FET.:(

    Nick.
     
  12. philba

    philba New Member

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    that could have caused the problem but the motor has signs of overheat, melted insulation and so on. I think it's well beyond "starting to develop a short" lol.
     
  13. rockin_rick

    rockin_rick New Member

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    Hmmmm.... perhaps one should just consider the shaft seal a consumable and replace it periodically. Perhaps I'll change it after my 2 year warranty expires... I'm starting to regret my decision to get this thing...

    Rick
     
  14. philba

    philba New Member

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    well, at least I'm ahead of you on that point. :mad:
     
  15. bryan1

    bryan1 Well-Known Member

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    Hiya Philba,
    Well mate if the electronics is fried in your washing machine checkout the link I put in the alternative energy sticky and make up your own wind generator using the F&P motor. I currently have 2 80 series motors and I've re-wired one in series-parrallel to suit my 24 volt batterybank. Hopefully I'll have it up flying in the coming months and I'll put some pic's in a thread in the alernative power forum. Or just ripout the motor and put it on e-bay as my mates in the US reckon a F&P motor is worth a couple of hundred bucks in the US. Mind you I only pay $20 each for mine.

    Cheers Bryan
     
  16. philba

    philba New Member

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    wow. I am now amazed that FP can actually stay in business. the appliance guy came out to replace my second blown motor controller (under warrantee) as well as replace the defective pump that took out the controller. sigh. the new motor controller was also defective. At this point, the washing machine has now been down for 68 days. Thank god for my 20 year old whirlpool... that thing just keeps running.

    needless to say, I WILL NEVER EVER EVER EVER buy another FP anything.
     
  17. philba

    philba New Member

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    Wow. I am totally amazed that FP can possibly stay in business. The repair guy showed up today, his 4th visit, to install the motor controller and the motor that took the first replacement out. This controller WAS ALSO BAD. So the appliance guy has to order yet another controller (all under warrantee). What a great a company.

    In addition, I got a glimpse of the invoice and the motor controller's price has dropped to 287 $us (from $380 <2 months ago). Huh???! The repair company said that's the price FP has listed now. so I brow-beat them into kicking me back 93 bucks. what a f*ck*d up company. we'll see if I actually get it.

    Note to self: NEVER EVER EVER EVER BUY ANOTHER FISHER-PAYKEL ANYTHING EVER AGAIN. EVER!

    all I can say is god bless my 20 year old whirlpool washing machine made right here in the good ole USA. I am sooo glad I never sold it.
     
  18. Grasshoppa

    Grasshoppa New Member

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    HarveyH42

    In your post you seem to speak of having a F&P schematic which you were quoting data from.

    Would it be possible obtain a copy?

    Email me
     
  19. philba

    philba New Member

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    Sigh, this broken record is getting way boring...

    The service guy came out - his 6th visit. new part (position encoder, like the factory support guy said) and still no joy. For the record - it is now 3 months and 2 weeks since the FP died.
     
  20. RODALCO

    RODALCO Well-Known Member

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    It's time for a full refund.
    All money back from that machine.
    It is definitely a dud.
    And buy General Electric, or something else. Not F&P.
    Good luck with the outcome.
     
  21. philba

    philba New Member

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    yes, I've contacted the attny general's office but doubt I will get satifaction with out legal action.
     

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