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UM25C USB Power Meter

UM25C USB Power Meter
UM25C USB Power Meter

Here’s a nice little feature-packed USB power meter, the UM25C. This unit has USB-C along with the usual USB type A connectors, along with a bluetooth radio for remote monitoring of stats via a Windows or Android app. Construction is nice, it’s a stack of two PCBs, and polycarbonate cover plates, secured together with brass posts & screws.

Back Cover
Back Cover

The back cover has the legend for all the side connectors, along with the logo.

USB Micro Input
USB Micro Input

Down the sides are the user interface buttons, and here the Micro-B input connector. The 4-pin header is visible here that takes serial data down to the bluetooth section.

USB-C Connectors
USB-C Connectors

The other side has the remaining pair of buttons, and the USB-C I/O. I don’t yet own anything USB-C based, but this is good future proofing.

LCD Display
LCD Display

Removing the top plastic cover plate reveals the small 1″ TFT LCD module. This will be hot-bar soldered underneath the screen. There’s an unused footprint next to the USB input connector, judging by the pin layout it’s probably for a I²C EEPROM.

Main Board Components
Main Board Components

The underside of the top PCB has all the main components. The brains of the operation is a ST STM8S005C6T6 microcontroller. It’s at the basic end of the STM range, with a 16MHz clock, 32K flash, EEPROM, 10-bit ADC, SPI, UART & I²C. The main 0.010Ω current shunt is placed at the top left of the board in the negative rail. A couple of SOT-23 components in the centre of the board, I haven’t been able to identify properly, but I think they may be MOSFETs. The large electrolytic filter capacitor has a slot routed into the PCB to allow it to be laid flat. Providing the main power rail is a SOT-89 M5333B 3.3v LDO regulator.

Bluetooth Radio
Bluetooth Radio

The bottom board contains the bluetooth radio module, this is a BK3231 Bluetooth HID SoC. The only profile advertised by this unit is a serial port. There’s a local 3.3v LDO regulator & support components, along with an indicator LED.

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Wheelchair Motors Part 2: Service

Cleaning, Replacement Parts & Reassembly

Housing Cleaned
Housing Cleaned

The housing of the contaminated motor was left to soak in diesel for a few hours to loosen the grok, this has come very clean. I couldn’t have used a stronger solvent here – the magnets are glued in place in the steel housing, I certainly didn’t want them coming loose!

Brushboxes
Brushboxes

Next into the diesel bath are the motor end bells with the brushgear. Attack with a stiff brush cleaned these up very well, some cotton buds served to clean out the brass brush holders.

Armatures After Skimming
Armatures After Skimming

Here are both armatures, having had their commutators resurfaced. I’ve completely removed all traces of the wear caused by the contamination, luckly the commutator bars are very heavy on these motors so can take quite a bit of wear before there’s not enough left to skim. I’ve not yet pulled off the old bearings, but they are all going to be replaced with new SKF bearings, as they’ve been contaminated with grok over the years of use. I’m also going to uprate the front motor bearings to rubber sealed instead of metal shielded, to help keep lubricant out of the motors if the gearbox seals ever fail again.

Gearbox
Gearbox

The gearboxes have been cleaned out with some elbow grease, assisted by a long soak in petrol, I’ve refilled them here with engine oil as temporary lube & to flush out the last remains of the old grease & solvent. The worm wheel in these boxes is bronze – so a GL4 gear oil will be required. (Some Extreme Pressure additive packs contain sulphur, and will readily attack copper alloys, such as brass & bronze).

Commutator End Bearings
Commutator End Bearings

Here’s the armatures, after the new SKF sealed bearings have been fitted to the commutator end, above, and the drive end, below. These will cause some extra drag on the armatures, and slightly higher power consumption as a result, but keeping the crap out of the motors is slightly more important.

Drive End Bearings
Drive End Bearings
Fresh Commutator Skim
Fresh Commutator Skim

The commutators have been lightly skimmed with abrasive cloth, and finished with 1500 grit emery. The armature on the right has been run for a short time to see how the new brushes are bedding in.

Old Seal Removed
Old Seal Removed

Finally, the old oil seals are pulled from the gearboxes. The worm gear bearing on the inside is actually a sealed version, with the external oil seal providing some extra sealing. I haven’t changed the gearbox bearings, as they seem to be in good order, this might get done at some point in the future.

New Oil Seals
New Oil Seals

The new seals ready to be driven into the bores.

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Boat Stuff: Bowman Oil Cooler

Bowman Oil Cooler
Bowman Oil Cooler

To solve some engine oil overheating problems on board nb Tanya Louise, we decided to replace the air-over-oil cooler, with an water-over-oil cooler, with separate cooling drawn straight from the canal, as the skin tanks are already overloaded with having to cope with not only cooling the engine coolant, but also the hydraulic system oil as well.
These units aren’t cheap in the slightest, but the construction quality & engineering is fantastic.

Tube End Plate
Tube End Plate

Unbolting the end cover reveals the brass tube end plate, soldered to all the core tubes in the cooler. An O-Ring at each end seals both the end cover & the interface between the tube plate & the outer casing.

End Caps
End Caps

The end caps have baffles cast in to direct the cooling water in a serpentine path, so the oil gets the best chance at dissipating it’s heat to the water.

Tube Stack
Tube Stack

The oil side of the system is on the outside of the tubes, again baffles placed along the stack direct the oil over the highest surface area possible.

Outer Shell
Outer Shell

The outer shell is just a machined alloy casting, with no internal features.