Reverse engineering a TurboDrag pump controller

Building a turbodrag controller from a random Ebay purchase.

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I'm always working on a lot of different projects at the same time. One of my other projects requires a vacuum table that can achieve High vacuum. In order to do this I have my roughing pump. for a while - this has served me well - however I need to be able to achieve higher vacuum to do things like DC magnetron sputtering or my SEM project . In order to do this I had several options. I went with purchasing a turbo drag pump from eBay.
As per tradition, these turbopump never come with documentation or controllers. I ended up with a cable with 7 wires hanging off of it connected to the device.
I wasn't able to find any documentation for the model of Alcatel pump. I was however able to find some documentation for similar styles and models.

In the end, the entire device really consists of a single coil and a hall effect sensor. Once I was able to determine the wiring for that, the rest became an implementation using an Arduino Nano and a mosfet driver.

At first I was really Unsure how I would even get the motor spinning in the right direction. After tapping the motor coil to a 12-volt source of several times I was able to get it's just been fairly reliably in either direction. 

 I connected the hall effect sensor to my oscilloscope and I manually tapped the coils to see the difference in phase between coil activation and when the hall effect sensor trips.

I wrote a firmware for the Arduino Nano that allowed me to change the phase activation angle as well as the duty cycle of the pulse I was sending. The firmware can also light up an LED in three colors to indicate the current state that the motor is in. I have a single push button that I use for starting and stopping. I also implemented some control over the serial port so I would be able to control it automatically from another computer in the future. After reading through some documentation for some similar devices, I was able to determine that the max speed of this device is around 27,000 RPM 

 Shown below is a simple diagram of the color coding and the basically out of the back of the device. I made this when I was determining a continuity chart between all the wires. 

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  • Completed!

    Steve Hernandez12/03/2022 at 00:34 0 comments

    So - I finished coding up the firmware using an Arduino Nano. You can find it on github here: 

    I took the time to make a nice box, gave it a power supply, button for simple on/ off activation and a RGB LED indicator for status.

    I suspect that many other turbo pumps that have a single coil and hall sensor can use this firmware. 

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