Well, I had a full-fledged runaway last night. I was riding my board on a stretch of bike trail and had been riding for about 30 minutes when suddenly the board stopped responding to the controller and started slowly accelerating.
At the time I was going about 20mph (guess) I knew that if the board continued to accelerate there was no way I was going to be able to get off it and stay on my feet. To my right was a chain link fence and to my left a ditch full of brambles - no good places to bail. I had not been on this trail before so I had no idea what was ahead.
Miraculously I was able to jump off the board and stay on my feet. The board took off, hit the fence once, bounced back onto the trail, went another 50 feet and hit the fence again, this time coming to a stop, motor still spinning.
Total damage was a severely bruised heel, a broken headlight, a big noogie taken out of one of the front rails and the display got ripped off the control board. When I re-powered the system the control board was completely dead but the VESC came up blue and green lights. Of course nothing worked and I had to push back to the car.
I will dig into forensics this weekend and will post what I find here, but 3 things:
1: if anyone knows Vedder’s email addy let him know that in firmware 2.18 there might be a code path that allows the motor to continue to run (and in fact accelerate) even though a signal is no longer there (in my case a serial signal) It is of course also possible that the fault lay in the code in my control board, but I believe the board was offline when the event occurred.
2: never build a board that goes faster than you can run. I’m going to gear this board down.
3: I’m going to start working on a power switch that can be accessed from the top of the board by stepping on it - similar to emergency cutoff mushroom buttons on manufacturing equipment.
- this sport isn’t so innocent as I thought it was. I was wearing a bike helmet but…