Review: Manzanita MK3 BMS, Part 5- the SOC Head

The last piece of the puzzle for the Manzanita system is the State of Charge Head (SOC Head).  Here’s what the older model looks like, the unit I played with was still in a kit box, but fully functional. This is a unit, designed in conjunction with Bruce Sherry Designs, to give you all the SOC information on the pack as a whole, rather than the individual cells.

It’s able to be run as a complete stand-alone without the BMS, connected directly to the battery pack.  You can use the Rudman Display Bus as the monitor, or you can use a PC to run the battery readouts as well as the data logging.

The SOC Head can give you battery pack SOC reading as a percentage, total battery pack current, total battery pack voltage, total Ampere-hours, Watt-hours, power reading in Kilowatts, and pack temperature.  I have to go down the lists, but it pretty much brings in the full capabilities of a device like the Cycle Analyst display.

Here are the rest of the features:

-Can be connected independently or in conjunction with other Manzanita Micro Mk3 Digital products using readily available six conductor RJ cable
-Easily connects to a PC or Rudman Bus Display using the DT box USB adapter
-Works with Manzanita’s free Windows based scanner and command software
-All commands are easily entered and read in simple ASCII text
-Easy user adjustable min and max voltage parameters allow flexibility for just about any pack voltage signaling requirements
-Dual RJ reg bus ports for easy connection to the charger and/or other Manzanita Micro BMS units and accessories
-Seamless integration with Manzanita Micro Perl Scanner program which has extra graphics already programmed in for displaying the SOC Head information

This is actually where you get introduced to the software, since the first step is to download the USB driver and the control software at the Manzanita “Mk3 Digital Regulators” page.  You get the install instructions as well as the connections, shown here.  The 8-pin connector shown on top pins out like this:

Pin 1 : Red Wire – 12 Volt Positive (usually from vehicle’s 12V system)
Pin 2 : Other Color – Vehicle “Key-On” (usually from vehicle ignition switch)
Pin 3 : White Wire – Shunt LOAD side (small terminal on side of shunt – load end)
Pin 4 : Non-Insulated – Cable shield (This can go to the main large terminal of the shunt on the LOAD side)
Pin 5 : Black Wire – 12 Volt Negative (usually from vehicle’s chassis 12V ground)
Pin 6 : ~~~NOT USED~~~
Pin 7 : Green Wire – Shunt BATTERY side (small terminal on side of shunt – batt end)
Pin 8 : Red Wire – Main Battery Pack Positive (from the most positive point in the pack)

To connect the SOC Head to a PC you need the Dongle Terminator Box – just an adapter/interface to give you USB connectivity.

The manual is found here, on the documentation page: SOC Manual link, and has the usual setup and explanations, but also has a lengthy and detailed explanation on how to configure the device.  The SOC Head is probably one of the more powerful parts of the entire system, allowing you to activate relays to shut off, or turn on various devices at certain events at the pack…  for example, if you want the pack to shut down partially or fully when the voltage drops below a certain level by locking out the throttle, here’s where you’d program that. The SOC Head sells for $450, and the USB interface is another $120.

If you’ve got this far in the reviews, it’s getting pretty obvious how this system is put together- we have basically an a la carte architecture, where everything can pretty much function on it’s own, but when added to the complete system, each component adds a huge amount of functionality.

Next up, I want to plot out each part, and what it does, on a spreadsheet.  Stay tuned.

Read more:
Review: Manzanita MK3 BMS, Part 1
Manzanita MK3 BMS, Part 2- Intro and Documentation
Manzanita MK3 BMS, Part 3- The Display
Manzanita MK3 BMS, Part 4- The Board
Manzanita MK3 BMS, Part 5- the SOC Head
Manzanita MK3 BMS, Part 6- Component Matrix
Manzanita MK3 BMS- Conclusions

Manzanita Micro site here.



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