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Old 09-17-2011, 06:44 PM   #1
sim
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Exclamation FreeEMS powered 245

Hi Folks,
I've just got my car running on a FreeEMS EMS that I built
myself. It is the seventh car to run on the code, and the second
RWD Volvo.

The car is a 1979 Canadian market 245DL with a B21A. It is the
carburetted version of the redblock, with a single sidedraft SU.

The original ignition system was points and condensor. I've
replaced the ignition with a set of four LS1 coils from a GM V8.
Camshaft synchronization is via a DSM CAS installed in a Yoshifab
distributor adapter. A pair of firewall mounted MAP sensors from
ninties Hondas handles the vacuum signal and also ambient air
pressure.

There are several hardware projects in progress to support the
FreeEMS firmware, but none of them are finished yet. My car runs
on a processor prototype board from Technologic Arts plugged into
a handmade board with conditioning circuits for the sensors and
coils.

The car currently runs full sequential ignition. I will be
building a pressurized fuel system and another board to drive a
set of greentops in the next few months. There is prototype code
for full sequential fuel that will hopefully be ready around the
time I have set up EFI. If not, it will run batch fire until the
code is ready.

It is already running better than it did on the points, with just
a rudimentary tune.

The build thread for my EMS is here:
http://forum.diyefi.org/viewtopic.php?f=62&t=1263

First start video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5K-6jdSUeo

It's all in the build thread on diyefi.org, but I'll link some
pictures here for the lazy.


The car.



Valve cover mounted coils.



The board, with TA card installed.


There is a 15G from an 850 in the future for this car and some
other goodies.

FreeEMS is still an Alpha level system, but work on the project
is progressing rapidly. The code and the hardware designs have
all been released under free licenses, so the system will always
be wide open for hacking by end-users. It's an exciting project
to be a part of.
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Old 09-17-2011, 06:54 PM   #2
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What the...
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Old 09-17-2011, 11:21 PM   #3
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Wow. I'm impressed. I'm not surprised you noticed a significant improvement over the points system, but I'm curious what the difference is between the later model ignition systems (LH or the basic KJet dizzy)

Nice work.
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakar09 View Post
Wow. I'm impressed. I'm not surprised you noticed a significant improvement over the points system, but I'm curious what the difference is between the later model ignition systems (LH or the basic KJet dizzy)

Nice work.
Thank you.

We have a couple of K-jet 240s, one with a B20F, and a B23E. Both
have always been easier to start than the B21A, which is a bit of
a bear to start cold. This is largely a difference between the
carburettor and mechanical injection. K-jet is a very good
system, for what it is.

The B23E has a bit of an occasional stumble, I suspect it's
ignition related. The three are fairly different engines however,
so it's not really easy to compare them.

I've driven LH cars, but I've not owned one, so I can't really
speak to that.

My wagon definitely starts easier now, with the EMS installed. The
LS1 coils produce a hotter spark, the EMS compensates for the
reduced voltage during cranking with more dwell, and I'm able to
dial back the advance at low RPMs without also affecting the rest
of the curve, so better starting is expected. Cold starting is
quicker also, with less choke required, so ignition has an impact
here.

The real win is having a completely tunable map for advance. This
is practically impossible with a mechanical/vacuum distributor.
LH-jetronic comes close here, with the factory ECU controlling
the advance, and, especially with the new stuff available; chips,
ostrich, talented hackers working on tweaks and tunes, LH can be
adapted to modified engines fairly well these days.

The Freescale processor at the heart of FreeEMS has a lot more
processing power than the LH ECU. It is a modern chip, designed
for just this type of application. An equivalent amount of CPU
power would have cost much more than an entire LH powered car in
the late eighties. FreeEMS has more potential than LH-jetronic as
a result. It's a 40mHz processor, with an 80mHz RISC coprocessor
dedicated to processing interrupts. More grunt than the first
computer I installed Linux on back in the day.

Bosch and Volvo put a lot of time and R&D into the factory
system, and set a high bar in terms of refinement and
drivability. It will take a lot of work to get to the same level
with FreeEMS, but I believe it will happen. The tools we have at
our disposal twenty years later are just so much more powerful.

It's an open project also, and as more people get involved, and
solve the problems that they face, and share solutions, the R&D
investment will grow to eventually overshadow the work done by
the factories in the past.

The code is well written, well documented and designed by a
fellow with considerable experience building hot cars and using
aftermarket EMSes. He is a perfectionist, and a bit of a pushy
bastard, which helps keep the codebase clean. It's a free project
though, so if anyone wants to take it in a wild direction, it's
as simple as forking the code.

There are (at least) three hardware projects in the works, one of
which has produced a spin of prototype boards. Of the seven engines
that have run so far, a couple have used the SMD Puma board and
the rest are handmade prototypes like mine. I expect that there
will be a finished board available for purchase inside of a year.
At that point installation will be no more difficult than
MegaSquirt.

I'm currently running full sequential ignition, and am into the
electronics for well less than $300 (I've bought more parts than
I will use, the actual stuff on the board is worth maybe half
that). I should be able to finish the hardware required for full
sequential fuel and still come in well under the cost of a MS3
board with the sequencer.

Of course, I'm ignoring the value of my time, but it's been
remarkably easy to build so far. I've cherry picked the circuits
I need from the existing hardware designs, and am coming at this
project with no real electronics design skills. I can read a
schematic and operate a soldering iron, that's about it.

I've been following your Targa Newfoundland project with some
interest. Race wagons make me very happy. I'm sure it's going to
be an amazing experience. Newfoundland is the only province I've
not been to yet, and I would really like to go someday.
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:40 PM   #5
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:54 PM   #6
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I'm going to keep an eye on this. Is there a 36-1 decoder yet? Don't think it would be that hard to add an EDIS mod...
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Old 09-19-2011, 11:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by domox View Post
I'm going to keep an eye on this. Is there a 36-1 decoder yet? Don't think it would be that hard to add an EDIS mod...
I'll post updates here when I accomplish new stuff, or when any of
the hardware projects produce a run of boards.

There is a 36-1 decoder already (works with any missing tooth
wheel, in fact).

I don't think that support for EDIS is planned at this point,
but if you ask nicely, it could happen. It looks pretty easy to
implement. You could also just read the wheel and fire the wasted
spark coils directly from FreeEMS.
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Old 09-19-2011, 11:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PEGASUS 6 View Post
ssssleeper
Heh, complete with third row rear facing seat and child boosters.

It's not fast yet...
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Old 09-20-2011, 12:29 AM   #9
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cool car/project! thanks for sharing...

i've been following freeEMS for a while... seems like some avid die hard fans/users out there. my lurking was mostly out of curiosity; i took the megasquirt route for some reason unbeknownst to me (ok, ease and availability). the more i get into EMS, particularly anything that i touch the electronics of, the more it flames my love of carburetion, magnetos and even some distributors... though i'm still curious.
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:22 AM   #10
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Cool build.

I'm assuming whoever started FreeEMS got butthurt at the MS guys and decided to start their own equally confusing project.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sim View Post
I should be able to finish the hardware required for full
sequential fuel and still come in well under the cost of a MS3
board with the sequencer.
Not exactly a fair comparison., even when you factor in time spent.
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Old 09-21-2011, 12:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karl Buchka View Post
Cool build.

I'm assuming whoever started FreeEMS got butthurt at the MS guys and decided to start their own equally confusing project.

[where I compare the cost of my build to a MS3]

Not exactly a fair comparison., even when you factor in time spent.

Thanks Karl,

While I think there might be some sore butts, I have no ill will
towards MegaSquirt myself.

The issue that created the FreeEMS project, as I understand it,
was the licenses.

B&G (and whomever else) are, of course, free to exercise their
copyright in whatever way they choose. They put the work in, they
get to decide how folks can use it.

MegaSquirt started as a hackable openish project, where you had
to get out the soldering iron, and were able to read, and modify
the source code for the firmware. It was not free though, the
license on the latest source that I could find published
permitted modifications, but required they be sent upstream, and
required that only official hardware be used to run the code.

For MS3 they simply didn't publish code. This was their right,
and it's fine. It's a deal-breaker for me, but who cares? Plenty
of other folks are interested in buying a MS3.

FreeEMS was started in order to create an EMS with a completely
free design. Source code is GPL, hardware designs are TAPR. The
folks that contribute work to the project know this, and are
happy to license their copyright in this way.

What these licenses mean is the system will remain open for
perpetuity. This is a very powerful thing. It is the power to
understand the system, to hack it, to improve it, to fully
control the computer that manages your engine.

But I'm sure that you don't need to be schooled in the advantages
of free licenses.

And you are right Karl, the comparison I made to the cost of a MS3
is not at all fair, or really even meaningful. Consider it retracted.

You get a lot more with a MS3, and, had I just bought one, I'd be
done by now.

On the other hand, you get a lot more when you get the complete
source code, build environment, and hardware design files along
with your EMS. You get a whole lot more when you are also given
the freedom to modify and redistribute everything, provided that
you keep it open.
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Old 09-21-2011, 01:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhallilama View Post
cool car/project! thanks for sharing...

i've been following freeEMS for a while... seems like some avid die hard fans/users out there. my lurking was mostly out of curiosity; i took the megasquirt route for some reason unbeknownst to me (ok, ease and availability). the more i get into EMS, particularly anything that i touch the electronics of, the more it flames my love of carburetion, magnetos and even some distributors... though i'm still curious.

Heh, carbs and magnetos are awesome. A very elegant solution, but
we can do better...
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Old 09-22-2011, 04:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sim View Post
I'll post updates here when I accomplish new stuff, or when any of
the hardware projects produce a run of boards.

There is a 36-1 decoder already (works with any missing tooth
wheel, in fact).

I don't think that support for EDIS is planned at this point,
but if you ask nicely, it could happen. It looks pretty easy to
implement. You could also just read the wheel and fire the wasted
spark coils directly from FreeEMS.
I don't have a race car, so EDIS fits the bill nicely. Easy to implement and really only has one input - the SAW, which is the amount of advance or retard to apply. Think I'll take a look at the source this weekend...

I'm thinking this might be a neat little project to play with, seeing as all I have to do is plug in a 36-pin connector and swap out ECU's. (Scratches chin and says 'Hmmmm')

I've also been looking at this guy's web site about using BMW parts for cleaner setup.
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Old 09-25-2011, 05:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by domox View Post
I'm going to keep an eye on this. Is there a 36-1 decoder yet?
Not yet, but I'm going to write one soon, where soon = as soon as it is needed by myself or someone else with a system wired up or nearly wired up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by domox View Post
Don't think it would be that hard to add an EDIS mod...
No, shouldn't be hard, but I don't plan to support it as direct control is superior for a large variety of reasons, and we have no shortage of pins, unlike MS :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sim View Post
There is a 36-1 decoder already (works with any missing tooth
wheel, in fact).
False! The one that is in there is hacked together and only supports a fixed 36-1 and probably doesn't even do that. Marcos "fixed" it for his car with 60-2, but I've not seen that. I'm going to write my own fully flexible high quality one at some point soonish.

Quote:
I don't think that support for EDIS is planned at this point, but if you ask nicely, it could happen.
I could be convinced to write code for unofficial inclusion, or even convinced to support it, but I don't intend to spend much time on it at the moment, as there are superior solutions.

Quote:
You could also just read the wheel and fire the wasted spark coils directly from FreeEMS.
Exactly! :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhallilama View Post
i've been following freeEMS for a while... seems like some avid die hard fans/users out there. my lurking was mostly out of curiosity
One of the many many MANY silent lurkers :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karl Buchka View Post
I'm assuming whoever started FreeEMS got butthurt at the MS guys and decided to start their own equally confusing project.
Not quite. What really happened was that the MS guys, in particular Bruce, shat on one of their big supporters, and I took offense to that. The fact that their hardware is a steaming pile of **** and the code is a shambles and the licensing sucks were helpful motivators too... Hopefully, once it's more ready for prime time, we can make the documentation awesome enough that it won't be confusing at all. The user interface will always be much simpler and easier to understand for a large variety of reasons, one of which is "not trying to please everybody" (see EDIS support comments for eg).

Quote:
Not exactly a fair comparison., even when you factor in time spent.
True, I thought that as well. MS2 would be a closer comparison, and though we'd take CLEAR wins in many areas, we'd take CLEAR losses in MANY others from lack of features. The thing is, though, features, by and large, are EASY to add, especially once your foundations are made of the finest granite.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sim View Post
While I think there might be some sore butts, I have no ill will
towards MegaSquirt myself.
Mine feels fine, but many people have been shat on and won't forget, that's for sure.

Quote:
The issue that created the FreeEMS project, as I understand it, was the licenses.
It was a motivator, yes, along with the abysmal code quality and release-to-release reliabilty and consistency issues and a thousand other things :-)

Quote:
B&G (and whomever else) are, of course, free to exercise their copyright in whatever way they choose. They put the work in, they get to decide how folks can use it.
Absolutely, I have zero problem with that. A lot of ideas, mine included, are in that MS3 code, though, and those people, me included, certainly didn't expect or desire it to go in that direction. That, IMO, is extremely poor form, in terms of misleading people, either unintentionally, or intentionally, depending upon how cynical you are.

Quote:
MegaSquirt started as a hackable openish project, where you had
to get out the soldering iron, and were able to read, and modify
the source code for the firmware.
They were always very clear about how quickly they would sick their lawyers onto you :-)

Quote:
It was not free though, the license on the latest source that I could find published permitted modifications, but required they be sent upstream, and required that only official hardware be used to run the code.
Here is one from some time ago, it could have changed since then, though. http://www.diyefi.org/files/GPIOheader.txt

Quote:
For MS3 they simply didn't publish code. This was their right, and it's fine. It's a deal-breaker for me, but who cares? Plenty of other folks are interested in buying a MS3.
I care! It made me _VERY_ happy, and you are part of the reason why

Quote:
FreeEMS was started in order to create an EMS with a completely free design.
A free for others to use design, but mostly, a very high quality design. How many EMS systems do you know of with unit tests? One? :-)

Quote:
What these licenses mean is the system will remain open for perpetuity.
Very true, if I change direction, in any way, and you don't like it, and have the time and resources to do something else, go right ahead.

Sim, sorry for crashing your thread in such a noisy way, but there was some misinformation that I felt the need to correct, especially the "has working M-N decoder" bit :-)

Fred.

PS, tried to sign up for a new account and found that I had this one, don't remember it, might have to review my old posts...
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Old 09-25-2011, 05:35 PM   #15
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What does it use for wiring harness connectors?
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Old 09-25-2011, 10:47 PM   #16
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Hi Fred!

Brett here! Welcome to the forum! Carry on ;)

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Old 09-26-2011, 03:01 AM   #17
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Quote:
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What does it use for wiring harness connectors?
A twenty pin and a twenty-four pin Molex connector for the latest
RavAGE hardware project.
https://github.com/dvisser/Ravage

You are free, of course, to use whatever you want on your own
design, even a DB37, if you think you can handle the inevitable
taunts.

I am using a bunch of recycled Molex connectors scavenged from
old 240 harnesses that I've saved for mine. I'm not exactly creating
the "reference build" here though.
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Old 09-26-2011, 06:58 AM   #18
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The two small molex units in the RavAGE schematics are destined to be replaced by this setup which is not overly expensive and has a higher pin count for the PCB area it consumes:





Review of the RavAGE schematic should be accompanied by review of the TODO.md file next to it (recently added) which shows what is wrong and left to do. Dan should be working on changing that soon, by the sounds of things :-)
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Old 02-05-2012, 01:50 AM   #19
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Small bump for engines 8 through 10 running.

Number 8 was a Mk1 Austin Mini, set up for racing.

Number 9 was a 1978 Citroen GS, with a turbo.

Number 10 was a 2002 Honda Accord with a J35A3 engine from an
Acura swapped in. (twin turbos added).

Nice work everyone! This is all with official hardware still to
come.

My car is doing well, I've sorted out some wiring issues, and
that is mostly all. The 245 has over 2000km on it, after powering
the ignition with FreeEMS.


Just posting as an update, unless you enjoy messing around with
alpha level homemade hardware and young (but excellent),
software, I'd stay away for now. It does look like professional
quality boards will be available to buy this year.

If you want to hack though... this is for you.


My car is still on ignition only. I have a '95 945 in the
driveway with less that 100,000km on it that will donate its fuel
system to my car. Ultimately its squirter engine as well.

I will have fuel sorted out this year.

So far, 20% of cars to run FreeEMS have been RWD Volvos.
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Old 02-05-2012, 01:52 AM   #20
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Oh, my car remains really slow.

This will be sorted out eventually.
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Old 03-16-2012, 04:01 AM   #21
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Car number eleven ran, a 1932 Ford Deuce coupe:
http://forum.diyefi.org/viewtopic.php?f=55&t=1647

That is a GM DIS ignition engine.

In Volvo news, I built this:

So I can put the computer into firmware load mode, and hook the
laptop to the jack without taking anything apart.

The new Jaguar board is pretty nice, makes my homemade junk look
pretty amateur.

Exciting times.
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Old 03-16-2012, 08:07 AM   #22
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I found the board connector you posted a pic of on digikey. Where is the wire-side connector being sourced? How much is it?
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Old 03-17-2012, 02:25 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karl Buchka View Post
I found the board connector you posted a pic of on digikey. Where is the wire-side connector being sourced? How much is it?
I didn't post that picture actually. Pretty nice connector
though, eh?

As I understand it, that is the connector currently spec'd for
the RavAGE project, one of several hardware projects designed to
run the FreeEMS software.

https://github.com/dvisser/Ravage
http://forum.diyefi.org/viewforum.php?f=58

I'm not sure if they have a BOM completely sorted out yet, but
they are only a few months away from production.

Another of the active hardware projects is the Jaguar board, a
minimal system targeting engines with GM DIS or Ford EDIS
ignition systems.

https://github.com/DeuceEFI/Jaguar
http://forum.diyefi.org/viewforum.php?f=67

The first Jaguar board built ran an engine for the first time
this week. It is the eleventh engine to run under FreeEMS control
so far. Two of the eleven have been Volvo Redblocks.

None of this stuff is ready for general use yet. The hardware
solutions are still being laid out, or are in early alpha
testing. The firmware is high quality, but as yet incomplete.

Constructive criticism is welcome by the developers, and testing
is needed, but the project is not quite ready for wide exposure.

This year should see complete solutions become available for
capable car builders. It's an exciting time.

All of this stuff is completely open. You can fork these designs
and firmware and do your own thing. I see a board targeted at RWD
Volvos as a possiblility one day, plug and play LH 2.2 or 2.4.
Heck, you could drive a digital Control Pressure Regulator and
build a system for K-jet. It sure is cool living in the future.

My EMS is a couple of hacked up perfboard monstrosities that I
made on my own. I made heavy use of the RavAGE schematics for my
design. I use connectors scavenged from old Volvo harnnesses. It
was easily the most complex electronics project that I've
undertaken, and I've screwed up in many ways, while learning
many valuable lessons.

I've been running my daily driver on my homemade EMS for over six
months now.

I will absolutely upgrade to something with a solid design when
the time comes. I'm keen to help develop a hardware solution
targeted at hobbyists, something a person can solder up on their
own, and learn a bunch along the way. In the spirit of the early days
of MS. The sort of thing you can make a kit of, and give to a
teenager and say: "here you go, get this built if you want to get
your car running".

I've asked the developers in IRC about the connector part number
and source. I'll post the details here when the timezones align and I
hear back.
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Old 03-17-2012, 10:50 AM   #24
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Karl, they're Molex CMC 48 and are relatively inexpensive and available. Check molex's site for part numbers and/or search on octopart to see which variants are really readily available and which are more special-order.

Keep up the good work, Sim. You're a star. You're also a pioneer. Maybe you're a hero too? I'm no longer sure, having confused myself near the start of this paragraph and become distracted by the location of my wife's hand near the end.

Fred.
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:53 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DIYEFI.org View Post
Karl, they're Molex CMC 48 and are relatively inexpensive and available. Check molex's site for part numbers and/or search on octopart to see which variants are really readily available and which are more special-order.

Keep up the good work, Sim. You're a star. You're also a pioneer. Maybe you're a hero too? I'm no longer sure, having confused myself near the start of this paragraph and become distracted by the location of my wife's hand near the end.

Fred.
They are a rather nice connector. Self sealing, positive latching. And molex will let you sample the crap out of them ;)
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