Thursday, November 5, 2009

PakTrakr Woes and Wows

I'm beginning to feel like a klutz or I'm just really unlucky. A few days ago I received my PakTrakr display replacement and went ahead and installed it along with my newly built noise filter. I paid special attention to ensure nothing was shorting and that the noise filter was well insulated and connected. Unfortunately, the display unit wasn't powering up and I noticed that one of my five PakTrakr remotes stopped flashing indicating a problem. I felt major disappointment and could not figure out what went wrong at that moment. I was stumped and sent off a few emails for assistance.

Since the in line noise filter uses capacitors, I was told that it is always a good practice to disconnect the power (at least the black PakTrakr wire that connects to the first battery in the series) or to pre-charge the capacitor(s) using a 9v battery prior to connecting the filter.

The extent of the damage to the remote is not known at this point and I am even questioning the cause as I have heard that these remotes are very sensitive (especially to static) and can pop at any given time. I have also read several forum posts about users who have seen their PakTrakr remotes die on them for no apparent reason. In my case I am hoping it is only the fuse. The fuse is located at the remote's black battery lead (ring terminal) just under the shrink tubing. As instructed by Ken, I will attempt to replace the fuse (1A or less). If the remote is still dead, it will have to be sent in for repair or replacement.

On a brighter note, I recently came across an attractive looking display that translates the PakTrakr battery monitor data to a color graphical format. It's called EV Dashboard and it uses a five inch GPS color display running on Windows CE 5.0. The data from the PaKTrakr system is captured by the EV Dashboard via a serial to Bluetooth adapter. Anyone interested in giving this a try can contact John who is open to suggestions on improving this display solution.


Electricfly said...

Have you also seen the Woodward Enhanced Paktrakr Display with logging for the PakTrakr? Between these two - there is a pretty good amount of information that can be shown!

I have not hadd any failure or 'popping' events with my remotes to this date - and have had them in my 'electricfly' for some time now!

Electricfly said...

I have been using the PakTrakr Remotes for some time now on my car (seen at and at ) and also incorporated and Amp sensor and an optional serial out feed to a Woodward Paktrakr Display! ( ) and found that the combination of the two - along with the SD Card Datalogging to anaylse in Excel - has been very informative. Robert (Electricman) Weekley

Jim and Elizabeth Karamalis said...


I have not been as lucky as you with the PakTrakr. Actually, I recently sent in one of my malfunctioning remotes for repair but a day or two after getting it back it started malfunctioning again. I know of several other users who have had bad remotes. Now I am counting on getting a new replacement which will hopefully last.

Thanks for mentioning the Woodward display and providing the link to your site. Nice to see yet another EV on the road.