Before diving into an installation and operation of your PWM, it is advisable to find out what a PWM is and how it does it's job. There is a simple article on the site that will walk you through the basics of a PWM, and clear up the terms that are used in conjunction with it... Including what "PWM" actually means. You can find it here: What Is A PWM?
These instructions are for our deluxe PWM with LCD controller and display (see image below). If you have purchased our 40A Constant Current PWM without the separate display unit, then the instructions you need are on this page.
The LCD Display/Controller module. This device shows you the important readings of your PWM, and also controls the PWM so that it maintains its constant current maximum amperage. This device should be mounted in the passenger compartment of your vehicle so you can see at a glance what is going on with your HHO system.
The PWM enclosed in the box with its switch and cooling fan. This is the actual PWM that does the work of pulsing the power to an HHO cell. This device should be mounted near your cell to minimize the length of any wire runs between your battery and the cell.
The LCD display only needs to be connected to the Cat5 cable coming out of the PWM. Plug the Cat5 cable into the receptacle in the Display. It gets its power through this cable. You can then secure the back of the display with the 4 screws provided.
While you are initially setting up your HHO system, it is handy to have the display near your system so you can easily monitor your system when you first start it up. Later, when you have everything working properly, you will want to run the Cat5 cable into your passenger compartment and permanently mount the display where you can see it. Note: to disconnect the Cat5 cable from the Controller’s terminal, carefully insert a small screwdriver underneath the cable and press up to disengage the locking tab on the connector.
Connect your PWM to the cell and battery. There are 4 heavy gauge wires coming out of the PWM, and one light gauge wire. Your connector kit has matching connectors. The use of these connectors will allow you to unplug the PWM unit if you should ever need to remove it in the future.
The 4 heavy gauge wires are as follows: Red and Black are for power and ground from your battery. The power lead (red) should be connected to your battery, via a circuit breaker. The black wire should be extended to a good ground, preferably the negative battery terminal.
The White and Green wires get extended to your cell or cells. The white wire is the positive lead that goes to your cell. The green wire is the negative lead to your cell. However, don’t confuse these with regular power and ground. Once they come out of the PWM they must not be allowed to connect to other power and ground circuits in your vehicle. They must only connect to the terminals of your HHO dry cell.
The small red wire is used to turn on the PWM. We use a small gauge wire to control this function. We recommend attaching this wire to the fuel pump relay circuit. Any gauge wire down to 30 AWG can be used for this purpose. I usually use a larger gauge so that it won't be easily damaged. 24 gauge is fine.
If you have more than one cell then you can extend one cable out to where your cells are, and then split the cable at the cells so that each cell gets both positive and negative connections. Multiple cells are connected in parallel. The diagram shows both series and parallel connections in order to illustrate the difference between the 2 connection methods. But we never connect our cells in series.
You can use 12 gauge wire to connect to any one cell, and this cell should not be run at over 15 amps. If you need more amperage, you should use 10 gauge wire. You can use 10 gauge wire for circuits that run up to 40 amps provided your total wire run is not over 15 feet. For instance if you are using 10 gauge wire from your battery to your PWM and from your PWM to your cells, then the total length of the power wires should not exceed 15 feet. The total length of the ground wires should also not exceed 15 feet.
Multi-stack cells: A stack is defined as 2 hot plates (plates that are connected to the PWM’s output white and green wires), with 5 neutral plates between them. A 2-stack cell, or “Double Stack Cell” can be thought of as 2 adjacent cells. The center hot plate is common to both “cells” on either side of it. It can be either positive (connected to the white PWM output wire), or negative (connected to the green PWM output wire). The other PWM output wire is split to connect to the outside 2 hot plates.
For our 6” and 7” cells, you should not run more than 15 amps per cell, or per stack. See below for a description of multi-stack cells. Our 12” cells can run higher amperages, but are usually not run at over 40 amps and often even less for best efficiency. This information is for understanding PWM installation only. But note that most people use more amperage than they need for best fuels mileage gains. Please see How Much HHO Should I Use? for more information.
IMPORTANT – SAFETY RELATED INFORMATION: The final wire on the PWM is the control wire. This is the small red wire (18 gauge). This wire must have 12 volts on it in order for the PWM to turn on. This is used as a safety measure so that the PWM will only run when the engine is running. This wire should be connected to the fuel pump relay circuit, or similar. The fuel pump relay circuit powers up briefly when the car is turned on to charge the system, but after that will only be on when the engine is actually running. Since this is the only time we want HHO to be produced, we use this circuit for the source of our control voltage. This will ensure that the PWM is not running when the ACC switch is on, but the engine is not actually running. Be sure to test this circuit carefully to make sure it is only on when the engine is running. If your HHO system is producing HHO while you are sitting in the car listening to the stereo, you can have HHO build up under your hood, and this can explode when you start your engine. So this point is important.
Important Notes For 24 Volt Systems
There are 2 modifications to the PWM installation instructions when working with 24 volt systems. They are quite simple, but quite important:
1. The PWM control wire must receive 12 volts. The control wire is the small gauge red wire. It is an 18 gauge wire, whereas the current carrying wires colored red, black, white and green are all much larger. Power must be supplied to this wire for the system to be able to turn on. This circuit draws negligible power - about .35 amps. To be clear, the PWM can control 24 volts on its heavy gauge wires. But must be controlled with 12 volts to the small gauge red wire on the PWM. Using 24 volts on this control wire will damage the LCD Controller.
There are 2 methods of supplying this 12 volts to the PWM:
1) DC to DC Converter. Take a wire from your fuel pump relay to the “24 Volts + In” on the voltage converter. Also provide a ground wire to the converter. Then connect the “12 Volts + Out” terminal to the small gauge red wire on your PWM.
2) Relay. If you have a source of 12 volt power available, you can use a relay. Note that if you use 2 - 12 volt batteries to supply your 24 volt ignition power, you can get 12 volts from the connection between the 2 batteries. You would control the relay with your system voltage (24 volts), and it would switch the 12 volts which you would route to the 18 gauge red trigger wire on the PWM.
If you have an EFIE or a MAP Enhancer that also needs 12 volts, you can use this source to power them. These devices take about 50 milliamps (.05 amps).
2. Use 11 neutral plates. While we're powering the PWM and controller ciccuitry with 12 volts, we're still powering the cell itself with your system voltage of 24 volts. The 10 gauge red wire coming out of the EFIE gets connected to your 24 volt system voltage, via a circuit breaker as per the instructions. The black cable gets connected to ground. With this arrangement the PWM will output 24 volt pulses on it white and green cables. Since the pulses have twice as much voltage, we need to connect them to the cell differently than with a 12 volt system.
On 12 volt systems we use 5 neutral plates. With 24 volt systems we use 11 neutral plates, and with 32 volt systems 23 use 15 neutral plates. A neutral plate is a plate that has no wire from the PWM connected to it. Below is a diagram of a 24 volt system connected to the cell. Notice that there is a center tab that would have a wire connected to it on a 12 volt system, but on a 24 volt system that center tab becomes a neutral plate. If you count the plates between the green and white wires, you'll see that there are 11 neutral plates. This arrangement ensures that we get the proper voltage between adjacent plates for efficient HHO production.
These are the only 2 changes required for 24 volt systems. Otherwise, just follow the instructions for 12 volt systems.
Once all the wiring is connected, you may turn on your ignition and turn on the switch on the PWM. If your installation was successful you will see the display light up and start telling you information about the electrical environment.
The controller for the system is built into the display module. It is the controller that actually adjusts the current and monitors the activity of the PWM. While the system is running, it provides information to the user as to volts, current, frequency, duty cycle and if any errors are present, will display them.
The display on the right is in error mode, and the display on the left is in normal operating mode. While operating normally, the display will show Amps and Duty Cycle on the top line, and Volts and Frequency on the bottom line. However, when an error is being displayed, the error takes up the bottom line of the display, until it is cleared. In this mode, the top line shows Amps, Volts and Duty Cycle
To program the PWM, we use the knob below the Liquid Crystal Display. Press the knob once to enter setup. Now you can turn the knob to cycle through the different functions. When you get to the function you want to make changes to, press the knob again, and you'll enter that setup screen.
To make the changes, you will use the knob and button. Use the knob to navigate through any options available, and then press the knob once to select the new setting. Some screens have multiple settings, and you turn the knob to make any needed changes, and press the knob to accept each setting. Finally, turn the knob to the final screen that is labeled, "Exit". You must press the knob at this screen to ensure that your changes are recorded in memory.
The following series of videos will show you how to use the PWM. Note: As advancements and refinements are made, there may be slight differences between the following videos and your controller. The instructions following the video should be consulted where there is any discrepancy.
Here’s the full listing of the Menu Items:
1. PWM Constant Amps. Use this screen to set the maximum amps that the PWM will allow. This should be set for 12 amps for 1 cell systems and 24 amps for 2 cell systems. We do not recommend putting any more than 12 amps per cell as overheating can occur and damage the cell.
2. Volt Sensing. This item has several settings. The first is "Y" or "N", and sets whether volt sensing is activated. If not activated, the system will not shut down on low voltages, and will only shut down if turned off by the switch or if 12 volts is removed from the control wire. If "Y" is selected then the next 2 screens will allow you to adjust the “On” and “Off” voltages. The On Voltage is the voltage that must be available in order for the PWM to turn on. Then, if the voltage drops below the Off Voltage, the PWM will shut down. In that case, the voltage must come back up to the On Voltage again in order for it to start back up. We recommend beginning with 13.5 volts for your On Voltage and 12 volts for your Off Voltage. See a further discussion of this item below.
3. Level Alarm. This function causes the display to sound and show an alarm when the level in your reservoir gets too low. It requires that you have a float switch for your reservoir installed. We don’t currently include one of these in our car kits. But if you install one, you can use this feature. You would change the setting from “N” to “Y”. You would also select the type of switch that you have – normally open or normally closed. Most float switches work either way just by turning them upside down. Route your switch wires to the terminals marked “L” and “B-“ on the PWM circuit board. Note, "B-" is ground, so you may use any good ground source if it's easier for your installation. You also need a resistor installed as per the photo below, between "P1" and "+5V". We install this resistor at the factory, but make sure its still there if you use this function, or it won't function properly. 2K to 10K ohms, 1/8 watt (or larger) will be fine. We ship our displays with this resistor installed, but if you have an older display purchased prior to Jan 2012, then you may have to install the resistor yourself.
4. Enter Codes. This is used to enter codes that affect the operation of the PWM. Mostly we use these codes to turn off individual error tests that the PWM does. When you find that your PWM triggers an error so frequently that it becomes an annoyance, then you can use these codes to turn that error or errors off. However, be very careful with this. It's likely that the errors are telling you something is wrong with the PWM, or the environment or connections, and rather than squelching the error reporting, your first thought should be to find and correct the situation causing it. If you still feel you need to turn off a particular error, then be sure to report back to us the circumstances that led to it. It may be that the error testing routine needs improvement. Feedback from customers is sometimes the only way we find out needed improvements.
To enter a code, turn the knob to cycle through the available numbers and characters available. The available numbers are 0-9 and A-F. When you get to the number you want, press the button, and you'll be advanced to the next character position. Again, turn the knob to select the 2nd character, and so on. When you have entered the last character, press the knob twice to complete your entry. If you have entered a valid code, the word "Saved" will flash onto the screen for a moment. If you enter an unrecognizable code, then "Invalid" will be displayed shortly. Entering an invalid code has no effect whatsoever. So, if you are entering a code and accidentally enter a wrong character, then just press the button twice and start over.
The following codes are recognized:
25350 - No Load check off
25351 - No Load check on
3AC2F0 - Instant Amps Check off
3AC2F1 - Instant Amps Check on
C187A0 - Total Amps Check off
C187A1 - Total Amps Check on
2EE040 - Runaway Amps Check off
2EE041 - Runaway Amps Check on
232250 - Fan Stopped Check off
232251 - Fan Stopped Check on
During your initial set up of your HHO system, we recommend you keep this set to “Off”. We don’t want your PWM shutting off for unknown reasons while we are trying to get everything working for the first time. However, you will want to use this function as it provides another layer of safety on top of the control wire discussed above. By turning this function on, and getting the voltages set correctly, the PWM will shut off when the engine stops running due to low voltage.
The voltage of your vehicle’s electrical system is actually only nominally (in name only) 12 volts. When the engine is shut off, the battery will usually provide less than 12 volts. If any kind of current demand is being made on it, such as would be the case with an HHO system running, it will drop to below 12 volts. However, when the engine is running, the alternator produces well over 12 volts to the electrical system so that the battery will charge. If you measure the voltage at your battery when the engine is running, you will usually see about 13.5 volts or a bit more. We are using this voltage difference to sense when the engine is not running, and to use it as an additional layer of safety.
In the general instructions above, we gave you some voltages to use for this function. You should actually make a few measurements on your system to make sure these voltages are the best to use for your vehicle. For instance, we want the On Voltage to be low enough that it will always come on when it should, but not so low that it will come on when it shouldn't’t. To test for a good On Voltage, let your car run at idle, then turn on all the devices you will likely ever use. Run your HHO generator at the amperage you plan to use. Turn on your head lights and your stereo, and run you’re A/C with the fan on high. Now measure the voltage. You’ll want your On Voltage to be below this voltage.
Now turn off all of the accessories, and turn off the car. Measure the voltage. You will find that it quickly drops down to 12 volts or a little below. You’ll want your Off Voltage to be above the voltage you see now.
After activating this function, if the voltage drops below your off voltage threshold, the PWM will set it's duty cycle to 0, effectively turning the system off..
Getting these voltages correct is easy to do, and will give you an extra layer of safety with your HHO system. Between this function, and the control wire, we are making very certain that HHO not being produced unknowingly, nor when the engine is off. This is an important safety consideration. You never want your system making HHO while the engine is not running and therefore instantly consuming it.
Error messages and their meanings:
Fan Stopped - The fan is not turning. This could be an obstruction, or it could be a failed fan. Either way, the PWM is programmed to shut down if the fan fails. This is so it won't overheat.
Low Liquid - You must have the Level Sensing activated in software in order for this one to show up. Note, that Level Sensing is turned off by default. See the description of this function at #3 in the Programming Instructions section above.
Low Volt:PWM OFF - See the section on Voltage Sensing above. This error indicates that the voltage sensing system has detected a low voltage condition and has shut down the PWM. This function is turned off by default. You must activate it in the main menu if you want this check done.
No Load - This error occurs when less than 3 amps are being drawn on the system, yet the duty cycle is above 50%. It is an informational error only. The PWM will continue trying to run a cell, with the only difference being that the duty cycle will not go above 50% until the error is cleared. It will continue to try to find a load to run.
Hi Amps:PWM OFF - Instant amps too high. 10 A doesn't sound like much, and it isn't. However, if the duty cycle is at 5%, the instant amps being drawn by the system during that fraction of a second is 200Amps, which is enough to fry the mosfets. So we monitor this and shut the system down if these values are exceed.
Hi Amps:Alarm - This one just means that amps have gone above the set point and is not coming back down.
Disconnect Cell!: This is a 2 line error, and is very insistent. This one occurs only if the PWM has lost control of the cell. This can happen if one or more mosfets fry, or there is a short or something. It alerts you to the fact. The controller will try to reduce duty cycle, but the current doesn't stop flowing. In this case, current will flow until one of the cables to the PWM is disconnected.
Software Revision History
Version 1.0: Changed default frequency to 65 Hz.
Version 1.1: Various cosmetic changes were made to the display.
Version 1.2: Rewrote all code for handling the encoder (control knob). Smoother operation of the knob resulted.
Version 1.21: Changed the main display layout so that errors could be reported.
Version 1.22: Added ability to change the frequency. Added error reporting for multiple errors.
Version 1.24: Added 'No Load' check to errors. Checks to be sure the system is drawing current and reports an error if less than 3 amps are being drawn at 50% duty cycle or more.
Version 1.25: Added 1) check for high instant amps - instant amps is defined as average amps (as displayed on the controller) divided by duty cycle. If that amperage is too high, the PWM will shut down to protect itself. 2) Checks for amps out of control. If a mosfet fries, it will pass current without any control by the PWM. This error alerts the user to disconnect the PWM - insistently. 3) Also checks for high amps condition in general and shuts down if found. 4) Brought all advancements made on the truck PWMs to the car PWMs Only difference is max allowed amps. 50A systems will have a "-1" after the software version, and 100A versions will have a "-2". 5) Auto calibrate menu item was replaced with a procedure that calibrates the unit at each startup. 6) Added a "Code Entry" step. This is for making changes to the programming after the display/controller has left the factory.
Version 1.26 Added ability to cancel the fan error which sometimes causes nuisance errors in cold weather when the fan is not needed.