4500+ Miles US Ebike Tour - August 2014

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Re: 4500+ Miles US Ebike Tour - August 2014

Post by grindz145 » Nov 15, 2014 9:09 am

rborger73 wrote:
grindz145 wrote:
rborger73 wrote:No bms for me, and the only time anything gets unhooked is for balancing once a month if that. 96 cells stay within a .03 variance from high to low after thousands of miles. The key to battery health is more capacity than you need. I check balance weekly and am amazed every time how close everything stays.
I couldn't agree more, although A BMS is a good idea...
Ideally I agree on a bms being a good idea. As soon as a few more options become available to allow for large capacity packs with lots of cells and has a blue tooth to show me all the cell levels at will, I'm there. ;)
Agreed, the current hobby-grade BMS options are really non-existent. They're either unreliable, or not useful for more than a 10s battery pack.

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Re: 4500+ Miles US Ebike Tour - August 2014

Post by dnmun » Nov 15, 2014 9:17 am

that is not true at all. we have access to cheap and dependable BMS that can handle 120-140A peaks with no problem, up to 24S lipo for $60. ask the people who joined the recent group shipment if they agree with you. just because you don't understand how a BMS works doesn't mean there are none out there with excellent performance and capabilities. there are a lot of them.

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Re: 4500+ Miles US Ebike Tour - August 2014

Post by grindz145 » Nov 15, 2014 2:01 pm

dnmun wrote:that is not true at all. we have access to cheap and dependable BMS that can handle 120-140A peaks with no problem, up to 24S lipo for $60. ask the people who joined the recent group shipment if they agree with you. just because you don't understand how a BMS works doesn't mean there are none out there with excellent performance and capabilities. there are a lot of them.
Hah, I designed them for a living for the military. I don't know what group shipment you're talking about though. I've never seen one that wasn't garbage for under $200. And even then they're a frocking pita.

Link?

Full disclosure: I have a full distributed BMS on my battery pack. I designed it, and it works well. The only stuff I have seen for hobbyists is total garbage. I hope you can prove me wrong.
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Re: 4500+ Miles US Ebike Tour - August 2014

Post by DAND214 » Nov 15, 2014 2:26 pm

http://www.bestekpower.com/pcmbmspcbfor ... terypacks/
Here is the link.
Pick your poison.

Dan

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Re: 4500+ Miles US Ebike Tour - August 2014

Post by grindz145 » Nov 15, 2014 2:31 pm

DAND214 wrote:http://www.bestekpower.com/pcmbmspcbfor ... terypacks/
Here is the link.
Pick your poison.

Dan
Thanks man. I'll order one of these for evaluation. The architecture is not exactly confidence inspiring though... If it is better than the rest of the chinese stuff I have experience with, then I'll be very happy with it for under 100 bucks.

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Re: 4500+ Miles US Ebike Tour - August 2014

Post by DAND214 » Nov 15, 2014 11:48 pm

You might ask Dnmun which one is the best. He seems to know more than most here.

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Re: 4500+ Miles US Ebike Tour - August 2014

Post by grindz145 » Nov 15, 2014 11:59 pm

DAND214 wrote:You might ask Dnmun which one is the best. He seems to know more than most here.

Dan
Yeah, I've used some of the 7S modules listed on this site and blown them to smitherines (while maintaining rated current/etc) In general the designs have no margin, and no TVSS.

If people are having good luck with the larger series cell string versions, I am super-psyched. There has been nothing at this pricepoint so far, and I think it's a huge missing link, still, after all these years. can't wait.

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Re: 4500+ Miles US Ebike Tour - August 2014

Post by Ykick » Nov 16, 2014 8:10 am

I've used 16S Bestech D167 and D140 and very happy with them. D167 is good for 30A and the D140 good for 15A continuous. They sell to end users but MOQ (minimum order quantity) = 2. I was skeptical but gotta admit they're reliable (when I don't do stupid shit) and nice to have on my RC Lipo packs. I use a wiring harness connection scheme which leaves my 4S Hardcase Turnigy RC Lipo unmodified in the event of warranty or a brick just goes bad. Simply R&R another brick.

I messed up a couple D167's - one was a stupid reverse polarity while the balance leads were connected. The other one had 2 balance channel drain transistors which somehow shorted and drains those cells if left connected. Both can probably be fixed and were my errors as I was getting used to arranging multiple balance plug connections.

Dennis (dnum) might be ordering more so maybe you could get in on that? Try a PM...
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Re: 4500+ Miles US Ebike Tour - August 2014

Post by jkbrigman » Nov 17, 2014 10:24 pm

Would like to give their cell balancers a try:
http://www.bestekpower.com/balanceboard/HCX-D103C.html
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Re: 4500+ Miles US Ebike Tour - August 2014

Post by maxwell92036 » Nov 17, 2014 11:51 pm

Ok at the end of the day. say I have two batteries with BMS and two chargers and go on a cross country trip. As long as I don't go too low and keep them charged up, using lithium NiCoMn batteries what problems should I really have? You guys talk about balancing and this and that and the other thing yet you blow up batteries trying to balance them. I guess I am not so brave!
My power levels are well below what my 12 mosfet 40 amp controller can put out and what the motor is capable of handling. I just use pedal assist with no throttle.
Even if a battery will only last 500 charges and mine supposedly is rated at 1000 charges at even only 20 miles per charge (I can get up to 35 or more) that would be 10,000 to 20,000 miles provided you put some mileage on every year.
Is anyone here getting that type of mileage on battery packs?
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Re: 4500+ Miles US Ebike Tour - August 2014

Post by rborger73 » Nov 18, 2014 5:57 am

maxwell92036 wrote:Ok at the end of the day. say I have two batteries with BMS and two chargers and go on a cross country trip. As long as I don't go too low and keep them charged up, using lithium NiCoMn batteries what problems should I really have? You guys talk about balancing and this and that and the other thing yet you blow up batteries trying to balance them. I guess I am not so brave!
My power levels are well below what my 12 mosfet 40 amp controller can put out and what the motor is capable of handling. I just use pedal assist with no throttle.
Even if a battery will only last 500 charges and mine supposedly is rated at 1000 charges at even only 20 miles per charge (I can get up to 35 or more) that would be 10,000 to 20,000 miles provided you put some mileage on every year.
Is anyone here getting that type of mileage on battery packs?
The only reason I would want to have 2 chargers with me is one for backup personally. I've got 6,400 miles on my batteries already this year with no issues at all. I expect I'll get way over 10,000 out of them. If I was running them as two separate packs I don't think I'd get anywhere near that out of the primary pack as I'd be running it more shallow and charging it more often. This is akin to a car. You don't want to run the car with the fuel gauge needle near empty all the time. You'll pick up more of the dirt in your tank, ruin your filter and clog up your injectors in a shorter time. Which will lead to engine failure at some point.

Most of the time I don't go below 3.8v and I charge to 4.18. The meat is in the middle with these batteries. The lower the cell voltage the faster it will run out. So down below 3.6 has less umph then above 3.8 does. If you have a bms you are already balancing your batteries. Did they blow up? The only people blowing up batteries are the ones with a bad cell, or overcharging due to not paying attention. Balancing is unlikely to make a battery ignite unless a cell is bad. Balancing is done automatically by most lipo chargers. The more likely event for someone to have a battery ignite is when they bulk charge without realizing other cells over charged trying to compensate for a bad or dead cell.

You'll lose range much faster charging and using your packs that way. :wink:

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Re: 4500+ Miles US Ebike Tour - August 2014

Post by maxwell92036 » Nov 18, 2014 10:44 am

I have two charges because that is what came with my two batteries. No need for me to spend a boatload of money on a high capacity charger till these bite the dust and then I still have a backup if one fails while out on a tour.
I guess we just skin cats in different ways. I know I have a bit to learn about batteries, charging, chemistry, bms, cell balancing and the like but for now I want to rack up the miles without racking my brain too much!
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Re: 4500+ Miles US Ebike Tour - August 2014

Post by mlt34 » Nov 18, 2014 2:09 pm

maxwell92036 wrote:I have two charges because that is what came with my two batteries. No need for me to spend a boatload of money on a high capacity charger till these bite the dust and then I still have a backup if one fails while out on a tour.
I guess we just skin cats in different ways. I know I have a bit to learn about batteries, charging, chemistry, bms, cell balancing and the like but for now I want to rack up the miles without racking my brain too much!
I think having two chargers is fine. Obviously it's twice the work when you're plugging in to charge, but if you don't mind that and the extra weight on an XC trip then there's not really a problem. Technically it's healthier for the battery to charge at a lower C-rate, but with a BMS on each battery you can't simply charge them in parallel. You still need to split them back into two packs in order for the BMS to function effectively.

The bigger issue is how you discharge your batteries while riding. If you use them as two entirely separate batteries, i.e. you run one down, then unplug it and replace it with your second battery until that one runs down, then that's not a good (or efficient) way to use them. You are better off running the two batteries in parallel, that way they each deliver half the power and will last much longer and be much healthier. This is super simple to do as long as you keep them at the same charge level (only parallel them after they've both been fully charged or have been discharged together at the same time). Otherwise you'd need a diode on each one to keep the charge from flowing from one battery to the other. One battery at 20% and one battery at 80% parallel together would cause the high voltage battery to try to charge the low voltage battery really fast.
Are you planning your first electric bicycle conversion? I wrote a book that teaches beginners everything they need to know about building their own ebike.
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I also write for EbikeSchool.com, a site that does mainly how-to style articles and other informational write-ups. Check out our youtube channel for great how-to battery building videos.
Lastly, I run www.Vruzend.com, which sells solderless 18650 battery kits, 18650 cells, li-ion chargers, BMSs and more!

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Re: 4500+ Miles US Ebike Tour - August 2014

Post by dnmun » Nov 18, 2014 2:46 pm

you only have to separate them while charging in parallel from the same charger if the BMS has a separate charging mosfet. if the BMS is built with the charging spot and the power spot on the BMS connected to the same spot on the drains of the outer set of mosfets in the tab to tab configuration, then you can charge them in parallel without separating. this is because the HVC cut off turns off both sets of mosfets so the charging current cannot find a way to reach the battery shut off by the HVC through the BMS that is still turned on because that other battery has not reached HVC already.

you can tell just by looking at the pictures of the BMS and where the P- lead and the C- lead is attached to the BMS.

ykick is right about the D167. it is capable of up to 70A burst, 35A continuous which is enuff for most people imo. plus we bot enuff in the last group order to get the price down to $37 each which is a new low for me since the previous orders it was still $5 more.

of course if you design BMSs for a living you know all this already. i have been able to kill them by reversing the sense wires too so there is nothing unusual about that. i have even burned up the output mosfets by hacking the small 15A versions to force them up to 30A but have not been able to break any of the larger ones.

i have run my car on a single D131 and have pushed over 130A through one before it cut out and now i run two in parallel to handle high current surges. also using two gives me twice the balancing current so it goes up to 350mA then. the 24S lipo D131 were $60 in this last group order. much less than $200 and still the best available.

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Re: 4500+ Miles US Ebike Tour - August 2014

Post by maxwell92036 » Nov 19, 2014 11:59 am

Well instead of worrying about batteries I took a 65 mile ride yesterday. Made a record (for me) 57 miles on my 48 volt 20 amp hour battery before I switched over at one bar.
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Re: 4500+ Miles US Ebike Tour - August 2014

Post by jkbrigman » Nov 19, 2014 2:20 pm

maxwell92036 wrote:Well instead of worrying about batteries I took a 65 mile ride yesterday. Made a record (for me) 57 miles on my 48 volt 20 amp hour battery before I switched over at one bar.
GREAT JOB, way-to-go man! So all in one fell swoop, you proved:

1) Wattwagon really does the job,
2) You got 57 miles on a 20Ah/48v battery for a very respectable 13-or-so Wh/mile (80% discharge).
3) Generated some very awesome photos. 10.jpg is very badass.

Dude...do your own, new thread for your rides! (so I can ask you more questions without impacting this thread... 8) )
I'm gonna start an XC thread with my next "tiny XC"....
Last edited by jkbrigman on Nov 21, 2014 12:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 4500+ Miles US Ebike Tour - August 2014

Post by Eclectic » Nov 19, 2014 2:35 pm

That is incredibly efficient. I know that Troy carried more than twice as much battery and was looking to charge after 40 miles. I use a 44.4V 20Ah battery and I am looking charge after 20 miles and you're getting 57 miles. Maybe I am calculating things wrong but I figure you get 12-14 Wh/m @ 20mph. To me that's impressive.

Edit: You beat me to it.
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Re: 4500+ Miles US Ebike Tour - August 2014

Post by grindz145 » Nov 19, 2014 2:48 pm

maxwell92036 wrote:Well instead of worrying about batteries I took a 65 mile ride yesterday. Made a record (for me) 57 miles on my 48 volt 20 amp hour battery before I switched over at one bar.
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Re: 4500+ Miles US Ebike Tour - August 2014

Post by grindz145 » Nov 19, 2014 2:51 pm

Eclectic wrote:That is incredibly efficient. I know that Troy carried more than twice as much battery and was looking to charge after 40 miles. I use a 44.4V 20Ah battery and I am looking charge after 20 miles and you're getting 57 miles. Maybe I am calculating things wrong but I figure you get 12-14 Wh/m @ 20mph. To me that's impressive.

Edit: You beat me to it.
The only problem that I have with ebike touring is that I can do 100 miles in a day on an ordinary pedal bike without issue. So in order to justify ebiking, I want to go faster, and I want to go farther, and with more junk. 22mph, 150 mile days with full camping gear is worthwhile. Not to mention I could do it for 30 days in a row. Efficiency is relative. My pedal only range is infinite wh/mile...

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Re: 4500+ Miles US Ebike Tour - August 2014

Post by grindz145 » Nov 19, 2014 2:52 pm

Eclectic wrote:That is incredibly efficient. I know that Troy carried more than twice as much battery and was looking to charge after 40 miles. I use a 44.4V 20Ah battery and I am looking charge after 20 miles and you're getting 57 miles. Maybe I am calculating things wrong but I figure you get 12-14 Wh/m @ 20mph. To me that's impressive.

Edit: You beat me to it.
Oh also, I can get over 100 miles range without issue. 40 miles was just an average stop during the 4500 mile trip, not to downplay the success of the wattwagon ;)

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Re: 4500+ Miles US Ebike Tour - August 2014

Post by jkbrigman » Nov 19, 2014 3:11 pm

grindz145 wrote:The only problem that I have with ebike touring is that I can do 100 miles in a day on an ordinary pedal bike without issue. So in order to justify ebiking, I want to go faster, and I want to go farther, and with more junk. 22mph, 150 mile days with full camping gear is worthwhile. Not to mention I could do it for 30 days in a row. Efficiency is relative. My pedal only range is infinite wh/mile...
Holy Mother-of-Revelation, Troy! This might be the best definition of what an ebike must be capable of (compared to an unpowered bike) that I've ever seen, anywhere. I could not agree more.

Dunno if any of you have seen my Long Distance Ebike Design thread, but I groped for this kind of definition and never got comfortable with the ideas I was coming up with. We mainly talked about 100, 200 and 300 mile ranges and the batteries needed to achieve that. Lots of back and forth about calculations and Wh/mi and the details. That's useful conversation, but it's just design work without a GOAL.

Your remarks define a GOAL: the comparison to the capabilities of an unpowered bike is the genius part, and the part none of us really thought of.

I'm personally able to do a 100 mile ride, unpowered, in a day. Maybe even with cargo. But that's ALL I'll do that day and it'll take me a full 12-15 hours and I promise you, I won't get up the next morning on time to do the same thing all over again. (Not that it's impossible. Plenty of very good cyclists can do that. But your average cyclist can't and more importantly, won't.)

Your thought seems to answer the question of that thread perfectly without getting mired in the details: An ebike with 22mph average speed and 150 mile range "in a day" would definitely raise the capability of a bicycle to the next level, between a bike and a car or a bike and a motorcycle.

I have the phrase "in a day" in double-quotes because I'm willing to allow the notion, that said-ebike would stop at noon for a recharge. But allowing a lunchtime recharge definitely puts an outer limit on how long you might allocate for that. 1 hour would be best. 2 hours, probably the longest allowable, and 3 hours would be no good.

Let me offer this added point to your definition: That the 150 miles should be "honest miles" to 80% depth-of-discharge, across flat terrain with 5mph or less headwind. (And, I'm inviting you to argue if you disagree. You the one with the 4600 miles experience here, not me. :mrgreen: )

Now, it's not lost on me that there's almost no stock, commercially produced ebike out there today that can achieve those numbers. No one is building an ebike to that spec, so I don't want to debate that. But what I DO want to do is ensure that my own ebike can meet that spec!!!

Troy, with your permission, I'd like to update my "Long Distance ... " bike thread with your comment, and adopt your thought as an important benchmark spec to be achieved.
grindz145 wrote:Oh also, I can get over 100 miles range without issue. 40 miles was just an average stop during the 4500 mile trip, not to downplay the success of the wattwagon ;)
IMHO, you don't disparage the wattwagon - in fact, your earlier comment about "with more junk" kinda reinforces that the idea of the Wattwagon is sound and good.

However: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE post more information like that here in this thread. Or better yet, do a podcast. I'm having the DTs for more NFO on your AWESOME RIDE man. There's a lot of information like this that you've not had a chance to get out.

I was pretty sure you had at least a 100 mile range on your machine, but that you were doing 40 mile legs between charges to eliminate the possibility that your 100 mile range could end out in the middle of nowhere?
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Re: 4500+ Miles US Ebike Tour - August 2014

Post by maxwell92036 » Nov 19, 2014 10:24 pm

Well I too can do long days unassisted. In 2012 I did the Tour Divide race from Banff Canada to Antelope Wells New Mexico a distance of almost 2800 mile in 28 days for an average of 97 miles per day. I carried all my own gear on my mountain bike.
I have also done other bikepacking races as well as doing a unassited 650 mile tour to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

To me the point of Electric Bicycle Touring is not so much about mileage per day but what it brings to the table. What happens when I am not trained enough to do day after day of 100 mile efforts? What happens when I want to ride for only 5 or 6 hour a day and not be totally trashed at the end of the day? What happens when I want to do a longish ride or want to forgo the car? I don't think it is all about mileage per day as it is about the experience of just being out there.

To me talking about having to put 150 miles a day in or more to make Electric Bicycle touring justifiable is missing the point.

There are plenty of people out there that want to tour but can't physically make it happen without a little (or lot) of help.

Am I going to give up unassisted biking? The answer is no. I even use the Wattwagon to get me and my bike to the trailhead and back so I can unhook and use my mountain bike normally without having to schlep it around on my car.

Range? Well give me two 20 amp hour 48 volt batteries and I can realistically go about 100 miles between charges, although it is best to put a charge on whenever you can.
We also started a facebook page on Electric Bicycle Touring. Link here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/732293770192066/
tour divide.jpg
From the Tour Divide Race in 2012.
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From my Grand Canyon trip
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Re: 4500+ Miles US Ebike Tour - August 2014

Post by rborger73 » Nov 20, 2014 11:03 am

jkbrigman wrote:
GREAT JOB, way-to-go man! So all in one fell swoop, you proved:

1) Wattwagon really does the job,
2) You got 57 miles on a 20Ah/48v battery for a very respectable 13-or-so Wh/mile (80% discharge).
3) Generated some very awesome photos. 10.jpg is very badass.

Dude...do your own, new thread for your rides! I'm gonna start an XC thread with my next "tiny XC"....

Are you the one close to John Kerr Reservoir Jkbrigman? If the winter weather breaks early enough I'm planning on making an early spring trip down there and back to PA. Be cool to swing through your area. Wanted to do it late summer or early fall, but just couldn't get things together quick enough. Had a week long break with some snow and temps below 20. I still need to fit in another 500 or 600 miles before new years to end the year with 7k. Endorphins are addictive thankfully, so probably tomorrow I'll go out when it gets above 25. lol

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Re: 4500+ Miles US Ebike Tour - August 2014

Post by veloman » Nov 20, 2014 7:02 pm

I use to pedal over 100miles a day myself, but I won't kid anyone and say it wasn't painful. One time did 186miles. Sufferfest for sure.

Ebike touring is completely valid. I rather do it on an ebike than a motorcycle or pedal bike. Its between the extremes of physical effort. Most enjoyable to me, and happens to be very economical and susatinable.

Now, only if I felt safe on most roads at 25mph, then I would do xc trips. Im not a fan of being a sitting duck sharing thenarrow roads with fast traffic.
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Re: 4500+ Miles US Ebike Tour - August 2014

Post by maxwell92036 » Nov 20, 2014 7:43 pm

veloman wrote:I use to pedal over 100miles a day myself, but I won't kid anyone and say it wasn't painful. One time did 186miles. Sufferfest for sure.

Ebike touring is completely valid. I rather do it on an ebike than a motorcycle or pedal bike. Its between the extremes of physical effort. Most enjoyable to me, and happens to be very economical and susatinable.

Now, only if I felt safe on most roads at 25mph, then I would do xc trips. Im not a fan of being a sitting duck sharing thenarrow roads with fast traffic.
You have to pick your routes for sure. I like mixing pavement, dirt and gravel myself.
Adventure Cycling Association has some maps of various routes and if you go to their forums you can pick up a ton of information.
I try to avoid unsafe roads, dress brightly, have a front light on all the time and rear flasher and use my rear view mirror. If I see big trucks coming from behind with oncoming traffic I pull off the road! Whenever I can I let cars pass. If I am going fast or on a downhill I will move into the middle of the lane and then pull over when it is safe. If cars and bikes worked together like they do in Europe it would be better for all of us.
Wattwagon sales *E-bike kit sales and service
http://www.julianactive.com/Electric%20 ... mepage.htm

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