EbikeE and BMC for Comfort and Range

General Discussion about electric bicycles.

Re: ebikeE Recumbent Testing - it's alive!

Postby Alan B » Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:28 pm



Thanks!

Above is a link that shows using the 2x3 vinyl downspout material to house Bosch fatpacks, and expand the height 3/8" to make them fit properly. They did this by cutting and splicing with PVC cement. very similar to what I need here. :)
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Re: ebikeE Recumbent Testing - it's alive!

Postby Alan B » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:05 am

How can Vinyl Downspout material make a useful battery housing?

I received one PM asking about that, so I'm sure others are wondering as well. I need to add some photos, but it is 5am and I'm not going to get out of this warm bed yet, and the best light for photos is hours away. So I'll try to describe it without using the requisite 1,000 words. :)

I have 6S packs from both Turnigy at 5AH and Zippy at 8AH. I could use either for the bikeE but the Zippy require fewer interconnects and as it turns out they fit the downspout tubing better, except they don't quite fit. More details in a moment.

Part of this process is affected by me getting anxious to get this bikeE on the road. Much of my Turnigy pack is tied up on the Mountain bike so I can use the Zippy more easily without disturbing the already working Mountain bike. I have a few loose Turnigy packs, but only 500 watt hours. I have six of the Zippy and they are (a bit less than) 200 watt hours each. My goal is to put six Zippy packs on the bike for now. That will give me 1200 watt hours optimistically so perhaps I will have 900-1000 useable watt hours and give me a 50 mile range riding efficiently. The seatback, rear tail and underseat areas will all be available to carry other things. The batteries will be out of the way.

Spacewise on the bikeE I have 24 inches on top of the main beam, and 30 inches below. So we can take three Zippy 6S 8AH packs which are each seven inches long, and place them end to end on top of the beam and have a pack that is 21 inches long. The other three similarly packaged below the beam. I'm making these packs 24 inches long to allow some room for connections and the HVCLVC pc board.

This works out especially well for me since I'm planning to use 12S, so each of these two "tube packs" can be 6S with three 8AH packs in parallel. If I make them with the output connector being a 4mm dual banana plug (like a Turnigy battery) they will plug into my already made wiring adapters that series the packs and feeds the Deans that came on the controller.

So I will cut the top of the 24" long vinyl downspout tube off making a "U" channel, lay in some foam, lay in the 3 batteries end to end, lay in wiring, more foam, invert another cut U tube down over that and slide it down till the batteries are tightly captured, and tape or vet-wrap the two U's together into a tubular pack 2x3.5x24 inches long. Then these tube battery packs will be mounted above and below the bikeE beams, probably with vetwrap for now.

For charging I'm getting a Hyperion 1420i so I can balance charge the whole pack at once.

Most of the effort to do this is in making the wiring fit into this long packaging.
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Re: ebikeE Recumbent Testing - it's alive!

Postby Alan B » Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:26 pm

Uploaded 24 new photos to the ebikeE album:

https://picasaweb.google.com/1158081452 ... directlink

Showing the new front tire, removed batteries, new location of thumb throttle, battery fit in 2x3 vinyl downspout pipe, and the wiring harness that I made that won't quite fit in the SE300 case.

Here are a couple of them:

Image

Image
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Re: ebikeE Recumbent Testing - it's alive!

Postby Alan B » Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:56 pm

Variable height battery tube

Here are a couple photos showing the 2x3 vinyl downspout material being used as a battery holder. One side was cut off (do this carefully), and two U sections used to create a variable size battery tube:

Image

And now with the top U section slid down over the lower section:

Image
Last edited by Alan B on Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ebikeE Recumbent Testing - it's alive!

Postby Alan B » Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:55 pm

Wiring Harness

The Wiring Harness is taking shape. I decided to make another run to the hardware store to get a tubing flaring tool so I could flare the other end of the crimp sleeves. That way wires from both directions can safely be used in the crimp sleeve. Otherwise the sleeve has an edge toward the wires on one side since they are made for wires all entering from the other flared side.

Hydraulic Crimp Tool

The Hydraulic Crimp Tool is doing a superb job. It takes quite a few strokes to operate it, but the resulting crimp is very solid. I needed to take one apart, so I tried to squeeze it at 90 degrees to get it to release but it did not. Finally had to cut the wire, the crimp would not release. Really solid! You can pull on the wires hard, they don't budge.

It is really nice to not have to struggle to get the wires into the crimp sleeve. With two #10's and one #12 there is enough room to easily get things in, and we are within the design range of this sleeve. It will hold three #10's so it is not quite full, but close.

Photos coming soon!

Back to it!
Last edited by Alan B on Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ebikeE Recumbent Testing - it's alive!

Postby Alan B » Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:35 am

Wiring Harnesses Completed

Image

The two batteries are nearly done. A little finish work with foam and tape to dress the wiring, plus make and install the balance extensions for getting the balance leads out to the charger, seal these tubes up and mount them on the bikeE! :)
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Re: ebikeE Recumbent Testing - it's alive!

Postby Alan B » Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:37 am

Here is the business end showing the power leads and the Methods HVCLVC boards:

Image
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Re: ebikeE Recumbent Testing - it's alive!

Postby Alan B » Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:02 am

Hydraulic Crimp Tool

Image

Crimp Sleeve, completed samples above, standard unused sleeve, and modified with flare on both ends:

Image
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Re: ebikeE with Vinyl Tube Battery

Postby Alan B » Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:31 am

Batteries are ready. Made adapter cables for balancing, organized the wiring, attached the HVCLVC boards, and closed up the batteries.

These are ready for mounting on the bikeE.

A storm is coming in tonite, no good riding weather till wednesday. With a bit of effort and luck we'll be ready for a commute test run on Wed or Thur.
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Re: ebikeE with Vinyl Tube Battery

Postby ryan » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:57 pm

The weather's gone. I want video of that beast on the road! Looks like a lot of fun.
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Re: ebikeE with Vinyl Tube Battery

Postby Alan B » Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:45 pm

Even though it did not rain, the wind was pretty heavy this morning, and the bike is not quite ready to try it today, but I did consider it.

Weather for the rest of the week looks nice. Resume the countdown. :)

Tonite I'll get those batteries mounted and jury rig a red rear blinker and a backpack for carrying a few things. I'll need to carry a charger, forgot to pre-position one. I might be able to make the round trip on one charge, but I don't want to push it.

Other than that I think we're good to go.

Tomorrow will be the goal for a first commute run with it.

Video huh. Have to work on that. Need to charge the GoPro and figure out the upload software.

We're getting close... :shock:
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Re: ebikeE with Vinyl Tube Battery

Postby Alan B » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:35 am

Did it!

Made the commute run to work. 13 miles, 384 watt hours. 29 watt hours per mile. 45 minutes. Not bad. Lots of uphill on this run, will take less to return home.

Image

bikeE balance charging

Had one problem with chain coming off front chainring. :(

It takes more work to pilot a recumbent. At least for me. Need better sun protection for seeing well. No suspension wasn't much of a problem, was a bit rough in spots. I slowed down more than I would on a suspended mountain bike.

Weight balance with batteries along the frame seems excellent. Can't really tell they are there except when picking up the bike. Each tube is 24" long and weighs about 10 pounds and contains 6S 24AH. They are connected in series under the seat so it is 50V fully charged to the controller. Controller is set up for 20 amps so this is a California legal 1000 watts. Top speed observed was 25 mph on the level. On the steeper hills it requires some pedal input.

I was advised to limit power to a conservative 1500 watts on this BMC V4, and the controller was set for 18S hence we are missing some power. Will have to fix that. :mrgreen:
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby Alan B » Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:39 pm

Charger put back 8.6 amp hours into 12S pack.

The tough part is to come. Climbing out of here on the way home starts with 11% for a couple hundred yards. This power level is not going to zoom up that without some pedal input. Hope the motor doesn't get too hot. We shall see. :)
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby ddk » Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:48 pm

Alan B wrote:...The tough part is to come. Climbing out of here on the way home starts with 11% for a couple hundred yards. This power level is not going to zoom up that without some pedal input. ...

why I chose to use 2 motors
No. one for cruzin'
No.two to assist No.1 on hills
ymmv
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby mr.electric » Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:56 pm

Congrats on another nice ebike. Looks like a nice long range machine.
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby ryan » Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:15 pm

Great work, Alan. How are you going to "finish" the gutters so they don't, um, look like gutters?
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby Alan B » Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:22 pm

Thanks for the comments.

Two motors would be nice, but I think I'll crank this one up a few dB and see how it goes.

Those white tubes are definitely distracting. I am thinking perhaps some Krylon Fusion, and I've ordered vetwrap in blue and teal.

Any suggestions?
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby lester12483 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:15 pm

Looks good!

I have always liked those bike e recumbents. They kinda look futuristic.
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby Alan B » Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:53 pm

Home commute complete. Another safe trip. Consumed about 5.2 amp hours, considerably less than the trip in. About 250 watt hours. So this trip was under 20 watt hours per mile, which is excellent! A round trip would consume about 700 watt hours which is just over what the mountain bike with 9C takes to just do the inbound trip.

This morning I was following a pair of road bike riders down a slight grade and I noticed that with the three of us just rolling I was overtaking them. Even a bikeE recumbent seems to be more efficient than a road bike when the riders are upright. Amazing!

On the 11% gradient part of the ride home at the start I made 8 to 10 mph with moderate pedaling. Most of the rest of the trip was full throttle non pedaling. On the downhill it rolls well, accelerating up to 30+ mph on the 5-6% grades. On the flats and slight uphills it does 25 mph, I may have set the CA for 25 max, so that may be limiting it.

Image

A question for those experienced with recumbents. Is the stability of the bikeE similar to other bents? Can I do anything to improve it? Or is it just my perception?? Everything seems to be tight. The headset had some play, but I adjusted that out. It seems a bit annoying. Maybe I will get used to it.
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby amberwolf » Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:10 am

What specifically are you referrring to by "stability"?

With CrazyBike2, I can change the lowest speed at which it becomes less stable by changing the fork lenght or the size of the front or rear wheels, thus changing the angle of the headtube/rake/etc.

So, if this is the problem you have, you can do the same to change that.

If the problem is instability at higher speeds, lower the front end (or raise the back). If at lower speeds, raise it (or lower the back). At least, this works for CrazyBike2.
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby Alan B » Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:32 am

I suppose it is higher speed stability that I'm hoping to improve. Low speed instability probably goes with the territory, and we don't spend much time there.

It is not easy to make the types of changes you suggest on this bike. The front wheel is about as small as it can be, and the rear about as large as it can be. I could move the battery mass if that would help. Is the best place to carry weight right under the seat? or ??

We have heard comments that the bikeE is less stable at speed than other recumbents, and that it is okay compared to others. Being new to this type of bike I'm not sure if it is just my perception, or if this is normal for bents. I don't want to hack up this nice bike, but I'm wondering if it is as stable as it can or should be.
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby Alan B » Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:56 am

Recumbent Stability

http://www.easystreetrecumbents.com/bik ... ningToRide

http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/index ... 27023.html

One thing that strikes me from reading about recumbent stability is that I need to adjust my seat forward a bit and add a lumbar support to get better connected with the seat. And ride it more. :)
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Maiden Run and Stability

Postby jkbrigman » Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:40 pm

Alan - congratulations on your successful first commute run, and congratulations on the efficient Wh/mile numbers!!!

I agree with everything your references said about riding a recumbent - it's definitely more of a challenge compared to an upright bike, you have to be on it continuously.

Turning a recumbent is trickier. On my SWB, I have the pedal clearance problem they mention. I'll lean for speed just to make the turn work at all. Then I pedal or increase power coming out of the turn, as the bike will want to fall into the center of the turn.

Starting off, I always "pedal off", I can't push off with the foot on the ground. That makes gearing vital, so I've not considered, yet, getting rid of my front derailleur, although that would be a nice thing for freeing up space on the handlebars.

To improve balance, I always slide down in the seat. I'm not sure if that's possible on the BikeE, but I'm sure what they talk about in your reference - pushing back in the seat, relaxing the shoulders and keeping a light touch on the handlebars, all hold true. Definitely true on the SWB.

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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby www.recumbents.com » Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:58 pm

Hi Alan,

Yeah, the Bike-E is not known for stability. The "compact long wheelbase" format in general is not great in that respect. The little bitty 16" front wheel doesn't help there either. It's fine for low speed but eventually you will want to upgrade. My full suspension SWB handles great, and a LWB should work well too.

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