Smoker's hub (thanks, man
) arrived today, along with my Watts Up (or Doc Wattson?), and 25 pairs of Andersons.
The only thing that I didn't have was the wire, so I ran down to my local Radio Shack to see if they had some. They only had reasonably sized rolls of 16ga, and giant rolls of 14ga. Lamesauce. So, instead, I ran down to my local (not) Fry's and snagged some 12ga speaker wire. I got a pretty good deal: 50ft for $20. Works great. I also got some 14-10ga ring terminals for the batts.
Now, construction begins. Most (pretty much all) of what I was doing was rigging up the PowerPoles. I swear, I'm gonna slap the person that decided on the housing's inner dimensions. You CANNOT fit the stupid contact into the housing when you crimp it properly. After about an hour of of screwing with the crimping tool trying to make the damn things fit, I was like, "F*** this." Instead, I just stuck the wire in the contact and filled it with solder. I did it with a small torch, so I figured it would work fine. It did. Because the torch was much hotter than an iron, I could work quicker and not have the insulation on the wire melt. The finished product was just as strong (if not stronger) than a good crimp. I did this for like 6 pairs of PowerPoles.
I already had two new PowerSonic 18Ah batts, and I ordered two more from eBay. Not a good idea. One is so bad it only holds 11.25V open circuit and sags to less than 6V with a 4A load. I have my suspicions about the other. In any case, I'm going to have to run down to Orvac and grab another for $50. Oh well.
Anyway, the semi-bad one works, just not as good as my original ones. So, I made up some wires with the ring terminals to connect them all up in a 36V string. Simple enough.
Before I attached them, I stuck all the batteries together with mounting tape. You know, the crap that's practically invincible if you do it right. I witnessed its effectiveness firsthand when I stuck the last battery on wrong. I had to really work the thing off with a giant automotive flathead screwdriver. Oddly, I managed to salvage the tape and stick the battery on the right way. The wiring went on after this.
Now that all the connector business has been dealt with, on to mounting the wheel. I have worked on my bike quite a bit, so this was no problem. I was able to completely remove the old rim, switch the tire and tube onto the new one, and mount it up in less than 15 minutes. My only problem was front disc brake, which had to come off. There is no provision for a disc on the hub, but this isn't really a problem. I can put the front disc brake on the back, and there is a bracket for a caliper brake in the front.
I connect everything up and turn the bike upside down for a test. I turn the throttle and...
Nothing. Dammit. I twiddle the throttle and it suddenly jumps into action. WTF? I mess with it and the thing is spazzing out. So, I take the throttle in and have a look. I pop off the cover and peek in. From the way it was behaving, I thought there was a frayed wire in it. Luckily, it was much simpler to fix than that. The middle hall sensor leg kept touching the negative leg. I bent it back, and fixed it in place with some hot glue. (FYI: I use hot glue and mounting tape the way Xyster uses duct tape.)
Okay, so now I'm ready to test the thing. At 1:30AM. I stuff the batteries and controller, and Doc Wattson in my backpack. Heavy as hell, but still not as heavy as the schoolbooks I used to have to carry. The straps need to be shortened, but otherwise it's fine.
So, I take a test ride at nearly 2:00 in the morning with no front brake, wires are all untidy, I don't even have the other half of the throttle on, there's no torque arm, and it's like 40 degrees outside and I'm in thin pants and a tee shirt.
And it's friggin' AWESOME. Even at 36V, I can only really do much good for the motor during acceleration in the highest gear. Amusingly, the throttle is a little sticky. This is actually pretty cool, because I can just set it at a speed and cruise without messing with it.
All that's left to do is tidy up the wiring.
Now, a couple questions:
According to my Doc Wattson, my peak amperage draw was 33A, and the voltage sagged all the way down to 31V. For less than 2C, this seems a little drastic. Does this sound about right, or are my suspicions about that third batt confirmed?
Because of the way the forks and drops are shaped (it's a mountain bike frame), it basically has a built in torque arm. The drops are basically 3/8 in steel plates that vaguely resemble triangles. These continue several inches up the fork tubes. What do you guys think: torque arm or no?
Anyway, because the library's closed, I don't have work tomorrow. I'll see if I can get my friend from bowling to come over and bring his camera. I'm sure I can do it if I offer to let him ride
EDIT: I am SO lucky I copied this before I hit submit. The site went down when I was typing, and I nearly lost all of it.