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Re: Help me write the ES wiki

Posted: Aug 16 2011 8:30am
by GCinDC
justin_le wrote:after the first priority which is the corrupted image problem.
Hooray! Thanks Justin!

I think the wiki is an excellent idea as well. In addition to FAQ's and tutorials, maybe there should be a "pre-sales" resource to help buyers choose.

I've been wondering if there could be some kind of modeling program, whereby a newbie prospective ebiker could experiment with to convert his bike. And not a purely mathematical one, but a visual one that allows them to select a hardtail/FS/recumbent, etc donor, then choose from a wide variety of motor types, front/rear/RC, battery types, etc and for each combo, a list of pros & cons display, along with other specifications like bike weight, speed, acceleration, range, etc, etc.

It takes most folks months of researching before they commit their money, and then the result is often different than they imagine. There's too much to choose from, and the process of narrowing requirements is tedious and time consuming.

Re: Help me write the ES wiki

Posted: Aug 16 2011 8:35am
by ptd
Miles wrote:
ptd wrote:
Miles wrote:I vote for SI (MKS) to be used as the primary units system for the wiki. Using a coherent system makes understanding relationships so much easier....
would it be so difficult to just do both? coherent is kind of subjective
Well I did say primary. In this case, coherent is not "kind of subjective". :)
i was thinking something along the lines of a selection tool, for whatever units you'd prefer. and considering we don't all use the same units, what might be coherent to one, may not be to another, hence, subjective, with respect to someones preference or definition of coherent. it might be nice to go into it with both sides in mind, instead of choosing one over another. maybe we could talk google translator into going scientific. i mean math is just another language, right? :D

Re: Help me write the ES wiki

Posted: Aug 16 2011 8:37am
by grindz145
Wow, that's awesome Justin, thanks for kicking it off. Ill start writing some articles in the same format to add to the thread, and then we can just copy/paste once the wiki is up.

Re: Help me write the ES wiki

Posted: Aug 16 2011 8:43am
by Miles

The reason I said "primary" was because the wiki is, hopefully, an educational tool. Using ad hoc units when trying to understand motor theory etc., makes things more difficult to comprehend. I'm saying that perhaps it's better that those in the US adjust, in this case. :) :arrow:

Re: Help me write the ES wiki

Posted: Aug 16 2011 9:10am
by ptd
normally i woulda resisted, but i like you miles. so i give in. but if i make it back to london, i'm draggin you out, getting you drunk, and starting this conversation all over again. should be fun :D

Re: Help me write the ES wiki

Posted: Aug 16 2011 9:11am
by Miles
ptd wrote:normally i woulda resisted, but i like you miles. so i give in. but if i make it back to london, i'm draggin you out, getting you drunk, and starting this conversation all over again. should be fun :D
Lots of good pubs around here... I've no problem with beer being sold by the pint :D

Re: Help me write the ES wiki

Posted: Aug 16 2011 9:27am
by ptd
ok, i see how the conversation starts, lol. but it sounds like we doing some role reversal. does that mean i gotta ask for a liter of newecastle?

Re: Help me write the ES wiki

Posted: Aug 16 2011 10:33am
by etard
Now here's an idea guys:

What if we gathered all this info together complete with ebike calculators for motor winds, gearing, etc... and created an app for your smartphone that the avg. person could use as well as the avid ebiker to learn and play around with different configurations? We could then sell the app for maybe $1 or make it free with the option to cancel banner ads for $1. This would help sustain the site with off site revenue and still keep endless sphere ad free!

I really like the idea of a tutorial video section, although I could see it getting out of hand very quickly if people just started posting up YouTube videos Om other things related like bicycle maintenance.

KnightMB really let this place slide, it's gonna be some work cleaning it up, but there are a lot of guys that have bookmarked good threads, Spinningmagnets comes to mind, and I bet RoboMiles has some good ones too.

I would be willing to help in any way I can, even just data entry or proofreading.

Re: Help me write the ES wiki

Posted: Aug 16 2011 10:40am
by ptd
i guess my question is, does the wiki become part of the forum, or the other way around ? seems to me it IS all about structure.

Re: Help me write the ES wiki

Posted: Aug 16 2011 10:47am
by jonathanm
ptd wrote:ok, i see how the conversation starts, lol. but it sounds like we doing some role reversal. does that mean i gotta ask for a liter of newecastle?
I'm from Newcastle, and it actually comes in half liter bottles back home. But you just have to ask for "a bottle of dog" ;)

wikis need all kinds of different input - thats the way to get them working - some people write some stuff, others fill in the links to other pages, add pics, tidy up etc.

I agree its best to let it grow organically, and also to use links to wikipedia for stuff that is already well described there, at least until more ebike / EV related content gets written.

It's important to see the difference between a wiki and a straight up collection of FAQs - for me a good wiki is eminently clickable. lots of interlinking between pages so you can follow whatever you need to and avoid having tons of duplicate info on different pages.

And yes, I am up for helping. I'm no motor or PE guru, but I can be useful, I am sure.

Re: Help me write the ES wiki

Posted: Aug 17 2011 12:47pm
by auraslip
You need to reconcile with the fact that the people most capable of writing impeccable articles that meet YOUR standards (I'm looking at you luke), are the ones with the least time to do so.

Re: Help me write the ES wiki

Posted: Aug 17 2011 1:37pm
by liveforphysics
auraslip wrote:You need to reconcile with the fact that the people most capable of writing impeccable articles that meet YOUR standards (I'm looking at you luke), are the ones with the least time to do so.


Yeah, I agree.

And yet, it still needs to be done, and it will save us all lots of time in the long run if we can get over the hurdle of starting.

Re: Help me write the ES wiki

Posted: Aug 17 2011 6:58pm
by Joseph C.
As Luke says - it is a start anyway. :D

Commonly Asked Questions About Builds

What is an ebike?

An ebike is an ordinary bicycle with an electric motor that is also capable of being pedalled. Generally, the fuel for an ebike comes in the form of a battery others have also used capacitors but the range is very limited.

How fast will an ebike go?

This depends on the type of motor, the internal motor windings and the voltage of the battery that is powering the ebike.

Here is a rough guide for motors according to wattage. 250 watt geared motor expect 25 kph (15 mph), 350 watt geared motor expect 30 kph (18 mph), 500 watt at 36 volts 32 to 40 kph (20 to 25 mph), 1,000 watt 45 to 50 kph (27 to 31 mph).

If you keep increasing both wattage and voltage much higher speeds, far in excess of 100 kph (62 mph), are possible.

What types of ebikes are available and which one should I purchase?

There is ultimately only two types of ebikes available. One is a complete electric bike and the other, a do-it-yourself conversion kit.

The second part of the question is tricky. It depends on your needs and budget. Generally, conversion kits will work out cheaper as you can get better motors, better batteries, with increased range.

However, low-end electric bicycles are often cheaper than kits but often have low-wattage motors and batteries with very small ranges. This is also coupled with bicycles that are often quite poor quality. There are high-end electric bikes available but expect to pay a substantial price of several thousand euro/dollars/pounds.

Purchasing an conversation kits allows you to fine-tune the package to suit your needs. You can choose what type of motor, where it will be mounted, what type of batteries, what range you would like...The possibilities are endless. You can purchase a complete kit for as little as 700 euro/600 pounds/900 dollars.

What range will the ebike do?

The range of an ebike is completely dependent on the battery. Factors such as battery chemistry and the capacity of the battery in amp hours determine the range. A good conservative rule of thumb is a two kilometres (one mile) per amp hour of battery at high speed. A ten amp hour battery, at higher speeds, will therefore have a range of 20 km (12 miles).

This method allows for other factors such as headwinds and hills to reduce the range of the battery. Both reduced speed and increased pedalling will increase the range. Note with that with Lead Acid batteries unless the battery has a very large capacity the range will be even less. Perhaps only 1kph (half a mile) per amp hour.

The battery chemistry?
There are many types of battery chemistry with many more in development. There are two main types commonly available: Lead Acid and Lithium Ion.

People are generally discouraged from purchasing lead acid as it will end up costing the buyer more money in the long term.

Lead Acid has two advantages it is relatively safe and it is cheap to purchase up front.

But it has many disadvantages its C-rate is appallingly low .5 C which means to prevent voltage sag a lot of capacity must be carried.
Lead acid is also especially susceptible to the Peukert Effect which means that it will ordinarily only give half its rated range. So a ten amp hour, lead acid battery will only give out five amp hours capacity.
Lead acid is extremely heavy and having a large range means a huge amount of weight to carry on a bicycle.
It cycle life is also very short. At most a user will get 150 to 200 cycles out of this chemistry at using only 80 per cent of the batteries capacity (depth of charge).

Lithium batteries are currently the best type of chemistry, or more specifically chemistries, on the market. There are many variants each with different advantages and disadvantages.

Two of the most widely used are lithium cobalt which are generally referred to as Lipo and lithium iron phosphate, LiFePO4.
Lipo has a life of roughly 500 cycles which LiFePO4 has a life of 1,000 to 2,000 cycles, depending on the manufacturer.
Lipo generally has a higher C rate than LiFePO4 which means there are more amps at the riders disposal although A123 Systems LiFePO4 is on a part with most Lipo products.
Lipo has a greater energy density than lithium iron phosphate and weighs a great deal less.
Lithium iron phosphate is much safer than LiPo which can explode while being both over charged and discharged. Extreme caution should be used when using LiPo.
Lipo is much cheaper to purchase than LiFePO4 up front. However, over time LiFePO4 with its much longer cycle life works out to be more cost effective.

There are many benefits to using Lipo but this chemistry is far from ideal for ebike novices.

What type of motors are available?
Hub (direct drive and geared), RC and Friction Drive motors are the most common types.

Are ebrakes important?
This is not a straightforward question. It comes down to preference and what type of bike you have. For some people, such as dyspraxics, it may be prudent to employ ebrakes.

Others prefer kill switches that can turn the motor instantly off with the flick of a switch in case of emergency. Some bikes that have their brakes and gears in one system, revoshifters being a case in point, will be especially ill-suited for ebrakes.

Are torque arms necessary for hub motors?
Correctly mounted torque arms prevent the motor from spinning in the dropouts which can potentially cause serious accidents, and perhaps even death, with the rider being flung from the bike.

The answer to this question is highly dependent on the amount of wattage motor is generating, where the motor is located and what type of material the bike frame is composed from. For safety's sake it would be wise to use torque arms on fork mounted, front motors, irrespective of how much wattage the motor uses.

Aluminium bikes should always use torque arms as the metal is more prone to breaking than steel (this can happen without warning). Rear-mounted motors on steel frames may not need torque arms if the wattage is low and the dropouts are well-designed. The most judicious thing to do would be to use torque arms regardless of mounting position and frame composition.

That is all for now. I will correct the inevitable mistakes later on. Too tired to read over it at present.

Re: Help me write the ES wiki

Posted: Aug 19 2011 10:25am
by busted_bike
Just a suggestion - I suspect a lot of the material for an ES wiki has already been written, here and in other places.

Basic electronics units, math, and theory is all over the web. Some of it is even well written. If someone can find this site, they can probably find another with excruciating detail on the relationship between volts and amps. I may have a minority opinion here, but I don't think it's absolutely necessary to duplicate it here. I would suggest not putting too much effort into this and assuming a basic grasp of the fundamentals.

For the real meat of the wiki, I'd suggest starting by scanning old threads for common questions - many of them will have well-written answers embedded.

Re: Help me write the ES wiki

Posted: Aug 19 2011 10:32am
by busted_bike
ptd wrote:
Miles wrote:I vote for SI (MKS) to be used as the primary units system for the wiki. Using a coherent system makes understanding relationships so much easier....
would it be so difficult to just do both? coherent is kind of subjective
How many Coulombs is your battery? ;)

Re: Help me write the ES wiki

Posted: Aug 20 2011 12:56pm
A Wiki is a great idea guys, and I would be happy to contribute the tutorial stuff I wrote if its wanted. The nice thing about a Wiki is that it's a flat structure, which can be made to look like a hierarchical structure. Basically you can just start adding content and then arrange the menus and links later so it makes more sense. To prevent the issue where data gets corrupted, you should only allow approved folks to edit it. Whether that is by specific permissions or by some other method is up to the admins.


Re: Help me write the ES wiki

Posted: Aug 22 2011 6:55am
by nonlineartom
This will be awesome, I'd like to help in anyway I can. I can see this building up, would cut down on the same questions being answered over, and over, and over again. I'm totally guilty of asking questions that I know have already been answered but are near impossible to find. A wiki makes a lot of sense so long as it's not clouded by opinions.

Re: Help me write the ES wiki

Posted: Aug 30 2011 1:26am
by stingray17
I look forward to the wiki and will be happy to contribute to organizing knowledge. I've participated in a couple of organizations that made good use of a wiki and several others that did not. From my experience as to what kind of attitude it takes to have a good wiki, I think this group will be quite successful! Just wanted to contribute a couple meta-ideas here.

DISCLAIMER: I'm a noob, much respect to the members of the community who have been around longer than I. These are just some ideas I have, and if you don't like them then please consider the fact that by proposing them I am also proposing their opposites (which might be good too).

First, something that might be helpful when we are talking about "FAQs" would be these pieces of information from the E-S web server:
1. Which old threads are very frequently accessed?
2. What are the most common search terms people type in the forum search box?
3. What are the most common Google referrer search terms that send people here?

Perhaps MrVass or someone could get at that info if it is accessible? Or at least if it's not accessible now, it could be in the future. That way we could make sure that the things people are truly most frequently looking to reference are well-maintained and available at the top/front/home of the wiki.

But of course... the most frequently asked questions aren't necessarily where the most important info lives. People never ask the right questions! Heh. So it's also important to have all the how-it-works stuff laid out in a sensible fashion like Luke was saying.

One approach that can help guide contributions is to implement a couple of levels of loose information hierarchy. Not every article needs to fit cleanly into this hierarchy, and many would not. But it's still helpful to have a simple outline structure that holds at least the more general purpose articles. The idea is to create several pages, including the home page, that don't really contain much "information" except for links to the other "main" general articles. The home page might be just a list of meta-articles: Ebike Basics, Motors, Batteries, Controllers, Vendors, etc. And the "Batteries" article again might not itself have info on batteries, instead it would just consist of links to major articles such as "Understanding Battery Charging" and "Performance of Different Battery Types" and "Battery Safety" etc.

Another thought I have... There are probably at least two different "styles" of articles that would be useful. The really meaty technical stuff like much of what Luke was talking about is one part, and it would also be good to have a number of articles that only cover high-level applied questions such as "what do I buy and how do I hook it up?" I think one key to building interest is to cross-link between these articles -- so that someone with a really basic understanding of voltage/current might start reading how to properly maintain their LiPo pack, but then if they start getting curious as to what's really going on, they can read the conveniently linked article that goes into much more detail on how charging works and why balancing is important.

For me at least, that's how the learning process often goes. At first, all I wanted was just to buy some stuff and cruise around on a sweet electric bike. I wanted to do it right the first time, and I didn't want to pay a mint or buy low-quality junk. Once the info on E-S forums helped me do that, then I started coming back and learning a lot more.

Re: Help me write the ES wiki

Posted: Aug 30 2011 6:51am
by bigmoose
You guys should be getting ready for this! MRVass has a "practice" wiki that he has up and running for the mods to work with. Sort of pre release. Since I never worked on a wiki before amberwolf shared this primer of how to post, edit and such. ... _Wikipedia

What I have been doing is when I give a technical answer in a post that is "substantial" I put it on the Wiki also. Like when I quoted the Mil Std on wire sizing, or the best magnet bonding epoxy, foundational stuff like that.

Justin did ask this: "My only real request is that everything that goes up on the wiki is either originally written content, or if it is plagiarized (whether from ES threads, from wikipedia etc.) then all due credit is given to the source. "

So if you are preparing articles, be sure to cite the source like he asked.

Write on!

Re: Help me write the ES wiki

Posted: Aug 30 2011 7:11pm
by mrvass
Sorry for the delay guys, I've never set up a wiki so this is a fun but time consuming experience. Because of upload dangers on an anonymous wiki, I'm setting it up to authenticate against this forum so only ES users can edit (then the dangers are just the same as those regarding forum attachments). Still a bit of testing to do (i.e. Justin cannot log in, but many others can!), but should be ready to be announced in a bit!

Re: Help me write the ES wiki

Posted: Sep 02 2011 4:16pm
by el_walto
Since most of the attachments are pictures files, you could limit attachments to picture files only for the time being.

Re: Help me write the ES wiki

Posted: Sep 16 2011 3:44am
by hjns
Hi all,

I am new to this forum and new to E-vehicles. That makes me one of the target audiences, right? :mrgreen:

So, I just wanted to give my 0.02 here. In my view, there are 2, maybe 3 kinds of people that may use the Wiki, and the Wiki probably needs address their needs accordingly.

The people categories:
  • Noobs (like me) - with the assumption that they know nothing about E-vehicles and/or nothing about electronics and/or nothing about bike/vehicle mechanics and look for information on all of this (i.e., what is an E-bike, what different motors, what do I need). However, some noobs have a tendency to grow more experienced (hopefully me as well) and will need more detailed knowledge over time.
  • Experienced users - with the assumption that they already have built one or more bikes, and are looking for very specific information probably posted by other experienced users (e.g., are there better fets out there than the currently used IRF4110, and do I need it for my 3kV 75kW electric single person airplane)
  • Others, aka sellers / buyers / People who want to read other diaries or built threads / whatever. I think this is out of scope for a Wiki.
Now, from a Wiki structural perspective, this may translate into the following main structures, and this closely follows stingray17's design as well:
  • A General Introduction for noobs, with direct links to basic descriptions of the most relevant information.
  • A Hierarchical E-vehicle (aka functional) knowledge repository (the "real" Wiki), that goes from very high level (different kinds of E-vehicles,), going to intermediate level (different kinds of controllers), going into the nitty gritty details (creating lite BMS for a 12S Lipo pack, or replacing a LVC resistor with an adjustable pot on a specific controller). Several people already provided this overview.
  • A Technical Foundation (aka physical) repository with explanations and links to the electrical/chemical/physical properties of the raw materials/components that are being used.
  • A FAQ, that crosslinks through all of the above, including the forum. And it will probably turn out that the FAQ will actually follow the structure for noobs and for experienced users. This closely resembles Joseph C's list
Aligning this with the current forum assumes that the knowledge in the above described structures can either be found in the forum or can be added as new information. Therefore, I think the format of the Wiki-articles should allow both.
  • If information is already completely available on the forum, a Wiki page could just contain a clear description of the issue and some direct links to the specific forum posts where the information can be found.
  • If information is partially available on the forum, a new Wiki article should have appropriate references to the previously posted information on the forum.
  • and if it is completely new information (rarely), a new Wiki article is ok.
Now, there are many ways to build the Wiki, and no single one is the best. I think that we may find out that a parallel strategy will turn out the best:
  • First agree on a general structure
  • Then have some people work on key articles, locking down other key articles that really need to be produced by experts
  • And let the rest of the Wiki grow organically

Re: Help me write the ES wiki

Posted: Oct 01 2011 8:18am
by The Mighty Volt
I have been trying to think of a contribution, but I can't.

Whatever else the Wiki does, it should not try to replace or substitute the ES itself. That would be impossible in any case.

There isn't a single thing we deal with here which probably hasn't been dealt with already in some way shape or form on another Wiki page, eg motors, mosfets, 3-phase, etc.

I really would like to make a contribution but I can't think of any way we can get an ES page to sit neatly in between this website itself, on one hand, and the myriad other wiki-topics on the other.

Re: Help me write the ES wiki

Posted: Nov 01 2011 8:24am
by theRealFury
Any news on this Wiki yet? How's it coming along MrVas?

Re: Help me write the ES wiki

Posted: Nov 07 2011 12:11am
by Dlogic
This is a wonderful idea. Even though this might be a little off topic, I'd add a newbie buildup. In other words a simple to follow detailed instruction on how to build a basic e-bike. There's a lot of information here, but I still haven't come across something that'll get those new to the subject set up and running fast. Or correct me if I'm wrong, cause maybe there's something like this here all ready.

All the technical theorie is necessary, but to enjoy what e-biking is all about this might scare most amateurs off if things get to hard to grasp. I'm no pro either, at least when it comes to the electric stuff, so a quick and easy instructable would spread the revolution even faster. Somewhat like a virus, only in this case not a threat. :-)