Noq's Ridiculous 2015 Motorino XPn Project

General Discussion about large electric scooters and motorcycles and other things with no pedals.

Re: 2015 Motorino XPn Improvement

Postby Noq » Mon May 08, 2017 6:44 pm

Burned my motor yesterday. This is the second time I had issues due to heat. First, after a few months of riding, I melted the stock (vinyl-wrapped) phase wires. I replaced those with higher gauge, high heat silicone (200°C) and it held for a while. Next, I had a rust problem due to water ingress after opening the motor the first time and neglecting to seal it properly, derp. The internal water froze over the winter and broke the hall sensors, and that's when I noticed the rust. I had been riding with about 300-500mL water in the motor during this time, which all spilled out once we cracked it. To combat this, I removed the stator, cleaned it, and spraypainted everything with high heat barbeque paint that QS Motors said was suitable. This held for about five months. New hall sensors obviously. Finally, after some very heavy driving yesterday on a warm day, I seemed to have cooked the internals. There are broken copper strands all over, and the black paint has led to a giant mess inside. There's a pretty busted coil. It looks like a grenade went off in it. Quite a bit of slag, which is suprising since the melt-point of copper is 1085°C. Maybe the paint was a bad idea because it produced dust which probably collects heat. Here are the pics:

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Some of the coils look okay. The brown/black is from the paint/rust. That means this could potentially be rewound, but it would take a lot of effort and labour. Maybe not worth it. Opinions?

I asked QS what their best option for a replacement would be, and I'm waiting to hear back from them about that. I'm also trying to figure out if it would be appropriate to move to a chain-driven electric motor. If I go that route, then I'd go the highest power I can, likely with water cooling, and although this would be ridiculous on the scoot I am planning to move to a motorcycle frame as soon as I find a suitable one to hold more batteries, and a chain-driven motor would give flexibility on wheel size. SO... any suggestions for a sad electric guinea pig?

Meanwhile, I probably downgrade to a lower-power motor and current-limit for a time.
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Re: Noq's Ridiculously-Ambitious 2015 Motorino XPn Project

Postby liveforphysics » Mon May 08, 2017 8:23 pm

Thank you Noq for the honesty and chuckle worthy pics on your controller mod and motor windings!

If you keep up that modding spirit you will learn the skills to make mods work soon enough!
Last edited by liveforphysics on Mon May 08, 2017 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total. View post history.
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Re: Noq's Ridiculously-Ambitious 2015 Motorino XPn Project

Postby Noq » Thu May 11, 2017 4:43 am

Thanks for the encouragement :o Happy to give back since you guys got me here in the first place, by showing me what's possible, at least in theory. And now I'm hooked :o



New motor in. A little wire management. Still dirty from the fire extinguisher/exploded controller incident (long story...). I'm also driving through the rain so much here in the PNW, so when I clean, the next day it's muddy again. The off-roading contributes too. Figuring to do the deep-cleaning once I move to the motorcycle frame, because until then, it's there isn't enough time to be without wheels for as long as it would take (can usually afford to work in 2-4h increments, though I've certainly pulled a few 10+h sessions lately). To do the entire teardown/clean/rebuild properly, I'd be out a couple of weeks. I'd want to clean up a lot of the wiring, remove rust and excess metal, and potentially strengthen the frame. I can't afford that, as much as it would teach me, and why bother if I'm going to snag a new frame as soon as possible. For now, I'm doing essential maintenance and spending time on big-bounty upgrades (like saddle bags and hi-vis LED lighting :mrgreen:).

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Note the retention bar. It's the previous one. That's temporary, since the new ones were forgotten at the vendor. Happily, I was able to recycle the upgraded phase wires. You can see the original vinyl wires entering the controller. Those are prone to failure inside the motor, since I'm crazy enough to go >400% over recommended maximums, which will melt the vinyl (but not these 200°C silicone guys).

New motor is the 5kW version of my previous 8kW motor. Happily, there was one left in stock at the place I bought my previous. The main difference is in the width of the magnets. Calipers read 44.4mm on the 5kW, and 50.2mm on the 8kW, if memory serves (foggy on the decimals). What's more, on the lil motor they appear to be flat, whereas on the big guy they're curved. This manifests in somewhat reduced startup torque, although I've only had one day with it so I'm still investigating. Amount of copper appears to be similar. Top-speed remains the same at about 110KMPH, with 120KMPH in favourable conditions (voltage limited—reminder, I'm at 20S/74V nominal). Peak peel-out amps still average around ~450 from the battery. I've done like two of those only. I'm really driving it gingerly, since I don't have my panel meter mounted yet to monitor internal temps off the LM35 sensor that's sunk under the copper. I can't burn this new guy. I've got to be careful, because there ain't another replacement option in-town. I'm hoping to drive this guy till I find a suitable upgrade, and then sell it.

Check out the magnets—"Statorade" ferrofluid coolant injected between them, to enhance heat radiation to the rim. This was purchased from Grin, who engineered it, and whom you know as the makers of CycleAnalyst. This should help keep things cooler. Even so, I'm still not up to where I was when the 8kW was new, so caution...caution young Noq, is what I'm constantly telling myself. No more 15+ maximum peel-outs in a row, both ways on the daily commute, with no reservations about how quickly I get to my top-speed.

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Check out my LM35. These are cheap lil ICs which output a signal in millivolts (the other two wires are 5V and ground). It's calibrated such that there's a direct correspondence between millivolt and degree Celsius. Hence, a 20mV output means 20°C. That means you can monitor temps without needing an Arduino board. I saw it working post-assembly on the multimeter, with a little free-wheeling to see how temps rise. I will mount a simple panel meter on the dash to keep an eye on temps. This route was decided upon because the KTY thermistors that the Kelly wants are not available in-town, and I needed (wanted) this now. Thus, I'm going to roll-back manually based on temperature, instead of letting the Kelly do its thing (which is actually more ideal for me since I think the Kelly roll-back settings are limited, and I don't think you can actually see the temp on the CA, so it'd be the clunky bluetooth app only, unless maybe there's a CAN-bus route). This one is rated at something like -35°C to 135°C. There's a beefier variant available, though not in-store locally.

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Lastly, here's a side-by-side. *tears* she'll never look like this again! (Rust.) The big guy clearly failed due to the paint, which flaked off and attracted a ton of heat as it worked its way in everywhere. Friggin' bad move. You see that slag a couple posts above. QS actually told me directly that the BBQ paint I used would be fine, but it clearly wasn't. It's a shame. On the bright side, I got the replacement for under wholesale price (barter powers!), and I got it in-store, so at least I wasn't out for weeks while a new one was wound and shipped. To reiterate, this 5kW is hopefully just a temporary get-me-by until I find out how to ride at such high power without needing to worry about overheating. I may go for the new 17" 14kW water-cooled QS (33kW peak), or else get on an in-runner. I don't like the sound those make though. This one is almost 100% quiet, which is ideal for night-time forest riding and stealthy missions that I won't get into. By that point though, I'd like to be on a stable, insured frame with 24 leaf modules (24S, 120Ah), with fatter tires. I may or may not fit more modules than that, and I may or may not upgrade the controller and exceed the 100V I'm currently limited at by the Kelly. Please post suggestions of motor upgrades if you have any :wink: I'll continue posting progress updates, and maybe some backlog photos/stories as well from my year of learning. I'm currently optimising the saddle mounts, and working on some super sweet LED stuff. More to come!

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Last edited by Noq on Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:59 pm, edited 3 times in total. View post history.
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Re: Noq's Ridiculous 2015 Motorino XPn Project

Postby Noq » Sat May 13, 2017 7:56 pm

Sneak peak at my LED setup (WIP)



Still to add:
-amber saddle-bag signal strips (short) on waterproofed connectors, for easy removal when bag is detached
-white reverse-gear strip (complicated)

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Originally inspired by this:

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I had been looking for sequential LED strips that don't just blink, but are animated with the lights flowing, kind of like those christmas icicle lights you see hanging off of trees, for the signals to flow outward. However, I couldn't find the right items to purchase. The strips I'm using are from SuperBrightLEDs, waterproof with in-built resistors so you don't have to add your own to prevent hyperflashing off the signal relay. Pretty happy with how this is turning out.

The wiring is all tucked securely. Strong heat-shrink at every join and entry through the plastic.

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Last edited by Noq on Sun May 21, 2017 7:45 pm, edited 3 times in total. View post history.
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Re: Noq's Ridiculous 2015 Motorino XPn Project

Postby Noq » Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:39 pm

Remember when I said I "can't burn this new guy" (5kW motor)...? Well, I got three days out of it before I did :shock: :oops: :x :evil: :roll: . I was monitoring temps, and once it hit 100°C, it kept rising and rising... it wouldn't calm down, even with gentle riding. Then I took off and saw 140, 150, 160°C and it popped. frock, it looks brand new inside except for one section of copper that's all black. Quote to rewind it from one of the local armature guys was as much as the motor itself (CA$800). One of the rim magnets has a little chunk missing. The ferrofluid is nearly all gone. Did it denature and act as a heat-sink? Maybe. Otherwise, I drew too much power taking off, or that chunk of magnet got caught up in a coil. So I'm done with those old motors. They're from 2013 and just not up to scratch. I'm forced to ride on my original 500W Motorino motor. Stats on that:

-Can reach 65KMPH flat ground at 84V
-Top speed maintained with ~30A (~2.5kW)
-Peak draw is ~5-6kW (>10x it's rating)
-I've got to keep rides short, go light on the throttle on take-off, and pull over and rest every now and then when the casing feels so hot I can't keep my hand on it for over 10s

So that's that. Here's the news: My system produces a peak of 50,000W and I'm running motors like 5,000W, 8,000W that simply can't handle it. They are inefficient and insufficient. So I sprung for a new motor, the very best brand new one QS makes. This is it, you guys. This is as good as it gets. I told them to make it as strong as possible and to try to handle 50kW peaks. I told them to upgrade the phase wires to high-heat silicone, and showed them pics of my previously melted stock vinyl ones. I originally asked to fit a 180 tire, but settled with a 160 width. I made it white/silver to aid heat dissipation (although preview pics shows a black cap :( ). The motor is water-cooled. It's supposed to be 14kW and 34kW peak, and that's the best they have. I told them what kind of loads I'll be carrying (assuming full cargo trunk/saddle bags, heavier frame, an additional 14 Leaf modules, the heavy-ass motor, and one passenger) and said I'd like to have the most torque and highest speed possible. I told them I'm at 84V currently, but will soon move to 100V and possibly up to 120V in the future. We agreed a 96V winding would be appropriate. Keeping all this in mind, I won't always have the cargo and passenger, and the extra 100lbs of batteries aren't coming till I can afford it (give it another year, so I'll be using the 10 modules I currently have, for now). I left myself a lot of margin here, and with any luck, I won't even see the need to exceed the peak ratings.

They customised me a good one, and it's currently under production. Gonna take at least a month. Check out these stats in the following pictures: 364A from the battery, and 980-1225 peak phase amps... I don't think I can melt this one. My controller should be up to snuff (already pulled these loads successfully for almost a year). I think it belongs on a bonafide insurable motorcycle frame, because on my Motorino, I'd probably break it in half with the torque. Ladies and gentlemen, I am achieving the dream. You know what's financing this? Scholarship payments... Momma always said good grades will get me far... Now she hopes she's not gonna scrape me up off the pavement, but hey, she's definitely not the first mother to pooh pooh a motorbike. It's not much more dangerous than extreme snowboarding and rock climbing, I reasoned, and I suggested I could take up skydiving and bungee jumping if she preferred, only to be met with eye-rolls. Is it ridiculous? Yes, the cost of the motor alone could've got me a nice enough gas bike, or even a car. But the learning experience is irreplaceable, and it's soooo cooool (water-cooled, even). Stay tuned! Only two more pieces left in the puzzle: a good frame, and more leaf modules. I've got the controller, dashboard, lighting, batteries, motor, trunk, saddlebags, full complement of safety gear, and knowledge and tools to maintain it. The bulk of the planning, experimenting, and experience is done. It'll be a bit of a job to move over to the new frame, but I should be up to the task. Pete will likely help me out if I get stuck, and assist in the welding of the battery box, etc. For now, I await the new part and chill with my 500W motor on my 50,000W system ( :roll: :mrgreen: ).

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Last edited by Noq on Wed Jun 14, 2017 3:45 pm, edited 2 times in total. View post history.
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Re: Noq's Ridiculous 2015 Motorino XPn Project

Postby mistercrash » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:07 pm

WOW! That's a lot of money for a motor. I started converting a Yamaha YJ125 Vino 7 months ago and had to stop because the spending was going out of control. I figured I would need an additional $3000 CDN to finish the project. I didn't have it so I worked overtime and once I got a couple grand, I bought this instead. A 33 year old Honda Magna V30. No one can say if any of the electric vehicles today will be as reliable for so long.
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I really hope that new motor works out and I hope you install it on a genuine motorcycle, not a cheap Chinese scooter imported into this country as a bicycle. Good luck and have fun.
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