1970 Vespa 50s electrification project

General Discussion about large electric scooters and motorcycles and other things with no pedals.
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EddySPalm
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1970 Vespa 50s electrification project

Post by EddySPalm » Jul 19, 2017 4:00 am

I've started the project of my dreams for the past few years.
I have one Vespa 50s that has been rebuilt to 130cc with some additional tuning and goodies, and while that is a lot of fun, I can't help but feel the urge to build an electric one with roughly the same performance.

So I bought another 50s with a broken down engine (this wouldn't really be an issue to fix, but at least I don't have to feel bad for taking the motor out and keep it as a spare for the gasoline powered Vespa). I have purchased most of the parts by now, and the main specs are as follows:

- QS 10" hub motor, 60V 4000W, V3, electroplated green. Sadly without a thermistor as I forgot to spec it...
- motor bought as kit with disc brake and 0-5V throttle
- Kelly programmable controller, KEB70601
- Self built 16s 11P battery pack, from LG MJ1's, built to fit inside the frame where the tank and carb once was
- Supower 80A BMS from aliexpress
- Cycle analyst V3
- Charger: not yet decided
- Contactor: not yet decided
- 12DC converter: not yet decided
Attachments
2017-07-23 21.45.33.jpg
Vespa being electrified
2017-07-23 21.45.33.jpg (125.75 KiB) Viewed 2343 times
2017-06-11 22.56.23.jpg
Batteries being stacked for the first time (probably not final solution)
2017-07-14 21.31.02.jpg
Homemade spot welder. Consists of a microwave transformer, a foot pedal, an arduino board for pulse controller and a VERY proprietary electrode setup
Last edited by EddySPalm on Jul 26, 2017 2:44 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: 1970 Vespa 50s electrification project

Post by amberwolf » Jul 19, 2017 4:20 am

NM...
Last edited by amberwolf on Jul 24, 2017 4:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1970 Vespa 50s electrification project

Post by EddySPalm » Jul 19, 2017 4:26 am

Yes, thank you, but I've already read it, and it doesn't say how to link to a dropbox image using img tags. I want to avoid uploading my pictures here if I can. Not that there's anything wrong with it, but I'm struggling with the same thing on several other forums too.

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Re: 1970 Vespa 50s electrification project

Post by amberwolf » Jul 19, 2017 4:42 am

NM...
Last edited by amberwolf on Jul 24, 2017 4:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1970 Vespa 50s electrification project

Post by izeman » Jul 19, 2017 8:02 am

and as we're talking pictures: please RESIZE them to max 800px width so they scale properly. i have to zoom out to 25% in my browser to see the whole picture and then the fonts are only 1mm high.

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Re: 1970 Vespa 50s electrification project

Post by EddySPalm » Jul 19, 2017 2:49 pm

Dropbox will never delete my stuff, luckily, but they are proving harder and harder to work with...

I had a go at adding the pictures from my iPad, where I don't have resizing facilities. I think I just figured it all out, so bear with me until I get home to the computer :)

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Re: 1970 Vespa 50s electrification project

Post by EddySPalm » Jul 24, 2017 2:15 am

Some battery shots:
2017-06-11 22.56.23.jpg
2017-06-12 20.56.53.jpg
2017-07-06 22.01.34.jpg
2017-07-06 22.01.34.jpg (132.43 KiB) Viewed 2246 times
2017-07-23 16.39.57.jpg
The old engine and the battery pack is actually coming along quite nicely. They've moved a little closer to each other since I took this picture last week:
2017-07-13 22.26.52.jpg
The spot welder. Homemade, from a microwave trandformator (like everyone elses') It is pedal actuated and has a double pulse controlled by Arduino.
2017-07-14 21.31.02.jpg
Spot welder handheld part. Springs to get roughly the same force each time. Electrodes are tungsten. Works really good, rarely needs sharpening:
2017-06-28 23.33.38.jpg
2017-06-28 23.33.38.jpg (123.27 KiB) Viewed 2347 times
One lousy shot of the Vespa. It has some true rustique features, like dents and homemade painting :roll: But it is really solid and I'm not planning on refurbishing it. This picture is of my carpenter friend in the beginnings of making a battery box tailored to the frame:
2017-07-13 19.30.39.jpg
2017-07-13 19.30.39.jpg (122.25 KiB) Viewed 2246 times
Here is where the batteries are supposed to stay:
2017-06-12 20.56.53.jpg
2017-06-12 20.57.00.jpg
2017-06-12 20.57.00.jpg (191.69 KiB) Viewed 2246 times
My brother Dremelin' off all old nickel remainders while I watch and eat ice cream. We bought complete battery packs with brand new cells off a guy on this forum. Brothers are good to have!
2017-07-06 21.57.38.jpg
Last edited by EddySPalm on Jul 28, 2017 12:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 1970 Vespa 50s electrification project

Post by kiwiev » Jul 26, 2017 3:03 am

Nice
Mate I really love these old Vespas so cool.

I use dropbox for photos at work but for here when you email phones from Iphone it lets you resize when you go to send I just choose medium and save them on my desktop in a folder to post here.

Love your battery pack btw great work

Cheers Kiwi

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Re: 1970 Vespa 50s electrification project

Post by EddySPalm » Jul 26, 2017 4:12 pm

Officially half way through welding the battery pack (done with one side)
2017-07-26 23.00.34.jpg

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Re: 1970 Vespa 50s electrification project

Post by cal3thousand » Jul 26, 2017 4:59 pm

Looks like the VTC3s from Troy.

Nice little project! I've always been interested in converting a scooter. Does the Vespa have bicycle styled dropouts or is it single arm? I don't see enough hub-based scooter conversions. Sub'd
Get a Cycle Analyst and a Multimeter, you're still a noob if you don't have at least one of each.

Planning on posting questions or buying anything on this site? Put up your country (at minimum) on your profile. This is a worldwide forum and we haven't reached clairvoyance.

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Re: 1970 Vespa 50s electrification project

Post by kiwiev » Jul 26, 2017 5:14 pm

cal3thousand wrote:Looks like the VTC3s from Troy.

Nice little project! I've always been interested in converting a scooter. Does the Vespa have bicycle styled dropouts or is it single arm? I don't see enough hub-based scooter conversions. Sub'd
Good question I was wondering that too.

Cheers Kiwi

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Re: 1970 Vespa 50s electrification project

Post by EddySPalm » Jul 27, 2017 2:42 am

The original design is a swingarm with the wheel "cantilevered" like on a conventional scooter, but with the hub motor going in there I am forced to design a more bicycle dropout like design.

I will take the freedom of showing you by borrowing a few photos from a different project thread that I know (sadly) ended. It is a typical scooter swingarm design (as far as I can understand) where the swingarm rotates "around" the chassis in the front, and is attached to the rear shock at the rear.
These photos are courtesy of member "JimmieD on here, who I have just asked/informed that I am borrowing photos from. His build was actually what inspired me to start my own project in the first place :o
I can also add that I will use these very pictures to design a similar swingarm, as I see no reason to reinvent the wheel :)
032 - Shock location is perfect.jpg
IMG_0630.jpg
IMG_0630.jpg (55.16 KiB) Viewed 2310 times
IMG_0636.jpg
IMG_0636.jpg (54.79 KiB) Viewed 2310 times
This is (half of) an original motor/gearbox/swingarm, mounted in my custom made Vespa Smallframe workstand :)
2016-06-09 20.29.59.jpg
2016-06-09 20.29.59.jpg (139.41 KiB) Viewed 2292 times
2015-04-29 20.49.55.jpg
2015-04-29 20.49.55.jpg (128.45 KiB) Viewed 2310 times
2015-04-29 20.50.15.jpg
2015-04-29 20.50.15.jpg (126.85 KiB) Viewed 2310 times

Edit: what am I doing wrong when some photos won't show as thumbnails, but rather as links?
Last edited by EddySPalm on Jul 28, 2017 12:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 1970 Vespa 50s electrification project

Post by Noq » Jul 27, 2017 4:23 am

Awesome looking project! Love the welder and the workshop setup you got going on. Definitely have the skillset to make a successful conversion. It's cool what you did with that half of the stock chainstay/swingarm. That's gonna be a fabulous whip. I think I briefly had the same QS 4kW 10" V3 motor as you. Nice choice.

Now I use different batteries than you (Leafs), but one thing I'd recommend at first glance is if you're using the 80A BMS, if you can, set it up so that you charge through it to balance, but don't output through it. 80A is way too limiting an output bottleneck for your system. 60V * 80A = 4800W, and you've got a 4kW motor, but of course you know you can do way more than 4kW through it at burst. Heck, even my 500W stock motor pulls two or three times more current than that at peak on a 20S system (highest was a 290A spike at around 75V). It's for the briefest moments at dead-start you'll spike like that, so if you're careful, no damage. Steady drive is much lower current, so it can handle it. You can also mount your own thermistor to monitor heat, which beats touching the casing to check. So why sacrifice your startup torque/burst limits? I wouldn't be surprised to see you get away with 15kW bursts through it, easy. I had a 100A BMS to charge through, but wouldn't have dreamt of outputting through it with my 500A controller on my 8kW QS motor from 2013. That thing made it up way, way higher than anyone expected for quite a long time, and it was an old model (40-50kW bursts, continuous drive >1h at 10-15kW). These QS motors, they can handle it. Just remember, if you open the motor to sink a thermistor, seat the 'mistor under the copper, but high-heat epoxy it to the stator material and try not to get any glue on the copper or you'll create a heatbed. When you close up the motor, seal it with metal-bonding silicone to combat water ingress. Sorry if you already know these details; just sharing some things I learned with QS tech in the past couple years daily driving it. May as well know about it. Of course, be careful over-driving it, and maybe don't peel-out every chance you get, lest you fancy burning your stator coils.

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Re: 1970 Vespa 50s electrification project

Post by EddySPalm » Jul 27, 2017 12:26 pm

Noq wrote:Awesome looking project! Love the welder and the workshop setup you got going on. Definitely have the skillset to make a successful conversion. It's cool what you did with that half of the stock chainstay/swingarm. That's gonna be a fabulous whip. I think I briefly had the same QS 4kW 10" V3 motor as you. Nice choice.

Now I use different batteries than you (Leafs), but one thing I'd recommend at first glance is if you're using the 80A BMS, if you can, set it up so that you charge through it to balance, but don't output through it. 80A is way too limiting an output bottleneck for your system. 60V * 80A = 4800W, and you've got a 4kW motor, but of course you know you can do way more than 4kW through it at burst. Heck, even my 500W stock motor pulls two or three times more current than that at peak on a 20S system (highest was a 290A spike at around 75V). It's for the briefest moments at dead-start you'll spike like that, so if you're careful, no damage. Steady drive is much lower current, so it can handle it. You can also mount your own thermistor to monitor heat, which beats touching the casing to check. So why sacrifice your startup torque/burst limits? I wouldn't be surprised to see you get away with 15kW bursts through it, easy. I had a 100A BMS to charge through, but wouldn't have dreamt of outputting through it with my 500A controller on my 8kW QS motor from 2013. That thing made it up way, way higher than anyone expected for quite a long time, and it was an old model (40-50kW bursts, continuous drive >1h at 10-15kW). These QS motors, they can handle it. Just remember, if you open the motor to sink a thermistor, seat the 'mistor under the copper, but high-heat epoxy it to the stator material and try not to get any glue on the copper or you'll create a heatbed. When you close up the motor, seal it with metal-bonding silicone to combat water ingress. Sorry if you already know these details; just sharing some things I learned with QS tech in the past couple years daily driving it. May as well know about it. Of course, be careful over-driving it, and maybe don't peel-out every chance you get, lest you fancy burning your stator coils.
Wow Noq, those are all great tips! This is exactly what I was hoping for when I made the thread.

The BMS uses the same ports/connections for charge and discharge, so does that mean I should connect to the BMS when charging, and connect past it when driving? Should be doable, but something tells me it is also good to have the BMS there while driving, or no? It is protected for over charging at 80A, which of course limits the whole system to just above nominal power (like you said). BTW, do you know if the Kelly controller (the programmable one) can be programmed to limit acceleration, so as to limit the worst peaks from dead-start?

I must say I'm looking so much forward to receiving the motor and controller (+ throttle and disc brake), so I can start on the design and fabrication of the mechanial bits. Being a mechanical engineer I'm looking forward to a little break from all the electrical stuff :D It's expected to arrive tomorrow!

About the thermistor, I'm not sure I dare opening up that brand new motor, I've had mixed luck when opening up alternators and starter motors to refurb them :lol: Robert at QS told me it was too late to add the thermistor, so is it really that simple?

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Re: 1970 Vespa 50s electrification project

Post by EddySPalm » Jul 27, 2017 12:33 pm

Unboxed the Cycle Analyst today, it was bigger than I thought :lol:

This is my preferred location as I want it to hide it the best I can, but I might just clamp it to the handlebar with the supplied clamp...
2017-07-26 11.29.30.jpg
2017-07-26 11.29.30.jpg (185.83 KiB) Viewed 2294 times
And after spending probably two hours just cutting nickel strips to length, I went ahead and made a super sophisticated jig :D
2017-07-25 10.03.05.jpg
Last edited by EddySPalm on Jul 27, 2017 1:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 1970 Vespa 50s electrification project

Post by zackclark70 » Jul 27, 2017 12:37 pm

use the bms output to switch a fused connection direct from the battery to the controler ( just fit a key switch in the wire from the bms to the relay/contactor )

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Re: 1970 Vespa 50s electrification project

Post by EddySPalm » Jul 27, 2017 2:06 pm

zackclark70 wrote:use the bms output to switch a fused connection direct from the battery to the controler ( just fit a key switch in the wire from the bms to the relay/contactor )
Clever!

By the way, can anyone recommend me a good contactor and key operated switch?

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Re: 1970 Vespa 50s electrification project

Post by zackclark70 » Jul 27, 2017 9:44 pm

EddySPalm wrote:
zackclark70 wrote:use the bms output to switch a fused connection direct from the battery to the controler ( just fit a key switch in the wire from the bms to the relay/contactor )
Clever!

By the way, can anyone recommend me a good contactor and key operated switch?
i would suggest a 2 stage key switch with a pre charge resistor on stage 1 to minimize the inrush current on the controller it will save you contactor and the controller caps :) stage 2 would have all your relays / main contactor ( maybe run the dc-dc from the bms output)

the best bet for a key switch is to go on ebay and pick up a car ignition switch from something like a ford they are cheap and work well ( you will probably want a relay for the 12v system / dc dc converter aswell along with a fuse box for all the 12v stuff )

its also best to make the wiring hard to get at to avoid theft

just visualizing the workings of this setup makes me want to get my next big project started lol

sorry if that does not make 100% sense its nearly 4am here lol

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Re: 1970 Vespa 50s electrification project

Post by EddySPalm » Jul 28, 2017 2:59 am

zackclark70 wrote:
EddySPalm wrote:
zackclark70 wrote:use the bms output to switch a fused connection direct from the battery to the controler ( just fit a key switch in the wire from the bms to the relay/contactor )
Clever!

By the way, can anyone recommend me a good contactor and key operated switch?
i would suggest a 2 stage key switch with a pre charge resistor on stage 1 to minimize the inrush current on the controller it will save you contactor and the controller caps :) stage 2 would have all your relays / main contactor ( maybe run the dc-dc from the bms output)

the best bet for a key switch is to go on ebay and pick up a car ignition switch from something like a ford they are cheap and work well ( you will probably want a relay for the 12v system / dc dc converter aswell along with a fuse box for all the 12v stuff )

its also best to make the wiring hard to get at to avoid theft

just visualizing the workings of this setup makes me want to get my next big project started lol

sorry if that does not make 100% sense its nearly 4am here lol
Thanks again, mate. Sure it probably makes sense, after I've shown it to my brother, who is the electrical genius among us :D
Last edited by EddySPalm on Nov 09, 2017 5:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1970 Vespa 50s electrification project

Post by izeman » Jul 28, 2017 3:26 am

Noq wrote:Awesome looking project! Love the welder and the workshop setup you got going on. Definitely have the skillset to make a successful conversion.
fully agreeded. when i saw the picture of the motor workstand it was fully clear that this will become a VERY nice conversion :)

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Re: 1970 Vespa 50s electrification project

Post by EddySPalm » Jul 28, 2017 4:18 am

I am contemplating just upgrading to a bigger BMS, as I would like to keep functions such as over discharge protection. I want this to last, and I'm not trying to build a beast... There are 100A and 150A versions with the same build volume available. Which one would you go for? From what I read on other threads, people seem to suggest BMS rated to roughly 25% above nominal current draw. So a 150A BMS seems a little "big" to me, but it might be the best of two worlds?

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/SuPower ... 710968b634
Last edited by EddySPalm on Jul 28, 2017 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1970 Vespa 50s electrification project

Post by SlowCo » Jul 28, 2017 4:29 am

Great result so far.
I'm subscribing to follow your progress.

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Re: 1970 Vespa 50s electrification project

Post by izeman » Jul 28, 2017 4:35 am

EddySPalm wrote:From what I read on other threads, people seem to suggest BMS rated to roughly 25% above nominal current draw. So a 150A BMS seems a little "big" to me, but it might be the best of two worlds?
how could a BMS be too BIG? i always used bms from bestechpower and they for sure are underrated. they have a massive amount of FETs installed, rated for 80a (hcx-131) but can take double that at least.

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Re: 1970 Vespa 50s electrification project

Post by EddySPalm » Jul 28, 2017 12:30 pm

izeman wrote:
EddySPalm wrote:From what I read on other threads, people seem to suggest BMS rated to roughly 25% above nominal current draw. So a 150A BMS seems a little "big" to me, but it might be the best of two worlds?
how could a BMS be too BIG? i always used bms from bestechpower and they for sure are underrated. they have a massive amount of FETs installed, rated for 80a (hcx-131) but can take double that at least.
You are probably right. It is just my lack of experience that had me thinking (to begin with) that all components should be according to nominal current draw.
So, unless anyone suggests not to, I will change the BMS to the 150A version.

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Re: 1970 Vespa 50s electrification project

Post by izeman » Jul 29, 2017 5:06 am

EddySPalm wrote:...I will change the BMS to the 150A version.
+1

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