2WD Semi-Recumbent Recycled-Parts Cargo eBike: "CrazyBike2"

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Re: Semi-Recumbent Recycled-Parts Cargo eBike: "CrazyBike2"

Postby amberwolf » Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:46 pm

I've done that air-letting-out after first inflation, and sometimes doing that a few times to settle the tube into place. Talcum powder inside the tire to let everything slide as needed during installation is something else I've done, but I don't always do that. Neither one would've helped in the case I had of bigger-than-would-fit tube, as there was literally inches of overlap on the circumference of the tube. :( I haven't pulled on the tire or anythign to settle things; I wonder if it would make a differnece to other installations (it wouldnt' have to this one).



Regarding the battery box, I spent a while sorting thru aluminum box parts from rackmount stuff, as well as a pile of old rackmount networking equipment, and I think I found the box I will use for now. It does not fit in the frame but it does fit where the other broken/wiggly plastic pod is right now, and will hold the whole mass much closer to the center of bike mass, and hold it solidly.
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It is steel rather than aluminum, and the box probably weighs twice as much as the plastic one, but is still light. It will better protect the battery in the event of a crash than the palstic one, too, although being under the seat it is unlikely to get any impact or sliding damage anyway. There may be enough room in it for the charger, too, but I am not sure that I want to build that into the bike as I rarely need to charge up on a ride.

Gotta wash it out and remove the standoffs and such inside, mark and drill bolt points for the frame, and then it'll be ready to pack the battery into and bolt on.



Another find while I was digging thru the boards in the biggest networking rackmount box (which I had hoped to cut down to one that would fit, but it is way way too heavy, with thick steel): DC-DC converters! Some are 12V at 15A, which should take care of my lighting needs, if they will run off the pack.
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There are two power supplies in one of these boxes, and one in each of the others, for a total of 9 of these PSUs.
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Each one has four DC-DC units, two 12V and two 5V.
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The PSU spec is 5VDC at 50A, 12V at 15A, and -12V at 2.5A.
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All DC-DCs are by Lorain, "Megahertz Power" Reliance Comm/Tec. Both 5V units are p/n LM260-CV, one 12V unit is LM261-CU and the other is LM261-CY. I can't find a spec sheet on the web for any of them, so I don't know which 12V unit is 15A and which is 2.5A, but I can probably determine that by experimentation. ;) The 5V units are thus 25A each. I did find a note on an ebay sale for a similar unit that a 5VDC supply is needed to turn them on, using the Gate input as marked on the case. Haven't tested any yet.


But all of them are "300VDC" input. The actual voltage coming in can't be any higher than 200VDC, because that's what the caps are rated, and probalby not even 170VDC because it's just full-wave-rectified/filtered 115VAC running it.
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All those ratings are presumably with sufficient heatsinking and airflow only, becuase there is a MASSIVE heavy heatsink on these things, and a tray with four fans at the bottom of the main chassis.
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I separated the electronics from the chassis parts, so now I have this pile of aluminum trays that should be useful for something, possibly for smaller battery boxes I can layer together to make mini-packs I can stick in whatever spot on the bike I have available.
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There's also another case I almost decided to use, whcih is a dead 450W hot-swappable PSU for a different network rack unit (it has two; I haven't tested the other one). Might be interesting to fix it, though, as it probably has PFC, as it also has a power meter on it for AC input level. Might be useful for bench testing and such; might even work as a DC-DC from pack voltages, but it is quite large.
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I got a copule of other PSUs out of the other chassis, which if they work shoudl be useful for 12V supplies to run things like the Venom RC charger.
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This is some of the other chassis and boxes I considered using or modifying for use, but decided not to use yet, including a couple of those PSUs above:
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Re: Semi-Recumbent Recycled-Parts Cargo eBike: "CrazyBike2"

Postby Solcar » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:50 am

I appreciate the thoughts you've given since you've began your struggle against the plight of unelectrification. :)

Those DC-DC converters remind me of one I got from a Hamfest once.
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Re: Semi-Recumbent Recycled-Parts Cargo eBike: "CrazyBike2"

Postby JohnC » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:25 pm

AW, good instincts about the smaller front wheel. Check out this vintage long john cargo bike from the 1920s.

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Here’s a page for the modern off-spring, the Bullitt from Larry vs Harry. Note the smaller front wheel here also.
http://www.larryvsharry.com/
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Re: Semi-Recumbent Recycled-Parts Cargo eBike: "CrazyBike2"

Postby amberwolf » Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:42 pm

JohnC wrote:AW, good instincts about the smaller front wheel. Check out this vintage long john cargo bike from the 1920s.

Here’s a page for the modern off-spring, the Bullitt from Larry vs Harry. Note the smaller front wheel here also.
http://www.larryvsharry.com/

I've seen similar ones now and then in searches, and once or twice here on ES. I've considered making one similar to see how well it handles cargo vs my current system, though mine would have a 'bent seating arrangement.

I'm not quite sure which instinct about the smaller wheel you're referring to, but I am pretty much certain at this point that I do want both front and rear wheels smaller, down to 24" in front and rear, possibly smaller if I could get away with it and still have sufficient ground clearance.


Solcar wrote:I appreciate the thoughts you've given since you've began your struggle against the plight of unelectrification. :)

Those DC-DC converters remind me of one I got from a Hamfest once.

I had planned to test them earlier today, to see what the lowest input voltage can be, but I got distracted by a few things. I had put the bike out front on the porch to do some rearranging and stuff in the front room, and then when I went out to put it back inside I lost my grip on it as I pulled it upright, and it fell against the support post of the porch nearby. This hit the horn button and turn signal switch, and snapped the latter off. :(
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I need to take the whole assembly apart and find out if I can just replace the plastic pin that connects the switch with the internals, or if I have to figure out how to replace the whole thing, or some other option. For now, I put a rubber band around the control group and across the switch, and it holds well enough for the moment, still allowing it to be used, but if I have time tonight or tomorrow I still need to fix it more permanently.
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Another momentary distraction was that a parcel-post package arrived from Ohzee with some RC LiPo packs with bad cells, which should be usable to make up some good packs and fix some of the others I have.
http://www.endless-sphere.com/forums/vi ... 69#p559269
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Re: Semi-Recumbent Recycled-Parts Cargo eBike: "CrazyBike2"

Postby amberwolf » Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:04 am

Tested one of those DC-DC converters: they require at least 120.9VDC input to be able to hold regulation at 12.00V with even a slight load on them (a turnigy watt meter, though I measured the output voltage with the Fluke 77-III). Not sure if they'll hold that with full loads; needs further testing.

Doesn't matter for my purposes, though, as I won't have packs of that high a voltage for any bike anytime soon. :(


Maybe if someone else here needs a 12V 15A or a 5V 25A DC-DC for a pack higher than 120VDC minimum all the way up to 300VDC maximum, I could make some trades.... I do have a few of each.
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Re: Semi-Recumbent Recycled-Parts Cargo eBike: "CrazyBike2"

Postby amberwolf » Mon Apr 09, 2012 4:51 am

Guess what?

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:( At least it was a "slow" leak, keeping rideable pressure for about 1/4 mile, so I only had to stop 8 or 9 times on the way to work to re-air it up. :roll: I began to feel it just as I was heading out of my side street to 29th Drive, sort of a wallowing, and I had no time to try to stop and fix the leak, only to keep adding air when it got unrideable (around 10-15PSI).

Same thing on the way home from work. Although this part wasnt' really time-critical, I didn't feel like sitting in the dark taking the bike apart to deal with it, so I just rode home with frequent stops.


It was frustrating, because not only do I have the slime tire liner, I also have a cut-open-on-it's-inner-circumference nice thick tube as a secondary liner including for the sidewalls, and then chunky slime in the tube itself. So, basically there should be very little that gets thru in the first place, and if it does get thru it ought to be plugged up quick.

But this didnt' fail in any place that could be helped by any of that--it was in the valve stem, AGAIN:
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I carefully examined the rim's valve hole and found no irregularities or sharp edges, and the crack in the stem doesn't line up with either the inner or outer rim layers anyway. So I guess it's just one more in the long line of valve stem failures from poor manufacturing that I have had over the last several years. :(



I am SICK and TIRED (haha) of flats. :evil: So I decided to make myself a Twinnertube, as others have done before:
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I drilled a second valve hole in the rim, 180 degrees from the original. Then I went thru my four remaining mostly-usable innertubes, and found one with no patches yet, and one with only one, and both held air fine the whole time I had them stored in the wheel closet, since the previous flat problem a couple weeks ago, I think it was. There were actually seven tubes put away then, but one of those also had a failed valve stem, and two others simply had so many little holes that I don't have any way to patch them all.

So I took two of the four remainign ones, and installed them in the tire/slimeliner/tubeliner previously on the bike, and then onto the rim. I'll tel you--if you think getting a single tube and tight bead tire onto a rim is tough, doing it with what amounts to three tubes (the tubeliners and two actual tubes) in there is danged near impossible. Took perhaps 45 minutes to get the tire on there without damaging either tube.

Then I aired each up a little, 20-30PSI, let it all out, reaired, let it out, etc., to help them seat against each other. When I could feel/hear no more shuffling or "creaking" inside, as the tubes moved during air-up, I filled each about 30PSI for a total of 60PSI, and mounted it back on the bike.

This means that assuming there isn't any rubbing between them or the tubeliner or rim, and nothing wears thru, then when eventually one of these two fails suddenly and catastrophically, the other tube still has pressure in it, so I don't lose control, etc. Even if it's just a regular failure, slow leak, etc., I still have the other tube to keep me going, and if I need to I can just air that tube up to full pressure.

This is just theory, though, siince I've never tried this before. I hope I never get to test it.


While putting the wheel back on teh bike, I noticed that the rim is pretty deeply dented at one point. Basically a big flat spot. I can't true it out, either, so I'll just have to live with it.



Thankfully, I had the electric air pump with me since the last failure, as it would've been a lot of time and energy to handpump the tire on the way to work and back home. Possibly more than I could handle. I forgot to post it previously, but I took the Anderson-connector wires off of the old 12V NiMH lighting pack, and put it on the compressor. That way I can hook it up to my 12V pack on the bike, and if necessary also keep the ligths running. This was very handy today, and saved quite a bit of time.

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The wiring barely fits in it's little case opening.
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Re: Semi-Recumbent Recycled-Parts Cargo eBike: "CrazyBike2"

Postby texaspyro » Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:14 am

amberwolf wrote: I hope I never get to test it.


Oh, you will. Yep, you certainly will. :twisted: Something tells me it will fail. Sir Edsel Murphy seems to have the hots for you.
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Re: Semi-Recumbent Recycled-Parts Cargo eBike: "CrazyBike2"

Postby amberwolf » Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:00 am

Well, it hasn't failed per-se yet, but it was low on my way home today. Maybe 40PSI? Aired it up and it was ok still when I got home, 2.5 miles of ride.

One problem I did have is that I didn't mount the wheel perfectly straight, so it rubs a teensy bit on the tire knobbies on the left chainstay, at that part of the rim that's bent / flatted inward in that video above, as the rim is also bent slightly leftward there, too--just enough that I can't fix it with spoke tension. So tomorrow before work, or tonight if I don't fall asleep first, I have to loosen the dropouts and axle nuts, then straighten the wheel. I was in a hurry when i put the wheel back on after fixing the flat above, and didn't check for rubbing, just basic alignment, and I also didn't test ride it, which I should have.


Anyway, we'll see if the tire is low again tomorrow before work, and if it is, I'll know there is a problem in one or both tubes, which will suck if true--they were perfectly fine before going into the wheel. :|


Oh, also, I thought I had fixed the turn signal switch, but the glue apparently doesn't work properly on whatever type of plastic that is. Normally it works on everythign except polyethylene (PE or HDPE), and actively dissolves it, so that the bond is plastic intermixed, and very strong. But the switch came off again today on the way to work, fortunately I had not yet taken the rubber band off (kept forgetting to), so I didn't lose the switch. I guess I'll have to drill it and put a pin in both peices.
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Re: Semi-Recumbent Recycled-Parts Cargo eBike: "CrazyBike2"

Postby JohnC » Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:20 am

AW, Have you thought about going “ghetto” tubeless?
Home brew tire sealant: 50/50 Green nonpremix glycol (antifreeze) + Alumaseal radiator sealant (liquid version)

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Re: Semi-Recumbent Recycled-Parts Cargo eBike: "CrazyBike2"

Postby amberwolf » Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:10 pm

Now that could be useful...as long as I can still re-air it up on-road using the little portable no-tank compressor I've got, but it doesn't put out air very fast so it may not work for that. I do also have two little CO2 canisters with the adapter for Schrader in the kit that came in the seatbag on the Nishiki, but I don't know if they're sufficient for the tire on CB2. I could probably rig something up with one of the various CO2 bottles I have around for paintball, to make an adapter to Schrader for those.

At home I can just use my regular big compressor, but I would need a definite way to reair it while on-road, especially while loaded up with cargo. :)

I suppose my biggest potential issue is the stupid valve stems: It doesn't seem to matter what kind of tubes I use, I still have issues with them just splitting open, someitmes actually ejecting the whole brass stem!

One possibility is using a valve stem off a car tire rim, and forcing it to seal into the inner rim hole of the doublewall rim on my motor wheel. I would need to work out a different inner liner method than his, but I could simply cut out a regular bike tube's valve stem, and glue it to the car tire's stem, then force the stem down into the valve hole, and let the pressure of that keep the two together, with lots of rubber cement around the inside of the valve stem/tube connection to guarantee seal.

I already have some 50/50 antifreeze in the shed from back when I still had to maintain my mom's car. No alumaseal, but I think a friend has some I can use.

Either way, it would certainly make the wheel a bit lighter. Then I just need some moped tires to make them tougher. :) (rims, too, if I can ever find someone tossing an old moped out).

More stuff to ponder....
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Re: Semi-Recumbent Recycled-Parts Cargo eBike: "CrazyBike2"

Postby amberwolf » Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:34 pm

Well, Murphy is tagging along closely: I just did a grocery run, and just before I left, I checked the tire, down to about 20PSI by the compressor gauge. So one or both tubes is leaking a lot.

I reaired them to a total of 50PSI, went for the groceries, and came home, and it's at 45PSI.

I'm going to test by deairing one tube completely, then airing just the other, and seeing if I lose air, and how much. Then do the other tube. That'll at least tell me which tube is losing air faster.

Either way, it sucks.


I would like to take the wheel off, and take the tire off to examine the tubes for folds, wear marks, etc., and test them with soapy water for leaks, but I don't have another day off till Friday, and not nearly enough time today before going in for my half-day of work today. So I guess Friday I'm going to do that, unless somethign dramatically fails before then and forces me to do it earlier.


Ugh. Oh, well, that's the thing about experiments: they don't always work!
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Re: Semi-Recumbent Recycled-Parts Cargo eBike: "CrazyBike2"

Postby ddk » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:19 pm

never had much luck with the slime tubes
I'm currently using the Bell version of the slime tubes but I haven't put on enough miles to tell.
After using (expensive) tire liners that failed I went for the "make the tire easy to change the tube" route.

On a delta trike, this seems the most sensible as one can easily change rear tubes without dismounting the wheel from the axle.
I always carry a spare tube, tube patches and a stand-up manual pump (because I can LOL)
like this one, only mine's lighter and a few bucks cheaper (plastic tube -good up to 125 psi)
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Re: Semi-Recumbent Recycled-Parts Cargo eBike: "CrazyBike2"

Postby amberwolf » Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:16 pm

ddk wrote:never had much luck with the slime tubes
I'm currently using the Bell version of the slime tubes but I haven't put on enough miles to tell.
After using (expensive) tire liners that failed I went for the "make the tire easy to change the tube" route.

So far almost all the actual system failures I have had have been something that the slime and liners couldn't stop, because they're on the inner circumference of the tube, or on the valve stem.

All the normal failures were prevented by the liners for tread punctures, and the slime for sidewall stuff if it's not too high up.

The only out-of-bounds failure I had was when my tire completely ripped open in two places on the tread, alllowing the tube to fully push out of the tire and shred. Nothing would have stopped that one, besides changing the tire before that could happen, which I knew needed doing but just couldn't / didnt' get done.


On a delta trike, this seems the most sensible as one can easily change rear tubes without dismounting the wheel from the axle.

That's something I like about the trike wheels, at whcihever end has the pair. But the problem still remains on the other wheel, and that's most likely where I would be encountering the problem, just because of Murphy. ;)

A single-sided swingarm or fork would fix that part, but present other challenges that would likely cause worse failures in my case, as I don't really have the right engineering or materials to do something like that safely without so severely overbuilding it that I think the weight would be too much.


I always carry a spare tube, tube patches and a stand-up manual pump (because I can LOL)
like this one, only mine's lighter and a few bucks cheaper (plastic tube -good up to 125 psi)
air pump.jpg

Yeah, I have all that stuff, (except the spare tube, right now) except mine's now an electric compressor, but the failures have been unpatchable last two times, on the valve stem, and a new tube wouldn't have done anything but shred on the one before that, with the destroyed tire. :(

I haven't carried a spare tube since moving the motor wheel to the rear and having the tire disintegrate, simply becuase it is such a job to get it off. But I have now got it down to only maybe 10 minutes to get off, and another 10-15 to get back on. Plus another 15-30 to get the tube changed, it's only an hour or so on roadside fixing it. :roll: Still, I do now have a spare tube in the toolbox, too, if I have to do it.

Having two tubes already in the tire hopefully will mitigate having to do this, but so far it's not working out so well.


Ideally, what I will have is a heavy enough duty wheel/tire to not have to worrya bout it. Short of that, moving the motor to the frame and using regular easy-to-swap-out bicycle wheels, I can actually carry a full spare wheel on the bike, kind of a "continental kit" sort of thing if I made it fancy. :lol:

But with the motor in the wheel, and the failures tending to concentrate there, it's not really practical to carry a whole spare wheel, even if I had one. :(
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Re: Semi-Recumbent Recycled-Parts Cargo eBike: "CrazyBike2"

Postby ddk » Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:02 pm

In Lincoln, NE there were these thorns I don't remember the name of, shaped like jumping jacks that could pierce about any bicycle tire/liner/tube or combination thereof.
I was always chiding my kids about riding off-road because of those (sometimes found 'on-road' also)
One can only puncture a slimed tire so many times before it cry's "uncle".

My last set of tubes in my 'new' location experienced the same type failures you've been experiencing (around the stems)
-any wheel, any time-
Judicious filing, making the holes slightly larger and smoother seems to have cured that, as it's been a few weeks since my last flatted tire.
Previous to the reshaping exercise I was getting a flat a week (caused mainly by road debris catching the stems)

needless to say I now have lots of tubes for those instances where an otherwise useless bike tube can be re-purposed.
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Re: Semi-Recumbent Recycled-Parts Cargo eBike: "CrazyBike2"

Postby kevo » Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:09 pm

Davis CA has those thorns in the fall. Makes for great business for the local bike shops.
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Re: Semi-Recumbent Recycled-Parts Cargo eBike: "CrazyBike2"

Postby amberwolf » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:45 pm

ddk wrote:In Lincoln, NE there were these thorns I don't remember the name of, shaped like jumping jacks that could pierce about any bicycle tire/liner/tube or combination thereof.

Yes, we have something like htem here, often called bullthorns or bullhead thorns, cuz they kinda look like a bull head with huge horns sometimes. They range from ilttle 1/4" types all the way up to nearly an inch, probably from different types fo teh same plants.

They suck. :(

Hachi hates them too, because they go right thru the pads of her paw, and stick; she just hops on three legs until she finds me, and holds the afflicted paw up to me with "those eyes"; you know the expression I mean, if you've ever had a dog. :lol: Often the sticker already fell out, but she hasn't realized it cuz it still hurts so much (had them in my foot, i agree whole heartedly). I wipe the bottom of the paw with my hand to find/dislodge anything, and then she's ok.

There are areas of teh yard that they end up in from somewhere, that she will not go thru. She'll head right around mcuh of the center of the yard, and just looks at me disgustedly if I throw a toy and it lands there. She sneeze-snorts and sits down, waiting for *me* to go get it instead. :lol:

Nana is smart enough to wipe her paw on grass to pull them out, but she doesn't worry about going thru those areas herself--guess it doesn't hurt her as much or something. Loki and Fred never complain so I don't know if they have problems with them or not. Bonnie would usually pull them out with her teeth.


They're not as bad as the mesquite thorns Dogman has to deal with, which can be inches long, like wooden needles.

One can only puncture a slimed tire so many times before it cry's "uncle".

True, but I've never run into that limit--something else always destroys the tube long before then. :(



Judicious filing, making the holes slightly larger and smoother seems to have cured that, as it's been a few weeks since my last flatted tire.
Previous to the reshaping exercise I was getting a flat a week (caused mainly by road debris catching the stems)

I wish that was the problem, but I have not only long ago usually sanded the holes on the rims I use, I also have tried various types of protective material around the stems, from tape to drinking straws to teflon strips, etc., all to no avail. It isn't something from outside damaging the stems, AFAICT, it's the stems failing from inside--the material itself separates from the brass valve shell, and then tears at the really thin area there. At least once I remember haivng the whole brass section separate and blow out like a bullet, whiel I was in the bedroom sleeping I think, and it scared the crap out of Bonnie (only dog at the time).


needless to say I now have lots of tubes for those instances where an otherwise useless bike tube can be re-purposed.

Yeah, I have at least a dozen or so still-stretchy ones with failures that can't be fixed, saved for whatever purposes might come along.
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Re: Semi-Recumbent Recycled-Parts Cargo eBike: "CrazyBike2"

Postby amberwolf » Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:27 am

Well, I suspect the tubes are rubbing and causing leakage in each other, because now either tube will deflate over a few hours to less than 20PSI, from about 50-60PSI starting, even with teh other tube left empty.

My next day off isn't till the middle of the week, so that's when i will probably have to take teh wheel off adn find out what is happening inside the tire, as I have not had time to do it yet. As long as the leak is slow enough to last several hours, I'm actually perfectly happy with that, compared to having to air it up several times a mile. :( I expect it to get worse quickly, so I need to take care of it as soon as possible.


Good news is everything else is still working fine, including the clamping dropouts, the tire, the motor, the freewheel, etc. Even the disc and rim brakes are working well enough--could be better but are almost sufficient. Much better than any other brakes I've used so far. I expect if i had the correct brake levers for them they'd work even better, but I am not sure which levers I have are the right type for these, so I will experiment as I can find different ones, and see which types improve or degrade performance.

The front wheel and fork and whatnot are all working very well. No tire or tube or wheel problems there, especially.
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Re: Semi-Recumbent Recycled-Parts Cargo eBike: "CrazyBike2"

Postby amberwolf » Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:41 am

Well, two really bad things today:

First, as expected, the tire is worse to the point it doesn't even last the ride home. I guess I have to fix it before I leave for work tomorrow late afternoon.


Second, much worse, I have killed my 12V 3-cell experimental pack. :( I *ALWAYS* unplug the battery connectors from the system when I leave the bike, but today I apparently forgot that, and someone played with the switches on the handlebars, leaving the turn signal on rightside, and the headlight on highbeam (which is both filaments, something like 6A I think, maybe more).

Since the signals don't automatically blink right now it isn't apparently attention-grabbing enough for anyone to point it out to me, and I was working in the bakc of the store all shift, and thus didn't see it myself.

It probably didnt' evne last an hour after being turned back on before draining down to the cliff point, since I had not recharged it in a couple of days or more (would have been doing that tonite).

Nobody turned on the main power breaker for the traction pack, so it didn't get any drain, but the 12V pack is 0V now.


Now, neither of these things would be a total disaster by themselves, but since my air pump is 12V-powered, and I needed to air up the tire more than once to get home.... :( Before leaving work I had a coworker help by letting me power the compressor off his car battery for the less-than-a-minute it took to air it up to 50PSI, but then about 3/4 or more of the way home, the tire was down to maybe 10-15PSI based on it feeling pretty squirrely in turns, and probably doing more damage to the tire or tubes than they already have.

By the time I got home, it was pretty much totally flat. Since the tire I have on it now, plus the innertube "liner", plus the two innertubes, is a lot of material compared to the previous thin tire and single tube, it didn't feel like I was riding on teh rim, at least, and I had traction and the tire stayed on the rim, etc.. I'm posting this while I eat somethign, and then rest a bit, then I'll have to take the wheel off and see what's what.



As for the 12V pack, since it isn't straight LiCo, and it's toast otherwise anyway, I decided to try slooooowly recharging it at 100mA current limit, back to 4.0V/cell. So far there is no unusual behavior, and it's up to 6.3V after a half hour. Charging is being done outside on concrete, where the dogs can't get to it, with a metal trashcan sitting over the top of it just in case.

We'll see what happens. Since I won't be able to trust these cells until thoroughly tested, even if they recharge, I'm going to ahve to use the little ex-military-type pack from GMUseless for the 12V lighting power for now, until I get the chance to test out some of the RC LiPo packs for good/bad cells and build up at least a 3s-3p pack for it, preferably 4p.
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Re: Semi-Recumbent Recycled-Parts Cargo eBike: "CrazyBike2"

Postby amberwolf » Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:23 pm

The good news is that the battery hasn't exploded, and was at 9.6V when I unplugged it just before leaving for work today. It hadn't lost any voltage by the time I came home 5 hours later, and in fact had gained nearly 3/4 of a volt. It is now continuing to charge, no visible signs of failure either.


The other good news: there is nothing wrong with either innertube, valve stem, or valve. There are no leaks even in an soapy-water immersion test of the bare tube, even inflated to stretch the tube out quite a lot, far enough I was worried I might burst them. I squeezed and rubbed their entire surfaces including the valve stems while underwater, and no signs of bubbles, or of escaping Slime.

I even left them sit to dry for around an hour, and there was no change in inflation during that time.
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I did manage to break a tire lever for the first time, trying to get the Maxxis knobby tire's bead off the rim, though. :( Bad because I only have two (since the others, the better ones, were all in the toolkit I lost by leaving it on the sidewalk months ago (has it been a year yet?)). Had to use a wide flatblade screwdriver with rounded edges from much abuse as a prybar to finish getting the tire off and then back on.

The bad news: They still deflated from 50-55PSI total down to 20PSI during the time I was at work. :(

I'm baffled.

Unless there is a leak in the valve core itself in *both* of them, that only happens when they're pressurized inside the tire, I really don't know where they could be leaking from. :? I'm gonna stick some different valve cores in there to see if that makes a difference while they sit overnite.
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Re: Semi-Recumbent Recycled-Parts Cargo eBike: "CrazyBike2"

Postby amberwolf » Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:06 am

So...I fell asleep and forgot to swap out the valve cores, so it sat all night and then all of today unused but aired up to 55PSI. Then earlier tonight I checked the tire and it was still fully aired up, no pressure loss.

I'm definitely baffled. :?
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Re: Semi-Recumbent Recycled-Parts Cargo eBike: "CrazyBike2"

Postby amberwolf » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:07 am

No pressure loss today, either, even after sitting a couple hours now after i got home from work. I'll take it as a good thing, but I'm worried because I don't know why it lost pressure before, even after being taken apart and put back together, but now suddenly doesn't. :?


So far the slow recharging of the killed lighting pack is going normally. It is up to 11.1V. Early yesterday I decided to more than double the current to 250mA (from 100mA). Once it had gone fine with that all day, I turned it up to 500mA, and it is still workng fine with that. I've still been disconnecting it when I have to leave the house, but it's reached about 12Ah recharged now, of a nominal 20. It is always holding it's voltage after disconnection from charger and meter.

I dunno how well it will still work after the abuse of discharging it to 0V, but we're gonna find out. I'll be putting it in one of my almost-sealable metal boxes (so it can vent gases without exploding the box, if it does fail dramatically), and then run it at various discharge rates. I may first try using the Venom charger to do this, so that I can log the cell voltage response on the computer, though it doesn't use very high discharge rates.

Assuming it survives that, I'll recharge at 1A or more, and then discharge at higher rates, using just a wattmeter to monitor the pack, and whatever good "bench" loads I can come up with, that are at least equal to my lighting rig, which at most would ever draw 10A or less. I'd like to test at much higher loads if I can make one up easy enough for 12V.

So far the cells are staying in balance even when they were at extremely low voltages (0V up to 3V), from my periodic checks during the recharge cycle. They have been within 0.02V of each other each time I check, using the Fluke 77-III.
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Re: Semi-Recumbent Recycled-Parts Cargo eBike: "CrazyBike2"

Postby Solcar » Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:11 am

I've often wondered about particles getting between the seating surfaces of my valve cores and the stem bodies. I noticed that on car tire valve stems, they leak less with good caps screwed over them. My bike tires might not have as good caps on their inner tubes because they seem to leak down pretty fast with or without them. Needing air once a month is what I mean by pretty fast leakage, though that is slow compared to what was happening to your inner tubes.
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Re: Semi-Recumbent Recycled-Parts Cargo eBike: "CrazyBike2"

Postby amberwolf » Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:57 pm

Have to be careful with valve caps; Iv'e had them actually CAUSE leaks before, from little bits of flashing inside leftover from the molding process. Metal ones don't usually have this problem, and also often have gaskets to help seal better. but I don't usually use valve caps anymore, because when I have a roadside flat, I often forget to put the cap back on and end up losing it. :( I used to have a bunch of really nice ones, gasketed, with a conically-curved tip that was slotted to let you use it to tighten or remove the valve core, too. Most of those were left accidentally as donations to the roadside gods. :(


FOr now the leaks seem to have stopped, as it still works today even after a couple trips out this morning, including a grocery run for about 40lbs of stuff, before Jasonf150 stopped by to pickup the old 36V NiMH pack to borrow for a couple weeks or so, till his Cell_man battery comes in. No pressure loss at all, AFAICT.

That battery is now up to 12.2V, with 12.3V as the final goal (4.1V/cell). Still in balance, still no problems charging, no sign of heat or swelling or anything unusual. Charge current has dropped to 0.49A with the voltage rise. Has about 18Ah in it now. Things are going much better than I expected. :lol:
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Re: Semi-Recumbent Recycled-Parts Cargo eBike: "CrazyBike2"

Postby amberwolf » Sun Apr 22, 2012 2:30 am

Leaky tire problem came back today; they were down to 20PSI when I left for work. :roll:

I aired them back up to 55PSI, and about halfway to work I heard a hissing for a few seconds, which stopped (slime plugging it up probably), then when I had a chance to pull over and air up again, they were at about 10PSI.


I aired up the main one (original valve hole) and at about 40-ish PSI, air suddenly vented hard from inside, pushing slime out the valve hole. I don't know which tube that came from yet. Then it stopped, and air pressure increased again. So I guess the Slime helped reseal the hole, or something.

I rode another 1/3 of the way to work, and had to stop to add more air, this time in the opposite tube (in the vavle hole I drilled). No hissing, aired up ok to 55, rode on, but I could feel the squishiness before I even reached work. It was pretty well flat by the time I got there.

I had to air up about every 300-400 yards on my way home. It pretty much sucked, but at least I didn't have to do it by hand.

I took the wheel off after getting home and feeding dogs and giving them all their greetings and whatnot, but I was so tired I couldn't do more than that, and sat down to eat and rest while I browsed ES. Now I'm typing up this post, and will probably have to have a nap before I can get up and go take the tire and tubes off the wheel to see just what the heck is going on in there.


Over the last few days, anticipating more problems, I patched some more innertubes, including the most recent valve-stem rupture. I don't expect the stem patch to hold, but I figured it is worth trying, as if it does work, I might be able to fix a couple of other nice tubes that failed only at the stem.

Most likely I am just going to take both current tubes out, replacing with two patched ones, including that stem-patch to test it.

Then we'll see how things go over the next few days. I hope well, because my next day off isn't till Friday, and I have at least one day that I must close and then open again the next day, with less than 12 hours from when I leave work to having to be back there again. Including time to get home, time to do all the stuff I must do when I get home and then getting ready to leave the next day, that's only about 9 hours or so to eat, sleep, or do anything else, whcih is why I really hate schedules like that. I may not even get any real sleep, just fitful stuff for an hour or two, in bursts of a few minutes at a time--that's typical for nights like that. I definitely wont have time to fix anything on the bike unless it's really dire.
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Re: Semi-Recumbent Recycled-Parts Cargo eBike: "CrazyBike2"

Postby ddk » Sun Apr 22, 2012 3:28 am

Captain Obvious Here:

I'm gonna have to ask the o-o-o-OBVIOUS question

-are the valves tightly screwed into the valve bodies? :)
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