How to make EVERYTHING truly waterproof

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thunderstorm80   1 kW

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How to make EVERYTHING truly waterproof

Post by thunderstorm80 » Nov 25 2018 9:53am

Hi,
What contraptions/installations you use to prevent water from reaching your entire electric gear on your bikes?
I am mostly talking about the Cycle Analyst JST connectors, but also about throttles, any handle-bar mounted switches, and of course the motor.

I am using a GrinHub on the front wheel and geared ezee on the rear.
It seems there is nothing much to do with the ezee, and probably the grease will "scare" any ingested water away. Is it correct?
About the GrinHub, and in fact any DD hub, I thought to drill one or two small holes as close to the air-gap as possible.
These will be sealed with rubber plugs, but while it's raining (and especially after the rain stops) those would be opened, so any ingested water (or more practically, steam) can evaporate it's way out.
What do you think?

Regarding the CA, it seems almost impossible to gather and route somehow the short JST cables into a sealed box. Also, there is just no space on the handlebar of a bike for doing that. The solution must be service-able one, in case any debugging/connector replacing is necessary.

And last, about throttles - I absolutely have no idea....

If your solutions are documented in pictures, then please share them.

Tommm   10 kW

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Re: How to make EVERYTHING truly waterproof

Post by Tommm » Nov 25 2018 10:12am

Heat shrink connections, silicone glue where wires exit from controller/battery/motor. If motor isn't waterproof open up and use silicone glue as gasket. Use domino ebike throttle ip67 certified.

kcuf   100 W

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Re: How to make EVERYTHING truly waterproof

Post by kcuf » Nov 25 2018 11:42am

better waterproof connector is no connector at all

hard wiring offers legit hope but does complicate servicing

search youtube for waterproofing electronics - rc folks use sprays and various treatments to insure wet operation
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spinningmagnets   100 GW

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Re: How to make EVERYTHING truly waterproof

Post by spinningmagnets » Nov 25 2018 12:34pm

If you open up a common throttle, you might see three soldered connections from the wires to the PCB. Sice a throttle only uses 5V at very-low amps, the entire parts assembly can be potted by covering everything in epoxy, hot glue, clear fingernail polish, etc. Of course you can also use electricians "liquid tape", which is the professional way to seal an exposed circuit board.

If you are trying to "pot" a circuit board like the one in a controller, make certain to add a finned aluminum heat-sink to the parts that get hot, and leave the fins exposed to the air.

Di-electric grease does NOT conduct electricity. What it does is bathe a connection with water-proof goo, and the metal contacts have to push the grease aside to make metal-to-metal contact. In a pinch, you can use Vaseline.

Hobby-king heat shrink is OK for indoor wire connections, and also for color coding wire-connections that have already been sealed. However, to make a wired connection on a wire-set that is exposed to the elements, use 3:1 "marine" heat shrink, which has a heat-activated glue inside it. The word marine means it's made for boats.

When installing a homes ceiling fan or a garbage disposal, the homes' grid is using 110V AC, so an indoor dry "wire nut" connection works fine. If a ceiling fan stops working, the first step is top simply (turn off the breaker) reset the wire-nut connections.

For a lower-voltage connection (36V / 48V), especially a connection that is exposed to the outdoors and weather, a good soldered connection that is covered by marine heat-shrink is the way to go. Solder is not really a good conductor (lead/tin are 1/5th the conductivity of copper), but if the solder is very thin where it connects the copper strands, the added resistance is acceptable. One feature of a soldered connection that is rarely mentioned is that, it can hermetically seal a connection away from humidity and corrosion.

thunderstorm80   1 kW

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Re: How to make EVERYTHING truly waterproof

Post by thunderstorm80 » Nov 25 2018 1:16pm

spinningmagnets wrote:
Nov 25 2018 12:34pm
If you open up a common throttle, you might see three soldered connections from the wires to the PCB. Sice a throttle only uses 5V at very-low amps, the entire parts assembly can be potted by covering everything in epoxy, hot glue, clear fingernail polish, etc. Of course you can also use electricians "liquid tape", which is the professional way to seal an exposed circuit board.

If you are trying to "pot" a circuit board like the one in a controller, make certain to add a finned aluminum heat-sink to the parts that get hot, and leave the fins exposed to the air.

Di-electric grease does NOT conduct electricity. What it does is bathe a connection with water-proof goo, and the metal contacts have to push the grease aside to make metal-to-metal contact. In a pinch, you can use Vaseline.

Hobby-king heat shrink is OK for indoor wire connections, and also for color coding wire-connections that have already been sealed. However, to make a wired connection on a wire-set that is exposed to the elements, use 3:1 "marine" heat shrink, which has a heat-activated glue inside it. The word marine means it's made for boats.

When installing a homes ceiling fan or a garbage disposal, the homes' grid is using 110V AC, so an indoor dry "wire nut" connection works fine. If a ceiling fan stops working, the first step is top simply (turn off the breaker) reset the wire-nut connections.

For a lower-voltage connection (36V / 48V), especially a connection that is exposed to the outdoors and weather, a good soldered connection that is covered by marine heat-shrink is the way to go. Solder is not really a good conductor (lead/tin are 1/5th the conductivity of copper), but if the solder is very thin where it connects the copper strands, the added resistance is acceptable. One feature of a soldered connection that is rarely mentioned is that, it can hermetically seal a connection away from humidity and corrosion.
All your suggestions make any debugging/servicing impossible since heat-shrink cannot be re-used...
For example, if you need to change a throttle and you are on a multi-day touring trip, you also need to buy heat shrink and the heating fan... Or, you want to check the voltage on any connector-pin for debugging and discovering the throttle is the faulty unit... (not to mention carrying a solder+tin+it's accessories)
The solution I look for is a waterproofed box where all the connectors are housed inside, and the cables only exit from holes in the bottom side of the box, so water cannot pool inside. Or, imagine taking an empty 0.5Liter plastic water bottle, sliding the connectors and the wires through the opening, and placing it upside down so the rain cannot go in. No heat-shrink is needed, and everything is debug-able and service-able (just in case).
Of course I won't use a plastic water bottle for real here, but that's the kind of solution I look for.
If there is a fault in any component, you can just change that faulty components in plug&play form (as the connectors are still there).
I am hoping someone can give me practical ideas (or pictures) how did they do something like this on their E-bikes. :D

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spinningmagnets   100 GW

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Re: How to make EVERYTHING truly waterproof

Post by spinningmagnets » Nov 25 2018 1:24pm

Sounds good. I look forward to any solutions that you find.

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electricwheels.de   100 W

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Re: How to make EVERYTHING truly waterproof

Post by electricwheels.de » Nov 25 2018 4:38pm

thunderstorm80 wrote:
Nov 25 2018 9:53am
Regarding the CA, it seems almost impossible to gather and route somehow the short JST cables into a sealed box. Also, there is just no space on the handlebar of a bike for doing that. The solution must be service-able one, in case any debugging/connector replacing is necessary.
If your solutions are documented in pictures, then please share them.
I wrote some articles on upgrading the Cycle Analyst V3 in order to waterproof it and even produced a kit to do that with.
With your motor, fit a GORE pressure equalising valve to the hub housing, after you treated your stator with red PU spray to protect it from corrosion und you can forget about problems with water entry.
Custom made cables and wiring harnesses for e-bikes. HIGO and JULET connectors, extension cables and much more. World wide mail order.
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