Recumbent BikeE for Comfort and Efficiency

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
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Alan B   100 GW

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Re: EbikeE and BMC for Comfort and Range

Post by Alan B » Oct 22 2014 6:24pm

I've been commuting on the CroBorg, so this eBikeE has been resting. But it calls to me, so I'm going to have to dig it out and upgrade it soon. The vetwrap is deteriorating and needs to be replaced with something better. Perhaps I should upgrade this to 18S which was the original plan, it would be a lot more spirited then!

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Re: EbikeE and BMC for Comfort and Range

Post by Cowardlyduck » Oct 23 2014 6:23am

Looking forward to any updates on your build Alan.
I learned a lot going through your build. Especially what you did with the 2 torque arms. I was only planning on using one...but with a DD hubby and Regen, now I see I should probably use 2 like you. :)

Also, wondering if progress on my build prompted you to revisit yours. :)

Cheers
Custom made 18650/21700 battery packs

Modified Stealth Fighter - Force air cooled motor @ 6KW, Adaptto Mini-E. 49AH, 52V 18650 - 2.5Kwhr
Cowardlyducks - Stealth Fighter Videos

BikeE recumbent commuter - 9C, 6Fet Grinfineon, internal 17AH, 52V, + on-board solar.

Ebike Garage - My YouTube Ebike ramblings.

High Power LiPo wiring harnesses - 4P - XT90, HXT4mm, 5.5mm. 200Amp+ capable. Global shipping.

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Re: EbikeE and BMC for Comfort and Range

Post by Alan B » Oct 24 2014 8:08am

Cowardlyduck wrote:Looking forward to any updates on your build Alan.
I learned a lot going through your build. Especially what you did with the 2 torque arms. I was only planning on using one...but with a DD hubby and Regen, now I see I should probably use 2 like you. :)

Also, wondering if progress on my build prompted you to revisit yours. :)

Cheers
Thanks for your comments.

The torque arms are small and light, so using a pair isn't much of a problem. With regen it is probably an excellent plan.

Seeing a BikeE in your thread was a nice surprise, and it looks like you have one in good shape, and some nice ideas for it.

With the gearmotor on mine and a small battery pack the eBikeE is amazingly light, and it still has excellent range. Everywhere I take it I get a lot of interest. Reading your thread brings back good memories of those fun trips. Many of them were while working on the Borg project assembling the surprisingly many parts it takes to make a high end full suspension ebike. The efficient simplicity of the eBikeE is impressive. While it is not quite optimal in most things, it accomplishes a lot with less.

The CroBorgSV has had my attention for a long time, and it is an amazing machine now precise and refined with Sabvoton controls, but the superior ergonomics of the recumbent have not been forgotten, and my back, neck and wrists remind me of that when I ride. Perhaps a sinewave controller is in the future for the eBikeE!

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Re: EbikeE and BMC for Comfort and Range

Post by Cowardlyduck » Oct 24 2014 4:54pm

It's funny you should mention doing both builds in tandem. I'm in a very similar situation now.
My Stealth Fighter is currently out of action and needs a lot of work, so I'm Ebikeless. :cry:
I've got some new forks and a headset to mount...which will need a bike shop to do it for me.
I've also got my HS4080 which needs new hall sensors, but whilst I've got it open I'm also going to mod it with forced air cooling like my HS4065 which recently died.
http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... 65#p905707

Once all that's done, then my Fighter will be rolling again, but not before my Bike-E...I need it for commuting.

Cheers
Custom made 18650/21700 battery packs

Modified Stealth Fighter - Force air cooled motor @ 6KW, Adaptto Mini-E. 49AH, 52V 18650 - 2.5Kwhr
Cowardlyducks - Stealth Fighter Videos

BikeE recumbent commuter - 9C, 6Fet Grinfineon, internal 17AH, 52V, + on-board solar.

Ebike Garage - My YouTube Ebike ramblings.

High Power LiPo wiring harnesses - 4P - XT90, HXT4mm, 5.5mm. 200Amp+ capable. Global shipping.

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Re: EbikeE and BMC for Comfort and Range

Post by Alan B » Oct 24 2014 5:10pm

I find it is good to have at least 3 ebikes so one runs while the others are in work. :)

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Re: EbikeE and BMC for Comfort and Range

Post by Cowardlyduck » Oct 24 2014 8:54pm

Alan B wrote:I find it is good to have at least 3 ebikes so one runs while the others are in work. :)
lol :lol: :lol: :lol: I'll have to tell my wife that one...especially since that's the exact logic I used to justify the BikeE as my second Ebike after the Stealth.
Realistically though, once I get them both up and running again, I don't expect both of them to be out of action for any extended periods again...at least that's the theory.

So what's on the cards for your BikeE? Will you redo the battery pack? 18650 pack?
New motor?

Cheers
Custom made 18650/21700 battery packs

Modified Stealth Fighter - Force air cooled motor @ 6KW, Adaptto Mini-E. 49AH, 52V 18650 - 2.5Kwhr
Cowardlyducks - Stealth Fighter Videos

BikeE recumbent commuter - 9C, 6Fet Grinfineon, internal 17AH, 52V, + on-board solar.

Ebike Garage - My YouTube Ebike ramblings.

High Power LiPo wiring harnesses - 4P - XT90, HXT4mm, 5.5mm. 200Amp+ capable. Global shipping.

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Re: EbikeE and BMC for Comfort and Range

Post by Alan B » Oct 24 2014 10:28pm

Good questions.

I like the BMC motor, so that will not change anytime soon.

The battery pack is not mounted well. Better mounts are called for, maybe a new enclosure. I need to check the batteries, but I think they are okay, they are disconnected. At this point it is 12S 16AH based on 6S 8AH Zippy packs.

The controller is jerky. Would be nice to improve that.

I got some nice pannier mounts, but mods are required to mount them up.

Basic cleanup is indicated.

I thought about an ATS drive, so far haven't found a need for it, but if the voltage is increased I might need one.

The brakes squeal something awful. I was yelled at on a bike path for startling some walkers from the noise, and I was about 50 yards away. The electric motor was no problem, they didn't like the loud brakes that startled them even from a distance. Maybe I should drag my heels for brakes from now on. :)

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Re: EbikeE and BMC for Comfort and Range

Post by Cowardlyduck » Oct 25 2014 5:38am

Alan B wrote:The battery pack is not mounted well. Better mounts are called for, maybe a new enclosure. I need to check the batteries, but I think they are okay, they are disconnected. At this point it is 12S 16AH based on 6S 8AH Zippy packs.
The best solution I've seen so far has been a toppeak rack/bag mounted over the rear wheel on top of the frame tail. Can't find a picture of it now, but it's basically one of the biggest rack-mount bags available and fits perfectly sitting on top of the tail with the supporting legs extended to the mounts near the rear drop-outs.
This one is similar, but only attaches to the frame, so couldn't take as much weight.
http://store.bicycleman.com/products/rear-rack
Image

Another option is a seat back bag.
http://store.bicycleman.com/products/seat-bag
Image

I think I want to get some kind of bag/rack to carry extra batteries when needed even though I also plan to make an 18650 pack for inside the frame. Together I could potentially manage 150km+ then. :)
Alan B wrote:I thought about an ATS drive, so far haven't found a need for it, but if the voltage is increased I might need one.
That's interesting. I'm currently sussing out installing one as you no doubt saw. I've been under the assumption that the 46t front chain ring together with the 11t smallest rear cog and 20" wheel would be far too slow. I plan on hitting about 45kph (28mph) max speed with my ~60V pack, but thought the gearing would be far too slow even for that.
Based on this calculator, I'll be maxing out around 35kph (20mph) with the current gearing.
http://www.bikecalc.com/speed_at_cadence
With the 1:1.65 overdrive of the ATS speed drive I'll still easily be able to pedal at 50-60kph. :D
I'm currently trying to tee up a drive + rental of the installation tool for $450 including shipping which isn't too bad for Australia.

Cheers
Custom made 18650/21700 battery packs

Modified Stealth Fighter - Force air cooled motor @ 6KW, Adaptto Mini-E. 49AH, 52V 18650 - 2.5Kwhr
Cowardlyducks - Stealth Fighter Videos

BikeE recumbent commuter - 9C, 6Fet Grinfineon, internal 17AH, 52V, + on-board solar.

Ebike Garage - My YouTube Ebike ramblings.

High Power LiPo wiring harnesses - 4P - XT90, HXT4mm, 5.5mm. 200Amp+ capable. Global shipping.

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Alan B   100 GW

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Re: EbikeE and BMC for Comfort and Range

Post by Alan B » Oct 25 2014 9:01am

I have the Topeak trunk system with the fold-out panniers, and the ebae underseat pannier mounts shown a page back, and I was planning to fit them both. Make a mount that places the Topeak over the motor controller atop the rear section. I'll have to work out the underseat pannier mounts vs the topeak fold out panniers, may be able to use both at the same time, but the trunk should work in any case. I would not put heavy (battery) loads behind the axle, they should be forward for best stability and control. My plan is to have a couple of battery configurations based on need, carrying the long range batteries only when doing long rides and keeping the system light for normal use.

With 12S I'm barely getting to 25 mph so the current 46:11 gearing is spinning 90 rpm, so if I go up in voltage I'll need more gearing. I find I can easily pedal at 32 mph with the Borg's 46:16 and ATS 1.65x, so I'm getting to 90 rpm on that setup.

It would definitely be nice to have the ATS or even a higher ratio speed drive on the eBikeE for lower more relaxing cadence even if not pushing faster.

I found a shop locally in El Cerrito that will install the drives. They helped me with the ATS drive on the Borg, and they carry parts and pricey Schlumpf drives. I would not want the batteries onboard during the installation for safety, they are bicycle mechanics and the weight of the bike goes up a lot as well. A lot of torque is required to lock the drive in, so things need to fit exactly and a large torque wrench is required. I ended up machining a spacer for mine to get it to reach proper torque, but normally they have those in stock.

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Re: EbikeE and BMC for Comfort and Range

Post by Alan B » Nov 03 2014 8:16pm

Another upgrade I'm considering is a Sturmey Archer X-FD drum front brake. These reportedly work better than rim brakes, and it would allow me to upgrade the rim as well. How about a Sun M14A 36H rim? Maybe I'll even learn how to spoke a wheel! Any thoughts on that?

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Re: EbikeE and BMC for Comfort and Range

Post by Alan B » Nov 09 2014 1:59pm

Ilia of ebikes.sf didn't think the SA drum brakes provide much stopping power.

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Re: EbikeE and BMC for Comfort and Range

Post by Cowardlyduck » Nov 10 2014 3:52am

Alan B wrote:Maybe I'll even learn how to spoke a wheel! Any thoughts on that?
I only just delved into it recently myself...hasn't been too hard in hindsight, it just takes a lot of patience.
I started with a Stealth built 24" HS4080 rim as reference and built a second rim 24" HS4065 copying it the first time. Worked well, till I killed the motor.

For my BikeE, I made the painful mistake of thinking I could lace the 20" rim single cross. It was impossible, so reluctantly had to cut and re-thread all 36 spokes to avoid buying more and do a radial lace pattern.
The most painful part is truing and balancing...it takes a lot of time and patience, and you can never (without years of experience and access to proper tools) get it perfectly true and balanced.
My radial BikeE wheel has been fine so far. No loose spokes. I did tighten the spokes very tight though, so if anything does break, it will be the rim. :|

Cheers
Custom made 18650/21700 battery packs

Modified Stealth Fighter - Force air cooled motor @ 6KW, Adaptto Mini-E. 49AH, 52V 18650 - 2.5Kwhr
Cowardlyducks - Stealth Fighter Videos

BikeE recumbent commuter - 9C, 6Fet Grinfineon, internal 17AH, 52V, + on-board solar.

Ebike Garage - My YouTube Ebike ramblings.

High Power LiPo wiring harnesses - 4P - XT90, HXT4mm, 5.5mm. 200Amp+ capable. Global shipping.

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Re: EbikeE and BMC for Comfort and Range

Post by amberwolf » Nov 10 2014 9:23pm

Alan B wrote:Maybe I'll even learn how to spoke a wheel! Any thoughts on that?
http://www.endless-sphere.com/forums/vi ... =2&t=64324

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Re: EbikeE and BMC for Comfort and Range

Post by Alan B » Dec 16 2014 7:30am

Internal Batteries

It would be nice to get batteries inside the hollow frame member of the BikeE, but what would fit?

I need to check this measurement, but I see from page two:

Interior main beam measurement:

1-3/8" by 3-1/4" by 26" approximately available inside the frame.

converting to metric 660x82x35 mm

142x49x43 6S 5200 multistar won't fit
142x49x22 3S 5200 multistar would fit, fairly loose
142x49x29 4S 5200 multistar would fit, just about max width, 4 batts long so 16S 5.2AH 300WH 13A 770W max

at 17 WH/Mile this would be good for 17 miles max, or 14 miles to 80% DOD.

present pack is 12S 16AH Zippy 700WH

the limited current of Multistar is a problem here, though it would be okay for 500-700W

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Re: EbikeE and BMC for Comfort and Range

Post by amberwolf » Dec 16 2014 1:38pm

Does the beam twist during ride? If so, do you think it does so enough that it might affect the packs mounted in it?

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Re: EbikeE and BMC for Comfort and Range

Post by Alan B » Dec 16 2014 3:22pm

Good question.

The extruded aluminum beam is very stiff, I don't believe it twists enough to affect internal batteries. I'm not sure an internal pack is worthwhile due to the small capacity, but it would be slick, and it might be a nice feature.

At this point I haven't decided to do it, first I should focus on getting the pannier racks done and preparing the bikeE for the February ride that I would like to participate in:

http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... 25&t=65452

That requires up to 2KWH of batteries, and good solid brakes for the downhill (since I don't have regen).

Just to review what's required for 2KWH of batteries, and what I have now or will have soon:

Required:
Zippy or MultiStar 6S 8AH: 12
Turnigy 6S 5AH: 18

Have:
The MultiStar upgrade on my CroBorg will free up 12 Turnigy 6S 5AH
I'll probably use 6 of those on the MTB refit, leaving 6

In my inventory of Zippy 6S 8AH I have:
4 on the bike now
6 more in storage (3 of which I used for a range extender last sunday)
so 10 Total

A combined Zippy/Turnigy pack might be:
2 Turnigy 6S 5AH 222WH
10 Zippy 6S 8AH 1776WH
total 1.998 KWH

But are the Zippy's really 8AH? Probably not, Zippy's tend to be over-rated, and that's to 100% DOD which is not a good thing to do.

A more conservative mixed pack might be:
4 Turnigy 6S 5AH 444WH
10 Zippy 6S 8AH 1776WH
total 2.220 KWH

if we use 90% of this pack, the resulting energy is 1.998 KWH

One thing I want to do is split the pack in half for weight balance on the panniers, this requires 5+2 in each pack, which means they must be in series, 6S on each side.

The Cycle Analyst will be used to verify the amp-hours used to stay within the 2KWH requirement of the ride, and if we can get that much energy from these aging lipos that undoubtedly don't meet full spec anymore.

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Re: EbikeE and BMC for Comfort and Range

Post by Cowardlyduck » Dec 17 2014 5:31am

Alan B wrote:Internal Batteries
Not sure if you saw it originally, but I've been planning to do an internally mounted battery since I got my BikeE. :)
http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... 51#p899059
Image
Since my old Stealth pack has been performing well this has taken a bit of a back seat, although I do still plan to do it eventually.
Still not sure on cells though. I just got my CA mounted the other day and I'm pulling far more current than I thought I was. :shock: :lol:
http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... 69#p984169

One good thing about mounting internally though is the far superior weight distribution. At least in my case, having all the weight at the rear is both dangerous and difficult to handle.
In terms of capacity, if you went with an 18650 pack made of Panasonic 18650 cells over 3000mah and did 12S I think you could potentially fit 6P inside the main frame in front of the rear wheel stay mounts, but it would be tight. I calculate exactly 660mm (26") if your cells are approx 18.33mm each.
That would give you around 750Wh usable, 850Wh theoretical.
Alternatively, as I plan to do, you could also mount a row of cells behind the rear stay mounts for 8P or possibly even 10P with a little overhang. Then your talking 1100-1400WH at 12S. :shock: That's some serious 'hidden' capacity potential.

I'm keen to see what you end up doing. :)

Cheers
Custom made 18650/21700 battery packs

Modified Stealth Fighter - Force air cooled motor @ 6KW, Adaptto Mini-E. 49AH, 52V 18650 - 2.5Kwhr
Cowardlyducks - Stealth Fighter Videos

BikeE recumbent commuter - 9C, 6Fet Grinfineon, internal 17AH, 52V, + on-board solar.

Ebike Garage - My YouTube Ebike ramblings.

High Power LiPo wiring harnesses - 4P - XT90, HXT4mm, 5.5mm. 200Amp+ capable. Global shipping.

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Re: EbikeE and BMC for Comfort and Range

Post by Alan B » Dec 17 2014 3:06pm

Yes, nice energy density and weight distribution

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Re: EbikeE and BMC for Comfort and Range

Post by Alan B » Dec 18 2014 8:56am

My reply above was extra brief due to the meeting I was in, and done on the phone.

I have not made packs from 18650's though I use a lot of them in flashlight applications in battery carriers. They are impressive cells. It would be quite interesting to make an internal pack from them. I envision a tray that includes the batteries and controller with threaded plates to mount the rear forks that would lock the assembly in place. The controller would be to the rear in the airflow.

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Re: EbikeE and BMC for Comfort and Range

Post by Cowardlyduck » Dec 18 2014 8:47pm

Alan B wrote:My reply above was extra brief due to the meeting I was in, and done on the phone.

I have not made packs from 18650's though I use a lot of them in flashlight applications in battery carriers. They are impressive cells. It would be quite interesting to make an internal pack from them. I envision a tray that includes the batteries and controller with threaded plates to mount the rear forks that would lock the assembly in place. The controller would be to the rear in the airflow.
That makes sense.
Yes, a tray would be nice I agree. As I have no ability to fabricate such things, I was thinking of just securing some string/rope (or even a leather belt) around the end of the cells so I could pull them back out.
Also consider the tight fit. The cells sit very tight side-by-side, with a little more room if they are staggered. There is also only ~10mm above/below the cells which would likely be needed for the wiring. So not much room left for any tray unless very thin.
As for the rear fork bolts, I planned on just having to undo them to get the battery in/out. Never considered making it part of the assembly, but that does make some sense and could have it's advantages.
I already have been mounting my controller at the rear like you describe. Airflow is ok, but not great due to the deflection around the seat, rear forks and main frame. It also picks up a lot of crap from the rear wheel...I need to get a rear mud-guard.
Image
However heat-sinking it to the frame seems to be most effective. I've only used some cheap ebay ($1 worth) heat padding between the controller and frame and have already been seeing good results. When the controller is hot, I can feel the heat in the frame towards the rear now also.
I plan on improving the thermal path further by either grinding down the controller exterior to make it flat against the frame, or removing the controller from the casing and directly mounting to the frame. Either approach should benefit the thermal path greatly. :)

Cheers
Custom made 18650/21700 battery packs

Modified Stealth Fighter - Force air cooled motor @ 6KW, Adaptto Mini-E. 49AH, 52V 18650 - 2.5Kwhr
Cowardlyducks - Stealth Fighter Videos

BikeE recumbent commuter - 9C, 6Fet Grinfineon, internal 17AH, 52V, + on-board solar.

Ebike Garage - My YouTube Ebike ramblings.

High Power LiPo wiring harnesses - 4P - XT90, HXT4mm, 5.5mm. 200Amp+ capable. Global shipping.

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Re: EbikeE and BMC for Comfort and Range

Post by Alan B » Dec 18 2014 8:58pm

I like the way you did your controller there under the frame. A lower guard could catch the wheel splatter.

My controller doesn't get warm, the gearmotor is spinning rather fast and not generating as much heat, and I run 1KW so much less heat generated. I've been directed to use no more than 1.5KW with this motor for long reliable life.

A tray made from thin aluminum sheet metal might not be hard to make. Clearly it must not be bulky or it would not fit. Or as you suggest, just armor the battery with shrink or tape or both and slide it in with some kind of handle to pull it out.

I'm going to focus on getting the underseat pannier racks and packs set up first. That's the place where the bike can carry weight and bulk most easily.

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Re: EbikeE and BMC for Comfort and Range

Post by Alan B » Dec 18 2014 9:17pm

18650 Musings

So if these cells are 18mm two aside would be 36 which is too tight, but if they were offset 1/2 a cell it would fit (which is what you said). So 660mm of length would be enough for 36 cells in each row, 72 total. 72ea x 3.7V x 3.0AH is 799 watt hours. Very nice. 12S 6P as you indicated. Who custom fabricates those packs, I wonder, with known good cells?

My present pack is 4ea x 6s x 3.7V x 8AH = 710WH so about the same, and that has been adequate for a lot of trips including my commute run one way at least.

Earlier on I had 6 of those packs and it had crazy range, day trips would hardly scratch the total capacity, and there was not enough room for the seat to move forward, so I removed two packs. Not often we remove capacity from our ebikes intentionally. :)

I do like the 18650 idea a lot, if someone is building packs that could fit I'd be quite interested.

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Re: EbikeE and BMC for Comfort and Range

Post by Cowardlyduck » Dec 18 2014 9:48pm

I planned on getting my cells from Evva (Alibaba) or SUpower111 (Ebay) in series spot welded lengths. Then I would solder my own balance and discharge wires to the tabs, before shrink wrapping, or taping up the whole lot into a long assembly that could slide into the frame.
If you manage to fit it in, I'm thinking of going with 18S now as that would also equal 36 cells before the rear fork mounts. Previously I was thinking I could only manage 16S.
Also, in the worst case they may not fit length wise due to cell dimensions or other factors like padding etc, however you can always separate a few cells and put them in-between the rear fork bolts like I did in this test shot.
Image
It may not be ideal, but it would make it work if needed.
You'll also notice, these are sitting exactly side by side. So they can fit this way...it's just super tight and there is literally no room left either side. The only reason I would think to position them like this would be if you needed to cool the cells using the frame. Having them pressed against the frame would transfer any heat quite well I would imagine.

Cheers
Custom made 18650/21700 battery packs

Modified Stealth Fighter - Force air cooled motor @ 6KW, Adaptto Mini-E. 49AH, 52V 18650 - 2.5Kwhr
Cowardlyducks - Stealth Fighter Videos

BikeE recumbent commuter - 9C, 6Fet Grinfineon, internal 17AH, 52V, + on-board solar.

Ebike Garage - My YouTube Ebike ramblings.

High Power LiPo wiring harnesses - 4P - XT90, HXT4mm, 5.5mm. 200Amp+ capable. Global shipping.

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Re: EbikeE and BMC for Comfort and Range

Post by Alan B » Dec 19 2014 5:24pm

Good ideas to consider on the 18650 battery. I might talk with batteryspace.com, they could probably make it and I would be able to avoid shipping the pack. We might even get it added to their website so other BikeE folks could order them, who knows.

But for now I'm focussing on the 100 mile ride preparations for February.

One thing I've become spoiled with is how nicely the new torque controlled sine wave controllers work. I'd like to try a small one on this BikeE. It is running now at 50V and 1KW, so it doesn't need to be a big powerhouse like the one I have on the Borg. I've been watching ebikes.ca's sinewave controller, and that one is about right for this bikeE. They say it will handle a geared motor, and the efficiency is slightly better than a standard trapezoidal controller. For this long ride efficiency is important, so perhaps this would be a good thing to try on this bike.

The MultiStars came in for the Borg, so soon I'll get the Turnigy packs off there, and the Zippy packs are already available, so the battery set for this "big pack" is just about ready.

The biggest challenge may be to mount the pannier racks firmly on the BikeE. I don't recall the details, but I do remember there was something about the mounts that needed some modification or new fabrication to make adequate for carrying some weight in the panniers.

I also need parts for the wiring harness, so I can't do much there yet except plan a 12S 7P battery hookup configuration. I ordered more 5.5mm bullet connectors for the Zippy batteries. I would like to upgrade them to XT90's, but that's a lot of work and cost. So we'll probably stick with the stock connectors, and just make a custom harness to handle a fleet of batteries. Or is that a gaggle. Maybe a flock.

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BVH   1 kW

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Re: EbikeE and BMC for Comfort and Range

Post by BVH » Dec 19 2014 5:42pm

Hopefully, you're showing the "Trustfire" brand cell just for illustration purposes. The only thing Trustfire cells are famous for is being woefully short on their advertised capacity. Well, I don't want to sell them short - they are also known to vent with flame much easier than other brand cells if used hard. The Sonys/Panasonics will do you proud.

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