The ol Wineboy horn button regen trick

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The ol Wineboy horn button regen trick

Post by dogman dan » Apr 29 2014 10:04am

I copied this from Wineboys bike. I'm sure it's an old one, but somehow I'd overlooked it till I rode Wineboys bike.

I'd been uninterested in regen for years. mostly because many of my controllers didn't have it, and I hated the idea of using the cheap brake levers.

Then I saw this, and liked the idea a LOT. Plug in the regen enable jumper, then just wire the brake wires to a cheap horn button from the car parts store. Now I get to choose, front brake, rear brake, regen rear brake, or any combination of the three. That's more my style, maximum flexibility. Since I'm getting strong enough to take longer rides, I'm suddenly more interested in regen. Descending a 1000 foot tall hill, why not grab 50-100wh? Especially if you have 40 miles to go. Descending a 3000 foot tall mountain, regen will save brake wear, and help stabilize the bike while controlling speed some.

So far, just a test ride around the block. But I'll get some data on what my ride down to town, about 800' drop, is worth soon.
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Re: The ol Wineboy horn button regen trick

Post by veloman » Apr 29 2014 10:56am

I've been using a cheap eBay motorcycle bar control with horn button for regen, for a few yrs now. Its the only way to go. I choose when to regen.
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Re: The ol Wineboy horn button regen trick

Post by docnjoj » Apr 29 2014 12:10pm

Got a wiring diagram. My new Sinewave controller has regen, but it is not controllable and cuts off very rapidly.
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Re: The ol Wineboy horn button regen trick

Post by parajared » Apr 29 2014 12:49pm

Awesome stuff Dogman,
I'm going to strap a horn button on mine now. I didn't like regen on my old builds and stopped installing it on my new builds but there are those times which I wish I had it. Great solution for those wanting regen only sometimes.

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Re: The ol Wineboy horn button regen trick

Post by dogman dan » Apr 29 2014 1:14pm

Wouldn't be surprised if Wineboy got the idea from you Veloman. This is what I love about getting to visit nearby ES folks. You ride the bike, and see why they do this or that, rather than just reading.

I'm not sure what you mean by a diagram doc. My controller (lyens 12 fet) just had the jumper wires for regen enable. Connected them. Then the previously unused brake cutoff wires go to the horn button.

Regen is very abrupt and harsh when I hit the button, but it sure does slow me down. On a 5% grade, slows me to 8 mph! That sure will save brakes coming down the big mountains. I may or may not use it much riding in town, but down the big hills on tours, it's a no brainer to suck up even just 10 wh more.

If I unplug the regen jumper, the horn button remains a kill switch. That could come in handy too.

Pretty lame as I expected, for range extension. But if I descend about 500' vertical under regen, it should get me one more mile. (@ 25wh/mi)

Sounds like nothing, but on a 60-80 mile touring ride, I might have a 1500' hill along the way good for 60-70wh. 3 more miles might be the difference between making it to a camp with electric plugs in limp mode, or riding normal.

Looks like 10 stops from 20 mph = about 11 wh.

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Re: The ol Wineboy horn button regen trick

Post by The Stig » Apr 29 2014 1:24pm

I like regen because if you used it whenever possible you could make your brake pads last for what seems like forever! It would help one towards the 0-maintenance-ebike theoretical goal.

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Re: The ol Wineboy horn button regen trick

Post by Punx0r » Apr 29 2014 1:47pm

I like how the idea allows for occasional regen (when it's really worth it) and so will hopefully reduce stress on the motor axle caused by frequent regen.

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Re: The ol Wineboy horn button regen trick

Post by John in CR » Apr 29 2014 3:48pm

...and I thought I was a behind the times caveman.

I prefer the Chinese horn button meant for an ebike for this use. That's because it puts my thumb below the handlebar instead of even with it, a better place in terms of safety because in hard braking situations I want both hands and thumbs wrapped around the bar, not a thumb kinda parallel to it. It feels more natural too.

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Re: The ol Wineboy horn button regen trick

Post by dogman dan » Apr 29 2014 4:29pm

Odd that I don't have one of those. So much junk like that in the boxes, but not a horn button. I think I might be moving my button down another notch. The taped up test last night showed me what you mean, so I moved it down some.

Right now it's not too bad, I can get a good grab on the front brake, and still modulate the ebrake with my thumb. But a tad lower might be good if I use it a lot. I ride a lot palming the grip rather than grabbing it. At slower speeds 15- 20 mph. Less hand fatigue with the thumb on top of the bars. Those 60 mile rides can kill your hands if you death grip the bars for 4 hours.

Also considering a rocker switch, for the really big mountain descents. So it could be on for 45 min going down without having to mash the button all the way. Connect it to both wires, the switch would be able to turn it on, or I could use the horn button. Regen will be a nice thing to have as I head into the mountains this summer. The rockies are pretty big hills.

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Re: The ol Wineboy horn button regen trick

Post by spinningmagnets » Apr 29 2014 7:06pm

Is the regen wire two wires that are connected? Perhaps by and E-brake mechanism reed switch (don't know if I'm saying that correctly)

What I'm getting at is...if the wire is a 5V signal switch and the first few millimeters of E=brake lever movement connects them to send the 5V signal back to the controller...

Perhaps inline with the button or reed switch we can add a variable resistor? I don't know if all controllers use only and on/off 5V signal, or if "some" controllers use a variable signal to adjust how much regen is used?

I freely confess I am halfway to being an idiot when it comes to electronics, I'm just hoping to stumble across a question where the answer results in a cheap and easy advance for all of the DIY builders.

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Re: The ol Wineboy horn button regen trick

Post by Harold in CR » Apr 29 2014 7:45pm

John, You know the hills I will SOON be riding on. Can the Mini-monster use some sort of variable regen, when I'm going down the long hills? I don't think I want to be feathering the throttle trying to maintain speed and control the regen slowing me too much, correct ?

I don't want to become road patch material, just yet. :roll: :roll:

I never rode any hills when I was riding your bikes. Where does one find this Chinese horn button you speak of ?
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Re: The ol Wineboy horn button regen trick

Post by teslanv » Apr 29 2014 8:41pm

It seems to me that the regen is a simple open or closed circuit (normally closed?). I would assume closed circuit (wires connected) is regen "off" and an open circuit (wires not connected) is regen "on"

Wouldn't a horn button have the reverse operation (normally open)?

Or is the regen circuit a normally open circuit like a horn button?
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Re: The ol Wineboy horn button regen trick

Post by Hyena » Apr 29 2014 11:44pm

Wow dogman, how can such an ebike guru be so behind the times :P
I've never been a fan of the ebrake levers and have been using horn buttons since golden motor started supplying them with their magic pie kits back in 09 (ok the pissing contest to see who was doing this first is now on :lol: )
The ones integrated with the throttle are good but I prefer this style as it can go on the left hand side so you can activate it with your thumb while still modulating the front brakes as precisely as you like. You can still activate the rear lever with the same hand but it feels a little less precise if you're holding your thumb on the button while squeezing the lever with your other few fingers.
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They are a bit flimsy though and I did manage to break one in a light crash.

When I built up my custom stealth a few years back I switched to motorcycle switch gear. It's heavier duty, the buttons feel nicer to operate and it looks cooler too.
I had a pretty big crash that resulted in bending the crmo frame and burying the handlebars into the ground. The body of the switch cluster took a good grazing but being alloy it otherwise held up well. I highly recommend these to anyone with basic skills above and beyond plug and play kits (ie. you need to solder and extend the wires back to the controller)

Image


Teslanv, simple on-off regen is activated on most controllers by earthing the relevant pin (BK on the infineon series). So you need a normally open momentary switch between ground and that pin to activate it. You may be thinking of ebrake levers which still use a NO switch but they operate in the opposite fashion to a normal press button. Ie they actually close when the button is released rather than pushed in - at rest the button is pressed in by the brake lever and the switch closes when the lever is pulled and allows the button to pop out.
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Re: The ol Wineboy horn button regen trick

Post by amberwolf » Apr 29 2014 11:57pm

I like the horn button idea...I'd use the one on my ex-scooter handlebar control cluster, but it is being used by the pair of car horns. So I'm presently using two parallel brake levers on hte left side--one is for the brakelight and will be for the rear mechanical brake once I weld studs on (if I ever get around to it), and the other is the regen ebrake (presently on the front wheel). The rigthhand only has the one brake lever, which is just for the mechanical front brake. If I were to have both motors on htere front and rear, with regen available on each one, I'd probably add another lever just for regen on the righthand, too.

So with normal braking "instincts" I can use any or all of the levers as needed, with my thumbs free to use on controls or whatever. (or to hold on better if I have to :lol:).

But the button would probably work better for most people. :)

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Re: The ol Wineboy horn button regen trick

Post by dogman dan » Apr 30 2014 7:27am

Well, starts with I wasn't using any controllers with a regen function enabled. And I just confirmed how close to worthless it can be for range extension.

I was just ignoring regen, and threads about it, because I was simply not considering putting a lousy set of brake levers on my bikes. And I was too lazy to build on some reed switches. And I consider the ebrake cutoff a joke inspired by bike laws written by morons.

Rode Wineboys bike, and the scales fell from my eyes. Having a choice to use regen or not, not having the regen tied to my regular brake handles had big appeal. Then add that I'm recovering from my health problems enough to go to the mountains to ride again, and suddenly regen looks better than I ever thought possible.

BACK TO BASICS. On controllers such as the Infineon, regen is enabled by connecting two pads on the controller. I don't know controllers good enough to say which two, but the info is there someplace, in the Infineon controller hack threads.

In my case, and fairly common, there are two wires of the same color coming out of the controller, Connect the plug, and now regen is turned on in the controller. This enables the controller to have regen function.

Then, to turn on regen at a given moment, pulling the brake handle of ebrakes closes the E brake wire, 5v circuit. This both cuts power to the controller, and starts regen happening. If the regen is not enabled, the brake wires just cut power.

So There are various ways you can wire it. If you are using your ebrakes, you could put a switch on the regen enabling jumper on the bars. Then have ebrakes normally, then flip a switch and have ebrakes combined with regen.

Bottom line, both circuits closed with current flowing to make regen happen. Open either circuit, no regen. I have the regen enable circuit closed all the time. Then the brakes circuit is on the horn button. I don't have and don't want the switch on my brake handles.

Clearly there are better horn buttons. But I didn't have one laying around, and this one was 5 bucks at Orileys auto parts.

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Re: The ol Wineboy horn button regen trick

Post by veloman » Apr 30 2014 7:54am

I recently bought a pack of momentary buttons off eBay. They are quite small and work perfect for regen on my cargo bike. Will get link later. Prob not as durable as horn button I'm using, looks just like the control with turn signal hyena posted.

I've never met wineboy, I would say he thought of it himself too.

In city/suburb riding I get about 5% regen back. That's enough to save you if you're cutting it real close on range. If I ride slower and real efficient I could get 8% or so.
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Re: The ol Wineboy horn button regen trick

Post by Ykick » Apr 30 2014 8:43am

All this talk of strong regen and no reference to torque arms makes me cringe.

And even if you do have the clamping style TA's ask NeilP how long his axle survived constant twisting back/forth delivering high power and strong regen?

Sure, I get the allure of regen and in some cases with regular long descents I'd probably start looking into it too. But if you think saving a couple dollars in brake pads and adding an extra mile range is worth twisting an axle into two pieces - get a reality check....
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Re: The ol Wineboy horn button regen trick

Post by wineboyrider » Apr 30 2014 9:27am

@ykick Neil P was using a lot higher power setup than what Dogman and I are using only 48v? Another thing I love about the regen button is if I lock the throttle by cramming the thumb throttle against the gear shifter it disengages the throttle if you need to stop in a hurry. 8)
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Re: The ol Wineboy horn button regen trick

Post by Ykick » Apr 30 2014 9:50am

I understand bro. But, we don't really know how much power is too much before the constant repetitive action twists an axle in half, do we?

Not saying it will happen either but most of us know about the relatively soft steel used in these cheap hub axles and without some "measure" we're sorta left guessing? I'm just playing devils advocate to remind folks who might play with strong regen to be aware of ALL the forces at work.

Personally, I don't find regen all that much of a benefit but if it works for you and/or others, great....
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Re: The ol Wineboy horn button regen trick

Post by wineboyrider » Apr 30 2014 10:19am

Trhue. True. Gotchya. Dogman is using the old crystallyte 540x 4? I believe. Anyone, know?
The front regen I was using on my cruiser bike setup which caused my accident was only because I was too lazy too tighten up the torque arms. I would never use regen above 48v in a front hub motor...ever. But, it works great if you have 2 quality torque arms. I liked the cruiser bike setup, because it was low brake maintenance, but my lazy attitude I'll tighten up the torque arm later is what got me some stitches.... :P
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Re: The ol Wineboy horn button regen trick

Post by dogman dan » Apr 30 2014 11:03am

It's a damn good point about regen rocking a nut back and forth till it loosens. You can't ignore that.

This is on my cargo bike, and yes, two torque arms, bolted on, no hose clamps. So hopefully no rocking back and forth as happens with clamped on TA's. Nut checks will have to be a lot more frequent now. So far I'm seeing about 800w max regen, so not what I's get if I was stopping down from 40-50 mph. I doubt I'll twist off an axle, but I would not be surprised if I cut two slots in the axle eventually.

And, since you mention it, it is one of the primary reasons I did not desire to engage regen on every stop. That's why the secondary switch rather than the brake handles has so much appeal to me.

I used it a lot yesterday trying it out. But really, I see it as a use it seldom deal. On my 5304, the regen is VERY strong, VERY abrupt, and it shudders loud. It's not bad at all from about 20mph down, but at 30 mph it's pretty harsh. But descending a long steep hill at 15 mph or less, it's going to be wonderful to have regen. Bear in mind, when I ride down a 10% grade on a tour, I'm packing 45 ah of lipo, tent, food, 2 gallons of water, etc. On a bike that stands naked at 125 pounds. Brakes that can't fade sounds real good.

Really dumb I didn't think of a secondary switch on my own. This bike can really use more brakes dropping in on the rocky mountain passes. But till this spring, I just didn't have the strength to ride much. Now I need it, then I didn't.


Setting it up Amberwolf style makes a lot of sense too. Have one brake handle do nothing but activate the regen. The other runs your front brake.

The more I think about it, I think I will add another switch to turn on the regen all the way down a big hill. Flip the switch, drop in. A handlebar switch with horn button and a light switch would do it perfect.

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Re: The ol Wineboy horn button regen trick

Post by veloman » Apr 30 2014 11:57am

Hmm, Ykick has got me thinking. On my Clyte HT (running 72v), the regen is quite strong - It's 600-700w if I use it above 20mph - which is a pretty sharp braking effect. I really don't NEED the extra mile range 95% of the time. As for brake pad wear - yeah, we are talking maybe $10/yr. Regen does loosen my axle nuts, need to check those every few weeks at least. I use two homemade torque arms (slotted type, mild 3/16" steel).

I guess I"m going to be on the safe side and quit using it unless I really need to. As an additional safety - it IS less stress on the battery and controller, and will keep the motor cooler.
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Re: The ol Wineboy horn button regen trick

Post by amberwolf » Apr 30 2014 1:00pm

dogman wrote:Setting it up Amberwolf style makes a lot of sense too. Have one brake handle do nothing but activate the regen. The other runs your front brake.
As long as you have enough space on hte bars for two handles next to each other, it works ok (although if you don't have a rear brake at all, using that handle for the regen would also work. Additionally, I did that with a relay once, so the switch in the scooter handle for the brake light also operated the relay that then switched the ebrake/regen too).
The more I think about it, I think I will add another switch to turn on the regen all the way down a big hill. Flip the switch, drop in. A handlebar switch with horn button and a light switch would do it perfect.
One thing to keep in mind: If you have a toggle switch for it, you don't have any motor power until you remember to flip it back off & the time elapses to move your finger back to the switch and do that, plus time for the controller to switch back out of braking mode. So as long as nothing happens that requires sudden burst of power instead of braking, that would work great. :)

Also, remember that long periods of regen, if at high power, could overheat your motor or controller--I don't know how any particular controller does regen waveforms, timing, etc., but let's pretend that one controller doesn't do regen nearly as efficiently as it does motoring, so that 200W recovered power means 400W or more of heat from wasted power in the controller and motor--sustained braking might well destroy something.

I don't remember who it was now, but there was an ES member that did overheat a motor with regen braking on a long downhill. Can't remember if it was just fried halls or actually damaged windings. :?


Sorry to interrupt with more devil's advocate stuff, but I've put myself thru enough that I figure it's better safe to say it than sorry I didn't. :lol:




EDIT: also, in my typical city riding, commutes/etc., regen nets me between 2-3% back, with the frequent complete stops I have ot make. I expect if I had long downhills steep enough to require braking anyway, it might be more.

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Re: The ol Wineboy horn button regen trick

Post by gogo » Apr 30 2014 1:07pm

+ 1 on the motorcycle handlebar controls.

Some of the left controls have headlight on/off, headlight hi/lo, 3-position turn signal, momentary horn, and a choke lever either electric or cable.

It would be great to be able to use the choke lever to control the rate of regen on hill. You could use a switch to toggle from variable-always-on to one-setting via horn button, or whatever the choke lever has selected in conjunction with the horn button.

Kill switches are good to have if you are trained to use them reflexively.

The front brake levers (right side) on cable brake motorcycles are rugged and have built-in N.O. switches. On later (1980+) motorcycles, some had a switch on the clutch lever, so that could be repurposed for e-brakes.

Also, the lever perches have mirror thread-mounts. The Yamaha perches have reverse thread on the right so if something whacks the mirror toward the back of the bike, it loosens.

My 1976 Yamaha RD400 had a nice turn signal switch that allowed you to simply mash straight in to return to the center 'off' position without fine control needed by your thumb.

Lots of possibilities with all those switches available. You could even have a (variable?) resistive braking circuit for redundancy and for high current regen situations.
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Re: The ol Wineboy horn button regen trick

Post by rborger73 » Apr 30 2014 2:08pm

Hyena wrote:Wow dogman, how can such an ebike guru be so behind the times :P
I've never been a fan of the ebrake levers and have been using horn buttons since golden motor started supplying them with their magic pie kits back in 09 (ok the pissing contest to see who was doing this first is now on :lol: )
The ones integrated with the throttle are good but I prefer this style as it can go on the left hand side so you can activate it with your thumb while still modulating the front brakes as precisely as you like. You can still activate the rear lever with the same hand but it feels a little less precise if you're holding your thumb on the button while squeezing the lever with your other few fingers.
Image
They are a bit flimsy though and I did manage to break one in a light crash.

When I built up my custom stealth a few years back I switched to motorcycle switch gear. It's heavier duty, the buttons feel nicer to operate and it looks cooler too.
I had a pretty big crash that resulted in bending the crmo frame and burying the handlebars into the ground. The body of the switch cluster took a good grazing but being alloy it otherwise held up well. I highly recommend these to anyone with basic skills above and beyond plug and play kits (ie. you need to solder and extend the wires back to the controller)

Image


Teslanv, simple on-off regen is activated on most controllers by earthing the relevant pin (BK on the infineon series). So you need a normally open momentary switch between ground and that pin to activate it. You may be thinking of ebrake levers which still use a NO switch but they operate in the opposite fashion to a normal press button. Ie they actually close when the button is released rather than pushed in - at rest the button is pressed in by the brake lever and the switch closes when the lever is pulled and allows the button to pop out.
I use the same one but use the horn for the cruise button. Now I'm thinking of adding another button just for the regen. If anyone has found any other nice buttons for one button momentary switch post em up!. :)

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