Desperately trying to repair a BionX P 350 RX

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warpzero   1 µW

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Joined: Nov 08 2018 6:22pm

Desperately trying to repair a BionX P 350 RX

Post by warpzero » Nov 08 2018 6:36pm

I have a BionX P 350 RX that is completely messed up and, with the bankruptcy of BionX, it's nearly impossible to find a dealer who will help me fix this, and the dealers close to me have stopped supporting BionX completely. So, given that I'm very technical, I'm trying to fix it myself, but I know nothing about BionX.

Here's the issue:

On a fresh charge of the battery, the BionX system will work, but only briefly. After anywhere from 2-5 minutes, it will get itself into one of two states:
  1. the RC3 controller will function, but the system will turn itself off and on constantly, every 1-3 seconds. This will go on for hours (if I let it). In the brief seconds that it is on, the RC3 buttons will respond fine, and the system will work (for a second), or:
  2. the RC3 controller will be stuck "on". None of the buttons will work (even power), so I cannot turn off the system. The electric assist will not work (probably because the +/- buttons on the RC3 do not function, so I can't get it out of "N") however, the throttle button will work, as will regenerative breaking. In this "mode" I can at least use the throttle, but that's it, and the system cannot be turned off (without pulling the battery).
I should note that the battery unit (rack mount) was replaced recently, right before the dealer stopped supporting BionX. Is it possible that the new battery unit is incompatible with the RC3? Also, I've noticed that in state #1 (constant reboot loop) that if I unplug the RC3, it stops the on/off loop. Maybe replacing the RC3 would do it?

So, based on the above, does anybody have any idea of what steps I should take to debug this or fix this issue? Or do you know of a forum that's better suited to BionX hacking & repair?

markz   100 GW

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Joined: Jan 09 2014 11:38pm
Location: Alberta Canada

Re: Desperately trying to repair a BionX P 350 RX

Post by markz » Nov 10 2018 1:29pm

warpzero wrote:
Nov 08 2018 6:36pm
I should note that the battery unit (rack mount) was replaced recently, right before the dealer stopped supporting BionX. Is it possible that the new battery unit is incompatible with the RC3? Also, I've noticed that in state #1 (constant reboot loop) that if I unplug the RC3, it stops the on/off loop. Maybe replacing the RC3 would do it?

So, based on the above, does anybody have any idea of what steps I should take to debug this or fix this issue? Or do you know of a forum that's better suited to BionX hacking & repair?
First off welcome to the forum you are in the right place.
There are other forums out there like pedelec UK which I am not too familiar with at all.

Let me get this right, you have an ebike controller RC3 and a battery, both Bionx and you have a newly replaced Bionx battery.
Bionx would have proprietary components including the battery.
I had to go look up RC3, I found this http://www.electriccyclery.com/wp-conte ... 00x265.jpg
RC3 is just the display buttons wired to the DS3 display?

I would look into getting rid of that stuff all together, you want nothing to do with Bionx but you want to keep using their motor and battery. That means I would get rid of that display all together.

For the controller side of your setup, I would just go and buy a generic controller off of ebay from a seller hksunwin, there is a thread here on E.S. about his controllers, that's why I'd recommend that controller, also it is cheap.

For the battery side of your setup, I would look into getting rid of the Battery Management System (BMS), if its proprietary. That means there is a circuit board inside the battery. With two large main cables and a bunch of smaller balance wires going into the circuit board. Then you have two options, install another BMS or use the system without. Some would buy a generic BMS and install it, others would use without BMS. It keeps your battery balanced. You can also buy a Balancing Charger like the iCharger that can do 10S and wire in the balance wires. Since your battery is fairly new you would want to make certain you are moving in the right direction. So finding out if the battery is proprietary is key. If it is, get rid of the BMS circuit board and if it isn't more research is needed. Soldering irons are cheap and can be purchased anywhere. Its a simple task. If you take good pictures we can help you through it all.

That is about it, a motor is a motor. 3 large phase wires, 5 small sense wires that are all plugged into the controller in the right combination. Two battery cables red(+)and black(-) connected to the controller, along with a "ignition" wire or "start" wire. The throttle has 3 wires. Hook all that up and you can ride.

Various other things can be added.
Some controllers can have a display, LCD3 is common.
You can buy a Cycle Analyst (CA) from www.ebikes.ca in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
You can buy throttles, connectors, tools, batteries, motors, chargers. Everything you'd need.

The top display to buy is the CA.

The top controller to buy is a Sinewave, because its ultra silent. Regen is good to have because it saves on brake pads not recommended for actually regeneration of power but its nice to have. All generic cheap controllers are Trapezoidal waveform, a little more noise in the direct drive motor. Geared motors are noisy because of the gears. Pro's and con's to each direct drive vs geared. Your motor could be either, if there is drag on the motor when no power is applied it is 100% direct drive (dd). Direct drive, larger, heavier then geared.
https://www.electricbike.com/bionx/
Confirms its a dd.

The top chargers to buy is the Satiator from ebikes.ca, iCharger Balance Charger from RC stores, Mean Well psu's like the HRP and others from reputable stores like mouser.ca and others.
Adaptto is a complete system for high power. Cont/charger/balancer probably other items.


https://www.electricbike.com/bionx-reorganization/
BionX designed a proprietary controller that was pancake-shaped, and fit inside the motor.
Get rid of that controller!
Get yourself a generic controller.
https://www.ebikes.ca/shop/electric-bic ... llers.html
sells a small controller called the Grin Phaserunner, it is expensive but people just love it.
Putting the controller inside the motor housing will remove a lot of wiring clutter.
But it also heats up the controller more too, which is bad depending on how you ride. Nice you are a "Lycra" no offense intended, you'd want "pedal assist" at different levels. The KT system is good, BMSBattery in China sells that system. Realize that the prices are cheap but they make up for it in their shipping costs. I don't know about how long shipping takes, can assume a week or two. Other places online sell the KT system as well. It is a handlebar display along with a remote handlebar that has wired 3 buttons. Different levels of assist. You'd have to find a place on the bike to mount the controller. I just zip tie mine to the underside of the top bar. Your battery can go on the rear rack, or on the downtube.

Action Steps
1) Get some allen key wrenches and open up the motor. Take lots of pictures and post them here on E.S. as we all love pictures on E.S. 8)

2) Obviously get rid of that proprietary internal controller. Sure its a neater and sleeker look but its proprietary! Now since you are still inside the motor you will have 3 large phase wires coming off the bunched up winding wire and you will have 3 halls sensors with 3 wires coming off of each, + and - and sense wire. Bunch the + and - together, solder them. The trick to this all is getting ALL the wires (3 big phase wires and the 5 small wires) through the axle. Phase wires are normally 12 guage, maybe 14 guage, 10 guage would be for higher power applications, usually custom. Do not worry, its all very easy. Take photo's :wink: 8)

3) Buy - Soldering iron, 60/40 solder or 63/37 solder (do not breath the smoke in when you solder!), heat shrink, wire for the phase and sense (phase wire guage 12 or 14, I'd buy both and buy 8' each and for the sense wires probably 18 or 20 awg it doesnt matter, just put the sense wires through the axle first, buy some electrical tape.

4) Buy a controller. I mentioned info above. Generic is cheap, usually trapezoidal (not too bad noise wise, all geared motors are louder) some sinewave and silent on dd and smoother take offs. ebay seller hkwunwin is cheap, huge thread on it, very reliable. Mount it anywhere you want, people will put it on the rear rack or on the frame. Zip ties work for me, you could buy metal zip ties.

5) Battery - Look into that BMS, because if the motor controller is proprietary, then the battery likely is as well.
They had changed the battery pack manufacturing to a Chinese supplier to improve profits, but unfortunately, they chose a company that performed poorly. A major problem was the transistors in the BMS’s. It would be bad enough if they only needed to swap-in new transistors (or even replace all the BMS’s), but…the failed BMSs drained the batteries down to zero-volts, and the cells were permanently damaged.
I couldnt find info on the battery if its proprietary or not. If it is, and it likely is, just take out that BMS. A search here on ES would do you well. I just tried to search on the links I posted and quoted.

Its all very easy.

Good Luck!

edit1 - I forgot to mention to buy some connectors for your phase wires and sense wires. I use XT90AS for my battery connectors, and 5.5mm bullet connectors for the phase wires, my sense wires are soldered and taped. :oops:

https://www.ebikes.ca/shop/electric-bic ... ctors.html
Anderson Power Poles are good, I'd just solder the wires on.
Phase - https://www.ebikes.ca/shop/electric-bic ... dersonhd.h
Sense wires - https://www.ebikes.ca/shop/electric-bic ... erson.html
Do not buy a one piece connector for phase or sense, because you will have to find the right combo. Its easy to find the right combo.

I buy my throttles from Greentime on Aliexpress, repuatable company.
This throttle is great - https://www.ebikes.ca/shop/electric-bic ... lever.html
Buy two, yes I am serious.

You'd need a fuse as well, I buy mine from mouser.ca (Canada) but there is a .com (USA).
https://www.mouser.com/Circuit-Protecti ... ricing%7c0

Might as well buy your wire from there too!
12 and 14 gauge https://www.mouser.com/Wire-Cable/Hook- ... yqZ1z0jnhr
18-24awg https://www.mouser.com/Wire-Cable/Hook- ... heZ1yyf3fu

Soldering Iron https://www.mouser.com/Tools-Supplies/S ... c0&FS=True

Solder https://www.mouser.com/Tools-Supplies/S ... =Pricing|0

Heat shrink 12awg is 2.1mm dia and 20awg is 0.8mm dia, go a bit over it as it shrinks 2:1.
https://www.mouser.com/Wire-Cable/Wire- ... =Pricing|0

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