Tool battery (Makita) mounts for ebikes

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Firedog   10 W

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Tool battery (Makita) mounts for ebikes

Post by Firedog » Jul 07 2020 8:28am

I've used 15 cell Makita style batteries on all my ebike conversions since 2016. I have them built in China by a company I trust completely using LG MJ1, Samsung Q30, or Sony VT6C cells. Construction, welds, cases are flawless. Mostly, I specify LG MJ1 (3.5ah/cell) so the 5s3p batteries are 18V10.5ah (189WH) with a rated continuous discharge rate of 30 amps. I retail each battery for $80 ($2.36/wh, $5.30/cell) and make a profit. I'm not here to sell batteries!

When I do conversions and I make a custom battery mounting board to fit each bike. The boards mount 2,3,4.....up to 9 for powerful tandems. 2,4,6 are 36V and 3,6,9 are 54V. I use 54V with 48v controllers and have had no issues other than significant speed increase and 48V capacity displays reading incorrectly. Easy to fix with $3 LED or a $10 watt meter. The batteries are charged off the bike on Makita (9a) or Makita clone rapid charger.

The advantages of tool batteries is a very long list, but most DIYers don't consider them suitable for ebikes (even though they use the same cells as the most expensive ebike batteries) because of no battery-to-bike mounts are sold.

Over the years I've improved and simplified my mount design to the point I can build a standard 2, 3 or 4 battery mount that will water bottle bolt/cable tie (or both) to most frames. The structure is a single piece of stainless steel with Makita terminals and pop rivets. For the DIY it makes a battery build solder-less and weld free. I expect to sell them for about $50,$60 and $70 (2,3,4 battery mounts)

I need feedback. What's good? what's bad? Will they sell?
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AngryBob   1 kW

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Re: Tool battery (Makita) mounts for ebikes

Post by AngryBob » Jul 07 2020 8:48am

The concept has always interested me. I have seen single-unit mounts, with no bike attachment, for around $15.00 each for a couple of brands.

A generic unit with solid mounts which could be customized for different brands might be something to explore. I happened to be looking hard at Milwaukee units, also DeWalt.

What if any procedure do you use when paralleling seperate packs?

Also are those factory mounts and how are you getting them, if you wish to share, and does that affect possibly handling other brands?

Looks like your mount has a third pin, is that for a temperature sensor?

I do believe that a well-made product like this, possibly with a slightly lower price(?), is something that could sell. How about integrated charging, just an input not an actual charger?

Maybe an option. Expense of multiple chargers for many packs can get significant, a mount with an input for a standard Ebike charger, perhaps? Builtin wattmeter as an option.
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Re: Tool battery (Makita) mounts for ebikes

Post by Firedog » Jul 07 2020 3:07pm

Angrybob thanks for responding.
A generic unit with solid mounts which could be customized for different brands might be something to explore. I happened to be looking hard at Milwaukee units, also DeWalt.
I limited my design to battery brands with cases available to fit 18v9ah or larger, a simple reliable mount lock, a slide on direction dimension that wouldn't interfere with crank arms or riders legs and a high energy/volume. Makita was the clear winner at the time. But, if you're a Chevy guy you ain't gonna buy a Ford. If you want to fit the big Milwaukee's or DeWalt's, just copy the mount from one of their tools. You'll likely have to mount it on a rear rack, stuff it in a bag, or somehow mount it on end.
What if any procedure do you use when paralleling seperate packs?
I register and label all batteries sold with ##a, ##b (if 54V system also ##c). The only rule is all batteries in wired in series must be in the "same state of charge", which most customers remember as "fully charged". Most single bike riders are fine with 36v10.5ah or 54v@10.5ah(189wh) so no batteries are in parallel. They can always pack 2 or 3 spares if they expect a long ride.

Tandems and high powered builds use more than 1 series set wired in parallel. The only rule is the series sets should be in a "similar state of charge" since the higher voltage set will charge the lower until they balance. A few volt difference is not a problem. A large difference would result in a large current until they balance. Again, most customer only remember "mount only fully charged batteries". Simple rule that covers everything.

Charging 1 battery on Makita single or dual charger is just over 1 hour and most find charging 1 or 2 then mounting another set is not a problem. Or, 1 charger will charge 2 or 3 batteries wired in parallel with the one battery on the charger and others connected in parallel with Makita terminals. The charger doesn't know or care how many batteries are in parallel. It takes longer, but batteries charged in parallel are perfectly matched and the slower rate is probably a good thing for cycle life.
Looks like your mount has a third pin, is that for a temperature sensor?
Yep, some tools monitor battery temp. 3rd pin not connected or needed when powering ebikes. 3 terminals are cheaper than 2. Heat dissipation is a strong reason to consider open mounted tool batteries. The batteries are mounted in moving air during discharge, fan cooling when charging and small enough to dissipate many times the heat a 50 cell ebike battery can. I also repair big ebike batteries and the failure is often over heating from a fat guy climbing a long hill.
I do believe that a well-made product like this, possibly with a slightly lower price(?), is something that could sell.
Good point. Those individual mounts you mention (unwired with no provision for mounting to the bike) would save you a bunch. Of course if you have several ebikes for different purposes, one set of batteries is all you need to ride any and that could save some big money and a lot of hassle being sure all the bikes are charged.
Expense of multiple chargers for many packs can get significant, a mount with an input for a standard Ebike charger,
Actually chargers are pretty cheap since all Makita and all brands sell batt/charger/tool packages to dealers cheap trying to lure first timers into adopting their brand. Dealers in CA and on ebay break the packages, sell the tool full price, then have to dump left over chargers($25) and the batteries cheap. Tool owners want many tool, but 2 batteries and 1 charger is plenty. I haven't seen a 9a quality ebike charger in the $25 price range.

With Makita, (and I think all other brands) most of the BMS is in the charger since it's not needed for discharge and stupid to use space and expense in every battery. Thus, a standard Ebike charger won't work. Charging 1 battery on Makita single or dual charger is just over 1 hour (9amps) and most find charging 1 or 2 then mounting another set is not a problem. If it is, 1 charger will charge 2 or 3 batteries wired in parallel with the one battery on the charger and others connected in parallel with Makita terminals. The charger doesn't know or care how many batteries are in parallel. It takes longer, but batteries charged in parallel are perfectly matched and the slower rate is probably a good thing for cycle life.
Builtin wattmeter as an option.
That why there a 3 output terminal. A $10 wattmeter can be mounted on the bike anywhere you like. #1 battery neg to meter, #2 neg from the meter to the controller, #3 battery pos to controller.
Last edited by Firedog on Jul 07 2020 10:31pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Tool battery (Makita) mounts for ebikes

Post by MorbidlyObeseKoala » Jul 07 2020 3:57pm

I like how it looks simple and compact. I personally am a fan of powertool or module options. A little less initial cost for trying out this hobby or swapping between vehicles. Also, great idea making them mountable to the bottle cage mounts on most frames.

Initial reaction is your price seems just a tad high. I don't know what your material cost is but the product looks DIY and since I can't try it out before buying, the arms that hold the batteries in look like they could bend with a bit of abuse/vibration. The other Makita mount pictured on this forum is machined from delrin has a much cleaner\professional look and wires are all hidden. If you made a mount for any major battery maker to order, then I think you could charge $50 and up. Just my 2 cents from a guy that likes to save 2 cents (aka cheap).

I'd love to know more about the battery builder you have. Very jealous you can go around the marketing and proprietary junk that comes with the big box tools.

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Re: Tool battery (Makita) mounts for ebikes

Post by Firedog » Jul 07 2020 9:57pm

Morbid,

You are so right, it is a prototype and looks pretty crude. I'm so involved with function and the tight the tolerance needed to make batteries go on/off smoothly with no play and mount solidly to the frame, I've lost perspective. Unless I could see and test one, I wouldn't buy it either. I will reconsider the design and build for looks as well as function.

In the mean time, there are a lot of ebikes I've built in the San Diego area working for years without battery or mount issues. Maybe just locals with poor eyesight is my market. :shock:

As to a multi tool battery water bottle cage mount for other battery brands, I'll have to leave that for a better engineer than me. The critical slide in dimension on Makita's with 10.5ah is 4.5" which clears the 5.1" crank arm spacing nicely. The same critical dimension on Milwalkee 9ah is 5.1" and 6.0" on the 12ah. All the other brands big batteries I checked are also too big.

Thanks much for the feedback.

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Re: Tool battery (Makita) mounts for ebikes

Post by wineboyrider » Jul 10 2020 10:01am

I like the greenworks 40v battery packs. I would definitely like more options for that format. I bought mine from https://terrafirmatechnology.com/shop/o ... cts?page=2
But I like the plate design for securing to my ebike as that is what I am currently trying to do with mine with limited skills and tools.
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Re: Tool battery (Makita) mounts for ebikes

Post by Firedog » Jul 10 2020 8:48pm

I like the greenworks 40v battery packs.
Please be sure to post how you mount the those to the frame. They are 6.4" x 3.2" x 3.4" so sliding into the triangle from the side won't work since crank clearance is only 5". If you mount them above the crank 6.4" still to wide for leg clearance. Rotate it 90 and you could mount 1. I don't think 2 would fit, since you got to have 4" extra to slide the battery to into the mount.

The expensive, high capacity ones are 36v4.0ah. Will you be happy with 4 or even 8ah? (~8 or ?16 miles). I've open them and the cells are 10s2p LG HD2 cells. They are rated 2ah, 25a continuous, so 2 in parallel will delivers 50amps continuous. Great for a 20 minute lawn mow or vaping, but totaling wrong for EV use. Even a powerful ebike won't draw 30a and if you got legs, most of time you'll be below 5amps. Consider cells with more energy(WH) and less power(W). Cheap ebike batteries use 2.6ah, better ones 3.0 ah 3.5ah with 10 to 15 a/cell current rating. 3 in parallel is 30a, plenty for most builds.

You should be able to mount them on a rear rack or just put them in a bag and tie it on. Better if they have air flowing by, but with the high amp rating they shouldn't get hot.

Best of luck.

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Re: Tool battery (Makita) mounts for ebikes

Post by wineboyrider » Jul 10 2020 10:59pm

Firedog wrote:
Jul 10 2020 8:48pm
I like the greenworks 40v battery packs.
Please be sure to post how you mount the those to the frame. They are 6.4" x 3.2" x 3.4" so sliding into the triangle from the side won't work since crank clearance is only 5". If you mount them above the crank 6.4" still to wide for leg clearance. Rotate it 90 and you could mount 1. I don't think 2 would fit, since you got to have 4" extra to slide the battery to into the mount.

The expensive, high capacity ones are 36v4.0ah. Will you be happy with 4 or even 8ah? (~8 or ?16 miles). I've open them and the cells are 10s2p LG HD2 cells. They are rated 2ah, 25a continuous, so 2 in parallel will delivers 50amps continuous. Great for a 20 minute lawn mow or vaping, but totaling wrong for EV use. Even a powerful ebike won't draw 30a and if you got legs, most of time you'll be below 5amps. Consider cells with more energy(WH) and less power(W). Cheap ebike batteries use 2.6ah, better ones 3.0 ah 3.5ah with 10 to 15 a/cell current rating. 3 in parallel is 30a, plenty for most builds.

You should be able to mount them on a rear rack or just put them in a bag and tie it on. Better if they have air flowing by, but with the high amp rating they shouldn't get hot.

Best of luck.
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Re: Tool battery (Makita) mounts for ebikes

Post by wineboyrider » Jul 10 2020 11:03pm

Sideways they could easily fit in the water bottle placement. My greenworks batteries are 6ah 200wh and 3 of them in parallel would easily power an ebike. The cells I haven't tested yet. But, so far so good.
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Re: Tool battery (Makita) mounts for ebikes

Post by wineboyrider » Jul 10 2020 11:05pm

With the current greenworks batteries I could easily get 18 miles +.
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Re: Tool battery (Makita) mounts for ebikes

Post by wineboyrider » Jul 10 2020 11:06pm

My controller is 36v 35 amps.
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Re: Tool battery (Makita) mounts for ebikes

Post by 2old » Jul 11 2020 9:51am

Seems feasible economically especially since, as you say, tool batteries are very inexpensive at times (occasionally with tools you don't need included) and the mount could be used multiple times when the batteries need replacement.

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Re: Tool battery (Makita) mounts for ebikes

Post by Firedog » Jul 11 2020 1:03pm

Wineboyrider,

It looks like you considered all the problems and have found decent solutions. Go for it! I didn't see a 6ah version until you mention it and that's a big difference. If you can fit 3 in parallel that will be a nice ride. The battery I opened was a clone marked 6ah but only had 20, 2ah cells inside. It may have also been sold as a Ryobi clone, not a Greenworks. They look so much alike, but I guess aren't interchangeable.

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Re: Tool battery (Makita) mounts for ebikes

Post by wineboyrider » Jul 12 2020 10:45am

The other tool packs I use for home use is the Ryobi 18v format, but the form factor sucks for ebikes in it has that dongle connector. I try and stick with formats I already have and greenworks 40v seems to have a lot of tools and now knockoff batteries. Amazon also, has knockoff ryobi and other brand batteries. It's amazing that what could only be 4ah in a greenworks battery can now fit 6ah. But, I need to test the cells to see if it actually is the amount stated. I even thought about the new Atlas tool packs that Harbor freight sells, but I don't want to have 5 different battery formats. But a nice plate for the rear rack is kind of what I am wanting. And a downtube like what you are building would be a cool option to have it available for other formats that might fit?
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Re: Tool battery (Makita) mounts for ebikes

Post by fourbanger » Jul 13 2020 9:16pm

I think, as others have said, to command the asking prices you have in mind the end product would have to be... prettier?

What about theft prevention? These battery packs look WAY more appealing than the usual kind...

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Re: Tool battery (Makita) mounts for ebikes

Post by Firedog » Jul 28 2020 1:46pm

Here's my latest build using those expensive Makita battery mounts and six cheap 18v10.5ah batteries (54v21ah = 1134wh). It's a pretty compact package.

The build is for an elite road racer who needs a lead bike (mule) to train behind. Apparently, elite riders can't get competitive just solo riding. They need to follow a lead rider most of the time to simulate pelaton and real tour conditions. That's a big problem unless you got $ to hire a big training team.

This e build solves the problem allows any "Joe" to lead all day at 35 to 38 mph. A Crystalyte 5303 front hub motor and 4840 controller provides plenty of speed. 3 power levels and cruise control throttle give very fine speed adjustment.
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Re: Tool battery (Makita) mounts for ebikes

Post by Balmorhea » Jul 28 2020 2:53pm

Smart use of the old 26”/24” Cannondale! Not many bikes have so much space behind the seat tube anymore. Even smarter would be to put the hub motor in the smaller wheel.
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Re: Tool battery (Makita) mounts for ebikes

Post by wineboyrider » Jul 28 2020 10:35pm

I'd definitely buy one if I had makita cells. In fact, looking at makita chargers and battery packs now... LOL
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Re: Tool battery (Makita) mounts for ebikes

Post by Firedog » Jul 31 2020 9:54am

I'd love to know more about the battery builder you have. Very jealous you can go around the marketing and proprietary junk that comes with the big box tools.
OK, Here's my tool battery source.

Alex, Sales Manager
OCT BATTERY & PLC SYSTEM Co., Ltd
alex@oct-power.com

He builds tool batteries replacements for Makita and I think, all other brands using any cells you choose. The cells are genuine and not 2nds. The cases, components and welds are first rate. I buy aftermarket Chinese chargers too, w better spec than those on ebay. The minimum sample order is 5 batteries. He charges the actually shipping fees, so $/battery goes down with the quantity ordered. I usually receive my orders in about 2 weeks after placing order. (10 day to build 4 days shipping). My orders are large enough that a wire transfer makes sense and I see no risk after many orders.

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Re: Tool battery (Makita) mounts for ebikes

Post by Odogster » Sep 22 2020 1:16am

Hi,
Is it possible to build a mount that could provide 84 Volts, a reasonable number of Ah, and still fir in a stealth b52 bomber?
How about 96V?

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Re: Tool battery (Makita) mounts for ebikes

Post by Gab » Sep 26 2020 4:03pm

Does this mount work for the new makita 40v max gt ? Or can you make one for that ?

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Re: Tool battery (Makita) mounts for ebikes

Post by agniusm » Oct 08 2020 2:40pm

Mounting them is fine. How about charging 6 bricks? Even with dual charger you would need to attend 3 times to fully charge. Not that convenient.

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Re: Tool battery (Makita) mounts for ebikes

Post by Firedog » Nov 15 2020 2:17am

agniusm wrote:
Oct 08 2020 2:40pm
Mounting them is fine. How about charging 6 bricks? Even with dual charger you would need to attend 3 times to fully charge. Not that convenient.
You have choices.
1. The chargers are fast (9 or 6 amps =~ 1 hour) and play music when a battery is finished charging. Some keep the chargers near and don't mind 2 or 3 battery changes when they hear the music.
2. Not my style. It's simple and cheap to add 1 or 2 parallel daughter connectors to the charger so 2, 3 (or more) batteries charge together in parallel. Of course the charge time doubles or triples but it's still much less than most ebike charging regiments . Only the battery mounted on the charger is monitored for temperature and cooled by a fan, but because the charging is slower, there is no risk to any of the batteries. In addition, slower charging will likely add a bit to the battery's cycle life. Since the batteries are charged in parallel, their voltages stay perfectly matched which is great for batteries discharge in series.
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Re: Tool battery (Makita) mounts for ebikes

Post by Firedog » Nov 15 2020 2:36am

Odogster wrote:
Sep 22 2020 1:16am
Hi,
Is it possible to build a mount that could provide 84 Volts, a reasonable number of Ah, and still fir in a stealth b52 bomber?
How about 96V?
Of course, Each battery is 18V10.5ah. Connect as many in series as you dare and you are kinda stuck choosing a voltage which is a multiple of 18V.

As far as fit... The width of Makita is 75mm. Most large frames will fit 6 on the down tube. 6*75mm=45cm=17.7inches. 6*18=108working volts: 120V fully charged.

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