Pulse Performance Products CDT Lightning Scooter (2014?)

Lightweight / Folding / Portable EVs - seats optional
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Pulse Performance Products CDT Lightning Scooter (2014?)

Post by amberwolf » Jul 16, 2017 5:17 am

I found this at goodwill for a few bucks; the SLA are probably dead, there's no charger, and the brake handle is missing (appears to have fallen out of the handlebar clamp assembly, which appears intact including the ebrake switch inside it). The throttle looks intact, but wont' know if it works till I get power to it.
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Side of the scooter says "100w", has a little brushed motor about 2/3 the length of a dogfood can and about the same diameter. That drives the solid-rubber-tired rear wheel via chain.
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The plan is to widen the battery compartment a bit, and replace the SLA with a 7s EIG NMC 20Ah pack; I expect it'll perform a bit better than the original. ;) (as long as it'll fit under the deck; havent' opened anything up yet). It won't likely be any lighter because the batteries will be larger and much higher capacity.

I have a few old RC LiPo packs I could just toss one or two into it with some padding but I'd rather have something that is a bit less fire-prone. ;) (given that these were mostly well-used before I got them and they're getting on a bit in years now, all of them have one problem or another).

It doesnt' have to do much, just move me (or my brother Raine) around, mostly Raine for short trips to the store and such, or to go between places if he takes an Uber somewhere that's also close to other places he wants to go--then it doesnt' have to be left locked up outside like an ebike would, can be taken in with him.

The handlebar doesn't fold up on this one, AFAICS, but I'll fix that; should be easy enough to do, and will make it more portable.


Because of the higher battery capacity (and capability), and the small motor, (and probably small controller), it might be possible the motor or controller could overheat before the battery runs out, on a longer trip. (especially since this thing was made for kids, not 150-180lb adults :lol:)

If so, I still have a much larger (and less hand-portable) scooter, or at least most of it, that I could use bits of to "upgrade" this one if I had to...but I think I would instead see about using a small brushless hubmotor (like one of the old Fusin 350w geared hubs) to do the chaindrive instead. I also have powerchair motors but those have heavy gearboxes on them that put them in the same (or larger) size and weight as the other scooter motor, so not really something I'd wanna put on this. The Fusin hubmotor isn't as light as I'd like either, but it's much better than the other two options.

Hopefully I won't have to worry about it, but hey, if I didn't think about modifying something before I've even powered it on the first time, I wouldn't be me (or a proper member of ES ;) ). :lol:

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Re: Pulse Performance Products CDT Lightning Scooter (2014?)

Post by amberwolf » Jul 16, 2017 5:10 pm

Last night I couldn't sleep, so I opened it up and got some pics of things, but too tired to think clearly enough to work on it. So today after it got too hot and muggy outside to do anything else out there (around midday), I poked around inside.

The SLA are toast, as expected; one's about 7v and ones about 9v, left them on a charger while working on it and they never got higher, though one of them got warm trying to.
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doesn't have to be switched on to charge, but it does charge either way. LED only indicates it's on, not if it's charging. wires come from the controlller for the LED.
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So I pulled one of the less-problematic Zippy 6s packs and topped off it's charge, just to have something small to test it with, using alligator clips to run power as I didn't want to waste time installing deans on the scooter just to test it.
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I get power, and a click inside the scooter, but no motor engagement, even when I push in the ebrake switch to close it (is an NO type that closes as long as the brake lever isn't pulled, so without a lever to hold it closed...). DMM shows switch is working; it's supplied with 24v whenever the throttle is open. Throttle is just a switch, too, and it's 24v on one side and open on the other, to pass the power back to the controller to do wahtever with.

Verified motor works by hooking battery power directly to it.
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Opened up the controller, and it's just a simple relay type. There are two, one for throtle and one for ebrake (just a safety cutout, no electrical braking occurs, though it could have been setup that way if they chose--the relay has both NO and NC contacts). There's some SMT transistor electronics to drive the relays, and that's about it.
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The ebrake relay appears to have a broken coil. If I open it up and press the contacts closed, then engaging throttle spins motor. The coil has 24v on one side as long as the throttle is engaged, and the other side gets grounded when ebrake is engaged, and floats when it is not. That's measured inside the relay frame itself, where the coil wires are soldered to the pins, so the problem is in teh actual coil somewhere. No biggie, for now I just wrapped the relay frame in electrical tape to hold the contacts closed so I can do more testing.

The relays are labelled with 14v coils, so it's likely that they get warmer than they should, with nearly double that voltage applied to them in use--and the ebrake coil would be *always* on as long as the scooter is on, except when actually braking, so it would suffer more than the throttle coil.

I replaced the brake lever unit with a regular bicycle type, so I can use the band brake on the motor wheel if necessary during testing.
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I also pulled off the chain tensioner, because it adds so much drag (and noise) that it causes the breaker to pop just starting up with me on it, judging by hand-spinning the wheel, it's adding at least double the "unloaded" load on the motor vs just running the wheel off-ground. During testing without the tensioner, there wasn't any chain derailment, but it was short ride and fairly smooth; a longer/bumpier ride might cause problems. So I'll fix chain tension later by drilling out the motor mounting holes to elongate them and slide the motor forward. Since there's a bracket not far forward, I may either have to move that bracket or also elongate the wheel axle mounting holes and move it backward.
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It does work, though I proved I don't yet have the skills to ride this thing safely, and had to keep stopping before I tipped over and fell off. :oops: Have to put on my racing gear before I practice with it next time, cuz even though I haven't crashed it yet, I probably will before I'm done. ;)

It does have enough power to haul me around on the sidewalk, but any incline at all and POP goes the breaker. I don't know what it's rated (can't read it inside clearly enough); don't wanna wire around it cuz that'll probably destroy the relays or the motor. But it might actually have only been rated to protect the batteries...if so that won't be a problem now. ;)

Another issue is the throttle itself--it engages in the direction that means it stays engaged even as you step off (if that was involuntary), and that's a problem. I could move it to the left side instead, so it rotates the other way, have to see if that would be better. If not, I might try an ebrake lever instead of the grip switch.

I may also raise the bars up a foot (using an extension off an old Razor scooter; I have a couple), as it was definitely made for kids shorter than I am. ;)

I also might dig out that old three wheel kick scooter and figure out if I can move the stuff over to that one; it's more stable for someone like me that doesn't really self-balance all that well anymore. Or maybe setup dual wheels up front, borrowing them off that three-wheeler? Wait and see how good I can get actually riding it as a two-wheeler first, I guess. :oops:

Need to put a cane holder on it, too, probably right on the front of the steerer. I have a spare somewhere (I had three to start with, and one is on SB Cruiser, another on CrazyBike2).

Then...maybe lights. :lol:

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