Cycle Analyst V3 preview and first beta release

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justin_le   10 MW

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Re: Throttle Settings

Post by justin_le » Mar 23 2012 11:30am

teklektik wrote: (Just thinking here...) It might be nice if the rate could be made to apply only (1) in throttle-up direction and (2) when the minimum throttle setting in the last second was less than 5% according to other configured throttle voltage criteria. This would make the throttle ease on only from dead start or when attempting to re-engage the clutch from a coasting episode (I think...)
Right, I should have clarified that as currently implemented it is just a ramp-up rate limit. Ramp down is still instant. If it's not this way then yes it's disconcerting when you brake, or stop pedalling in PAS mode, and it takes a while before the assist dies off.

As for 2, I'm exploring a different idea that would maybe address this pretty well. You are right that if you are already travelling at speed, the ramp rate can cause an annoying lag before you feel anything from the motor. However, if the CA was programmed to know the motor KV in V/kph, then it could rapidly move the throttle up to a value it knows is just below the speed of the bike, and then only at that point would the slower rate limit come into effect. That should in principle provide the smooth engagement of throttle ramping without the long latency when you are already moving. It's fairly high on the to-do agenda to try this out.

-Justin
Previously competed in the Suntrip race on a back to back tandem solar powered row/cycle trike. 550 watt solar roof, dual Grin All Axle hub motors, dual Phaserunner controllers, 12 LiGo batteries, and a whole wack of gear.

Now back in Vancouver learning to be a dad with my Big Dummy Frame (yes This One, thanks ES!) with GMAC 10T rear hub motor, Phaserunner controller, and 52V 19Ah EM3EV pack
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Re: Cycle Analyst V3 preview and first beta release

Post by tfahrner » Mar 23 2012 12:01pm

justin_le wrote: I think we need to be careful making sound noises. Certainly my tendency is to want to smash electronic devices that beep at me, so it's unlikely that the idea of a piezo buzzer would make it into the design!
I hear you there, but you know what kills a lot of systems in these here parts? Leaving the system powered on when unattended. Arguably unsafe, and quiescent draw sucks the batteries dry. I'd favor a 10-minutes-no-activity "nagger" alarm.

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Re: Cycle Analyst V3 preview and first beta release

Post by izeman » Mar 23 2012 12:23pm

buaaaahhhh ... i just ordered a CA yesterday. would i have know that there will be a V3 ...
will we see some of the screen updates in the "old" CA versions as well? or will it be hardware dependent?

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Re: Cycle Analyst V3 preview and first beta release

Post by johnrobholmes » Mar 23 2012 12:36pm

The throttle mapping is just icing on the cake! I can use them for any controllers now, what a great piece of kit.

Ever get any farther on integrating a watt controlled throttle or integrating amp limiting with speed limiting throttle types?

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Re: Cycle Analyst V3 preview and first beta release

Post by GCinDC » Mar 23 2012 12:45pm

Awesome, Justin!

I loved hearing about the history of the CA, as well as the new features in the CA (04:20-13:44), during our podcast interview (mp3 download).

Parts II and III to be released soon here.

I can't wait for the beta release of the motor! :mrgreen:
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Re: Cycle Analyst V3 preview and first beta release

Post by justin_le » Mar 23 2012 12:55pm

tfahrner wrote:
justin_le wrote: I think we need to be careful making sound noises. Certainly my tendency is to want to smash electronic devices that beep at me, so it's unlikely that the idea of a piezo buzzer would make it into the design!
I hear you there, but you know what kills a lot of systems in these here parts? Leaving the system powered on when unattended. Arguably unsafe, and quiescent draw sucks the batteries dry. I'd favor a 10-minutes-no-activity "nagger" alarm.
Well, having first hand dealt with dozens if not upwards of a hundred cases of batteries that have suffered this fate, I can't exactly disagree with the sentiment! But, the onus to solve this is really in the battery BMS board designers. They absolutely have to make it so that after a low voltage cutoff, the bms quiescent current falls to no more than a few uA, and the pack could continue to sit for over a year without issue. The present situation where the BMS quiescent current will kill a pack a month or two after LVC is really ridiculous.

But, I still can't get myself to embrace an alarm. It reminds me of the story from one of the bike stores here in Vancouver that deals heavily with BionX. The BionX batteries would do a very intermittent beep like every 10 minutes when at low voltage. The shop naturally had dozens of batteries scattered about, some on bikes, some in boxes, some on shelves, and so had an infuriating situation where a pack from somewhere would beep. But the noise was too high pitched and short to locate where it came from, and too infrequent between beeps to wait around for the next occurrence. It drove the proprietor mildly crazy (as it would myself too).
Previously competed in the Suntrip race on a back to back tandem solar powered row/cycle trike. 550 watt solar roof, dual Grin All Axle hub motors, dual Phaserunner controllers, 12 LiGo batteries, and a whole wack of gear.

Now back in Vancouver learning to be a dad with my Big Dummy Frame (yes This One, thanks ES!) with GMAC 10T rear hub motor, Phaserunner controller, and 52V 19Ah EM3EV pack
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Re: Cycle Analyst V3 preview and first beta release

Post by flathill » Mar 23 2012 1:05pm

Awesome work. Now when are you releasing your controller :D

The temperature based limiting is the feature I've wanted most. Thank you!

Will your motors becoming with temps sensors stock? I heard some of the new crystals have temp sensors from the factory.

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Re: Cycle Analyst V3 preview and first beta release

Post by Tench » Mar 23 2012 1:10pm

Justin your a genious!! this sounds to be just what is needed right now with more people building higher powered ebikes, the throttle mapping would be a god send!

Any idea on time scales, when we will be able to get our hands on them, i could use one right now, cant wait to explore the throttle options.

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Re: Cycle Analyst V3 preview and first beta release

Post by el_walto » Mar 23 2012 1:46pm

I'm interested in the Torque Sensors. Would be nice if i could build pedal and go ebikes for my parents. Not sure if there is going to be anything decent available from ebikes.ca torque sensor wise to go with the CA.

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Re: Cycle Analyst V3 preview and first beta release

Post by teklektik » Mar 23 2012 3:51pm

justin_le wrote: ... Ramp down is still instant. If it's not this way then yes it's disconcerting when you brake, or stop pedalling in PAS mode, and it takes a while before the assist dies off.
Excellent!
justin_le wrote:
As for 2, I'm exploring a different idea that would maybe address this pretty well. ... it could rapidly move the throttle up to a value ... It's fairly high on the to-do agenda to try this out.
Excellent as well - thanks for the clarification.

Can we look forward to user-installable firmware updates from you of the platform? I know this opens up all sorts of really evil ball-and-chain support issues with sunset hardware that drain resources in the future, but I have to ask :wink:
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Re: Cycle Analyst V3 preview and first beta release

Post by adrian_sm » Mar 23 2012 4:48pm

Fantastic work Justin. Great list of new features. Especially like the automatic battery gauge, and the whole concept of making the CA the central brain that can work with any controller.

Couple of questions/requests

1) Torque Limit
If you have a constant power limit, torque drops as speed increases. Some systems may benefit from being able to set a maximum "torque" based on Volts*Current / Speed. This makes sense to me as most drive trains are torque rather than power limit.

2) Throttle Rate Limit
I am a bit of a special case, but I actually use a separate rate limit for throttle down. It smooths the disengagement of my friction drive. Would be nice if this option was possible on the CA.

3) Large Screen vs Small Screen
Are you only offering the large screen CA in the future? Has the smaller screen version been permanently discontinued?

4) Temp Limit
Have you decided on how you will be implementing any limitting features baseed on the temperature sensor input?

- Adrian
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Re: Cycle Analyst V3 preview and first beta release

Post by dodjob » Mar 23 2012 5:16pm

Really nice improvements there! :)
In Europe we have the legal possibility to have a "push/start-help" 'til 6Km/h (without the PAS signal) after this speed a PAS signal is needed to reach "full" speed. Any infos If this could be inplemented or if it eventually already the case? ^^
I deal with heavy ebikes and such option would reaaally helps :)
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Re: Cycle Analyst V3 preview and first beta release

Post by justin_le » Mar 23 2012 11:20pm

johnrobholmes wrote: Ever get any farther on integrating a watt controlled throttle or integrating amp limiting with speed limiting throttle types?
Yes I actually have a watt throttle in the code but commented it out for now since I hadn't implemented the feedback loop yet. But the combined function throttle is still on the items to explore list.

I had another idea though which might be the best option for systems that have a hard time getting closed-loop current control working smoothly, but that would still have the overall benefits of a current throttle in that the full range of the throttle motion is useful regardless of your speed. This would again require the CA knowing the Kv of the motor in kph/V. The throttle output of the CA would countinously scale upwards with the vehicle speed, such that (based on Kv) the no-throttle motor RPM is slightly less than the RPM of the wheel. Then the throttle motion moves the output voltage above this point.

So in equation format it would be something like:
Throttle Output = K1*(vehicle speed / motor Kv) + K2*(user throttle)

Where the contant K1 would be figured out by the CA from the battery voltage and the throttle output range, while K2 would be a parameter that the user could set. There are a lot of advantages to running open-loop in this manner, since you wouldn't have to tune any feedback parameters and it would better cope with controllers that have response lags and latencies.

-Justin
Previously competed in the Suntrip race on a back to back tandem solar powered row/cycle trike. 550 watt solar roof, dual Grin All Axle hub motors, dual Phaserunner controllers, 12 LiGo batteries, and a whole wack of gear.

Now back in Vancouver learning to be a dad with my Big Dummy Frame (yes This One, thanks ES!) with GMAC 10T rear hub motor, Phaserunner controller, and 52V 19Ah EM3EV pack
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Re: Cycle Analyst V3 preview and first beta release

Post by johnrobholmes » Mar 23 2012 11:39pm

Seems like a really slick way of getting around the surging issues. I'm sure there would be other methods of open loop control too, but I can't really think of anything simpler than using the motor KV combined with wheel speed to get things ramped up without slamming the driveline.


I'm really excited to try one out. I just placed an order for some regular versions for the store and had Ben send an beta unit my way at the same time :mrgreen:

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Re: Cycle Analyst V3 preview and first beta release

Post by GMUseless » Mar 23 2012 11:47pm

Justin:

The V3 sounds like there's so many new features many of us won't be able to resist upgrading. But, since I own two large screen CA's allready I hate to have them go idle. Since it's the same physical platform, have you thought about an update program where perhaps we can ship you our V2 CA's to be upgraded? Would that even perserve any significant value from the consumer or production side?

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Re: Cycle Analyst V3 preview and first beta release

Post by johnrobholmes » Mar 23 2012 11:51pm

It is a big hardware upgrade, not just updates on the firmware. I would suggest you sell the units on the forum, I bet they would get snatched up pretty dang fast. V1 and V2 units will still be extremely valuable kit.

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Re: Cycle Analyst V3 preview and first beta release

Post by justin_le » Mar 23 2012 11:52pm

adrian_sm wrote:Fantastic work Justin. Great list of new features. Especially like the automatic battery gauge, and the whole concept of making the CA the central brain that can work with any controller.
Hey Adrian, nice work on completing the tidy Brainbox too btw! It's no small feat to go from a concept/prototype into a first small scale production run like that,,, i would know ;-)
1) Torque Limit
If you have a constant power limit, torque drops as speed increases. Some systems may benefit from being able to set a maximum "torque" based on Volts*Current / Speed. This makes sense to me as most drive trains are torque rather than power limit.
Yes, I think this might have come up in the RC-CA thread as well. Torque limit also works best from the perspective of protecting controller mosfets and motor phase wires and connectors. IF the throttle output of the CA is mapped properly and the controller takes the throttle signal as a direct control of the PWM duty cycle, then the CA should be able to estimate the motor current from
Motor Current ~= Battery Current / (Act Throttle Output / Full Throttle Output)
And hence could set up a limit accordingly. Doing it as Volts*Current / Speed is an interesting approach but it wouldn't reflect the torque at lower speeds well where the efficiency of the motor is poor. It's looking at input power / speed, while what we'd want to be looking at (for motor torque / phase current) is output power / speed.
2) Throttle Rate Limit
I am a bit of a special case, but I actually use a separate rate limit for throttle down. It smooths the disengagement of my friction drive. Would be nice if this option was possible on the CA.
Duly noted!
3) Large Screen vs Small Screen
Are you only offering the large screen CA in the future? Has the smaller screen version been permanently discontinued?
We still keep the small screen LCD's and membrane overlays on hands for OEMs (like the stealth bomber), and if anyone wants to take on doing a small form factor enclosure for these and offering it that would be great. The actual footprint of the small LCD PCB is just 80mm x 36mm, and we made sure that the V3 CA boards would fit within this boundary. So in principle you could make a fairly small box around it. The old hammond enclosures we used to machine for the application were 100mm x 50mm.
4) Temp Limit
Have you decided on how you will be implementing any limitting features baseed on the temperature sensor input?
Right now you set a threshold temp and a maximum temp:
ThreshTempm.jpg
ThreshTempm.jpg (10.57 KiB) Viewed 4833 times
MaxTemp.jpg
MaxTemp.jpg (10.41 KiB) Viewed 4833 times
The current limit automatically starts to scale linearly downwards when you hit the thresh temp, until it reaches 0 amps when you reach MaxTemp. I don't think anything more than this is really needed for effective overtemp protection, but if you have other ideas I'd be curious. I don't personally push many items to their thermal limit in my own ebike usage.

-Justin
Previously competed in the Suntrip race on a back to back tandem solar powered row/cycle trike. 550 watt solar roof, dual Grin All Axle hub motors, dual Phaserunner controllers, 12 LiGo batteries, and a whole wack of gear.

Now back in Vancouver learning to be a dad with my Big Dummy Frame (yes This One, thanks ES!) with GMAC 10T rear hub motor, Phaserunner controller, and 52V 19Ah EM3EV pack
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Re: Cycle Analyst V3 preview and first beta release

Post by justin_le » Mar 24 2012 12:09am

johnrobholmes wrote:It is a big hardware upgrade, not just updates on the firmware. I would suggest you sell the units on the forum, I bet they would get snatched up pretty dang fast. V1 and V2 units will still be extremely valuable kit.
Ha, spoken like a true businessman JRH! Indeed this is a complete hardware change and has an especially more tedious set of wiring and connector harnesses to make up and solder. So the plan is that we will be keeping the V2 CA's in full production as they are still perfectly suitable for tons of users who don't need these new features, and also for people who don't want any additional wiring clutter on their ebikes. It's a bit early to say for sure since we haven't started production in quantity, but the V3 CA's will probably be in at the ~$160 price range, versus $120 for the CA V2's. So the CA V2's aren't going to become obsolete, we're just making a more 'deluxe' model for those who want it.

-Justin
Previously competed in the Suntrip race on a back to back tandem solar powered row/cycle trike. 550 watt solar roof, dual Grin All Axle hub motors, dual Phaserunner controllers, 12 LiGo batteries, and a whole wack of gear.

Now back in Vancouver learning to be a dad with my Big Dummy Frame (yes This One, thanks ES!) with GMAC 10T rear hub motor, Phaserunner controller, and 52V 19Ah EM3EV pack
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Re: Cycle Analyst V3 preview and first beta release

Post by johnrobholmes » Mar 24 2012 12:34am

Mmm, deluxe model 8)


I just call it like I see it, but you have me pegged :lol: If you stopped v2 production I bet there would be a mad scramble on the forum of people swapping out units!

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Re: Cycle Analyst V3 preview and first beta release

Post by justin_le » Mar 24 2012 2:51am

Just a note that I'm about to take off my first distance trip using a CA V3 with torque sensing pedalec mode and so may be absent for this thread for a couple days though I haven't finished writing about all the V3 details yet. I'm travelling from the eZee factory to visit Cell_Man in another part of Shanghai. So far all the testing has been of the around-the-block variety so it'll be fun to take this on a real distance run which is where the pedalec mode should really shine.

Here's the rig that I put together. It has two hub motors installed for a dual drive, but I'm only connected to the front motor at the moment:
Test Ebike.jpg
Test Ebike.jpg (37.62 KiB) Viewed 4817 times
Cell_Man, if you don't here from me by sunset, I've emailed you my cell number which hopefully will work. China roads and traffic are a little crazy. Trusting that the google maps "pedestrian" route is a safe one!

-Justin
Previously competed in the Suntrip race on a back to back tandem solar powered row/cycle trike. 550 watt solar roof, dual Grin All Axle hub motors, dual Phaserunner controllers, 12 LiGo batteries, and a whole wack of gear.

Now back in Vancouver learning to be a dad with my Big Dummy Frame (yes This One, thanks ES!) with GMAC 10T rear hub motor, Phaserunner controller, and 52V 19Ah EM3EV pack
My website: http://www.ebikes.ca
Please contact via email, info@ebikes.ca, rather than PMs, which are disabled

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Re: Cycle Analyst V3 preview and first beta release

Post by adrian_sm » Mar 24 2012 4:47am

justin_le wrote: Hey Adrian, nice work on completing the tidy Brainbox too btw! It's no small feat to go from a concept/prototype into a first small scale production run like that,,, i would know ;-)
Thanks. If CA v3 was available back then, I doubt I would have bothered. But still very glad I did it.
IF the throttle output of the CA is mapped properly and the controller takes the throttle signal as a direct control of the PWM duty cycle, then the CA should be able to estimate the motor current from
Motor Current ~= Battery Current / (Act Throttle Output / Full Throttle Output)
I like it.
The actual footprint of the small LCD PCB is just 80mm x 36mm, and we made sure that the V3 CA boards would fit within this boundary. So in principle you could make a fairly small box around it. The old hammond enclosures we used to machine for the application were 100mm x 50mm.
Interesting. A tight enclosure around the smaller 16x2 would be pretty neat, and the new v3 CA hardware has everything an ebike could want... Hmmm that has got me thinking.
The current limit automatically starts to scale linearly downwards when you hit the thresh temp, until it reaches 0 amps when you reach MaxTemp. I don't think anything more than this is really needed for effective overtemp protection, but if you have other ideas I'd be curious.
Sounds perfect to me.

Good luck with your ride. Stay safe.

- Adrian

P.S. Will Grin Tech be at Interbike? I was thinking of dropping by.
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Build #2 ~30kg ~2000w Giant AC Dually Crystalyte 408, 48V10Ah Headway + 6s10Ah LiPo = 70V. ~15000 kms to date [SOLD]
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Re: Cycle Analyst V3 preview and first beta release

Post by www.recumbents.com » Mar 24 2012 8:29am

Hi Justin,

Very cool new features. When you get a chance can you list what is being logged? I'd be interested in the usual time / motor parameters plus the human power. Maybe your firmware allows choice of parameters to log?

Thanks,

-Warren.

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Re: Cycle Analyst V3 preview and first beta release

Post by chroot » Mar 24 2012 4:18pm

PLEASE add the flasher function for instance I am deaf or someone is also deaf dependent on light warning such light or LED flasher technology. Maybe flashing the LCD display such SoC act like warning LVC is near.
justin_le wrote:
Doctorbass wrote: Did you ever thought about including a programmable BEEP piezo alarm option we could setup for ex low SOC alarm etc?
I think we need to be careful making sound noises. Certainly my tendency is to want to smash electronic devices that beep at me, so it's unlikely that the idea of a piezo buzzer would make it into the design!

However, I think we could do a compromise Stéphane where parts of the display would then flash when a hard limit is hit? so for instance if LVC is reached then the battery indicator blinks, if overtemp is reached then the temperature readout flashes etc. That would also be useful to tell people what is going on when the CA starts to throttle back the power output, and it shouldn't be too difficult to implement.
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Re: Cycle Analyst V3 preview and first beta release

Post by nicobie » Mar 24 2012 8:37pm

That's pretty darn cool.

More than every feature than I was looking for.

Clever that the unit can use more custom input for each specific user's system. Kenny did have one good idea with his weak sauce display. :P
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Re: Cycle Analyst V3 preview and first beta release

Post by teklektik » Mar 25 2012 11:47pm

Just wondering if there will be a firmware upgrade for the current Analogger to dump other (new) input data as well - minimally Temp data but the Aux Pot would be nice as well since it would reveal (usually) a changable operator control setting (limiting of one sort or another).

A handy feature for the Analogger might also be to dump a short ascii file on startup named CAsetup_XXXX where XXXX is the same as the CAlog_XXXX file. The file would just contain a dump of the setup and advanced setup for the CA - one parm per line in 'name = value' format. Tweaking settings and recording data for test runs would then leave each data log with a corresponding file of the exact setup in use at the time. Although not always useful, the files would be of inconsequential size and easily deleted en mass if unwanted.
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