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Home made chain drive cruiser

Posted: Apr 26 2008 7:24am
by 1000w
Hi all. Here is my electric cruiser that built from a couple of mountain bike frames that I picked up free from verge rubbish.
The motor/controler is from Cyclone Taiwan. 48V 1000w brushless
Batteries 4 x 12V 20Ah SLA AGM.
Charger from Kipoint (ebay)
Watts up meter
The rear wheel is 20" with a 3 speed hub. The small wheel makes a good space for the motor in a 26" frame.
Top speed on level ground is 57km/h, range is very limited at this speed.
It will cover 10km at 35-40km/h, or 20km at 25-28km/h
It averages 19wh/km. I tend to only get 3-4Ah out of the batteries, ie around 200Wh.
The batteries have done about 700km now and seem to be getting very tired.
I am looking for a 48V 20Ah LiFePO4 at the moment, as I want more range and less weight.
I have read all 65 pages of the "duct tape LiFePO4" posts, so I am saving for a Ping battery.
Anyway I am really happy with the motor, really powerful and reliable and the bike is fun to ride with it's laid back riding position.
Cheers,
Matt.
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Re: Home made chain drive cruiser

Posted: Apr 26 2008 8:03am
by Lenk42602
1000W,

Welcome to the forum! Very nice work! I assume you welded the frame together yourself? Looks like a well thought out, cost effective platform, purpose designed around your battery choice. It's nice to see a new member with this mentality - many on the forum retrofit existing bikes (myself included) with kits, and invariably the end result is not quite as fully integrated a system as you have put together. As you will discover, the heart and soul of any build is generally the batteries. My hope is to someday become proficient enough with my welder to develop a frame platform that is scalable for ebike builds of various levels.

Looking good, and again, welcome!

Len

Re: Home made chain drive cruiser

Posted: Apr 26 2008 11:31am
by Link
1000w wrote:Batteries 4 x 12V 20Ah SLA AGM.

{snip snip}

It averages 19wh/km. I tend to only get 3-4Ah out of the batteries, ie around 200Wh.
Methinks they're either old or defective. You should be able to get ~10 or so Ah out of those.

Re: Home made chain drive cruiser

Posted: Apr 26 2008 11:47am
by Dr. Shock
Very nice job. With the battery changes you're thinking about you can leave the charger off (I don't think it will work on lithiums, anyway). That will save even more weight and space.

We've been seeing some good home-builts lately.

Re: Home made chain drive cruiser

Posted: Apr 26 2008 2:09pm
by TylerDurden
Very clean. Excellent concept and realization.

Howzat 3-speed performing?

:mrgreen:

Re: Home made chain drive cruiser

Posted: Apr 26 2008 2:33pm
by RLT
Pretty cool!
I especially like the idea of using the smaller wheel so you can mount the motor there.
Where's your pedals though? :mrgreen:

Re: Home made chain drive cruiser

Posted: Apr 26 2008 10:13pm
by 1000w
Thanks for the replys.
Lenk 42602, yes I did cut and weld the frame myself.

Link, I bought the batts brand new and they all had 13.2V, but I have been very disapointed with them. When they were new, the best I ever got was 6Ah. I can only get about 2 Ah now after about 100 charges. I am only pulling between 10A to 20A. The charger may be a little harsh at 8A though.

TylerDurden, the 3 speed (Shimano) seems to be holding up. I'm not using the correct shifter, so sometimes it clunks when it's not engaged properly (between gears) and I apply the power. Time will tell. 1st gear provides fantastic take off.

RLT the pedals are on my Giant XTC2, which I use for exercise.

FrankG, the motor is from Cyclone Taiwan 48V 1000W, I think around 4000RPM, 35A controller. I am really happy with the quality of this kit and the price is excellent. You can purchase directly from Cyclone using Paypal. There is a few resellers marking the kits up and selling on ebay, this obviously should be avoided. Here is the link: http://www.cyclone-tw.com/ Turn your volume down, and it's a little slow to start because of all the videos. You'll see what I mean!!
Cheers,
Matt.

Re: Home made chain drive cruiser

Posted: Apr 27 2008 2:40am
by CGameProgrammer
That's a neat bike, but there's definitely something wrong with your batteries. With 48V 12Ah of lead-acid using a Crystalyte hub motor on a 26" wheel, I had the same top speed you do and a range of around 9-10 miles (14-15 km) when driven fast. You're using 20Ah batteries and a chain motor, which is usually more efficient due to a higher motor speed, so something weird is going on, methinks.

You created a frame that elegantly holds a large volume of batteries -- it'd be a shame if it ends up being wasted. Get proper batteries -- B&B are great SLA batteries and Soneil makes great chargers for lead-acid. (A bad charger can ruin the batteries too.) Avoid ebay or anything like that as you don't know what you're getting.

Re: Home made chain drive cruiser

Posted: Apr 27 2008 5:53am
by Link
1000w wrote:
Link, I bought the batts brand new and they all had 13.2V, but I have been very disapointed with them. When they were new, the best I ever got was 6Ah. I can only get about 2 Ah now after about 100 charges. I am only pulling between 10A to 20A. The charger may be a little harsh at 8A though.
That is really, really bad. I can just squeeze 2Ah out of my 4.5Ah pack if I push it. You charge at about 1/2C and I charge at about the same, so I don't think it's the charger. You should be able to get far more than me with all the battery you can fit in that nice frame of yours. :wink:

Re: Home made chain drive cruiser

Posted: Apr 27 2008 7:12am
by knoxie
Hello

Very nice build indeed!! like the design and the look, the motor is a cracker! quite big but looks like you could squeeze more than 1KW out of that for sure, also like the 3 speed as well (Randy Draper nods in approval here) what model of 3 x speed is that? and how have you fixed the sprocket to it (more photos?) and yes as all the other have said there is something badly wrong with those batteries, Lead isnt that great when compared to other chemistries but it should not be that bad?

Lipo will push your range right out and I reckon you could run a modified xlyte controller that will give you quite a kick! that motor looks like it really can take a lot more than 1KW, would love to see some video of it in action?

Cheers

Knoxie

Re: Home made chain drive cruiser

Posted: Apr 27 2008 9:47am
by safe
Cool!

Good to see other people doing exotic work... and using SLA as well... I like that. Seems that everyone wants to focus all their energies into expensive batteries.

The motor/controler is from Cyclone Taiwan.
48V 1000w brushless
Batteries 4 x 12V 20Ah SLA AGM.


You know the problem is that you went for the higher voltage and lower Ah setup and while that gives better power it also forces the batteries to run at "C" rates above 1C. That's not good. 1C is sort of the "official" design criteria if you want to get any useful life out of the batteries. You would have been better off with a 36 volt with 40 amp hour setup. (which is what I'm running)

4 * 12 * 20 = 960 Wh - @40 amp will be about 25% efficient.

3 * 12 * 40 = 1440 Wh - @40 amp will be about 50% efficient.

The weight difference is an extra 50%.

The bottom line is that your motor is very large and if you are pulling 40 amps @ 48 volts that's drawing 1920 watts of power and your batteries are too small to handle the "C" rate.

But it's fun to go fast for a short distance. :)

...however you would have gotten better range if you had detuned the motor more and increased the battery more.

Re: Home made chain drive cruiser

Posted: Apr 27 2008 10:18am
by 1000w
I got 3Ah out of it today, but the during the last 1Ah it was cutting out, if I pulled too many amps, due to the controllers low voltage cut out. The controller is designed for Lipos so maybe the low voltage cutout is too high for SLAs??
What voltage on a 48V SLA system is considered a deep discharge?

knoxie, I machined to original hub sprocket down, using a lathe and angle grinder due to the hardness of the sprocket, to fit inside the centre of the larger one and welded them together in a few spots.
The peak watts on the Watts up regularly shows around 2500W. It has got loads of go, very strong acceleration.
How do you tell what model the three speed is?
I tried a hand held video today and got to 47km/h one handed but it got too scarey around a bend. I will sort something out.

CGameProgrammer, no more SLA for me. I can't wait to get a 20Ah LifePO4. I can easily modify the battery frame to suit.

safe, thanks for that insight regarding the efficency. That extra weight would be a pest though. I find the bike very heavy now with 25kg of 20Ah batts.
Lipo for me!!

Cheers for the positive replys.
Matt.

Re: Home made chain drive cruiser

Posted: Apr 27 2008 11:20am
by safe
1000w wrote:safe, thanks for that insight regarding the efficency. That extra weight would be a pest though.
The other option would be to reduce your motor's power demands even more. The "bottom line" is that you've designed an improper match for battery-to-motor using SLA. It's not that SLA cannot perform well under the right circumstances, it's that you have exceeded the power ratio so that because of the design it cannot perform.

I just want to be sure you don't fall into the:

"Lead Acid doesn't work" :shock:

...crowd. I've had great success with my own bike (3,200 miles and a top speed of 40 mph) and so I know from experience that if people could just get their designs right it will work.

:arrow: You could have done something more like:

3 * 12 * 26 = 936 Wh (the same weight)

...and then used a 36 volt @ 25 amp current limit for a total of 900 watts. (more like 600 Watts at the rear wheel) This would be the "correct design" for your weight category, but the reduction of power would take away from the excitement.

NiMh or LiFePO4 can deliver the peak amps, but at a higher cost.

Think of it this way... if you had done the design for range rather than power you could have doubled your result. (because the efficiency doubles)

The peak watts on the Watts up regularly shows around 2500W.
This is just too much for such small batteries.

I've got a six speed rather than your three speed and with my lower power usage it can just barely make it up the steeper hills around here. (I live in a pretty flat area) So what I've done is compensated for the lower power with a wider gearing range. I get up to speed.... just very slowly... :lol:

Re: Home made chain drive cruiser

Posted: Apr 27 2008 12:04pm
by knoxie
Hi

Right nice indeed, I will be interested to see how long the 3 x gear lasts, I am really keen to do something very similar, well a copy of Randy Drapers bike to precise! and yes Safe is right about the batteries, Lead Acid is very good value and if you run them at or under their c rate they are ok and will give you good service life at a big weight penalty of course, however if you have the money and you want the space/weight saving then Lipo is a no brainer, you will also get a very good dollar per mile ratio 1000+ cycles? out of them if you treat them well, its very early days still for lipo so the jury is still kind of out esp with Ping and his packs, however good quality lead acid batteries if looked after are pretty hard to beat.

I like the overall look of your machine, how have you been getting on with the cops, the lack of peddles would get you pulled very quickly over here in the UK as the cops know the score on that basic level at least.

Would love to see some video what ever you have even some stationary ones of the motor and the wheel spinning, I will watch anything e-bike related! ha ha.

Thanks big time for posting, its very nice to see another build like safes thats a ground up rather than bolt on bike, it looks like you have made this for a lot less than most of our kit bikes when you look at it as well so very well done, keep the pics and videos (if you can) coming.

Knoxie

Re: Home made chain drive cruiser

Posted: Apr 27 2008 1:37pm
by safe
knoxie wrote:...it looks like you have made this for a lot less than most of our kit bikes when you look at it as well so very well done
Custom bikes don't usually cost that much... but you pay in time spent building it. If you don't like fabricating (cutting, grinding, welding) this could be a real hell for someone. I just find real satisfaction in dreaming up ideas and then making them reality. If I could buy all the parts it would take some of the fun out of it for me. :)

Re: Home made chain drive cruiser

Posted: Apr 27 2008 3:40pm
by knoxie
Hi Safe

Yes with you on that one for sure, I like to make stuff myself and had a good go with the Lemco bike in the past, I have dabbled with kits and hubs making them quicker and more powerful the downside being that they break a lot faster as they were never designed to do what I put them through, I still think Randys idea like this bike takes a lot of beating for efficiency and performance, it may not win any e-bike beauty pageants but that design gets the job done very well and if engineered properly will outlast and outperform most off the shelf kits, the biggest problem with all the off the shelf stuff is power, all the kits I have overvolted have run well for a while but then failed, the Puma is good under 1KW, over that it needs metal gears, welded fywheel and fatter phase wires for starters, all beyond what most folks are capable of doing, in some ways it is better to make the design from the ground up, I am still amazed that the little hub gears can take that kind of motor power without failing, they must be massively over engineered in the first place?

And you are right about lead acid that is a very well made point indeed, I would still use them for short range commuting if I had to no question and I still keep all my lead acid soneil chargers just incase my lipo or NIMH fail on me.

Knoxie

Re: Home made chain drive cruiser

Posted: Apr 27 2008 5:01pm
by safe
knoxie wrote:I am still amazed that the little hub gears can take that kind of motor power without failing, they must be massively over engineered in the first place?
Well that was one of the very positive things about this thread in that "1000W" is pushing up to 2500W (before losses) through a three speed rear hub. I'll be trying out my new Sturmey Archer 8 speed in not too long and it's comforting to know that just a regular old three speed can handle all that stress. It makes me think that they overdesign the multispeed hubs in general to handle peak loads. Pedaling produces far higher "peaks" than a motor does... even when it's cranking out 1000 watts or more.

To break something only requires a microsecond of excessive peak torque... electric motors tend to be rather smooth and less likely to cause damage... which is nice. :)

Re: Home made chain drive cruiser

Posted: Apr 28 2008 1:07am
by 1000w
Here is a ride vid. The track is a little rough at 48 km/h one handed.
Cheers,
Matt.
http://s50.photobucket.com/albums/f331/ ... I_4827.flv

Re: Home made chain drive cruiser

Posted: Apr 28 2008 1:59am
by 1000w
Here is a show and tell vid.
Cheers,
Matt.
http://s50.photobucket.com/albums/f331/ ... I_4838.flv

Re: Home made chain drive cruiser

Posted: Apr 28 2008 7:40am
by Ypedal
Awsome !!!!..

I have that exact same motor sitting on the desk ready to go into something fun.. ! Now you got me all excited to get that on the go !ol

Not sure, but it looks like you have 2 of the batts upside down.. i'm pretty sure it's ok to mound SLA in any position but upside down.. ? might have something to do with the low output.

Nice build ! and lithium will make that bike scream !!!

Re: Home made chain drive cruiser

Posted: Apr 28 2008 9:36am
by fechter
That does look like a really nice motor.
I'd go for something a bit heftier than #25 chain, but I guess you can get a high quality one.

Re: Home made chain drive cruiser

Posted: Apr 28 2008 11:27am
by knoxie
Hi

Thanks for the video, that is awesome!! bet you cant wait to get your hands on the lipo pack so you can max out the range on it, that motor didnt sound too loud either, that does indeed look like a very good motor, thanks again for sharing.

Knoxie

Re: Home made chain drive cruiser

Posted: Apr 29 2008 1:16am
by 1000w
How do you quote someone in your post. ie the grey box that says "so and so wrote.
Cheers,
Matt.

Re: Home made chain drive cruiser

Posted: Apr 29 2008 1:21am
by Link
1000w wrote:How do you quote someone in your post. ie the grey box that says "so and so wrote.
Cheers,
Matt.
Press the quote button in the upper right hand corner of their post. It will quote it automatically.

You an also highlight some text in their post when you're in the "post a reply" screen and it will only quote what you highlighted.

Re: Home made chain drive cruiser

Posted: Apr 29 2008 2:21am
by 1000w
Thanks link I have opened my eyes now.
Ypedal wrote:Not sure, but it looks like you have 2 of the batts upside down.. i'm pretty sure it's ok to mound SLA in any position but upside down.. ? might have something to do with the low output.

Nice build ! and lithium will make that bike scream !!!
I'm pretty sure this is ok, can't wait for that Lipo.
knoxie wrote:that does indeed look like a very good motor, thanks again for sharing.
Yes I am very happy with the motor, smooth, quiet, and grunty.
Your welcome, I am glad I found this forum, loads of knowledge and great sharing.

I am going to try and do a vid that demonstrates the acceleration, I will need two hand though, left for shifter and right for throttle.
Cheers,
Matt.