Phat Bike Build

Show off your E-bike creation here.
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jkbrigman   10 kW

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Balance Charging Doeth Sucketh

Post by jkbrigman » Jul 20 2013 1:16pm

My previous bad experience blowing up a balance connector :shock: led me to realize I need a more organized and clearly laid out way to balance charge. It's bad enough that I have to disassemble the pack to balance charge - it's completely unacceptable that it's possible to destroy a balance lead connector just by plugging it in. I decided to look at a balance charging PCB and ordred one from HobbyKing.com:
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/stor ... duct=41306

It arrived quickly from the USA Warehouse. The product is really nice: it's fully coated and silkscreened. The solder pads are gold plated. The high current cables are a good size and the connectors on the board are high quality. It's a good deal for the price - less than $10.

Yes, I realize I'm the guy who posted instructions on how to build your own balance charging cable and here I am singing the praises of a balance charging PCB. :oops: My perspective on "n00b lipo" has shifted a little. Not everyone can make their own cables, especially balance charging cable. This PCB has both the power and balance connectors in a simple, safe form factor.I still don't see this kind of balance charging as a long-term solution, even for a casual rider. The JST-XH connectors just aren't durable enough to be reliable after being plugged/unplugged hundreds of times.

(BTW: I'm still using the cables with the balance board to charge more bricks simultaneously. Installed between the balance boards and charger, it would enable simultaneous charging of up to 18 LiPo packs! :D So nothing gets wasted, everything is re-used...)

Here's what it looks like plugged into the iCharger:
balance_board_on_icharger.png
balance board by itself, plugged into iCharger
My objective is to have no more exposed metal components when balance charging on the iCharger and leave the charging PCB permanently plugged up to the iCharger. This product achieves that objective well enough: there's a black foam piece glued to the back and all the connectors are fully shrouded. The PCB handles all the current and balancing needs with no problem. The iCharger was very happy being plugged into the board and the batteries did great with it. Here's 6 bricks being charged from the little iCharger that could:
balance_board_6_bricks.png
six bricks of Turnigy on the iCharge using a 6S, 6 position balance charging board
This is great: I shouldn't have any more trouble blowing up JST-XH conectors with this nice PCB. Yay!

But...two problems remain:

1) I still have to disassemble the pack...completely...to balance charge. :cry:
2) I can't charge all nine bricks of mighty lipo simultaneously with just the one board. I can only do six, disconnect, then reconnect three bricks to charge right after those.

Now: I can cascade the boards to do five + four or three + three + three. That makes it possible to do all nine simultaneously. The currents required by that configuration are well within the rating of the PCB (30A) but it would be a mess.

So....it's at least as good as the cables . Beyond that, it's more compact, better organized and easier to see and use. It does save time futzing with the cables and it's easier to use. I can leave it connected to the charger all the time, so it saves me the time of having to hunt for a cable. I'll keep using the board - no question. It improves safety. It's compact and i can leave it plugged in. It should help the connectors on the charger last longer. What would I change? I'd remove the JST-XH connectors for all the other sizes of LiPo pack. I've standardized on 6S, so I don't need them. But I guess it's nice to have them in case I ever consider going with a different sized LiPo pack.

But I am left with the nagging feeling that this is definitely not Phat..... :shock:

There's got to be a better way...can Phat Labs rise to the challenge? :mrgreen:
Last edited by jkbrigman on Jul 30 2013 12:34pm, edited 3 times in total.
eRecumbent. 9C 2810, 6-FET,CA,18S3P LiPo, Kenda Kwest. 33mph max 12.8Wh/mi (22mph avg) Phat Bike Commuter HS3540, 6-FET, 18S3P LiPo, Schwalbe Marathon 47mph max 25 Wh/mi (28mph avg) Basic LiPo Charging Thread , Add Throttle to Multispeed Bike
dogman: "I bet if you just don't ride like a jerk, you can do whatever you want up to the speed where everybody looks at you like this. :shock: "
tomjasz: "Romans go full dork. They could give a hoot what 'Merkins do."

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Kinni420   100 W

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Re: Phat Bike Build

Post by Kinni420 » Jul 20 2013 3:50pm

Hi JKB.
Remember that I blew a six cell battery and turned it into a three cell. I still used the 6S balance lead and plug it into the I charger and it registers that it's only reading three cells so it charges as a three cell. Damn that I charger is smart.

I don't think that removing the extra JST plugs on your board is a good idea. Someday you might want to get a three cell or four cell battery to power lights or any other 12 V system without the use of a DC/DC converter. You can leave that plugged in to the 6S port on the I charger and it will register as a three or four no problem.

By the way the Stealth bomber is dead again I'm still getting the hall sensor problems if you look at my rebuild post. I changed out all the phase wires and all the hall sensor wires from the PCB board inside the motor all the way to the controller. Still no love the bike is down.

Just found out there's a new electric bike shop that opened up just 10 miles from my house I tried calling but no at no reply I'm going to try again when I get home. The bike shop is called E cubed. Ran into a guy today who was riding a store build bike cruiser type cant remember what it was called but he was running what looked like a 9C motor with a 36 V liFePo pack. Didn't have much time to talk to him but going to search for him on the forums.
Celer, Silens, Mortalis

2017 Kona Lava Dome 29" Luna BBSHD 1600w, 52v hailong, DPC-18, EMPowered Tektro E-725 203mm hydraulics, 42t Luna Eclipse.
1970 Cook Bros single speed beach cruiser serial # 1

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jkbrigman   10 kW

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Re: Phat Bike Build

Post by jkbrigman » Jul 20 2013 5:50pm

Hey Kinni420;
Kinni420 wrote:Hi JKB.
Remember that I blew a six cell battery and turned it into a three cell. I still used the 6S balance lead and plug it into the I charger and it registers that it's only reading three cells so it charges as a three cell. Damn that I charger is smart.

I don't think that removing the extra JST plugs on your board is a good idea. Someday you might want to get a three cell or four cell battery to power lights or any other 12 V system without the use of a DC/DC converter. You can leave that plugged in to the 6S port on the I charger and it will register as a three or four no problem.
The iCharger ROCKS! if I can ever simplify balance charging enough, it's a great R/C charger to take onboard the bike. Tiny, powerful and easy to use under difficult circumstances. Able to leap 24vdc LiPo from a 12vdc power source! I have to confess: I don't know what you mean about removing the JST plug - I simply replaced the JST balance connector on the Turnigy lipo. All's A-OK now.
By the way the Stealth bomber is dead again I'm still getting the hall sensor problems if you look at my rebuild post. I changed out all the phase wires and all the hall sensor wires from the PCB board inside the motor all the way to the controller. Still no love the bike is down.
Dude...wait a minute...original symptoms were that you could wiggle the wires and either stop or reproduce the motor shimmy. So it's a safe bet the problem was in the wiring. You may have run into another problem while you did the fix, "disturbing the system". I've experienced that many times, it's maddening. You have to believe that you are now closer for replacing the wires. Don't lose the ev grin!
Just found out there's a new electric bike shop that opened up just 10 miles from my house I tried calling but no at no reply I'm going to try again when I get home. The bike shop is called E cubed. Ran into a guy today who was riding a store build bike cruiser type cant remember what it was called but he was running what looked like a 9C motor with a 36 V liFePo pack. Didn't have much time to talk to him but going to search for him on the forums.
You lucky dog! Sounds like they've got a customer in you if their prices are reasonable and they know what they are doing. Another pair of eye/ears on your motor might be helpful.
eRecumbent. 9C 2810, 6-FET,CA,18S3P LiPo, Kenda Kwest. 33mph max 12.8Wh/mi (22mph avg) Phat Bike Commuter HS3540, 6-FET, 18S3P LiPo, Schwalbe Marathon 47mph max 25 Wh/mi (28mph avg) Basic LiPo Charging Thread , Add Throttle to Multispeed Bike
dogman: "I bet if you just don't ride like a jerk, you can do whatever you want up to the speed where everybody looks at you like this. :shock: "
tomjasz: "Romans go full dork. They could give a hoot what 'Merkins do."

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jkbrigman   10 kW

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Phat Bike Clicks off 700 Miles!

Post by jkbrigman » Jul 27 2013 2:17pm

No particular reason to celebrate 700 miles, except that for this commute using the bike made a big difference in gas cost. Gas prices have spiked upward here in the past few weeks and I'm feeling the pain. This one day of commute on the bike really helped: I saved 1 trip's worth of gasoline and enjoyed unusually cool and de-humidified weather for the ride. Now the car still has that tank of gas in it and I have a decent shot at not buying gasoline for it again until prices ease up some. So beyond the $5 saved in immediate gas cost with the car, There should be $1 or $2 saved on the cost of the next tank. (EDIT: Looked at gas prices today, they went down 12 cents/gallon since last week - from $3.59 to $3.47 - so I've already saved $1.20 on that next tank of gas!)

For a great discussion of this phenomenon, look under Alan B's "50mpg SUV" ebike blog: https://sites.google.com/site/alansebikes/home Here's the usual CA displays from the trip:
commute1.png
30 miles return leg of the daily commute. Pack voltage lower than ever for only the commute.
commute1.png (185.98 KiB) Viewed 2648 times
commute2.png
Using the CA's ability to limit current available to the motor has been useful. That "lowest voltage" readout is still scary, though!
commute2.png (143.37 KiB) Viewed 2648 times
commute3.png
That 21mph average is now easy to achieve with the 52T front and 11T rear. But I'd still like to trim 25 minutes off the commute to make it closer to an hour's time.
commute3.png (159.27 KiB) Viewed 2648 times
commute4.png
Busting 700 miles on the Phat Bike. Hoping to tick off the next 300 in a far shorter time, if I can get more speed on the bike!
commute4.png (133.11 KiB) Viewed 2648 times
The Phat Bike itself hasn't changed much. Here it is with the new double-leg kickstand and the massive 800 lumen retina-burning headlight installed:
commute5.png
Morning right before heading out to work for the 30 mile trip outbound. The weather was perfection.
Things left to do:
- move the controller off the rear rack and replace the pannier with a trunk bag: improve aero efficiency
- test the windshield: Improve aero efficiency
- reinstall the Crystalyte: Improve motor efficiency
- add regen brake levers and maybe a regen switch: save brake pads and improve range
- add marker lights: Improve safety
- add front disc brake: improve safety
Last edited by jkbrigman on Jul 30 2013 12:37pm, edited 3 times in total.
eRecumbent. 9C 2810, 6-FET,CA,18S3P LiPo, Kenda Kwest. 33mph max 12.8Wh/mi (22mph avg) Phat Bike Commuter HS3540, 6-FET, 18S3P LiPo, Schwalbe Marathon 47mph max 25 Wh/mi (28mph avg) Basic LiPo Charging Thread , Add Throttle to Multispeed Bike
dogman: "I bet if you just don't ride like a jerk, you can do whatever you want up to the speed where everybody looks at you like this. :shock: "
tomjasz: "Romans go full dork. They could give a hoot what 'Merkins do."

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Kinni420   100 W

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Re: Phat Bike Build

Post by Kinni420 » Jul 27 2013 6:04pm

hey JKB, I was at a bike shop recently and asking about disc brakes for the front. They showed me a hydraulic front brake system from shimano for about 75 dollars that they said "Is as good as XTR from a few years back" (that doesnt include the front wheel unfortunately).

Ive run 3500 miles on the SB3 without ever changing the front V-brake pads but have gone through about 5 sets on the rear (Especially in wet riding). Id like to go front and rear discs but dont have the mount for the rear on this frame. Still looking for a decent full suspension with triangle room and discs.

Glad you're finally enjoying the ebike to massive mileage! 8)
Celer, Silens, Mortalis

2017 Kona Lava Dome 29" Luna BBSHD 1600w, 52v hailong, DPC-18, EMPowered Tektro E-725 203mm hydraulics, 42t Luna Eclipse.
1970 Cook Bros single speed beach cruiser serial # 1

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jkbrigman   10 kW

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Re: Phat Bike Build

Post by jkbrigman » Jul 27 2013 10:17pm

Kinni420 wrote:hey JKB, I was at a bike shop recently and asking about disc brakes for the front. They showed me a hydraulic front brake system from shimano for about 75 dollars that they said "Is as good as XTR from a few years back" (that doesnt include the front wheel unfortunately).

Ive run 3500 miles on the SB3 without ever changing the front V-brake pads but have gone through about 5 sets on the rear (Especially in wet riding). Id like to go front and rear discs but dont have the mount for the rear on this frame. Still looking for a decent full suspension with triangle room and discs.

Glad you're finally enjoying the ebike to massive mileage! 8)
Hey Kinni420!

I'm with you 110% on the disc brake thing - I have the mount on the front shocks but not even a whiff of one on the rear. Makes me feel a little stupid - the newest version of the WalMart Genesis DS bike doesn't have disc on the back but it does have mounts to put one on. Arrg.

I think my brake pad scenario is going to play out the same as yours - I find myself using the rear much more than the front to prevent loss of control. The rear pads are the ones I was looking at when I said they were worn. Sounds to me like with you going through 5 sets in 3500 miles, I'm about on schedule for a new pair.

I WISH I could touch the mileage you've achieved on the SB3!!! We'll see - I've got many more months of warm weather and I finally have the cold weather gear to ride in the winter....

JKB
eRecumbent. 9C 2810, 6-FET,CA,18S3P LiPo, Kenda Kwest. 33mph max 12.8Wh/mi (22mph avg) Phat Bike Commuter HS3540, 6-FET, 18S3P LiPo, Schwalbe Marathon 47mph max 25 Wh/mi (28mph avg) Basic LiPo Charging Thread , Add Throttle to Multispeed Bike
dogman: "I bet if you just don't ride like a jerk, you can do whatever you want up to the speed where everybody looks at you like this. :shock: "
tomjasz: "Romans go full dork. They could give a hoot what 'Merkins do."

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jkbrigman   10 kW

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Return of the Crystalyte

Post by jkbrigman » Aug 11 2013 11:07pm

Looks like I get to come back into the 30mph club. Here's the 9c:
9c over test loop.png
And here's the Crystalyte over the SAME ROUTE:
xlyte over test loop1.png
xlyte over test loop1.png (217.58 KiB) Viewed 2594 times
- Crystalyte makes the trip at 10mph faster average and peak, in HALF the time.

- This is not with a schwalbe tire installed - it's a 2nd generation Hemisphere tire I bought when I bought the bike. (Even back that long ago, the tires that came on the bike looked loser. ) This new tire is much more similar-looking to the Schwalbe than the previous tire.

- There's an up-and-down wobble on the front wheel that becomes apparent at the higher speeds. (EDIT: Traced that to the wheel itself going out of true.)

- The rebuilt wheel on the Crystalyte is a huge improvement. Problems seen with the 9c wheel went away: the tire was scrubbing the kickstand on the 9c narrower rim. The brakes work better: stopping is much more positive and I'm able to get the pads centered on this wheel, where I can't on the 9c. The rim on the 9c is simply too small for that bicycle. :evil:

- The Crystalyte ate DOUBLE the power that the 9c eats over the same loop. In both cases, I was simply Wide Open Throttle the whole way, pedaling like mad. I don't think I care.

Next up:
- Remove both the stock tires that came with the bike.
- Move the controller off the rear rack and shorten all the phase power wires
- Install Wuxing ebrake levers

I'm hoping for 5% more efficiency over the 30 mile route with these two changes. I'll re-edit this post when I've got results to tell.
Last edited by jkbrigman on Aug 14 2013 11:21am, edited 1 time in total.
eRecumbent. 9C 2810, 6-FET,CA,18S3P LiPo, Kenda Kwest. 33mph max 12.8Wh/mi (22mph avg) Phat Bike Commuter HS3540, 6-FET, 18S3P LiPo, Schwalbe Marathon 47mph max 25 Wh/mi (28mph avg) Basic LiPo Charging Thread , Add Throttle to Multispeed Bike
dogman: "I bet if you just don't ride like a jerk, you can do whatever you want up to the speed where everybody looks at you like this. :shock: "
tomjasz: "Romans go full dork. They could give a hoot what 'Merkins do."

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Kinni420   100 W

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Re: Phat Bike Build

Post by Kinni420 » Aug 11 2013 11:52pm

I was simply Wide Open Throttle the whole way, pedaling like mad. I don't think I care.
right on brother, thats why I spend hours working on this thing. too much fun.
Celer, Silens, Mortalis

2017 Kona Lava Dome 29" Luna BBSHD 1600w, 52v hailong, DPC-18, EMPowered Tektro E-725 203mm hydraulics, 42t Luna Eclipse.
1970 Cook Bros single speed beach cruiser serial # 1

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jkbrigman   10 kW

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Tires Do Matter!

Post by jkbrigman » Aug 14 2013 11:29am

After comparing speed test results with Hero_004's Razzo, it's clear that something is wrong with the Phat Bike. Phatty now sports an HS3540 Crystalyte motor fed at 74 volts on a 26" wheel: That ought to make 40mph a reachable max real world speed when the best the bike can achieve is 30.7mph. (The Razzo is kicking Phat Butt with a 9c 2807 on a 700c rim and Schwalbe tires.)

This conclusion is reinforced by free air static testing of the wheel spinning showing 52mph on the CA. That means I'm losing 20mph in top speed relative to static testing when it's more typical to see 5mph loss from static testing to road testing. Even if I account for the really bad wind resistance on the Phat Bike, a 10mph loss over static test seems excessive. 20mph loss is just ridiculous.

Aside from aerodynamics, I suspect two parts of the build: the tires and the controller.

Stock Tire Max Speed Test:
gen1_tread.png
Tread design on the Gen 1 Hemisphere 2" thick tire
gen1_tread.png (44.88 KiB) Viewed 2441 times
Max Speed Tire Testing, flat-and-level:
1st Gen Hemisphere 2" tires and 9c motor = 28mph.
1st Gen Hemisphere 2" tires and Crystalyte motor = 30mph
(Both tests amp-limited to 15A)
Now: stock tires that came on the bike are gone and have been replaced with Gen2 Hemisphere tire. Totally different tread design, much more road-like. Same size tire, 2".

New Version of Stock Tire:
gen2_tread.png
New version of the Hemisphere, similar to Schwalbe
gen2_tread.png (155.11 KiB) Viewed 2440 times
2nd Gen Hemisphere tires and Crystalyte motor = 31mph.
(Test 1: amp-limited controller 15A.)
2nd Gen Hemisphere tires and Crystalyte motor = 36.7mph.
(Test 2: amp-limited controller to 25A)
gen2_test2.png
Finally broke 35mph on 2" tires. Current draw was huge, power draw stayed near 2000 watts the entire time.
gen2_test2.png (239.7 KiB) Viewed 524 times
BTW: with the 2nd Gen Hemisphere tires:
1) The bike rolls smoother and easier.
2) I've measured a 1mph increase in peak speed and a .7mph average increase in speed over a 3.5 mile test loop.
3) Bike seems more responsive and "rolls up to speed" faster.
4) New tires SEEM to have improved power consumption. Eyeball estimate based on watching the CA as I ride, about 50 watts. I hope that's not just wishful thinking, but I don't have a datalogger so I can't be positive.

Schwalbe Max Speed Test:
schwalbe_tread.png
Schwalbe 1.5" tire tread
Schwalbe Marathon @60PSI = 34.3mph. (This is 6mph faster than the original stock tire and 3.3mph faster than the 2nd gen tire!)
(Test 1: amp-limited controller 15A.)
2nd Gen Hemisphere tires and Crystalyte motor = 40.2mph.
(Test 2: amp-limited controller to 25A)
schwalbe_25a.png
First time ever the Phat Bike has hit 40mph on 18S...
schwalbe_25a.png (182.12 KiB) Viewed 2468 times
This max speed was achieved on 3 LESS Wh/mi than the Gen2 Hemisphere tire at 25A!

Conclusions:
On an identical test loop with nearly identical conditions, the Schwalbe tires allow the bike to go faster on less power
. The Schwalbe tires provide approximately 10% speed gains over the Gen2 tire for about 8% better efficiency. I consistently saw 150-170watts lower consumption over the test course. Conclusion? Tires make a tremendous difference!

I saw a very consistent 3mph improvement in speed from the 1st gen 2" balloon tire to the 2nd gen 2" balloon tire. I attribute that to tread design and tire profile.
I saw ANOTHER very consistent 3mph improvement in speed from the 2nd gen 2" balloon tire to the 1.5" Schwalbe at the same tire pressure. [/b]

Test Notes:
1) The Gen1 and Gen2 tires are 26" x 2". Same 2" innertube (With 3 oz of "Stan's" installed) from the Gen1 to the Gen2.
2) The Schwalbe is 26" x 1.5". The Schwalbe used a new Bell self-sealing 1.5" schrader valve tube.
3) All tests performed at 65psi tire pressure checked before each run. This was the max pressure for the 2" tires.
4) Max tire pressure for the Schwalbe is 110psi but was not used for testing.
5) Circumference number used for 2" tires is 2080mm.
6) Circumference number used for the 1.5" tire is 2040mm.
Last edited by jkbrigman on Aug 22 2013 10:13pm, edited 16 times in total.
eRecumbent. 9C 2810, 6-FET,CA,18S3P LiPo, Kenda Kwest. 33mph max 12.8Wh/mi (22mph avg) Phat Bike Commuter HS3540, 6-FET, 18S3P LiPo, Schwalbe Marathon 47mph max 25 Wh/mi (28mph avg) Basic LiPo Charging Thread , Add Throttle to Multispeed Bike
dogman: "I bet if you just don't ride like a jerk, you can do whatever you want up to the speed where everybody looks at you like this. :shock: "
tomjasz: "Romans go full dork. They could give a hoot what 'Merkins do."

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veloman   1 GW

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Re: Phat Bike Build

Post by veloman » Aug 14 2013 10:37pm

I can't believe tires are having that much of an effect for you. As long as I don't ride knobby tires, I can never tell a difference in consumption no matter what tire I ride. Air pressure matters more I think. 30 vs 60psi.
How many amps are you running?

You need to do comparisons that isolate variables, like position.
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Kinni420   100 W

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Re: Phat Bike Build

Post by Kinni420 » Aug 14 2013 10:44pm

he probably lost 10 lbs and didnt realize it :P
Celer, Silens, Mortalis

2017 Kona Lava Dome 29" Luna BBSHD 1600w, 52v hailong, DPC-18, EMPowered Tektro E-725 203mm hydraulics, 42t Luna Eclipse.
1970 Cook Bros single speed beach cruiser serial # 1

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jkbrigman   10 kW

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Re: Phat Bike Build

Post by jkbrigman » Aug 14 2013 11:10pm

veloman wrote:I can't believe tires are having that much of an effect for you. As long as I don't ride knobby tires, I can never tell a difference in consumption no matter what tire I ride. Air pressure matters more I think. 30 vs 60psi. How many amps are you running? You need to do comparisons that isolate variables, like position.
hey veloman - Well, I have to admit to you that I'd have to switch to knobbies to do any worse than the tires that came on the bike. They are 2" thick have a very highly defined tread and it's PERPENDICULAR to the direction of the bike. Also they are of a WIDE profile, not a HIGH profile. So when you are riding, the contact patch is vast. I'd bet it's 10 times the surface area of the contact patch on a 23c road tire.

The tire I just switched to, the 2nd Gen Hemisphere, looks much more like a "normal" bike tire and has a tread pattern that's much more of a road bike tread pattern. I've been very careful about inflation pressure during the tests, especially since I have had one tube already where the interior of the valve stem was bad and it leaked.
Kinni420 wrote:he probably lost 10 lbs and didnt realize it :P
Actually, I'm working on that too. I have lost 10lbs in the last 250 miles I've put on the bike. When I get the tires worked out I plan to ride every day, rain or shine. I've considered getting everything on the bike "right", then mapping bike performance vs. every 10lbs I lose. :shock:
eRecumbent. 9C 2810, 6-FET,CA,18S3P LiPo, Kenda Kwest. 33mph max 12.8Wh/mi (22mph avg) Phat Bike Commuter HS3540, 6-FET, 18S3P LiPo, Schwalbe Marathon 47mph max 25 Wh/mi (28mph avg) Basic LiPo Charging Thread , Add Throttle to Multispeed Bike
dogman: "I bet if you just don't ride like a jerk, you can do whatever you want up to the speed where everybody looks at you like this. :shock: "
tomjasz: "Romans go full dork. They could give a hoot what 'Merkins do."

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jkbrigman   10 kW

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Tweaked cell_man Charger to 73.8v

Post by jkbrigman » Aug 15 2013 12:06am

Successfully adjusted the cell_man battery charger for 73.8v. Had a cold solder joint, found that, fixed it.
This means I can now bulk-charge to the full capacity of the pack. No more worries about making it home from work.
Attachments
cold_solder.png
cold_solder.png (212.29 KiB) Viewed 2544 times
eRecumbent. 9C 2810, 6-FET,CA,18S3P LiPo, Kenda Kwest. 33mph max 12.8Wh/mi (22mph avg) Phat Bike Commuter HS3540, 6-FET, 18S3P LiPo, Schwalbe Marathon 47mph max 25 Wh/mi (28mph avg) Basic LiPo Charging Thread , Add Throttle to Multispeed Bike
dogman: "I bet if you just don't ride like a jerk, you can do whatever you want up to the speed where everybody looks at you like this. :shock: "
tomjasz: "Romans go full dork. They could give a hoot what 'Merkins do."

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jkbrigman   10 kW

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Making a Controller Mounting Bracket

Post by jkbrigman » Aug 16 2013 8:24am

To move the controller from the rear cargo rack to the seat tube of the bike, I took sheet aluminum and aviation snips and cut out a mount for the controller that would attach it to the seat tube. Advantages are:

- Uses normally wasted space between the seat tube and rear wheel
- Shorten battery and motor phase power leads
- Gives back the top of the rack for cargo use only and eliminates the need for a pannier for everyday commuting
- Puts the ON/OFF switch in an easy to see and accessible position that can also be concealed if needed.
- Provides turbulent cooling air for the controller.

Here's what I started with:
controller_al_snips.jpg
A controller, Aluminum Sheet and Aircraft Snips: No CNC Here folks!
controller_al_snips.jpg (36.38 KiB) Viewed 2487 times
I traced the outline of the controller, sheared off the piece you see in the photo and went to work with the aviation snips. Here's the end result, showing the controller mounted to the seat tube:
controller_on_seat_tube.jpg
6-FET is down low and out of the way. Looks pretty good if I do say so myself....
controller_on_seat_tube.jpg (38.77 KiB) Viewed 2487 times
The amazing performance of the Schwalbe Marathon tires has now changed focus of work on the Phat Bike. Before, the problem was constantly needing to go faster. Now that I have "faster", it's time to worry about control, safety and braking. That suggests the following items as a priority:

- 18-FET Controller to replace 6-FET
- 3 speed switch
- Regen brake levers
- Trigger shifters
Last edited by jkbrigman on Aug 19 2013 5:32pm, edited 11 times in total.
eRecumbent. 9C 2810, 6-FET,CA,18S3P LiPo, Kenda Kwest. 33mph max 12.8Wh/mi (22mph avg) Phat Bike Commuter HS3540, 6-FET, 18S3P LiPo, Schwalbe Marathon 47mph max 25 Wh/mi (28mph avg) Basic LiPo Charging Thread , Add Throttle to Multispeed Bike
dogman: "I bet if you just don't ride like a jerk, you can do whatever you want up to the speed where everybody looks at you like this. :shock: "
tomjasz: "Romans go full dork. They could give a hoot what 'Merkins do."

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neptronix   100 GW

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Re: Phat Bike Build

Post by neptronix » Aug 17 2013 2:08am

Damn, lotta good stuff going on this thread :) high five
Efficiency is everything :bolt:

My first major build: 1.6kW 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500.
The new all-arounder: Leafmotor 1500w @ 4kW on a Turner O2 full suspension.
The monster scooter: 20" eZee on a Cannondale Semi Recumbent.
Whipper-snapper: ? on a lightweight BikeE Semi Recumbent

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jkbrigman   10 kW

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Re: Phat Bike Build

Post by jkbrigman » Aug 18 2013 1:50am

neptronix wrote:Damn, lotta good stuff going on this thread :) high five
Thanks Neps! I appreciate the good word. The way different tires can fit and work differently is surprising.

Switching from Gen 1 Hemisphere to this year's Gen 2 Hemisphere bought me a few mph and fixed problems with the tire scrubbing the kickstand and brake pads touching the tire rubber on the way to the rim - the redesigned, newer tire was a very worthy improvement compared to the old tire.

This improvement led me to try the Schwalbe Marathons and see what happens. The Marathons are blowing my mind: they are shaping up to be a true performance upgrade for the ebike!
eRecumbent. 9C 2810, 6-FET,CA,18S3P LiPo, Kenda Kwest. 33mph max 12.8Wh/mi (22mph avg) Phat Bike Commuter HS3540, 6-FET, 18S3P LiPo, Schwalbe Marathon 47mph max 25 Wh/mi (28mph avg) Basic LiPo Charging Thread , Add Throttle to Multispeed Bike
dogman: "I bet if you just don't ride like a jerk, you can do whatever you want up to the speed where everybody looks at you like this. :shock: "
tomjasz: "Romans go full dork. They could give a hoot what 'Merkins do."

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jkbrigman   10 kW

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Re: Phat Bike Build

Post by jkbrigman » Aug 23 2013 2:45pm

veloman wrote:I can't believe tires are having that much of an effect for you. As long as I don't ride knobby tires, I can never tell a difference in consumption no matter what tire I ride. Air pressure matters more I think. 30 vs 60psi.
How many amps are you running?

You need to do comparisons that isolate variables, like position.
Hey veloman - I'm running 15A limited in low speed tests and 24A limited in high speed tests. I don't run without amp-limiting because I'm afraid I'll burn out the little 6-FET controller...
Last edited by jkbrigman on Aug 23 2013 9:04pm, edited 1 time in total.
eRecumbent. 9C 2810, 6-FET,CA,18S3P LiPo, Kenda Kwest. 33mph max 12.8Wh/mi (22mph avg) Phat Bike Commuter HS3540, 6-FET, 18S3P LiPo, Schwalbe Marathon 47mph max 25 Wh/mi (28mph avg) Basic LiPo Charging Thread , Add Throttle to Multispeed Bike
dogman: "I bet if you just don't ride like a jerk, you can do whatever you want up to the speed where everybody looks at you like this. :shock: "
tomjasz: "Romans go full dork. They could give a hoot what 'Merkins do."

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Kinni420   100 W

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Re: Phat Bike Build

Post by Kinni420 » Aug 23 2013 7:11pm

hey JKB,

I wouldnt worry too much. Ya I had problems with it but you gotta remember my case was pretty extreme. I had halls problems that locked up the wheel and sent feedback into the controller that burned them up. Remember, I have over 3000 miles on that little controller before I destroyed it. Methods always said "make sure you have good airflow". I was standing still when I burnt mine with the CA limited to 35A.
Celer, Silens, Mortalis

2017 Kona Lava Dome 29" Luna BBSHD 1600w, 52v hailong, DPC-18, EMPowered Tektro E-725 203mm hydraulics, 42t Luna Eclipse.
1970 Cook Bros single speed beach cruiser serial # 1

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Re: Phat Bike Build

Post by veloman » Aug 25 2013 3:19pm

18 fet? Wooo! I don't think you need that much if you are running under 45amps, 12 fet is fine, especially on the DD motors.

Nice controller mount.

Glad you found good tires.
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Mush! Mush you electrons! Push harder!

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jkbrigman   10 kW

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Re: Phat Bike Build

Post by jkbrigman » Aug 26 2013 11:25am

veloman wrote:18 fet? Wooo! I don't think you need that much if you are running under 45amps, 12 fet is fine, especially on the DD motors.
Nice controller mount.
Glad you found good tires.
The bike finally performs the way I need it to...but now there are all these other (interesting, good to have) problems that have popped up: throttle is too twitchy - I need to improve throttle response and add a three position switch, get regen braking working and of course, swap out that controller before I blow up the 6-FET.

Somewhere, sometime, add some more LiPo. I'm not gonna be able to go much faster than I already am without more energy onboard.

I'll tell you one thing: the charger sure does run a lot longer with that motor loading the LiPo. I need about double the charge time now that I needed before.
eRecumbent. 9C 2810, 6-FET,CA,18S3P LiPo, Kenda Kwest. 33mph max 12.8Wh/mi (22mph avg) Phat Bike Commuter HS3540, 6-FET, 18S3P LiPo, Schwalbe Marathon 47mph max 25 Wh/mi (28mph avg) Basic LiPo Charging Thread , Add Throttle to Multispeed Bike
dogman: "I bet if you just don't ride like a jerk, you can do whatever you want up to the speed where everybody looks at you like this. :shock: "
tomjasz: "Romans go full dork. They could give a hoot what 'Merkins do."

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Kinni420   100 W

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Re: Phat Bike Build

Post by Kinni420 » Aug 26 2013 11:39am

Im not sure what throttle youre running JKB but this is helping me

https://sites.google.com/site/shelbyele ... a-throttle

I have the same problem on the magura. only comes on after 50% and is tough to hold a speed with that little amount of range.
Celer, Silens, Mortalis

2017 Kona Lava Dome 29" Luna BBSHD 1600w, 52v hailong, DPC-18, EMPowered Tektro E-725 203mm hydraulics, 42t Luna Eclipse.
1970 Cook Bros single speed beach cruiser serial # 1

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First Schwalbe/Crystalyte Commute Successful

Post by jkbrigman » Aug 28 2013 9:42am

I made it to work for the first time ever on the Crystalyte and the Schwalbes. Shaved about 15 minutes off the ride and overall used only 25 Wh/mile. This was not possible with the 9c and the stock Hemisphere tires.

Now to be fair, to travel faster it took more energy with the Crystalyte HS3540. The Low Voltage Cutout (LVC) on the CA started activating about 1/2 mile out. It didn't cut me off completely, it just dialed back the throttle till the pack voltage floated back up. I was easily able to pedal-assist the last 1/2 mile and make it to the bike rack at work. But it slowed me down to about 18mph that last half mile.

I've lost my "pack capacity safety margin". Before, I had another 5 miles-or-so of range that I could count on, now I have zero. I'll deal with it by continuing to improve bike efficiency and adding 3 more LiPo bricks. :D

The bike NOW runs like I expected an ebike to perform from the beginning: averaging around 26mph with peak speeds over 40mph. (there's a big hill on Page Road that drops down under I-40 and into RTP where I hit over 40mph :twisted: )

I had a lot of trouble preventing "power spikes" because the throttle is now so twitchy. It's just too difficult to control now and jumps between 350W and 1300W with barely a perceptible movement. My left hand got numb from trying to fine-tune the throttle and grip it to stop the power spikes. A three speed switch and cruise control would solve those problems.

I REALLY felt the wind pushing on me and eating power on this ride. It's true - you get much over 20mph and wind resistance becomes THE dominant force against the motor. I still have my pannier on the back sitting on the left side. It's big and boxy, so I need to figure out something to do with it that will help lessen wind resistance.

Next Up? I'll install those regen brake levers and see if they help any. I'll report back here on the thread when I have something to tell.
eRecumbent. 9C 2810, 6-FET,CA,18S3P LiPo, Kenda Kwest. 33mph max 12.8Wh/mi (22mph avg) Phat Bike Commuter HS3540, 6-FET, 18S3P LiPo, Schwalbe Marathon 47mph max 25 Wh/mi (28mph avg) Basic LiPo Charging Thread , Add Throttle to Multispeed Bike
dogman: "I bet if you just don't ride like a jerk, you can do whatever you want up to the speed where everybody looks at you like this. :shock: "
tomjasz: "Romans go full dork. They could give a hoot what 'Merkins do."

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Re: Phat Bike Build

Post by Hero_004 » Aug 28 2013 2:19pm

Dude that is awesome! So you made it to work in about an hour and ten minutes or so? I knew that swapping tires was going to improve your speed and efficiency.

The 3-speed switch and cruise control will help but I recommend the CA v3 so you can see how far "down" ("up" for the Phat Bike and Razzo) the throttle is being pushed.

I think that a rear basket could work for you if you find one in the shape you want, I'm still looking for the hard shelled trunk I've been wanting...

You're going to love regen, braking will be improved an save your pads one wear and you'll get one power bak in the pack!

Jorge
Il Razzo Electtrico(Top Speed 34.3 mph, Average Speed 22.6 mph, 25 wh/mi): Sette Razzo, Cycle Analyst V3, Nine Continent 2807, 12 FET controller, 47V 11Ah Battery.

Thank you James!

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jkbrigman   10 kW

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Re: Phat Bike Build

Post by jkbrigman » Aug 29 2013 1:29pm

Hero_004 wrote:Dude that is awesome! So you made it to work in about an hour and ten minutes or so? I knew that swapping tires was going to improve your speed and efficiency.

The 3-speed switch and cruise control will help but I recommend the CA v3 so you can see how far "down" ("up" for the Phat Bike and Razzo) the throttle is being pushed.

I think that a rear basket could work for you if you find one in the shape you want, I'm still looking for the hard shelled trunk I've been wanting...

You're going to love regen, braking will be improved an save your pads one wear and you'll get one power bak in the pack!

Jorge
Yes! What was the absolute sweetest thing about this commute is that I passed cars queued-up on the way out and on the way back and was able to just keep humming along in the bike lane. It was fantastic to pass all the cagers stuck on the highway!

Had a very positive encounter with a motorcyclist on the outbound leg - he rode just a few feet behind me and to my left for a couple miles, then gave me the big thumbs up as he passed me and went on. That was a great feeling - for someone else to recognize the bike and send the thumbs up. It rarely happens that way.

When I started (with the 1st gen tires) it was almost 1 hr, 45 minutes. With the 2nd gen tires and 9c I shaved it to about 1 hr, 35 minutes. With the Crystalyte and Schwalbes I ended up making it door-to-door in 1 hr 12 minutes. This success is a combination of several improvements, but the Schwalbe 40-559's and the Crystalyte had the strongest effect.

Don't misunderstand: I'm using more power to get this performance, but not as much as you might think. Before I was using 8.9-9.2 Amp-Hours. Yesterday I used 11.8 Amp-Hours. So about 3 more Amp-hours over the same course to get the higher speeds.

I learned an important lesson on the commute yesterday: you can use amp limiting on the older v2.23/2.25 CA and it will "de-scale" the throttle so it's not as twitchy. Before, I had the CA limiting me to 25 amps. I needed a little more efficiency on the way home, so I dialed it back to 10 amps limiting and was quite surprised to find that the throttle response was much more linear and easier to manage: it quit jumping from 350 watts to 1350 watts and instead settled down to a nice, controllable 0-to-750 watts.

Next are regen brake handles on a new handlebar (with more usable, flat handlebar space than I have currently). After that, the 3 speed switch. From here on out, everything I do will be an attempt to improve efficiency and range. If I can't reclaim my 5-mile "buffer energy" through efficiency improvements, then I'll spring for three more packs of 6S 5A Turnigy LiPo. (If I lose any more capacity, I might have to do that anyway....)

Great suggestion on a rear basket: I could keep the pannier (which works best for me) and just drop it in the basket directly behind me instead of hanging it in the airflow out to the side.
eRecumbent. 9C 2810, 6-FET,CA,18S3P LiPo, Kenda Kwest. 33mph max 12.8Wh/mi (22mph avg) Phat Bike Commuter HS3540, 6-FET, 18S3P LiPo, Schwalbe Marathon 47mph max 25 Wh/mi (28mph avg) Basic LiPo Charging Thread , Add Throttle to Multispeed Bike
dogman: "I bet if you just don't ride like a jerk, you can do whatever you want up to the speed where everybody looks at you like this. :shock: "
tomjasz: "Romans go full dork. They could give a hoot what 'Merkins do."

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Re: Phat Bike Build

Post by jkbrigman » Sep 13 2013 3:15pm

No new news to tell. On the last commute to work, the Sapim spokes stretched a little, so I need to pull the motor wheel and re-true it. That job is tough because I have a wimpy little truing stand that I have to be careful with when I put that big, heavy motor wheel on it.

Bought a new set of handlebars to install that promise far more room than before for stuff to be installed there. Might solve all my problems with this very not-straight handlebar that came on the Phat Bike.

In discussion with Hero_004, I'm planning to reconfigure the pack to 12S and give it a try, see if it affects range one way or another and see how much speed I lose. There were good reasons I went to 18S "in the beginning", but changing the motorwheel out has brought up the possibility that a reconfiguration could help.

One other thing: Heard from a scooter buddy that he picked up 5mph more on his scooter when he added a smallish windshield. His comments are enough to drive me to try installing the one I've had sitting nearby for some time now.....

I'll post pics and update the text of this message when I've got more to tell. Will do test results of all changes and post.
eRecumbent. 9C 2810, 6-FET,CA,18S3P LiPo, Kenda Kwest. 33mph max 12.8Wh/mi (22mph avg) Phat Bike Commuter HS3540, 6-FET, 18S3P LiPo, Schwalbe Marathon 47mph max 25 Wh/mi (28mph avg) Basic LiPo Charging Thread , Add Throttle to Multispeed Bike
dogman: "I bet if you just don't ride like a jerk, you can do whatever you want up to the speed where everybody looks at you like this. :shock: "
tomjasz: "Romans go full dork. They could give a hoot what 'Merkins do."

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