My econo-e-bike

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E-HP   100 kW

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My econo-e-bike

Post by E-HP » Oct 06 2019 5:20pm

Finished mounting my switch box and making most of the connections, but still need to wire my buck converters for running the rear lights and 12v subsystem (bought this 4 wire harness for bringing the battery level and 12v power to the switch box https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PB ... UTF8&psc=1). At least the headlight is wired, since it's battery level voltage. I stole 5v from my throttle to run the meter LED.

Mounted a new trigger throttle (thanks amberwolf for the suggestion), but not before opening it up and tweaking the spring to reduce spring tension to about a third. I'll be testing it during the week, but so far it's pretty easy to use with a little more precision than the old throttle. I may chop off some of the paddle, since with the reduced tension, it can be short and still be easy to use.

Lastly, got rid of my boost/regen pushbutton switch and added another toggle on the switch panel. I decided with the new trigger throttle, it's just as easy to tap it to get the boost while on PAS, and a toggle will work better for locking the throttle for regen. With the switch off, the throttle works normally and the bike will coast when letting off the throttle. In the on position, the throttle is sort of locked to the motor, so letting off causes the motor to brake (like riding around in 1st gear with a manual tranny), which works great when navigating past foot traffic. Also replaced the pot with fixed resistors.


EDIT: That wire harness is way too thick, so it's going back. Back to the original plan, two lengths of Walmart black extension cord. :|
Oh ya, I figured out that the Statorade is working. Not sure if it's because I was using a lot a throttle doing testing this afternoon, but after about 45 minutes of riding around, including some pretty steep stuff, I stopped to take a break and felt the motor. Pretty hot, or at least the hottest I've ever felt it.
cockpit 100619.jpg
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EDIT: 10-08-19
I noticed at battery level voltages, my LED meter is reading high by 0.2 volts when measuring at the battery terminal with my multi-meter. At the same time, my LCD3 reads 0.2 volts low. Interestingly, the little cheapo LED meter has a calibration pot on the rear, so I'm going to calibrate it to be accurate at the battery terminals, even though the difference it tiny.

EDIT: 10-11-19
I’m loving this trigger throttle after a week. It’s really easy to use with no jerkiness or dead spots, and the reduced spring tension makes it really easy on my thumb. Now my bars feel perfect too.

I’m going to move the regen switch next to the throttle, since I found I really need to be able to quickly disengage it, so reaching over to the switch panel wasn’t cutting it.

Got my tail lights in the mail yesterday, so only waiting for my smaller buck converter before finishing off my lighting and 12V subsystem.

EDIT: 10-13-19
Used some scrap ABS for the switch plate for relocating the regen switch to the trigger throttle area. The current switch will tap into the signal wire instead of the ground, so I can use it as an emergency throttle cutoff.

Bent the ABS after heating it so that it will curve and meet the handlebar, and hide the wiring a little. It's notched so that the flat part can either be hot glued or epoxied to the throttle's handlebar mount, and housing. The wires can go directly into the housing, or alternatively splice into the throttle cable right behind the plate.
RegenSwitchPlate1.jpg
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I went back to using a pot instead of fixed resistor, since I switched throttles and need to re-tune it anyway, but also by mounting on the switch plate, it's easily accessible. i also switched to a 200 ohm pot, since the resistance that works is below 100 ohms, so the pot allows for really fine tuning.
RegenSwitchPlate2.jpg
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Test fit, not attached, but this is how where it will mount, within easy thumb reach.
RegenSwitchPlate3.jpg
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I covered/sealed all of the connections in the back with black hot glue, just for some weather protection.

EDIT: 10-20-19
I got tired of waiting for the smaller 12v buck converter to arrive, so just went ahead and wired up the 15A one and finishing "most" of the switch panel.

I had a minor setback, and fried the LED voltmeter by taking a shortcut and drilling and access hole from the back of the ABS panel. Went a little to far...ordered a replacement, but in blue, thanks to a tip from pwd on one of his threads. Dremeled the access hole to make sure the new meter will be easy to adjust, so should take a few minute to install once I get the new one.

I mounted the 12v buck converter to the front of my cargo box. Used a Molex connector between it and the rest of the wiring to make it easy to remove the box when I want to.
panel.jpg
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I'm glad my connector box covers that snarl of wires! So now the top left switch is the emergency throttle cutoff, the lower left is the 12v subsystem, right are the lights, voltmeter in the center.

EDIT: 10-24-19

Got the new voltmeters, 2 each red, green, and blue. Good thing I got extras, since if fried one of the new ones again, attempting to calibrate the voltage. I figured out that it was safer to turn off the power, adjust, and power back up to avoid making the same mistake. Took longer, but got it dialed in perfectly after 4 tries.

Re-solder everything since I changed the configuration slightly to avoid bringing too many battery level voltage wires up front. After putting it all back together, including wiring up the rear light, I encountered a hiccup. The main switch for the 12v subsystem wasn't working; permanently on. Replaced the switch and then figured out the problem. The mini toggles couldn't handle the voltage and you could see it arcing each time it was turned on and off, eventually welding itself permanently on. Ugh. I'll need to order a heavy duty toggle for the main switch, but can use my main battery shutoff until then to power everything down.
Blue.jpg
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The blue LEDs are great though. I can see them in daylight, but will wash out in direct sunlight, but it's way brighter than the red ones. :thumb:

EDIT: 10-26-19
Changing direction. Going to use solid state relays and skip bringing any battery level voltage wires up front. I can keep the existing switches (replace the burnt one) and LEDs, and use the controller's 5v for operating the relays. Since my headlight can operate at 12v, I'll switch that over as well. This also prevents ever leaving the lights and 12v converter on, since it all shuts down with the controller.

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E-HP   100 kW

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Re: My econo-e-bike

Post by E-HP » Nov 06 2019 1:52am

My new controller and display arrived, which will allow me to experiment with different voltage levels and battery setups. It's chunkier than my KT, so I started planning the placement. I've decided to redo the mounting points for my rack, and go back to my original plan of using a seat collar with rack mounting points for the front support.

The rear mounts will remain the same, but because the controller will be moving from below the rack to above it, the overall rack can move down and slightly forward (~2" down, and ~1" forward). This will lower my cargo box, which will help with weight distribution and when swinging my leg over the bike. Here's the before and after mock up, with connector box modifications.
New Controller.jpg
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Anyway, with the time switch, I have to rely on my lights on the way home every day now. They work great, and work better than a bell on the path. My original plan was to add a second tail light to the back of the cargo box, but it's looking like the one light is bright enough, at least for now.
lights.jpg
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EDIT: The new controller went back to the seller. The bluetooth module wouldn't communicate with the controller, and the 5V signal voltage on the throttle and PAS was measuring intermittent voltage between 5V and 1.1V, which may have been part of the problem.

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E-HP   100 kW

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Re: My econo-e-bike

Post by E-HP » Nov 17 2019 6:10pm

I saw a news report that the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge near my house had opened up a new bike/pedestrian lane, so I could now ride from the East Bay to the North Bay (Marin County) on my ebike. And, since the Golden Gate Bridge already has a lane, I can also ride all the way to San Francisco, and to work if I really wanted to. Anyway, since that would be a 35 mile trip one way, with a pretty steep climb in the middle, I'm going to try a few shorter rides to see if my battery is up to it.

I tried the first test run today, riding from my house to San Quentin, which is just on the other side of the bridge. Google maps says about 22 miles round trip, so no problem from the range perspective. There were a ton of bikes out, for what may be one of the last pleasant weekends of the year, and temps were around 65-70 degrees the whole way, with a little wind. And, they seemed to all be heading to the bridge to check out the new path.

On the way across, there was a mix of riders, some casual, and a larger percentage of the Lycra crowd. The incline of the bridge was steeper than I recall, but in reality is only about 3%, and since it was a test run, I was riding to conserve battery, as though I were riding all the way to SF. With PAS set to 3 of 5, I was pulling about 750 watts to the top of the first incline (there are two in each direction) with a decent amount of pedaling. Fortunately I was riding fast enough past the Lycra crowd that I doubt they could tell I was on an ebike. Stopped near the top of the second incline to take an artsy pic:
RSRB1A.jpg
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The weather on the Marin side was even nicer. Here's a pic of the big house, from right outside the guard shack.
RSRB2.jpg
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Just a half block up the road, people relaxing on the beach, with the bridge in the background:
RSRB3.jpg
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Interesting that on the way back, watching the bikes coming the other direction (toward Marin), about 20%-25% of the bikes were ebikes! Mainly factory bikes, but a few home brewed ones as well. I could see a long cargo bike coming up the incline towards me, so I figured it must be assisted. Yup, Bosch mid-drive. But there was a good mix of hub and mid-drive bikes out there.

So, the first test run was a success. Starting voltage was 58.8V resting, and 56.8V resting at the halfway point outside of the prison. I have my regen set too high to use on the downside of the bridge, so no real benefit on this ride. Had an issue on the way home when I started hearing a rubbing noise. I found one of the main bolts holding my rack had worked it's way out, so my rack was flopping around. Half the other screws were loose too. I ended up holding it with one had and throttling home. The voltage was 53.6V when I got home due to the last couple of miles going throttle only. When I got home, I noticed I had lost a couple of nuts from the rack bolts, so I guess they've been working their way loose for a while. Other than that, no big issues; so I think my next test run with be to the Golden Gate Bridge and back :D

EDIT: I had shot video with my cheapo clone camera, all the way up until the mount snapped off from too much bouncing around on the way back. After reviewing the footage on the first incline section of the bridge on the way back, the ratio of ebikes to regular is more like 50/50.
AND, of the ebikes, is was 50/50 on hubs to mids.

Hard to tell, but the first bike looks like an ST1, not sure about the trio, but the hub looks like they could be BionX.
Hubdrive.jpg
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And the middrives....
Middrive.jpg
Middrive.jpg (96.91 KiB) Viewed 1680 times

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thundercamel   1 kW

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Re: My econo-e-bike

Post by thundercamel » Nov 18 2019 9:33am

That sounds like pretty good range! What speeds were you aiming for?
E-HP wrote:
Nov 17 2019 6:10pm
There were a ton of bikes out, for what may be one of the last pleasant weekends of the year, and temps were around 65-70 degrees the whole way, with a little wind.
You just need to lower your standards :P

My last video was done with my 10 year old gopro HD hero, which I'm just thankfull still works for a couple hours. My friend did one video with his cheap 360 camera, and I think I like that format more. Viewers can just look whichever direction they choose, as if they were there at the time it was recorded :) Maybe I'll buy one next year.
My Ebike builds - Existing bikes, affordable motor kits, self built 14s6p batteries - Now with more recumbent!

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E-HP   100 kW

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Re: My econo-e-bike

Post by E-HP » Nov 18 2019 10:23am

thundercamel wrote:
Nov 18 2019 9:33am
That sounds like pretty good range! What speeds were you aiming for?

My last video was done with my 10 year old gopro HD hero, which I'm just thankfull still works for a couple hours. My friend did one video with his cheap 360 camera, and I think I like that format more. Viewers can just look whichever direction they choose, as if they were there at the time it was recorded :) Maybe I'll buy one next year.
I rode my usual speed of 17 mph, which works well for me, but I realized why my mileage was better than expected on the way out may be due to the off shore winds we've been having. I also noticed on the way back that there was a head wind, so the times I applied full throttle, I was a couple mph lower than usual. This will be another factor I'll need to consider when trying to stretch the range on the next couple of test rides. :shock:

I got this camera on an impulse, when it showed up in the sidebar advertising with a really cheap price. Wasn't considering one at all, but the ad got me. When the camera is stable and the action is smooth, it works well, but with movement or vibration, there are a lot of video artifacts, so I think the processor is pretty slow. What I've found that I like is that I can review the performance of my bike over different terrain, since I have the display in the frame and can see how many watts I'm pulling.

This is the very first video with the camera that I shot a couple of months ago. It's a ride around the hills by my house, but riding throttle only to see how my power consumption looks going up and down the hills. In this video, there's virtually no flat ground, and most grades around around 5%-7%, with a couple of short spots that hit about 10% (which you can see when the watts are peaking). You can also hear the howl the motor makes with regen when the battery display is scrolling.

If I get another one of these, it will have image stabilization, but it works fine for now, for my purposes. Of course, I'll be looking for a better mounting system, since the bumpy riding snapped off the tripod mount screw.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3Bl-xr ... e=youtu.be

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thundercamel   1 kW

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Re: My econo-e-bike

Post by thundercamel » Nov 18 2019 9:58pm

That regen howl isn't so bad; wind on that mic is pretty bad though :) Those sure are some steep hills!

I mounted the cam on my helmet to avoid the vibrations. Also found the sample of 360 video from the beginning of this year. We should have used it more! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeLD6lq_2pY
My Ebike builds - Existing bikes, affordable motor kits, self built 14s6p batteries - Now with more recumbent!

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E-HP   100 kW

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Re: My econo-e-bike

Post by E-HP » Nov 26 2019 1:21am

My ebike had its one year birthday earlier this month. It's had one major upgrade, switching over to the new frame, which added disc brakes and better front suspension. Lots of minor upgrades, like tires, lights, etc, but now I'm getting excited about this controller upgrade that will add so much fun and flexibility.

I'm not expecting a performance gain at this stage (well maybe a little messing with the phase currents and flux weakening), but better and easier fine tuning of the controller via bluetooth, and a lot of new options with the Cycle Analyst will provide so much more stuff to play with.

The controller, switches, XT90 connectors, and JST connectors that fit the PowerVelocity controller are waiting for the rest of the parts to arrive. (controller link: http://powervelocity.com/home/48-18f-eb ... e-8kw.html)
parts.jpg
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I'll use the Left/Right part of the switch for my three-way switch for the controller; the light switch for lights, and the horn button as my cruise control button.

The CA, a new thumb throttle, and a pack of JST connectors that fit the CA should all arrive on Friday.
parts 2.jpg
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parts 3.jpg
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The thumb throttle has a switch for the controller on/off, and a blue LED voltmeter.
I got a second set of XT90 connectors that I'll use as the interface to add my future series pack upgrade. I'll spice the female connector into the positive cable, and add a pigtail to the male connector, when no add on pack is present.

Right now I'm looking at four 4S 5Ah lipo packs in parallel that I would plug in to the series XT90 connector on weekends for fun with 18S 20Ah. Still researching though.

Hummina Shadeeba   1 MW

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Re: My econo-e-bike

Post by Hummina Shadeeba » Nov 27 2019 4:09pm

I just ordered that throttle. Was it hard to connect? I’d be connecting it to the asi 800 esc

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E-HP   100 kW

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Re: My econo-e-bike

Post by E-HP » Dec 01 2019 11:45am

Hummina Shadeeba wrote:
Nov 27 2019 4:09pm
I just ordered that throttle. Was it hard to connect? I’d be connecting it to the asi 800 esc
I didn't like it, too stiff, and I could feel my thumb aching even without installing it. But, I did like the blue LED voltmeter, and the on/off switch, compared to the very first throttle I used when I put together my kit originally. I actually like that old half-twist throttle better than the ones I've used since then, so I decided to harvest parts from the new throttle to "improve" my original throttle.
Harness.jpg
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The two throttles are the same format, except for the interface, which made swapping parts easy. I swapped over the blue LED meter first, but then decided to trade the switch as well, since I didn't like the key switch of the old throttle.

For my CA3 and controller, I decided to make things as modular as possible and made several wiring harnesses to make it easier for maintenance and swapping out things later; so throttle, brakes, PAS, and switches all have JSTs that connect to the harnesses at the CA3 and branch out from there. I used the throttle 5V from the CA to route to my non-Grin PAS, per the CA3 instructions. I also combined the wiring to minimize the number of harnesses routing back to my connection.

The good thing about my thumb throttle purchase mistake is that for $10, it cost less than the sum of its parts. I'll be able to use the red LED I replaced for monitoring my serial pack when I upgrade, too. I used the cable to make the harness for my other wiring, so it turned out to be a good purchase after all. :thumb:

Now I only have to add connectors on two of the harnesses at the connector box end. I'm going to add those last, since I want to minimize the extra wires that end up at the connector box, since I may fabricate a new one that won't need to be as big.

I may buy another thumb throttle to harvest the cable and LED from. I'll look for one with a green LED, so the green would monitor the main pack, red for the add on Lipo pack, and the blue on the throttle will be the overall voltage. The cable harness has one more wires than one of the ones I have now, which would be ideal.

Since I'm pretty sure I'll end up with a 17S main pack setup in the end, by going the 3S lipo add on pack route for my current 14S pack, the same add on pack can be used later with a 17S pack to go to 20S on weekend fun rides. :mrgreen:

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Re: My econo-e-bike

Post by Hummina Shadeeba » Dec 01 2019 2:35pm

any way to add a resistor or something to the twist throttle to dim the lcd screen and lower the current draw? The voltmeter is always on and uses 1.3v a day with even a 52v 625 watthour new Luna wolf battery. I worry I’m going to go away a long weekend and come back to a destroyed battery.

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E-HP   100 kW

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Re: My econo-e-bike

Post by E-HP » Jan 09 2020 11:00am

Hummina Shadeeba wrote:
Dec 01 2019 2:35pm
any way to add a resistor or something to the twist throttle to dim the lcd screen and lower the current draw? The voltmeter is always on and uses 1.3v a day with even a 52v 625 watthour new Luna wolf battery. I worry I’m going to go away a long weekend and come back to a destroyed battery.
Sorry, got busy and didn't see your post. On my throttle, the switch turns off the LED along with turning off (or on) the controller. I've used a couple of these and both worked that way.

Anyway, the holidays put a hold on the controller upgrade, but I haven't stopped planning for it. I've decided to do 2S lipo packs to piggy back on my existing pack to get me to 16S, and finally just starting to acquire some hands on lipo experience. I bought a mini/micro RC rock crawler on an impulse buy, that's powered by a tiny 2S lipo (500mAh), and a little lipo bag during the holidays, so it's fun to play with while starting to understand the chemistry. Now I have a 1/10th scale crawler that uses 2S or 3S lipos being delivered tomorrow, which I'll be running 2S 5000mAh packs on. Getting some ammo cans for storage and charging and researching better chargers (I only have a small balance charger for 2S/3S pack, which will take forever to charge 5000mAh). 4 of those packs in parallel will eventually become my 2S piggy back pack for me ebike, but I'll have some fun playing with the crawler in my backyard, and adding to my lipo experience, during the winter.

I'm a little hesitant about starting a new, and expensive hobby, but I'm hoping to keep the RC stuff controlled, and can see combining the two, strapping the RC car to my bike rack, to get to areas with good terrain, rather than driving and walking.

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