Built my first bike! Help me make it even better.

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
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JBG   1 mW

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Built my first bike! Help me make it even better.

Post by JBG » Feb 01 2019 5:13pm

Hi Team,

I’ve been reading this forum for a bit, and I just built my first ebike from this kit. It’s a 36V 500W 12AH system. I learned a lot putting it together, and now, of course, I want to start upgrading, and I’d love your advice. I’m grateful for all I’ve learned on this forum already.
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Throttle: I currently have a ½ twist throttle, and it feels like the cheap plastic part that it is. Since my hand is on it all the time, I’d love to find something that feels nicer in the hand. Hopefully a nicer material, and a cleaner gradual resistance, so it doesn’t feel like it’s just snapping back. I found this throttle which I like because it shouldn’t interfere with my gears, but they want $15 to ship a lightweight $10 item. Do you veteran builders have throttles to recommend that feel more premium?

Lights: The kit came with a really dinky light. I’d love to install a brighter headlight, and add a tail light. The kit has a single waterproof cable from the controller that breaks out for display, throttle, light, breaks using Higo connectors. Can I simply attach a stronger light to that connector, or maybe even a headlight and a tail light with a Y-connector? If so, where can I find more powerful lights that can connect with these Higo connectors? If not, can I connect the lights to the controller (or battery) another way? (Bonus: Since the system knows when the breaks are pulled, are there any ebike tail lights that light up like breaklights? Would I need a new controller to take advantage of that?)

Display: Below is an image of the display I have. It didn’t come with instructions. I’ve figured out most of what I need, but I’d love to know what all the settings do. Anyone have a manual for this display, or a list of settings and their values?

Edit see here for a list if parameter settings for this display.
e-bike-LCD-display.jpg_350x350.jpg
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Speed: I’m getting speeds of about 19/20MPH. Totally acceptable for NYC, but I’m already craving more power. I think I understand that if I get a 48V battery I will need to get a 48V controller. If the motor is labeled 36V 500W, will it be safe to put 48 V in there?
Last edited by JBG on Feb 04 2019 11:58am, edited 2 times in total.
My first build: 36V 500W hardtail

markz   100 GW

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Re: Built my first bike! Help me make it even better.

Post by markz » Feb 01 2019 8:13pm

Motorcycle Throttles are premium, I forget the name of the two ebikers use, but they cost ~$50-$75 where as a thumb throttle is nice and can be had for $10 shipped to my door.

Did you install Torque Arms on your bike?

silence   1 W

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Re: Built my first bike! Help me make it even better.

Post by silence » Feb 01 2019 8:47pm

markz wrote:
Feb 01 2019 8:13pm
Motorcycle Throttles are premium, I forget the name of the two ebikers use...
Magura and Domino?

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Chalo   100 GW

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Re: Built my first bike! Help me make it even better.

Post by Chalo » Feb 01 2019 9:02pm

JBG wrote:
Feb 01 2019 5:13pm
I think I understand that if I get a 48V battery I will need to get a 48V controller. If the motor is labeled 36V 500W, will it be safe to put 48 V in there?
The majority of 36V controllers will accept 48 volts without any problem. If there's low voltage protection, it will not work on higher voltage (though the low voltage protection in your battery management system will work normally), and if the throttle has a charge state indicator, it will read full no matter the battery's state of charge.

Take care with your safety and with the reputation of e-bikers in your area.
This is to express my gratitude to Justin of Grin Technologies for his extraordinary measures to save this forum for the benefit of all.

JBG   1 mW

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Re: Built my first bike! Help me make it even better.

Post by JBG » Feb 01 2019 10:13pm

Thanks for the suggestion of motorcycle throttle brands, I’ll check them out.

I have torque arms. They are not installed yet, but will be when I change my tires on Sunday.
My first build: 36V 500W hardtail

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amberwolf   100 GW

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Re: Built my first bike! Help me make it even better.

Post by amberwolf » Feb 01 2019 10:48pm

You also don't have to use an electric throttle. You can use a cable-pull throttle on the bars to remotely operate a regular hall-type throttle elsewhere on the bike. There are a number of cable-operated hall throttles around; you can find some in various postsa round the forum, ebay, etc., or you can make one out of a regular throttle if you want to DIY it.

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Re: Built my first bike! Help me make it even better.

Post by docw009 » Feb 02 2019 10:37pm

JBG wrote:
Feb 01 2019 5:13pm

Can I simply attach a stronger light to that connector, or maybe even a headlight and a tail light with a Y-connector? If so, where can I find more powerful lights that can connect with these Higo connectors? If not, can I connect the lights to the controller (or battery) another way?
It's my opinion that you'll burn out the little power circuit inside the controller used to power the light. Instead, you could use the power to the headlight to control a relay or solid state switch, Then you could run a more powerful headlight off the bike battery.

Yes, the controller knows when you pull the handlebar levers and responds by cutting power. If you have the skills, you could probably trace the wiring back inside the controller and bring out a wire to run a brake light via a relay like the above scenario. It might make you feel good, but does NYC traffic expect to see brake lights on bikes?

JBG   1 mW

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Re: Built my first bike! Help me make it even better.

Post by JBG » Feb 02 2019 11:28pm

Thanks. For the info. Rewiring part of the controller is def beyond my skills/tools at this point.

Nobody expects to see break lights on a bike, but given the challenges of Manhattan traffic, I want all the safety advantages I can get. And if break lights get the folks behind me to slow down when I’m slowing down or stopping, all the better.
My first build: 36V 500W hardtail

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Re: Built my first bike! Help me make it even better.

Post by amberwolf » Feb 03 2019 2:25am

docw009 wrote:
Feb 02 2019 10:37pm

Yes, the controller knows when you pull the handlebar levers and responds by cutting power. If you have the skills, you could probably trace the wiring back inside the controller and bring out a wire to run a brake light via a relay like the above scenario. It might make you feel good, but does NYC traffic expect to see brake lights on bikes?
No need to dig into the controller.

Simply use the ebrake switch to control a DPST relay instead of wiring it to the controller. Then use one pole for the ebrake to the controller, and one pole for the brake light. If you use a very low power 5v coil relay, you may be able to run it directly from the 5v the controller puts out for throttle, etc. Otherwise you would use a relay with a coil voltage of the same voltage the light will run off of, and power the coil from that.

There's ohter methods, too; see Teklektik's "lights and turn signals" thread for details, part numbers, wiring diagrams, etc.



Brake lights (and turn signals, etc) are a good idea--but you should still ride as if you don't have them, since people won't necessarily notice them. I use them (and downlighting to make me more visible in general) on all my bikes, like here on SB Cruiser:

In Daylight:
Image

Image

Nighttime:
Image

Image


and in general they grab attention more than one might imagine...but in deep twilight conditions, more than dark enough to just call it dark, I have had one person pull up next to me, them in the right turn lane, me waiting at the light just behind the crosswalk in the "sharrowed" bike lane that's the lefthand part of that turn lane, and tell me I should be careful out there. I said I always did, and they said maybe I should make it brighter somehow. I thought they were being sarcastic, so I asked what they meant, and they said maybe some reflectors or something. I pointed out all the ligths covering it, and the SMV sign on the back which itself has three ~12"x2.5" bright orange reflective strips, plus the bike reflectors on the lower corners, and they just got all goggly-eyed as they realized they had completely missed all the lighting/etc. :shock: :lol:

I have no idea how someone could *NOT* see all that, but still see the trike, but that's what happened.

I have even had someone walk into the breakroom at work (where I park in the middle of the room) and walk around the trike, but not "see" it, and become quite startled a bit later when they finally noticed it. :roll:



Maybe if I actually did use the dogs to pull it, they'd all notice it better?

Image

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motomech   1 GW

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Re: Built my first bike! Help me make it even better.

Post by motomech » Feb 03 2019 9:22pm

I currently have a ½ twist throttle, and it feels like the cheap plastic part that it is. Since my hand is on it all the time, I’d love to find something that feels nicer in the hand.
Once you get the PAS working, this will be a non-issue.
As far as programming the KT/SLCD type display, there are 100's of pages here dealing w/ them. Time to start studying.
Motomech

'03 Rocky Mountain Edge 2WD 260 Q100H frt and Ezee V1 rear 2 Elifebike 20A & 25A 9-FET controllers 12S/10Ah Multistar Lipo rear 4Ah Turnigy frt Luna Cyclops Extra lite Alex 24DM rims, Crazy Bobs run ghetto tubeless. 25 mph. Mean Well HLG-320H-54A
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... =3&t=83430
'07 GT Idive 4 4.0, Q100C 201 14S LiPoly elifebike 9-FET 20A controller. 23 MPH.
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 4#p1378484

JBG   1 mW

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Re: Built my first bike! Help me make it even better.

Post by JBG » Feb 04 2019 11:53am

Thanks, the trouble was finding the right display model to search for. It’s not a KT-3, as best I can tell. Anyone know what the model name is?

After some googling I found a list of parameter settings for this display/controller. For those interested see pics below. I’ll post as a separate thread for those who are looking in the future.
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My first build: 36V 500W hardtail

JBG   1 mW

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Re: Built my first bike! Help me make it even better.

Post by JBG » Feb 09 2019 9:15am

Thanks for all the info on lights. I’m planning on installing a headlight, tail light, and led strips along with a switch.

Question on running the lights straight from the battery. How do I do it? (Sorry for such a noob question, I’m new to electronics.). I presume I wire up the lights in parallel with the battery and controller/motor, right? Now, how do I physically do it? My setup currently uses bullet connectors to connect the battery and controller. I don’t have a soldering iron. Are there connectors I can use for this kind of thing that don’t require soldering?
My first build: 36V 500W hardtail

E-HP   100 W

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Re: Built my first bike! Help me make it even better.

Post by E-HP » Feb 09 2019 11:24am

JBG wrote:
Feb 09 2019 9:15am
Thanks for all the info on lights. I’m planning on installing a headlight, tail light, and led strips along with a switch.

Question on running the lights straight from the battery. How do I do it? (Sorry for such a noob question, I’m new to electronics.). I presume I wire up the lights in parallel with the battery and controller/motor, right? Now, how do I physically do it? My setup currently uses bullet connectors to connect the battery and controller. I don’t have a soldering iron. Are there connectors I can use for this kind of thing that don’t require soldering?
Have you selected a light? If you're using one of the high/variable voltage lights made for ebikes, the controller output may still work. I have one with the 12-85 volt input range, and with the 4 XML LEDs, it uses a maximum of 20 watts (and very bright). Even considering any losses in the regulator/driver circuit, that still less than 0.39 amps at 52 volts (my battery). At 48 volts, that's still only 0.41 amps. Also, the wire harness that feeds the light has thinner gauge wires than the already thin wires exiting my controller, which also indicates that the light really doesn't draw much current.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Universal-12V- ... 2749.l2649

JBG   1 mW

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Re: Built my first bike! Help me make it even better.

Post by JBG » Feb 09 2019 1:02pm

My current choice light is a variable voltage headlight. I’m hoping to install a taillight as well. To use the controller output I need a higo connector. I think I saw somewhere on the forums about that.
Last edited by JBG on Feb 09 2019 3:22pm, edited 1 time in total.
My first build: 36V 500W hardtail

docw009   10 kW

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Re: Built my first bike! Help me make it even better.

Post by docw009 » Feb 09 2019 1:52pm

Vampire taps are easy, but will eventually leave you stranded by the side of the road, (F.O.R.D).
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https://tech.bareasschoppers.com/resour ... onnectors/

I prefer to solder, buy you could crimp a set of y-connectors with bullets.
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Suggest an inline fuse whatever you do.
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docw009   10 kW

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Re: Built my first bike! Help me make it even better.

Post by docw009 » Feb 09 2019 2:02pm

By the way, I don't run anything but the bike off my batteries. I did have one of these for night. Am lucky they never caught on fire,
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I bought an extra battery for it. Two of the four cells inside it were dummy cells. Makes no sense why they do that.
There's no battery protection circuit in the battery. Could explode like a vapor's e-cig if the charger ever fails.

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