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Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

KIngfish, great trip. Loved reading it.

I have a question about your bike motors. The e-bikekit motors are rated at 48v. How are you able to put 60+ volts on the motors without frying them? I also have 48v hub motors on two of my e-bikes and only run them on 12s lipos. Did you just upgrade the speed controller and throw on 60v cells? The hub motors are able to hold up?

My hub motors did not come from e-bikekit.com.

As for your lipos, give haiyinstore.com a try. I put over 350 cycles on my batteries over a year now, 4 sets of 12s with 7000 miles logged commuting back and forth to work. I've tried hobbyking Turnigys and Haiyinstore lipos perform much better. They also have a Las Vegas warehouse so you get them in 3 days.

Would greatly appreciate an answer on the hub motor question. Thanks a bunch and happy riding.
@ mikebikerad
I loved Humboldt country! Will do my friend 8)

@ pixelzpusher
The E-BikeKit motors are - to the best of my knowledge – Nine Continent (9C) that are simply rebranded; they are 2806-equivalents. For the most part they can take any reasonable voltage… it’s the current and overall power that we need to be concerned about. From my reading, I believe they can take 5000 watts for a short duration. During my operations they never saw more than 1550 watts each… that’s well into the safe zone and they can take that all day long. 8)

From the basic power equation where P = I*V…
Higher voltage means less current, but as I said we’re gated by Power, we’re gated by resistance, and by load. 9C traditionally prints 48V and 500W on the side for perhaps legal reasons… as to why we can only guess.

The motor modifications that I made were to enable more power to flow to the motor, equal to the gauge of stranded wire used for windings from end-to-end, thereby reducing scant resistance and improving power-handling by 50% or more. After this cross-country event I applied a major upgrade in 2012 when the same motors rusted out.

Controllers were upgraded. Typical trace beefing, R12 mod, low ESR-Caps, power & phase wires. Later in the 2012 upgrade I eliminated all GND signal wires since GND is GND, and created a unified signal harness. The schematics and tricks are explained in this thread.

The battery pack is constructed of 5S1P 15/2C 5Ah Zippy FlightMax LiPo that I purchased from HobbyKing (20C here). They are presently arranged in 3-in-1 series to produce 15S approximately equal to 63V when hot off the charger. The Commuter Pack which is always affixed to the bike holds 18 batteries in a 15S6P (30Ah) configuration which is enough to take me about 50 Seattle miles; I don’t know what the distance would be for flat Kansas miles though. For this 2011 trek I had a total of 78 batteries in a 15S26P configuration spread over 4 battery bag-sets: Commuter (18), Saddlebags over the Commuter (12), Panniers (18 total), and Trailer (30 total).

I looked at haiyinstore.com and attempted to price out an equivalent – however the only one that came close was the 65C 5S1P battery for >3X the cost/unit I paid. Appreciate the link, however I don’t require high-C batteries; I’m not racing, and I have a plenty-large stash with an excellent battery harness to prevent sags under load. Though it’s nice to know there are alternatives out there. :)

Some of my LiPos are getting on in age; more than 3 years old. I need to get into a production mode and depuff the subset that has seen abuse. So far I’ve sent only 6 to the recycler, but more will follow as I go through and remove dead cells. Most of my lot only see use on road trips; the rest of the time I have them sitting at about 3.7V/Cell for storage, and connected in parallel.

I am thinking, scheming, and planning the next road trip. Didn’t do one last year because of the knee injury/quadriceps tendonitis. The knee is plenty strong this year, though I may not be able to get time off for a long trip. Still enjoy planning, regardless. The 2012 system-wide upgrade made serious improvements to the ebike and I am anxious to break 200-miles in a day, or get to up to 55 mph on a flat. :twisted:

It’s just amazing the things we can accomplish with a little engineering and ingenuity. :wink:

Safe travels, KF
Can the e-bikekit controllers safely handle more than 48V or do you need a different controller? I have one and was wondering about upgrading in the future but if I can just pop a higher voltage battery on, without buying a whole new kit, that would be great.
This is a very pregnant question… and I yam an engineer. :mrgreen:
Therefore I offer the short answer: No.

And then there’s the compete answer… which is perhaps driving wildly off topic… although I like a good yarn, so here it is.

To begin: I have used several controllers in the past provided by a handful of suppliers – and they are nearly all the same in terms of origin and design (though not of throughput). I am trying to think of the count that I have gone through… off-hand I’d estimate 8 since 2009. The majority have been Lyen 12-FET Controllers.

Sidebar & small disclaimer: As a curious person who likes to tinker and experiment, sometimes those experiments go awry – with sparks:shock: There’s nothing wrong with the controllers – I’m just trying to push the envelope with what I’ve learned on ES and share in discoveries – however well they went or not… And I wish not to take away from the value or quality that is provided by our good suppliers. I have personally met Edward Lyen and think of him most kindly and with great respect. He provides a product of which I understand with trusted familiarity to use as a base for modification.

For this 2011 Road Trip, the Lyen Extreme Modder 12FET controller was used. It is based upon a standard design that is well-documented by a cadre of ES-greybeards, with me chiming in late to the party. Every controller that I have owned before moving to Lyen-models required the “R1” mod to improve or upgrade the voltage-carrying capacity. Essentially – Battery Voltage (VBatt) comes into the controller and is divided by the MOSFETs into digital 3-Phase by the Microcomputer & associated discreet components. The “Voltage” going into the controller is gated by two factors: MOSFETs & the first Voltage Regulator managing the 15V rail before the 5V logic.

When you purchase a controller, it used to be that we had a choice between 75V and 100V maximum output, though today most common ebike controllers for BLDC direct drive motors are capable of 100V – gated by the MOSFETs, therefore we no longer have to concern ourselves with 50% of the challenge.

The other half of the problem is knocking down the VBatt coming into the primary Voltage Regulator. On most controllers this is managed by the resistor complex is called “R1”. Low-powered boards would have just one (relatively) big fat resistor coming off the +VBatt leg before going into the input of a LM317 VR. Off-the-shelf, most controllers can handle 36 to 48V because they use a variant of the LM317 component that can take +40V differential, although late models now are supplied with a +60V differential (or perhaps a different management circuit altogether) which enables them to handle up to 75 Battery Volts (or more). In the old days we would modify the value of R1 (et al) to allow the use of larger voltages, although as hinted this is no longer a problem if you purchase your controller from the right supplier. :wink:

Longwinded, it is now after explaining this that I can answer your question:
E-Bikekit does not make controllers, just like they do not make hub motors; they are a reseller and integrator. I do not know off-hand what type of controller they are selling; if you own an E-Bikekit controller I would search ES to find out more about that particular unit and how to modify the voltage capacity, though I’d wager it is an R1 mod of some sorts… don’t quote me.

IMO tinkering with R1 is passé; there are better models to choose from at a reasonable price that have better standard features. I tend to look for Ebrake, 3-Way, Cruise, CA, and the programming adapter on top of the mainstay list – and these can be found easy enough in the Marketplace on ES.

That said, no one makes a Kingfish model that is ready for bear. There is lots, Lots, LOTS of room for improvement!!! But we take what we can get and do the best we can with stone knives and bear skins.

One last thought: If you decide to replace your controller, take a close look at the connectors and try to match up one that will mate with your existing equipment, otherwise you’re in for another tedious mod… not that it ever stopped me. :)

From the PNW, safe travels down there in SoCal, KF
PS - let me know if you'd like to swap some sunshine for rain; gimme a reason to use sunglasses 8)
Thank you. The controller has 3 connections, motor, battery and throttle. They're the black socket style connectors. It's a black controller with no markings and it has an on/off switch.
It's a black controller with no markings and it has an on/off switch.

That sounds like the controllers from Wilderness Energy a number of years ago for their brushed motors. I had several BD36's with that controller. Sold as part of a 36V SLA kit, but they worked fine on 48V LiFePO4 also. I think with help on this forum we determined they had a capacitor or something that was limited to a little over 60V, so would probably blow on a higher voltage system if it's the same controller.

A picture showing the connectors would help confirm this. Does it have 3 phase wires going to the motor or just a positive and negative wire? Does it have 5 wires going to the motor for the Halls?
Is this a picture of Kingfish? This whole thread blows my mind.

I got a bet going on. Someone says this is a pic of ERIC HICKS.....

I say nah. I want to give credit where it is deserved. Can anyone confirm this for me? All the pics are gone. From this thread.

Pls? AnY ONe? Farfle? Edward? Fetcher? Amberwolf? Spinny? Methods? DocBass? Chalo?


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Likely to be him .
The pictures are still visible on my browser ?
Dmunn posted this pic on Feb 14 2012.....of KF after the ride..