Saturday, June 17, 2017

Big Bulk Box Bike
If anyone can build these street legal they can sell a lot more of them”

This is the most heavy duty “looking” cargo bike that I have seen made in the industrialized world. Unfortunately they used two hub motors. Making this street illegal in Washington state, and a number of other places.
People are so obsessed with speed they think that even a large heavy duty cycle truck should be able to drive as fast a motorcycle. Yet they refuse to consider that there are good reasons that motorcycles have really powerful brakes and very heavy duty tires.
Not only are hub motors a waste of energy, but they use more energy than is needed to climb steep hills.
I am going to have to stop writing this blog, people just don't care. But if you want to sell these vehicles use your brain by reading these pages.

Electric Overdrive / Magnetic Gear Motors? / Fixed Gear Drives (Non-Hub Direct Rear Drives) / New Motor Technologies / Custom Belt Drive / Two speed gear boxes for bicycles

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Free Money

If we want to deal with the big social, economic and environmental challenges that we’re facing today, we should start by fixing money.

What We Need to Do

1. Take the power to create money away from the banks, and return it to a democratic transparent and accountable process!!!

2. Create money free of debt!!

3. Put new money into the real economy rather than financial markets and property bubbles!!




Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Longest Lasting chain-oil Formula

 I have been using this mix of STP (w/zinc oxide) and a thinner “sewing machine” type of oil to thin it out a little bit. And finally I put PTFE in it. I clean my new chain with Naphtha solvent before applying this lube. And I have to heat this oil in an eye dropper bottle in hot water to get it to penetrate the chain, but it lasts about a thousand miles. A lot of people just cannot under stand chain oil. They even think that wax is a lubracant.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Crisis of intelligence!

Every one I know is either a 'nihilist' or a 'denialist'. 

Most people have no idea how bad life will be without gasoline. The USA will be the hardest hit, just because we are so addicted to petroleum. In other parts of the world they are gearing up to move away from fossil fuels fast.

But you can forget about large electric cars! They are going to be very expensive and inefficient because the energy mongers want your money! And when electric bikes get in the way of too many cars there will be a crackdown.

The laws will not change until we all understand the problems. This will not happen by building illegal vehicles. Manufacturers of e-bikes need to understand what it takes to build electric bicycles correctly.

This will involve a rear wheel, belt driven directly from the motor, and a crank activated power system that cannot push the vehicle faster than the law allows. Unfortunately most people want a vehicle that moves as fast as a car! That is a crisis of 'ignorance' (denial)!

There would not be a problem with e-bikes if they were geared so that they cannot be driven faster than 20 mph; regardless of the amount of power used!! All you have to do is take the maximum RPM the motor will produce, and calculate a gear ratio to keep the bike under the speed limit. This will give you much better hill climbing ability, with less power!

Or use a speed sensor to cut off the power when moving faster than the correct speed. This will allow you to travel at, or below the speed limit all day without burning out the power system. But the speed sensor can be by passed too easily on some e-bikes.

Hub motors are responsible for the power limitations of e-bikes, simply because once you have that one-to-one gear ratio of a hub-motor, the cyclist will be able to exceed the speed-limit with as little as 350 watts. And Mid-Drives are even worse!

The main high tech thing to look for is a controller that has a voltage multiplier in the slow speed output range.

Build a sexy micro car!

velomobile design from the 1940's

Monday, March 20, 2017

Strobe Lights

Have you ever been almost wiped out when crossing a busy intersection? I have more than once. Now I have to buy a white strobe for the front just to get across the street! In the day light!!!

These are much smaller than I expected. The light face is only 2”x 5/8 inch for the 3 L.E.D. units. And you need 2 water proof switches (for a bicycle), one being a “momentary” contact to change the flash pattern.

9 watts (3w each bulb)

Wattage is not the only thing that will determine the
brightness. The 'super-bright' lights above have shaped
beams, so they may not be seen as easily as this one
that does not shape the beam. And at only 4 watts each
unit saves more than half the power as a 9 watt unit.
However if you can get the shaped beam into the eyes
of the car drivers, they will see you much better.
I am using these 4watt units on the side of my bicycle.

with only four watts you can use a smaller battery pack:

12V 2000mAh NiMH Battery Pack
Tenergy is the worst brand to use

Lithium Ion cells are much cheaper over a long period

For Lithium-Ion cells get an IMAX B6 old style charger.

The new ones will not charge through electric protection circuits. But if you don't have that detail just get newer one, but it still needs the ballance wires. The old one does not.

for a truck tail light with LEDs

This can be a complex project

to change modes

Chrome Glow 12V Waterproof Push-
Button On-Off Switch with 12" Leads

If you are building a pack, and you want to use a circuit board, the electronics are so small now these protection boards have balance charge circuits built in, so it would be even safer to charge. But the new I-Max B6 will not like the confusion of more circuits.
The I-Max B6 charger (old style) charges through the protections circuits, even though the instructions say that it will not; I set mine on 3 cell 3.6 volts per cell to make the cells last longer.
They should be charged to no more than 4.2v or even 4.1v or even less if possible. It has recently been proven that the longer a battery cell holds a high voltage the faster it will degenerate. So if you want a full charge of 4.2 volts, use it right a way. If you charge them to something like 5 volts each or more, you are begging for trouble!!!
3 Cells in series can be charged faster than single cells because they have more resistance that way. I set my charger to 1 amp. So a 4 cell pack could charge faster at a higher voltage. (1/3 volt each cell) if you need the charge faster try it at a higher voltage. But if using cheap Chinese cells charge them in a steel ammo box!! If they produce enough heat to feel you may have dangerous problems. If the pack does not have the wires to the balance plugs the cells will even them self's out after a while so don't worry about that.
The new battery chemistry {LiFePO4} is safer than the older 18650 Li-ion cells. But I do not know how they would charge in an I-Max B6. NiMH is much safer but much heavier. 

more info about lights

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Batteries for e bikes

100 kWh? LiFePO4

It's about time they manufactured large cells with bolt conections! These are bigger than 18650 cells. But I can't help wanting fire proof insulation between the cells.

The only problem is that you can't get these free out of old computer packs. 
And some people are telling me that these cells are not as potent as the sellers want you to believe.

These are considered safer when compared to lithium oxide or mixed oxide battery products. Punctured or short circuited lithium metal oxide cells will cause heating, oxygen release and the potential for thermal runaway.

Tesla is about to start manufacturing mass quantities of these new batteries to bring the price down a little. It looks like the chimistry of these bolt end cells are already old tech, not that it matters much. The Iron Phosphate LiFePO4 chimistry is safer to use than the magnisium, but heavyer. I would choose the weight over the danger.

What chemistry is the Tesla 2170 cell? LiFeMgPO4 Lithium Magnisium Phosphate?

By 2018, Tesla's new “Gigafactory” will produce 35 GWh/year of lithium-ion battery cells, nearly as much as the rest of the entire world’s battery production combined. And there are several other companies racing for the claim of .highest energy density/cheapest cell in the world” also.

But will they have bolt ends? Not likely! So how do they connect the cells in the cars?

The new ‘2170’ is 21mm (13/16th inch) by 70mm (2¾”). Smaller than these bolt end cells that are about a 1.5” diameter by 4” long. But larger than the old 18650 cells (17mm x 67mm).

Lithium batteries should regularly be recharged because high batteries lead to oxidation of the anode and low batteries leads to the disintegration of LiNiCoAlO_2. This makes lithium batteries very sensitive. Research has been showing that with two 50% depth of discharge (DOD) cycles, the battery lifetime is about four times longer than one 100% DOD cycle.

The Myth of Ebike Wattage

How to make an inexpensive Lithium-Ion Battery Pack

LiFePO4 38120S (M size) Cell: 3.2V 10Ah (32Wh, 30A rate) ?

Watt Hours: Calculating E-bike Range

Home built battery 18650s

18650 cells
This is the best pack building kit I have seen. NO WELDING!!! But you should use conductive contact gel/grease.

LiCoO2 lithium cobalt oxide are the best. That is what Tesla motors is using now. Lithium titinate will be even better.

How to make your batteys last longer
Never charge lithium ion cells to more than 4 volts. Anything more than 4.2 volts will cause a condition where fire and explosion can occur. And 4 volts will make the cells last much longer. If your charger goes to 4.2 volts take the cells out before they have a chance to go any higher.

How does Cobalt Work in Li-ion?

Monday, March 6, 2017

Torque Sensor or Speed Sensor?

torque sensor

A torque sensor can increase the range of you e-bike. And they will keep the law enforcement from classifying your vehicle as a moped. But they are not cheap.

Torque or strain sensors, so the bike cannot be driven with out pedaling, are not absolutely necessary but every thing helps when it comes to building a legal vehicle.

But you don't really to need to sense the pressure on the pedals, you can use a Cadence sensor, it is the same as the speed sensor; when the crank arm passes a magnet it sends a pulse to the controller.

However torque sensors apply power more smoothly than a cadence sensor. On a quality torque sensor, you can forget the bike is electric, the bike just becomes easier to pedal. The harder you push on the pedals, the faster you go like on a regular bike, but with the electric power you just go a lot faster.

One method to build a pressure sensor involves using the CycleAnalyst, but needs you to build a chain idler for the top chain of the bike, then attach a strain gauge to the arm the idler is mounted to, and program the CA to work off it's input range. 

Electric bikes are generally super inefficient when accelerating up to speed. A torque sensor forces you to help the ebike when it needs it the most, when it is accelerating and when climbing

speed sensor

In the state of Washington a speed sensor connected to the controller to calculate wheel speed, is absolutely needed if your gear ratio, in conjunction with the motor's maximum RPM, is enough to move the bike faster than 20mph on flat land. That is one reason why washington state e-bike laws must change!

DIY Torque Sensor Pedal Assist!

TorqueSensors on Electric Bikes

PAS (Pedal Assist Sensor) installation problems

Some brushless motors will produce more than twice the wattage that is on the label. Making it even more difficult to engineer an e-bike.
BionX 250 and 350 are both nominal wattage ratings. Those who have ridden them know that they give much more power when climbing hills. I have measured well above 1000 watts with a Watt's Up meter spliced between the battery and motor.

washington state e-bike laws must change

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Motored Cycle-Truck vs Fast bike Fetishism

What is the difference between a motorcycle and a 600lb utility bike?
If you think it is the power of the motor, you are wrong!

    • One has the ability to drive faster than 20mph on flat land. A motorcycle must be able to drive at least 45mph on flat land, and is engineered with fantastic brakes to handle the increased power. Usually two large hydraulic brakes on the front wheel.
    • A bicycle will never be able to stop with the power needed to climb steep hills with cargo like 400lbs. Rim brakes are useless and cable pull disc brakes are not much better, even with metal sintered pads!
    • And if you did make the wheel stop turning the top heaviness of the vehicle could make you loose control too easily. Not really a problem for off-road bikes because that is exactly what makes it fun.
    • The cycle-truck has the ability to climb hills with a total combined weight of 600lbs with only one single gear; Set at a slow enough reduction ratio (about 12mph or less with 1500 watts) to climb your worst hills with the most weight you will need to replace a car.
    • People that think gears waste energy, are brainwashed by speed merchants. (Hub-motors are built for racing, not for stop-n-go city driving.)
    • Some states make e-bikes use a pedal actuated controller, to make sure you can't drive over the speed limited by law. But gears them self's can limit the vehicle's speed, simply because the motor cannot move faster than a specific RPM with out damage.

People that wait until it is too late to change their life style will pay for it the hard way.

There is no reason that people can't start changing their transpiration methods now.
Electric bicycles that can move 600lbs up our steep hills can replace a car. Obviously not many people know how to build these. But I do! Read my 13 year old non-profit blog about living with out petroleum powered vehicles!

Most people lost their ability to think creatively in school. We were taught to memorize data like a machine. If you want to learn to use your brain fully you have to learn to think “laterally”.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Electric Utility Bike

This is the best utility bike frame I have seen yet. But it does need a rack welded onto the front of the frame. And a motor mounted low under the seat, to drive the rear wheel. Hub motors are for flat land only!

The rear rack should be long enough to hold a large size milk carton box. Once you have more carrying capacity you will want even more. Also a ladder rack on the side, would be very good to have.

An easy step-through frame is essential for a fully loaded bike! This fork design is for strength rather than travel, it is not an off-road suspension. But excellent for riding off curbs and pot holes. And at high speed, if you hit a pothole with a heavy load on the front, you could end up with broken spokes or even a dented the rim.

The front wheel will be easier with a drum brake hub. Rim brakes or a disc brake will be difficult to apply to the front suspension with out a jig. And be sure to use the widest rims so you can use 16” Moped tires.

The slower you ride the shorter the trail should be. I had to change my recumbent to half inch trail because I really noticed wheel flop when climbing hills too slowly. My utility bike has 1.3” trail. Any thing over 2” is for fast cruising.

Read more here:

Building a compact cargo bike

rear suspension

rear suspension

fork verticle arms

fork lateral arms