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Bakfiets earns its flames!

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  • tklop
    commented on 's reply
    2WD (Two-Wheel Drive) FAQ over at Endless Sphere: [link:]

    "Will I be able to use Regen braking?
    Yes. Regen can be applied to one, or with both controllers using careful modification. Note: 2WD-regen can be jarring and hard on the frame. Adjust the strength according to need. "

    Okay then. Regen!

    Seems as long as everything is maintained within the charging-limits of the battery, it should be simple and effective. I've got nice heavy steel dropouts, and I've got torque arms, so I'm hoping it'll all stay together...

    Now--it's back to the brakes issue.

    I doubt there'd be any way to reasonably weld a solid disc-brake post-mount to my frame, so I may have to accept the fact that I might not ever be able to make disc-brakes work right.

    But it's either them--or rim-acting friction-brakes... Hmmm...

    And I've got no reasonable way to mount rim-brakes either. No posts for cantilever brakes; and though there's a center-hole in the frame, it's only for fender-mounting.

    Obviously--in the event of a controller-failure--all e-braking would be lost--so "real" brakes are definitely a neccessity).

    I know rim friction-brakes would still be rotten--far from ideal, finicky, tough to synchronize, and potentially also quite squeaky (though I doubt they'd ever compete with the garbage-truck noises my disc-brakes sometimes make). Sub-optimal braking is something I've long just had to live with. But if regen can do most of my braking, and in a reasonable way, and can thereby extend my range--I'll still be one very happy bakfietser!

    I'm going to do it.

    I wonder if it will perhaps prove more effective on my project esp. for the stop-and-go driving. I've a lot of inertia to scrub off... I did read how most strong e-braking forces are just contained within the motor, and are causing heat, rather than recharging... Seems the better recharging-settings come with less braking-force--and I suppose I'm likely to find myself using some setting in-between. With two-wheels' braking forces combined, they'll be able to "do more" at lower brake-force settings. Maybe that'll be better for regen, I don't know.

    I can relatively easily access the setting in the KT-LCD3 displays if I wish to adjust the braking-force (okay, I've got to stop, and power-down, then reboot and enter the "setup" menus--but it's completely doable--even away from home). I live in The Netherlands. It's a very flat place. But there is indeed a lot of "stop-and-go" --even for bikes--and it's also concievable I might take the bakfiets on occasional camping trips, so not being 'locked-in" to just one setting is nice.

    But I'm assuming regen won't help me one lick on the long-straight-and-flat "cruise-control" sections (and we've got lots of those; it really is a dream to be a cyclist in this country) but when it's stop-and-go, I bet it'll help. I hope it'll help a lot!

    I wish I were savvy enough to take good analyses, complile data, and make neat charts and graphs like a lotta you guys...

    But I can look at my "estimated range" on my BMS readout too--and that really gives a good indication. It's designed for regen, and will summarize the total remaining battery, versus trip-length--and if regen is helping, it'll show--and I'll be able to post that positive result.

    I've already got all the parts, controllers--everything--but the motors are still "bare" --not yet laced into rims.

    Maybe I'll be able to begin experimenting in October or November.
    Last edited by tklop; 08-27-2019, 12:03 PM.

  • tklop
    The brakes...

    Brakes are important to this machine. Very important--especially the front-brakes, because the bakfiets is quite heavy, and because it has so be symmetrically balanced (in terms of braking).

    Brakes have also been a constant source of woe, since I first met this [particular model of] machine.

    Some background:

    When my family was gifted my first bakfiets (the one with the flames--in the thread's title), it had one oil-fouled front-brake, and the other did basically nothing.

    The brakes were among the first things I attepted to "sort out" as I gradually brought that old beast back into a rideable state.

    The Babboe Big bakfiets was built for SA XL-FD (oversized drum-brake) hubs, in the front-wheels. But for some inexplicable reason, they designed it with the brakes' fulcrum-arms on the right-hand side, instead of on the left. So the brakes are actuated from the right-hand side of each front-wheel--exactly opposite to pretty much every other bicycle on the planet.

    Obviously needing to replace the bakfiets' original wheel-hubs, I opted for dynamo-hubs, so I could eliminate all the throw-away batteries.

    The SA XL-FDD (dynamo-versions) of these wheel-hubs turn out to be a little less tolerant of being spun "backwards"--though they lasted in fairness a very, very long time (in fact, they survived well into the electrification-phase of the project).

    But eventually, the "backwards-turning" got to one of them. First probably a bearing got warm, then began to drag against its race--which then (because the wheels were rotating backwards), that race began to loosen. As it spun it way loose, it shed its bearing-balls, then the race itself shattered. Then, the hub proceeded to grind the dynamo to bits--shedding magnetic fragments as it went. Poor thing basically just disintegrated internally--as I limped it back home again.

    This experience convinced me to go ahead and turn the wheels "the right way around".

    But this also meant that I didn't have the built-in brake fulcrum-arm brackets; because they were over there on the wrong damn side of the wheels.

    So, I attempted various arrangements, none perfect, but eventually got the brakes' fulcrum-arms effectively enough supported for the incredibly sturdy (and remarkably forgiving) SA XL-FDD hubs...

    And then--came the All-Wheel-Drive mod...

    I had no option for 100 mm dropouts, except disc brakes, roller brakes, or rim-brakes (which I don't have--and which would be impossible to "match" left-to-right). Lamenting the loss of my SA drum-brakes, I knew I had to face up to these limited choices...

    I first opted to try roller-brakes. They're fairly tough, unlikely to "lock up" on you, and--well, they were an option on another model of 3-wheel bakfiets--so, I gave them a try.

    But the lack of a decent bracket for the brakes' fulcrum-arm proved to be much less tolerable for the roller brakes. They worked briefly, but consistently hung up, and "dragged" --and subsequently wore themselves out in a ridiculously short period of time.

    So--I decided I'd try discs...

    And now--it's a mixed-report; some positives--but certainly more woes.

    Discs don't use a brake fulcrum-arm, so that issue is gone.

    But the bakfiets also doesn't have any mounting place for a disc-brake caliper.

    So, I've tried some aftermarket brakets--to help bridge that gap.

    The brackets do keep all the neccesary components approximately in place, but are not stiff enough to keep the calipers aligned to the disc--so after every application, they'll have flexed--and they inform me of this--in song. Even though they don't seem to cause any noticeable drag, I know that if they're singing, they're wearing pad-material away.

    On the positive side of the ledger, the disc-brakes are extremely effective. The left-and-right balance is comparatively simple to maintain, and the 203mm discs provide far and away the most powerful braking I've had since the SA XL-FDD's... I love the performance--absolutely awesome!

    But no--those brackets aren't stiff enough. So there's never really any way to get the brakes finely adjusted.

    I have found one way to lessen the brake-noise. If I stop, apply the brakes, and then roll backward "against" them--it helps straighten the brackets again (somewhat). Then I'm able to proceed on my way, accompanied by a much softer brake-disc serenade...

    Obviously none of the negatives there are as they should be--it is currently definitely not ideal. All that brake-singing means the same for the discs as the dragging did for the roller brakes--super-heavy wear. Now--that's actually not so bad with disc-brakes, as the pads are at least a snap to replace. But I don't want to have to budget several sets of brake-pads into my list of regular monthly expenses.



    And the next chapter?

    Well... Even though I really REALLY wanted the QS motors--I have some still-hopefully-pretty-nice DD hub-motors...

    But DD motors bring questions... Questions that need answering...

    Obviously I'm talking about braking in this post--so that's the topic here too, when it comes to those DD hub-motors.

    I want to try yet another new braking option--regenerative / electronic braking.

    If both 1000W DD motors could work together, I bet they could provide a lot of electronic braking effect.

    As best as I can tell, the e-braking effect won't be able to take me all the way down to a dead-stop--and I'll defititely have to address that. The rear-wheel's SA XL-RD3 is very powerful, and can certainly handle "the last of the stopping" under most normal circumstances, but I'm not okay relying on it alone in terms of "standard use". No way. What a horrible feeling that would be--a "last-minute almost-no-more-brakes" effect. No, unless I still have discs, or rim-brakes--something else to "finish the job" on the front-wheels too--I just don't think it'll be safe.

    But that last meter-or-so of stopping is not my only concern; not the only question that needs answering...

    The motors do support regen and electronic-braking, as do their controllers.

    Plus, my battery's cells can indeed take a high charge-rate (which can also be set and limited within the battery's 150A Bluetooth BMS).

    But what will actually happen when two separate controllers are trying to "regen" my battery at the same time?

    I'm guessing that it's not going to be a gigantic disaster--if both controllers are set to the same-level regen, seems they should be sending pretty-much exactly the same regen (charging) signal to the BMS. There should be little or no imbalance between the two controllers' "regen" sources--so (I am hopeful) that it'll be a non-issue. Since controllers cannot "cross-feed" each-other like batteries can, I don't even think there'd be any need for diode circuitry.

    But I just don't know. I cannot be sure if any or all my assumptions are on target, or not.

    So, ideally I'd like to poke around, and see if I can read up on the topic--see if anybody else has tried multi-motor systems with regen (I mean of course--outside the auto-industry)... On the other hand, it is a niche-thing--multi-motors... Maybe I'm the first nutcase considering going down this particular rabbit-hole, and it'll be therefore me who gets to be the "test-bunny" for the experiement. If so, I'll let you know--at least if I survive!

    In all seriousness, if I do decide to experiment, and worse comes to worse, my battery's BMS has overvoltage/overcharge and lots of other built-in protections; and I'm hoping it will be able to protect the battery from harm... I am hoping...

    Anyways--it'll be a while before I can afford to get those wheels laced up. In the interim, if I learn that multi-motor regen is either impossible, or impossibly dangerous--then I'll consider repurposing the motors (meaning maybe they don't get strung into 20" rims).

    More to follow...
    Last edited by tklop; 08-26-2019, 11:04 PM.

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  • tklop
    I've got the cabling tidied up for the lights, and I've got the horn mounted and working too.

    The horn is plenty loud, but it's a fairly "friendly" higher-pitched tone. It's not unlike an old VW Beetle's horn; a classic Meep! Meep! At only a 3A draw, I figured it'd be okay to power it directly from the switch--without a relay (though of course it's got a fuse too). But any advice to the contrary--will be taken seriously.

    I could have saved wire, if I used a frame-type electical "ground"--but I've opted not to do that.

    Still, in certain places, I've been able to imitate the principle, by "sharing" the ground-leg of a circuit--like for the LED lighting.

    So, I've been able to make everything a lot tidier, but now I've got to return to the nightmare of the electronics bay.

    Now that it's all pretty much hooked-together and working, I've got to take it apart again, and then start organizing things; routing and bundling wires, installing the 200A Battery-switch, installing some more contol switches--and adding under-bench lights--so that when I lift open the benches, I can see what is inside (to work like trunk-lights--basically--one for the storage-box in the front--one for the electronics bay in the back).

    The front-motors' drive cables are just plain too long--but I'm reluctant to hack and re-splice them. So a certain amount of "extra length" is just going to have to be coiled and bundled. But other things (hopefully most other things) can certainly be clipped off and neatly routed--for a nicer electronics bay.

    It's this sort of "refinement" that'll keep me busy.

    Figuring out how (if possible at all) to make the front-brakes less noisy is another... Refinements...

    My pile of busted componets yielded a good length of 5-conductor wire--which will be perfect to serve as the "umbilical" between each controller and the sensors' panel. I think I read once (heaven knows where) that mixing "reds" (positive-legs) might cause issues--so I suppose for one of the front-motors, I only really need a four-wire conductor. Busted USB cable--hell, I got lots of those! But the 5-conductor wire; one red, one black--three more for the three required "signal" legs--one for Brake, one for Throttle, and one for PAS. That'll be a refinement to eliminate lots of redundant wires and snarl (that is only really an issue because I've got three controllers). But stuff like that--little by little--will help continue to improve the machine.

    I want better front fenders. The sides of the frame extend to 130 cm from the sides of the box... If I wanted to keep the fenders "inside" the frame (like the current ones are), I'd be limited to about 4.25" / 105mm. If I go to the limits of the vehicle's width, that'll let me use a 130 mm wide fender (as-in round-shaped, steel, designed for 8" trailer-wheels). The ones I've been seeing everywhere have an inside-radius of 26"--and that's plenty, I think. In any case, that'll let my tires have a lot more breathing-room. Though I'm happy with my Super Moto-X tires, getting the smaller inside-the-frame fenders out of the way will also allow me the potential option to mount much wider tires as well (for those "demonstration purposes only" beach-runs, a bigger footprint would make a tremendous difference). The drop-outs are fixed, and steel--and cannot be increased. But if I could pair up the right rims to my hub-motors, I could use up to a 4" wide tire on each side of the box (any less than 1/4" left-over frame-clearance would be pushing it, I figure). That'd amount to eight-inches of tire-width in front--and with soft-pressures, and some squish--potentially a wee-bit more. In any case--talk about footprint! I'm pretty sure that'd put me up into fat-tire range... Still haven't really delved into that world just yet. Since the fenders are yet a dream--that would be premature. Also--to get ahead of myself further--I'm obviously not sure what rims might be the best in that regard. So, yeah... Fenders... Another planned refinement. I will want to paint them black.

    Windshield. Another refinement.

    I'd like to make the windscreen compatible with another as-yet non-existent refinement; a nylon removeable "soft-top". Something made of nylon tent-material, with folding fiberglass tent-poles for support. I'd like something that anchors to the top of the windscreen (or maybe straight to the box--should the windscreen be an integrated part--not sure exactly how it'll manifest itself just yet), and which comes together at the bakfiets' rear-rack--forming a sort-of isosceles triangle extending backward. One or more crossways tent-pole segments would keep it spread open. It'd have to form a higher-than-neccesary "hump" as it passes over the rider--because when turning, one side will have to "flatten" --as the far-edge of the box swings away from the rear-frame, while the other side would arch higher--as its box-side anchor-point moved closer to the rear-frame. The idea is to have some shelter, without it forming a "sail". That's why I thought of a triangular narrowing design--narrowing as it tapers to a point behind and below me. In that way, I'm hoping to prevent my design from causing a parachute-effect of unwanted wind-resistance... I have thought too about how it might behave in heavy cross-winds, wind-gusts, the blast of air from passing vehicles etc. To stabilize the "soft top" I expect some stabilizing anchor-ropes will be needed. Fortunately the bakfiets offers a plethora of potential anchor-points, so I believe in the end I should be able to make something fairly sturdy. Who knows though... The vision in my head is at least seeming plausable... So--that's also on my "refinements" list. Yeah, I can keep pretty dry with raingear, but it'd be pretty cool if I could figure out how to make a workable shelter-system for the driver--and I honestly think its doable--even if in practice, the idea turns out to be impractical. I think if I can make a crummy-looking but workable demonstration version, I should be able to take it to some "pros" and have them stitch me up a proper tent/roof/ragtop... I'd not mind a way to get a windscreen with a wiper; it rains like hell here. But then--I wonder if there's a Rain-X type product that'll work on a plexiglass scooter windshield... I bet there is... That'd be simpler, and wiser.

    More to follow...
    Last edited by tklop; 08-24-2019, 10:42 AM.

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  • calfee20
    commented on 's reply
    If you do decide to use infraview I could write up a tutorial for the forum. It has so many capabilities I don't use. I just resize and save photos. it is around 8 clicks for a photo.

  • tklop
    commented on 's reply
    Thanks, calfee20 I will try to do better in the future. I am not too good at editing--but on your recommendation, maybe I'll check out Infraview.

    Used to be a way you could select a photo, right-click on it, and select "resize for email" --allowing an easy way to get it done, and re-save the image (or images) even if you didn't want to send it via email... I miss that.

    Microsloth is hell-bent on driving its customers away as rapidly as possible. To this end, it seems every Windows update strips more capability from their customers' machines. So--unless buried twenty-seven clicks away someplace, that feature is long gone.

    Now--don't get me wrong--I am not expecting an e-bike forum to include automatic photo-resizing in their website's features--obviously that would be totally unrealistic!

    I know that no matter what, it's my responsibility to keep my thread tidy. It's my job to be smarter than the problem, and put in the needed effort to make my photos smaller.

    I'm not sure how to fix the ones already uploaded.

    Maybe I should delete them all and start over.
    Last edited by tklop; 08-20-2019, 02:52 AM. Reason: for clarity

  • calfee20
    commented on 's reply
    Your photo sizes are to big. You should keep them under 500K. I adjust the resolution to 1/2 1080p or 1920 X1080 pixels. Infraview is free and does a nice job

  • tklop
    Running with both displays on the front-motors has also helped clarify the whole "amperage used verus wattage-rating of the motors" mystery...

    The motors I bought, are Suring brand (from Uncle Ali) 48V 350W 12T wound (max torque, lowest top-speed), high-gear ratio geared-hub motors--carrying an advertised 75% efficency-rating.

    The mystery arose, because my battery's BMS indicated that when under max-demand, the front-motors were drawing roughly 1000W per system.

    I suspected my front-motors were actually much more powerful than advertised because of these readings, and also because of the dramatic amount of power they seemed to give me.

    Now, my suspicions have confirmation. The front-motors' own KT-LCD3 displays show that each geared-hub motor peaks-out at around 750W.

    With that advertised efficiency-rating of 75%--that'd mean 1000W peak-consumption; per front-motor system--just as my BMS readout was indicating.

    So--yeah. Confirmed. My front-motors may be rated for 350W--but with stock controllers, they're peaking at 750W.

    That means that under my box, I've got (up to) 1500W peak-power, with unbelievable torque. Those high-gear-ratio high-torque motors do wonders for accelleration, and for slow-speeds. Even at low speeds, they cannot be 'bogged down'--and they can start from a standstill, on an incline. The machine + rider + cat-litter was an easy 250+KG; and the "walk-assist" took us all--from a standstill--up the inclined ramp to the entrance to my building--without any issues. When unloaded, and teamed-up with the Cyclone, it's now pretty obvious where I can get that "hang on to the handlebars" acelleration from.

    Though I have everything very dramatically de-tuned, the "peak" (off-road use only) settings could deliver (up to) 1500W under the box, and another (up to) 2800 from the mid-motor on the rear-frame.

    Insane--perhaps--but yeah.

    Ultimate test, will be just what it can and can't do in the dry sands--at the beach. The sand here in The Netherlands is the loosest sand I've ever experienced. It's as if there's just less overal density to it--I can't really explain it. But even the damp sand--you'll sink right into it... It doesn't "pack"--no matter what. Very strange.

    Damp sand is supposed to be relatively hard. Hell--you can normally drive your 2wd car on it--bike on it--run on it--whatever. No prob.

    Well, not here. Here, you better be in pretty damn good shape if you're gonna run on the beach--even in the wet sand. It's all very, very soft.

    I've never seen sand this soft and loose. It is not at all like California or Oregon and Washington; not at all like the Gulf Coast; not at all like any river or lakeshore I've ever seen.

    Last time I was at the beach here, my 50A nominal 80A peak BMS shut down--just trying to keep me moving on the wet sand--where normally I could've easily been able to push the bakfiets as I walked alongside--had it been the hard wet sands of some Oregon beach.

    But now way--not here. Just to give you some idea--if you were to stomp your foot, it wouldn't just leave a sharp 1/8" to maybe 1/4" deep footprint--your shoe would go right down into the sand, probably right up to the ankle... In sand--which looks to my American eyes--as if it ought to be firm enough to drive on!

    It is very strange indeed...

    I do know that the sands at the beaches here were all dredged. Maybe that's got something to do with the sand's seeming lack of density--I'm not really sure.

    Look: I know the Dutch are the undisputed heavyweight champions of such things--they've "mastered" the technology of keeping the seas out; I suppose it's pretty hard to argue that point... But the sand's lack of density (to my "outsider's eyes" anyway) has me wondering about those dunes' resistance to the "thousand-year-storms" they were built up to protect against... And will sea-level rise increase the effects of erosion on all that loose sand? These are questions far above my pay-grade; but in a world where politicians deny science, and profit is paramount to all other concerns--I have to sometimes wonder...

    But yeah... In any case...

    Point is, it makes for one hell of a serious testing-ground! The wet sand is way softer than you'd expect--and the dry sand--well, it is almost impossible to even walk through!

    Crying kids--exhausted... Parents also exhausted; and cannot carry them... This is a sad, but relatively common scene at the beaches here, as families try to make it back to their cars, to go home...

    So, if my bakfiets can climb the soft dry sandy exit-ramps, it'll be the most incredible machine ever--and that'll most definitely have to go on YouTube (closed-course, pedestrian-free, pre-arranged, local Police, Coast-Guard, and Shore Patrol all notified, permits obtained from Parliament, etc.).

    Yet beyond "for demonstration purposes only" beach-runs, or the like, I doubt I'll ever have need to push the system that hard.

    Besides--I doubt those motors could sustain that 750W peak-output for very long without overheating. Yet is fantastic to have dramatic capabilities; even if rarely if ever really "maxed out". What the extra capability really amounts to, is a minimally-stressed system when under normal soft settings. Unlike an underpowered system being "pushed to the max" to cruise at 25 kilometers per hour, mine will be relaxed--purring--and will last comparatively much longer (hopefully) as a result.

    Heck--I don't actually need to use the front-motors at all if I'm going slowly--along with the rest of the bike-traffic--when the surface is decent. In those instances, the Cyclone's higher efficiency-rating gives me more range--and all the power I need.

    I'd still love to try a set of Luna's 12T Mac Motors with ASI controllers--as the "ultimate" version of my adaptations...

    Or find a way to squeeze the 135mm Q-motors into my 100mm fixed-steel-dropouts!

    Some further advancements may be possible yet--even if something like traction-control is well beyond my grasp.

    When I get my Sensor Distribution Panel in-place, I will be able to have more configuration options on the handlebars--allowing me to "mix-and match" combinations between the two systems, of throttle and PAS inputs, etc. That'll be fun to play around with... Let's face it--it'll never be really "done"!
    Last edited by tklop; 08-19-2019, 05:54 AM.

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  • tklop
    Did some shopping in the rain today. Picked up four big bags of cat-litter, the biggest cat-box I could find, and a pair of knee-high green rubber boots. Heavy load. Cat-litter was at least a hundred pounds. Took the sandy/muddy horse-path through the forest, to see how the front-wheels do on soft-ground with the softer PAS settings--when heavily loaded. Absolutely unstoppable--just as before--uphill, downhill, through the muck--I even shoved a fallen branch off to the side with the machine--just unbelievable. Basically just rolling along at a quick walk/slow jog pace (faster is of course totally possible, but the path is far too rough--due to all the horse-hooves--after all, I have no suspension).

    As I am sure you can imagine, the machine was quite messy, when I got back home. I decided to drop off the cat-litter, then go back out into the rain for some rinsing-action.

    Actually wasn't all that effective at first--trying to rinse the bike by riding it.

    Eventually, I made it to an old closed airfield, and rode up and down the runway a half-dozen or so times. This worked better for rinsing, as there was more standing water.

    In some places, there were quite deep puddles.

    I plunged directly throught them--at 35 kilometers per hour--and that certainly helped with the rinsing!

    Part of my purchases (as I said) were a pair of knee-high rubber boots. The front-wheels form v-wakes, which converge at the driver's feet. Rain-pants and rubber-boots should be standard issue... Yet only today--a few years into my Bakfietsing adventures--did I finally go spend the fifteen bucks on a pair! They're exactly perfect.

    I swear--it was way too much fun for anybody to be having in a downpour... And I'd do it again! :D

    The spray coming off the front-wheels was awesome... I wish to heck I could've filmed the fun.

    If I think of all the "crazy" ideas I had to start with--many of them have already been acheived. When I got started with all this--back when I first got the Cyclone--the All-Wheel-Drive concept was one of those crazy ideas...

    Though there's room for advancements. Three-wheel coordination for traction-control (for example) would be great--but figuring that out is beyond my capability.

    Next up:

    More weatherproofing:

    Windshield... Hopefully something that I can consider adapting into a bit of a roof-system (for the rider).

    Front-fenders... I want something like for a trailer--molded plastic, with a solid inboard-panel--so the box can stay cleaner. Being limited to 105mm width doesn't help a heck of a lot--but I don't want my fenders sticking out past the sides (beast is wide enough). I'm a bit stumped. Internet searches yield nothing but "too wide" items. I am willing to try to adapt an existing product, but I doubt I can split and make narrower--a molded-plastic trailer-fender--or... More precisely--I doubt I could accomplish such a thing without it looking horrible.

    Box weatherproofing... Maybe some kind of rain-deflection system for the front... I don't mind riding in the rain, but I do need to try to keep rain from getting into the bakfiets. The wooden panels don't like being endlessly soggy; and the Chinese steel is treated internally (so says the manufacturer)--but still is very rust-prone. It's not a boat, but I do need to be vigilant with waterproofing... It's not a boat... But yeah--wouldn't an amphibious version be amazing!?!

    More realistic than trying to make it float--is to try to develop more accessories...

    I'm thinking a trailer--with DD-hub-motors set-up for regen--and e-braking--but not ever powered. Trailer-brakes are typically quite twitchy--and the steadiness of the regenerative braking seems like it might actually work quite well. Seems to me, this might be a good way to do "power recovery" --which would be especially helpful when towing... "Drag-braking" also is hell on bicycle brakes--but would be no problem for such a setup... Crazy? Yeah... So was an all-wheel-drive Babboe Big!


    It was a fun day...

    Though I've still details to solve, I think the concept can be considered at this point a success. If I can have a blast driving it in the pouring rain--it's good.
    Last edited by tklop; 08-17-2019, 11:07 AM.

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  • tklop
    commented on 's reply
    If the sun turns out to be effective, a quality magnifying glass becomes one heck of a handy tool for the toolkit!

    I'm thinking it might actually be reasonably doable--with some manner to hold the work in place, one hand to guide the focal-point of the concentrated sunbeam, the other to feed solder...

    Just because it works in my head, doesn't mean it'll work in real-life--but I'm thinking maybe the temps generated might be serious enough to at least "boost" an otherwise inadequate iron...

    I got a jar of paste flux...

    I may first experiment with some dinky stuff--and sun-power alone, just to see what I'm working with. We all know it'll get hot enough to burn paper--but I bet it'll get a lot hotter than that. It's nightime right now though--for me! And I'm not sure... Maybe the forecast calls for rain--but who knows? Eventually--we'll see what happens--or doesn't!

  • JPLabs
    commented on 's reply
    Whatever you try, use extra paste flux on the joint and it will help fight oxidation. The small amount inside flux core solder isn't enough for big joints, more helps.

    I bet the sun WOULD work! For the supplemtal heat, if not alone. Nice thinking!!

  • tklop
    commented on 's reply
    I have ordered a heavier-duty soldering iron (240V 100W), but I'm still not sure it's going to be up to doing 6AWG super-flex.

    Yet between this--and knowing that you've supplemented with fire--maybe I can find a way to make it work.

    Had me wondering if a magnifying-glass, and sunlight could give the desired temperatures--or perhaps enough of a "boost" to make it work...

    Reason I thought of the sun was first--I've got a big magnifying glass next to me--but second, because of what the guy'd said about the oxidation-factor of the flame (the reason for the extension-bit).

    Sunlight wouldn't do that--unless WAY too hot--right?

    Anyways--maybe that's just a nutty idea, but I think I may just get some good dark sunglasses, and see if I can give Sun Soldering a shot here--next sunny day I get.

    I've not yet tried to get in touch with the Makerspace folks--but that's going to happen at some point.

    Thanks for all your generous tips!
    Last edited by tklop; 08-16-2019, 10:55 AM.

  • JPLabs
    Here's a neat tip for soldering without an iron. I've used a torch to assist soldering before, but never with this extra end for heat transfer. So simple, and obvious, but hadn't occurred to me.

    I'd still try the hackerspace, but this could work in the field for emergency repairs. Or for a bike build, frankly. With a normal small iron, a little more heat into the wire is a big help, and makes 10 gage feasible.

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  • JPLabs
    commented on 's reply
    Great! I'm glad it's new info for you. I was aware of the global database, and since you had posted your location, it was an easy favor, and fun to find a use for that information. I hope it's a useful connection for you. Please let us know if you make it over there.

  • tklop
    Today I rode around, testing various PAS settings for the front-motors.

    It might sound like blasphemy (since we all tend to love lots of power) but I've found that it works best on low PAS settings.

    The motors are much quieter, and their inputs less severe at PAS 1 and 2.

    For just cruising down the asphalt, that "caster-effect" of them pulling together, and the extra stability--are perfectly effective at PAS 1 and 2.

    I chose to set the throttle to be dependent upon the PAS setting, just to see how that works. The throttle remains active, and doesn't seem much diminished. If I want to--I can still get my banshee-screaming acceleration on demand. And either way, the top 3 PAS settings are just a few up-arrow-clicks away--so yeah... Versatility is good--options are good. Tameness is also good, when it comes to efficient operation (and safety too--in fairness).

    The front-motors' top speed is still about 35 kilometers per hour (according to GPS measurement).

    Either system--front or rear--operating at full-throttle (when the rear-frame is in 2nd gear), just begins to "unload" the other--at top-speed. This offers good stability at top-speed, but also reduces the stresses to the drive components (especially on the rear). Full-speed might only be about 35 kilometers per hour--but that's a lot of wind I'm pushing. It takes about 20A to 25A continuous draw to maintain that speed.

    If I decided I really didn't want to waste energy pushing wind, I would be best off keeping my plywood-crate-on-wheels at or below 25 kilometers per hour. Wind-resistance begins to be a factor above that speed--and my range already begins to take a hit at about 30 kilometers per hour. 35 kilometers per hour further diminishes my range, but even then, my range remains above that "two-hours at max-assist" standard.

    Now--"max-assist" maybe technically isn't accurate. I can indeed reach much higher speeds. The front-motors won't really be involved anymore--it'll be all up to the Cyclone. That's not an issue for the Cyclone; even in my 48V system the 4KW Cyclone can still produce four horsepower (at the risk of breaking things). But the amperage-consumption just skyrockets. It is nice to know that I've got such speed available--but I don't anticipate the need to escape any lahars here in The Netherlands. So, I don't consider these "emergency mode" type settings for my range-standard. Plus, as I've mentioned before, the machines ceases to be any fun to drive above about 35 kilometers per hour--it just becomes too intense of an experience (riding on adrenaline and reflexes is mentally exhausting). So, I consider 35 kilometers per hour as my top-speed--even if technically it isn't.

    That said, I still want more battery! :-)

    The Cyclone is more energy-efficient than the front-motors are, and that shows in the amperage-readouts on the BMS.

    "Top Speed" with front-motors only, is between 22A and 25A; with the Cyclone 4KW only, it's between 19A and 23A; with both systems working together (at the resultant slightly-higher top-speed), the reading is between 22A and 24A. So clearly, three-wheel drive is less efficient than rear-wheel drive. But in spite of a slight hit to my range, I feel the stability, and the reduced drivetrain wear still make it worthwhile.

    More to follow--surely!
    Last edited by tklop; 08-13-2019, 08:37 PM.

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  • tklop
    commented on 's reply
    Thanks a million for that link! I'd never heard of that--and gosh... It sounds exactly perfect!

    You're a lifesafer, JPLabs! :-)