Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tidalforce motor joins the ever-growing family

I was communicating with a young lady who lived in Minnesota when she joined the Tidalforce Google Group and was looking to sell her750 watt Tidalforce iO Cruiser. She had used it for many years and as it happens, the front hub was dead. She was looking to sell the bike. I was interested, however, shipping would have been exorbitant and I already had a iO Cruiser so wasn't too enthusiastic. After many weeks, she announced that she had put it on the local Craigslist and had sold it to a local buyer.

I soon got an email from the new owner who had researched fixing the front hub and was looking for help. I pointed him to the page on my blog about replacing the front hub battery with another battery.

He soon was on his way in the middle of a Minnesota winter enjoying his TF bike with a jury-rigged 3 lead acid battery setup.

Many months go by and I get another email from the new owner saying that he had purchased a battery on eBay but it didn't work with the TF. I didn't inquire why because the owner was now interested in selling the motor/controller/throttle. I made a silly offer and the seller accepted. I asked him to ship me the nipples and spokes from both wheels if they weren't needed anymore so now I also have 72 sets of those!

Here are the pics.

The 750 watt motor with console, throttle and brake levers all attached. The 72 spokes are on the carpet!

There's some rust on the torque arm but it should come off fairly easily.

The console has a very neat key switch and has a very positive and short action. You can see one of my Bosch Fat Packs used to test the system. You can see the Turbo LED lit in the photo.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Another Tidalforce S-750X joins the family

I saw a Tidalforce S-750X show up on my local Craigslist this past week and I hesitated for a bit in going to see it... What am I thinking! I called and arranged a time to meet the seller! :-)

The bike has a flat front tire but is original in every way and comes with two cream colored chargers. The seller says that he used to live on the same street as an employee of Wavecrest Labs and saw him riding his bikes in the neighborhood. He eventually broke down and bought one. His new office is only one mile from his home so he doesn't feel the need to ride his bike to work since it's not much of a workout when you're on a Tidalforce..

Here are the CL photos which are kind of blurry but the bike is in excellent shape and yes, it indeed does have the X motor. The battery does not provide the full 9A, perhaps only 2 or 3A at this point, but the price was too good to pass up. Now I just need to sell something to pay for it! :-)

More later,

Monday, July 16, 2012

Most parts have arrived...

I have most, if not all of the parts necessary to start the pack build now. I received the tin sheets that I'll use to make connectors so that I can connect the CellLog 8M battery monitors to the pack. I've also received more JST-XH 7S and 8S leads so that I can wire them in to the system.

More later,

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

How a Bicycle is Made - Raleigh, 1945

I saw this video posted on E:S and had to repost it here. It shows how a bicycle was made in Great Britain in 1945. I thoroughly enjoyed finding out how it was done! Consider this an infomercial from before WWII.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Updated A123 Pack Build Diagram

I've updated the A123 20Ah Pack Build Diagram by adding the leads for the CellLog 8M battery monitors.

I will actually double up the JST-XH connectors to each cell so that I can put the balance leads to the Hyperion 1420i charger in parallel with the CellLogs so that I can monitor each cell's state as it charges.

I bought some nickel sheets from the web and will use those as lead mounting points that I'll drill a hole through and mount them as I do the tabs of the A123 batteries. Keep it simple and interchangeable and repairable is my motto!

More later,

Monday, July 9, 2012

Amazing unloaded speed of the Tidalforce X motor

After my video of discovering how fast my Tidalforce X motor was, I have kind of wondered how fast that translated to in terms of real-world ground speed. Doing a little calculation thanks to the Endless-Sphere.com website, I discovered that the unloaded speed of the X motor with a 26" tire mounted is 64.2mph! Check out the link below!


Here's the calculation:

830 / 12.93 = 64.1918 mph

Of course, the motor is current limited so it won't actually run that high with a rider/bike/batteries, etc. in the real world, but it's a tempting thought!

Also, the higher the voltage, the higher the speed even if it's current limited so the objective is to keep feeding this lovely motor a steady diet of unsagging voltage. Now I still need to figure out what the maximum high voltage cutoff of the motor is. (HVC)

I'm looking at buying/renting a variable power supply so that I can see where Tidalforce set their HVC on the controller built into the rear motor. Once I find out, I just need to set the maximum voltage that is fed to the Tidalforce motor a volt or two lower so that there's a bit of margin. I don't want to have the regen of the motor build up the voltage in the battery higher than what the maximum the motor can take.

Wouldn't it be funny to be flying down a hill shortly after coming off the charger only to discover that the regen has raised the voltage of the pack higher than the motor's HVC so that your bike stops working! :)

More later,

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Hyperion EOS 1420i Net3 Charger Pix

I opened up the Hyperion EOS 1420i Net3 charger this evening so here are the pictures. All-in-all, it's a very well made charger without being overly bulky or heavy. It also comes with just about everything you need without nickel and diming you for the extras that other chargers do.

The Hyperion box

Hyperion box opened up

The cardboard removed

The Hyperion removed from the box!
The charger 

The front panel with the JST-XH connectors and NET connector.

The control panel

The back panel

The left side showing the USB port and the temp sensor port.

The large number of connectors/adapters in the box

The LBA harness

The 2s-7s multi-adapter board

The balancer connector for HP and PQ

The 4mm power connectors (AKA banana plugs)

The USB cable

Friday, July 6, 2012

Hyperion 1420i NET3 charger arrived

I got the Hyperion charger yesterday along with 4 JST-XH 7S connectors so I'm ready to assemble the whole pack. The only hiccup is the way to attach the JST-XH balance leads to the pack. I could use simple crimp on lugs but that seems inelegant. I may use some tin battery tabs soldered to the leads and then connected to the poles of each cell. Or I may do something else. First thing is to cut the UHMW strips to the right size and drill the holes in the battery tabs. This is tricky since the A123 cells are charged, I will have to be extra careful when drilling so as to not short anything out. I will probably create a jig for this step and use the brad point bits I bought at Harbor Freight to do the job. I have a drill press, but since it's powered by AC and probably grounded very well, I can't use it to drill the holes. I will probably use the cordless drill since it's not grounded... I may actually resort to a hand drill (remember those) to do the job!

More later.

Monday, July 2, 2012

A123 20Ah Battery Pack Assembly Method?

I've been trying to come up with a very straightforward way to put my A123 20Ah prismatic pack together that was both very simple and very effective. I've watched the E:S thread here:


Jason786 has a very elegant solution, however, it requires either a lot of custom work or he has some equipment which allows him to do this sort of complex molding.

I wanted something more straightforward. Here's my idea.

Basically, I place the A123 cells in alternating layers so that the + and - terminals are next to each other and then bolt them together with the appropriate non-conducting bolts. This would make it fairly straightforward to reconfigure the packs for whatever purpose I need and also allow for easy interchanging of cells.

More later,