Saturday, January 31, 2009

2 countem 2

I had two engine fly apart today. This must mean the sun is going to shine on me tomorrow lol. It's all about the learning.

Friday, January 30, 2009

so far, so good

The bike I tossed together as held together but I haven't done any serious riding on it. I haven't even run the complete test track. I am fine tuning it now. It appears that it is going to hold together. I really am only concerned about the drive wheel. It that stay on the rest can be repaired or replaced easily. If the drive wheels goes so does any plans I have to keep it.

If the drive wheel goes then the bike is doomed and I am going for a kit motor. I tossed this bike together in desperation so I'm not expecting a lot from it. Still it seems to be okay for now

Thursday, January 29, 2009

ready to test

I tossed together an easy ebike yesterday. I just mounted a 300 watt motor to the frame of an old customized mountain bike. The rear wheel has been swapped for a shorter 20" coaster wheel. I welded a bike type 2inch sprocket to the #25 sprocket that was on the motor.

A couple of simple 11/2 u bolts connected the motor to the frame. I ran a bike chain to the smallest of the three chain rings. I have another chain from the large sprocket to the rear of the bike. Now if this was a mountain bike I would have six gears which is what the WallyMart Izip bike has. I think this is pretty much that bike minus a controller. I have one and if I need it i can put it on.

The one thing this bike does not have is a freewheel to allow the pedals to remain stable while the motor turns.

If I can find some way to do that easily this should be a pretty good bike. I'm pretty sure there isn't a way to do it. I think I might be able to go with axle pegs on the frame to raise my feet from the pedals We shall see what we shall see.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

one more time

I have one more design to try then I have no idea what I will do. I am considering biting the bullet and buy an ebike kit. I have enjoyed playing with the ebike but it's about time to admit, I don't have the skill to make them work. I had a couple of workable designs but I just cant seem to execute them properly.

I want to try playing around with one more design before I call it quits completely. One of the reasons I may buy a kit is that my wife doesn't want me driving a car anymore. I can understand why my mind is not as sharp as it could be. I just hate the idea of losing my independence. She is talking about taking early retirement and I know she will keep me from driving when she is home to see to it. I want to do something before that happens.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

the work speaks for itself

time off

I'm going to try to go cold turkey for a few days, I'm going around in circles on the bike thing. I need to just back up and let it go for a few days.

When I come back, I will start over with a new approach toward the build, and hopefully hands that aren't all cut up. I need a to heal a few days in both mind and body.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

damn bushings..

I cant for the life of me seem to get the drive sxle into a bushing or into a bearing and make it stay. I probably should just build with wood and be done with it. Still there is something interesting about the welding of metal.

Now it is matter of attaching a brash bushing to a steel plate that has me stumped. guess i will give google a shot.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I did it again

Yes I took the motor off the "good" bike. I am combining the frame from the 500 watt trasher, and the motor from the 300watt good motor. I also decided to beef up the axle. I raised it from 5/16 to 3/8 That should give it enough guts not to bend so easily.

I am also going to beef up the welds tomorrow before I put it all back together. maybe this is the design that will get to be standard. I might like a more gutsy motor I'm not sure just yet.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I did it and more

Okay one bike is pretty light weight and has a 300 watt motor with a 1 1/2 smooth drive wheel. The rpms at the wheel are under 2500. If it was a direct drive it would be that. With the chain to drive axle it is something less.

The bike ran and pulled as it should be it is slow. It has pretty good torque but vyer very little built up speed to bleed off. Not real good.

I also tested the heavy suspension bike. It has a about a four inch sprocket on the motor the a 1 1/2 sprocket on the drive axle. The drive wheel is also smooth. The speed was better and there was speed to bleed off. Torgue was less than I would have liked. It should have about twice the rpms because od the sprocket difference.

Tomorrow I am going to test a couple of different things. I managed to salvage the 500 watt motor I have. I put a four inch sprocket on the motor a one inch drive sprocket and I added a friction surface to the drive wheel. I am going to try it first on the suspension bike. Only because I also have a friction surface on the 300 watt bike. I want to see how the torque compares on the two motors.

If it all tests out as I expect it to, I will probably move the 500 watt faster motor to the more light wight bike. It just remains to be seen what I will do. It looks as though I will haeve a working model soon.

heating up

Today it's supposed to be up to 50 degrees. I should get a chance to test ride both my bikes today. I plan to do just that. I have a lot of hope for the suspension bike with the bike chain drive. It might fall apart since I welded the drive but I hope not. If that turns out to be the way to go, I can make better motor/drives using the basic plans.

Right now it's going to be about gear ratios. the one to one with only a slightly larger drive wheel seems to turn the bike wheel much slower but does it have more torque for the hills which is really the test of this kind of bike.

The larger sprocket on the motor and smaller one on the drive axle has about a one to one with the drive wheel itself so it turns the bikes wheel much faster but will it have any pull on the hills. That is an issue.

All things being the same I would prefer to work with the #25 chain. The motor is balanced for it so the vibration should be less.

There is a 300 watt motor on ebay for twenty bucks including shipping. It would do the trick for the suspension bike if this one shakes apart. I just checked and they took the free shipping off. the motor is now 35 bucks hardly a deal at all.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

once in a while

You just got to get lucky once in a while. That old wheel has to turn your way now and then. Today I got the chain tightened on the suspension bike with much less effort than I imagined. I took the other drive apart and put in a new axle and wheel system. Best of all on it I can take it out without cutting it this time. Of course it might just fall out on it's own to.

So I did a little more to the frame on the motor. I am still trying to get the welding right. I think my welder is too small for those heavy duty angle irons. I think that is the problem. It's probably that I can't get penetration on those. But I can use a smaller angle. I know that now. I didn't know it on the first one.

I think the smaller wheel is going to be a problem on the #25 chain bike. It only puts 2500 rpms at the drive wheel and the wheel is smaller than the skateboard that was on it. The skateboard was doing okay but just barely. The weather should be a little better tomorrow and I'll get a chance to test them both.

If I get sandpaper on the drives it will double their performance so if the #25 is close I can probably make do with it. I am looking forward to testing the suspension bike as well. It had about 5000 rpms on the drive wheel I think. It does have the same size drive wheel so it the difference should be interesting to see.

couple of small issues

I have a couple of issues with the two bikes drives that I have build. On the purple bike the issue is that the skateboard wheel is not centered. Later today I'm going to see if I can get the motor off to work on it where it is a bit warmer. It now I will take a dremel and cut the drive shaft apart and remake it on the bike.

On the suspension, I need to attach a friction surface. In this case some sandpaper. I also need to do something about tension for the chain. It is a bit loose and I don't really have a way to tighten it. One option that I am weighing is a wooden bar to run the chain over. It would wear down instead of the chain itself. I'll be looking at it off and on all day to decide.

I took another look at the motor and I can just tilt it up on the frame easily. I think that had been my intention all along and I just forgot about it. That seems to happen to me a lot.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

testing the pp&e

The first real working version of the pp&e bike is now undergoing tests. Being one with the bike is not only reacting to trouble but anticipating it as well. I don't do that well.

For instance: I made sure the road was nice and clear when I pedaled the PP&E onto the road. I got it to the point of kicking in the motor when I heard a thud and the crank began to free wheel. Yes the chain came off and yes I have coaster brakes. However I was going pretty slow, and there is some drag on the front wheel from the motor when I drop it, so I did. I got the bike onto the sidewalk without incident.

On this bike I am using a combination of a mountain bike three ring crank set and a coaster brake rear wheel. I have a coaster brake chain so there is some play in the front chain ring. I also use the chain on the largest ring which is not perfectly lined up with the rear sprocket. So losing the chain might force me to move it to the interior ring. That way the large ring would keep it in line better. I use the large one because it allows me to pedal sooner when the bike starts slowing down on the hills. I might have to switch rings and just let it slow more.

The plastic keeper ring broke off, I suppose from the chain flying around. I removed it and like any other casualty in a battle (me vs bike) I left it lay where it fell. So much for a green bike mentality..

I put the chain back on a couple of time then tightened it again. I'm hoping for the best but expecting to adjust the chain. Then I get to feel the zen of breaking the chain, since it will be one link too long.

Still the bike, after some motor position adjustments, did well. It picks up well and climbs the hills pretty darn good. I am a little surprised since the bike loses some power through the chain to drive wheel arrangement. It will need more adjusting Im sure. Most likely the skateboard wheel will have to go. I just can't get it centered. It wobbles still. The caster wheels can be center drilled to fit the axle then wedged with nuts and washers.

But there is nothing like riding a bike to help with my balance issues. It's also just good therapy in general. It's hard to hate the world when you are on a bike that you pretty much rebuilt to your own liking. Right or wrong it belongs to you a lot more than one you would buy from Wallymart and just just ride off into the sunset.

Even the breakdowns are therapeutic. Very few of the real problems in my life can I fix, but I can fix my bike. Well some of the time.

Monday, January 19, 2009

on the bike forum

Someone suggested that I shouldn't say that controllers on home build motor bikes are a waste of money. Or something like that. He quoted some nice theory for me which I don't really agree with.

See I tested controller vs on off switch. I ran the same course with the same motor and the same batteries. Once with and once without the controller. Guess what? there was no difference in battery consumption at all.

One of the regulars there suggested that a modern controller might give me more battery range last year. So I ran a very controlled test and it made no difference. The throttle was a nice feature but not at all necessary to operate the bike. I didn't even bother to hook it up this time and I have two controllers. I had smoke coming out of one once so I didn't even bother with it again. I also have a new one from a parted out scooter. I didn't bother to hook it up either just not worth the effort.

So unless you have real world tested it, and can show me the results, I'm going to keep telling builders of simple ebikes a simple on off switch is all you really need.

a good thing?

Maybe losing that bid was a good thing. I managed to get the 350 with the big bike sprocket to mount up. I have it at about four to one off the motor which should give me about 5 to 7k rpms on the drive wheel. I think I will give it a try tomorrow maybe. That is if the weather permits.

I lost it sooooo

I got an email saying I was outbid on a electric motor at ebay. So I'm going back to one of my old motors and trying to salvage it again. If I can make it run it will be a real intersting drive. It will have a very large sprocket on the motor and a smaller one on the drive axle. If it doesn't shake apart, which is likely, it will have more rpms on the tire. It should run faster but pull less. That would be okay I think.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

hiding out

I am hiding out today. Mama is highly perturbed at me. I don't understand why just because there was a minor accident yesterday.

First of all it was cold yesterday here. I mean bone chilling, mind numbing cold. Since I couldn't ride I decided to start work on a frame to hold a motor onto the full suspension bike which I tend to ignore. I got some angle brackets and put the welder to them. Now by the time I got everything welding my hands were aching so I ran into the house before frostbite set in. I weld just outside the back door on a brick walk.

What I didn't know was that a splatter had ignited a leaf. The leaf ignited more leaves. Unbeknown to me, I had a fire going against my back door. The neighbor just happened to be going by the back and stamped it out. I didn't hear her knocking to tell me about it, so she went home.

The fire was smoldering inside the wall by the time my wife smelled it. I told her not to worry she probably just smelled where I had been welding. That was before I checked to find smoke coming out of my door frame. I pried the frame loose and tossed a couple of gallons of water on it and all ended well.

Except that my wife now is sure I need to be under constant observation. I think a true retirement home was mentioned a few times. It's not like I did it and went to bed. We would have found it when the house FINALLY got warm.

Besides a fire loss is the only way I would ever get the value of the house. It sure as heck won't sell for what it is worth now.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

27 degrees at 7:45

So I won't be riding for a while but I am going to ride when it hits min of 35 degrees and the shun is shining. The sun is shining and the temp is supposed to hit 45 so sometime around noon I should be able to do a mile on my test track. That will tell the tale of if the motor works. After that it is test the battery life to see how far I can push the bike.

I mounted it with lifts so that I can ride it as a coaster brake style bike on the real flats and downhill without the extra drag of the motor. The motor itself is 300 watts so It is pretty much in the middle of the power band. The drive has a good soft wheel so it should have some good grip. All in all I have high hopes for this one.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

went together well

the motor/drive went together well then went on the bike with almost no problems at all. the reason is lots of previous failures to draw on. I haven't done the tack welding on the bike and motor mount yet but everything else seems to be working just fine.

I tested the engine and drive on the bike and it works just fine. It feels like this is going to be a sensational build. I hope so because it is a clean simple design. It should be easy for me to reproduce. The basic advantage of this designed is that it is simple and compact. It can be a front or rear mount. It will go on any bike with a min of adaptation. The weight is over the wheel for better balance. It will be quiet and carbon neutral. For those who think that way.

its almost ready

The motor drive wheel combo needs to sit over night then its ready for a test ride. The bench test was successful.


I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep. I think I have the new engine/drive combination on my mind. The used motor arrived last night and I set it up but I forgot to test it. If that damn thing doesn't work after all this trouble, I am going to be pissed. I never had a scooter motor that didn't work. The problem with them is that there is almost no way to mount anything oddball on them. If this chain drive to friction drive works it will solve most of my ebike problems. The design is so simple that I can produce them at will.

If this doesn't work then I will go for the crapped out small scooter idea. I would actually prefer this to work. This drive would be simple and easy to rig. I am going to bench test it then secure the parts on the friction drive so that they don't move about.

Monday, January 12, 2009

a new day

and hopefully a new motor. I have one on the way that I hope will work with the new drive I built. But have no fear if this doesn't work I have a plan. The plan is to find a cheap used stand on e scooter. I will then use the complete rear of the scooter as the drive for a bike. just cut it all off and force fit it to the top of the front wheel of a bike. That should be the easiest of the possible fixes.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Im sick about it

I am trashing three electric motors one of which ran last week. I tried to improve it and ruined the treads that hold the sprocket on. Without a way to attach a sprocket or drive it is worthless. Worse than that it takes up my time trying to make them work. So out they go.

I have a motor on the way and a drive system ready to put it on. I hope it works. I also have an idea. I think I should have done it back just before I ventured into the world of gasoline engines. I had planned to try it, then of course I forgot about it.

I am going to find a ezip100 or similar scooter. Im going to use the whole rear of the scooter as a friction drive. I have to find one is the only thing.

Friday, January 9, 2009

let me get my bearings

he skateboard bearings arrived and they look like they will work fine if the axle is strong enough.


I might have figured out a way to save that motor that I tried to IMPROVE... We shall see.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I did it again

I tried to improve a bike that was doing just fine. In the process I might have screwed it up beyond help. Such is life I suppose.

Keep improving it till it never works again.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

it took a bit

I screwed up the first try and wasted some metal, which I will no doubt reuse somewhere, but I finally got a reasonably scare frame built. I ended up doing it with two L brackets. I had to drill holes so they would line up before I welded it together but it did really well or so it seems.

I'm waiting for the bearings to arrive. At that point I will try to build the drive wheel. I'm not sure how that will go either. Still it should be interesting as all this is a leaning experience for me..

still waiting

Yes Im still waiting for parts but I am test fitting things to see what I need to do when they arrive. I have decided that I need to keep the drive axle inside the main engine frame. It needs to be there for the stability factor.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

dude in waiting

Im waiting for parts to arrive and for the rain to stop. The rain because I weld outdoors and need to weld this next project together.

I also would like to ride my bike.

Monday, January 5, 2009

back on the case

I gave up on bikes yesterday but today I;m back working on the one that I have. I have either bought or am trying to buy all the essentials for the bike chain drive. In the meantime, I am going to keep experimenting. I think that I can do no harm experiments before the good stuff arrives.

If it dries off I'm going to try to get a frame built and use some of my old junk to test it.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

one of those days

I have a lot of days when nothing works right. This is just one more. chains flying around the room. bikes coming apart, yes it is one of those days.

yesterday when I was (a day) younger

I tried to weld a direct drive to an e motor that was not set up for it. Not a good idea trust me. I di9dn't even make it out of he driveway. Then I tried to weld a bike sprocket to it. the jury is out of that one but I have no faith in it at all.

If it last long enough to test as a chain drive friction device, I will be thrilled. I have a plan for a 100 watt chain drive friction device. I have some bearings on the way and I have played with enough mounts to have a pretty good idea how it is going to be mounted. After the tests with this three hundred watt engine, If it doesn't shake apart, while I wait I will be ready to build the engine.

I also have to find a small 24 volt 100 watt 2700 rpm motor.

Friday, January 2, 2009

test results

I managed to get a short test of the 125watt bike. The road was damp so it would have done a little better on a dry road. The drive wheel fell off after half a mile. I knew the mounting of the wheel wasn't good. I should have done it again but too late now.

The speed was as good for this bike as for the 500 watt. Speed on the flat or down hill is a function of the drive wheel diameter and the rpms of the engine. This bike did fine.

The speed dropped off on the hill climb to the point of stalling but only because I didn't pedal at all. Even with a small mount of pedaling it would have done fine.

So here are the things that you have to balance.

125 watt..... good speed on the flat....moderate pedaling on hills. low energy consumption.

500 watt..... same speed on the flats.... slight to no pedaling on the hills... much higher energy consumption.

I don't see a lot of difference with either bike. tomorrow with the better weather, I am going to ride the bike trail with the 500 since I had to trash the 125 engine.

I think

I think it's done therefore it's done... I think...

I managed to short the battery pack out while moving it. A lesson I learned real well. It looked like a welding spark and of course it burned up the plug. I will have to check now to see if it did any real damage to the batteries.

I'll make some pictures tomorrow.

battery/luggage rack

I almost have the luggage/battery rack on the suspension bike/ I had to make a flexible mount so the rear suspension wouldn't do any damage to the batteries. At least I was afraid that it would. Ill make some pictures later.

I came across a picture made last year of me and my best girl. I stuck it on just for the fun of it.

really cold new years day

It was so cold that I had my fingers go numb and lots of pain. I want to test the bikes today. Of course I probably want get a chance to do it. They say their is going to be rain today. Maybe I'll get a chance between the showers. I have some very old batteries on the 125 hike but it should be enough to test it.

Here is my problem. I don't want to buy a second set of batteries and I really don;t know if I need two bikes. But I am going to build at least a compatable battery rack on the 125 bike so that I can easily switch the batteries from one bike to another.

That is today's project, If I can't ride. or even if I can. Riding in this weather won't take long. A couple of miles on my test track will tell me all I need to know.

I already have a good idea what the 500 watt bike will do. It's the 125 I need to get a complete handle on.