Thursday, September 30, 2010

I am a terrible welder... I put the skateboard wheel on the bike and it lasted about one block before it twisted the weld I made right off the motor. That was okay because I learned what I wanted to know by then. The skateboard wheel attached directly to the motor is a winner. In my case the weld was so bad and the attachment so out of balance that it just shook itself apart, but it will drive the bike just fine. Only if I get the thing put on correctly.
It if rains two inches in a week nothing much happens around my house. But when it rains one day enough to saturate the ground, and the it rains two inches the next day, my basement is going to flood. The basement has good natural drainage except that there were no natural gas water heaters when the house was built in 1028. When they installed the water heater in the fifties or so, the installed it too close to the ground. when I replaced it three or four years ago I had it done the same to save a few bucks. So now when it rains as I stated above, I have to stay awake to pump the water out.

There are two things i can do to eliminate the problem. I can dig a sump and put in an automatic pump. Or i can raise the water heater, The water heater is about three or four years old and won't need replacing for a few more years. The sump I can install anytime. I'm going to have to give it some thought.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

it is raining again today. I have no idea what I will do today. Probably something with batteries.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I am waiting for the wheels so I began some power use tests on the drive I have. It seems that going with the lower voltage actually helps with consumption. It causes me to pedal a lot more since the speed is lower. That helps add a lot of human power to the mix.

I think i can get four of five miles on a 12ah battery pack. Two of those would give me about 8 to 10 miles. That should be enough for someone to get to work if they have any interest in these bikes. I can't see anyone going more than 10 miles on a bike.

It would also be enough to take someone to the store or the doctor's office. Again only if they are even considering a bike. The person who is not an urban dweller wouldn't even consider a bike. This is really for urban transportation.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

In spite of promising my wife I would not do any more bike building, I have ordered some skateboard wheels. Small two inch ones actually. I plan to make a super inexpensive drive to see if building this design for sale is feasible. The problem is that the people the bike was intended for can't really afford much. It will be a challenge for sure to build something that they can afford.
The energy is returning slowly. I did get the drive completed yesterday. It appears to work satisfactorily. With the small 6" wheel, it will fit one most any bike I think. By keeping it down to 24v the need for complicated electronics is pretty much eliminated. Even so it is still pretty darn effective.

I have lots of tests to run on the bike for a while but this one is much simpler than my big bike. I have high hopes for it, which is usually the kiss of death for a device I build. We shall see.

Friday, September 24, 2010

I'm still sapped from the two days of non stop work on the bike. I rode it around the park to be sure it would get me home after a ride through the park. I worked just fine with the exception that it is much slower with the smaller wheel and lower voltage. I did expect that, so I'm fine with it.

The good side is that it is very safe this way. The smoother plastic wheel spins when I apply voltage at a stop. The bike only starts to move after I pedal it a couple of times. If the power should stick on, the bike would do nothing but spin. I could get it stopped. The only problem would be if the brake failed at the same time my switch melted shut. Then I could pull the wiring I left accessible. All in all its a pretty safe bike.

I plan to ride it more than the big bike, but it will never replace it for a trip to the lake or the store. This bike is purely for exercise. The big bike is more like a tiny lil motorcycle than a bicycle. The one I just finished is more like a bicycle on steroids. It still performs like a bicycle but has a little more power.
While repairing my bike, I put a smaller drive wheel on my experimental bike engine the last couple of days. It is a true six inch wheel. The other wheel was eight inches. My speed is down considerably but that is okay. I just want to be sure it will pull the big hill on the way home from the park. My wife has gone to the grocery store, so when she comes home and I get the groceries into the house, I am going to take a ride down to the part. I will either push the bike home or it will be good to go. I still haven't decided what to do about the new bike thing.

The ride this morning might help me make up my mind. But I could also use a rest from the building for a while. At least from the heavy part of it. Well I'm off to feed the pack and get my big girl out to the kennel.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I wanted a smaller drive wheel so that I could put the drive on a larger geared bike. By doing that I hope to make it easier to mount and dismount. I have managed to adapt a 6" lawnmower wheel to the drive. It should prove interesting.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Im still trying to get the bike back together. I will have to give you a play by play one day. For now just believe it is a nightmare... fun but still a nightmare.

I did ride the big bike to the hardware store today for some nuts and an all thread rod.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I pulled the motor and drive off my experimental bike today. I got in a new rear wheel and sprocket but the darn thing had the wrong sprocket. It had a 8mm I use 25sprockets/ So of course I ruined it trying to make something work. I didn't bother replacing the drive I had on the bike. I am going to just fix it the way I want as I go along. I have another bike I can ride If I want to go somewhere.

Tomorrow I'm going to piece together some kind of drive set up or order one from ebay. Then I have to find a new/used bike with gears so I am going to look for one of those tomorrow as well.

The no controller set up is pretty good on power consumption. I went about four miles today on half a volt of power. It will probably go 10 to 12 miles just the way it is. The power pack is a bunch of year old batteries.

I think I will ride the bike up to the hardware store tomorrow. I am going to pick up a foot long all thread rod. I'm going to try it as the axle for the new drive I am building.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I added a larger chain ring to the crank set. It will help me catch the freewheel sooner. It will help keep the speed up going up hill and take some stress off the motor.

The 12v switch works very well. Between the 12v setting, the 18v setting and the 24v setting I pretty much have a throttle without buying a throttle or controller. The way to do it is simple run you end ground on the battery pack to the motor's ground (black lead). then run one wire from the ground (black lead) on the front battery to the hot (red) wire on the battery you previously grounded to the motor.

Now run a wire (through a switch) to the unused positive (red) terminal on the front battery. You should use a fuse or breaker on this circuit. This will be your 24v circuit and it is the fast one. Now run a wire through another switch to the positive or red terminal on the second battery in line. This will be your 12v circuit best used for starting the bike from a stop.

12v on/ 24v off = 12v slow speed
12v off/ 24v on = 24v fast speed
12v on /24v on = 18v or medium speed.

12v off /24v off = stop....\

With the new chain ring, I might not need to get a geared bike for the 24v motor. Then again I might.
I rode the 24v no controller bike this morning. I took it to the bike trail. When starting out there is a lot of slip. The motor needs to be able to slip so that it wont bog down. I tried something a little different this time.

When I got back I returned to the drawing board to wire up a 12v switch as well as the 24v switch. I can start the bike off at 12v then go to 24 after it is moving a bit. I'm not sure if there is a power loss or not. I will have to keep an eye on it.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I rode the bike path and man that thing is too rough for a trailer. I think I will just either walk it or walk at the mall it's too much. I might ride the 24v around the hood. There is a lot of exercise in this neighborhood because of the hills.
After my test ride on the 24v bike I decided that I don't need more power. It did quite well at 24v. I could use a geared bike to give a little more help to the motor sooner. It has to get pretty slow before I can do any pedaling at all. It would be better with a higher gear ratio.

I decided to rewire one of the nimh battery packs to 12v 36ah so that I could use it on the bike trail. I always used the motor on the trail at a small fraction of it's capability just to help pull the trailer along. I am going to charge the batteries a while longer then give it a try on the trail. I will probably just set the 12v up at home then switch to 24v for the ride back. It is all downhill to the path, then up hill coming home. It is the getting back part that is the killer for me.
another thing about working without a controller is that you can vary the voltage of the power pack. I am going to test the 24v bike on a ride to the mall this morning. there is a monster hill on the way home. If the bike won't climb it, I will add six volts to the pack. I can use the nimh batteries to make one 6v pack. They don't seem to be good for much so maybe I can do that at least with them. Worse that can happen is I destroy the ones I use. I don't mind that so much.

I am using the packs I have built in less high drain applications if I can. I have one set up to use with my tiny compressor. I think I will build a light with one this winter. I have some batteries I use with strobe lights on my cameras. I can build power packs for them as well.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I rode the very small single speed coaster brake bike around the park this evening. It came back in very good shape and was easy to move along with the pedals. I am going to be actively searching for a multi speed bike. Preferably a steel frame mountain bike.

The simple no controller construction makes this drive system ideal for the DIY builder. At one point it went a little too fast and it is only 24v. It was scary at 36v.
The trailer humiliated me but it didn't beat me in the end. I took it back to old school to square it. I just used a board that I knew was square for the bed. I bolted one side axle hanger to it. The rest I just custom fitted. You have to support both sides of the wheel when you use bike wheels for the trailer.

I spent under $3 for the wheels. All the metal I used was just laying around the shop. Even with everything from stock the trailer might have cost me 25 bucks to build.

I rode the bike with 24v no controller and it did just fine on the test track. There are a few more things that will get changed before I give it a real world try. Right now I have it on a custom bike with a coaster brake rear wheel. It works just fine for the 36v full power model, but for this assist model, I need a mountain bike with at least six speeds.

I'm going to keep an eye out at the thrift store and on craigs list. I have a new drive wheel coming in from some guy off ebay. It is supposed to be the smaller one. I think that will work best for a full sized bike.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I tested the bike with no controller and 24v and a switch. It is very old school but it still works as i remember it. I can make this work just fine with the rhino. It would not work with much else. The rhino's drive wheel slips when the wheel can't move the load. ie my fat ass. So it doesn't draw all the current and start a fire as it would do if it was just sitting there trying to turn.

I have the 36v rhino camo bike I am riding to the lake when I want to go there. Sounds like a longer ride than it is. Its a little over three miles each way, But it will use up the batteries because there are wicked hills all the way out and back.

So todays project was to build a strong but light weight trailer to do that I needed bike wheels. I bought a 16" bike from the thrift shop for $2.68... yes that's right. I worked all day to get the trailer set up but it Isn't square still. I am going back to old school and use a board as the bed to square it. I just have to get to the hardware store for a board. Something light weight. Probably a thin plywood sheet.

Or maybe I'll continue trying to square the metal frame.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

yesterday during my morning ride I lost the trailer. It also tore out the wiring. I am pretty sure the controller was damaged. I couldn't make it work. There doesn't seem to be the connection between the power pack and the controller. No click when I hooked it up. I am trying to run it now with the power pack wired to a switch and then straight to the motor. I would love to be able to run the bike that way, I hate controllers.

I'll let you know if I find a configuration that works.

Monday, September 13, 2010

I rode the larger desert camo bike to the late today. It has a power pack of 6 12v 12ah batteries set up as 36v 24ah.. The bike ran the up and down hill part with no problem but it did show a pretty good size drop in current. I'm wondering if a larger battery combo is called for. Since it worked alright I won't be changing anything right now.
What i did this morning before heading for the trail was to reinvent the small light weight trailer I build for the small bike I had earlier. It is made from 12 inch bike tires and light weight plywood and light weight steel L shaped braces. I cut down the number of batteries i use and off I went. It worked much better. I was quite happy with the way it worked actually. I'm not sure just what I will do with the nimh batteries but I will work out something I'm sure.
I have decided to build the ultimate rhino drive bike. I bought a new rear wheel assembly with the small wheel on ebay last night. Once it arrives I know that I will have to buy a new sprocket for it. The sprocket needs to be at least 72teeth more would be better. If I can find eighty with that bolt pattern I will pick it up instead.

Then I am going to buy a 1000 watt 24v motor. I saw one last night with the right bolt pattern for my style mount for about 70 bucks delivered. I probably won't buy it for a few months. The rhino drives I have now will do most anything I want them to do, but I just want one ultimate drive.

While I am waiting for the parts to come together for the ultimate rhino bike, I am going to work on my trailers. The one with the bike 20" bike tires pulls super. but it is really big. The bed has to be 2ft long and that makes it look like a boat trailer.

My second trailer is made with scooter wheels and it is really, really heavy. I think I am going to see if I can build one with smaller bicycle tires that is stable and lighter.

Other than that I need to ride my desert camo bike to the lake when the temperature is little better. In the mean time I need to feed the dogs and get a move on.

by the way I'll try to remember to keep you in the loop on the new build... here is the drive wheel
You need to copy and paste it for some reasong it won't hot link...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I switched the 6" wheel for the 8" one. The wheel did not turn freely it seems. I was just enough to run the battery down and also drag the bikes performance. Anyway I am back to the two 8" wheels.

I did get the second bike painted before the rain set in. I now have a desert camouflage and a jungle camouflage one. I'm all set now I guess.

I did have to buy a new mini compressor today. Last night I was working on the bike and turned the wheel with the compressor still attached. Jerked the hose right of it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I rode the bike with the 6" drive wheel and it isn't the best bike I have but it is a good little bike. The wheel has no tread so it is a bike with less traction. Also the smaller wheel runs faster but with less torgue. In other words it is find on more or less flat surfaces and small inclines but on the long steep inclines prepare to workout.

Also it goes through some power. With the amount of slip because of the smooth tread and small size of the drive wheel, I'm not sure that the 350 watt motor would do as well. I might give that a try someday.
I recalculated the number of batteries I need to make a pack at least thirty amp hours strong. It came out to eight more amp hours. With the number of amp hours I have in the pack now, it came to another eight amp hours at 36v needed. I have a 12v 15 amp hour battery I use to power my compressor now. I can reconfigure that to 36v 5ah so I need 35v 3ah to complete the pack. At least to the point of minimum full service, I think. I count each string of aa batteries as 1ah so I need 9 strings of ten or ninety batteries. I ordered them last night. It will be a month at least before they arrive but that's okay.

Im going to add them to the aa pack I have now. It will make the pack 20ah minimum. Most likely it will be a little over that since the strings claim to be about 2800mh or 2.8 ah. I figure they are about half that or 1.4 or so ah.

They claim that the c cells ore 9000 mh but I figure them more at 4ah. So I honestly won't know what the ah of the pack is when I get it finished. I know I have way too many battery packs, but my desire is to have enough to ride the bike for several short trips per day. keeping one pack on the charger all the time.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I forgot to make the photo but I did learn a couple of things last night and this morning. First of all I can plug two nimh and one sla to the same battery charger and not burn up the nimh. the amps must go down significantly because I charged for hours yesterday and did no harm and couldn't get the sla pack charged till I disconnected the nimh packs.

My thinking on the hybrid packs seems to be right on. The bike will drain the sla pack down to where it won't put out the amps the controller is calling for before it goes into the nimh pack. If I can get the nimh pack up to the point that it will run the bike adequately as an assist power, then I should have something. At the 24amps more or less that it works at now, the bike will pull itself long a flat road but needs a lot of help on a hill, but still it will make it up the hill with my fat ass still on the seat. So that is an improvement. I ordered enough batteries to add eight more amps to the pack. Mathematically it should be enough. Also if the bike is running at about 25amps it would run about like it does on the pack as it is now. I added 5more amps to the controller and got a really nice performing bike so the 8amp addition might be enough. It will be a few weeks before I can test it.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I rode the bike on the trail this morning after my last post. It actually did quite well. It did require a little pedal to get it home but I think that was actually just me wanting to keep the speed up.

When I got back we went to the store in my wife's car. While at Walmart, I bought two cans of paint. I had a little black paint so with the dark brown and the tan, I had the colors necessary to do a dessert camo. So of course I did. I'll add a photo after it stops raining and I can get it outside.
Did you ever wonder what made us what we are. One of the big time shrinks said the son is father of the man. So with a little deductive reasoning we can go back to where it all began. Maybe...

I'm working on that so maybe before I die, I will understand how my life worked out the way it did. I have no regrets actually, but I would like to know why.

So let me start by saying I never took life to seriously. For years I thought it was a consequence of my forced Asian vacation, but now I wonder. Maybe it wasn't that at all. I had a friend who went through the exact same things I did, and he turned out totally differently.

For instance I have been married five time he did it only once. I had a lot of different jobs over the years. I think he had many less job changes.

I think it was a stress factor learning that everyone doesn't get to live a full life. I took it to mean that I should do everything I could while I was still alive. Jim made the most of what came his way without looking for more.

So what was the real factors that made me who I am. I have no idea. Less you think I am doing a woe is me here, let me assure you I am quite satisfied with how my life is going to end and all that I did with the time I had. I just wonder what things would have needed to happen to make me like my brothers for instance.

Was I over indulged as a child. Is that why I seemed to always want more. Not more money but more experiences. I did manage to avoid the really harmful things like drugs, but I did a lot of things I didn't need to do. I did them just because the opportunity was there. I always looked for the easy way out. At least I did until recently. These days I am more of a solid citizen. I guess that's why I am looking into why I wasn't always. I look back and see all the foolish things i did and wonder why.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I rode one of the bikes this morning and found that the battery pack I threw together had a bad cell in it. I struggled to get it home but I did manage. Then I picked up some parts and switched out the drive wheel. Went from about a 10inch wheel to one about six inches. The new one has a smaller sprocket so it runs faster but has very little torque. Still I think I like it.

I have another battery pack on order. When it arrives I should be good to go back to the lake without too awful much pedaling to do. I have decided that I don't mind doing some. I need it as a matter of fact. I just don't want to bust a gut doing it.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

I rode my bike three times today. Once on the trail with the newest one and it ate the power up. I think the problem was the chain was too tight. I'm going to try it tomorrow. I rode the good rhino and it did very well both times. power wise that is. The mixed batteries seems to work very well. I will try them on a trip to the late one day this week. I might do it tomorrow or not.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I spent all day searching for electronic gremlins. I have no idea if I got them or not but the bike ran for a mile and I packed it away. Hope tomorrow I get to ride instead of just build.

Im charging batteries now. I might be at that all night.

I am determined to use the nimh as a add on pack to the sla. If they burn up so be it. I can't find any other good use for them
sometimes my stupidity amazes even me. I changed out the motor on the chain drive bike that I thought I had burned up. I then tried several battery packs and couldn't make the new one work either. I went back tracing current in the new motor and controller. Finally I figured it out.

Of all things, the battery charger was lying to me. The green light stayed on because there was a broken wire. So I was trying to ride with a depleted battery pack. When I found that I realized that the drive system had not been destroyed after all. Of course I found it after I had changed the drive. I have the whole drive complete sitting on the floor of the shop. I think I will keep it until I come across a full suspension bike cheap. Meantime I am charging batteries and getting ready to test the bikes with lower power and less heat. I guess I can use more exercise anyway.

Friday, September 3, 2010

I got bored so I assembled and mounted the rhino drive. I will probably make some changes later but it's ready to go. Well after I hook up the motor leads. However I am thinking about changing it to the lower amp controller to keep the heat down. I am going to five that some more thought tonight and tomorrow.
Well it appears that there was a meltdown after all. The chain driven bike just got hard to ride when I headed for the lake. When I got home I found it was pretty much dragging too much to be effective. I removed it and in the process of building another rhino drive for the bike.

The rhino I have now has a controller capable of going either 24 or 36b so tomorrow, after I finish the bike I'm working on, I am going to try a 24v power supply with the bike I have ready. If I can make it work okay, I am going to set the one from the build I am doing now to run at 36v but with 25 amps which will cut down some on the heat im sure.

We shall see what it does.
So its the morning after the big meltdown. It didn't really seem to do any damage, so today I'm going to ride it on the trail before I make any decisions. However I have always said when I piggy back those battery packs (mixed nimh and sla) the power band is different. I might put on the 25 limiting amp controller and piggy back the power source and see how the motor runs that way. I need things to occupy me anyway.

I was a little surprised to see that the power pack was still high in voltage after over a five mile use on the 12ah sla, even up and down hills. My test track is two miles of short steep hills and a long gradual one. There are a lot worse hills around town but those tend to give me a good indication of how the bike is going to perform.

Anyway today I will test the battery controller combos I expect.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Pretty sure I figured it out. The breaker didn't blow the motor over heated. I have had that happen once before with an off brand 500watt motor run at over volted. I expect that I did it again with this one. I need to go down later and make sure it will still rev up. Something about running it on the edge of pedaling caused it to overheat. I expect it was too many amps flowing through it.

I can either go back to 24v or go to a lower amp controller. I have both laying around. I think it will have slightly more balls at 36v 25amp so tomorrow I will change it out and see what happens.
I don't know exactly how I did it but I did. I hooked up a 12ah sla 36v pack today then piggy backed a 12ah more or less ah nimh 36v pack. I took off and I usually seem to get a little more power before it sags but today it ran five an a half miles and just quit. I figured that it was a case of the nimh prevented the sag until it just it the low voltage point. I push and pulled the bike home a half mile home then did some checking. The batteries have almost no voltage drop.

The bike stopped running because it overheated. It still had a huge power reserve and it ran once it cooled off. I have a circuit breaker in line so that's what tripped. I'm going to be doing a lot more testing of these battery packs before I draw any conclusions but this was the first time I had any overheating and also its the best the power usage has been as well.

The heat probably is the 36v through the 24v motor.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I took the rhino to the lake for breakfast on the patio. It was really quiet today not a single boat on the lake. However in looking across the lake we spotted the fire department dive team arrive. It looked as though the would be practice diving. It was too far away to see anything so we just left after we finished breakfast.

The bike did great. When I got back I worked on the chain drive bike. I put a bigger front end on the bike so the pedals had more ground clearance. Then I put on a bigger chain ring so I can help the bike up the hills a little better. I had to lengthen then shorten the chain to make it fit, but now it is a little better. The main thing is the bike isn't wonkie when I pedal assist. Before it was all over the road because the chain ring was too small.

I am still working on battery stuff. I would like to add a seat to my battery trailer to carry a grand kid not and then but my wife won't hear of it.