Sunday, October 31, 2010

I put the controller back on the bike and the power went way down, so I pulled it off again. I'm sorry everyone tells me you have to have a controller but it is just a waste of money for me.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Well the bike I built with the chain drive burned up. I guess it was hauling just a little too much blubber to over volt. I pushed it up the hills and coasted down for about four miles. I decided to put a coaster brake wheel and a rhino drive on the frame but then I bent the frame. From experience I know that when I bend a frame, I can never get it straight again. So I went and bought a 12 dollar trick bike a the thrift store. I had to change the wheels since they were plastic mags. The front wheel had been bent and the rear wasn't a coaster it was a one speed. I wanted a very simple low powered bike this time.

I don't even have a front brake. The rhino drive has drag on the rear wheel. If I turn the motor odd it will stop on its own eventually. Brake one is to just turn off the switch. Brake two is the coaster brake. Since the bike runs slowly it is more than enough.

I began with the bike at thirty six volts but I felt that it was just too fast for a pleasure bike. That's what I wanted to build since the fast bikes seem to die on me. I also wanted to get a little exercise, so I cut back the voltage to 24volts. It didn't have much pull that way, so I removed the controller and throttle to boost the motors output. The bike is almost full throttle all the time anyway. If I want to tool around a parking lot at dead slow, I can just pedal it.

My big experience so far with the bike was with the laid back seat. I bought that bike because it had a laid back seat post. I thought I would need it to make the pedals work. Most of the time the pedals on a kids bike are too close.

I tested it with the 36v and at the first stop sign the bike did a wheelie and ran out from under me, I barely managed to keep it under control. So I changed the seat post immediately. I found that with a standard seat post I can reach the pedals just fine. I think since it was designed as a trick bike it was built for older teens.

I will be doing more test on it today but I think I can manage with 24 volts. If not I will just add 6 more volts to it somehow. Thirty volts is ideal. I am running the bike with a 20amp house type on off lever switch. I have burned up the 15amp switches but never a 20amp. I also have a forty amp circuit breaker and a pull wire kill switch. This bike goes so slowly I can probably just lay it down in case of emergency.

I am coming to grips with the fact that is a bicycle not a motorcycle or even a moped. It has its own place in the world of transportation. At least this winter it will be a ten mile an hour wind in my face not forty on a motorcycle.

Friday, October 15, 2010

I put the chain and sprocket drive on the bike again. I did it because I am getting down to one bike and it is the easiest one to keep adjusted. There is less tinkering with it than the rhino friction drive.

I don't think it is any more efficient, but who knows it is at least close or the same as the rhino. I put it on the bike with gears. I put the special wheel on the bike which is a one speed rear sprocket. I decided to leave the derailleur so that I could make it a two speed bike by changing the front sprocket with the gear shift. The derailleur acts as a chain tensioned. The problem was the 3/16 chain would not fit the sprocket on the Currie drive wheel. My fix was to remove the 3/16 chain then run the 1/4 inch chain through the guide and derailleur. It is a tight fit and binds a little but it does work. If I change the gear slowly it will move between the two front sprockets. The smaller sprocket is easier to pedal when starting on a hill, but the big one allows me to catch the freewheel earlier on hills while riding. I can keep the throttle lower and pedal assist it some.

Anyway for right now it seems to work pretty well. I am able to get three sets of 36v/12ah batteries in the trailer so it has pretty good range I think.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

One thing I learned that afternoon, water all looks alike. The secret was on the shoreline, not in the water.

We passed a restaurant and bar on the way to the recovery site. The parking lot was enclosed on the water side by a low concrete block wall. It would not have been difficult for an average guy to lift an average sized woman over the wall. I had assumed that the woman was average size.

“The woman, they fished out of here, wasn’t especially large was she?” I asked.

“Pretty average I would say,” Jane replied.

“Thanks I couldn’t for the live of me remember that part of the autopsy report.”

“They say the memory is the first to go,” she suggested.

“It isn’t.” I said with a laugh. “It’s the legs.”

I sat quietly until she said, “We should be right on top of where they found her floating. Some guys on their way fishing saw her.”

“So we are about a mile north of the restaurant,”

“Yes but there are plenty of houses with lake access around here as well.”

“I guess you are right. So where is the campground from here?”

“Two miles north west of here.”


“Just trying to figure out where she might have gone in.”

“She didn’t go for a swim chief, she was strangled then dumped.”

“Well that’s true enough.”

“Okay I have seen enough. It’s a little chilly on the lake.”

“Chief you are going to need long johns if you plan to go out on the lake,”

“I suppose I’ll have to put them on my list. At least the uniform coat is pretty warm.”

“Yes it is chief, but it is so damn green.”

“Not your best color?”

“I look terrible in green. Not to mention how my legs look dangling out the bottom of that heavy parka.” I had to admit she had a point she probably looked like a chicken in the heavy parka. “Which is why I wear two set of thermals and the lightweight jacket in the winter. I just hate that parka.”

“I think the parka is going to be my best friend,” I suggested.

I got home around six that evening with the pizza in tow. I immediately put it into the frig’ since Jayjay liked it cold.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I rode the bike (with the 30v battery supply) to the mall. It did better than before with 24v. The six volt nimh battery didn't over heat and showed just a little drain. The 12v batteries came in at 13.25 which is considered full. Most likely they drained less than a volt for two miles which is pretty good. Without a controller I can get help from them all the way down to 11.5 or so without any significant damage to them. The nimh won't be a problem since they can drain lower than the sla without damage.

I have all those nimh batteries laying about. I might just make up some more of the six volt packs to keep one charged at all times. I have set the packs up so that i can pull them out of the loop and have 24 volt packs with the same batteries. The no controller bike is a lot more versatile. The nimh addition somehow eliminates the jerk when starting. I think it keeps the output of the batteries consistant. That would help with the power drain of the sla if it is true. We shall see after some more time passes.

Monday, October 4, 2010

This afternoon I made a 6v 48ah battery from some of the nimh batteries I have. I have so many if it had a meld down so be it. I tried it and it seems to work just fine. One thing the nimh batteries do is to smooth out the power curve. The bike doesn't jerk as badly when the motor hits.

I will need to do a lot more testing but it seemed to do okay.
If I switch all the batteries I have over to 24v packs, I should have enough to go anywhere in town. Each 24v 12ah pack should go five miles and I have five of them. The wright will be a monster but what I can do is to ride all day making short trips. I can rotate the packs. Two packs on the bike at a time is very doable. I will have to get up the nerve to try the marina trip one day. I will definitely need to wire in a fail safe kill switch of some kind. I think a pull link would be the best idea.

All in all for the time being, I am happy with this bike. I have to work a little but not so much that I can't go where I want so far.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Well I stripped the big bike and redid it completely yesterday. I made it 24v with no controller. I tested it last night and it was questionable. Today I rode it to the mall for my walk. It did perfectly. It even did well coming home up a major hill. I pedaled a lot but I'm not sure how much I really needed to pedal.

Funny how I have gone so far to come back to the same basic design as before. I do use the rhino drive but it is just a little more complicated that the first bikes I built. Well I'm in better condition now, so I don't mind the pedaling.

Friday, October 1, 2010

I trashed my 24v experimental bike today. I decided just to keep one bike. The bike I kept has a controller that will work at 24 or 36 volts. 24v with a controller is crap. If I build another bike ever it will be 24v no controller. I caught a ton of grief on the forum for advocating that kind of bike but it is the way to go for me anyway. Should the controller on the bike I have now go, I will convert it to 24 volts no controller in a minute.

Meanwhile I have a much faster bike in the 36 volts so I will ride and enjoy it knowing that it is best only for the speed.

I may try again to get the direct drive with skateboard wheel working. I just need a better connection to the motor.