Thursday, April 24, 2014

Road Testing

I've been doing a lot of riding just to see how things hold up. I did have to make one mod to the secondary belt drive. I was having some issues with the belt jumping teeth on hard acceleration. I was considering going to an 8M HTD belt drive on the secondary but off the shelf pulley selection is not so good. Part of the problem is that the rear suspension makes it difficult to maintain proper belt tension. The simplest cure was to add a belt tensioner. This ended up being pretty easy to implement and made a huge improvement. No more belt slipping.

I'm geared for a top speed of about 28 MPH. I think this is about ideal overall. I'm current limiting to 30 amps which is about 1500 watts. I've been logging my watt hrs per mile. Pumping up the tires made a pretty significant improvement . Also been doing more and more pedaling along and this has a big impact as well.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The devil is in the details.

Finally getting around to some decent riding weather. I've been mainly doing some detailing to improve the ridability of the trike. Two things that I have done that made a huge improvement was adding more batteries, and implementation of current limiting in my speed controller.

 I added two battery boxes and mounted them under the seat. I used anderson connectors so that it would be easy to unplug each battery box and swap it out for another. I have a total of 8 batteries now wired for 20 amp hours at 44 volts. This should give a range of 25 - 30 miles. Moving the battery weight to under the seat made a pretty significant improvement in the handling as they are now the lowest thing on the trike.

With the help of input from some folks on the Endless-Sphere site I have implemented current limiting in my speed controller. It makes it much more ridable and can be set so that it encourages you to pedal along. It should also help improve the range on a battery charge. I have started documenting watts per mile so that I can actually see if I'm making improvements over time.

I've been working on adding a liquid crystal display so that I can monitor motor and battery info real time. I have had this working in different locations and I added wiring inside the frame to have the LCD where I could see it while riding. I'm not sure why at this point but so far attempts to use the speed controller with the new wiring have not been so good. It acts as though the throttle input is unstable when using the internal wiring. I also changed to the Arduino Micro in the process so I'm not sure which is the problem. Thats the only real unsolved issue at this point. Hopefully will get that worked out soon.