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Say What?

July 31, 2016 8:40:53 PM PDT

More details to come later, but we thought you might like a peak at what Justin and some Grin Staff have been burning the midnight oil on for the past several weeks, a project making full use of current and future Grin products.

Complete build details with pictures of the internal parts and construction are on the unicyclist.com forum
http://www.unicyclist.com/forums/showthread.php?t=119436

Justin is currently at the 18th International Unicon event in Spain testing this out among the world's elite unicycle riders, but as a result we've slipped behind in our timeliness with technical support emails in the past few weeks and apologize for all who have been let down by that. We'll get caught up again as soon as possible and hope otherwise you continue to have a great summer of ebike building and riding, and a happy BC Day to boot.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Holy Documentoly

June 20, 2016 10:43:50 PM PDT

We had an agenda this year to tackle product documentation and make it easier for people to find thorough setup guidance and usage notes on their ebike hardware. In fact, we even have a little known section on our website that has a compilation of all the reference docs and user manuals we’ve produced over the years, and should probably call attention to it:

Go to the header LEARN -> DOCUMENTS

Grinfineon User Manual Thumbnail Image

There are two significant additions that we completed in the last week. First is our complete user manual for the Grinfineon controller series, which goes into great detail on all the features and limitations of these almost universal motor controllers.

CA V2.4 Guide Thumbnail

And secondly, we completed a Quickstart guide for the V2.4 Cycle Analyst. This covers all the information and key settings needed to get 95% of users up and running, without delving too much into techno talk. We’re hoping that it strikes the right balance of information vs. intimidation and look forwards to any feedback that you have.

Based on your response, we’ll be doing a series of similar Quickstart guides on setting up the V3 Cycle Analyst for various functions too. And not just print guides but video tutorials as well!

 

Above is our first stab at that, with a youtube tutorial on how to setup and configure V3 Cycle Analyst to use a magnet ring PAS sensor. If Zuckerberg says that very soon almost all web content will be video, we figure he might be right (again). So it’s time we get with the program. Still no Grin Facebook page though!

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Complete Cargo Ebikes and New Stuffs

June 9, 2016 7:10:33 PM PDT

Although we are still staunchly a conversion kit / retrofit company, we've been largely perplexed at the lack of shops in Vancouver offering electric cargo bikes and want to address that. So for this summer at least we are offering two ready to roll turn-key cargo ebikes based on open/hackable drive systems that we think are of great quality and value; the eZee Expedir and the Juiced Riders ODK U500.

Juirced Riders U500 and eZee Expedir Electric Cargo Bikes, now at Grin

Both of these cargo ebikes have high capacity (>700 watt-hour) stock batteries, hydraulic disk brakes, and torquey geared hub motors well adept at moving heavy loads up steep hills. The Juiced ODK has 20" front and rear wheels with a simple 3 speed internal hub and is meant as a lower barrier and simple to use ebike, with battery options going up to 32Ah for phenominal range. We've worked closely with Tora, founder of Juiced, for many years now and have been ever impressed with his energy and accomplishments and building his accessible utility bike vision into reality. Below is a great recent video review of the U500 bike from electricbikereports:


The Expedir meanwhile is eZee's foray into the cargo bike territory and is a complete bicycle running a more sophisticated hardware set: with 9 speed shimano Alvio RD drivechain, Magura disk brakes, and a sturdy center stand. It uses a 26" front wheel and 24" rear, giving a somewhat lower cargo deck height than say the Yuba Mundo, but not so low that adult passengers have to lift their feet off the ground.

We have the Yepp Maxi child seat and several other accessories available for these bikes. Neither come stock with cargo bags though, and for that we recommend the cargo slings from Carsick Designs


Other New Stuff?

New Items category on Grin web store
We've added a "new items" category to our website to make it easier for people who check in frequently to see view more recently added goods that are new since the last visit. In addition to these cargo ebikes, you'll see many small items that haven't been announced on our blog, like eZee motor extension cables, handlebar mounted potentiometer for the CA3, connector boxes, the gear sensor cutoff for mid-drives and even the BEAMts chain tension torque sensor.

Plus, the observant may have noticed that the Phaserunner controllers and Satiator chargers are available to purchase again with a back order, meaning we are confident of their near term pending availability. 

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

2016 Maker Faire

June 2, 2016 2:11:17 PM PDT

First of all, a big thanks to everyone who came by to meet us at the bay area Maker Faire at the end of last month, and to all the shops and people we visited on the road trip coming back up. It was fun to have a formal booth presence again to educate people about electric bike and skateboard technology, even in a space awash with drones and 3D printers.

Visitors at Grin's 2016 Maker Faire BoothBike Friday Visit in EugeneSterling at Bend Electric BikesHenry of BikeSwift working on Xtracycle Leap ProjectG & O Family Cyclery Visit

We had a pretty mad couple weeks cramming in the projects on exhibit, including a novel take on a mid-drive system and a revival of our first pedalable e-uni. Unfortunately that meant our order queue and email responses got backlogged by up to a week and we apologize to those affected. As of now at least things are all caught up and we are back to snappy order fulfillment and responses.

Although we won't have a booth presence at the local Vancouver Mini Maker Faire on June 11th-12th, we do recommend anyone interested in DIY projects to attend if they can make it.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

2016 Retirements and Updates - Long Post

May 15, 2016 4:57:06 PM PDT

Things are finally rolling smoothly across the board at our new shop space on Powell St., and that means we can get back to new product engineering, and also properly communicate what is going on with our inventory plans. Some products have run their course, some are due for improvements, and others are getting revamped from scratch. 

New eZee Flat Batteries 33% more range

First, we've had our next batch of eZee flat rack batteries updated to use 2.9Ah Panasonic PF cells rather than the 2.2Ah Sony V3 cells. That provides 33% more capacity but at the same size, weight, and cost as the previous packs. The 36V 15Ah battery is now 36V 20Ah, and the 48V 10.5Ah pack is now 14 Ah. We loved the incredible cycle and calendar life of the Sony V3 cells but the improved capacity at the same price from Panasonic is too hard to pass up. eZee Flat Battery, Upgraded Panasonic Cells vs Sony V3

Lumenator Light 1.0 Retired

Secondly, we've fully retired the 1000 Lumen Cycle Lumenator light. For the 6 years we've been producing it, this device has helped many people light up the streets with their ebikes but at the same time has been the source of some consternation to oncoming traffic. We are working to have the original Lumenator re-engineered with a similarly powerful headlight that has purely reflective optics which meet the German StVZO requirement for minimal brightness above the horizon, and should have it ready before the start of summer.

Prototype Relfective LED Lense for STVzOAsymmetric beam output with cutoff above horizon

48V and 72V Satiator Models, Limited Supply

A few weeks ago we ran out our last fully QC passed Satiator devices and started listing at a discount those that were perfectly fine but didn't quite pass our 1PSI air leakage test. That means that we can't guarantee against water ingress if used extensively in the rain with water exposure. There are only a handful of these remaining.

Similarly, our pilot launch of 72V Satiator devices is on hold while we re-design some aspects of the power circuit after having several field failures, and we thank the Pilot testers for helping us iron this out.

Both the standard 48V and revised 72V Satiators should be in full supply again in early June. The positive user feedback for Satiators has been awesome and we really look forwards to getting this nailed for 2016 and available to all who want one.

eZee Rear Motor with Cassette Freehub

eZee Rear Hub Motor with Cassette Freehub

Finally, eZee is now manufacturing a rear motor with a high-end cassette freehub system which we've got available in  standard 250 rpm  and fast 350 rpm winding options. They cost a fair bit more than the screw-on freewheel version so for the stock laced kits we are sticking with freewheels. But for those who want a kit using all modern bike hardware standards for 9 or 10 speed cassettes, these make a great choice.

 

What about the Phaserunner, LiGo Batteries, and Thru-Axle Grin Motors?

Stay tuned for our next homepage updates for all of those exciting things coming out of Grin, as well as new documentation, video tutorials, torque sensor options, and a serious overhaul of the CycleStoker system.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Some Motor Changes for 2016

April 18, 2016 8:16:25 AM PDT

We're often in the midst of evaluating and revising our product offerings and figured it was a good idea to shed some light on our plans for 2016. In addition to the Thru-Axle motor discussed in the last blog post, we’ve got some other items that are actually available now.

9C+ Front Motors with Statorade:

Our plan for 2016 is to have Statorade and 0.35mm laminations by default in all of our direct drive hub motors, reducing the rolling drag and increasing the heat dissipation capabilities across the board. We're starting this off by introducing what we call the 9C+ hub motor series which we quietly slipped on our website last month.

9C+ Hub Motor with Cogging Torque Comparison

Outwardly this looks like a generic 205mm DD hub. But internally it has the 0.35mm core, a drilled through disk hole for injecting fluid, a thorough silicone sealant on the side plate to prevent fluid leakage, an embedded thermistor for temperature sensing, and is already pre-loaded with 5mL of Statorade. And at just $175 for the hub it's probably the best value drive option we've ever offered.

The 9C+ motors are available in front drives in a 5,6, and 7 turn winding, either as a bare hub, hand-built into a wheel, or as part of a complete conversion kit. They are also modeled on our simulator as the 9C+ 27XX option.

Mini Geared Hubs, from Outrider to Bafang:

We've stopped carrying the small geared motors from Outrider, and are replacing these with a similar sized G01 series hub from Bafang. This particular motor is much easier to service, has cables exiting from the side plate rather the end of the axle, has better disk brake compatibility, and is customized for us with an internal thermistor for motor temperature sensing.

Bafang G01 Motor vs Outrider Geared Hub

It should be a dandy option for the light weight lower power (250-500 watt) conversion systems, and we've got both fast (10rpm/V) and standard (8rpm/V) winding options for to suit different wheel diameters and pack voltages. The hub is already on our simulator, spoke calculator, and is available either as a bare hub, laced into a rim, or as part of a complete conversion kit.

Stokemonkeys Back with Options

And finally, we've largely finished setting up our CNC machine center and welding stations in our new space, allowing us to resume fabricating the stokemonkey kit hardware which was out of stock for a little while. We're now now offering the stokemonkey clampset with specific ID's to match several common tube diameter for an ideal clamping fit, and even have a custom option where we will CNC it to your specific tube size.

2016 Stokemonkey Updates

We've also switched the motor source back to Crystalyte just like the very original SM motors were based, but using their newer SAW40X motor line instead of the 400 series.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Post Taipei Updates

March 21, 2016 4:46:20 AM PDT

Well that was quite the whirlwind tour through Taiwan and China, Justin and Robbie would like to thank all of those we met up with at the Taipei Bike Show and tour visits afterwords. Benjamin, Tora, Ching, Britt, Harry, Paul, and all the AU and NZ folks it was great to hang out and share our interests and visions for the ebike movement.

Ben, Bike, and Crew Gluing Motor Magnets at eZee Factory TDCM Factory Visit Riding Cargo Ebike on rural roads from eZee to EM3EV Visit with Cutler MAC Motors Testing Phaserunner on Juiced Rider ODK with Tora

There are a lot of good things that will be coming from this trip, and we're looking forwards to closer relationships and some joint endeavors this year with Juiced Riders, EM3EV, TDCM and other companies doing innovative product developments. We feel strongly that some collaborative efforts can help bring signifcant ebike tech advances to a larger audience. And on that front, we also brought along 3 of our own projects that are at the end of their long development cycle and are ready to show:

(Direct Youtube Link)

The Thru-Axle Motor, 2nd Gen Phaserunner Controller, and Potted LiGo battery packs have all sub-components in place and are ready for production, if only we hadn't just lost our production facility when we moved shop this past month! So we are still busy doing all the electrical wiring, machine installation, and related manufacturing infrastructure at the Powell St. address before we can make these available. We should be ready well in time for the 2016 bike season so please stay tuned to our homepage or newsletter if you want to be first in line during the rollout.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Well this is it. Our last outgoing shipments from 4th Ave have been picked up and the big tear-down is taking place in earnest. We’ll be fully closed on Friday as we peel back the 5 years spent making this place into our home and pack everything over to the new digs. It’s an exciting expansion and we’ve really appreciated all the words of encouragement that many of you have sent our way.  

Grin's Manufacturing Packing UpGrin Shop TeardownGrin Shop Teardown

Business as usual should be able to resume after the weekend on Tuesday, but do expect delays before all normal operations are up to speed. As well, Justin and others from the engineering team will be the Taipei bike show next week and so technical inquires and conversations may be deferred until their return in mid-march. 

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

After running out of stock of the first production run of Satiators earlier this year we've now got our next batch on hand which includes the same hardware updates as the 72V devices, with the AC inlet cable on the back side.  The other awesome electrical specs for rapid charging of 24-48V batteries all remain identical, but this modification does mean that the original UL/CSA regulatory approval is no longer valid. 

Rev6 versus Rev7 Satiator Hardware ComparedCertification Pending

For now we are shipping with the regulatory markings covered up as shown in the image above until we have the test approval completed. In the meantime, if you do have a requirement for UL listing on the device then the chargers remaining at Amazon.com all are all from the original run.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Big Move

January 31, 2016 9:18:54 PM PST

4th Ave Location for LeaseOnce again we have a "For Lease" sign on our building, and once again fear not because we are simply moving our business to an even bigger and better location.  While we've enjoyed the False Creek neighborhood for the last 5 years, it's clear that this vestigial industrial area in the heart of Vancouver is rapidly changing in character to serve the nearby condo developments, rather than the historic manufacturing industries it once spawned.

On March 1st we'll be fully moved to a new location in Strathcona at 950 Powell Street, with nearly 3 times the space, great neighbors like EatART and Maker Labs, and room to grow for years to come.  This is a big and exciting next step for Grin, and the team here has been hard at work the past few weeks getting this space renovated, setup, and ready to serve as our new home well into the next decade.

Kitchen and Staffroom Steel Stud Hallway Takedown Concrete floor polishing

We will try to continue with business as usual during the entire transition process next month with a minimal amount of order disruption.  However, it's a significant job and much of our staffing manpower will be redirected to the move, especially towards the 2nd half of February. So please be patient if there are delays in communication as lower priority jobs are put on hold.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Big Crystalyte Motor Sale

January 31, 2016 8:36:28 PM PST

In the meantime, in order to lighten our load on moving day we are having a significant sale on our entire inventory of the large Crystalyte H35 and Crown motors and kits, ranging between 25 to 30% off.  There isn't a better time to start a winter build project than this. You can get a great deal on a direct-drive motor package and simultaneously help us out with the moving process!

Crystalyte Motor Sale

The sale will go on from now until Feb 25th, and we’re hoping that you can help us clear a good number of these boxes from our rack shelving before we need to move out.    

We do also have a slight ulterior motive in that we want all of our direct drive motors in 2016 to be compatible with Statorade coolant, but the stock Crystalyte side covers aren't always sealed well enough to prevent leakage at high RPM's. Our next Crystalyte motor batch will be certified Statorade-ready, but these ones require reworking the side cover seal with silicone before adding a fluid coolant inside.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Show Your True Colours

January 24, 2016 3:55:00 AM PST

Our tidy wiring kit has been a popular way to get clean cable runs and covered connectors on your ebike project. And being all black it does a reasonable stealthy job of it. But what if you’ve got a colourful bike and want a bit more zing? 

Red, Yellow, and Blue Tidy Ebike Wiring Kits

Grin’s manufacturing crew has been playing with fabric dyes and suppliers of coloured spiral wrap and zip-ties to produce bright yellow, red, and blue wiring kits too.

We love seeing ebike conversions where people pay extra attention to the look and details of their installation. So we’re starting a little contest for people who order one of the coloured wiring kits between now and Mar 1st.  Send us a picture of your finished ebike project featuring one of these routing kits and we’ll award our favorite 2 conversions with a 20% off coupon for your next order.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

New Product, TDCM Internal Gear Hub Motors

January 19, 2016 12:21:34 AM PST

The company TDCM from Taiwan has been among the more innovative players in the electric bicycle space. We’ve been carrying their bottom bracket torque sensors for a while but last year one of their motors really caught our eye. This was a direct drive motor surrounding an internal 5 speed Sturmey Archer hub.  You get the benefits of a derailleur-free 5 speed transmission with a 243% gear ratio plus a ~500-1000 watt hub motor all in one tidy package. 

TDCM IGH Hub Motor with 5spd Sturmey Archer Hub Separated

We wind tunnel and dyno tested this motor last summer and liked almost everything about it, and are happy to have this in stock in a fast winding both as the bare hub and also as part of a complete kit.  The motor includes an internal 10K thermistor for temperature sensing with a V3 Cycle Analyst, and is the first hub that we are offering pre-filled with Statorade for improved thermal performance. 

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Great news to kick off the New Year. We are now dropping the price of all our V2 and V3 Cycle Analyst devices, to just $95 for a V2.4 CA-DP and $125 for a V3.0 unit. Having served as our flagship product for a decade and financed most of Grin’s R&D activities, we owe a lot to the Cycle Analyst, but we feel it’s time for other products to move in as our main breadwinners and pass the CA savings back to you.

Price Reduction of Cycle Analysts

The V3.0 Cycle Analyst firmware is now officially at 3.0, no more Prelim6, p12, p13 etc.  as the latest tweaks have made it as rock stable as we could hope. Anyone with an existing CA3 can update to this firmware via the software download page. On new CA orders the USB->TTL programming cable for updating firmware is now no longer included in the package, but can easily be added as an accessory if desired.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Thank you all for the many well wishes for our 10 year anniversary celebrations, it’s been a joy having so many customers who have been around for huge chunks of the ride.

Extended Range Satiator Family

While the 10% sale is over, there are other great things to be excited about. First and foremost? We’ve started our beta sales program for high voltage Satiator chargers. Now rather than being limited to 63V or 15s packs, the 72V 5A model can work all the way up to 103V for 24s lithium batteries for those hot rod ebike applications.

72V Satiator Charger Preview

There are a limited number of 24V 15A and 72V 5A units from our pilot production run available for early adopters who don’t require UL/CSA certification, and if you order by this weekend with Fedex shipping it should make it in time for the Christmas Tree.

Flexible Power Cables

Secondly, after years of wondering why there were no great heavy gauge cable sources for ebike battery and motor wiring, we decided to bite the bullet and have thousands of meters of our custom cable manufactured. 

Custom high flexibility motor phase cable and battery cables for ebikes

The 3 phase motor cable has high flexibility 413 strand 12 gauge phase wire with Teflon insulation, and also includes 7 signal wires too, for your motor hall sensors and thermistors. All of this is bundled in a round 9mm diameter flexible jacket and it stays flexible all the way to -30oC.

For our custom battery cable, instead of going with 2 conductors, we went for a 4 conductor instead. A pair of heavy 13g wires and a set of thinner 18g wires also with high strand count and flexibility. That allows one cable to have say both the charging and discharging ports on a battery, or an additional tap point for powering accessories. Or, you can just parallel connect the thin and thick wires together to have 12 gauge equivalent.

2015 Housecleaning Garage Sale

And finally, we’re clearing out a bunch of used ebike stuff that has been allowed to accumulate over the past year. So if you are looking for some bargain priced garage sale items, John’s got everything posted up on an endless-sphere buy/sell thread.   

ebike parts on garage clearance

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

GrinTech 10 Year Celebration Party

Nov 30th, 2005 marks the day that the Renaissance Bicycle Company Ltd. was formally recognized as a registered company here in BC.

Back then, we were being somewhat cutting edge offering custom layout NiMH battery packs when almost everything was lead acid. Early hub motors and mid-drive systems were battling it out. Rechargeable lithium batteries were a promise of the future but still exceedingly unreliable, motor controllers were analog and didn't even have a microchip; the DrainBrain was being hand soldered in batches of a dozen at a time in a basement; and scarcely anyone on the streets had heard of an electric bicycle. Oh the world seemed ripe with possibility.

Early team of Renaissance Bicycle CoDrainbrain Production Line from 2005One of or first Triangular frame mounted NiMH Pack Designs, 2006Can you imagine this parallel lithium battery charger the size of a briefcase?

And now here we are, 10 years on to the day. The lithium ebike packs are ubiquitous with power, energy, and reliability specs that could only be dreamed of back then. Motor controllers run sophisticated DSP's that do vector alignment of the 3 phase drive; the DrainBrain evolved several generations of Cycle Analyst and has sold over 25,000 pieces; hub motors and mid-drives are still battling it out; and you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who hasn't heard of an ebike or knows someone who rides one.

Throughout this we've managed to survive and grow year after year, leading the field in some areas while lagging in others, but always staying focused on the unique needs DIY entrepreneurs and enthusiasts who want to make their own 2-3 wheeled electric vehicle creations.

We're not much for cyber-Monday type blowout sales but as a small token we're celebrating the occasion with a blanket 10% discount on all items in our store, which will last until Dec 10th, to honor these 10 years. Simply log-in with your customer account (or create one if you haven’t done so), and you'll see the prices reduced by 10%.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

CA3 Proportional Regen

November 28, 2015 11:28:00 AM PST

Since March of this year we’ve quietly rolled out numerous minute improvements in the V3 Cycle Analyst firmware. Now the latest CA3P13 code includes support for Proportional Regenerative Braking with any Grinfineon or Phaserunner motor controller. Simply squeeze the ebrakes for a base regen and use your throttle to dial it in! Have a read of the cumulative release notes for all the details or see the video below for a quick summary.

There’s no need to upgrade if you are happy with how everything is running. But if you use the auxiliary input potentiometer, torque or PAS control, or have a system that supports proportional regen via a 0.0-0.8V throttle signal, then an update for these new features could be worthwhile.

The CA3P13 firmware package can be downloaded from here.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Injecting Statorade into Test Hub MotorWe're looking for people who want to participate in one of the biggest recent breakthroughs in the thermal management and hence power handling capability of direct drive hub motors.  If you've got an ebike setup with motor temperature monitoring and routinely see core temperatures in the 100+ oC range, then please read on because this post is for you!

See, earlier this year we built a wind tunnel in our lab for doing full testing of hub motors in conditions that mimic riding in the road. Our motivation was to better understand and model how hot motors get in heavy use at different vehicle speeds, both for predictive reasons and see what techniques can push that working envelope further.

Wind Tunnel Fan Blade powered by Stokemonkey Motor Grin Wind Tunnel for Hub Motor Thermal Testing

Well, in addition to the usual suspects of ventilation holes, vanes, and oil cooling, we also experimented with magnetically active ferrofluids. The theory was that the magnetic fluid would stay put in the air-gap and not leak out everywhere as is common with conventional oil cooling. What we didn't anticipate was just how TINY an amount was required to achieve remarkable effects.  With just 4-5 mL, you could have almost as much cooling benefit as a full cup of messy ATF, with almost no perceptible increase in the rolling drag of the wheel. 

The net effect is that you can run a given motor at about 40% higher continuous torque and power outputs without overheating.  Or correspondingly, a motor that used to run at like ~110-120 degrees in a given situation would now be sitting at a much more comfortable 70-80 degrees. Have a look here at our own GRIN designed prototype hub motor when dissipating just under 100 watts of power.  The steady state core temperature drops from 68 °C down to 43 °C. 

Test Results of Statorade Cooling Effects on Hub Motor

You get this without exposing the motor core to the outside environment like air cooling, and without the impossible sealing complications and additional rolling drag from oil fills.

Statorade PackageWhat we are still looking to understand are the long term stability and maintenance concerns; whether it lasts for years and years or will need frequent or occasional replenishment, and also what if any compatibility issues might exist with magnet bonding adhesives in the motors.  If you want to be part of this endeavor, then we've got 10mL syringes of Statorade packaged and bundled and ready for you. 

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Things Keep Getting Better

August 20, 2015 4:19:58 PM PDT

One thing for sure about the electric bicycle scene is that things don't sit static, incremental improvements are happening year after year. 

 

Batteries

First and foremost is that the 18650 battery cell standard has evolved to specifications that were previously only dreamed of. Without changing anything to the weight or price of their packs, Allcell recently switched to a newer LG MG1 cell model. This turns the 15Ah pack into a 17Ah pack, and the 20Ah pack into 23Ah, and simultaneously cuts the internal resistance and voltage sag almost in half compared the 15 and 20Ah packs. 
 
 Allcell 20Ah vs 23Ah
 
All our Allcell packs are of this 2015 model with MG1 cells, and we've added them to the charge simulator and hub motor simulator to see the difference. 
 

Charge Simulator

It's not just LG that has been releasing cells with both high capacities (>2700mAh) and high current handling capabilities. Sony, Samsung, Panasonic etc. have all been updating their lineups of 18650 cells making this an exciting time for ebike battery capabilities. We've now refreshed the ebikes.ca charge simulator to include dozens of new and old cell models, so anyone using the Satiator charger will be able to set their full charge voltage thresholds more precisely for a specific target battery capacity.  Just select the cell type in your pack from the drop-down menu along with the correct series/parallel layout and you'll have a full charge simulation at your fingertips. 
 
Cell Selection on Charge Simulator
 

Charging, Satiator 1.0 Firmware

And did we mention charging batteries? For those with a Satiator charging doesn't get much better. We've now released the 1.0 satiator firmware and software suite which has two major new features along with numerous small improvement tweaks to the user interface and charge behavior.
Satiator v1.0 Graph Example
The first of these is graphing! You can now see a real time plot of your charging voltage and current every time you plug in and charge a battery pack.  The graph autoscales sensibly, and looking at the charge graph rather than just the final amp-hours can tell you interesting things, like how much time was spent in constant voltage mode versus bulk charging, and whether the current from the Satiator was reduced due to thermal rollback etc. 
 
 Satiator Profile Statistics
 
The second major feature is charge statistics.  The V1.0 Satiator firmware not only keeps track of how many charging amp-hours and watt hours it itself has delivered over its life, it also keeps track of the total cycle statistics on each individual profile too. So now you will have an automatic record of how many cycles and kWhrs of energy you've put into your battery pack, and if you use multiple profiles on the same pack you'll have a breakdown of how often you've charged it to 80% vs 100%, fast charge vs slow charge etc.
 
This information is invaluable in understanding the life cycle costs of a battery pack under different charge scenarios, and can compliment the data from a Cycle Analyst or similar device that records the discharge statistics. The more people we have collecting real world performance data like this instead of just contrived lab test data, then the better the community as a whole can know what to expect for battery longevity. 
 
Small tweaks include a new "About Satiator" section of the setup menu that shows current info on the device, the ability to see the previous charge cycle amp-hours even after you have disconnected the pack, the ability to display battery temperature on any pack (not just NiMH/NiCad) by hooking up a thermistor, and a better fault handling behavior when dealing with packs that have problematic BMS circuits and whatnot.
 
This new 1.0 version of Satiator firmware does require a new software suite in order to display all the new information, and the software and firmware are available for download right now. Please click the appropriate link to embark on the best charging experience ever. 
 

Field Oriented Controller

And back to the subject of things getting better. The pilot run of BAC500+ field oriented motor controllers that we launched late last year was a good success, but what follows is even better. The PhaseRunner is based on ASI's BAC800 controller units with a special heatsink, potted enclosure, and cable harness all made here at Grin. It can run at higher voltages (95V instead of just 60V max), higher phase currents (80A rather than 60A), and has a smaller and narrower footprint, all at the same price. Many more details are available by reading through the endless-sphere thread starting here
 
PhaseRunner Motor Controllers

We're hoping to make this a standard and stock cornerstone of our controller and kit offerings by fall of 2015, but in the meantime we're still producing a couple of these a day for advanced technical users. 

Alex DM24 Rims with 3D Drilling

DM24 Rim with 3D Drilling

Anyone who has laced a large diameter hub motor into a small diameter rim will be more than familiar with the problem of spoke angle. Just a single cross pattern will produce an angle that puts large stresses on the nipple and bends the spoke, something we've modeled on the hub motor spoke calculator for people to anticipate. Alex Rims has been offering 3D drilling of their spoke nipple holes in the rim to allow the nipple to exit at an angle rather than radially inwards, and we got a large number of these in a 20" rims size drilled out to 14 degrees which should allow you to do single cross lacing jobs when previously only radial would make sense.  

Unfortunately, the 3D drilling is not compatible with their rim eyelets at the moment, so for the 24", 26" and 700c DM24 rims we opted to go for stainless eyelets instead. 

Shop Video Tour

Last week we also had an unexpected visit from Court, who runs the excellent electric bicycle review site electricbikereview.com.  What was supposed to be just a short quick shop tour ended up taking a good chunk of the afternoon, which Court kindly recorded and uploaded to youtube. If anyone is curious to see the inner workings here at Grin and has time to spare, enjoy the video.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Trip Analyzer Update - Oops

August 7, 2015 1:55:38 PM PDT

Sometimes we do a lot of work on a project and totally forget to announce it anywhere. That happened a few months ago when we finished a large round of enhancements to the online CA Trip Analyzer software, courtesy of the hard work of our UBC co-op students Mila and Shivan. Then moved onto our next endeavors and forgot to make a peep. 

The latest enhancements apply most specifically to the V3 Cycle Analyst devices, since the software now shows all the extended data such as human torque, motor temperature, pedal cadence etc. This extended data is shown on a second graph allowing you to customize not only which items to display, but also whether they scale on the left or right axis and how or if numeric stats on the right should be computed.

Example of Cycle Analyst Trip Analysis Software

We've also made it so that named trip sections are highlighted in different colours and shown on the slider bar, allowing for easier visualization of the trip regions when communicating or sharing adventures. All of these capabilities are now summarized in the FAQ section. As always we appreciate feedback from people using these web tools. If you've got an interesting trip upload to share, please send the URL our way.  

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore