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New People on Board

November 23, 2007 4:58:00 PM PST






We've conned two more idealistic youths to join our little operation in Vancouver. Alison Corrall (UBC Eng Phys, 2005) is on board to initially design and produce custom bags, enclosures, and mounting hardware for ebike battery packs, while Mark Stephens (UBC Electrical, 2007) is designing a series of DC-DC based ebike lighting systems and keeping the Cycle Analyst production line flowing.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Additional Hub Motors for Clearance

November 23, 2007 11:24:00 AM PST




We have a number of spare hub motors that we have decided not to stock for various reasons and have them available for clearance. These include small geared hub motors from Tongxin, the slightly more powerful geared hubs from elebike, and finally the latest 500W direct drive hubs that are sold by Golden Island Machinery.
January Update - The front Tongxin motors have sold out. All that we have remaining are two rear units, they have 135mm axles but the motor is centered, so at most you can fit a 3 to 5 speed freewheel.
Posted By Adam Burvill

New Geared Hub Motor Kits

November 23, 2007 11:24:00 AM PST


Throughout the year we have been sampling hub motors from a variety of different manufacturers aside from Crystalyte in an effort to continue offering the latest and best electric bicycle conversion parts. One of motors that stood well apart from the pack is a new 400 watt geared hub motor from the eZee bike company. Our first large shipment arrived last week and the system is available now as part of a complete kit package with a 37V 10Ah lithium battery pack.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Custom 50A Motor Controllers

November 23, 2007 11:24:00 AM PST





Let mosfet failures in 72V Crystalyte controllers be a thing of the past! We sent Crystalyte a batch of IRFB4110 mosfets to incorporate into a custom run of 72V motor controllers capable of 40A and even 50A current levels. These mosfet transistors have 1/3rd the ON resistance of the original 4710's used in previous 72V controllers and so are far more tolerant of the large motor currents in high voltage setups. As well, the stock 72V controllers now use IRFB4310 mosfets, which have over 40% less internal resistance than the original transistors.

January Update - The modified 72V controllers sold out in no time. Our next batch isn't due to arrive until March as well. However, the stock 72V 40A controllers with the IRFB4310 mosfets have been holding up just fine with most 72V arrangements, so unless you really need 50 amps, then the standard 72V controller should be fine. We have modified the Low Voltage Cutout on these to 27V, and have also added a waterproof conformal coating to the circuit boards as well. 
Posted By Adam Burvill

Standardized Disk Adapter Plates

November 23, 2007 11:24:00 AM PST




One source of frustration with the hub motor disk brake setups has been that the threaded disk adapters have a bolt hole pattern that doesn't match the standard for disk rotors here in North America. If you wanted a larger size rotor or a specific disc you were flat out of luck. Well, we have now had a local CNC machinist produce a custom batch of threaded adapter plates with an industry standard 44mm Bolt Center Diameter (BCD). These can be screwed onto any threaded side cover, or even bolted directly to non-threaded side covers, to bring disk brake compatibility to your vehicle.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Spare Cells for Pack Builders

November 23, 2007 11:24:00 AM PST




The feedback from customers using our higher rate NiCad batteries from Elegance has been quite positive, and we are now offering these as loose tabbed cells for people wishing to build their own custom battery packs. This way it is possible to arrange the cells in any desired layout to fit the geometry of your particular vehicle. We stock Thermistors, wide heatshrink tubing, and appropriate charge and discharge connectors for those doing a custom battery build.

As well, we are also offering some high capacity R/C grade Lithium Polymer cells, battery management system (BMS) circuits, and lithium chargers, for those who want to build the lightest pack possible. These cells are less than half the weight of an equivalent energy A123 battery, and are also capable of impressive charge and discharge currents. The 6Ah cell is rated for 36 amps, and the 4Ah cell can handle up to 60A.
Posted By Adam Burvill

More Motors on the Simulator

November 23, 2007 11:24:00 AM PST



The Hub Motor Dynamometer was upgraded over the summer to produce load torques of up to 40 Nm and has been busy characterizing a variety of different hubs. At the moment we have added the 500 Watt motors from Golden Island Machinery, as well as the very similar looking motor being touted by FalconEV. Expect to see additional geared motors put up on our motor simulator in the near future once the model is refined to include mechanical gearing losses. 
Posted By Adam Burvill

More Motors on the Simulator

November 23, 2007 11:24:00 AM PST



The Hub Motor Dynamometer was upgraded over the summer to produce load torques of up to 40 Nm and has been busy characterizing a variety of different hubs. At the moment we have added the 500 Watt motors from Golden Island Machinery, as well as the very similar looking motor being touted by FalconEV. Expect to see additional geared motors put up on our motor simulatorin the near future once the model is refined to include mechanical gearing losses. 

Posted By Adam Burvill

Pending Arrival of more 18Ah NiMH

November 23, 2007 11:24:00 AM PST




With the normalization of Nickel prices and the desire for larger and large capacity batteries, we decided to resume carrying the popular and dependable 2D NiMH battery packs from Nexcell. Our order was placed in September and has been delayed several times but is expected to arrive either in late December or early January.

January Update - The shipment has arrived. Please see the store site for the selection of 24V and 36V 18Ah NiMH packs, as well as the 36V and 48V 13Ah batteries. 
Posted By Adam Burvill

Lithiums, Lithiums, Lithiums

November 23, 2007 11:24:00 AM PST




There is no end of discussion in the electric vehicle world about recent innovations in lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery technology. The promises of charge cycles measured in the thousands, high inherent safety, and general tolerance to abuse are appealing. Indeed many of our customers have been running their ebikes off A123 cells pulled from DeWalt packs and similar.

Unfortunately most of the larger capacity LiFePO4 batteries from China are poorly built, with tangles of wires and low C-rate performance. However, there is one manufacturer we have been beta testing for the past 2 months that actually delivers, with 4C discharge currents and tidy and robust pack builds. We placed a large order for these in early Oct 2007 and are expecting arrival in January Feb 20th 2008. Price will be approximately $900 for 48V 12Ah, and $700 for 36V 12Ah.

Posted By Adam Burvill

Battery Update

September 18, 2007 11:24:00 AM PDT


discounted batteries
After a summer of being in low on batteries, we finally we have some new batteries to announce, just in time for... uh, Hallowe'en? Well, better late than never. The raw material costs have somewhat stabilized again, so we've been able to order additional high-rate NiCad batteries along with a few lithium orders that are scheduled for intensive testing in a (not so) secret laboratory here in Vancouver. Additionally, batteries from our older shipments are to be sold at discounted prices to clear out our old stock - check our battery sale page for details.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Website Niceties

September 18, 2007 11:24:00 AM PDT


Engineering diagrams for all of our motors, as well as the pinouts of the connectorsthat we use. Additionally, clicking on any controller picture will show you exactly what to expect so that there are no surprises. The work on the web site has been of glacial speed of late, but if tonight is any indication, much more content will be added in coming weeks.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Stock Update

July 10, 2007 11:24:00 AM PDT


We are so not out of stock!
Unloading_Osama_TN (53K)
The big summer shipment from Crystalyte has finally been delivered. A container was dropped off with more hub motors, controllers, and accessories than we can possibly fit in the little store. Update: The store got bigger. Problem solved.

Plus the Cycle Analysts have landed - We're now pleased to say that the Cycle Analyst units are available now, either as a stand alone model or plug-in and precalibrated to one of our controllers. More information is available at the Cycle Analyst page.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Main Street Shop Renovation

January 1, 2007 11:24:00 AM PST


In January 2007 we took the exciting step of signing a commercial lease for a small 388 square foot room in a nondescript brick building, 4570 Main Street, on the same block as my two favorite stores, Lee's Electronics and Main Electronics. We expected to spend 2 months renovating and setting up shop, and then have a grand opening. Well it's been a little longer than that and we still don't have a sign out, but you can see from the pictures below that it's not for lack of working.

Early_Store_TN (11K)
When we first got the space, the rooms were filled with appliances, old dishes, and 1970's furniture that the land lady didn't know quite what to do with. Even the carpet cleaner wouldn't touch the floor and advised us to tear it up and lay something new

Action_TN (5K)
Removing the carpet was one thing, but scraping off the dried carpet glue to get down to usable tiles was quite another. There were two solid days of floor scraping on our hands and knees before we decided to bite the bullet and rent a belt sander and then just paint the whole floor over.

Red_Handed_TN (62K)
The industrial grade red paint looked good, but it was oil based, and the air intake for the building's ventilation system is right on our floor. So the noxious fumes smoked out the tenants in the residential suite upstairs. Oops. After that we used low VOC paint only.

motor_wall_TN (61K)
The lease in our old storage room holding all our inventory ended early in February, so we had to have the shelves built at the new shop to accommodate the motors and batteries in fairly short order.

segue_painting_TN (63K)
It was only after loading all the boxes on that we decided painting them might be a good idea.

motor_wall_TN (61K)
Boy, was it a nice moment to receive another small sea shipment of hub motors and find that we had perfectly sized shelving in place to store it all in an orderly fashion.

Templates_TN (63K)
During the time that we're renovating the shop, the city of Vancouver appeared to be renovating Main Street to be more pedestrian and transit friendly. One day our sidewalk was torn up, next week they started pouring new concrete, and I thought, "Damn, what a rare opportunity to leave a pro-bicycle impression."

Concrete_Pour_TN (62K)
Pressing_Mold_TN (66K)
Carving_Spokes_TN (62K)
Sidewalk_Done_TN (65K)
Initially we had planned to do this surreptitiously, but found that the city planners and engineers were more than willing to entertain our plans! So a frantic weekend was spent cutting out bicycle and tricycle stencils in the garage in time for a Monday pour. The construction crew built a special framed box in the sidewalk and took pride in making sure our patterns turned out.

Battery_Station_TN (48K)
One important goal in the new shop was to build and efficient and automated battery testing station. This bench can charge and discharge cycle up to 8 battery packs at a time, with provisions in place for handling 16 batteries fairly soon. The two silver boxes at the top are custom built load banks which can dissipate up to 6000 watts of battery power.

Anthony_Screwing_TN (43K)
When the two summer co-op students arrived at the beginning of May, one of the first jobs for them was to build the necessary work spaces they'd need. Here's Anthony screwing together the frame for what soon became a ceiling mounted magnetic tool rack.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

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