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Steve Condie

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Steve Condie last won the day on July 2 2019

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  1. (Sorry for the slow response @3D-vice ) I got the battery off EBay - there are lots offered there. I suspect that the bad news about hoverboard batteries bursting into flames has depressed the market. I got LG batteries in the ones I orders, and they seem to perform to spec - 2.2 AH 18650 cells. They come with an XT60 connector. I got a 20 amp rated two way switch (on-off-on) with flat male push-on connectors. The wiring is dead simple. I made black and red wires about 14" long with male bullet connectors on the end to plug into the controller, because that's what is there to connect the standard battery. I left the other end of the black one bare wire and crimped a flat female connecter on the red one. I made a similar black one with female bullet connector on one end and bare wire on the other, and a red wire with female bullet connector on one end and a flat female connector on the other ends to plug into the main battery wires. Then I soldered an XT60 connecter onto a short black wire (bare end) and a short red wire with a 15 amp automotive fuse leading to a female flat connector. I crimped all the black wires together, and then fit the red wires from the main battery and the red wire from the XT60 into the outer posts of the two-way switch, with the red wire from the controller pushed on the center. That made the switch (main) (off) (reserve). I also soldered a charging plug onto the XT60 connector so I could charge it.
  2. @alienmeatsack, you've got that backwards. Larger cogs on the back = lower gearing. If you don't change to a larger front chainring you'll end up with one gear at standard ratio (40:16) and then two lower gears. And a larger front chainring makes for higher gearing, not lower. 52t gives you one ~standard and two "overdrive" gears. It's counter-intuitive, I know, but if you look at your gears while riding you'll see what I mean. With a 48t front the 19t middle gear is "standard" and you have one higher (the 16t cog) and one lower (the 22t one.)
  3. 3-speed 2.0 Okay - I’ve now completed my second 3 speed conversion, and as guys my age like to say: “With experience comes wisdom.” Or, to be more honest, once you’ve screwed up one way, you need to work harder to figure out a new way to screw up. I don't know if this has been covered in this thread because I can't access anything but page 6. The biggest problem I had with 3-speed 1.0 was getting the existing single gear freewheel off. It screws on the usual way - “righty-tighty.” And since that’s the direction you pull on it every time you pedal, it’s on there but good. Worse, it lacks any notches or splines to attach a tool to to unscrew it. It “freewheels” in the “lefty-loosey” direction, so you can’t just grab it and twist it off. Some pioneers in this endeavor (including me) tried putting a screwdriver or chisel in one of the two dimples on the face of the freewheel, and hit it with a hammer in the leftward direction to try to get it off. Eventually, that worked - after pounding it with a hammer and chisel for hours, destroying the part by sheer maniacal fury. After pounding off all the exterior parts of the device, what’s left can be gripped with a pipe wrench and twisted off. Not an elegant solution. It turns out there’s a less violent way to get it done. (Oooooh... a secret!) Turns out the little dimples on the front serve a purpose after all. If you put a screwdriver in one of them, and tap on it in a clockwise direction it unscrews. That’s right - it’s threaded on the freewheel with a backwards thread - righty-loosey. No real pounding required; a few confident taps and it starts turning. A minute or so, and you’re in. When you unscrew the cover, all the guts fall right out, with teeny little ball bearings skittering hither and yon, unless you thought to put a plastic bag over it while you were at the last step, in which case only a few cling to the magnets in the motor and eventually skitter. Once you’ve taken those parts off what’s left has lots of grooves and bumps, and is no problem to grab with a pipe wrench and remove. The three gear freewheel spins right on. It does require two 12mm washers on the axle to fit tightly into the frame, but then you’re home free. Of course, I needed a larger chainring on the front. I did that part two different ways. For the yellow bike, I found a four-spoked chainring with a flat spot where I could drill holes and bolt it right to the existing 40t Sondors chainring. For the white bike, I got a kit with a 48t chainring attached to a crank. That required getting a crank puller tool from my LBS for about $15. The black chainring is a 3/32" (as is the 3-speed freewheel) and I used 3/32" chain on the yellow bike. The white chainring was 1/8 so I cannabalized the two 1/8" chains from the Sondors' for the white bike. So we’ve got two 3 speed bikes now. One has a Shimano shifter, the other is Suntour - both low-level shifters. Shifting to a higher gear is easy; bang, bang, bang. Getting into a lower gear can take some doing, because the 3-speed freewheel doesn’t have any ramps on the side of the gears to help the chain up and over the larger sprocket. But I haven't had a lot of trouble getting the 5-speed index shifter to work - I've got a SRAM left hand twist shifter for the Shimano derailleur and a right hand "Velo shift" twist shifter for the Suntour. Both settle in just fine on three gears. With the Suntour I use 1, 2 and 3; with the Shimano I use gears 2, 3 and 4 but I have to twist past 2 to about 1 1/2 to get the downshift into low to bite, before backing off into the 2 spot. I’ve taken to downshifting before coming to a stop so I can start out in low; quickly shifting up as I accelerate.
  4. And here's your answer to range: I just took it for a 9 mile ride on PAS 5. It was pretty low, so I switched over to the main battery.
  5. It's a switch - (main) (off) (reserve). Wiring Li ion batteries to work in parallel is a delicate operation, so I kept them separate. I would expect the reserve battery to last less than half the range of the main battery, if used in the same manner.
  6. If you don't mind doing a little scrounging and wiring a $50 4.4 AH hoverboard battery will fit in the Sondors battery case and can be wired to take over by a simple switch if the main battery drops too low. I fastened it to the main battery with velcro; you have to take it off to remove the main battery. I charge the reserve battery with the standard charger.
  7. That's my question, too. The LCD manual says it can turn a headlight off and on if the controller has "headlight drive output function." I can't seem to find out if that's the case with the stock Sondor's controller. I have a headlight that's spec'd for 12-85V so it could take whatever voltage the controller puts out...
  8. Yeah - I used two jam nuts on that side in place of the one large nut that comes standard, and put the tensioner/retainer between them. Not much opportunity to ride the past few days since it's been raining off and on every day. I got to go for a short ~ 3 mile ride today though and I'm happy with the gear ratios and shifting. The 48 to 16-19-22 gives me a good variety of pedal speeds for the stuff I do.
  9. Downgrade to 3-speeds complete - and don't let those wheels fall off, okay? So, my 5-speed ended up being a 4-speed. And I didn't see much benefit from the small gap between the middle gears. So I sent off for a 3-speed freewheel and installed it. I found no loss of utility and everything is happier back there now - it fits with the frame at standard width. But another thing I noticed was that the "track fork" style slot for the rear wheel, when used with a derailleur instead of a fixed-length chain, would allow the rear wheel to slip off under hard braking if the bolts get loose. Other types of dropouts - vertical or forward facing horizontal - don't have that problem. So I put some simple brackets in my vice and banged them into shape, turned the chain tensioners around forward and bolted them to the brackets to make a retaining device to prevent the wheel from slipping back far enough to come off. For those thinking of installing a derailleur I recommend doing something similar.
  10. Actually, I'm thinking of "downgrading" to a 3 speed - I've ordered the freewheel. My thinking is this: the useable gears on my 5-speed are 17, 19, 21 and 24. (The chain hits the frame on the 14t one.) The 3-speed I've ordered is 16-19-22. On my 21 speed non-motorized bike I use all 21 gears going up and down hills to keep a steady cadence and maximize my endurance. But with the Sondors a little throttle push helps smooth out the ups and downs, so I don't need to do all that shifting. I've put 20 miles or so on my 5-speed now and I've had a chance to assess the difference. I do like having a higher gear than the Sondors standard 40:16 - it lets me pedal with efficiency when riding at 18-20 mph. I also use the lower gears when going up a steep hill and - particularly - when starting out from a stop headed uphill. (I should note: I'm a "pedaler." I don't use the Sondors as an underpowered motorcycle; I like to use my muscles to provide a significant part of my motive power. I consider the motor to be my "7 league boots" which increase speed and distance. That's why gearing is important to me.) I've added a 48t chainring up front, so standard gearing would be 20t on the back. 19 is close enough. Either 16t or 17t on the back gives me a higher top gear. The 21t and 24t gears are lower, but I have mostly used the 21t gear. I think a single 22t gear will work fine. The advantage of a 3 speed freewheel is that it looks like it will be narrower, if you use the kind with 16t. (There are 14t ones which have splines and appear to extend further out from the spokes.) The frame isn't the problem - it's the length of the axle bolt coming out of the motor. It's marginal when you spread things out to fit the 5-speed freewheel and add an axle-bolt mounted derailleur - I had to use a jam nut instead of the stock one because of the slotted axle - I was worried about stripping threads. So I'm thinking the narrower 3-speed freewheel will free up some more axle length. Which brings up another issue: wheels slipping off. On the single speed the chain limits the ability of the rear wheel to slip backwards out of its mounting. Once you mount a derailleur that no longer applies. The adjustable brackets that are designed to keep the tension on the chain won't help - they are facing the wrong way. If you hit the rear brake hard and your nuts are loose back there your back wheel could slide right out. That would be bad. I'm thinking of fabricating a flat "hook" to slip around the inside of the vee in the frame and then turning the chain tensioners around and fastening them to the hook to keep the wheel from sliding backwards.
  11. Yeah - it looks too big but the "motor-side" part of the connector is the small side which slips into the fat part. When you pull it apart the end connected to the motor is smaller than the diameter of the axle bolt.
  12. Maybe I'm missing something here with regard to the washers/spacers/anti spin pieces, but it wasn't an issue for me. There's a connector in the cable to the motor about halfway down the frame tube from the seatpost. You pull it apart - it's marked so it's easy to put back together. Isn't there one on your bike? The bolt and washers all just slip off over the end of the wire once you pull the connector apart. Then you can put whatever nuts or washers you want in whatever order works. I threaded a jam nut onto my axle bolt outboard of the 5-speed freewheel to get the spacing I needed for the hub to clear the frame -12 x 1.25 IIRC - and then slid the anti-spin washer on the axle after it, and the axle nut at the end.
  13. 3-D - Here's the end result: white is stock, yellow is my modified bar setup. ams - yeah, that's what I did. Much easier than replacing the crank. I drilled holes in the 48t chainring to match up with the holes for the chain guard on the old one. No issue with the location; the high (small) gears on the freewheel are offset in that direction as well, so it's probably a little better position than the stock one. What's your technique for removing the freewheel body? Once it's off it's easy enough to remove the "collar."
  14. 3-D, I did two things. First, I got an alloy handlebar with a 5" rise. I also replaced the stem (the part that holds the bar in front of the riser - it's about 3" long on the Sondors) with the shortest version made. I wanted to bring the handlebar up and back, because I wanted a more upright seating position (I'm 6'1", and with the seat high enough to extend my legs I was practically horizontal with the stock bars.) Since I was replacing the stem, I bought one which held a 25mm handlebar because there were more available in that size than in the 32mm size which the Sondors comes with. I wasn't quite satisfied with the result, so I bought the riser to bring it up a couple more inches. So: New riser, new stem, new 25mm handlebars. Result is about 7" higher and 3" further back than stock. Much more comfortable riding position.
  15. That's how I felt at the end of day 1, too. Success came on day 2, when I accepted that I had to go all in and accept that destruction had to preceed creation.
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