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MattRobertson

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MattRobertson last won the day on October 2

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About MattRobertson

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  1. MattRobertson

    Reliable, Silent Charger - Some Assembly Required

    I had the opportunity to make another charger over the weekend for my daughter and son-in-law, who have matching Original 'X' models. They also live in the EU and as such I needed the appropriate plug - the charger will auto-sense the voltage coming in and adjust accordingly. So for those of you folks outside the U.S., here's what one looks like. My daughter's locale uses a 2-prong grounded 'Schuko' type plug which I got from a UK seller on Fleabay. One nice thing about using international parts is they conform to the same international specs. So there is none of the translation necessary to pick which wire goes to where. Just match the colors and you are done. [click on any image to embiggen in new window] This time I took the time to take pics before and after during assembly. The heat shrink and adhesive on the marine-grade splice connectors make for a very solid connection. There is a trick to doing the best crimping: do it on the very ends don't crimp so hard you tear deeply into the plastic covering the splice ensure the pointy prong on your crimper faces AWAY from the other wires so if you do overcrimp and tear into the plastic, you won't expose metal facing the other wires. Use a halfway decent crimper. I think I made this point in the original post but it bears repeating. Use the wrong tool for the job and your results will suck. There is also a trick to heating the adhesive connectors - First, use a nozzle on your heat gun that narrows the heat exhaust so you can better direct it to a small area. Next, heat the ends that you actually need to shrink up and grip the wire. Stay away from directly heating the metal center. If you do that, any tearing of the plastic over the crimp tends to actually seal itself. If you heat the center, those tears will break open further as the adhesive plastic shrinks from the heat. Its actually pretty easy to do... you just have know to do it... and now you do. Heat shrink over top of those adhesive connectors and you have a stable, solid connection you need to look for to notice. Do it again for the XT60 'universal' output connector. Make sure that external heatshrink is plenty long. In this case I made sure I had plenty of exposed wire on the end because I like the flexibility. If I wanted to reinforce it and maintain that flexibility, self-adhesive silicone tape (sticks only to itself; spiral wrap it around the wire) is the perfect solution. The Sondors-compatible bottle connector I chose for this charger had a male plug end on it, so I needed to make another connection using a short female-to-female XT60 extension. It is important to get your genders right on a charger. You do NOT want a male XT60 or male anything else exposed on the battery side as an arc between the terminals is much more likely on a male plug, and that can destroy your battery. Here's the whole thing put together with a meter added to the end and the Sondors-compatible 5.5mmx2.1mm barrel connector attached. The meter is showing it is configured for an 80% charge on a 52v battery. After I took this pic I realized I needed to set it up for a 48v battery on an Original X and changed the voltage on the charger and the label on the meter.
  2. MattRobertson

    Reliable, Silent Charger - Some Assembly Required

    AND it is touted as "Made in USA". Fat lot of good that did me. The problem with all of these meters is they cannot be calibrated. The Watts Up is advertised as accurate to +/- 1%, which means a 58.8v charge could be read as 59.4 (which means if it says '58.8' you didn't quite charge to 100%) or it reads 58.2... which means if you didn't calibrate it then you will keep charging past the 58.8v limit and literally burn off your potential cycle life on the battery. If one of them could just have a potentiometer like the Mean Well chargers have on them... you could dial the reading up or down a tad and problem solved. No such animal that I have seen. After I tried that meter in the post above I dug out a spare Tenergy (a.k.a. Amazon Chinese clone), put a connector on it and checked it. It was off by -0.40v. I can live with that. Easy to put a label on the meter.
  3. MattRobertson

    Wider tires for Thin 2016?

    The advantage of using the ETRTO tire measurement system is its supposed to give you a genuinely accurate measurement on casing width. 50mm is a hair under 2". Up to you to decide if that leaves you enough room... assuming the casing width is true to size. Oftentimes they are a little optimistic (real tire is thinner) so in the end... you will either have to find someone who has fit those tires or just jump in and hope for the best.
  4. MattRobertson

    Reliable, Silent Charger - Some Assembly Required

    Well, I was hopeful I would have the same experience Manx Mariner did with his Watts Up meter. What I got was the worst inaccuracy I have ever seen on a meter that cost double the others I own. 55.4v of current is being read as 58.6. Its just as bad if I connect the meter directly to my battery sans charger. So... live and learn. I'm glad Manx Mariner got a good one but clearly the $30 meter is every bit as much of a crap shoot as the $15 Chinese copies.
  5. MattRobertson

    Tire Splitting/Separating

    And another.... Also barely worn. I just picked the last two reports. These are typical examples. Note both tires have almost no wear. Again if you see this issue follow the instructions on the Sondors site and report the problem with pictures.
  6. MattRobertson

    Tire Splitting/Separating

    One more thing, direct to @JCJ: You stated 1148 miles on the tire. Yours is the first of these failures I have seen that took so long to evidence itself. In every prior instance, it was a tire that hasn't been used much. This example is a typical one. This tire had 700 reported miles at 16 psi on it. You have less than twice that and your tire is worn completely down. Since the rubber compound on these tires is known to be pretty durable, there's something going on with your use. Its not tire pressure as 17 psi is not an issue.
  7. MattRobertson

    Tire Splitting/Separating

    Sondors is now managing its warranty and tech support through the Facebook group, as you can see from their web site. As part of that, the separating tires are a known issue and there have been enough reports and photos showing the same problem to conclude there was a bad batch of tires. It is being dealt with individually. In the case of JCJ's situation, there isn't anything to warranty as he already got the full use of the tire... it is completely worn out as pictured (sure you could push it a little further, but no one would argue the move's safety with a straight face even if, as an owner, I might do the same thing myself... I'm just a cheapskate who carries tire patches along with me). Using the model of auto tires, a tire manufacturer or shop gives a percentage credit for the unused portion of your defective tire, which in this case is essentially zero. @JCJ keep an eye out for the front tire. It could go, or be just fine forever. If you do have a failure on a tire that has wear left on it, visit the Facebook group and post pics just like you did here. If its an issue that rises to a warranty service level the admin staff will tag in a member of the Sondors team who will help you personally.
  8. MattRobertson

    Reliable, Silent Charger - Some Assembly Required

    Hmmm. Well, how about taking the meter out of the picture? I usually use an XT60 on the charger and xt60's on the meter so I can run without the meter if I decide to do so (you can just turn the bike on and read the LCD in a pinch). Looks like you used Andersons on both sides so assuming that will work. I use exactly what you are using for my 52v batteries and have stepped down to 48v no problem... so its not the charger unit. NOTE TO PEANUT GALLERY: To save time we went to chat and discussed the situation directly. Battery is at 49v, Manx Mariner has already tried taking the meter out of the picture and has also tried dialing the voltage back to 54v - to his formerly working 48v charge setting that he was using on a 48v battery. Nada. Charger still works on his 48v battery. So that seems to take the charger out of the picture and point to the battery having an issue with its ability to charge. He's working with the battery vendor to diagnose further.
  9. MattRobertson

    ANSWERED Brake Rotor Upgrade for X Bike?

    @brassell31 if you are going to pay for an upgrade, you may as well go all the way. You have to pay for a new caliper height adapter, and you have to pay for a new rotor... so make them 203's front and rear. You won't be hurting anything and its better to have too much capacity than too little. If too much, just don't squeeze as hard. In reality 203's front and rear are not going to make the brakes too grabby... the reality of a 50-60-lb ebike means that will never happen. Something to consider: Magura Storm HC rotors are super thick. 2.0-2.2mm thick. Lots of others are a lot thinner. About $28 each on Fleabay delivered. Interestingly enough, your current 160mm Tektro rotors are very nice. They have the same thickness as the Maguras, which is unusual. By way of comparison, Avid rotors are often in the 1.3mm thickness range. I re-used my Sondors stock rotors on my Stumpjumper - that I put a 3000-watt Cyclone on. Stopped freaking great with the AVID BB5's I had on that bike.
  10. MattRobertson

    Sondors Thin 52v Upgrade Attempt

    @Chad Lauterbach In terms of fitment I have no idea. The FalconEV web site does show a pic with dimensions you can use to take your best guess on that. I actually have two Luna bags on my other two bikes and have found them to be of good quality. I used them when I couldn't fit the very large FalconEV bag... which I have actually had sitting around for over a year waiting for a frame it would fit into. So the Luna bags have been my go-to's for quite some time. They hold up well. But in terms of sturdy construction the Falcon bag is the champ of non-custom ebike battery bags ... its only drawback being its large size. based on what I have seen of them, FalconEV is making them smaller generation-after generation. The picture on the home page is the 3rd gen and thats mine. If you root around in their site you will find a pic of the 2nd gen and the measurements in that pic are larger. I have seen the 1st gen measured out elsewhere and it was larger still. Here's one of my bikes with the Luna bag on it. This bike only uses that bag for storage (my traveling Satiator charger which is no lightweight) and as a rats nest (wires) so its not quite stuffed full. Note I did not use the rear straps around the frame but they are used to hold onto the motor cables running up the seat tube. Looking at this pic, I am thinking the triangle of the Thin is too big for this bag given the already tight fit and the plunging top tube.
  11. No such thing for 'fat' tires and tubes. that is true for the 26" original and 20" Fold tires. Best you can do is look for the thickest tubes you can get - for the Original this is the Evo fat bike tubes that are about 1.2mm thick. For Folds, the common choice is the Mongoose 20"x4.0 tube which is 1mm thick (Kenda's 20" fat tube is only 0.85mm so brand choice makes a difference). As for tires, again no such thing as a flat-resistant tire... No doubt weight is the consideration. Slick tires tend to be thicker but depending on who you ask they also eat more nails... mine sure did. Tires with lower 'tpi' counts have heavier casings and are considered more flat resistant, but its nothing like a tire with an internal belt like you would see in, for example, the Schwalbe Marathon. The common solution - and its very effective - is to use Slime inside the tubes.
  12. MattRobertson

    Reliable, Silent Charger - Some Assembly Required

    Ah... couldn't quite read that lettering on that pic. I've heard of them. I believe they were one of the originals of this kind of meter. Unfortunately there are reviews of those meters being off like a lot of the clones. You just have to take the good with the bad.
  13. MattRobertson

    Reliable, Silent Charger - Some Assembly Required

    Wow you did better than I usually do with the meter! That one is not backlit? Have a link?
  14. MattRobertson

    Reliable, Silent Charger - Some Assembly Required

    They can get not only warm... they can get kinda hot. But not so hot they will burn anything, including your fingers. This is true even of the $300 Cycle Satiator. free air convection (i.e. just sitting there and radiating heat) is how these things cool themselves without a fan. For my Cycle Satiator, I added some black-anodized heat sinks using thermal adhesive tape. I did this mostly because its a $300 charger and I want to ensure it lives forever. But its rated for this sort of thing. If I am using that Satiator to pump out a 5a emergency charge it gets almost too hot to touch, and again its made for that. My HLG-320 is set for 5a and 58.75v by default but that thing is built heavily enough it doesn't get as warm. Mass and surface area is a factor clearly. You can do the same thing with these chargers. My CLG-150-48A's both have some heat sinks stuck to their flat undersides so they actually sit on them (ideally of course, they would be on the top side but that side is ridged for heat dissipation). But I have not done this with any others. I think that slab-side bottom having complete contact with the smooth garage pavement is a better heat sink than anything I can rig up. So short version: Don't worry about it. Its normal.
  15. MattRobertson

    Tire Splitting/Separating

    I agree the tire shouldn't separate, but ... look at it... you have almost worn it completely down. At this point this is a worn out tire that should be discarded about now anyway.
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