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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

    Import Fees 2019

    Yes this is an EU- mandated surcharge on the bikes. Sondors is as much a victim as the consumer is. If you followed the EU bike tariff complaint filed by the EBMA, it really was ... well, disgusting. Protectionism at its very worst. EBMA cited a Stromer as a properly priced ebike and Chinese bikes as therefore 'dumped'. I am oversimplifying greatly but that is what it boiled down to. Take that EU consumers. Bafang is reportedly scouting a manufacturing plant in Eastern Europe. Its within the EU but not subject to Swiss wage levels. They will wind up being just as competitive as they are now but the tariffs have held them off for a couple of years putting this into place. I have heard of other parts mfrs moving to Other Asian countries like Taiwan and Vietnam which are not subject to the dumping tariffs.
  2. None of your links work. Looking at their site, looks like their 'quads' are Surrey bikes, with one neat-looking 4wd fat tire quad (as in four powered wheels) for a princely sum. I'd hope very much they have perfected their driveshaft system to run with decent power. The motor they show in the pictures is a 3000w Cyclone and they are advertising a 500w mid drive. As for pros and cons, generally: Bigger = more range. But also more weight. For a single-person ride, even if its a quad, 40ah is colossal. And colossally heavy. 14.5ah is typical for a bike. Probably too small. Beyond that, battery choice is a complex subject. Just stating 'Panasonic cells' doesn't mean a whole lot other than they are less likely to explode or wear out quickly. But only if the builder knows what they are doing.
  3. MattRobertson

    AWD P & C settings for KT LCD3

    Nothing special... Really its about your own preferences. I go for speed. My bike is geared to be able to pedal along at 32 mph and I ride at PAS5/PAS5 continuously, with C14 set to boost my PAS signal, so if I am pedaling, I accelerate harder than if I use throttle... assuming I leave C5=10/C5=10. However over time I have found that if I am running full-blast PAS at all times that acceleration with two motors so strong can be dangerous. So as much as I like to be pinned back into the seat, I have set both motors to C5=0 - the full strength slow-start. Note there are two other levels of lesser slow-start in C5=1 and C5=2. Undocumented on the KT-LCD3 but in the KT-LCD8H manual and functional on the older LCD3. Even with slow-start on both motors (and I have tried it to lesser degrees before settling on the full on slow for both) acceleration is strong. remember C5=0 leaves you with full wattage. So acceleration is still strong... Its just not sudden which I find to be a lot smarter in traffic. On the other side of the coin, Houshmand goes for range. He uses C5=4 rear and C5=3 front. Also his front motor is a 25a/48v whereas mine is 52v and 35a on both. Experiment. But I'd suggest starting slow regardless. Even the lowest power levels will feel like a lot at first.
  4. MattRobertson

    Help with Battery Choice Upgrade for SONDORS X

    The Panasonic GA is only a good choice when you are piling it into a very large pack. While it has a relatively high data storage capacity at 3500 mah, It doesn't handle power drains well. It is rated by the manufacturer for a 10A drain, which is not particularly strong (in the battery world of, say, 2015 you had a choice between storage and power output, so the GA went the storage route). Here's where it becomes smart to use GA's in bigger packs: They are rated for 10A but they get unusually hot The DIY battery crowd's rule of thumb with them is to keep them to about 7A (remember, heat is what kills a cell). Thats pretty low, but just fine for any Sondors application you can think of; especially in a big pack like Reddy Kilowatt is describing. https://www.imrbatteries.com/sanyo-ncr18650ga-3500mah-10a-flat-top-battery/ Look at the cost per cell. Also for the era of 2015-ish, the Samsung 25R was on the other end of the storage vs. output world. This cell has a 2500mah capacity so significantly less than the GA. But it is rated for 20A output... and that output rating has turned out to be conservative. You can beat the living snot out of a 25R pack and it will take it and stay cool. Since the cells are also older tech, they are inexpensive. I use a 25R pack on my BBSHD/Bafang AWD bike to run both of my motors. It has a 70a continuous BMS which is higher than anything you will find commercially produced, and it can take that draw no problem. https://www.imrbatteries.com/samsung-25r-18650-rechargeable-battery/ Considering the power and reliability of this battery, its a good thing, right? Look at the cost per cell. The lowest of any described here. Double bonus. The tradeoff is that capacity. If you are targetting a particular capacity you will have to go to a physically bigger pack. But not colossal. I have two 25R packs, one from Luna designed for the Sondors, and another custom built - at 17.5ah and 20 ah respectively and they aren't unusually large. As for the EBW batteries that are so inexpensive, they use Panasonic NCR18650PF cells which are decent storage at 2900 mah and decent output at 10A. And they don't get hot. So... superior output to the GA in real-world, at the expense of some capacity. Look at the cell price. They aren't cheap but also not the most expensive. https://www.imrbatteries.com/panasonic-ncr18650pf-2900mah-10a-flat-top-battery/ So much for the 2015 era of batteries. What about 2019? Remember the inevitable trade-off between capacity and output? Enter the Samsung 30Q. 3000mah capacity and 15A output. Quite the nice compromise vs. a 25R's output. I have two 30Q batteries: First is a pair of 14S2P Luna Mini Cubes wired together in parallel. They get hot. Not a shock considering they are 2P packs. But here's the thing: The 30Q is made to take high heat. Thats more or less unique for an 18650. My second 30Q is a Luna Wolf pack, a 14S4P 12ah potted, crash- and heat-proof super battery, essentially. Not cheap at $600 but their BMS is underrated (its actually capable of 100a continuous and dialed back at Luna) and its been shown to run a Tangent Ascent at full chat without frying. Considering that is a motor that is commonly run at 60-80 amps - or more - thats saying a hell of a lot for a 4P pack. https://www.imrbatteries.com/samsung-30q-18650-3000mah-15a-flat-top-battery/ And look at that cell price. There is no longer a premium on them. I am presently having a battery custom built for me to fit into an XL frame's triangle. Right now I fit my Luna Storm 17.5ah 25R battery, and my two parallel'd Luna Mini Cube 6ah batteries, for a total of 29.5ah. The new battery will be all 30Q's. My current 29.5ah 'pack' weighs 19 lbs. The 30ah 30Q weighs 14 lbs. It is 14S9P so heat will be a non issue, which is a good thing because it will have a BMS rated for 80 amps continuous, with a 150 amp peak and I'll use that. Good luck matching that weight and output with ANY of the other cells listed above. If you want current best-of-breed, its the 30Q. But its by no means the only choice. As you can see from the above, there is no single best cell. You have to understand the ins and outs of the cells in the marketplace: what they are good or not so good for. Your decision needs to take into account size, heat, amp draw (always always always find out what the BMS is rated for and ignore its *peak* capacity. Make sure its *continuous* capacity exceeds your controller's *peak* number or you will trip the BMS when the controller peaks for more than the second or three. Been there done that on throttle going up a hill and the unpowered ride back to the charger to reset the BMS ... sucked). As for UPP/UnitPackPower, you see some folks over at Endless Sphere saying both good and bad things about them. The good usually comes from new purchasers happy they saved a bundle. the bad comes from folks who have been using them awhile. The unspecified-cell packs are Chinese cells - not a big shock. Look carefully at their BMS numbers. Usually they keep them pretty low, and you do not want to be running a BMS at or past its max continuous capacity to run your bike. I personally wouldn't touch them with a 10-foot pole. What is your house worth? What is your house worth after it burns down? Your battery pack business should not go to the lowest bidder.
  5. Ralf, I buy a lot of stuff from Rose Bikes. Especially my brake and drivetrain parts. I just bought four sets of brake pads for my Magura brakes and buying in that quantity offsets the shipping cost from Germany so I am still saving a lot. https://www.rosebikes.de/shimano-b01s-disc-brake-pads-701755 https://www.rosebikes.de/kool-stop-shimanotektro-disc-pads-160817 The pads are the same as Shimano pads so you actually have quite a large variety of suppliers to choose from.
  6. MattRobertson

    Rad Power

    Along the same lines as the link above, Rad Power Bikes owner Mike Radenbaugh has acknowledged that the motor is in fact a 500w Bafang that has been re-marked as 750w because it is warrantied to perform at 750w.. Its better if I let him tell it himself: For the sake of complete context, here is the link to the original full thread https://electricbikereview.com/forum/threads/question-about-the-motors-on-the-radrover.6314/ In a closed ebike group in September of 2018 this issue blew up again in a big way. Mr. Radenbaugh essentially re-stated the above position - that the motor's designation denotes what it is warrantied to run at. I'll skip posting the screen shot but I do have the entire discussion saved as a gigantic PNG file.
  7. There should be no changes needed thanks to your controller switch. Plus you didn't change the motor... so its a direct swap. When I upgraded one of my LCD3's to an LCD8H, all I did was copy over the settings. The exception to that is the initial settings which are different. I changed Km's to mph by setting the third entry to '3' which Kyle notes in his video, linked above. the LCD3 and the LCD8h are essentially identical under the hood. The LCD8H is just easier to set up and its display shows everything you need on one screen vs. the LCD3's three screens.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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