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My Brain is full. So now what do I do?

4637 Views 13 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  m38mike

I'm a raw neophyte trying to learn as much as I can from everyone before I jump in and start screwing things up trying to build something.

I'd like to thank everyone for sharing all this great information. I've been reading over everyone's shoulder for a couple of months now.

There are too many good posters to mention them all, but I'll hit a few of the highlights:

1. I've read all of Jim Hustead's (HiTorqueElectric) posts. Heck... I not only searched the archives and read all of his posts, but I read every entire thread that he has ever posted in. I also have drilled through his entire website. I learned a great deal. Thank You Jim.

2. I've been digging through every build thread I can find. (Sorry your cars got smashed Brian, just when I was getting through your build thread your car was gone. Felt like I got kicked in the groin. What a let down. I'm sure you felt a lot worse than me. I was just living vicariously through your posts, but still. That su#$%ed! It was a nice car while it lasted, and I still learned a lot.)

3. I've watched about every YouTube vid that I can find. Yes, I've seen all of Gavin's, Ben's, Forkenswift, n2confusion, and a bunch of others. Thanks guys.

4. I've been digging through various blogs too. Too many for me to remember them all.

5. I've read the entire Wiki. Good Stuff.

Here are the most important points that I think I've learned so far:

1. If I want to save some money, I need to learn to weld. My Grandfather had a welder and I sputtered with it when I was younger. Didn't have a clue what I was doing, but I manged to stick a few things together. Time for me to get serious and get the proper equipment and safety gear. I'll need to invest the time and energy to practice and get it right. There's no doubt in my mind it will pay off in the long run. (I've got more things I'd like to do than just mess with EV's and welding would sure help me do them (is that sacrilige to say on this message board?).

2. I want to start with a small screwup before I begin my bigger more expensive screwups. I'm thinking about building a bicycle trailer that has and electric assist capacity. Yes, I'll need brakes on it too, but it seems like a fun starter project. At least it should be fun until I have my first crash. Who knows? Maybe I'll invest in a good camera in get the whole thing on YouTube and you guys can laugh at the old guy tumbling off his bicycle. Why do I envision the trailer rolling on down the road without me to mock me? Eh... I'll get over it... I hope. Maybe I better double check to see if my health insurance is all paid up? Once I fix all of my mistakes on that small bike trailer project, then maybe I'll move up to a conversion of some kind. Then I get to make more expensive mistakes.

3. It's all about the details. The basic concepts make everything seem so simple (in some ways, that's probably correct), but getting all those details just right are what makes a project safe, reliable, efficient, and... well... USEFUL. Making an expensive toy is one thing, making something you and your family can depend upon every day is something completely different.

I've learned a lot more and probably forgotten 3/4th's of it already, but I keep plugging away.

My brain hurts. It's crammed full, and I know there's a lot more to learn. Everything I read from now on is probably going to cost me as it forces old knowedge out my ears. My daughter says I don't even know how to dress myself already. Will I now lose eye-hand coordination and verbal skills as I learn more?


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If you want a electric bike setup that isn't a permanent mount, then it seems to me like the simple, safer answer would be a trailer with the batts, and a motor that hooks over the axle of the rear wheels and on the seat. If you don't want to use the axles, then some sort of hook arrangement that slips over the frame tube to the axle would be needed. You'd hook, roll the motor forward, hook the seat tube, then tighten. The motor would then drive the tire with a friction drive. You'd need some sort of slide adjustment on the axle arms to allow the use on different tire diameters, but that will complicate it and make it heavier. Be better to design it to one tire diameter, and a single slide on the part that goes to the seat to adjust the motor to the tire. What you would wind up with is a motor pod that hangs behind the seat. Then you'd just need a throttle cable with a reusable nylon tie arrangement and a removable squeeze lever throttle to one of the handles on the handlebar.

The trailer could be very simple, just an aluminum shelf with bicycle wheels attached. If brakes on the trailer are a requirement, then an electric brake setup that has a lever attached on the opposite handle would be the way to go. That wouldn't need much juice, so the battery could supply that power even if it was too drained to run the motor. Worse comes to worse on that, you could attach a bike generator to the trailer that would be able to provide braking power, or a separate, dedicated lawn mower battery for the brakes. I don't know if they make electric bike brakes, if not you'd just need a servo that can pull a cable, then use regular bike brakes. You'd need a way to control the servo according to how strong you pull the brake pedal though, would do no good to have brakes that are either 100 percent on or 100 percent off.

Here's a rough sketch of what I'm suggesting. With this arrangement you could have an electric power system that could be moved from bike to bike in less than 5 minutes, without worrying about a setup that would cause an accident.

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