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

4622 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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I'm no EV expert yet-my brain is far from full-but I suspect that a bike with a Pusher trailer might be inherently unstable, especially in turns and particularly if your trailer uses the popular swivel hitch. The bike and Pusher could easily end up going in separate directions! :(

Have you considered mounting the motor on the bike (chain drive, friction wheel, whatever) and then mounting the Batteries and Controller in the trailer? Without the trailer you'd have a normal bike with an extra few pounds(motor and throttle control) and then you plug in to the trailer and have your power-and you'd be properly balanced and not worrying about the trailer pushing you into a ditch on a sharp turn...

I doubt you'll need the plans-but if you run into a problem they're available.

If I ever get the spare cash together (living on beans and rice at this point,alas) I plan on using an old VW Generator and a one-speed Touring bike for a modest 24V EV. The pack will be mounted on the chassis.

I'm 15 miles from the nearest town though, so i'm planning on using a trailer myself-rather than a Pusher though, I plan on mounting two 24V strings in Parallel,which plugs into the circuit as an add-on. Given three Parallel strings of 24V the Bike+Trailer will carry over 60 Ahr total. With any luck this should net me well over 40 miles at roughly 20 MPH to roughly 65-70%discharge-this assumes i'm not pedaling(though I will be). The batteries will be secured on the sides, leaving plenty of room in the inner well for cargo...

This assumes that New Horizons gets off its collective posterior and lines up some job interviews soon(i've got my certificates so it's time for NH to keep up its end!). The good news is i'm using a dirt simple system-with the low voltage and robust components i'm just using a switch and a resistor for Off/12/24V states-so a single decent week's check should net me all my components. The Economy being what it is though, i'm hoping you finish yours first. And that it doesn't push you places you don't want to go, of course. :D
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You could always try a single wheel in the middle!


The downside is that you lose some of your Cargo space-the upside is that you could(assuming the components were at least roughly balanced) have a Pusher that leans with your bike but doesn't put a great deal of weight on the axle.
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