CONTROLLER

OK, here we go again. And by the way, thanks to all who comment in the past. Under parts and accessories.

I received the very same controller fromVOILAMART, in China. It is a duplicate to the one I was using. I installed it, no problem. Soldered all the wires, no loss there. I took it out, having ridden it last week for about a mile on a full charge. When I approached the hill at my home it stopped. Now let me say again, when it stopped the LEDs on the throttle goes off, and won't turn on until I put it on the charger, for a second, then they work. So, a brand new controller, the same problem. Anybody have a guess what's going on? Could my battery be going bad? Is there any way to tell? If I were to ride it flat, with no hills I believe it would go on for miles. This bike is about three years old. Could the throttle have anything to do with the problem, since it only shows the bottom two LEDs? I'm at a loss and need some advice.

Thanks,

Charlie
 

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MarkF

Active Member
It sure sounds like it could be the battery. When the cells go bad, the voltage drops when you add the load. The pack will appear to charge up but only to drop voltage when pushed under a load.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
You need to load test the battery independent of the controller/motor. Purchase a 10 ohm 450 watt load. I bought 5 ohm 225 w logs from apexelectronics.com of LAm for $8 each. You could also use a heating element from a room heater with a bad tipover switch, mine measures 6 ohms cold. Put a voltmeter in parallel with the resistor. 48/10 is 5 amps, 48/6 is 8 amps. If a 36 v battery change the math. Connect the load to the fully charged battery. Don't ever touch both + and - with both hands, 48 v across your heart can stop it. Use alligator clip leads. A 13 ah 48 v battery should sustain 5 amps about 2.5 hours. 8 amps about 1.5 hours. Don't test the battery below 42 v. I had two batteries that would collapse in voltage at 5 amps instantly, one to 8 v one to 14 v. Sign of bad welds in the parallel stacks if the battery is new.
 
You need to load test the battery independent of the controller/motor. Purchase a 10 ohm 450 watt load. I bought 5 ohm 225 w logs from apexelectronics.com of LAm for $8 each. You could also use a heating element from a room heater with a bad tipover switch, mine measures 6 ohms cold. Put a voltmeter in parallel with the resistor. 48/10 is 5 amps, 48/6 is 8 amps. If a 36 v battery change the math. Connect the load to the fully charged battery. Don't ever touch both + and - with both hands, 48 v across your heart can stop it. Use alligator clip leads. A 13 ah 48 v battery should sustain 5 amps about 2.5 hours. 8 amps about 1.5 hours. Don't test the battery below 42 v. I had two batteries that would collapse in voltage at 5 amps instantly, one to 8 v one to 14 v. Sign of bad welds in the parallel stacks if the battery is new.
 
Thanks for the advice. But it's a bit much to digest, and sounds complicated. I am about to build a duplicate bike for my wife. You see she is 82, I'm 87. If the battery isn't the problem I'll have the battery for her bike. SO with the new controller I just put on a new battery should let me know if that's the problem. One other thing, I'll buy a new charger, just in case my current problem is the charger. Your suggestions are good but time, at our age is not my friend.

Thanks,

Charlie
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
Two of the three batteries I've bought have been garbage. The voltage test got me my money back on one of them. Make sure what you buy is not a returned problem from somebody else. The LBS sold me 2 air pumps that wouldn't work and different LBS a front light that wouldn't shut off the second time. Lots of shysters out there trying to prevent a loss on the garbage they bought.
I'm age 68 and am not ready to give up tree work off ladders yet. Electronics is sit down work. I do carry a flip phone now in case I fall & break something.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the advice. But it's a bit much to digest, and sounds complicated. I am about to build a duplicate bike for my wife. You see she is 82, I'm 87. If the battery isn't the problem I'll have the battery for her bike. SO with the new controller I just put on a new battery should let me know if that's the problem. One other thing, I'll buy a new charger, just in case my current problem is the charger. Your suggestions are good but time, at our age is not my friend.

Thanks,

Charlie
If you don't have an ebike shop nearby to check/test your battery and charger, any decent shop that sells/services boat trolling motors and batteries should be able to test your battery for cheap or even free. Many trolling motor users, use lithium-ion batteries these days
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
Charles, your battery is just not able to deliver the high current needed by your motor on hills. Did it ever work properly in the past? It could be that it's always been like that or the cells got old and can't work like when they were new.

Are you using three lead acid batteries in series, or is it a lithium cell pack? If they are 12v lead acid, an auto parts place like Advance auto can do that load test.

There are different motors, like geared motors that will need less current, but no one markets them for trikes. You have to get a stronger battery for what you have. Is your wife smaller? Can she get up that hill on your trike?

Well, I cannot think of anything that desn't involve getting a second battery,
 
Two of the three batteries I've bought have been garbage. The voltage test got me my money back on one of them. Make sure what you buy is not a returned problem from somebody else. The LBS sold me 2 air pumps that wouldn't work and different LBS a front light that wouldn't shut off the second time. Lots of shysters out there trying to prevent a loss on the garbage they bought.
I'm age 68 and am not ready to give up tree work off ladders yet. Electronics is sit down work. I do carry a flip phone now in case I fall & break something.
 
The beyery Im looking at is the same as the one I;m using, There are several in the 200.00 range, from companies,not individuals.
I never buy anything used. Here is the one I now have. Are you familiar with it?
 

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MarkF

Active Member
Wow decent batteries start around $400. So seeing a $200. one makes me think it's very cheap cells that wont power you very good up a hill or have very good cycle life. .
 
Wow decent batteries start around $400. So seeing a $200. one makes me think it's very cheap cells that won't power you very good up a hill or have very good cycle life. .
It's going on four years old.....and it still may be good. If, with a new battery it does the same thing on the slight hill. then it's something else,...like the motor.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
One bad battery I got came from an Amazon vendor in LA btrbattery. The other from E-bay, a warehouse in LA of a well known brand battery Sun ebike. After a bad review it is so easy to close up your old vendor name and start with a new one.
LBS may also recycle their failed parts. I've had local TV parts houses do it, also a lawnmower parts vendor . A battery from a bike manufacturer with a reputation to protect may be new.
I go up some serious steep hills. Even with a 17 AH battery, charged to 90% when I start, by the time I get out in the hllls it will start dropping power on the steep grades. However this controller that came with the $180 motor wheel drops back in again after a quarter second of no power. When I get to my summer camp the 48 v battery will be 43 v if I used it heavily.
 
One bad battery I got came from an Amazon vendor in LA btrbattery. The other from E-bay, a warehouse in LA of a well known brand battery Sun ebike. After a bad review it is so easy to close up your old vendor name and start with a new one.
LBS may also recycle their failed parts. I've had local TV parts houses do it, also a lawnmower parts vendor . A battery from a bike manufacturer with a reputation to protect may be new.
I go up some serious steep hills. Even with a 17 AH battery, charged to 90% when I start, by the time I get out in the hllls it will start dropping power on the steep grades. However this controller that came with the $180 motor wheel drops back in again after a quarter second of no power. When I get to my summer camp the 48 v battery will be 43 v if I used it heavily.
Which battery do you recomend?
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
Hi Charles, I have battery much like that on an ebike, but I am running a much smaller motor, using an 17A controller. Your battery as described here
has 50 cells arranged as 10X5, but is rated for 10A continuous. They say 30A peak, but they probably lie. Maybe 20A peak. The ebay ad says to contact seller if motor exceeds 500W.

You're not always climbing hills, but you still need a bigger battery.
Like a 36V15AH or larger.
 
T hanls,

Since my motor is 36 volts, how do I get a stronger battery without damaging the motor? A 42 volt, or larger Ahrs, or what. I thought it had to be 36volts, 10mah. Help me out,

Thnks,

Charlie
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
A 4 year old questionable quality pack is probably done. Get yourself a cheap multimeter and simply take a measurement at full charge and again when the motor stops. Load testing with what you’ve shared for details would be a good learning experience but a pain.

A 36V battery is 42V when fully charged.
Warning a rudimentary explanation for easy discussion.
Ah refers to the output when additional cells are added to a pack. You can find quality 36V 17Ah packs for around $400. Properly cared for they should outlast your current pack and with 17Ah, more cells, darn good mileage. Many of us have started using battery management systems that can be accessed by smart phone. Great for trouble shooting.

and it still may be good.
chances are better it’s a dud. If your bike went up the grade before it will again. Just confirm actual voltage. A controller will not malfunction in the manner you describe.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
A 36V lithium battery is 42 volts at full charge. It's always 10 groups of cells in series. The full charge voltage on a cell is 4.2 volts, so that's why we say 42V.

Do you own a meter, or can you borrow one, Charlie? You say it's only showing 2 LED's. See what the voltage is. Batteries lose charge quite quickly when they are old. Some will hit 42V on the charger, and self discharge down to 40V within a few minutes off the charger.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
Which battery do you recommend?
You don’t need any off the higher output batteries. I just ordered myself a new 36V using an older cell, but one known to be reliable and resilient. “PF” is the common designation. But
You say it's only showing 2 LED's
My response to those battery LED “indicators “ is to remind my customers of the indicators. My turn signals “indicate” my intentions, but can’t predict which way I’ll actually turn. BTW they cost about 40cents and thats a bulk price.