Should I get it? I got it, really need help now!!!

okrobie

New Member
I have an opportunity to get an Electric Scooter "As-Is" Dirt cheap, but I don't know very much about e-vehicles. The seller says that it doesn't run but he doesn't know why. I am very skilled electrically and have a good battery tester so I'm tempted to have a go at it. It is a full sized Taotao motor scooter and I'm attaching a photo. Let me know what you think. Regards, Jim

P.S. Not having seen it yet... I suspect that the batteries are toast
 

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Marci jo

Well-Known Member
It's a scooter, meaning it is powered only by electricity, no pedaling?
Is it street legal in your area? Does it need a license for your specific state?
In my state it would not be allowed on any bike trails as an ebike. Only pedal-assisted ebikes are allowed and the max speed is 20 mph using motor assist.
But if you plan to use the scooter as transportation, it might be a good buy. And might be a fun project to get it running again.
 

AguassissiM

Well-Known Member
@okrobie

Welcome to the forum.

If the controller is dead than you can get one dirt cheap on e-bay.
You have to be prepared to invest in a decent battery other than the sla (sealed lead acid) that the scooter came with.
I have one of these and ever since the battery pack was changed to a e-leaf lithium pack the mileage went to 120 miles per charge vs 35 miles on the old sla battery.
Here is a picture of it.
 

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okrobie

New Member
Hi Marci Jo, It does have pedals, however they look like you would only want to use them in an emergency. I'm a strong bicyclist but I don't think I want to try. Yes it is street legal here in Florida. I doubt if it would be allowed on trails.

Hi Steve, the older I get, the more attracted I am to the e-bike concept. I've been an avid bicyclist all my life (I'm now 77) but I'm starting to look for alternatives. A friend of mine converted his cruiser into a 1000 watt e-bike with a Walmart kit and he loves it.

Hi AguassissiM, thanks for the encouragement. those "e-leaf lithium packs" sound great, but I did some searching on Amazon and Walmart but couldn't find what you have. Where do you buy them? I'm concurrently re-building a conventional 49cc gas scooter and found those two vendors to be excellent in that project for parts.

Thanks to all of you for the great posts. Regards, Jim
 

AguassissiM

Well-Known Member
@okrobie

Hi Jim,
I got mine from a Canadian seller on e-bay, you my want to look for these at a local scrap yard or recycling centre, see if you can find any smashed up electric cars, mine was $70 Cad each including shipping and I got 14 pieces, that is all I have room for in the scooter. So the pack is 58.8volt x 48amp. They are rated for 50amp each however they are 5 years old, at the time of purchase they have been charged less than 1500 times since new.
I think it was well worth the price and effort to make it work, the enjoyment of riding around without worrying about the remaining charge.
One of the tips for connecting the batteries is to make your own cables and cable connectors out of copper tubing, here is a picture, they aren't pretty but they work and a lot cheaper than the ones from home depot.
 

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bob armani

Well-Known Member
Cool looking vehicle: reminds me of the mopeds we use to ride in the 1970s-80s that were also popular as rentals for tourists in Hawaii at the time. Great idea to get a lithium-ion for this using today's tech with an older machine. Looks like a nice project to upgrade possibly later as Steve has indicated above.
Good Luck on your decision!
 

okrobie

New Member
Well I bought it. When I went to buy it, I tested the batteries and they were somewhat sulfated, but not too bad. I think I can clean them up with one of those pulse thingies. But the big surprise was when I got it home and found that some handy person had put the batteries in parallel and disconnected some important wires. I put them in series, but now I have some leftover wires that I don't know what to do with. I have scoured the internet for a schematic without success. Can anyone link me to an electrical diagram? I'm sure that even a generic one would do. Thanks for any help. Regards, Jim

EDIT: P.S. This rig didn't come with a charger. What are the best options for buying a replacement 48V charger?

EDIT: I'm beginning to realize that the loose wires have something to do with the charging system. The bike doesn't have a charging connector so I need advice on which type of connector is used on the OEM charging system. I am not going to go crazy about this but as budget allows, I would like to restore this as close to OEM as is possible.

EDIT: The loose wires are the charging wires. I'm measuring 52.3VDC across the pair. Now all I have to do is figure out why it doesn't run. The batteries are strong but when I turn the ignition key, nothing happens. No turn signals, horn brake lights... nothing. What next y'all?
 
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okrobie

New Member
I got another surprise when I called the Florida DMV to see what it would cost to Register it and get Tags. The man said, "does it have pedals?" when I said yes he kind of chortled... With that bike, you don't need a Title, Registration or Tags. He said the only problem is that bikes like that get pulled over a lot because it looks so much like a gas scooter. He thought that the cops in my area would soon recognize that it is an e-Scooter.

EDIT: I think I'll make a sign for the tag holder that says "Electric Scooter No tags required" That might save me from distracting our boys in blue from their more important duties.
 
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okrobie

New Member
I can't find an exactly correct schematic for my TaoTao ATE-501 48VDC 500Watt electric scooter, but I have seen many other electric scooter drawings, and the consensus is that the 48VDC from the top battery should go to the fat red wire on the controller. The fat black wire goes to the negative lead on the bottom battery (presumably 0VDC, but I can't tell if it is grounded to the frame) but when I attempt to connect the 48VDC battery lead to the fat red wire on the controller, I get a huge powerful spark which welds aligator clip leads to terminals. Am I doing something wrong, or does that indicate that the controller is toast? Or did I make it toast with my "experiments"?
 

okrobie

New Member
I don't know what the input impedance of the controller should be, but I'm measuring 0.7 Ohms between the fat red wire and the fat black wire. I'm pretty sure that means that my controller is toast. What do y'all think? Thanks, Jim

EDIT: I see that there are two different kinds of controllers, square wave and sine wave. Which should I be shopping for?
I don't know if my motor is brushed. It is located in the rear wheel hub.
 
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okrobie

New Member
Well, I got a new controller. I can now connect the B+ to the controller without the huge spark. I currently have the motor and the input voltage connected. Now all of the lights and the horns work. Only problem is that the connectors from the new controller don't match up with the connectors on the scooter. All the markings on the controller are in Chinese so I took it over to my favorite Chinese Restaurant and the owner and her son translated it for me. They say things like door lock brake lights and there is one three wire connector which I'm sure is the throttle. If anyone has a link to a good wiring diagram please post it. Thanks, Jim
 

okrobie

New Member
I found a photo online which shows the red and blue jumpered together. I tried it and I heard the rear wheel try to spin for a split second and then quit. I bought this generic controller thinking that it would work, but it doesn't seem to. I think that my motor is three phase because my old controller had 3 motor wires, whereas this one only has 2 motor wires so its probably single phase. I may have to try to get an OEM replacement controller. There are none on eBay at present, but I did find one on Bangood. I'll let y'all know how it works out.
 
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AguassissiM

Well-Known Member
@okrobie

Hi Jim, looks like you have been keeping busy, sorry to hear that the process is so painful for you.
Here is link to a parts store for scooters like yours, hopefully they have the part that you need. I would give them a call before buying anything and speak to customer service and see if they can help you out with a proper diagnoses as to what parts you may need as well as the wiring diagram for your machine. I kind of worry that your trial run (connection) may have compromised the hall sensor inside the wheel, hopefully it did not.
As far as the charger goes you can purchase one or if you feel confident enough you can get bunch of parts and build one yourself.
Sorry for not being much of help, i just do not know much about the TaoTao scooters.
 

okrobie

New Member
Hi AguassissiM, don't worry about the pain. I have been an electronics Tech all my life and I made a good living by being a good diagnostic animal. I have already placed an order for a controller that is very close to being the OEM one that I took out. I put it 0n. I am getting it ftom Amazon prime. It will be here on Friday.
 

okrobie

New Member
Well... it's running with the new controller, but the throttle connector is different so I ran a test drive without throttle control. It was kind of exciting because it quickly accelerated to full speed and stayed there. The brakes will bring it to a stop and the ignition switch, of course is the emergency stop. I'll do some research to figure out the color codes of the throttle circuit.

I'll let you know how it works out. Regards, Jim
 

okrobie

New Member
The batteries are not as robust as I first thought and I will soon need a set of batteries. Original equipment are 12V 18AH SLA's.I know that I should be getting a Li-ion battery pack, but the budget just won't support that at this time. There are several choices among the SLA's. Deep Cycle, AGM and Internal thread. These are all in the same price range (at Amazon)

Is there any significant advantage to either of these technologies?

Thanks, Jim
 

okrobie

New Member
Thanks AguassissiM, Those are good sites with information I can use.

I found some throttle schematics and I now have the scooter running well, except for the low batteries. I have been using a 12V trickle charger on each battery individually, but now through the miracle of the junk box, I have come up with 4, 12V 3Amp power supplies which I am hooking up in series to create a 48V charger. If that doesn't work, I have 3, 19V units that will generate 57V. That should get the job done. Well, back to work. I'll let you know how it works out. Regards, Jim

EDIT: P.S. I went with the three 19V works good
 
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