Bafang Ultra (and BBSxx) Tuning

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Guys, I'm pretty sure the Bafang Ultra programming is the same as it comes from the factory, no matter what bike it's installed in. As a (very curious) new owner myself, I'm finding that good/very relevant info is being spread from one end of EBR to the other in each of the brand forums that are using the Ultra motor (eg. Biktrix, Luna, Fey, M2S, Rize, and many others). My idea here is to try to provide a central location for some of the great ideas I've read about.

After riding your new bike for a bit, I think many will agree that the software can be improved on - considerably. You'll likely find the degree of controller adjustability one of the neatest features that come standard with every one of these motors. It needn't be difficult either.

My initial thoughts revolved around a throttle that I thought could be tamed down, and the torque assist was too much at low speeds, allowing just ghost pedaling at speeds under about 10mph, even in PAS 1. Both turned out to be easy fixes - and increased battery mileage noticeably....

Here's the cable I used. Note it's 18" length. I bought a 6' USB extension at Walmart (sorry no link there) so I can just pull the bike up to the work bench and plug it in easily.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B083HRXFL3/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Software, oh boy. I did do a bunch of reading on the topic to try and get my head wrapped around the topic. What I learned is that the BBSxx software is 100% compatible with the Ultra, but that BBSxx software does not have the 4th "torque" tab. You'll see what I'm talking about when you start messing with it. Here's the file you need for the Ultra- which includes the 4th tab!


You'll find Roshan from Biktrix and Karl from Luna have spent a lot of time messing with these big Bafangs. They know what they are talking about - and they have some details regarding each of the variable parameters there are. What they do, and where they set them. I would pay way more attention to what they have to say about the parameters than how they set them. You'll find personal priorities are all over the ball park here, with way different settings prefered by road bike guys, aggressive mountain bikers, and even hybrid riders riding a road/trail setup (like I ride).

That said, here's some reading material regarding tuning your Ultra -


Also helpful-

Edited to include another good read:

Do some google searching. There's a TON of info available on this topic! You Tube is over flowing! Just remember that these guys may have tuning priorities that are going to be WAY different from yours. Resist the temptation of installing ALL of their ideas on YOUR bike! -Al
 
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greeno

Active Member
Region
USA
City
San Diego
You might want to remind people that if purchasing from Wattwagon the upgraded controller the access is locked out and can only be accessible when signed up for the update program. Knowing what I know now I would of purchased a stock controller with the ultra motor and programed myself. Live and learn.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
This would be the Archon controller upgrade I think. And I agree. The loss of your ability to tune not worth it. Not for me any way.

Thanks for posting. I think more people should be aware of that as well.
 

RMK!

Well-Known Member
Does anyone have a manual for the Ultra controller? I'm talking about user configurable settings using the Bafang display unit, not the PC interface. A pdf would be helpful.
 
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greeno

Active Member
Region
USA
City
San Diego
I purchased a programming cable from Cal E-Bikes and can't get it to work. I know it won't work on my Ultra I got from Wattwagon but I'm trying to use it to check my programing settings on my BBSHD ( hotrod ) that I got from Luna a couple of years ago. When I plug in the cable to my PC I get a error code for my USB connection.
IMG_1151.JPG


IMG_1152.JPG


IMG_1153.JPG



Removed the shrink tubing and checked the USB plug and when plugged into computer I have a red LED light that stays on but no connection. Looking at
some diagrams online it looks like the plug is incorrectly wired up. Is this picture correct?

If this pic is correct they have the #1 plug ground wire connected to the #3 P+ wire.
Plug RXD wire going to the TXD on the USB
Plug TXD wire going to the RXD on the USB
Plug PL wire going to the Ground on the USB

Maybe my diagram is incorrect.
Should the red LED stay lit or is that a trouble issue.
If this is incorrectly wired up it probably smoked the usb adadpter board and thats why the red LED.

All I wanted to do is just record the throttle settings on the BBSHD so I can change them on my Ultra when I can get a cable from Pushkar when he has them in stock again. Im all ears.
 

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AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
This cable shows a red LED as well, but it does work. I have NO guts when it comes to exploring computer wiring options. Here, for me, it works or it doesn't! Thinking it might be worth the 20 bucks to try a second cable?

 

Gionnirocket

Well-Known Member
I purchased a programming cable from Cal E-Bikes and can't get it to work. I know it won't work on my Ultra I got from Wattwagon but I'm trying to use it to check my programing settings on my BBSHD ( hotrod ) that I got from Luna a couple of years ago. When I plug in the cable to my PC I get a error code for my USB connection. View attachment 70899

View attachment 70900

View attachment 70901


Removed the shrink tubing and checked the USB plug and when plugged into computer I have a red LED light that stays on but no connection. Looking at
some diagrams online it looks like the plug is incorrectly wired up. Is this picture correct?

If this pic is correct they have the #1 plug ground wire connected to the #3 P+ wire.
Plug RXD wire going to the TXD on the USB
Plug TXD wire going to the RXD on the USB
Plug PL wire going to the Ground on the USB

Maybe my diagram is incorrect.
Should the red LED stay lit or is that a trouble issue.
If this is incorrectly wired up it probably smoked the usb adadpter board and thats why the red LED.

All I wanted to do is just record the throttle settings on the BBSHD so I can change them on my Ultra when I can get a cable from Pushkar when he has them in stock again. Im all ears.

I think that there may have been a better ways to approach your problem. I would have tried the cable in another PC. It should be recognized in windows automatically and install the proper drivers. The red light is always on when it is plugged into the USB port... think of it as a running light. If it still wasn't recognized by windows in the second pc I would have returned the cable as defective. Wired properly or not, windows should recognize the board as a USB Serial device. Wiring only comes into play if after it is recognized by windows and you can't communicate with the controller.
 

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greeno

Active Member
Region
USA
City
San Diego
Yep I did try the cable in another PC and got the same result. Guess the next step is try a different cable. I got an e-mail back from the tech at Cal E-Bikes and he said it would typically a USB Driver bottleneck. Updating them usually solves the issues. ( computer updates every day and is current as of 3:15am this morning. I plug the programing cable into the same USB port as my mouse or keyboard and same result so I have a hard time believing it's a driver issue. Back to the drawing board.
 
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Gionnirocket

Well-Known Member
Yep I did try the cable in another PC and got the same result. Guess the next step is try a different cable. I got an e-mail back from the tech at Cal E-Bikes and he said it would typically a USB Driver bottleneck. Updating them usually solves the issues. ( computer updates every day and is current as of 3:15am this morning. I plug the programing cable into the same USB port as my mouse or keyboard and same result so I have a hrad time believing it's a driver issue. Back to the drawing board.

You could try installing one of these.
 

greeno

Active Member
Region
USA
City
San Diego
Well I got my issue sorted out after pulling out my hair for a couple of days. Ordered another cable from amazon for $19 delivered the next day which is today.
Loaded up programing software plugged in "NEW" cable into bike with the BBSHD and hit the search magnifine glass icon and it auto filled in COM3in the box, so I then hit connect and the controller info filled in and I was able to view all my existing "Hot Rod" parameters so looks like my cable was defective. Thanks for the help gents.
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
This would be the Archon controller upgrade I think. And I agree. The loss of your ability to tune not worth it. Not for me any way.

Thanks for posting. I think more people should be aware of that as well.
It's not accurate to say you lose the ability to tune it. There is an extra cost for harness or display if you want to tune it, but you most definitely can.
 

greeno

Active Member
Region
USA
City
San Diego
You do lose the ability to tune it for free I think is what he was refering to. And cables are not in stock so that is another point to consider when ordering bike or motor from whoevever. Cables are only availible from WW and the "update" program option is my understanding. I realistically will only need to use this cable a couple of times on this bike. Maybe we can all do a time share to reduce to cost?
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
It's not accurate to say you lose the ability to tune it. There is an extra cost for harness or display if you want to tune it, but you most definitely can.
I get your point. It CAN be tuned.

MY point though, is that you will no longer be using the open source software available for free and a 20.00 cable available from hundreds of sources.
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
The cost is a per user license (not per motor) and you can only program motors licensed to you. I invested in the new UCP earlier this year which included software license and harness, so I did not have to pay again when I upgraded my Frey CC motor. In an ideal world it would be great if all of this stuff came for free but the reality is it cost money to get UL certification to bring the controller to North America and similarly to develop the software. I'm sure cost will come down with broader adoption once those costs are recovered.

FWIW, I haven't heard anyone who has upgraded the controller say it wasn't worth the cost, but yes, the value equation is going to be different for everyone.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Well I got my issue sorted out after pulling out my hair for a couple of days. Ordered another cable from amazon for $19 delivered the next day which is today.
Loaded up programing software plugged in "NEW" cable into bike with the BBSHD and hit the search magnifine glass icon and it auto filled in COM3in the box, so I then hit connect and the controller info filled in and I was able to view all my existing "Hot Rod" parameters so looks like my cable was defective. Thanks for the help gents.
Yay! Love happy endings! And I SO get how frustrating it can be when something like that doesn't work as expected.

So will you be changing any of the "hot rod" settings now that you have access?
 

greeno

Active Member
Region
USA
City
San Diego
Once I get the cable from WW I will match the settings from my "Hotrod" BBSHD to the Ultra and see if it works any better. Like I said before knowing what I know now I would of purchased a stock Ultra motor with no proprietary software restrictions. Protecting your exclusive software setting I fully understand if its better than the original stock settings. But the "upgraded $340" controllers throttle settings are NOT better. Easier on the motor as far as being more economical (less acceleration). I would think that offering an upgrade should be just that. Maybe working with the customer to help him get the settings or results he desires should be the ultimate goal.
I was offered a "replacement motor to use while I sent mine back to be "unlocked" but not knowing what setting I want to use would I felt would make it hard to do remotely.
Maybe shipping a cable with the "Upgraded controller" package when purchased and then shipping it back when done could be an option? Or going through their website for a limited time to reprogram might work to. Don't get this twisted I had a business from 96' until I sold it in 2012' as an Electrical Contractor so I know a bit about customer service. Not trying to throw shade on my situation just trying to find a good solution. Being personal with your customers is a big benefit. How many customers purchasing an e-bike will want to reprogram settings? 10% maybe? Probably not to cost prohibitive.
It seems like almost any Bafang motor setting is already floating out there on the net so how "exclusive" is it? I could always access my Upgraded setting and post on line for all to see but I wouldn't do that.Maybe signing a liability release when altering settings would work? I don't know just rambling, Thanks again for the help.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
I think many people just don't realize just how personalized these setting are/can be. Nothing against some of these guys that have been messing with these things for a few years now, and have come up with these "hot setups", but that man's hot set up may suck when it come's too my 'druthers - like you're finding. Your physical condition, favorite riding terrain, favorite speeds traveled most often, motor tune (750w vs. 2000w) riding for pleasure vs. commuting, fat tires vs. skinny and everything in between, all play heavily here. I think one set up, that will cover ALL of these bases as best possible, is pretty much impossible. It's going to be a compromise at best - which could be bettered easily by anyone willing to dive in and do some tinkering with their own interests in mind. It's NOT rocket science. Maybe not for all riders, but easily handled by quite a few is my bet. In any case, it's an incredible tool to have at our disposal. -Al