Easy way to tell if controller built into hub motor?

RunForTheHills

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Personally, I wouldn't put any time or money into reviving that motor when a new motor kit is relatively inexpensive. But if you want the challenge, go for it. I am not sure what the black stuff is on the windings from the picture. It looks a bit glossy and may not be charring from overheating. Overheating can definitely damage the insulation on the windings and cause a short. There aren't many geared hub drive motors that are 1000W. Maybe the MAC or GMAC motors. The GMAC doesn't have a clutch and will have cogging like a direct drive motor. Grin has built a workaround to that into their CAv3 that applies a little bit of power to the motor while you are coasting. Grin's Ezee motor says that it rated 500-1000W. Or are you thinking about a Bafang BBSHD mid-drive? If so, you will need to replace your rear wheel as well as buy a motor kit.
 

mscir

Member
Personally, I wouldn't put any time or money into reviving that motor when a new motor kit is relatively inexpensive. But if you want the challenge, go for it. I am not sure what the black stuff is on the windings from the picture. It looks a bit glossy and may not be charring from overheating. Overheating can definitely damage the insulation on the windings and cause a short. There aren't many geared hub drive motors that are 1000W. Maybe the MAC or GMAC motors. The GMAC doesn't have a clutch and will have cogging like a direct drive motor. Grin has built a workaround to that into their CAv3 that applies a little bit of power to the motor while you are coasting. Grin's Ezee motor says that it rated 500-1000W. Or are you thinking about a Bafang BBSHD mid-drive? If so, you will need to replace your rear wheel as well as buy a motor kit.
I was going to follow AHicks suggestions:
"Perfect would be a 500w Bafang with waterproof KT controller (KT 22-A), and KT display of choice. I specify waterproof KT for their absolute simplicity when it comes to wiring the bike up."
Having a clutch sounds good. From what I read it sounds like I can just solder any needed connectors to my existing brake, throttle, and PAS sensor wires and re-use them, I haven't researched complete KT kits that much, so far I haven't found a complete kit offering everything.
- Q - does the Baogfeng geared 500W motor have a good reputation as far as lifespan / overheating?
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
If the motor is cooked, it generally smells like it. Anyone I've ever done anyway. They literally stink like an electrical fire.

I have 2 main bikes and a 3rd for a backup. 2 of them are all out powerhouses. There's a custom bike with a 1000w MAC geared hub. It's claim to fame is drop dead simple riding with the ability to take my 300lb butt to the top of any hill I've pointed it at. This, with no hint that it's not a factory built, very civilized city bike. The second is a Bafang Ultra powered mid drive. Commonly accepted as the most power you can buy in a production bike.

The 3rd, also the newest, is a 500w geared hub for use in and around SE Mi. It's the most fun yet! There's no need for huge power around here and I am absolutely loving the 55lb bike. I used a KT22-A controller conversion (because I was not happy with the stock electronics), and this controller is capable of feeding this 500w motor 990w for a few seconds. Plenty to climb a short hill, or cross a pretty street. The bike is pretty darn "sporty" when being fed that kind of power...... Not like the other 2 bikes, but they don't weigh 55lbs either. You do need to be careful when using that kind of power. It can only be used sparingly, and you'll need to allow for a little cool down time prior to using it again. No long drag races or hill climbs, or the inside of the motor will look like the one you have now.... Short blasts only! If you need this big power frequently for more than just a few seconds, this is the wrong motor!

The world of KT controllers has so many options it can be pretty easy to make mistakes. Go slow and make sure you understand what you are getting! Then go back over your order again.... Kinda like measure 8 times, cut once.

They offer squarewave and sinewave type controllers. The square wave can be noisy but are a couple bucks cheaper. They aren't worth the discount. They run with a ringing noise, especially at low speeds and accelerating. You want the sinewave!!!! It's silent.....always!

I was poking around and ran across an entire kit with 750w motor, wheel(size of your choice), AND a full set of accessories (brakes, light, PAS sensor, etc). This kit would allow total plug and play with no concern about the right connectors or matching wires. You would remove and discard your current parts to use the ones that come in a kit like this. Several companies offer similar deals. On this one you have to select the "color" for the correct options. The "color" marked "Color: 750W KT25A LCD3" for 293.00 looked pretty good to me! (330.95 w/freight, guaranteed to arrive no later the 12/3)

 

harryS

Well-Known Member
Nice bike, and it probably deserves a new motor. If it were my bike, I'd buy a motor that takes cassettes, and since I like geared motors, that would be my choice,


I'd use the current cassette, and rim off the Izip. I'd have to look at the IZiP whell to see the spoke gauge. If they're 13G, a set of spokes is around $40-50. I'd spoke it myself. Your local shop may moan/groan if they're backwards and nver seeen an ebike. Quite easy in my opinion. Spoking involves measuring the rim, and the motor, and using an online spoke calculator.

I'd buy a 25A KT controller with a color display. Around $130-150 with waterproof connectors, IT4 harness, new levers, throttle, pedal sensor. etc.

You're looking at a price around $600-700 depending on the spoking labor.
 

mscir

Member
Nice bike, and it probably deserves a new motor. If it were my bike, I'd buy a motor that takes cassettes, and since I like geared motors, that would be my choice,


I'd use the current cassette, and rim off the Izip. I'd have to look at the IZiP whell to see the spoke gauge. If they're 13G, a set of spokes is around $40-50. I'd spoke it myself. Your local shop may moan/groan if they're backwards and nver seeen an ebike. Quite easy in my opinion. Spoking involves measuring the rim, and the motor, and using an online spoke calculator.

I'd buy a 25A KT controller with a color display. Around $130-150 with waterproof connectors, IT4 harness, new levers, throttle, pedal sensor. etc.

You're looking at a price around $600-700 depending on the spoking labor.
Thanks, I've been emailing Grin bikes, they have a controller that reduces power when temperature reaches a certain point, so you don't fry motors, like mine. The Bafang & KT setup looks good too. I'll get a price back from Grin soon then decide what setup to use. I can move the wheel to the new motor and spoke it, and save a little there. Thanks!
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
The problem with Grin, IMHO, is the incredible freight fees they charge. Suggest you know what that is before you hit the "order" button with them. The other piece, when talking Grin controllers, is the only display they offer is the CA-3. By any modern standards it's huge, and the display only offer 2 lines of display. This is representative of 1970's technology, and has been needing updating for years. It does offer functions no others can match, that's for sure, but it's so big!

There's no argument about the people at Grin (all good in my experience), or MOST of their products. The CA-3 display is really holding them back. That's my opinion though. Kinda like the LCD vs. color display argument. I share my experience and you can use it for what it's worth....

As far as cartridge vs. freewheel cassettes, when talking hub drive, I don't think the difference one vs. the other is near as big a deal as when you are talking mid drives, especially powerful mid drives. With much better support for the smaller gears in the cluster, I agree the cartridge is a better setup. The question is just how big a deal this is on a 6 speed hub drive? If we were talking a 9 speed or something where those small gears are way out there, unsupported, I might be paying more attention. Freewheels are not expensive (less than 30.?) and people are getting a lot of miles on their freewheels without failure. I'll leave it there....

Not all are going to be interested in learning how to build a wheel/re-spoking. Kind of a daunting chore, especially if you have no plans to be doing a lot of work on bikes. Looks like the motor in the Amazon link above comes with a 26" rim, but the delivery date is potentially even further out than the one in the link I posted..... -Al
 

mscir

Member
The problem with Grin, IMHO, is the incredible freight fees they charge. Suggest you know what that is before you hit the "order" button with them. The other piece, when talking Grin controllers, is the only display they offer is the CA-3. By any modern standards it's huge, and the display only offer 2 lines of display. This is representative of 1970's technology, and has been needing updating for years. It does offer functions no others can match, that's for sure, but it's so big!

There's no argument about the people at Grin (all good in my experience), or MOST of their products. The CA-3 display is really holding them back. That's my opinion though. Kinda like the LCD vs. color display argument. I share my experience and you can use it for what it's worth....

As far as cartridge vs. freewheel cassettes, when talking hub drive, I don't think the difference one vs. the other is near as big a deal as when you are talking mid drives, especially powerful mid drives. With much better support for the smaller gears in the cluster, I agree the cartridge is a better setup. The question is just how big a deal this is on a 6 speed hub drive? If we were talking a 9 speed or something where those small gears are way out there, unsupported, I might be paying more attention. Freewheels are not expensive (less than 30.?) and people are getting a lot of miles on their freewheels without failure. I'll leave it there....

Not all are going to be interested in learning how to build a wheel/re-spoking. Kind of a daunting chore, especially if you have no plans to be doing a lot of work on bikes. Looks like the motor in the Amazon link above comes with a 26" rim, but the delivery date is potentially even further out than the one in the link I posted..... -Al
Thanks AHicks, I appreciate hearing your thoughts and experience. If Grin tech costs too much I'm leaning towards the suggestions here - Bafang motor w/my 10 spd cassette and KT controller & display. I have to research regen braking and if geared motors / KT controllers offer that, and if there are KT controllers that reduce or cut off power when a high motor temp. limit is reached - I have 2 big hills I like and I don't want to fry any more motors if I can help it.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
Many KT controllers allow regen braking as an option. ALthough my KT LCD has an option to show motor temperature, none of the controllers I have support it.

Ahicks has real life experience comparing a consumer ebike with a direct drive motor to geared motors. Direct drives don't fit my riding style, so I never owned one. I'd rather coast down a hill than try to recover a meager 5WH if that is even possible.

I mentioned cassette only because you have a premium 10 speed already. You'd have to fit a new derailleur and shifter to run a freewheel, which are less strong.
 

mscir

Member
Many KT controllers allow regen braking as an option. ALthough my KT LCD has an option to show motor temperature, none of the controllers I have support it.

Ahicks has real life experience comparing a consumer ebike with a direct drive motor to geared motors. Direct drives don't fit my riding style, so I never owned one. I'd rather coast down a hill than try to recover a meager 5WH if that is even possible.

I mentioned cassette only because you have a premium 10 speed already. You'd have to fit a new derailleur and shifter to run a freewheel, which are less strong.
Thanks harryS, good to know, If I go that route I'll look for KT controller+display that show motor temp. What model LCD do you have and do you like it?
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
First, wires crossed somehow and I missed the piece about having a 10 speed derailleur. I was thinking 6 speed for some reason. So now agree with Harry regarding the need for a cartridge type drive. I stand corrected! Apologies for any confusion created.....

On the direct drive vs. geared hub, I had a couple of direct drives before learning how gutless they are as compared to a geared hub - for my purposes. Remember I'm 300lbs. Like Harry mentioned, I've played with both a 750w, and a 1500w direct drives (on the same bike). They were both replaced by the 1000w MAC geared hub motor, which just annihilated the direct drives from a performance perspective, AND did that while extending the battery's range from 25-30 miles with the direct drives, to an easy 35 miles with the MAC. I literally removed the 1500w direct drive, and installed the MAC with no other changes. Same controller, same everything, so it was a heads up, everything else equal comparison.

Regen - I can help a bit there I think. I messed with that quite a bit too. Using the 1500w direct drive motor and KT controller, in an area that has some pretty big hills to try it out/play with it in. Frankly, I wasn't impressed. At speeds of say 15mph and climbing, you could engage the regen and at best it would attempt to keep you from gaining much speed as quickly as you would without it. That's it. There's no drama here! As far as replacing power used while you are coasting or going down a big hill, that's just not going to happen. At the very best, you can say it may have put some power back on a really long hill, but I doubt seriously you'll ever be able to measure how much. For all practical purposes, regen is about braking power on big hills at speeds over 15-20 mph, that's it. If anyone tells you differently, they've never used it. They've likely been reading some sales hype somewhere that's complete B.S.

In all but one case, regen is not available on gear driven hubs. The one geared hub that does have regen is a whole different class of motor from Grin. It's based on the MAC motor, so it's very high quality, and it's not cheap. There's a LOT to that (from how that's possible mechanically to the electronics involved), so I'm not going to go into that here. You can read (and reread several times) that info at Grin's web site. As mentioned, there's a LOT to that....

The KT display has a place where it can display motor temp, but I've seen no way to feed it a signal from the motor up through the controller. I've never seen any detail that would allow that either, and I've done maybe 10 of these KT installs dating back to 2015 or so, to the most recent ones done in the last few months. If somebody knows how that might be done (feed the display temp data) I'm all ears! Don't forget, the motor will need that ability as well. I don't think the Bafang geared hubs come that way. FWIW, the Bafang mid drives take care of that for you. If they sense the windings are getting hot, they'll start tapering the power to cool them.... -Al
 

mscir

Member
First, wires crossed somehow and I missed the piece about having a 10 speed derailleur. I was thinking 6 speed for some reason. So now agree with Harry regarding the need for a cartridge type drive. I stand corrected! Apologies for any confusion created.....

On the direct drive vs. geared hub, I had a couple of direct drives before learning how gutless they are as compared to a geared hub - for my purposes. Remember I'm 300lbs. Like Harry mentioned, I've played with both a 750w, and a 1500w direct drives (on the same bike). They were both replaced by the 1000w MAC geared hub motor, which just annihilated the direct drives from a performance perspective, AND did that while extending the battery's range from 25-30 miles with the direct drives, to an easy 35 miles with the MAC. I literally removed the 1500w direct drive, and installed the MAC with no other changes. Same controller, same everything, so it was a heads up, everything else equal comparison.

Regen - I can help a bit there I think. I messed with that quite a bit too. Using the 1500w direct drive motor and KT controller, in an area that has some pretty big hills to try it out/play with it in. Frankly, I wasn't impressed. At speeds of say 15mph and climbing, you could engage the regen and at best it would attempt to keep you from gaining much speed as quickly as you would without it. That's it. There's no drama here! As far as replacing power used while you are coasting or going down a big hill, that's just not going to happen. At the very best, you can say it may have put some power back on a really long hill, but I doubt seriously you'll ever be able to measure how much. For all practical purposes, regen is about braking power on big hills at speeds over 15-20 mph, that's it. If anyone tells you differently, they've never used it. They've likely been reading some sales hype somewhere that's complete B.S.

In all but one case, regen is not available on gear driven hubs. The one geared hub that does have regen is a whole different class of motor from Grin. It's based on the MAC motor, so it's very high quality, and it's not cheap. There's a LOT to that (from how that's possible mechanically to the electronics involved), so I'm not going to go into that here. You can read (and reread several times) that info at Grin's web site. As mentioned, there's a LOT to that....

The KT display has a place where it can display motor temp, but I've seen no way to feed it a signal from the motor up through the controller. I've never seen any detail that would allow that either, and I've done maybe 10 of these KT installs dating back to 2015 or so, to the most recent ones done in the last few months. If somebody knows how that might be done (feed the display temp data) I'm all ears! Don't forget, the motor will need that ability as well. I don't think the Bafang geared hubs come that way. FWIW, the Bafang mid drives take care of that for you. If they sense the windings are getting hot, they'll start tapering the power to cool them.... -Al
The improvement in mileage is significant. I didn't expect to see that.
The KT-LCD3 can *display the engine power draw (W), or temperature (C or F), I emailed a few people asking if a compatible controller is needed or if the motor temp sensor has to be connected directly to the display.
*https://ebikebc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Controller-User-Manual-018-R0.pdf
 
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AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
The improvement in mileage is significant. I didn't expect to see that.
The KT-LCD3 can *display the engine power draw (W), or temperature (C or F), I emailed a few people asking if a compatible controller is needed or if the motor temp sensor has to be connected directly to the display.
*https://ebikebc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Controller-User-Manual-018-R0.pdf
As mentioned, I've done a few of these. Pretty familiar with that manual. Would love to hear anything useful regarding that temp. display (beyond how the display itself is supposed to function). I'm betting that with that temp enabled in the parameters, you can scroll using the middle/power button between the real time wattage and the motor temp.

For my own purposes, I've found the real time wattage figure especially helpful regarding this little game I play while riding. I'm constantly monitoring the display to monitor the amount power being used, as keeping that to a minimum is how you're going to max the miles per battery charge. Been doing this for years now, and I STILL find myself judging how well I do every time the battery is charged. Easily entertained in that respect I guess! The real time watt meter makes it easy to judge how effecient you are riding at any given minute. You can use it to optimize what gear and PAS level changes make. Would also help avoid smoking your motor with high wattage readings (those WAY higher than what the motor is rated for) being displayed a little too long.... The fact the watts are so easily read at a glance is what attracts me to the LCD-3 display. The color display watt reading are smaller, and in direct sunlight, can be a lot more difficult to read. For that reason, the one color display I bought to try has been banished to one of the wife's bikes! It's cool, but not very practical for my purposes.... -Al
 

mscir

Member
As mentioned, I've done a few of these. Pretty familiar with that manual. Would love to hear anything useful regarding that temp. display (beyond how the display itself is supposed to function). I'm betting that with that temp enabled in the parameters, you can scroll using the middle/power button between the real time wattage and the motor temp.

For my own purposes, I've found the real time wattage figure especially helpful regarding this little game I play while riding. I'm constantly monitoring the display to monitor the amount power being used, as keeping that to a minimum is how you're going to max the miles per battery charge. Been doing this for years now, and I STILL find myself judging how well I do every time the battery is charged. Easily entertained in that respect I guess! The real time watt meter makes it easy to judge how effecient you are riding at any given minute. You can use it to optimize what gear and PAS level changes make. Would also help avoid smoking your motor with high wattage readings (those WAY higher than what the motor is rated for) being displayed a little too long.... The fact the watts are so easily read at a glance is what attracts me to the LCD-3 display. The color display watt reading are smaller, and in direct sunlight, can be a lot more difficult to read. For that reason, the one color display I bought to try has been banished to one of the wife's bikes! It's cool, but not very practical for my purposes.... -Al
Thanks, I'm the same way lol, and the LCD-3 looks good to me too. If we can figure out how the signal from the temp sensor is connected to the meter, and changed in any way, we could conceivably build a circuit to do that if the controller or a direct connect doesn't work. I don't even know how to find the KT company web site so far.
 

mscir

Member
I found this kit on AliBaba, it's a great price, includes wheel, KT display & controller... the ad is a little wonky, doesn't show motor dimensions, says 20A KT sinusoidal controller but pictures show 10A ?! Does anyone have experience with this seller, or an opinion about this kit. My neighbor and I had a bad experience on AliBaba with a different seller - we bought a kit for his tricycle ebike and the display was bad, we had no idea why the bike wouldn't run properly, had to pay a shop to diagnose it. I had to go to my bank to get the charges reversed. Took months!
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
I've purchased a few things from AliBaba, but generally it's because I can't find it anywhere else. I'm not particularly fond of them myself. I would far rather do business with somebody stateside, or even direct in China - without the 3rd party in play.

KT does maintain a website that I found one day, but it's more of a commercial thing. They do not deal direct or retail under any circumstances. No retail support.

You may end up buying your motor one place, and the KT electronics in another. The right "combo" seems difficult to find.
 

mscir

Member
I've purchased a few things from AliBaba, but generally it's because I can't find it anywhere else. I'm not particularly fond of them myself. I would far rather do business with somebody stateside, or even direct in China - without the 3rd party in play.

KT does maintain a website that I found one day, but it's more of a commercial thing. They do not deal direct or retail under any circumstances. No retail support.

You may end up buying your motor one place, and the KT electronics in another. The right "combo" seems difficult to find.
That's been my experience, thanks. I look forward to the day when we have a superstore that carries all of the major brands and parts and you can see what you're buying, with an easy in-store return policy.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
The temp sensor would be a controller function and there would have to be some memory register in it that the LCD could query. and its probably not even supported in KT controllers. Certainly none of the KT controllers that interest me have the temperature sensor connector.

I've used that 20A sine wave KT controller on numerous bikes, Maybe five of them. It will peak at 20-21A. I I've seen it do 24-25 mph on a 500W motor in a 26" wheel and 48V. If you want more ommph, they sell a 25A model in several larger sizes. The LCD is small, but limited.

I would look for something that uses the LCD3 or LCD8H (color). You get the wattage, ambient temperature, and a screen that shows voltage. Also, the models that come with waterproof connectors have less of a rats nest of connectors to decipher and hide,

It's Aliexpress not Alibaba. Aliexpress has a pretty decent buyer protection plan. Most sellers take paypal, which has rescued me, I'be only filed one Aliexpress dispute and they resolved it the same day.
 

mscir

Member
The temp sensor would be a controller function and there would have to be some memory register in it that the LCD could query. and its probably not even supported in KT controllers. Certainly none of the KT controllers that interest me have the temperature sensor connector.

I've used that 20A sine wave KT controller on numerous bikes, Maybe five of them. It will peak at 20-21A. I I've seen it do 24-25 mph on a 500W motor in a 26" wheel and 48V. If you want more ommph, they sell a 25A model in several larger sizes. The LCD is small, but limited.

I would look for something that uses the LCD3 or LCD8H (color). You get the wattage, ambient temperature, and a screen that shows voltage. Also, the models that come with waterproof connectors have less of a rats nest of connectors to decipher and hide,

It's Aliexpress not Alibaba. Aliexpress has a pretty decent buyer protection plan. Most sellers take paypal, which has rescued me, I'be only filed one Aliexpress dispute and they resolved it the same day.
Good to know, thanks.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
The temp sensor would be a controller function and there would have to be some memory register in it that the LCD could query. and its probably not even supported in KT controllers. Certainly none of the KT controllers that interest me have the temperature sensor connector.

I've used that 20A sine wave KT controller on numerous bikes, Maybe five of them. It will peak at 20-21A. I I've seen it do 24-25 mph on a 500W motor in a 26" wheel and 48V. If you want more ommph, they sell a 25A model in several larger sizes. The LCD is small, but limited.

I would look for something that uses the LCD3 or LCD8H (color). You get the wattage, ambient temperature, and a screen that shows voltage. Also, the models that come with waterproof connectors have less of a rats nest of connectors to decipher and hide,

It's Aliexpress not Alibaba. Aliexpress has a pretty decent buyer protection plan. Most sellers take paypal, which has rescued me, I'be only filed one Aliexpress dispute and they resolved it the same day.
I knew that, but don't use it enough to remember which is which. Thanks for the correction.

Agree the water proof keeps things much tidier.