First ride with the Archon X1 upgrade!

TomD

Well-Known Member
I don't have experience with BBSHD but first love was a BBS01 and when I started riding bikes with torque sensing motors I did miss some aspects of the cadence sensing especially at higher speed where I just wanted to maintain speed at a given cadence and not necessarily have it fall off if I wanted to ease up on the pedals. To me the new controller feels like a hybrid of cadence and torque sensing combining the best of both. The 2300 watt version feels like it's dialed in pretty good for Eco PAS 1 and 2 in terms of smoothness It's hard to say whether the lower watt versions will feel as smooth until I get the programming cable. I can't really see myself using higher PAS and think that as long as the smoothness is still there I would go with the 1000 watt version. I was thinking I wasn't getting much exercise but the funny thing is my legs have been pretty sore the last few days after riding.I think the ebike adage applies that you don't necessarily get less exercise with more power you just go farther.

In terms of the efficiency it is really hard for me to gauge as I never really used to monitor voltage. I am wondering if maybe I was being sandbagged on range by the battery percent indicator on the stock controller. I would get range anxiety when the stock controller would dramatically drop the battery percentage but now that I'm monitoring voltage I'm realizing that there can be a lot of voltage sag and perhaps my range improvement was partially due to the stock controller sandbagging the battery percent with voltage sag. I wish I had been monitoring voltage so that I could provide a better perspective on this. But others seem to be coming to similar conclusion that range is marerially improved.

I honestly cannot imagine going back to the stock controller. It's just so nice not having to fight the annoying oscillation in power which may not be so obvious until you actually upgrade to something that doesn't have it and then it's like you can't believe what you were missing in terms of smooth and consistent delivery of power.
 

kurt_s

Member
Kinda of both. You basically get to the top speed much much quicker.


Honestly the Bafang light output is only 6W ... its not like you are losing out on anything big. My biggest issue was brake operated lights, but looks like WW will provide Supernova for the UC Pro that has the entire system.

What I like about WW / Pushcar is they are transparent upfront, and offer options / alternatives (at a price of course).

I went straight to the battery with my headlight. Here an ugly picture with the state of my build. I updated to the Archon 1 this weekend. Looks like the source of the light is updating his website but it is Fisher Fab House for about 3500 lumens with one beam and one flood. I will do a night shot if anyone is interested.

If you can see my KTM acting as a kickstand, I am a big believer in seeing and being seen. The adv moto has 65000 lumens :)
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TomD

Well-Known Member
Having some issues with gear sensor at higher PAS, at least on the 2300W controller. Normally I am in PAS 1 and do not notice this. At higher PAS I'm noticing the motor is not easing up long enough when gear sensor is engaged. My concerns is that when the controller is tuned down to 1000W or 750W these high PAS scenarios will be more than just one off situations, and it will create issues for those of us with a gear sensor. Unclear whether this behavior is tied to watt output or PAS level.
 
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Ayl

Active Member
@TomD, what's the PAS level where you're noticing the motor is not easing up enough for the gear sensor? From my understanding it sounds like when you're at this higher PAS level and try shifting to another gear the motor is turning a bit too fast/hard so shifting to another sprocket is problematic. Is this correct?
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
I am noticing it in PAS 3-5 but this is when the controller is limiting output to ~500W because it thinks the battery is low. So even though I'm running the 2300W controller in PAS 3-5 I'm only getting ~500W of output. The motor shouldn't really be spinning any faster than PAS 1-2 at 500W peak so I think it's something related to programmed sensitivity and fade at higher PAS levels. I'm thinking if those same sensitivities are programmed for the lower watt versions of the controller there may be an issue.

FWIW, I get this a lot because I was sent a controller calibrated for 52V battery by mistake (my battery is 48V), so the low battery nannying by the controller kicks in well before my 48V battery is actually low. It is getting a bit annoying because my voltage sags under load so I may have almost 50% battery left but with the voltage sag going up a steep hill or at high speed on a incline in traffic the controller starts nannying the output. It's further compounded by the controller reading voltage too low. My display reports at least 1V lower voltage than my voltmeter. So I'm getting hit 3 ways by the low battery nannying of the controller. Hopefully all of these will be resolved when i get my programming cable.
 
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Ebiker33

Well-Known Member
I am noticing it in PAS 3-5 but this is when the controller is limiting output to ~500W because it thinks the battery is low. So even though I'm running the 2300W controller in PAS 3-5 I'm only getting ~500W of output. The motor shouldn't really be spinning any faster than PAS 1-2 at 500W peak so I think it's something related to programmed sensitivity and fade at higher PAS levels. I'm thinking if those same sensitivities are programmed for the lower watt versions of the controller there may be an issue.

FWIW, I get this a lot because I was sent a controller calibrated for 52V battery by mistake (my battery is 48V), so the low battery nannying by the controller kicks in well before my 48V battery is actually low. It is getting a bit annoying because my voltage sags under load so I may have almost 50% battery left but with the voltage sag going up a steep hill or at high speed on a incline in traffic the controller starts nannying the output. It's further compounded by the controller reading voltage too low. My display reports at least 1V lower voltage than my voltmeter. So I'm getting hit 3 ways by the low battery nannying of the controller. Hopefully all of these will be resolved when i get my programming cable.

Are you getting the new display at the same time?
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
I suspect the cable will be available before the new display. I believe I will get both eventually (included in perks with founders superbike). Pushkar wasn't sure if my display voltmeter was bad so offered to send a replacement DPC-18 to test to see if my low display voltage was just the display or something else. Apparently the controller has its own voltmeter and does not feed voltage to the display, so I might be wrong about the low display voltage impacting the nannying.
 
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EBRQuest

Member
I went straight to the battery with my headlight. Here an ugly picture with the state of my build. I updated to the Archon 1 this weekend. Looks like the source of the light is updating his website but it is Fisher Fab House for about 3500 lumens with one beam and one flood. I will do a night shot if anyone is interested.

If you can see my KTM acting as a kickstand, I am a big believer in seeing and being seen. The adv moto has 65000 lumens :)View attachment 61292View attachment 61293

Hey, Kurt.. cool photos and nice Apollo there. Did you successfully upgrade to the X-1 controller and is it compatible with the rest of the Luna hardware? What performance differences did you feel?
 

EBRQuest

Member
I'm trying to learn more about this on Pushkar's website. Great information on there. In short, I'm still confused about a few things..

So, many people have been pioneering better controllers for the Bafang Ultra motor, which to my understanding is the most powerful mid-drive motor yet available for e-bikes. I see the Exess bike from Germany rebranded and listed there as 'Travalanche'. I know they made (or paid a German subcontractor) their own version of a custom controller for this motor, which is the claim to fame for their bike. Luna Cycle, Biktrix and Sondors seem to have controller upgrades. Then there's the kit makers out there like Alan at ERT. How do these controllers compare? Is there any kind of data available on this? Many thanks for all input..
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
I think all Luna does is shunt the stock controller to double the current, add some potting to help with overheating, and make some tuning changes. You can read Karl's writeup on the "secret sauce" for the ludi controller. It's kind of a joke, despite the ability to program, nobody has really been able to tune the Ultra well (Biktrix claims to have made it smoother), but my impression is that Karl was grasping at straws trying to tame the beast.


The problem with the stock controller (if you read Watt Wagon's write up) is the sampling frequency is too low, so there is a limit to how smooth you can tune it even if you had a clue what you were doing. There are other controllers (phaserunner) but my impression is they all just throw raw power at the Ultra, nobody has done anything close to what innotrace has accomplished in terms of pure refinement and efficiency.

 

EBRQuest

Member
I think all Luna does is shunt the stock controller to double the current, add some potting to help with overheating, and make some tuning changes. You can read Karl's writeup on the "secret sauce" for the ludi controller. It's kind of a joke, despite the ability to program, nobody has really been able to tune the Ultra well (Biktrix claims to have made it smoother), but my impression is that Karl was grasping at straws trying to tame the beast.


The problem with the stock controller (if you read Watt Wagon's write up) is the sampling frequency is too low, so there is a limit to how smooth you can tune it even if you had a clue what you were doing. There are other controllers (phaserunner) but my impression is they all just throw raw power at the Ultra, nobody has done anything close to what innotrace has accomplished in terms of pure refinement and efficiency.


Thanks, Tom. I've been slowly gathering that. I've emailed several of these guys and not really gotten cohesive answers. They might think I'm a phantom competitor, or wishing to not go into specifics which would reveal errors to their approach. You seem most knowledgeable about these different controllers!

I just finished reading another thread where you gave some insight about them. Discovered that the firm Innotrace did the work for Exess, and that Pushkar is the exclusive NA dealer for them. It seems also that Pushkar is taking what they did and further building upon this with his own programming of the firmware (not sure if he is working with hardware)?

So, that connects a few missing links in this wild west of an industry. I feel like I'm following a Hansel & Gretel bread trail. The answer for me might be to buy a kit from Pushkar to build a bike. I can't afford his premium bikes, as the markup is considerable. I don't doubt the service is great, however..

So am I correct in concluding then, that you get a unique, wacky flavor of G510/620 depending on who you buy the bike from? You buy first, then discover your wacky surprise flavor? Ah god, a lot of money for surprises..

I get that the problem is complex, because people are trying to essentially emulate what major firms in the EU have poured money into.. pulse modulation control and feedback of motors. Battery management and emulation of human force input are nuanced things.

Edit: Just read through both of those, thank you! I love Karl's blog, straight to the truth. I'm wondering what kind of amperage difference the Luna system delivers as compared to WW? I assume the 2,300W nominal is delivered through a 52V controller, so that would be 44.2A to 57.7A max peak handling?
 
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TomW

Active Member
EBRQuest


I think all Luna does is shunt the stock controller to double the current, add some potting to help with overheating, and make some tuning changes. You can read Karl's writeup on the "secret sauce" for the ludi controller. It's kind of a joke, despite the ability to program, nobody has really been able to tune the Ultra well (Biktrix claims to have made it smoother), but my impression is that Karl was grasping at straws trying to tame the beast.


The problem with the stock controller (if you read Watt Wagon's write up) is the sampling frequency is too low, so there is a limit to how smooth you can tune it even if you had a clue what you were doing. There are other controllers (phaserunner) but my impression is they all just throw raw power at the Ultra, nobody has done anything close to what innotrace has accomplished in terms of pure refinement and efficiency.


Tame the beast! I like that quote :) but that is exactly what the Archon does it still has all the power and more but it is so much more user friendly.
I may be wrong, but I have heard of a few people using a phaserunner and it seems like you are restricted to throttle power only using it.
I can not comment on Luna's solution.
But the Archon x1 really does make a difference compared to stock, I can happily vouch for that! not just the power but the refinement of the torque sampling and the extra range really is game changing.
I have done 1500 problem free miles on the new set up and I love it.
I also take mine offroad, which is why I built it as a Enduro bike, it can just do things now I would have been to scared to try on the old set up due to unpredictabe power delivery.

Oh I also own a Focus with a German Impulse motor (which tbh the motor is a bit rubbish) and very unreliable. And have ridden a few Bosch units in the last 5 years and the Archon equiped Ultra just blows them out of the water in my opinion.
Again not just the power but it really feels as natural maybe more so.
 
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Ebiker33

Well-Known Member
Thanks, Tom. I've been slowly gathering that. I've emailed several of these guys and not really gotten cohesive answers. They might think I'm a phantom competitor, or wishing to not go into specifics which would reveal errors to their approach. You seem most knowledgeable about these different controllers!

I just finished reading another thread where you gave some insight about them. Discovered that the firm Innotrace did the work for Exess, and that Pushkar is the exclusive NA dealer for them. It seems also that Pushkar is taking what they did and further building upon this with his own programming of the firmware (not sure if he is working with hardware)?

So, that connects a few missing links in this wild west of an industry. I feel like I'm following a Hansel & Gretel bread trail. The answer for me might be to buy a kit from Pushkar to build a bike. I can't afford his premium bikes, as the markup is considerable. I don't doubt the service is great, however..

So am I correct in concluding then, that you get a unique, wacky flavor of G510/620 depending on who you buy the bike from? You buy first, then discover your wacky surprise flavor? Ah god, a lot of money for surprises..

I get that the problem is complex, because people are trying to essentially emulate what major firms in the EU have poured money into.. pulse modulation control and feedback of motors. Battery management and emulation of human force input are nuanced things.

Edit: Just read through both of those, thank you! I love Karl's blog, straight to the truth. I'm wondering what kind of amperage difference the Luna system delivers as compared to WW? I assume the 2,300W nominal is delivered through a 52V controller, so that would be 44.2A to 57.7A max peak handling?

Excess and Watt Wagon have the best with the Innotrace system, but users and the owner of Biktrix have confirmed they have custom tuned there Ultra he even dug into the hex codes beyond the firmware, when I asked him to share he said that is a trade secret, and you have to specially ask Bafang for extra information and if you are an Ebike company they might tell you, they won't release this information to end users.
A tour of the Bafang factory revealed that Bafang is actually still testing the Ultra, they released a Beta unit and let the Ebike companies take it to Alpha for their customers, Luna spent a lot of time on it as well.
But for NA Watt Wagon has mastered it, and the buyers are reporting back great success especially in PAS 1 & PAS 2 . Watt Wagons absolutely took the Ultra to Alpha for end users, with the ability to further tweak it down the line, I expect some owners to share this on EBR in the future, for everybody to make use of, which will be pretty cool, the power of the prosumer.
 
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EBRQuest

Member
Excess and Watt Wagon have the best with the Innotrace system, but users and the owner of Biktrix have confirmed they have custom tuned there Ultra he even dug into the hex codes beyond the firmware, when I asked him to share he said that is a trade secret, and you have to specially ask Bafang for extra information and if you are an Ebike company they might tell you, they won't release this information to end users.
A tour of the Bafang factory revealed that Bafang is actually still testing the Ultra, they released a Beta unit and let the Ebike companies take it to Alpha for their customers, Luna spent a lot of time on it as well.
But for NA Watt Wagon has mastered it, and the buyers are reporting back great success especially in PAS 1 & PAS 2 . Watt Wagons absolutely took the Ultra to Alpha for end users, with the ability to further tweak it down the line, I expect some owners to share this on EBR in the future, for everybody to make use of, which will be pretty cool, the power of the prosumer.

Great summary, thank you man. By the way, your post on the G510 bikes for 2020 was great. Reading it again now..
 
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TomD

Well-Known Member
Another range test today. Pre-Archon I would charge to 100% to limit range anxiety. Now I only charge to 80% (for long term battery health) and have no range anxiety.

Battery: 840wh
Starting voltage: 51.5 (80%)
Ending voltage: 44.2 (40%)
Elevation gain: 1500'
PAS 1 (250 - 500W) 25 miles
PAS 2 (750 - 1000W) 5 miles

I am guessing I could easily get 60 miles on a full charge, probably closer to 50 miles on 80% charge. Pre-Archon I was only getting 40 miles on a full charge before I dipped below 10% battery.
 

reed scott

Well-Known Member
I went straight to the battery with my headlight. Here an ugly picture with the state of my build. I updated to the Archon 1 this weekend. Looks like the source of the light is updating his website but it is Fisher Fab House for about 3500 lumens with one beam and one flood. I will do a night shot if anyone is interested.

If you can see my KTM acting as a kickstand, I am a big believer in seeing and being seen. The adv moto has 65000 lumens :)View attachment 61292View attachment 61293

Wait a freeking minute! I owned and rode a big KTM for a couple years around '08 and '09. Rode with a lot of guys who rode KTMs. What the bloody heck is that thing behind your Apollo? I dearly want to know and I really really need to see more pictures.
 

reed scott

Well-Known Member
Weather cleared so was able to take the new motor out for another test ride.

Motor was making strange clicking noises when it cut in and out while pedaling lightly. so I came back home to grab phone to take a video. This seemed to fix the problem. I'll leave phone at home to see if it starts up again. 😅 I think the motor was just breaking in.

For some reason my motor seems louder than the one it replaced. Might just be that it's new and will quiet down with break in.

The lag I experienced last night seems to be more a byproduct of the smoother torque sensing than actual lag. From a dead stop there is minimal lag. I only notice a little lag when I'm pedaling slowly and the motor hasn't kicked and I start to push harder on the pedals. But it's actually quite pleasant and seems to help blend in the torque smoothly as opposed to jerky. I am noticing while pedaling that the motor kicks in and out much more frquently than with the stock controller. Not sure if this is what helps with efficiency, with the stock controller the motor seemed to be working more frequently.

I have the 2300 watt version and anything but Eco PAS 1 feels crazy powerful. When I get my programming cable I will for sure tune it back to 1000W. Then again maybe I will be addicted to the power by then.

Pedaling up a steep hill I was really happy with the toruqe sensing. Normally I'm frustrated by the power osciallting in and out and providing too much power, then too little, but the new controller does a great job. Not sure if it's to the level of a refined euor spec motor, it actually seems closer to a hybrid cadence/torque sensing, but I kind of prefer the mix as it's a smoother experience.


I've been meaning to ask you about your 1000 watt decision. As I've mentioned in threads I've started, drive train issues somewhat concern me. Especially when bikes come with 10 to 12 speed lighter chains and who knows what sort of metal in the cassette. Perhaps you have made a wise decision to hang back at 1000 watts ( eurobike driver heads exploding here ). I will talk it over with Pushkar when the time comes but I'm definitely leaning your way. Have you done it yet with the Red Queen and if so how does she feel? ( That sounds prurient doesn't it? ):rolleyes: