Hack my Controller

MrCaspan

Member
I just bought a Slane Ajax 48v fat Tire bike. This thing is awesome for a decent price. I did notice though that it seems to be using a generic controller and battery and I was curious if anyone know how to hack this controller to remove the limitation or to just make it higher. Here are some pictures to help. This is a picture inside the controller. Seems very simple just not sure what wire does what and how. There is a HAL circle sensor around the crank arm shaft. there are wires that go out from there. Is it safe to to assume it's pulling double duty as a cadence sensor as well as a speedo?

If you have any ideas would love to hear them. I don't see any sensors on the back when hub or back fork like some bikes have.
 

Attachments

  • PXL_20201220_164429434.jpg
    PXL_20201220_164429434.jpg
    223.9 KB · Views: 336
  • PXL_20201220_201123811.jpg
    PXL_20201220_201123811.jpg
    668.6 KB · Views: 376
  • PXL_20201220_201132339.jpg
    PXL_20201220_201132339.jpg
    694.8 KB · Views: 256
  • PXL_20201220_201128017.jpg
    PXL_20201220_201128017.jpg
    679.7 KB · Views: 176
  • PXL_20201220_201135820.jpg
    PXL_20201220_201135820.jpg
    606.1 KB · Views: 182
  • PXL_20201220_164801728.jpg
    PXL_20201220_164801728.jpg
    615.7 KB · Views: 206

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
You're asking about how to make it faster?

I would caution that with a 500w motor, anything you do to make it faster is going to heat up that controller and the motor pretty quickly. Point being, you can possibly pick up some quick burst power, but it's nothing you'll be able to use while commuting for instance.

Too, 500w on a fattie is not going to be capable of much over 20mph even if "unlocked". Unless you plan on going with a bigger motor, as well as an unlocked controller, speeds much over something in the low 20's would be a surprise here - and that would happen only on 4" tires that have been inflated to max and run on pavement.

The HAL sensor by the crank is a cadence sensor only. Speed sensor is built into the motor or using a sensor picking up on a spoke mounted magnet.

USUALLY, the path to an unlocked controller is through a display with cracked access to it's advanced settings.....
 

MrCaspan

Member
Thanks @AHicks actually after comminuting to work on it today it's not too bad. In Canada we are supposed to be limited to 32km/h but for some reason I think this controller is set to off road mode which is 42 km/h. This is a fat tire mountain bike so maybe its assumed that it will be used off road.

100% get what you are saying about the motor and controller over heating, I think the best course of action here is to upgrade the motor and controller and a new display. Can you recommend a good site that sells controllers and screens that will help me unlock these features? It looks like it's a standard battery pack and mounting system how would I go about upgrading it? I say this because I noticed today when ridding it that it has no power on hills and has no get up and go. I have a iGo Discovery Atwater that has the same motor and 48v and it has way better pickup and power on hills so I am assuming its just a generic controller issue. Really want to get into understanding how to upgrade the motor and controller and how this all works together if you could point me in the right direction?
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
I'm a big fan of KT controllers. They're user "configurable" to a degree that generally leaves you with a bike set up YOUR way. For instance, when you ask for power, it's there NOW. There's no spool up time. This controller is sold by Bolton as a hop up kit for the RAD bikes. The reason I mention that is that they are VERY popular with those that bought them. There's an endless supply of user reports available.

The KT controllers are available on the after market several ways (don't buy Bolton's kit unless you are working on a Rad), and are generally sold with a new display as part of the deal. Again, there are several displays, all pretty much state of the art, and they are used to set up the controller. Suit yourself. Controller and LCD3 display for instance, should be less than 100 bucks. The controllers are available pre wired with Bafang motor connectors - but make sure you are looking at the RIGHT one! With the correct motor and display connectors assured, you are left matching up the PAS sensor, the throttle, and brake switches. If you understand HAL sensors, this should be a pretty easy job for you.

New controller installed, there is no more bottleneck between the battery and the motor. You MAY be able to get away with the motor you have at that point. It's worth trying. If not, there are 750w and even a 1000w Bafang motors available (buy them pre laced with the correct wheel size - cheap). These will drop right in place where your 500w now lives, and because you've already installed the controller, you'll be able to feed the bigger motors with the amount of power they'll be looking for....

Have fun. Let your wallet be your guide.
 

MrCaspan

Member
This is awesome, I watch the Bolton Ebike channel a lot and these bikes are so much better with generic parts. I have no clue why I ever went proprietary with iGo as my first bike. Now looking back that that it's a huge down side unless you are just a regular user that could care less about mods..

The fact that I can pump this baby up. I was just looking at the triangle battery video on Bolton's channel and I think this might be the upgrade I want to 52v.

Thanks for all your feed back, I really appreciate it! Is there a sub forum in here that is all about controller and battery talk?
 

goldconch

Active Member
@MrCaspan, I'm not very familiar with the Slane Ajax 48v fat Tire bike, or DMHC controllers, but it looks like there are two things you can do...first, put that controller back together, then:

Hardware: Count the teeth on the smallest, outermost, "top gear" on rear freewheel and I'll bet you a nickel it's Shimano's ubiquitous 14t freewheel. If you can change a tire, you can definitely swap that out for an 11t-28t (generally flat terrain) or 11-34t (some hills) freewheel for around $30-40 - do a search on here (you'll also need the 12-splined Park Tool FR1.3 for $10 or so - I'd pass on the $30 chainwhip, and just use an old rag). Switching to an 11t will give you 21% improvement in mechanical leverage when in full power assist.

Software: As for the DMHC controller power assist settings themselves, do a search for the display type and model you have, download the pdf, and it will guide you. If your display is the LCD-SW900 below...pdf instruction manual is attached. There is a "Max Speed setting/factory limit" in the 16 customizable Power Assist Settings (PAS). I would just note all the Factory OEM settings before you start modifying, and be very attentive not to accidentally reset sine wave type, magnet sensor numbers, and wheel diameters. Bon appetite.

Screen Shot 2020-12-21 at 11.37.00 AM.png
 

Attachments

  • SW900_manual.pdf
    443.7 KB · Views: 153
Last edited:

MrCaspan

Member
I think this controller is a very simplified one as the controller just has LED lights on it. I'm assuming they just put in a cheap one to sell the bike and let you upgrade it to whatever you wanted. I don't figure there is going to be any tinkering with it. I don't think I want to go replacing the tire It's a great idea but I think it'll be simpler to replace the controller. I may have to modify the battery to have longer leads to go to a controller on the back of the seat stem.
 

Attachments

  • PXL_20201221_164909281.jpg
    PXL_20201221_164909281.jpg
    267.2 KB · Views: 91

goldconch

Active Member
@MrCaspan I'm just seeing you have the "2007" model on your hub motor, not the 2020, which also explains the artifact on your handlebars. 😉

Have a look at your "display" connector...if the DMHC controller software is unchanged, an LCD-SW900, or similar, might be a comparatively simple plug-N-play swap-in - but I don't know that for sure. Maybe check with a Slane dealer, or with the bike manufacturer to see what historic options might work with your hub motor. An upgrade to a newer and compatible 5-level controller/LCD display package as @AHicks suggested might be the key to unlocking the full potential of the bike, and it might be a relatively cheap mod.


Screen Shot 2020-12-21 at 12.02.18 PM.png
 

goldconch

Active Member
@MrCaspan if it helps, it looks like a KD26E LED Display, it was common on lots of bikes from that time, including Ancheer Ebikes. PDF Manual attached. There doesn't look like there's much adjustability. Veteran member @harryS might have some suggestions for upgrades.
 

Attachments

  • kd26e.pdf
    803.5 KB · Views: 113

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
I would note that even if a display plugs into your harness, there's absolutely NO assurance it will work, even if it powers up! Controllers and displays use serial communications, and the serial type of the display and controller must match for them to work.

I can tell you for sure regarding the KT controllers, NOTHING but a KT display will work with them (even though that SW900 looks similar).
 

goldconch

Active Member
there's absolutely NO assurance it will work
Hence, "I don't know for sure", @AHicks. There are also 13 years of other serviceability unknowns with this 2007 Slane Ajax/Dmhc, such as viable number of crank sensors, mileage remaining on 10,000mi hub motor, Li-ion battery life/charge cycles, possibly the absence of newer desirable tech like power cut-off brake levers, etc. to factor into a "retrofit controller bundle" (this is not yet a Kunteng controlled ebike), if there are even compatible hub motor and battery harnesses, which I also can't tell from where I'm sitting. Dmhc controller manufacturer, or Slane bike distributor, might have separate suggestions from their years of customer interactions on what might work to update one of their early gen ebikes. Then, @MrCaspan could be fully informed on various paths, before being "guided by his wallet".
 

MrCaspan

Member
Thanks guys, I am for sure going to be updating the controller and screen. I am going to buy one that can drive a 1000w motor and 48 or 52v switchable that way when I switch the battery and the hub motor my controller is good!

I like the KT series they seem simple enough to install and use. God this is so much fun moding bikes!!
 

SunnyLandEbiker

New Member
Region
USA
I'm glad I found this thread! I find myself in a nearly identical situation. I purchased an Aostirmotor S18 mini. It's powered by a 48v 500 watt Wuxi Truck Run rear hub motor. Class 3 out of the box, this bike kicks butt! It will go 32mph! But only for brief periods. 28 mph is It's top sustained speed.
It seems like it could still go faster! I'm having the time of my life with this bike and looking to go faster! As for the bike itself, I'm surprised I doesn't get much mention in my internet searches and research. It has been an absolutely rock solid and hasn't missed a beat in over 2k miles!
 

MrCaspan

Member
Hey @SunnyLandEbiker yeah this is such a complicated thing.. all these companies making their own standard hoping others will catch on and all they are doing is making to harder to pair components together. Such a shame this process should be so simple but every company thinks they can do it better then the last and tries to create a new standard. I just want a controller that says I have a Pink Q Port... any screen that has a Pink Q port will work with me.. NOOOO they all use different connectors and communication standards and just because they have the same port does not mean a thing... haha its one heck of a trail to go down..
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
It's all good. It's like the computers were in the early 90's. OUR way/idea/process is better, trust me!

E-bikes are still very young in the development process and are evolving very quickly right before our eyes....

Buy something, get on the bandwagon enjoying it, and keep your eyes open for something you just can't live without - for whatever reason.

The folks that are loosing out big time are waiting on the side lines while all this is going on....
 

SunnyLandEbiker

New Member
Region
USA
Yes, to be honest I was a little put off by the looks. I really wanted a Rad Rover Plus.I was really interested in owning a bike with fat 20 x 4 tires and would have preferred a step through. In the end, the rear suspension won me over (and the price). After one ride, I was totally hooked! I've been dreaming going faster ever since.
 

SunnyLandEbiker

New Member
Region
USA
I call it the Magic Carpet Ride! I'm not done either! I still plan to add a suspension seat post. As for the tire pressure, I like to be in the 25-30 psi range. The manual recommends 30 psi. I Ride mostly on the road, but I'm venturing more from the pavement everyday. I might try 20 psi at some point soon.
 

MrCaspan

Member
I call it the Magic Carpet Ride! I'm not done either! I still plan to add a suspension seat post. As for the tire pressure, I like to be in the 25-30 psi range. The manual recommends 30 psi. I Ride mostly on the road, but I'm venturing more from the pavement everyday. I might try 20 psi at some point soon.
Really my Kendra 4" bike tires run 5psi to 30psi In the winter I ride them 5psi for better grip