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Building an electric... bike!? (electric motors)

Discussion in 'Hobby Electronics' started by Allan, Jun 4, 2006.

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  1. Allan

    Allan Guest

    I'd like to build an electric bike/trike (or something) with our kids.
    I was considering a Briggs & Stratton "Etek Motor" - until I realised
    it has brushes.

    Would I be correct in thinking a brushless (dc) motor is more
    suitable? Is that what those nasty k-mart scooters use??

    Does a brushless dc motor have "consumables" (for want of a better
    word) like brushes that I'm not aware of, that will need to be
    replaced?

    I guess basically I'm after suggestions for a long-lasting, reliable
    motor with a good bit of torque. Something that won't burn out in 12
    months time and we can pull out and build something else with.

    Also while I think of it, I'm so cheap I don't even want to pay
    $1.40/L just to get bread and milk anymore. ; ) So if anyone knows
    of any Australian sites where someone has built electric
    bikes/trikes/cars themselves - that would be appreciated. Or good US
    one... There is lots of US sites of course, but parts they refer to
    are often not available here - but open to suggestions from either
    side of the pond.

    Thanks for reading...

    Allan
     
  2. Mike

    Mike Guest

    mmm Lot of time and energy to design/build or rather reinvent
    old technology with all the associated costs - which would
    probably be far less overall than using the car <shrug>, so
    start the spreadhseet now...

    Petrol is cheaper now than it was 10 years ago, all else
    considered, and milk is even cheaper, so take some of what you
    gain on milk and put it to the petrol and think of doing
    something useful with your time...

    <chuckle>

    ie. Petrol = Money,
    Time is the killer

    cheers

    Mike



    --
    Regards
    Mike
    * GMC/VL Commodore, Calais VL Turbo FuseRail that wont warp or melt !
    * High grade milspec ignition driver electronics now in development
    * Twin Tyres to suit most sedans, trikes and motorcycle sidecars
    http://niche.iinet.net.au
     
  3. Allan

    Allan Guest

    Er... Thanks for the reply, but a 7 and a 10 year old can't drive a
    full sized car around our backyard. ; )

    Anyone else here done/know of anything along these lines?

    Allan
     
  4. Pete

    Pete Guest

    A few minutes with Google turned these links up:

    http://evchallenge.murdoch.edu.au/making.html

    http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/ss/stories/s916760.htm

    http://www.imtmotors.com/ebike.htm

    http://mcs.une.edu.au/~ashley/ebike/index.html

    http://www.designawards.com.au/ADA/01-02/STUDENT DESIGN/624/624.HTM

    There's lots of interesting links for you to chase down in this next one:

    http://www.aust.stgeorgeonline.com....and_Services/Sporting_Goods/Cycling/Electric/

    There's a zillion more links in Google - informational, DIY and pre-made
    (but all the pre-mades seem to cost way over $1K!).

    Peter
     
  5. quietguy

    quietguy Guest

    Allen, if you haven't already been there have a look at the Oatly
    Electronics site - they were (last time I was there) selling motors and
    controllers for electric bikes/scooters at what seemed VG prices

    David
     
  6. two bob

    two bob Guest

    Petrol is cheaper now than it was 10 years ago, all else

    How do you work that one out? In 10 years petrol has more than doubled in
    price, my income has gone up far less than double in the same period.
     
  7. Mike

    Mike Guest

    The more direct route is a small petrol engine, such as off a radio
    control two stroke petrol car, car more interesting to make work
    and far more long term interest retained by participants. If you go
    the route of electric motor and associated batteries, interest will
    diminish as the performance will lack and the batteries will invariably
    fail and the project will fizzle out...
    See it done a couple of times, electric bike = nice idea in principle
    until you do some time management. As its for kids there are many
    more opportunities to learn with mechanics and overall design concepts
    if you go down the ICE route...


    --
    Regards
    Mike
    * GMC/VL Commodore, Calais VL Turbo FuseRail that wont warp or melt !
    * High grade milspec ignition driver electronics now in development
    * Twin Tyres to suit most sedans, trikes and motorcycle sidecars
    http://niche.iinet.net.au
     
  8. Allan

    Allan Guest

    Yep - we have a small two stroke lying around. Still have that in the
    back of my mind as a last resort. Thanks!
     
  9. Allan

    Allan Guest

  10. Allan

    Allan Guest

    Thanks!
     
  11. Allan

    Allan Guest

    Great stuff - thanks. For some reason most of the stuff I came up
    with was in the USA.
     
  12. I have plans for a steam powered push bike.
     
  13. Mike

    Mike Guest

    <chuckle>

    The gearing on a penny farthing would be of interest but,
    where do you put the reservoir for the torque convertor,

    <shrug>


    --
    Regards
    Mike
    * GMC/VL Commodore, Calais VL Turbo FuseRail that wont warp or melt !
    * High grade milspec ignition driver electronics now in development
    * Twin Tyres to suit most sedans, trikes and motorcycle sidecars
    http://niche.iinet.net.au
     
  14. Allan

    Allan Guest

    You have my respect. I would love to own the Pritchard Steam car.
    Wish I had the knowledge to build a steam... anything.
     
  15. Mike

    Mike Guest

    Its actually much easier than you'd think:-

    a. Boil water in a vessel that can keep a high pressure
    b. Use the steam to push a piston with a valve that switches
    the flow off when its on the return, ie Pipes and valve.
    c. Condense the steam back to water and pump this back into
    boiler.

    These days you dont need proprietary mechanical valves, use cheap
    electronics and solenoid valves, you can then vary the timing to
    suit etc.

    Have seen a V8 chevy motor many years ago that was configured to
    run off a waste steam source, what the guy did was:-

    1. Change the valve timing, this is also easier than you'd think.
    2. Use an oil/water separator on the sump, so the sump wouldnt
    slowly fill up with water, I think it was some centrifugal
    system to ensure any emulsion was nicely cleared.

    No need for sparks or ignition etc, (I seem to recall also he ran
    some pressure sensors off the old plug holes) just need the inlet
    manifold to be able to hold the full waste steam pressure. In his
    situation he didnt worry about recycling the steam to a condensor,
    just let it exhaust to atmosphere - this was fairly efficient because
    the exhaust would be straight to air so lower exit pressure and no need
    for a water pump back to the bolier. If I recall corectly it ran
    at about 2000 to 2400 rpms or so. Based on BMEP he could have got
    something like 250 Hp from his waste steam source, might even be
    legacy links on web, last time I looked was 12 years ago <shrug>



    --
    Regards
    Mike
    * GMC/VL Commodore, Calais VL Turbo FuseRail that wont warp or melt !
    * High grade milspec ignition driver electronics now in development
    * Twin Tyres to suit most sedans, trikes and motorcycle sidecars
    http://niche.iinet.net.au
     
  16. I wonder if it ran a week, or a month, before rusting out?
     
  17. Mike

    Mike Guest

    Dont know, I wondered about that at the time, though if its 'dry'
    steam and the engine is in continuous use, without much opportunity
    for condensation and presumably the oil/water separator is working
    or there isnt much steam blowby then you'd expect some considerable
    time, wonder how long ordinary older steam engines ran with their
    cast iron pistons ?


    --
    Regards
    Mike
    * GMC/VL Commodore, Calais VL Turbo FuseRail that wont warp or melt !
    * High grade milspec ignition driver electronics now in development
    * Twin Tyres to suit most sedans, trikes and motorcycle sidecars
    http://niche.iinet.net.au
     
  18. Allan

    Allan Guest

    I saw an article years ago about a VW bug - still have it somewhere, I
    might dig it out. I *think* it said titanium pistons were fitted.
    Anyway, point being of course engines are modified to prevent rust. I
    have always wished I could learn to build steam engines - maybe one
    day I can find a decent book on it. [sigh]
     
  19. Mike

    Mike Guest

    Yes I would like to see that, I have a heat engine project on the back
    burner at moment <great pun>. Basically arranging best use of pressure,
    also have a pair of unused VL/Nissan 6 cyl engines in the back shed
    that havent rusted yet, have in mind using them at some point though I
    robbed one of them of big end bearings for my VLT...

    Steam engines are really really simple, just pressure and applied to
    a piston, thats effectively it...

    --
    Regards
    Mike
    * GMC/VL Commodore, Calais VL Turbo FuseRail that wont warp or melt !
    * High grade milspec ignition driver electronics now in development
    * Twin Tyres to suit most sedans, trikes and motorcycle sidecars
    http://niche.iinet.net.au
     
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