LightningRods mid drive kit

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PRW   100 kW

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by PRW » Dec 25 2021 8:58pm

LightningRods wrote:
Dec 25 2021 7:24pm
Customer Pete Ellsworth asked that I convert his right hand drive Big Block to left hand drive. Doing this allows him to run 415H chain single speed on the left while retaining all of his pedaling gears on the right.

B368A5B8-785D-4FC6-B6AD-F9DA4D54D34E.jpeg
Hey Mike,
What's the approximate cost of doing this?
Thanks,
Peter

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by LightningRods » Dec 25 2021 9:36pm

Hey Peter,
What are we starting with and what are we doing?
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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by PRW » Dec 25 2021 10:05pm

Hi Mike,
I have one of your 4500W "mid block" drives - that came off the Futr Beta installation that you did.

I have been thinking of somehow converting it to a left hand drive, so the fact that you did this for Pete, picqued my interest!

This is the motor/ thread...
https://www.endless-sphere.com/forums/v ... 28&t=89282
Last edited by PRW on Dec 26 2021 9:37pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by LightningRods » Dec 26 2021 9:59am

The process is actually pretty simple. You remove the mounting plates from the motor, flip the motor right to left, and then install the plates in the reverse order. The plates are oriented the same way, their sequence is just reversed.
The left end of the BB axle becomes the shaft for the motor chainwheel to ride on. The entire chainwheel assembly can be reused as is. You will need a center bearing carrier to replace the freewheel. If you have my 158mm axle length ISIS BB you’ll likely need a 178mm axle to make room for the chainwheel. If I remember right the Beta has a 68mm BB shell. So you might have room on the 158mm.
The rear wheel sprocket assembly bolts onto the disc rotor mount. The rotor is in it’s stock location but you need a 203mm rotor and extended caliper bracket to make room for the sprocket under the caliper. Upgrading to 203mm rotors is common and the parts are inexpensive.
The last mod is an ISIS spider and whatever pedal chainwheel you want on the right.
“I have not failed 700 times. I have discovered 700 ways not to make a light bulb.”
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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by tomjasz » Dec 26 2021 7:14pm

To many it may seem criminal, but could the LR build be done at 36V?
I'm tired of BBSxx series parts supply issues. Silly?
Thanks Justin_le we're here thanks to you. All the best to the mods for their tireless work keeping it on an even keel.

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by PRW » Dec 26 2021 7:26pm

LightningRods wrote:
Dec 26 2021 9:59am
The process is actually pretty simple. You remove the mounting plates from the motor, flip the motor right to left, and then install the plates in the reverse order. The plates are oriented the same way, their sequence is just reversed.
The left end of the BB axle becomes the shaft for the motor chainwheel to ride on. The entire chainwheel assembly can be reused as is. You will need a center bearing carrier to replace the freewheel. If you have my 158mm axle length ISIS BB you’ll likely need a 178mm axle to make room for the chainwheel. If I remember right the Beta has a 68mm BB shell. So you might have room on the 158mm.
The rear wheel sprocket assembly bolts onto the disc rotor mount. The rotor is in it’s stock location but you need a 203mm rotor and extended caliper bracket to make room for the sprocket under the caliper. Upgrading to 203mm rotors is common and the parts are inexpensive.
The last mod is an ISIS spider and whatever pedal chainwheel you want on the right.
Thanks Mike- I will have a look, and message you if I have any questions

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by DanGT86 » Dec 26 2021 7:50pm

tomjasz wrote:
Dec 26 2021 7:14pm
To many it may seem criminal, but could the LR build be done at 36V?
I'm tired of BBSxx series parts supply issues. Silly?
I dont see why not. The rpm/volt of these motors is in the 60s. The new ipm motors respond well to field weakening also so depending on your controller you could get more rpm than 36v would have gotten you in the old days.

Even running at half its capacity a LR motor is capable of more power than the avg BBS is running.

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by LightningRods » Dec 26 2021 8:52pm

These motors are used in many ways. If you think of big American V8 motors, they were used in trucks, motor homes, muscle cars, sports cars and dragsters. It’s a matter of tune. Running the Big Block at 36V would be like a 454 Chevy truck motor. Running at 20S or more with field weakening is like a AA Fuel dragster.
Comparing the Big Block to the Bafang HD is really unfair to the Baf. The Big Block is 4x the motor. Looks are deceiving on the drives because half the Baf is reduction gearing. The Big Block drive is all motor. You could run a 250A 36V controller and have tons of performance without screaming high rpm. 250A x 36V is 9kW.
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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by spinningmagnets » Dec 26 2021 10:46pm

but could the LR build be done at 36V? I'm tired of BBSxx series parts supply issues
To add to what others have said, motor mass loves amps. And...if your battery can feed it enough, it will accelerate so fast that it will not be at max amps for long. Part of my interest in the big block is the usefulness of a 48V/52V battery because it can supply a "48V" nominal inverter to power a home with 120V AC during a power outage.

I own three large 52V battery packs, and any one of them can easily keep the food cold, and charge my phone/laptop until the power comes back on. 250A x 50A is over 12,000W...

edit: Nothing wrong with 20S / 72V, also, getting 96V from two 48V batteries in series, and 104V (like Zero motorcycles) by using two 52V batteries in series...

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by john61ct » Dec 27 2021 12:05pm

So what if a cargo trike is **slowly** pushing 400-500lbs up steep and long mountain roads?

Not giving a fig for acceleration much less top speed

Assume all the amps in the world, motor temp protection from a sophisticated controller or CAv3.

Is this motor the top-shelf way to go?

Happy to separate left single gear motor drive from right pedalling geared for the flats.

Is the lower voltage 36-52V range actually **better** in this use case than going higher, say up to around 90V?



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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by LightningRods » Dec 27 2021 12:47pm

Is lower voltage better? No higher voltage has lots of advantages. If you want to get 3000 watts out of a Bafang without melting it, you’d better throw some volts at it. For small motors the way to make performance is to spin them as fast as possible with the lowest possible gearing. The advantage of the Big Block is being so much larger that 3000 watts is loafing. It would be kind of pointless to run a Big Block at 20S in order to get 3kW. 12S is more than enough and even 10S would work fine in all but the most extreme conditions. Higher voltage and lower gearing is always easier on the motor. It’s just not always necessary.
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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by john61ct » Dec 27 2021 2:24pm

OK, so "high enough" to get the required top speed and total power needed without crazy amp rates.

But no higher, diminishing returns, balanced against costlier high-V components, plus higher electrocution danger.

For a given watts level, does the heat dissipation issue get better as Volts go up and amps down?

I realise apples to oranges, but just weight and width wise, which of the QS motors is comparable?

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by LightningRods » Dec 27 2021 3:50pm

I’ve observed that my motors put out about 1000 phase watts per pound. The 10 pound Big Block is around 10kW, the 13 lb XL is around 13kW. I expect the new 17.5 lb XXL to comfortably put out 18kW. Assuming that the QS motors have similar efficiency most of their line should be more powerful than the 10 lb Big Block. Their motors are large enough and heavy enough that I haven’t been interested in them for my applications. NY Mic and others are running a big QS motor as swingarm drive on the Victor Vortex, which is essentially an electric motorcycle. The ‘little’ 2000 watt QS is twice the length and nearly twice the weight of the Big Block. It’s bigger and heavier than my XXL. And yet they say maximum power is 4600 watts. There’s probably more in there.

Heat dissipation stays the same at higher voltage. Heat buildup is reduced at the same wattage because a lower density of current is being pushed through faster at higher pressure. At twice the voltage half the amps are needed to create the same wattage.
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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by john61ct » Dec 28 2021 2:16am

Thanks so much for this, very helpful.

In this scenario
john61ct wrote:So what if a cargo trike is **slowly** pushing 400-500lbs up steep and long mountain roads?

Not giving a fig for acceleration much less top speed

Assume all the amps in the world, motor temp protection from a sophisticated controller or CAv3
I'm inferring that the heat buildup is going to be the limiting factor.

So, if I be extra careful about high voltage dangers, and am willing to pay more for the necessary components

then going up to say a 85-90V pack may well help let me crank out the torque a bit longer even at lower speeds?

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by LightningRods » Dec 28 2021 11:20am

The reason that large appliances and shop equipment use 220V is that it uses half the amps to do the same work compared to 110V. Wiring can be smaller gauge, the motors run cooler and I’m told it’s more efficient. In the case of your cargo bike, because the motor is running faster with more voltage your gearing can be lower by the same percentage. This reduces the load on your motor (and driveline). If you don’t care about top speed you’re all set.
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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by DanGT86 » Dec 28 2021 11:57am

john61ct wrote:
Dec 28 2021 2:16am
Thanks so much for this, very helpful.

In this scenario
john61ct wrote:So what if a cargo trike is **slowly** pushing 400-500lbs up steep and long mountain roads?

Not giving a fig for acceleration much less top speed

Assume all the amps in the world, motor temp protection from a sophisticated controller or CAv3
I'm inferring that the heat buildup is going to be the limiting factor.

So, if I be extra careful about high voltage dangers, and am willing to pay more for the necessary components

then going up to say a 85-90V pack may well help let me crank out the torque a bit longer even at lower speeds?
Ultimately there will be a limit of continuous power in watts that the motor can put out without overheating. All of the fiddling with voltage and current is an attempt to get the motor/system into its most efficient range for the work you are trying to do.

There is also a max rpm that the rotor is going to be mechanically safe running. At some point the magnets let go and you get destructive vibration.

It would take a bit of careful dyno testing to figure out what this maximum time to overheat is.

Buy a LR big block kit and use it in the range that LR usually does. If it doesn't do the job for you then change your final drive ratio until it does. This will cost you in the range of hundreds of dollars rather than thousands of dollars.

There is no reason to take every portion of the project into the dangerous, expensive, and highly custom. You are well past the point of diminishing returns trying to eek out the last few volts.

Playing with the grin simulator it looks like it takes about 2000 watts on the motor side to pull 500lbs up a 20% grade at 10mph. Find a motor that does 2000watts continuous and you should be ok.

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by tomjasz » Dec 29 2021 1:57am

My old Saab’s were V4, literally half of a Ford 289. 300,000 miles engines that any tractor shop could rebuild on the cheap.

I guess it’s criminal with power users to dumb things down. Thanks for the response.
Thanks Justin_le we're here thanks to you. All the best to the mods for their tireless work keeping it on an even keel.

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by LightningRods » Dec 29 2021 10:06am

tomjasz wrote:
Dec 29 2021 1:57am
I guess it’s criminal with power users to dumb things down.
Not at all. I’m not sure who the power user is, but I sell quite a few Big Blocks to hunters and other users who want a high torque motor that will run at 3000 watts all day without getting hot. The Big Block is so under taxed at 3000 watts that it will do that.
Hot rodding is lots of fun. It has the added benefit of torture testing parts to point out weaknesses. Auto manufacturers justify racing programs for (1) advertising and (2) R&D. Most customers are not going to be pushing the bleeding edge. They still seem to enjoy knowing that the motor can do it.
All of my motors are IPMs and have their permanent magnets embedded in the rotor. Magnet destruction from centrifugal force, like you get with surface mounted magnets, is a thing of the past. When a surface mount magnet breaks it doesn’t just create an imbalance. Magnet chunks jam the air gap and trash the motor. It’s a catastrophic failure. Running at 84 volts with field weakening my motors have hit 12,000 rpm without problems. They will also run all day at 36V.
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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by LightningRods » Jan 22 2022 3:09pm

My new 10kW bottom bracket drives. GT3 belt reduction with 3.75:1 first stage or 219 kart chain reduction with 6.25:1 first stage. More chainwheel speed means more rear wheel speed with less driveline stress. Both of these drives have plenty of power to run single speed.
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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by Universalus » Jan 27 2022 3:28am

Nice. Why don't you list the belt drive system in your shop? I would like to know the price for belt driven Single Stage Small Block Middrive- RHD.

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by LightningRods » Jan 27 2022 10:31am

Hi! The belt drive isn’t listed in the shop yet because I had a first run of five made to check the fit on everything and to give myself a chance to make improvements before I order a lot of parts. The price will be the same as the 219 chain version. I’ll also be ordering small blocks again in a couple of weeks. I’ll put the new options on the store when they’re ready.
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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by Universalus » Jan 27 2022 12:24pm

Great. There is a high chance that I am going to replace my belt driven CYC PRO1. Out of 4 currently own e-bikes, CYC is the most disappointing...
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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by SwampDonkey » Jan 29 2022 10:34pm

Universalus wrote:
Jan 27 2022 12:24pm
Great. There is a high chance that I am going to replace my belt driven CYC PRO1. Out of 4 currently own e-bikes, CYC is the most disappointing...
IMG_3256.jpg
Why is the CYC disappointing? Im gettinbg either the Cyclone 6kW, single stage LR big block,or the CYC X1 pro. Havent decided yet,still gathering info. Can you compare it to the LR BB drive?

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by LightningRods » Jan 30 2022 1:07pm

Without going into the shortcomings of the CYC and Cyclone, they are optimistic at being rated at half the power of my Big Block. They’re more comparable to my Small Block motor. A customer who has both a CYC and one of my Big Block drives said, “Comparing the X1 Pro to the Big Block is like comparing a 125cc gas motorcycle to a 450.”
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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by SwampDonkey » Jan 30 2022 10:56pm

LightningRods wrote:
Jan 30 2022 1:07pm
Without going into the shortcomings of the CYC and Cyclone, they are optimistic at being rated at half the power of my Big Block. They’re more comparable to my Small Block motor. A customer who has both a CYC and one of my Big Block drives said, “Comparing the X1 Pro to the Big Block is like comparing a 125cc gas motorcycle to a 450.”
Yes Im getting the idea that the big block is the most powerful mid drive out right now. The 6K cyclone is definitely cheaper/smaller, but has a kit featuring several controller combos, with displays, which is nice. Im really wanting a small but powerful controller pushing 5kw or more, with some kinda primitive display showing me things like battery voltage. I dont need PAS for anything but it would be nice to have if its there.
What smallish controllers or VESCs would you recommenced? The ASI controllers sound great but are expensive and sound like a pain to get set up. Some people never get them correctly set up.

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