DIY Newb FAQ?

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
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E-HP   10 MW

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DIY Newb FAQ?

Post by E-HP » Apr 30 2021 5:45pm

I think I've read through all of the stickies in the ebike forums, which provide great guidance. Yet, I see a lot a new folks getting into ebikes and posting questions that are not in the stickies, or are embedded somewhere among the existing stickies. Another observation is there are "graduating" ebikers that started with a simple kit and are moving on to another build from components, or are replacing components of their kits.

I'm wondering if there's a value to a DIY Newb FAQ, for both cases. I was thinking of a format like below. This is only showing the proposed format and some examples that may fit into it. Anyway, I thought maybe a Newb specific sticky might be helpful, and easy to find if titled that way. Is there an appetite here for something like this? I know all of this can be found with a search, but my other observation is that new folks don't use the tool as much, since you kind of need to know what to search for, or how to.

DIY Newb - General

The Parts of an Ebike System
https://ebikes.ca/getting-started/ebike ... ained.html

Learn links https://ebikes.ca/learn.html

General: You cannot build an ebike that can go 50 MPH with a 60 mile range for "$1000" If you have a donor bike, you expect to build one in some combination of 20mph to 27mph and 20 to 30 miles, for that investment, and speed vs. range is a trade off if your budget is fixed.

Batteries: If the deal is too good to be true, it is. A general rule, as of (Month/202#), for a pack made with name brand cell (Samsung/Sanyo/Panasonic/LG/Sony) $5 x the total number of cells in the pack is the minimum you should expect to pay. If the pack is made with generic Chinese "highest quality A grade cells", or similar description, you might expect to pay $3 x the total number.
  • Terminology: Most lithium ion packs use series of cells that make up the pack voltage; typically 36V, 48V, 52V, and 72V. Respectively, the number of corresponding series cells for those voltages are 10, 13, 14, and 20. The total pack capacity (amount of energy stored) is based on how many series groups are placed in parallel, and the capacity of each cell. Packs may be described by voltage and capacity (52V 15Ah) or by their component make up (for example 14S5P), which describes the number of series cells (14S) and the number of parallel group (5P). The corresponding capacity for 5P depends on the capacity of the cells (for example 3000mAh) times the number of parallel groups (5 x 3000) or 15000mAh. 1Ah = 1000mAh, so 15000mAh = 15Ah.
Torque arms: If you choose a direct drive motor, and the kit doesn't include a torque arm, you should purchase one (or two). Don't cheap out on torque arms, they must fit tightly to be of use. How far, how fast, etc.:
  • The Grin Motor Simulator is a great tool for determining how an ebike will perform based on the criteria entered; read of the instructions and start playing
  • Trip Simulator - Change the Input at the top left of graph to Google Maps and right click your start point and end point then move the route line to your desired route by dragging the line holding the left mouse button down.

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Buy, Build?

Looking for an ebike conversion and not sure where to start?

Kits Vs Turnkey

DIY Newb - Kit builder

Tools: Hand tools for installation; Digital Multimeter (DMM)
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DIY Newb - Component builder

Tools: Hand tools for installation; Digital Multimeter (DMM); soldering iron and/or crimpers; motor tester

Displays: Displays from different brands are not compatible. The display must be the same brand as the controller for starters, but doesn't guaranty compatibility, so purchasing the controller with the display will assure compatibility.

Wiring: There are no wiring standards or wire color coding standards. If you are building from components, you cannot count on things working, just because you matched the wire colors on the connectors between devices. Use your DMM and realize that touching the wrong combination of wires can destroy electronics, instantaneously.
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Wheel Building:

Spoke Calculator - https://ebikes.ca/tools/spoke-calc.html


Change Log:
5/3 - added general statement to General section and wiring to Component section. changed formatting, added torque arm links
5/27 - added 99t4 and markz contributions


Last observation: Most of the stickies appear to be threads that are made into stickies, so the information is scattered within the threads. It would be nice if when information is added by folks, that at the end the mods could consolidate into the main sections for easy access.

EDIT: Thinking about how a lot of members use translators when accessing the site, paragraphs probably don't work as well. I'm not sure, I don't use them much. Bullets are probably easier to understand.
Last edited by E-HP on May 28 2021 12:36am, edited 24 times in total.

99t4   100 W

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Re: DIY Newb FAQ?

Post by 99t4 » May 02 2021 12:12am

Strongly agree. Many (most?) of the stickies have not been updated in years, some more than 5 years since!

Good to include solid info on TAs for DD hubs, but IMHO the language for torque arm quality could be even more forceful. Even with the "don't cheap out" language, some will still go ahead and get the Grin v.1 TA clone on Ali, etc. that is known problematical. Can we link to or show examples of the preferred quality specimens?

Another point to make in the "DIY Newb - General" section is to explain the un-reality of expecting to build a 50 MPH 60 mile range e-bike for "$1000 preferably, possibly able to budget up to $1300 if need be."

Lots more points to consider. This work could quickly become overwhelming. Need to find a competent editor who can compile the info efficiently and whip it into shape in a format that (as you importantly noted) translates well.

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E-HP   10 MW

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Re: DIY Newb FAQ?

Post by E-HP » May 03 2021 12:41am

99t4 wrote:
May 02 2021 12:12am
Lots more points to consider. This work could quickly become overwhelming. Need to find a competent editor who can compile the info efficiently and whip it into shape in a format that (as you importantly noted) translates well.
Thanks. I think I'll try updating the first post, by editing it, and as newb questions come up in the forum(s), and can add the questions (if not already addressed) and the responses received from the experts. That way the information will stay in the first post, and easier to copy and paste into a sticky, if the mods feel like it will add some value or save time.

I'll beef up the torque arm part and the unrealistic expectations per your suggestion.

It'll be a work in progress for now. Thanks again for the feedback.

99t4   100 W

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Re: DIY Newb FAQ?

Post by 99t4 » May 04 2021 12:19am

E-HP wrote:
Apr 30 2021 5:45pm
Torque arms: If you choose a direct drive motor, and the kit doesn't include a torque arm, you should purchase one (or two). Don't cheap out on torque arms, they must fit tightly to be of use.
We'll have to find some TA threads more appropriate to newbs. The first one is certainly interesting but applies mainly to the GMAC motor. Might be too taxing to expect newb to read thru 8pp of interesting development&testing progress that ultimately doesn't give them instant gratification. The second link is a YT video that I cannot access ATM so will not comment yet.

Something like this https://www.electricbike.com/torque-arm/ seems to me better suited for newb. If similar does not exist on ES [EDIT: I have not found it yet] we could just CliffNotes it into this thread, talking about especially the section approx. 1/3 in where it describes the Grin Double Hoseclamp Universal Torque Arm. Could even link to this page https://ebikes.ca/product-info/grin-pro ... -arms.html which gives a good illustrated description on the necessity for a TA, and the reason to avoid the V.1 version and its ubiquitous clones.

I think the goal is to reinforce the requirement for the TA and give them an easy simple high-quality solution that will work for most common cases.

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dogman dan   100 GW

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Re: DIY Newb FAQ?

Post by dogman dan » May 04 2021 7:20am

Not everybody had the time to answer that noobs questions over and over. I did, back when I was sick in bed, waiting to die in 2010. Now I'm recovered and would rather be out riding. And what I know is getting out of date, fast.

A really good sticky answering the basic newb questions it a great idea. Others have done some great stickies, but more technical and aimed at more advanced builders.

2old   100 kW

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Re: DIY Newb FAQ?

Post by 2old » May 27 2021 11:51am

As above, excellent idea. Too bad new proponents can't be required to read before asking the same questions repeatedly.

markz   100 GW

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Re: DIY Newb FAQ?

Post by markz » May 27 2021 10:35pm

Trip Simulator - https://ebikes.ca/tools/trip-simulator.html
Change the Input at the top left of graph to Google Maps and right click your start point and end point then move the route line to your desired route by dragging the line holding the left mouse button down.

Learn links - https://ebikes.ca/learn.html

Spoke Calculator - https://ebikes.ca/tools/spoke-calc.html

Looking for an ebike conversion and not sure where to start?
https://ebikes.ca/getting-started/start-here.html

The Parts of an Ebike System
https://ebikes.ca/getting-started/ebike ... ained.html

Kits Vs Turnkey
https://ebikes.ca/getting-started/kits-vs-turnkey.html

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E-HP   10 MW

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Re: DIY Newb FAQ?

Post by E-HP » May 28 2021 12:37am

Thanks. Incorporated. :thumb:

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