Upgrading the Power Cables

August 30, 2010

Parts

Tools

Introduction

If you want to upgrade your system to 60V or 72V by adding the extra battery or batteries, it is a good idea to also upgrade the power-cables connecting the batteries to one another and the rest of the system. This is a good way to spend your time while you’re pulling together the other parts you need, or waiting for for your 72V controller or battery charger to make its way from China.

The simplified schematic below shows the battery arrangement regarding the addition of batteries for the 60V/72V arrangement.

For your upgrade, you will therefore need to replace the existing cables, and also add a couple more to wire in the extra batteries (or battery) you will be adding as follows:

  • Battery 1-2, 2-3, 3-4 & 5-6:  5 x 120mm (5″) BLACK
  • Battery 4-5:  1 x 300mm (12″) BLACK
  • Battery 6 to breaker switch input terminal:  1 x 450mm (16″) RED

When it comes time to wire in your new controller, you will need two more lengths of cable to run from the master positive (battery 6+) and negative (battery 1-) terminals. These following lengths will be connected to one side of an Anderson connector:

  • Battery 1 to Anderson Connector:  1 x 600mm (24″) BLACK
  • Breaker switch output terminal to Anderson connector:  1 x 120mm(5″) RED (though you may want to make this longer depending on where you wish to locate your Anderson connector for the final configuration)

Don’t take these measurements as gospel, they are for guidance only. They will depend on how you want to route your cabling around your system, or how much free play you like to have. The short lengths can be even shorter as they have so little distance to span and their length is taken up by a bend anyway.

Building the Cables

Most important of all, you’ll need one of these. It’s the only way you’ll get a good, solid connection. Use the orange section of the ‘jaw’ for these types of crimps.

Cut off the lengths you need (in this case about 120mm) for the four short lengths of battery-to-battery connector.

Take 10mm of the ends with a stanley knife or sharp blade. This should give you exactly the length of wire to fit it snuggly in the crimp-end of the 6mm lugs.

Crimp them with that honking great crimp tool. It requires a good amount of force even with the ratchet mechanism. If your hands aren’t so strong you might need to brace them against the floor and push down with your weight. Or else get Daddy to do it.

Next cut off a length of 10mm heat shrink and see to both ends of the cable (I just use a lighter to ‘set’ the heat-shrink). Neglecting this will leave you with hazardous lengths of exposed, live high-voltage cable

Beautiful. Just the bare minimum of exposed cable we need to secure our connections.

The final couple of lengths of cable that meet with the Anderson connector will not be needed until you are ready to install your new controller, these will need to be crimped at one end to the crimps used by your Anderson connector, so that they form a cable like this to be used in the final installation.

For the ends of the red cable running from Battery 6 to the breaker, and from the breaker to the Anderson connector, it is a good idea to tin them (that is, coat them in a layer of solder) so that they form a solid block that connects firmly with the breaker contacts.

And there you have it! The new wiring is now capable of carrying a whopping 170 amps, more than the ego’s motor will ever need, or can even withstand. Take a look and see how it compares to the flimsy wiring that it originally came with…

Thanks to Ian and Mike of the Electric Motoring Forum for pioneering this upgrade, and providing the details of the cables, connectors and tools required.


Accessing the Headlight & Front Wiring Loom

August 29, 2010

Half the battle is finding the ‘trick’ bolt, hiding under that naff sticker on the front.

Two screws either side of the ‘cockpit’ also secure the front panel.

Two more screws secure the little ‘peak’ at the front’s base.

This needs to be slid off to allow the front panel to be released.

Once removed, the front panel – with a little encouragement – will slide down to reveal its innards.

The panel can be removed by detaching the connector for the headlight cable.

Et voila! The lock assembly, indicator flasher unit, horn and headlight assembly are all now accessible.


48V Factory Controller

August 29, 2010

48V Controller

Factory 48V Controller included with the Scoota

  • A – Main Motor Power Feed (R +72V, Bk Gnd): To main battery bank +/- terminals
  • B – Phase Wires (Bl, Gr, Y): To corresponding wires on connector block.
  • C – Hall Sensor: To corresponding connector on loom
  • D – Throttle Connector (Bk, Gy, Red)
  • E – Brake Cut-off (Vi): To brake/sidestand 12V line (meets 2-pin Gr, R/Bk connector on loom with F)
  • F – Controller Power Feed: To R/Bk in 2-pin Gr, R/Bk connector on loom with E

48V Controller Specs


Front Wiring Loom

August 29, 2010

Behind the Front Access Panel

  • A – Ignition/Lock Cylinder
  • B – Indicator Flasher Unit
  • C – Horn
  • D – Cable to Front Light Assembly

Front Light Assembly


Battery Meter Upgrade

August 27, 2010

The Sparklight Products 6-LED, 12-State Battery Meter, now available in Scooter-Kit Form

Introduction

A couple of weeks ago, I was facing the dilemma as to what to do about the exisitng battery meter, which runs off of 48V and is therefore incompatible with the battery bank voltage of bikes that have been upgraded to 60V or 72V.

Workarounds have been documented which involved either adding an extra lead to take 48V of the fourth battery in the series, or including a zener diode to reduce the voltage by the required amount, but seeing as the existing meter is – in my opinion – pretty poor anyway, I began to look into the possibility of replacing it with something better that would also accept the new voltage of an upgraded system.

Step up Andy Ferguson of Sparklight products. I approached him about a very affordable, miniature LED array battery meter that he sells on eBay, enquiring about his offer to customise the unit. In his Ad he offers the option to specify the colour, the precise voltage threshold and the behaviour of each LED over a 12-point scale. However he only said that he could cover any voltage up to 30V.

The Sparklight Products original Battery Monitor Unit

Nonetheless he was intrigued by the prospect of a new application of his unit, and set about producing a redesigned version of the unit that was capable of handling the higher voltages used by electric vehicles. He was not, however, kitted out for testing such a unit with a suitable power source, so I happily agreed to test the unit when it came, to iron out any teething troubles and have it fixed if necessary.

At this point he was also adding new functionality to the unit. In addition to a users own specific settings for the threshold of each LED, he would also include a few other profile options to reflect different ‘curves’ – different scales that would reflect the range of the voltage discharge in slightly different ways, and with different thresholds and sensitivity.

The Chart from my Mileage/Voltage Discharge Experiment, where I tried to establish the Scooter’s useable Voltage Range

These would be added to the primary, user-defined profile in the form of five extra ones, each profile selectable from a ‘select mode’ where a button is used to set the mode by operating it in a certain way. A typical grid for a unit’s behaviour would then look something like this:

Profile 1 Profile 2 Profile 3 Profile 4 Profile 5 Profile 6
Gr1 >65 >65 >65.5 >66 >65 >64
Gr 1 2 Flash >64 >64.5 >65 >65.5 >64 >63.5
Gr 2 >63 >64 >64.5 >65 >63 >63
Gr 2 2 Flash >62 >63.5 >64 >64.5 >62 >62.5
Gr 3 >61 >63 >63.5 >64 >61 >62
Gr 3 2 Flash >60 >62.5 >63 >63.5 >60 >61.5
Amb 4 >59 >62 >62.5 >63 >59 >61
Amb 4 2 Flash >57.5 >61.5 >62 >62.5 >58 >60.5
Amb 5 >56 >61 >61.5 >62 >57 >60
Amb 5 2 Flash >54.5 >60.5 >61 >61.5 >56 >59.5
Red 6 3 Flash >53 >60 >60.5 >61 >55 >59
Red 6 4 Flash >5 >5 >5 >5 >5 >5

I also needed a change to the original unit’s functionality, whereby the button would not be used to turn the unit on and off, but would occur automatically in response to the presence of the 12V power supply. That way it could be rigged directly into the 12V circuit, and come on and off automatically with the ignition.

Within a few days, I had what was to turn out to be the ‘beta’ unit, which I wired in and strapped to my handlebar to test over the period of a few days, periodically taking voltage readings and running through the profiles to confirm that they were as per the specs. Naturally there were a couple of minor issues, and the unit had to go back once to have something fixed, but in all other respects the unit performed perfectly, and was also as accurate as promised.

The Test Rig for the ‘Beta’ Unit

In the mean time, I also took apart my instrument display to see what would have to be done to make Andy’s unit compatible with the existing display plate. Though the LEDs were the same, standard size, they were differently spaced and Andy’s had one extra LED. If I wanted the extra LED to fit, there would need to be an extra hole in the display.

The existing case and button was also redundant for our purposes: What we needed was a pair of contact leads extending from the site of the button contacts which could be rigged up to an external button somewhere on the case of the instrument display. The problem with the LED spacing though, would require the unit to be changed so that the LEDs could be engaged with the holes on the display. This would involve including about 15mm of LED leg length so that the LEDS could be fanned out accordingly.

I duly asked how much it would cost to make the changes, but Andy kindly waved the charges and wrote off the unit as a prototype, saying that he’d build a second, caseless unit, specifically with integration to the instrument display in mind. He asked how long I wanted the button wires to be, and I estimated that 250mm would be sufficient. I also asked that the LEDs be brightened slightly, as they weren’t easily visible in sunlight, and I didn’t want them to be afflicted with the same problem as the indicator warning lights on the instrument display panel.

Three short days later I received the freshly made up unit in kit form, suitable for use with the ego scooter or any other electric vehicle with a similar LED battery level readout. The LEDs had been slotted into a removable, ‘dummy’ plate that reflects the spacing of the holes on the Ego Scoota display, which could be removed prior to final assembly.

The final form of the Instrument Display Panel Battery Meter Kit. The plate over the LEDs is simply a brace to hold the LEDs in position

The unit is now fully installed, and as always I have documented the process from start to finish:

The Battery Meter Upgrade: Instructions

Parts (available from Sparklight Products, & Maplin or Radio Shack)

Tools

  • A phillips head screwdriver, large and small sizes
  • A soldering iron and solder wire is desirable but not essential
  • A pair of wire snippers
  • A Multimeter

1) Disassemble the Instrument Panel

The first thing to do is disassemble the instrument panel. It is held in place by two screws and two flanged, hex-head bolts, one of each on either side of the instrument panel. Remove these and put them somewhere where they won’t get lost.

Gently pull the front of the instrument panel free, releasing the plastic clips along the top that secure it.

Next unscrew the nut on the tachometer cable and disconnect it from the back of the unit. The display panel can then simply have it’s wiring disconnected from its main connector on the loom in order for it to be detached, however for clarity of illustration I have removed all the rubber gromits with the display bulbs from the case of the unit. You do  not need to do this; the case will disassemble just as easily with the wiring attached to the back.

2) Remove the Display Panel from its Mounting

Once you have the instrument panel removed, you will have to remove the display panel casing from its mounting. Remove the five screws that hold the instrument panel onto the mounting.

3) Open the Instrument Panel

Remove the two screws either side of the top front of the instrument panel.

Finally, remove the two screws either side of the tachometer cable socket on the back of the display panel, and open up the casing.

Inside is the factory 48V battery meter, fed by the red (+) wire, and the green neutral. This can be removed, but keep one of the screws to use to secure the replacement PCB.

4) Drill a 4mm Hole for Extra LED

One of the plastic mounts is in the way of where we want the sixth LED hole, so cut it off with snippers. Then measure and mark the centre of a new hole and carefully drill a 1mm guide hole. It is a good idea to place something solid in the space between the display panel and the plastic ‘window’ below, to prevent the drill bit hitting the screen.

Expand this to a 4mm hole. Drill steadily to minimise rough edges and burring.

5) Mount the new PCB

The display is now ready to receive the LED array on the new battery monitor PCB.

The ‘dummy’ mount bracing the LEDs can be removed. It may be a little stiff, so gently apply some force to get them free. The new PCB with its LED array can then be engaged with the holes on the instrument panel.

A perfect fit! Now the new array is seemlessly integrated with the existing display, and looks great! But next we should add a plastic mount to secure the PCB to the board. The LEDS already hold it fairly firmly, but the LED legs will act as little springs, and we don’t want the PCB jiggling about when the bike is in use.

6) Secure the PCB to the Panel

I just used a 10mm length sawed off of the end of a transparent biro, which I then superglued to the board. This was ideal because it needed to be transparent, and the top needed to be pliable enough to mount a screw on without it breaking. You can use something else in its place of course but it should be transparent, the reason being that this section of the instrument display is backlit, and the mount is sitting on top of the top chevron of the bar which glows when the backlights are illuminated.

Ideally, drill a 1mm hole into the biro-end before you glue it onto the panel. Then it will be ready to receive the screw from the old PCB. I found the hole on the PCB a little snug for the old screw, so you may need to drill out the hole just a little, but be very careful doing this, and hold the PCB gently in a small vice if you have one.

7) Mask off the LEDs from the Backlight

There is one more thing to do before you are ready to reassemble the unit. The old LED array was directly seated on its PCB without any ‘legs’, and this blocked out the backlight to prevent the unlit LEDs from becoming illuminated. Use a small strip of black masking tape (about 6mm width is fine) to seal in the LEDs and shield them from the backlight. Run the strip down both sides of the legs so the LEDS are completely sealed in. But be careful not to block off parts of the chevrons on the panel nearby, as this will show when it’s illuminated. You might want to test the final result by holding it over a lamp.

The LED array, with insulation tape running just down one side. The other side needs doing too, to thoroughly light-proof it

Now you can reassemble the display case and reattach it to its mounting. Before reassembling the case, I suggest you give the inside of the glass display a good clean with a duster, removing any debris that might have fallen in there in the course of your work.

The wires from the PCB should be run out of the display case so they can be wired into the button and the loom. N.B: The wires should feed out through the rectangular hole on the bottom left where the old battery monitor cables used to go, not the hole shown (oops!). The hole shown needs to accommodate the backlight in its rubber grommit. I had squeeze this in over the green button wires when I did mine, as it was too late to move them.

Next we need to mount the button on the display panel mounting. I got a button from Maplin, but Andy of Sparklight Products says that one can be included with his kit. I used a soldering iron to just melt the hole, and then cut away the excess with a stanley knife, but a drill-bit would be a better way to do this if you have one of a suitable size.

Once the right size, the button can be pushed through or screwed in, then retained by the nut that comes with it if needs be.

Next the green wires need to be cut to length and connected to the button terminals. I’ve just soldered them. I’ve added some lengths of heat-shrink here, both to tidy up the wires, and to secure the soldered connections.

Next the full assembly can be tested in situ. I’ve used a 12V battery to test mine. Without any voltage to measure, the unit will read the battery level as ’empty’ triggering the lowest LED state.

Now the button can be tested. I can now put the meter in ‘select mode’ and select a profile by lighting the relevant LED.

The display is now ready to go back on the bike. Reconnect the tachometer and wiring loom connectors so that the display unit is ready reattach to its backmount between the handlebars.

When I disconnected the old battery meter, I cut and sealed off the red/green wires on the male side of its connector to the loom. Then I just fed the wires from the new meter into the sockets on the female side and used the male ‘stump’ to secure them. Remember it is the YELLOW wire that takes the high voltage measurement – this needs to be connected to the RED high voltage feed on the loom connector.

Finally the red wire from the battery meter (12V+) needs to be wired into the 12V system so that it comes on with the ignition. You can rig a similar connection to a 12V live wire from one of the connectors on the loom. I used the live yellow wire from the right handle control unit to supply this.

All done. You are now the proud owner of a multi-profile, 12-state, custom-designed battery meter!

The Instrument Panel with the new Battery Meter and Settings Button


Scoota Pictures

August 26, 2010

The bike in the early days

Here you can see the power point I installed on out the outside wall of my place (above)

After programmable battery level monitor

The 3.5″ K-32 tyres were my first choice to replace the 3.0″ tyres that came with the bike

New shocks. The ride quality got much better after I replaced the substandard ones that came with it

Some bling to celebrate the 72V upgrade

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After the 72V SLA upgrade – the underseat compartment

I replaced the headlight and sidelights with LED modules –  much brighter and more efficient

The 24s2p LiFePO4 Lithium pack build

The BMS, built from scratch with a Goodrum-Fechter board

A BMSBattery EMC-900 charger charges the pack at 9 Amps – total recharge time 2 hours 50 minutes from ‘flat’

After the LiFePO4 Lithium pack upgrade

I used three CellLogs to give me a battery pack monitor for the Lithium pack

The torque arms that came with the bike (right) were too fragile, so I designed a more sturdy, heavy-duty torque arm

Here’s the new torque-arm in situ

Switched from 3.5″ K-62 to 4.22″ equivalent ‘Big Bopper‘ tyres

Fitting the bigger tyres and adjusting the mud-guard

After respray and rebuild with 1500W motor, 16-FET controller, lengthened centre-stand legs and Big Bopper tyres

HS11 1600

I built this custom, copper heatsink to mount the controller on

P1080003 (Large)

After over 2 years faithful service, my BMSBattery EMC-900 charger finally blew up, so I upgraded to the more powerful EMC-1200 above. This is now running 13.6A, giving a full recharge in about 2 hours, as compared to the 2 hours 50 minutes needed with the old charger running at 9A


72V Controller

August 24, 2010

Schematic on the back of the Chatparts.com Controller.


中国索引 – Chinese Index

August 23, 2010

This site (with so many photo illustrations) might be handy to our Chinese cousins, so I’ve included a Cantonese pictographic index which will enable Google China to index it for the benefit of the many Ego Scoota clone owners over there.

Electrical System Schematics

Turning Cantonese…

August 23, 2010

Schematic on the back of the Chatparts.com Controller.

Shortly after I bought my first cheap controller, and realising that it would probably be weeks before it arrived from its birthplace in China, I ordered a second, near identical one with an expedited delivery service so I could get things moving within 10 days or so, rather than having to wait up to two months. It was worth coughing up the extra money to save more weeks of waiting, and I reckoned that it was a good move anyway, as these ‘clones’ were inexpensive, and having a spare for the most important part of the bike – and one that was so tedious and troublesome to get hold of – would more than likely save me a lot of trouble further down the line. Call it an insurance policy.

The problem is that you get what you pay for, and in this case it meant a completely anonymous, unmarked and undocumented unit which the makers had gone to all the trouble of sanding – or dissolving – off component numbers and markings on the motherboard. Various theories have been posited for this behaviour: that they do this to hide the fact that are using fake, black-market or substandard components, or to simply try and prevent competitors from reverse engineering and duplicating their own superior products and putting fakes on the market.

The end result is that buying these devices is very much pot-luck. You can either pay premium rates for a well-respected and well-known brand, or you can take your chances with cheaper but less understood units which are nonetheless mostly identical in function.

Both of my units, as it transpired, arrived within three days of each other, and neither had a shred of documentation with it, and so far my attempts to get documentation from the sellers has met only with the most primitive and sketchy of documents amounting to no more than a labelled picture of a connector, or a sketchy and rudimentary diagram covering only the most basic functionality of the unit, and neglecting the many other mysterious wires and connectors accompanying the usual ones.

In this case, at least my backup controller came with what looked like a potentially useful – and reasonably comprehensive – diagram, however it is entirely in Cantonese. So in desperation I have fashioned a hi-tech translation process composed of my digital camera, Paintshop Pro freeware, a piece of Cantonese OCR freeware COCR2, and Yahoo’s ‘Babelfish’ on-line translation engine, in the hope that it will offer some clue as to what some of the more mysterious connectors are supposed to be rigged up to, and what they are supposed to do. I feel like Daniel Jackson off Stargate SG1….

This will at least enable me to fan some small flame of hope that I will be able to enable regenerative braking or find some way of getting the elusive brake-lever cut-out working as it should, while the sellers get round to responding to my pleas for more detailed information about these devices.


72V… Up and running at last (mostly)!

August 22, 2010

I awoke yesterday morning to the call of the delivery guy from Northwest Scooters. He’d brought with him the replacement for the topbox that was damaged in transit, plus the new battery I needed for the upgrade, and the various nuts and bolts that I’d requested. Just a couple of days previously I’d received the new controller, and the cheap spare I also ordered arrived later that same day.

I was also in for a little bonus. Terry had thrown in an extra battery. It looked a little stained round the connector, like it had been zapped, but checked out okay, reading as almost fully charged (even more charged than the prettier, brand new battery that came with it, in fact).

There’s an issue with my controller that I ordered from China though. It came with absolutely no documentation, and what little I was emailed in response to my request for some told me nothing that I didn’t already know, made no mention of all the extra connectors, and – most importantly – didn’t detail regen braking, which I’m especially keen on getting working. Ian of the Electric Motoring Forum however, has kindly offered to do a deal on the better-documented e-crazyman unit that he is re-conditioning as part exchange for my unit. He can then use my unit as his spare (providing  it works, of course!)

Now I had everything I needed for the upgrade…

Preparation

Since I already had to replace the topbox with its replacement, I thought I might as well take off its mounting bracket too, so that the side panels – as well as the seat – could be removed to give easy access to every part of the bike.

The New Battery Bank

The first thing I had to do was enlarge the existing hole in the underseat space to accommodate the sixth battery. This done, I tested it for fit and made two little notches along the edge of the hole to feed cables through from the battery bank below.

I’d already upgraded the battery bank wiring to use the 170A welding cable as recommended by Mike & Ian. As part of the 72V upgrade I wanted to extend this all the way to the controller’s power connector. I added a cable I’d made up the night before, running the thicker cable from the master negative of the battery bank to the Anderson connector.

Top Left to Right you can see the Negative Lead running to the Anderson Connector (Controller removed, here)

I also ran a positive line of the new cable from the ON/OFF side of the breaker switch to the Anderson. This would power the new controller.  The ceramic block would no longer be needed, as power to the controller would be taken from this new line instead. That done, I removed the old controller, disconnecting the three phase-wires from the six-way junction box, unplugging the hall sensor connector, brake connector and throttle connector, then disconnecting the main black/red feed wires from their terminals on the ceramic block.

Next I put the seat back in place and wired in the two extra batteries to the underseat space. Then I removed the ceramic block and cut off the ends of the wires at the loom, sealing them with insulation tape.

The Anderson connector, with the positive about to be connected to the breaker switch ( N.B: The lead going into the breaker really shouldn’t be exposed like that, and needs fixing)

The wires that formerly served the ceramic block have been cut off at the top of the loom (the length within the loom is spared as it serves the ignition feed)

The Adapter

Finally it was time to test the 72V-12V adaptor I’d built from Mike’s specifications (my own guide here). I connected the adapter into the loom connector that used to serve the old 48V adapter, switched on the breaker switch and turned on the ignition.

When the battery meter didn’t spring to life like it usually does, my heart sank, but a loud “beeep!!” when I hit the horn demonstrated that all was indeed well with the 12V circuit. The headlights came to life when I switched them on, and I breathed a sigh of relief that I wasn’t going to have to go running crying to anyone on the Electric Vehicle Forum just yet. The little green light on the adaptor was also on, though dimly (reflecting the lower voltage than the 110V it was originally manufactured for).

A few moments later it dawned on me why the battery monitor hadn’t come on: That unit runs off the high voltage circuit mediated by the controller. No controller, no battery meter. So it was on to the next stage: Replacing the old controller with the 72V unit.

The Phase Wires

At first I was delighted about the fact that the phase wires already had solid ring connectors connected to them (the e-crazyman controller comes with bullet connectors, that have to be changed). But when I was about to bolt them to the 3-way connector block that interfaced them to the motor wiring, I found that the bolts wouldn’t go through – the holes in the connectors were fractionally too small.

Rather than go though the hassle of replacing perfectly good ring connectors, I had a plan: Instead, I would just bore out the extra mm  of hole I needed with a drill. This, however, is a very delicate operation which really needs a vice to securely hold the ring connector while it is bored out. Holding it with pliars as I ran the drill – albeit at at low speed – nearly ended in disaster when the bit jammed on the sides of the hole and wound most of the length of the phase wire round the drill bit before mercifully coming to rest a couple of inches short of the controller case. Mercifully the only damage (apart from a slight twisting on the yellow phase wire) was a small graze which I gingerly covered in some white insulation tape, hoping Ian wouldn’t judge me too harshly for such abuse.

After this, I proceeded far more carefully, gripping the ring connector between my thickest pair of pliars, and ever so gently easing the drill softly against the hole, letting it lightly grind off the surplus width of the connector until it was safely through. The results was a very snug fit for the bolt, but that’s just what you want for important bits of wiring like this.

Once the ring connectors were ready, I mounted the new controller and connected the Bl/Gr/Y phase wires to the big 6-point connector block that the old phase wires had just come out of. The six-way Hall sensor connector on the new controller  was exactly the same as it had been on the old controller (Bl/Gr/Y/Bl/R). So I connected this onto its respective connector  on the loom.

Next came the throttle. In place of the old R/Gy/Bk 3-way connector, the new controller had a R/Gr/Bk 3-way that was identified in the meagre documentation  as “Turning” (presumably a Chinese attempt to describe the throttle). I connected this to the white striped R/Gr/Bl throttle connector on the loom.

The Brake and Throttle Connectors, as connected to the old 48V Controller

Finally I connected the R/Bk terminals of the Anderson block to the R/Bk power cables for the controller. The plastic 3-way connector on the controller power cable (one pin empty) was no good, so I just took the R/Bk spade terminals out in preparation for rigging a makeshift connection.

The Controller Power Cables (Left)

At the time I was unsure whether to fit the remaining side of my Anderson connector to the controller power cables, as I didn’t know if the cables could benefit from being upgraded first. So in the mean time, I used small, leftover sections of the welding cable jacket (that I’d cut off to add the connectors) to fashion a  connection. I fitted these snuggly inside the end of the anderson connectors to make a good, albeit temporary connection with the spade connectors on the controller power cables…

The makeshift Power Connection (N.B. Be very careful with exposed bits of live connector like this! – they were later masked off with insulation tape)

All that was left was the stray red wire, and the brake wire. Ian said they should go to the 2-way on the loom that was plugged into the Violet/Red connector from the old unit. Unfortunately these connectors were completely incompatible, so I fashioned a workaround based on the 2-way connector from the old unit. I cut it off and crimped a female spade connector onto the red-wire that would connect firmly to the spade on the controller’s (small) power feed wire. Then I crimped a spade to the violet wire that would connect to the white, brake wire’s female connector. This was just a quick-fix until I got round to getting a fresh 2-way connector so I could wire it up properly.

The temporary Brake/Power-feed Connector

I’d already switched everything on to test the motor on its centre-stand once I’d hooked up the power cables, but nothing happened. So I thought I’d have more luck now I’d connected up the final two wires. Unfortunately, still nothing happened, and I checked voltages to make sure the 72V+ was getting through to the controller. It was, but an odd residual voltage I was getting from the controller wire sent me on a wild goose chase that involved removing all the connections again to find out where the voltage was coming from. It turned out these were just residual current from the controller’s gargantuan capacitor, so I put it all back together again.

Continuing to have no joy, I posted an SOS on the Electric Motoring Forum to see if Ian or Mike could help me figure out what was up. Ian kindly PMed me with his mobile number to offer some tech support and the problem was quickly traced to the same one he had had with his own upgrade, – two of the wires on the throttle control cable were reversed. Once I’d picked open the connector and switched the wires over, the motor jumped to life with no further trouble. (Thanks, Ian!).

So finally it was time to put everything back together again. There was one small snag with the new 72V-12V power adaptor though: The 72V-12V Adaptor wouldn’t reach the connector on the loom from where I wanted it positioned beside the batteries in the underseat compartment, so I had to settle for just sitting it on top of the batteries for the test run. Later I’d make up an extension lead with a three-way connector to reach the extra distance.

Once I’d put everything back together again and secured all the connections, I was finally ready for my test-drive!

Two problems did show up in testing however: Firstly the indicators aren’t working properly, which is odd. They don’t blink, they just come on solid, and the warning blinker lights on the instrument panel don’t come on at all. I also discovered that the brakes or the sidestand (both on the same circuit) would not cut off the throttle, even though the brake connector (white) is properly wired in.

I’m going to look into these issues before I write up the report on my test-drive. Watch this space!…