eBikes / eScooter Builds and Upgrades
So a couple of years ago a neighbor threw away a Razor Pocket Mod Bella which is a cute little 24VDC (2x 12VDC @ 7AH batteries) electric moped for kids. It has a max speed of 18MPH and a 250W motor capable of scooting around a max weight of 184lbs (in actuality the unit weighs about 40lbs itself so let's say 145lbs). I believe they threw it away because the batteries were no longer holding a charge and even though it is user serviceable, they may have lacked the knowledge of changing out the batteries. So of course we acquired it as quick as possible before the garbage truck made it rounds.
So I replaced the 7AH batteries with 9AH so the run-time went from 45 mins to close to 90 minutes. With me riding it, it lasts about 45 mins and that's adding nearly another 50lbs to the ride. I have to give credit to this little 250W motor, it doesn't quit! The kids took it for a spin. Honestly once the batteries were fully charged we all did. Now that I got the unit working the first and obvious problem was that I had no reasonable way to charge this unit because it didn't have a charger. I was using a standard 12VDC battery charger and charged each battery separately, which for me works fine, but I don't expect the family to open the moped to charge the batteries. So of coruse I found one at auction for about $15 online. Works fine except the chargers designed for this unit only charge at about 1.5A which means it will take a good 6 hours to get fully charged. I am sure they make higher power chargers @ 24VDC but heck if I can find one with the right connector. So maybe I'll make one instead, one day.
Next the kids had a problem with it being "pink" so I went and got some neon blue impact paint because all I was able to get was neon blue. So we removed the pink panels and proceeded to paint the panels. While we had the panels off we did a little rewiring since the exposed frame made it a bit easier. Once the painted panels were finished I went ahead and had my kid do all of the manual labor I could muster from him in the good sense of exploiting child labor laws by having him figure out how to put this puzzle back together while I sat back and read Slashdot on my phone.
Still I have more kids than mopeds so I started hunting down a few more. I was bitten by the eBike bug and didn't even know it. So I eventually acquired a few more units. One was black and only needed batteries and a charger so I gave that to a friend for his kid so his and mine could ride together and terrorize the neighborhood like the Bats Out Of Hell that they are!
Now I wanted a standing scooter too! After a few learning curves I was able to figure out the minimum unit I would want is a Razor E300 because the tires have large enough sidewalls not to take a nasty spill on turns like I have done on the E200. The unit has a little more room under the deck for mods and I can replace the tires with slightly larger ones. The E200 just cannot be modded much so it may not be worth it. I will say that the E200 can get a motor and battery upgrade so that's nice but I would like to replace the tires as well.
I was lucky to receive a call from my buddy Eric who just happened to come across an E300s. So I headed over to the south shore to check it out. I spent more time BS'ing with him than I did examinging the unit but Eric's cool people. I brought replacement batteries with me just in case because my experience tells me that may be the issue if it didn't work. Good thing too because that is exactly what was needed to get this unit working. Even Eric took it for a spin and was surprised how quickly we were able to get it working. It needs a LOT of love as this unit was clearly abused and neglected but still I was up for the challenge. It's not Eric's fault, he's just a go to guy that comes across things and heads over to swap meets to find stuff. I am grateful he called for sure. He doesn't like to deal with electric things, just gas-powered.
Strangely enough I came across a Viro convertable scooter. Honestly I thought this thing had potential when I looked it up. Once I had my hands on it I couldn't think of a way to get rid of it fast enough! Batteries alone will cost more than the entire repair. The wheels are the smallest I've ever seen and they are not replaceable. This is not even worth calling a kids' toy. This is pure trash. Back to the E300s.
So I ordered a 500 Watt motor, controller and throttle for 24VDC from the auction bay from Alfa (they appear to have it all) but to give fair warning, not everything from them is 100% compatible. I will need to cut a few cables here and there to make things fit. The existing motor has a label that is unreadable but I really don't care, it's only 200 Watts. Also the main power connector to the motor simply does not fit in the routed hole on the battery tray (the OEM appears to have been crushed to get it to fit through) so I increased the size of the hole (I'll need to seal it). The motors are slightly different where the crank is a little more flush instead of recessed below a securing nut but the overall size is nearly the same, whereas the new motor is about 6 ounces heavier. I am a little concerned that the teeth on the new motor are a bit more shallow but I am hopeful it will be fine.
So once stripped it was easier to work with. I was able to see that the connectors would not fit as they were a different configuration but the seller did advise buyers that some splicing may be required. In fact there are a total of 3 connectors on the controller which will either require splicing or I will need to remove the connectors from the scooter, which right now I think will be the way to go.
The throttle I really like. It has a battery meter on it which takes the guess work out from knowing "do I have enough to get back". I am curious if it will work with Lithium batteries just as well. Supposedly it should but for now I just won't know as I do not have a Lithium battery pack to test with. So after some testing today I've learned that the 500W Currie motor works great. I am still figuring out the wiring on the controller as the throttle apparently is not exactly compatible with it. I ended up snipping quite a few wires as the connectors are far from compatible but rather than taping them together, I am replacing them with additional single-port an dual-port connectors.
- more to come -