VK3CKC's eLecTricks Trike Design and Build.

Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
846
Location
Axedale, Victoria, Australia
Website
axerail.coffeecup.com
Could I make a better mid-drive from a bottom bracket? The basic requirement, assuming that there will be some sort of freewheel on the rear axles, is to accept drive from the front chain and drive output with a drive gear for each of the rear axles, as well as a conventional multi-gear cassette on the right side.

The significant difference between a wheel hub and a bottom bracket: The wheel hub rotates around the fixed axle on bearings whereas a bottom bracket has a rotating spindle held captive within its bearings. How difficult would it be to attach a freewheel and an output gear to the right hand side of a bottom bracket and an output gear to the left hand side? The output gears could be turned by the rotating spindle providing the rear axle gears were freewheel. I owed it to the project to find out.

The two output drive gears on each side of a re-purposed bottom bracket could simply be the 28t sections of two existing chainring sets with their fixed pedal crank arms cut off. Attaching a freewheel to the one on the right hand end might be a bit more challenging.

I managed to find a modified bottom bracket/chainring set from a build from years ago to try. I won't use this one beyond this test as the pedals are held on by a nut, I would prefer a bolt for a purpose I have in mind, and the left hand pedal looks like its rusty old thread will not allow me to remove it anyway.

I removed the centre of the chainring to which the pedal arm was attached and put its 28t chainring aside for later. I cut the discarded end of one of the two hubs used in the Mk1 mid-drive version (earlier post) flush with what was the inside of its spoke flange.

I had to make what was left of the cut off pedal arm a little smaller so that the hub end would fit over it. Not only was it too large, it was also out-of-round, having been only roughly finished with an angle grinder. Due to a not very well equipped workshop, my options were limited and I could not access anything more professional due to Covid-19 and I didn’t really want to spend anything anyway.



Once again, a makeshift lathe came into play. I fitted the chainring centre to the old bottom bracket, clamped it in a vise, clamped the vise to the workbench and brought the bench grinder up close enough for the side of the grinding wheel to make contact with the area that required reducing. Turning the left pedal rotated the part against the rotating grinding wheel and, in far less time than I expected, it was small enough for it to fit inside the hub. The discarded hub end fitted nicely, so the hub part used in the Mk1 mid-drive was cut flush with the inside of its spoke flange and it too fitted nicely in place. It was the same size so no real surprise there.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
846
Location
Axedale, Victoria, Australia
Website
axerail.coffeecup.com
Sorry, not much activity lately. Have been nursing a very bad back problem for three weeks now and not liking the forced construction stop. I am in the middle of the new mid-drive and rear axle drives. Parts have been done but I can't finish at the moment.

In addition, we started our second Covid-19 lockdown at last midnight so not much will take place until September 13 if it requires going somewhere to get something. Other states have closed their borders as infections return there as well.

I hope this time that all the conspiracy theorists, anti-maskers, human rights, freedom protestors, you-can't-tell-me-what-to-do, infected isolators who still go out, etc., have learned something. One in four positive isolators were found to be not at home when doorknocks were undertaken. Our infection rate is now far in excess of what it was before the first lockdown. A State of Disaster has been issued for Victoria and the Police have increased powers. Melbourne has an 8pm-5am curfew. Businesses are closed left, right and centre, reduced staff levels, job losses, etc.

Things don't look good for the economy at all or at least not for a long time. Won't be much to do except trike riding.
 
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
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2,915
Location
Apple Valley, California, USA
I hope this time that all the conspiracy theorists, anti-maskers, human rights, freedom protestors, you-can't-tell-me-what-to-do, infected isolators who still go out, etc., have learned something. One in four positive isolators were found to be not at home when doorknocks were undertaken. Our infection rate is now far in excess of what it was before the first lockdown. A State of Disaster has been issued for Victoria and the Police have increased powers. Melbourne has an 8pm-5am curfew. Businesses are closed left, right and centre, reduced staff levels, job losses, etc.

Things don't look good for the economy at all or at least not for a long time. Won't be much to do except trike riding.
About the same where I live.

I had an unpleasant trip to our local Lowes/Home Depot. Enough so I wrote our local paper.
I'm told it will be printed in tomorrow's paper.
This is what I wrote ... (hope this doesn't violate the posting etiquette)

It's about ...Free-dumb

My visit at Lowes and Home Depot, Aug 3, 2020. I felt disgusted and anger brewing and I felt uneasy and discomforted being around and watching the self-anointed privileged, self-righteous, primadonnas walking around wearing no mask, or masks pulled down under their chin, or masks hanging from one ear, or masks with only their mouths covered. All prancing around infecting everything they touch or breath around. Using 'freedom' as one's excuse is just a load of BS. There's freedom as most of us know it. And then there is 'free-dumb', as the no maskers know it. Their interpretation means 'free to be dumb'. It is hard to accept that there is this type of person that lives in the same void as the rest of humanity. How they couldn't care less about those that are respecting and abiding by a safe medical practice of just wearing a damn mask. How infantile. How callous. How self-serving. How disrespectful. How unsafe. How uncaring. How ignorant. And not only are these primadonnas snubbing their noses at Lowes and Home Depot but all of society. I also blame these businesses for not having the courage to enforce their own requirements. What happens if I show up with no shirt or no shoes? Will I be told to leave, or can I finish spending my money first? If having security patrols on hand to enforce this mask requirement is what it takes, to make the store safer, then that's what needs to be done. Clearly, this is a national medical emergency and a danger to all of us, warranting such action. From this lame sorry excuse of a president on down, trying to be nice and hoping it will just go away, or being afraid to impose live-saving restrictions is just outright criminal.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
846
Location
Axedale, Victoria, Australia
Website
axerail.coffeecup.com
It has been a long time between drinks here - and that's no good. My back has really put the brakes on the project. However, the brain is still functioning as well, or as bad, as it had been.

eLecTricks Delta has moved forward more in my mind than anywhere else as I exercise the brain cells on a rear suspension method I haven't seen used anywhere else. A modification could also see it used on the front of a Tadpole as well. Now there's an idea - the front and rear of a Quad? I hope it works when I get to the physical construction.

The mechanical construction has been reversed a little due to the re-design. I am working on some drawings as that process will be finished long before the physical construction.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
846
Location
Axedale, Victoria, Australia
Website
axerail.coffeecup.com
Free thinking time is dangerous or, at least, it is here.

My earlier trike lights continue to work well after a couple of years but they have three problems that I wished to overcome - unconfident weather protection (hasn't caused a failure yet), mounting, and not quite as bright as I would have liked. The Arduino program was also quite complex due to feeding a continuous string of LEDs from a single pin, changing colours to suit the required function - just try and work out how it all works after not looking at it for six months. It was also based on switch movement detection - Off to On, On to Off - and not the actual state - On, Off - of the switch.

I spent an hour or three surfing around the Internet trying to source some LED lights that I could use in an Arduino-controlled affair for turn indicators (amber), brake (bright red), reverse (white and for night riding), tail (red), interior (white), etc., and came up empty handed. I wanted bright, low current, not too big, weatherproof, easy to mount, etc.

I had been casually looking at 3D printers for some time and thought that if I had one, I could use my existing LEDs with focusing lenses, print a "box" to put them in and create whatever light I wanted. I bought the printer (Ender-5 Pro, impressed with the print output) but I still wanted brighter light output.

Why not use ordinary bike lights, replace their internal electronics and drive the LEDs whichever way I wanted? I went to one of those cheap stores to get some lights that I had used on bikes in the past, they didn't stock them anymore. It was becoming much more dificult than I expected.

Jon, see Jon's Warrior Build elsewhere, gave me an idea. I measured the current draw of my 12V LED trailer lights - turn indicators, tail and brake in one package (2 packages required) and found that it was low enough to be managed. After all the tail and turn indicators will have a low duty cycle and the brake light will only need to be lit when the brake is applied. They would certainly be bright enough and they were available at near half the price I paid when I bought the ones for my trailer. I checked the local outlet's price again the next day day and, for reasons unknown but can be guessed at, they were no longer available for that price and back to what I had paid for previously. Anyway, I purchased a pair and started to work on the Arduino program (a sketch in Arduino-speak).

Each of the lights required its own drive - exactly as they are used on the trailer. Not wanting to reinvent the wheel, I started pruning out functions that weren't required, being careful to not break the remaining code. The number of code lines were reduced by half. Although it had never surfaced in the past, the previous incarnation had a "fault". If it was powered down with a light on, it would not operate that light when powered up without turning that switch Off and On again. As I said, never a problem but not professional.

This time, all lights work as they should on power up and the whole program is much simpler. A down side is that more pins are required to drive the individual lights. Arduinos are cheap. It is a bit of overkill to use an Arduino for the steady lights but it does allow all lighting to be controlled from the one item. There are enough pins left to add control for more conventional headlights in future. It's called eLecTricks, right?

So far I have only used a few individual LEDs and resistors for testing but a few transistors used for level conversion will provide 12V drive to the trailer light. Back to more metal bashing soon.
 
Joined
May 26, 2011
Messages
249
Location
Dover, Kent England
Hi Kevin I recently bought a spotlight that uses a Magnet to activate the 5cree spotlight with the idea to use an Electromagnet to operate the spotlight to turn on the light remotely. As I thinking to use this as my trike headlamp. The spotlight uses a 3.7 v battery charged via usb connector and as my display panel for the electric assist has a usb outlet use this to charge the spotlight. Light has a high and low setting as well as a SOS mode. The case is water resistant. I thought to use a darling pair transistor to make a touch switch for a momentary waterproof switching on of the electromagnet. Over To You.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
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Axedale, Victoria, Australia
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axerail.coffeecup.com
The Cat - There is a myriad of ways of connecting/switching lights. Easy if it runs off 5V. Make sure you reverse connect a diode across the solenoid otherwise your Darlington mightn't last long. What will you switch the Darlington with? Would you need the high gain of a Darlington?

I have a very bright bike headlight with 3 operating modes that need to be cycled (no pun intended, sequentially selected) if you want to use another setting. I want 2 headlights and I will electrically bypass the selection process somehow. Haven't had a look yet. Alternatively, I have 2 high-power headband lights (3 x 18650 batteries) that I can cobble up with the same bypass treatment. Have been leaning that way for some time.

I have been thinking beyond my last post: Add a WiFi or Bluetooth module and I would be able to control all the lights via the phone or tablet and ditch the switches and wiring. Anything is possible.
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2012
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Wakefield, UK
I get the point in doing things simply because I can or to satisfy some curiosity and if switching lights on and off by the most complicated means possible is one of them things then I get it. I thought I'd ask though if there is in fact any benefit to doing it the hard way beyond having it in reach of the riders position?
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
998
Location
Netherlands
Why make it hard, when it can be easy?
Keep it simple, it is way easier to build and way less risk of having problems.

I use the lights connected to my Bafang and they turn on when it gets dark. I have also a DC to DC converter, that sets my 36v to 12v for my other lights. I can turn them on by just a simple press of a button. I have also turn indicators.
You can buy them for cheap in different shapes and sizes, or build one from a lamp. I have a button unit for a motor, to turn on the lights and use the turn signals. It has even a button for a horn. Very cheap and very simple to use.

For turn signal, I use 2 rear motor cycle turn signals. Nice running led effect and also give red light as I don't use the turn signal.
For light in the front and rear, I use a 6v set for my Bafang. But I have also a bright led bar on the front and rear for as I need more light.
They are to bright for in the city, so that is why I am going to use a double set of lights.

SOS signal is nice, but it is better to put one blinking light on top of a flag and use normal lights.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
846
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Axedale, Victoria, Australia
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axerail.coffeecup.com
Electronics has been a hobby of mine since teenage years but not part of my life's career until much more recently. I obtained an Advanced Diploma of Electronics Engineering in 2005 (at 57 years) and went into business for 5 years. Haven't put it all to much use since except for hobby stuff - like trike lights. Also keeps my brain cells active for computer programming and related pursuits. I have never been one who just does what everyone else does.

Why make it complex? Because it is possible. I will be forced to give it and many other things up one day so I'll keep doing it while I can.
 
Joined
May 31, 2013
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South Benfleet, Essex, England, UK
Challenges are good for the soul, they keep your mind sharp and active. Fully understand your position. :)
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
846
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Axedale, Victoria, Australia
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axerail.coffeecup.com
The interface between the low voltage Arduino output and the +12V supply to the LED trailer lights works.

For the non-initiated, the resistor values are those used in the test and may be adjusted slightly in the final circuit. Both transistors act like switches.
The low-voltage Arduino drive is applied to the BC548 via the 10k series resistor. When the Arduino output goes high (light ON), the BC548 saturates and its collector is pulled low. This also pulls the base of the BD140 low. It also saturates and the +12V supply then appears at its collector and is available to power the 12V trailer lights. When the Arduino output drops to low, the +12V disappears and the light goes Off.
This works whether the light is required to be steady of flashing.
 
Joined
May 26, 2011
Messages
249
Location
Dover, Kent England
Hi Kevin thank you for your reply regards my thoughts of using a spotlight for trike headlamp.
I’ll be simplistic here, the spotlight is a plastic tube with threaded caps at either end, one cap holds the 5cree LED and the other cap allows assess to battery charge point. The handle is a two-piece plastic structure held to tube by a slotted design. Within the handle is a trigger with a captivated magnet. Pulling on the trigger against a spring, magnet is moved under the circuit board within the tube and activates the LED. The magnetism is passed through the tube to receptor on circuit board.
The handle is removable via two holding screws. My thoughts are to remove the handle; adapt part of handle to hold a wooden insert. Within the wooden insert a wind-wound electro-magnet (steel bolt threaded into wooden insert). Re-install altered handle so electro-magnet against tube at point of circuit board activation. With the Darlington pair transistor as a touch switch (circuit used by an Electronics school Teacher) momentarily power electro-magnet to activate the LED. Electrical power for electro-magnet gained from rechargeable battery of electric assist mid-drive.
Your suggestion of an electro-magnet solenoid a bit bulky, but thank you. Over to you.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
846
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Axedale, Victoria, Australia
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axerail.coffeecup.com
What keeps the light lit? Does the magnet stay in place or does it need another activation to turn it off? Will the user point be within easy reach?
I'm surprised that all these touch screens on modern cars are allowed. It can take some skill to quickly glance at a target position on a screen in a moving vehicle and touch it accurately without taking your eyes off the road for too long. Damn near impossible on a trike if you have to lean forward to reach it - been there, done that.
 
Joined
May 26, 2011
Messages
249
Location
Dover, Kent England
Hi Kevin The magnet activates the circuit which appears to be a latching system with a 3 mode cycle. Full 100% half 50% and the SOS mode. one activation per mode per magnet pass. Plan to put a panel near seat with metal touch button. Panel wired to a waterproof box containing the Darlington pair transistor touch circuit and if it suits the interface you posted earlier. Wires along frame to Electro-magnet mounted on light. Touch metal button to energise electro-magnet for each mode. Each touch for a momentary Electro-magnet pulse. May need a capacitor as a pulse battery. The light turns off after fourth pass of magnet at present with the captivated magnet so I see not why with Electro-magnet four activations the light to cycle from 100% to 50% to SOS to Off.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
846
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Axedale, Victoria, Australia
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axerail.coffeecup.com
I hate those cycling modes, especially if there is one or more that you don't need. I find those bicycle lights with about 5 modes especially painful. First, you have to ensure that there is a good battery in it. Second, you have to specifically turn its switch on. Third, you have to cycle through to the setting you want. Fourth, you have to cycle through the unused settings to turn it off.
 
Joined
May 26, 2011
Messages
249
Location
Dover, Kent England
Sorry Kevin about your experience with bicycle lights. This torch has only four modes and no need to backtrack to shut off and has a Li-ion 18650 rechargable 3.7 v. 220mah battery. Just need to add a few changes and additional bits for mounting brackets.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
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Axedale, Victoria, Australia
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axerail.coffeecup.com
Prototyping is all about “suck-it-and-see” as well as being able to change course if the need becomes compelling enough.

The trailer lights that I bought will be relegated to, well, a spare set of trailer lights. While they worked fine, I decided that if you were riding behind, they would be too bright and too big. Not wishing to contribute to cyclist blindness, I went back to Internet surfing.

I found an Australian eBay seller called ALLED who stocked a very large range of LED lamps. Truck/caravan 12V side marker lamps, available in amber, red and white, all available in the same design, quite cheap and looked like they would be suitable. Have a look at: https://www.ebay.com.au/b/ALLED-Car-and-Truck-LED-Lights/33713/bn_78849493.

I ordered 4 x amber, 2 x red, and 2 x white to give me front and rear turn signals, up to two tail/brake lights, a reverse light and an interior light – the last two are for velomobile use. All for under $A50.00 and I got a $A5.00 voucher towards the next purchase as well. I was also pleased to find that the current consumption, 40mA, was less than that specified.

I created a few Arduino programs or sketches in Arduino-speak: One was for a single tail/brake light where the light went to a solid colour under brakes, another for separate tail and brake lights with the same solid colour on the tail light, and another where a selection for either could be made before compiling. In a flash of inspiration, or when the creative juices caught up, I realised that if I provided a tail light and a brake light output, I could choose either separate or combined tail/brake lights at the time of wiring it up and there would be no change to the program.

The final configuration has micro-switches attached to the brake calipers for brake detection, a centre-OFF switch for turn signal activation, toggle switches for interior, reverse, and hazard lights, dashboard pilot LEDs for visual feedback where desired, and a buzzer alert for turn indicators. The whole combination survived testing although I am still “polishing” the program in one minor area to do with re-instating any turn indicator operation that was occurring before hazard flasher activation. I can do it one way but I'm trying to do it another.
 
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