Ride all night, no batteries

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Doug Goncz, May 8, 2004.

  1. Doug Goncz

    Doug Goncz Guest

    After experimenting with a motor/generator and
    ultracapacitor bank as an "electric flywheel" on my Peugot
    mountain bike, I concentrated on generator operation to make
    use of available Pocket PCs, laptops, cell phones, lights,
    etc. No conventional generator offers more than around 6 W
    at high downhill speed. (That I know of)

    My generator is a six pound, four inch diameter, five inch
    long Ametek low speed servo motor mounted behind the seat of
    my Lightning Thunderbolt in a sleeve of plastic drain pipe.
    It is suspended from the seat brace and positioned with ears
    bent up from the pipe, drilled, on a bit of M5x0.8 rod
    running between the seat stay clamps. Cap nuts on each end
    secure the clamps. A hex nut adjacent each ear holds them
    but they are not expected to be loaded torquewise.

    I've got Nashbar brake/tail lights on the bike now in a pair
    for use a brake lever operated turn signals. Soldering
    proper length leads to the brake cable operated switches is
    easy. Splicing those cables to the existing cables is easy.
    Making up a whole new one piece lead set would be hard,
    because the lights connect to little aluminum rivets crimped
    on the ends of the leads, so I'll just splice them.

    I mounted the lights on the motor mount rod. A hex nut is
    adjacent each side of each light mount. I didn't use the
    mating straps and bosses. I did ream through each mount 3/16
    inch to make a tight fit to the rod. Each mount boss is to
    the left of the corresponding light module center line. So
    on the rod, they are asymmetric; relative to the frame the
    lights are centered.

    So there are two cap nuts, and six hex nuts in the assembly.
    A pic of the prototype shell was sent to Lightning. However,
    they probably won't post it as it doesn't really advertise
    their bike.

    It's at:


    The second shell was made more carefully. The ears on the
    first shell were under the clamp bolts. Bad choice. That
    made for smashed ears and loose seat stays, and under back
    pressure starting on a hill, the seat slipped, allowing the
    motor to compress the fender against the tire. The fender
    was pushed in between the seat back and tire, folding
    _double_! but that Lexan Esge fender dinged out OK after it
    was retrieved.

    Now the cap nuts truly secure the seat stay clamps metal
    to metal. One, the left one, is bonded to the rod with
    read Lock Tite bearing mount, so with an electric
    screwdriver, threading all those hex nuts and light mounts
    on the rod is easy. I just put a 3/8 socket on an adapter
    on the electric screw driver. Then, as the rod nears the
    threaded section of the opposing clamp, I turn the thing
    by hand without operating the power switch. The rack mount
    bosses, slotted for use as seat stay clamps, are not
    aligned, but who would expect Lightning to build the seat
    stays in pairs? As far as I can tell, the left and right
    seat stays are interchangeable. I push the end of the rod
    into the hole while turning and it all draws up without
    jamming the threads.

    Maybe some 8 mm thumb nuts would have more bite on the rod
    (they're thicker than hex nuts). I will order metric cap
    nuts and thumb nuts and try that. As is, the mounts aren't
    clamped firmly (plastic against steel, no rubber washer) and
    perhaps it's best that way, as they could be damaged by
    unexpected forces.

    Like grabbing around while throwing the bike into Teri's car
    after I pooped out on back roads and felt unable to climb
    Spring Hill Road and International Drive over Ward's Hill to
    the bus stop at Tyson's Corner. I have IGT and sugar does
    not refuel my muscles the way it should. Long, easy exercise
    is best for me. Hills poop me out and my legs shake. Before
    Zyprexa, I wasn't this way.

    Jeff and I are doing level laps on Brook Drive today and I'm
    measuring my glucose before and after. I'm going to try to
    stay in my fat burning zone for an hour.

    Anyway, progress continues. There's an AC motor on the front
    that will power an 80-135 VAC white LED traffic signal used
    in railroads, made and donated by Dialight. The advertised
    5/8 shaft is actually 17 mm, so off to Jensen it goes
    Tuesday for lathe turning. The AC motor will also power the
    cranks for transmission tuning at constant pedal rpm. That's
    not necessary since by drilling two holes in a length of 2x4
    wood, I was able to brace the ESGE kick stand so it can take
    my seated weight. I can tune the FD from the seat, both
    screws and the handlebar control cable adjust, and I can
    adjust the RD cable from there, too. Adjusting the RD stops
    will make use of that motor.

    It's heavy with these mods but I did get it on the bus. The
    driver helped me hook the front wheel stabilizer bar with
    its padded hook over the frame. The front wheel is too small
    to interface. We did ten miles with the bike on the bus. No
    problems, no damage.

    The rear generator, with its sleeve, removes fairly easily
    for six quick pounds. The front, strapped to a Nashbar
    adjustable stem set at 20 degrees up with a hose clamp, is
    harder. The stem is clamped to the FD mount tube. They have
    a bit of length above the FD.

    There's a Busch and Muller mirror on that tube, too, and a
    Nite Rider Universal Mount, with the FD shift cable housing
    routed under the clamp screw. Both use rubber strips for a
    solid grip.

    A tiny, efficient DC-DC converter donated by TI as a product
    sample may actually fit _inside_ the motor/generator and
    provide 6 VDC on a 2.5 x 5.5 mm jack, which Nite Rider calls
    their Sure Lock. I intend to use their Trail Rat with 7.2 W
    rather than 10 W bulb as the converter is rated 1.5 A and
    that is 9 W, leaving 2.8 W for the Nashbar taillight, more
    than enough.

    Each uses 2 N cells. The harness cannot deliver power to the
    lights, since the lights have five modes and the switch
    closure just toggles between five pairs of modes. There off
    to on, on to blink, two kinds on blink to on, and I guess
    the fifth mode is power off. I can't just install N cell
    sized slugs in their battery compartments. I have to wire
    them together and they will have to be mounted and removed
    together, then plugged into the Sure Lock. I'll probably
    have to mount two jacks since the way Nite Rider does it is
    plug the headlight into the battery, plug to jack, then add
    a jack/plug "tee" for the optional taillight. That tee isn't
    available on any adapter cable. We'll see how I fit the tiny
    regulator into that brush housing. It takes a small
    capacitor as it operates at something like 60 KHz. So the
    cap should fit, too. I shaved a four pin header to interface
    to the regulator, so it can be glued to the housing on a
    machined pad, and the wiring slipped on, without tricky
    soldering to its pins.

    Well, that's about all that is new on this bike. It's got
    the wide range gears and the boom length / chain length
    adjuster used for multiple riders will help the system work
    right. All 21 gears are available with 10 duplicates. It's

    24-35-51 / 34-28-23-19-16-13-11

    The gear chart is at


    and is the first frame of that large AVI, but it's not a
    standard gear chart. Each row is offset by two steps to more
    readily compare the feel of the double shifts in the double
    step gear possibilities shown. You may wish to plug the
    above numbers into Sheldon Brown's calculator at:


    I do have some trouble steering the SWB Thunderbolt in
    24/34. That's a lot lower than their stock of, IIRC 28/28.

    However I am still learning to ride this bike and still
    changing handlebar and stem positions.


    Doug Goncz ( ftp://users.aol.com/DGoncz/ )

    Read about my physics project at NVCC:
    http://groups.google.com/groups?q=dgoncz&scoring=d plus
    "bicycle", "fluorescent", "inverter", "flywheel",
    "ultracapacitor", etc. in the search box

  2. Doug Goncz

    Doug Goncz Guest

    The second shell was made by drilling and reaming all cut
    intersections 1/4 inch and cutting to the center. This
    stress relief is working well.

    Sunday the motor fell out during errands. I called the
    police when I found out Sunday after Mother's Day dinner.
    They helped me evaluate the existing evidence and decide not
    to accuse the mechanic at the bicycle shop on the errand
    route of stealing it. I didn't believe it fell out until we
    retraced my route and right at the start, there it was, in
    the grass.

    I added a reamed, cut, bent, and drilled tab to the case
    that prevents the motor from from falling out. The motor
    screws to a hole in the tab.

    Officer Mason saved me face, and a friendship. I was so sure
    it couldn't fall out.


    Doug Goncz ( ftp://users.aol.com/DGoncz/ )

    Read about my physics project at NVCC:
    http://groups.google.com/groups?q=dgoncz&scoring=d plus
    "bicycle", "fluorescent", "inverter", "flywheel",
    "ultracapacitor", etc. in the search box
  3. crystal_tears_

    crystal_tears_ New Member

    Jun 29, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Bloody hell mate adding six lbs to your bike isn't worth it. Stop being a bloody tight arse and buy new batteries.:rolleyes: