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svenomous last won the day on May 28 2019

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About svenomous

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  • Location
    Seattle (Eastside), Washington, USA
  • EUC
    KingSong 18XL

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  1. A follow-up: Opened up the wheel today, after a few rides, to see if everything looks good, and it does! No cracks. Lightly tightened a few of the pedal hanger attach bolts, since I had snugged them down very lightly and a couple felt a little loose. Two little items that might be useful to someone: First: When adjusting the lift sensor, the screw has to be tightened to a certain point, slightly tight but not too tight. It's not really tight enough to ensure the screw doesn't back out eventually, especially given the vibrations that are part of operation. Originally the set screw had a slightly flexible red goop on it, which I didn't have, so I used silicone sealant to try to keep the screw from turning, but the stuff is too soft. Did some research, and found out what the red stuff is (or at least, what people often use for set screws like this): nail polish! So I picked up some good old regular red nail polish from the beauty aisle at my grocery store, and painted some on the screw edge (and sloppily all over the surrounding metal as well): Second: If you remove the pads from the outer case frequently (to get at the screws they cover), the adhesive starts to weaken/fail. I usually put the pads on wax paper to keep dust from settling on the adhesive, but after repeated removal/re-installation they start to lift up at the edges. Well, I found something that "refreshes" the adhesive. It's used for home arts/crafts projects, e.g. to stick sequins onto fabric and suchlike. Seems to work pretty well so far, see photos below. It's a white liquid, which is applied and allowed to dry (it becomes transparent and retains a tacky feel). I applied liberally to each pad, waited for the stuff to dry, and applied the pads: they adhere to the case pretty well, and can be removed as easily as they could be originally:
  2. As promised, I'm reporting back on my plastic repair work. I had brand new shell halves to rebuild the wheel after the first two failed attempts with the Loc-Tite (thread-locker), but with 4 broken shell halves to play with, and after getting all the advice above about the potential for repair via plastic welding, I wanted to give it a try and possibly end up with a spare set of inner shell halves to use. Out of 4 halves available, I chose the 2 that had the least amount of missing material. I scavenged some plastic from one of the remaining halves, to use as raw material for the repair. Attached a wedge tip to the soldering iron, grabbed some wire mesh to use to enhance structural strength in the most vulnerable areas, and got to work. I was being careful with the soldering iron temperature setting, for fear of melting the plastic too fast, but in the end I found that the best setting was maximum (800 degrees F), and to just be very careful with pressure and contact time. Tip: unless you don't like your lungs, ventilate, ventilate, ventilate! After choking on fumes for a while and blowing at the smoke to keep it from wafting into my face, I got smart and a) opened the window behind me, and b) turned on the ceiling fan above me. The damage seen in the posts above is actually pretty mild, and it was only the initial damage. Upon disassembly, the plastic around the pedal hanger bolts was so brittle that parts of it cracked right off. So, in addition to dozens of cracks, I also had missing material rebuild. I didn't document every stage/action, but essentially I ran the iron slowly over each crack, letting it sink about a millimeter into the plastic, to fuse the cracks back together, and melted some filler plastic over each "groove" to fill it in. Here's an picture of an early stage, where I was starting to apply the metal mesh: I will stipulate to the fact that the result is ugly. Very ugly. The iron carbonizes plastic and mixes the carbonization into the work, making it look dark and dirty. On top of that, I'm no artist, and I'm no expert, so no points for esthetics. However, what matters is function and structural integrity, right? What you can't see here (I forgot to take a "before" photo) is that one whole corner of the repair (bottom left corner of the photo as oriented here) involved rebuilding the structure, which was missing. Basically, all the plastic from that screw hole to the nearest corner was missing and had to be rebuilt from melted plastic. The mesh needs to be melted into the plastic, to just below the surface, and acts like rebar would in concrete, adding strength. In the photo I had just started to position the mesh on one side and melt it into place. Tip: watch that iron. While you're concentrating on what the tip is happily melting, what might the similarly hot barrel be touching (and melting)? It would be a shame to repair the pedal hanger area, only to accidentally destroy a screw post next to it! I didn't cause any major damage, but I found repeatedly that I had "nicked" bits of plastic I had not intended to heat. After finishing the top of each repair, I flipped over the shell half and repeated the work on the other side. Some of it looked good, but there were cracks and some gaps (missing material) on the other side, too. I didn't apply any mesh on the underside, as there's more of a clearance problem: the pedal hanger has to be able to slide in. Below, finally, are photos of the final result. I didn't document the repairs I made to the mainboard attachment slots, which were also damaged. The main trick with these was that they're small and tight, so it's hard to manipulate the iron and shape the plastic so that the nuts and screws will fit, and so the slots still sit flush with the mainboard. One of the four slots was half gone, so I had to rebuild it. I don't know how well they will work, but they look OK to me. As for the pedal hanger areas, they seem flexible and strong. I flexed the areas, tapped them, and bent them as much as I dared, and the plastic seemed supple and strong enough. We'll see what happens if I ever have to actually use these. I elected not to apply additional repair compound (the 3M stuff @ShanesPlanet recommended). The result is mega ugly, but it feels strong. If I ever use the repaired halves, I might report back on the results.
  3. Anyone who wishes to roll back to a previous firmware should use EUC World on an Android phone, or Soft Tuner on an iPhone. The latter is the internal KS app used by the manufacturer and by dealers to load firmware and do initial configuration of the wheel, and KS has made it available on the Apple app store because right now there is no official "regular" app available on iPhone. Either EUC World or Soft Tuner lets you swap to whatever firmware version (appropriate to your wheel) is available, "upgrading" or "downgrading" at will.
  4. What happens if you open the case, disconnect the battery pack on one side, wait a while, and measure the pack on that side as well as the connector that the pack connects to (which carries the voltage from the other side)? Carefully, btw, you're dealing with high voltage and a high potential for arcing! Are the voltages what you expect them to be (84V or so for a fully charged pack), and are they equal on both connectors?
  5. Last summer I had that giddy "this is effing cool" period where I just wanted to ride the wheel anytime and anywhere I could, and I undertook a long multi-hour ride on a series of river and lakefront trails we have around here, a loop that adds up to a few dozen miles. I had gotten comfortable enough that I felt I could ride around people without that uncertain "wobble" that's there at the beginning, but my feet still ached horribly after just a few minutes on the wheel. But, it was a beautiful summer day, I had a little backpack with water and a lunch, and so I just stopped every 20 minutes or so, sat on a bench or in the grass, and rested a bit. People would stare, most while pretending not to, and some would stop to ask about the contraption. Anyway, my point is about the early leg/foot pain: best is to just step off and rest. Don't even have to sit down, just straddling the wheel with feet on the ground for a couple of minutes is enough to ease the pain and numbness. All of this gets better with time, although I still find the soles of my feet get uncomfortable and a little numb with time. If I'm standing very toes-out (like when I'm doing more climbing than descending and want a more forward CG), the heels get more painful, and when I'm more centered on the pedals the balls of my feet tend to get painful. However, although I still like to take a break every once in a while, I'm now good enough that I can shift my feet as I go: mostly I lift one heel off the pedal and keep just the toes down, holding that for about 10 seconds, and then I shift to the other foot and do the same. This helps a lot. Occasionally moving more forward or backward on the pedals also helps, as does changing the toe-out angle a bit. I'm sure losing some weight would do even more to help, but let's not get drastic here! Congrats on all the progress, btw, Albatross! If you think of all this as a hill to climb, you've made it past the initial steepest part, and now it's just a steady climb for the next several months. You'll get better and better, and as others have said, eventually you'll wonder why you ever thought this was hard to learn.
  6. On my KS wheel I noted that there are fuses (mini ATX) on the mainboard to provide overcurrent protection on the battery outputs (one fuse per pack). This implies that the packs themselves do not provide such protection. I can attest that the fuses saved one of my packs from self-destruction when I accidentally bridged connector pins while trying to measure voltage. There was a mighty arc, my voltmeter lead was melted/fused, and one of the fuses blew. The pack was fine, and so was the wheel after I replaced the blown fuse. Luckily I was measuring opposite-side-pack voltage through the connector coming from the mainboard (before connecting that to the other pack), instead of pack voltage directly from the pack's own connector.
  7. Per-cell voltage readings would be very useful, and apps (manufacturer app or EUCW/DarknessBot) could simplify for a user who doesn't want to understand the nuances, by just giving simplified "battery pack health" warnings based on thresholds. Would it make any sense to have some kind of reserve power capability in a wheel, e.g. via a couple of large capacitors, so that when a battery pack is getting low, the system can momentarily draw on the reserve when power requirements exceed the battery's ability to supply the necessary wattage, with an alarm sounding as soon as this emergency reserve has to be tapped? Would this reduce over-lean cut-outs that are more likely to happen when the battery is at the bottom of its range?
  8. It's hard to see in the photo you added in your edit, @ShanesPlanet (kinda dark), but I think I see the tell-tale staining and maybe a crack or two? Not nearly as bad as what I had, though.
  9. I guess I should've read the fine print, too. My recent research has revealed to me that Loc-Tite is generally not safe for contact with plastics, as even if the result isn't as dramatic as it has been for me and these KS shells, it will apparently degrade just about any plastic over time. Lesson learned. I'm really good (and getting reasonably fast) at taking apart and putting together a wheel from parts, though. I've acquired a skill!
  10. Hi all, see this: I wanted to start a separate thread to call attention to this, for anyone who's tempted to use Loc-Tite or another thread-locker compound to help secure bolts/screws when taking apart and putting together their KS wheel. My advice is, don't let the stuff touch a KS inner shell, because whatever plastic that's made of seems to draw the compound into itself, where it acts like acid and cracks the plastic apart within a short period of time. Jason at eWheels talked to KS about my shell-cracking problems, and they told him they believe the thread-locker is acting as a solvent on the plastic. To paraphrase the text message he showed me, their quality department indicated that the thread-locker makes the shell fragile, and that they stopped using any thread-locker at the beginning of the year.
  11. PSA (which I will repeat in its own thread, with an appropriate title): do not apply thread-locker when doing one of these builds, at least not with the KS inner shells. See this thread: In the end, I repeated the above-described project 3 times (!), because the first and second time I cracked the shell due to the use of thread-locker (Loc-Tite for example). The stuff is like acid to this inner shell plastic. On the second build I watched it create cracks that weren't there before, right in front of my disbelieving and appalled eyes! I've removed the reference/tip about using thread-locker in the above posts, to make sure nobody actually tries to use the stuff because of something I said in my write-ups.
  12. Closing the loop on the rebuild (not on the repair attempt): In the end I took apart and assembled the wheel 3 times, using a total of 6 shell halves, 4 of which I paid for and 2 of which were generously provided for free by Jason at eWheels. The second build went well, and I was very gentle and careful. I avoided the pitfall with those plastic spacer washers, used a lot less silicone sealant when "gluing" the two shell halves together, and applied a lot less thread-locker to the pedal hanger bolts, to avoid getting thread-locker all over the place as had happened on the first rebuild. I snugged the bolts on oh-so-gently, intentionally using just three fingers (thumb, index, middle) to hold the screwdriver, so I wouldn't be able to apply too much torque. Thread-locker was applied to the 4 screws that hold down the mainboard (they go into nuts that are embedded into plastic slots in the shell), and to the 12 bolts that hold the shell to the pedal hangers, as before. I avoided using the washers this time, to eliminate one possible source of "unexpected stress" on the plastic. So, I snugged down one side (looking good), went to the other side, snugged it down as well (also looking good), and proceeded to reinstall the battery and run, connect, zip-tie, and secure the battery and motor cabling on that side. When I finished, as I was about to flip the wheel over to do the battery pack on the other side, I noticed something: Faint blue lines had appeared near the bolt heads. They were not there a few minutes earlier. I took a photo and flipped over the wheel, to see this: No! Cracking! I had applied almost no force when putting on the bolts! More importantly, though, why was there blue thread-locker visible in all the cracks? I had put very little of the stuff on the threads of each bolt, but it's hard not to touch the plastic with it as the bolt is inserted, since the bolt has to go through the hole in the plastic to get to the pedal hanger thread underneath. Btw, the first side with the barely visible lines that I showed you above got worse over the next half hour, until visible cracks appeared there as well. What's more, one of the plastic slots where the mainboard screw-down nuts insert into had also cracked apart, I noted, and there was also blue thread-locker visible all along the break. Jason talked to KS about it, and they believe that the thread-locker is having a very bad effect on the plastic. It seems to me that what's happening is that the stuff is drawn into pre-existing (and normal) micro-fractures in the plastic through capillary action, where it immediately acts like acid to eat away at the plastic, widening the fractures into cracks, which allows the stuff to be drawn deeper into the plastic and continue the damage...until the liquid finally dries or "runs out." So, thread-locker is the enemy of the plastic used in these KS18XL inner shells. It should never come anywhere near these shells. On my 3rd re-build, I used the washers again, and not a drop of thread-locker, and that build was successful (so far). No cracks! I will start a separate thread with appropriate title, as a PSA for future reference, so this doesn't happen to anyone else. I now have two complete white shells, both with a blue mess of cracked plastic around the pedal hangers, one of them also with some cracking around where the mainboard attaches. Haven't made a repair attempt yet, but I have plenty of plastic to work with, to see if I can build myself one workable spare inner shell "just in case." When I get around to it, I'll post here as promised with the result of that work.
  13. My only concern with the paracord solution is that it's not flexible or retractable. It becomes hard to choose just the right length to allow normal operation, without also potentially getting snagged on something and causing an accident. Someone (sorry, forget who ) posted a story of their leash getting pushed into the wheel from behind by strong wind, being ingested into the wheel, and getting shredded while the rider got (somewhat safely) ejected. Any cord with slack will tend to trail backward while riding, but could be upset in turns or by crosswinds, causing it to catch on something. The only reason I do consider the paracord solution a viable one, though, is the idea of a breakaway barrel as discussed above. If that works well and has just the right breakaway strength, the cord might snag on something and not cause a major upset. Maybe.
  14. Agreed. Everyone has setbacks in learning/training. Having days with breakthroughs, and other days where progress seems to have gone backward, is normal. If things just aren't clicking, either fall back to simpler exercises (like the half moons or skates), or call it a day and come back at it a few hours or a day later.
  15. I've had my wheel go careening off without me. Someday it will hit something expensive, or someone who won't appreciate it or will get hurt. I've been looking for a solution that balances the need to keep the wheel from continuing far without me against the desire not to hurt myself in the process of ensuring that. @PennBruce's solution looks like a good one, and I may end up creating a similar solution. Being lazy, I've decided to give this a try first: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0088MQA0G. Specifically the 48" "large carabiner" option. This is a so-called gear tether, which uses a nylon or kevlar string on a retractable reel. The reel will go on a belt loop, and the other end will be attached to the wheel's handle. My belief is that this thing is probably strong enough to give the wheel quite a tug before breaking, causing it to get yanked backward and sideways enough to keep it from going far. The product description claims an 80lb breaking strength on the string, although I suspect it's not the string that would break first, but the attach point at the reel end, or maybe even the belt loop on my pants. If upon receiving it this product seems too strong, or if the reel doesn't seem reliable, I'll reconsider something like the above, with the paracord and the breakaway barrel connector.
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