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EUC-Themed Short Stories...


LewisF
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To every thing, turn turn turn
There is a season, turn turn turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven
A time to charge, a time to ride
A time for trails, a time for streets
A time to break down, a time to repair
A time to face plant, a time to gear up
A time to pass, a time to refrain from passing

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2 hours ago, esaj said:

If this turns into some sort of EUC fan fiction softcore porn novel -stuff, I'm shutting you guys down  ;) 

Yes, I'm looking at you @Hunka Hunka Burning Love :P 

Aw man, how's a girl supposed to make a decent living and buy new underwear with all these restrictive rules?  :efefa07c43:

Spoiler

7b42fc606f3a7ed144e8a002eeb71bce120b597f

Oh well this gender change thing isn't really showing a net profit.  On to bigger and better things... hypnosis!  :blink:  You are all getting sleepy  :yawn:... VERY sleepy... :sleep1:stare at my avatar... relax... you feel an irresistable urge to wire transfer me $100... breathe.... breathe... and <SNAP!>  you're awake and refreshed!

Edited by Hunka Hunka Burning Love
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There once was a man named Scouts Honor, who owned a Gotway MCM3 with a small 340wh battery.

One day, Scouts was browsing the Private Sale section and saw YourToys was selling his MSuperV3s 1300wh battery for just 800 bucks plus shipping.

Scouts decided to bet his 200 dollars on the Celtics to beat the Cavaliers in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals. The betting odds were low, which meant the payoff would be big enough to be able to buy the MSuper V3s and have a grand old summer going on 40+ mile cruises on the backroads. 

Celtics went up 2-0 on the Cavs, and it was looking really good. Then the Cavs won 4 of the next 5 games, beating the Celtics in 7 games.

No MSuper for Scouts. Then YourToys dropped the price to 700 bucks, and somebody else was a happy camper.

?

 

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  • 2 months later...
On 6/8/2018 at 1:12 PM, esaj said:

A short and very subjective history of EUCs since about early 2015

I stumbled upon this and some older threads and such this evening, and thought about what has happened in the "EUC-space" in the span of about 3 years that I've been around (more or less, I haven't been as active in the forums since about the late summer of 2016, but read through pretty much everything ever posted before that). Personally, I got "a bit late/early" in the game, depending on your point of view, as I found out that EUCs exist in April of 2015, just by pure chance. I was talking with a neighbour about motorcycles, and how expensive a hobby it is here in Finland, then remembered that Segways (the 2-wheel type) exists, and looked for those. No go, the original Segway was like 5000€ here... just by chance, I stumbled upon a Ninebot advertisement in Youtube and was sold. To my surprise, I found a Finnish reseller, and placed my order (about 900€ for E+). I found this forum, and started reading through about everything ever posted here. In a few months, thanks to my activity, I was made a moderator.

Not a month went by, and I had bought my first second hand "generic" wheel, from Vee/EUC Extreme, who had acquired his first wheels (a lot of them :D) sometime late in the last year (2014). I later bought a Firewheel F260 (264Wh) from Vee, which was pretty cool, but in the end, destroyed a couple of mainboards along with a costly and futile battery upgrade (to 768Wh), which led me to finally abandon the project. The Ninebot E+ shipment was delayed so much that I cancelled the order, just as they had arrived in the customs. I also built a custom frame for the F260 at one point from flat aluminum bars... :D 

The early days (for me, that is)

While the wheels today still have issues, the "old" wheels circa 2014/2015 were death traps in comparison; low voltage- and speed-based cut outs (and I mean cut outs, ie. the wheel simply turns off any power to the motor, not just over-leaning/overpowering the wheel, or in case of low voltage BMS cutout, the entire wheel went dead in a split second), dead boards, exploding mosfets, poor quality batteries (according to some rumors, the cheapest of the cheap generics actually used "recycled" laptop cells that were already at the end of their lives :o :P)... >300Wh battery was big, the 850Wh set up in MSuper V2's was simply huge (it had some weird battery set up, something like 16S4P + 16S1P with different sized cells, or something like that, don't remember anymore)... countless noname-manufacturers churning out the "typical" 350W -powered generics with dubious batteries, boards and designs. Typically the battery was a single 16S1P ranging from 132Wh to 210Wh. The phrase "wheels that actively try to kill you" has sometimes been quoted, don't remember who coined it first.

King Song was unheard of at that point, it came a little bit later. The "big names" were something like Ninebot and IPS. TeamGee's (TG's) and Huanxi's were the typical starter wheel, if you wanted a "generic" that at least had some quality behind it. Mine was of an unknown manufacturer with 172Wh battery, which could take me about 12km at a time at best before becoming very untrustworthy, and tilted back somewhere around 15km/h.

Airwheels were looken down to, whilebeing the "poster child" of EUCs, their quality and components were the level of your "better-than-average" generic, but twice the price. What they did do well was advertising, people knew Airwheel but not the other manufacturers. Ninebot was the "best", "go-to" wheel at one point, One E+ was the spearhead. Early IPS models, while not that fast or powerful, still had good design and batteries, BMS integrated on the mainboard. On the fringe, wheels like Gotways, Rockwheel (the GR12 and especially GR16 -geared motor models) and Firewheel loomed, these were the "big, bad, power wheels" of the time, which by todays standards, weren't really that big, bad or powerful. Well, maybe with the exception of the MSuper V2, it did have 1000W nominal motor, Firewheel was 550W and the Rockwheel GR's... I don't know. What the GR's had was actually a geared motor (not as in a gearbox, but the motor wasn't "direct drive", instead it spun at much higher RPM axle that was attached by a gearing mechanism to the wheel). The GR16 could achieve something like 35km/h, which was pretty fast at that point, only taken over by the MSuper V2 "high speed"-model, which got up to around 40km/h (before shutting down on you! :D ) and shunted Firewheel (if you had a shunted pack, were lucky and low weight). On the flip-side, the GR's were reported to have mechanical issues with the motor. I think Austin Marhold (if I got his name right) loved the smaller GR12, and scrounged for spare parts around Shenzhen while living there to keep the wheel going :D 

None of these three "power wheels" had tilt-back, as in, at all (well, not sure of the GR16, but I think it didn't either). Usually just beeping, and if you went over the top, it was face plant city for you. The Firewheel was especially notorious, as the warnings were, how to put it, vague. Around 18km/h, you'd get a constant beeping that just kept on going. Around 24-25km/h, there was some voice message, of which I never really caught on to what it was saying. After around 27-28km/h, it would start repeating something like "take care, take care!". If the battery wasn't shunted, somewhere above that (29-30km/h), it would just... stop driving the motor. Unless you had a shunted pack.

"The BMS problem"

The early wheels had one very common problem: "the BMS". Nowadays it's entirely possible to roam around the forums and never hear anything about the BMS. What this abbreviation stands for is the Battery Management System. It's a circuit board that sits inside at least one of your battery packs, and monitors the state of the battery and (usually) the cells that form the battery (or batteries, a single BMS can also be used to monitor multiple parallel cells). It handles balancing the cell voltages, monitoring the "incoming" (charging) and "outgoing" (discharging) current and voltages, and sometimes temperature. The problem those days was that the BMSs had what is called "overdischarge" and "over current" protections in the discharge-side. What that meant was that if the battery voltage dropped to too low value (like when the battery was more empty, and you went uphill, accelerated fast or hit a bump requiring higher momentary power to go over), or too high current (similar situations as with voltage), it would instantly cut the power output from the battery to protect the cells. This was very bad news if you were riding a single-wheeled vehicle which was balanced solely by a somewhat complex program ("firmware") driving an entirely electric motor. :P 

One of the most popular topics in the early days of the forum was hobby16's (nowadays more known of the Charge Doctor-fame) "Electric Unicycle's BMS problem and solution", which to this day, is pinned in the "Mods, Repairs & DIY"-section. What this post describes is a way to bypass the discharge-side protections, simply by identifying the discharge protection components and soldering a wire in the BMS-board that "jumps" over the components (mosfets) cutting the power, ie a "shunt". What this meant was that for example the Firewheel could be ridden much, much faster than before without fear of cutouts. Hobby16's personal record is something like 35-36km/h on a F520. Personally, I once took my F260 to around 34km/h, usually I held back around 31km/h (measured with a bike computer and exact tire circumference, including the "push-in" due to weight on tire, none of that +-1 -meter -inaccurate GPS bullsh*t ;)). Not a bad feat for a 550W nominal motor and 16S2P (well, technically, 2 * 8S2P in series). This was a "must do" modification for most wheels at the time. A lot of the pictures in the thread have gone missing since, but I bet a lot of people opened up their battery packs and soldered a thick wire there to bypass the protections. The downside was of course that if the wheel (or you accidentally ;) ) shorted the pack, it could blow up...   

Ninebot continued its reign for a while. IPS came out with the Zero at some point, taking some wind from Ninebots sails, and the first KS's started to emerge (first in the 14" variant, then the first 18", I don't think it wasn't until 2016 that the 16" KS came out). There were some noteworthy new wheels around, like Solowheel Xtreme (which was also xtremely xpensive for its final specs) and the Ninebot P (which turned out to be a fiasco, it was some sort of E+ on steroids, blowing boards and discontinued later on). Uniwheel was coming out with a fully European designed wheel, but never really delivered (has it come out yet?). Ninebot also had the discomfortable honor of being the first manufacturer to brick a ton of wheels with a faulty firmware update (and also the only manufacturer offering over-the-air firmware updates at the time). Probably forgot at least some wheels...

The hoverboard craze caused a lot of bad press. Somewhere in 2015/early 2016, these things were a hit, and a lot of less than respectable manufacturers were building those from dubious components to make lots of money. There were numerous reports of battery fires and injuries, and the shadow was also cast over the EUC world, seeing that both use lithium-batteries (although, so do laptops and cell phones). Even some bad quality generic EUCs suffered from the same problem (typically overcharge, wheel or hoverboard left charging on its own caught fire, as there wasn't a proper protection for overvoltage and the chargers, also, were crap). To my knowledge, this is basically what prompted the stricter airline bans of lithium batteries, although the risks were known beforehand and some limits were enforced before this too.

I'm not even sure where I'm going with this. It's just a trip down memory lane for me. I don't even have that much kilometers on me (somewhere between 4000-5000 is my best guess), although in my defense, I was more or less wheelless for the summer of 2016, and the riding season is about 5 months here (unless you like riding in next to freezing temperatures) ;) Then again, EUC Extreme rides all year around, with battery warmers and studded tires during the winter...

I think I did have some more details and stories of the recent past (as in, a couple of years or so) in the back of my mind, but for now, it has escaped me. Maybe I get back on the subject some other time, or if anyone has any questions... Not that I'm any sort of "authority" when it comes to these wheels, I'm fairly sure that there's a good number of people in these forums that has a lot more experience, both riding and technically on the wheels.

Keep on wheelin'

-esaj
 

Fantastic read. And shortly thereafter I joined the club - August 2016. I feel sad that I missed out on all the excitement of the early days :(

When I joined, the ACM V2 (680wh) was newly available, and rumors were strong about the new MSuper V3. Seems like there has been an amazing release of wheels over my two years being in the game. 

We complain, but what would you guys have paid for a 2018 wheel back in 2015?

I wonder if we will see as big of an improvement 3-years from now as we've seen from 2015 until 2018?

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5 minutes ago, Marty Backe said:

The phrase "wheels that actively try to kill you" has sometimes been quoted, don't remember who coined it first.

How I regret to have missed those Pionier Days. As a cat owner I know the kind of feeling. Cats are also “animals that actively try to kill you”! ?

Great, great story! I ❤️ history!

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Depends how many several the extra thousands are, I suppose.  Top wheels these days are around $2k USD, so that's only a thousand away ...

I bought a MSuper V3, and all the more so when they turned out to have some dangerous problems (but actually well before), I would have been willing to pay substantially more for extra reliability, durability, or both, even putting aside things like extra power or battery capacity.

Heck, there are people who spend $20k and more a year on mobile video games ... and people who spend thousands a month on restaurants and bars.

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