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Jason McNeil

10" Travel Wheel, King Song version of the MTen3?

Would you be interested in portable travel Wheel?   

35 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you be interested in portable travel Wheel?

    • Yes, if the price is right, I'd be interested in adding to my Wheel arsenal
    • No, I don't travel enough to justify this expense


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3 minutes ago, Jason McNeil said:

Although there's now a ton of different Wheel models available to fulfill nearly every possible niche, the one area where there remains a void is a plane compatible Travel Wheel.

The MTen3 has a lot going for it, but without easily removable battery packs, it really isn't designed to be frequently taken apart, battery removed & reassembled once you reach your destination. I'd like to see King Song take up this gauntlet & produce their own variant of the 10" format, but with modular batteries that can be easily slotted in above the motor similar to the MTen3, installing 20 cells on the side will make the Wheel too fat. Another advantage of a competing 10" design would be higher pedal brackets to fit the larger XL pedals. 

Beyond the application of a travel/portable Wheel, another advantage to the design is that the modularity allows it to be upgraded to fit the needs of a learner's budget, with a base model of just 20 cells (1 module), then slot in another module at later date. The batteries can be provided in either travel size of 158Wh (per side), or 256Wh (high capacity) flavours. 

What do you think? If such a Wheel were available at under $500, would you consider adding one to your Wheel collection? 

Here's the request I've put in with Tina.

  •  

Jason, I think this is an awesome idea. I love my 18" long range wheels so I can't see me using it much to get around DC;   However, as a travel companion? Terrific. In Washington specifically, I can visualize using the wheel to take me from the Airport terminal to the subway platform, and from the subway platform to home......Perfect. 

For under $500 the risk is low for incumbent riders and new riders alike. It enables those who already have wheels to add a functional travel companion, or to use it as a learning wheel for new riders. The price also lowers the threshold for new riders who want to learn. The bigger plats will reduce the fear of falling when learning by adding some ease, comfort,  and stability to the learning experience. 

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1 hour ago, Jason McNeil said:

Although there's now a ton of different Wheel models available to fulfill nearly every possible niche, the one area where there remains a void is a plane compatible Travel Wheel.

The MTen3 has a lot going for it, but without easily removable battery packs, it really isn't designed to be frequently taken apart, battery removed & reassembled once you reach your destination. I'd like to see King Song take up this gauntlet & produce their own variant of the 10" format, but with modular batteries that can be easily slotted in above the motor similar to the MTen3, installing 20 cells on the side will make the Wheel too fat. Another advantage of a competing 10" design would be higher pedal brackets to fit the larger XL pedals. 

Beyond the application of a travel/portable Wheel, another advantage to the design is that the modularity allows it to be upgraded to fit the needs of a learner's budget, with a base model of just 20 cells (1 module), then slot in another module at a later date. The batteries can be provided in either a travel size of 158Wh (per side), or 256Wh (high capacity) flavours. 

What do you think? If such a Wheel were available at under $500, would you consider adding one to your Wheel collection? 

Here's the request I've put in with Tina.

  •  

Great idea, always wanted a travel wheel.  Wouldn’t have to be 10”, could be 14” with removable batteries.  I think, would have to check, but 100wh is the max?  Think you can have a few. Batter connection have to be robust for many insertion and removals.  Wasn’t there an old KS wheel with removable battery?  

‘I would still prefer a trolley handle.  It isn’t fun to backpack 22lbs.  I found even backpacking the stupid eskates too much and they are only 7.5lbs each.  @houseofjob started to think the 15lbs was getting too much for when he also carried it for about 15-20 minutes.  

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, eddiemoy said:

Wouldn’t have to be 10”, could be 14” with removable batteries.  I think, would have to check, but 100wh is the max?  Think you can have a few. Batter connection have to be robust for many insertion and removals.  Wasn’t there an old KS wheel with removable battery?  

‘I would still prefer a trolley handle.  It isn’t fun to backpack 22lbs.

Going up in size from a 10" to 14" will add 4-5 lb of additional weight & another 3lb for the trolley. If the primary objective is for portability/travel, the MTen3 shows what's possible in this format, I think a 14" with all the bells-and-whistles is going to be too large, too compromised for this mission. It's been several years since airlines have introduced the  <160Wh rule, getting a formal request for authorization ought to be a mere formality by now. 

Think of how cool it would be to pack your travel Wheel in your carry-on, arrive at your destination with a decent spec'd Wheel that has 15 miles of range all ready to go! 

Edited by Jason McNeil
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No.

100Wh or 160Wh is too weak/unsafe and small for anything but when you really have to take a wheel on a plane. That's a really tiny market. The Glide 2 Lite tried that and... well (ok, it's also too big for that, so who knows).

And as Marty said, as long as there's no guarantees, no point in having such a wheel even if you do travel by plane all the time.

Zero interest from me.

Here's an alternative idea: since IPS seems to be dead/Asia only/hard to even buy/have quality problems/whatever is going on, just make a straight clone of the IPS i5 form factor (or maybe even the S5 as a slightly bigger model). A modern (power/speed/battery) and more reliable brand wheel of this kind ought to find some fans. That's the most promising small form factor in my opinion, it's just so pleasantly carryable (but one has to try to see this).

And then, if you like, you can make a 160Wh small battery version for plane travel - do the batteries really have to be removable to be viable for this? There's a reason nobody does removable batteries (except maybe the Uniwheel, not sure), if only for the fact that every moron must be able to form a rock-solid electrical connection every single battery change. And what happens if two batteries have different voltages? So much that can go wrong. In my opinion, removable batteries are a big dead end. They add nothing (upgrading to bigger batteries later is never going to be price-competitive to just buying a new wheel that will be much better anyways) unless you absolutely physically have to remove the batteries as a hard demand.

Anyways, the i5 form factor would be perfect for travelling. Just put it into your bag like a laptop bag, you could even put it into your carry-on.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, meepmeepmayer said:

100Wh or 160Wh is too weak/unsafe and small for anything...

...

 ...just make a straight clone of the IPS i5 form factor

Imho one great idea from the i5 was the use of 20700 batteries! Unfortionately i never read a review of the performance, but from the datasheet (and test from some battery websites) this 20700 should be way better for 1p configurations than the 18650!

Edited by Chriull
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Posted (edited)

I think this would be really cool but if they were going to do the modular pack thing it would be neat if instead of a 256 wh battery on each side, it was split into 2 so it was two 128 wh packs on each side, not sure how easy that could be achieved but then you could have high capacity on the wheel for safety while keeping each individual battery pack below the airline limit of what capacity battery packs you are allowed to travel with.

A travel wheel is nice in theory, but if the battery pack capacity is so low as to go on the plane then when you get to your destination I imagine the wheel will be great for short trips on flat ground but would not be great for any hilly areas or longer distance trips and the safety margin offered by a higher capacity battery pack wouldn't be there.

If the airline limit is 158 wh per pack, then being able to slot in four 158wh packs into the unicycle (2 each side) would be really ideal and quite awesome (I would totally buy one eventually) but I don't know if they would be able to design it with enough room for that.  Weights not really much of an issue, heck even shell size isn't much of an issue, as long as you have a wheel that you can either carry on or check in luggage and be able to legally carry the batteries on the plane without an issue.  Then you could get to your destination and not be riding around on a wheel that feels like you had to make a ton of compromises for.

 

If they did this I'd totally be willing to pay the extra price for the extra battery capacity.  If it was totally modular than you could even have it so paying 500 gets you a wheel with two 158wh packs and paying 700 /800(or more if cost is much more) gets you four 158 wh packs.  If only using the two pack version you could just have the unicycle designed so that it only draws power from the two packs and something takes up the space of the missing extra packs and if you have the four pack version it draws power from all 4 and no filler module is needed.  I wouldn't mind paying mten3 prices at all for something like this with a 600wh capacity.  Would be amazing.

 

If king song is really looking for new things too, then an IP rated wheel that could be ridden in light rain would also be quite nice.  Not a common scenario but nice to know if you get caught out in a short rain your power and other buttons or wheel isn't going to break.  Motorcycles have electronic components and computers/controllers, digital displays, speakers and manage to be waterproof enough to be ridden in the rain without damage to them.  Why can't EUC's be designed with the same goal in mind.

Edited by Heyzeus
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Posted (edited)

Does this have any bearing on this proposal/:

The following quote is from the web site of United Airlines, the biggest airline in the world.

"In the interest of safety for our customers and employees, we do not accept as checked or carry-on baggage any recreational self-propelled vehicle or device designed to carry one or more persons or goods, and which moves by use of a lithium battery-powered electric motor.

Such devices or vehicles include, but are not limited to:

  • Smart balance wheels/boards such as Hoverboard, Airboard and Skateboard
  • Self-balancing wheeled devices such as Ninebot
  • Battery-assisted bicycles such as e-bikes
  • Wheeled vehicles or motorcycles
  • Electrically-powered scooters
  • Riding, motorized suitcases"

  Here's the link:

https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/travel/baggage/dangerous.html

Once you click the link, scroll down to:

That was the first and only airline I checked.  I can't see the others thinking much differently from this.  

Edited by Smoother
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Posted (edited)
50 minutes ago, Jason McNeil said:

 

 

45 minutes ago, Smoother said:

In the interest of safety for our customers and employees, we do not accept as checked or carry-on baggage any recreational self-propelled vehicle or device designed to carry one or more persons or goods, and which moves by use of a lithium battery-powered electric motor.

Seems that this would need some lobbying before 

45 minutes ago, Smoother said:

Self-balancing wheeled devices such as Ninebot

with removable batteries will be allowed...

50 minutes ago, Jason McNeil said:

Trouble here is that the i5 has a complex & expensive magnesium alloy shell,

As far as i got it the shell was more or less a part of the motor itself - so this weight and the form factor was possible?! Imho a great leap for euc's but unfortionately not made/supported "right"...

Such a thing could get the perfect city euc once and if in germany the excemption for euc's with a max speed of 20 km/h comes true. Not enough speed for "real" riding, but something the size of a big laptop could be used for all the tracks inbetween, but that's 

50 minutes ago, Jason McNeil said:

a completely different kettle of fish

😁

Btw: 160Wh do not really work out with an 20s1p configuration - that would be just the lower ~2000mAh cells. It would be a pity for such a concept to waste weight and space! 

With the 3500mAh cells 160Wh would be some 12.35s1p config. Lower voltages could also help to convince the airlines and get "masses" of better certifications?

Maybe KS also wants to bent the truth a bit in the non marketing way - maximum usable voltage of li ion cells is in the range from 2.5 to 4.2V. That'll give a mean of 3.35V instead of the now normally used 3.7V nominal voltage for capacity calculations! 😎

And currents won't be a big issue for such low performance wheels - so one does not need 20s1p configs.

... Ninebot also showed how to make comparative wheels with low voltage ....

Just something like the 20700s cells could help greatly to cover the peaks needed for balancing.

Edited by Chriull
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47 minutes ago, Jason McNeil said:

Let's consider the power question: King Song is making the 14M, which is a 16 cell, 67v machine, with a nominal battery power output of 3.6v x 16 cells x 10 amps = 576W. On a 20 cell machine this is increased to 3.6 x 20 cell = 720W, then with a more compact, higher torque 10" motor, it's probably going to feel twice as responsive as the 14M. Once you slot in the other 20 cell module, you're going to double the power output yet again ;)  

I'm rather ignorant on the design of these things/I'm not an electrical engineer and maybe the design of these has changed since the mcm4 but I know on my mcm4, when i'm on campus I can be riding at say 50/60% battery and when I get to the larger hill I have to go up to go home, my wheellog app will show a voltage sag and the battery will be sometimes in the 20% and a few times even below when going up that hill.  Now maybe the issue is i'm going too fast up the hill (like 8-10mph) or maybe it's just the design of the wheel but that concerns me a bit.  As if I was only at 20% battery and hit that hill I don't know if i would be able to take it without a cut out and would probable have to walk it to be safe.

Now i'm on the 340wh mcm4 and really wish I had that extra 340wh battery for longer distance and extra safety margin.  Why can't gotway just sell it on their site...bahhh.

So if I was on a king song version of an mten3 and only had a 256wh capacity total, would that make my unicycle effectively useless on anything but flat ground when below 50% battery.

 

Again, i'm not familiar with the mechanics/engineering/electrical stuff behind these wheels and so am going off only my anecdotal experience with my mcm4.  So perhaps my experiences aren't transferrable or valid on these other wheels but if I were to take a wheel with me on a trip I would want it to be able to take decent hills if possible up until say 20/30% battery life (lets say I took a trip to a hilly part of Europe).  If that would be possible with whatever wheel king song came out with then that would be great.  Tooling around Europe/Asia on your own wheel, what's not to like.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Jason McNeil said:

I guess the point of trying to advocate for this design is that while it's intended principally as a travel Wheel, it also opens for the market for a low cost, super portable, zippy machine which can be upgraded in seconds, with the XL pedals, what's not to like about this? 

Well. I'm sold. I cannot debate the finer points of usefulness relative to engineering jargon. However, conceptually based on what I ride and how I ride I see the concept useful in a very specific application for me; an airport terminal-to-home runner (possible, assuming American Airlines is the only transport company I need avoid like the plague.) 

Frankly, outside of that for me a wheel like this is a toy and would likely sit idle until I needed to travel or teach someone.

Teaching someone to ride is something, by pure happenstance, I am rarely ever doing, the last occasion  was the first occasion in a couple of years that I have encountered that level of curiosity from a non-rider. A couple of days ago @Ruslan and I were trying to hold an old guy up on my 18XL; that was amusing. I thought the guy was pushing 80, but he had an enthusiasm and curiosity about him that was contagious. So, we tried to help him balance on the wheel. At the end of the day a wheel like this would never be my everyday companion,  but it has its uses and for less than 500 it's low risk anyway :D👍

Edited by Lutalo
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Posted (edited)

Since Airlines have a hard on for Lithium Ion Batteries, is there a case for an alternate power source for this type of wheel, a battery chemistry that is not known for thermal runaway?

Edited by Smoother
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The biggest challenge with this is that most airlines have simply banned electric unicycles... As most staff will have never seen one before, it is impossible for them to tell whether it has batteries or not and whether it is safe. So the easy option is to just say, "No!"

I think that if a "flight safe" model were to be proposed, it would need to get airline (and maybe TSA) buy-in before anyone would be willing to take the chance on flying with one.

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Posted (edited)

One major issue with all battery operated PEVs has been they can be accidentally turned on by being jostled by other baggage.  Any PEV that an airline would approve that did not have removable batteries would need an on/off key lock.  Not saying that would be enough to convince them, but saying the lack of such a feature makes PEVs dangerous in their view.

 

While removable batteries would be a great feature, it would work against the need for rainproofing if not properly implemented.

Edited by Thai-lad

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I don’t know anything about airline rules. As stated above “101-160 with permission “. Could you use four batteries at 42 volts and 100wh? You could put the wheel in a suit case with two batteries and carry the other two in a lap top bag as carry on without permission. 

The batteries could be used in tandem and parallel giving you 84V

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On 1/6/2019 at 3:39 PM, Jason McNeil said:

Although there's now a ton of different Wheel models available to fulfill nearly every possible niche, the one area where there remains a void is a plane compatible Travel Wheel.

The MTen3 has a lot going for it, but without easily removable battery packs, it really isn't designed to be frequently taken apart, battery removed & reassembled once you reach your destination. I'd like to see King Song take up this gauntlet & produce their own variant of the 10" format, but with modular batteries that can be easily slotted in above the motor similar to the MTen3, installing 20 cells on the side will make the Wheel too fat. Another advantage of a competing 10" design would be higher pedal brackets to fit the larger XL pedals. 

Beyond the application of a travel/portable Wheel, another advantage to the design is that the modularity allows it to be upgraded to fit the needs of a learner's budget, with a base model of just 20 cells (1 module), then slot in another module at a later date. The batteries can be provided in either a travel size of 158Wh (per side), or 256Wh (high capacity) flavours. 

What do you think? If such a Wheel were available at under $500, would you consider adding one to your Wheel collection? 

Here's the request I've put in with Tina.

  •  

This is kinda of what I were looking for to have in the trunk of my car as a PEV from parking lot to shops, so to me a trolley system would be high on the list. 

It could be a add on as not all may need it. But having to carry it in a shop it not a feasible solution in my opinion.

Now I have not testet a Z10 yet but I think it could be kinda great with a 12"x 3"ish wide Z10 style tire with no tube. I would prefer a (-style tire profile rather than a [-style. It need to be rigid enough to be able to carry an fully adult person

Edited by Unventor

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On 1/7/2019 at 12:10 AM, Marty Backe said:

I believe it wouldn't matter. Just as they won't allow a wheel on a plane even if the batteries are removed, you'll never convince the rubes out there that not all batteries are lithium ion. We're screwed :(

I had another read of the United Airlines declaration and it specifically states 

 

On 1/6/2019 at 9:31 PM, Smoother said:

and which moves by use of a lithium battery-powered electric motor

So if you have a wheel that is powered by a different technology, and can prove it through manufacturer documentation, you are technically outside the remit of this embargo.

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If I could actually fly with it I'd have an order placed with express shipping and an apology letter written to my wife before the end of a minute.  Whether that's because airlines have relaxed their rules or maybe e-bike batteries become more commoditized so you can just rent them at kiosks (and exchange for charged ones) or something.  I'd still probably want a trolly handle.

 

Without the ability to fly with it I think the modularity would be a downside - I'd rather have it be as small and light as possible (though I'd still be much less interested in getting this as a second wheel - I'd rather get a faster one if I can't get one that I could fly with)

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On 1/6/2019 at 3:39 PM, Jason McNeil said:

Although there's now a ton of different Wheel models available to fulfill nearly every possible niche, the one area where there remains a void is a plane compatible Travel Wheel.

The MTen3 has a lot going for it, but without easily removable battery packs, it really isn't designed to be frequently taken apart, battery removed & reassembled once you reach your destination. I'd like to see King Song take up this gauntlet & produce their own variant of the 10" format, but with modular batteries that can be easily slotted in above the motor similar to the MTen3, installing 20 cells on the side will make the Wheel too fat. Another advantage of a competing 10" design would be higher pedal brackets to fit the larger XL pedals. 

Beyond the application of a travel/portable Wheel, another advantage to the design is that the modularity allows it to be upgraded to fit the needs of a learner's budget, with a base model of just 20 cells (1 module), then slot in another module at a later date. The batteries can be provided in either a travel size of 158Wh (per side), or 256Wh (high capacity) flavours. 

What do you think? If such a Wheel were available at under $500, would you consider adding one to your Wheel collection? 

Here's the request I've put in with Tina.

  •  

How likely are this to happen @Jason McNeil ? Of course without any answer is to be set in stone. 

I think my Inmotion V8 will be too costly to repair after the 2 crashes I had with it. the inner shell had taken a much harder hit than I anticipated. 

So I am looking at inner shell and outershell craked and a dammaged cut-off button, and not entirely sure if any other dammages. It acted starnge at first then I managed to get some sort of calibration, but before that it kinda ocilated back and worth with a kind of  tiltback sensation. So I don't really trust the wheel anymore. 

In short This is what I am looking for: A portable wheel to have in car trunk, fair distance speed, no need for long distance or high speed. To me it must have trolley option since I will use it from car to shooping centers or when parking long way from where I need to enter. Prefer low weight too of course. Maybe like a 12"x3" wheel to make it a bit more flexiable for terrain surface.  

I will need this as a 2nd wheel for traning ambidex foot step up and backwards riding. So it need to be rigid and repairable :D

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