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dmethvin

F260 into a F528

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Due to a possibly flaky battery pack, the Firewheel manufacturer sent me a new battery when they sent the replacement control board a few months back. That old battery is still holding a decent charge so I'm thinking about dropping it in and doubling the battery capacity. Before I open up the wheel and spend a few days without riding, I wanted to be sure I had a reasonable plan. Most likely @esaj knows the most about this I think he's spent more time working on it than riding it! (We appreciate your sacrifice!)

To simplify the wiring and reduce the amount of stuff in the control board area, I want to solder in parallel connectors for the charge and supply lines for the second battery pack, The new connectors would be in the battery bays above the packs, again to keep the control board area clear. I also want to shorten the lines between the control board and display board, removing the connectors, there's a lot of wire bulk there and it's not really needed. I hope that will leave enough area in the control board region to get the motor feed tucked in there, I know it was an issue when @esaj did his rebuild.

Edited by dmethvin

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I've been thinking about adding one battery to my F528 and make it 779. From posts I've read, looks like there is an empty battery compartment. Was wondering is it just simple plug and play deal? Any idea how much the battery is?

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Due to a possibly flaky battery pack, the Firewheel manufacturer sent me a new battery when they sent the replacement control board a few months back. That old battery is still holding a decent charge so I'm thinking about dropping it in and doubling the battery capacity. Before I open up the wheel and spend a few days without riding, I wanted to be sure I had a reasonable plan. Most likely @esaj knows the most about this I think he's spent more time working on it than riding it! (We appreciate your sacrifice!)

:D Luckily, not quite that much, but yes, I've taken it apart and put it back together more times than I'd like... well, technically, twice, but on the second time with the custom batteries I had to do many phases multiple times before getting them "right" and things fitting. Right now I haven't ridden it that much, as there are problems with the current BMSs, the wheel is unsealed and it's been raining again (usually when I've been thinking about heading out with the FW, of course)... plus I've spent a lot of time with the app-project & other stuff.

To simplify the wiring and reduce the amount of stuff in the control board area, I want to solder in parallel connectors for the charge and supply lines for the second battery pack, The new connectors would be in the battery bays above the packs, again to keep the control board area clear. I also want to shorten the lines between the control board and display board, removing the connectors, there's a lot of wire bulk there and it's not really needed. I hope that will leave enough area in the control board region to get the motor feed tucked in there, I know it was an issue when @esaj did his rebuild.

In the first rebuild, I moved the secondary PCB to the mainboard compartment, and that time I could get the motor cable to go in the mainboard compartment much easier than on the secod build, not that it was very easy on the first go either. On the second time, there were of course extra-battery cables running there + the huge shunt and wiring for that. Cutting the hole in the side helped a lot since the cable could then be pulled inside the compartment, instead of trying to push it from the outside.

 

I've been thinking about adding one battery to my F528 and make it 779. From posts I've read, looks like there is an empty battery compartment. Was wondering is it just simple plug and play deal? Any idea how much the battery is?

The battery configurations are
F132 = 1 * 132Wh
F260 = 2 * 132Wh
F528 = 4 * 132Wh
F779 = 4 * 174Wh

So F528 has all the battery compartments already full, for larger batteries, you need to buy 4 new packs. I wouldn't suggest the  F779 packs for you, they're only 4 * 174Wh (696Wh) in reality, the "779Wh" is a marketing trick using maximum voltage to calculate the capacity, we found this out when Michael Vu published pictures of the F779 packs in Facebook (it says 16S4P 11.6Ah).

You'd be paying closer to $700 (yeah, that's the quote they gave me with shipping from the factory) + probably customs for around 170Wh of more total capacity and probably not more power (as the cells are likely similar other than the capacity and you already have 4 packs). If you want larger batteries, you could get 4 * 210Wh, and then it'd at least be 312Wh more. No idea what it costs in the States, the packs alone (built from high quality cells) from 1Rad Werkstatt would be something like around $950 without shipping, so I think you could get them cheaper there if built domestically.

Edited by esaj

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Yeah, if I didn't have this extra pack lying around I don't think I would pay a bunch of money to expand the capacity. I'm actually pretty happy with "just" a 260Wh battery so far, and a little worried about the extra weight because I do carry the wheel at times. But I think I'll be happy with the extra range once I have it.

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Okay, the weather looks like it will be rainy for the next few days so I am thinking about taking the Firewheel out of service to add the extra battery packs. As a first step I'm going to use the old control board plate and re-drill the holes for the control board so that the display board will fit. @esaj I know you mentioned you'd done this, it looks like it's pretty tight and I haven't opened the wheel to see if there are any other clearance issues. Here's the layout I'm thinking of, for that space, does this seem close to what you did? I was trying to keep the boards away from the areas where the wires need to run.

 

IMG_20150930_214629.jpg

 

Also, this is basically how it looks right now in the wheel, except that I have Andersen connectors on the power wires. Once I move the control board out of this bay, can't I just solder a second parallel set of wires into the battery and charge lines near the control board, then run the second set of Andersen connectors down into that bay to make the connection there? It looked like your rebuild had them all up in the handle.

IMG_20150518_155932.jpg

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As a first step I'm going to use the old control board plate and re-drill the holes for the control board so that the display board will fit. @esaj I know you mentioned you'd done this, it looks like it's pretty tight and I haven't opened the wheel to see if there are any other clearance issues. Here's the layout I'm thinking of, for that space, does this seem close to what you did? I was trying to keep the boards away from the areas where the wires need to run.

IMG_20150930_214629.jpg

Yes, I was planning on placing both PCBs on the same board, but with the current-measurement shunt, just couldn't get them to really fit in the end, so I placed the shunt on the plate with the mainboard and the secondary PCB into the last empty battery compartment (with three batteries). Now with four batteries, I've taken the shunt off and moved the secondary PCB to mainboard compartment, but I've glued it into the "outside" wall of the compartment, so the mainboard is alone on the plate.

That layout looks good, it should leave a good amount of free space inside the mainboard compartment for the wires & motor cable. You can make the wires between the boards really short, should help even more with the space and closing (less wires potentially stranding outside the compartment when closing).

 

Also, this is basically how it looks right now in the wheel, except that I have Andersen connectors on the power wires. Once I move the control board out of this bay, can't I just solder a second parallel set of wires into the battery and charge lines near the control board, then run the second set of Andersen connectors down into that bay to make the connection there? It looked like your rebuild had them all up in the handle.

Yeah, my rebuild had all the Andersons in the handle/front -compartment, because I had 8 of them (2 per single pack) + 4 JST RCYs for charge connections on the same wires, and the mainboard compartment had the shunt in an awkward position. Also running all the wires through the cramped small wirechannel between the front- and mainboard-compartments would have been difficult, even with less wires it wasn't easy to fit them all and get them to stay in place while closing. That's exactly what makes the mainboard compartment a pain in the ass to work with, the fact that the mainboard is connected to the plate you must move while closing it, which usually moves all the other wires, which then poke out from inside the compartment (or the wires in the front channel move out of place). ;) 

In your case, if you solder both 2-packs behind the same two Andersons (plus and minus) I think they should easily fit inside the mainboard compartment, probably even if you use four Andersons. Hell, I think even my 8 Andersons could fit inside the mainboard compartment when laid flat, if I move both PCBs to the plate like that. While they're somewhat long (especially after mated), the width and height are pretty low at little over 8mm. Then the only problem is fitting all the wiring through the  channels.

AndersonPowerpole-Housing-Dwg.jpg

 

 

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