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Nicko

Dismantling firewheel as its 'dead'ish

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Firewheel stopped turning on.

After charging, went to turn on, battery display lit up for a split second then nothing, this kept happening. (No lights, voice or signs of power)

I've taken off left side.... batteries on this side have voltage. Thought it may be the switch (as not the most trustworthy of engineering) but no power seams to be getting to the switch.

Do I now take the other side off? As the wires from battery go to the other side first, where there's a metal case which I believe is where the brains are kept. T

There also two more battery packs on the other side.

Does anyone have experience with firewheels? Or have an idea what this issue sounds like? I'm thinking batteries??? 

Cheers, Nick.

 

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, Nicko said:

Firewheel stopped turning on.

After charging, went to turn on, battery display lit up for a split second then nothing, this kept happening. (No lights, voice or signs of power)

I've taken off left side.... batteries on this side have voltage. Thought it may be the switch (as not the most trustworthy of engineering) but no power seams to be getting to the switch.

Do I now take the other side off? As the wires from battery go to the other side first, where there's a metal case which I believe is where the brains are kept. T

There also two more battery packs on the other side.

Does anyone have experience with firewheels? Or have an idea what this issue sounds like? I'm thinking batteries??? 

Cheers, Nick.

Firewheels use quite unusual battery configuration, all the packs are chained together behind a single BMS (so the "single" packs are something like 4S4P, connected in series), which makes it a pain in the ass to troubleshoot and work with... actually, thanks to the shell design, the entire wheel is a pain in the ass to work with :P, be careful not to pinch any wires between the shell-halves when closing it. You could and probably should also try replacing the switch first, be warned though, it acts in the "opposite" than you'd probably except, if the switch is "open", the wheel turns on (or should, unless the board or the batteries are faulty).

Here's an old picture I took from mine with the connectors marked

gxj0Wf6.png

The wires marked with ? are likely for calibration, and newer batches no longer had the "BMS INPUT". For "testing" the switch, you could simply plug out the connector with red and black wires on the far right of the asterisk (star, *) -marked connectors, 9th & 10th pin, the wheel should then turn on. If not, either the mainboard or the batteries are gone. Firewheel were notorious for more or less randomly self-destroying their boards, so it's a "good" candidate. If you happen to have a power source capable of around 60VDC and current limitation (not much power needed if you disconnect the motor when trying), it'd be easy to test if the board still works. From my poking around the board, my best guess is that the step-down circuitry is the culprit, and it tends to take the MCU (Microcontroller unit, the "brain" of the wheel) with it when it breaks.

 

slnu7NR.jpg

Other side of the board.

 

There's an old thread in the Firewheel-section about the wiring etc.:

Reverse engineered PCB (except probably I never went through all the MCU pins):

 

Edited by esaj
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Thanks very much for your input and information, esaj. I will certainly have a bash :)

I've had the Firewheel for about 3 yrs.... got it in China and used it a lot in China.

I chose it because it had a bit of 'grunt' compared with some monowheels and I'm 100Kg.

If my repairs fail.... which is quite likely, any suggestions on a replacement? I imagine there are quite a few more brands/types on the market now since I bought mine.

Cheers, Nick

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Nicko said:

Thanks very much for your input and information, esaj. I will certainly have a bash :)

I've had the Firewheel for about 3 yrs.... got it in China and used it a lot in China.

I chose it because it had a bit of 'grunt' compared with some monowheels and I'm 100Kg.

If my repairs fail.... which is quite likely, any suggestions on a replacement? I imagine there are quite a few more brands/types on the market now since I bought mine.

Cheers, Nick

Firewheel was surprisingly powerful and fast for its specs (I had the F260 with only 2 battery packs, 264Wh), I used to take mine over 30km/h lots of times (I think my personal "best" was somewhere around 33 and change km/h, measured with bike computer straight from the tire, hobby16 has reached something like 36km/h), not bad for a (supposedly) 550W nominal motor. I've been that told that going above the last warning (around 26-28km/h, the repeating "take care, take care"-message) shouldn't be attempted without shunted packs, otherwise it may shut down, but mine were shunted when I got it, so no idea if it's true.

I ride KS16's (B & S) nowadays, S is a good and reliable workhorse (840Wh / 1.2kW nominal motor, 35km/h max tilt-back setting), but if you want more speed, range and/or performance, the newer Gotways and KS's have battery-sizes abobe 1kWh and nominal motor powers between 1 and 2kW. Don't even know what the current max speeds are, at least some Gotways can reportedly go above 50km/h and maybe possibly reach 60km/h or above with a light rider, although I wouldn't want to try where the limit is... :P  Other people in the forums can tell you more first-hand experiences and in general about the newer wheels, I haven't followed up on the progress so closely anymore.

 

Edited by esaj

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