Jump to content
KFool

Solowheel Classic acquired

Recommended Posts

I’ve read the new user thread so I shouldn’t run too far amok.

Recently a nice lady offered up an unused Solowheel on Facebook,  said it wouldn’t charge up. Being interested in these sorts of things and having some familiarity with charging and lithium based batteries from Rc airplanes I reached out to her. And I now have a pristine original solowheel in my garage.  She bought it in March 2015 and never used it, she’s now retired and afraid of getting hurt if she tried to.

I think she said it had been plugged in continuously, not sure. She said she had tried to research how to get the batteries to charge and was unable to get them to charge. 
I’m going to try the regenerative braking method to kick start charging a dead flat battery, I’ve seen one of someone running them by hand over the carpet and one of someone using a second unicycle to spin the dead wheel.

I have a pretty powerful battery charge station I use for my Rc airplane batteries, but virtually all of my knowledge is lipo rather than li-ion or lifepo4.  Also have a friend who does build packs and has a tab welder, he’s a bit of a madman, he scratch built an electric motorcycle. So he likely can help me build a replacement pack if that’s the way I have to go once I know specs. If I need to solder on ec5 connectors to the main battery leads to make them disconnectable I can do that.

 

If I  can get this running it won’t see a ton of use,  mostly on terrain like a soccer field or a campground on weekends. I’m 230 so I’m sure I’d be a load on this unit, my tween son and teen daughter may end up using it more than me. I live in NJ.

thanks

Jason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What does the charger do if you plug it in?

Can you easily use a voltmeter to measure the battery voltage without acidentally shorting the battery by connecting some terminals? That might give good info about the state of your battery.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I plug it in I get a continuous green light within a second or two. If I pick it up while it has the green light on it starts spinning the wheel, meaning I could probably run forever so long as I was plugged in. When I unplug the 3 pin charge plug I get a flash of red light then nothing.

LED on the charger never turns off from solid green so far that I’ve noticed. I’ve mostly had it plugged in to wall then connect the 3 pinto the wheel, then have turned it off to try the “spin the wheel backwards to get some regenerative braking” but haven’t seen 8t have any effect. If I don’t turn the wheel off when plugged in (green light) the moment I pick it up to d the regenerative thing it starts spinning the wheel.

i have a voltmeter, can see what voltage difference is between two of the pins when I take the charge plug out. Any direction of which pins? There’s the bump in one side of the socket to key the plug.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like the charger is always green if plugged into the outlet? Not sure about the Solowheel chargers, but other chargers have a red light when charging and a green light when not charging. So it looks like it isn't charging. I wonder why the wheel turns on though if the charger is plugged into it.

For voltage measurement, I think as long as you don't accidentally connect any two pins, nothing bad can happen, right? (I'm no expert:whistling:) There are three possibilities to measure, so maybe one of them gives some believable voltage that indicates something (e.. a credible level of undervoltage).

Is there a voltage on the charger so we know what the intended voltage is?

Sorry I don't know anything about the old Solowheels, so this is all I can guess. @Jeffrey Scott Will might know more but looks like he doesn't visit here often. @Nick McCutcheon can you help or ask him maybe?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Hmm, we have a lot of solowheels at the EUCO office, and some have this issue where they just won't charge. The battery pack may just be too old/dead so the cells are bad, we haven't investigated how to revive dead solowheels like this one. I'll ask Jeff next time I get a chance, but you may want to ask your friend to help you with building a new pack. Not sure about the classic, but I know the extreme has a charging voltage of 58.8 volts, and I wouldn't be surprised if the classic is the same. I can check when I talk to Jeff though.

Edited by Nick McCutcheon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you! He worked in the Solowheel store so he at least will know some technical details. And probably this isn't the first time a battery was bad, so he should have experience what can be done about that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The latest from Jeff: the spinning method is pretty much all you do, other than making a new pack. You have to do it for a while though he said, so try using a treadmill or another euc. The cells likely just discharged too far, possibly irreparably.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Charger label says LiFePO4 battery charger model L100-48F,  Input 100-240V ac, 50-60Hz, Output 58.4V, 1.5A, LED red charging green finished.

Label on the wheel itself says model sw-1, battery LiFePO4 (lithium ion), 2.4 Ah, 122 Wh.

i think the batteries are shot from likely being plugged in for several years straight, or from being unplugged for several years. Similar to a smart phone with a battery that’s going bad, you plug it in it charges super fast.  You start to use it it sags immediately. In this case it maybe instantaneous charge/sag.
 

if the battery was more accessible I could just make up a Lipo pack that put out similar voltage and amps and had similar or greater capacity. 122Wh/ 2.4ah says 50.8V which at 3.7V per cell for lipo is 14s, which would be an awkward config but I could do it, likely with a mix of 4s and 3s.

But this isn’t swapping the lead acid 12V in a power wheel toy for a Lipo for grins, this one I’ll need it to be able to use the onboard plug and charger because I can’t just pop the pack out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Nick McCutcheon said:

The latest from Jeff: the spinning method is pretty much all you do, other than making a new pack. You have to do it for a while though he said, so try using a treadmill or another euc. The cells likely just discharged too far, possibly irreparably.

I have a 1000W brushless mini bike, an electric version of the monster moto Baja mini bikes. I can set it up and pour spinning/regenerative braking into it for quite a while, I just think the cells may be damaged. If you leave a non-smart charger connected constantly every time the battery self discharges a bit the charger tops it off, my understanding is that’s not good for the battery unless it’s a trickle type maintainer.  But I’ll try the regen method first, I have all the tools and gear.

As far as making a new pack, my friend has a tab welder and 26650 cells he could use. My concern is how to properly match the BMS and specs of the original. I also assume this is a classic not an extreme, the casing is black but I’m not wheel fluent, this is all new.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, everything you said is pretty spot on. That's definitely not good for the cells, and they may just be shot. I can't personally offer advice on making a new pack, other than just trying your best to match the cell type already in the wheel when you get new ones. Best of luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any tips or resources or even threads here on these forums to support making new packs if I end up going that way?  My experience with Lipo batteries doesn't include the BMS boards, Lipo doesn't use them.  I do all my Lipo balancing on my Powerlab 6.  Are there places I can get replacement packs or salvage BMS boards to populate with new cells?  it seems like this site and this forum has an overall ton of information and knowledge, I just haven't had much luck sorting through it all so far.  I don't know how critical or central the BMS board is and hwo tightly i have to match specs on the existing pack in a new setup.

 

Nick, if you have many solowheels in the office, any ability to scavenge from wheels you guys have lying around broken in other ways?

 

Going to try to set up the gear to spin the tires with my brushless mini bike, but that'll be this weekend at the earliest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, KFool said:

Nick, if you have many solowheels in the office, any ability to scavenge from wheels you guys have lying around broken in other ways?

Would you want to buy a new battery? Not sure how much that would cost, but I can ask the team if that's something we can do, we'd have to disassemble one and take the pack out. Keep me posted!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Possibly.  I'd like to try and get this unit running, it looks fun as hell.  I'm a suburban nerd with a 20+ mile commute in heavy traffic so this will fall clearly under "play" not practical.  My first least intrusive effort will be to run the wheel in regenerative braking for a while and see if we can perk up the cells a bit. 

If the cells are shot I'll have to figure out how to replace them the cheapest way I can without being foolish.  If I try to have my friend help make one I guess I'd have to source a BMS board or see if he can desolder and reuse the existing board from the dead pack.  Or I see what the cost and availability is through your guys.

Seems like a real easy rabbit hole to disappear down, time and cost wise.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Used a tiedown to secure my brushless bike to an aluminum painters bench, got to where I could use the drive wheel to spin the wheel on the solowheel, though screwed up at first and it was running the wrong way.  Flipped over so the wheel was being spun backwards to do the regenerative braking, and ran the minibike at half throttle for a couple minutes, likely 3-4 intermittently.  No real change or impact that I could see.

Edited by KFool

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nick can you ask what a replacement battery would cost? Weighing options.

ill be reaching out to my buddy in Virginia too, see what he can do. May be able to pull the pack and send him the dead one and have him build a clone.  Is there two packs in this in a saddle configuration or just a single pack? Might as well ask before I go barging in blind. Limited video resources online for this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ll check, since we’d have to take the pack from a working wheel. I’m not sure about the configuration, I’ll find out though if I get the OK to harvest one 😅 To make the request more official, go to euco.us/support and fill out the form under “Technical Support & Repair”. That way it’ll come through the pipeline and end up in my queue of issues to address. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok.  I'm going to crack the case and pull the pack.  Should be pretty easy to tell one or two packs.  I have my buddy asking about the specs, shape, etc.  Going to see what I can do there, might be able to get newer cells in the pack that way.

Will keep you posted, if that ends up a dead end alley we'll run through you, I don't want to put you through hassle and then go "nevermind".  End goal is to thread the needle for best pack for least cost.  

If I succeed at that then the challenge is not to break my butt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey @KFool, not sure if you're still on here or receiving notifications but I thought I'd reach back out and ask what ever happened to this wheel? I'm trying to revive a dead Xtreme by rebuilding the pack, and currently trying the regen method on a separate wheel (a black-shell classic) with little success. And I have double checked, unfortunately all of our remaining solowheel classics have dead packs. We have one extra working Xtreme, but that's about it :(

 

Edited by Nick McCutcheon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...