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More4Mini / More4Motion Segway MiniPro Swallowbot Controller


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Today was the day!  Finally, after 65km ride on my e-bike this morning and the long weekend almost over I decided to finish tightening the screws with locktite on a new Swallowbot Controller board I got back in early November of 2019.  I really should not have waited so long.

I installed the new Swallowbot firmware updated controller into an almost new MiniPro with less than 10km on it.  I had previously used this unit to test the Chinese controller board that was briefly for sale last year on Amazon and e-bay that was advertised as having Swallowbot.  That one appeared to be an early version of the ninebot controller, and was not bad, but did not have any increase in the top speed.  I've never known where the name Swallowbot came from, but maybe that was the name the original design team gave the machine.  The MiniPro I used has the original tires on it, compared to my daily driver which has the larger Sport tires on it.

1. Installation was a snap, and unlike the earlier board purchased from China this one had the proper shorter motor wires, which is actually a good safety feature.  it did not have the paper backing over the board.   

2. I was very surprised, I did not connect to the MiniPro with the App after installing the board, and it was working at full speed.  I never had to go through the training tutorial again, do the initial 1km training period, or remove any speed limit, it just worked straight out of the box. Now I'm scared to connect to it with the App in case it resets all that, I may never connect the app to the device again, although I will miss the battery stats which are very useful to me on my 3 battery long trips, and just for monitoring battery health.  I may get brave and connect the app after I use it for a while.

3. It's so nice!  Compared to the original controller and following updates, it's a dream.  I can honestly say the product would be 10 times more popular if its shipped from Segway like this.  They are completely responsible for the failed market for these machines.  There are no beeps when hitting small bumps, navigating simple trails, or going up or down small inclines/declines. There is just the speed beep at the top end, and the beep itself is way less annoying.

4. How Fast?  OK I know this is all you really care about, and most not even that since it's all been done before.  Since I did not connect the App to the device once I found that it was working, I only have GPS data to go by and feel; it was faster and it was smoother.  It was faster than my regular MiniPro with the larger wheels, and it had the small ones.  My GPS tracker said I got the beep at just over 23km/h, a couple of times the beep did not register until I was already going over 25km/h.  That feels like when I'm riding my EUC in semi casual mode, a little faster than if I'm trying to be very observant of nature, but not cruising to my next destination.  It should be really nice once I put on the larger tires, I'm planning on putting the Hybrid tires on this one. [Update: connected the app, it says speed is limited to 23 km/h and this aligns with the GPS data, so everything seems to be as advertised.]

 

I noticed that M4M is currently sold out of the control boards, but they are now offering software updates using an App.  Right now though you need to have Android and the WhatsApp (spyware :)) messaging software.  I don't know if they can use anything else.  I am tempted to try if for my S-Plus, as it just collects dust, but with an upgrade I would use it.

Edited by FreeRide
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Took it out for a 9km test today that included ~4 km or forest trail that is pretty rocky in places soft sand like soil in others, with lots of tree roots and it worked great.  So nice to ride without beeping on every rock.  It slows down on the hills, but no tilt-back. at 27% battery remaining milage remaining was estimated by the app to be 6.8km, and max speed was reduced to 20 km/h which is fantastic. Power available does seem to drop as battery depletes, but top speed not as much.  I'd be careful of obstacles as the battery depletes as with regular controller, but I was able to confirm on the trails that obstacles are mush less of a safety issue at least down to 32% battery remaining.

I did have the added weight of a backpack with water tools and and extra battery, the regular segway really does not like the extra weight especially with 2 extra batteries.  Once I get it outfitted with the larger ties and extra foam/grip-tape on the platform I'll be looking to go for a 3-4 battery outing to see how it performs.

Prior to this test I was able to connect and use the app long enough to get battery and mileage stats, without having to update my app or the firmware that the app wants to do.  During the test i connected several more times to get stats and to turn off the remaining 'breathing lights', without issue.  I did not keep the app connected during riding.

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Glad it went well for you! I have the same firmware, installed via Bluetooth (after meeting friend of developer via Segway app) and it's a total upgrade for it. To me, it makes it feel like it goes the "correct" speed, whereas without the firmware, it was kind of a letdown cruising at top speed. And with the firmware, i would agree with you that it handles obstacles and terrain far more smoothly now. It feels like the more power is available to the unit overall. 

I wouldn't worry about conflicts with the app, I've never had any issue. I was actually instructed after installing the firmware to use the app to reset the settings to factory defaults (which just affected the controls settings and such). Obviously you don't have to reset anything with a new board, and I'm not sure about the firmware upgrades you say you are prompted for, did you look at what exactly it is trying to update? It could even be the bms firmware, not the main one, I suppose, but again I wouldn't worry about it wiping out your new firmware. Mine just seems to think everything is up to date though, so idk.

I get about 15mph cruising (as recorded by GoPro GPS) with 90/65-6.5 offroad tires on it, avoiding the point at which the motors start to fail to keep up/sync and the sudden pushback throws me. Caution when braking then is all I would recommend, as when these things start to wobble at high speeds, well you probably know...

Also, awesome to know I'm not the only one who goes on multi-battery expeditions :D

 

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I mounted a pair of the M4M Hybrid tires (INNOVA 90 / 65 - 6.5) on the MiniPro.  The main issue with mounting these tires vs. my earlier Sport tires from a couple years ago, is I needed to use the ZipTie trick to keep the tire width compressed.  After that; 5mins to mount the two tires, using some cheap 12" tire spoons i used with my other tires.  I used mineral oil as usual (for me) to lubicate the tire beads and rims.  

I took it out for a short spin, the tires worked well, I had them at 50 PSI to ensure they were seated well, and they were OK, but obviously harder than I'm use to.  Unfortunately I did not notice any speed increase a according to my GPS over the stock tires, but I'll have to test again and ride the beep for a little longer.  A bit surprising, but sometimes the GPS is not really super accurate if it can't get enough satellites and I was just using the one on my phone which may have a rather slow update in  my app.  I will try again, and maybe use my real GPS to have a second confirmation. I see no reason why I won't see the speed increase.  I probably didn't ride the beep long enough for the GPS to get a good average speed.

I took it out again with the tires inflated to 27PSI, but because I had forgot my backpack with water and extra battery I didn't go too far, and I didn't do a max speed test.  The tires handled well, but I didn't work them too hard as I couldn't go where I had intended without an extra battery.  I'll get out for a third test sometime this week, and I'll be running the tires at 20PSI.  

 

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