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beast@tanagra

Taming the MTen3 - My First-Wheel Learning Log

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This is all tremendously reassuring, Marty. The app connection idea behind the chirping had crossed my mind at one point, and this is consistent with the times I was playing with it. Thank you!

23 minutes ago, Marty Backe said:

3) Yes, the WheelLog app (did you get the version that I recommend - it allows you to change the wheel settings?) does not show the correct voltage. The battery level is correct. Personally, I only ever look at my battery level.

My searches are coming up empty on that one. Do you have a link or description of how to find that version of WheelLog? I just downloaded the one from the GooglePlay store. It does not seem to let me change any wheel settings. Drains the phone's battery in a hurry, too :( 

27 minutes ago, Marty Backe said:

If you are using the IOS Gotway app, it's half-baked and resets the wheel settings every time you connect. Android users don't get to experience that particular joy :D

I'm on Android, and have it set to "Sport", which sounds like the hard mode -- certainly harder than "Leisure".

As luck would have it, I also have an extra Pebble lying around that I got working with WheelLog, so I'll be velcroing that up to my wrist guard soon, Marty-style.

31 minutes ago, Marty Backe said:

As this video perhaps shows, when I life my foot the wheel is pressing firmly against the leg that is already on the wheel.

I had somehow missed that one, and am scrutinizing it closely. For one thing, you seem way more relaxed and closer to straight-legged than I have in my free-mount attempts. Maybe I'm putting too much weight on the wheel initially, and it's more of a gradual timing thing as I move more weight onto it? Something to try tomorrow.

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1 hour ago, beast@tanagra said:

This is all tremendously reassuring, Marty. The app connection idea behind the chirping had crossed my mind at one point, and this is consistent with the times I was playing with it. Thank you!

My searches are coming up empty on that one. Do you have a link or description of how to find that version of WheelLog? I just downloaded the one from the GooglePlay store. It does not seem to let me change any wheel settings. Drains the phone's battery in a hurry, too :( 

I'm on Android, and have it set to "Sport", which sounds like the hard mode -- certainly harder than "Leisure".

As luck would have it, I also have an extra Pebble lying around that I got working with WheelLog, so I'll be velcroing that up to my wrist guard soon, Marty-style.

I had somehow missed that one, and am scrutinizing it closely. For one thing, you seem way more relaxed and closer to straight-legged than I have in my free-mount attempts. Maybe I'm putting too much weight on the wheel initially, and it's more of a gradual timing thing as I move more weight onto it? Something to try tomorrow.

Got to my very last YouTube video (Aliso Creek Group Ride). In the Description section, under Riding Gear, you will find a link to the WheelLog app.

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Talking about the app, and without wanting to make another thread really, I was looking into the moving figure that wheellog calls "Battery" and in the source code this is the maths behind the "Battery" level

 

int battery;
  if (mVoltage <= 5290) {
  battery = 0;
  } else if (mVoltage >= 6580) {
  battery = 100;
  } else {
  battery = (mVoltage - 5290) / 13;
  }
 

setBatteryPercent(battery);

I don't know if the wheel doesn't broadcast as Battery remaining stat but this just looks like a very weird way to calculate it.

the mVoltage variable itself comes from data from the wheel but even that isn't a set output:

mVoltage = (data[2] * 256) + (data[3] & 255);

I'm not a java coder so I can't really get into the nitty gritty of this, I may have a play with trying to communicate with the wheel at home though to see what outputs it gives.

Edited by Cannings

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Interesting report!

Learning on the mten3 = hard mode. But you'll definitely learn a lot:efee612b4b: And you have a great, fun wheel to begin with.

One thing you can try, as it will be useful for bigger wheels and may not come up with the mten3 so naturally (not sure, never tried one): balance by rotating your hips/upper body against your lower body (instead of shifting weight between your legs). Same principle how the front tire of a bicycle keeps you upright, it rotates to counter any tilt. You can get a feel for what I mean by putting a piece of paper on a slippery (concrete, tiles, ...) floor, standing on it (feet close together like on the wheel), and doing rapid hips turns to rotate the paper on the spot without turning your upper body.

Your questions:

1. That's normal Gotway electronics. Turn on the light, the sand-y sound may get louder if you listen closely.
2. App connecting?
3. GW 84V wheels report wrong voltages so Gotway wouldn't have to change their (contracted out of house) app from their 67.2V wheels. Ignore. It's a GotwayTM:efee8319ab:
4. Just try and see.

Don't forget, patience and breaks (for your brain to process the new info) are also part of learning. You'll get better overnight, literally.

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17 hours ago, Marty Backe said:

Got to my very last YouTube video (Aliso Creek Group Ride). In the Description section, under Riding Gear, you will find a link to the WheelLog app.

Found it and got it working. Set wheel to "Hard" from it. Thanks!

10 hours ago, meepmeepmayer said:

1. That's normal Gotway electronics. Turn on the light, the sand-y sound may get louder if you listen closely.

Comfirmed! Listening closely not even required. Just... WTF :facepalm:.

10 hours ago, meepmeepmayer said:

3. GW 84V wheels report wrong voltages so Gotway wouldn't have to change their (contracted out of house) app from their 67.2V wheels. Ignore. It's a GotwayTM:efee8319ab:

That's just... :facepalm: <-- Guess that's an emoji I'll need a lot with Gotway?

10 hours ago, meepmeepmayer said:

One thing you can try, as it will be useful for bigger wheels and may not come up with the mten3 so naturally (not sure, never tried one): balance by rotating your hips/upper body against your lower body (instead of shifting weight between your legs). Same principle how the front tire of a bicycle keeps you upright, it rotates to counter any tilt. You can get a feel for what I mean by putting a piece of paper on a slippery (concrete, tiles, ...) floor, standing on it (feet close together like on the wheel), and doing rapid hips turns to rotate the paper on the spot without turning your upper body.

I will be sure to try this once I can. I do admire your photo logs of crazy off-road adventures, meepmeep, and will assume you know what you're talking about :D If the German backcountry was included with every purchase of an ACM, I totally would have bought one!

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Enjoying your reports :D  Too bad you haven't videoed any of it. There's nothing more fun for us seasoned riders than to watch struggling newbies :popcorn: 

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29 minutes ago, Marty Backe said:

Enjoying your reports :D  Too bad you haven't videoed any of it. There's nothing more fun for us seasoned riders than to watch struggling newbies :popcorn: 

I had considered this, but I'm in one of those careers where it's just more convenient if my real-world antics are not trivially Googled. I suppose I could have ordered a Mexican wrestling mask and cape when I was Amazoning my safety gear, though, so that's on me :D.

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Day 4: No real soreness now, just a general fatigue in my legs. My inner leg bruises have darkened, but are still not overly tender.

60 min on sidewalk and asphalt: Legs… heavy. Everything just felt harder than it should have on this run, which was disappointing after the thrills of last night. I blame legs that haven’t fully recovered from the day before. I took lots of opportunities to free mount, but didn’t really up my success ratio over yesterday’s 1 in 3, and the attempts were taking more out of me. I don’t have enough control yet to adjust a mount that leaves my left leg in a position too challenging to work from, which means I was often dismounting within a few seconds and repeating the process to exhausting effect. The unseasonably high heat today (95 F near sunset) didn't help. I followed my training plan from yesterday, but with scaled-back ambition: about five minutes of backwards practice holding my wife’s hand, where I would do a slow pendulum into reverse and keep going for a few meters (hard); soloing forward up and down sidewalk curb transitions to get more used to overcoming bumps (easier); making slow, tight turns (somewhere in between). I covered more of the neighborhood and was within sight of a lot more bystanders tonight, which did add some jitters, but I was moving at grandma speeds (average cruising speed just over 6 kph) and mostly ignored. I stopped after realizing I had forgotten an evening obligation and hauled home at a screaming top speed of 19 kph. No injuries. No spills.

20 min on sidewalk and asphalt: Ow. After my obligation, I turned on the headlight and went out for a few slow laps, feeling mostly in control except for mounts that kept getting harder. After a couple of failures that resulted in slapping the side of the machine into my leg bruises, I called it in. A little more bruising. No spills.

All in all, nothing too exciting today, but that’s regression to the mean for you. I remind myself that I am trying to be the tortoise in this race, and not the hare. I'll play tomorrow by ear, and not be afraid to just take the day off if my legs aren't feeling it. The weather should be much cooler in a couple days.
 

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2 hours ago, beast@tanagra said:

Day 4: No real soreness now, just a general fatigue in my legs. My inner leg bruises have darkened, but are still not overly tender.

60 min on sidewalk and asphalt: Legs… heavy. Everything just felt harder than it should have on this run, which was disappointing after the thrills of last night. I blame legs that haven’t fully recovered from the day before. I took lots of opportunities to free mount, but didn’t really up my success ratio over yesterday’s 1 in 3, and the attempts were taking more out of me. I don’t have enough control yet to adjust a mount that leaves my left leg in a position too challenging to work from, which means I was often dismounting within a few seconds and repeating the process to exhausting effect. The unseasonably high heat today (95 F near sunset) didn't help. I followed my training plan from yesterday, but with scaled-back ambition: about five minutes of backwards practice holding my wife’s hand, where I would do a slow pendulum into reverse and keep going for a few meters (hard); soloing forward up and down sidewalk curb transitions to get more used to overcoming bumps (easier); making slow, tight turns (somewhere in between). I covered more of the neighborhood and was within sight of a lot more bystanders tonight, which did add some jitters, but I was moving at grandma speeds (average cruising speed just over 6 kph) and mostly ignored. I stopped after realizing I had forgotten an evening obligation and hauled home at a screaming top speed of 19 kph. No injuries. No spills.

20 min on sidewalk and asphalt: Ow. After my obligation, I turned on the headlight and went out for a few slow laps, feeling mostly in control except for mounts that kept getting harder. After a couple of failures that resulted in slapping the side of the machine into my leg bruises, I called it in. A little more bruising. No spills.

All in all, nothing too exciting today, but that’s regression to the mean for you. I remind myself that I am trying to be the tortoise in this race, and not the hare. I'll play tomorrow by ear, and not be afraid to just take the day off if my legs aren't feeling it. The weather should be much cooler in a couple days.
 

More mounting techniques :)

 

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3 hours ago, beast@tanagra said:

Day 4: No real soreness now, just a general fatigue in my legs. My inner leg bruises have darkened, but are still not overly tender.

60 min on sidewalk and asphalt: Legs… heavy. Everything just felt harder than it should have on this run, which was disappointing after the thrills of last night. I blame legs that haven’t fully recovered from the day before. I took lots of opportunities to free mount, but didn’t really up my success ratio over yesterday’s 1 in 3, and the attempts were taking more out of me. I don’t have enough control yet to adjust a mount that leaves my left leg in a position too challenging to work from, which means I was often dismounting within a few seconds and repeating the process to exhausting effect. The unseasonably high heat today (95 F near sunset) didn't help. I followed my training plan from yesterday, but with scaled-back ambition: about five minutes of backwards practice holding my wife’s hand, where I would do a slow pendulum into reverse and keep going for a few meters (hard); soloing forward up and down sidewalk curb transitions to get more used to overcoming bumps (easier); making slow, tight turns (somewhere in between). I covered more of the neighborhood and was within sight of a lot more bystanders tonight, which did add some jitters, but I was moving at grandma speeds (average cruising speed just over 6 kph) and mostly ignored. I stopped after realizing I had forgotten an evening obligation and hauled home at a screaming top speed of 19 kph. No injuries. No spills.

20 min on sidewalk and asphalt: Ow. After my obligation, I turned on the headlight and went out for a few slow laps, feeling mostly in control except for mounts that kept getting harder. After a couple of failures that resulted in slapping the side of the machine into my leg bruises, I called it in. A little more bruising. No spills.

All in all, nothing too exciting today, but that’s regression to the mean for you. I remind myself that I am trying to be the tortoise in this race, and not the hare. I'll play tomorrow by ear, and not be afraid to just take the day off if my legs aren't feeling it. The weather should be much cooler in a couple days.
 

In regards to mounting, I had some real issues with just raw starts, I'd be clinging onto lamposts, fences anything around to get back on my wheel. Then almost out the blue as I stopped and put one foot down it just sort of clicked when I started off. Even now after 4 months I still have some wobbly starts which are really annoying when i'm crossing a road or something with people watching but i've "mostly" got it

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10 minutes ago, beast@tanagra said:

Day 5: Legs feeling sturdy and stout this morning, with only minimal fatigue. The leg bruises are pretty tender, but probably not enough to stop me tonight. I think I’m feelin’ it…

That evening…

70 min on sidewalk and asphalt: Make like Chubby Checker…  I started off applying what I had gleaned by scrutinizing @Marty Backe's "Many Faces" mounting video, which is that, on his non-rolling starts, he holds the inward angle of the wheel steady for half a second until his other foot is pretty much mounted; I had been relying more on snap timing, which I found hard to do well and dangerous to do wrong. In my Day 2 attempts at triangle mounting, holding such an angle had felt impossible, but my newly muscled wheel legs allowed me to hold the pose just a bit longer tonight and mount with greater success and less trauma. I’m now succeeding on about every other attempt, and I only smacked my bruise a couple of times.

For the first 20 minutes or so, I was just cruising leisurely, trying to gauge what my legs would tolerate. Then, I tentatively started doing a bit of gentle slaloming to see if this would help me feel a little less like the wheel could drift out from under me at any time. I accidentally broke into a dance-like twisting motion and suddenly discovered why I’ve sucked at skiing, roller skating, ice skating, and skateboarding my whole life: I hadn’t really grokked that my lower body can be a full three-axis chassis and suspension handling even most lateral movement independent of my upper body — that my legs aren't limited to shock absorption and foot-lowering for turns. With this new range of motion unlocked, I noticed immediate improvement in my stability and control, and started having a lot more fun. I slalomed slower and tighter, cutting paths around and between various bits of sidewalk detritus.

Wheelog showed an amusing steady decline in my average speed during the evening (at one point I noticed a little girl on a scooter easily outracing me on the opposite sidewalk) as I slid into tighter slaloms and ended the night working on my turns. The big thing that has been tripping me up on turns, I decided, is unexpected changes of velocity.  So I focused on trying to make medium-sized turns at a consistent speed, and spiraling in tighter or wider as I felt more or less in control. I began to feel some success, and will be doing more of that next time. I stopped on account of darkness and general fatigue, but don’t feel like I overtapped myself like I had with last night’s outing. No new injuries or spills tonight.

I’m bummed that tomorrow might be unrideable due to high winds expected to knock the top few millimeters of desert up into every exposed human orifice, but I’m thrilled at tonight’s progress. Forget Chubby Checker. I’m this guy now :roflmao:

Keep it coming.

Yes, your legs really do build up a tolerance to all kinds of abuse. You definitely want to avoid the snap timing type of mount, which most of us started with. It's when you finally learn to press the wheel against your leg that you can take your time lifting the other leg off the ground and onto the pedal 

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Sounds like you're pretty good already!

Not sure 100%, but I guess what I meant by hip turns is the twisting thing you describe. At least the general idea...

Would love to hear your impressions of how a bigger wheel feels for someone who started with an mten3. It's going to be a looooooong wait for you until the new models are out (one of which you plan to get). You already have the upgrade urge?:efeebb3acc:

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15 hours ago, Marty Backe said:

Keep it coming.

Yes, your legs really do build up a tolerance to all kinds of abuse. You definitely want to avoid the snap timing type of mount, which most of us started with. It's when you finally learn to press the wheel against your leg that you can take your time lifting the other leg off the ground and onto the pedal 

Yep I had HORRIBLE bruising while learning and it was from two things, my shins getting hit by the Ninebot One pedals as it flew around and me clenching the wheel like a vice with my legs, because I thought it would make me stable.  It does the opposite but you have to go through the clenching phase first to learn that I think.

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13 hours ago, meepmeepmayer said:

Sounds like you're pretty good already!

Not sure 100%, but I guess what I meant by hip turns is the twisting thing you describe. At least the general idea...

It occurred to me at the time that this might be the case. What I had thought of as a hip turn was a deliberate one-time motion. My breakthrough was leaving more play in my lower body all the time, even when intending to go straight.

13 hours ago, meepmeepmayer said:

Would love to hear your impressions of how a bigger wheel feels for someone who started with an mten3.

I'm curious about this, too. I've wondered if the conventional wisdom about an MTen-sized wheel being harder to learn on might be an artifact of it just being so different from everyone else's first wheel: "I know how to ride, but this wheel challenges me" being taken to mean "this must be harder to learn than my first wheel".

If I, not knowing this conventional wisdom, were to find that I have a steep learning curve moving up to a mid-size, I might reasonably conclude that it is the bigger wheels that are harder to learn on. There won't really be any way to say without more data points. My sense so far is that my learning pace is well within the range of normal variation for someone with a more conventional first ride. If I have no great difficulty adapting to a 16"+, I might have the beginnings of a case that maybe a tiny wheel is actually the better place to start.

Having no experience with the alternative, my current impressions of starting out small are:

Pros:

  • In those first hours when you have to schlep the wheel around by hand a lot, lighter is nicer. (My back was still hurting after, even so.)
  • The mass of the uncontrolled object potentially injuring you or others in a spill is lower.
  • Wheel is more stable at lower speeds, reducing the potential for a spill becoming a fall at learning speeds.
  • Lower stable speed makes it easier for a partner to help you train by holding your hand and walking beside you at a comfortable pace. (I can't say enough about how useful my wife was to me here.)
  • Twitchier wheel means more balance adjustments per minute (?), meaning that you get more balance practice in with fewer clock hours.
  • Being able to turn very sharp and very frequently means you can get more maneuvering practice in with fewer clock hours.
  • Ability to practice in smaller spaces opens up more spaces, which can help you avoid traffic, gawking eyes, and nighttime darkness.

Cons:

  • A bigger wheel might have come with a trolley handle for those first days' schleppings.
  • A less twitchy wheel means your brain has more time to figure out the muscle adjustments needed to balance. (?)  (I knew what I was trying to do, but it did feel like it happened too fast to consciously control it. Until I could do it without thinking, I couldn't do it at all. Is that different on a normal wheel?)
  • Might not build up much strength in the muscles more important to maneuvering bigger wheels (?)
  • A small wheel being more sensitive to uneven terrain, learning on grass is a less viable option.
  • Might be harder to learn to free mount (see my response to Duf below)
  • If I only had the budget for one wheel, this is probably not the one I would want to be married to (as fun as it is!).
13 hours ago, meepmeepmayer said:

It's going to be a looooooong wait for you until the new models are out (one of which you plan to get). You already have the upgrade urge?:efeebb3acc:

Not actually feeling the urge yet, and the wait may not actually be that long. I've got my preorder deposit with Jason pointed at the V10F and he thinks I'm probably in the early May shipment. By then, I think I very well might be twitchy to move up, but for now I feel like I'm still just beginning to tap into what the MTen3 has to offer me.

Of the newer wheels, the V10F is definitely the one calling out to me. While I can't rule out the possibility that I'll get into cruising and distance riding down the road, for me so far, the gut-level appeal of EUC has nothing to do with the destination -- or even the route --  but everything to do with the feel. The skill. The artistry of the man-machine relationship. I'll take agility, torque, and stability. The V10F looks like to be a virtuoso's main wheel for those traits.

4 hours ago, Duf said:

Yep I had HORRIBLE bruising while learning and it was from two things, my shins getting hit by the Ninebot One pedals as it flew around and me clenching the wheel like a vice with my legs, because I thought it would make me stable.  It does the opposite but you have to go through the clenching phase first to learn that I think.

Interestingly, I have not injured myself in either of those two ways. The first I may be able to credit to my use of a strap after Day 1, but the second has just never been an issue for me. All of my leg bruising has been on the inside of my right leg, and attributable to (mostly failed) mounting attempts. I do wonder if a large sample size of learners on different size wheels would show different patterns of injuries relating to where people naturally grip the wheel; on this wheel, I grip as much with the inside of my solidly-shod foot as I do with my lower leg. I will say that I have often felt like maybe it would be easier (and less injurious) to learn to free mount on a bigger wheel -- that I might get more leverage to hold the inward mounting angle if the wheel extended further up my right leg, and that the wider angle of rotation would slow things down a little, giving me more time to get my left foot into position.

18 hours ago, Hunka Hunka Burning Love said:

Is that another request for vids of a newbie unicyclist in Mexican wrestling garb? Man, you've got strange taste. You know, I studied that picture you posted the other day, and it made me insecure about my nipple physique. (My research tells me that @Rehab1 is the man to talk to about this problem??)

Edited by beast@tanagra

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:shock2:  We, sir, do NOT nipple discriminate on these forums.  :innocent1:  If @Rehab1 is confident enough in his manhood to share some nip pix with the rest of us, I don't see why you shouldn't.  Or any other members for that matter, male or female.  :whistling:  All this nipplism has to end I say!  Free the nipple!  Free the nipple!

:popcorn:

http://freethenipple.com/

Edited by Hunka Hunka Burning Love

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Day 6: Legs feeling sturdy again, with an overtone of light fatigue. The leg bruises are dark, but healing and less tender than yesterday.

50 min on sidewalk and asphalt: Mariah? Why would you call the wind that? That’s a stupid name. Got off to a later start tonight because I needed to wait for some of the Sonoran to settle out of the atmosphere. By the time I want out, visibility was up to 1-2 miles, with winds down to about 10 mph and gusts approaching 25 mph. Strong headwinds on one stretch made for interesting riding where I had to lean hard forward just to keep moving, but things only felt a little sketchy once or twice, so I kept going.

Building on yesterday’s new skills, I ventured a little farther from home than previously and kept working on my maneuvering, trying tonight to be more aware of velocity changes and to hit my slaloming targets at intentional speeds. I also worked on accelerating and decelerating in quicker and more controlled fashion, but not in time to keep me from stepping off when an SUV that I thought was turning into a driveway was actually setting up to back into a different driveway. (I was going slow, and was at least 15 feet away, but I over-braked and stalled.) I did better on a couple of later occasions when I slowed to a crawl to yield to kids on bikes cutting across my way on bikes.

I opened up the throttle for a brief stretch to see if I could lose a little bicycle fanboy trailing me (yup). It wasn’t until I checked the log that I saw I had reached a new top speed of 31 kph — a little faster than I would have estimated at the time, and way faster than my average speed tonight of about 10 kph. My impression of that speed on this wheel was “I’m ok with this for short bursts, but I wouldn’t want to keep that up.”

I did a brief stretch of patchy grass riding to see if my new control skills would help (very much so!), but my usual grass haunt was occupied, so this was very limited. After a bit more work on tight turns, I stopped on account of darkness and dry eyes from the wind and dust.

I nailed about two thirds of my mounts tonight, with no painful failures, although, in all fairness, I didn’t give myself as many reasons to re-mount tonight. Maybe that bruise can finish healing now? The weather is supposed to be beautiful this weekend — it’s already so much cooler — and I intend to ride the hell out of this wheel.

On an unrelated note:

15 hours ago, Keith said:

Just to reassure you on the above question: when you need just a little bit of power - like when balancing at a standstill - the circuitry cannot just turn the transistors on a little bit as that would result in them having high resistance and getting very hot. Instead the control board sends very short pulses of full power such that the transistors are alternately fully on (low resistance) and then fully off (no current flowing) those very short pulses give just enough power. As the power demand you makes gets higher the switched on pulses get longer. Look up Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) in Google  If you want to learn more about it.

Additionally in the brushless d.c. (BLDC) motors we use you have fixed magnets around the wheel rim and fixed coils of wire in the wheel centre so any small movement of the wheel is a step from one set of magnets lined up with a set of coils to the next. These two things, pulses and discrete, albeit very small, steps is what generates the strange sounds you can hear. If you take a loudspeaker apart you will see it’s construction is very similar to an electric motor, indeed the controllers I use for the brushless d.c. motors in model aircraft actually send quite loud beeps to the motors as status warnings.

This explanation was detailed and cool. Thank you, Keith!

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Day 7: Feeling good; bruises barely noticeable. Very aware of my legs all day; they don’t feel like my own anymore, but rather like I’ve borrowed the legs of someone who works out :blink1:. They don’t operate quite the same, and I occasionally feel clumsy with them.

60 min on mixed terrain: Gleaming the cube! I went looking for trouble this evening in beautiful 70-75 F weather, just generally trying to push out the edges of my comfort zone. I did several laps into, out of, and around good ol’ Crappy Grass Drainage Basin, without even dismounting to get over the significant sidewalk bump and steep grassy slopes at the edges. (I had to step once, but it wasn’t anything scary.) I felt very in control by my last circuit. Just remembering to lean a little harder to keep the momentum up helped a lot, as did leaving extra play in my legs and waist to handle unseen contours.

I also struck off onto an off-road cut between two neighborhoods that goes from dirt and mixed gravel, to hard-packed dirt, to thick, lush grass. Where the gravel was coarse and on a side slope, it gave me a lot of trouble, and I had to dismount and walk a few meters in search of a good place to get back on. The hard dirt was better, but felt wobblier and slicker than it looked. The grass was high enough to brush against the shell and pedals a bit, but nothing a bit more lean couldn’t push through. The scary part about the thick grass was that I’ve known that route to have some hidden divots and muddy patches; I did not find any tonight.

On sidewalk and street, I played around with aggressive acceleration and deceleration, challenging myself to reach a given point 10-15 meters ahead in the quickest time yet cross it at a crawl. No scary moments here, and I think I have room to push harder yet.

The most fun I’ve had yet on an EUC was when I ended the evening using the sidewalk in front of my house as an imaginary racetrack where I combined these speed sprints with a precision U-turn at each end: a 180° turn within one square of sidewalk. This was easier than I expected, as I actually found it to be cleaner and more exhilarating with a bit speed. It probably didn’t look as cool as it felt, but the sensation was of leaving most of my mass in the direction I intended to end up in while my legs swung out beneath me to complete the maneuver.

Instinctively being able to do a slingshot turn like that from a modest cruising speed would have come in handy a couple of times earlier in the evening: cars pulling in and out of places had given me plenty of time to act, but I hadn’t been able to compute a pathing solution any more fluid than coming to a quick stop and stepping off. Maybe now I will! I pulled the purchase trigger on Marty’s rear-view mirror tonight in recognition of this new trick, figuring that if I’m going to get out of trouble by going the other way, I’d better be sure I’m not just heading for a different kind of trouble.

I had gone into the evening fully planning to have my first pedal scrape so I could start getting a feel for that limit. It still spooked me when it finally happened, though, and I had an ugly dismount that allowed the wheel to spin and flop enough to pop off most of my pool noodle hazard bumpers (for the first time since Day 1) before I got it back under strap control.

This was when I stopped for the night — not because I was afraid to get back on, but because I was now fatigued enough that I knew I wouldn’t want to go out again by the time I got my wheel’s padding put back together.

This was a good night. My mounts were pretty solid. Hitting them about 80% of the time, with less drama, made me more willing to push the limits of my control, since getting back up is no longer a huge source of anxiety and fatigue. No injuries. One good spill for the wheel, but no new damage I can detect beyond a bit of fresh pedal scrape.

Now that the weekend is here, I might have the time to get in more than one decent ride a day. But will I have the strength?

Edited by beast@tanagra

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