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Old 12-12-2007, 12:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Dirt-E Bike (Kawasaki KE-175 Electric Conversion)

The links below are to a fun project that I've been working on over the last few months.



Section 1 details cleaning-up the frame and refurbishing a scrapped out Kawasaki KE-175 rolling frame, and adding off the shelf parts to convert to electric drive.

http://www.theworkshop.ca/energy/dirt_e/dirt_e.htm

The next section (just posted Dec 11th/07) is an open source hack of a cheap 36V / 40A controller to either 60V or 72V at 25A, 40A or 100Amps.

http://www.theworkshop.ca/energy/dirt_e/2/2.htm


Last edited by MetroMPG; 12-12-2007 at 12:32 PM.. Reason: added a pic
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Old 12-12-2007, 12:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hey - welcome, Frank.

People: those of you who are of the DIY sort, I highly recommend a look through Frank's web site. Tons of cool projects, ForkenSwift style.

Lots of inspiration and ideas to be found there from e-bikes, to various electric utility vehicles, to recumbent human-powered generators, just to name a few.

I believe I first discovered theworshop through the Make blog, and then realized we're actually located in the same neck of the woods. More or less.

I haven't met Frank in person yet, but we've both issued standing invitations to stop in and see the project vehicles.
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Old 12-12-2007, 05:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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This looks super cool! I've also been to your page before, so it's so cool to have you here!

Thanks for stopping by,
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Old 12-21-2007, 10:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Great bike! I'll be interested to see how you arrange the batteries in the finished bike. Most bike conversions end up with four big, ugly square lead/acid batteries hanging out in front of the rider's legs. Looks terrible, and is horrible for aerodynamics.

I'm also interested in your plans to wean your house off of the grid. I'm planning on, at least, covering the power requirements for the aircon in summer. Have you looked at solar-heated stirling generators? I prefer them over solar panels myself, because they can be maintained. Wheras solar panels are a not repairable if damaged by hail or something. I could also build one in my garage - once I get one.
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Old 12-22-2007, 09:13 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Well I had no choice but to go with the "Ugly" front mount Lead Block arrangement... But aerodynamics are less of a concern with this project as it's not likely to go much above 20-25km/h...

Part # 3 is just posted (dec 22nd 2007) below...

http://www.theworkshop.ca/energy/dirt_e/3/3.htm
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Old 12-22-2007, 09:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Nice update, Frank. I like what I see. Posted your link to the EVCO e-mail discuss list as well.

Since motor heating is a concern, did you consider a beefier fan?
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Old 12-22-2007, 09:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hey DC...

I did consider replacing the basic fan with a squirrel cage blower, but the reality is that the windings just aren't designed for that kind of abuse.

The more I think about it, the more I'd be well served to learn about motor re-winding (at least on this small (under 4800watt) stuff).

The motor is hitting over 6000RPM at no load and is likely close to it's limit before it starts to let loose. Where a heavier armature would lower the RPM and offer a majour torque boost, which is what I'm after.

Think about the Dirt-E as a two wheeled tractor
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Old 12-22-2007, 09:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Nice! Though that motor does stick out a bit, I suppose if you drop the bike things are going to break anyway, so it's not that bad :P

I can't wait to see a video of it in action or something.
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Old 12-22-2007, 11:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankG View Post
Think about the Dirt-E as a two wheeled tractor
A lot of your projects have tractor-like functionality, whether 2, 3 or 4 wheels

Not that there's anything wrong with that!
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Old 12-22-2007, 11:22 AM   #10 (permalink)
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MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 52.8 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 61.98 mpg (US)

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One other thing. I loved the "red zone" you coloured in on your ammeter. I've learned that the voltmeter needs a red zone too. I watch amps when the batteries are freshly charged, and volts (like a hawk) when they start to get tired. (Can you tell I've ruined a couple by reversing cells?)

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