The annual car-free festival has grown by leaps and bounds since a few visionaries first opened up Commercial drive to the walking public several years ago. Last year we participated with a "Car Free Vehicle Show" on a section of Main Street to good effect, introducing a lot of people to the car free transportation possibilities that exist with electric assist bicycles and tricycles. Our cargo trike was a huge success ferrying people up and down the road all day long. This year we'll be bringing our fleet and also a whole pile of unicycles too, always something new to try. The road closure has expanded to cover Main Street all the way to King Edward. We'll likely be stationed around 18th and Main.
The last three kWhr electric bicycle rides have been great fun, with upwards 14-18 people showing up for longer trips along the water and winding up for drinks and food at the Jericho Sailing Club. This June it's going to be extra special with a bunch of us bringing portable barbeques and finishing the ride with a full fledged summer picnic on the beach. So come all and help make it the largest group ebike ride yet, leaving 6pm on June 12th at the Vancouver Public Library, and bring barbeque food if you got it.
The Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association's annual EV show is happening this coming Saturday at the Burnaby Sports Field. This is a free event for the public to check out all kinds electric cars, scooters, skateboards, and bicycles, ranging from commercial booths to home-made conversions. There is a small track for you to test ride the various contraptions and lots of people to meet.
Finally, last night (June 2nd) was the grand opening of a new exhibit at the Museum of Vancouver called "Velo City, Vancouver and the Bicycle Revolution".. The purpose of the show is to tell the often overlooked stories of the various bicycle cultures here and how they are shaping up to redefine our city life. Among the many items on display, from the land speed record Diablo, to the freak bikes, to courier fixies, BMX's, and trials bikes, is the weathered and dirty but still working semi-recumbent Xtracycle conversion that traveled 7100km across Canada last summer! Thanks to all the people who contributed to purchasing the Big Dummy frame and who by so doing encouraged keeping this bike in tact. Less than a year later it is already in a museum as a piece of history.
The exhibit runs for three months until the end of September and is well worth checking out.
Although we initially had the eZee controllers modified and advertised as being 48V capable, there have been enough failures at this point that we are going to back down and only suggest them for 36V operation. Under heavy load conditions at 48V, such as going up a long steep hill full throttle, there is a possibility of a mosfet frying. This didn't happen in our original 48V testing as we were using 8AH NiCad packs which would sag to about 43V at 20A currents. But the trend recently has been for "48V" 16 cell LiFePO4 batteries (more properly called 52V packs), and these deliver a higher voltage to the controller under load which can more easily put it over the edge.
For customers currently running their eZee kits at 48V, we recommend using a Cycle Analyst to limit the current draw to 15 amps max. When we receive the new controllers alluded to in the previous paragraph and have validated their robustness at 48V, then we give the option of exchanging these for the eZee controllers so that you have the 48V capability originally implied.
June is bicycle month in Vancouver and this year is off to a rocking start with one of the warmest and sunniest summer weather systems we've had in ages. The bike paths are overflowing with happy riders and new commuters, and tons of bicycle themed events are taking place around town
The Cycle Analyst firmware version 2.1 is now officially released through the entire line of CA products. For most users there is little material difference, the trip amp-hours and distance can now go up to 1999 Ah or Km respectively, instead of 199, and the #poles variable for CA-DP devices now goes up to 99 instead of just 14 poles. But for those who like to tinker, there are extra pads now used for datalogging and external control of the speed or current limit, as explained on the first announcement last year. For those who are in and out familiar with microchip programming, the hex code is available for download here.
On the subject of Cycle Analysts and data logging, we now have a cable assembly prepared that enables you to record the data coming off a CA into your computer or laptop through the standard USB port. This device requires soldering to the Gnd and Tx pads on the Cycle Analyst circuitboard. It includes a built in serial -> USB converter, so it will show up as a COM port on your computer and the data can be viewed and logged with hyperterminal or any other standard terminal program.
It seems that a lot of people who were purchasing the high current Cycle Analyst models did not already have a shunt on hand, so we are now carrying a large 0.25 mOhm shunt that is suitable for 200-300 amps of continuous current and up to 600 amps peak, which will cover a wide range of large EV applications. This part is listed on our accessories store page.
We have also sourced a great metal enclosed 12V halogen light series that mates perfectly with our DC-DC converters. So for those who want more brightness than the LED lights, these halogen lights with a 12V DC-DC will command more than just a presence on the road. We have both 5W and 10W bulb options available, and will be releasing a dual light in the near future that will give up to 20W of illumination.