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  1. #1
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    Bionx like kit, without Battery Included?

    I have an electric scooter which at this point is mostly composed of custom components. It's got a 600 watt motor and a 36 watt 20 amp hour battery.

    I replaced the included 12AH battery with a home-brew Lithium-Ion battery - I got the cells from used laptop batteries. The cells have roughly half the capacity of the cells when they were new, but it's still far better than a lead acid battery. If you're curious how to do this: Carefully dis-assemble the laptop batteries and run each cell through a battery testing kit, it's important to have the capacity of the installed cells roughly matched. Sometimes a few cells will be much more aged, one such cell can severely limit the capacity of the whole pack. Then wire it up with a control board such as one can purchase from www.batteryspace.com.

    Anyway, I would like to transfer this 20AH Lithium ion battery to an electric bicycle. The Bionx kit seems like it allows you to peddle and use battery assist, I really like this. There's no point in switching over from a scooter to a bike if it still will not be practical to peddle. The problem is, all Bionx kits come with a battery. This seems to indicate important circuitry is included in the battery component.

    Are there any kits with the same features as Bionx that are compatible with a user added battery? Or is Bionx actually compatible with non-Bionx batteries?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    It's easy being green. recumelectric's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure the Bionx kit will only take Bionx batteries. (That's one of its drawbacks.) ...However, I have thought that there might be a way to make it compatible with other battery sets. You would have to mold the Bionx cable and cable connector to create a cable that connected to another battery kit. I don't know if that's what it would take. It's just an idea I've had.

    Your story about the home-built battery makes me a little nervous for you. Unless it's lithium phosphate, there is an explosion risk with those batteries. Using them in a way that they weren't designed for increases the risk. Please be careful.
    When I ride, the troubles just roll off my back.

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  3. #3
    Hooligan Abneycat's Avatar
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    Actually, I have an interesting treat for you guys coming up. I've been working at an electric bicycle shop for the last week or two, helping them out as they have a staffing gap for the moment - the stop is Power in Motion. Ken Cheung (the owner) has been working on a project to unlock the BionX to other battery types, has succeeded, and is now ready to display the results. All I can say for now is, it can and now has been done, and some pictures will be up in here on Tuesday about it.

    Norske, you are correct, there is additional circuitry inside the BionX battery pack, and the job isn't as simple as simply rewiring some different connectors. Information will be up soon.

  4. #4
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    I appreciate the consideration

    They're being used as designed, have been for about six months. They're designed to be connected to purpose built PCBs - my setup is exactly the same thing you'd pay $700 for from a company like Bionx, but it cost me $150. I thought about stripping out a Bionx battery, but that'd defeat the purpose since at that point I wouldn't be saving any money.

    Abneycat, great news! I'm looking forward to it. In the mean time, are there any other kits which have similar features as Bionx but are more battery compatible?

  5. #5
    Senior Member 15rms's Avatar
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    Abney cat that is really good news. I am ready to build a electric recumbent. Being able to add 10amps to the Bionx is just what I would like to do. Is this going to take a electrician or will a hobbyist be able to do it?

  6. #6
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    Hey anyone got a recommendation for a folding bike that I could add a kit to?

    I think I'm going to go with one of cheaper throttle type electric bike kits and hook up my battery to that. It's a brushless hub motor, so the folding bike needs a standard wheel size.

    Montague seems like the way to go. Anyone else make strong folding bikes with full sized wheels?

    http://cgi.ebay.com/26-EVEREST-Foldi...QQcmdZViewItem

    This one looks interesting. EDIT: Looks like the quality isn't really there on this one, so I'm hunting around for a discount Montague folding bike...
    Last edited by NorskeDivision; 12-08-08 at 12:01 PM.

  7. #7
    Hooligan Abneycat's Avatar
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    Well, here you are. It looks like something you could manage to do, Power In Motion would do it for you if you were unsure for sure.

    The only downside is that you need one of those circuit boards that comes with the BionX battery! That would mean that you would need to be a prior BionX owner, or to get a hold of one of those boards somehow.

    Here's the post on Endless Sphere:

    http://endless-sphere.com/forums/vie...php?f=2&t=7813

  8. #8
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    Darn

    Might be worth a try contacting Bionx and seeing if I can get a "replacement" circuit for the battery, or maybe become a dealer (not sure how stringent their requirements are).

    Just a bit too expensive to be worth it to buy a battery or get a whole kit. With that $ difference I can build a few 36V 10AH recovered Li-On laptop battery packs. I'd like the efficiency of Bionx, but it doesn't pay for itself (for me at least).

  9. #9
    Senior Member raevyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorskeDivision View Post
    Hey anyone got a recommendation for a folding bike that I could add a kit to?

    I think I'm going to go with one of cheaper throttle type electric bike kits and hook up my battery to that. It's a brushless hub motor, so the folding bike needs a standard wheel size.

    Montague seems like the way to go. Anyone else make strong folding bikes with full sized wheels?

    http://cgi.ebay.com/26-EVEREST-Foldi...QQcmdZViewItem

    This one looks interesting. EDIT: Looks like the quality isn't really there on this one, so I'm hunting around for a discount Montague folding bike...
    you could also try looking at some Bazooka bikes. I know they make some with a 26" that happens to be a folder.
    Swing Dancin', Load Haullin' Mama!

  10. #10
    Senior Member raevyn's Avatar
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    PS!
    Power in motion just made a facebook page as well, that you can also contact them on
    Swing Dancin', Load Haullin' Mama!

  11. #11
    Senior Member 15rms's Avatar
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    If I am understanding this right? You would still have the bionx battery box empty of the batteries but with the circut board in it? I wonder if Its Electric is going to custom build? I am wanting to add a Bionx to my long wheel base recumbent. Hopefully put 2 10 amp batteries behind the seat. I would need a bionx with extended cables. So could they do this without using the bionx battery box? Also not sure how this would be better than just buying a bionx with an extra battery. Since it seems you have to discard the bionx batteries anyway.

    Thanks for any help you may be able to offer.

  12. #12
    Hooligan Abneycat's Avatar
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    Well, the circuit board naturally *does not* have to remain inside that battery case, there's a lot of wasted space there. That was simply done on request from the customer.

    They could certainly make you some extended cables or see if they are simply already available. PIM is very good with custom work.

    There are a few ways this is better, and a few ways it is different:

    1. Price. Seriously, the 37v/9.6a BionX battery retails for near $1000, while 3rd party equivalents (or better) can be had with *good quality and support* for around $500, not just for junk off eBay. Bionx replacement packs are $$$!

    2. Performance. Hooking up one BionX pack as you went, then another, your system is still only accessing a 9.6ah battery. One battery running at a higher capacity or more running in parallel, and the ability to put amps out without sag while going uphill and accelerating is better. Plus, you don't have to stop and switch packs, and the person with the one large battery doesn't have to have two chargers or charge them one at a time.

    3. Options. Lithium phosphate (LiFEPO4? Check!).. You get the picture.

    I don't expect that anyone would buy a BionX, then rip apart the battery right away so that they could use someone else's pack. This is more an option for those who have one already and want options for when their battery goes, or for anyone who might be able to get a hold of that circuit board. I don't know how easy it would be to aquire one.

    Thats the unfortunate part it seems, that its not easy to just hack in and get going without being a pre-owner.

    It may also be possible to isolate the BionX battery, then simply re-wire it to have Anderson connectors and a charge port on it, so that the pack would not be wasted and could simply be reconnected. Will inquire about that!

  13. #13
    Senior Member raevyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abneycat View Post
    Well, here you are. It looks like something you could manage to do, Power In Motion would do it for you if you were unsure for sure.

    The only downside is that you need one of those circuit boards that comes with the BionX battery! That would mean that you would need to be a prior BionX owner, or to get a hold of one of those boards somehow.

    Here's the post on Endless Sphere:

    http://endless-sphere.com/forums/vie...php?f=2&t=7813
    ^.^ i thought i did a good job on that one. we still need to work out a few things such as casings and making the connections look a bit prettier, but otherwise it works well
    Swing Dancin', Load Haullin' Mama!

  14. #14
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    Yeah, thanks a million for posting that!

    Great information.

    @ Abneycat
    I was hoping I would not need to get a battery from BionX, I was thinking I could just get the hub motor and the controller, then hook up my own 20AH battery. Would have been sweet :-\

  15. #15
    Hooligan Abneycat's Avatar
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    Norske, yeah. I didn't have that information myself either, until I was working on that report. It is unfortunate, but at least opens up options for some others who jumped in and realized that they were pretty much trapped.

    Perhaps someone can get a hold of those boards somewhere though, or maybe if BionX just sees enough people going this route they'll consider opening the system up more.

    As for the folders, Dahon, Montague and Bazooka all have some full sized ones. Monties are the only ones without a centralized hinge though, their folding design is probably a bit tougher.

    The 20" folders have some nice options too, if you don't need to off road.

  16. #16
    Hooligan Abneycat's Avatar
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    I checked into it, and yes, a new BionX owner could do this hack without ruining their battery, just by splicing connectors onto the old battery and wiring it back in. There is something to note:

    The BionX battery *does not* have a BMS, and should not be used in *anything* except a BionX.

    But, a new user could purchase a BionX system, and use a second battery, plus have the system "opened" without needing to waste a battery or break the bank. You would have to run your batteries one at a time if they were two different configurations though.

    So there you have it. That particular piece of news is better = )

  17. #17
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    Adding Battery to Bionx

    I'm a PL350 Bionx kit owner and am thinking of doing it this way. Buy a Ping 36V 16Ah LiFePo4 battery connect it to a male XLR plug pin 2 - and pin 4 +. Plug it into the old battery charger port. It would constantly charge the OEM battery and more than double your range. Think this would work?

    Stan

  18. #18
    Senior Member raevyn's Avatar
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    It is possible that it would work, I would have to take a look at how i wired the battery at the store before I can say for sure. it as a while ago. are you in calgary? you could always bring the battery by and we could take a look at it.
    Swing Dancin', Load Haullin' Mama!

  19. #19
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    Smile Parallel a Bionx Battery via XLR Port

    Thanks for your kind offer of help Raevyn :

    I live in Utica, N.Y. about 2000 miles from you....Anyway, when I plug my voltmeter into the Bionx XLR charger port, pins 2 and 4, I can read the battery voltage directly and it goes up and down a 1-2 volts depending on how hard I'm pushing the controller throttle w/bike in a resistance trainer. The Bionx charger charges through pins 1 and 3, but uses pins 2 and 4 to read the battery voltage directly, to indicate to the charger when the batt. is full to stop charging. From your experience do pins 2(-) and 4(+) connect directly to the battery?? If so would an outboard LiFe Bionx OEM battery, of the same voltage as the OEM battery, act as a constant battery charger???? Seems like this might be easier than opening the battery case, soldering charging wires to the OEM battery pack outlet, and routing the two wires out to an Anderson connector leading to an outboard parallel battery. Your help would be much appreciated. p.s. Did Ken ever make his video on how he did it? pps. Could you please reply through my email listed below 'cause it's hard to find replies in this forum.

    Stan
    srg1941@juno.com

  20. #20
    Senior Member raevyn's Avatar
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    Stan, I sent you an email as you requested, but since I like everyone else on here as well, I shall post it here too.

    We did make a video on converting the BionX battery, however it has not yet been edited or posted. I will see if I am able to finish that this weekend, and post it for all you fine people, as well and maybe take some labeled photos. Im not going to guarantee when it ill be finished though, as I have been pretty busy lately. But I shall do my best for all of you BionX bikers out there!

    Molly
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  21. #21
    Senior Member raevyn's Avatar
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    ok guys! i finally finished our video. I was unfortunately unable to take any photos, as we had already shipped the conversion back to the customer. sorry

    Here is a link to the video though!
    Swing Dancin', Load Haullin' Mama!

  22. #22
    Senior Member 15rms's Avatar
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    Raevyn thank you so much for your video. In a earlier post stang asked if it would be possible to just connect a auxiliary battery to a Bionx battery through the charge port of the Bionx battery. Is there any guess as to whether this would work?

  23. #23
    Senior Member raevyn's Avatar
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    to be honest, im not sure if that would work or not
    Swing Dancin', Load Haullin' Mama!

  24. #24
    Senior Member raevyn's Avatar
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    so, BionX has asked us to remove that video off the Power in motion facebook page, therefore it will be removed very shortly.
    Swing Dancin', Load Haullin' Mama!

  25. #25
    Senior Member misslexi's Avatar
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    Bummer. I wondered how long it would last, horse is out of the barn anyway.

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