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  1. #1
    Senior Member G1nko's Avatar
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    Bionx - Removing the speed limit with BigXionFlasher

    This morning I reset my BionX system to remove the speed limit. With my current gearing, the maximum speed I can go is about 25mpg, but honestly, I wouldn't want to go much faster. At full-assist, the bike quickly gets up to speed and stays there with little effort. At lower assist levels, the bike acts just like it always does, with the assist matching my effort.

    Following the directions for the BigXionFlasher, I purchased a Crumb128 5.0 from chip45.com in Germany. I also purchased a male HR30-6J-6P hirose connector and a female HR30-6P-6S hirose connector from DigiKey. Everything showed up yesterday, so this morning I sat down and started soldering. I used an extra ethernet cable with the extra pair removed, since the Cat5e cable was 4-pair and I only needed 3-pair.

    The pins on the hirose connectors are really small; it was necessary to tin the wires on the cable long and then cut them to length, about 3mm. I also pre-tinned the pins on the connector. That made the actual connection of the cable to the connector relatively straightforward. This took about 90 minutes to prep everything and do the work.

    Following the directions, I checked the cable to make sure it worked. When it did, I cut it and soldered in the Crumb128 board according to the diagram on the BigXionFlasher website. This took about 30 minutes and was pretty straightforward. I only cut the cables to pins 2, 4, and 6, leaving pins 1, 3, and 5 connected. This made for less soldering since the odd number pins are pass through; they don't connect to the Crumb128.

    After that, flashing the board with the firmware was pretty easy. Windows 7 did not automatically install the driver for the CP2120 USB to UART Converter from Silicon Labs and install it manually. After that, though, everything went smooth. It took about 10 minutes to get the board connected to my PC and flashed. From there, I connected it to my BionX system. The cable from the console connects into one side of the Crumb128, the cable from the battery connects to the other. Everything loaded and a few seconds later I got a message saying my speed limit was off.

    The directions on BigXionFlasher seemed difficult to follow, but once I had all the parts in hand, it made a lot more sense. This was a pretty easy project, all in all. The worst parts were waiting for the Crumb128 from Germany (and even that didn't take too long) and soldering the pins on the hirose connectors.

    I don't plan on doing 25 very often, but there are some busy intersections on my commute where I have to take the center lane or the left lane. Drivers seem ignorant of my right to use the roads and can be unpleasant to deal with at times. It'll be nice being able to move through those intersections at a speed more closely matching traffic and then drop down to normal cruising speed.

    image.jpg image2.jpg
    '11 WorkCycles Secret Service | '98 Waterford 1250 | '87 Trek 330 | '75 Peugeot UO-8 | '48 Raleigh Dawn Tourist

  2. #2
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    WOW, I wish someone could just leak the code, and I could just do it on the console by punching in some numbers... But good for you, I hope someday I can do that to my set up too, that sounds just like what I would concider a perfect set up...
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

  3. #3
    Senior Member 15rms's Avatar
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    G! do you have the new 48 volt system?

  4. #4
    Senior Member G1nko's Avatar
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    Yes, it's the SL350 48v rear rack mount.

    I found an interesting downside to increased speed the other day. I was late for a dentist appointment and had to get 8 miles in <15 mins so I cranked it a little. I hit an expansion joint on a bridge really hard and dislodged the battery from the mount which knocked out power to the system. I couldn't unlock the battery from the rack because having it knocked out of the mounting rail put enough pressure on the locking mechanism to make it so I couldn't operate the lock.

    I had to put pressure down on one side of the battery to force it back over the mounting rail so I could release the lock (which was now broken), slide the battery out, and remount it. I didn't make it to the dentist.

    Watch out for the extra speed; it'll get you one way or another.
    '11 WorkCycles Secret Service | '98 Waterford 1250 | '87 Trek 330 | '75 Peugeot UO-8 | '48 Raleigh Dawn Tourist

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    That is interesting... I was just thinking, Why didn't they put some rubber grommets in the mounting points onto the rear rack mount to the bike frame? It would be SOooo much less vibration to the battery, and the battery wouldn't take a beating at every pothole and crack in the road that the bike hits...?
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

  6. #6
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    Regarding the battery coming loose, my system is six years old (I2C) and I've only had it come loose once, and that was a result of my ignorance in not properly locking it onto the dock the first week I had it. My mount is the downtube type. I've found them to be really secure when mounted on a rear rack instead of downtube. I suspect the engineering is a little more rugged. I mounted it on a rear rack because the forces on a downtube mounted battery worried me. A couple of screws on a water bottle mount don't seem very secure to me. I might have gone for the factory rackmount had it been available when I bought this system.

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    IMPORTANT - when ordering a Crumb128 5.0 please do not forget to specify a bootloader to be preinstalled. I made that mistake. I did not notice a check box for it on the chip45’s order page and I got a board that could not be flashed with their GUI. Fortunately, a local electronic shop has an inexpensive ISP adapter – usbtiny ($22 CND) which I used to install the BigXionFlasher software. Still, that simple mistake delayed me for few days for learning about MCU programming and tools used.
    One more thing I would also recommend. Instead of buying hirose connectors and wire just buy a BionX communication cable extension. They come in different lengths – from 30cm to more than a meter. On this way you will avoid soldering those tiny pins which is next to impossible with any standard soldering tool. The connector is easy to unscrew so you can see which coloured wires you will need to cut.
    Anyway – the final result is excellent. My good old 20” wheel 500W BionX system with the new 48V battery now goes over 50 km/h. The max speed when there is no load is just over 60 km/h, but with my weight and air resistance the real speed is around 50 on a level ground.

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    Quote Originally Posted by janko View Post
    IMPORTANT - when ordering a Crumb128 5.0 please do not forget to specify a bootloader to be preinstalled. I made that mistake. I did not notice a check box for it on the chip45’s order page and I got a board that could not be flashed with their GUI. Fortunately, a local electronic shop has an inexpensive ISP adapter – usbtiny ($22 CND) which I used to install the BigXionFlasher software. Still, that simple mistake delayed me for few days for learning about MCU programming and tools used.
    One more thing I would also recommend. Instead of buying hirose connectors and wire just buy a BionX communication cable extension. They come in different lengths – from 30cm to more than a meter. On this way you will avoid soldering those tiny pins which is next to impossible with any standard soldering tool. The connector is easy to unscrew so you can see which coloured wires you will need to cut.
    Anyway – the final result is excellent. My good old 20” wheel 500W BionX system with the new 48V battery now goes over 50 km/h. The max speed when there is no load is just over 60 km/h, but with my weight and air resistance the real speed is around 50 on a level ground.
    Hey, curious if you did the official BionX extension cable method? Would you just strip a portion of the cable in the middle and cut the neccesary 3 wires?

    And am I reading the German site right in that you a connecting the Crumb128 so that the three wires come from one end of the connector, to the crumb128, then out to the other end of the connector? So it's just sitting in the middle on those three wires, passthrough on the others?

    I hate soldering tiny things so the official bionx cable method might be really nice, if a bit more expensive!

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    Yep. That's the main reason I didn't go with the BionX kit on my first build. I hate the speed restriction. Although for an extra 5 mph, I'm not sure it's worth the trouble you seem to have to go through to get it removed. I'd love to see someone do this on their new 500 watt system.

  10. #10
    Senior Member istomtom's Avatar
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    I offer an unlocking service in Phoenix AZ. $89 + buyer pays shipping both ways.

    I can remove your Bionx system speed limits. Process is entirely software based, no modifications made to the system, however it does require a temporary hardware connection. Process is also reversible should you want it reversed. I'll reverse it for free, you just pay shipping both ways. Technically voids your warranty. Use bikeflights.com for cheap shipping. As it does require a temporary hardware connection, you need to ship the MOTOR and CONSOLE to me, but not the entire bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by bareyb View Post
    Yep. That's the main reason I didn't go with the BionX kit on my first build. I hate the speed restriction. Although for an extra 5 mph, I'm not sure it's worth the trouble you seem to have to go through to get it removed. I'd love to see someone do this on their new 500 watt system.
    Last edited by istomtom; 06-25-15 at 11:33 AM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member 15rms's Avatar
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    istomtom a few questions. I have a Bionx 350 watt 48volt with the 8.8 amp battery. How fast would my bionx bike run if you take off the limiter? How would it affect the range? If it is software based why do you need the wheel? Thanks.

  12. #12
    Senior Member G1nko's Avatar
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    The firmware is loaded on the unit I built, which is just a knock-off of the dealer units. It sits between the console and the wheel. You need to have the console connected to the wheel because you need to get the firmware to load; it won't do that if it doesn't see the wheel. When you turn the unit on, it brings up the firmware menu system. One of the options in the menu is "set the speed limit to <speed limit>." If you enter "0" it turns off the speed limiter. Should you ever need to turn the limit back on, you just hook up the unit again and set the speed limit value to 20 (or 32 for you metric folks).

    You can also use the firmware menu to "set the initial assist level after power on" or "set the minimum speed limit" etc.

    There's no way to predict what your maximum speed will be or how your range will be affected. Since there's no speed limit, it'll go as fast as the limitations of the motor, weight of the bike + you, size of the tires, terrain, etc. permit. I can go about 27mph tops on my 35lb Peugeot + 220lb me on flat terrain. Going faster definitely eats the battery faster. Your situation will obviously vary based on your criteria.

    For me, however, it's not necessarily going 27mph that's important. Rather, it's eliminating the really annoying stop-and-go sensation when you hit 20 and the motor drops out, then you drop below 20 and it kicks back in, then it drops, then it kicks in, etc, etc... It's just nice and smooth, no matter the speed.
    '11 WorkCycles Secret Service | '98 Waterford 1250 | '87 Trek 330 | '75 Peugeot UO-8 | '48 Raleigh Dawn Tourist

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    Quote Originally Posted by G1nko View Post
    The firmware is loaded on the unit I built, which is just a knock-off of the dealer units. It sits between the console and the wheel. You need to have the console connected to the wheel because you need to get the firmware to load; it won't do that if it doesn't see the wheel. When you turn the unit on, it brings up the firmware menu system. One of the options in the menu is "set the speed limit to <speed limit>." If you enter "0" it turns off the speed limiter. Should you ever need to turn the limit back on, you just hook up the unit again and set the speed limit value to 20 (or 32 for you metric folks).

    You can also use the firmware menu to "set the initial assist level after power on" or "set the minimum speed limit" etc.

    There's no way to predict what your maximum speed will be or how your range will be affected. Since there's no speed limit, it'll go as fast as the limitations of the motor, weight of the bike + you, size of the tires, terrain, etc. permit. I can go about 27mph tops on my 35lb Peugeot + 220lb me on flat terrain. Going faster definitely eats the battery faster. Your situation will obviously vary based on your criteria.

    For me, however, it's not necessarily going 27mph that's important. Rather, it's eliminating the really annoying stop-and-go sensation when you hit 20 and the motor drops out, then you drop below 20 and it kicks back in, then it drops, then it kicks in, etc, etc... It's just nice and smooth, no matter the speed.
    Yes, exactly... If it wasn't for that, I too would be happy enough with the 32Km cut off... Everything else about the BionX system it primo, well done, works seamlessly totally silently and excellent quality and range in PAS mode too, But then, the sudden cut off of power and then the sudden application of power when using the throttle at the 32Km cut off speed just really sucks... Other than that I am 99% happy with the system, if they eventually fix that glitch, and came out with a firmware update I would be 100% happy with it and if they also gave you a choice for the speed cut off for off road, or road legal setting, I would become their fanboy for life...
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

  14. #14
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    BionX seems to really limit their customer base with the "speed limiter". Wonder why they can't have one "off road" only system, especially with the increasingly competitive market in which they exist.

  15. #15
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    Yea, I think they are "missing" that boat on this one...
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

  16. #16
    Senior Member istomtom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 15rms View Post
    istomtom a few questions. I have a Bionx 350 watt 48volt with the 8.8 amp battery. How fast would my bionx bike run if you take off the limiter? How would it affect the range? If it is software based why do you need the wheel? Thanks.
    Sorry for the delay in response. I did not get a reply notification.

    The top speed will vary depending on many factors including: Rider weight, age of system, terrain, wheel size, headwind/tailwind, etc. Our pretty tired cargo bike whose battery range is significantly reduced due to age, does 24mph on flat ground, 26 with light pedaling and 31 with the wheel off the ground. How it affects range is very hard to quantify, obviously it will reduce your range, just how much will vary greatly.

    Removal of the limits requires a temporary hardware connection to rewrite the firmware (embedded software in the bionx system).

    Thank you!
    Last edited by istomtom; 06-25-15 at 11:08 AM.

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    Senior Member istomtom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
    Yes, exactly... If it wasn't for that, I too would be happy enough with the 32Km cut off... Everything else about the BionX system it primo, well done, works seamlessly totally silently and excellent quality and range in PAS mode too, But then, the sudden cut off of power and then the sudden application of power when using the throttle at the 32Km cut off speed just really sucks... Other than that I am 99% happy with the system, if they eventually fix that glitch, and came out with a firmware update I would be 100% happy with it and if they also gave you a choice for the speed cut off for off road, or road legal setting, I would become their fanboy for life...
    I've spoken with Bionx on this cut-off, cut-in, cut-off issue. They tell me it can be resolved by setting the appropriate system model using the BBI (Bionx Bike Interface). I have tried this but it hasn't worked. They tell me if it doesn't work to request a remote support session via the BBI and one of their techs can resolve it remotely. I haven't done that, rather I just unlocked ours. I do know that this issue didn't always exist. At some point I updated firmware on our cargo bike and then noticed the issue.

    I will be installing a system this weekend and checking for the cut-off/cut-in issue, and if it is present I will be calling Bionx on Monday to resolve remotely and I'll let you know the result.
    Last edited by istomtom; 06-25-15 at 11:05 AM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by istomtom View Post
    I've spoken with Bionx on this cut-off, cut-in, cut-off issue. They tell me it can be resolved by setting the appropriate system model using the BBI (Bionx Bike Interface). I have tried this but it hasn't worked. They tell me if it doesn't work to request a remote support session via the BBI and one of their techs can resolve it remotely. I haven't done that, rather I just unlocked ours. I do know that this issue didn't always exist. At some point I updated firmware on our cargo bike and then noticed the issue.

    I will be installing a system this weekend and checking for the cut-off/cut-in issue, and if it is present I will be calling Bionx on Monday to resolve remotely and I'll let you know the result.
    Did this get anywhere? Be awesome to have a better top-end power management system from Bionx themselves so we wouldn't have to start thinking about buying parts to hack the thing and remove the limiter entirely

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    Agree totally with the above especially since doing so might invalidate their excellent two year warranty.
    Last edited by 2old; 07-20-15 at 09:18 PM.

  20. #20
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    Under, Is there any software for the BionX e-bike system? There actually is a 3 year warranty on some things... E-Bike FAQ - e-bike, electric bicycle systems | ridebionx.come-bike, electric bicycle systems | ridebionx.com
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

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    350, thanks; that makes adjusting even less likely.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2old View Post
    350, thanks; that makes adjusting even less likely.
    One can only hope that BionX eventually realizes they are loosing sales because of not having a choice as to the programing for legal on road or no limit off road set ups like almost all other E-Bikes have... They started to sell 500w motors now to try and keep sales. JMO
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

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    The 500 must pull like a truck to the cut off. I've got a local dealer and will try one soon.
    Also, I THINK they are losing OEM sales and may decide to try for more of the DIY market.

  24. #24
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    The do it yourself market is a tough place to be in for BionX as it's proprietary set up goes against the grain for people who want to build their mix and match set ups and the speed limiter doesn't help in any way. BionX is for people who want plug and play and are willing to pay for no muss no fuss quality set ups and good service when something goes wrong...
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

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    So this is mildly offtopic here, but this thread is what drove me to find some alternatives to permanent/warranty-impacting changes, to at least minimize the wall effect at 32km/h.

    I made the following changes to my Bionx setup last week and have noticed a dramatic change in how much bouncing on the wall I get. Now I also notice a MASSIVE improvement in pickup and power output, with a corresponding increase in battery usage of course. But it means things I would ride in level 4 for, I can now ride in level 3 at the same effort. So that's nice. But most importantly I can push past the 32km/h wall under my own steam and not notice the system trying to defeat me (other than the weight of the bike and wind resistance at speed, etc.).

    To make these changes on a G2 console, turn it on, press and hold Power and Mode (the console display changer button) until you see four 0's. + and - to change each number, power to move to next number, power one more time to confirm, console will restart with the new setting. Make note of what your settings were previously to put them back if you don't like something.

    0007 - set to 3.0 (sensor sensitivity)
    0008 - set A to 4.0, B to 3.0 (extra assistance)
    1234 - set to 2 (sensor speed signal)

    Now I don't know which of these was the most effective at the change, but likely 0007 or 1234, but it feels like I get full power to 32km/h now, and then no sudden massive drag pulling me down after, it just stops giving assistance. Before it would get to 27km/h or so and start to give low assistance, then would feel like the regenerative braking was on from 32 to 35 or so. Making it super tough to push past except on downhills. Now I often look down and notice I'm doing 35, under my own steam, without having felt that huge drag at 32.

    Feels much more natural now at the top end, but again tone down your assist levels by one if you don't want the extra power It's always there if you need it though!

    I also did a throttle calibration at the same time as I noticed fully depressing my throttle only got me to around 3/4 of the bar full on flat ground. Now it gives full power. Hopefully this helps someone

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