Thursday, October 11, 2012

Meetup Message Board Update

   Hello to all my fellow Toronto e-bikers, blog readers, and just curious guests! Today I finally figured out how to regularly post news and updates from an excellent Meetup group called Toronto Electric Riders Association or symbolically  - "TERA" of which I am active and proud member myself (which makes me wondering  - should I call myself now "TERArian" or "TERArist"? :-), so here it is. Now every visitor of this blog will be able to learn about this abundant source of all kind of help, advice and assistance for all active and interested e-riders of T.O. I hope within the time these updates will bring many more new e-bikers from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, US and from around the world to TERA where we can share our visions, ideas and thoughts.

*Please do not reply to this message*
You asked that we send you a summary of Meetup message board activity. The following is a list of discussions with new messages posted since October 10, 2012 3:45 AM.

Forum: Private Group Discussion Forum

STRATEGY - Public Works and Infrastructure Committee meeting October 11
Latest message by m3chen on October 10, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Lock is in the hospital
Latest message by Katie Tucker on October 10, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Forum: Where to buy an e-bike or e-bike accessories?

Advice needed to get my ebike back on the road.
Latest message by Lubo Ebiker on October 10, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Forum: E-bike Experiences

Changing from large scooter style e-bike to smaller
Latest message by Fred Weigel on October 10, 2012 at 8:35 AM

My experience using LifePo4 so far and some advice
Latest message by Ramon on October 10, 2012 at 9:38 PM

Forum: E-Bike Technical Forum

I guess it had to happen sooner or later ... :(
Latest message by m3chen on October 10, 2012 at 3:17 PM

BMS wiring
Latest message by Tariq Aziz on October 11, 2012 at 12:20 AM

Forum: Biker Bar

Who Killed the Electric Carriage?
Latest message by Allan Harmsworth on October 11, 2012 at 2:27 AM

Forum: Top 20 Questions with Snappy (but accurate) comebacks.

Winter Riding - I am planning on leaving on my pedals but removing the chain
Latest message by Andy McKenna on October 10, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Add to your address book to receive all Meetup emails

To manage your email settings, go to:
Meetup, PO Box 4668 #37895 New York, New York 10163-4668

Meetup HQ in NYC is hiring!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

About the Winter storage for your e-bike... again! :-)

   Hi, fellas! We all know - old man Winter is coming, and how hard is it sometimes to find a good warm cozy stable for our faithful and so handy little electric horses. After 5 years of e-biking in Canada I know that very well too, since I'm living in the apartment like most of you too, so this year I've decided to try and help my fellow e-biking Torontonians to cope with that problem in a most efficient, elegant, meaningful and affordable way offering the thoroughly put together unbeatable storage and service package for just mere $50 a months which at the end of the cold season will not even buy you a decent new lead-acid battery, but will keep your horse and his energy source in a good or even better shape than it was, so here's my ad I run currently on Toronto's Kijiji website:

  Store your e-bike securely indoor over the winter in a regular secure public storage facility for $50 per month and get your e-bike or scooter and battery maintained and ready for the next riding season for free during the entire cold season from November thru March or you can store only your battery in a heated climate controlled secure indoor storage for just $20 per months and still have it regularly charged and professionally maintained.

Free E- bike maintenance includes:

- Drum brake pads checked and properly adjusted or replaced
- Tires pumped and kept up to the specified pressure
- All bearings and gears lubricated
- Screws, bolts and nuts tightened
- Loose plastic parts reattached
- Loose wires and parts secured
- Power lines checked and their efficiency measured and  analyzed
- Small plastic cracks fixed
- Small dents on plastic repainted

Free SLA battery maintenance includes:

- Original condition and performance analyzed and recorded
- Capacity checked and accurately measured at multiple loads
- Every SLA cell capacity analyzed individually and labeled
- Overall battery performance balanced and battery trained
- Weak cells detected and reconditioned or replaced
- Battery training and reconditioning progress measured and recorded
- Battery wires checked and battery properly reassembled
- Battery case fixed if needed

Free pickup and delivery within GTA.
Free access to the storage by appointment.
Free consultation, advices, battery performance and capacity analysis.

Other free and paid repairs, fixes, services or arrangements are possible.

The labor and maintenance are free if e-bike is stored for at least three months. Parts are extra.

On the pictures above you can see me and my all terrain all season powerful horse :-)

Any questions by phone or e-mail are welcome.

Your fellow e-biker Lubo. 

 E b i k e r L u b o & B i k e R i d e r . c o m
( 6 4 7 ) 5 4 7 - 3 7 1 2 

If you do not want your e-bike battery look like this...

   If you do not want your batteries look like in the picture above, here's my personal humble piece of advice that works with any charger. Just to be on the safe side after one morning I've found my battery almost "red hot" (but luckily not melted, swollen and fused together) I've got the idea to use a regular cheap mechanical cyclic timer along with the chargers I plug in the timer. I set the timer to turn OFF and ON every 15 minutes, so the batteries and chargers have time to cool down and chargers detect the charging state of the battery better when just turned ON as I've noticed after dealing with about a dozen of  different chargers for the last 5 years of e-biking.
   This way chargers do not have a chance to get stuck in the ON state charging indefinitely until the battery melts. Besides, since the timer is 24 hours while only approximately 6 to 8 hours is needed for a complete charging of the battery, you can set up additional 3 or 4 zones or charging modes for your battery like extended charging periods or extend the cooling time. If that sounds too complicated or too "techie" to you, you can always order the right timer already setup for all these modes just by letting me know that you need one, pay by PayPal or e-mail and get it soon by a regular mail or UPS or you can purchase it thru E-bay if  it is more convenient or preferable way for you.
   You can find timers anywhere, even in dollar store these days, but make sure they are mechanical, cyclic and are able to switch as often as every 15 minutes to make sure your charger doesn't get too much rest during the night shift :-). Usually cheap timers are able to switch ON and OFF only every 30 minutes, so those with better 15 min timing resolution are a bit harder to find, but not too hard. I picked one from Walmart for 20 bucks or so which comes with the power bar, so you should find one like those easy as well.  So, that's just my two cents in preventing battery melting - the cheap and easiest way (at least until you're rich enough to afford a better charger that does not melt any batteries at all :-) Obviously aforementioned method is just a preventive measure, it is not a panacea to prevent overcharging. After all there are also just plain faulty batteries with shorted cells and so on, so keep an eye even with timer on your charger and battery as often as possible. But panacea or universal and foolproof method of preventing battery melting actually does exist. That would be a thermal shutdown protection, which turns off the charger as soon as the battery temperature reaches the certain temperature threshold like let's say 40C. I'm going to look for this sort of solution, so stay tuned and visit my blog or sign up for updates.  
   And if you find a better solution or even cheaper 15 minutes timers here in Toronto, let all the readers here know posting down bellow your findings in the comments. That would be your two cents :-) Thank you in advance!

Lubo Ebiker.