All posts by zog

battery faded, have been slack this year: time to get mobile again

Well my battery eventually faded.. first to the level where I had to charge at work.. but then to the level where I don’t have the range to get to work.. i.e. less than 11km.
This is fine as I have clocked up the amount of charges well into what the stated life of the battery is, but now I note GREENEWHEELS don’t sell anything on ebay any more – well his store doesn’t exist.

But I noticed FLEW ELECTRIC CYCLES appear to be selling the same or similar bikes as the greenewheels ones, including replacement battery packs.

I’ve tee’d up a meeting just to verify that a FLEW ELECTRIC battery pack works.. but if so this could be very good for other GREENEWHEELS owners, having a Melbourne located source of replacement battery packs, and other parts.

The folding bikes on the site look cute as well.

UPDATE checked out the battery pack thanks to the very helpful Tom of FlewElectric, but unfortunately the battery pack is a different design and dimension. Tom is checking out to see if he can source ones like mine, but in the mean time I will suss out what kind of cells are in the greenewheel battery pack.

cheapowave speakers built

I have nicknamed them cheapowave as they are using some ideas from the “econowave” project as documented at AudioKarma, but using less expensive compression drivers. Given the total parts so far is about AUD $680 not actually that cheap, but the results are good.

Will document these in more detail in an article on MINIRIG

UPDATE: first draft of more detailed article now posted on Minirig

Here are some snapshots:

cheapowave finished
Continue reading

bottom bracket worn.. got it repaired. Battery a bit weaker but still fine

Well its now well over a year of riding the greenewheels bike and still going well.

I did have to get the bottom bracket fixed, it had started getting very loose, though this is evidently quite normal “consumable” in any bike getting a lot of use. The bike shop didn’t have a replacement part as the greenewheels parts are wider due to the electric stuff (not quite standard size), but they have managed to repair what is there so it is fine. Next time I’ll sort out sourcing the part, there are enough ebike shops that it should be available somewhere.

Took the bike to Dandenong Bicycle Superstore who did a good job, and sorted a lot of bike maintenance/ tuning type issues that I’ve had a fiddle at but never got quite right, like the spoke tensioning and stuff like that. And my rear brakes, which needed attention. The general service on the bike from these guys well worth it.

Also I suspect the range on a full charge is down to about 33KM from the 44KM range it had when new, this is the expected wear on the battery, but I’m guessing I still have another year of use from the battery before it needs replacement. This matches the stated expected battery life so all OK there, especially as I can still get to work and back on a charge with some range left over.

upgraded brakes to Avid BB7

Well although functional the front YUS disc brakes on the older greenewheels ebikes were always a bit fiddly to adjust. After nearly a year of service mine stopped being able to provide grip at all. I suspect it is just the brake pads wearing out, but really it was hard for me to tell.. and I was itching to upgrade to something easier to keep adjusted anyway.

Although I can see greenewheels are selling replacement calipers on ebay for this brake, I decided to upgrade to a more adjustable, higher grade brake, as part of the slow gradual upgrades I am doing now the bike is established as my main way to commute.

I got myself an Avid BB7 from Bayswater Cycles online shop after determining my bike has 51mm I.S. type mounts (and that the BB7 has a suitable bracket for for this mount.

Despite it appearing easy it took me a few goes to get it adjusted right, but after I did this brake is working really well, and seems quite easy to adjust. Also due to being one of the main “brand name” disc brakes brake pads and parts should be easy to source for it from nearby bike shops.

Avid BB7 installed on greenewheels ebike

While I was removing the YUS rotor to install the Avid 160mm rotor I managed to strip one of the allen bolts.. I reall hassle as it was stuck. Maybe my set of Allen keys that came with the bike wore out, or maybe I had mixed up my Allen keys with some non-metric ones, I’m not sure.
Anyway before I made too much more of a mess of it I took it to work where some of the very helpful workshiop guys were able to cut a slot in with a dremel and remove it for me with a screwdriver.
Straight after that I went to Bunnings and got some decent Bondhus allen keys.. for under $12 a great investment.

greenewheels ebay store has increased product range

Well I’m nearly up to 3000K clocked up on my bike, and nothing to report except I need to get in the routine of bike maintenance more.. apart from that the greenewheels bike is holding up quite well, I’m riding it in the cold, wet and dark to and from work without any hassles.

Just took a look at the Greenewheels Ebay Store and noticed they have increased their product range again, to include a bunch of spare parts and add on parts, as well as some addon kits for ebike conversion. Nice to see a range of parts available to replace if needed.

Of particular interest is the 350W off road version of the greenewheels bike, would be excellent for those mountain tracks in places where the road rules don’t apply but you need a bit of extra grunt.

Dell Mini9 netbook

A few weeks ago I got myself a Dell Mini9 netbook, purchased from Officeworks.

I actually wanted an ASUS EEE 901 but they appear to be out of production and hard to get.. Probably good I got the mini9 when I did as shortly after the mini9 stopped being made as well.
The Dell is virtually identical in specs to the ASUS, although it has a better keyboard, shorter battery life, and larger SSD.

In the USA they can be gotten with Linux pre-installed.. unfortunately I guess due to economies of scale here in Australia only XP is available, though. This problem was quickly fixed by installed Ubuntu Netbook Remix, which has worked perfectly on the mini9s hardware (wifi, bluetooth, webcam, sound, etc all work fine). In fact this distro of Linux is so nice to use I would recommend it as a general starter Linux distro for just getting general stuff done.

A few useful Dell Mini9 links:

Lucky I got a 9″ (aka 23.5cm) netbook with SSD now as it looks as they are getting rare, everyone moving to 10″ netbooks, which are more pricy at the moment, and/or using spinning hard disks rather than SSD storage.

After having 2 laptop hard disks fail in Thailand in 2 years – granted they were old laptops – its time to move on from clunky electro mechanical storage tech and go all solid state.

The small keyboard is not the greatest for typing anything long but fine for casual usage (web surfing, small emails, the odd command) and I really like how this is completely silent and has no moving parts.

A 16G SDHC card from MSY has doubled my storage capacity, and there is a netbook theme for MIXXX so I can have a dabble with some Linux based DJ software on it.

One thing the ASUS EEE 901 had that the Dell mini9 doesnt is a padded sleeve to protect it. I took a punt and got a cheap one from China via EBAY, it cost me $8 but is quite a nice little neoprene sleeve to stop it getting scratched.