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By OFFROADSCOOT
#30436
It's been a while since I've posted but I had to come back to share this $100 Craigslist find! Its an Auranthetic Charger Electric Motorbike built in the 1970's in California. It's street legal with DOT approved lights and signals, it even came with a clean title so I could get a tag for it. It originally ran on 2 12v deep cycle car batteries. The electronics are crude but work. It runs off of a series of solinoids and switches to modulate power by changing from 12v to 24v. It had a claimed top speed of 30mph and a range of 30 miles. It has what looks to be an industrial grade 1HP motor. I wired it up to test it and everything works as it should. My plan is to use a YK43B controller to run the motor and run the lights/signals/horn from a auxiliary battery pack using the factory wiring. I'll probably go Lithium Ion or Lipos for my power source to cut some weight. 2 car batteries weigh over 100lbs! Looking forward to starting this project.
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By OFFROADSCOOT
#30437
Advertisement from the 70's
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By OFFROADSCOOT
#30447
Best bet to find one is to keep an eye on Craigslist and at garage sales for people that don't know what they have. From what I read there were only a few 1000 made in the 70's. Reconditioned models have sold for close to $1000. The one I bought was sitting in storage for 22 years before the previous owner decided to clean out his garage. I'm loving this bike, somewhat nostalgic for people that like working on EVs or old minibikes.

I hooked up the YK43B and 24v24aH Lipo batteries to it last night. Rob, this is the YK I bought from you that ran terrible with the laptop batteries. It ran great with the Lipos which are 10C (so 240amp max current delivery). The Hall throttle was a vast improvement on the old on/off switch. Fastest scooter I have now. I reached 33mph before I ran out of road in my neighborhood. I'd like to get the speed up to 40mph though. My daily commute to work is on backstreets with a max speed of 35mph, so 40 would allow me to not hold up traffic.

The motor didn't even get warm. Do you guys think my motor will handle overvolting to 36 or 48 with the YK43B? I've overvolted before but not with the YK43B, that YK puts out a lot of amps. The motor is spec'ed as a 1HP 24v. Looks heavy duty, a little larger in diameter than a 1000w MY1020 and almost twice as long.
By OFFROADSCOOT
#30517
I haven't had alot of time to work on the Charger. I did get the YK43B mounted and I mounted the switch in the gas tank where the on-board charger use to be.
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By OFFROADSCOOT
#30518
Stock gearing is 6:1 60 tooth rear sprocket: 10 tooth front sprocket. It uses a standard 35 chain used on most gas powered minibikes and go carts. The front sprocket looks like a standard torque converter sprocket. I need to do some measurements but I found a 12 tooth that looks like it matches up. This should get me 5mph more on my top speed at the cost of acceleration. According to the Gear Ratio Calculator, this combined with an overvolt should get me 40mph top speed easy. Hopefully I'm not giving up too much acceleration or stressing the motor too much.

edit: bore size on the motor sprocket is 5/8
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Last edited by OFFROADSCOOT on Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By robnewyork
#30519
awesome ! love the switch mounting job!.. yes, hope the motor is up the the task , my bet is its a well made american motor
By OFFROADSCOOT
#30520
I did a little research, the motor is either a US Made KDB or Scott 1HP Industrial. Seems very beefy. It ran great at 24v. Its able to handle a full dump from 2 car batteries with minimal electronic safeguards, so it can handle alot of amps. I'm guessing if these motors got worn back in the 70s it was from people tooling around on 12v too much overheating it running it undervolted.

One good thing is that back in the 70s the US made some high quality tools. I still have a 1970s Western Auto drill that my dad gave me that still runs great! That being said, it's a 43 year old motor so I'm going to try to not fry it. It might be hard finding a replacement the same size which would mean doing some fabrication to the frame/mount to fit a new motor.
By robnewyork
#30521
good point , there was no pwm when this was designed , so its made to handle a good amount of amperage .. should be fine
By OFFROADSCOOT
#30522
Its really interesting how the original system worked. The nostalgic side of me wishes I would have just restored it using the original electronics. I'm no electrician but from doing research and looking at the components, it's basically a 2-speed on/off switch. speed 1 at half throttle and less is 12v, full twist of the throttle throws a switch which opens up speed 2 at 24v. No potentiometer or rheostat, its either off, on at 12 v or on at 24v. In between are series of solenoids and resistors. But the thing runs SO much better with modern technology so the hot rod side won out!
User avatar
By zogthegreat
#30539
Really nice work! LOL, for a moment there, because the way that the motor and controller are set up, I thought that you had installed a 2 stroke!
By OFFROADSCOOT
#30541
zogthegreat wrote:Really nice work! LOL, for a moment there, because the way that the motor and controller are set up, I thought that you had installed a 2 stroke!

Thanks, Ha! it does look like a clutch basket and air cooled fins, lol.
By OFFROADSCOOT
#30574
Found a Popular Mechanics 1974 article on the Charger that has a lot of good info. Ahead of its time.
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By OFFROADSCOOT
#30575
Hey Rob, I'm using your MX500 build with the .75Industrial and YK43B to try to calculate how I should gear the Charger. According to the specs you provided you were running 17T/80T. I think an MX500 rear tire diameter is 16", that would be a 4.71:1 ratio to get over 35mph. Does that sound right? I'm guessing motor to be around 3500rpm?

The charger comes stock with a 10T/60T with a 17" tire and goes about 30mph. It has a good bit of torque so I'm fairly certain they geared to to be under 30mph so it could be registered legally as a moped. To get close to the same gear ratio I could change to a 12T front (5:1) or a 13T front (4.62:1). With the 13T front top speed is 38mph which would meet my goal. This is with 24v 6S Lipo batteries. Another option I might try is to run a slight overvolt using 32V 8S Lipo batteries to get engine rpm up but use the 12T front sprocket to get better acceleration.
By robnewyork
#30578
OFFROADSCOOT wrote:Hey Rob, I'm using your MX500 build with the .75Industrial and YK43B to try to calculate how I should gear the Charger. According to the specs you provided you were running 17T/80T. I think an MX500 rear tire diameter is 16", that would be a 4.71:1 ratio to get over 35mph. Does that sound right? I'm guessing motor to be around 3500rpm?

The charger comes stock with a 10T/60T with a 17" tire and goes about 30mph. It has a good bit of torque so I'm fairly certain they geared to to be under 30mph so it could be registered legally as a moped. To get close to the same gear ratio I could change to a 12T front (5:1) or a 13T front (4.62:1). With the 13T front top speed is 38mph which would meet my goal. This is with 24v 6S Lipo batteries. Another option I might try is to run a slight overvolt using 32V 8S Lipo batteries to get engine rpm up but use the 12T front sprocket to get better acceleration.

just teill me the motor RPM , the rear wheel size , and the 2 sprocket sizes and Ill run it through the calculator..
By robnewyork
#30579
ID leave the gears alone , and run an overvolt about 32-36 v , this way u know u will be mid 30s.. We really have no way to tell the stock rpms of that motor, so no need to change gears at all.
By OFFROADSCOOT
#30582
Got the Charger wired up good enough for some testing. Took my time, used 8 gauge wire, lots of heat shrink and insulated the wires in some places using hose. I still need to finish the battery box and tuck the wires. 2 50cal ammo cans fit good where the car batteries went.

Test 1. 24v (6S) 24aH lipos. Ran ok, not real fast with a top speed of only 21mph. It was slower than when I tested it when I bought it with car batteries and stock electronics. The lipos were worn putting out maybe 22v. Not really impressed.

Test 2. 48v (12S) 12aH Lipos (same batteries as in test 1 but in series). Holly molly.... better hold on! Took off like a rocket and kept accelerating. I ran out of room in my neighborhood so I need a longer road to test top speed. I ran it for about 20 min then checked temp of motor and wires. The motor was only slightly warm. Wires were warm near the batteries but cool to the touch everywhere else. I initially blew a 150A fuse so I bypassed it and wired it direct for now. I may try a 200A later. So that means I'm pulling close to 7000W on acceleration! First time I felt I needed to wear a helmet.

I may try 36v for longevity of the motor, although I don't see the motor failing at 48v. Might be hard to step down after feeling that power at 48v! The drivechain and sprockets on the bike are #40. I might go down to #35 for less drag and weight. I also have a bunch of sprockets I can play around with in #35 from old minibikes to get my gearing where I want it.

I'm not done yet, but one of the cheapest and easiest projects I've done with the highest rewards. I plan on getting some new street rubber to control the power better. I might redo the orange paint but I don't mind it looking its age. I'm building a cover for the electronics. I need to go to DMV and get a tag for it so I can cruise the streets legally.
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By robnewyork
#30585
thats incredible , id stay with 48v , the fact is your not gonna be running top speed anyway ( seeing as how you ran out of runway LMAO) How fast did u clock on 48v?? ID stick with the 40 chain unless you really wanna change gearing its just that much more relaible when u wander further from home.. really cool , if you are gonna register and ride it a lot , you may as well go all out with paint and tires etc.. I would not go lighter on the gearing because obiously the motor is happy running the 10-60 ratio , ive fried a few running too light
By OFFROADSCOOT
#30589
I just did a speed run clocked with a GPS Speedometer on my phone. Top speed was 33.8mph with stock gearing. According to the gear calculator, the motor is around 4000rpm on 48v.
By robnewyork
#30592
i DID THE MATH LOL. if 48v gets 33 mph , 72 v ( which a yk43b will run ) will get him to 49.5 mPh.. Figure at full charge , hed break 50 mph till the motor quits life
By OFFROADSCOOT
#30605
More pics. I used some old vintage 50 cal ammo cans I had to fill the space of the 12v batteries. I was going to use some plastic ammo cans but the beat up metal ones fit the character of the bike better. The one in the rear houses all the batteries. I made it quick disconnect with XT150 bullet connectors so I could bring the batteries in with me when I go to work to keep them out of the heat. The front ammo can will just be for storage. I still need to tuck the wires away tighter and maybe do some touchup on the paint.
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Last edited by OFFROADSCOOT on Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By zogthegreat
#30607
Great work! :D Are you going to try to match the original orange paint for the ammo cans?

BTW, whats the solenoid for?
By OFFROADSCOOT
#30610
Yeah, that was the plan, but I might just leave the paint as is.

Lol, the solenoid was part of the original electronics! I left them in because I'm still using it to run the 12v lights and accessories. Its inactive now but I just left it. Instead of using a step-down converter I just run the lights on a separate Lipo battery.
By robnewyork
#30614
looks awesome.. id go with olive drab army green on the entire thing.. reason , it just looks soo dam illegal as is
By OFFROADSCOOT
#30623
I did another speed run last night. This time with batteries topped off to 4.2v per cell. I also aired up the tires. Gearing and everything else was the same from the first speed run. I took it out on the main road to stretch its legs. I got to 40.4mph! A 6mph improvement over the first run. I'm thinking I need to rig up a speedometer now so I don't get a speeding ticket!

I met my goal of 40mph to keep up with traffic but I think I'm still going to do some testing on slightly taller gearing. Not to go faster (although it will!) but to lower my rpm at my cruising speeds between 35-40. Right now with 6:1 ratio my motor is spinning close to 4800 at 40mph. I'd like to lower the rpm at my cruising speeds of 35-40 for longer battery life and less strain on the motor. I understand the motor may receive more strain on acceleration with taller gearing, so I'll go in small increments and keep an eye on the motor.
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By robnewyork
#30624
wowowww.. Youre right up there with forum records. MAurtis hit 52 mph on a mountain bike, I hit 42 on the dune buggy and 40.6 on the mx500 ! .. ( you will beat those 2 im confident ) .. YES having it geared for 50 ish with make things a lot more efficient cruising at 35 mph , especially when it comes to batttery life.. While my mx was geared for 47 mathematically , cruising in the low 30s sounded like the motor wasnt even running and the range was quite impressive.
By OFFROADSCOOT
#30625
0-30 is so much fun at 6:1 ratio though! But I have to keep in mind what my use for the bike will be. Cruising at 35-40 and longer runtime will be more beneficial for a commuter.
By OFFROADSCOOT
#30627
Commute is only 5 miles. I'm hoping a 48v 12aH lipo battery will be enough for a two-way trip. If I have to charge at work I have another charger I can just leave there. It might be better to just top off then to risk running the battery down.

I've discovered multiple speed runs run the battery down much faster than just cruising! lol.
By OFFROADSCOOT
#30628
My YK43B has a slight "stutter" at 1/4 throttle. If I give it half or full throttle it goes away and takes off very smoothly. Not a big deal as I'm mostly wide open most of the time! but just wondering if this is normal for this controller. One of those Kelly programmable controllers would be sweet but not in the budget right now.
By OFFROADSCOOT
#30630
Its called "Speedometer" lol. Its a free download from Stanislav Dvoychenko. There are a bunch that come up though if you search for GPS Speedometer. I've tried a few but like this one because it saves your max speed and you can set alarms for breaking speed barriers. I also use "Speedbox" from Hans Schneider. Its a big analog dial with digital readout in the middle.
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By OFFROADSCOOT
#30656
Yeah, the acceleration is fun. I want to gear it even lower to play around with it before going tall. I think I'll try going up 2 teeth on the front sprocket with its own chain and leaving the rear alone. That way I can swap out gears pretty easily if I want to have some fun.
By OFFROADSCOOT
#30712
I installed a new LED rear taillight bulb and ordered an LED headlight. Much brighter than 70s technology and more efficient for longer battery runtime. I also have some LED orange side markers coming.

I also redid my battery box a little. I moved the batteries running the 12v accesories into the front ammo can to make room in the rear ammo can (which contains the 48v batteries that run the motor) to make room for some cooling fans. While doing some longer range testing, everything stays relatively cool/warm but the wires in the battery box are getting a little too warm for my liking. With the 12v accessory batteries crammed in there and no ventalation, temperatures were getting too high. I ordered 2 12v computer fans. One will blow air in and the other will suck air out. One of them has orange LEDs on the fan blades so I'm hoping for a cool reactor look at night! I'll post pics when finished.
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