It's Here...Yay!

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LinkOfHyrule
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So I ordered a G-1 electric skateboard off of eBay last friday.

It just came in the mail and for the 10 minutes I rode it for (nearly dead batteries) it was a blast! It only goes like 10 mph but if you're not very experienced with these things it still feels a little fast!

Anyway, I ordered the thing because it was so cheap. I think I won it for like $36 (USD), but shipping nearly doubled that. My intention is to pimp it out. The batteries, 2 12V 4.5Ah AGMs (I think they're AGMs), will be replaced with a custom battery pack made of however many NiMH D cells I can fit into the compartment. The motor will likely be overvolted to 36V. As it stands, it has a small controller built into it. The controller is kind of odd. To make it go forward, you step on the rubber button on the back, and it slowly accelerates to top speed. There really is no in between. According to the manual, the controller can be fitted to use a wireless gun throttle. In any case, it's going to be replaced by a bigger controller already equipped with a gun. The wheels are solid polyurethane (I think) and will probably be replaced with pnuematic. It' rides a little rough as it is. Lastly, the charger sucks. It takes five to six hours to charge. The charger will be replaced along with the batteries.

Here's a generic pic; I don't have a digital camera :(.
G-1.jpg

This is gonna be fun...

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LinkOfHyrule
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Re: It's Here...Yay!

Mmkay. Messed with a few things and found stuff out.

Batteries suck even worse than initially thought. My other skateboard (which arrived earlier today) is pretty much identical except the deck is blue (pretty!), the brake is at a greater angle in relation to the wheel (you won't fly off when you use it), and it doesn't have lights. For some strange reason, though, the batteries seem to last much longer. Me and my sister went on a ride earlier to the park, and then back and around the block. My batteries (which were fully charged) died a little before we got home. My sister pulled me with her scarf after that :p. She had plenty of juice left, which I found odd, considering it didn't even get a full charge. The lights are LEDs so I don't think that had much to do with it. The only thing I could think would make a difference is our weight. I weigh (I think) about forty-five pounds more than she does (180 vs. 135). Over rough terrain (for polyurethane tires, the street is rough terrain :p), that might make a significant difference. Will check batteries tomorrow. Gotta work on getting that NiMH pack together...

The suspension is retarded. Some genius though it would be a good idea to put a 750lb./in. spring on it. The angle at which it's mounted means there is almost no leverage on it, so a spring that big is seriously overkill. There might as well be no suspension. It's that bad. Needs to be replaced with a lighter spring.

Working on a throttle made out a PS2 controller's joystick (who came up with "joystick", anyway?). It just happens to be made of a 0-5k potentiometer, what luck.

Came into a little more luck when I examined the controller. It seems to be a regular scooter controller, except for the fact that it accelerates much more slowly. This is good. Applying full power to the motor at a dead stop would land you on your rear and/or head. The throttle plug is simply a regular 3-wire 0-5k pot connection. In it's current state, it's simply shorted out with a small length of wire.

In short, it works like this: Throttle is shorted, so is always at max. Foot switch is connected to the key plug. Pressing down on the switch makes it accelerate slowly to top (takes about 4 seconds on the flat). Letting go slows you down.

This saves me a little trouble. I was gonna wire the switch in series with the throttle signal, so that you had to be on the skateboard to use the throttle. Having it plugged into the key's place works just as well.

There's a little hole in the side of the battery/controller case. Saves me a little drilling for the throttle cable.

Still lookin' for tires. Any tips?

I have some blue electroluminescent tape which I will eventually put onto it. Will look reaaal nice. I can just tap one of the batteries, since the inverter only consumes 20mA.

The blue one I'm giving to my sister as an early Christmas present. She loves it :). Mine came with a big sheet of grip tape, so I'm letting her design a pattern for the board and I'll work it out. I think she's drawing a wolf silhouette, with a moon in the background. The blue plastic covering the metal will be sanded off to make the moon.

I'll keep you updated as progress continues...And look for a camera...

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silverdude
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Same things i want to do

Hey, just wanted to say thanks for writing on this blog, i was looking for someone that was improving an electric skateboard and it's funny you doing the same one I have. I also bought that skateboard on ebay, I believe it is more like the colored one like your sister because it has a lower wattage motor, but it does have excellent battery life. I haven't really looked at anything on the skateboard, mainly because I'm not that technology savy. But would you say it would be relatively easy to replace the stock parts and where would you even find parts to improve the skateboard??? Thanks so much if you can help, hopefully your skateboard comes out sweet, if you got pictures to post that would be awesome.

Zac

LinkOfHyrule
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Re: Same things i want to do

If you have the cash, probably. I'm trying to do it on the cheap right now (sorta).

The number one thing I'm having trouble with is finding a nice gun throttle. I've seen a few, and even the measly 400W one is $100. I'm just gonnna make one out of a regular speed controller and a Nunchuck attachment for a Wii remote.

The next difficulty (probably harder than finding the throttle) is wheels. The front ones aren't too hard to find parts for, it's the rear that's going to be a problem. I've never seen anything I can use without modifying it so that I can put a sprocket on it.

Batteries aren't really a problem. I have some brand new Black and Decker 18V 1.2Ah tool packs lying around. I think I can fit six in there. For now I'm planning on just using four; two in series, two in parallel. I got a new speed controller today (36V), and was going to try them out. Figures that when I go to test the controller it blows up. Attached the power leads and POP! No more speed controller. I'm going to have to contact the site I got it from to see if they'll send me a replacement...

Really, all that needs replacing is the batteries, throttle, and wheels. You can replace the motor if you want, but unless you want really insane speed (like 30+ mph), overvolting it should be fine. All that really happens is that you accelerate brush wear.

I believe you can get a decent controller with a gun for $100, and a set of wheels for around $50 assuming you can find a suitable rear (let me know if you do, please). Batteries of a good chemistry add most of the cost, but if you're happy with the current ones or can (or find someone who can) modify the battery box to fit in bigger SLAs, then a throttle and a new set of wheels really should be all you need.

For me, this project is a lead-up to something much better. I eventually plan on making one almost completely from scratch. My goals for that one are 30mph and 20 miles range at top speed, quite doable if I use lithium. For that one I will modify a proper wireless speed controller to be able to really crank out the power. Not only that, but I want it to fold small enough to fit in my backpack.

Oh yeah: if the batteries last longer than mine you probably got the one with 7Ah SLA. I saw one on there like that and thought that was why my sister's got such better range than mine, but it was just because hers was like 1mph slower than mine so I had to keep stopping and then accelerating (killer on the batteries).

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silverdude
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Re: Same things i want to do
LinkOfHyrule
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Re: Same things i want to do

This is f***ing ridiculous. It should not be this hard to find a wireless throttle. The only place I can actually find the throttle and controller itself is the e-ride place. And I'm not going to Canada to get it. At this rate, I'm going to have to start studying radio control circuitry. You know anything about that, Fechter?

I'll have to mutilate a screwdriver tomorrow to find the resistance of that nunchuck.

I'd be nearly done if that controller hasn't fried. All I need is to hook the batteries up to the throttle, and I'd be pretty much finished. They still haven't got back to me about that speed controller...

I could live with the wheels for a while. Now that I've turned down the rear wheel to get all the bumps out, it rides much smoother, and since the wheel's diameter has been reduced slightly, the rear brake isn't so touchy.

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LinkOfHyrule
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Re: It's Here...Yay!

Messed with the nunchuck today. The resistance value isn't what I need it to be, but I found a way to work around that.

In a joystick, there are two potentiometers: one for the x-axis and one for the y-axis. This particular joystick had 10kOhm pots in it. While that kind of sucks, there are a few ways to make it work as a 5kOhm throttle. One is to attach it to a voltage regulator and some other voltage source. This is a pain, so I came up with a different solution: I can just turn the pot box 45 degrees, and tie the two potentiometers together. This required that I make a new PCB, but that isn't really a problem.

As it stands, the C and Z buttons on the joystick won't be used. But, after I get everything set up the way I want it, I thought of a few interesting things to do with them:

1. Turbo boost. Wire in an extra battery (mebbe supercaps...) and press the buttons to flip a few FETs/relays to swap it into the string. Yes, yes, I'm well aware that I could potentially damage the batteries this way, but I really don't care.

2. Regen/Plug braking. I like this idea more. I could wire up a simple circuit that would make the throttle act as a variable electronic braking system. Basically, I could make it so that the farther I push the throttle while holding the buttons, the more braking I would get. This could be done with a big FET that can dissipate a lot of energy or a series of smaller FETs. I think the array would work better.

3. Voltage switching. I like this idea the best, but it would require more work. After I disassemble the packs, I could set them up so that they could be arranged in different voltage combinations. The buttons could be used to change the voltage for different speed levels. Slow for crowded/dangerous areas, and high for speed on the flats. Anything over two "gears" would probably require a microchip.

In any case, nothing can really be done with the buttons until I replace the controller and batteries.

Tomorrow I'll make the PCB and see how well it works in the nunchuck. The cord will be a little short, but I can replace it if I have to.

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LinkOfHyrule
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Re: It's Here...Yay!

Haven't been keeping up to date with this, so here goes:

I don't think I'll be making a proper throttle. It's becoming a pain. Besides, I'd be riding at full speed all the time, anyway.

The controller can take the 36V.

I ditched the NiCds in favor of just slapping in another battery. It was an insanely tight fit, but it works. I had to stick the controller on the outside of the board. I just used double sided tape. The foam stuff. That crap is GOOD. It breaks before it lets go.

See the member vehicles page for more info.

NOTE1: I was rather surprised at the quality of the steel they used. There was a flange on the inside of the battery box to keep the batteries in place that had to go. Was really hard to get out. I had to bend it back and forth with a pipe wrench. On top of that, I had to break it twice. It broke in the middle before it broke at the weld. There was also a very thin piece of steel that really served no purpose. It was between about 1/32" and 1/64" thick, welded onto the side. Was really hard to rip off, even with my longest set of pliers.

NOTE2: Just slapping 36V worth of batts in the case will ONLY work with my model of board. The blue one my sister rides is proving more problematic. I'm sure the controller can take 36V (since it was made by YiYun, almost identical to mine) but it has a high and low voltage cutout. This means that after the batteries get below a certain point, the controller cuts the power to prevent damage to the batts. However, since it has a high voltage cutoff, it won't run at 36V. I'm quite sure this can be defeated, but I have to find out a little more about the chip to do it.

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Cesar G1
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Re: It's Here...Yay!

Hello all!

My name is Cesar and I am from Brazil! I just purchased a G1 board but as you may know I don't have anyone here that has one nor there is a official website... I see that you guys did some turbo charging on them. Uploading the voltage. As I don't understand anything about would you explain to me how it is done? Is it easy? I just have to make changes in the motor? Or have to change the batteries as well? Will the batteries last shorter? How much? How are you doing in speed and distance with the original set???

Thanks for any info and help,

Cesar.

LinkOfHyrule
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Re: It's Here...Yay!

I forgot their website, but it doesn't really matter. It was pretty much useless.

If you go to 36V it's relatively easy. You just need another SLA 4.5Ah battery and a few female quick disconnects. Like I said, though, you have to break a few things; there is a flange of steel in the bottom of the board that's in the way (bend it back and forth with a wrench or something until it snaps off) and another piece on the side that's much thinner. Neither of them serve any purpose on this particular board.

The on/off and light switches are also in the way. They stick too far into the board for the batteries to fit. I was really trying to not have to move them, and ended up breaking both. If you take them out, you can keep them. Just let them dangle on the side of the board a little. Or replace them with something else.

The controller will no longer fit with the third battery in there (hell, the connectors barely fit). Thread all of the controller's connectors through the hole where the light switch used to go, leaving the controller itself outside of the board. Stick it on with some mounting tape. You'll probably have to bend the useless flange on the side of the controller a bit so you can fit it behind the charging connector.

Wire up the third battery in series with the existing two. Make sure you get the polarity to the connector right. Fit the pack into the board. Make sure the contacts of the batteries can't touch. That would be very bad. Leave some room at the back for the connectors. Wire everything up and you're all set.

Remember, you'll also need a 36V charger. Total for the this project is about $25 for the battery and maybe another $15-20 for the charger. Top speed should be around 16-18mph now. Maybe a little faster. All I know is that it goes just a little slower (like maybe 0.5mph slower) than I can sprint. It goes about as far as it used to on a charge.

The motor's brushes will likely wear quicker, but this shouldn't be too much of a problem. Also beware of wearing out the front wheels if you ride on asphalt a lot. They don't take all that kindly to the higher speed. Replacing them would be a very good idea.

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surfmagg
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Re: It's Here...Yay!

skateboard.jpgI bought one of those on ebay 2 yrs ago for $10. Very cool start into electric boards. It is what inspired me to start going big. From that design I am making an all terrain board. I know youve heard that before but this will be it.
As for wireless guns I found them on E-glide.com.
Let me know what you think.

Bob K
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Re: It's Here...Yay!

Alright!

Show your motor and controller!

What are you using for batteries?

I'm not into all-terrain boards, but yours'
looks sweet.

Send pictures, please!

Bob K

LinkOfHyrule
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Re: It's Here...Yay!

Ooh, I am liking that! Looks pretty smooth.

What motor do you plan on using? Personally, I plan on making/finding a wheel that will fit right over a BD36 hub motor. Don't have to deal with chain noise, belt slippage/breakage, or working out a drive train. Leaves a little room for more battery, too.

Speaking of battery, what chem do you plan on using?

The controllers from E-Glide look okay (and are wireless), but that seems like way too much money for a controller that size. Only reasong I haven't bought one from them. If they were cheaper, I would buy one and upgrade the internals, but as it stands, no way.

Bob, do tell us a little bit more about your throttle set up. I know what it looks like, but how exactly did you interface it with the controller? Did you just gut the old wireless throttle and put it in that sleeve or what?

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surfmagg
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stats

I am using a high torque 450 watt 24v motor. Batteries are 3 SLA 7amp. Im just starting this whole 12v thing so I dont know any other batteries.I would love some more info.I got a wireless pistol grip from e glide and wire it in to my controller, acts as brake as well by pushing trigger forward.
This thing moves pretty good. I copied the exkate which a friend of mine has. The problem Ive found with any all terrain boards is that they are too short and the center of gravity is all off.
Im an old dude so Im not planning on going too far off. I just want to be able to take agriculture/ dirt roads and this design has been good so far.
My original design was made for Burning man. This will be there this year.

s

LinkOfHyrule
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Re: stats

surfmagg wrote:

I am using a high torque 450 watt 24v motor. Batteries are 3 SLA 7amp.

Geh? 24V motor and 3 SLAs? Overvolted?

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reikiman
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Re: stats

LinkOfHyrule wrote:
surfmagg wrote:

I am using a high torque 450 watt 24v motor. Batteries are 3 SLA 7amp.

Geh? 24V motor and 3 SLAs? Overvolted?

Well, not by overly much. My vego 600sx has the stock 24v 500w motor they shipped with but I'm running it with a 36v system at a higher wattage and it's fine. Electric motors can be overvolted to an extent without problem. Too far though and stuff will melt.

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LinkOfHyrule
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Re: stats

No, I was wondering because the way he stated the specs makes it sound like he's using a Kollmorgen. Their built-in controllers are very temperamental. They blow up at 28V. And using a different controller would be crazy expensive, so then why even use a Kollmorgen?

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surfmagg
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Re: stats

I have 2 making 24v then the 3rd giving more amps. Its all wired to the 24v.

LinkOfHyrule
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Re: It's Here...Yay!

Double geh? You mean like you have two in parallel and one in series with the parallel batts? The two in parallel's amp-hourage is the same as the thirds I hope.

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surfmagg
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Re: It's Here...Yay!

Changed my battery sitch, thanks for the advice. Im running 4 12v 7ah sla in series of 24v.
Just got the motor mounted and battery box made. Ready to wire it up. New pics with foot straps to come.

silentguy
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Re: It's Here...Yay!

Great to read about other electric skateboards.

I got the G1 off of ebay,
but now batteries I think are dead, and dont charge up.
This is only after a couple of months.

So it looks like I will have to replace the batteries.

Any ideas, or suggestions on what to replace them with ?

Should I just buy replacements, or maybe switch to another technology ?

Thanks

silentguy
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Re: It's Here...Yay!

Oh, I'll add that I wasnt very happy with the battery life,
only about 20 minutes, but not sure it that is becoz the batteries were dying,
or that is normal for the G1.
I'd like to get more battery life, say maybe 1 hour ?
I dont know if that is asking too much.

I don't really want to spend a lot of money,
and was even thinking of just buying another G1, if I can find one,
as that might be cheaperthan buying replacement battteries.

If I were to price out some NiMH or Lion batts,
does anyone have a suggestion on where to buy other than ebay or google ?

Thanks

LinkOfHyrule
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Re: It's Here...Yay!

Does the charger's light turn red when you plug it in? Or is it always green? If that's the case, you have a broken connection inside the skateboard. This wouldn't surprise me; this thing vibrates a lot.

If it turns red but never turns green, then yes, most likely you will have to get new batteries.

The kind they have in there are typical 4.5Ah SLA. They're like $25 each, and you'll need two. The connectors are soldered to the tabs on the batteries, so you'll need some skill with a soldering iron to get them off and put new ones on the new batteries. Or you can cut off the batteries' connector and redo the wiring completely on the new ones.

This board isn't worth upgrading to better batteries. You could quadruple the board's range with lithium, but that would cost nearly $300 with the way Ping's batteries have been going lately. NiMH or NiCd would be about as expensive.

If you ride this thing a lot or use it for commuting, then I would recommend getting a new, better board altogether, actually.

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LinkOfHyrule
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Re: It's Here...Yay!

Yeah, the battery life was never very good on them. Your runtime seems to be about the same as mine was. There's about as much battery as can fit in the box already, so the only way to get more is to use a different chemistry.

Like I said, though, you could buy several of these boards for the price of just one 10Ah lithium pack (that would get you about an hour-and-a-half of runtime, BTW).

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silentguy
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Re: It's Here...Yay!

Thanks for the reply.

The light goes from red to green, it does seem to charge the batteries,
but I have no torque.

Sometimes the light on the charge was flashing yellow/red too,
not just red only, so I think that indicates a problem.
Other times it was red, and then turned green within the normal charging time.

I dont think the drive belt is stripped, as the wheel still spins,
but there's not enough power to move me on the board anymore.

I was very careful not to overcharge the board,
even had it on a timer for 4-6 hours,
as the manual said to not ovecharge.

LinkOfHyrule wrote:

Does the charger's light turn red when you plug it in? Or is it always green? If that's the case, you have a broken connection inside the skateboard. This wouldn't surprise me; this thing vibrates a lot.

If it turns red but never turns green, then yes, most likely you will have to get new batteries.

The kind they have in there are typical 4.5Ah SLA. They're like $25 each, and you'll need two. The connectors are soldered to the tabs on the batteries, so you'll need some skill with a soldering iron to get them off and put new ones on the new batteries. Or you can cut off the batteries' connector and redo the wiring completely on the new ones.

This board isn't worth upgrading to better batteries. You could quadruple the board's range with lithium, but that would cost nearly $300 with the way Ping's batteries have been going lately. NiMH or NiCd would be about as expensive.

If you ride this thing a lot or use it for commuting, then I would recommend getting a new, better board altogether, actually.

silentguy
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Re: It's Here...Yay!

Here's a source for rubber wheels.

Diameter is probably too small though, about 3.9"

http://www.tierneyrides.com/tboard_wheels.html

silentguy
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Re: It's Here...Yay!

I think you can probably find large diam scooter wheels to replace the front wheels on the G1. I have some other boards, like the PUMGO, that have larger wheels.

http://www.pumgo.com

Also, I was thinking it might be possible to retread the back drive wheel,
using some liquid rubber or other urethane casting compound.

Maybe a tire retread place could do it, or diy with a casting compound.

silentguy
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Re: It's Here...Yay!

Here's a 5 inch scooter wheel that might be useable.

http://www.scooterparts4less.com/web_electric/16T_frontWheel.htm

silentguy
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Re: It's Here...Yay!

Also, lots of razor scooter wheels here,
that would be useable.

http://www.razorama.com/accessories.html

silentguy
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Re: It's Here...Yay!

Ok, I took apart my non working G1 Electric Skateboard.

I am not sure if it is the batteries or the motor.

the batteries do charge, but it seems like there is not enough torque.
For example the motor can no longer put out enough power to move me while on the board.

To test the batteries do I just see if they are putting out 24Volts, and for how long ?

I guess if the multimeter says less than 24 volts, and for only a few minutes,
then it's a battery problem ?

Otherwise it could be the motor.

I dont think it's the drive belt, that looks fine.
I can always try replacing it with a new one too.

silentguy
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Re: It's Here...Yay!

Ok 1 battery reads 14 volts, the other battery reads 10volts.

So the total is 24 volts, but they are not even.

Does this matter ?

It's starting to look more like a motor or controller problem ?

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