Wilderness BD36 Controller Repair

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jacklacrack
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I have a Brushed and a Brushless pair of Wilderness bikes for several years. I've had the usual problems of broken battery connectors and minor things like that until one day my wife began complaining her Brushed motor bike wouldn't fully stop. If I pulled the throttle or battery conectors apart it would stop until throttle was reapplied.

I figured it was a throttle out of calibration or somthing but swapping out with my throttle didn't help. I took the controller apart and found two capacitors side by side had the bottom leads broke off. They were just loose inside the controller so vibration over time stressed and broke the leads. I simply resoldered back onto the PC board and hot glued them secure and all has been well ever since.

I can't imagine how this wouldn't happen to everyone eventually. The capacitors should be hot glued at the factory so they don't vibrate. I figured I would share this to save people from buying new controllers where they could simply do a solder and hot glue fix instead. It would be wise to hot glue before the leads break to take a proactive approach.

Jack

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Wilderness Brushless 600 watt Schwinn Delmar Cruiser
Wilderness Brushless 400 watt Giant Sedona ST
Wilderness Brushed 600 watt Giant Sedona ST
Cycle Analyst 2.2

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needWheels
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Joined: 05/27/2008
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Re: Wilderness BD36 Controller Repair

Thanks for sharing this.

I am expecting a BD36 this week and will try this simple fix as preventative maintenance.

What's this about the battery connectors and can I prevent that problem as well?

jacklacrack
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Re: Wilderness BD36 Controller Repair

Hot glueing those capacitors before installing the kit is super smart. Take all of 5 minutes to do before installing on your bike. That includes the hot glue gun warm up time. :-)

We travel alot with our bikes. They are on the back of the RV on a bike rack frequently so I pull the battery packs during travel. It doesn't take much more than a season to wear out the connectors between the battery and the speed controller. Its no problem though as these connectors are cheap and available just about anywhere. I keep spares around and I've salvaged them from things like cordless weedwackers and kids toys. Very common low voltage electrical connector.

Enjoy your new kit. If youv'e never had one, your going to love it. Everyone will want to take it for a ride.

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Wilderness Brushless 600 watt Schwinn Delmar Cruiser
Wilderness Brushless 400 watt Giant Sedona ST
Wilderness Brushed 600 watt Giant Sedona ST
Cycle Analyst 2.2

dogman
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Re: Wilderness BD36 Controller Repair

Anderson connectors seem to the the best choice for most. My stock ones are ok at this point, but on the conroller I fried, the stock connector fell apart on the first disconnect.

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jacklacrack
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Re: Wilderness BD36 Controller Repair

I just went to andersonpower.com.

Alot of nice connectors there. I mjust might have to give them a whirl..

Thanks...

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Wilderness Brushless 600 watt Schwinn Delmar Cruiser
Wilderness Brushless 400 watt Giant Sedona ST
Wilderness Brushed 600 watt Giant Sedona ST
Cycle Analyst 2.2

chas_stevenson
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Re: Wilderness BD36 Controller Repair

I have been using Anderson Power Pole connectors for over 20 years on my RC cars. I still have the first connectors in use today. IMO there is no better connector.

Grandpa Chas S.

e-doggies
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Re: Wilderness BD36 Controller Repair

I just bought my first batch of APP's. I think they're great. I also ordered a ratcheting crimper (West Mountain Radio) and the first 6 crimps I made with 15A contacts all came out perfect. I then did some 45A contacts with 10AWG wire. And they all came out flawless as well.

I like being able to create whatever "modular" plug I need by simply dovetailing the housings together. Plan a little and think a lot and keep it all lined-up BEFORE you squeeze the crimper handle.

needWheels
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Re: Wilderness BD36 Controller Repair

This was one of the first things I did when I got my kit this week thanks.

By the way, what is the function of the third, smaller, cap in the far corner (blueish). Mine has that too - in fact I think I have the indentical controller to you - does yours have the cheap tinfoil key?

How can I tell what amps my controller limits to?
I think there were some models that are 20A and some that are 30A ?

I used 14 gauge wire and connectors (crimped AND soldered) for my wires because that's all I had. I sure hope it's fat enough.

jacklacrack
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Re: Wilderness BD36 Controller Repair

Been a while since I checked in here.. Vaykay..

Without reverse engineering the controller I couldn't begin to say what any of the components do in the controller. I just know they flop around freely in there and a dab of hot glue is a good thing.

I tell ya another trick I do. I have a 12 amp hour pack on my brushed and a 7 amp hour on my brushless. The bags move around pretty freely with the velcro straps. I took some styrofoam sheeting cut to fit the battery bags. I cover the sheets in packing tape so they don't crumble over time. I slip them in the battery bag so the pack rests on the styrofoam sheet. The sheet I used was about 3/8 thick and it really stopps the noise of the pounding pack over the bumps. I think it helps make the velcro last longer too as they seem to all tear the bags at the seams. The tape wrapped styrofoam cushions alot of the stress back there.

__________________

Wilderness Brushless 600 watt Schwinn Delmar Cruiser
Wilderness Brushless 400 watt Giant Sedona ST
Wilderness Brushed 600 watt Giant Sedona ST
Cycle Analyst 2.2

LinkOfHyrule
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Joined: 10/17/2007
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Re: Wilderness BD36 Controller Repair

needWheels wrote:

This was one of the first things I did when I got my kit this week thanks.

By the way, what is the function of the third, smaller, cap in the far corner (blueish). Mine has that too - in fact I think I have the indentical controller to you - does yours have the cheap tinfoil key?

How can I tell what amps my controller limits to?
I think there were some models that are 20A and some that are 30A ?

I used 14 gauge wire and connectors (crimped AND soldered) for my wires because that's all I had. I sure hope it's fat enough.

No definite answer, since it's related to the logic part of the board. Probably just smooths out voltage spikes. Would take some reverse-engineering to figure it out.

If it doesn't say outright, you'll need to hook it up to an ammeter. Most DVMs won't be able to handle even the smallest of controllers, so you'll either need to find a DC ammeter (expensive) or use a shunt to work it out. I'd recommend something like a Cycle Analyst or a Watts Up meter, just because they're useful in their own right.

14ga is probably okay for 20A. I was using bits of it at 30A. It got hot, but not dangerously so. It was definitely hindering my performance, though. I'd recommend 12ga or more if you run decent amperage. I use 10ga, myself.

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