Are Hub Motors Reversible

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Mike Meek
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Are Hub Motors Reversible

Good morning,

I am trying to design a remote operated buggy that would be driven by two hub motors with 20" wheels/tires. I plan to use an electronic speed contoller that mixes the power to each motor to allow for "tank" styled steering. My question is...Are hub motors able to be reversed by a speed controller or are they one direction rotation only.

My second question would be...Is a 500W hub motor with a 20" wheel able to start a 90lb buggy from a dead stop or do these rigs need to be rolling first?

I appreciate any of you that have experience with these motors taking time to respond. I am considering using the controller listed at this site:
http://www.robotmarketplace.com/marketplace_roboteq.html

and this hub motor:
http://www.rabbittool.com/pages/500wnew1.html
I would be using the Subset 1150 motor.

Thanks,
Mike

VT-01
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Re: Are Hub Motors Reversible

Hi Mike,

Welcome to the V-is-for-Voltage Forum!

Good question, unfortunately I know very little about hub type motors but I have no doubt one of our members with experience in hub motor characteristics will soon be along to answer your question.

As for your second question, I could go out on a limb and venture a guess. I don't think you will have any problem with a 500w motor (that's 2/3HP) getting you rolling, especially if you have two of them.

What Voltage is your system going to be?
(I couldn't tell from the link)
You just want to make sure that your controller is rated high enough for the motor.

What type of terrain will you be traversing, hills or steep inclines?

You might try checking out our V-is-for-Voltage Collaborative Handbooks also.
Here's a link to some controller information that you may find helpful.

EV Collaborative Hand Books

Welcome Aboard!

Regards,
VT-01
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Mike Meek
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Last seen: 11 years 11 months ago
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Re: Are Hub Motors Reversible

The system will be 24V and honestly, I would much rather go with the 300W model to reduce cost.

The buggy will be about 36" long by 24"wide and will carry a payload of a dummy launcher. They can be viewed here at:

http://www.bumperboy.com/deluxe4shooter.php

The buggy will encounter all types of terrain from golf course manicured grass to pastures with hay grazer and scrub. That is why I want at least a 20" wheel so that it will be able to crawl across most anything in its way other than culverts, logs, and shrubs.

If these hub motors are reversible via electronic control and they are able to generate enough torque to get the buggy going from a standstill, then this design is going to be wonderfully clean and easy to build. If I have to go with wheelchair geared motors, shafts, wheels, and the like, it will become larger, heavier, and more complicated. I love simple designs and the hub motor is beautiful to me from this standpoint.

I would love to hear from anyone that can offer information on the performance of this style of motor.

Thanks,
Mike

Sturdly
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Re: Are Hub Motors Reversible

Welcome Mike.

You will find that brushed motors are easily reversed by simple polarity switching so if it were my project I would go that route. I currently am using brush motors as they are easy for me to understand, use smaller more basic controllers, fewer wires and are simple, much like myself. They do have drawbacks to be sure and I will be starting to learn about the brushless more as my next self improvement effort.

I'm sure the brushless could be set up to reverse if the motor is neutrally timed but the amount of extra wiring for the hall effect sensors and such could prove complicated and maybe less than reliable. Fetcher or Chas can enlighten us all about the issues with that I'm sure.

Good luck and please be sure to post progress and details of both what works and what doesn't.

VT-01
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Re: Are Hub Motors Reversible

C 8) 8) L!
A bird launcher ... now that's an EV use I hadn't thought of.

I would say your traction is going to depend somewhat on weight distribution and the type of tires that you will be using. I assume you will be going with an aggressive tread design on the 20" wheels.

I know on bikes, a rear hub design is preferable when encountering hills, slopes and slippery terrain, due to the weight (force) transmitted to the rear wheel when going up hill or accelerating.

With only 97 pounds and no passenger, you may be able to get away with the lower wattage hubs, although please take my (hub motor inexperienced) opinion with a grain of salt.

What will be your power source?
Actually some extra weight here might be beneficial and help with the traction.

AGM Sealed Lead Acid batteries are relatively easy to charge and have a fairly long life depending on use and charging techniques. (and less expensive than others)

Since you plan to steer with the two motors, will the other wheel(s) be caster mounted wheels of some sort?

Sounds like an interesting project, be sure to keep us informed on how this goes.

Regards,
VT-01
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Mike Meek
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Re: Are Hub Motors Reversible

OK, so in learning that brushed motors are most easily reversed, I have found a brushed, geared, hub motor that might be the trick. The P2-A motor is able to run on 24 Volts. THis may be a good substitute for the motor I listed earlier that I have since learned is brushless.

Keep the info coming.

Mike

Mike Meek
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Last seen: 11 years 11 months ago
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Re: Are Hub Motors Reversible

Concerning the wheels, yes, I plan to place casters like those seen on electric wheelchairs on the other end of the buggy. I would also place the batteries over the drive wheels to add weight in that area to help with traction. In addtion, I think it would be front wheel drive since it is always less difficult to drag something than it is to push it.

VT-01
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Re: Are Hub Motors Reversible

Yes, with the caster wheels it would definitely need to be FWD :) (Otherwise it would be like backing a double-semi down the freeway at 40 mph ... possible but rather difficult, to say the least.)

It actually sounds like a really nice setup ... if you can keep those birds from flying away at the first bump ;)

Wish I knew more about hub motors so I could give you some insight on what's available.

Regards,
VT-01
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