Thanks, ebiker_JK, this is all great information. It just takes a bit to sort out what different configurations people are talking about.
Yes, I have a charger for the scooter, but I have to take out the battery pack to use it. The charger has a female 3-slot plug for the battery connection, just like the power cord for a computer. The battery pack has a downward-pointing male 3-prong plug on the top left side, towards the rear as the battery sits on the bike. In the battery compartment is a female 3-slot plug just like the one on the charger.
So to recharge I have to partially lift out the battery pack, disconnect it from the bike and then completely lift it out and set it somewhere I can plug it into the charger.
I'm doing what the guy who sold it to me was doing - like you said - charging the battery pack and the 5th battery separately. I don't mind doing that, as long as I don't have to lift that heavy battery pack every time I come home from work.
There would have to be a splice somewhere to recharge on the bike, right? Unless the battery pack has some other connector I didn't see, how can I connect a cable like you showed if the connection to the bike is already using the only plug on the battery pack? Actually I haven't really looked under the battery to see if there are any other plugs there.
BTW, I got up to about 32mph in the morning after a fresh charge on the battery pack + 5th battery, but in the evening coming home only about 28mph. I wonder if it drains that much during the day or if the battery heated up with the daytime temperatures and that affected performance.
Still, I like this scooter. My commute is about 5 miles (Sunnyvale - Cupertino) and generally choked with slow drivers anyway. Now instead of getting irate at drivers who inexplicably stop for green lights (happens all the time here) I can just blow by them in the bike lane (gotta be careful though, because they'll turn without using signals). I also blow right by the gas station, which feels good, too.
Somnolent soul in a silicon wasteland
Wow, talk about resurrecting an old thread :D Welcome to the club anyway! I'm still around from time to time, but my xb-600 is still down. I'm trying to decide which way I want to go to bring it back from it's 84v demise. I may be ordering a new controller/motor setup from www.kellycontroller.com instead of modding a stock xb-600 controller again. I'll post pics when I do bring the old scooter back to life. Good luck on your mods!!
Keep the rubber side down and the shiny side up.
Zerogas, yep this thread continues to live on. Haha!
I'm still searching for answers about charging 5 batteries through the standard charging port, OR if they have to be charged separately.
But I surmise a thread with so much information will always be viewed by newbies like me.
Well, it's been a long time with no answer, but more importantly it's also been a long time since I wired the bike for 60v. And I noticed the stock 48v charger is *always* green. Well, I knew this was not right. Not after days of riding the bike and still having a green light. So I took the battery pack out and plugged it into the charger, sure enough it was thirsty. SO the charger port doesn't seem to access all 5 batteries, I will have to take the pack out charge it separately (which I didn't want to do, but it's cool).
I was just hoping by wiring after the plug (coming from the battery box) that the fifth battery would also get current from the port. Lesson learned. And for those that wire their 60v like me it's also something to remember.
Now I need to consider how balanced the batteries are, but that's another story, haha!
You can't charge a 60v system with a 48v charger. You will only be charging the pack to 52 volts(fully charged voltage). You will need either a 60v charger or a separate 12v charger to charge the 5th battery by itself. The stock charger will still charge the other 4 batteries. Hope this helps.
YES! That does help, thanks Zerogas.
I'll look for a 60v charger. But I'll probably get a 12v on the side, just in case.
I ordered a 12v charger / maintainer from Amazon
It has a cable connection for hardwiring to the batter to a plug.
Since my battery is *under* the seat storage I can hardwire the connections and run the line and plug to the hole next to the seat lock.
ebiker, that's my setup right now, a 48v charger for the main battery pack and a 12v charger for the 5th battery. Both need to be removed to be charged.
But it sounds like we are seeking the same holy grail - 60v on-bike charging, both batteries at once (and balanced charges, even).
I poked around the battery compartment and saw where the previous owner had rigged up the connection for the 5th battery to what could have been the cable for the on-bike charging port. I haven't taken apart the controller to see if he did the shunt properly as described above, but since I've gotten 30mph out of a fresh charge, I guess he did??
So now what we need is the proper wiring diagram for connecting the 48 + 12 both to the bike and to a recharging port that will take a 60v recharger. Then when I come home after work, I can just plug in the scooter and go have a beer instead of wrestling with batteries like I do now. Not that I'm lazy, but, well, yeah, I am.
Re: the shunt mod.
Do you slowly speed up to 30 mph? Do you have a significant *decrease* in speed going up hills (even slight ones)? Is so, then you might not have a shunt mod. But if you are getting a good start from a stand still, and hills are not dropping your speed more than 20%, then it's more likely that you DO have a shunt mod installed. You can also inspect the controller for wear on the screw heads because it's a pain in the ass just to take the casing off. The cheap screws suffer a little damage. If the previous owner replaced the screws with *good ones* then you might not be able to tell. How the controller is resealed might also be a clue. But if you want to know what type of resistance and the type of soldering job then yeah... you'll have to open it up.
Currently, I do not have a shunt mod, so I build up to speed slowly. I tell you, red lights are a real joy kill in traffic.
I ordered a new controller (as a back up to modify), but so far... nothing has come to me (and it's been months!) They are back ordered for this particular bike.
But as noted elsewhere, there are several types of controllers that will do the same job (perhaps even better).
Re: the battery.
Yeah, kinda sucks taking the batteries off the bike. And I'd like to charge the entire 60v to a balance. I need to buy an entire battery pack anyway, my bike is ancient and past due replacement time. But I'm happy that the bike has put in SO much service for this long.
Also, Zerogas said (just two posts above) that a 60v charger would do the trick. I'd get one off eBay but they only accept Paypal (for that matter so do other places online). My Paypall account is suspended right now... so I'm kinda stuck. I can't seem to find a site that offers a 60v charger paid with a credit card. Most of these chargers are from overseas (China, UK, et.).
Not sure if this is a result of my 60v conversion but today I got on the bike to run an errand and ten minutes into the ride the battery took a nose dive.
I got it back home at barely walking speed. It didn't die, it just drained -- which never happened to me before. The amp needle still read from "H" to the middle of the gauge, but there was just no power. At this point I'm not gonna ride it again until I get the 5th battery charged. Until then I'll go over the wiring and the fuses.
ebiker, that sounds like a wire broke or shorted somewhere, doesn't it? How can the bike lose power but the amp needle doesn't show it? It almost sounds like you came home on the 5th battery alone. My amp meter has never gone below the "H", but then I've always recharged it every night so far.
Anyway, your description of performance without a shunt mod sounds just like my bike (slow to accelerate to 30mph, small hills are like a kick in the gut), so I guess the guy I bought the bike from never did it (he never mentioned it, either). However, now I have some improved performance to look forward to, once I get around to making the modification.
Here's a small dream: with all the money being thrown at battery technology these days, maybe someone will eventually make a smaller 60v battery pack that fits in the same space the 48v pack now sits. Then we won't need a 5th battery under the seat and no more inconvenient multiple charging situations.
I agree that something is fishy going on. I crawled back to the house on the bike, pulled out the pack and plugged it in (thinking obviously it's drained) only to have the charger go *green* 30 minutes later. Currently I'm working on something else at home, so I'll get to the bike later (open the battery pack, check all the wires, read the voltage, et.). If a fuse had blown the effect would have been immediate.I'm sure the problem is with the 5th battery, as you noted. I'll wait until my 12v charger comes in the mail. I know I was risking a lot riding the bike with only the 48 volt charged. If I have to ride it I'll open the seat and unhook the 5th and reconnect the line reverting it back to 48v.
I'm glad this bike has such options.
I got the 12v charger today and I've had it hooked up for 6 hours... and it is still charging.
This 0.75 amp trickle is killing me. I purchased the BATTERY TENDER JUNIORhttp://www.derbycycles.com/Images/eShop/product/Battery_Tender_Junior.jpg
but I'm thinking I should have at least bought the "PLUS" version (which charges at 1.25 amps). But no matter which version of the charger you have the directions say a very low battery could take 10 or more hours to get back to a full charge. I'll continue to look for the 60v charger -- which has a higher amp per hour charge and allows me to charge all 5 batteries at once. But that's my progress / experiment for this week. Hah!
OMG, .75amp?! I'm too impatient for 2amp trickle charging. I usually charge my extras on a 4amp charge. Anyway, you guys(and sub $4/gallon gas) have inspired me to pull out the old xb 600 and see what exactly 84v did to it. I'm going to recheck all the wiring and try to rule out the controller being fried. Wish me luck. I may still order a new controller from Kelly Controller pretty soon. They have some that you can connect to a PC and tweak certain things like speed, torque, etc... They're pretty nice for under $200, but that's another day. I have my batteries charging now, so I'll post when I have some news. Oh, by the way, if your scooter has the shunt mod it will accelerate very quickly, not slowly. It was nothing for me to leave cars sitting at green lights. Of course they passed me pretty soon, but I destroyed them off the line, LOL!
Well, good luck with that, Zerogas.
It's always nice to see the old school XB-600 get some love. I was out riding today and it seemed, even with topped off batteries that I was only clocking 23 MPH and lower (thanks to the wind). I know my 48v battery pack is past its prime, so I'm wondering if buying a new set would help my speed (at least closer to 30). However, I'm pretty sure a new set of batteries would only increase my RANGE not speed. Thus, it seems even with the 60v conversion I'm still not in the 30 MPH club.... unless people are using that worthless speedometer on the bike which DOES say 30 MPH, BUT as many of us know, that's not even remotely accurate (which is why many folks add 3rd party bike speedometers).
I think I fried my battery pack...
I hooked up the 48v charger to the battery pack Monday night but took the car to work Tuesday and so didn't check on the charger until Tuesday evening... the garage smelled bad and the battery case was too hot to touch. I haven't tried to put it back on the bike yet but it doesn't seem good. Since I bought the bike used I wonder if this is simply the end-of-life for the battery or if it was my mistake to let the battery charge for 24 hours... before this it had always been just overnight.
Yes, that doesn't sound good at all.
Have you opened the plastic case that houses the batteries and inspected them directly? Looked for swelling or expansion? Disconnect and check each battery with a multimeter?
The problem happened (I'm certain) with the stock charger that comes with the bike (a black plastic rectangular brick) with a cord that plugs into a wall socket and the other that goes into the bike. The charger can sometimes have the problem of not going to the "green" light phase (three-stage charger). Often, after several hours (4 or 6 hours) I'll disconnect the charger for 30 seconds, then plug it back in and see if it still charges or stays or turns green. Since you were not there to do that the charger kept pumping amps into the battery pack.
Many riders on this forum have purchased better chargers than the one supplied from X-Treme. They can be faulty. Slow. And as you've discovered, not go through all the phases.
But open the pack (about 6 to 8 screws) and inspect the damage. Start there. If anything you might have to purchase a new pack (about $240). For folks like you and me (with XB-600s) it's not a bad thing to replace the pack after several years. I feel the need to do it myself. I know I'm not getting everything from my pack. I don't have to ride too far, but if I did I'm sure I would notice a reduction in distance and power. When I bought my bike the last owner said the batteries were up for changing around Feb. 2011. It's now June.
Hey, could I get one of you to check something for me. I was checking things out on my scooter and I noticed that the brake light is staying on. I don't recall the light staying on, like a tail light, unless the headlights were turned on.
If you could see if the rear light is off with the bike on, but the headlights off, this would suggest that I have a fault in the brake wiring causing my controller to cut power to the motor. Thanks in advance.
eBiker, you described my charger, all right. I have noticed in mornings past it was still red but when I unplugged it, the light changed to green. I saw those posts about overcharging but (foolishly) didn't think they applied to my stock charger.
zerogas, I can try that when I get home, if my battery will still cooperate. But I park my scooter in a fairly dark garage and I've never noticed the brake light on without the headlights on. I don't know if there's a "running light" in the back as well as a brake light.
My bike when turned on (but NO headlight on) has NO brake light *running*.
However, when the headlights are on then the brake light is on in *running* mode -- and gets brighter when the brakes are applied.
Hope that helps.
I was out on my bike again (running errands to the store) and I pass by one of those roadside radars (next to a school). It still clocks me at 21 mph (though the speedometer on the bike says "30")
Thinking this over and rereading many of the posts on this forum, it seems that people are often mixing up the idea of speed. When people say "welcome to the 30 MPH / 60v club" they must be saying welcome to the 20+ mph club. Am I missing something in my mod? I don't have the Shunt Mod on my bike, but from my understanding that only regulates the amount of amps to the rear hub -- which makes it start quicker off the start (torque) and up hills, but it doesn't make it go faster on the top speed. I'm still in the low 20s. But then again... my battery pack is very old. But that might only improve my range, not top speed.
Looks like I'll have to open up my battery pack and check them individually because my stock charger just doesn't want to stop. I don't want to end up frying the entire pack. Luckily my bike is indoors with me (I live on a ground-level unit so I can roll my bike into the house like the Bat cave). So While I'm home working I can tend to the charging (and not come home to a surprise). I've noticed the charger will go on and on and on. I'll unplug it for 30 seconds and then plug it back in and usually that works after it has been charging for several hours. I can also tell because the battery pack (removed from the bike) will be warm.
But today that's not the case. I unplug the charger wait a minute and plug it back and it initially stays green, but in a few minutes it starts *cooking* again. This happened three times today and the last time the pack was pretty warm. Not hot, just warm on all sides. Meanwhile my lil' .075 AMP charger is working just fine on the sole 5th battery -- though VERY slowly. But when I'm inside for the night that's okay. It's good by morning. The multi-stage feature works and I can tell what stage it's in by the indicator light (something the stock charger fails at).
My next purchase will be a 60v charger (as Zerogas said), however, I think even that won't help too much if the battery pack is unbalanced. It might be time to buy a new set.
I calculated the money and honestly paying the money for a new pack would cost the same as two or three months of gas (maybe more, since I don't commute like other folks).
But the XB-600 is getting old in the tooth, I'm starting to wonder about how much to still invest. And it still only clocks in at 21 MPH.
Yeah, you don't want to end up like me, battery case bulging from over-cooked batteries. Zerogas, I couldn't do that tail light test for you, since my battery died. But I think mine worked the same way as ebiker's.
So now instead of a scooter, I have a project. What I'm left with is the 5th battery, 12v 18AH. What's the difference between that and 12v 22AH? Just more time between charging, i.e. longer range? Should all 5 batteries be the same for sake of balanced charging?
My goal now is the standard 60v mod that has been so much discussed here. I guess it should be straightforward... the controller shunt, all 5 batteries wired together (5th battery either under the seat or that special mod under the bike) and wired to the charging port, and can be charged on the bike in a balanced way with a new 60v charger. Is this a pretty standard mod by now?
I found this online for $33.50: UNIVERSAL UB12220 B1 40696 12V 22AH BATTERY
Others are more expensive, I don't know why. Five of these would be under $200, seems pretty good. Then all I would need is the 60v charger, I guess. Am I on the right track?
Did you ever buy a new set of batteries?
I'm still charging mine separately (pack, pulled out with the stock charger, and the 5th battery by itself with a mini-charger)
As you implied earlier... that gets old really fast. i'm lucky that my apartment is ground level. You can actually drive the bike into the building.
So I don't have to do stairs and such. But I swear, if had to haul that battery pack even 4 or 5 stairs I'd be doing something about it.
The weather has been really good lately, too. However, I live on a island so the wind tends to blow a bit too damn much. Hurts my speed.
But it seems I'm only pulling 22 MPH anyway.
ebiker, no I haven't bought the batteries yet but I'm getting ready to. I went to a Batteries Plus store in Santa Clara but they only had 12V 20AH, which were about $60, while online I can get 22AH for under $35, although I'd like some confirmation that those are OK or a review or something.
You live in Alameda, right? My cousin and his girlfriend go there all the time to some big antique swap meet. I can see how the scooter would be convenient there but not the removing of the batteries for charging. I want to do the shunt mod and rebuild my bike with the 5th battery wired in so that I have the on-bike charging port working, then get a (good, reliable) 60v charger and never take the batteries off the bike again (until they wear out). Just a nice, zippy, convenient little bike that I can plug in when I get home and forget about it.
What do you think about the controllers available from Kelly? Are they really better? I haven't yet taken my controller apart so I don't know what it looks like in there. I wonder if running at 60v without the shunt mod could've burnt something out in there.
You should get those batteries online, I'm using something similar for my 5th battery and I've had NO trouble at all.
As for the controllers from Kelly? I must've missed the memo because I don't recall a different type of controller. I admit, I tried to get a controller from X-Treme and I guess it's backordered or just no longer in stock. So far I have not done the Shunt Mod on my 60v bike and it's just fine. Remember the Shunt modification is just for torque (faster off the line and better uphill speed). The shunt provides amps to the rear hub motor faster -- not more. So you will go faster quicker, BUT it won't make you go over the top speed of a 60v.
Also, you're *not* doing any damage to your 60v bike without a shunt. In fact, most folks have problems because of the shunt (because there's so many ways to do it and so many types of wire conductors). It has to be done right because basically you're opening the current to the hub motor beyond what has been regulated. Use the wrong gauge, or type of wire and it will affect the fuse and controller. That's why it's smart to order a back up controller to work on. Accidents happen and we don't want a dead bike while we wait on parts.
Also, remember... since more current will go through the shunt it means your batteries will deplete faster. Others have said this mostly affects the bike's *range*. But if you're like me (who rides less than 3 miles a day) it would never get to that point.
I do want to do the Shunt mod. I admit, it's lame building up speed from a green light with a trail of cars behind you.
And hills are pretty embarrassing when people on ten-speeds are passing you by.
I ordered the 5 batteries (UB12220), $243 shipped from Amazon. Also the 60v, 4amp charger from x-treme ($149). There were cheaper chargers with less amps and much more expensive ones with more amps. I just need overnight charging capability for a 10-mile roundtrip commute, hopefully the 4 amps will do. Gotta get my bike back on the road.
The shunt mod is definitely on my list. I don't like the slow take-off at all. But thanks for the tip about being careful with the controller, I did read about people blowing fuses. Maybe the Kelly controller is for people stepping up to 72v. I didn't see any 60v controllers on their website.
The idea of attaching the 5th battery somewhere besides the seat compartment seems good, if it can be protected from the weather. With the seat storage available, I could ditch the trunk storage on the back. Have you thought about stripping the bike down like that one guy did? I wonder how much weight he saved.
4 amps? Wow, that's like blazing fast! Make sure the charger works properly and not overheat the batteries, again. A proper charger should act in *stages* and once it reaches a balanced pack it should turn off.
As for the 5th battery storage... am I wrong, but I thought your bike already had it installed *under* the seat (not inside the seat). I put my 5th battery *under* the seat storage so I have both the seat and the trunk storage. It has saved my ass plenty of times when coming back from the grocery store. Y'know, as I buy things I look at the products and figure how it'll fit in the bike. Sometimes I'm spot on, other times I'm pushing it and cramming it into the trunk or seat. BUT if I only had one I know I'd be screwed. But that's my style, because I tend to do quick runs to the store a lot. Some folks only use the bike for commuting -- not shopping. Hah!
I'm looking at the Kelly controller now. I might be moving within the year and the place I'm going to is at the top of a hill. Going down is not a problem, but going UP will be.
Where I live now is flat as a pancake.
Also, I'm interested in the 60v charger (where I can leave all the batteries *in* the bike is also sounding like a great investment.
Well, I did the shunt mod, felt a little nervous about messing with the controller board like that (typical software engineer - don't trust myself around hardware). Now I have to put the bike back together.
The guy who sold me the bike had the 5th battery inside the seat - I want to mount it under the seat like you did. This morning I was bending that bar around trying to figure out how to wedge it in there. I think I can make it stand vertically right behind the controller and bend that bar over the top of it.
The previous owner was also separately charging the battery pack with a 48v charger and the 5th battery with a 12v charger, and because he cannibalized the cable to the charging port to connect the 5th battery, there was no on-bike charging available. He had to remove both from the bike to charge them.
Well, I got a 60v charger now and I want to put the charging port back together and have it all wired up properly for on-bike charging. I know it's pretty simple for hardware guys, but a software guy like me could use an extra clue or two. How should I wire together the battery pack, the 5th battery, the charging port and the controller?
Sorry I've been away, but I have been riding. I still don't have the Shunt Mod, so I don't feel confident in giving advice -- especially about rewiring the plug / charger port.
But I am VERY curious if your 60v charger will work on all 5 batteries (though a lot of this might depend on how the batteries are wired).
My $.02: when you are using battery banks (packs), whether they are wired in parallel, or in series like yours, you should always use the same AH rating for *all* the batteries. Otherwise they will drain and charge (not a problem if you charge them separately) at different rates, and you will have much shorter pack life. If the other 4 batteries are 20AH, then the 5th battery should also be 20AH.
Currently, I'm charging them separately.
But I'd *rather* charge them all at once.
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