Hi all and hope everyone has had a good summer of riding!
Got a question for other xb600 owners...those who've been into those bullet connectors at the junction of the controller to the motor wires...down under the seat bucket. I took my seat bucket off today just to see if I might find a way to lower the latch since the back of my seat has never sat all the way down firm since I've had my xb600. Anyway, while I had the seat bucket out I noticed the bullet connectors and group of wires where they are strapped to the frame...where the controller wires connect to the other wires. There are three bullet connectors covered in hard green clear plastic there...those three are part of the group going to the motor. I noticed one of them was "black" (indicating heating) inside the insulation so I tried unplugging it and of course it broke. Just the "male" side broke. So I pulled out the broken piece, cleaned up the female side and since I didn't have a replacement bullet connector I just soldered the connection back and covered it with shrink wrap insulation. Figured I'd just replace it with a new bullet connector sometime when I have to pull the controller loose. Anyway, worked fine but I checked after riding a few minutes and notice that those wires in the area of those connections get pretty warm. Obviously there's resistance created with those bullet connectors...and the one I soldered should be even less I think. Nonetheless, I would expect some heat buildup. But, again they seemed to get pretty warm...not too hot to touch...but good and warm. Just wondering if anyone else has felt these wires in that area after riding and if yours gets warm like that too. Looks to me like they should have used bigger wires going to the motor and better connectors...but, I've had no problem with them so maybe that resistance is no problem. Like I said just noticed this when I was doing something else. Note that you can reach right under up to the frame and feel these wires where they're tied to the frame so if someone might be kind enough to do that after a ride I'd sure like to know if mine are "normal" warming up this way right in that area.
Thanks in advance for any info anybody might offer on this!
You are lucky you caught this before you fried your controller.
This topic needs to be a sticky at the top of the XB??? list:
have a look at my power connectors. I can vouch for replacing the stock brass bullets with silver plated Anderson PowerPole 30A plugs.
Thanks for the reply about this. Yep...those are the bullet connectors I was talking about from looking at the previous post about this. So I'm assuming I should change those connectors. Where do you get the Anderson power pole connectors?
Thanks again for any additional info.
Here's the people I used:
I took the opportunity to rewire the pack to 12V Parallel charging using 10GA wire, with a jumper plug to "rewire" the pack for 48V service. I've been very happy with the change.
MF...Do I understand correctly that you didn't change anything with these wires coming from the controller to the motor...except the connectors?
Wow, that company powerwerx is just what I was looking at online and thinking I'd order the connectors from them. The wires going to the motor are smaller than the ones from the controller that they connect to...but you still used the 30 amp connectors on these and the ones from the controller? And did you solder or crimp them? Hey, thanks again for the info. I sent you a message but since you responded back here I'm just replying back here only.
This is best, I think. This is general interest.
As a matter of fact, I think I used three conductors of the RadioShack Grubb-screw terminal block (link)for the phase wires. The ends of the phase wires and the matching wires from the controller were merely straightened and tinned.
The PowerPole would work as well, filled in with solder. I generally crimped, then soldered, more to keep moisture out than for conductivity. I made my own crimper filed into the base of a pair of long-handled needle nose pliers. The crimp needs to be very accurate to fit in the connector housing.
Well, I'm a bit confused with the additional info. Not sure I understand what you're saying. I had thought you said you used anderson powerpole connectors??? Are you saying that you misstated that and that upon thinking about it more you realized you actually used the Radio Shack product you mentioned?
Nonetheless, I have already ordered the anderson powerpole connectors. What I understood looking at the Powerwerx site is that although the connectors are designated by "amps" the only real difference in the ones for 15/30,etc. amps is the size of the barrel hole for the wire to go into. The blades and housings are the same. I ordered both 15s and 30s figuring I could use the 15s if necessary for the smaller wires going to the motor and the 30s for the larger wires coming from the controller...thinking it would be important for the wire to fill as much of the barrel as possible. I also ordered color coded cases which really doubled the cost over just ordering the red/black sets. But, the total is still under $20 including shipping...so that's not bad especially if these plugs will work much better than those cheap bullet types on there. I bought enough to practice using some junk wire and see just how I might do the connection...solder only, crimp only, both...and 15s and 30s or just only the 30s for all wires. I'd like to use the 30s for all of them but again I'm not sure you're supposed to use them if the wire doesn't fill the barrel well???
Nontheless, anything has to be better than those cheapo bullet connectors that's on there!
And lastly, I notice the controller is held to that metal frame mounting plate by one bolt and a wire tie on the other side. Is there any harm in moving it a bit to give more slack to the wires since I might need more length when redoing these connections? I notice the hole on the plate that bolt goes through is slotted as if you can make a bit of adjustment side to side on the mount. Again, thanks MF70 for all of the good info on this. It really helps to learn from what works for others here!
You'll be happy with the PowerPole connectors. Yes you can move the controller. As detailed elsewhere, MY controller was bolted hard against the chain!
Gus, you said:
Well, I disremembered. I used the RadioShack grubb screw terminals for the three phase wires. They connect to a simple tinned wire end, so they can be pulled through the center of the axle nut if needed during maintenance.
On the other hand, I HAVE happily used the Anderson PowerPoles at all other points in the power delivery circuits.
They are available online from PowerWerx.
They are available in either soldered or crimp connectors. Crimp connectors need a special crimper - I made one.
No, you're probably thinking of Molex - the ones with tinned sheet metal pins and sockets that fit in rectangular nylon carriers.
Each contact in the PowerPole system is in its own capsule. The capsules interconnect to make connectors of any pin count or configuration imaginable.
Well, the Grubb screw terminals ended the heat build up at that location. The PowerPoles would have too (except for their bulk in this application): they use silver plated contacts, tensioned by a non-electrical steel spring for contact pressure.
I use the PowerPoles for the main pack connector plug. I plug and unplug it daily for charging, and they are in excellent condition with no heat build up after 1.3 years.
Let me know how it goes.
Mark and the rest...well, got the anderson powerpoles all installed. Barely had enough wire to change the connections. Had to move the controller a bit to the wire bundle side so I could make the connections. I'm not really sure what I think about these plugs. Easy enough to install. I soldered and crimped them, making sure not to let any solder get on the outside of the wire tube part or forward of that...so they would work properly. I'm not so crazy about how easily they unplug. I mounted them side by side as they are made to connect to each other...and I also put a wire tie around the middle end to end to hold the plug set together. Don't want them to come unplugged!
I tried a couple of test runs...going up a small steep hill in my neighborhood so I'd pull alot of amps...and you know I notice the same heat on the wires going to the motor. No heat to speak of on the controller side...but the same warm bundle that goes to the motor. I wished they had used the same size wire (on the blue, green, yellow) going to the motor as coming from the controller. I'm thinking now the heat is just normal with this setup because of the wire size that goes into the motor. When alot of amps are pulled, motor working hard as going up a hill...it just seems to heat up a portion of that bundle from the plugs to about a foot in the run going toward the motor. Wish someone else would tell me if they have the same heat buildup on these wires. They cool quickly once the load is lessened...and never get really hot...but good and warm and enough you can feel warmth on the frame in that area. Oh well, if I have any problem with them I'm thinking I'll forget plugs and just solder them together with shrink wrap over the solder joints. But that would mean I'd have to move that wire bundle coming from the motor closer to the controller since there is no slack on those three wires as they are running around the frame underneath the seat bucket.
I'm also not sure about the "open ends" of the plastic plugs where the wires go in. This could let alot of moisture in. I did like the fact that the bullet connectors had some soft plastic covers over them to keep moisture out. Maybe I should have just left them on and not made the change??? Oh well to late now! But like I wrote above if worse comes to worse I'll just solder the dang wires together and not have plugs!
Anyway, thanks Mark and others for your info, comments, etc.
The difference is that the PowerPoles will take the heat without corroding (silver plating) or losing contact (the separate steel tensioning spring behind the contacts). You are right about the open backs of the connectors. You might try the self-amalgamating tape such as at:
Here's a pix of the grubb-screw terminals:
When removed, the tinned wire ends are easier to pass through the bolt at the end.
You are right about the wires heating up. There must be a lot of resistance in that long run of small wire. Unfortunately, I don't see any way to replace it with something heavier, and I'm half afraid that if I did something worse inside the hub would fail.
I agree Mark. Hey, do you suppose some regular ole clear silicone dabbed in the end of the AP plugs would work ok. I know that would prevent moisture going in from the ends...but do you think it would hinder their proper alignment, contact when plugged?...maybe put it in with them plugged and make sure none goes far enough in to get to the blade plugging side of the case? I also have dielectric grease which could be put in there...and that might be more appropriate.
Just like gushar I took the seat bucket out and checked the wires on my XB-600, but everything under the seat looked FINE.
However, I put it back together, turned the key and .... nothing. And I did nothing. I didn't drive it over a bump, I didn't drive it at all. I checked the fuses but I didn't yank or pull at anything.
I've checked ever thread on this forum (it's after 2 AM) but I didn't see a problem like this.
However, the bike motor DOES work. I hit the throttle and it goes. But I have no lights, no signals, no brake lights, no battery gauge, no horn. Only the odometer works.
What happened? The controller? Tomorrow I'll go get replacement fuses (the blade fuse and the glass fuse) and I'll see if that's the problem. My new multimeter isn't here yet so I'm flying a little blind.
I checked the wiring diagram and things check out. I can only assume that a couple of bare wires must be touching -- but and they must have been touch sensitive to go out so easily
Anyway, does anyone have ideas? I'm about to cut all the plastic ties against the frame and check for wire damage.
The throttle is a separate set of wires from the controller. This is very good news.
This uses 12V from the converter.
Also from the converter.
THIS is a surprise. The battery gauge runs off the 48V power line that supplies the converter with juice.
Another 12V appliance.
Well, do you mean speedomometer? The lack of an odometer has been my biggest complaint about the scoot. The signal to the speedo is a direct wire from the controller, AFIK, and runs on the 48V side of the coin.
If it were I (and it HAS been "I" at least twice), I would start by pulling all that streamlined plastic off (well, not ALL: you'll need to remove the right side under deck fairing, probably the main front molding with the headlights, and the instrument panel) and following wires while checking for voltage. My first target would be the glass fuse. Take care of that wiring diagram! (I accidentally shredded mine(don't ask...)). For me, both times, I found a blown DC/DC converter. They were pretty fast in getting a replacement out to me.
mf70, you're right... I meant speedometer (it was 2AM I was dead on my feet). Second time I misnamed something on this bike.
I took the deck faring off the sides last night but I'll take the front plastic off today. The auto store is a mere ten minute walk from my house so I'll buy fuses (I should have extras anyway). 20A glass fuses and the 30A blade fuse. I have a feeling the front brake line that *was* threaded over the wiring in the front might have something to do with this.
Today I'll get into it. I'm tempted to reroute some of these wires under the seat bucket. They are ganged up and strapped to the frame so badly. Plus, it would be nice to simply take off the seat bucket and access the wires and not the side panels.
Guess what? It works?
I got up this morning, ate breakfast and all that jazz and prepared myself for digging into the bike all day if needed. And before I started, just for a test I put the key in and turned the ignition. And... it all came back on. Everything. This actually makes it worse, because I HATE mystery problems. I'm only a so-so mechanic and handyman but I know one thing... problems that come and go are still problems. I'll still go through the motions today and take the plastic off, check all my lines, replace fuses and reroute a few things, if possible.
But right now... the damn thing is just fine.
Nope, not working again.
I took all the plastic off (that I needed) and did a thorough inspection. Everything looks good (still no mulitmeter, though). I rerouted some of the wiring so the blade and glass fuse are under the seat (not along the side panel). Then I put it all back together and yet... it happened again. No power gauge, lights, signals, et.). This time, since the fuse is now in an easier position I just took the seat off and worked from there. Sure enough, I saw a flash from the glass fuse. It had blown, but not in the middle. It blew inside up at the top where the filament connects to the metal, thus you couldn't see it, but when I tweaked it I saw it flash. I took it off completely and the top came off like a screw top.
So I went to the auto store (Kragen) and I swear I must have the worst parts store in the country. Not one package of 15 Amp fuses (which is what came out of the bike), and no 30 Amp blade fuses in a small package (unless I buy the box of 30). And of course the clerk behind the counter is no help. I got an assortment pack, which included a 15 AMP, but it's rated 15 A 32V (instead of 15A 250V). I'm starting to wonder about the previous owner again, because I swore this should have been a 20 Amp. Is that right?
Turns out the 250V and 32V ratings doesn't matter. Some Google info came up with this:
"Electric scooter fuses should always be replaced with the same Amperage rating fuse. The Voltage rating is not quite as important though. Some scooter makers will use 250V fuses while others will use 32V fuses in their scooters. The reason for this is that 250V fuses are rated for AC power and 32V fuses are rated for DC power, and because AC power is more efficient to transmit than DC power is, it is much easier for fuses to handle. A 32V (DC) fuse is compatible with a 250V (AC) fuse and they are 100% interchangeable when used in electric scooter and electric bicycle applications."
Not to get off the present subject on this thread...but to update about the bullet connectors I changed to anderson pole....
Well, some months later working just fine with the Anderson pole connectors. The wires still get a bit warm on a long ride...but not anything to worry about. I don't think any connectors will prevent this...the wires are just to small and really should be larger creating less resistance.
Don't know if I'd be in trouble if the connection gets wet. Still haven't sealed them in any way cause I don't ride in rain!
Just an update from my beginning this thread!
The warm wires may be a "feature." They may limit the current delivered to the motor. I'd hate to have the little wires inside melt, and wheel motors have notoriously bad cooling. They would also be almost impossible to upgrade.
I replaced all my 14GA supply wiring with 10GA, but I didn't touch the phase wires other than to use a Grubb screw terminal instead of the cheap brass connectors.