Electric Chopper project "Panther"

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by Fly_boy_bc, Apr 7, 2008.

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  1. Fly_boy_bc

    Fly_boy_bc Guest

    Hi all.

    I WAS building a "Happy Time" Schwinn OCC (Lookalike) chopper which I intended to Register and insure as a moped here in BC Canada but I have been told by those who know that I would be better off to start from a motorcycle frame from a legal standpoint.

    So instead of a "Street legal" build I am starting a decidedly illegally overpowered "pedal assist" chopper. In BC we are limited to 800 Watts maximum.

    I think my motor is 1600 Watts:evil:

    It came from an Invacare Panther MX-4. A very BIG 4 wheeled mobility scooter. I got the whole scooter from a dealer who was tired of trying to repair the throttle unit (not the controller) for $100

    It took days to pull it all apart and extract the electrical harness, lights, motor and controller.

    "Panther" seems like an appropriate name for the project. Both because the scooter was called Panther and because I should end up with a powerful yet quiet killer.;)

    Pix to follow.



    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 7, 2008

  2. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    Sounds like a great project. I hope you will detail the whole build for us. Some day we may all be riding electric.
  3. azbill

    azbill Active Member

    this is gonna be an interesting project...thanks for including us in the fun !!!:D:D:D
  4. quay1962

    quay1962 Guest

    that is quite interesting...good luck
  5. That's pretty cool. Now I know power scooters aren't exactly fast but they pull pretty darn well. I'd like to see where this all goes. With the right gearing you may get better range than any power scooter can get,and power scooters are designed to run all day.
    You may have found the answer to electric range issues.
  6. Fly_boy_bc

    Fly_boy_bc Guest

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 8, 2008
  7. Fly_boy_bc

    Fly_boy_bc Guest



    I meant to begin a build thread in General Discussion it it ok if this stays here? Or should I begin again in GD?

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2008
  8. Fly_boy_bc

    Fly_boy_bc Guest

    Battieries on Saturday etc.

    Batteries are coming on Saturday. 2X 12Volt 37!! AH Deep cycle SLA.

    This is aprox. what the Panther used (40AH) So I should get good range.

    I have a problem however. The throttle unit was the only piece I didn't get with the scooter (broken). I know that it must be a potentiometer but what resistance and current handling?

    Also anybody who knows about scooters what would you expect my full throttle rpm to be? Can I bypass the power controller at full speed to just dump 24Volts directly to the motor? Can I overvolt a bit?


  9. BSA

    BSA Guest

    Yes, it's fine here, well it is an electric isn't it.
  10. Fly_boy_bc

    Fly_boy_bc Guest

    Sure but I'm not getting any answers here. Don't more ppl read GD?


  11. billvon

    billvon Guest

    Depends on the controller. 10K is a common value. Current handling generally doesn't matter (very low power levels.)

    If you have a chopper controller, and are driving a brushed motor, then you can connect them to the batteries directly. Do NOT do this unless the motor is mounted - the startup torque can tear the leads off. An easier way to do this is to use a bench supply and slowly crank up the voltage to the battery voltage. Less torque that way.
  12. Ypedal

    Ypedal Member

    electric motors will tolerate a wide range of volts/amps over and under their spec'ed rating.

    wheelchair motors are rated very conservatively, i bet you could hook up an alltrax 200 amp controller to that thing and really make it cook ! (it will wear the brushes faster.. but hey... live for the moment ! hehe )

    Throttles come in 2 flavors .. Pot or Hall.. Pot throttles can be had for aprox 40 $.. the Hall throttles are cheaper at 10 to 20 $ . they usually regulate a 1 to 5v signal for the controller.
  13. Fly_boy_bc

    Fly_boy_bc Guest

    Thanks I actually managed to get the service manual for the controller and it all seems great except for the fact that the controller has a pre-programmed top speed and rate of acceleration. I have also been told that it should have a deceleration rate as well but since I am planning to use a BMX hub as a jackshaft I won't have to worry about that.

    What do you think my chances are of getting it re-programmed for MAX values for top end and acceleration?

  14. Fly_boy_bc

    Fly_boy_bc Guest

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2008
  15. Fly_boy_bc

    Fly_boy_bc Guest

  16. Fly_boy_bc

    Fly_boy_bc Guest

  17. Fly_boy_bc

    Fly_boy_bc Guest

    Wotta GAP!

    WOW. It has been 8 MONTHS since I posted here because life intruded on my ability to do any projects. I have had no space to work or access to any of my tools or supplies. I am happy to say that this situation has finally changed for the better. I have had most of the parts that I need for this project for almost a year (Stored away) but I now have a workspace and access to my tools and stuff :grin5:

    When I began this project gas was getting a bit expensive then of course it went through the roof and now it is cheaper than it has been in years. Still gasoline is going the way of the Dodo so onward and upwards!

    I have this cute little fantasy where I ride from where I live in Langley BC to Burnaby just outside of Vancouver (about 40 KM or 25 miles) with enough power left to charge up my RC airplane LiPo batteries from my 37 Ah SLA bike system for a few flights and am still able to ride home.

    I kind of doubt I'll ever get mileage that good but here in the Lower Mainland we can take our bikes on the buses and overhead trains (Skytrain of you are "in the know").

    Wish me luck I am "back on board". :D
  18. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    Glad to have you back. This is an interesting project. Please keep us posted.
  19. ZnsaneRyder

    ZnsaneRyder Member

    Nice project. I hope your electric bike shows up some of the gas engines here! If you are worried about your controller, you can get another one. If you are savvy in electronics, or know someone who is, then maybe they could build you a simple controller. You can use or own POT or throttle control of your choice.

    I'm designing a controller now because I plan on going Hybrid in the future. It would consist of a TL594 PWM circuit, driving FOUR 120A MOSFETS (paralleled) on a heatsink (overkill) to run the motor.

    http://www.onsemi.com/pub_link/Collateral/NTY100N10-D.PDF - MOSFET Datasheet
    http://www.onsemi.com/pub/Collateral/TL594-D.PDF - PWM controller IC chip.

    The way PWM works is it gives the motor short or long pulses of the full voltage to change speed without wasting energy. I'd build one for you, but I'm still designing mine and it's not finished. I'll keep in touch.

    Have fun with your Project!