Controllers

Last Reviewed: Mon, 27/Mar/2017


Controller Voltage
Our controllers through revision D will not run below their designated voltages. For revision E and above, the voltage cutoff can be set by using the APM. We made this change so that low voltage cutoff can be altered depending on the battery chemistry being used. Do NOT over-volt the controller! Revision E and above controllers are microprocessor-controlled and WILL blow if over-volted.

Direct Short Protection
Our series E and newer controllers protect themselves from a direct short from the motor. If the wires that run between the motor and controller are damaged and shorted together, the controller will sense a problem and will shut down. Motor wire repairs are easy and inexpensive. Controllers are not. We made this change because the circuitry became cost-effective.

Using one controller to power two motors
Brushless motor controllers use feedback from the motor to determine spin rate and position, which determines which set of poles to power to keep the wheel turning. Since you cannot synchronize multiple motors, you must use a controller for each. You can split one throttle to run two controllers, however.

Regenerative Braking
Regenerative braking is more marketing hype than useful. It is about 20% efficient. That is, you'd have to pedal 5 times as hard to generate power as you would to just pedal the vehicle directly. Regenerative braking adds cost and complexity to the system, while reducing reliability. Regenerative braking puts a huge amount of torque on the bike frame, and bike frames are just not strong enough. There was a company that offered an aftermarket modification to the motor, controller, and bike frame to enable regenerative braking, but it was expensive, frames still broke, and the project was scrapped.

High voltage controller
We now offer a 72V controller. Performance and range are better with 72v than 48v. The downside is the weight and cost of more batteries. To most who are looking for power, the trade-off is worthwhile. The Phoenix Racer will yield the lowest performance gain at 72v, and the Phoenix Brute exhibits the greatest. The 72v system requires the rider to practice safety and maintain heightened awareness. Riding 40+ MPH without a drop of gas, no noise, and no pollution is very cool! 

Variable Voltage Controller
We tested every one of them, and every one of them failed. Performance and reliability both suffer so much we will not off a variable voltage controller.

Thermal Shutdown
Our controllers will protect themselves by shutting off the power in the event they get too hot. This will never happen to most people, but if it happens to you, wait anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes for cooling and the system will come back on.

Connections
        Pins Device
        ---- -------

        2F - Reverse
        3F - Brake inhibit
        3M - Unused by us, might be for pedal assist option
        4F - Throttle
        5M - Cruise control


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