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Turntech battery update

Old 04-01-2010, 12:51 PM
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Turntech battery update

Some of you asked me for an update, so here goes:

I started my VTR today for the first time in many months. While my initial plans were to use my Yuasa battery for initial start-up adn then put in the Turntech, I reconsidered that game plan for two reasons: i) I had already installed the Turntech (put it in for a trial fitting and ended up just leaving it in) ii) as I have question marks related to this battery's ability to tun over the big twin, I thought waht better test than the first start-up of the year. So...

I charged the new battery for about two hours last (trickle charger) evening as this is new ground for me (with a lithium battery, did not want to risk overcharging it, if that is even possible). I thought I would simply boost it with the Yuasa if needed. Anyhow, I got evderything ready and hit the starter button. It was cool out this AM ( 5 C or about 40 F). The bike struggled to turn over initially but seemed to do better as it went along (something the Turntech guy told me would likely happen, the battery gets stronger as it gets a load on it). After a few short tries, the bike finally fired up. I just got in from a short ride (about 100 miles) and all is well now. Whatever its status before, it is surely fully charged now and the bike fires up instantly.

I'll keep you posted about how things develop in teh coming days
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Old 04-01-2010, 02:07 PM
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Believe me... You will never need to charge that battery with anything other than the bike's charging system... In normal use it'll stay charged... And even if you punish it it will start your bike every damned time... Run it down until you think it's dead and let it rest a minute or two and it bounces back... It will wear out your starter before you need to put it on a charger...

I tried mine to the extreme... I started the bike, shut it of, started, shut of then I ran the headlight with the bike of for 15 minutes or so... started the bike and shut it off... Swapped in the yuasa to check something, swapped back, had the light on another couple of minutes, all without letting it charge up in between... Then turned the headlight on-off a couple of times more...

And after that decided I was gonna ride to the store and get milk, I figure it's dead now and I'd need to swap, but hit the starter anyway... By now the Yuasa would have given up long ago... Slooow-Sloow-slow-fast-fast-wroom... Hm... Need to get my gear on... When I do that the bike hickups on idle and dies... So I have to start it again... I then stall it going from the shop to the driveway (gravel path) not once, but twice... Every time it takes one more rotation on the starter before it fires... But it fires... Every time...

Then ride to the store and when I come out to go home... cha-Cha-wroom... Done... Topped of... And that's a 5 km ride...

Yeah, the Yuasa was fully charged, waiting... And I had someone on standby to bring it too me... And yes, I was deliberatly punishing the A123 cells... I wanted to know how they would do in a worst case scenario...

That was probably 10-15 starts, 20 minutes or so with a HID headlight, and a bit more fiddling... And it was probably at the most at 75% charge when I started...

The Yuasa would have a hard time after five tries on the starter and be dead by the tenth, never mind trying to run the headlight...
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Old 04-01-2010, 05:36 PM
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Mikstr,

I have a speedcell battery and it also uses the A123 cellls. The battery rocks and is under my seat right next to my radiator overflow.
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:02 AM
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Tweety - I saw your post a few days back about buying 100 A123's. My curiosity is piqued -- what are you going to with all of them? I keep thinking of cool projects to use them in and I'm interested in what other people are doing with them. Are you going to be selling bike battery-packs? Have you thought of making an Instructable about building your own?
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Old 04-02-2010, 12:23 PM
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Well, I made a pack for each of my three bikes... And stuck a few in my RC helicopter... And the rest is in the process of becoming packs for a couple of the members of the Swedish VTR forum... Buying less than 10 of them at the time is stupidly expensive... And the more you get at the time, the better...
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Old 04-02-2010, 12:28 PM
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BTW... Instructable... Why? Solder them up 4 in a string to get a 12V equivalent and then double up for a bigger bike like the VTR... Only tidbit you need to know is use a big cable (#9 or #8) or it gets hot when starting and don't short stuff... Wrap in big shrinktube and it's done...

Last edited by Tweety; 04-02-2010 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 04-29-2010, 10:45 AM
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BTW... I got a(nother) stupid idea about a week ago...

My bike has the last week been running on a single string of 4 A123 cells... It starts happily every time and there is plenty of juice left... In fact when I tried it I managed to start the bike 10 times in rapid succesion without letting it charge in between...

Then I forgot that the small pack was connected and went on to drive around using it for 2 days before remembering... I left the 8 pack lying in there when I did my tests so if I had gotten any problems I could have just swapped an Anderson connector and had a fresh 8 pack to start from...

These damned things have some kick to them... It's ridiculous... a small 350g pack with a nominal 2.3Ah rating does the work of a 10Ah 4.5Kg lead lump...
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:10 AM
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Tweety, are you using the 1100mah cells or the 2300mah cells?
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:59 AM
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2300mAh cells... This is the one in there now... One of it's bigger brothers are now just riding along as backup...

Basicly the 8 cell packs are 2 of the 4 cubes tied together... I wanted the positive and negative wires together and not at each end as two flat packs would give me... Makes it easier to seal them in shrink tube... And while I was sitting there making 4 cell blocks I kind of got curious how long that would last... I kind of didn't believe it to be enough as Turntech only recommends them for smaller dirtbikes... But it not only starts a big twin once... It does it over and over and over again...

The thing I'm trying to figure out now though is how it likes being charged for long periods in the bike... Like me going for a lil cruise down the freeway... Full tank of gas, full battery... Start the bike once and then it gets charged while running... Empty tank of gas, and how is the battery feeling? So far it has handled that fine... Along with several trips in more squiggly areas...
Attached Thumbnails Turntech battery update-007-large-.jpg   Turntech battery update-002.jpg  

Last edited by Tweety; 04-30-2010 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 05-03-2010, 03:50 AM
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Originally Posted by lazn View Post
Tweety, are you using the 1100mah cells or the 2300mah cells?
You got me curious... (Yeah, like that's hard to do...) So I tried 4 1100mAh cells... And to my own surprise not only did they start the bike... They managed to do so 3 times in succesion and could probably have done it a few more, but where starting to feel a bit more than "warm" so I quit torturing them... 8 of them had no problem going for several more times...

Damn these things keep surprising me on a regular basis... It's like trying to start a bike from 4 penlight cells (or that's how it feels!) And the damndest thing is it works... No real problem, just push the button and wroom... The weight of these things is really ridiculous compared to the behemoth lead weight in there before...

Oh... BTW... An 8 pack of the 2300mAh cells turns over a rather high comp and not entirely standard 426 hemi... That car has never ever started on the first try before... With that pack in it it takes three rounds on the starter every damned time... (needs that to build heat in the pack and fuel pressure)

Altough I think I might make an 12 or 16 cell pack for it... Either that or I might try the larger 38120 10Ah cells... 4 of those should be plenty for any car...

Last edited by Tweety; 05-03-2010 at 04:08 AM.
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:12 AM
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Ok, you convinced me.. Now I need to buy some A123 cells and start making my own batteries.
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Old 05-03-2010, 10:02 AM
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Good idea...

I'll recommend 8 2300mAh cells... So far testing has proved that they are slightly oversize for starting needs but has better kick when it's cold... 4 of them works 9 time out of 10, but the 10'th one isn't fun...

I use 8# gauge wire and a 50A Anderson disconnect and that's plenty oversized...
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Old 05-04-2010, 01:05 PM
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Would you be willing to sell me a ready made unit and send it to England?!
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Old 05-04-2010, 01:25 PM
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Saw this doc with pics about assembly while looking for batteries.
http://media.hyperion.hk/dn/a123/pac...23packassy.pdf
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Old 05-04-2010, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by bealsey View Post
Would you be willing to sell me a ready made unit and send it to England?!
If you mean me, gladly... Altough I have no cells at home now... I'll probably end up ordering more in few days though as more Swedish vtr riders want them...
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Old 05-04-2010, 02:14 PM
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I notice that the speedcell, turntech, and tweety packs all don't have cell leveling when it comes to charging. Is this just something the MFGs do as overkill?
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Old 05-04-2010, 02:39 PM
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Um... Yes and no...

If you charge a pack on a charger you NEED balancing... If you continuosly discharge a pack to a "full cycle" ie about 80% for a123 packs, the way an EV does... Then you need it... And in a RC whatever... And if you are dumb enough to use a floatcharger on an a123 pack, then you NEED a balancer...

If you let the bike charge the pack and never ever use a charger on it, you will never ever need a balancer... It's that simple...

If you use it in the vehicle it will be charged to "full" but not to the exact maximum capacity for each cell... And it will hardly ever cycle below say 50%... Then it's more or less self balancing... If you put a float charger or such on it it will charge each cell to it's absolute maximum capacity, but they will be unbalanced... Then it'll take a couple of months or so to get back in balance under normal use...

As far as float chargers, battery tenders and whatever... You will never, ever need them... put a charged pack on the shelf in the autumn and hook it up in spring and it will start the bike just fine... It will probably drop less than .1V over that time as long as it's stored cool... But you "need" to unplug it...

Before I shrink wrap my packs I charge and balance them... I haven't run a full season on one in a bike yet, but I have used one in an RC heli... or rather two... One was in a electric one and it needed constant balancing (cycled fully)... The other was a radio pack in a gas powered bigger one... It never ever needed to be balanced... Took me a while to figure out... But that one cycled like the battery in a bike does... Every time I filled the tank on the heli I gave it a quick burst on the 7A charger and had it topped of (I prefer to have a full pack for safety)... And every time it was at probably 50% once the gas was out... Then for whatever reason I swapped the packs and after a few cycles the behaviour was consistant... The one that previously lived on the balancer was now perfectly balanced, the other one needed constant balancing...

So in theory it will be the same with the battery in the bike... I'll report at the end of the season... If not, well I'll balance it and run another season... I have a balancing plug on my test pack, which by now has done some 2000 km and i still perfectly balanced... (I haven't balanced it yet, just measured)

Last edited by Tweety; 05-04-2010 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 05-06-2010, 12:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Tweety View Post
If you mean me, gladly... Altough I have no cells at home now... I'll probably end up ordering more in few days though as more Swedish vtr riders want them...
Sorry tweety did mean you, forgot to press the quote button!! How much would you like for a unit? And how much for postage etc!
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Old 05-06-2010, 04:05 AM
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Originally Posted by bealsey View Post
Sorry tweety did mean you, forgot to press the quote button!! How much would you like for a unit? And how much for postage etc!
Postage I really don't know for sure, but I did a quick calculation on the postal services website... And that comes out to roughly 135€ for the pack and shipping... I rounded of a few decimal commas (less than €) to give me marginal on shipping/currency...

The only "problem" is it's happening NOW... So make up your mind and drop me a PM and I'll count you in on the order... I'd say you got realisticly a 24h window, then the order has gone through...

BTW, that's the pack with a pigtail Anderson connector, ie hook two ring connectors to the stock cable and then you have an quick disconnect for the battery...
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Old 05-06-2010, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Tweety View Post
Postage I really don't know for sure, but I did a quick calculation on the postal services website... And that comes out to roughly 135 for the pack and shipping... I rounded of a few decimal commas (less than ) to give me marginal on shipping/currency...

The only "problem" is it's happening NOW... So make up your mind and drop me a PM and I'll count you in on the order... I'd say you got realisticly a 24h window, then the order has gone through...

BTW, that's the pack with a pigtail Anderson connector, ie hook two ring connectors to the stock cable and then you have an quick disconnect for the battery...
Nice! I want one too
How much to send one to the US area code 33547?
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Old 05-06-2010, 07:30 AM
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Oh crap... There goes my spare time...

$37 for shipping and $134 for the battery...

I dunno what the shipping is, but a Turntech is $159 + shipping and you get a nice box, so in all honesty, it migth be an alternative for anyone in the US... (No quick disconnect though)

Last edited by Tweety; 05-06-2010 at 07:36 AM.
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Old 05-06-2010, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Tweety View Post
Oh crap... There goes my spare time...

$37 for shipping and $134 for the battery...
Thanks Tweety, Pls count me in!

Do you take Paypal? If so pls PM me your acct info and I'll send the $$$ on over!

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Old 05-06-2010, 07:37 AM
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Gladly... PM on it's way...
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Old 05-06-2010, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Tweety View Post
Gladly... PM on it's way...
Tweety, money sent but your PM mail box is full...time for some house keeping
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Old 05-06-2010, 07:59 AM
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Yeah... That fills up every other day it seems... I chucked a few now... But money recieved and cells on the orderlist...
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Old 05-06-2010, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Tweety View Post
Yeah... That fills up every other day it seems... I chucked a few now... But money recieved and cells on the orderlist...
U da man!
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Old 05-11-2010, 09:24 PM
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So I made my first attempt.. I need to improve my leads, for now I just soldered on some washers to test it.

It's so tiny:




Works good, bike starts up super quick and easy, nothing got hot, lights were bright.

Once I work out a better wire connection system this thing is gonna live in my bike
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Old 05-12-2010, 08:35 AM
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Here are a couple of low quality phone videos of starting the bike on the new battery.

First one, no choke, so it cranks a bit:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTXAz...=youtube_gdata
2nd one with choke.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeIij...=youtube_gdata
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:14 AM
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So Lazn, where did you get your A123 cells from? Ebay? How much?
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Stevebis1 View Post
So Lazn, where did you get your A123 cells from? Ebay? How much?
Yes Ebay, and I got a used DeWalt battery to scavenge them from. (cheaper in this case than from Asia because I only wanted a few to test with, but I will probably be ordering a bigger batch from there soon to make a few for local friends)
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