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Making my own mobility scooters
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Picture of ToddAllen
Location: Chicago, IL
Registered: 01-18-2008
Posts: 190
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I added fenders and a cargo rack to my scooter and tested the rack with a trip to get a refill on welding gas. Hauling the gas by scooter was super convenient as it allowed me to go point to point, from my welder in the basement to the loading dock at Wisco, several miles from home.

Registered: 10-22-2005
Posts: 142
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Picture of ToddAllen
Location: Chicago, IL
Registered: 01-18-2008
Posts: 190
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Here's my newest scoot, BS4. Achieved my goals, weighs 30 lbs with a small battery good for about 8 miles range.

quote:
Originally posted by ToddAllen:
I'm planning to build a scooter similar to the one in my posted photo but with a lighter motor, wheels and frame. I expect it to be lighter than the Travel Scoot Deluxe with more cargo capacity and able to handle rough pavement, modest off roading, curb hopping, etc. with a 15+ mph speed. The tradeoff I'll be making is no folding though it will be small enough to fit in a seat or the hatch of my wife's car.


BucketScooter 4
Registered: 10-22-2005
Posts: 142
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Missed this, Todd. What are the specs on the motor/controller/battery?
I've got some miles on my Lyric runner (now out of business). It has lots of power and range, but the high sitting position combined with the "lean" design makes it somewhat tricky to ride. The small wheel size also limits it off pavement.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Cam,
Picture of ToddAllen
Location: Chicago, IL
Registered: 01-18-2008
Posts: 190
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Cam, did you get the Lyric Ranger or a different model called a Runner?

I've seen the Ranger on YouTube. Sorry to hear they went out of business as it appears to be a well designed and made scooter. But the small electric scooter market is brutal and there have been so many failed companies and few successes.

Are the seat and handlebars height adjustable on your scooter? If so, have you tried lowering them and has it made any difference?

The Ranger struck me as being designed primarily as a scooter to ride standing. The tall handlebars and the leaning feature ought to make it work well while standing.

I have an old, ~1970 leaning Schwinn leaning pedal tricycle. I modified it and added an electric motor. It feels great while riding at speed and the leaning feature makes it corner very nicely. But at slow speed it is a little floppy and when sitting I have to put my feet on the ground and expend a fair amount of effort to stay upright.

The Schwinn was my primary ride for about a year. I was considering attempting to modify it to stiffen the torsion spring to see how much I could improve its low speed manners without ruining the higher speed cornering.

But then we put in a tiny elevator in our house and the Schwinn was far too big to ever fit inside. Once I built my first bucket scooter which I could ride in/out on the elevator I lost interest in the Schwinn.

Anyway, you might consider stiffening or even locking out the leaning feature on your scooter and see if it works out any better for you?

Off roading is challenging for small scooters and few do it well. It really benefits from big wheels/tires and more wheel base both of which are awkward for something ridden indoors.

My smaller wheeled scooter, BS4, can be ridden for short distances at slow speed across smooth lawn but can't handle much more than that.

My larger wheeled scooter, BS3, can handle fairly rough ground and will still go fairly fast but without suspension it bangs me around and it's tiring and not something I want to do often or for long.

The purpose for BS4 was to build something light enough that I could pick up and lift over a curb or a stair or two and that my wife could easily put in her little hatchback car. I didn't expect to ride it on the streets as much as I do, but it works better indoors than BS3 so I've been using for almost all my trips under 5 miles and now mainly use BS3 only for longer trips.

BS4 has a motor rated for 350 watts at 36 volts, but I was running it at 700 watts at 48 volts. It was fairly peppy and surprisingly swift for its tiny size but prone to overheating if ridden more than a few miles.

Then I tried a different type of controller, something called FOC, short for "field oriented control". It's currently much more expensive, but I expect in a few years it will become cheap and become the new standard for controllers as it is so vastly much better.

With FOC the motor runs quieter and more efficiently. I'm now running BS4 at 850 watts and it isn't overheating even when run at 24 mph. It also has excellent strong controllable regen braking right down to a stop. And it can be put into a mode to modulate power instead of speed. So the throttle works like the gas pedal of a car. I like the feel and find it easier to control on slick or rough surfaces. It also supports a lot of other features such as field weakening which means better acceleration at higher speeds and top speed is no longer limited by gearing and voltage but really only by the thermal limitations of the motor. And it supports monitoring a temperature probe so one can push a motor to its limit without exceeding it.

I've just started on BS5. It will be closer to BS4, probably about 35 lbs with a 12" x 3" front tire and 9" x 3" rears. It will have a slightly larger direct drive hub motor that ought to sustain 1000 watts and probably do quite a bit more for short bursts. I expect it will do 30 mph under good conditions.

I've also been working on the design for a stair climbing device, basically a shoe with with an elevator/lift built into it good for 7-8" that should raise me up one stair at a time while I hang on to handrails for stability. I expect it to be about the size of a ski boot and hopefully weigh less than 5 lbs complete with a battery good for 300 stairs per charge. I envision carrying it in the bucket of my scooter or in a backpack and I would put it on whenever I need to climb stairs. I originally planned on calling it "stairstepper" but I'm going to be using components strong enough to let it be used as a "stairhopper" if it proves to be sufficiently easy to control and if I'm able to manage that much thrust under one foot.
Registered: 10-22-2005
Posts: 142
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I ended up with the Lyric Run3rx. It was designed to be ridden standing, which is not an option for me. The bolted on seat mount is a fixed height (high), so the adjustable bars have to be high as well, or there is too much weight on your wrists. I have not tried cutting down the seat post. I like your bucket seat idea, I will try unbolting the seat and try a bucket to see how the lower position works.

Registered: 10-22-2005
Posts: 142
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I've been looking at small electric fat-bikes (on-line), some with some suspension as a way of getting around outside. They have wider hub motors designed for the wider rim/tire. A spendy alternative are the seated Segway conversions, such as: Sui generis or http://addmovement.com I envy your creative engineering, and the satisfaction it must bring when your creations work as well as they do.
While I still get around OK indoors, I have recently moved my bedroom downstairs, and have not seen the second storey in some time; I look forward to your stair-hopper creations.
Picture of ToddAllen
Location: Chicago, IL
Registered: 01-18-2008
Posts: 190
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From the picture it looks like it might be hard to make a bucket seat work well. If you mount a bucket to the deck there won't be much room left for your feet. You might be able to cut a plywood deck cover that extends forward and to the sides of the batteries but that might end up too wide - hard to tell from the angle of the photo.
Picture of ToddAllen
Location: Chicago, IL
Registered: 01-18-2008
Posts: 190
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If possible get a test ride before buying something. It's hard to judge something by appearances alone. My main concern about anything Segway based would be its stability while stopped. I see some of them now have retractable "landing gear" but it looks like they are mainly meant to take the weight of the scooter. Not sure how much support it would provide to a weak clumsy person who needs to lever themselves on/off of it. One thing I like about my bucket scooters is when I need to sit on the floor or ground the scooter is a good prop to help me get back up again. Even when I'm tired I can manage to pull my chest onto the bucket and then gradually push myself erect again.

By building for myself I can strike a balance of features that more exactly meets my needs. Just over the past few years that I've been building my own scooters my needs have been changing as my condition progresses. The scooters that are working well for me today may not be what I want in the future.

Another device I've been contemplating I call the "ass jack". The idea is something that can lift me up off the ground and help me get standing without needing much force from my arms. As my hands and wrists weaken it gets harder to lift myself without hurting anything. But I don't yet have a clear vision to something practical that I could build. Ideally I'd like something thin and light that I could sit on and press a button and it would lift me up like a super fast inflatable chair. I've considered many alternatives such as a stool with powered telescoping legs but have yet to settle on a design.

I'm hopeful I can continue to find ways to cope with my advancing disability enough to let me keep building for some time to come but I expect eventually I'll have to give it up just as I've had to give up so many other pursuits that eventually became too difficult or dangerous.

quote:
Originally posted by Cam:
I've been looking at small electric fat-bikes (on-line), some with some suspension as a way of getting around outside. They have wider hub motors designed for the wider rim/tire. A spendy alternative are the seated Segway conversions, such as: Sui generis or http://addmovement.com I envy your creative engineering, and the satisfaction it must bring when your creations work as well as they do.
While I still get around OK indoors, I have recently moved my bedroom downstairs, and have not seen the second storey in some time; I look forward to your stair-hopper creations.
Registered: 10-22-2005
Posts: 142
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I agree that a test drive would be ideal. I live in Manitoba, however, and inevitably, the desired machine is only available in Toronto, Vancouver, or the US, requiring a trip cost/effort equal to the cost of the machine. If I was after an expensive segway-based machine, I'd make the trip first.
As for getting up from the ground, I try to avoid the situation as best I can 8-)
Registered: 12-29-2016
Posts: 3
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tell me about your scooter as battery amps and motor watts. your speeds and miles. i need build a scooter like yours on the picture. thanks cj
Picture of ToddAllen
Location: Chicago, IL
Registered: 01-18-2008
Posts: 190
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Hi Charles, welcome to the KDA forums. If I could I'd answer your question, but there are several scooter pictures in this thread and I don't know which one you are asking about.
Registered: 12-29-2016
Posts: 3
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todd allens bucket scooters. thanks cj
Picture of ToddAllen
Location: Chicago, IL
Registered: 01-18-2008
Posts: 190
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Charles, my newer scooter with the small wheels which I call BS4, weighs ~30 lbs, currently has a 64 volt battery with the controller limits programmed to 16 amps and 23 mph and typically gets 10 to 15 miles on a charge. The larger wheeled scooter which I call BS3, weighs ~60 lbs, currently has a 64 volt battery with the controller limits programmed to 25 amps and 33 mph and typically gets 35 to 50 miles on a charge.

I'm currently building a scooter that is roughly half way in between these two in most all aspects.
Registered: 12-29-2016
Posts: 3
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thanks cj i like your work and i mite ask another question in the future.
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