Introduction: Poor Man's Electric Bike Made by Recycled Materials From Junkyards.
I am Naeem Zahid, aging 39 from Pakistan (City Peshawar). It was in me since my childhood when I sued to break my toys and make something else from them. I have no professional qualification in engineering or electronics but I have learned everything from books and mostly the Internet and from local mechanics. It took me years to learn electronics, welding, and electric motor winding. Every step I took to make this was a first time. Some time I wonder that how did I do it? But it was the desperate desire to do something good to the humanity, to at-least play my role for the betterment of green planet earth, I made my electric bike from parts collected from different junkyards in my City "Peshawar" which is a hot zone from few years and has been targeted by terrorists, while I have been doing my best to make a way to set an examples for the others and giving them the message to do good in the name of God and you keep doing it no matter how much wind is against you. I am a man of very low income, therefore, there was a situation of stop and start in my case of project. It took me about 10 years to make this for the reasons I mentioned earlier and for the fact that I had to learn to do what ever I wanted to do it takes time. Suppose I needed to learn welding: I learned it from a local welder on weekly basis lesson on payment. I had to rewind a DC brushed type motor so I learned rewinding from a mechanic He was kind enough to teach me for free, so on and so forth.
In 2008 I got the chance to take part in a science competition where the competitors were Doctors and Engineers with their superb creations My “Very low cost electric bike” won 2nd position with an award, a shield, a certificate and cash prize of Rs. 8,000 (about USD $ 93). Again In 2009 the Secretary of Science and Information Technology gave me a certificate of honour and a souvenir.
I have used pipes from junkyards to make the frame which I drew on paper. I had no welding equipment at that time so I used to go to Shoba Bazar, a place which I used to call as heaven for so many mechanic shops in one place.
I have been using different motors for my electric bike but the best I have found was a motor I found in a junkyard is mostly found in the Car’s fan for heat radiator of engine. It had more room on rotor to accommodate more wire.
Only the batteries (SLAs) are new which I bought by the money I collected in years. And for this my project stood still for a long time. It is truly very painful at times when you have no money to go on.
About the controller:
In the beginning it was running on 12 Volts, just stop and start with higher gearing ratio and a speed not more than 17 – 20 km/hr. After increasing the number of winds I went for higher voltage and greater torque I had to have some sort of speed controller. I came to know about electronic speed controllers for dc motors and started educating my self on internet about electronics basics. At last I found a controller diagram and set out for parts. Again short of budget and wait till I get rich enough to buy parts. Bought the parts made the controller and a Failed all parts destroyed. While lost in tears I thought I would give up but I didn’t, instead I kept thinking a way around. And came up with a strategy to use High amp relays used in cars to controller heaters and other high amp stuffs. I made a home made switch which was controlled with a thumb throttle and switched the batteries (5 of them each 6 volt 10 amps) to parallel and series in 4 stages (12, 18, 24 and 30 volts). It worked like a magic and I kept it for 2 years. I started using my bike as my means to travel to office and back which is 13 km away from my home. My bike was a moped so at the end of my ride I had to paddle for little juice in batteries.
After knowing the efficiency of an electronic controller I once again started my search for a diagram containing less expensive components. The Main expensive thing among the components were the MOSFETs. I found one (IRFP150n) very cheap and modified a diagram to work with these MOSFETs and it worked very well. Since then I have this controller which is now well modified and working without any problem till today.
While climbing a steep hill I had this option to switch the gears to a higher ratio which puts lesser lode on motor although the speed drops down but it puts lesser strain on batteries and motor and also increases motor and battery life as well.
Right now I have converted my bike design to a Recumbent (high racer) with a wide range variable transmission system and a homemade front suspension that works extraordinarily. In the toughest off-road situation it feels like I am in a boat, on water, not on a bike and it gives me such an amazing feeling of happiness which can’t be explained in words. With 5 SLAs and the same controller and a recumbent design top speed is about 55 – 60 km/hr on straight while climbing a 40 degree hill speed is about 40 km/hr. I have gone about 30 km but still there was juice in the batteries so I can safely say 30 – 35 km per charge. I live in a very small city and my office is at the other end of the city which is about 13.4 km away.
It is the first of its kind in my city, so people gather around me on bikes and cars during my ride to office and take pictures of me and make videos. I can’t go to shopping on this as this creates a crowd which creates traffic jam situation therefore I am prohibited to bring this inside city market for shopping by the police and authorities. I am sure that I have laid down the foundation of Electric Vehicles in my part of the world. It is my effort towards saving planet earth. Please, join hands with me and do good in the name of God not for Muslims, not for Christians not for Jews, but for human race, regardless of any geographical boundaries, cast or creed. May Allah Bless you all.