Electric Yuba – programming Bafang BBS01B

As I have described before, I am not particularly happy with the performance of the Lekkie 300W mid drive motor out of the box. It’s good, but it does not suit me.

The problem is, we are all different, ride different bikes in different ways, and have our own requirements. The Lekkie Summit 300W is the Bafang BBS01B 350W (I think) which is branded and labelled as a Lekkie, and has its own firmware version which may or may not de-tune it to 300w – whatever 300W means on an electric bike. Not sure who did this, I thought it would have been Paul at EM3EV, but it is different to what I have seen of his firmware, which makes me think it is uniquely Lekkie. Anyway, whoever did it did not know that I weigh 102kg, ride a Yuba cargo bike, and like to pedal fast and get assistance as I ride up hills and along the flat.

I have done a bit of research, which nowadays is incredibly easy, all the hard work has been done and documented on places like Endless Sphere, UK pedelecs and many other places. Thanks guys, much appreciated. Even the home made cables are now available for $16 from suppliers in china.

So I now have a cable, which I got to work after a bit of fiddling – some connection somewhere was intermittent, possibly a dry solder joint on one of the pins on the USB serial adapter.

I will just give a single source for how I did this, a wonderful person called Penoff, who resides in Norway, but I don’t think he is Norwegian! Anyway, he did all the research, created a simple web page and a document that describes how to make a serial adapter, how to connect it and how to use it. Additionally he took the open source software used by provided by Bafang, and rewrote it so that it works, it is in readable, understandable English, and made it available for us all to use. Inside the program folder is a help document that explains how to use it.

However I did read a lot of other stuff, which may be worth while just as background knowledge. Just search for programming BBS01, and lots of stuff pops up.

So, the programming cable goes into the display connection from the motor (you have to unplug the display) and the other end goes into a USB port. Penoff’s program is a single click to get going, and the port being used by the serial adapter should already be in the drop down. If you don’t know which one to use, Penoff explains it all in his document. Switch on the battery, click on connect, and you know it is working when the hardware and software information is populated.

The first job is to Read Flash – which reads the settings from the controller into the program. At this point I save them to a file called Lekkie 300.el, in case I wanted to revert to them later.

At this point I was a little surprised by the values already programmed into the controller – they are already quite aggressive and not far off what I was going to change them too anyway. In particular, the Speed Limits on each assistance level were already all set to 100%. Not what I was expecting, but they are what I was eventually going to change them to. Images of the settings follow.

Next I changed the values I wanted to change, and used write flash to update the settings on the controller, then did a read flash to make sure they were right.

So what did I change and why?

On the basic screen, nothing. If the Current Limit had been 15 as I was expecting, I would have changed it to 18, but that’s what it was already. This would have allowed for more current and more torque. However, I think the C963 control panel may override this value, and the control panel is locked down so that I can’t get to this value.

If the speed limit values had been something other than 100% for each pedal assist I would have changed them (but may have gone for a spread from 75% to 100% over the 5 usable values). Changing the Speed Limits means that the drop off as the cadence rises is delayed until much later, as it will attempt to get to the full programmed speed limit in each setting.

On the Pedal Assist screen I changed a few values.

I left speed limit at 40kph, it will never get to it, but it means that the % of speed limit will be a percentage of 40kph, not a % of 32kph (20mph), so it will not cut out too early.

I changed the Start Degree from 4 to 10, as I like a little leeway when I start pedaling before it kicks in.

I changed the Current Delay to 8 from 6, 8 is the maximum, and it means that the current does not decay until the latest point on the cadence range.

I also changed Keep Current to 100% for the same reason.

On the throttle page, I reduced the Speed Limit to 32kph and I may decrease the designated assist later. 9 gives 100% current and 100% of the speed limit, but I am not too keen on an aggressive throttle, level 5 would suffice.

And that is it, I did 23k on it today, and while it will never be a racer, I can now ride comfortably both slowly and at a reasonable speed along the flats and uphills, without using any PAS level higher than 3. It seems to be more efficient using power, I get help when I need it at a reasonable level, which stops me winding on the throttle or kicking the PAS level up to 4 or 5 so that I get assistance when I am pedaling at a higher cadence. So a nice easy job, and great results.

The C963 display panel is also branded Lekkie, and is a King Meter KM5S model under the skin. However, there are aspects of this meter which can be programmed by the user normally using the Personalised Parameter Setting functions. Unfortunately this display appears to have been modified so that this function can’t be used. This means I cannot change the available PAS levels from 5 to 9, but it also means that the “Controller Over-Current Cut Setting” may be set to 15A or 300W rather than the 18A or 350W which the controller is set to. I might be totally wrong on this whole thing, but I feel this is how the kit is sold as a 300W system.

Maybe I will acquire a non branded controller and see what I can do.

Posted in Electric Bikes, Yuba Mundo eV4
2 comments on “Electric Yuba – programming Bafang BBS01B
  1. Dave says:

    Took the latest set of tuning tweaks for a test ride today, 16km around Pauatahanui inlet, over Greys Road, over Golden Gate on SH58 and back into Whitby, so a good mix of terrain. Getting used to the system’s foibles now, and don’t think I need to do anymore with the settings. Lovely cruising at very low power levels on the flat, great to get high assistance levels up hills when the cadence drops, especially in Boost or Power modes, but even just Tour mode gives great assistance on the Whitby hills.

  2. Dave says:

    I reverted a couple of settings from what I showed above.
    First I changed the Throttle setting to Speed instead of current, secondly I changed the Keep Current to 90%, and third I changed the Start Degree back to 4.
    Why? My first test ride which I quite liked was not with the given settings, and when I rode the changed settings I was not as happy. The throttle was not responding – at least a 2 second delay before kicking in. Secondly, when changing gear and the motor shuts down briefly, it was taking at least a couple of turns of the pedals to kick in again, and thirdly I was getting intermittent problems with strange power levels when using the PAS. Anything at the extreme limits is always suspect for intermittent problems, and changing Keep Current seems to have fixed it. Short ride today, and all is good again.
    Tweaking things is great fun!

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