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Ryan MOloney - Electric Motorcycle

My company started to use Sunstone earlier this year when we needed some quick subcircuit boards made to test out some of the circuits that we’ve added to larger and more complex boards. Sunstone has allowed us to rapidly prototype and test these subcircuits in order to minimize risk when building up the larger boards. Around that time I was working on the PCBs to be used on the motorcycle and Sunstone seemed like a great fit.

I started off with the idea of building an electric vehicle, but I thought building a car would be too expensive and invasive, so I went with a motorcycle. A friend of mine overheard me talking about it and gifted me his old parts bike, which was a great condition 1982 Honda CB750 rolling chassis. At that point I started to build up the subsystems to test out, starting with the electric motor, then with the batteries.

Once I verified that this crazy idea will actually work I then started to design how everything would fit into the frame, and utilized the help of the machine shop that we have on campus here at Vecna to do any machining and welding required. I’ve been slowly iterating through the designs to get things to a safe and reliable form, which is why I contracted Sunstone to make a few PCBs for me. These PCBs are designed to be the backbone for custom assembled battery packs using 12 individual 20Ah cells. Each of the 12 cells are directly mounted to the circuit board, so it needed to be robust enough to handle the weight, which is why I went with the 93mil thickness. The board must also be capable of supporting up to 60A bursts of current at around 240vdc, so the double layer 3oz copper was a must.

Ryan Maloney

The most recent bit of effort I put into the bike was to make it look good. I carved out a custom foam seat and crafted a custom fiberglass “gas tank”, which will serve to house some of the electrical components I will be adding in the future. Now that I have the PCBs from Sunstone I will be building up the battery packs and wiring up some protection circuitry. I would ballpark that I’m about 50% of the way towards a fully functional (and legal) road-worthy vehicle. Some future work includes upgrading the motor mount in order to allow adjustment of the chain that drives the main drive sprocket, some wiring and circuitry for proper operation, and adding some liquid cooling elements to the mix.

Ryan Maloney

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