Have you ever thought you don't get much out of that big bulky display that came with your BBSHD or BBS02 Bafang mid-drive motor?
Maybe you wish you could get rid of your display entirely because either you want to be super stealthy or you have a speedometer/computer you prefer and you find the display redundant. Maybe your wireless computer stopped working when you plugged in your Bafang display and you want it back. Maybe you want a real volt/amp/watt meter like the Batt Man and don't want yet another display on your bars. Maybe you just want your bars to be as clean as a regular bike. Maybe you thought that with a Bafang BBSHD or a BBS02 you were just stuck with it. How else can you turn your motor on and off? If any of these maybe’s ring any bells or match any of your thinking then read on.
You will be glad to know you can dump your display, turn your motor on and off, keep your throttle and still retain your favorite PAS setting. You can even get rid of the Bafang speedometer sensor and speedometer cable and just use the one on your computer or use the Batt Man watt meter from Luna which is a more useful display. This makes your throttle the sole e-bike addition to your bars. Here's how you can do it:
To turn on the motor without the display you just need to short the red and brown wires that are in the display cable together. Here is an image of the BBSxx display cable connector on the controller side:
The orange wire is PL and the brown wire is P+. Cutting into your cables to tie these wires together can be risky. The easiest and safest way to jumper them together is to just plug in the bafang programming cable and you are set. The brown and orange wires are tied together inside the programming cable. If you take this simple approach you can just buy a programming cable and plug it in but you will need to find a place to tuck the cable and usb/ttl/uart adapter part on your bike - but it is small. You will want a programming cable anyway so you can set up your controller to default to your favorite PAS level and set up other parameters for best throttle control. (More on configuration programming in a moment.)
Alternately, You can just buy a programming cable or one of these and cut the connector off. Just solder the orange and brown wires together, plug it in and you have display eliminating jumper.
If you don’t have an extra display connector and don’t want to wait to buy one you can pick up a jumper at your local hobby or electronics store and do this:
Just be careful to get the jumper on the right pins of the display connector on your controller cable and don’t accidentally bend them. The pins are very thin.
You can also put an on/off switch on the brown and orange wires if you don't want to plug/unplug your battery each time. So the whole project is that simple - program the controller and when you are done leave the programming cable or connector/jumper plugged into the BBSHD or BBS02 controller instead of the display and go for a displayless ride.
To turn the motor completely off you need to unplug the jumper/programming cable. If you are worried about potential battery drain (there is very little without the display) by leaving it on and don't want to plug/unplug it each time you can wire it to a simple 2 pole switch.
When you unplug your display and jumper the orange and brown wires using one of the three ways described above try just going for a ride. It might be just the way you like it. To configure the controller for optimal use without a display you will want to go to Penoff's Hobby Page and download the configuration software and read the help file that explains how it works. A list of programming resources can be found here.
If any of your controller settings are set to 'by displays command' you may want to change it because you DON'T HAVE A DISPLAY! They will however default to what your display was last set at. (If you disconnect your battery after rides that may not be true. I haven’t tested that). Start with a good set of program settings found in a file with the extension .el. Use the one that came pre-programmed into your BBSHD or use another one from someone you trust. A list of these and other great configuration insights can be found here.
Here are a few parameters you can play around with. On the Pedal assist tab- set designated assist to whatever PAS level you like best. For me that is 2 or 3. Set Speed Limited to 40Kmh, Time of Stop to 5 or a little higher if you like slow cadences, set Current decay to 6, Stop Decay to 0. I like Keep Current at 60 to ease off the motor when you come up to speed pedalling but others like it at 100 to keep the throttle on full no matter how fast you are pedalling. Lots of other tweaks you can make that apply to bikes with and without displays.
If you like to use a computer on your rides you may be in for an added bonus. Many wireless computers stop working when the Bafang display is plugged in. This is also true of many other ebike kit displays as well. So once you get rid of your display an added benefit is you get back accurate speed, distance, elevation, slope and more with your own computer.
So that's one way to clean off your bars. There are however many other compromises we are forced into with an e-bike conversion that make for less than satisfactory handlebars. I have struggled with messy bars on many bikes moving shifters, brakes, control switches and throttles all over the place with many less than ideal compromises before coming to what for me is the perfect solution. I finally got my bars exactly how I want them. Read about it here.
Oh, and one more thing. If you really like setting PAS levels on the fly while riding then you are like me and you are stuck with using a display. Thankfully we now have the DPC-14 which to me is the first display I don't absolutely resent giving handlebar real estate to. The above instructions are best for throttle junkies and those that find they use one PAS setting all the time.
What do you think about going displayless?