Chronology of a crazy project: open source firmware for electric bike kits
In this article, you’ll see how the Open Source Firmware project for the TSDZ2 is a fascinating example of the power of the community and the Open Source movement. Using the collaborative resources of the Endless Sphere forum, contributors from all over the world have worked together to create a superior alternative to the original TSDZ2 engine firmware. Although the project has faced challenges and limitations, it has also unlocked new features and performance improvements for TSDZ2-equipped electric bike kit users. Ultimately, this project shows that community collaboration and Open Source can have a significant impact on the electric bike industry and beyond.
Introduction: a small revolution in the electrification kit industry
The market for electric-assist bicycle (EAB) conversion kits is constantly evolving, and more and more people are looking to customize their own EAB. In France, an estimated 15,000 are sold every year. Tongsheng’s TSDZ2 pedal motor is a popular choice for conversion kits because of its performance and affordability. However, the original TSDZ2 pedal motor firmware may present certain limitations for advanced or experienced electric kit users. This is where the Open Source Firmware project for TSDZ2 comes in.
The main aim of the Open Source Firmware for TSDZ2 is to provide electric bike kit users with a more powerful, flexible and customizable alternative to the original firmware. Thanks to this Open Source firmware, conversion kit users will be able to gain greater control over their electrical system and enhance their driving experience.
The Open Source Firmware project for TSDZ2 was initiated by a small group of developers from the Endless Sphere community, a forum dedicated to VAEs and their components. The developers have worked hard to make the Open Source firmware compatible with the TSDZ2 pedal motor, and have made numerous improvements since the project’s inception.
In the following sections of this article, we’ll explore in detail the development history of the TSDZ2 pedal motor, the limitations of the original firmware and the advantages of Open Source firmware. We’ll also be looking back at the evolution of the Open Source Firmware project for TSDZ2 and the contributions of the developer community. Finally, we’ll look at the benefits of Open Source firmware for electric bike kit users and the prospects for the development of electric bike conversion kits.
Background: the market for electrification kits
Tongsheng’s TSDZ2 motor is one of the most popular drives for electric bicycle conversion kits. However, before the TSDZ2 appeared, other engines were also used for conversion kits, such as the Bafang BBS01, BBS02 or BBSHD engines.
The development history of the TSDZ motor dates back to 2014, when the Chinese company Tongsheng launched the TSDZ pedal motor. This motorization was already very popular with cyclists for its performance and affordability. However, due to certain limitations, such as the difficulty of changing sprockets or low torque at low speeds, some users were looking for alternatives to improve their driving experience.
The TSDZ2 engine, an improved version of the TSDZ, was born in 2016. The TSDZ2 has introduced significant improvements, including a more accurate torque sensor and sprocket compatibility. However, the original TSDZ2 motorization firmware still had certain limitations, such as low maximum output power and difficulty in customizing parameters.
This is why alternatives to the original firmware have begun to emerge in the electric bike conversion kit community. Developers have begun work on Open Source firmware for TSDZ2, which would allow users to customize the engine’s parameters and maximize its performance. The benefits of Open Source firmware for the TSDZ2 were numerous: more control, greater energy efficiency and improved performance.
Over time, more and more developers began contributing to the Open Source Firmware project for TSDZ2. They have worked hard to improve the firmware’s functionality and make it more accessible to all electric bike kit users. The Open Source Firmware project for TSDZ2 has gained momentum, becoming increasingly popular in the VAE geek community.
In the following sections of this article, we’ll explore in detail the limitations of the TSDZ2 engine’s original firmware and the advantages of Open Source firmware. We’ll also be looking back at the evolution of the Open Source Firmware project for TSDZ2 and the contributions of the developer community. Finally, we’ll look at the benefits of Open Source firmware for electric bike kit users and the prospects for the development of electric bike conversion kits.
The beginnings of the TSDZ2 Open Source Firmware project
The first discussions about Endless Sphere and the birth of the project
It all began in 2018, on the Endless Sphere forum, where a group of Electric-Assist Bike enthusiasts were discussing their experiences with the TSDZ2 motor. Very quickly, they noticed that the motor’s original firmware was very limited in terms of functionality and customization. It was at this point that some members began discussing the possibility of creating their own open source firmware for the TSDZ2.
As the weeks went by, discussions intensified and more and more members began to contribute to the project. They began exchanging ideas and working on concepts for an open source firmware that would offer more functionality and customization than the original firmware. Discussions also helped define the project’s objectives and establish a roadmap for its development.
Key contributors and their respective contributions
Some of the active members of Endless Sphere played a key role in developing the Open Source Firmware for TSDZ2. The key contributors brought specific skills and technical knowledge (some working for major electric bike brands) that enabled the project to move forward.
For example, forum user Casainho helped set up the development platform, using his own experience to help configure the development environment. Other members brought skills in programming, electronics, project management and communication.
Early firmware versions and evolutions over time
After several weeks of development, contributors released the first version of the Open Source Firmware for the TSDZ2 in May 2018. This first version unlocked some of the limitations of the original firmware, offering more control and customization for users.
Over the months, developers have been working on new features for the firmware, such as lighting management, increased power, and support for external torque sensors. As new versions were released, the community of VAE enthusiasts began to adopt the Open Source Firmware for the TSDZ2 and recommend it to other users.
Today, the Open Source Firmware for the TSDZ2 has become a benchmark for VAE users looking to personalize their riding experience. Contributors continue to work on new features and improve firmware stability to meet user needs. The project has also inspired similar projects for other types of VAE motorization.
The two main OSF versions and the one chosen by Syklo
On the EndlessSphere forum, two versions of the Open Source Firmware for the TSDZ2 engine are particularly popular: the one by Emmebrusa and the one by Casahino. Although both are alternatives to the original motorization firmware, they differ significantly in terms of functionality and performance.
The Emmebrusa version, also known as“TSDZ2-Smart-EBike“, is based on the original Open Source Firmware developed by Casainho. However, it has been extensively enhanced and optimized by emmebrusa to offer a more pleasant and customizable driving experience. Some of the most notable features of this version include an improved speed control algorithm, finer power management, start-up assistance, improved battery management and temperature monitoring.
On the other hand, Casahino‘s version, also known as“TSDZ2_OSFW“, is the original version of the Open Source Firmware developed for the TSDZ2 engine. This version is also highly customizable, with features such as speed and power control, as well as the ability to modify motorization and battery parameters. However, some of the features available in the Emmebrusa version, such as start-up assistance and temperature monitoring, are not available in this version.
In the end, we opted for the Emmebrusa firmware. In fact, we’ve opted for the version offering a smoother, more customizable driving experience. What’s more, the Casahino version has not been updated for several months. In any case, both versions are quality alternatives to the original TSDZ2 motor firmware and can offer an enhanced riding experience for electric cyclists.
The benefits of Open Source Firmware for TSDZ2
Open Source firmware for the TSDZ2 offers many benefits for VAE users, including additional features, improvements in motorization performance and battery life.
The additional features offered by Open Source firmware.
One of the main differences between the Open Source firmware for the TSDZ2 and the original firmware is the ability to customize and add additional features. Open Source firmware offers numerous configuration options, enabling users to tailorthe engine to their needs and driving style. For example, you can modify the power curve to increase the power available at low revs, or adjust the sensitivity of the electric assistance to better suit your preferences.
What’s more, the open-source firmware also offers the possibility of adding extra features, such as additional driving modes or customized screens. Some versions of the Open Source firmware even offer the option of adding additional sensors, such as temperature or cadence sensors, for more precise monitoring of motorization performance.
Improvements in engine performance and battery life.
The Open Source firmware for the TSDZ2 also offers significant improvements in motorization performance and battery life. By adjusting the power curve and improving energy management, Open Source firmware can improve motorization efficiency and extend battery life.
Users often report a significant increase in top speed and an improvement in available low-end power. What’s more, the use of personalized driving modes can make better use of the battery, by providing more or less aggressive electrical assistance as required.
Benefits for users of electric bike kits equipped with TSDZ2.
For users of TSDZ2-equipped VAEs, the use of Open Source firmware can offer a more personalized, high-performance riding experience. By offering additional features and performance improvements, Open Source firmware can enhance driving comfort and safety.
What’s more, using Open Source firmware can also extend the life of the actuator and battery, by improving efficiency and reducing workload. Ultimately, using Open Source firmware for the TSDZ2 can offer a better riding experience and more efficient use of resources, making it an attractive choice for electric bike kit users.
Challenges and limits of the TSDZ2 Open Source Firmware project
The Open Source Firmware project for the TSDZ2 engine has brought many benefits to VAE kit users, but it’s important to recognize the challenges and limitations the developers have faced.
Technical challenges encountered in developing Open Source firmware
Developing open-source firmware for an electric bike kit is no easy task. Developers need to have an in-depth understanding of motor and battery operation to create stable, functional firmware. What’s more, they have to work with specific tools and software to program the firmware.
At the start of the project, the developers had to deal with compatibility problems with different TSDZ2 models, which slowed down firmware development. However, thanks to the commitment of community contributors, these problems have been resolved and the firmware is now compatible with most TSDZ2 models.
The limitations of Open Source firmware compared with original firmware
Although Open Source firmware offers many additional features over the original firmware, there are also limitations to consider. For example, some users have reported reliability and stability problems with certain versions of Open Source firmware. What’s more, it’s not yet possible to use all the TSDZ2’s features with Open Source firmware, such as cruise control.
Legal implications and intellectual property issues
Finally, it’s important to recognize the legal and intellectual property implications of using Open Source firmware for the TSDZ2. The developers have worked hard to ensure that the firmware respects copyright laws and open source licenses, and it’s important to continue in all OSF-related developments to respect the associated licenses.
There are also intellectual property issues to consider. VAE kit motorization manufacturers have invested a lot of time and money in the research and development of their products, and some may see the development of open source firmware as a threat to their intellectual property. So far, Tongsheng has shown an interest in the project, and we’re sending them the OSF versions we use on their engines.
Despite these challenges and limitations, the Open Source Firmware project for the TSDZ2 has brought significant benefits to electric bike kit users. It’s important to continue working together to overcome the remaining challenges and maximize the benefits of Open Source firmware.
Conclusion: Compatibility with other electrification kits and powertrains
TSDZ2 Open Source Firmware project review
The Open Source Firmware project for the TSDZ2 is a successful example of the power of the Open Source community. In just a few years, a team of passionate developers has succeeded in creating an alternative firmware for the TSDZ2 motorization, which offers additional features and significant performance improvements over the original firmware. Open Source firmware has also created an active community of contributors and users, who share their experiences and knowledge on forums and social networks.
However, the project also encountered significant challenges, including technical limitations and intellectual property issues. The developers had to navigate complex legal terrain and encountered obstacles in obtaining the necessary information from the engine manufacturers. Despite these challenges, the Open Source Firmware project for the TSDZ2 has managed to maintain itself thanks to the commitment of developers and the community.
Open Source Firmware development prospects for TSDZ2
The future of Open Source Firmware for the TSDZ2 looks bright. The community continues to work on new features and performance improvements, as well as support for new kit types and electric bike types (electric wheel kit, classic electric bike, new bafang motor). The project has also inspired other Open Source communities in the e-bike kit field, who are working on similar projects for other types of motorization and electronic systems.
However, the project also faces persistent challenges, not least the technical and legal complexity of developing alternative firmware for proprietary products. Developers must continue to work closely with the community to maintain the project and resolve any problems that arise.
The wider implications of this project for the electric bike kit community and the Open Source movement
The Open Source Firmware project for the TSDZ2 has wider implications for the electric bike kit community and the Open Source movement in general. Firstly, it demonstrates the power of community collaboration to solve technical problems and improve existing products. In addition, it highlights the complexity of intellectual property and regulatory issues affecting the development of alternative products for proprietary products.
Finally, the Open Source Firmware project for the TSDZ2 illustrates the importance of Open Source in helping the VAE industry move in the right direction. Open Source technologies offer significant advantages in terms of flexibility, customization and interoperability, which can drive adoption and innovation across the industry. The Open Source Firmware project for the TSDZ2 is a concrete example of this dynamic in action.
At Syklo, we’re proud to be taking part in this Open Source and collaborative project, offering easy access (no need to be a MacGyver) via an all-in-one electric kit(see the complete kit: motorization, battery, display).