Since our last update we have completed the following:
Completed Beta 2.1 hardware adjustments on all Beta Boards
Refined the board's speed modes and improved readouts and mode selection
Added several new safety features
Improved starts and stops on an incline
Increased brightness of headlights
Each Beta Board has now received all of the hardware improvements discussed in the last update. Though we initially planned for minor adjustments to components and hardware, we ultimately felt the need to to completely dis-assemble and re-assemble all existing boards with updated components and new hardware. This includes new rear trucks, adjustments to motors and pulleys, battery boxes, hand soldered modifications to all motor controllers, and internal upgrades to all chargers. The whole process has taken hundreds of hours of additional work, but it has been a very valuable experience.
Improved Speed Modes
Ludicrous Mode - NEW!
Ludicrous Mode is here! Check out the video below - the acceleration is off the charts!Thanks to additional temperature controls, component upgrades, and safety features, we are unleashing a whole new level of pavement-shredding power above and beyond what we previously thought possible. The new Ludicrous Mode is lightning fast off the line with butterfly-inducing acceleration and significantly more hill-climbing torque. Ludicrous mode also has higher sensitivity - making it perfect for riders who have mastered Expert Mode and are seeking pure adrenaline. It is not for the faint of heart!
When selecting Ludicrous in Tuning Mode, the Power LED will blink Red rapidly.
After hearing feedback from Beta Testers, along with considerations for the new Ludicrous Mode, we’ve refined the torque of Expert Mode while increasing the braking power and smoothness. Expert mode can hit 18+ mph.
We’ve adjusted the way all modes' speed limiting works (see more below) and this is most noticeable in Normal Mode, which now tops out around 16 mph. Acceleration and braking are both smooth and predictable, perfect for less experienced riders or casual cruising, while still having enough punch to use as your main mode if you choose.
We have further softened the speed and braking ramps of beginner mode, and reduced the top speed to 7 mph.
Changes to All Speed Modes:
We've decreased the time it takes to enter Tuning Mode, as seen in the video below. Also, if you want to know what mode you're in quickly we've added a speed mode readout. When you have the board "off" with the nose in the air, tap the Power button to turn it "on." You'll see the Power LED blink at the rate of the speed mode for three seconds. Also, you'll notice that we've adjusted the blink rates in tuning mode, spreading them out to make them more obvious. See more on these features in the video below:
Countering High Heat Situations
One common reason for failures during the Beta 2.0 batch of boards was overheating. Despite extensive heat sinking, high-power applications like on the ZBoard create a lot of heat. Some of this had to do with the way we were implementing our speed limits. Previously, the board would attempt to use full power all the way up to the speed limit (depending on the mode), leading to excess heat and occasionally a less smooth ride.
We’ve changed the way the board runs at higher speeds to reduce heat, maximize efficiency without sacrificing performance, and allow more power where it is needed. The result is much smoother ride and less overheating.
Temperature Warning Mode
In Expert and Ludicrous modes, with more power comes more heat. Aggressive riding, climbing and braking down hills, summer days, and hot pavement can heat up the ZBoard’s electronics to extreme temperatures. Without controls, this can cause internal damage.
In Temp Warning Mode the Power LED will slowly blink Red / Blue.
"Temp Warning Mode" occurs when the controller senses that it is within five degrees of overheating. This mode can be recognized when you see a slow red / blue blink from the power LED. Throttle power will be reduced. Braking power at speeds from 5-20 mph will remain the same as always. Braking power below 5 mph may be reduced in Temp Warning Mode.
If you see your board in Temp Warning Mode we recommend reducing riding intensity or taking a short break. Even a minute or two can help you catch your breath and allow the board to cool down.
If you continue riding hard through Temp Warning Mode the board will enter this Overtemp Mode. Overtemp Mode is recognizable when the Power LED is rapidly blinking red / blue.
In Overtemp Mode the Power LED will quickly blink Red / Blue
In Overtemp Mode the throttle will become disabled until temperatures fall back within operational range. Braking power at speeds from 5-20 mph will remain the same as always, but braking power below 5 mph may be reduced in Overtemp Mode.
A Note About Heat
These heat protections have been our main focus since Beta 2.0 units shipped. They allow us to keep the board from becoming internally damaged and let us unlock more motor torque. Also, since we've been able to make braking remain fully functional during both Temp Warning and Overtemp modes, you can rest assured that your board will be safe to ride in all situations.
We've made the headlights brighter and fixed an issue that was causing certain LEDs to go out.
Improved Hill Starts: In general, we still recommend you give the board a kick push on all starts, especially on an incline, but this functionality is much improved.
Quicker Power Off: We've reduced the time it takes to turn off the board when you press and hold the Power button from 4 seconds to 2.5 seconds.
We now expect Beta 2.1 boards to begin shipping next week. This will adjust the schedule as follows:
From the Founders
In the video above, none of those sequences are sped up - Ludicrous mode really is that fast and fun. We can't wait to get it out to you. Though this update highlights features that focus on fun and convenience, our real focus over the past few weeks (and months and hell, years) has been on safety and reliability first. By rebuilding how our firmware protects itself against internal heat we're now able to know that the ZBoard is safer and more reliable than ever.
We know the delays have been tough - they've been tough on us as well. We've been able to power through thanks to people's passion for the product - both from us and our community. So thank you as always for driving us and motivating us to get you the best board possible. We know it will be worth the wait.