Floatwheel - known issues and fixes

:warning: DISCLAIMER: this is not official, consult at your own risk. It’s a Wiki, so please contribute

Known Floatwheel issues:

Here’s a list of all the issue people are having with their Floatwheels and possible solutions or workarounds

fixable with firmware changes

  • Board cannot be powered on while charging - very annoying, unusual for VESCs
  • Light control via button not great, not enough options, cannot be turned off
  • Wrong odometer cannot be set
  • Buzzer not very useful

fixable with HW modding

  • Buzzer too quiet (the buzzer could be louder but a resistor on the LCM reduces the max voltage)
  • Bluetooth modules sometimes weak. TBD: due to poor placement? or due to loose antenna wire??
  • BMS is charge-discharge, i.e. it can shut you down at will!

fixable by Tony

  • Cracks in plastic due to poor design (very thin plastic on the footpads in the corners near the tire) or due to overtorquing, or both
  • Stock tire is too big for the board, only low PSI works
  • Front footpad coming off when it’s hot?
  • Ghosting on some sensors, others don’t reach above 2V when standing on them
  • Noisy ESC

(probably) not easily fixable

  • Excessive idle discharge - even when powered down the battery drains exceptionally quickly, quicker than any other VESC on the market
    ** the discharge BMS is the saving grace, protecting the pack from permanent distruction, but low voltage may cause serious cell imbalances
    ** not great for winter people
  • Motor kv lower than expected. Nearly impossible to keep up with a fast GT rider without using irresponsibly high field weakening
    ** note: this only applies to first 200 motors

Other issues

  • Thread locker - Tony’s Loctite he sends with the boards doesn’t behave like Blue Loctite - use very sparingly or better, not at all - get your own Loctite instead
  • Waterproofing - Don’t expect your board to be waterproof. Check for O-Rings and tightened bolts, seems like there’s a number of issues, for details see Maclak’s comment below

Got a problem with your Floatwheel?

Feel free to reply to this post and report if you encounter any issues!

1 Like

My FloatWheel was dead on arrival.
I’m probably one of the first 200 (I think I’m 50 something)

My issue is that, while the board turns on, the motor won’t activate via the footpad sensors. You can trigger both left and right sensors on the footpad (the lights per side turn blue as expected) but the motor just does not activate.

I’ve noticed that the battery box screws on the front side are either completely untightened or missing altogether. I would suggest you check yours both front and back. For me, the back side battery box seems fine. The bumper was cracked on arrival, the fender mounting holes are also cracked on both sides. This tells me that, as I received the FloatWheel as is, it would 100% NOT be waterproof.

The battery drain mentioned is correct and very noticeable. I have not ridden even 1 km, I have only calibrated the wheel and run a few tests over the past 2 weeks and I’m down to 60% battery.

The tire rubs on the fender without even much pressure added to the tire.

Regarding support
I have emailed Tony and he provided me his number to get support, the support has been sparse.
I first contacted Tony and he suggested the front footpad was defective and he shipped me a new one right away (kudos to Tony for that). He suggested I could ride the board with some altered settings but when I tested these settings by hand, it seemed very dangerous to me as the board ghost like crazy.

Once I received the replacement footpad, it still did not work. I’ve been messaging Tony but the messages disappear with 24 hours and I’m no longer getting a response. So I have a $2000 paperweight right now with no support, which is quite disappointing considering I’m an early founders edition and everyone else is enjoying their board.

I was very excited and happy to have purchased it but now it turning into disappointment and frustration as I await a response from Tony.

I have no fixes to contribute unfortunately.

If you want to sale, let me know.

Hello, Kuro. I had the same problem - sensor couldn’t react properly and start the motor. Tony was very helpful via Whatsapp, we changed some parameters of the sensor, so now i can ride without any problems. They’ve sent me a new sensor and bumpers, should be here in 2 weeks maybe. I can take a look at the parameters of the sensor to help you out. Of course, the sensor should be replaced, but so far i can ride with the parameters i have.

Thank you @Evgeny , yes I’m interested to see what can be tuned.
Tony had me make some changes a while back (I had no idea what I was doing, just blindly following what Tony asked me to change on the app and then bench testing)

What parameters did you change to get yours rideable?

Here’s a write-up from Tony addressing some of the important and common issues with the early ADV’s, cleaned up and organized a bit courtesy of ChatGPT haha:

The entire team is watching and taking notes. Yep, the first batch turned out to be bumpier than we thought. I’m very sorry about this, but we’re already working on all the fixes. Here’s some progress on fixing those problems:

1. Battery Drain Issue:

The current battery drain is 0.008A, which is not good. This drain rate means your board will drain in 41 days, not longer than a winter season. Luckily, we have BMS protection, so it doesn’t damage your battery even if it’s left uncharged for too long. An easy fix is to plug it into a wall and leave it during winter. Another fix will require swapping out the LCM module for a new one. I’ve already made it drain at 0.0004A on my boards with a modification on the LCM. That means it will last about 800 days fully charged sitting there. Still observing for any quirks with that mod, which involves replacing the LCM bottom R6 resistor with a 1206 200K resistor, requiring a hot air station. I understand most people don’t have one, so I’ll just order 600 units of revisioned LCM for you to swap out. That’s how I plan on solving the slow drain issue. I found it using liquid nitrogen, dipping the whole ESC+LCM, and using a thermal camera. That resistor is the only hot thing during poweroff, and I replaced it with a 200k and the drain is gone. I designed the LCM with the IC’s datasheet requirement (10K). Turns out it’s too low for real-life situations, but thankfully the cost isn’t astronomical, so we can afford this recall.

2. Footpad Sensor Ghosting Issue:

The issue only exists in the first 80 footpads with the first batch of boards. The problem is the layers being assembled using the wrong type of adhesive, causing water to dissolve the adhesive rim around the sensor layers. We’ve shipped all 80 customers new revisioned footpads. You should be able to get them this week. The new footpads use a PET base adhesive, so they are water-resistant. I’ve tested the new ones underwater for over a week, and they still work great.

3. BMS Issue:

Yep, we need a more advanced BMS that can talk with the VESC in case of a battery pack malfunction. At least it should slowly push back before cutoff. For this to work, we’re now working on a new BMS and a new cable harness. This will allow the BMS to communicate with the ESC. Other than that, it will need individual cell monitoring with an app, active balancing, protection parameters set up via the app, and it needs to be a charge and discharge BMS for sure. Charge-only is not ok. In the event of an ignorant rider leaving the board uncharged for 3 months while the battery drained to 0, and they plug it into the wall, the next thing the whole house is burnt down and we’re on TV. So, I disagree with a charge-only BMS. Use this only if you know your battery stuff. We have a working BMS evaluation prototype that already does active balance+individual cell monitoring via the phone at hand. The problem we have is that this BMS is massive. We haven’t figured out a way to put this in our board. Probably need to do a 3-layer board-to-board-to-board design to fit it in. It’s a massive project, even bigger than the Floatwheel Adv itself. So allow us some time. We’ve seen 2 events of BMS cut off during a ride. It was in the first 80 boards. One vital QC process is not carried out during first batch production, which is individual cell drain monitoring. We now let the board sit in the factory for a week, test for any cell drain issues, so this will be stopped in the factory and no longer be an issue in the future. But like I said, a new BMS is being designed, and we’ll make sure it’s backward compatible with first batch boards.

4. Brittle Plastic:

Simply put, it was us being stupid chasing that matte surface finish and dumping too much fiberglass in the mixture. The first 300 boards will receive a whole refresh set of plastic shells (bumper set + fender base set).

5. Motor Making UFO Noises at Lower Speeds:

An easy fix is to tune your zero vector frequency up or down 1kHz, and the noise is gone. We think this has to do with the current sensor not being accurate enough at lower speeds with lower battery voltage. Can’t say for sure, but once I tune the zero vector frequency up a bit, it’s gone.

6. First 200 Motors Too Torquey:

They are wound to the same configuration as the hypercore, actually. The reason it feels slow compared to the GT is that it uses magnets that are way too high spec. On the GT, you can take one magnet out to measure, it’s around 1750Gs, which means it’s a N30-N35 magnet. The Adv is a N42H magnet, which measures 1929Gs in the center. On top of the higher-grade magnet, this thing is thicker, longer, wider than the hypercore’s magnet. So, the flux is 1.6x hypercore. With this magnet, it comes with great torque, but the magnet also generates massive BEMF. So, it doesn’t run fast without field weakening. Field weakening is basically injecting current into the Q axis to create a magnetic field to fight against the BEMF generated by the motor. So with 80A field weakening, you’ll find the motor can actually spin faster than the GT but sacrifices efficiency at higher speeds. The first batch of motors will be really efficient around 20mph, which is the speed I ride longer distances at. I purposely set it this way so the range is good even with a bigger ass motor. But since you guys like higher speed, it doesn’t hurt me to swap to 135 new design motors. It doesn’t really hurt your torque, though. It just needs 20% more current to generate the same torque as Batch 1 motors. So, expect the ESC to run hotter than the Batch 1 motors. In terms of accelerating performance, the new motor will feel more like a GT, which picks up speed quite fast but with higher torque to keep your nose from scraping.

That is a really long essay. Thank you for reading this. Now I’m going to get back to fixing the first batch problems for my supporters.


FYI, my LCM was replaced from v3.3 to v3.4 and now the board works as expected.
If anyone has the same issue I had, your LCM might be defective. The older version seems to be v3.3 so maybe take a look at yours.

Wow, interesting info - mine is v3.3 - could be that v3.4 includes the new smaller resistor, please check your idle draw - do you still lose 0.3V every 24h?

The LCM version number may not imply that there was a problem. You might have just had a bad v3.3 while ours must be “good”. But probably a good question for Tony.

I’m super new to VESC so apologies in advance if I got the wrong numbers…
In the first page my RT Data screen, at 11pm, the Battery number is showing 73.10V. I will wait till tomorrow 11pm to see if this number has decreased.

unrelated, the colours of my rail guards do not match perfectly. One out of 4 pieces has a very slight blue hue to it. minor gripe.

1 Like

LCM module’s DC-DC converter maybe no sleeping mode when light load , some DC-DC converter have sleeping mode when light load . if no sleeping the converter switch frequency is fixed in all load condiction .

Already? That was fast) I’m also waiting for the new sensor, but riding the board using Tony’s advice to change ADC1/2 parameters. I cannot attach screenshots as a new user, so in the Vesc app there is a FloatCFG/Specs menu, ADC1 Switch Voltage - 0,80V and ADC2 Switch Voltage - 2,00V. I also activated “simple stop” function to avoid “ghost riding”. Using these adjustments i keep ridin’ and waiting for the new LCM.

BTW, I had 2 trail rides. One took about 50% of the battery and gave me 17 kilometers. I’m about 220 pounds. I have regular ADV battery.

We are test-pilots with our first boards, it’s a privilege, but with its own nuances.

Sure. Check my other answer to you, i’ve included my parameters there.

On req of Surf the below, also posted in Floatwheel discord.

Have the idea that the waterproofing of the board is overrated by Tony and underestimated by user.
I have a board where sealant was present where it should be(as it’s reported some boards came without). I drilled a vent hole to use the Badger enema bulb to test. Just checking the controller box so far the findings:

  • Cable gland: leaks in 3 places
  • ledbar (on top of lid): leak
  • led window front: leak
  • footpad connector on top of lid: leak
    (flowable silicone now applied on the areas above)
  • Motor connector board side: sealed well, siliconed some just in case.
  • powerbutton, chargeport still to be checked.
  • 2 of my lid threads got stripped. Not being fully tightened i suspect the lid seal leaks as well.

With all silicone cured and lidbolts temporarily (until my thread repair kit arrives:) yet properly fastened, there is still a leak. Cannot find it. Next step would be the ultra thin silicone in the chargeport and motor connector around the pins. But i have none. If anyone has a source for EU to get this id be happy. Getting from US+shipping+ ridiculous tax makes me weep nowadays.

So this is JUST the controller box. Battery enclosure and hub not checked yet…

Sometimes, i hear a strange metal “dang” sound on my ADV, when i ride on trails and have to brake or make a tight turn. It’s not handle, it’s something inside. I cannot repeat this sound just shaking the board in my hands. Maybe someone knows where to look at inside?