where can i find a compact 500W controller ?

Dave C

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Apr 9, 2024
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Hello All.

Maybe someone here can save me hours MORE of searching. I bought a GEN 3 Groove fat tire foldable class 2 eBike 2 years ago. I love it, but have put over 3400 miles on it so i have dealt with many maintenance issues. Now I am dead in the water. My pedal assist stopped working a few months ago. I tried to get the PAS working again by installing new sensor and got familiar with wiring, but it looks like it was a controller issue. Not a great situation, but it wasn't a show stopper because my bike has a thumb throttle. Well after using that extensively for a few months the plastic thumb throttle ring cracked and JB weld couldn't save it. So now the bike is unusable.

I tried looking for a replacement controller long ago with no success. Gen 3 went out of business within a year of me getting my Groove. They actually sent me a replacement controller the first month i got the bike because it got wet from puddles and a poor controller compartment design. They probably had a shelf full of them, but that exact model i cannot get from the internet myself. I have no problem installing an after market version and actually would rather do that because it would likely be cheaper BUT.... the controller compartment is sooo small, I need the same size controller or smaller to fit in it and that is proving VERY difficult to find. Anything that fits is only for 350W max. My biggest dimension problem is length. The original controller is 110 millimeters and BARELY fits in there. Everything i find on Amazon and elsewhere is 118mm 120mm or worse. I know they will just not fit.

So i need a package deal. Controller with display and ideally thumb throttle although i can live with just pedal assist if necessary.

I did try contacting the controller manufacture myself. The company is Lishui, but I have a feeling they only deal with builders and the contact page wouldn't even let me submit a request. Have a feeling dealing with them would be a nightmare anyway. Like i said, would rather go aftermarket.

Anyone know where i can find a compact 500W controller ???

UPDATE : right after posting this, I entered the exact controller # in google and got a listing for the exact controller and display thumb throttle package for my bike from Ali Express. Price ? 230 dollars ! No... not doing that. Bike only cost 800 and will probably need battery replaced soon which will be at least 200.
 

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Hi, KT has some controllers on aliexpress that are small enough to fit. They are a reputable brand. You would have to get one of their displays to go with it. There are a lot of YouTube videos on programming them, which seems like a bear but is doable. Most of the vendors on aliexpress have at least one photo with measurements, just watch out for the different connectors so you have some compatibility and the amps, you don't want to stress out an already old battery. It is probably best to start with some videos. It will make it easier to choose a display, some are harder to program then others. Controller prices for your wattage start around $35.00, display a bit higher. Your throttle may still fit as they are more generic. Good luck.
 
Awesome. I was not aware of them. This is exactly the kind of info i was looking for. Amazon was giving me nothing that worked. Ebay was only slightly better. Like the UPDATE in my post said i did see exact match for my controller and display on Ali Express, but they wanted 230 dollars for it, I assume because that exact combo may have been only for my discontinued bike. Would rather order from somewhere closer than Ali, but I ordered a tire from them before and aside from a long delivery time had no issues.

Thanks for the tip.
 
KT controllers are all I use on hub motor builds. They all have a common settings interface (its often called programming but you are just picking selections from a list of options on a couple of dozen parameters) thanks to the requirement to use a KT display with the controller. The KT-LCD3 is a square, good-sized display whose backlit LCD is visible in any light., and its not too expensive. The LCD8 is a color version, also visible in bright sunlight and it gives you all settings on one screen which is really nice. But its a little pricey. The LCD4 is identical to a small, stealthy Eggrider v2 but it has a backlit LCD so it is readable in all light unlike the OLED screens usually used by displays like this. Its tiny but has all the features of all the other KT displays.
 
KT controllers are all I use on hub motor builds. They all have a common settings interface (its often called programming but you are just picking selections from a list of options on a couple of dozen parameters) thanks to the requirement to use a KT display with the controller. The KT-LCD3 is a square, good-sized display whose backlit LCD is visible in any light., and its not too expensive. The LCD8 is a color version, also visible in bright sunlight and it gives you all settings on one screen which is really nice. But its a little pricey. The LCD4 is identical to a small, stealthy Eggrider v2 but it has a backlit LCD so it is readable in all light unlike the OLED screens usually used by displays like this. Its tiny but has all the features of all the other KT displays.

Good to be aware of the KTs. I did some shopping on them at Ali Express after AnnieOlnie brought them to my attention, but was not having much luck. Ebikes are not my life. I just have one and it's fun and I'm a DIYer so when it breaks, I've got to figure out how to get it running reliably again in the most economical fashion. This controller/display/throttle shopping was starting to drive me nuts. I was amazed at how many controllers did NOT list their physical dimensions. Seems like that should be one of the most important specs. Not fitting where you need it to be is obviously a non-starter.

I finally went with something i saw on Amazon early on. I passed on it at first cause the dimension photo list a length of 118mm which i don't think will work, but in the listed specs the length is 113mm which probably will. Amazon has free returns so I am just rolling the dice and hoping it will fit. The other dimensions are slightly smaller so that may offer some relief packing all that cable in there.
 
Hey there, I went down a bit of a rabbit hole for you since I've been going down it anyway for myself. As you know your controller is a Lishui. If you get stuck these guys have it for $120.00.They custom assemble them so you could verify the measurements. The other pic here is the KT controller. It is just a 1/2 inch longer. I think you could squeeze it in. It's thirty some odd dollars and is at the Yun ebike store on Aliexpress. I hope your amazon pick works out, if not these are some options, also Amazon may have these too if you put in the exact numbers. I know they have some KTs. Once again, best of luck. The learning curve for ebikes is continuous.
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Good job finding that Lishui custom build, but then my cheapness kicks in. Unfortunately since the throttle ring cracked I can't just replace the controller now unless I want to be stuck with just Pedal Assist. The display still works fine, but since the display and throttle on my bike are one unit I'd have to replace everything. As I stated in my original post I found that whole set on Ali too, but way too expensive at 230 dollars. The combo i am rolling the dice on is 60 bucks total. Half the price of just the Lishui controller alone, plus the display and throttle are separate which avoids the current problem I am having of having to replace a perfectly fine display. In fact, in the future if this combo works, but i break my throttle again... for that grand price of $9.52, i can get a new one.

Amazon didn't have many reviews for what i am going with and the few they had were definitely mixed. Thing might not fit anyway, but another main reason I went with it is because it's Amazon and I feel my chance of getting a full refund if necessary are greatly increased than if i was dealing directly with China.

If this does turn out be a bust, I will likely start looking hard at my KT options, but I am really hoping I can stay out of the rabbithole... ;)





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Hey there, I went down a bit of a rabbit hole for you since I've been going down it anyway for myself. As you know your controller is a Lishui. If you get stuck these guys have it for $120.00.They custom assemble them so you could verify the measurements. The other pic here is the KT controller. It is just a 1/2 inch longer. I think you could squeeze it in. It's thirty some odd dollars and is at the Yun ebike store on Aliexpress. I hope your amazon pick works out, if not these are some options, also Amazon may have these too if you put in the exact numbers. I know they have some KTs. Once again, best of luck. The learning curve for ebikes is continuous.View attachment 14150View attachment 14151
apparently i replied to my own post when I meant to reply to yours. ugh... too lazy to redo it right, but it's there for you to read if interested....
 
Hello again, I think you might have a winner. The stats look good. Turns out your original controller is mostly special order. The site I sent you seems to be the cheapest way to do that. I'm aware of the Hudmansky seller, he deals in a lot of bike parts so that should be fine. My one suggestion would be to hold onto your old controller in case some of the connectors don't fit. You can often un- pin your old ones and move them over. There are also YouTube videos for that, which are not as daunting as KT controller videos. Let us know how it goes.
 
Hello again, I think you might have a winner. The stats look good. Turns out your original controller is mostly special order. The site I sent you seems to be the cheapest way to do that. I'm aware of the Hudmansky seller, he deals in a lot of bike parts so that should be fine. My one suggestion would be to hold onto your old controller in case some of the connectors don't fit. You can often un- pin your old ones and move them over. There are also YouTube videos for that, which are not as daunting as KT controller videos. Let us know how it goes.
i hope it's a winner... we will see. I try not to be a hoarder, but that old controller i would likely hang onto anyways. That is one thing I was already thinking about. For the final assembly I can solder into original connectors if necessary, but will I be able to test the new controller without splicing into the wiring ? That would surely complicate the return process if not make it impossible.

Guess that will be answered in a few weeks when the slow boat from China gets here. Will let you know how it goes.
 
So my Amazon-ordered controller/display/throttle set came in at very end of April and I've had it in for a week now. Did have to do some splicing on the new controller to wire up which i am sure voided any chance of a return if it had problems, but luckily seems be working fine. Definitely a tight fit in my bike's controller compartment which makes me nervous. I find it really to be a poor design... the bike's compartment not the controller. I like the bike, but never liked how the controller is housed. Too small and easily exposed to water.

New controller doesn't quite have the zip of the old one, especially in the throttle. May actually be safer, but feels a little like something is lacking. It seems to get up to speed just takes longer to do it. The new display, however, blows away my original. Original was too small, hard to read and had less info. New one is large, strongly backlit and gives me a volt reading which i love. Some people in reviews said throttle construction was shoddy, but i find it adequate. If it does break i know i can replace it for 10 dollars which is awesome.

I was unable to wire up the ebrake connectors due to lacking the proper plugs on the bike side. Didn't want to just solder wires together as i still want to be able to remove the controller easily if necessary. I am hoping the connectors are standard for ebikes, but this is my first deep dive so i have no idea. i will post again later with pics so hopefully someone can help me identify what I need to order.

so good to be back on the road again. thanks for y'alls help.
 
So my Amazon-ordered controller/display/throttle set came in at very end of April and I've had it in for a week now. Did have to do some splicing on the new controller to wire up which i am sure voided any chance of a return if it had problems, but luckily seems be working fine. Definitely a tight fit in my bike's controller compartment which makes me nervous. I find it really to be a poor design... the bike's compartment not the controller. I like the bike, but never liked how the controller is housed. Too small and easily exposed to water.

New controller doesn't quite have the zip of the old one, especially in the throttle. May actually be safer, but feels a little like something is lacking. It seems to get up to speed just takes longer to do it. The new display, however, blows away my original. Original was too small, hard to read and had less info. New one is large, strongly backlit and gives me a volt reading which i love. Some people in reviews said throttle construction was shoddy, but i find it adequate. If it does break i know i can replace it for 10 dollars which is awesome.

I was unable to wire up the ebrake connectors due to lacking the proper plugs on the bike side. Didn't want to just solder wires together as i still want to be able to remove the controller easily if necessary. I am hoping the connectors are standard for ebikes, but this is my first deep dive so i have no idea. i will post again later with pics so hopefully someone can help me identify what I need to order.

so good to be back on the road again. thanks for y'alls help.

Ok, be careful with the heat generated by that controller in that small space..make sense?

That heat will destroy your controller..just sayin.


Perhaps you could mount the controller on the outside of your frame somewhere?

Good Job! :)
 
Thanks for letting us know. So, Guys on the EBR forum have done this. You probably have 2 pin and the new controller has 3 pin. They splice together a male and female extension cable. They say there is ground and sensor and the third wire is for a brake light, which you probably don't have. This is the cable on Amazon. It seems doable. You've been doing great so far, might as well give it a try.
 

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