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Townie Go 8i lighting question

Old 02-17-20, 08:10 PM
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bigbird1
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Townie Go 8i lighting question

First, let me introduce myself.
I'm a retired avid biker, with 5 bicycles and a motorcycle.
I live in Winnipeg, Canada.

I just joined this forum to find out some info on my latest purchase for my wife, an Electra Townie Go 8i, model year 2020.
Local bike shop hasn't a clue about the computer and lights control.
The manual says I can turn on and off the head/tail lights by using the + button on the computer.
"On" is a medium press and hold (0.5 to 2 sec) and "off" is a long (2.5+ sec) press and hold.
When I picked up the bike and turned on the computer, the lights immediately came on.
I asked the tech how to turn off the lights.
He had no idea and suggested I read the manual.
So I did when I got the bike home, and following the manual to the letter, the lights will not turn off.
So anytime I turn on the computer, on come the lights. When I turn off the computer, the lights go off.
Everything else on the computer operates as it should, and there are no trouble codes on the computer.

My question: Is it possible that for this model year the lights are designed to be on whenever the computer is on?
The reason I'm thinking that might be true is because the manual lists the headlight consumption as 17W, and there is no way that LED bulb draws 17W.
Maybe the manual is old and hasn't been ?pdated.
I'm in Canada, and perhaps the regulations for bike lighting are different than what the manual suggests?

If anyone can help me out, I'd be very appreciative and am all ears.
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Old 02-17-20, 08:52 PM
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Leisesturm
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Originally Posted by bigbird1 View Post
My question: Is it possible that for this model year the lights are designed to be on whenever the computer is on?
Yes, it is possible for that to be the default status of operation but there should be a way to override that.

Originally Posted by bigbird1 View Post
The reason I'm thinking that might be true is because the manual lists the headlight consumption as 17W, and there is no way that LED bulb draws 17W.
I am not following your logic. I agree that 17W seems high for a light consumption but it isn't actually all that outrageous for a headlight/taillight combination. But I think 3W to 6W for the headlight and 1W to 2W for the taillight are more realistic. But even that low power draw is unreasonable to insist upon during daylight operation. But I put nothing past our bureaucrats in State and City Government and the equivalents in Commonwealth Countries.

Originally Posted by bigbird1 View Post
Maybe the manual is old and hasn't been ?pdated.
Well I did some pro bono research on your behalf and it appears the control system for the Electra is the Bosch Intuvia Control System. That is the manual you need to locate and study. The information you seek is somewhere in there. Good hunting.
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Old 02-17-20, 10:16 PM
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bigbird1
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Thank you for the digging.
But no cigar.
My controller is the Purion, not Intuvia.
And the instructions you linked to were identical to those that my bike came with.

"I am not following your logic. I agree that 17W seems high for a light consumption but it isn't actually all that outrageous for a headlight/taillight combination. But I think 3W to 6W for the headlight and 1W to 2W for the taillight are more realistic. But even that low power draw is unreasonable to insist upon during daylight operation. But I put nothing past our bureaucrats in State and City Government and the equivalents in Commonwealth Countries."

BTW, the listed power consumption of the rear LED is only 0.6W and the front LED is listed at 17.4W
No way a tiny bicycle LED draws 17.4 W
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Old 02-17-20, 11:45 PM
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Leisesturm
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Are you saying that with the system powered up (button on side of unit pressed) and the lights ON, that holding the big + button (separate button from power switch) down for six seconds does NOT turn OFF* the lights? I don't want to insult your intelligence but I am not ready to think there is anything wrong with the control system. Six seconds is a fairly long time and you may simply not be holding the + key long enough. I don't see any indication that holding down the + key longer than 6 seconds does any harm, or triggers any other function so why not just hold it down until the lights do go off. If they still do not that's when you know there is a problem. I am not seeing any indication that the system can be configured to insist on lights on all the time. Surely that question your dealer can answer. They may not know how to turn the lights on and off but they should know whether or not the lights must stay on at all times. You can also contact Electra (or Trek ... is Trek the parent company of Electra?) International and ask about it. You can suggest that they give their dealers better support for their products. BTW is it possible that the headlight is 1.74W?

*I also think that if you succeed in turning off the lights with the power on that the next time you power up the system the lights will stay off until you turn them on. But even if I am wrong about that, the ON sequence is only 2 seconds, not 6.

Last edited by Leisesturm; 02-17-20 at 11:58 PM.
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Old 02-18-20, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Are you saying that with the system powered up (button on side of unit pressed) and the lights ON, that holding the big + button (separate button from power switch) down for six seconds does NOT turn OFF* the lights? That's exactly what I'm saying!

I don't want to insult your intelligence but I am not ready to think there is anything wrong with the control system. I think it's time to change your thinking.
Six seconds is a fairly long time and you may simply not be holding the + key long enough. I don't see any indication that holding down the + key longer than 6 seconds does any harm, or triggers any other function so why not just hold it down until the lights do go off. Not sure where you're getting the 6 sec from. The manual says hold down the + button for longer than 2.5 sec. Yes, I have held the + button down for at least 10 sec. Same result, which is no change.

If they still do not that's when you know there is a problem. And that's why I posted here.

I am not seeing any indication that the system can be configured to insist on lights on all the time. Surely that question your dealer can answer. Logic says they should be able to answer that question, but they have no clue.

They may not know how to turn the lights on and off but they should know whether or not the lights must stay on at all times. Again, they have no clue.

You can also contact Electra (or Trek ... is Trek the parent company of Electra?) International and ask about it. I sent their sales dep't an email. They have no direct service support email. I'm waiting for their reply. I cc'd the selling dealer as well with that email.

You can suggest that they give their dealers better support for their products. BTW is it possible that the headlight is 1.74W? I suppose anything's possible.

*I also think that if you succeed in turning off the lights with the power on that the next time you power up the system the lights will stay off until you turn them on. That is what the manual says.

But even if I am wrong about that, the ON sequence is only 2 seconds, not 6.
I'll follow up when I get a response from my selling dealer and/or Electra.
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Old 02-18-20, 07:47 AM
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I just got off the phone with Bosch America.
The rep told me that the dealer, using their diagnostic tool, can access the firmware and change the lights control to selectable on/off from constantly on.
She said that the manufacturer of the Purion had likely set the controller to lights constantly on.
I'll follow up with what the selling dealer service dep't has to say.

Edit: Talked to the dealer service dep't.
I'm taking it in this evening for them to fix with their Bosch diagnostic tool.
Apparently their tech has never had to do this type of adjustment before, only software updates, but I was told he's their eBike guy.
More to follow.

Last edited by bigbird1; 02-18-20 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 02-18-20, 07:52 PM
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I got my issue fixed in about 2 minutes.
I talked to the tech before he did the job.
He explained everything he was going to do in considerable detail.
He had obviously done this many times before.
He also told me to expect an icon of a wrench to appear in the display at 1000 km on the odometer.
That signals me to bring the bike back in for a free software check and update if necessary.
There was absolutely nothing about this wrench icon in the Bosch manual.
Too bad this tech wasn't available the day I took the bike home when the lights were on constantly.
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Old 02-18-20, 11:30 PM
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Old 02-20-20, 12:20 PM
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Didn't see if it was mentioned, but the 17w thing is just a setting to tell the Bosch system that it needs to leave enough power in the battery to run a 17w light a certain amount of time after the battery dies.

So if you don't care about post-discharge light run time, just ask them to change it to the lowest value (I think it's 3W). Doesn't affect brightness, just an internal Bosch calculation. Your light will still be on like 20-30 minutes after the battery dies I think, and you'll get like another mile of range maybe.

I think a standard Bosch retailer can make that change, much like how they changed your other light settings.
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Old 02-20-20, 12:45 PM
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bigbird1
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Originally Posted by tegnamo View Post
Didn't see if it was mentioned, but the 17w thing is just a setting to tell the Bosch system that it needs to leave enough power in the battery to run a 17w light a certain amount of time after the battery dies.

So if you don't care about post-discharge light run time, just ask them to change it to the lowest value (I think it's 3W). Doesn't affect brightness, just an internal Bosch calculation. Your light will still be on like 20-30 minutes after the battery dies I think, and you'll get like another mile of range maybe.

I think a standard Bosch retailer can make that change, much like how they changed your other light settings.
I wish all that info was in the Bosch user manual, rather than in a dealer service manual.
Too bad I didn't know about the wattage settings before taking the bike back for the lighting switch change.
It's inconvenient for me to go to the dealer, and even more uncomfortable loading/unloading the bike in winter.
But thanks for the info.
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Old 02-21-20, 12:13 PM
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I'm glad you solved the issue. But I prefer the light be on when riding. As soon as I turn the system to ON the lights come on. My friends say I make a spectacle of myself and I replied with "So you saw me?" Message was received. I use a Monkeylight on the rear of my most ridden bikes and change the cameras over to the one I'm riding. Good luck with the bike. My Verve + 2 is a good ride. Be Well, Bluesfrog.
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Old 02-21-20, 01:37 PM
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bigbird1
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Thank you Bluesfrog.
I leave the operation of the lights up to the rider; my wife.
At least this way she has the option of turning them off when riding, or she can choose to have them on.
Her call.
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