2019 e-Bike V1

Project goal: Convert a regular bicycle to an electric, medium-distance drivetrain while retaining the ability to use pedals.

Project development period: April 9, 2019 – August 14, 2019

The main objective of the 2019 E-Bike was to create an electric vehicle that could cover the most distance possible while maintaining a low profile.

The following information serves as a presentation, not a technical report.


The 2019 E-Bike went through three prototype drivetrain configurations before the final design was implemented.

Prototype I:
Brushed DC Motor + 18650 Li-ion 7S1P battery

Prototype II:
Brushed DC Motor + 5Ah SLA 2S1P

Prototype III:
Brushed DC Motor + 10Ah Li-ion 18650 battery cluster 7S4P

Final Design

Battery Technology

The culmination of the prototype drivetrains determined the cost vs performance of two battery types, specifically seen in Prototype II and Prototype III. Prototype I was meant only to test the mechanical drive itself, not practical performance.

It was evident that both battery technologies, SLA and Li-ion, were enough to drive the DC brushed motor. However, as both test batteries were roughly the same size, practical testing showed the Li-ion battery out-performed the SLA battery in both distance and weight, although being the more expensive of the two options. This is due to the higher energy density of the Li-ion chemistry.

Li-ion battery technology was chosen to construct the final battery as a result, since distance and low-profile form was the main objective for this project, despite the extra cost.

Battery development
Final product

Mechanical Drivetrain

The drivetrain integrates both an electric motor and the original pedal cranks as a source of mechanical power. The 450W brushed DC motor is mounted with a triangular bracket to the chain stay and the seat stay. It's output is mechanically coupled to the rear wheel by a sprocket fixed to the rim, and a chain connecting it to a freewheel mounted on the motor.

This freewheel works as a one-way clutch, allowing the bike to coast when the motor is not powered, as well as allowing the pedal cranks to still work in the stock configuration, and with the gearing still functional.

Because this design uses a brushed DC motor, the brushes will eventually have to be replaced after a high amount of runtime. Otherwise, maintenance for this vehicle is extremely low. The drivetrain should be kept lubricated for maximum efficiency and the battery should be stored in a cool and dry area at about 40% SoC to extend its lifetime, when not in use.

Electronics and Mounting

There are three main sections on the bike that contain the electronics. A custom fabricated junction box, mounted directly under the rear half of the saddle, contains the wire distribution and the step-down voltage converter to power the running lights.

The module below the junction box is the motor controller, which connects directly to the battery and controls the power going to the motor based on throttle input.

The final section of the electronics is the control panel, mounted in the middle of the handlebars. The drive-by-wire throttle control is also routed through the same conduit as the wiring for the control panel. The control panel serves as a nameplate as well as the front LED bar controls, a toggle switch and dimmer control.


All fabrication such as CNC engraving and sheet metal cutting was done in my workshop, mostly from 1/8" 6061 Aluminum sheet metal. The bike frame, wheels, and rear gear cogs were not custom made.

The plate above the rear wheel was designed as a temporary battery hold (as seen in the prototypes). However, it was kept in the final design to work as a location for the rear lights, and to serve as a fender.

The rear fender plate is connected to the bike using two side supports that are bolted into the frame near the rear wheel axle, and is also connected to the junction box under the rear of the saddle. These custom parts were designed as one assembly and depend on each other for structural rigidity, another reason why the temporary battery hold was kept in the final design.

Other noteworthy assemblies include the LED bar running light, the control panel/name plate, and the 2-to-1 brake line assembly.


E-BIKE 2019 V1

450w 24v side-mount motor
30Ah 29.4v battery (~882Wh)
Front LED bar, rear tail lights
Standard rim breaks
Bike weight: 19.5kg/43lbs
Battery weight: 6.5kg/14.3lbs
Total riding weight: 26kg/57.3lbs



Future plans

A second version of the e-Bike is planned. Version 2 of this project will be addressing the weak points discovered in Version 1, specifically (Ordered from greatest to least improvement significance)
  • Battery life
  • Suspension and tires
  • Motor type
  • Battery mount
  • Brakes
  • Mirrors
  • Custom electronics
Battery life on the V1 is satisfactory, however this could be improved to store a larger battery pack in a more efficient integration with the bike frame.

Ideally the second iteration of the bike would also include a removable battery. However, there needs to be more design and testing efforts in order to determine if this is more practical. The current battery mount mechanism uses re-usable industrial strength ties, which is a royal pain to take on and off. If the removable design is kept, this mechanism will be thoroughly redesigned.

The battery pack itself is planned to be designed and assembled from the ground-up in the next version, as opposed to this project which uses 3 manufactured battery clusters. 18650 Li-ion battery cells will be used to create a large battery cluster to power the bike, ideally using more energy dense cells than the manufactured packs and a more useful layout to pack as many cells as possible.

There is no suspension in this design. Exploring suspension options on the next design will result in higher ride quality and more off-road capability. Tires should be upgraded in the next design.

The current brushed DC motor can be replaced with a brushless DC for higher life expectancy, lower maintenance, and lower audible noise. The current motor's brushes will eventually need to be replaced and is loud. The drawback to a brushless DC motor is the method for driving the motor is more electronically complex.

It is currently undecided whether the next motor will be an increase in output power or retain the same power output. Going over 500w will no longer classify the bike as an "electric bicycle" under Ontario legislation.

The rim brakes are adequate for this design and perform well. Other options will be researched for the future design especially if the power is increased. Side mirrors are also a consideration in the next design.

Custom electronics on the next build are only a conceptualization and are not currently planned. The skill, time, research, and cost involved in making custom electronics (motor driver, battery management, user interface, speedometer, light controls, etc.) is a resourcefully demanding task, especially when cheaper manufactured solutions are already available as parts for purchase.

Workstation PC

Project goal: Produce a creative but useful desktop computer from scratch, triple OS boot and RGB adjustable.

Project development period: Feb 2019 - March 2019

The following information serves as a presentation, not a technical report.

Drafting & Design

This project started with the idea and layout drafted on paper, as well as the pinout for the LED halo fan that inspired the center piece of the front panel, also serving as the primary method of cooling.

The layout idea was brought to life via CAD software and physical layout. The CAD software was used to create engravings in a couple of the parts (nameplate, wire plate, etc). The physical layout started with two sheets, one of aluminum alloy and the other being clear acrylic for the front panel.

The layout for the aluminum mounting board was not necessary to draft in CAD, as the holes were marked with a marker after placing and leveling the computer components onto the sheet. It was then cut to size, drilled, and sanded for a brushed finish.

The acrylic panel was drafted in CAD to locate an optimal position for the center fan and the nameplate, which are the only two components mounted to the front panel.


Most of the build uses machined aluminum parts with 6-32 UNC bolts. There are two 3D-printed parts, the PSU mounting brackets and the 4-bay hard drive dock. Both parts were designed in SolidWorks for this project.



MSI 970A-G43 PLUS Motherboard
Triple boot OS, solid-state drives
GeForce GTX 650 Ti-Boost
Thermaltake 600w PSU
12.0 GB RAM
Aluminum chasis with acrylic front panel
Analog-adjustable diffused RGB LED strips



Personal Website

Project goal: Create a self-defining public website, as a reference to any significant achievements and involvements in a professional sense.

Project development period: Nov 2019 - Oct 2020 (ongoing updates)

The following information serves as a presentation, not a technical report.

With over 5000 lines of code, this website was created to document all professional activities including experience, projects, and formal education. It also serves as a repository or portfolio for potential employers, business partners, and others. For me as the author, I can use it to track my own work and have a central location for relevant information about the things I've done.


The website is laid out simplistically, and divided into 5 main pages: Home, Experience, Projects, Education, and Contact. Each of these can represent their respective elements independently and don't need any further web pages, making this layout relatively simple and informational.

Shown is a site map flowchart showing how a user might navigate the website.



Built on Apache 2 webserver, the server is running Linux OS and delivers full SSL encryption with LetsEncrypt's certificate service.

Google Chrome's "Security Overview" validates the website's certificate, connection, and resources for encryption. All other web browsers are directed through SSL encryption as well while accessing the website. This is important for the modern internet, as websites without SSL encryption are deemed unsafe and have the potential to be blocked by some browsers.


The entire website is coded and designed from scratch without the use of any 3rd party code or template. Only HTML, CSS, and JavaScript were used to create the website. Everything was learned from experimenting and online syntax references, especially www.w3schools.com.

Because of the simplicity of the website, all CSS styling can be condensed in one file - with lots of organization to prevent getting lost in the code. Style parameters are organized by page, and in order from top to bottom of each page.

The code itself was written using a program called Sublime Text, an editor for programming and text files.


The icons on this site are original and were created in either Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape.


Many fonts are used, however the main distinguishing font (as seen in large titles) is called Good Times, created by Typodermic Fonts at www.typodermicfonts.com.

A web license was purchased for the authority to embed on the website


Construction Phase

The domain name ("seangibson.ca") was purchased over a year before the website went live. For that duration, the "construction phase" was active, and the website displayed the following dialog for the entirety of the year 2020. The website was being developed during this time.

Final Version

Automotive work

A compilation of some of the automotive projects I've worked on.

The following information serves as a presentation, not a technical report.

Toyota Matrix


2004 Toyota Matrix XR
1.8L 4-cylinder VVT-I 1ZZ-FE Engine
130 HP
Manual 5-speed transmission
5-door hatcback

Headlight Restoration

Over time, oxidation will fog up acrylic headlights from exposure to sunlight due to the material's reaction to the UV rays.

This layer of oxidation can be removed with abrasive treatment. To achieve this, a pneumatic 2-inch orbital sander was used with increasing grits of sandpaper, first to remove the oxidation, and then to polish the surface.

After abrasive treatment the operation is finished with plastic polish, which is a very fine abrasive gel, not unlike toothpaste!

Before treatment
After treatment
Final product

Audio System

The original audio system in this vehicle upon purchase was functioning sub-optimally, the display was not functional, and the audio was dull.

A new car stereo was purchased and installed, and then spliced into the factory wiring harness. The speakers themselves were upgraded as well, and the plastic facade of the center console panel was re-painted.

Hitch Installation

After the completion of the 2019 e-Bike, it was time to install a hitch onto the Matrix in order to mount a bike rack.

This Class I hitch is bolted into the frame of the car from underneath and is held in with 6 bolts.

For installation, the muffler had to be dropped and the holes needed to be tapped into the frame. Afterwards, the bolts were coated with a thin layer of Loctite and used to hold in the hitch.


The Matrix has been equipped with two dashcams, front-facing and rear-facing. Both cameras have been hard-wired into the vehicle's 12v auxiliary power and will run whenever the key is in the ignition.

LED Lights

All lamps in the vehicle used for illumination have been replaced with high-efficiency and long-lasting LEDs. As a result, the colour temperature is changed to a more neutral/cold white and the lights have a much higher life expectancy.

Toyota Celica


2001 Toyota Celica GT-S
1.8L 4-cylinder VVTL-I 2ZZ-GE Engine
180 HP
Automatic 4-speed transmission
3-door hatchback coupe

Exterior Lights

As an aesthetically oriented project car, many of the visual elements have been changed/upgraded. The headlights and fog-lights are extensively modified, with aftermarket LED lamps all around and aftermarket headlight assemblies replacing the stock assemblies.

Ice blue LED bulbs were installed in the fog light assemblies, and an LED strip array is used as running lights in the upgraded headlights. High beams and signal lights were also replaced with LEDs.

Interior Paint & Stereo Deck

The center control stack and gauge cluster bezel were painted matte white, and the stereo deck is upgraded. The original speaker system throughout the car is kept intact as it's an upgraded option that came with the vehicle.

Custom Gauge Cluster Overlay

A custom gauge cluster overlay was made for the Toyota Celica using EL technology (Electroluminescence). EL sheet is placed behind the template used for the gauge readings and as a result will glow when power is applied.

The gauge cluster assembly was disassembled, and the EL overlay is sandwiched between the gauge face and the plastic facade.


A front facing dashcam was installed in the Celica, hard-wired into the 12v auxiliary power.


Project goal: Create a web application to serve as infrastructure for future network-connected projects

Project development period: Jan 2021 - Ongoing

The following information serves as a presentation, not a technical report.

Drafting & Design

This project is in early stages of development and currently does not have any prepared presentation.

Check back later for progress updates!