DPC-14 BBSxx Display : Because The World Is Better In Color

I have yet to do an article on a BBSxx display because frankly I’ve never been moved to. I did a short article that describes the differences between the many different kinds of displays here, which has been one of the more popular articles on this blog. I’m quite certain that Bafang does not actually build these displays, but buys them from other different companies and puts their logo on them. They often disable the functionality of the displays leaving BBSxx customers in a lurch with a display that was built with certain functions that they cannot access or change. The different B&W displays for the BBSxx units can be quite different, but they all have one thing in common. They suck.

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The DPC-14 is the best display for the BBSxx to date hands down

I had high hopes for the DPC-10 which was released several months ago. Although it was a B&W display it said it would have a watt meter and a clock and it also looked different than any other display they have made to date. The coolest feature was a USB port in the display that people could use to power their Cell Phones and GPS units. The DPC-10 turned out to be a bomb. It had no clock or watt meter, the USB port was not powerful enough to drive many higher power USB LED bicycle headlights. Many people who sprung the DPC-10 ended up being pretty disappointed with it. I never got my hands on one for testing so I honestly can’t say one way or the other.

The DPC-14 just looks all kinds of awesome when compared to the older B&W displays

The DPC-14 just looks all kinds of awesome when compared to the older B&W displays

Because everyone was so down on the DPC-10 I did not have big expectations for the DPC-14. I figured it was going to be more of the same, but in color. When the DPC-14 I ordered from Lunacycle.com showed up I somewhat reluctantly threw it on my commuter. After using it for a few hundred miles, I have to say that now I’m in love with it and when I have to ride one of my other 10 ebikes without a DPC-14 I’m always left disappointed every time I have to squint and lean over to try to read the tiny watt meter on the C965 or ride without a clock or without having a damn clue how much juice is left in my battery.

The DPC-10 was a flop, for $10 more it's no contest, get a DPC-14.

The DPC-10 was a flop, for $10 more it’s no contest, get a DPC-14.

When the DPC-14 first showed up I couldn’t read it in direct daylight. The units ship with the display brightness turned all the way down. If you are building a stealth ebike for poaching trails in the woods you probably want to keep the display brightness set on low, but if you have a commuter for the road then you will almost certainly want it set to full brightness. The DPC also has 2 modes one for daytime and one for night, a long press on the + button will switch modes. In order to turn the drive unit on you also must press the power button for about 2 seconds which seems longer than the other displays.

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The settings menu is easy to get into, two short presses on the power button will get you into that menu. Most of the settings are pretty straight forward. For the ‘scenes’ button to switch from digital to analog means it changes the display instead of reading exact numbers (digital) it will use bars that move left and right (analog). I prefer digital for everything. I really liked how they show the exact voltage of the battery as well as a more accurate bar that empties out and fills up. In the advanced menu you can set the battery voltage to be User Defined and the display seems to take the voltage that the battery is at initially when you plug it in and assume that it is at full power and then the battery gage moves down appropriately as the battery gets used up. This is a very simple feature but it makes it much easier to use high power 52v batteries on your BBSxx units (you should never use anything else).

The first Bafang settings menu that is actually intuitive

The first Bafang settings menu that is actually intuitive

The advanced menu gives you control over things that you previously could never change on any display. It allows you to set your battery voltage (set it to User Defined for a 52v pack). The speed limit is set to 99kph which your BBSxx ebike will probably never be able to do.

I really like using the trip meter (press both the + & – together to reset) to see how far I’ve gone. I was pretty disappointed that this display did not have an Ah meter or a temperature gauge for inside the drive unit. Those are two things that Bafang desperately needs to add. The ability to add a password to your ebike to help prevent theft is an amazing feature that might help keep your ebike from getting jacked.

There is a short video that shows the DPC-14 right here on Youtube. The manual for the DPC-14 is also located here if you’re more of a reader than a watcher (I sure am, I love to RTFM). If you have any questions the best place to post them is on the electricbike.com forum located here. One of the little Luna elves will respond very quickly to all your questions. The DPC-14 works with the BBS01, BBS02 & the BBSHD ( or the BBS03 as some Chinese are calling it).

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The DPC-14 is available from Lunacycle here for $85 or they are offering it as a free add-on with a BBS02 or BBSHD drive unit (this almost certainly will end soon). If you have ever bought a BBS02 or BBSHD from Lunacycle and use the coupon code LOYALTY then you can whack $20 off the price of this display. Is it worth upgrading? I probably won’t spent $85 just to get the color screen and better functionality and visibility, but if I was buying a new drive unit I would not consider anything else (even if it cost a little extra).

The DPC-14 is a clear winner in the BBSxx display arena and probably will be for several years to come.

Ride on.

 

 

30 thoughts on “DPC-14 BBSxx Display : Because The World Is Better In Color

  1. Hi Karl, excellently done review as always.. question, how do you get into the User Defined Menu to set battery voltage?

    “The advanced menu gives you control over things that you previously could never change on any display. It allows you to set your battery voltage (set it to User Defined for a 52v pack). “

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  2. Yes Bruce I also am a little confused by the user defined setting for battery voltage. I have set my new display to user defined but see now way to enter in 52 volts. Also it gives a max reading of 55.9 volts and I see Karl’s shows 56 volts. Perhaps I entered my settings with the battery not fully charged as Karl is saying in this review he found the unit to be acting a little flaky in that it reads voltage of the pack and then maybe locks that into the displays memory of max voltage? I will retry entering in the settings with a full charge on my battery pack and see what happens?

    Thanks Karl for the review here……..wayne

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    • I also get 56v after full battery charge although separate watt meter shows 58+ at the charge port.. I’m guessing 56v is a ceiling on the new display.. once it drops below 56v, it reads the same as my watt meter at charge port..

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  3. This is such a racket. I buy these:

    http://www.amazon.com/6-5-100V-Display-Digital-Multimeter-Voltmeter/dp/B013PKYILS?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s01

    Very legible in sunlight, and has a backlight.

    I assume anyone in the ebike industry who puts an amp hour (or watt hour) function in their display goes for a helicopter ride. And gets dropped into the Bay of Fundy.

    It’s like Sondors and his display for the new bike, the Thin. Very expensive but the only real choice to adjust the PAS.

    Give me a nice simple motor, a great battery, and maybe a cruise function for PAS. What are we talking now on the HD or 03, out the door?

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    • Are you saying the Luna display is too expensive for what it is? Or that it doesn’t display the right stuff? Luna is no longer bundling this color display with the BBSHD, so maybe people should by the one you recommend? Why is it better? Please explain so a beginner can understand! Thanks!

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  4. Hi Karl, thank you for this great review.

    But I’m a bit confused now about the speed limit. You wrote it is set to 99kph (which would be nice). And the manual says the speed limit range is from 10 to 45kmh (which would be really disappointing and makes it kind of useless)!
    Has anyone some experiences with the speed limit? Is it 45 or 99kph?

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  5. Yes, please figure out for the rest of us, how to user define the voltage. Keep up the good work! I appreciate the work that you do.

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    • Hey Karl, Same question. I see how to set the battery to UBE (User Defined), and that my be the setting for a 52 volt battery, but that setting doesn’t get me info for a 52 volt battery. It would seem that if you set the battery to user defined, there would be another setting somewhere to enter a value (52). If I can’t figure this out, I may have to order a 48 volt battery before Luna stops selling them (only four 48 volt styles remaining on their website, and only three 36 volt styles. However, they have a butt load of 52 volt batteries.)

      HELP.

      Thanks for making this easier for us newbees.

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      • The UBE setting takes the voltage when you first connect your pack and assumes that it is fully charged. The battery bar goes down slowly (and inaccurately in my experience) as you use up capacity. I find that the battery bar works but overestimates remaining battery capacity (at least when there is no load). For example, after a recent 19 mile ride up and down hills (1900 feet of vertical climb) on my BBSHD fat tire bike, the voltage read 48.5 volts (which means about 25-30% remaining capacity) but the battery bar showed 75-80 percent full.

        I’ve learned to use voltage at rest as the best indicator of remaining capacity. The battery bar is not accurate and will get you stranded if you rely on it.

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  6. The DPC 10 sucks. It’s what I received with my mid-drive “kit” and I don’t like it. It should have a lot more features–cadence, power input from the motor, clock, stopwatch, trip time, thermometer, etc.

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  7. George doesn’t like anything he doesn’t use or ride. No worries. Us off farts are that way. He’s been lucky with his cheap watt meters that give the average rider far more information than they can parse. And get returned at the highest rate of any device sold to eBikers.

    Now, we’re talking about a display here that is essential to a BBS series setup. I’m firmly in the KISS keep is simple stupid crowd and prefer the C965. Yeah color is cool but what does it really do for the ride and is any of the added information really all that useful? Or accurate? (I do have the color display mounted on one bike and it is cool. I think it may not be as waterproof and keep a roll of those little black dog poop bags for covers in my riding kit bag)

    I bought myself a BattMan and a CA3. Every new build I throw one or the other on, and for the first few rides, ruin my interaction with the scenery watching a stupid gauge. Watching and observing the watts used in various gears and assents. Thereby learning what my motor draws and which techniques, gears, throttle usages to avoid crazy over power draw. Even my old stroked brain manages to parse the data and I go home with the memories, remove the scenery ruining device and stash it for the next build. To many other things far more interesting to observe than a plastic display.

    Kist got a new battery and road it till the motor started to sputter and warn of eminent power loss. Noted the mileage on the odometer and dropped the next ride by 10%. I now have a reasonably accurate mileage reading and in 2 1/2 years haven’t been stranded yet.

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  8. So Karl, after several months, many miles and much abuse, is there any update? Do you still love that display, or has it shown to be like the other displays, a useless POS?

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  9. My experience with the voltmeter is that it reads low when the battery is full (I have a 52 volt pack). Mine reads 56.6 volts when I know the pack is actually a bit higher at 57.4 and sometimes 58.4. It doesnt matter whether I charge it to 57.4 or the full charge of 58.8, the display still reads the same 56.6 volts.

    I do find the voltage is pretty accurate after some battery use though. My ending voltages usually are within .1 volt of my voltmeters.

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  10. I just got the display and I can’t find out anything to see how I connect and control a light from it. It can shift into lamp mode, but should that also enable a lamp too. Seems shame that I have USB output on the display and also on the battery, that could power a front and rear lamp. Any thoughts, thanks.

    BTW, my wife uses the bike for her daily commuting and for her what is shown on the display is great and not too techie. e.g. having the time on the display is her favorite feature. The rest of the features are great for me to manage the bike set-up for her 🙂

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    • The USB port on the DPC-14 is not really powerful enough to power a bike light, just charge your cellphone or run your GPS. If you want to run lights I recommend connecting them to the charging port of your battery pack. For most Luna packs you can just wire a XT60 female to your lights and plug it in. That is the easiest solution I have found.

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  11. Thanks for the write-up Karl. I added this to my BBSHD kit and just built my first eBike based on a Framed Minnesota fat bike. I did my first official commute today and wonder why I hadn’t added a motor sooner.

    Anyway, quick question . . . I’m not getting a “Range” reading on the display. I just get “—“. Is this common until the unit has enough miles to calculate Range? I noted in the manual (I to always RTFM and noted that “Range” was highlighted in a different color than the other settings. Any significance to this?

    Thanks!

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      • Thanks for the quick feedback Karl. In reviewing a few other posts, I’m thinking I would need additional wiring between the battery and controller to provide the required information to make that work. For now, I’m just going to hope I can make my full commute (32 miles round trip) without needing to charge at the office. If that works, I’ll note the voltage level and monitor that for my range.

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