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billmi
26 March 2011, 0934
I'm fairly convinced that the 10-amp charger I bought from Chennic was mis-programmed or mis-labeled, as it powers up, but does not switch into charge mode.

Over the last 3 or so weeks, I've been exchanging e-mails with Chennic's tech support. Of course, with the time zone difference to China, and tech support and a manual author for whom English is not their primary language, it can be expected to take a while to resolve a problem like this.

All communication has been via e-mail, with me going so far as to send a couple of videos and schematic (more delays with the back and forth e-mails to resolve issues like YouTube being blocked in China, them not being able to play MP4 videos).

Unfortunately, all of my questions about if it's possible for me to reprogram the charger (i.e. if it's dip switch or jumper settings) as well as how they will resolve it if is their error have been ignored in favor of questions to make sure I've correctly wired the charger to the batteries, or whether I'm sure the batteries aren't fully charged already. Having worked with tech support staff at other companies, using their feedback to write product manuals and troubleshooting guides, I get the importance of their questions, but I just look back at the past 3 weeks as ending up all talk and no action.

So, my confidence at getting this charger working is dwindling rapidly - even if they say "send it back, we'll replace/reprogram it" freight to and from China will add up quick, so I'm leaning closer to writing it off and going with something else that I can purchase from a stateside vendor.

With that in mind - anyone have recommendations on a charger (and a vendor to supply it) for a 24 cell 40Ah CALB pack? I'd like to find a vendor that communicates well and I can trust to make sure I'm getting a charger programmed with the right charging curves, and of course not having to wait all that time for something to cross the sea.

I'm looking for something from 6 amps (don't want to go slower than that - so I can recharge while at work) to 12 amps (standard charger current of .3CA for the cells). Smaller physical size is a feature I'm after, since I'll be mounting it on the bike.

The two chargers I've been looking at while web surfing today are the Zivan NG-1 and the Elcon PFC 1500. The pros and cons that I see:

Zivan - I haven't measured the space yet, but it's only slightly bigger than the Chennic charger, so I'm pretty sure I can mount it in the tank. It's not waterproof, but the tank will give it both weather and road spray protection.

Elcon - It's bulkier, and I'm not sure yet where I'd put it - if it fit it might end up on the front of my lower battery box, it's waterproof, which it would need to be in that location. The TCCH 72-16 version is I believe the one I'd be using, and at 16 amps it's well below the 3C max charge rate of the cells, but it is higher than the .3C standard charge current. Anyone know if it can be programmed to limit to 12?

Your experiences and input with either of these chargers, or recommendations on alternatives would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

billmi
26 March 2011, 0937
And it goes without saying - getting a good price is something I'm after too.

Skeezmour
26 March 2011, 0941
I know its a bit bigger but for chargers smaller than what we make we recomend Delta-q. It can easily be to big for a motorcycle I know but I just get leery recomending anything that is not well supported. Still working on getting a PFC15 charger from Manzanita Micro out since I now have bikes of my own that will be needing them :).

Look forward to seeing what others experiences are like in this area.

billmi
26 March 2011, 1111
And as I keep surfing, I've noticed that Thunderstruk is carrying refurbed Zivan NG1s for $400.

Elite Power Solutions' TSL72-15 looks promising as well. Its case is a tad bigger than the Chennic and retailing for $330 - made overseas but distributed out of Arizona. Podolefsky - is this the charger you are using? The case is different in the pics on your blog (different color, no handle) than what EPS shows on their web site - but you're using their BMS and GBC cells - looks like one of their bundles.

podolefsky
26 March 2011, 1132
And as I keep surfing, I've noticed that Thunderstruk is carrying refurbed Zivan NG1s for $400.

Elite Power Solutions' TSL72-15 looks promising as well. Its case is a tad bigger than the Chennic and retailing for $330 - made overseas but distributed out of Arizona. Podolefsky - is this the charger you are using? The case is different in the pics on your blog (different color, no handle) than what EPS shows on their web site - but you're using their BMS and GBC cells - looks like one of their bundles.

Yeah, I have the TSL72-15. The case is a little different - I think it may have been made by Thundersky (TSL is probably Thunder Sky Lithium).

It seems to work great. The only thing is that it is made to connect to their BMS. It has a communication cable from the BMS to the charger, so I'm not sure it would work with another system. Email EPS, or if you want I'll just email Rick Suiter. He always gets back to me by the next day. [edit: I just emailed him - will let you know what he says]

billmi
26 March 2011, 1137
Thanks,

I just shot them an e-mail via the form on their web site asking specifically about the charging specs, since Thunderskys want 3.8v per cell and my CALBs want 3.6, and also about whether it will work stand-alone with my MiniBMS cutting its AC power at HVC or signaling it, or if it will only work tied into their BMS.

Harold in CR
26 March 2011, 1221
Seems to me that someone in the States, deals with the Chennic chargers. There was/ is a thread or some info, over on the DIYElectriccar site. My searching is not very good, but I will see if I can dig up some info. You might give it a try as well.

EDIT:
Spent a couple hours searching DIYElectricCar for info on a stateside Dealer. Never found what I was looking for. Put up a post asking about same. So far, no replies.

DaveAK
26 March 2011, 1241
Thanks,

I just shot them an e-mail via the form on their web site asking specifically about the charging specs, since Thunderskys want 3.8v per cell and my CALBs want 3.6, and also about whether it will work stand-alone with my MiniBMS cutting its AC power at HVC or signaling it, or if it will only work tied into their BMS.
The MiniBMS has several options with regard to chargers. Just need to find out what signal they need and whether the MiniBMS can provide it.

ZoomSmith
27 March 2011, 0935
I'd like to find a vendor that communicates well and I can trust to make sure I'm getting a charger programmed with the right charging curves, and of course not having to wait all that time for something to cross the sea.

I've had the same search and frustrating results a few times. Until ManzanitaMicro does a smaller portable unit, I'm pretty sure I will be going with a QuickCharge unit. They recently added an option for Lithium profiles. Their tech support is pretty responsive via email when I've had questions.

http://www.quickcharge.com/Select-a-charge%20ON%20BOARD.htm
They are heavy (26 lbs) and not pretty, but my primary criteria are location (USA), reliability and reputation for support.

lugnut
27 March 2011, 1002
I know its a bit bigger but for chargers smaller than what we make we recomend Delta-q.

I have been impressed with the Delta-Q QuiQ chargers. I don't have one mounted to a bike, but have used a couple of them in the lab. They provided several algorithms and work well on Lithium. IMO, well made, isolated, and weatherproof. Also, automatic 110/220 VAC.

chef
27 March 2011, 1034
And as I keep surfing, I've noticed that Thunderstruk is carrying refurbed Zivan NG1s for $400.

Anyone want a Zivan NG1? :)
http://www.elmoto.net/showthread.php?692

billmi
27 March 2011, 1432
Harold, yep, all I saw was your post.

At 40 pounds, the QuickCharge is a bit more weight than I want to haul around.

I got a reply last night from Elite Power Solutions - The TSL-15 will work stand-alone, it doesn't need to be tied to their BMS. Price is good too, right about what is sitting in my EV fund at the moment (my entire build has been funded by ebaying and craigslisting stuff out of the garage and attic).

I also noticed, while hunting around for charger info, that the Chennic charger is the same charger that Kelly sells, with the exception that there's a rectangular portion of the label that's been cut out, and on the Kelly charger, that's where it says Kelly.

Square Wave
28 March 2011, 0320
Does anyone have experience reprogramming DeltaQ chargers? If I bought a used one that was set up for lead/acid would I be able to reset it for LiPo?

lugnut
28 March 2011, 0419
Does anyone have experience reprogramming DeltaQ chargers? If I bought a used one that was set up for lead/acid would I be able to reset it for LiPo?

You need the programming kit (which is a CD and dongle) and the algorithm. I've just recently done this. Not very complicated at all. The kit was less than $100 and algorithm short and easy to load. I had to go with available algorithms as they would not customize it for me. Maybe not really what I wanted for LiPo, but seemed to work very well.

frodus
28 March 2011, 0837
They won't do custom profiles. You need to be an OEM, and they make you sign a waiver for using it on anything other than lead.

They don't have LiPo profiles John, you need an algorithm that matches the output needed. email me and I can help you out a little.

Programming isn't hard, its access to the right profiles, which I have limited access anymore.

billmi
28 March 2011, 0927
Anyone want a Zivan NG1? :)
http://www.elmoto.net/showthread.php?692

That's a pretty reasonable price you're asking, Chef. I'm leaning more toward a new purchase, as after my initial experience warranty and post sale support are a concern for me. More to ponder...

Harold in CR
28 March 2011, 1657
Bill
Go over to my thread on DIYElectricCar. There is new info and help standing by. Just butt in and tell them what you need.

billmi
29 March 2011, 1005
Thanks Harold,

I've replied over there. Telling them what I need (Chennic to answer my questions, and fix the problem) may not be in their power to deliver through.

In the meantime, I have a charger on its way from Elite Power Solutions, who have been quite responsive to my questions about their charger.

Harold in CR
30 March 2011, 0431
There is another guy with 3 chargers like yours, and he fixed them. He's waiting to try to help you. This after your last post over there.

billmi
30 March 2011, 0910
Thanks for the heads-up to that Harold. I've sent him my contact info. Hopefully what he learned in fixing the 3 bad Chennic chargers he's had will help me to get this one rolling. Either way, UPS should have a new 15A charger to me on Monday.

Harold in CR
30 March 2011, 0933
Happy to help, Bill. That's what keeps these type places going.

billmi
31 March 2011, 0908
Sadly the charger is not the same as the ones he's fixed, but he did give me some good info on how to adjust it (which I suspect as the problem).

billmi
31 March 2011, 0942
And a week after their last e-mail, I heard from Chennic again today, this time asking me to open the charger and start checking components inside. On the one hand I'm glad that's a sign towards getting the Chennic charger up and running, but on the other I'm glad I'll have a charger here Monday from Elite Power Solutions, since it could easily take weeks or months yet to get things sorted with the Chennic at the rate they've been communicating - and my batteries need some juice.

A friend has suggested that I should be packing a lengthy enough charging cord onboard for "weezing the juice."

DaveAK
31 March 2011, 0947
I think your friend might have been weezing a little too much of the juice himself. :)

What the hell is that supposed to mean anyway? :D

billmi
31 March 2011, 1018
Early 90s film reference:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPn6sqGUM5A

DaveAK
31 March 2011, 1020
Can't see the YouTube at work. :(

Thalass
31 March 2011, 1715
Has anyone tried the open source charger being developed on the ecomodder forums? I've been slogging through the 450+ page open source motor controller thread, so haven't had the mojo to read the charger thread. If it's anything like the controller it'll offer the same performance for a much lower price. Of course you have to build it yourself.

billmi
04 April 2011, 1313
The TSL 72-15 arrived today :-) Plugged it in and it starts charging :-) Looks like it's going to fit in the tank even though it's a little larger than the Chennic charger. Now to wire it into the Mini BMS' relay and get a good full charge on the pack. It's the gold colored charger shown in the pics on the web site, and its manual says it's from Ningbo Thunder Sky Green Power Sources, Ltd.

As for the Chennic hopefully I'll get it sorted out with their tech support, even if it takes several more weeks - then I'll have to find a new home, or project for it.

Nuts & Volts
04 April 2011, 1340
The TSL 72-15 arrived today :-) Plugged it in and it starts charging :-) Looks like it's going to fit in the tank even though it's a little larger than the Chennic charger. Now to wire it into the Mini BMS' relay and get a good full charge on the pack. It's the gold colored charger shown in the pics on the web site, and its manual says it's from Ningbo Thunder Sky Green Power Sources, Ltd.

As for the Chennic hopefully I'll get it sorted out with their tech support, even if it takes several more weeks - then I'll have to find a new home, or project for it.

Yea thats a really good charger, just make sure you use heavy enough gauge wire for the current and you have a dedicated outlet. I have popped a fewer circuit breakers and actually melted a plastic circular extension cord holder because the wire was getting so hot (plus it was wound around itself)! 50 feet of 14gauge wire is not the best thing to plug your 1300W charger in with :o oops

billmi
05 April 2011, 0615
Yeah, the retractable cord assembly I was looking to scavange from a shop-light isn't going to cut it on the AC side. It is going to limit opportunity charging, but charging at work and home shouldn't be a problem. On the battery side, I've got 16 gauge, so I only ran the charger for a minute to verify it was working (plus I hadn't wired it into the BMS yet for HVC). Picked up some 14 gauge wire last night, so hopefully I'll be able to tackle that side of it tonight or tomorrow.

billmi
07 April 2011, 1000
Both the charger's cord and the extension cord got warm (not hot) near their plug/socket, but the 14 gauge wiring on the battery side didn't have a noticeable increase in temperature, nor did the batteries. After a couple hours charging, the MiniBMS was shunting for about half the cells (the BMS resistors got warm, but not hot) and went to HVC and turned off the charger. With the amount of hot air the charger was kicking off though, I think I'm going to add a 12v fan to circulate fresh air into the tank when the bike's plugged into AC power. That's for another day though - my batteries are charged, and the work day is slowly ticking by until I can get home and ride!

jpanichella
07 April 2011, 1051
Can't wait to hear how the bike performs! Keep us in the loop.