The Cycle Satiator, universal charger for the enthusiasts

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Re: The Cycle Satiator, universal charger for the enthusiast

Post by justin_le » Jun 25, 2014 3:49 pm

mrbill wrote: In spite of the reduced power available at 24 volts nominal I'm still interested in the CS for its other features. Are any beta-tester units still available?
Yes, we actually just got back the dozen or so units that we had out for UL/CSA certification lab. A few have physical damage from the drop and impact testing but some will still be perfectly fine so these will be available. I'll send you an email, and any others still interested in the beta program as well who missed the earlier window, send us a note to info@ebikes.ca
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Re: The Cycle Satiator, universal charger for the enthusiast

Post by cal3thousand » Jun 27, 2014 6:16 pm

Just got my unit that took a nice tour of the Western US courtesy of USPS :roll:

Package was very nicely done.

I also just flashed the firmware, but have yet to charge anything. I somehow enjoy flashing firmware on all my devices that can accept them. And having a charger that accepts new firmware is just out of this world! I will try to charge as much as I can with this thing before the weekend is through.

Some things I noticed:
  • This charger is SOLID. Everything about this device screams ROBUST! I don't have any fears of taking this on the road.
  • It weighs about the same as a CLG series Mean Well LED power supply. (~2.5lbs)
  • The firmware flashing was quick (5 minutes max) and extremely easy (any noob can handle it).
  • After flashing the firmware, the other pre-installed profiles were deleted, but my custom profile that was just created before flashing was intact. This is just the configuration menu seeming like the options menu
  • Power cord comes out of the face, for easy access when mounted to your frame.
  • It fits in my back pocket! (sticks out a bit, but it fits)
That's it for now. I'll post up some pics of it charging various things this weekend.
Last edited by cal3thousand on Jul 01, 2014 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Get a Cycle Analyst and a Multimeter, you're still a noob if you don't have at least one of each.

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Re: The Cycle Satiator, universal charger for the enthusiast

Post by PaulD » Jul 01, 2014 12:41 pm

Mine came in the mail yesterday and I immediately made a custom 4.15V/cell 8A profile to top up my 36V bike. Works great, the interface is nice and intuitive. Will do a full charge soon to see how hot it gets.
As others have mentioned, it feels really solid and build quality looks good. I'm contemplating a 150 mile ride to the coast on dirt and gravel roads, with a few charges along the way. This will be a great test for this charger.

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Re: The Cycle Satiator, universal charger for the enthusiast

Post by cal3thousand » Jul 01, 2014 12:58 pm

I charged up some things this weekend with the Satiator. I tried to charge up a crappy 12V SLA from a Power Wheels. It just keep floating it after going to "charge complete" within 10 seconds of start.
I think the battery just has too much resistance.

I also charged up a 12S 10Ah pack overnight using a low current and low voltage setting. It trickled 40W into my pack overnight for just under 6 hours, leaving it at a nice 49.0V . That's just good enough for my wife to grab the pack and go if she's off in a hurry. And if she has time, she can switch to the 'full' program and top it to 50V within the next 15 minutes. The safety and longevity aspects of this type of charging are yet to be fully proven, but by logic alone, it stands to make lithium pack care immensely safer and easier. If this thing comes out in 100V form, it will be the ultimate universal plug and play solution.

One that I would like to see changed is the configuration menu area. If you could change it such that the user can quickly see they are in the configuration portion of the menus, it would help relieve confusion about the device's current mode. Something as simple as making the text separation bars dotted in one area versus the other would work.

I would also like to see the word "charge complete" in larger font on the 'screen saver' that has text bouncing around in the display box (comes on after some time after last button push). Or instead of a 'screen saver' how about just having the display go 'negative' every so often, giving the lcd bits some rest, while still displaying all the information. I imagine the code could be simpler that way too.

And lastly, it would be quite nice to be able to name the custom battery profiles, even if just short. (oh, and being able to reorder the profiles without recreating them in a specific order, would be nice too)


PS Question: What is the preferred method to cut charge if one connects a pack to the wrong profile. The Satiator has a sticker that warns against detaching the DC plug while charging.
Get a Cycle Analyst and a Multimeter, you're still a noob if you don't have at least one of each.

Planning on posting questions or buying anything on this site? Put up your country (at minimum) on your profile. This is a worldwide forum and we haven't reached clairvoyance.

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Re: The Cycle Satiator, universal charger for the enthusiast

Post by justin_le » Jul 01, 2014 2:16 pm

Awesome, thanks for jumping in to test the firmware reflashing tool right away, and glad to see the beta units sent out to the US starting to show up too.

Regarding the ruggedness, the casing is solid diecast aluminum but I should mention that we had one of the devices fail a water ingress experiment after drop testing. So if the charger goes crashing to the ground and hits the corner of the lid it's possible for it to break the seal between the lid and enclosure and no longer be fully waterproof. We're planning to develop a rubber boot or sleeve that goes over the corners which should be all it takes to handle drops without compromising the gasket, but for now be aware that this is a slight vulnerability.
cal3thousand wrote:Just got my unit that took a nice tour of the Western US courtesy of USPS :roll:

I also just flashed the firmware, but have yet to charge anything. I somehow enjoy flashing firmware on all my devices that can accept them. And having a charger that accepts new firmware is just out of this world! I will try to charge as much as I can with this thing before the weekend is through.

Some things I noticed:
  • This charger is SOLID. Everything about this device screams ROBUST! I don't have any fears of taking this on the road.
  • It weighs about the same as a CLG series Mean Well LED power supply. (~2.5lbs)
  • The firmware flashing was quick (5 minutes max) and extremely easy (any noob can handle it).
  • After flashing the firmware, the other pre-installed profiles were deleted, but my custom profile that was just created before flashing was intact. This is just the configuration menu seeming like the options menu
  • Power cord comes out of the face, for easy access when mounted to your frame.
  • It fits in my back pocket! (sticks out a bit, but it fits)
Big Dummy Frame (yes This One, thanks ES!) with prototype 26" Grin all-axle front hub, Phaserunner controller, and 52V 11Ah Cellman triangle pack
My website: http://www.ebikes.ca
Please contact via email, info@ebikes.ca, rather than PMs, which are disabled

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Re: The Cycle Satiator, universal charger for the enthusiast

Post by justin_le » Jul 01, 2014 2:43 pm

cal3thousand wrote:I charged up some things this weekend with the Satiator. I tried to charge up a crappy 12V SLA from a Power Wheels. It just keep floating it after going to "charge complete" within 10 seconds of start.
I think the battery just has too much resistance.

Ha we saw this too when doing tests on some small 12V <2Ah SLA bricks. It might be related to the burp mode behavior that I discussed a bit earlier, with the burp causing enough voltage rise to hit charge complete and then put it in the float voltage mode.
One that I would like to see changed is the configuration menu area. If you could change it such that the user can quickly see they are in the configuration portion of the menus, it would help relieve confusion about the device's current mode. Something as simple as making the text separation bars dotted in one area versus the other would work.
That's a good idea too. I posted our planned resolution a bit earlier with the intended user interface flow chart, with a plan to completely separate the active profiles list for charging from the configuration area, so that you can't go back and forth between these two modes quite so readily. That is, instead of there being an "edit profiles" at the end of the profile list, you would first press both buttons to get to a generic configure/setup satiator menu, and then from there you would select "configure profiles" in order to edit them. The hope is that this would place them in different places, But we could still apply this idea of a dashed line to better visually differentiate when you are in an edit-profile mode versus a select-profile-for-charging mode.
Image
I would also like to see the word "charge complete" in larger font on the 'screen saver' that has text bouncing around in the display box (comes on after some time after last button push). Or instead of a 'screen saver' how about just having the display go 'negative' every so often, giving the lcd bits some rest, while still displaying all the information. I imagine the code could be simpler that way too.
Good call and we will make this more prominent on the next FW update. The "charge complete" text was made inverted so that you could tell at a glance from a distance that charging was finished, but on the screen saver I'd agree that its a little too subtle for that effect.
And lastly, it would be quite nice to be able to name the custom battery profiles, even if just short. (oh, and being able to reorder the profiles without recreating them in a specific order, would be nice too)
Both functionalities will be in the PC software utility. It's a little tricky to do those in a convenient manner via a tiny screen and 2 buttons (scrolling through all characters of the alphabet one at a time etc), so we'd anticipate most people would set everything up on a computer, but if an on-the-field profile is needed they can still do that in a pinch via the buttons.
PS Question: What is the preferred method to cut charge if one connects a pack to the wrong profile. The Satiator has a sticker that warns against detaching the DC plug while charging.
That sticker is just for regulatory reasons :roll: Simply unplug the battery as you would naturally do. Right now there is no way to change the active profile once the battery is charging, you can only change profiles when the charger output is off. This seemed to make sense, but Bernhard pointed out that as an onboard charger it has a limitation since then you will always have the battery plugged into the charger, and if there is a default profile configured then once you plug in the the AC then the charger will start before you have an option to select your profile.

So that will need to be addressed, and we'll have something like pressing both buttons together will abort a charge that is underway and return you to the profiles list.

And for the onboard charger case, it would make sense that that if there is a default profile enabled, there would be like a 5 second window before it starts charging when you would be able to select one of the other active profiles instead, rather than it diving into a charge off the bat.
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Graphs

Post by justin_le » Jul 01, 2014 2:58 pm

A few people have emailed asking about the charger graph screen since they aren't mentioned anywhere in the draft user manual from the first page of this thread. If you press the button while charging a pack with the V0.808 firmware, it will show you both a screen with a graph on it and also another screen with the lifetime charging statistics of the satiator. In case people are wondering, both of these are placeholder screens and not the final output.

For instance, the charge graph at the moment is barely useful even as a qualitative indicator of the charging curve
Graph Example.jpg
Graph Example.jpg (32.84 KiB) Viewed 2251 times
But our plan is to devise a way that shows both the voltage and current graphs with an auto-scaling 'X' axis, and labels showing the peak and final voltages, something like this:
Target Satiator Graph.jpg
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Re: The Cycle Satiator, universal charger for the enthusiast

Post by johnrobholmes » Jul 01, 2014 8:43 pm

Got mine safe and sound, about the same time the lathe shipped in. I'm a BIT overworked to delve into the features of it yet, but I'll be taking cruises downtown in no time for in field charge testing.

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Re: The Cycle Satiator, universal charger for the enthusiast

Post by kevo » Jul 01, 2014 10:35 pm

Sign me up for one if still available (12s Lipo).
Excellent design!
Thanks Justin of http://ebikes.ca for your amazing talents, dedication and contributions to ES!
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Re: The Cycle Satiator, universal charger for the enthusiast

Post by Marc S. » Jul 02, 2014 2:09 pm

justin_le wrote:Yes, we actually just got back the dozen or so units that we had out for UL/CSA certification lab. A few have physical damage from the drop and impact testing but some will still be perfectly fine so these will be available. I'll send you an email, and any others still interested in the beta program as well who missed the earlier window, send us a note to info@ebikes.ca
Hi Justin,
If there is still a unit left, I'd like to get one.
Have send an email yesterday but got no reply, yet.

Marc

(ok, got the reply, filled out the form, pressing thumps)
Last edited by Marc S. on Jul 02, 2014 3:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Cycle Satiator, universal charger for the enthusiast

Post by fechter » Jul 02, 2014 2:28 pm

I missed this one earlier. Pretty cool. What kind of display is that?

Series connection is always going to be problematic but the simple work around is to put a tap in the middle of the pack and charge each half independently (tandem charging). I've done this on several setups in the past.
"One test is worth a thousand opinions"

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Re: The Cycle Satiator, universal charger for the enthusiast

Post by Marc S. » Jul 02, 2014 6:14 pm

justin_le wrote:Both functionalities will be in the PC software utility.
Is there any chance for a software version for Macs? (for the CA V3 as well)?

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Re: The Cycle Satiator, universal charger for the enthusiast

Post by dm9876 » Jul 03, 2014 6:22 pm

OLED display

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Re: The Cycle Satiator, universal charger for the enthusiast

Post by chvidgov.bc.ca » Jul 06, 2014 7:11 pm

I have found the SATIATOR Excellent :-) so far for answering one particular question at the end of the charge cycle:

Does this new BMS that I just put on my Headway pack balance the cells or not?

Recently I had a pack fire when my BMS on my Headway pack contacted the external cell can of a Headway and shorted, setting the BMS on fire inside my rear tailpack. I quickly pulled it off the bike and kicked the bms wires loose on the ground as flames were piling up in public so that just the BMS burned, but no damage to the cells. I checked them and they were all of them at 3.42volts. Cool fire! Not so bad. So I ordered a new BMS from bmsbattery.com (the 16S green), but I accidentally specified the 30-60 amp model, which looks different(and is shown also under the pictures of the green BMS). So I got two of the new-to-me BMSes. I hooked it up and everything was fine at that point, so I plugged it into the Satiator to charge it up for the first time with new BMS.

Now the fun...due to the short, one of the cells was out of balance a lot from the others. So the voltage readout on the Satiator rapidly overshot the 58.2 charger voltage and shot up to 60.5 whence it dropped back down in about 2 seconds back down to 56.5 volts after charge was "complete". Then Satiator kicked in again and boosted the voltage back to 60.4, "charge complete", then it dropped to 56.8, back up to 60.3 etc. - and rapidly "homed in" on the 58.2 target end voltage over the course of about 15 minutes of multiple mini-charge cycles with less and less overshoot and undershoot on each cycle. Now "charge complete" stays on, with no mini-charge cycles, and the voltage on the pack remains at 58.2 It is VERY nice to see the exact full pack voltage at any moment in time, and watch it converge on the balance state. You can't easily see this with other chargers.

The charge endpoint pattern in my mind is an important diagnostic indicator of pack health - if any cell is particularly weak it will probably take way longer for this convergence to happen to balance-state.
And you can now watch it in real time as it happens.

As I dimly recall, there is a graph mode which displays the voltage curve through the charge cycle? Which is super useful. It might be nice on the graph to exaggerate the time scale near the end of the charge cycle to see this in all its glory on the graph.

Chris

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Re: The Cycle Satiator, universal charger for the enthusiast

Post by Ypedal » Jul 08, 2014 3:46 pm

Got mine this morning !!!... it is a beauty !!!!!.. 8)
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Re: The Cycle Satiator, universal charger for the enthusiast

Post by r3volved » Jul 09, 2014 3:23 pm

Question to the testers and Justin...
Would this be a suitable solution to create a couple "universal charge stations" at work, where anyone could plug-in and choose their configuration to charge?
Are configurations password protected?

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Re: The Cycle Satiator, universal charger for the enthusiast

Post by justin_le » Jul 09, 2014 3:56 pm

r3volved wrote:Question to the testers and Justin...
Would this be a suitable solution to create a couple "universal charge stations" at work, where anyone could plug-in and choose their configuration to charge?
Yes, for sure, but they would need to be mindful to pick the correct profile for their bike. With BMS protected lithium battery packs there usually isn't much consequence to choosing a higher or lower profile by mistake. If you have a 36V pack and choose a 24V profile, then it will display "overvoltage fault" on the screen, and if you choose a 48V profile, then it will charge the 36V pack until the BMS circuit trips. However, with lead acid batteries which don't have any onboard protection, or someone running a lithium pack without a BMS (not that they should be charging at work in the first place!) then there is a more serious risk of damage if someone runs the wrong option.

All the profiles do have a minimum start voltage setting. So you CAN say set it so that the 48V profile needs at least a ~44V voltage present on the charger before it will start charging, and then even if someone plugs in their unprotected 36V pack it won't start a charge and damage it. But it means if the 48V battery is really flat (<44V) it won't start charging either.

I suppose the ideal arrangement would really depend on the level of tech savvyness of ebike riders at the workplace. You'd also need a few different plug adapters for the various charging ports people are likely to have on their packs.
Are configurations password protected?
Nope, but with the computer software to setup the profiles there will be a selection bit that lets you choose if a given profile can be later edited from within the satiator or not. If not, then all the user can do from the buttons is to activate or deactivate the profile, they can't modify it in any way.
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Re: The Cycle Satiator, universal charger for the enthusiast

Post by r3volved » Jul 09, 2014 4:21 pm

Ok awesome!
My thought was to have one person maintain the station(s) and control profiles upon request and analysis of requester's EV.
It would be easy enough of the user could just choose their own profiles pacific to them, but my concern would be that some snake fiddles with settings and some poor sucker will use an (unknowingly edited) profile.

This is a sweet unit. Thanks for your help and all your efforts!

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Re: The Cycle Satiator, universal charger for the enthusiast

Post by tomjasz » Jul 09, 2014 4:25 pm

Marc S. wrote:
justin_le wrote:Both functionalities will be in the PC software utility.
Is there any chance for a software version for Macs? (for the CA V3 as well)?
Bump for a response. Apple heads here too.
Thanks Justin_le we're here thanks to you. All the best to the mods for their tireless work keeping it on an even keel.

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Re: The Cycle Satiator, universal charger for the enthusiast

Post by justin_le » Jul 09, 2014 4:51 pm

tomjasz wrote:
Marc S. wrote:
justin_le wrote:Both functionalities will be in the PC software utility.
Is there any chance for a software version for Macs? (for the CA V3 as well)?
Bump for a response. Apple heads here too.
Was hoping to save the reply with sample software attached! but it looks like I was being a bit optimistic on the timeframe :( . It's the plan to have all the CA3 and Satiator software tools compiled for Windows, Linux and Mac. The former two are done, but the latter has complications.

By "PC Software", I meant in the general sense of personal computer, not being specific to an operating system environment or suggesting it would be windows only, in case it was being read that way.
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Re: The Cycle Satiator, universal charger for the enthusiast

Post by ecat » Jul 09, 2014 6:39 pm

Hi Justin,

Just got my Satiator, looks great. I downloaded the firmware updater but can't get it working. When I try to run it the message "Could not find directory "SatiatorFlasherFiles"please try re installing the program" comes up

The folder SatiatorFlasherFiles and the file SatioatorFirmwareTool show up in the downloaded folder.

I'm probably just doing something dumb....

Thanks,

David
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Re: The Cycle Satiator, universal charger for the enthusiast

Post by JoyRiddin » Jul 09, 2014 9:43 pm

I just got mine today. Thank you. It is a beautiful piece of tech. I find the menu system quite intuitive. It will be riding in my panniers to charge at work. I am glad for the display as I wouldn't even know it was on otherwise, so quiet! Good bye server power supplies.

It would be nice to set the battery presets in a flash build prior to flashing for naming, charging and chemistry preference. I am just spit balling.

-rich

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Re: The Cycle Satiator, universal charger for the enthusiast

Post by tomjasz » Jul 10, 2014 6:36 am

justin_le wrote:[
Was hoping to save the reply with sample software attached! but it looks like I was being a bit optimistic on the timeframe :( . It's the plan to have all the CA3 and Satiator software tools compiled for Windows, Linux and Mac. The former two are done, but the latter has complications.

By "PC Software", I meant in the general sense of personal computer, not being specific to an operating system environment or suggesting it would be windows only, in case it was being read that way.
That will be the day I buy in. Having to get back into a Windoze system for my new hobby is quite frustrating. I very much appreciate any effort you make, thanks.

Tom
Thanks Justin_le we're here thanks to you. All the best to the mods for their tireless work keeping it on an even keel.

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Re: The Cycle Satiator, universal charger for the enthusiast

Post by Marc S. » Jul 10, 2014 3:10 pm

justin_le wrote:Was hoping to save the reply with sample software attached! but it looks like I was being a bit optimistic on the timeframe :( . It's the plan to have all the CA3 and Satiator software tools compiled for Windows, Linux and Mac. The former two are done, but the latter has complications.
You rock!
I don't mind to wait if it's in the works. Still have a Win PC at home (I'm agnostic that way).

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Re: The Cycle Satiator, universal charger for the enthusiast

Post by mrbill » Jul 10, 2014 7:33 pm

justin_le wrote: Even if people aren't using the thermistor functinality, it would still be worthwhile just verifying that you are able to run the above program and update the firmware with the hex file linked above. There will be firmware with new functionality soon so it'll be good to ensure that everyone will have no issues getting their beta devices updated.
Although my unit appears to already have the latest version (V0.808), I am attempting to confirm that I can update the firmware using the Satiator Firmware Tool.

I got the device driver loaded OK, and it was assigned to COM11--I seem to have no choice about this. After powering up the Satiator into bootloader mode as instructed and loading the file, "Satiator_V0.808_Thermistor.hex", I pressed Update Firmware button, and I got the dialog box that reads:

"Incorrect COM port or Satiator is not in Bootloader"

I have tried several times after un-plugging and plugging in the 1/4" audio plug and USB plug, and rebooting the Satiator and restarting the Satiator Firmware Tool. But, I continue to get this error message. I cannot update the firmware.

Does the tool give this error when I attempt to update with the same version of firmware? Shall I take it on faith that all will work when the next version of firmware is released, or have I got a setup problem that still needs to be addressed?

Thanks.
Bill Bushnell
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Bike build thread can be seen here.

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