Well, I don't have to worry about them because I haven't got any of them.
Now for the good news. I put the battery box into the bike this morning and went for a ride of about 1klm.
WOW ! Did I say WOW!!!!!! These bikes FLY! with this new setup.I knew it was going to be an improvement but I had no idea it would be that good. I was stunned at the speed of the bike and coming up my big hill..What hill!!!???.
Anyway I calmed down and let it cool down and then put it onto a balance charge one bank at a time.I didn't take much notice of what the readings were at the time because I was so excited about the new found beast in my midst. It didn't take long to charge the two batteries so I let it cool down and took it out for a trip of about 2 klms this time and came up the entire hill .I did at one point change into 2nd gear but that was a bit adventurous and went back to 1st but it was pretty easy pedalling and using the new found speed. I put it back onto balance charge and this time I looked a bit closer at the cell count and unfortunately one of the cells in each of the packs was quite down on the rest of them and they didn't want to "balance". This time after charging both packs individually again I put it into my other bike the "racing"version and took it for about a 4 klm ride and a 4 klm trip back( I don't have any meters on the bike so I am only guessing at the distance) I felt like a bit of a hoon on the racing version and as it is peak summertime in Narooma all the tourists are out on the cycleway and I had to stop myself from going too fast but in parts I could open it up and feel that extra speed.I am pedalling all the time. Then coming back up the big hill to home it came up with no hesitation at all. This time I thought I had better write down the figures as I put it back onto balance charge. I have decided to call the battery packs.Pack A and Pack B. WHen I connected up Pack A (after a cooling period of course) It had these figures:
31.5 Volts I cannot tell you what the amps were as I do not know how to check that but I can tell you that by the end of the charge I think the Accucel said that it had replaced 2048mAh (would that be correct?) so I am assuming that is what I used on the trip? Here is the cells voltages at the start of the balance charge on the left and at the end of the charge on the right:
The charged battery B ended up showing 33.44 Volts and had replaced 2053mAp (???I think) and took one hour to do it.I didn't actually wait for the Accucel to stop but it showed at the end that there was 0.0A going into the battery and nothing was changing figure wise so I turned it off.Is that the right thing to do?
This has been a very steep learning curve for me but I want to learn as much as I can so I can do it myself and not have to bother you guys too much.It has been well worth the effort and if I have indirectly bugggered either of these batteries by incorrect trial and error I will gladly just replace them and rectify my mistakes.I am addicted to the extra speed of these gems of electric bikes now.
Tony, do you just stop the charger when it's showing 0.0A into the battery? Those readings show the pack is too far out of balance. Balance charge each pack until the cells show all the same. If the charger times out before the cells show all the same, just restart the balance charge until the charger displays "Full" (even if you have to restart the charger 10 times). Then do the other battery. I hope you have some spare time
First to your question GT.Yes,I did stop the charger at 0.0A by switching the powere off at the wall socket and then another time I let it go and it started to gradually climb up again as in 0.01A.So by the looks of it I should have not switched it off and just let it do its thing until it timed out or hopefully showed a FULL reading. It seems to me that it doesn't want to balance those couple of variant cells but I will try your advice and keep putting it back on and continue to try and balance the cells. Now for Sam.I have got one of those little 12 Volts meters that you put into your bike and I have mounted it but haven't wired it up yet.Would it be possible to wire it into the old Aprilia "mode" switch on the left hand side of the handlebars (you know the switch that we used to use to change from eco to hill mode etc).That would be a good place for me to put it rather than where you put yours . I think I meant I used 2 amps ,not sure Sam but that sound about right doesn't it? I will take your advice and only put in 2 Amps through the crocodile clips. What is the worst denario here If I cannot balance the cells? Am I going to cook my genitals out on a ride or is the battery just going to stop working?
Hey Tony Bigsmile, The display will show 'CAPA' rather than 'FULL' if the charge capacity stops it charging first. This is the other setting I was talking about. If it's confusing just ignore what i am talking about, or just keep an eye out for it and we can pick it up later.
I'm not sure how you'd get one of those volt meters into the speed switch, but go for it if you can do it. Alternatively if you want to PM me your address I will send you a new a complete one that has been placed into the piece of the battery box (only takes me about 10 mins to do) and you can post me back your old one. I have a spare. Same offer applies for you GT.
They aren't terribly accurate, but they are consistent, so easy to calibrate if you have a good voltmeter.
How long 'til the chinese start making cheap PWM controllers that have the low voltage cutout tuned to LIPO voltages rather than NiMH. I guess we still want some sort of a fuel gauge anyways...
Forgot to add, my accucel 8s 'semi-died' on the weekend.
I say semi-died because it won't seem to balance charge, and is overheating even on 0.2 amps of bulk charge. I had to rig up a second fan to bulk charge and set the temperature alert to max 80 degrees. The thing stinks like burnt plastic so I am charging in the middle of a very large concrete floor with a long lead and a good safety switch. Don't want to spend my last moments getting fried on the concrete. I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, not waving and screaming like the people who were in the back seat of his car....
Awhile ago I switched on my charger and a family of earwigs came piling out of the fan hole on my accucel, perhaps a few didnt make it out...
But the weird bit is that when I switch the PSU off, it is allowing power to pass from a still connected battery to the input side of the charger where the fans are, and the fans keep going.
Anyways, i ordered the hobbyking no-name equivalent that is about ten bucks cheaper and it should arrive this week. It seems to come with an 8s balance cable extension, which is good. Because when you put two cells into the old battery case it gets hard to get the balance cables to stick out far enough to hook up. We will see I suppose.
What I meant was that I have put the 12 volt meter into the old Aprilia LED meter same as you did,the one that clicks into near where the battery handles locates.I was wondering if I could use the old switch mode block to turn the 12 Volt meter on and off with.I love the grandfather story..LOL,
Cheers, Tony. PS Sam....Thank you for the offer with the voltmeter.
Good news!!!! I have done 2 full 2 hour balance charges today and now onto the 3rd one.The low cell reading on cell 5, Pack A has risen from 4.00V up to 4.07V so I will keep doing it until I get it more balanced.What is an acceptable difference in voltage between the cells?
TIP... If you want to bring a single cell up to match others, you could just use the single cell (3.7v) setting on the charger, and connect the power cables to the one cell via the balance lead , then charge at 2 A monitoring closely. ( monitoring constantly) ...job done quick ! ( dont do this if you are uncertain !)
This forum owes its existence to Justin of ebikes.ca
I finally got there.I have got both the packs cells' to within .01V of each other.It wasn't that difficult although I didn't sit there and watch them.I had it set up in the middle of my shed away from everything and the packs were in a fire bag.Above the equipment I had a smoke detector set up and a bucket of sand just in case.I probably balance charged the two backs all up about 10 times ( you must psychic GT) I cannot wait for the next chance to go out for a ride and see how they end up after a bit of discharging.I have understood from reading that it is best to "break them in" gradually so I will do that.I will try and connect up the 12 Volt voltmeter as soon as possible too. By the way my Accucel 8 is making a noise on starting from cold.I think it is the fan but I just give the charger a tap with my finger and it then runs a bit quieter.I guess it will only be a matter of time (sounds like the same problem as yours Sam).
Anyway I will keep you all posted.Thanks again Sam and GT for all your help.I wonder if there are others out there reading all this and giving it a go.I want to get another one of these little classic bikes ,cheaply, if I can so I can do the mods and have yet another bike (maybe one painted in Ferarri red perhaps).
It's all good so far Tony Take an easy ride for about 5km, then just do a charge (not a balance charge) with the balance leads connected so you can monitor the cells. If they are more than 0.03V out, balance again. You should be right after that.
Thx for the feedback Tony. Sounds like your charger is set to a 120 minute timer default from the factory. Now you have learnt to walk you may want to increase the time. Or turn it off altogether and charge at a lower amperage in a safe space as I do.
I definitely think the fan on the Accucel 8 is too small. My hobbyking cheaper copy turned up yesterday. It is 99% the same - even down to the sound the pitch of beep it makes. But for ten bucks less you get more - the 8s balance extension - this is extremely helpful for accessing the aprilia battery box when the leads only protrude about 20mm or so. But it has a much bigger fan, which i suspect will help on Aussie summer days. Time will tell if it is a durable unit.
One line of suspicion on the new charger. I did a balance charge on one of my 3 pack units with the new charger. So far I have balanced two packs. Both seem to have the the first seven cells within 0.01 after 2 months of hard riding. But the eighth cell about 0.06v lower than the other seven cells. Either a coincidence on both packs or the accuracy of the balance unit may not be so great. I still have another pack in that battery case to test. And then another three in my other battery. So I will find out soon enough.
I bought some cheap chinese plug in cell meters on ebay for about three bucks each and the accuracy was so consistently poor it wasnt funny. I definitely need to try one of the cell-log thingies GT. Or buy a decent voltmeter so I can consistently test at least.
Can you give me the details of the new charger you just got.I think mine is on the way out.I did a charge early this morning and the fan just came on intermittently the whole time.It would only run for a second or two and then stop/restart etc.It was fairly cool here this morning so maybe that was it. I have had a ride each day and I just LOVE riding these bikes with the new battery.I set up the 12 Volt meter into the old Aprilia LED box(same as you Sam) and I wired it into the throttle wires as they were the easiest to get at without having to perform major sergery.It comes on with the ignition and I am happy for it to stay on all the time so I can keep an eye on things. I have done 3 full charges and will check the balance again on next charge. What is the go with the old Aprilia charger 3 pin cable.I have got a spare so I can cut it off the charger and connect it up to the Accucel 8.Do I just use two wires and wire into the Positive and Negative on the battery?
I have been riding each day,sometimes twice and I recently attached an odometer/speed/distance computer thingy so I now know my distance etc. The ride I like to do is 12 klms return trip.I am using on average 8700mAh (not sure if that is the correct term) Anyway it is about 75% of my 2 batteries 1160mAh(again not usre if that is the correct way to put it) capacity. I did a balance charge today and I am happy to say that the 16 cells are all exactly the same so I will just continue charging the 2 battery packs as one big one. I think I will buy the extra 8s square shaped lipo in the not too distant future so I can extend my distance with a bit more capacity to spare. Has anyone got an idea how I can use the old Aprilia 3 pin connector off the old NMH charger to plug into the new battery to charge it that way rahter than having to put the alligator clips onto the battery terminals.It woould make life a lot easier.I cut the 3 pin cord off the old charger and it has several wires in its core.I was hoping just to see a red and black wire and that would have made it easy. Cheers, Tony
By the way I am off to Sydeny in a couple of weeks and may have a look at the bike in Manly.I have been in touch with the owner and they say that the bike is working fine (DOH!) as it has been serviced regularly by Aprilia in Brookvale.
Gday Tony, there is probably a convention on which of the 3 pins are pos/neg/other. But it doesn't matter if you are consistent. It's up to you.
But you can pretty much wire it up inside the pack and into the plug any way you like - as long as you connect the pos/neg to the male plug and follow it thru (on paper or in your mind) the female plug into the pack keeping track of where it joins into the pack you'll be ok.
A bit like tracing a line for each thru the charger leads, plug, and into the female plug, then wire it to the battery appropriate pos or neg inside the pack.
By following it thru and sticking to first principles you cannot go wrong.
Best to make sure that the fuse is also acting on this line too - or use a new fuse.
Let me know if this is gibberish and I will draw it up for you....
Tony, you could use the Aprilia 3 pin, its simple enough use the RED ( +VE) and Black(-ve) wired pins The 3rd (center pin, white wire) was just a Thermister connection. Or you could simply use any 2 pin connector that matches the charger connector. Do you have the workshop manual ? ..This is the wiring diagram
This forum owes its existence to Justin of ebikes.ca