Diodes for charging cables

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kevindpal
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Hi, I've just recently acquired a 2007 VX1. It sat uncharged in the previous owner's garage for the last 7 months and is now totally dead. I'm assuming from what I've read that I probably need to do the external charging thing to get the batteries back up over 100 volts so the on board charger will take over. I'm ok with that part, I have an appropriate charger on the way, but I don't know what diodes to get for the charging cables, where to get them, or how to wire them in. ( what I know about electricity woudn't fill a thimble). Can anyone help me with some info on this? Thanks very much, Kevin

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Spaceangel
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Re: Diodes for charging cables

Kevin
I use a IR35MB60A FULL WAVE RECTIFIER in all if not most of my projects. I have some of my devices wired to a low value resistor to limit current even though it can handle 35 amperes if heat sinked real good. For charging all of my Ni-cads and NiMH battery and cells I use that rectifier and wire it to a 100 watt AC GE light bulb and that is my current limiter device to charge all cells and batteries from 1.2 volt to 138 volt pack. It can even test fuses too since it make only an amp on 100 watt light bulb. Another diode block number you can use is KBPC5010, CRYDOM M5060SB1200. These rectifiers are basically called the bad boy chargers for it fits their name. I also used the super bad boy chargers using two diodes on a 240 volt circuit using neutral as negative and two cathodes as positive. If you use either the bad boy or super bad boy chargers make sure you current limit them to an amp or so. Not the 15 amps out of the wall.~ I tried to upload picture but it keep spinning. Not uploading. Send me an email and I can send you pictures.
Again I use a 100 Watt Light bulb plugged in series with rectifier to battery pack. Using an Isolation transformer will make it a tad bit safer but I have been using current limited chargers for some 45 years now. A nifty charger that can charge DeWalt , Makita,and Ryobi, toll batteries too. You just have to monitor amps going in vs hours of charge.~image url still locked up? Maybe I can put it on QRZ.com?
Charging the VX-1 and the NiMH pack has to be done every four to 6 weeks. If done longer like eight weeks it will say 6 bars down and Range 37 miles and then after a 50' drive the red battery light come on and low voltage and then die. I pushed mine back home and three hours later on charge it was HOT and cooling fan still run and run and run.
I ain't doing that again. I have to Contact David and see if he can fix picture loader? If this happens again after you fix VX-1 then maybe you can leave a SB-50 pig tail so you can quickly access 125 volt pack. The pack contains 30 AH cells in series so really one can go to maybe 5 or 10 amperes but the wattage of resistor would be large. Light bulbs are the best thing to use. Sorry about pix not being able to up load.

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Jack_son
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Re: Diodes for charging cables

Kevin,

Why are you adding two diodes to a DC charger? I must have missed your earlier post/s.

Note: This is my 3rd attempt to type this. They keep flashing off. I hope not dupes.

Jack_son

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Spaceangel
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Re: Diodes for charging cables

IM000143.JPG I did it. My Bad Boy charger. It can safely do 10 amperes charge into most packs. You plug in a 100 Watt light bulb in NEMA 5-15 outlet, then plug unit in wall. Current limited voltage comes out of Marine wires to Anderson connectors.Sometimes I use a 120 volt purely resistive heater to limit current but it has to be DC rated. No AC fan in it. And that limits current to the 10 or 12 amperes.

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Mik
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Re: Diodes for charging cables

kevindpal wrote:

Hi, I've just recently acquired a 2007 VX1. It sat uncharged in the previous owner's garage for the last 7 months and is now totally dead. I'm assuming from what I've read that I probably need to do the external charging thing to get the batteries back up over 100 volts so the on board charger will take over. I'm ok with that part, I have an appropriate charger on the way, but I don't know what diodes to get for the charging cables, where to get them, or how to wire them in. ( what I know about electricity woudn't fill a thimble). Can anyone help me with some info on this? Thanks very much, Kevin

I assume that you mean a charger that does current limited DC charging with up to 150V and 1A or less charge current.

For the diodes I have been using 1000V 6A rated diodes (600V rated will also do). Like these ones: http://www.jaycar.com.au/products_uploaded/ZR-1054.pdf

I think it's best to use one diode on the positive and also one diode on the negative battery terminal.

The diodes are only useful if you want to permanently install charging cables, i.e. leave the cables in place in case you need them again later, and make them accessible in the under-seat storage. The diodes prevent the battery from discharging through the cables, but they allow the battery to be charged. In order to be effective for safety, the diodes need to be connected closely to the battery end of the cables. The negative (marked) end of one diode goes to the positive battery terminal, the positive end of the other diode to the negative battery terminal.

Be careful, it is very dangerous if you do not know what you are doing.

If you just want to connect the charger once, while the battery compartment is open, then you do not need diodes.

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kevindpal
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Re: Diodes for charging cables

Thank you so much Spaceangel - Your information is very thorough! Unfortunately though, I think I have to have it all explained to me as though I were a five year old. I have been a cabinet maker for the last 34 years and I can tell you anything you might want to know about that subject, but my electrical knowledge is almost limited to which end of the cord you plug into the wall. I have worked around house current enough to be familiar with the danger and the safety precautions needed so I'm not afraid or working on the vectrix. I guess at this point I don't know whether or not I should be fooling around with the thing. My nearest dealer seems to be 150 miles away so I'd like to try what I can without endangering either the Vectrix or Me.

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kevindpal
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Re: Diodes for charging cables

Hi Mik, Thank you so much for responding. If you've read my response to Spaceangel you'll realize that my electrical knowledge (especially of DC) is pretty limited. I think as a starting place for trying to revive my vx1 I'll just try charging the batteries with the charger. If I don't need diodes to do this direct charging (no pigtails for future use) that's great. At least I can find out if there's hope for the battery pack and maybe I'll add the pigtails with diodes at a future date. By the way, the charger I'm supposed to be getting is a Kepco ate 150. It says it produces voltage from 0 to 150 and current from 0 to .7 amps. Does that sound ok?

Thanks again - you guys are great!

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Mik
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Re: Diodes for charging cables

kevindpal wrote:

Hi Mik, Thank you so much for responding. If you've read my response to Spaceangel you'll realize that my electrical knowledge (especially of DC) is pretty limited. I think as a starting place for trying to revive my vx1 I'll just try charging the batteries with the charger. If I don't need diodes to do this direct charging (no pigtails for future use) that's great. At least I can find out if there's hope for the battery pack and maybe I'll add the pigtails with diodes at a future date. By the way, the charger I'm supposed to be getting is a Kepco ate 150. It says it produces voltage from 0 to 150 and current from 0 to .7 amps. Does that sound ok?

Thanks again - you guys are great!

The power supply (charger) needs to produce DC, not AC. I assume your charger does this?

Set the power to 0.1A for a couple of hours, then increase it to 0.3A. The stock charger can take over once the voltage is over 100V and stays there after you disconnect the external charger.

Do not connect the external charger and the stock charger at the same time! Depending on the exact make-up of your charger, this could cause a ground-loop (a short circuit) and let the magic smoke out of your scooter and charger.

It is better for the battery (I think) to charge them very slowly for the first time after such a deep, long discharge. There will be some heating of the battery once it is almost full, but not very much at 0.3A current. However, try not to do this in a hot environment.

To charge the battery fully at 0.3A you need to charge for about (30Ah x 1.5)/0.3A = 150hrs = 6 days. You could increase the charge current to the 0.7Amax of your charger, but the battery might get hot and you cannot efficiently cool it when the battery cover is off.

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kevindpal
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Re: Diodes for charging cables

Thanks again Mik,
Sorry for the delay in responding - I was on a short vacation in the camper. You've answered my next questions before I even asked them. I don't know how I would ever figure this out without you guys. I'm still waiting for the power supply to arrive (yes it is dc) and I'll let you know how I do when it comes. Kevin

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kevindpal
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Re: Diodes for charging cables

I want to thank Spaceangel and Mik especially for their help figuring out what the problem was with my Vectrix. You guys were absolutely right on with your advice and my vx1 is up and running great! After charging with the external charger ( which I would not have known about without you all) the onboard charger fired up and charged it the rest of the way. I've taken it easy and not ridden it too far for the first several charges and now I seem to have about a 25 to 30 mile range. Now if I could find someone to do the firmware update I think I would be all set. Thanks again for your help - you guys are the best. Kevin

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kingcharles
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Joined: 08/17/2009
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Re: Diodes for charging cables

That is great news Kevin, another bike on the road.
All you need to do is check which firmware you have. This is easy, just flick the kill switch and pull the Left brake. If some numbers appear in the left Dashboard display where normally the est. range and trip values are shown you have the new version. If not you have the old version.
If you have the new version make sure you keep a good eye on the numbers in that you can see. One is the battery voltage and the other is the battery temperature. These are also displayed while charging, both with the old and new software.
Stop riding when the battery voltage at standstill is below 120v and avoid hard accelleration when it is below 130v. You can do checks while stopping for traffic lights.
And keep the batteries cool :-)
Have fun with the bike!

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