Ego Won't Charge

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cyferx
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Joined: 04/29/2007
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I noticed last riding season that I was getting less and less range from my bike. I commute just under 5 miles round trip to work. It was getting to where I couldn't make that distance full throttle in 'go fast' mode with a full charge. I was a heavy 240 lbs back then (30 lbs lighter now), but the range shouldn't be THAT short.

Since it was the end of the season, I didn't fret about it and at the start of this season, I bought two fresh batteries. I put them in and charged them overnight and then tried to ride the bike. I had a full set of bars but by the end of the driveway I had nothing but one bar and a blinking bar. When I shut everything off, I got 4 bars. Let it charge for a week and tried it today, same thing.

I just put the other batteries in to see if it is the batteries (I didn't think to test them before I removed them) and I will test them tomorrow.

I read some on this in another topic and the charger light is behaving in the same way, constant green, never going to amber. (I haven't tried disconnecting the batteries and plugging it in; it is dark now, but I will try that tomorrow).

If it is the charger, what do I test? I have a nice voltmeter, but do not understand it that well. If someone could give me a clue on what setting I need it on and what terminals to test that would be great. I want to be sure it is the charger since that is an expensive article to replace and I just put down over $150 on the batteries already.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

cyferx

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LinkOfHyrule
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Re: Ego Won't Charge

Set the multimeter to the appropriate voltage range and test to see if there is voltage coming out of the charger's plug. Then do the same thing for the batteries connector (be careful not to short it out accidentally with the probes).

If you get no voltage out of the charger, you'll probably have to get a new one. If you get no voltage out of the batteries' plug, there's likely a broken connection somewhere on that end. That's pretty easy to fix; just take it apart and solder/heatshrink the wire.

If both seem fine, then it could still be a problem with the charger.

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andrew
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Re: Ego Won't Charge

It is possible to get new bad batteries. You may need to get them replaced under warranty.

To test the charger, the open circuit voltage is sometimes not helpful, because the charger may need feedback from the batteries to supply any voltage. What you'll need to do is remove the cover to the batteries, and then plug the charger in. Measure the voltage of the main positive (+), and negative (-) terminals of the battery pack. If the batteries are at all drained, then this should gradually come up to about 28.8 to 30v, and then hold that voltage for a while. After a while, the voltage should drop to 27.2 to 27.6v which is float mode.

Check for any bad connections while your at it. The battery connections need to be tight. Any high resistance points will cause heat, and you may see or smell something being melted or burnt.

cyferx
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Re: Ego Won't Charge

I tried riding on the old batteries and same thing, it goes to flashing two bars right away. Although it will come up to full when I stop (or almost full bars) whereas the other batteries would only come to 4 bars. This is after charging overnight for over 12 hours.

Testing the DC voltage on the batteries, they read in the 14 - 15 volt range. When I plugged the bike in it started to go up slowly. Checking the new batteries that I pulled out, they were in the 16-17 range.

The connections are very tight.

I will let you know what it goes up to later today. So, to eliminate the batteries as the problem, I will have to find a charger and charge them manually? Can I do that with them in the bike with the connectors disconnected?

andrew
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Re: Ego Won't Charge

Quote:

Testing the DC voltage on the batteries, they read in the 14 - 15 volt range. When I plugged the bike in it started to go up slowly. Checking the new batteries that I pulled out, they were in the 16-17 range

Can you please clarify if this is while on the charger? If they measure 14-15v or 16-17v each open circuit (off of the charger), then it sounds like the charger severely damaged them. If they measured 14-15v while on the charger, then this is normal. They should measure about 13v open circuit when fully charged.

Based on this information, it sounds to me like the charger is the culprit. I'll bet the charger took the voltage way too high and damaged both sets of batteries.

You could warranty the new batteries, but they probably weren't defective. And this would mean sending them back and waiting a long time for replacements while the bike sits idle. Additionally, they may determine that the batteries were abused, and not replace them. I would add about 1 ml distilled water per cell to the batteries, but removing the vent covers may void the warranty. Since the batteries are new, and they have not been overcharged for very long, then I think there is a reasonable chance of reconditioning them by adding water. I would first add 1 ml to every cell of each battery, then add in 1/2 ml increments, charging each battery each time with a good 12v smart charger. After being fully charged, then taken off for a minute, and provided the battery is cool, the open circuit voltage should be about 13v. When it reaches that low, then you'll know the water "level" is about right.

1 ml is a very small amount of water. You need a way to measure this precisely, and a way to add it to the cells through the vent caps. I like to use a dropper. And, only use distilled water.

BTW, since your charger is bad, and you'll need a new charger I would get two smart chargers for charging each battery separately, setup series/parallel switching of the batteries, or use a BattEQ unit. This will keep them in balance. From what I remember reading a while back, ego users aren't getting great battery life, and this may be due to battery balance issues leading to battery damage.

mopedtedd
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Re: Ego Won't Charge

Hi Cyferx,
You need to determine whether your charger is working properly. Fortunately Ego has a procedure for this purpose on their website. Here's the link:

Ego Troubleshooting a Charger Failure

Do this procedure and let us know the results. You don't want to ignore a potentially bad charger. Mine went bad last year and ruined a set of one year old batteries - a very expensive failure.

hope this helps,
tedd

cyferx
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Re: Ego Won't Charge

The OLD batteries just measured 14.18 and 14.30 ON the charger. The NEW batteries measured 13.83 and 13.88 OFF the charger. I just remeasured them. I am new with the multimeter and so I might have been misusing it, not sure.

I would hate to hear that they were damaged because I just paid a lot of money for them.

Can I try charging them with my trickle charger? It has these specs:

AC Input: 120 V, 60 Hz, 2.2 Amps Continuous, 7.0 Amps intermittent

DC Output: 2 Amps (Low), 12 V

It is also a high charge 12 A /Starting 50 A battery charger. It is a Japlar Schuaer J512 (just like in the picture here without the second switch: http://www.battery-chargers.com/catalog/1.pdf )

And you seem to be suggesting that my batteries are already fully charged. Maybe the indicator is wrong? I mean it couldn't be the controller could it? What would be definitive on the batteries?

andrew
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Re: Ego Won't Charge

You can try charging them with the trickle charger, but you need to be careful. Watch the voltage as they charge. As soon as it rises above 14.5v, then remove them from the charger. Beyond that, the voltage will quickly rise and the batteries can be overcharged. It looks like that charger is just a taper transformer charger, which will not charge AGMs properly, but it will put some charge in them for diagnostic purposes.

Sorry for jumping to conclusions. I don't know what the problem is yet. That open circuit voltage is still pretty high though.

Quote:

And you seem to be suggesting that my batteries are already fully charged. Maybe the indicator is wrong? I mean it couldn't be the controller could it? What would be definitive on the batteries?

Yes, I am suggesting they are fully charged because the indicator on your ego seemed to suggest that. If batteries are significantly discharged then they will have a lower open circuit votlage, and this will show up on your indicator.

Maybe the indicator is wrong?
Unlikely, but it is possible.

I mean it couldn't be the controller could it?
I really don't have enough information to say.

What would be definitive on the batteries?

The only 100% definitive test on the batteries would be a capacity test which takes some expensive equipment. However, you can get enough information to know if they are the problem in this case by doing a short duration load test. First, the batteries need to be fully charged. The best way to define full charge is if the charge voltage is held constant at 14.7v for a 12v battery, and the current tapers to .01C or about .35 amps for 35 ah batteries. With your taper charger, if the voltage reaches 14.5v at 2 amps, then the battery will be almost fully charged and you can proceed.

A load test can be done with a load tester. You probably don't have one of these, so you can use your car and a set of jumper cables. First, disconnect the car's battery, then connect one of your ego batteries to the car with the jumper cables. Run the headlights on high and any other accessories for a few minutes. If it maintains voltage and keeps the headlights on, then we at least know that the batteries are good enough to run your ego for more than a few feet, and the immediate problem is not the batteries.

cyferx
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Re: Ego Won't Charge

Okay I am thoroughly confused. I just went back out to confirm my readings and now both battery sets are reading in the 1800 - 1900 range while OFF the charger. Am I using this thing right? My multimeter is a Greenlee DM-20 and you can see it here:

http://www.greenlee.textron.com/product/DM-20.html

I have it selected to the left under '20', but before it read as I said and had a decimal. Now it reads higher than before and no decimal, eg. 1893.

But I have done the trouble shooting guide (before accidentally it seems) and it suggests the charger is defective and needs to be replaced.

Maybe I should get the charger and go from there? That alone will be over $200 and the battery sets are back ordered anyway. And since my batteries may be ruined without a mile on them, I hear you about expensive mistakes.

andrew
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Re: Ego Won't Charge

Replace the battery in the multimeter and see if that helps.

cyferx
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Re: Ego Won't Charge

A load test can be done with a load tester. You probably don't have one of these, so you can use your car and a set of jumper cables. First, disconnect the car's battery, then connect one of your ego batteries to the car with the jumper cables. Run the headlights on high and any other accessories for a few minutes. If it maintains voltage and keeps the headlights on, then we at least know that the batteries are good enough to run your ego for more than a few feet, and the immediate problem is not the batteries.

My "other car" is a Prius so I am loathe to try that. :-)

With your taper charger, if the voltage reaches 14.5v at 2 amps, then the battery will be almost fully charged and you can proceed.

I am not sure how to tell that. The indicator on the charger is subtitled "DC Amperes" and a green "Charge" zone with numbers 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15, and a yellow "Start" zone. Should I watch it go to 15?

Sorry for being so inept with electronics. I am really smart in other areas of my life. :-)

BTW, it seems the decimal is lighter than the rest of the display and that you can see it if you look at the display at an angle but not straight on. Not sure why that is. But both seem to be reading well into the 19V range, so I guess they are toasted unless I can't read instructions for the meter (http://www.simpson260.com/others/greenlee/greenlee_dm-20.htm ).

mopedtedd
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Re: Ego Won't Charge

Cyferx,
For what it's worth, I think you're getting side tracked here with the batteries. You need to first eliminate the charger as a possible source of the trouble.

I'd suggest you put the new batteries back in the scooter and, leaving it unplugged, put the key in and turn on the headlight for about 30 minutes. This will drain the batteries down enough to trigger the amber light if the charger is okay and give you a good point from which to run the Ego "Troubleshooting a Charger Failure" procedure I linked above. If the charger and its fuse check out okay, then start looking at your batteries in more depth. Until you vindicate your charger I'd be very hesitant to use it for fear of overcharging your batteries.

hope this helps,
tedd

cyferx
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Re: Ego Won't Charge

I have a lot of experience with the eGo. It does not turn amber even for a second. Even with fully charged batteries, the light will go amber for a few seconds before going green. So, I am sure it is the charger according to the guide, which as I mentioned I already followed all the steps previously as my own troubleshooting. I have purchased a replacement charger.

The battery sets are on back order and I would like to see if the batteries might make it for all that with a good charger.

I will try draining the batteries but given their voltage readings they are probably fried and won't really work long anyway. I will let you know what happens.

andrew
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Re: Ego Won't Charge

Quote:

My "other car" is a Prius so I am loathe to try that. :)

Yea definitely don't try that on a Prius!

tedd had a good idea about using the headlight to do a test. If the light is staying on for a few minutes, then the batteries are good enough to run the ego for more than a few feet.

cyferx
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Re: Ego Won't Charge

I rode it for approximately 6 miles until it wouldn't run no more. Halfway through I took readings and that was in the 15v range for both batteries, at the end I disconnected and checked and it read in the 17-18 v range. Can that be right? I just have no idea why I am getting readings like that. Shouldn't it be way lower?

I reconnected the batteries and it went green with no amber again, so the charger has to be the problem somewhere in there.

Thanks for all the help! Does seem baffling to me such I figure I can't be doing something right.

cyferx
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Re: Ego Won't Charge

This was on the old batteries and that was about the range I was getting last riding season.

I can put the other batteries in tomorrow. Right now I am not charging anything.

Nor measuring anything since there is something not right with that. :-)

andrew
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Re: Ego Won't Charge

The multimeter is bad, or needs a new battery. Those readings just don't add up.

cyferx
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Re: Ego Won't Charge

Ok, got a new battery for the multimeter. Seems to fix the problem.

Retested both battery sets. My old battery set in the bike, run down and not recharged: front battery 12.59v and back battery 12.54v steady. New battery set charged for a week in the bike, not run down, sitting on shelf in the garage: 12.55v each steady.

Are these expected numbers? Can you tell if they are damaged from those numbers?

Thanks

Aerowhatt
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Re: Ego Won't Charge

Cyferx

I'm an eGO dealer and eGO service professional. Odds are your issue is with the fuse in the negative lead from the charger to the controller. Coming out of the top of the charger are three wires two black and one red. One black one and the red one will go down to connect on the front of the controller. Follow these two wires, on each one you will find an inline fuse holder for ATO automotive blade fuses. Replace both of these fuses (10 amp) and see if that amber light comes on when you plug it in afterwards. Odds are it will!

The charger is the black box on the left (as you sit on the bike) the controller is snuggled up against in on the right. You can't miss them they are in front of the batteries.

Aerowhatt

cyferx
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Re: Ego Won't Charge

That is it. I checked all the fuses it seems but that one extra blade fuse and it is fried. OK. I will replace and see what happens.

Thanks!

Aerowhatt
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Re: Ego Won't Charge

Sure no problem.

I'm sure you will be back in business once it's replaced. Just for future use, this is pretty common. If you are like me you want to know what blew the fuse.

On the eGO the only path to the chassis ground for the battery circuit is through the charger. Mostly it's a slip by someone changing batteries or otherwise working in the compartment. It's incredibly easy to do when working on the bike. All it takes is a split second contact of any power in the system to the aluminum chassis to blow this fuse. It can even happen from the power held in the controller capacitors with the batteries disconnected. If the B+ anywhere on the bike makes contact with the chassis the fuse in the negative charger lead blows. then the charger can't "see" the batteries and doesn't charge them.

Let me know if you need anything else. The eGO scooter forum on yahoo is probably a better place to look for help on your eGO. You will have the input of a couple of dealers and some very experienced owners to help trouble shoot.

Aerowhatt

cyferx
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Re: Ego Won't Charge

Thanks. I do remember shorting removing the batteries.

I replaced the blade fuse and it is amber again.

I am charging the old batteries and will let you know. I am hoping to get good readings from them then switching the new ones in and then charging them up overnight.

Thanks for the Yahoo tip, do you have the list name? Searching isn't helping although I found the 'zappy' list. [I found "egoscooter" list, hope that is is. Thanks!]

--Cyferx

cyferx
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Re: Ego Won't Charge

Old batteries charged fine and new batteries as well. I use the bike for my normal commute and I will see how I do.

Thanks again for all the help it was a life saver!

Aerowhatt
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Re: Ego Won't Charge

here is the URL for the eGO yahoo group.

http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/egoscooters/

I'm glad you are back in business!

Aerowhatt

anders8899
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Joined: 06/01/2013
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Re: Ego Won't Charge

Hello,

I have an homemade e-bike and got a battery problem.

When I arrived to the bike one day, I noticed that it didnt get charged during the night at all.

I had ran out the battery during the previous day.

I have a 1000w 36W hubmotor connected to a Vpower 36V 10A LIFEPO4 [http://vpower.hk/product.php?id=18] and a 6A charger.

It follows with an BMS, a board for battery protection so I feel safe that I did not over-use the battery but rather that the BMS board [http://vpower.hk/product.php?id=114] can be broken.

I saw that one cable soldered from the charger was partially burned off, and I repared that cable to no avail.

The battery has ~33V of voltage and the charger outputs ~45V. When I plug the charger in the bike (with a normal ampere running), everything works but it does not charge the battery.

What could the problem be? I could try to troubleshoot it with my voltmeter if needs to be.

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