For those who understand the importance of equalisation charges, but do not want to or cannot build their own simple charger, there may soon be an alternative:
Each car will have a special internal harness that is designed just for that car. This will be sold separately, as people may have a Civic, Prius, and an Insight and will want to charge any of them with the same charger.
I will attempt to find a good place for the charger jack for each car, and will have detailed install instructions for each car.
The charger jack will be a 9 pin plastic bulkhead connector with a plastic safety cover so the stray finger or other things can't short the terminals.
To charge, you attach the keyed charger connector to the Circular charger bulkhead connector, screw on the retaining nut, and turn on the charger.
The LCD display will tell you the battery volts, and a press of the charge button, and the charger will turn on the 48V supplies one at a time until the 350MA or 1A charge current is
During the charge , AH, time, temperature rise, voltage, and PTC resistance (for the cars that have that feature) will be measured.
Good find. Great idea. But does the harness (like PTC resistance) depend on existing cell level or sub-pack level wiring? Cell level monitoring? How are 102 cells or 12 sub-packs monitored with a 9 pin connector?
When I proposed using RC chargers for that purpose one of your objections was the necessity of wiring balance connectors for each 8 or 9 cell block. Why (respectfully) is this an improvement in that respect?
The charger is not being designed designed specifically for the Vectrix, but if someone with a Vectrix would buy one then Mike would maybe make a custom version - there might be a significant market for it.
My main concern is that the built-in 12V supply of the charger may not be able to cope with the VX-1's current demand of 4A @ 12V DC for the impellers. Some very powerful cooling in that bike, compared to other NiMH batteries!
A Vetrix specific version would be best and probably worth the effort for Mike.
I don't think a 4A 12V DC supply will be a show stopper. Any mention of a price?
Does the following mean that the newest Vectrix Charger Firmware performs equalization (sounds like it should run the fans):
Dana came by and installed the 70mph firmware today!
Plus an update to my Oct '08 charger software....
Dana reset the controller/charger etc memory, so per his instructions I rode until the battery light came on to fully drain the battery, and then gave it a full charge - which took an unherad of 10-11 hours and pumped almost 7kw into the 4kwh battery. :shock: I also noticed the temp at a whopping 38c during one of the 3a charge cycles.
On the battery-drain ride bike did feel more powerful above 35mph as Dana mentioned it would. I had it up a hair off 113km, so call it a true 70mph, maybe a little more if you can let the speed build up. We'll have to see if the 'gas gauge' is also more accurate as advertised, and if the pump-up charging cycles balanced the pack.