Zapino Battery Gauge

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zapmat
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Joined: Saturday, July 12, 2008 - 17:33
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Zapino Battery Gauge

Hi,
I'm new to the forum and just purchased a new Zapino. I think its great, but just one concern. I conditioned the batteries and road to work for the first time. I live in Colorado and rode at various speeds and up and down hills. When I arrived at work the gauge had appeared to barely move. When I got to work I charged it for a few hours until it stopped charging which would indicate that I used a significant amount of the charge. My concern is the accuracy of the guage and is if this is normal behavior. I would hate to make a 20 mile trip and suddenly be totally discharged. On the other hand if the range is more along the lines of the manual (55 miles) my concerns would lessen and my fondness would grow. Any feedback on your experience with the guage would be greatly appreciated. Also if there is a way to check the actual level of the batteries and the functioning of the guage that would be great as well.
Thanks, Zapmat
------------

reikiman
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Re: Zapino Battery Gauge

Determining how much charge is left in a battery is difficult. It's not like a tank of liquid fuel where instruments can easily calculate the fuel precisely. Batteries don't weigh more/less when charged/discharged etc. At best the "fuel gauge" is a guess. One kind of measurement which is very possible is to measure/show the number of watt-hours used. But not many vehicles show this. You can buy a Cycle Analyst, install it, and have a very geeky dashboard that shows all sorts of propeller-head data like amps/volts/amp-hours/watt-hours/miles/hr/etc. Similarly the paktrakr is another add-on meter you can install which shows a different set of propeller-head geeky data. I really like both of them, they really satisfy my inner geek.

- David Herron, The Long Tail Pipe, davidherron.com, 7gen.com, What is Reiki
- Electrified Electra To

sgmdudley
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Re: Zapino Battery Gauge

I live in Longmont, Colorado. I drive a Version 2 Zapino.
I have run the batteries to almost empty and the gauge did drop to the red.
When I go to work @ IBM, Boulder it is 10 miles one way. At 20mph, I go round
trip and the gauge is still in the green. I have the PAKTRAKR and it is great
for monitoring Total Voltage, Individual Voltage, Temperature next to the top
battery and Amps. It monitors some other functions but I don't use them.
55 mile range is not possible on the Zapino with Lead/acid batteries. The day
I ran the batteries down to almost dead, I had only gone 23 miles at 25mph. the
faster you go the faster the charge GOES. The picture shows my dash. At the time
I also had the Cycle Analyst installed, but I have removed it.
new_zapino_dash.jpg

Robert Dudley
E-Scoot Tech

zapmat
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Last seen: 12 years 2 months ago
Joined: Saturday, July 12, 2008 - 17:33
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Re: Zapino Battery Gauge

Hey Robert,
Thanks, we met at Tom's place last weekend. The Zapino is great, I was just concerned about the guage. I realize it's not totally accurate, but I just wanted to make sure it was behaving normally. How hard is it to install the PAKTRAKR and how much? I can charge at work so its not a huge concern, but it would be nice to have a reasonable idea where I'm at so I don't get stuck. Not to mention everyone wants to know the range.
Thanks again,
Matt

Tanner
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Re: Zapino Battery Gauge

One day I ran my 2008 Zapino's batteries all the way down. The battery gauge was in the green for about 20 miles of my 26 mile ride. In the last six miles the gauge moved quickly through yellow and then it ran out of juice completely at 26 miles. All of the 26 miles of travel was on generally level ground. As Robert said, the speed greatly affects the distance that can be traveled on a full charge. When I went on the 26 mile ride, I had already removed the speed limiter switch and I was traveling up to 30 mph for a lot of the trip. So I guess given those conditions, the 26 mile range wasn't bad. After that I reinstalled the speed limiter switch because I think it helps conserve battery life if it is set to the lower position. Of course it also limits the speed. One thing I did after running out of juice was to purchase an small 12v inverter that produces enough amps to run the Zapino battery charger. It can be connected to the battery of another vehicle and it can be used to power the charger and charge the Zapino batteries when you are on the side of the road and out of juice.

Steve Tanner

sgmdudley
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Re: Zapino Battery Gauge

The PAKTRAKR is available for $150 plus shipping for the basic unit. You can add a serial download port and a current shunt for monitoring the amp draw.
http://www.paktrakr.com/index.html

The wiring is not a big deal but time consuming to install. The good part is once you decide to add the wiring you can make it suitable for Bank Charging. All you need is wire, terminals, and a terminal strip. For bank charging you will also need a connector set and the battery chargers. Here is a picture of my Zapino wiring. This was the first Zapino with Green Saver Silicone batteries, I have upgraded the wiring to Simple Bank Charging System, including a different style terminal block on my Version 2 Zapino.
wiring.jpg

Robert Dudley
E-Scoot Tech

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