Cansai 36v charger suggestions?

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hairybrew
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Cansai 36v charger suggestions?

The charger for my bl36 kit (Cansai CS3604SR) indicator light is blinking and as I understand it is not supposed to.

My fear is that if I plug this thing in and leave it, it may not auto shut off. Also from what limited knowledge I've been able to gather about batteries is that even though I test the batteries and they say 36v, I have no way to test if it is fully charged or not without ordering something else... like a watts up from what I've read on other posts.

I'm assuming I need a new charger, but if I'm going to buy a new one, then what kind and where from?

Anyone else have this model charger?

Samspeed
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Re: Cansai 36v charger suggestions?

Mine blinks too! Let me ask, is yours new?

Mine is less than a week old. When I first plug the charger in to AC power, the green LED is lit and the fan comes on. Plug into the battery and the LED turns red. Then in the morning the fan will be off and the LED will just sit there softly blinking. I expect it to be green when fully charged and in standby mode.

But the batteries show ~39v at that point so that seems like a good solid charge. I made an inquiry with the dealer who pointed out a 6 month warrantee.

The documentation that came with it was not very informative, but here's a link I found -- http://www.cansaichargers.com/CS3604SR.pdf

This says the light should go back to green when charging is done.

The thing has three stages -- constant current, constant voltage and standby. The first does the bulk of the work, and I think the second works to equalize the cells. And standby just keeps it topped off. That's my understanding.

The charging curve (http://www.cansaichargers.com/CS3604SR%20Charge%20Curve%2005-Feb-07.pdf), shows the voltage and relative current for the three stages. Last night I noticed that the thing got quite warm for several hours and eventually cooled off but then I went to bed. I'm guessing that the warm period was stage one, the cool period was stage two (low current).

Now I'm thinking that there is a fault in stage three (standby voltage). After reading this post, I put a meter to it and could see voltage start out at 43.5, then drop to 39v at the same time the light starts to blink. I expect it to maintain the 41.1 standby voltage.

Guess I could send the thing back, but then I'd have to do without for a couple of days. And that would be rough. Been having too much fun....

By the way, all the ads for the bl36 say it comes with a Soneil charger. Think they make Cansai but it feels a little like bait and switch..

Stock BL36 on a 10yo Schwinn Searcher
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hairybrew
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Re: Cansai 36v charger suggestions?

Yeah mine is new also, and a fun way to get around New Orleans when I pick the streets with the least damage. I've had the charger a month and used it twice since I got my full kit a couple days ago. I never let it charge more than 6 hours because I was worried I could kill my batteries or worse. This is all new stuff to me.

Charger plugged into the wall, and not connected to batteries - solid green (and I hear fan)
Charger plugged into the both - blinking yellow/redish light
Haven't seen a solid red light.
Haven't seen a green light when plugged into batteries.

I also tested charger's output when I got it a month ago - approx 42-43v (its been a while since I tested it but I think I remember right, and its also what I believe the guy from Cansai said it should be on the phone)

Is the warranty with the Wilderness Energy, or with Cansai? I'd rather not deal with the company I bought it from and avoid another month and a half delay.

dogman
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Re: Cansai 36v charger suggestions?

With soneil chargers, the blinking light is the desulphinating cycle, and if you check with a voltmeter, the voltage will be pulsing. Later it should go steady red, and green when done. My first WE charger, a soneil, got stuck in the flashing mode since it was only putting out 18v instead of 36. If it won't go past the flashing, it is likely not charging completely, though it might make it eventually without knowing it is supposed to shut off. Chargers are pretty cheap on Ebay while you wait for a replacement, or local stores have 12 v ones you could buy and charge one battery at a time. I could be full of bull, but I think cansai and soneil are one company thesedays.

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hairybrew
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Re: Cansai 36v charger suggestions?

Update... The order that I plug the charger in changes the light indicator.

I charged while the light was blinking for six hours at work (plugging in the battery first then outlet), and I must not have gotten a full charge because after 3 miles or so I started losing power.

So after I got home from work I plugged the charger into the outlet first, then into the batteries – finally I see red. However, if I plug into the batteries first then the wall (like I've been doing) I get the blinking light. It may not be broken after all, and just a quirk of how the wiring is set up?

Odd, but maybe my problem is as simple as that! Anyway, I'll keep an eye on it this evening.

wakataka
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Re: Cansai 36v charger suggestions?

I believe your charger is defective. I've got one with EXACTLY the same symptoms. I've also got two other known good chargers to compare it too. The defective charger will not ramp down after charging. I can never get a green light, even when I connect it to a battery pack that has just been fully charged with a known good charger. It will do the blinking light thing if I plug it into the battery first, the red light thing if I plug it into the wall first. When the red light is on, it's putting 43.5 volts into my fully charged battery pack. It would overcharge and begin to boil the electrolyte if left on for too long. Mine will also blink when attached to the battery but not plugged into the wall.

I've spoken to the supplier I bought it from and they say WE has received a bad batch of chargers and is trying to decide how they will manage the warranty claims, either replace with like kind or with a different model. Fortunately, I've got my other chargers to keep me going. You could probably use this one to charge the batteries but I wouldn't leave it connected too long because it will overcharge your pack. Check it with a VOM. My other chargers float after the pack is charged at 41 volts or so. If yours is still at 43v after a couple of hours and the green light isn't coming on, unplug it.

I hope WE can come through with a usable replacement soon.

Samspeed
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Re: Cansai 36v charger suggestions?

According the spec sheet the Cansai does not have a desulfination cycle. One of the Soneil models that's almost identical, does have that feature. In studying the specs for the two, it seems this is about the only difference between them.

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Samspeed
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Re: Cansai 36v charger suggestions?

Ahh. I think when it is in the blinky mode that it is producing no useful wattage. That's why it did not charge while you were at work.

Mine behaves exactly the same -- plug into batteries first and it just blinks. Plug it into the wall first and it works, sortof.

Somebody else mentioned a bad batch of chargers. I think that's what we are talking about...

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dogman
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Re: Cansai 36v charger suggestions?

Some chargers are sensitive to which plug first. I belive plug in the wall first is supposed to be best with all types. Keeps the flow the right direction. Wierd they don't mention it though if it matters that much. I really like my 4 amp charger from monsterscooterparts but it might be too much amps for small sla's. I use it on my Ping, that likes up to 5 amps charging.

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Arno J. Wulfert
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Re: Cansai 36v charger suggestions?

I just bought the BL-36 kit... My charger shows red while charging then (I think when the batteries are fully charged) it starts blinking... never have seen green unless the charger is on and the batteries have not been connected... Put 22 miles on my bike today... peddled only for the first 3 miles... peddled with half throttle for 15 miles (stopped for lunch in between) and then full throttle (no peddleing for the last 4 miles... The yellow light on the throttle went on with about 2 plus miles to go... This was all flat ground with my 246 pounds on it plus the weight of the bike and kit...

Cheers,
Arno Wulfet

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Re: Cansai 36v charger suggestions?

I also just bought a kit and the charger acts similarly.

If I plug in the batteries first and in the wall second, it flashes red. During this time, it does not charge.

If I plug in the wall first and the batteries second, it starts with a solid red. After a while, the charger gets quite warm. Eventually a green light will come on. Then after a little while longer it will start to flash red. At this point the batteries have fully charged.

So, it does appear to be working to a degree. But I am not so sure how confident I am that it will not overcharge at some point. And it does get warmer than I would like.

wakataka
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Re: Cansai 36v charger suggestions?

After further messing around with it, I've learned that if I leave mine connected long enough (about 5 minutes) to a fully charged pack, it will go into flashing mode. In this mode, it seems to be putting out little or no voltage. The pack will float down to about 39.7 volts after an hour or so, pretty much it's resting voltage. With my other chargers, the green light comes on and they stay in float mode putting out 41.3 volts or so indefinitely. In flashing mode, this one flashes both red and green simultaneously, but very faintly.

So the verdict on mine is that it seems to charge OK but it doesn't go to float mode. Not great but probably usable. I'm still going to be chasing a warranty replacements for this charger. It's not right.

SaCaChAu
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Re: Cansai 36v charger suggestions?

I also bought the new 2008 BL-36 kit and the same thing is happening to me. It will charge (red light) for about the time it should then go to the quick blink (never seen green while charging), during this the batteries will slowly discharge and not top off, so I replug it in an hour before I need to go and I can make my trip. I hope we can return it.

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Re: Cansai 36v charger suggestions?

Well, I have one of these bogus chargers, and I just sent an email to the folks I bought it from. I asked how to get warantee service. I also asked if it would be possible if they could send me a Soneil charger since that was what was promised in the ad copy.

I'll keep the group informed. Has any one else on this thread tried to get warrantee service on these Cansai chargers? Have any luck?

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wakataka
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Re: Cansai 36v charger suggestions?

I just heard from the E-bay seller I purchased from that Wilderness Energy is going to replace the defective Cansai chargers with a Soneil model in the next 7 to 10 days.

My defective Cansai will put a nearly full charge on the battery pack but you have to unplug it as soon as the red light goes off or it will actually start to slowly discharge the pack. I've got another charger that I use to top off the batteries.

If you are measuring 36v out of a lead acid battery pack, it's nowhere near full charge. It's actually less than half. My 36v W.E. pack sits at about 39.5v fuly charged, which is higher than most charts indicate it should be.

See link below for an example of an SLA battery voltage vs state of charge table for batteries used in uninteruptable power supplies:

http://www.xantrex.com/web/id/329/DocServe.aspx

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Re: Cansai 36v charger suggestions?

I really like my 4 amp charger from monsterscooterparts. It minght be hard on small sla's at 4 amps but my ping loves it. I figured out a while back, you need two chargers. They go up in smoke frequently. The soneil I have works great, but had no fan. Where I live that is gonna die, so I drilled holes all over the case and it runs much cooler.

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adnahc ramuk
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Re: Cansai 36v charger suggestions?

For this batch of CS3604SR (36V/2A) chargers we were told there were some changes made whereby the label information was not updated. You need to do the following to make the charger work and it has proven to work indeed:

1.First, connect to AC mains: LED Green will light up
2.Second, connect to battery: LED Red will light up showing the battery is being charged
3.When LED is blinking red/yellow (soft red), the battery is fully charged.

Note: Do not worry about the function of the fan, the fan turns on when the charger is hot and turns off automatically when charger is cooled down.Also the charger will automatically stop charging when battery is fully charged.

dogman
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Re: Cansai 36v charger suggestions?

AC first seems to be the ticket on the chargers. Keeps the little gnomes inside running around in the right direction. Unplug the battery first when disconnecting for the same reason.

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wakataka
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Re: Cansai 36v charger suggestions?

My blinking charger will go through the constant current and constant volatage charge cycles but drops off and starts blinking when it gets to the float cycle. I have two other CANSAI chargers to compare it to, and this blinky one does not charge my batteries as fully as the other two. I believe it is defective. All of the chargers listed on the CANSAI web site are supposed to float charge at 41.5 volts after they complete the charge cycle. I've not yet put an amp meter on it, but my blinky one actually seems to slowly discharge the battery pack if I leave it connected for a long period after it starts blinking. It will blink when connected to the battery but not connected to the wall, so it is definitely drawing some energy from the battery in that condition. Neither of my other two CANSAI chargers will light up when only connected to the battery. It's usable if you unplug it soon after it completes the main charge cycles, but it's not right. I'm not buying the excuse that the blinking light is a new "feature" and they've just not yet updated the instructions on the label. The blinking light is a symptom of the defect.

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Re: Cansai 36v charger suggestions?

Agree with wakataka -- that's the way mine behaves and it ain't right. Wilderness agrees, and have promised to ship a replacement.

I did put an ammeter on it -- when it goes blinky, it actually discharges the battery at a rate of about 40ma. The first two stages of the charge cycle are normal, but it's supposed to go into float mode when the current drops to between 400..600ma. I observe that it goes all the way down to about 270ma and then goes blinky (and begins to discharge).

Someone posted earlier that when theirs blinks it maintains a high voltage. So maybe there are several modes of failure. I do not buy the notion that they were just mislabelled.

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dogman
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Re: Cansai 36v charger suggestions?

If you plug it in ac first and still get the blinky, I'd say it's defective. My first soneil from WE put out 19.5v instead of 43 and was stuck on blinky.

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Re: Cansai 36v charger suggestions? -- Possible Solution

Think I found the problem with the blinky Cansai, and it's easy to fix. Got diode?

I got to thinking about the transition from constant voltage to floating voltage. Thinking about the switch from 43.5v down to 41.1, and thinking about the measured current reversal when it went blinky. Well that makes sense in a way, voltage flows from high to low and for a little while the battery voltage will be well above 41v, until it settles. I seemed logical that there should be a diode in there somewhere.

So just as an experiment I scrounged up a hefty looking diode from my junk box and clipped it on with some test leads. Guess what, no more blinky lights!

The transition happened like it was supposed to -- the light went from red to green at about the right current level and the voltage was nominal. Even better, it don't matter which side you plug in first. It just works.

Did another test. Using an analog voltmeter, plugged in the battery first and then powered up the AC. There is a momentary negative voltage before it kicks in (there are advantages to analog meters!). So, I think both the startup issues and the lack of float mode are one and the same problem. It's sensing a reverse current and shutting down. The diode prevents the reverse current, and it works.

There is more to the story. I got curious and opened the thing up. There on the circuit board, right near the DC output was a printed diode symbol. But no diode. And right beside the empty holes where the diode was supposed to go was a jumper wire.

Guess we can only speculate why that engineering change was made, but the result seems to be a crippled charger.

So if anyone would like to try this, think just about any kindof diode will work as long as it will handle the current. Even a little signal diode will work for a while. If you don't wanna open the case and solder to the board, you can make up a cable or maybe put it in line right in the battery case. Just get the polarity right.

Glad to get this off my chest -- I've been very pleased with the BL36 except for this one nagging detail.

peace

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wakataka
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Re: Cansai 36v charger suggestions?

Interesting discovery, Samspeed. I opened up a dead Cansai charger that I had laying around (an earlier model than my blinky one) and, sure enough, there's a diode soldered to the board in the location where one is missing in my blinky charger. I pulled this diode off the dead charger and soldered it onto the board on the blinky charger, but alas, it didn't fix the blinky problem. Maybe the circuit board in the blinky model is defective? I couldn't really tell if this diode was in the circuit like it should be when I soldered it to the board. The fact that current was flowing without the diode installed suggests to me that the diode is probably not in the circuit where it needs to be when soldered to the connectors provided on the board. I didn't spend a lot of time trying to map out the traces on the PCB to figure it out.

I've currently got the diode temporarily wired into the battery harness with the charger running. I'll find out in a couple of hours (when the pack reaches full charge) whether my charger behaves normally and goes into float mode with the diode in place. If so, this is a very cheap fix. You can buy a similar diode for way less than a cup of coffee and just solder it into the wire coming out of the charger. Don't even have to open up the charger case!

Samspeed
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Re: Cansai 36v charger suggestions?

Oh. You know what. If you look on the circuit board along side where the diode's supposed to be, you will see a jumper wire. That needs to be removed, or cut. Otherwise the circuit will never see the diode.

.............

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tdetevis
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Re: Cansai 36v charger suggestions?

IMG_0158_edited.jpgSamspeed, I have been following this thread with interest since I noticed that my Cansai CS3604SR charger never shows the green "fully charged" light, only the blinking red light. I also noticed that after the red light changed to the blinky, the battery voltage would drop off slightly. I'm pretty much a noob when it comes to this type of repair but I would like to try and fix the charger since it drives me crazy to have it not operating as it should.

After reading your response above, I opened the charger and saw what you see in the picture I've attached. If I'm looking at the right area, it looks like the diode is missing and a jumper wire is in it's place. According to your information, I can clip the jumper and solder a diode in the missing contacts on the diode symbol. Is that correct? If so, can you advise a specific diode I can use and where I might be able to obtain (radio shack etc...) it? Also, Is the mounting alignment pretty obvious? And lastly, I've done a fair amount of hobby soldering but never on a circuit board, are there any tricks, hints or cautions I should know about? Thanks for your time. Tony

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Re: Cansai 36v charger suggestions?

Yeah, that looks just like mine. And you can see the jumper (J105) right beside. Keep in mind if you go soldering you might void the warranty. You could try like Wakataka and just slip one on the cable to try it. I just got one dangling with a couple of alligator clip leads. Been running it that way for a couple of days, watching the volts and current with numerous short charge cycles and it's been working great. I've got confidence now that it's OK to leave it plugged in overnight, or longer.

Wilderness said they were gonna ship a replacement but I'm still waiting. As far as a diode, I can't imagine it would be too picky. I just found one that looked about right. If I get tired of waiting on Wilderness I'll probly just solder it in and forget it.

Try Radio Shack? This oughtta do..
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062578&cp=&sr=1&origkw=diode&kw=diode&parentPage=search

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wakataka
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Re: Cansai 36v charger suggestions?

No more blinkin! The diode between the charger and the battery worked. The only caveat is that when my controller was plugged in, the charger went into a blinking mode that was different than before. It was a red-green-off sequence on about a half second frequency. Before it was blinking really fast with faint red/green at the same time. This blinking continued and the charger continued to provide 43.8 volts until I unplugged my controller. Bingo, it goes to solid green and 41.6v floating charge voltage. Evidently the BD-36 controller draws enough amps to keep the charger in the cell balancing constant voltage mode.

Note to self - remember to unplug pack from controller when using this charger.

Samspeed - have you looked at the circuit board to determine that soldering the diode onto the board and cutting the jumper wire would put the diode in series with the output circuit?

Thanks for your insight into this problem. It looks like I'll have a working charger to get me by until W.E. comes up with a warranty replacement - if ever.

tdetevis - here's a link to a page with lots of good info about diodes and soldering on printed circuit boards:
http://www.kpsec.freeuk.com/components/diode.htm

SaCaChAu
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Re: Cansai 36v charger suggestions?

Well I bought the diode and was wondering where and what wire to attach it too in the battery case. I want to make sure this is the cause of my problem before I solder it. Sorry I am a bit of a newb at this stuff, so any help would be great! Thanks to all who have worked and shared thus far.

tdetevis
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Re: Cansai 36v charger suggestions?

Thanks for the replies and resource sites Samspeed and Wakataka. I will get a diode today. I was curious, would cutting the jumper and soldering the diode to the clipped jumper ends accomplish the same thing as soldering the diode to the circuit board? Thanks again, Tony.

wakataka
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Re: Cansai 36v charger suggestions?

I haven't looked carefully at the circuit board to confirm, but if the jumper wire is truly the only path for electricity to follow from the circuit board to the battery wires, then the diode could be soldered to the clipped jumper wires and it would work. When I soldered the diode into my board, I didn't clip the jumper wire. That's probably why it didn't work. I'm a real hack at electronics but I'll give you what I konw about diodes. The link I gave above has a lot more info.

You need to be sure that you put the diode into the circuit in the correct direction. A diode is a one way valve for electrons. Electrons normally flow from the negative pole of a battery to positive pole. When you charge a battery, the direction of current flow is reversed because the charger provides a higher voltage in the opposite direction, effectively running electrons "backward" through the battery. The diode needs to be installed to allow this backward flow of electrons but block the normal "forward" from negative to positive poles on the battery.

In the picture above, the end of the diode with the stripe on it (cathode) would be soldered to the lower terminal or the lower end of the jumper. The end without the stipe would be solder to the upper terminal or jupmer wire. This prevents the electrons from flowing out of the charger on the positive (red) wire. It effectively isolates the charger from receiving current from the battery. Current can only flow from the charger to the battery with the diode in place.

wakataka
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Re: Cansai 36v charger suggestions?

If you want to test this before you solder and you've got a standard W.E. battery pack, here's the way I did it. First, disconnect the battery pack from the bike. Open the battery bag and find the positive (red) wire that leads out to the charger / controller. Pull this wire off the battery terminal and stick one diode wire into the connector and the other into the little hole in the battery terminal or use some alligator clip jumper wires to make a temporary connection. The stripe on the diode should be closest to the battery terminal. Hook up the charger and see if it works. Don't try to run the motor or even turn on the controller with the diode installed like this. The diode would be blown due to0 the amps that the motor / controller would draw.

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