xb-600 charger

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William Lim
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xb-600 charger

Hi Guys, newbie here. Just got my XB-600 last week, and had some small problems while installing (especially the mirrors... I have yet to buy plumbers tape and apply those on to the screws).

One main issue I had was with the charger - the first time I charged the batteries (not thru the seat plug but thru the battery casing) for 12+ hours and the indicator was still red, but the batteries were so hot. After putting the batteries in, the battery meter went off the roof pass "H".

I've searched the forum and seems like some ppl had their batteries explode, or had short battery life... So what's the correct way of charging? The manual says charge after each use. Given that my charger doesn't indicate when it's full (does yours?), I can only second guess and charge about 4 hours after a light ride, and 8 hours after a long, 10+ miles one. After reading the post about batteries exploding, I'm definitely not going to charge it overnight now...

Thanks!
Bill

Spaceangel
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Re: xb-600 charger

I feel it is always nice to have a backup charger anyways. I use a 48 Volt Iota because it gives a fast charge when I need it. Mostly I leave my bike on the Teking charger which is slow but charges full and never over charges either. Either way you still have to check battery pack to see if batteries are good and don't exceed 2.3 volts per cell. Maybe 2.4v/c but definitely not 2.5 or more. The batteries will release their valves and pop a top. I keep a cheap charger under the seat and expensive home or at work. Keeps from having it bounce around and breaking. I presume you have standard IEC charge port? Make sure battery pack hangs around 52 or 53 volts after charge and 54 or 55 fresh off of charge. Check with Xtreme if you have warranty issue.

KB1UKU

mf70
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Re: xb-600 charger

Ouch!

The good news is that your batteries are probably all right so far.

You need to get yourself a voltmeter right away to monitor your charging more precisely than with the LED on the charger. Maximum voltage should be 14.6 * 4. This voltage will seem to "hang" as the amount of charge tapers off to a fairly small value, then the pack should drop to 13.1 * 4 as a float voltage. One bad battery can cause the pack never to get to the needed levels, to the rest of the pack can be destroyed.

I strongly advise making up a series/parallel plug and charging the pack in parallel with a reputable three-stage 12V charger. It is then a simple matter to plug the pack into the serial jumper plug and zoom away with a properly charged, balanced pack. (If you're doing it, I recommend the PowerPole connectors.)

I've written up the process in several messages here, but the "search" function is't letting me find them so I can give you the URL's. Sorry.
Here are some pix of the setup:

The Pack wiring

The Anderson PowerPole on the pack

Mark

William Lim
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Re: xb-600 charger

Wow, thanks for the very informative replies! So in summary:

- i should get a voltmeter and make sure the batteries are all ok
- i should get either get a better charger (Iota or Teking) or make up a series/parallel plug and get a reputable three-stage 12V charger (I'll try searching your instructions)

But i'm still wondering whether to charge to back to full after each use? Since the manual says charge after each use and I seem to recall a post saying that a happy user's battery is still strong after a year of such use and charging...

thanks!!

William Lim
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Re: xb-600 charger

Found the old post, by Gushar (around middle of page), about this.

http://visforvoltage.org/forum/3790-xb600-questions

mf70
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Re: xb-600 charger

I recharge after every use, as I have a Vector 2/6/10 charger that I trust. It has a voltage readout, a reliable three-stage charge profile, and a long-term "pulse" mode (~10 min on, 2 hr off) for float maintenance. I don't leave the charger on more than overnight, however. I still use the stock serial charger for opportunity charging at work, etc, as it's convenient.

I've been happy with the CycleAnalyst as a way to get an odometer for battery monitoring. (see http://visforvoltage.org/forum/6988-want-odometer-2nd-best )

Other maintenance items you should monitor:

Mark

gushar
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Re: xb-600 charger

Well, I'm not the expert here on battery charging but I did give an explanation of what I had learned charging my xb600. However, months after that post I also commented/asked questions on here about a problem I started having with charging which seems to be the same as you are having with yours "new." And I still don't know why I'm having this problem.

Here's the problem...much like you describe...

My original charger began making noise...like a loud hum and so I got concerned even though it seemed to still work properly. So, I ordered a new charger from xtreme. I got the new charger and it didn't seem to work properly...no green light showing full charge after hours of charging. So, thinking the new charger was defective, I contacted xtreme and they sent me yet another one. It seemed to work fine at first...but then the same thing started happening with it. What I found is that after a short ride...a couple of miles...the charger seems to work properly. However, after about a 10 mile ride and charging...the charger would not give the "green" light showing full charge even after hours of charging. I then tried the old original charger just as a "test" since it seemed to be working fine despite the noise. And, it still worked correctly charging the pack (checked with a meter) properly after a long or short ride...and giving the green light as it should. But I remain today with the same problem with those other two newer chargers. Neither of the new chargers will hardly ever give the "green" light after the batteries have been discharged a good bit and then plugged into the charger. If it's a short ride, low discharge, then both work fine giving the green light in about the length of time I became accustomed to from previous experience of charging. But, if I ride alot and discharge the batteries just "average" amount...I don't get the green light. So, what I've been doing is still using one of the new chargers because it concerns me more that loud hum that comes from the original charger. And when I ride a longer ride, discharging the batteries more, I just let the charger stay on a few hours and check the voltage at the plug to decide when the batteries are fully charged. I don't wait for a green light since I know it is not coming on when it should or at all and I certainly don't want to blow up my batteries with overcharging!

I wish I did understand what is going on. I checked the batteries individually a couple of times (after charging) when this first started happening and the voltage was fine in each. I keep thinking maybe one of them is going south and that's what's causing this problem with the chargers. But the volt readings don't seem to indicate that. So, I just don't know. But it sounds like just what you are experiencing...or very similar. And you have a relatively new scooter/charger/batteries so that's odd too that you should be having this problem. I still think I can get fairly good range from my batteries and I've had my xb600 for over 3 years...and this problem has been going on only over the last year. I know I don't get the range I got in the first year. But, I seem to get the same speed and still acceptable range...which would just be normal aging of the battery pack. I've wanted to check it out more as far as the range I'm getting now...but I hardly have the time anymore for long rides. So I can't really say. All I know is that I can ride, under 10 miles, and still have good power in the batteries...or at least no noticeable major decline in power, speed, etc. And regardless of how the charger is acting...still recharge seems fine...and usually I get a "green" light. I'm not quite sure what the mileage/discharge is where it won't give a "green" light upon recharging. I just know on short rides of a few miles it charges fine with green light, and if I go closer to about 10 miles...bigger discharge...I don't get the green light and I've let the charger stay on overnight and still didn't get it. I even thought maybe in that overnight charge the pack reached full charge and the light came on...meaning the charger went into float...then with some voltage bleeding off...the charger went into charge mode again and the so the green light disappeared. And since I'm not there watching it in the longer charge cycle...I'm not aware of this sequence of events and just happen to see it when it has gone back into charge mode again. Is such a scenario even possible? Anyone know? I'd really like to hear from anyone on here about what they think is going on...and maybe it will help you as well cause sounds like you're having the same or a similar problem charging.

Thanks in advance to anyone who has any ideas on this!

Gus

Gus

William Lim
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Re: xb-600 charger

yeah... i still have no clue why my charger is never satisfied (except for the brief moment when you unplug it - at least i'm sure the green led does work :) )

This forum is really extremely helpful! i just did the shunt mod using hyperob's instructions here http://visforvoltage.org/book/ev-collaborative-hand-books/8145 and went out for a test ride, quite a huge difference on acceleration and uphill!! :)

Just wanted to add description that might help:

1. for me one difficult part was unscrewing and removing the controller, because as many ppl said, the screws are of quite low quality. In this case I found that you need to use a better screw driver, otherwise you'd just damage both the screw and the driver... Another reason was that I don't really know which parts I should unscrew to get to the connections easily. I found that the easiest way is to remove the seat by unscrewing the 4 screws, and then unscrewing 3 more screws securing the right, lower fairing (check here if you don't know what that is: http://www.x-tremescooters.com/electric_bicycles/xb600/parts.html). One is vertical and screws the fairing to the black body (aka battery housing). The other two screws are the middle ones on the battery housing (not the ones with the washers). Once you have unscrewed these 3 screws, pull the fairing out quite a bit (be careful, don't force it), and you can see the connectors. Now clip the tie on the left and unscrew the right of the controller from the metal frame, so that the controller is free. Push it towards the lower right, so that the wires pop out a bit more to make it easier to unplug, and start unplugging.

2. the connections are very simple, 6 separate wires (with corresponding colors, so red connects to red and there is no need to label or remember) and 4 foolproof connectors (that are all unique so again, there is no need to label or remember anything).

3. when i took the connector off, and placed it on my table to start opening it up, the red male head touched the black male head and there was a scary spark, and the heads were a bit burnt... I guess this is from the residual charge in the capacitors? So be careful!! Once you remove the controller, slide the small plastic shielding back to cover the metal connectors so that they won't come in contact.

4. removing the controller board from it's casing, and then resealing it back too some time too (prolly at least an hour).

mf70
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Re: xb-600 charger

Gus:

Do you understand the principle of a three stage charger?

  1. Constant current: When the initial battery voltage is low enough, the charger provides a CURRENT-limited supply of electricity. Voltage is increased as needed to reach the needed current flow -- UNTIL the battery maximum voltage is reached. Then the charger goes to stage 2:
  2. Constant voltage: The pack is held at the maximum VOLTAGE while the current supplied to the battery is monitored. Depending on your charger's circuits, the LED may be green during this stage, even though the voltage is far higher than the resting fully charged voltage. When the amount of current being accepted has declined to a predetermined amount (perhaps 10% of maximum current), it goes to stage 3:
  3. Tapering finishing charge: The voltage is dropped slightly, and the charger continues to supply current at a much reduced rate until the charge acceptance rate falls to a final pre-determined amount, when the charger shuts itself off. The LED is typically green during this stage, even though the voltage is far higher than the resting fully charged voltage.
  4. Float: If the battery voltage drops below a certain point, the charger goes back into "Finishing charge" stage. Not all chargers allow the battery to fully rest. I would be surprised if the XTreme chargers did.

I wonder if the bum charger(s) is failing to "latch into" one of those stages.

To fully monitor your charger, you need to be tracking BOTH voltage and current. (I certainly would not count looking at their LED's as monitoring!) One way to check this over the full charge cycle is to set up a digital camera to photograph your meters every 15 minutes or so. The results can then be graphed. It can be quite illuminating. If I was at all worried about pack balance, I would pop the top off the battery box and also plot individual battery voltages during the charge cycle.

If you are interested in your pack capacity, you can also do a "static" capacity test using a fixed load such as a incandescent lamp bank or a power resistor. Just don't forget to cut off the test before ANY battery gets to 10.5 volts!

Mark

NoGas4Me
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Re: xb-600 charger

I have an EVT-4000e and have been doing some battery research (see my most recent post in the EVT 4000e/168 thread). It would appear your XB either has a very cheap CC only charger or the automatic changeover to CV is not working. If it is charging full power and you leave it on full-time, that charger will explode or melt your batteries! My stock charger is the combo CC/CV kind that never turns completely off on its own (the manual specifically warns against leaving the pack on charge over 12 hours) and I have been trying to determine the most efficient kind of charging profile. It appears the is a CI stage that dramatically extends the number of cycles for an SLA. Either way the science of charging batteries is much more complex than I had previously realized. Have you seen: http://www.batteryuniversity.com/ ?

A little monitoring box called a KILLAWATT (available at Costco for less than $30) can also be very useful to see how much juice your charger using to charge your batteries.

Best of luck with your XB-600.

VP

William Lim
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Re: xb-600 charger

thanks for the reply NoGas4Me and everyone!!

With all the trouble surrounding the battery and charger... I'm thinking just to get a LiFePO4 60V from Ping...

I'm currently working on better waterproofing the connections... so i don't need to walk whenever it rains :)

William Lim
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Where is the blade fuse?

Quick q, where is the green 30A blade fuse? I can't find any black fuseholders under the seat, I can only see the 10A tube fuse at the controller connections. I got a 32V 30A blade fuse from radioshack and wanted to replace it... I also looked under the dashboard but can't see any fuses..

thanks!

mf70
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Re: xb-600 charger

Both fuses were near the connector cluster around the controller box, ahead of the rear wheel. You can get fairly good access by merely removing the seat bucket (4 screws). Ideally, they should be reachable with minor unbuttoning, but there isn't much spare wire for repositioning.

William Lim
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Re: xb-600 charger

Thanks!! somehow I missed it last time...

gushar
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Re: xb-600 charger

Well thought I'd get more responses regarding why these newer chargers (for xb600) from xtreme don't work as I described earlier in this thread. Used my old charger recently, even though it makes some strange noises (which as I explained was the reason I bought a new charger), and it worked fine.

So how bout this.... I have two brand new chargers that I got from xtreme. I had put in a ticket after I realized the first one didn't work right...green light not coming on even though it charges batteries. They sent me a second one. It basically does the same. So I have two of them, brand new, that aren't working properly. I will be more than happy to ship, at my expense, one of these chargers to anyone on here who knows how to check them to see why they aren't working properly. And you can keep the charger. I just want to know why it doesn't work correctly. That way maybe I can fix the other one. So, anyone who wants to take a crack at this, but someone who has the knowledge to check it out, I'll ship one of the chargers to you free of charge...no puns intended!!!...yours to keep. :-) All I ask is that you see if you can figure out why the green light doesn't function as it should and let me know what you find out (float mode voltage, etc. those sorts of things).

So any takers? I'll watch this thread for a week or so and see if I have any responses or just use the message contact to leave me a message here directly.

Gus

Gus

JamesS
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Re: xb-600 charger

gushar, check your messages

Happy scooting,
JamesS

gushar
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Re: xb-600 charger

James-

Going to check messages.

Thanks,
Gus

Gus

ebiker_JK
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Re: xb-600 charger

Gushar, I'm having the same problem with my charger (the stock version that came with the bike). The light never turns green.
I've put a multimeter to each battery terminal and they read well. I have not cooked them and there's no sign of warpage. But I admit, I haven't charged the bike every time I used it. Sometimes the bike will sit here for days or over a week before I use it again, thus I don't want to keep charging it all the time if it sits in the room.

Reading all the posts here it makes me wonder if investing in a newer / better / model / charger will make a difference.

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