Zap!

I spent the morning lovingly putting together some thicker cables to replace the existing smaller guage wiring that supports the formerly-48V circuit. I encountered a problem though with installing them. There was some trouble with the bolt securing the removable crossbar that goes across the top of the battery enclosure and secures them into their casing.

The makers hadn’t done a very good job of this part. The crossbar was slightly bent, aparrently to compensate for the joint at the end which would not properly align with the hole in the case to the rear, where it was bolted at a very strange angle. My attempts to remove it failed, as even though the nut on the other side would come loose, the bolt seemed to be jammed, and turning it made it just – well – turn.

The bar though, is fairly flexible, so in the end I decided to just pull it to one side to unscrew the terminal screws.

Unfortunately, in my eagerness to get the leads changed, I’d not thought about the consequences of the shaft of my screw driver touching this bar as it was connected to the terminal head (doh!). One almighty flash and puff of smoke later, I was looking at the charred remains of the ring connector I was trying to remove. Mercifully – despite being partially arc-welded to the bolt – It all came free and I was in a position able to be able to put in my new cables.

Eager to learn from this, though, I got some thick insulation tape and wound several layers of it along the six inches of crossbar immediately above the four terminals in the middle. I also stuck a good amount of it on the walls near the terminals by the side of the case. I’d have to do something about that seized bolt at some point, as I wouldn’t be able to remove the batteries at all. But that could wait for another day.

I also did a quick check of the master terminals of the battery system with my multimeter. It seems that nothing catastrophic has happened to them as a result of this mishap, and the bike still goes.

Input: AC110V – errm…

Along with the length of black cabling that I’d received in the mail this morning, I’d also finally got my 72V power supply unit from e-crazyman, which had taken the best part of two weeks getting here from China. I thought I’d plug it in and check it out with my multimeter to make sure that it was working. The connector that came with it was an American style two pin connector, but I had a few adaptors, including one that was already in use by my shaver.

So I plugged it in and… nothing. 😦 Neither of the two lights lit up to indicate something was happening.  Disappointed by this, I went and got another adaptor – this time one with a step-down converter that delivered 110V ac. Low and behold the unit came to life and both lights blinked a couple of times as it came to life.

I was none too happy about this, as the unit clearly stated “Input: AC100-240V  50/60Hz”, as is standard with most adapters nowadays.

I’ve emailed e-crazyman to ask what is going on here. I don’t know whether this unit is just defective in a way that only upsets its 240V operation, or whether his specs were telling fibs. Alternatively he has separate, cheaper units that only support one or the other. I’ll find out in due course I dare say… Until then it’s “sayonara” to this unit (or whatever the Chinese equivalent is).

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3 Responses to Zap!

  1. hohisilver says:

    2 points: Did your scooter not come with a piece of rubberised matting between the metal battery strap and the top of the batteries – mine did? And are you sure it wasn’t just the first adaptor that was at fault with the charger – did you try any others?

  2. zenid10 says:

    1) Yes it did, but I’ve also added the insulation tape to deal with the fact that I can’t remove the crossbar! The bolt is seized solid so the only way I can remove the battery connectors is by bending it so it springs out of the way, which is how I had that mishap.

    2) Well anticipated! I did consider that. The adaptor was a shaver type socket that also accommodates US style two-(flat)pin connectors. Because it worked fine with my electric shaver, I assumed there was no reason why the two pin connector would not also engage properly, as it fits perfectly.

    When e-crazyman insisted that it was 110-240V as advertised, I realised I must be missing something: So I put a multimeter on the pins(slightly exposed) of the plug while it was plugged into the adaptor. I got nothing!

    I rooted out another adaptor in the end and that worked fine. So I changed the plug on the PSU for a standard UK 3-pin, plugged it in, and lo and behold all the lights came on (I didn’t want to do this as an actual test, in case it invalidated his warranty). I also checked the output with a voltemeter and it was 84V or so, which is what I’d expect.

    Naturally I sent e-crazyman a swift retraction and ‘thank you’. Did you get your PSU from him too?

  3. hohisilver says:

    I’m really not sure offhand, without looking back at my e-mails from last year, which I don’t have access to at the moment. I think they did come from him (remember I had to buy 2 36V chargers as the 72V one wasn’t available back then).

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