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Old 03-10-2013, 05:03 AM   #1
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Default Refurbished Cellpro Powerlab 8

Hi Tim
I've received my refurbished Cellpro '8 charger, and copied all of my presets from my original '8 charger to the new unit.

When trying to update with the new presets, it immediately came up with errors in factory Presets #27 and #28. I did not mess with #27 or #28. When trying to correct them the unit indicated only the factory can change them. I finally corrected these two by copying another preset, and over writing #27 and #28.

Today, I set up the refurb unit on my 25 Volt, 25 Amp DC power supply. The '8 charger shows proper individual cell voltage, proper power supply volts, power supply amps (At near zero amps) it looks like everything works, BUT it won't apply any charging current to my battery. The displayed charging current stays at zero Amps, verified with my Astroflight wattmeter. The LCD timer shows seconds going by, and even after two minutes, the charging current is zero amps. Directly substituting my original '8 charger with the same cables and all worked fine.

Went around and around on this for several hours. Everything is good, all voltages on the balance cables are correct, the banana cable is correct.

I finally found out by accident that the refurbished charger WILL charge, if I drop the power supply voltage to 18 Volts DC or less. Increase the voltage to 24, and it will NOT charge my 6S2P A123 battery pack.

Something is definitely wrong with my Refurbished '8 charger. Is this correctable in the field, or does it have to go back to FMA?

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Old 03-10-2013, 07:23 PM   #2
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Just to be clear, when you say that you drop the supply voltage, you are dropping the "power supply" voltage, not the charger's low supply voltage setting? Also it might be good to double check the low supply voltage setting and current limit on the charger. I suspect you've already done that, but I wanted to check.

If its not the supply settings on the charger, you can attempt a factory restore. Its on the "firmware" tab in the CCS.

Let us know how you make out.
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:51 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Gregor View Post
Just to be clear, when you say that you drop the supply voltage, you are dropping the "power supply" voltage, not the charger's low supply voltage setting? Also it might be good to double check the low supply voltage setting and current limit on the charger. I suspect you've already done that, but I wanted to check.

If its not the supply settings on the charger, you can attempt a factory restore. Its on the "firmware" tab in the CCS.

Let us know how you make out.
Yeah, I've checked that. The supply settings on the charger is set to 10 volts at 25 Amps, the same settings used on my original '8 charger.

I've also re-installed the firmware several times. No dice.

From the way this unit worked as received, I'm questioning whether this unit was ever given much more than a quick look over at the factory.

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Old 03-10-2013, 11:09 PM   #4
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Firmware re-install, or "factory restore"?
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:09 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Gregor View Post
Firmware re-install, or "factory restore"?
OK, just did the "Factory Restore", same exact problem. The '8 charger works just fine up to the current output limits of my variable 25 Amp DC power supply when it is set to 18 volts DC. When adjusting my supply to 24 VDC (Actually 23.74 VDC) everything works on the '8 charger, but even after several minutes, zero charging current. I've repeated this under 18 VDC, over 23 VDC many times with same result.

I've even got the charger going at 18 VDC, waited the one minute for initialization, then increased to 24 VDC, it works fine, until the '8 charger flags erratic DC supply and shuts down.

The power supply output is very clean, less than 0.1 VDC ripple at 25 Amps.

The Power lat is 8v2, firmware is V3.31.

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Old 03-11-2013, 03:37 AM   #6
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Sounds like its worth call to Howard. One more bit of data that might help before calling. When you are charging at 25v, take a look at the supply tab in the CCS. If a supply issue is detected, it will report "limiting" and the reason why. Not saying there is an issue with your supply. It just might provide more details to Howard or give additional clues.
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:58 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Gregor View Post
Sounds like its worth call to Howard. One more bit of data that might help before calling. When you are charging at 25v, take a look at the supply tab in the CCS. If a supply issue is detected, it will report "limiting" and the reason why. Not saying there is an issue with your supply. It just might provide more details to Howard or give additional clues.
Nope, looked at that. Right now, my '8 charger is hooked up to a third variable voltage power supply (I've got four of them, one is home made with an output rating of 6 to 25 VDC, 35 Amps), with it's output set to 31.5 VDC. Again, the '8 charger does its entire thing, but after five minutes, the charge current output is still zero.

Now, this unit provides a safety code #96 after about 6 minutes or so. The manual indicates code #96 is "PWM Ratio is to High". PWM is Pulse Width Modulation. Don't believe the end user would have access to the PWM setup.

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Old 03-11-2013, 05:29 PM   #8
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Default Refurb Cellpro '8 charger update

Just talked with FMA - Cellpro. Their response, "Send it in".

They indicated that Cellpro tests all of their chargers at 12 VDC, so they would not catch this type of problem.

Update:
For the extra $60 they quoted on my case, I've decided to go with a brand new '8 charger.

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Old 03-16-2013, 09:13 PM   #9
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Update:
For the extra $60 they quoted on my case, I've decided to go with a brand new '8 charger.[/QUOTE]

Ugh
They are out of stock for a week or three.

Oh Well, we still got lot's of snow on the ground, won't be flying for awhile. And do have my original Cellpro '8 charger that's been working just fine.

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