Cheapest ebike charger

Batteries, Chargers, and Battery Management Systems.
User avatar
ian.mich   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 705
Joined: Dec 18 2011 10:14pm
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Cheapest ebike charger

Post by ian.mich » Jul 15 2012 9:01pm

I'm looking for the cheapest 500W ebike charger. Needs to be customized by myself or the manufacturer. I'm tired of the expensive BMS battery and Greentime chargers.

User avatar
cal3thousand   1.21 GW

1.21 GW
Posts: 3606
Joined: Mar 26 2012 4:47pm
Location: California

Re: Cheapest ebike charger

Post by cal3thousand » Jul 17 2012 7:36pm

BMSBattery charger is expensive? How much are you looking to spend then?
Get a Cycle Analyst and a Multimeter, you're still a noob if you don't have at least one of each.

Planning on posting questions or buying anything on this site? Put up your country (at minimum) on your profile. This is a worldwide forum and we haven't reached clairvoyance.

User avatar
ian.mich   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 705
Joined: Dec 18 2011 10:14pm
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Re: Cheapest ebike charger

Post by ian.mich » Jul 17 2012 11:12pm

cal3thousand wrote:BMSBattery charger is expensive? How much are you looking to spend then?
$50-60. The only way this is achievable is if i did a meanwell.

User avatar
grindz145   100 MW

100 MW
Posts: 2955
Joined: Apr 07 2009 12:10pm
Location: Rochester NY
Contact:

Re: Cheapest ebike charger

Post by grindz145 » Jul 18 2012 12:51pm

That's even hard with a meanwell...

User avatar
ian.mich   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 705
Joined: Dec 18 2011 10:14pm
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Re: Cheapest ebike charger

Post by ian.mich » Jul 18 2012 4:48pm

grindz145 wrote:That's even hard with a meanwell...
Not really, a local ebike guy built a 500w one for $44 including parts. he didnt charge me for labour tho cause i bought other stuff from him.

User avatar
cal3thousand   1.21 GW

1.21 GW
Posts: 3606
Joined: Mar 26 2012 4:47pm
Location: California

Re: Cheapest ebike charger

Post by cal3thousand » Jul 18 2012 4:53pm

Don't cheap out on the charger, especially with LiPo.

It's the one real area where a fire is most likely. Deep discharges hurt the battery, over charges can cause fires.
Get a Cycle Analyst and a Multimeter, you're still a noob if you don't have at least one of each.

Planning on posting questions or buying anything on this site? Put up your country (at minimum) on your profile. This is a worldwide forum and we haven't reached clairvoyance.

User avatar
ian.mich   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 705
Joined: Dec 18 2011 10:14pm
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Re: Cheapest ebike charger

Post by ian.mich » Jul 18 2012 5:04pm

cal3thousand wrote:Don't cheap out on the charger, especially with LiPo.

It's the one real area where a fire is most likely. Deep discharges hurt the battery, over charges can cause fires.
Fair enough, but this meanwell is more reliable than the Greentime chargers that i've used, and if you set it to 4.15/cell, then it will take forever to get to 4.20 (never stops charging, just gets to extremely low amps)

User avatar
cal3thousand   1.21 GW

1.21 GW
Posts: 3606
Joined: Mar 26 2012 4:47pm
Location: California

Re: Cheapest ebike charger

Post by cal3thousand » Jul 18 2012 6:49pm

ian.mich wrote:
cal3thousand wrote:Don't cheap out on the charger, especially with LiPo.

It's the one real area where a fire is most likely. Deep discharges hurt the battery, over charges can cause fires.
Fair enough, but this meanwell is more reliable than the Greentime chargers that i've used, and if you set it to 4.15/cell, then it will take forever to get to 4.20 (never stops charging, just gets to extremely low amps)

Looks like you found the cheap one.

But for everyone that can't find someone to build one at that price, I believe that BMSBattery is a great deal. Then there's also the balancing charger that was recently found by Hyena. Someone found what seems to be an identical one on DealExtreme:

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/bc168-1-6s ... ger-124483
Get a Cycle Analyst and a Multimeter, you're still a noob if you don't have at least one of each.

Planning on posting questions or buying anything on this site? Put up your country (at minimum) on your profile. This is a worldwide forum and we haven't reached clairvoyance.

Hillhater   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 10826
Joined: Aug 03 2010 10:33pm
Location: Sydney ..(Hilly part !) .. Australia/ Down under !

Re: Cheapest ebike charger

Post by Hillhater » Jul 18 2012 7:30pm

ian.mich wrote:
cal3thousand wrote:Don't cheap out on the charger, especially with LiPo.

It's the one real area where a fire is most likely. Deep discharges hurt the battery, over charges can cause fires.
Fair enough, but this meanwell is more reliable than the Greentime chargers that i've used, and if you set it to 4.15/cell, then it will take forever to get to 4.20 (never stops charging, just gets to extremely low amps)
But you are only "bulk " charging, so still high risk unless you have a BMS or some other cell level monitoring available.
Cheap ..Reliable,.. and Safe ..are a tricky combination to find in a charger.
This forum owes its existence to Justin of ebikes.ca

User avatar
ian.mich   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 705
Joined: Dec 18 2011 10:14pm
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Re: Cheapest ebike charger

Post by ian.mich » Jul 18 2012 9:43pm

Hillhater wrote:
ian.mich wrote:
cal3thousand wrote:Don't cheap out on the charger, especially with LiPo.

It's the one real area where a fire is most likely. Deep discharges hurt the battery, over charges can cause fires.
Fair enough, but this meanwell is more reliable than the Greentime chargers that i've used, and if you set it to 4.15/cell, then it will take forever to get to 4.20 (never stops charging, just gets to extremely low amps)
But you are only "bulk " charging, so still high risk unless you have a BMS or some other cell level monitoring available.
Cheap ..Reliable,.. and Safe ..are a tricky combination to find in a charger.
I disagree. I and the local ebike guy use the 4S turnigy hardcases and there has not been evidence that balance charging is necessary. we just parallel all the cells every 10 cycles and there are no issues, i even left a pack unparalleled for a month (fried a JST) and the pack was just as balanced as the ones that had been parallel. we make the parallel boards using these
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/stor ... _bag_.html
and a prototype board. snip off the male end and parallel all the same colours, cover the solder side with silicone.

User avatar
dingoEsride   100 kW

100 kW
Posts: 1124
Joined: Apr 15 2010 2:09am
Location: Perth, Australia
Contact:

Re: Cheapest ebike charger

Post by dingoEsride » Jul 18 2012 10:02pm

cal3thousand wrote:But for everyone that can't find someone to build one at that price, I believe that BMSBattery is a great deal. Then there's also the balancing charger that was recently found by Hyena. Someone found what seems to be an identical one on DealExtreme:

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/bc168-1-6s ... ger-124483
Ive got the same, $120 is cheap for a good one that balances imo anything that doesn't can be dangerous or cost you more in the long run
ride like the wind

User avatar
ian.mich   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 705
Joined: Dec 18 2011 10:14pm
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Re: Cheapest ebike charger

Post by ian.mich » Jul 18 2012 10:24pm

dingoEsride wrote:
cal3thousand wrote:But for everyone that can't find someone to build one at that price, I believe that BMSBattery is a great deal. Then there's also the balancing charger that was recently found by Hyena. Someone found what seems to be an identical one on DealExtreme:

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/bc168-1-6s ... ger-124483
Ive got the same, $120 is cheap for a good one that balances imo anything that doesn't can be dangerous or cost you more in the long run
or you could have gotten a BMS battery charger and paralleled every 10 cycles, and charged with 3 times the power.

Hillhater   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 10826
Joined: Aug 03 2010 10:33pm
Location: Sydney ..(Hilly part !) .. Australia/ Down under !

Re: Cheapest ebike charger

Post by Hillhater » Jul 18 2012 10:44pm

ian.mich wrote: I disagree. I and the local ebike guy use the 4S turnigy hardcases and there has not been evidence that balance charging is necessary. we just parallel all the cells every 10 cycles and there are no issues, i even left a pack unparalleled for a month (fried a JST) and the pack was just as balanced as the ones that had been parallel. we make the parallel boards using these
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/stor ... _bag_.html
and a prototype board. snip off the male end and parallel all the same colours, cover the solder side with silicone.
Yes, I agree, that is exactly as i do also.
BUT.. when you BULK CHARGE you risk a single cell failure going undetected.
If/when that happens you could quickly overcharge a whole group of cells.
.....UNLESS you have cell level monitoring.
This forum owes its existence to Justin of ebikes.ca

User avatar
ian.mich   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 705
Joined: Dec 18 2011 10:14pm
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Re: Cheapest ebike charger

Post by ian.mich » Jul 18 2012 11:53pm

Hillhater wrote:
ian.mich wrote: I disagree. I and the local ebike guy use the 4S turnigy hardcases and there has not been evidence that balance charging is necessary. we just parallel all the cells every 10 cycles and there are no issues, i even left a pack unparalleled for a month (fried a JST) and the pack was just as balanced as the ones that had been parallel. we make the parallel boards using these
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/stor ... _bag_.html
and a prototype board. snip off the male end and parallel all the same colours, cover the solder side with silicone.
Yes, I agree, that is exactly as i do also.
BUT.. when you BULK CHARGE you risk a single cell failure going undetected.
If/when that happens you could quickly overcharge a whole group of cells.
.....UNLESS you have cell level monitoring.
Yes, that is true, but it's not every day that a cell goes bad. and lipos are tolerant. the ebike guy charged to 4.5/cell and still uses the same lipos to this day. Personally i charge to 4.15/cell because i don't use the range I have, and I set my customers up with 4.17/cell.

John in CR   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 14324
Joined: May 20 2008 12:58am
Location: Paradise

Re: Cheapest ebike charger

Post by John in CR » Jul 19 2012 1:41am

You want to sell hubmotors with oil in them, and you're selling packs made with RC Lipo with bulk charging and no cell level monitoring or cut-off. I hope you're saving up money for a lawyer, because you're going to need one.

User avatar
ian.mich   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 705
Joined: Dec 18 2011 10:14pm
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Re: Cheapest ebike charger

Post by ian.mich » Jul 19 2012 7:51am

John in CR wrote:You want to sell hubmotors with oil in them, and you're selling packs made with RC Lipo with bulk charging and no cell level monitoring or cut-off. I hope you're saving up money for a lawyer, because you're going to need one.
thats how i roll. i test all the lipos beforehand and there is no reason to run bms or cell monitoring. the local ebike guy does precisely the same 2 things and has perfected oil cooling, now i just have to do the same. And i do run LVC in the controller for 3v/cell.

ZOMGVTEK   100 kW

100 kW
Posts: 1090
Joined: Jun 06 2009 1:40am

Re: Cheapest ebike charger

Post by ZOMGVTEK » Jul 19 2012 8:18am

The only way you can get away with bulk charging LiPo with no cell level protection or monitoring, is if you accept the increased risk of fire, understand the chemistry you are using, and have a very good mental BMS.

If a single cell gets a little weak over time, which is exceedingly likely, it will discharge to a lower voltage in respect to the others. If you try and get deep discharges out of your entire pack, this will pull that cell well out of its normal range. This will likely degrade capacity in that single cell dramatically. The issue here being, you have no active monitoring or balancing, and the bulk charger has no knowledge of individual cell voltages, so it will force current into the bad cell. If this goes unnoticed, it can very likely result in fire.

This is fine if you decide to do this, but selling 'tested' batteries to someone that you claim need absolutely no monitoring or balancing, is absolutely insane. Do this long enough, and you will burn someones house down. People need to understand there is HIGH risk when using RC LiPo like this. Sometimes these cells can appear to be fine, and go up in flames under normal use. Rare, but it occurs.

That said, I bulk charge my pack, and have no BMS. However, I bulk charge to 4.10V average, check the cells before connecting the bulk charger, and typically end discharge at 3.75V with a 3.65V average LVC. I charge my bike where fire would not be a big deal, and they have been extensively cycled, tested, and capacity/IR matched.

3V/cell average LVC is absolutely insane for a system without a BMS or cell level monitoring. It would be VERY easy for one cell to be repeatedly discharged lower than the rest, degrading capacity at a higher rate than the rest of the pack, further increasing the unbalance at low voltages. Cell capacity at 3V is absolutely tiny, minor imbalances cause major problems. 4.15V bulk charge voltage is a bit on the high side too.

User avatar
ian.mich   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 705
Joined: Dec 18 2011 10:14pm
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Re: Cheapest ebike charger

Post by ian.mich » Jul 19 2012 8:30am

.
Last edited by ian.mich on Jul 19 2012 8:38am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
ian.mich   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 705
Joined: Dec 18 2011 10:14pm
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Re: Cheapest ebike charger

Post by ian.mich » Jul 19 2012 8:33am

ian.mich wrote:
ZOMGVTEK wrote:The only way you can get away with bulk charging LiPo with no cell level protection or monitoring, is if you accept the increased risk of fire, understand the chemistry you are using, and have a very good mental BMS.

If a single cell gets a little weak over time, which is exceedingly likely, it will discharge to a lower voltage in respect to the others. If you try and get deep discharges out of your entire pack, this will pull that cell well out of its normal range. This will likely degrade capacity in that single cell dramatically. The issue here being, you have no active monitoring or balancing, and the bulk charger has no knowledge of individual cell voltages, so it will force current into the bad cell. If this goes unnoticed, it can very likely result in fire.

This is fine if you decide to do this, but selling 'tested' batteries to someone that you claim need absolutely no monitoring or balancing, is absolutely insane. Do this long enough, and you will burn someones house down. People need to understand there is HIGH risk when using RC LiPo like this. Sometimes these cells can appear to be fine, and go up in flames under normal use. Rare, but it occurs.

That said, I bulk charge my pack, and have no BMS. However, I bulk charge to 4.10V average, check the cells before connecting the bulk charger, and typically end discharge at 3.75V with a 3.65V average LVC. I charge my bike where fire would not be a big deal, and they have been extensively cycled, tested, and capacity/IR matched.

3V/cell average LVC is absolutely insane for a system without a BMS or cell level monitoring. It would be VERY easy for one cell to be repeatedly discharged lower than the rest, degrading capacity at a higher rate than the rest of the pack, further increasing the unbalance at low voltages. Cell capacity at 3V is absolutely tiny, minor imbalances cause major problems. 4.15V bulk charge voltage is a bit on the high side too.
there isn't no cell monitoring, I inform them of the risk and tell them to parallel the packs every 10 cycles as well as check cell voltages regularly so its not like i'm saying they need no balancing. this is a risk but i keep the customers educated and make sure they know what they're getting in to and that they keep an eye on it. It is true i dont have a real LVC (3.5/cell), but I keep a voltage panel easily visible to the customers at all times and tell them not to go below 3.5

User avatar
motomech   1 GW

1 GW
Posts: 3451
Joined: Sep 11 2010 12:21am
Location: Punta Cana Baja Mexico

Re: Cheapest ebike charger

Post by motomech » Jul 19 2012 10:14am

Wow, pretty smug attitude, how long have you been doing this?
Putting your property and well being at risk by your naivete is one thing, but advising others to do the same is unconscionable.
Even running a MeanWell[that doesn't shut off]without physically monitoring has it's risk.
Hard for me to imagine what kind of ebike business can be promoted by advocating the "cheapest"Lipo charging solution.
I mean, what are we saving here?
My B system which will 12S balance charge @ 300 Watts, set me back a whole $105 :roll:
yhst-62196343123315_2215_15739289.gif
yhst-62196343123315_2215_15739289.gif (16.27 KiB) Viewed 1712 times
Attachments
$(KGrHqRHJB!E-EpGmjDbBPkHeKR53w~~60_1.JPG
$(KGrHqRHJB!E-EpGmjDbBPkHeKR53w~~60_1.JPG (32.65 KiB) Viewed 1712 times
Motomech


'07 GT Idive 4 4.0, Q100H 201 frt. mounted, 14S Multistar LiPoly, elifebike 9-FET 20A controller. Mean Well HLG-320H-54A, Crazy Bobs on Alex DM32's 21 to 22 MPH. viewtopic.php?f=3&t=28151&p=1373714&hilit=Idrive#p13737

User avatar
ian.mich   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 705
Joined: Dec 18 2011 10:14pm
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Re: Cheapest ebike charger

Post by ian.mich » Jul 19 2012 10:44am

motomech wrote:Wow, pretty smug attitude, how long have you been doing this?
Putting your property and well being at risk by your naivete is one thing, but advising others to do the same is unconscionable.
Even running a MeanWell[that doesn't shut off]without physically monitoring has it's risk.
Hard for me to imagine what kind of ebike business can be promoted by advocating the "cheapest"Lipo charging solution.
I mean, what are we saving here?
My B system which will 12S balance charge @ 300 Watts, set me back a whole $105 :roll:
yhst-62196343123315_2215_15739289.gif
I'm not being smug i'm just saying it's unnecessary to complicate a simple charging system. for $100 you coulda got a 600W charger and just paralleled every 10 cycles, and if you wanted to do 24s you'd need two of those or parallel the cells. I'm not trying to do just the cheapest, i also want some decent safety to it which is yielded with the meanwell limiter. I haven't been doing this for terribly long but am essentially basing my systems off the ebike guys, he's likely sold around a thousand of the hardcase lipos and never had issues with the bulk charging and paralleling.

dnmun   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 16190
Joined: Jun 09 2008 1:32pm
Location: portland, or and loveland, co

Re: Cheapest ebike charger

Post by dnmun » Jul 19 2012 11:29am

smug is not the right word. ignorant of the experience these experts have offered is more like hard headed.

make that two lawyers, one for the motors and one for the chargers. then another for the divorce.

this is why i never rent to guys anymore. one lipo fire in my house in a lifetime is more than enuff.

cheap at someone else's expense.

ZOMGVTEK   100 kW

100 kW
Posts: 1090
Joined: Jun 06 2009 1:40am

Re: Cheapest ebike charger

Post by ZOMGVTEK » Jul 19 2012 12:01pm

I bulk charge for the simplicity of wiring the packs. Split the HXT's and series until you get to the final voltage you want. No harness required.
The only issue with this method, is that you need to charge at the full pack voltage, and can't parallel all the balance taps.

Regardless, selling a dangerous chemistry battery to someone who is apparently incapable or unwilling to make it themselves, with absolutely no way of balancing even a slightly imbalanced pack is insane. You can tell someone to parallel balance taps every 10th charge, but will they even do it? Do they know why they need to? Do they leave the packs paralleled long enough to even be effective past all the resistance of the balance taps and connectors? How do you know the plugs are not worn and no longer balancing? Do they check the voltage before plugging in the bulk charger? Do they know to toss the battery if a cell goes below 3V? Do they know never to bulk charge unattended, or to disconnect the charger after its done charging? How do they monitor charge status? How do they know when the battery is in need of a charge?

I understand that many people can get away with stuff like this, and its you are probably knowledgeable enough to not have major issues. Well tested/balanced LiPo does tend to be a bit easier to manage than most people claim. However, its just far too risky to start making people packs out of this stuff. If they want a cheap battery and charger, they can make it themselves, or just give them lead.

User avatar
ian.mich   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 705
Joined: Dec 18 2011 10:14pm
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Re: Cheapest ebike charger

Post by ian.mich » Jul 19 2012 12:45pm

I give up.

User avatar
nicobie   10 MW

10 MW
Posts: 2490
Joined: Aug 07 2008 1:48pm
Location: Central Coast CA,USA

Re: Cheapest ebike charger

Post by nicobie » Jul 19 2012 12:48pm

You want a cheap ballancing charger and are not afraid to solder up a couple plugs, buy as many $17 HK 6s chargersas you need to match your pack.

This one is for 18s and I only use it every couple of weeks. It's ugly but it works. However I do check each 3p pack with a battery medic quite often.

Image

Image
Take it easy... but take it. (Woody Guthrie)

my eTownie build thread: http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... =6&t=23701
Magazine article https://www.electricbike.com/nicks-etownie/

Post Reply