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Old 08-19-2017, 12:41 AM   #1
i2Macman
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Thumbs down Info Key and starting up issues just appeared

I have a 2006 i2 PT which has been on charge over the last few years; I use a timer to switch off the charger for about 8 hours per day.
I use the Seg intermittantly around my yard- no problems. The batteries remainded fully charged except for the hour intermittant exercising. Then back on charge.
A few days ago I went to execise it again but discovered my info key was reporting a low battery on the screen everything else was not holding settings.
So, got my spare infokey - it was reporting low battery as well.
Managed to get the i2 started all was well full Seg batteries reported ( two lights blinking green when removed from AC.
Rolled around a few metres but could not go over 3km/hr without getting a exclamation mark and a flat smiling face, then stick shake; slowed up to 0.5km/hr all was well. But unable to go any faster.
Hmm, I relpaced the two info key batteries. Batteries measured 3.56 volts, so thought they would be fine. On installation and during start-up both info keys seemed to indicated the new batteries were near flat. Persisted with start-up and glided again. Same outcom:e super slow speed, stick shake and flat face.
Inspected Segway no apparent damage, no errors display at all, no gilding obstacles or bumps, handle centred and tight, batteries not loose.
Hmm, put two now batteries in the info keys again, 3.6, 3.2 volts before installation. Again on both keys during start-u,p the rapid infokey battery display suggested these two batteries were near flat too. Keys now hold settings , no turtlemode active.
But still unable to ride without same problem. Removed both batteries swapped positions. This did not change any behaviour; when stared up both batteries show full chage.
Stumped, I am now discharging both batteries and will recharge them but wonder if I have two malfunctioning info keys or a radioboard fault but no error codes showing at all. Just super slow speeds and stick shake and shutdowns.
Start-Up is a little more effective if within 1-0.5m from console. I have searched the forum and carried out all tasks that appear to relate to my issues but without resolution. My issues are partly covered by a range of individual posts but none fully.
Any thoughts relating to these issues would be appreciated.
Thanks for your comments in advance.
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Old 08-19-2017, 09:33 AM   #2
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Are the lithium batteries on the Seg original (2006) or are they newer?

With the same symptoms from two different info keys, I think you can rule them out as having anything to do with your problem. I suspect it's probably the Seg batteries, but that's just my guess

I'm not sure using a timer for charging is better than just leaving the Seg plugged in 24/7 - When you use the timer, the batteries go through a balancing procedure every time you reapply power and from what I've read, this isn't a good idea and that might actually be shortening your battery life - Again, just my personal belief from what I've read . . . . may not be backed up by actual facts

What I've been doing is plugging them in for a day once every 3 or 4 weeks, but if you forget . . . . .

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Old 08-19-2017, 12:16 PM   #3
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I'm not sure using a timer for charging is better than just leaving the Seg plugged in 24/7 - When you use the timer, the batteries go through a balancing procedure every time you reapply power and from what I've read, this isn't a good idea and that might actually be shortening your battery life - Again, just my personal belief from what I've read . . . . may not be backed up by actual facts
I personally believe that the rebalancing does no harm, and that a timer is a good idea if you want to leave the Segway plugged in "all the time".

But that isn't solving the original question.

Quote:
I am now discharging both batteries and will recharge them
That's a good next step. Please let us know the results.

Last edited by dale@thecoys.net; 08-19-2017 at 02:41 PM..
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Old 08-20-2017, 09:15 AM   #4
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Thanks for your replies to my questions about infokeys etc.

The batteries are indeed the original 2006 batteries. They appeared to be quite healthy OK each time I did a start-up and glide around for about for about 1 km or two. Both batteries flicking green, no sign of red lights at all. But it is possible that they have reached a degradation tipping point without a grand fanfair.

I have drainded the batteries which took at least around nine hours from an apparent full charge. I found it difficult to get a definite answer on the use of a switch during charging cycles having found anectodally in posts as many in favour as against the practice. I wonder if its possible to nail down the dicotomy of views to just one with some evidence? It seems a difficult task to say the least.

The recharge seemed successful so far with both battery lights again flicking green from an overnight charge. Ambient temperatures around the garage located Seg storage is ~ -4 deg C.

Unable to test my charged Seg and infokeys just at the moment for similar or improved behaviour but will advise on final retest shortly.
Thanks again for your troubles to reply.
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Old 08-20-2017, 02:25 PM   #5
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.... I found it difficult to get a definite answer on the use of a switch during charging cycles having found anectodally in posts as many in favour as against the practice. I wonder if its possible to nail down the dicotomy of views to just one with some evidence? It seems a difficult task to say the least....
Fact: Each time the charging is "started" (e.g., plugged in from the not-plugged-in state), the battery condition, including cell balance, etc. is evaluated by the on-board electronics, and cells are charged and balanced individually at that time. As long as power continues to be applied, that initial-balance-and-charge cycle is not done again. There is just a continued maintenance charge going on.

Fact: Occasional cell balancing and charging is a good thing.

Fact: Leaving the batteries on continual continuous charge for a long time (months) is not great, because the cell balancing does not occur.

Fact: Not charging the LiIon batteries for a long time (months) is not good, because the batteries may discharge below the point where they can be recharged by the system.

Fact: If "storing" the Segway for a long time, if it is plugged in every 2-4 weeks, for a day or so, that does the job. [If you remember to do it].

The residual question: Using a timer with a daily cycle avoids "remembering", and does the cell balancing daily -- is that daily cell balance worse than cell balancing every 2-4 weeks?
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Old 08-20-2017, 08:42 PM   #6
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Greetings

Here's my 2 cents worth.

At 10 years old, or more, your Li-ion batteries are approaching end of life.

Performance will be at it's worst when it is cold, that is, when the batteries are cold.
If you are in Canberra, it is pretty cold overnight.
Start the machine, and leave it in balance mode, up against a wall, perhaps for 10 minutes or so.
This will slightly drain the batteries, but more importantly, it will warm the batteries internally.
Once warmed like this, you should get the most out of your aging batteries.

Cheers
Michael

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Old 08-20-2017, 09:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dale@thecoys.net View Post
Fact: Not charging the LiIon batteries for a long time (months) is not good, because the batteries may discharge below the point where they can be recharged by the system
If the batteries are left on the Seg, that's certainly true. If you remove them from the machine so they have no load on them, they self discharge very slowly - I have read that it may be as little as 3 to 5% per month, but I don't know that for a fact

Hard to second guess Macman's charging protocol - 11 years from a pair of Seg batteries is quite good, so he's doing something right

I have three older spare batteries (one 2006, one 2007 and one 2008) which are all in good shape and give around 20 miles of range - Judged by half full indications on the InfoKey after about a 10 mile glide. I carry one or two of them with us every time we leave home on a trip where we will use the Segs - Would hate to have an adventure ruined by a bad battery and not having a spare

I check them with a voltmeter periodically and have been putting them on a Seg and charging them every 4 or 5 months . . . . gradually extending the interval and never letting the measured voltage get below 75. So far, it's never gone below 76.5

I bought newer batteries when I found good deals on them and currently have three 2014's and one 2013 on the Segs which are used fairly regularly

We have two Lithium powered cars and the manufacturer recommends a 30% state of charge for long term storage and we actually stored one of them for a year that way. The only problem we found was with the 12 volt battery. The onboard computer puts a load on it and if don't either disconnect it or put a trickle charger on it, it will go dead in a few months

I do realize the battery chemistry is different between the Segs and the cars, so what's best for one may not be best for the other

It will be interesting to find out what cures Macman's current problem. I've often wondered what the 'end' looks like for well cared for Seg batteries, especially because I own a few older examples

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Old 08-20-2017, 09:56 PM   #8
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If the batteries are left on the Seg, that's certainly true. If you remove them from the machine so they have no load on them, they self discharge very slowly - I have read that it may be as little as 3 to 5% per month, but I don't know that for a fact
Don
Excellent point (although the original question was about "on the Seg").

Also, "on the Generation 2 Seg" there is a constant small drain on (at least) the rear battery, even when it's not plugged in to the AC.
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Old 08-23-2017, 01:52 PM   #9
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3 days ago....
Quote:
Originally Posted by i2Macman View Post
The recharge seemed successful so far with both battery lights again flicking green from an overnight charge. Ambient temperatures around the garage located Seg storage is ~ -4 deg C.

Unable to test my charged Seg and infokeys just at the moment for similar or improved behaviour but will advise on final retest shortly.
Thanks again for your troubles to reply.
I wonder if that improved things.
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Old 08-23-2017, 11:22 PM   #10
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Exclamation Re-Testing progress

Unexpectedly called away from home so completing test had to be put on hold.
Will provide results in two days. Sorry for the delays to those keenly interested in the results. I am anxious for a result too. Resuming testing on 26th.
Please stand by.
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