Battery charger information
The battery charger is the same as a laptop battery charger. All chargers are designed for 110v—220v, 50/60Hz use. Typical charge time is 30-120 minutes, depending on type and condition of battery.
The 1500X charger says that it should not be left connected to the motorboard for more than 48 hours, otherwise there is a risk of overheating and a fire hazard. The other chargers do not carry this warning.
The chargers have a built in automatic cut off that detects when the battery when fully charged. For best results do not disconnect the charger before the battery has been fully charged. Also the charger cut off mechanism may be confused if working with a hot battery or very cold charger (see below). It is recommended to wait after riding until the battery is cool (up to 10 minutes) before charging.
Using the wrong kind of charger on a battery can also risk overheating, swelling of batteries and possible explosion (this is true with any rechargeable battery).
Remember to turn your motorboard off after each use. Keeping the power ON will not substantially affect battery life, but will slowly drain the battery. If left in the ON position the battery will be fully drained in a couple of days.
Cost of Electricity
Tom Konrad wrote in Motorboard Speeds Up Commutes:
- Since I planned to write about it, I've been keeping track of my electricity usage (using a Kill-a-Watt) and distance traveled (estimated with Google Maps). After 24.2 miles of riding, I've used 0.51 kWh, considerably less than I would have expected. If a gallon of gas contains 33 kWh of heat energy, that's over 1,500 MPG, and it costs a penny to go 5 miles. Since I buy windpower, I could say the carbon footprint is zero, but if I charge it up anywhere else, I can expect that the electricity causes about 1.2 lbs of CO2 per kWh, or about 11.5 grams per mile (about 7% the carbon emissions of a Prius.)
Lead Acid and NiMH batteries need to be "conditioned" every ten charges. This involves completely draining and recharging the battery. LiIon batteries should NOT be conditioned.
Under perfect conditions, Lead Acid and NiMH batteries are rated at only about 500 cycles, or 12 months (2 rides x 20 workdays x 12 months ) of daily use. LiIon batteries are rated at 2000 or more cycles or about 4 years of daily use. Another sources says "500 - 1,000 charge cycles (depending on use, this could be 2 - 5 years)".
Turn your motorboard switch to the OFF position. For 1500X and 2000XR chargers, one should plug the charger power cord into the wall AND THEN plug the charger into the Motorboard, to avoid blowing a fuse or the charger. Wait for the green light on the charger to illuminate (typically 90-120 minutes).
However for 2000X chargers, the cut off mechanism fails if plugged into the wall first. The charger lights flash red-green when the charger is plugged into the wall. With this charger reverse the sequence and plug the charger into the motorboard and afterwards plug the charger in the wall. If the the charger lights are flashing red-green, no charging will occur.
Conditioning the battery
This applies to 1500X Lead Acid batteries as well as 2000X NiMH batteries. It should NOT be done to the 2000XR LiIon batteries.
Every 10 charges, make sure to ride the scooter to completely empty. This is done by turning the power switch, located on the side of your scooter, off and back on after the scooter’s automatic low power shut off is engaged (blinking red LED on throttle). Ride the scooter, or place it on a workbench and operate the motors, until it shuts down again. Do this 3 or 4 times more. Wait 10 minutes for the battery to cool down and charge until the charge cycle is finished (approximately 90-120 minutes).
This charger is described as a "Sealed Lead Acid Battery Charger" although it is also supplied with the LiIon batteries of the 2000XR and 2000XR+ motorboards. The early 1500X motorboards used a 3 pin connector, different than the one pictured to the right. The third pin was to connect to the thermostat.
This charger also works with 2000XR and 2000XR+, however not specifically designed for those motorboards. Do not use this charger on a 2000XR or 2000XR+ if you already are using the Roth Advanced Charger Unit for your Pack.
- The Battery Charger (1500X) and Battery Charger (2000XR) are the same
- On the charger is written
"Smart Charging System"
CVCC Battery Charger with Float Voltage Circuit
Model: 1500X - 16V (DSC-631W-19)
Input: 100-240V AC 50/60 Hz 80W
Conditioning Charge 19.8 V
Float Charge 19.0 V
(User should disconnect after 48 hours)
Max Output 3.2A
Every 10 charges, the battery must be conditioned, see above.
If you have a 2000X Motorboard and need a replacement charger, you can use any charger on the market designed to charge a 12-cell NiMH pack (14.4V nominal) of 7ah capacity. There are many on the market, for example MODEL: CH-UN180
- The Battery Charger (2000X) is substantially cheaper
- 2000X Power Supply
Go Motorboard Switching Power Supply for use on 14.4V only
Input: 100-240V-50/60Hz 2.0A
Output: 18.5 – 3.3A 62W
The 2000X has an advanced NiMH battery. Every 10 charges, the battery must be conditioned, see above.
2000XR and 2000XR+ charger
- See also Battery Pack (2000XR+)
Although the Roth motor website says that the battery charger for 2000XR and 2000XR+ Motorboard is not compatbile with any other model. Early shipments of the 2000XR and 2000XR+ were shipped with the Roth Advanced Charger Unit. Later units were shipped with the 1500X, with the words "for 1500X use only" blacked out. The 1500X charger is compatible with Li-Ion, but not specifically designed for it.
The 2000XR has an advanced nanosafe Lithium Phosphate battery that is maintenance free. There is no need to condition the battery. The battery can be charged at any time, there is no need to run the battery down. In fact, it is marginally better if you don't run it down, and charge it frequently.
If the motorboard is to be placed in to storage, it should be charged to 40% and placed in a cool place (refrigerator, etc).
5 cells in three rows (15 cells total)
It is critical that the cells are not charged at higher voltages than 3.6V per cell.
Even though these cells are much more stable than Lithium Ion and Lithium Polymer, that should be balanced on every charge, the A123 cells can get away with only balancing once in every few charges.
The chargers must be CVCC (Constant Voltage/Constant Current). You cannot use regular Lithium chargers, the chargers must be for A123 Lithium Iron Nano Phosphate cells (Period).
The center pin is positive.
The outer connector is negative.
Several important points
- Just like with laptops, it is healthier for your charger to plug it in BEFORE you connect it to the motorboard.
- Because the charger has no on/off switch, there can be a power surge when it is plugged in. This can blow a fuse, or damage the charger. It is recommended to use a power strip with an on/off switch: a) Plug the charger in. b) Turn on the power. c) Connect it to the motorboard
- The battery is very powerful. For example I accidentally shorted the connector while trying to measure charged voltage. I managed to completely melt off the end of the volt meter probes.
- If you attempt to charge a hot battery, immediately after riding, the charger lights may blink red-green. If this occurs, wait 10 minutes for the battery to cool, then charge the battery.
- The 2000X charger has written on it: "Always wait at least 5 minutes before charging a hot, recently used battery. This will help prolong the likfe of your battery." and "For best results, turn off your Motorboard while charging."
- If you attempt to charge the motorboard and the ambient temperature is less than 60 degrees Fahrenheit, the charger lights may blink red-green. If this occurs, bring the Motorboard up to room temperature, and try to charge again. Try plugging the charger directly into the wall, and not into a power strip.
- Make sure the charger is not resting flat on a cold cement surface.
The company http://www.voltmanbatteries.com recommends the following maintenance procedures for their A123 batteries:
- Charge your batteries before first use
- After you use/charge your battery 3-5 times it will reach full capacity
- Let battery cool for one hour between charging and use
- Charge batteries monthly when not in use
- When you first notice loss of power, let cool, then charge battery
- Remove battery from charge once fully charged
- Inspect connections and charger receptacle
- Inspect charger output
- Store batteries at room temperature
- Do not drain battery all the way down!
- Do not leave battery on charger!
- Do not charge a hot battery!
- Do not use a hot battery!