Another subject, how many people have programmers and feel comfortable burning a hex code into the charger, without erasing the non volatile area.
I think I can write a step by step process so we can start upgrading code in the field.
I certainly don't feel comfortable trying to reprogram my chargers by that method. Many/most of us out here aren't really competent with microprocessor programming. With the folks I know, folks are still struggling to understand the charger. There are harnesses which have not been installed and chargers which have never been used. Don't make it any harder!
From what I can see, The little programmer uses the PicKit 2 software, which is very easy to use.
The programmer software imports the hex file, and you tell it not to erase the internal EEPROM memory.
If that is accomplished, none of the variables will be changed, and the calibration will not need to be touched. It is only if we add any additional variables, or change the organization of the data in that memory space that the current calibration or additional harness temp compensations will need to be re-entered.
The EEPROM data organization is pretty stable, so we may not have to worry about that.
Once I get one of the programmers in hand, I will do a video with step by step instructions. We will need the programmer adapter kit to interface the SIP cable on the programmer with the connector I use on the charger. I know this all works, as one of the guys that installed a harness here, had one of those programmers and we confirmed that it did the job.
The whole process from downloading the hex file to the charger being updated took only 1-2 minutes.
The XP requirement is strictly about the Labview datalogger, and the programming can be done without using the labview datalogger at all.
The PicKit works with or without the full MPLAB environment.
I will continue to add new features and tweak the present ones, so having a quick easy way to keep your charger up to date will be a useful ability.
This will only work if you have firmware V 2.XX, as the V 1.2 used the smaller 32K 18F4520 microcontroller.
If you are still running V 1.2, you will need to buy the chip upgrade with the AUX connector, new cover, and the 64K 18F4620 microcontroller, as the new code requires 90% of the 64K program space.
The default variables will be updated with each new version, so when we figure out better defaults, they will be incorporated, so you will have the ability to restore the defaults via the setup if you mess things up.
The programmers will be here in a couple of weeks.
Just got an order for 2 chargers,2 dischargers, 2 shop harnesses, and the fan adapters from a Hybrid shop in Singapore.
2 chargers in Mongolia, two shops in Srilanka, and a shop in the UK. The chargers are becoming an international product.
Probably correct, I have been using Primo PDF for 6 or more years, and it just dawned on me that there was no reason that I could not make a PDF instead of simply printing a hard copy, as a way to more easily print out reports or graphs.
I may as well put in a color / BW switch, so the PDF can be in color.
How about some user suggestions for the datalogger, so I can make it better.
Just ordered the parts for mode 8 high current IR tester.
This would be securely screwed to the sticks observing proper polarity, via heavy ring terminals, and would give a 60A IR test to the stick under test.
Need to do a lot of testing to assure it is accurate and repeatable, so it will be a month or so before it could be available.
FAQ How frequently should I charge and balance my battery
I get this question many times a day, here is my advise, and of course the many users out there may have feedback to help us tweak this advise.
We just don't know what the best frequency of charging is required to keep the car from having issues.
This has to be determined for each pack, with a procedure something like this:
After the initial reconditioning series, you will have the baseline information from your pack in bank 0, and should set the bank select to bank 1.
You can start by running a single mode 6 cycle, each month.
The charger will charge, top off the pack stopping when the plateau is detected, then discharge, then recharge to the plateau.
This is a nice conditioning, and should keep a decent pack in balance.
If you see recalibrations (SOC gauge dropping quickly (1 bar per second) from mid scale), or you see an IMA code in between your conditioning cycles, then you will want to run the 3 cycle series once a month, possibly with the soak turned on, to see if that prevents the recalibrations or codes, as well as giving you new data from the cycle memory to compare with your last cycles, to see if things are better or worse.
If once a month is not working, try every other week, and at the end of the pack life, you may want to cycle every week.
There is a very small amount of wear to the battery with each cycle, so there is no reason to overdo it unless the pack is misbehaving.
I for one would really like the ability to simply download hex code to update the charger software.
I have not updated my charger yet (but did put in Mike's version 2.4 chip that he mailed to me). However, I have already updated my OBDIIC&C using the PIC programmer, and it was very easy. I already bought the adapter needed, so all I need to do is read the directions when they are ready.
I am working on a "one cycle" charge as Mike recommended using the "new" settings, though I did use 60 minutes for SampleTime, up a bit from 45 to make sure I missed the dip from high current to low current charge. This was started with a Soak, then Discharge and now Maint Charge. The Soak looked pretty good coming up to 173.1 volts. The Discharge was better than last time to 137.2, which seemed to pick up one more battery than the previous 3rd cycle discharge at 138.6, but still got a code 6 and is higher than the very first discharge after soak to 135 that gave a better code 3. This is with the SlopeDifMax up to 30 from 20. Still disconcerting to get the code 6.
Now I am waiting for the Maint Charge to finish, and the shape of the curve is not like previous. It is wandering a bit rather than doing consistent rise. But the end voltage does appear to be higher, already at 174.1 and maybe still going up. I'm not sure if this is in part due to the SampleTime setting being up to 60, but I don't think that is an issue. Hopefully, if I leave it, the voltage will eventually flatten out, but it is taking longer than previous attempts.
In all, I think things are working better. Only the Maint Charge curve shape is giving me pause. I accidentally hit the close button after I took these screen shots, but I started the logger again, so hopefully will have good saved text data, but the graphs will be harder to build for the end of the cycle. Not sure what other analysis is appropriate...
By the way, outside temps were in the teens and twenties over the last 24 hours, so this is a cold weather attempt. It was a little warmer in the garage (I assume), and the space heater helped keep the cabin at about 70 deg. It looks like the in/out temp for the pack stayed above 50 the whole time, and maybe got into the 60s at various points.
PS I should have been patient for another 15 minutes or so. The charge cycle ended with a final voltage of 174.6, so all is well (I think)
Last edited by bluesight; 12-30-2012 at 10:07 PM.
Reason: Finalized data
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