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RiderAllen

IPS i5 battery stopped charging

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I bought an IPS i5 245WH on 9/5/2018.  I have been riding it since and enjoyed it very much!  A few weeks ago, the wheel starts to beep constantly.  And later on I discovered whenever I charge it, the charging light turned red and immediately turned back to green.  It seemed the battery was no longer charging and low battery caused it to beep constantly.  I contacted the manufacturer in China and showed them all the settings and voltages from the Android App.  They said the battery cells are good, maybe just the connector was loose.  I tried juggle the connector and no use.  Today, the battery is completely depleted.  I opened up the case, took out the battery, and connect just the battery alone to the charger and had the same result. I searched the web and saw other people had similar issues, but no definitive solutions have been found.  I have contacted eWheels support as well.  Just thought to share my experience in this forum in case it can be helpful to others or if someone has any suggestions.  Thanks. I also took a video of the battery not charging:

 


 

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Well, it's just possible its the charger having the problem.  Anyone near you on "earth" with the correct and "known to function" charger?

Edited by Smoother

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7 hours ago, RiderAllen said:

@Smoother, thanks for the suggestion!  I updated my location from "earth" to NYC :)  I will see if I can located someone nearby.

Should find at least one IPS rider in da Big Apple.

BTW that was a good "universal" video.  You used no language but the pointing clearly showed what you were trying to demonstrate.  Nice one.

Edited by Smoother

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Is that the original charger? I think mine is smaller (i remember it smaller than my laptop brick). I'll try to get my wife sending me a picture of it later. If different we can also compare the brick's specification

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I have an IPS t350+ with the same issue. Says model spbc1302a on back of brick. Did a search online and cannot find one like it. Seen some with the right voltage but not the right amount of pins, mine is a 4 pin, found mostly 2's and 3's but no 4's at all.

 

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Maybe I can shed some light on battery problems. I recently went to run some IPS Zero I had long stored and not used and discovered some interesting new facts for me that might help you solve the problem.

The battery cells in the IPS are all connected to a control circuit. Formerly I thought it was because of balancing but actually that those are to read the individual cell voltage and not balancing. If I figured this right, the pack cells are charged in series and stops when the first cell hits the highest safe voltage. If the cells are not well balanced then the wheel will die quicker or not fully charge.

Solution: once in a while go through fully charging the cells individually with an RC charger. This solved a range issue on one and another wheel going on low voltage warnings even after charging. With aged batteries maybe this has to be done more frequently though esp on aging batteries. What I understood is that charging stops when the first cell hits the max voltage and low battery warning kicks in when one cell hits the lowest voltage. If you have one cell with high voltage and one with very low voltage, it will neither allow you to fully charge all the cells nor give you the optimal range on that battery pack. Hope this helps and solves any related problems.

 

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My friend and I have the same issue with your IPS's, He has the 21700 version whilst I have the 18650PF 3000mha version. Mine does not charge after 63%,. Does the same thing with the LED as the video by @RiderAllen does.

The BMS talks in the pack to the microcontroller and gives it info fimrware version theoretical Whr capacity etc... I am not sure what the BMS is doing but my friend has found dead cells in his pack, I've not tested mine but I think I probably do too.

From what I can see the BMSr not balacing the cells and not charging some, after riding with some of the cells under voltage it results in them dying. I think @IPS Malta offers a work around but not something you can do daily.

Also The connectors between the pack and the BMS tend to fry. I got the i5 when it has 30km on the clock and the soldering had been repaired twice badly...

IPS, are totally un responsive, even if you write in chinese to them, whether you are trying to buy spares or get a new bigger battery pack.

Based on this problem which I am sure IPS knows about I would suggest not to touch the i5

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Posted (edited)

Didn't they go out of business? (I have no direct knowledge pertaining to this, just something I saw stated/repeated on the forums at some point.)

Edited by AtlasP

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someone is selling 2020 IPS i5, out there... on aliexpress... but is the just the 21700 battery version, 244Whr?

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, OneLeg said:

someone is selling 2020 IPS i5, out there... on aliexpress... but is the just the 21700 battery version, 244Whr?

That's super curious.

It's such a shame this form factor hasn't been copied by one of the more reputable companies. I find the idea of such a tiny, thin & light EUC super compelling, but the horror stories of the I5's construction just make it hard to accept the risk.

Edited by AtlasP

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If the have a fault on the BMS and don't respond the unicycles are pretty much dead. There is no room to put a generic BMS on there. Their BMS board also tells the microcontroller what is the top speed so if you have 21700/288Whr batteries I doubt is will go above the top speed with 167Whrs.

You can't charge it through the discharge cables unless you bust some components of the BMS.

Mine and my friend's also has this constant beeping when you turn it on which eventually goes off. Which I read somewhere is due to overcharging? I bought it for US$190 from a friend who didn't tell me that the battery connectors had melted and had been bodge fixed. I had to take them to spot welding.

There is no service unless can come up with a solution for these battery issues best not to touch IPS.

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Posted (edited)

I think it sounds like a dead cell in the pack. The BMS is working exactly as intended. The pack will still produce a readable voltage for some time before dropping below the bms cutoff point, which is why it would turn on but not take a charge. I've taken apart/partially fixed 4 dead unicycles from various brands and that was the initial cause of failure for 3 of them. I would try to open up the pack and find the dead cell, in which case you could get away with replacing just the one without imbalancing the pack too much.

 

On 4/25/2020 at 10:53 AM, OneLeg said:

You can't charge it through the discharge cables unless you bust some components of the BMS.

Not quite; if that were true it wouldn't be able to brake regeneratively, the control board regularly dumps power back into the battery through the "discharge" cables. But- if you try to recharge a pack with a dead cell by bypassing the bms you'll wind up overcharging and damaging good cells.

I got my i5 secondhand in 2017 on this forum, and it's still going strong.

I do wish we saw more development in this direction, I think it's the most elegantly designed wheel.

Maybe they don't see a need to change anything on it, especially if the i5 is still outselling the s5 which i presume it is, since the s5 is basically 2 i5's stuck together side by side, which defeats the whole point.

Maybe a taller i5 with a double battery and a little more enclosure for the stator molded into the case. I'd buy that. 

Edited by tudordewolf

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I've found that my BMS is charging the batteries to perfection but would not charge above 63%.

I tested the charger output voltage is and it is 60.1V. The BMS as it does see any gains cuts off the charging. When the powerpack reaches that point I have the same symptoms as the video that @RiderAllen shows.

I've bought a new 3rd party smart charger and will report back.

Does the led on the BMS blink red for everyone else?

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On 5/5/2020 at 1:17 PM, OneLeg said:

I've found that my BMS is charging the batteries to perfection but would not charge above 63%.

I tested the charger output voltage is and it is 60.1V. The BMS as it does see any gains cuts off the charging. When the powerpack reaches that point I have the same symptoms as the video that @RiderAllen shows.

I've bought a new 3rd party smart charger and will report back.

Does the led on the BMS blink red for everyone else?

The charger should provide 67.2V, the BMS won't be able to charge the cells any higher than ~60% or so given only 60V. 

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i got an amazing charger with instructions in chinese which you can charge at a certain voltage and get it to stop at certain output voltage so that the pack is only charge to say 90%.

I got it to charge well and it feels stable.

The beeping doesn't go away when you turn it on. beeps quetly but constantly. The app gave me some error from the unicycle but I forgot what it was...

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Mind sharing the smart charger you got? Did you have to hook it directly to the batteries or just through the port?

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