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I've had an experience with my Airwheel S8 twice this month that worries me: it started beeping, and then stopped balancing properly. I turned it off.

The first time, I assumed I had accidentally let the battery get too low. I've had it three months now, and I wondered if the batteries (they have a ONE month warranty) were proving they would be a problem.

I got it back to the charger, charged for 1.5 hours, and suddenly it was at full power (4 red dots), the charger was hot, and the S8 behaved beautifully for the next week.

Today, after a relatively short trip to the doctor's office to pick something up (two very long blocks away), as I was almost home it pulled the beeping/erratic behavior again. As it was not really convenient to stop and charge it, I decided to see if turning it back on would work - and it did. No problems, 2 red dots for power, and it took me home, and later to dinner.

It is my legs and my mobility device, as I can't walk or stand more than a tiny bit, so I really don't want to be without it. I'm very glad there is an audible warning (it didn't just cut out, or dump me). Small footprint and weight have been perfect for me at the retirement community, as is the fact that I can use it sitting down, so I have no plans to get anything else.

Is there something other than a reset I could/should be doing? Is this something that happens - it just gets confused occasionally?

Anyone else have this kind of thing happen?

Thanks!

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I haven't had any problems with either of my (large) Airwheel S5's.

Keeping Lithium Ion batteries running with for long life with plenty of charge is difficult. I would think you need, at least, a digital voltmeter.

Also, the battery packs on these small platforms are too small, and if you are running the unit near its capacity for more than a few seconds, the battery voltage will fall due to the load you are putting on it. Also, the batteries will heat up as time goes by. Both of these can send the unit into a low-voltage warning. Wait a minute or two until the batteries cool down again and they could well function normally until you push them too hard again. This is the reason I gave up on the smaller platforms and went for the S5, with its much larger battery capacity. Even then, if I ride for 5 minutes to the top of the hills above our house the battery drops until it has only one or two bars left (the S5 has a display on its handlebars so that I can see the battery level more conveniently). I have to let it cool by riding it less aggressively until the voltage builds back up to a more reasonable level.

Edited by trevmar

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On the Airwheel A3 the voltage drop can quite easily drop the voltage even on a medium incline from 3/5 to 1/5 dots. This recovers immediately, but if it didn’t have the meter on the handlebar display, I would surely have overleaned the device many times as I wouldn’t have known to ride a lot more peacefully on inclines.

I would maybe charge the device a bit more often and see if it affects the issue. No need to wait until the last dot, I’d charge it at 2/4 or even earlier. The voltage reserve is what keeps you safe in bumps and inclines.

If the battery cells are unbalanced, the voltage drop will be larger. I remember you taking in the habit of occasionally leaving the vehicle in the charger for several hours after the charge is finished. I hope you haven’t forgotten to do that. Maybe try to do that more often than once a month as well.

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Sounds like an unbalanced battery pack, and/or bad cell.  Do as mrelwood suggested and plug it in, but leave it on the charger for a a long while after it says fully charged.  Not sure if that one does passive balancing at that point, but hopefully it does.  I would then run it to about 50% and repeat.  If the problem still occurs I think your battery pack has a problem.

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Thank you, trevmar, mrelwood, and FreeRide:

I appreciate the responses.

To start with the last, I do the system of leaving the charger on for 2-3 hours after the light turns green about every 10 charges, as was suggested on this forum. So far, each time it then goes back to sully lighting up the four dots that show a full charge. The rest of the charges I don't usually get the fourth red dot.

I think the problem was, as suggested, inclines. The problem happened at a little place on the ramp with a steeper incline for a couple of feet. The next time I came back by a different route, and had no problem. I also think the problem is only UP the steeper incline, because both times DOWN caused no problem. Easy enough to pay attention - I don't really mean to take slopes over the 15° one it's rated for at my weight (18° if you're much lighter, which makes perfect sense).

I'm not sure where I'd even hook the digital voltmeter up, but will figure it out if it comes to that. I haven't dared open it up yet.

The suggestion to get something bigger with more battery power, like an S5, would be good for outside, but I really like the tiny footprint for inside, and would lose my cool 'floating down the hallway' look with a bigger machine. For the future.

Another thing to watch is to keep my weight down - a few pounds can mean a difference with this small device.

Thanks for the advice!

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12 hours ago, ABEhrhardt said:

The rest of the charges I don't usually get the fourth red dot.

This is a bit puzzling. I do wonder if the charger output voltage could be slightly too low, or if the charger led just turns green too early.

Next time the charger turns green, maybe connect with the Airwheel mobile app and see what it says, both for battery % and battery voltage (at one of the further info pages, don’t remember more closely).

12 hours ago, ABEhrhardt said:

I don't really mean to take slopes over the 15° one it's rated for at my weight

Usually any performance ratings are given for a full battery, so maximum incline at around half charge could be too close to the limits. That would also explain the beeps.

The battery charge level is very different from a gas tank that you can run with full power until it stops when completely empty. The available power will start to decrease immediately as the charge gets lower. Therefore despite using the vehicle for only short distances, it might still be a good idea to charge a bit more often. For example when at 2/4 dots at rest.

Btw, the mobile apps usually display any warnings in more detail. ”Overpowered”, ”battery too low”, etc. Next time it stops balancing properly, I’d try to open up the app before restarting the device. It just might tell you and us something.

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Good suggestions - thanks.

Quote

the mobile apps usually display any warnings in more detail. ”Overpowered”, ”battery too low”, etc. Next time it stops balancing properly, I’d try to open up the app before restarting the device. It just might tell you and us something.

I will make more of an effort to gather data; one of these days it will be critical. I always take the phone with me when I do the outdoor trips; I'll add a small notebook to my backpack.

I try not to charge too frequently, letting the device normally get down to two dots before recharging. I was told here they work best in a range smaller than the absolute maximum. If I have a trip outside the campus coming, I prefer to be as charged up as possible - don't really want to have to be rescued by Lyft while sitting on the curb somewhere.

I haven't used the app as much as I should; I need to follow your suggestion and write the results down. I just noticed that it has two useful numbers, Battery and Voltage, that I need to learn more about.

I'm hesitant to use the app while riding - because it takes my attention off the path before me! Sort of 'texting while driving.'

Also, your comment about the slope being harder when I've used part of the power makes sense - I'd done that slope before without the S8 beeping.

It has become so natural to hop on and go do my thing that I haven't been spending time with the app. With the coarseness of only four red dots on the base, there is a wide range, but the app should do better. This is what comes of always being in a hurry.

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