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Old 04-17-2013, 10:26 AM   #316
JoelWisman OP
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It's been covered in other threads but not this one.

The battery you are showing is an 18650 which is much smaller then 26650 cells used in Powersports batteries. It is also Chinese made and probably a piece of junk.

The consensus in other threads is you could build a battery for about half the price using equivalent quality cells but it takes a fair amount of work and you end up without a tough water proof case, warranty, or meaningful short circuit protection.

Figuring my time is worth more then $5 an hour, it wouldn't save me any money cobbling a battery together with my tools versus letting someone else do it with production equipment.
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:54 AM   #317
daveyedgar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoelWisman View Post
It's been covered in other threads but not this one.

The battery you are showing is an 18650 which is much smaller then 26650 cells used in Powersports batteries. It is also Chinese made and probably a piece of junk.

The consensus in other threads is you could build a battery for about half the price using equivalent quality cells but it takes a fair amount of work and you end up without a tough water proof case, warranty, or meaningful short circuit protection.

Figuring my time is worth more then $5 an hour, it wouldn't save me any money cobbling a battery together with my tools versus letting someone else do it with production equipment.

Thanks Joel, and to others for this thread it's awesome. Took me a week to get through it - extremely informative! (subscribed)
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:47 PM   #318
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Joel... welcome back again...
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:05 PM   #319
Subaru297
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Originally Posted by daveyedgar View Post
Thanks Joel, and to others for this thread it's awesome. Took me a week to get through it - extremely informative! (subscribed)
If you like to tinker though and build your own battery then this is more suitable to use.
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...l_Battery.html

A genuine A123 cell would be better quality though if you can find them. You do want the 26650 variety though.

Another option is LiFePo4 flat packs. I am using these in my bike (KTM530) so far with no problems. And yes I realize they aren't as rugged as a hard case battery but am taking my chances anyway. We all like to experiment!
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...ePo4_Pack.html

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Old 04-18-2013, 09:02 PM   #320
Nacho911
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Originally Posted by Ronin ADV View Post
Just another data point. I put a Shorai LFX18A1 in my F8 a couple months back. It ran great and the weight savings over the OEM battery as you know is significant. Then after a Death Valley trip where everything was cool I noticed my voltmeter dropping. I slapped it on the Shorai charger but it refused to charge and dropped like a rock over the next day or so. I then contacted Shorai as I had purchased the battery directly from them and they promptly sent me a new battery no charge. Good customer service. Anyway what I found interesting is that while they used to list the 18A1 as a battery option for the F8 on the Shorai website, now they list the LFX21A6-BS12. And this is the replacement battery they sent me. So far so good. But I am watching the voltmeter more closely. I sure as hell don't want to be out in the sticks and have it die and not take a jump.
I had the same experience minus the Death Valley experience. They sent me a new battery here in Alberta, no problem. Excellence customer service, and upgraded my battery to a newer mor powerful version as you did above. I have the Shorai balance charger and keep it on store over the winter. I thus far have had no issues.
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:03 AM   #321
gstreff
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F8 regulator at 13.9 v on Antigravity battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoelWisman View Post
Neither earthX nor Antigravity have external balance ports, and even if they did at least in Antigravity's case it wouldn't show cell balance for all 16 cells in one of their 16 cell batteries. What I have done is dremeled the top off of all the earthX and Antigravity batteries I have for testing and measure cell balance through individual cell voltage and cell AH capacity through both low and high rate drawdowns.

Actually opening up all these cases also gives me a chance to look at the quality of intercell connections and in the case of the earthX look at the balance circuit.

The idea of running the battery all the way down and then see how recovery goes in a motorcycle is a good idea but should be one of the last tests as it will beyond a doubt damage the battery at least some.

It is particularly applicable to modern BMW owners as the buggy basic module firmware on those bikes has a habit of hanging on without cleanly exiting and running batteries dead overnight. It only happens once in a blue moon but does happen and that blue moon may occur when ur doing a RTW.


Balance of the cells will be a big factor as if there are some cells substantially higher they will reverse the lower cells and completely destroy them instantly.

Beyond that a slow recovery is far preferable but this isn't an easy proposition out in the field though as a matter of policy if someone does this in the field with a LiFePO4 battery id recommend switching on all accessories as soon as the bike starts to make the initial charge as slow as possible.

A BMS that disconnects the battery below a certain threshold while allowing you to hit a reset button to reconnect and start would be elegant but like with even just a balancer, adds more circuitry that can fail unless very robustly designed and quality manufactured.

Ill test the batteries at the threshold where even an idiot would know his battery is running dead and then later take it all the way down at a low rate to simulate German engineers that have more fun playing with firmware then debugging it

Have decided to buy a 20 cell Antigravity for my F8 GS to have the extra backup in the cold in Alaska and Ah to run an air tire pump, etc. Do you have any issues charging these batteries with the non "SC" BMW regulator at the lower voltage? Mine runs down the road at 13.8 volts.
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:22 PM   #322
RexBuck
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Voltage dropping

I recently returned from a 6 1/2 month trip to South America. During the trip I started to notice that the bike was having difficulty maintaining voltage at an acceptable range when it got cold and the heated gear was on. During the first part of the trip in fairly cold weather (leaving Canada in October) I had no problems.

When I got into South America and started using heated gear again, I began to notice voltage sometimes falling down to the 13.7 to 13.8v range. It would recover to adequate levels after 5 to 10 minutes of riding. As time wore on, it took less and less to put the voltage into the warning zone and longer to get it back to normal. Usually kept RPMs in the 4K range.

What I have:
  • AntiGravity 16 cell battery
  • Carried a spare stator (along with a ton of other crap on the theory that if you had a part with you, you wouldn’t need it – proved correct)
  • Voltmeter on the bike is a “Voltage Sentry” Meter from Clearwater. It is one of those single bulbs that blinks and changes color depending on voltage. It apparently was designed specifically for a Shorai battery which may account for some unusual color combinations (It’ll be replaced with a simple digital meter soon)

The extra gear on the bike that draws power:
  • · Gerbings jacket - 77 watts (with controller)
  • · Stock heated grips - 46 watts at high
  • · Denali spot lights - 20 watts
  • · Garmin GPS – less than 5 watts

So, when I was starting to notice lower voltage, this is what I figured the bike was using:
  • · Baseline 147 watts
  • · Grips – high 46 watts (Sometimes on low – no difference)
  • · Spot lights 20 watts
  • · Jacket 77 watts (although this is the maximum draw – while the controller would have been drawing more as it got cold, it was never on the absolute hottest level)

  • · High beam was not on
  • · It was cool enough and I was going fast enough that the fan was not coming on

Add that up and it looks like about 290 watts were being used which is well below the supposed output of the bike’s stator of around 370 watts

So, thoughts about what could be going on would be appreciated. Is there a component starting to fail? Am I over-thinking this and there is no problem?

I suspect I’ll be taking it to the dealer shortly as hopefully the fix will be a warranty item. Will the AntiGravity battery be a warranty problem? I could stick the OEM battery in if it would be.
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:36 PM   #323
_cy_
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RexBuck View Post
I recently returned from a 6 1/2 month trip to South America. During the trip I started to notice that the bike was having difficulty maintaining voltage at an acceptable range when it got cold and the heated gear was on. During the first part of the trip in fairly cold weather (leaving Canada in October) I had no problems.

When I got into South America and started using heated gear again, I began to notice voltage sometimes falling down to the 13.7 to 13.8v range. It would recover to adequate levels after 5 to 10 minutes of riding. As time wore on, it took less and less to put the voltage into the warning zone and longer to get it back to normal. Usually kept RPMs in the 4K range.

What I have:
  • AntiGravity 16 cell battery
  • Carried a spare stator (along with a ton of other crap on the theory that if you had a part with you, you wouldn’t need it – proved correct)
  • Voltmeter on the bike is a “Voltage Sentry” Meter from Clearwater. It is one of those single bulbs that blinks and changes color depending on voltage. It apparently was designed specifically for a Shorai battery which may account for some unusual color combinations (It’ll be replaced with a simple digital meter soon)

The extra gear on the bike that draws power:
  • · Gerbings jacket - 77 watts (with controller)
  • · Stock heated grips - 46 watts at high
  • · Denali spot lights - 20 watts
  • · Garmin GPS – less than 5 watts

So, when I was starting to notice lower voltage, this is what I figured the bike was using:
  • · Baseline 147 watts
  • · Grips – high 46 watts (Sometimes on low – no difference)
  • · Spot lights 20 watts
  • · Jacket 77 watts (although this is the maximum draw – while the controller would have been drawing more as it got cold, it was never on the absolute hottest level)

  • · High beam was not on
  • · It was cool enough and I was going fast enough that the fan was not coming on

Add that up and it looks like about 290 watts were being used which is well below the supposed output of the bike’s stator of around 370 watts

So, thoughts about what could be going on would be appreciated. Is there a component starting to fail? Am I over-thinking this and there is no problem?

I suspect I’ll be taking it to the dealer shortly as hopefully the fix will be a warranty item. Will the AntiGravity battery be a warranty problem? I could stick the OEM battery in if it would be.
Joel has not been very active lately .. so I'll try to help.
note test mule in my LiFePO4 testing thread is an R80G/S .. Joel is the F8 guy!

16 cell = 9.2 amp hour actual, 20 cell = 11.5AH actual
new style A123 are 2.5AH per cell, old style 2.3AH.

with heated gear actual amp hour comes into play in terms of reserves remaining to start next morning. especially in cold conditions.

LiFePO4 reaches full charge at 14.6V ... operating range is 13.3v to 12.85v (20%)

think water flowing in a pipe ... voltage = pressure amp/current = flow

LiFePO4 battery will charge at 13.8v, but rate of charge will be slow. at 14.2v current will be pushed into battery faster, resulting in a fully charged battery quicker.

to check what state your battery is being charged to:

after your normal ride, put bike away .. next morning before starting bike, measure resting voltage. (assuming no excess parasitic drain) note it's important to use a known to be correct meter. cheap $15 meters are fine, if it's been checked against a known meter like a Fluke.

chart below will show state of charge for your LiFePO4 battery.
if your battery shows say 13.6V after resting overnight. it's fully charged, it's probably OK.


_cy_ screwed with this post 05-29-2013 at 11:53 PM
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Old 05-30-2013, 01:17 AM   #324
RexBuck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _cy_ View Post
Joel has not been very active lately .. so I'll try to help.
note test mule in my LiFePO4 testing thread is an R80G/S .. Joel is the F8 guy!

16 cell = 9.2 amp hour actual, 20 cell = 11.5AH actual
new style A123 are 2.5AH per cell, old style 2.3AH.

with heated gear actual amp hour comes into play in terms of reserves remaining to start next morning. especially in cold conditions.

LiFePO4 reaches full charge at 14.6V ... operating range is 13.3v to 12.85v (20%)

think water flowing in a pipe ... voltage = pressure amp/current = flow

LiFePO4 battery will charge at 13.8v, but rate of charge will be slow. at 14.2v current will be pushed into battery faster, resulting in a fully charged battery quicker.

to check what state your battery is being charged to:

after your normal ride, put bike away .. next morning before starting bike, measure resting voltage. (assuming no excess parasitic drain) note it's important to use a known to be correct meter. cheap $15 meters are fine, if it's been checked against a known meter like a Fluke.

chart below will show state of charge for your LiFePO4 battery.
if your battery shows say 13.6V after resting overnight. it's fully charged, it's probably OK.

Thanks for that _CY_

Joel gave me some advise last fall in preparation for my trip. I knew he wasn't around here as much so I just thought I'd see who jumped up.

I'm a little confused. You say operating range is 13.3v to 12.85v but it will charge slightly at 13.8v. When mine gets below 13.5v the little meter on my bike has pretty well gone solid red which I thought was pretty close to the end of the world. Was 12.85v a typo?

At what voltage does the battery start being discharged?

I checked the voltage of my battery yesterday after the bike had sat for 5 days after a 4 hour ride. Voltage was 13.6v.

Checked it again today after running it about 30 minutes yesterday and it was 13.7v

Did some tests yesterday and today and with everything off that can be turned off, the voltage climbed to 14.3v and stayed there. With everything turned on including both the jacket and grips on high, the voltage dropped down to 13.5v - 13.7v @ 4000 rpm. I didn't leave it there for a long time but the voltage seemed to be deteriorating.

So, does it make sense that the system seems to be struggling to power 290 watts worth of bike and gear?

By the way, my meter is a cheapy $50 meter. I've never checked it against a good meter but, I'm sure I have to go into town tomorrow and maybe I'll see if I can find someone to calibrate it for me.
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Includes links to ride reports to Mexico and to South America
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Old 05-30-2013, 01:27 AM   #325
Full Power
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DID not read through this entire thread, but the DEKA ETX14 is AGM, sealed, made in USA, tough as nails, while rated 220 Cold Cranking Amps, will actually load test at least 330 CCA, and WILL crank over a big block V8 engine.
They commonly sell for 89 dollars.
The one in my Buell is doing fine after 5 years.
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Old 05-30-2013, 02:15 AM   #326
WayneC1
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RexBuck, the alternator only outputs a full 406 watts at 7500 rpm ( 14v 29 amps ), what regulator do you have in the machine ?
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Old 05-30-2013, 02:28 AM   #327
lawe
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+1 on the Deka. Not as light as a Lithium but I trust it.
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Old 05-30-2013, 05:20 AM   #328
rider911
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Hi guys
I have now purchased 2 Antigravity batteries, 1, 8 cell for my enduro bike and 1, 16 cell for the 990. I have been doing lots of work on the 990 and with checking lights and fans ect the battery voltage is starting to fall. My question is, and it may have been covered elsewhere in this thread, do I really need a special lithium charger to charge these batteries? I find it strange that the bike itself doesnt know its got a lithium battery and yet still charges the battery correctly.
I have a ctec 3.6a motorcycle charger, will this charger potentially harm this lithium battery and if yes, why?

Cheers
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Old 05-30-2013, 05:53 AM   #329
WayneC1
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The CTEC chargers have a desulphation mode and this mode is not suitable for Lithium and reports are that it could damage it
You would have to read the manual or contact CTEC to determine if that mode could be disabled, would be wise to look into it
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Old 05-30-2013, 05:56 AM   #330
_cy_
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RexBuck View Post
Thanks for that _CY_

Joel gave me some advise last fall in preparation for my trip. I knew he wasn't around here as much so I just thought I'd see who jumped up.

I'm a little confused. You say operating range is 13.3v to 12.85v but it will charge slightly at 13.8v. When mine gets below 13.5v the little meter on my bike has pretty well gone solid red which I thought was pretty close to the end of the world. Was 12.85v a typo?

At what voltage does the battery start being discharged?

I checked the voltage of my battery yesterday after the bike had sat for 5 days after a 4 hour ride. Voltage was 13.6v.

Checked it again today after running it about 30 minutes yesterday and it was 13.7v

Did some tests yesterday and today and with everything off that can be turned off, the voltage climbed to 14.3v and stayed there. With everything turned on including both the jacket and grips on high, the voltage dropped down to 13.5v - 13.7v @ 4000 rpm. I didn't leave it there for a long time but the voltage seemed to be deteriorating.

So, does it make sense that the system seems to be struggling to power 290 watts worth of bike and gear?

By the way, my meter is a cheapy $50 meter. I've never checked it against a good meter but, I'm sure I have to go into town tomorrow and maybe I'll see if I can find someone to calibrate it for me.
LiFePo4 is a completely different animal than PB. but charging systems voltages designed to support PB is an almost prefect fit for LiFePO4.

to understand it's necessary to dive into mumbo jumbo of discharge curve of LiFePO4, which is shown in chart below.

all LiFePO4 12v batteries are fully charged at 14.6V ... voltage drop down to 13.3v only constitute 10% of available AH capacity.

13.3v to 12.85v represents 90% of available AH capacity .. a very flat discharge curve. hence reason why it's necessary to know if your meter is accurate.

resting voltage the next morning before starting your bike will give an accurate state of charge assessment. if you don't have time to wait overnight to measure. simply turn on your lights for a few seconds to bleed off surface charge. but it's more meaningful to know your battery has a full charge next morning before starting your bike.

if your LiFePO4 battery is reading 13.6V after sitting several days. that's an indication your parasitic drain is not excessive and your battery is fully charged. odds are everything is working exactly as designed.

failure mode for all permanent magnet charging systems when RR goes out .. 17v+ is delivered to your battery. if left long enough will kill your battery, PB or LiFePO4. then you will be replacing both RR and battery. catch it soon enough, your battery will be saved.

recommendation is to install a volt meter if you don't already have one. it's handy to understand your battery has 9.2AH actual capacity. this means your battery will support a 9amp load for about one hour with your charging system completely dead. so if your meter shows battery not charging for few seconds .. not a big deal, even with tiny 9.2AH reserves.

better to carry a spare RR and stator on extended trips. which means you will not need either one


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