Help! Hi , Carrera vulcan battery charger flashing red.

cerveja

Finding my (electric) wheels
Oct 31, 2020
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0
Can someone please help me ?
My Carrera ebike charger recently started to flash red when I connect it to the battery.
Disconnect it green constantly,once connected to the battery it goes red then starts to flash.
Can someone help me please?
 

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cyclebuddy

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 2, 2016
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Beds & Norfolk
It'd be worth checking continuity of that ceramic fuse. How old is the bike/battery? Which battery version is it - Phylion (pre-2019) or STL (post-2019)? Both battery versions have some communication with the charger.
 
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Sturmey

Pedelecer
Jan 26, 2018
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I had that problem with a phylion (joycube) battery and a charger that looks similar (5 pin phono type plug). In my case, I checked the voltages of all the individual cell groups and the were all the same. I eventually traced the fault to a bad connection in one of the balance wires.
My understand from this is that if the battery management detects any irregularity (e.g. high temperature, high/low voltage,) or a disconnection from the individual cell group voltages, it shuts down the charger.
 
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cerveja

Finding my (electric) wheels
Oct 31, 2020
20
0
Thanks for the replies,
My battery is the phylion ( the old one).
The ceramic fuse on the BMS is fine.
The voltage in every individual parallel bank is the same , 3.606 volts.
And the total voltage is 36 v.
Is the cottage too low for the charger to see it?

Thanks
 

wheeliepete

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 28, 2016
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Thanks for the replies,
My battery is the phylion ( the old one).
The ceramic fuse on the BMS is fine.
The voltage in every individual parallel bank is the same , 3.606 volts.
And the total voltage is 36 v.
Is the cottage too low for the charger to see it?

Thanks
No, 36v is fine, the charger should switch on at that voltage. The flashing red light suggests a comms. problem between charger and BMS. Can you measure voltage coming out of the charger?
 

cyclebuddy

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 2, 2016
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Beds & Norfolk
Phylion low-voltage cut-off is 28 volts. The charger will work from even below that level (23v).

Phylion/Carrera batteries Halfords sold use a smart BMS: Apart from the quick press of the battery button to show the charge level (solidly lit LED's), it will show any main battery faults too if any combination of LEDs flash instead (eg. bad cells, faulty charging MOSFETs, overheat etc). Holding that button for 10 seconds then release shows if the battery is life-expired by slow flashing LEDs for 10 seconds: 1 LED = <60% capacity, 2 = 70% etc... 5 = >90%. Beyond that, Halfords should be able to test/read (discharge socket UART comms pin 4 RX and pin 5 TX).

Your charger cable seems a little scuffed - perhaps that's been stretched/damaged? Is the charger outputting 42v? Charge plug pin 1 is +, pin 2 is -, pin 3 is over-temp at 60c, pin 4 overcharge, pin 5 handshaking. Pin 1 is left of the notch as you face the plug, pin 2 to the right, then moving anti-clockwise from there. If the 42v is there, check continuity of the lead.
 
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vfr400

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 12, 2011
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The charger on't give any power until after successful handshaking, so measuring it is probably a waste of time unless it shows zero. From memory, you can measure 14v in the ready state, or something thereabouts - definitely not the normal 42V.
 

cyclebuddy

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 2, 2016
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Beds & Norfolk
The charger on't give any power until after successful handshaking, so measuring it is probably a waste of time unless it shows zero. From memory, you can measure 14v in the ready state, or something thereabouts - definitely not the normal 42V.
Once the charger LED turns red (as the OP's does) it's done handshaking, and outputs the full voltage across pins 1 & 2 (well, it should do... mine do).
 

cerveja

Finding my (electric) wheels
Oct 31, 2020
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Ok thanks,
With the socket off , charger green light on it reads 40.56 volts.
Once I plug it in it starts flashing red and I assume no output voltage.
 

cyclebuddy

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 2, 2016
716
370
Beds & Norfolk
My approach would be this:

You need to open the charger and check continuity between each plug pin and the corresponding solder point in the charger. You need all wires connected (otherwise that's likely the issue), but note which wires are pins 1 and 2. Then, with the charger pugged into the battery and the mains, read the voltage across pin 1 & 2 solder points at the charger end. The charger ramps up and down briefly in a handshake test, and if all is okay then applies 42 volts across those two wires. After the brief test sequence, are you getting 42v before the red flashing LED (i.e. the handshake passed and the charger is applying 42v, THEN the fault occurs), or is it going straight into a fault condition (i.e. the handshake has failed and the battery/BMS is most likely at fault)?

A quicker way to determine that is to use a mains wattmeter: The charger ramps up to draw about 20 watts in the few seconds it takes to run its test sequence/handshake, and if okay, then ramps up to 75 and on to 85 watts when fully charging.

As mentioned, the LEDs on the battery should show if there are failed cells or a major BMS (eg MOSFET) fault, so it's likely something more subtle that's failed. Halfords can check by substituting a different charger, and/or should be able to read the BMS memory/test the battery more fully.
 

cerveja

Finding my (electric) wheels
Oct 31, 2020
20
0
Hi there,
Thanks again,
I carry out all the checks you mentioned,
I have 42v upto the light start to flash red.
Then it drops, it seams it does the handshake.
I as well have taken the battery to Halfords on the half chance they would help, and it did not charge with there charger either.
Can someone explain please how does the handshake/charging and the handshake/discharging ( when riding) occurs.

Thanks
 

cyclebuddy

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 2, 2016
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370
Beds & Norfolk
So you've proven your charger isn't at fault and its connecting lead is fine. Halfords confirmed that too by substituting a different charger. So it's definitely a battery fault, but not a common fault that the BMS would normally report through oddly lit LED's.

Handshaking is simply a cynical ploy by each manufacturer to ensure you are tied to using their own branded products. Bosch, Shimano, Yamaha and many others do it simply so you can't substitute other manufacturers (often cheaper) equivalent products. Phylion (and others) sometimes add further tied functions - in your case to the charger to signal over heating and over voltage - which really isn't necessary as the BMS would be quite capable of doing that by itself. It's simply unnecessary overcomplication, as many of the Chinese own brand e-bike makers prove by eschewing such nonsense. At a simplistic level all the charger needs to provide is 42v to the battery, and in use the battery provides 30-42v out to the controller. Two wires in, two wires out. Any extra connections are proprietary to keep you tied to a specific system/ brand.

But you're stuck with it as many of us are. Your charger seems okay. You've already checked the charging fuse, and that's okay. If your cells had failed the battery LEDs should've shown that (although you could still double-check them by measuring each cell string), but it sounds to me like a faulty BMS/sensor which AFAIK isn't replaceable. I'm guessing Halfords told you you need a new battery?
 

cerveja

Finding my (electric) wheels
Oct 31, 2020
20
0
Thanks for the extensive reply.
Yes ,they told it needs a new battery.
This for me is a learning process as well.
What happens if I replace the original BMS with a universal one?
Charging wise it would sort it I guess.
Would it still power the bike up?
Can the comes (handshake) be read with an oscilloscope?
 

cyclebuddy

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 2, 2016
716
370
Beds & Norfolk
I think you could try what @Sturmey suggests in post 3 - running a soldering iron over any joint that seems bad or dry.

See if Halfords have any bad batteries for disposal - most fail through badly treated or knackered cells, not because of a faulty BMS.

Universal BMS: I don't know what comes off Pin 5 - you could try and measure it. Bosch use a connected 3rd pin which must be connected and most assumed was some fancy data/comms... but in fact is nothing more than a 5v rail.

Otherwise, spare/new identical Phylion batteries "with smart BMS" have appeared from time to time on ebay or sites like YosePower... for far less than Halfords own price.
 

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