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quick question: charger is dead

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  • Belden, Peter
    Seeking any advice today on my malfunctioning charger before I give up and ship it Solectria by Fed Ex tonight and end up paying lots of money for a rental car
    Message 1 of 4 , Oct 2, 2002
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      Seeking any advice today on my malfunctioning charger before I give up and
      ship it Solectria by Fed Ex tonight and end up paying lots of money for a
      rental car for 4 weeks while I wait for Solectria to fix the charger.
      Particularly if someone knows where I could get a new charger for my Force.


      I talked through the problem with Solectria and they said it probably needs
      to be fixed and cannot be replaced because they have stopped making the
      black box charger type I have. They know of no other charger that could
      replace this one and so it basically has to be repaired not replaced. The
      charger is on my 1999 Solectria Force. I have 14,000 miles on it and I have
      had it for 2.5 years. This is not the original charger because that one
      died only 1 week after I bought the car. It's Electric, the dealership
      which is now out of business, came down and gave me a replacement charger
      which is what is in the car.

      The charger works when I plug it into a 220 outlet but it does not work
      anymore when I plug it into a 110 outlet. There is only one person at
      Solectria who fixes this charger, Kevin, and he is backlogged so I will
      probably be without a car for 4 weeks which could mean me having to spend
      $$$ on a rental car. Ugggg. The Force is my first car and only car.

      The charger fan does spin when plugged into a 110 outlet but does so
      intermittantly and the batteries do not get charged in the process. The top
      red light to the side of the charger blinks when plugged in and the yellow
      light also flashes which are both a bad sign explained Kevin.

      One of the selling points I like to tell people is the EVs require less
      maintenance and have fewer problems. I still basically believe this is true
      but my experience has been bad. My first charger died after one week. Then
      my brakes failed after 1 year when a switch on the vacuum pump broke. And
      now the replacement charger has died. Having the car go fully out of
      commission 3 times in only 14,000 miles is a bummer especially if this time
      it's out for a month.

      Kevin also suggested that what probably dammaged the charger was the fact
      that I've used only 110v for about 9 months for my charging and that this
      causes the charger to work twice as hard and may overheat some diodes. This
      makes sense I wanted to share this in case others are using 110v mainly. I
      knew this was generally bad for the car but could never get an answer from
      anyone as to exactly how this was bad or what dammage it would do. Faced
      with quotes of $800 to install a 220 outlet I decided to just use 110v for a
      while.

      I'll send a separate message about a related warranty problem.

      Peter

      -------------------------------------
      Peter Belden
      Palo Alto, CA
      408-887-0251
    • Will Beckett
      Peter, Keep in mind that I still do have the charger I borrowed form Otmar and I expect he would be happy to loan it to you as well. It is only 110vac but it
      Message 2 of 4 , Oct 2, 2002
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        Peter,

        Keep in mind that I still do have the charger I borrowed form Otmar and
        I expect he would be happy to loan it to you as well. It is only 110vac
        but it will keep you on the road while your charger is away.

        -Will

        Will Beckett
        Beckett PC Solutions
        4189 Baker Ave.
        Palo Alto, CA 94306-3908

        (650) 269-7011 cell
        (650) 494-6922 phone/fax
        will@...
        http://beckettpcsolutions.com

        Holiday Special! Complete computer system setup so you don't have to
        spend the day installing and configuring your new computer. Let me make
        it easy for you!



        -----Original Message-----
        From: Belden, Peter [mailto:pbelden@...]
        Sent: Wednesday, October 02, 2002 12:52 PM
        To: 'force_ev@yahoogroups.com'
        Subject: [force_ev] quick question: charger is dead
        Importance: High


        Seeking any advice today on my malfunctioning charger before I give up
        and ship it Solectria by Fed Ex tonight and end up paying lots of money
        for a rental car for 4 weeks while I wait for Solectria to fix the
        charger. Particularly if someone knows where I could get a new charger
        for my Force.


        I talked through the problem with Solectria and they said it probably
        needs to be fixed and cannot be replaced because they have stopped
        making the black box charger type I have. They know of no other charger
        that could replace this one and so it basically has to be repaired not
        replaced. The charger is on my 1999 Solectria Force. I have 14,000
        miles on it and I have had it for 2.5 years. This is not the original
        charger because that one died only 1 week after I bought the car. It's
        Electric, the dealership which is now out of business, came down and
        gave me a replacement charger which is what is in the car.

        The charger works when I plug it into a 220 outlet but it does not work
        anymore when I plug it into a 110 outlet. There is only one person at
        Solectria who fixes this charger, Kevin, and he is backlogged so I will
        probably be without a car for 4 weeks which could mean me having to
        spend $$$ on a rental car. Ugggg. The Force is my first car and only
        car.

        The charger fan does spin when plugged into a 110 outlet but does so
        intermittantly and the batteries do not get charged in the process. The
        top red light to the side of the charger blinks when plugged in and the
        yellow light also flashes which are both a bad sign explained Kevin.

        One of the selling points I like to tell people is the EVs require less
        maintenance and have fewer problems. I still basically believe this is
        true but my experience has been bad. My first charger died after one
        week. Then my brakes failed after 1 year when a switch on the vacuum
        pump broke. And now the replacement charger has died. Having the car
        go fully out of commission 3 times in only 14,000 miles is a bummer
        especially if this time it's out for a month.

        Kevin also suggested that what probably dammaged the charger was the
        fact that I've used only 110v for about 9 months for my charging and
        that this causes the charger to work twice as hard and may overheat some
        diodes. This makes sense I wanted to share this in case others are
        using 110v mainly. I knew this was generally bad for the car but could
        never get an answer from anyone as to exactly how this was bad or what
        dammage it would do. Faced with quotes of $800 to install a 220 outlet
        I decided to just use 110v for a while.

        I'll send a separate message about a related warranty problem.

        Peter

        -------------------------------------
        Peter Belden
        Palo Alto, CA
        408-887-0251


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      • umarc@hippogryph.com
        ... Was the charger designed to work on both 110 and 220? Do you have to flip a switch to tell it which volage to expect? ... If the charger was indeed
        Message 3 of 4 , Oct 2, 2002
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          On Wed, 2 Oct 2002, Belden, Peter wrote:

          > The charger works when I plug it into a 220 outlet but it does not work
          > anymore when I plug it into a 110 outlet.

          Was the charger designed to work on both 110 and 220? Do you have to flip
          a switch to tell it which volage to expect?

          > Kevin also suggested that what probably dammaged the charger was the fact
          > that I've used only 110v for about 9 months for my charging and that this
          > causes the charger to work twice as hard and may overheat some diodes.

          If the charger was indeed intended for 110v this might be a design flaw.
          If you do send it back, you might ask him to replace those diodes with
          ones that can handle more current.

          > This makes sense I wanted to share this in case others are using 110v
          > mainly.

          Well, I'm using 110v exclusively, but I have an older (92) Force and
          use a Zivan NG-3 charger.


          Rob Landry
          umarc@...
        • Will Beckett
          I expect that what happened was that one side went out. The reason it will charge on 220vac is because only half the charger is in use. This is the way the
          Message 4 of 4 , Oct 2, 2002
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            I expect that what happened was that one side went out. The reason it
            will charge on 220vac is because only half the charger is in use. This
            is the way the charger is designed. It is really two 110vac charger
            that are put together. Frequently one side or the other will fail
            rather than the whole charger. You can tell by the flashing rate of the
            green light and the count down of amp hours if it is really charging
            with both or only one side.

            - Will

            Will Beckett

            Contact information ( <https://ecardfile.com/id/will_beckett>
            https://ecardfile.com/id/will_beckett)

            Become a member or donate to the Electric Auto Association, donations
            are tax deductible. <http://eaaev.org/eaamembership.html>
            http://eaaev.org/eaamembership.html




            -----Original Message-----
            From: umarc@... [mailto:umarc@...]
            Sent: Wednesday, October 02, 2002 4:12 PM
            To: 'force_ev@yahoogroups.com'
            Subject: Re: [force_ev] quick question: charger is dead


            On Wed, 2 Oct 2002, Belden, Peter wrote:

            > The charger works when I plug it into a 220 outlet but it does not
            work
            > anymore when I plug it into a 110 outlet.

            Was the charger designed to work on both 110 and 220? Do you have to
            flip
            a switch to tell it which volage to expect?

            > Kevin also suggested that what probably dammaged the charger was the
            fact
            > that I've used only 110v for about 9 months for my charging and that
            this
            > causes the charger to work twice as hard and may overheat some diodes.

            If the charger was indeed intended for 110v this might be a design flaw.
            If you do send it back, you might ask him to replace those diodes with
            ones that can handle more current.

            > This makes sense I wanted to share this in case others are using 110v
            > mainly.

            Well, I'm using 110v exclusively, but I have an older (92) Force and
            use a Zivan NG-3 charger.


            Rob Landry
            umarc@...




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