Vado 5.0 SL Charger bad or?

GuruUno

Well-Known Member
I've got the extender battery, bike is 1 month old, almost 500 miles. No major issues or complaints.
However, today after departing for my Saturday AM ride, after a few miles in I noticed the display was not indicating the extender battery on the visual display (it showed 98% instead of saying 148% with the extender. (as an example)
So upon returning back home I plugged the "Y" cable in and the charger started flashing red. I know when it is in a charge cycle it is normally a steady red until fully charged, then it turns green. This was flashing (video attached). (link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/6tg12gvo4fvakwf/Charger Error Vado SL.MOV?dl=0 )
I eliminated the "Y" cable and plugged it directly into each battery independently, the same thing, still flashing.
Then the top tube display was flashing (see video).
I used Mission Control to "upload diagnostics" (I have no idea who gets it or where it goes, but I did it).
I'm of the belief the charger is bad.
I see on this forum another person had the same issue and he was told to "let the charger cool off".
That's ridiculous.
I leave and have left every single e-bike battery/bike I've ever owned plugged in 24x7 when I am not riding it. Never ever, ever had any issue.
Is possibly the charger an inefficient one?
 

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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
That fire must have occurred to an unbranded battery of low quality. Specialized chargers are smart.
One of EBR users has just described the same what occurred to Guru. An overheated charger. Red blinking is the error code for that.
 

GuruUno

Well-Known Member
That fire must have occurred to an unbranded battery of low quality. Specialized chargers are smart.
One of EBR users has just described the same what occurred to Guru. An overheated charger. Red blinking is the error code for that.
Exactly....no "any" or "previous" experiences of charges ever exhibited this type of behavior.
Anyway, I unplugged for 1+ hours, the same issue.
 

VoltMan99

Well-Known Member
Region
Asia
City
Tokyo
Specialized chargers are smart.
That might be exactly right - perhaps smart enough to have a fusible link and overheating protection perhaps. But leaving it plugged into the batteries 24/7 isn’t a good idea, possibly meaning let’s push the charger to it’s safety limit continuously? The Specialized charger is shockingly small for the voltage and amperage it operates at. I’m a bit leery of it even though mine is on a timer.
 

GuruUno

Well-Known Member
Ad previously stated, I in dozens of years NEVER had to do anything but, plug it in, leave it alone
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
That might be exactly right - perhaps smart enough to have a fusible link and overheating protection perhaps. But leaving it plugged into the batteries 24/7 isn’t a good idea, possibly meaning let’s push the charger to it’s safety limit continuously? The Specialized charger is shockingly small for the voltage and amperage it operates at. I’m a bit leery of it even though mine is on a timer.
One needs to understand how electronics works. Let me give you a comprehensive example:

We all know that the Specialized SL chargers become hot when charging. What happens when the batteries have been fully charged? The charger becomes cold. It is because no current flows to the battery anymore.

Modern chargers are of so-called Class D (short for Digital). You'll find Class D everywhere. All modern Li-Ion chargers are Class D. The audio amp in your smartphone is Class D. Class D operation can be simplistically explained as converting the energy by 0-1, or binary impulses of electricity. For some reason, a small portion of the process must be analog, therefore the efficiency, albeit high (like, 97%) is not 100%. That leads to releasing some heat from Class D devices.

Think of a 500 W Class D bass guitar amplifier. It might weigh just 1.9 kg (4 lbs), and it becomes only a little bit warm during its operation. High power Class D chargers, such as used for e-bikes, are a little bit less efficient, therefore they get warm. Still, the level of battery protection in smart chargers, is it a smartphone or e-bike charger, is enormous.

Warnings such as "disconnect after charging" are mostly ecological: very small amount of electricity is still drawn in standby (and multiply that by millions of chargers). The other reason is to minimize any risk.
 
Last edited:

GuruUno

Well-Known Member
One needs to understand how electronics works. Let me give you a comprehensive example:

We all know that the Specialized SL chargers becomes hot when charging. What happens when the batteries have got fully charged? It becomes cold. It is because no current flows anymore to the battery.

Modern chargers are of so-called Class D. You'll find Class D anywhere. All modern Li-Ion chargers are Class D. The audio amp in your smartphone is Class D. Class D operation can be simplistically explained as converting the energy by 0-1, or binary impulses of electricity. For some reason, a small portion of the process must be analog, therefore the efficiency, albeit high (like, 97%) is not 100%. That leads to releasing some heat from Class D devices.

Thing of a 500 W Class D bass guitar amplifier. It might weight just 1.9 kg (4 lbs), and it becomes only a little bit warm during its operation. High power Class D chargers, such as used for e-bikes, are a little bit less efficient, therefore they get warm. Still, the level of battery protection in smart chargers, is it a smartphone or e-bike charger, is enormous.

Most of warnings such as "disconnect after charging" is mostly ecological: very small amount of electricity is still drawn in standby (and multiply that by millions of chargers). The other reason is to minimize any risk.
So...then in summary over-view, it's not really the chargers fault, it's the cheap manufacturer of the product which is less than stellar?
And, as stated, unplugged for a few hours, same conditions, no improvement, so a failed charger?
And.....even more....I've had my Vado 5.0 plugged in for over a month, as well as my wife's Townie Commute, zero issues with charger blinking, overheating, etc. So again, is it that the manufacturer of the charger is funky or is it the 1 in a thousand issue that if I leave it plugged in, it'll complain?
 

VoltMan99

Well-Known Member
Region
Asia
City
Tokyo
Ad previously stated, I in dozens of years NEVER had to do anything but, plug it in, leave it alone
Perhaps many of the items that you’ve had in the past dozens of years were NiMH, or battery and charger combinations of lower voltage and power equipped with an overrated charger. For me, this is the first charger I’ve actually been concerned about simply because of it’s size in comparison to (for example) my Dell 17” portable workstation “laptop” which has a charger bigger than my bike. In any case I’m not worried about the durability of the charger, it’s covered by warranty. But I do have huge concerns about fires. That’s why I’ve put mine on a timer. These days I’m also running around chasing my wife’s lithium chargers too - but she’s getting to the point where she unplugs them after the charge.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
So...then in summary over-view, it's not really the chargers fault, it's the cheap manufacturer of the product which is less than stellar?
And, as stated, unplugged for a few hours, same conditions, no improvement, so a failed charger?
And.....even more....I've had my Vado 5.0 plugged in for over a month, as well as my wife's Townie Commute, zero issues with charger blinking, overheating, etc. So again, is it that the manufacturer of the charger is funky or is it the 1 in a thousand issue that if I leave it plugged in, it'll complain?
No-one knows. That's why you should see your LBS for diagnosis. I think it would be best if you brought both the charger and your SL in.
 

VoltMan99

Well-Known Member
Region
Asia
City
Tokyo
So...then in summary over-view, it's not really the chargers fault, it's the cheap manufacturer of the product which is less than stellar?
I think that’s a good summary. Stefan says that the charger disconnects (electrically) and I believe that it may too, However that means you’re trusting your life and possessions on something mass produced in China or elsewhere with components of an unknown lineage. What if the charger didn’t disconnect (failure) and the fusible link worked = bricked charger. Anyways, I think they’re pretty cheaply designed and built, and I don’t trust them 😁.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Perhaps many of the items that you’ve had in the past dozens of years were NiMH, or battery and charger combinations of lower voltage and power equipped with an overrated charger. For me, this is the first charger I’ve actually been concerned about simply because of it’s size in comparison to (for example) my Dell 17” portable workstation “laptop” which has a charger bigger than my bike. In any case I’m not worried about the durability of the charger, it’s covered by warranty. But I do have huge concerns about fires. That’s why I’ve put mine on a timer. These days I’m also running around chasing my wife’s lithium chargers too - but she’s getting to the point where she unplugs them after the charge.
If it makes you happier: I have owned as many as four e-bikes since August 2019. No issues with chargers or batteries. I burned my house with a fag.
(During the fire, neighbours helped me remove e-bikes first, batteries next, chargers last. Nothing e-bike related was destroyed by fire).
 

kahn

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
northWET washington
Is that top tube display different or is it the color rendition of the video. I never noticed a RED led. Or is that a sign of some other issue or very low battery.

I do try to unplug once charged but, hey, listen, not only am I human but I'm old. I don't always remember to check charging status.
 

VoltMan99

Well-Known Member
Region
Asia
City
Tokyo
Ohhhhhhhhhh. I like that neat timer. Where can I get one in the good ol' USofA?? (g)