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Old Mar 06, 2003, 05:48 PM
small electrics r BIG FUN
Iowa
Joined Aug 2000
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New Orbit V6 -- start switch acts goofy

I got a new V6 on Monday, and the start button seems odd. I hook the charger up to my 12 Amp power supply, and then plug in the ps, then press the start button on the charger. Most times the charger won't start. I can hear it click inside like it does every time, but it won't light the screen. I have to unplug the ps, wait a few seconds, plug the ps back in, then press the button again , and most times it will then click inside and start up.

I can't believe this is "normal" for a charger of this caliber.

Any suggestions ?

Thanks

Al
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Old Mar 06, 2003, 09:24 PM
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Columbus, Indiana
Joined Dec 2001
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Al P,

The only time I hear the 'click' inside my V6's is when I turn my power supply off and the voltage level drops enough to kick the relay out inside the V6.

Is your power supply new? Is it putting out a good (regulated) clean signal? I am using the Pyramid PS-14KX supplies. They are inexpensive and work fine in my applications.

You could try hooking the V6 up to your car battery and see if the problem still exists. This will take the power supply out of the equation and then you will have a better idea if the V6 needs to go back to where you got it......

BTW, Dave at RadicalRC is now an Orbit authorized repair center for the USA.

Hope this helps,
Rick
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Old Mar 06, 2003, 09:38 PM
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hmmm.... I was looking at the Microlader V6, but realised that it needs a 13.8V power supply rated at 22Amps..

Could be that your 12A power supply doesn't provide enough power to the V6?
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Old Mar 06, 2003, 09:58 PM
small electrics r BIG FUN
Iowa
Joined Aug 2000
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Seems the 12 A power supply is "dirty" . I moved the Orbit to my 10 Amp Pyramid ps and it works fine. The Orbit starts up every time with one push of the start button. Excellent !

My Schulze 330d has been working perfectly on the "dirty" power supply for over a year. I guess the Orbit is a bit more particular.

Guess I'm in the market for a bigger ps.

Thanks for the replies.

Al
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Old Mar 06, 2003, 10:47 PM
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Ontario, Canada
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MicroLader needs a capacitor...

Firstly, the Microlader is a 12V unit, it works perfectly from a car battery... Amperage is the issue, not voltage, not "dirty" power... (read on!)



I had exactly the same problem using a super-high quality 12V/12A "Sun Microsystems" (ex-) hard-disk array power supply.


After almost returning the unit, here's what Arno, of Orbit, told me:

----------------------------
Your supply is too weak or sensible for the switch on current. You can help yourself by adding a 5000uF electrolytic capacitors parallel to the PS output.
----------------------------

It happens that just after I sent the e-mail, I connected it to a car battery, and it worked perfectly! (I had already got it going by connecting a 3300uF cap before I received Arno's reply)



What the Orbit does is a really quick pull of about 20+ amps to make sure the power source is OK for high cell-count charging.

This "test" draw is of a very short duration (you wont see it on a multimeter/ammeter), so it's that much harder to figure out...

From my point-of-view this was a little silly, since i NEVER charged more than 7 cells, and I knew my power supply was perfect.


Anyhoo, that's yer "problem"
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Old Mar 06, 2003, 11:11 PM
small electrics r BIG FUN
Iowa
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Hi Meteor

You make good points. I don't understand why the lower-rated ps makes the charger work fine . It is rated 10 A cont. while the other ps which was causing the problem is rated 12.5 A cont.

I am not an electronics person, could you give more detail regarding capacitor installation, and why it works ?

Thanks

Al
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Old Mar 07, 2003, 12:51 AM
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San Mateo, California, United States
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I charge mostly 8, 9 and now 10 cell NiMhs anywhere from 700's to 1100's with my Orbit Pro.

When I go to fun-flys I bring along my little 2A linear power supply set to 13.8V and it never fails to power up. I've noticed the power on 'Thump' but never thought it to be 20A's worth!

Adding a BFC (Big Fat Capacitor) on the output of the P.S. helps to provide current during large transients. A trick some audiophiles used to do on tube amplifiers (Macintosh) to reduce distortion when playing 'heavy bass' through their systems.

I had a friend build up a 'six-pack' from these 20,000 F Electrolytics and connected that up to his amplifiers supply rail. Wouldn't you know it we could definitely hear the difference that 'pack' made.

So by adding a cap to the output of your P.S., you would in fact keep it from either 'current limiting' during this 20A thump (some P.S. "crowbar" to either a factory safe level or one you pre-set yourself.)

Al P, I can't help but wonder if that P.S. 12A spec of yours is really a 'peak' rating and not continuous?

Meteor, I'm willing to bet that Sunsystems unit is not a linear P.S. Some switchers cannot deliver a high current pulse on demmand but rather shut down (akin to thermal protection if I'm not mistaken). The only way to be sure is to look for some BFC's inside the unit, and considering the current capacity of your unit, that would have to be some really big caps.

0.02

Regards,
Roger
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Old Mar 07, 2003, 01:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wild Moose
I charge mostly 8, 9 and now 10 cell NiMhs anywhere from 700's to 1100's with my Orbit Pro.

When I go to fun-flys I bring along my little 2A linear power supply set to 13.8V and it never fails to power up. I've noticed the power on 'Thump' but never thought it to be 20A's worth!

Just FYI, the specs at Orbit's website states that the Orbit Microlader Pro requires a 13.8V 30 Amp power supply! So, the 'Thump' you're experiencing is worth 30A, not 20A..
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Old Mar 07, 2003, 05:45 AM
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Check if the button is in the centre of the hole, mine was not so they did not return to neutral. I removed the cover and drilled slightly bigger holes for all three buttons then it worked fine.

Regards Mats
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Old Mar 07, 2003, 11:46 AM
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Apex, NC
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My Orbit Pro cranked right up on a PC ATX PS running 11.5 V rated at 12 Amps. Never a problem. I've since swithced to a Radio Shack 25 Amp PS charging 20 cells, no problem.

Victor
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Old Mar 07, 2003, 07:04 PM
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Wild Moose hit the nail on the head...

My Sun power supply is rated at 12A, and does work fine with the capacitor installed.

Without it, the Orbit simply shuts down the power supply on power-up!


I guess some power supplies have built-in capacitors, or are less sensitive to spikes above their rated power. My Sun power supply is probably very well designed from a critical-systems point of view, so any draw outside the spec simply shuts it down.

Keep in mind that most of us will almost never need 30A for the Orbit, that kind of power is only used in super-high cell counts.



Al P, the capacitor acts as a "buffer", storing enough energy to feed that transition "bump" without affecting the supply.

All you do to wire it up is simply connect the capacitor terminals in parallel to the power supply output wires (watch the polarity of the cap!)


Like this:


____

---------(+)---------- Plus wire
| |
---------(-)----------- Minus wire
| ___|


That funny box is the cap!




Thanks.
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Old Mar 07, 2003, 09:43 PM
small electrics r BIG FUN
Iowa
Joined Aug 2000
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wild Moose
I charge mostly 8, 9 and now 10 cell NiMhs anywhere from 700's to 1100's with my Orbit Pro.

When I go to fun-flys I bring along my little 2A linear power supply set to 13.8V and it never fails to power up. I've noticed the power on 'Thump' but never thought it to be 20A's worth!

YIKES ! Isn't the Pro suggested by Orbit to have a 30 Amp power supply ?

So how much current is the charger pulling from the power supply while charging 8 cell 2600 packs at 5 amps ?

meteor: thanks for that diagram and the explanation !

Thanks !

Al
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Old Mar 07, 2003, 10:44 PM
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It's not the 2600 MHa rating, but the number of cells in series that determines the power requirement (W=VA).

My 10xCP1700 packs pulled about 7.8 amps max during the charge on the PC power supply with no problems.

Victor
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Old Mar 07, 2003, 11:51 PM
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San Mateo, California, United States
Joined Nov 2001
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Well we do seem to be talking about different charging current levels here as well as number of cells/capacity.

I did say I was charging 700's to 1100's, and with the 2A P.S., I am limited to charge rates no higher than 1.7A...good enough for my needs but for you guys charging at 5A well, all I can say is that is why Orbit specifies the high capacity power supplies.

Quote:
YIKES ! Isn't the Pro suggested by Orbit to have a 30 Amp power supply ?
That is if you plan on using the charger at maximum capacity, me I only run mine in the lower half of it's range

Regards,
Roger
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Old Mar 08, 2003, 03:52 PM
small electrics r BIG FUN
Iowa
Joined Aug 2000
4,320 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by Wild Moose
Well we do seem to be talking about different charging current levels here as well as number of cells/capacity.

I did say I was charging 700's to 1100's, and with the 2A P.S., I am limited to charge rates no higher than 1.7A...good enough for my needs but for you guys charging at 5A well, all I can say is that is why Orbit specifies the high capacity power supplies.


Roger
Yes, I was asking about the current being drawn by the charger from the power supply. Thanks Roger.

Victor: is 7.8 Amp what your charger says, or what is being pulled from the power supply ? thanks

Al
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