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Author Topic: Charge cord storage  (Read 3970 times)

BrianTRice

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Re: Charge cord storage
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2016, 07:49:03 AM »

Since the cords are so cheap... Blah, blah, blah, well worth the $5 or so the cable cost.

Really? Where can I find cheap parts besides going through the dealer?

Here, at Monoprice (linking again): http://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=5295
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Fivespeed302

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Re: Charge cord storage
« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2016, 04:56:32 AM »

Thanks Brian, that's a great price.
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c-fut

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Re: Charge cord storage
« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2016, 12:07:55 PM »

What is the size of the stock power cord? 14awg?
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mrwilsn

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Re: Charge cord storage
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2016, 01:16:21 PM »

What is the size of the stock power cord? 14awg?
Yes. Always use 14AWG maximum 25ft. At home I use a 25ft 12AWG extension cord and plug in a short 3ft 14AWG charge cable. The setup allows me to unplug the "wall" side first without walking over to the wall.

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk

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Richard230

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Re: Charge cord storage
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2016, 07:41:06 PM »

The other day, when visiting my daughter, I melted the plug end of her orange 25' extension cord that I was connected to with my 8' 14-gauge power cord. I had been using that power source for the past 2 years without any problems, but this time the connection plugs melted together and they had to be cut to pull them apart.  (Fortunately there was no problem with the bike, though.  It was fully charged when we discovered the problem.) I just replaced my power cord with one rated for 15 amps, which I assume uses 12 gauge wire.  I guess I will have to give my daughter a 12 gauge extension cord the next time I visit.   :-[
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mrwilsn

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Re: Charge cord storage
« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2016, 09:12:31 PM »

The other day, when visiting my daughter, I melted the plug end of her orange 25' extension cord that I was connected to with my 8' 14-gauge power cord. I had been using that power source for the past 2 years without any problems, but this time the connection plugs melted together and they had to be cut to pull them apart.  (Fortunately there was no problem with the bike, though.  It was fully charged when we discovered the problem.) I just replaced my power cord with one rated for 15 amps, which I assume uses 12 gauge wire.  I guess I will have to give my daughter a 12 gauge extension cord the next time I visit.   :-[

I remember you posting about that a week or two ago and I was gonna say something but since you said you had been doing it for years without a problem I figured you would be unlikely to take any advice I gave recommending to not do that...I'm glad you didn't do any damage to your bike.

A huge mistake that even experienced EE's make when working with electronics is assuming that just because something works it means its OK.  This is definitely not the case.

The stock Zero charge cable is an IEC320 C13 to NEMA 5-15P.  Most would recognize it as a "computer power cord" because this type of cable is heavily used for tower PC's.  For the non engineer/electricians out there...C13 is the connector type on the side that plugs into the bike and NEMA 5-15P is the connector on the wall side.  I have not been able to find a cable of this type longer than 25ft at 14AWG.  I have not been able to find a 12AWG of any length for this cable type.  Your 15amp rated charge cord means its a 14AWG.

The trouble you are going to run into is if you try to use an IEC320 C13 to NEMA 5-15P that is smaller than 14AWG (there are lots of those out there) or if you use a 14AWG but plug it into an extension cord that is 14AWG but longer than 25ft or is smaller than 14AWG.  If you are using an extension cord (NEMA 5-15R to NEMA 5-15P...R for receptacle and P for plug) then I highly recommend using no smaller than 12AWG.  In theory you could use a 14AWG cord as long as the combined length between your charge cord and the extension cord is no more than 25ft but I would just stick to 12AWG unless you are in a pinch and other options are not available.  Even if you are using a 12AWG extension cord I wouldn't go as long as 50ft even if you are using a 3ft 14AWG charge cord.  You should be OK with a 25ft 12AWG extension cord and an 8ft charge cord....I wouldn't go any longer than than 8ft on the charge cord if you are using a 25ft extension cable.

At home I use a 25ft 12AWG extension cord plugged into a 3ft 14AWG charge cord.  Zero recommends unplugging the bike from the wall first and this lets me kinda do that.  When I plug in I plug the small 3ft charge cord into the bike first and then plug it into the extension cord which I leave plugged into the wall.  When I unplug I go in reverse...I separate the 3ft charge cord from the extension cord then unplug the 3ft charge cord from the bike.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2016, 09:14:27 PM by mrwilsn »
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mrwilsn

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Re: Charge cord storage
« Reply #21 on: July 17, 2016, 09:21:09 PM »

One other thing that is common sense to me but I remember someone else on here posting about learning the hard way so it bears repeating...

DO NOT USE RETRACTABLE EXTENSION CORD REELS!!!

Technically you could use one as long as you make sure it is completely extended but I highly recommend against it unless you are in a pinch and have no other options.  If you have to use one I would keep a close eye on it during the charge process.

No matter what size cable you are using that reel WILL overheat due to the cord being all bunched up without anyway to carry away the heat.
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Doug S

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Re: Charge cord storage
« Reply #22 on: July 17, 2016, 10:23:09 PM »

I thought I'd point out that the wire gauge isn't the only consideration. In fact, in Richard's case, where the connectors fused together after years of working properly, it sounds more like it was a bad connection that heated up rather than the wires themselves.

Try to avoid bending the blades of the male connector whenever possible. They're fairly well annealed brass but they will eventually fatigue. I like to see them bent inward slightly; that gives a little bit of pressure between the blade and the socket which helps provide a low-resistance connection. Also keep an eye on the strain relief on the backside of the connector, that's where I've seen most failures in my day, and where my SR's cord failed. If you see cracks starting to appear, you might want to replace the cord or at least get a backup so you won't be left without one when it fails. Be sure to always grab the molded part of the connector when disconnecting, rather than yanking on the cord. Especially when the cable is warm and soft, that's a great way of pulling it apart.
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mrwilsn

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Re: Charge cord storage
« Reply #23 on: July 17, 2016, 11:07:40 PM »

I thought I'd point out that the wire gauge isn't the only consideration. In fact, in Richard's case, where the connectors fused together after years of working properly, it sounds more like it was a bad connection that heated up rather than the wires themselves.

Agreed....this is a very good point.  There are other factors such as connections...however, smaller gauge wire adds heat to the equation and although Richard's problem may have been from a bad connection it would have been made worse by using the smaller gauge.

Voltage is also a factor.  If you are running off 120V then it's more important to use 14AWG charge cord.  If you are running off 240V then you can get away with the smaller wire.  Even the difference between 110V vs. 120V can cause the charger to require more current (at the lower voltage) and thus create more heat.  It's possible that Richard's problem was because the grid was just taxed that day causing the voltage at the outlet to sag and the weakest link in the chain (the connection between charge cord and extension cord) paid the price.

Bottom line...the easiest way to mitigate these issues is to use a good cable.  If you use a good cable of the proper gauge you are less likely to suffer the consequences of other factors like bad connections or low supply voltage.
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BrianTRice

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Re: Charge cord storage
« Reply #24 on: July 17, 2016, 11:19:37 PM »

Wikified/cited under "Common problems", since both stock and replacement cords need the same recommendations:
http://zeromanual.com/index.php/Common_problems#Stuck.2FWarm_Charging_Cord
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Lecram

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Re: Charge cord storage
« Reply #25 on: July 18, 2016, 03:02:19 AM »

I store the cable under the seat. There is room enough. But you have to convert your seat into a quick removable seat first
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Richard230

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Re: Charge cord storage
« Reply #26 on: July 18, 2016, 04:18:34 AM »

I am pretty sure that the problem was corrosion of the female connector on my daughter's garage extension cord. It has been hanging in the garage for years, although she keeps her 2012 Zero plugged into that cord all the time.  It only gets disconnected when I visit and recharge my bike. (Of course her 2012 model draws fewer amps than my charger does.) I am a little concerned that her husband is insisting on cutting off the connector and rewiring it.  I told him that I would buy a new extension cord for them, but he is not happy unless he can fix something that is broken and he loves to solder wire connections.  ::)

The new power cord that I bought from Amazon is two meters long, was made in the UK, and seems to be of a heavier gauge wire than the one that came with my Zero that melted at the male end. In any case, I have several 14 gauge extension cords, one that I use for my 12 amp electric mower. Hopefully, I will be able to bring one of my extra cords over to my daughter before her husband starts using the repaired extension cord to power his circular saw.  :o

One interesting thing is that my Kill-a-Watt meter shows that my garage wall outlet is putting out 122 volts. When I used it at my daughter's home, it registered 118 volts. Curiously, at my home my Zero will initially stop charging at an indicated 98% and then turn back on 30 hours later, when it will reach 100%.  At my daughter's house, it hits an indicated 100% as soon as the bike quits charging.   ???
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mericle

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Re: Charge cord storage
« Reply #27 on: July 19, 2016, 03:54:25 AM »

Just this week the c13 connector of the cable that I have been using for 4.5 years melted. I don't use an extension cord; just the cable that came with bike. I am guessing that the connector degraded after years of use. It got hot enough to damage the bike power receptacle.
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DPsSRnSD

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Re: Charge cord storage
« Reply #28 on: July 19, 2016, 04:05:33 AM »

Just this week the c13 connector of the cable that I have been using for 4.5 years melted. I don't use an extension cord; just the cable that came with bike. I am guessing that the connector degraded after years of use. It got hot enough to damage the bike power receptacle.

That sucks. Do you suspect an overcurrent or just wear on the contacts in the plug and receptacle?
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togo

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Re: Charge cord storage
« Reply #29 on: July 19, 2016, 04:32:39 AM »

I am pretty sure that the problem was corrosion of the female connector on my daughter's garage extension cord. It has been hanging in the garage for years, ...

A bad connection is the biggest thing, I think.  I should have replaced my cable when I noticed it was touchy- it flickered a bit if you touched it.  Later I found the outlet melted a bit.  Immediately I threw the cable away, replaced the outlet, and it's been charging fine.  But ever since then I always check for heat, and I take any warmth or connection touchiness seriously.

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