Author Topic: HC-1 Battery is DOA...  (Read 3999 times)

bnsf8000

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HC-1 Battery is DOA...
« on: October 08, 2015, 09:24:44 PM »
 My HC-1 battery appears to be DOA. I've been doing a major layout rebuild for operations and literally forgot to keep the battery charged. It runs with my Digitrax Super Chief system. When I turned it on to check the battery power it was red lined. Now it is just a dark screen after 3 hours of charging. I'm figuring I will email Tim at Ring Engineering and send it in. Any suggestions other than to keep it charged? LOL.

    Pat Waltz

William Brillinger

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Re: HC-1 Battery is DOA...
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2015, 09:40:29 PM »
Pat,

Are you sure the charger is supplying power?
- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

Modeling the BNML in HO Scale, owner of Precision Design Co., and RailPro Dealer.


KPack

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Re: HC-1 Battery is DOA...
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2015, 09:49:32 PM »
That's odd.  Normally if it is fully discharged it will take a while to power back on when plugged in, but 3 hours seems a bit long to me.  My HC-2 was about an hour or so to power on when it was fully discharged.  After that it took another couple hours to reach peak charge. 

I wonder if the charging port went out?  That would be unlikely though.  Definitely check to see that the charger is actually supplying power as Bill said.  I'd be very surprised if there was something else going on.

-Kevin

bnsf8000

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Re: HC-1 Battery is DOA...
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2015, 09:52:34 PM »
Guys I still have it charging and it is now charging! Thanks for the replies. I'll let it keep charging as it appears to be on its way back to life! EDIT: It's now done charging and everything looks good to go! Thanks again Bill and Kevin!

    Pat Waltz
« Last Edit: October 08, 2015, 10:01:53 PM by bnsf8000 »

William Brillinger

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Re: HC-1 Battery is DOA...
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2015, 10:03:32 PM »
That's great news!

Here are some interesting notes from Ring Engineering regarding full charge, run time, and the battery indicator. This applys to the hC-2, but I imagine the HC-1 is similar.

Quote
The battery indicator is an approximate reading of actual battery charge.  When the battery indicator reads full it is accurate and when it reads empty it is also accurate.  In between full and empty it should be close.  When the battery indicator turns red you have about one hour left.  When battery indicator starts to flash you have exactly two minutes before it will turn itself off. The only way to be sure the HC-2 is charging correctly is to put it through a full discharge and full charge cycle and time it.  So you should turn the HC-2 on and go to the adjustment and disable the Auto Power off feature.  Then wait until it runs the batteries down and turns it self off.  Then plug in the charger and note the time.  When the charging is done it should be about 3 hours later.  Then turn the HC-2 on and once again disable the Auto Power off feature and set the screen brightness to 50%.  Also be sure to note the time.  Check it about once an hour.  When the battery indicator turns red it will turn off in about one hour.   The HC-2 should run for over 8 hours when new.  If the screen brightness is set to its lowest value the HC-2 should run over 12 hours from a full charge.

Things to remember about charging a HC.

If the HC is left off for a long period of time it looses about 10% of the charge per week.  Even from a full charge if left unused for about 2.5 months it will be dead.

When you first turn on a HC, it takes about 1 minute to correct the battery gauge to close to the actual charge.  If left not used from full charge for 5 weeks than when you turn it on it will first display fully charged.  Then about 1 minute later the charge will quickly go down to about 1/2 charge.

If you press the reset button on the back of the HC the HC will loose its current charge state and default to nearly fully charged.  The batteries may be dead and it will improperly display the charge level for several minutes.  To recover to proper state you need to let the HC batteries drain to 20% or less and charge the HC.  It should then display a proper charge level and run as expected.  If you press the reset button and try to charge a HC shortly after pressing the reset, the HC will not charge properly.  It will display "Done" charging and the battery charge indicator will show a full charge but it will drain quickly.  Since the reset causes the HC to display nearly fully charged it will only allow a short charge and turn off (This is a safety feature to prevent resets and over charging).

When charging the HC it can not be charged near a heat or cool source.  The HC should not be placed on electronics that produce heat or near a heater or cooling vent.  The HC uses a more advanced method to detect full charge than the typical electronics.  This increases the usable life of the batteries.  The HC uses a temperature method to detect full charge and external heat and cool sources can cause the charger to terminate prematurely.

The ambient temperature needs to be in the acceptable range that is in the Handheld controller user manual. Charging outside of the acceptable range can cause early termination and proper charging will not be achieved.
- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

Modeling the BNML in HO Scale, owner of Precision Design Co., and RailPro Dealer.


KPack

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Re: HC-1 Battery is DOA...
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2015, 10:11:23 PM »
Pat - glad there is no problem.  The HC-1 takes much longer to charge than the HC-2, so I guess it doesn't surprise me that it took a while to come back to life.  Once it is fully charged after fully discharing, the battery indicator will be much more accurate and your battery life should be excellent (as the info that Bill posted will show you).  I have literally not charged my HC-2 for 3 weeks now and it still has plenty of charge left.  Granted, I haven't been using it for continous running, but I have been using it for updates, downloads, testing, etc.

-Kevin

JJ Crooke

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Re: HC-1 Battery is DOA...
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2016, 11:33:17 AM »
Hi everyone,

I'm currently having the same issue. I bought two HC-2 starter pack last year at the Springfield show and although I was planning to start using RailPro shortly after, life got in the way and tons of projects around the house delayed everything. I'm finally done wiring my layout and installed a PWR-56 yesterday. Because the HC-2 had been sitting in the box for a year, I'm having issues charging it. I left it charging overnight and, besides a very brief flickering of the screen, I still have a dead screen this morning. I pressed the reset button a few times to no avail. I'm having the same issue for both HC-2. Reading this thread, I noticed this:

"If you press the reset button and try to charge a HC shortly after pressing the reset, the HC will not charge properly.  It will display "Done" charging and the battery charge indicator will show a full charge but it will drain quickly.  Since the reset causes the HC to display nearly fully charged it will only allow a short charge and turn off (This is a safety feature to prevent resets and over charging)."

So I've unplugged the HC-2, press the reset button one more time and I will wait an hour or two before charging it again. Hopefully it will charge properly this time. I'll keep you posted.
~ Joel

Modeling the Ottawa Central Railway in HO

nodcc4me

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Re: HC-1 Battery is DOA...
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2016, 12:01:53 PM »
Welcome JJ.

If you can get the screen to light up for a short time, don't press the reset. Just try following the directions posted above.
Al

Run your train, not your brain. Get RailPro. It's a no-brainer.

JJ Crooke

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Re: HC-1 Battery is DOA...
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2016, 08:51:21 AM »
No luck. My two HC-2 are still dead. I guess that my only option is to email Tim at RE and see what he has to say. :(
~ Joel

Modeling the Ottawa Central Railway in HO

William Brillinger

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Re: HC-1 Battery is DOA...
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2016, 09:09:47 AM »
is the charger actually functioning?
- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

Modeling the BNML in HO Scale, owner of Precision Design Co., and RailPro Dealer.


JJ Crooke

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Re: HC-1 Battery is DOA...
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2016, 09:30:23 AM »
I'd be very surprised if both PA-1 would be defective but as far as I can tell, yes, they are functioning properly. My guess is that the safety feature that prevents over charging is the problem here if you consider both of the following:

  • “If your HC-2 has been plugged in for 1 hour and the charging screen has not been displayed, then press the reset button (See the section “Operation, Reset Button” for more information) on the back of the unit.” (HC-2 User Guide, page 25)
  • "If you press the reset button and try to charge a HC shortly after pressing the reset, the HC will not charge properly.  It will display "Done" charging and the battery charge indicator will show a full charge but it will drain quickly.  Since the reset causes the HC to display nearly fully charged it will only allow a short charge and turn off (This is a safety feature to prevent resets and over charging)."

But what do I know.  :o
~ Joel

Modeling the Ottawa Central Railway in HO

William Brillinger

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Re: HC-1 Battery is DOA...
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2016, 09:35:14 AM »
well, in that case, I look forward to hearing what Tim has to say.
- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

Modeling the BNML in HO Scale, owner of Precision Design Co., and RailPro Dealer.


JJ Crooke

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Re: HC-1 Battery is DOA...
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2016, 07:07:12 PM »
With Tim's help, I was able to get my HC-2'S working. It is a problem related to the first production run of HC-2's. I've started another thread describing the issue and the solution.

http://rpug.pdc.ca/index.php?topic=169.0
~ Joel

Modeling the Ottawa Central Railway in HO

nodcc4me

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Re: HC-1 Battery is DOA...
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2016, 08:26:25 AM »
Glad you were able to resolve it Joel. That should not happen again after you update the software.
Al

Run your train, not your brain. Get RailPro. It's a no-brainer.