Author Topic: Response about charging from Ring Engineering  (Read 6127 times)

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Response about charging from Ring Engineering
« on: October 09, 2015, 01:28:30 PM »
Originally posted by William Brillinger on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jun 15, 2015

I received the following reply to my question [about Battery Life] from Ring:

Hi Bill,

"Can the software be changed to allow charging during use"
I am not sure.  It is unlikely on a HC-1 but may be possible on a HC-2.

We do not give out specifics that may pertain to product design. Sorry about that.  If there is a problem with your HC or the PA-1 we would be happy to help you resolve it.

Please do the charge discharge cycle describe below and report to us your run time on a charge.  So far every HC we received back has run over 8 hours on a single charge and we know that we tested some that were used significantly and were over three years old.

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.

Please let us know if you have any more questions.

Thank you for contacting Ring Engineering!
-----------------------------------

Cheers,
- Bill
   

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Re: Response about charging from Ring Engineering
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2015, 01:28:44 PM »
Originally posted by LK&O on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jun 15, 2015

Is anyone getting 8 hours of use on a single charge? I am curious now. I may go through the discharge/charge steps to make certain the batteries are topped off and try a marathon session again. This time I'll run until it blinks.


« Last Edit: October 09, 2015, 02:17:06 PM by Archive »

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Re: Response about charging from Ring Engineering
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2015, 01:28:58 PM »
Originally posted by William Brillinger on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jun 15, 2015

Ha!

I just started a discharge session on my controller with the same thought in mind.
I set the brightness all the way up and turned off the auto display.

- Bill


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Re: Response about charging from Ring Engineering
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2015, 01:29:15 PM »
Originally posted by kpack05 on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jun 15, 2015

Bill you beat me to it!  I also got a response from Tim along the same lines as yours.  I'm going to try the charge-discharge cycle on my HC-1 and see what that does.

Here's part of the response he sent to me that is pertinent to our discussion.  It is basically the same as the info Bill recieved:

"Doing things like software updates, transferring/downloading files, etc drain the batteries at an amazing rate."
Software updates only drain the battery at about 10% more than not being plugged into USB.  The battery indicator is less accurate with the HC plugged in to USB but you can get about 6 hours of down load time on a newer set of batteries that are fully charged.  We can make software updates to improve the accuracy of the HC charge indicator during downloads.  The HC-2's with a specific hardware does significantly report the battery level lower than it should and there for can be limited to about 4 hours of download time.  But the actual battery level will still be about 50%.   Therefore to recharge it will only be 1.5 hours (not 3) and running after download would be about 4 hours. 

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.
Please let us know if you have any more questions.

Tim

Ring Engineering Inc."

-Kevin

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Re: Response about charging from Ring Engineering
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2015, 01:29:32 PM »
Originally posted by William Brillinger on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jun 15, 2015

Charging Test...

I fully charged my HC-2.
I set my brightness to full.
I set it to not sleep.
I turned it on at 2:30 pm.
At 4:30 it was down to the last bar.
It is now 6:55pm and it's still on the last bar, and not red or flashing yet.

Who knew?!

I'll update you when it finally dies.
- Bill

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Re: Response about charging from Ring Engineering
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2015, 01:29:59 PM »
Originally posted by LK&O on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jun 16, 2015

So Bill, how long did the HC-2 keep working?

Maybe that last bar is where all the juice is!

« Last Edit: October 09, 2015, 02:17:02 PM by Archive »

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Re: Response about charging from Ring Engineering
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2015, 01:30:25 PM »
Originally posted by William Brillinger on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jun 16, 2015

The last bar is where all the juice was!

Charging Test...

I fully charged my HC-2.
I set my brightness to full.
I set it to not sleep.

    2:30 pm - turned it on
    4:30 pm - showing the last bar.
    10:00 pm - showing red
    10:40 pm - it had shut down
    Flashing battery indicator on re-power.


I've never let it get to "red" before!
I've got it on the charger now.

    7:45 am - on the charger
    9:00 am - shows 1/2 charged
    11:00 am - shows full indicator, but still says "charging"
    2:45 pm - shows full indicator, but still says "charging"


I have always put it on the charger when not in use
I have never let it discharge fully.
I have used the reset button before. This would have been while it was near full.

- Bill

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Re: Response about charging from Ring Engineering
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2015, 01:30:38 PM »
Originally posted by picturemaker22 on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jun 17, 2015

I fully charged my HC-2, turned it on and set it to 50% brightness and not to sleep.

   started at 1215 PM

   red line started at 905 PM

   Black screen by  930 PM

   The batteries lasted 8 hours and 50 minutes of useable power, the last bar lasted about 3 hours.

That's a lot more than I expected.

Mel

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Re: Response about charging from Ring Engineering
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2015, 01:30:53 PM »
Originally posted by TS on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jun 17, 2015

This is all good but let's remember on-but-not-being-used power
consumption may not be the same as on-and-being-used power consumption;
we may still not know how long it really lasts. Hopefully they are
the same.

As much as I love the system, as we cannot easily change batteries
or use it while charging I certainly couldn't recommend it if it can't
go the distance of an average day at a train show.

Cheers,

Tim

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Re: Response about charging from Ring Engineering
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2015, 01:31:03 PM »
Originally posted by LK&O on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jun 17, 2015

The conclusions drawn from these tests may be the battery lasts 8 hours and the charge indicator is not linear.

« Last Edit: October 09, 2015, 02:16:32 PM by Archive »

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Re: Response about charging from Ring Engineering
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2015, 01:31:13 PM »
Originally posted by William Brillinger on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jun 17, 2015

I plan to OP till IT drops this weekend ;)
I'll let you know how it goes.


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Re: Response about charging from Ring Engineering
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2015, 01:31:26 PM »
Originally posted by kpack05 on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jun 17, 2015

Interesting results.  I'm going to have to try the same with my HC-1.  I've reset a good number of times in the past due to testing beta software (some bugs that I found locked up the controller), and I've never done the discharge/charge cycle like Ring outlined.  All this time I've been assuming my controller has been showing the right battery status, but I don't think that it is.  I'll the 3-yr old HC-1 gets a good 8 hours of battery life as well once properly calibrated.

It will be interesting to see how your "testing" goes this weekend Bill!  Have lots of fun!

-Kevin

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Paging Billy. Op'ed tilll it stopped?
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2015, 02:15:47 PM »
Originally posted by TS on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jul 18, 2015

Billy,

Were you able to do that "op 'till it stops" session to see how long
the HC-2 lasted on a full charge while being operated?

Cheers,

Tim

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Paging Billy. Op'ed tilll it stopped?
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2015, 02:16:10 PM »
Originally posted by William Brillinger on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jul 18, 2015

I have not yet done so. Been too busy with lighting!

William Brillinger

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Re: Response about charging from Ring Engineering
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2016, 08:20:49 AM »
I still have not had an opportunity to "Op Till it Drops" but what I have done is this:

I held an op session on Saturday with 2 HC2's.
We started at full charge.
We ran them for almost 7 hours.
I put one of the throttles on the charger so I would have one to program with.
The other I left off the charger.

I had another op session yesterday with my nephew.
Using the uncharged throttle, we started on 1 bar.
We ran for about 3.5 hours.
The throttle is still showing 1 bar this morning.

Amazing!

I'll see how long it still takes to drain it this weekend.
- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

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