Author Topic: Power Outage / UPS/ Possible solution  (Read 953 times)

Andrew330

Re: Power Outage / UPS/ Possible solution
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2019, 05:56:53 pm »
Probably not, it's inside and I was just getting the info that Jeremy requested. I assume the log only starts once a GPS signal is found?

Paul_Sengupta

Re: Power Outage / UPS/ Possible solution
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2019, 06:16:42 pm »
I would think so.

Stu B

Re: Power Outage / UPS/ Possible solution
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2019, 09:25:34 pm »
Two comments on this - having also had issues due to the supply volts to the Charge4 dropping excessively. I have a (filament) landing light and tests showed that that was causing low volts at low engine revs, but I have overcome that by some improvements to wiring configuration and connections/earthing. However, another cause of low volts that I still have to live with is due to the current draw for the electric flaps - which of course tend to be deploying while engine revs are also low. Not sure if the OP here has electric flaps?

There have also been questions here about "UPS" - I had fitted a 5Ah RS powerbank between the Charge4 and the PAW (mainly to allow the PAW and tablet to get up and running and all looking happy before getting as far as engine start, though also to provide power continuity if the flap current caused the Charge4 to temporarily shut the port ), having understood from the RS website that the device would function as a UPS. But that was not successful - the RS battery just ran down as it did not accept input current while it as giving output current, so every few flights I had to take it home and charge it up despite it being connected to the Charge4 while flying. On the suggestion of a pilot mate I then bought a Zendure A2 battery - and that really does operate like a proper UPS, maintaining a steady output to keep the PAW running irrespective of whether the Zendrue was being charged by the Charge4, or whether the Charge4 port was for whatever reason  offline and no current was feeding the Zendure, and no sign of any hiccups on the output when the input changed from one state to the other. So for me it has proved an ideal solution.

BTW - until reading it here, I did not know that there was any benefit in using ports 1 or 3 on the Charge4 to mitigate any supply voltage dips - I had assumed all ports were identical. The fact that 1 & 3 will work from supply voltages down to ~9.9V whereas 2 & 4 need ~10.15 is useful; also the tip that the ports power up in the sequence 1,2,3,4 could be useful in some situations. Perhaps those details could be added to the user Manual in a future edition?

Stu

JCurtis

Re: Power Outage / UPS/ Possible solution
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2019, 10:09:02 pm »
Two comments on this - having also had issues due to the supply volts to the Charge4 dropping excessively. I have a (filament) landing light and tests showed that that was causing low volts at low engine revs, but I have overcome that by some improvements to wiring configuration and connections/earthing. However, another cause of low volts that I still have to live with is due to the current draw for the electric flaps - which of course tend to be deploying while engine revs are also low. Not sure if the OP here has electric flaps?

There have also been questions here about "UPS" - I had fitted a 5Ah RS powerbank between the Charge4 and the PAW (mainly to allow the PAW and tablet to get up and running and all looking happy before getting as far as engine start, though also to provide power continuity if the flap current caused the Charge4 to temporarily shut the port ), having understood from the RS website that the device would function as a UPS. But that was not successful - the RS battery just ran down as it did not accept input current while it as giving output current, so every few flights I had to take it home and charge it up despite it being connected to the Charge4 while flying. On the suggestion of a pilot mate I then bought a Zendure A2 battery - and that really does operate like a proper UPS, maintaining a steady output to keep the PAW running irrespective of whether the Zendrue was being charged by the Charge4, or whether the Charge4 port was for whatever reason  offline and no current was feeding the Zendure, and no sign of any hiccups on the output when the input changed from one state to the other. So for me it has proved an ideal solution.

BTW - until reading it here, I did not know that there was any benefit in using ports 1 or 3 on the Charge4 to mitigate any supply voltage dips - I had assumed all ports were identical. The fact that 1 & 3 will work from supply voltages down to ~9.9V whereas 2 & 4 need ~10.15 is useful; also the tip that the ports power up in the sequence 1,2,3,4 could be useful in some situations. Perhaps those details could be added to the user Manual in a future edition?

Stu

The low voltage flipping ports 2 and 4 off is in the manual.  The sequential start isn't, but could be.  What happens on boot is it starts to poll the ports in order, and it takes a little while for a port to activate, so they turn on in order.  It scans all 4 ports many times a second.  It's kind of like a soft start to avoid throwing a large load directly onto the supply.

If required I can tweak a Charge4 to keep running down to ~6.5v (on all ports if needed), not ideal as it doesn't fix the actual problem - so it's at your own risk.  Plus as the current goes up at the lower volts, it may pop the breaker.  It's a firmware change, which for the moment I need physical access to the charger to do.

Normally these issues are bad cable joints.  Insufficient gauge wire, or old wire that has had some of the internal strands break, making it appear as low gauge - classic of where soldered connectors have been used rather than crimped.  Of course low revs will mean the alternator is throwing out less power, which also doesn't help the situation.

With my R&D / market research hat on....

Would having a "keep alive" feature tied to a specific port be of use to people?
If so, what is the minimum hold time you'd like to see? Would 2 mins be OK?
Designer and maker of charge4.harkwood.co.uk, smart universal USB chargers designed for aviation.  USB power without the RF interference. Approved for EASA installs under CS-STAN too.

exfirepro

Re: Power Outage / UPS/ Possible solution
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2019, 08:46:55 am »
Hi Jeremy,

Interesting thread and some very useful clarification into how Charge4 works (which I am aware you have reported previously on another thread.)

As you know, I have been using Charge4 for several  years now, so I suppose I have just got used to PilotAware ‘shutting down and rebooting’ every time starting my engine pulls the battery voltage down - and have adjusted my routine to suit. Unfortunately, the alternative - i.e. to start the engine, then start PilotAware, wait ‘til it starts, then select ‘Go Flying’ in SkyDemon - means that my SD log file is always a few minutes behind my actual engine start time, - which I can live with, but know several users who hate this anomaly.

The addition of a ‘keep alive’ to prevent this annoying and predictable shutdown would IMO be a very significant bonus, both in removing the timing anomaly and preventing any break in PilotAware availability during this busy pre-flight period. It would presumably also have the additional benefit of protecting against minor ‘in flight’ power interruptions.

The backup obviously needs to be long enough to cover engine start, so a couple of minutes should be adequate under all but exceptional circumstances.

Best Regards

Peter

JCurtis

Re: Power Outage / UPS/ Possible solution
« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2019, 02:15:15 pm »
The addition of a ‘keep alive’ to prevent this annoying and predictable shutdown would IMO be a very significant bonus...

The backup obviously needs to be long enough to cover engine start, so a couple of minutes should be adequate under all but exceptional circumstances.

Noted, thanks.
Designer and maker of charge4.harkwood.co.uk, smart universal USB chargers designed for aviation.  USB power without the RF interference. Approved for EASA installs under CS-STAN too.

Andrew330

Re: Power Outage / UPS/ Possible solution
« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2019, 03:10:38 pm »
When I originally raised this, I was using port 2 (Lower left) I then changed to Port 1 (upper left) and can't recall the issue happening since.

Stu B

Re: Power Outage / UPS/ Possible solution
« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2019, 08:48:15 pm »
Sorry to "argue", Jeremy, but the difference in the port shut-down voltages is not mentioned at all in the version of the manual I downloaded from your website a few hours before making my previous post. The document  is marked as :
 Part: C40B-M,
Version: 1.0,
Date: June 2017.
Record of Change: Initial release for CS-STAN (Harkwood Services Ltd).

is there any possibility the version available for download from your web site is not the current version you are looking at? I read it carefully before making my post above, and have re-read it again now and can state categorically there is nowhere that the different minimum voltages for the upper and lower ports is mentioned, the only feed voltage information is in the "Technical Specifications" section, which states "Input Voltage 11v - 30v DC; something seems not to be what it ought to be!

Out of curiosity I'll change my feed to Port 1, though now I have the Zendure as a robust UPS it's a matter of curiosity rather than necessity for me.

As an aside, I have the PAW GPS on a short USB lead so I can place it in an optimal position (near the top of the bubble canopy) where it gets a significantly better signal than the tablet or phone's internal GPSs which are both below the panel, but I had been wary of allowing the PAW GPS to be the GPS source for the tablet/phone because thereby the continuity of the GPS feed is dependant on the PAW and its wifi staying online. Now I have high confidence in the continuity of PAW operation thanks to the Zendure, there's perhaps a case for reconsidering that decision.

Best Regards

Stu

JCurtis

Re: Power Outage / UPS/ Possible solution
« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2019, 09:53:27 pm »
Sorry to "argue", Jeremy, but the difference in the port shut-down voltages is not mentioned at all in the version of the manual I downloaded from your website a few hours before making my previous post. The document  is marked as :
 Part: C40B-M,
Version: 1.0,
Date: June 2017.
Record of Change: Initial release for CS-STAN (Harkwood Services Ltd).

is there any possibility the version available for download from your web site is not the current version you are looking at? I read it carefully before making my post above, and have re-read it again now and can state categorically there is nowhere that the different minimum voltages for the upper and lower ports is mentioned, the only feed voltage information is in the "Technical Specifications" section, which states "Input Voltage 11v - 30v DC; something seems not to be what it ought to be!

No argument from me.  The manual says the normal operating range is 11v - 30v, so between these things will run as expected.

The fault codes on page 3 says that for ports 2 & 4, the lights will flash twice.  The reason being...

Code: [Select]
Under-voltage detected
Charging suspended until the voltage returns to normal
Diagnostic port displays Input Voltage @ xx.x is out of 11v - 30v range.

I read that to mean that port 2 & 4 will be suspended as the voltage is below 11v.
For the purposes of the manual, the numbers are correct. 

However, there is an in-built margin around the nominal voltages - some of these numbers I put on the forum to help users with problems. 

I've only seen under volt issues in a handful of installs.  I have modified a few Charge4 to suit a particular installation, if the reason for the under voltage cannot be easily resolved.

I've always offered help via e-mail, and have also physically sorted out a few installs in users aircraft too (*waves to those who have met me*).

Perhaps I should stick to just quoting the manual rather than provide a bit more detail of what is happening internally, at least on forums, as it appears to be confusing.
Designer and maker of charge4.harkwood.co.uk, smart universal USB chargers designed for aviation.  USB power without the RF interference. Approved for EASA installs under CS-STAN too.

exfirepro

Re: Power Outage / UPS/ Possible solution
« Reply #24 on: November 09, 2019, 11:13:47 pm »

As an aside, I have the PAW GPS on a short USB lead so I can place it in an optimal position (near the top of the bubble canopy) where it gets a significantly better signal than the tablet or phone's internal GPSs which are both below the panel, but I had been wary of allowing the PAW GPS to be the GPS source for the tablet/phone because thereby the continuity of the GPS feed is dependant on the PAW and its wifi staying online. Now I have high confidence in the continuity of PAW operation thanks to the Zendure, there's perhaps a case for reconsidering that decision.

Best Regards

Stu

Stu,

I can’t answer for Jeremy, but I can say with confidence that for well over 4 years now, I have been flying with PilotAware as the sole GPS source for my tablet(s) running SkyDemon or various other programs without any gps issues whatsoever. I have experienced PAW dropouts due to low voltage, but only during engine start and not due to gps issues.

Best Regards

Peter

rogellis

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Re: Power Outage / UPS/ Possible solution
« Reply #25 on: November 17, 2019, 06:18:57 pm »
.
I put a (largeish) capacitor in the 5v circuit out of the Anker DC converter.

It was recommended for the electronic instruments I am using, to stop transients from resetting the instruments.  I figured if it would help the instruments survive transients, it would help the PAW too. 

Roger