Battery Charging and Care
Robot Overlord DJ Sures and Professor E give an overview of how to charge EZ-Robot batteries and where the battery cables are on each robot body.
This tutorial covers charging your battery. We will introduce the charger, battery and how to charge it. Your EZ-Robot Revolution Robot includes a Balance Charger for the 7.4v LiPo battery. There are AC/Mains adapters for international countries. The EZ-B v4 includes a battery saver feature which will prevent the robot from operating and damaging the battery if the voltage is too low.
Charge Before First Use
The LiPo battery in your EZ-Robot must be fully charged before using. This will ensure a proper synchronization between the LiPo battery and supplied charging unit. Not charging LiPo batteries before using is detrimental to the longevity of LiPo batteries.
Never Drain LiPo Batteries
If you leave your robot powered on with the EZ-B v4's verbal battery warning message for too long, the LiPo battery will drain and be damaged. Be sure to not accidentally leave your robot on over night or during transportation, as the battery will drain and be damaged. The power switch on your EZ-Robot has been recessed to prevent accidental switching on/off. The EZ-Robot LiPo Battery Charger will display status and error codes for damaged batteries. The instructions within this document explain the error codes. If your battery has been drained past the EZ-B v4 verbal warning message, it may be damaged and require a replacement. Battery replacements can be found HERE.
Disconnect After Charged
Keeping a battery connected to the charger after it has fully charged will drain the battery. Disconnect the LiPo batteries from the charger once it has notified you that the charging process has completed. Unlike house-hold rechargeable batteries, LiPo batteries do not have a "trickle charging" process. Once the LiPo charger detects the battery is charged, it will stop providing current to the battery to prevent over-charging. If the battery stays connected to the charger after it has stopped charging, the electronics inside the charger will drain the battery. Leaving a battery connected to the charger after it has charged will drain and damage the battery.
Battery Care and Monitor
LiPo stands for Lithium Polymer or Lithium-ion Polymer. LiPo batteries should never be drained passed the battery monitor limits, which is why we included a Battery Saver in the EZ-B v4. To read more on this topic, consult this Wikipedia Page.
The EZ-B v4 has a built-in battery monitor which will verbally warn you if the battery is drained below the recommended voltage threshold (7 volts). You don't need to keep track of the voltage, because the EZ-B v4 does it for you. The EZ-B v4 will become non-operational when the battery monitor detects a lower voltage than the threshold and must be shut off immediately to avoid draining the battery. Do not disable the battery monitor or you increase the risk of damaging your LiPo. When a LiPo battery is drained below the recommended threshold, it will begin to "puff up" and swell. A swollen/puffy battery not only performs poorly, but it is unsafe and will have a decreased life expectancy or possibly explode. The only way a LiPo battery can swell with the EZ-B v4 is if the battery monitor is disabled, or the EZ-B v4 is left on while the verbal battery warning message is repeating.
*Warning: Do not run/use/power-on your robot while the battery charger is connected to the battery - doing so may cause the battery to overheat and explode. Never charge batteries while the robot is powered on! See the bottom of this document for images to identify what a "puffy" battery looks like.
This puffy behavior of LiPo batteries has plagued the RC industry for years from over discharging. Over discharge (letting the battery go below 7v) by keeping the robot switched ON while the battery monitor continues to verbally warn will damage the battery. There is no rescue from the scenario and the battery must therefore be disposed of. See the bottom of this document for images to identify what a "puffy" battery looks like. The simply action to prevent this scenario is to power off the robot when the battery monitor verbally alerts you that the battery is low.
EZ-Robot has spent many years extensively testing LiPo batteries using the EZ-B's battery saver feature. We have batteries which have been used in our robots for years and charged many times per day with testing, demos and presentations. Batteries may be recharged many times per day as long as there is a 30 minute cool down period between using and charging. You may recharge the battery as many times per day as necessary to enjoy your EZ-Robot. Optionally, you may purchase additional replacement batteries in our store here.
Power Down & Cool Down
Ensure your EZ-Robot is powered off. Do not run/use/power-on your robot while the battery charger is connected to the battery - doing so may cause the battery to overheat and explode. Never charge batteries while the robot is powered on! See the bottom of this document for images to identify what a "puffy" battery looks like. It is important to provide the batteries a 30 minute minimum cool-down period after use before recharging batteries. If the battery is not provided the proper 30 minute cool-down period, the battery charger may return an error code (6 red led flashes with 1 second pause) and the battery will not be charged. Cool the battery and robot away from direct sunlight before charging.
Connect the exposed battery charging cable from the robot body into the balance charger port. The images below show where to find the battery charging cable on all three Revolution robots bodies.
Identified Puffy Damaged LiPo Battery
This behavior of LiPo batteries has plagued the R/C and robot industry for years from over discharging. Over discharge (letting the battery go below 6.6v) damages the battery by changing the chemistry and it becomes puffy (gassy). There is no rescue from this scenario, once the battery is depleted there is no restoring the battery. When the battery is puffy, it must be disposed of.
Power (Red):: Power
Charging (Red): : Currently Charging
Charging (Green): : Charging Complete
The RED led indicates that AC/Mains power has been supplied to the charger. If there is not a battery connected to the charger, the GREEN light should be off.
Notice the GREEN light when the battery is charging. The balance charger detects the battery voltage and begins charging the battery when the GREEN light glows.
*Note: The charger will get quite warm (hot in some cases) while the battery is charging. This is normal and depends on how much charging the battery requires.
When the GREEN light stops glowing, the battery is charged. Charging the battery should not take longer than 3 hours. In most cases, it will take less than 1.5 hours to charge from the level of the EZ-B v4's Battery Saver.
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