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Plug the charger into the wall outlet before plugging the charger cable into the battery’s (XLR) circular three-prong connector located on the battery. Connecting the charger to the wall outlet before connecting it to the battery will prevent sparking from occurring.
5 AMP CHARGING TO 100% (84 VOLTS)
5 AMP CHARGING TO 97% (83.3 VOLTS)
10 AMP CHARGING TO 100% (84 VOLTS)
10 AMP CHARGING TO 97% (83.3 VOLTS)
These are real-world range averages based on my experience and that of others. Your range will most likely differ to be either greater or less based on where you live, temperatures, conditioning of the battery, riding style, and many other factors.
NEW YORK CITY - FLAT
SAN FRANCISCO - HILLS
The Onyx RCR display has both a battery charge bar and a voltmeter. I recommend that you only use the voltmeter on the display for the exact state of charge of the battery. The Onyx RCR draws 0.6 volts while it is turned on. The new Onyx RCR v1.5 accounts for this.
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When the weather temperature is above 85° Fahrenheit, lithium batteries will simply put, react differently during charging and discharging. More aggressive, faster, and intense hill climbing will generate higher internal battery temperatures.The Onyx 23ah battery cells are rated to 140° Fahrenheit with the BMS triggering battery cut off at 158° Fahrenheit. The Onyx 23ah battery cannot communicate its temperatures but a temperature probe with an external gauge can be installed inside the battery compartment.Watch for temperatures reaching 120° Fahrenheit as your sign to lean off the throttle. The better you treat your battery on hot days, the better it will continue to perform over time and without sacrificing its charge cycle count.
After riding allow the Onyx RCR 23ah battery to rest in the shade for a half-hour before charging, especially with a 10 amp fast charger. On days above 90 Fahrenheit after riding wait an hour before charging. By allowing the battery to rest after riding before charging has a positive longevity and performance effect. It increases the charge cycle count, allows the ions and electrons to rest, reduces its operating temperature, and prevents potential thermal runaways that no BMS can stop on hot days after a hard ride.
Overnight charging and consecutive balancing are safe to do as the Onyx RCR stock charger and battery management system provide redundant fail-safe mechanisms. As the battery charge level arrives at 97% 83 volts the charger will reduce its amperage output substantially lower and begin trickle charging. In turn, reducing its heat output and shutting off its cooling fan for the remainder of the charging, trickle charging, and also during the battery balancing.
The Onyx RCR now comes with a charging cable protective holding cap just outside the right-side porthole. During winter or rainy days switch to an XLR rubber cap to further protect it from the elements.
Cleaning the male charger pins and female battery porthole connector reduces electrical resistance. Electrical resistance makes for an inefficient connection and generates heat. Clean the battery female portholes and charge male pins by removing the cotton from one end of the cotton swab, place two drops of contact cleaner bare end of the cotton swab. Insert the bare end of the cotton swab with contact cleaner into the battery female portholes while twisting. The end of the cotton swab where the cotton hasn’t been removed also gets two drops of contact cleaner to clean the male end of the charger.
Unbalanced batteries when fully charged will show on the display between 81.6 volts and 82.8 volts. They will also cut out sooner as high as 74 volts rather than 60 volts. A simple way to tell how unbalanced the 23ah battery is by intentionally trying to make it cut out.
Make sure to have your key fob and be near your home before performing this test. Start by allowing the battery to get down to 69 volts. Switch to sports mode and from a standstill, first, lean forward then full twist the throttle for half a block while trying to keep an eye on the voltmeter on the display.
If the battery cuts out at 64 volts then that means the battery is unbalanced up to 64 volts. If the battery cuts out at 60 volts then the battery is fully balanced.
The power switch located on the battery itself should remain in the “on” position when charging the battery. Not to be mistaken with the power switch located next to the throttle. The alarm fob power options play no role in charging. The battery power switch controls the state of the battery management system (BMS) charge and discharge connectors. Turning off the battery power switch turns off the charge and discharge ports.
Use the battery power switch when connecting the battery back into the bike. There is no need to turn off the power switch when storing the battery or when not using the bike for more than two weeks. When the battery power switch is in the “on” position and the bike is turned off from either the throttle power switch or the alarm fob, the bike draws 0.2 volts. Over time this will drain the battery down very slowly.
Increasing the charge cycles also means that the electrolyte that is between the anode and cathode will be healthier for the electrons to pass through. This means better current draw, lower sag levels, and lower cut-off levels. Increase the charge cycles from 800 to 1500 with any lower amperage charger capable of 5 amps and below.
Charging the Onyx RCR battery every day to 100% would still add up to over 3 years of good use. Whereas most Onyx RCR owners will not be charging their battery every day of the month. A Grin Tech Cycle Satiator charger can be programmed to charge the Onyx RCR battery to 50% to more than quadruple the charge cycles or 85% to more than double the charge cycles.
ICharging at a lower amperage charge rate of 2.5 amps will result in a longer battery run time. While a higher amperage charge rate of 10 amps will provide more performance acceleration. Getting the maximum performance out of the Onyx RCR requires taking great care of its battery. Understanding that the bike and the battery are two separate things goes a long way. There are four things to understand about any Onyx RCR battery.
Constant voltage charging is not the same as battery balancing. Battery balancing occurs after the “constant voltage” portion of charging the battery. When the Onyx RCR stock 5 amp charger light turns green, that means 97% (83.3 volts) of the charge is complete. The remaining 3% to charge to 100% (84.0 volts) takes 95 more minutes after the charger light turns green. This last 3% of the charge is called “constant voltage” and is done through trickle charging. It is okay to charge the Onyx RCR to 97% (83.3 volts) (charger light turns green) and go for a ride.
Become familiar with the amount of battery sag full throttle causes in eco mode, normal mode, and sports mode. Sag is described as the amount of electricity drawn depending on how much throttle is given. On a colder day it is not uncommon at full throttle for the voltage sag to be 7 volts and on warmer days for it to be between 4 volts to 5 volts.
When the amount of battery sag falls below 59.4 volts, the Onyx RCR will turn off. Cut off occurs because the battery management is protecting the batteries from damage. One way to turn the Onyx RCR back on after it has cut off due to dropping below 59.4 volts is to roll the bike while slightly applying the left brake, which will engage the regenerative braking after having turned the battery switch off then on after waiting 10 seconds.
When storing the Onyx RCR battery, charge it as close as possible to 50% (74 Volts) and set the battery switch to the on position. Lithium batteries are under the most strain when they’re fully charged or completely discharged. At 50% charge, this means that half of its moveable lithium ions are in the lithium cobalt oxide layer and the other half are in the graphite layer.
Battery balancing is available on the Onyx RCR although it is not available on most e-bikes. Battery balancing serves the purpose of equalizing the voltage between all 160 individual battery cells inside the Onyx RCR battery. When a battery is balanced, 100% of its capacity is available, whereas an unbalanced battery provides less than 100% of its capacity and causes premature battery degradation. Balancing can be done every so often, once every two months, or more often depending on the use of the bike.
Begin balancing the Onyx RCR battery by charging for 3 days (72 hours) consecutively. On the second day (24 hours) toggle the battery power switch located on the battery off for 30 seconds and then turn it back on. Then on the 3rd day (48 hours) also toggle the battery power switch located on the battery off for 30 seconds and then turn it back on.
Onyx RCR batteries that have been fully charged less than 300 times should also follow the battery balancing method described above. Unbalanced batteries can cause the battery management system to cut out the battery sooner when the charge is low.
The Onyx RCR battery management system which is contained inside the battery requires that the charger be plugged in for it to balance individual cells even if the battery is fully charged. The Onyx RCR battery is comprised of 160 Panasonic NCR18650PF 2900mAh 10amp 18560 batteries. These are a popular battery brand and model known for its reliability and consistency.
The Onyx BMS (battery management system) is programmed to maintain the individual batteries between 4.20 volts charged to 3.00 volts depleted. Although individual 18650 batteries can be charged as high as 4.25 volts and as low as 2.50 volts, it is healthier for the batteries in terms of charge cycles and safer to keep batteries between 4.20 volts and 3.00 volts.
During riding, the BMS monitors the voltage of the battery pack as a whole and that of the individual battery groups. One of the functions of the BMS is to protect the batteries from undercharging. If the BMS detects any individuals battery(s) that have depleted closer to 3.00 volts (60 volts) before all the other batteries, it will cut off the battery to protect the lower unbalanced depleted battery(s) from undercharging below 3.00 volts.
MORE OFTEN RIDER
The Onyx RCR battery management system is programmed from 4.20 volts (84.0 volts) to 3.00 volts (60 volts). The benefits of this voltage range are a better battery cycle life by not discharging lower than 3.00 volts and it’s safer to not charge above 4.20 volts. Nominal voltage is where most of the battery’s capacity is stored, between 3.6 volts (72 volts) and 3.695 volts (73.9 volts).
The Onyx RCR battery does not discharge in a straight constant line, it is more like a curve where the top of the charge above 85% (80.4 volts) and the charge below 15% (68.8 volts) deplete faster. The entire 84 volts are available but spread out and discharged at a different rate towards the top of the charge and bottom of the charge.
If an Onyx RCR battery is well balanced then it will cut out at 60 volts. If the battery is unbalanced, it can cut out at 67 volts or below, depending on the degree in different voltages between the individual cells.
LOW VOLTAGE DISCHARGE CURVE