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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello. I completed a vw bus conversion to a hyper9. Everything works as it should except the charger. I was briefly getting a half an amp coming from the charger then nothing. The can adaptor error light is on until I unplug can plug from charger. All other can components work as they should. I get 60 omhs across can high and low until I plug the charger in to 110. I then get no continuity across can high/low. I’m using the 110 volt plug it came with. Yesterday when I checked resistance at charger can plug, I got zero ohms. Can lines also went to zero. Not sure if charger was plugged into 110 or not but today when charger is plugged into 110 I get no continuity at charger plug. Until about 45 seconds after charger unplugged. I’m new to this but it’s been fun. Any insight greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
 

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A little insight maybe:

I get 60 omhs across can high and low until I plug the charger in to 110. I then get no continuity across can high/low.
Were any of the other CANbus components powered on when you did measure the correct 60Ohms? Usually testing a CAN circuit for resistance would require all devices to be off, or your multimeter will likely beep if is sees voltage when testing for resistance. With the charger turned off, probing directly into the high and low pins, do you still see a dead short? If so, your charger's CAN circuit has failed or is faulty. I will suspect it isn't until you can confirm that test.

The can adaptor error light is on until I unplug can plug from charger.
From your other thread I see you have Orion BMS2, so I am assuming you are talking about your Ewert CANDapter. Feel free to include these details and mention by name other components in your related circuit when asking for help here; the less leg work the readers have to do to find out about your components, the more likely they are to be helpful. Also remember that the info that helps you fix the problem can be of major help to anyone else who finds this thread.

Second thing I would try if I encountered this is disconnect the battery connections from the charger and try plugging into AC again. If error light activity improves, re-introduce them starting with B+, turn on system and test again, then connect B- and repeat system test. Note ANY differences.

Please share with us where your CAN wire shielding is connected to ground/drain. Use your meter to confirm and investigate anything you aren't sure of (I tend to set my meter to the ohms setting that does not beep when diagnosing deeper into things, as I see people fooled by the beep and assuming it always means close to zero ohms). Orion supplied harnesses connect the shield of both CAN 1 and 2 to 12V GND inside the BMS. Elcon chargers may reference B(-) for their logic circuit. You want to make sure the shields and ground references are correct to avoid current finding its way through your CANbus if something isn't right.
Are you using CAN1 and CAN2 on Orion? Different devices on different busses? I have seen a warning message when auto-configuring Orion to transmit TC/Elcon chargers telling me to use a baud rate that is not actually the correct rate for the TC charger.
Good news is that Orion software has a live CAN traffic page that can help you see if other devices are present on the bus. I also at one time had some software that came with a CANDapter that had a mini CAN traffic analyzer program, check your install CDs if you want dig into this stuff later on.

The can adaptor error light is on until I unplug can plug from charger. All other can components work as they should.
Are you saying the error light is on and you maintain communication with the BMS on your computer, longer than the 5 seconds it takes to timeout? Are you still seeing some green light activity during this error light state? If so, the charger is not crashing the bus completely.

I was briefly getting a half an amp coming from the charger then nothing.
When did this occur in terms of timeline that the charger was connected to battery and canbus and the AC wall plug? First crack at it? After some fiddling?
How was the half amp measured?

Let us know and congrats on making it this far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply.
I’m not sure what was on or off when I first started testing can lines. I’ll pay closer attention to that. It would explain why my readings were erratic.
By dead short you mean zero ohms? I did not get zero ohms at the plug yesterday but the day before all I got was zero ohms at charger can plug. Not sure the variable. I’ll pay closer attention.
Yes, ewert can adapter. I will try to disconnect reconnect battery from hv as you describe and report back.
I do not have the shielded lines grounded yet. Is this where the instructions say all these grounds need to be at the same place?
I am using can one lines on the Orion. I’m not sure what you mean by different devices on different busses. But I assume I am not.
Yes. Can adapter green and red light are on at the same time. The error does not seem to inhibit any other functions.
I’m not sure about the half amp. I briefly saw bms software showing -.5 amps. I assumed that was charge coming in. But I’m not really sure if that is what was actually happening.
I’ll keep working on it today and report back. Thanks.
 

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By dead short you mean zero ohms?
Yes zero or under 1 ohm ballpark is my definition of dead short. Sorry about the wording.

I do not have the shielded lines grounded yet. Is this where the instructions say all these grounds need to be at the same place?
Yes/no but let's be clear on the differences between shielding and grounding. It may be misleading as the manual goes from talking about the shields to talking about the grounds quickly.
For now if you have used the factory orion main harness, your CAN cable shield is connected on one end to 12v gnd and should be OK for now. Does the Elcon have any wires coming out from the CAN port other than high and low? Like a shield wire that connects to a pin on the charger? Find out but you can sort this out later.

Now, regarding ground references from wiring manual:
"Any external devices connected to the Orion BMS’s CAN interface must share a common ground with the BMS (Main I/O connector pin 12). This is important as differences in ground potentials can damage the CAN transceivers on the BMS and on other devices. If it is not possible to use the same ground, external CAN isolations devices must be used. Please note that while the low voltage electronics in the BMS are electrically isolated from the battery pack, the CAN
transceivers are referenced to the 12v – 24v power supply ground and are not electrically isolated from the 12v – 24v power supply ground or from each other. If the BMS is connected to motor controllers, chargers, or other devices which do not offer isolation between the high voltage battery pack and the CANBUS (or any other low voltage signals that are connected to the BMS), an external CANBUS isolator is required for safety and for the protection of the equipment."

This is something you need to make sure you are clear on. I am not familiar with your newer Elcon model but its spec sheet and CAN mapping document do not convince me either way whether the CAN references battery (-) or is isolated internally. Old ones with optional CAN did reference battery (-) for their low voltage circuit. Not what you want if it forces you to tie chassis/12v system ground to battery negative to achieve a common reference. And yes, issues here can result in fried CAN transceivers or even melted wires in some cases.

I am using can one lines on the Orion. I’m not sure what you mean by different devices on different busses. But I assume I am not.
Some installations will use CAN2 on the Orion directly to the charger, and CAN1 to motor controllers, etc. CAN network design takes some knowledge of how all of the above discussed grounding and stuff works, so unless you have built your van wiring EXACTLY to a schematic for a proven kit using all of the same components, you are designing a CAN network and need to learn more about the topic. Fried components can really slow down a project.

Perhaps before you go any further, confirm the baud rate of your Elcon charger as ordered. Looks like default is 250 but other options exist.
What is the baud rate of all the other components that are functioning correctly on the bus?
I suspect this is what is causing your issue, while the other things I brought up still need to be understood and addressed.

I’m not sure about the half amp. I briefly saw bms software showing -.5 amps. I assumed that was charge coming in. But I’m not really sure if that is what was actually happening.
Have you spun the wheels on your van electrically yet? Does current show up as positive value when you did? Checking that your current sensor is programmed for correct direction.
The bigger CAN TC/Elcon chargers that I see will only turn their fan when actually outputting charge current, in case you noticed that happening or not.

Let us know!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have driven the van a few miles. Drives well. A friend brought a charger over and I am seeing -11 amps through the Orion software. So I was in fact briefly getting a half amp from the elcon.
I’ll read the rest of your reply more carefully and get back to you. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think everything is at 500 baud. Receipt for the charger says 500 baud also. Could the charger actually be different than what the paperwork says? How would I know?
 

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While connected to bms, watch the Live CAN Traffic tab. Plug the charger in to power while connected to the bus and see if there are new identifiers present.
I have not worked with that tab much but it should show some info. I referred earlier to software that was supplied with the CANDapter. Did you get cd rom with your dapter?
 

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I will see if I can find that program I mentioned.
Was your friend's charger direct plug and play CAN style charger? Have you had a chance to probe into high and low on your charger again (powered down)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The charger I’m using is an ancient Zivan. Not the best charger for the job but I monitor it closely while on.
I am now getting no continuity on the charger can lines. The plug coming from charger that is.
But when the sun comes up I will look at can data from software when I plug charger in. But still getting can adapter error light when charger gets plugged in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I get nothing happening on the live can read out when plug charger in. The can adapter error light comes on as the charger makes a small click. If I un plug charger the error light stays on for about a minute and goes out.
 

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Had you sent this to them when you still believed there to be close to 0 Ohms on the CANbus with the charger plugged in to the wall? You have since confirmed no measurable continuity inside the charger high-low when it is unplugged.
"the connector from us" stays connected to the CAN circuit when you unplugged the harness from the charger, correct?

I don't think he is giving much thought to his response. You should have two 120 ohm resistors on a correct bus, one on each end, making 60 Ohms. You have one built in to Orion as you are using CAN1, and it sounds like the other is inside "connector from us"
Can you take a pic of this connector and verify 60Ohms with it unplugged from the charger and all system powered down (if that is not something you have already done and commented above)? Just unclear if you had found 60 Ohms when charger was connected to the bus.

Strange you saw NOTHING on your live CAN traffic tab, should be at least the BMS stuff happening on there. Did you hit the play or start button?

While you are troubleshooting, pull up live text data tab on Orion app, go to Advanced Parameters and tell us your shortest wave with charger disconnected, connected and not powered, and then connected and powered. Connected meaning plugged into CAN network
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yes I did hit play on the live can tab. No red blocks appeared. There were no changes in values when charger was plugged in. But error light came on.
I have 60 ohms when charger is plugged into bms. Until charger gets 110 volts.
Could the can high and lo be backward from the plug they made? I see the resistor but the polarity could be switched. Causing no problem from any device except the charger?
 

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Hey, yeah that is very possible. I usually assume supplied harnesses to be correct so I didn't even consider it. Could cause the things you are seeing. Try swapping. Maybe you'll solve your own issue
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
This charger was doa. Can network corrupt. Everything else working perfectly. I’ve put about 200 miles on this hyper9 powered vw and it drives unbelievably well, flawlessly. I get about a 30 mile range.
I need a new can enabled charger. Any suggestions? I will not buy another elcon. They do not stand behind their product.
I was thinking Thunder struck chargers looks good and is local. Any thoughts on my new charger? Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for All the advice on my issue. I am about to open this elcon charger up to see if I can spot any obvious problems. Any advice as to obvious signs of can bus corruption I should be looking for? Can I turn this into a non can bus charger and just turn it on and off?
Thanks.
 

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Sorry to hear about the DOA charger. How did you determine it was bad? You did have some 60-120 ohms on the bus when connected to it with whatever dongle you used, right? Not to doubt your attention, just to confirm. *edit added: * have you confirmed the charger is not working at a different baud rate by connecting to it directly with another CAN dongle?

Tc/elcon chargers are 99.2% of my charger experience. Out of the hundreds that have gone by in my workplace I only know of a handful that have been bad from new. And, yes, getting any help from china even at those quantities has proven to not be worth pursuing. Guessing that Elcon also can't get much luck if they took your charger back and tried getting a refund from TC China. Also with DIY, the assumption may be that the "end-loser" caused the failure. Understandable that you are frustrated nonetheless.

Any advice as to obvious signs of can bus corruption I should be looking for?
You would probably need to be versed in SMD removal and in depth electronics testing, if it's not all encased in potting mayonnaise. If accessible, the can transciever chip and any surpressors on the line edit: and caps and optocouplers, etc, and from there you are far beyond my paygrade. :)

Can I turn this into a non can bus charger and just turn it on and off?
That will also take some pretty serious understanding of the circuit design.

I am still concerned about that little bit of charge current you saw... me wonders if it was truly DOA. Just be sure all the grounds/references are good before you connect another. Was your friend''s charger Can or on/off enable?
 
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