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Unread 01-24-2016, 01:31 PM   #1
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Default Modifying PowerDrive charger to use with a Timer or Remote Control

The audience for this quick project is the large majority of Golf Cart owners that own a OEM charger without float mode.

I decided to add a timer (really remote On/Off) capability to my Powerdrive 3 charger.

The typical method would be to add a 120v coil relay to the charger and run the "sense" wire through the Normally Open connections of the relay.

That way the "sense" wire gets disconnected when the AC power is removed from the charger.


I don't like that method for several reasons:
1) The Relay stays ON the entire time the charger is plugged in to AC power.
2) It requires a Heavy Duty Timer to provide the power needed for the charger when it is running.
3) Power failures or brown-outs could lead to another charging cycle being triggered.
4) The Timer needs to keep the Charger Powered the entire time is plugged to the cart.
5) Most timers load control is done by a PC board soldered relay and are not very robust for continuous duty.
6) A timer failure means no more charging.

New method I used:
1) The Relay stays OFF during normal use.
2) You only need a light duty timer since it is not powering the charger.
3) Power failures or brown-outs do not start another charging cycle.
4) The timer keeps the relay OFF except for a 1 minute run time to trigger another charging cycle.
5) The relay draws less than 0.1 amp for the 1 minute it needs to run.
6) A timer failure will not prevent the regular charging cycle from operating.

The installation is pretty simple:
The relay coil is directly wired to the power cord (no fly-back diode is needed since it is AC).

The "sense" wire inside the charger gets wired trough the relay Normally Closed contacts.

If the timer relay power cord is unplugged, the charger works as before.


I used an old monitor power cord, the PG7 cable gland works well for any computer/monitor/printer/etc power cords.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EZ9XBIK?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EZ9XBIK?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00

I also had a "fan relay" that I used, but here is a link to a good one to use (120v AC coil).
http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/...bgw%252bfFI%3d

I am using a WiFi timer/Remote ON/OFF device, but there are lots of options out there since You only need a light duty timer.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00QL43YDE?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=ox_sc_sfl_title_4&smid=AM1AKWRN957PC http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00QL43YDE?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=ox_sc_sfl_title_4&smid=AM1AKWRN957PC

If You cart is parked somewhere that You only use on the weekends, You can use a weekly timer to have the pack charged right before You get there so it is ready to go.

The timer only needs to stay ON for 1 minute in order to start a new charging cycle.

I left the timer relay power cord short since I would be mounting my WiFi timer where I get better reception and run an extension cord to the charger anyway.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg Charger_timer_1.jpg (708.2 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Charger_timer_2.jpg (198.0 KB, 0 views)
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Unread 01-24-2016, 04:53 PM   #2
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Default Re: Modifying PowerDrive charger to use with a Timer or Remote Control

so you call your cart and tell it to charge ?
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Unread 01-24-2016, 05:33 PM   #3
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Default Re: Modifying PowerDrive charger to use with a Timer or Remote Control

I wouldn't say call it, but You use a free app on your phone to control it.

The unit I linked connects to Your WiFi router so You can program it to run any number of schedules.

If the unit is plugged where it can see your WiFi signal, You can control it from your phone as well.

The app lets you add/remove schedules and timers, but it can also turn it On/Off.

The way I am thinking about using it, is to set it to run every Friday from 7:30pm - 7:31pm.

If I am using the cart that night, nothing happens, but if I don't use it, it will trigger the charging cycle and be ready for the weekend.

In the winner time, if I know I will be using that Friday night, I can also start the charger from the office and the cart will be topped off and ready when I get home.

I know it may be a little thing, but is nice to ride on a freshly charged pack
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Unread 01-24-2016, 05:52 PM   #4
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Default Re: Modifying PowerDrive charger to use with a Timer or Remote Control

interesting
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Unread 01-24-2016, 07:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: Modifying PowerDrive charger to use with a Timer or Remote Control

Why do you need 2 AC sources? Couldn't you just tap into the one that is already there.
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Unread 01-24-2016, 07:13 PM   #6
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Default Re: Modifying PowerDrive charger to use with a Timer or Remote Control

Looks like you need it for the AC WIFI timer that unhooks then rehooks the sense wire
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Unread 01-24-2016, 08:10 PM   #7
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Default Re: Modifying PowerDrive charger to use with a Timer or Remote Control

Thanks for the details Sergio.

I've ordered the relay and can't wait to implement this mod.

TJ
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Unread 01-26-2016, 01:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: Modifying PowerDrive charger to use with a Timer or Remote Control

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrgolf View Post
Looks like you need it for the AC WIFI timer that unhooks then rehooks the sense wire
You can also use a plain timer (7-day) if You don't want/need remote ON/OFF control (under $10):

http://www.amazon.com/Instapark-Heavy-duty-Programmable-Grounded-Polarized/dp/B00Y3QKUQ6/ref=pd_cp_60_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=0895TFZJC1FFVS2MYVP5 http://www.amazon.com/Instapark-Heavy-duty-Programmable-Grounded-Polarized/dp/B00Y3QKUQ6/ref=pd_cp_60_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=0895TFZJC1FFVS2MYVP5


Basically I don't need 24/7 stand by power readiness from my pack (float mode charger), but I don't want to drive the cart with a pack that has been resting for more than 6 days, which the timer will take care of it.

The internet accessible power plug I used just allows me to have the cart battery pack ready on demand.
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Unread 01-26-2016, 02:20 PM   #9
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Default Re: Modifying PowerDrive charger to use with a Timer or Remote Control

I have been thinking about this mod for a while for one of my EZ-Gos but was going to use an old lawn sprinkler timer with a 24 volt relay. Same principle with different parts.. Didn't see but did you put a way in there to make it "normal" again quickly ?
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Unread 01-26-2016, 02:47 PM   #10
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Default Re: Modifying PowerDrive charger to use with a Timer or Remote Control

Since the "sense wire" (or output of the charger) runs through the Normally Closed contacts of the relay, You just need to leave the 2nd power plug disconnected and the charger works as before.

One of my design goals was for it to be non-intrusive and fail-proof (in case of the relay coil and/or timer fails) to the original charger operation.
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