maestro battery charging time?

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 2 years ago
  • Answered
I've just aquired two Mogix batteries ahead of Maestro arriving - I might have missed it but was the charge rate from Maestro given?   if its running 2.5A I guess 3.5 hours or so operating on a battery but what about recharge time from flat?

Cheers

Simon ZL4PLM
Photo of Simon Lewis

Simon Lewis

  • 495 Posts
  • 117 Reply Likes

Posted 3 years ago

  • 1
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9152 Posts
  • 3478 Reply Likes
I have been able to get 3.5 to 4 hrs of battery run-time using the Mogix on the 2.5A port.

I am not sure about recharge time.  I just plug in wired power and have never paid any attention to how long it takes to charge.  It is usually ready to go when I want to take Maestro untethered.
Photo of Simon Lewis

Simon Lewis

  • 495 Posts
  • 117 Reply Likes
Chris - not strictly true - the internal battery also needs to be able supply 2.5A connection - I wanted the internal battery mentioned by Flex with the autostart too - there are also new restrictions on shipping now for batteries by air since March which means the NZ supplies of Lipoly LiIon batteries are drying up as now it must come by sea :(
Photo of Chris DL5NAM

Chris DL5NAM

  • 597 Posts
  • 130 Reply Likes
Simon, most battery pack has 2 USB connectors. USB#2 in most cases can 2.5A.
FRS not recommend any brand (i have not seen)
FRS use standard electric values . If you buy a battery you have to take care these values and the outer dimension. Not more.
73 Chris
Photo of Simon Lewis

Simon Lewis

  • 495 Posts
  • 117 Reply Likes
Yes they suggest this

http://www.mogixaccessories.com/external-battery-charger-bank/

most batteries here are 2.1A not 2.5

some friends sent me 2 of the recommended Mogix ones
Photo of Gerald - K5SDR

Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

  • 814 Posts
  • 1465 Reply Likes
2.1A will work fine.  You do not have to have 2.5A as we originally said.
Photo of Simon Lewis

Simon Lewis

  • 495 Posts
  • 117 Reply Likes
ohh well .. I could have gotten 2.1A devices here .. never mind I got 2 x Mogix sorted ROFL :)
Photo of Stan - VA7NF

Stan - VA7NF

  • 419 Posts
  • 96 Reply Likes

Many factors will affect charge time; a USB 2 port has a lesser charge budget than a USB 3 port.  Then that budget may be shared if an external USB hub is used.  Then some external USB hubs (StarTech ST4300USBMS) have external 12V connections that will supply maximum USB3 budget to each connected port.

YMMV could have been my only reply.

My battery did not charge when connected to the StarTech without external power (USB Hard drive took all the budget) but charged (don't know how long) when connected to a front panel USB 2 port.

Photo of Simon Lewis

Simon Lewis

  • 495 Posts
  • 117 Reply Likes
I am assuming its being charged off Maestro only and that the unit has the capability to do so? I am guessing max 1A charge so would take 10 hours to full recouperate
Photo of Gerald - K5SDR

Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

  • 814 Posts
  • 1465 Reply Likes
I get very close to 4 hours running on a fully charged Mogix.  I have not timed it precisely though.  Maestro will charge the battery when installed in the case.  I do not know the charging time.
Photo of ka7gzr

ka7gzr

  • 215 Posts
  • 36 Reply Likes

I received the Maestro today- good work guys!!!

I do have a question or two on the battery. I have two Mojix 10400 mAh batteries. I first charged them outside of the Maestro. During testing I only got about 1 hour of battery life.

1) Is there any way of determining  the state of the battery? The battery symbol does not change as its discharged. it. I ran it today for about an hour and started getting flashing LED lights and strange behavior from the Maestro at which time I returned it to the wall wart and it recovered.

2.)I only have one usb connector in the battery bay of the Maestro. I  plug that into the 2.5A output of the battery. Will it charge through that connection? It appears to have a mico B connector that is labeled "In". That is the connector to charge the battery externally.

Thanks for all your help and such a great product!

Jim

ka7gzr

Photo of KY6LA - Howard

KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

  • 3593 Posts
  • 1446 Reply Likes

The battery issue is very complicated - so I will just gloss over some things.

The Mogix battery should last about 4 hours from full charge.  There is a button on the side of the battery which when you push it lights up to 4 LED indicating the state of charge.  Please make sure you fully charge it before you use the battery.

Maestro were shipped without an internal micro-USB charging cable so the one USB A cable that you plug into  is to power the Maestro NOT Charge the battery.  You currently need to use an external USB Charger to Charge the Battery.  Flex will likely issue an official explanation.

The Alpha Team has been experimenting with a number of different batteries.  What we are finding is that there is significant quality/performance variations between the different batteries of the same model from the same manufacturer.  So much so that the same battery model works well for one Maestro but a different battery of the same model fails in the same Maestro.   Our experiments are currently ongoing.

in the Interim until Flex makes an official recommendation, several of us have had more reliable results using the 12,000 mAh Polanfo

http://smile.amazon.com/Polanfo-12000mAh-Portable-External-Power/dp/B01641K972?ie=UTF8&psc=1&... 

Having tested both, I personally would recommend the Polanfo over the Mogix which failed consistently in my Maestro

These experiments took a significant amount of Alpha testing time until we determined that it was the poor quality control of the battery rather than the Maestro which was the problem.

(Edited)
Photo of ka7gzr

ka7gzr

  • 215 Posts
  • 36 Reply Likes

Thanks Howard I understand.

The battery symbol doesn't deplete during discharge. Is it necessary to look at the LEDs on the battery to determine charge remaining?

Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9152 Posts
  • 3478 Reply Likes
Is it necessary to look at the LEDs on the battery to determine charge remaining?

Yes, until you get to the point where Maestro detects low voltage condition and informs you to replace the battery. 
Photo of KY6LA - Howard

KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

  • 3593 Posts
  • 1446 Reply Likes
The battery symbol ONLY tells you that ur on battery not the amount of charge
Photo of Steve K9ZW

Steve K9ZW, Elmer

  • 1288 Posts
  • 657 Reply Likes

As an FYI the Battery LEDs on many units are not linear - they may well show full charge during a lot of us, and then rapidly go down.

I was told this has to do with the technology and the design being optimized to a constant voltage being held as long as possible.  That may be only part of the reasons.

So unlike batteries which show a small voltage drop right from the start on a predictable gradual curve, LiPOs tend to appear 100% until far advanced in their discharge cycle. 

They are cheap enough, and offer a lot of power density in relatively light weight packages, that with the hot-swap Maestro feature it should be manageable.

So reminds me of the car I learned to drive in that showed a full tank of gas on the gage for hours of driving and then in moments would drop to less than an 1/8th tank when run five-ten miles more. 

73

Steve K9ZW

Photo of Simon Lewis

Simon Lewis

  • 495 Posts
  • 117 Reply Likes
Is it just the charge cable missing or a socket to put it in??
Photo of KY6LA - Howard

KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

  • 3593 Posts
  • 1446 Reply Likes
Charging is NOT Enabled
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9152 Posts
  • 3478 Reply Likes
 I'm wanting to be able to charge the battery while left in the Maestro case while plugged into 120v using the provided wall wart without opening the battery door to change cables.  Is that not possible?  

I am afraid not.

Let me provide some clarity.  We had fully intended for the battery installed in the battery bay to be recharged by Maestro when the unit was connected to an external DC power source (the coaxial DC power connector).  What we determined after extensive complete product testing, is that the battery charging feature was not working as intended and we decided to remove the feature.  As such, you must charge the battery using a charger or the recommended charging method provided by the battery manufacturer.

This business decision was made only after exhausting all reasonable options, meaning that engineering a solution that would work for most batteries would have significantly delayed the shipment of Maestro for a feature that is not mission critical to the operation of the unit.

As Howard indicated, the issue is very, very complicated. In summary, there isn't an industry standard by which these battery packs are engineered from a charging standpoint.  Worse yet, there is a significant amount of variation regarding how a battery behaves when being charged within the same battery model.  These variations in behavior resulted in adverse and anomalous Maestro operational behaviors, such as it would not boot from the battery when plugged into an Ethernet cable).

Battery management is discussed in the Maestro User Guide.  When the battery runs low, you will need to swap it out with a fully charged battery or connect it to an external power source.
Photo of Corey/ KC0YNS

Corey/ KC0YNS

  • 106 Posts
  • 9 Reply Likes
Understand, Although somewhat disappointed at the same time...Thanks for clarify.  
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9152 Posts
  • 3478 Reply Likes
You're welcome.
Photo of Chris DL5NAM

Chris DL5NAM

  • 596 Posts
  • 130 Reply Likes
It's sad but i can understand. This type of batteries can be dangerous if you charge to long. Ask any aircraft companies where the air plain burn!
And never forget: this power packs a very, very cheap and came from China and ......
Photo of km9r.mike

km9r.mike

  • 425 Posts
  • 62 Reply Likes
I was gonna reply the same. What appears to be missing is quality control / adherence to industry standards from the manufacturer of the batteries. Oh well one can not get blood from a turnip. Sad days indeed.
(Edited)
Photo of Rob G6EIH

Rob G6EIH

  • 102 Posts
  • 12 Reply Likes
Good information Howard and thanks for posting the alternative battery details, we can obtain them from Amazon.co.uk

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Polanfo-12000mAh-Portable-External-Battery-silver/dp/B01C45AILY/ref=sr_1_2?...
Photo of David G4NRT / Z21NRT

David G4NRT / Z21NRT

  • 240 Posts
  • 35 Reply Likes
Does this fit inside the Maestro battery compartment?
Photo of Phil m0vse

Phil m0vse

  • 205 Posts
  • 38 Reply Likes
Yes it does, I have just fitted one into my Maestro. I also like the numeric charge remaining indicator on the side of the battery although i'm not sure how accurate it is?
Photo of David G4NRT / Z21NRT

David G4NRT / Z21NRT

  • 240 Posts
  • 35 Reply Likes
Thanks Phil. I've already bought the Mogix from the US but good to know. I assume it is a self-starter (no button to push) as well. Good to know for the future and slightly higher capacity as well!
Photo of David G4NRT / Z21NRT

David G4NRT / Z21NRT

  • 240 Posts
  • 35 Reply Likes
As a matter of interest, this appears to be the same battery that ML&S are selling for £29.95.  

Right now, on Amazon UK it is available for £15.99!

David G4NRT
(Edited)
Photo of Steve (N9SKM)

Steve (N9SKM)

  • 198 Posts
  • 24 Reply Likes
Well if we have to charger externally that's just another reason for me to make a pack out of 18650 cells with a boost converter on it. Then charge out of the unit, I for 1 would be much happier with some name brand battery cells in there instead of "whatever is cheap"

6 18650 cells should fit in there and Panasonic makes a 3400MAH cell 
something like this
http://www.prodctodc.com/ultra-small-dc-2655v-to-5v-3a-step-up-converter-charger-power-supply-for-ph...

but i think we need 2.1 amps?
(Edited)
Photo of Barry N1EU

Barry N1EU

  • 495 Posts
  • 121 Reply Likes
If the battery now needs to be charged externally, I might simply use an external battery pack.
Photo of Steve (N9SKM)

Steve (N9SKM)

  • 198 Posts
  • 24 Reply Likes
Ill still build up or buy a pack for internal use. Not like its that involved to pull it out to recharge and then you dont have to move other stuff around with it.
Photo of K0UNX

K0UNX

  • 107 Posts
  • 30 Reply Likes
I'm totally disappointed and demoralized.  We're just finding out about this now that the first Maestros are arriving at their new homes.  

I have an abundance of 18650's, and could build up power modules with them, but am thinking it might be better to have a couple of lead/acid motorcycle batteries (with carrying straps) and just plug into the coaxial 12V connector on back.  Using a PowerPole multi-outlet, I could switch back and forth with BUFFERED power while switching.  I'll have to think this over while waiting.

This is ALMOST a deal-breaker.  I might change my mind a few times before I'm invoiced.

Jim
K0UNX
Littleton, Colorado
Photo of Steve (N9SKM)

Steve (N9SKM)

  • 198 Posts
  • 24 Reply Likes
If you do anything external i would reccomend lipo, lifepo4, or build up a pack with 18650s.

That being said im pretty sure there is room for 6 cells and a boost converter in there which sounds like a pretty solid all day battery pack if a 1200mah pack got 7 hours in.
Photo of Gerald - K5SDR

Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

  • 814 Posts
  • 1465 Reply Likes
I ran my Maestro for 7 hours this week on the 12000 mAhr Polfano battery. It takes about 15 seconds to do a hot swap of the battery. Charge two up and run for 14 hours.
Photo of Gerald - K5SDR

Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

  • 814 Posts
  • 1465 Reply Likes
Yes, it is Polanfo Q5.
Photo of Corey/ KC0YNS

Corey/ KC0YNS

  • 106 Posts
  • 9 Reply Likes
Darn, just my luck... Should have waited before buying the Mogix batteries... Think I'll wait until all this is figured out...
Photo of Gerald - K5SDR

Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

  • 814 Posts
  • 1465 Reply Likes
The Mogix I have been using runs just about 4 hours.
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9152 Posts
  • 3478 Reply Likes
The Mogix batteries are good batteries. I have several of them that I use interchangeably . I can get about 5 hours of run time from them.
Photo of Tony Hateley

Tony Hateley

  • 297 Posts
  • 25 Reply Likes
just ordered 2 from amazon,should be fine for me 1 running 1 on charge.
Photo of Chris Tate  - N6WM

Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

  • 808 Posts
  • 217 Reply Likes
Yes I second Howards recommendation, the Polanfo 12000 worked very well for me in Alpha testing and I am sure many more will be discovered with time.  The Mogix batteries should work ok as well so don't fret if you have purchased them.  These things are 10-15 bucks a piece so have a few if you are going long term untethered should be totally doable. 
Photo of Corey/ KC0YNS

Corey/ KC0YNS

  • 106 Posts
  • 9 Reply Likes
One last concern, How fragile is the wire and mini sub plug, Do you think it'll hold up to numerous change outs over a long period of time?
Photo of Steve (N9SKM)

Steve (N9SKM)

  • 198 Posts
  • 24 Reply Likes
NO. Scroll up. there is no charging while onboard. Tim explained it in this very thread.
Photo of Bob - W7KWS -

Bob - W7KWS -

  • 293 Posts
  • 47 Reply Likes
Steve,

Tim was talking about the Maestro not providing a Micro-USB for charging the battery.

I could have been clearer but I was talking about plugging a charger directly into the battery while it's powering the Maestro. I've tried it with a Mogix but plugging a charger into the Mogix turns the 5V output off.
(Edited)
Photo of Gerald - K5SDR

Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

  • 814 Posts
  • 1465 Reply Likes
The battery is destined to protect itself by not allowing charge and discharge to happen at the same time. We found a battery that says it allows both but have not had much time to test.
Photo of Bob - W7KWS -

Bob - W7KWS -

  • 293 Posts
  • 47 Reply Likes
Gerald,

Ahead of the curve again. With that tease, I'll not buy anything in haste. Hopefully you will be able to offer some ideas when I see you in Dayton.
Photo of Steve (N9SKM)

Steve (N9SKM)

  • 198 Posts
  • 24 Reply Likes
understood now. TBH with the fact that it has an onboard battery for swaps and the fact that we are dealing with rather inexpensive battery packs I would be much happier charging with it out of the maestro. The thing to look for would be a pack that states that it has "pass thru" ability which means that it passes the input current to the output and charges the battery with what's left over. The issue in my mind being that the maestro is going to be using most of the current that the wall supply can put out and charge rates to the battery itself would be quite low.

Gerald,
  I am sure it varies widely but what kind of current draw range off of the 5v pack are we looking at?

Sidenote- Just saw that a 6/29 order got his invoice and I ordered 7/3, The anticipation is killing me.
Photo of Lawrence Kellar KB5ZZB

Lawrence Kellar KB5ZZB

  • 198 Posts
  • 31 Reply Likes
I'm going to use a Jackery Titan 21000 mah.http://www.amazon.com/Jackery-Technology-Portable-Charger-Smartphones/dp/B015QGW4BU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UT...  It has been the best pack I have used  
Photo of Lawrence Kellar KB5ZZB

Lawrence Kellar KB5ZZB

  • 198 Posts
  • 31 Reply Likes
I used velcro to mount it to the back of the battery compartment and found a flat USB extension cable to bring the connector to the outside
Photo of Steve (N9SKM)

Steve (N9SKM)

  • 198 Posts
  • 24 Reply Likes
RR, I think I will go the way of a smaller pack that will fit internally as I don't see myself sitting outside of the shack for more than the 4 to 6 hours operating that the smaller packs get. If I'm on the road ill just bring the plug pack.
Photo of Bob - W7KWS -

Bob - W7KWS -

  • 293 Posts
  • 47 Reply Likes
Lawrence,

That may be the ticket, at least temporarily, using my 20,000 mAh Anker battery. Thanks!
Photo of Lawrence Kellar KB5ZZB

Lawrence Kellar KB5ZZB

  • 198 Posts
  • 31 Reply Likes
I had the Anker and it was horrible. Inconsistent. Get the Jackery Titan. You won't be sorry
Photo of Lawrence Kellar KB5ZZB

Lawrence Kellar KB5ZZB

  • 198 Posts
  • 31 Reply Likes
I have about 6 different jackery packs. All have performed great