Battery Issues

Now that the summer temps are over you might have expected this blog to be filled with the stories of Phase 1 flight testing, and to finally get the plane up and out of the local area. Well, nothing is ever that easy in the plane building world it seems as I’ve been dealing with this instead.

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I'm thinking a flashing red light isn't a good sign

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I’d never seen this light before starting up the engine a few weeks ago. The manual states that 5 seconds of flashing on/off is a sign that one of the cells is unbalanced (I wonder if I can install a similar light for the pilot’s brain). More than 30 minutes of said flashing and you should discontinue use of the battery.

Being already of an over cautious nature I took this as a sign to stay on the ground and began a series of emails with the fine people at EarthX Batteries. They had me do a bunch of tests and today they agreed to replace my battery under warranty: I am two weeks away from the two year period being up. I have to say that their tech support was super helpful and never even a hint that they were ever going to do anything but replace it if that was what was required. A new battery is being shipped tomorrow but I don’t know if will be here for the weekend.

Getting the old battery out isn’t going to be too great. The battery can’t pop out of the top so I have to take the battery box off the firewall, I’ll likely need a second pair of hands for that. Hopefully I won’t electrocute myself of blow anything up doing it.

We had hoped I’d have my 40 hours done by the time my Dad comes to visit in November but this four week delay has likely killed that idea. But hopefully it will at least be flying and I can show them the fruits of my work.