Charging from After-Market Fast Charger

What do you do if your pack is low charged and you need to go to a place far away, but still possible if the scooter was fully charged but it’s not? So after a lot of thinking and doing some crazy analysis of the Scooter’s workings and some help I found out that Ather can be charged with a proper lithium battery aftermarket charger.

Now the search begins where to buy this charger sites like eBay or Amazon, They mostly have a max of 20a charging, well it will improve the charge timing to 3 hr of full charging, but still, this will not do because in an emergency you need something that can put at least 20-80% in 40 mins so I started looking for Charger manufacturer and there are a lot of them. most of them have an in factory charging timing of chargers which I suppose will meet the Ather’s.

Then I got in contact with one of the Main charger manufacturers which manufacture superfast chargers for DIY packs and one of the YouTubers was using it so I put up a word with them and the first thing they asked was how many quantities do I require and I was like dude I need Only 1 for personal use. instead of saying no, they did say they have different levels of a charger like Li-po, Li-ion and lead-acid. So I gave them My requirement and they quoted 800$ and shipping I was shocked, It will come to around 70000 plus shipping and import taxes.

Then I was like let’s ask Ather if they are willing to sell off their Fastcharger, only the main unit. but they wouldn’t. And I Argued that in the entire north Chennai has only 2 chargers and both of them are always in use, and in the place where I live there are none, still the entire team won’t budge and they said they will try to install many chargers, but won’t sell a consumer a fast charger. sadden to hear I was like dam I should buy that charger they already have the specs.

After a long debut with the manufacturer and The real nice salesperson who answer almost all the doubts I had, I paid them up, yup 850$ almost 80000 doesn’t even know whether it will work or not and waited 15 days of manufacturing time and another 10 days for arrival. Here comes the experience with the Import team of the courier. The duty itself came to 18900 making the charger cost as much as the scooter. 98900.

Well, after receiving it I was extremely sceptical that it will not work and the scooter will catch on fire. if it does catch on fire what will I do? So I prepared myself for the coming, repairing my old scooter and reading some fire extinguishers just in case. So I connected it to the scooter’s leads, I still don’t have the Proprietory connector and leads will have to do, you need a tight connection, “a loose fit is a fire in progress” so some 4mm Banana Female terminals did the job of making the connection.

The trial of starting the charger, This charger has multi-level of charging which means you can select 40a 30a and 20a, so I didn’t want to stress the charger or the BMS. so starting to charge via 20a selected in the switch and voilà the charger is charging, some initial hiccups where there but I got in, it’s charging the scooter, now some of you know that A fast-charger will charge the scooter at 38.8A and 20a is just the half of it. Still, I was happy that I don’t have to rely on the charger provided with the scooter but this is one Hefty investment and I need to see the results.

So I started to charge with 30a now here comes the fun part, the socket to which it was connected started to see the heat and I had to convert it from 6a to 16a and it settled and charged from 7% of the battery to 80% of charging in just 1 hr, can you believe it 1 hr it all took. The best decision was to buy it and not have to beg in front of Athergrid from fellow users to give up the charger. and was the time for testing the 40a current, I become more cautious as this was the limit so I drained the battery as much as possible and started to charge from 20% the speed was at max so was the charger, they were producing the heat as much as the Ather’s own Grid. with the charger’s fan ramped up to max speed the scooter charged from 20 to 80 in 40 mins, that’s what in the grid would happen too.

This is the LAST ALTERNATIVE I DO WHEN I’M IN an EMERGENCY AND the GRID IS FAR AWAY. THIS CHARGER HAS MANY safety limits like Overcharging. Reverse polarity, POT, High current, and Low current shut-off. and I fixed my own PRCD.

And No I don’t use this charger always, I use DOT every night and this is my ultra last resort.

18 Likes

The freedom that “no warranty” gives!! Because my usage hardly requires a public charger, I wouldn’t venture into such a path. Good to see you happy with this experiment but ₹1,00,000!! :roll_eyes:

5 Likes

You’ve done what many owners have been asking and wondering how to do it!.

But that price tag is at too much to justify for a regular user. A business owner using the 450 to the max would benefit maybe, but as a retail owner that cost is itself a “bomb”.

Also, RIP your DMs now. :slight_smile:

6 Likes

AYO, my warranty was in effect till I posted this. :joy: But seriously Ather’s own Incompetence in having fewer grids made me take this decision. Even if they deny a warranty because I’m using an outsourced charger does not worry me because my warranty will be up in 6 months.

The cost might come down if imported in bulk but for the initial testing, this was a good trial. still if a long-range model comes up and they keep the same old 12a charger that would even add up more time of charging. with my daily need of around 100km, this charger can help in needed time.

6 Likes

A small photo of how it may look, like how big it is, curious to know. I thought about this like taking a power bank to charge the scooter :sweat_smile: and you have REALLY done it. Hat’s off to you brother. Hat’s off to you. :clap:

2 Likes

Here it is a glimpse of charger doing 30a, Please note that the charge screen is from charger itself as i don’t have access to Ather charge connector because of that the screen will not turn on to show the relevant information

Here are some internal pics, well this is what i do when i buy something i check the internal quantity.

8 Likes

you’re an insane enthusiast! you can be of help to other Ather folks in your area too in case of their emergencies! can’t get enough of the chances and risks you took (not forgetting the money you shed in) for achieving it…

5 Likes

This is good work, and probably you could setup a charging business where you can install these at different locations. With options to charge multiple 2 wheelers of different types supporting fast charging :grinning: :joy:

Also curious to know what would be the cost per unit be if there are 1000 units to be procured.

Wish you luck with long rides now as you can travel any distances with the said charger :joy:

Is the setup portable?

4 Likes

And here I’m thinking of learning Battery and BMS tech to build a fast charger on my own by soldering things on PCB :joy:

3 Likes

Cost Is high Which is why Ather is still thinking about not releasing a faster charger, well the custom clearance office asked me what the hell is this, and my first thought was to tell him it’s a BOMB charger. :joy: Jokes apart. if 10 of them are imported then the cost can be brought down to almost 70k including custom. PS no one Dm’d me yet

Well, there are still a lot of things that need to be considered while charging from a market charger, Like you have to be sure it’s working absolutely fine, the is a voltage stabilizer attached to this which makes sure I don’t burn this thing up, For sharing into the community or charging for a fellow rider has not stuck my mind yet because of the uncertainty inbetween 450s BMS and 450x BMS.

First, before ordering 1000s of this the investment is Huge, like 10cr. with that investment, My thoughts are who will actually buy this? there is a limitation on how to connect with the scooter?

Long rides if extremely possible now and yes, the setup is portable but not even water resistance

Been there done that, instead of making a Li-ion charger I made a Lead-acid battery charger :sweat_smile:

I will post a detailed review and maybe if someone from Ather can test the charger and give their inputs I’ll post them here as well.

Lets hear what the community has to say

Will you buy a fast charger if the cost is somewhere 70K
  • Yes
  • No
  • Maybe in Future

0 voters

2 Likes

Here is the method I checked before even thinking of buying this product. A multimeter is your friend, Before ordering you have to know what are you looking for, how are things connected and if you connect differently will it burn? or you make things work your way?

Working of DOT

So I first wanted to know what are the output lines of DOT there are 4 small pins and 5 large ones, in that only 3 small pins are connected and 3 larger ones, now your friend comes in handy (multimeter) Connect to see what does these pins produce Since the Dot says already that a DC output is produced, Set the Multimeter to DC and insert them in the larger pins (Note the Larger one should produce the current for charging because the smaller pins will heat up, so they must to data lines or PP, a PP pin is used for Vehicle to know that a charger is connected and they will disable the motor ON feature.

So the lower left side is the positive and the lower right is Negative if seen from the front, So on the scooter side if will be lower left is negative and the lower right is positive. The DOT is pulsing I don’t know why, but it ranges from 30v to 56v

Other pins are the Front of the Connector side, Top left, CP ( Control Pin), PP (proximity pin) Data Line + and -

Front side

Data Pins, all data pins will have a DC voltage usually around 1.2v to 2.5v

There is a short of 150 ohms in between PP and GND pin, I guess this is the way the screen knows there is a Connector connected.

Charging from a Bench power supply to test whether it will take a charge or not, will it does. Test wires attached to the scooters

In the next post, I’ll describe how the scooter will be connected to the Aftermarket fast-charger and what precautions are needed to be taken.

12 Likes

Everything is fine. Ather’s unique charging port is the issue. It doesnt use any standard connectors

4 Likes

Interesting…in my case, I got a portable charger , having friends across town helps too !

3 Likes

Continuous here

So testing Ather and making sure the scooter will take charging 2 questions remain, do I really need a charger??? and will the BMS be able to take that much current raw? In the grid, there is something called a CAN bus communication, a handshake with the BMS and charger, they both talk with each other, I don’t know which protocol Ather uses, so it’s impossible to set one.

CAN-bus communication is vital as the Scooter controls the charger rather than the charger making its own decision. Nevertheless, I think at the Factory they will not have this setting because CAN-bus can take a lot of time charging but it’s safe, a Simple charger is faster as it is on predefined settings but you have to monitor everything.

Ordering the charger, Now this is something which should be cautious, too many scammers, or you might receive something totally different like ordering on wish. Step one is finding a proper manufacturer who has proper experience and has spent years on developing a proper lithium battery charger. so I mailed like 15 companies from searches of Google and different US-based sellers.

After a while few of them did reply and I had to give them specs, I don’t even know what specs Ather uses in their pre-defined settings, what voltage at what current the charger need. So I started to analyse the Charger, both DOT and GRID. and after a while, I came to know they charge at the same voltage but with a different current. But each scooter at the grid is charged differently and but I bought from one of the sellers which gave predefined settings.

Connecting to Ather, Pretty tricky and hard since they use a proprietary connector and they won’t sell that too. So I had to sacrifice my portable charger, Cut in the connector and modified it to use it with the current setup but can be reattached to the portable charger also. Here are the pictures.

And here is a short video of the charger in action

Next, I’m getting a CANBUS version to try, well it’s going to be more expensive and will sell this If anybody needs it.

13 Likes

Here you go, but i didn’t make it, but it works with 450 and 450x @greenproject

2 Likes

You could’ve have bought another Ather at that price and used it for emergency. Even your range would have been doubled :joy:

1 Like

I now have started to carry this charger in my storage, I could have bought another Ather that was the plan but if I’m stuck someplace, a charger will be helpful not another scooter. Yes, the cost is high for now, but I might import a few more and get a bulk discount.

4 Likes

At the risk of sounding stupid. Why does the Ather grid fast charger need a 3 phase connection when the highest current it can pull is just about 10-12A. Just like this fast charger that you’ve bought why doesn’t that work on any 15A Socket?
I remember some of the older users from bangalore who had visited Chennai with Ather for a community ride had seen stripped down versions of the fast chargers being used in Chennai at the time. I guess those were similar to what you’ve bought.

2 Likes

The gird might have an auto phase switcher, which in event of one of the phases when fails can switch to the next available without any human interaction. My charger draws a max of 12 amp which totals 2640 w, but there is a conversion loss too at 6%, to real output at 2480w.

But I have heard the grid is future-ready, and it is almost 5kw, mine is 2.5, which means if Ather comes up with a long-range model and a bigger battery pack, they don’t have to change the gird or even upgrade it, Grid can charge them at the same speed of 450x, 2-3% per min.

I have never seen the stripped version of the GRID. Nice to know I’ve bought a similar one.

3 Likes

I too have seen during Chennai launch to charge the test ride vehicles and Bangalore owners vehicles.

There were around 20 chargers, size bigger than portable charger and was bare open.

3 Likes