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walterbays
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Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Blink charger problems

Sat Dec 31, 2011 2:50 pm

gbarry42 wrote:What led you to try replacing the breaker? Was it obvious (no power to the Blink)? Because I would never suspect something like that otherwise.
I had a lot of power fault type events (where "a lot" is maybe 5% probability of a problem). Several times the circuit breaker tripped leaving the Blink not powered. It was the new breaker on the submeter, redundant to and downstream of the breaker in the main service panel, never the breaker in the main panel. Sometimes the Blink would call power fault and hang. Sometimes the Leaf would call power fault and refuse to charge until restarted. The electrician who came out to look after one failure said, why not change the breaker just in case? It's cheap and easy to do while he was here. And his hunch turned out to be right.

Oh, and just hours after I wrote that all my charging problems were solved, the Blink failed to charge my car, although everything looked normal when I plugged in with Leaf timer active. Same old chirping cricket Blink that used to be accompanied by the orange power fault screen, but now it says I should check the car :-) Same fix for the frozen Blink: unplug car, unplug A/C, plug A/C, wait, plug car.

PS, I like your signature, but you know Tony has driven between SD and LA, as have a few others. I doubt if he has driven between SD and Japan, but he may have flown it :-)

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gbarry42
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Location: Moonlight Beach

Re: Blink charger problems

Sat Jan 07, 2012 12:12 am

Ecotality came to visit today. (Tony, take note--they may have lost your request. Most everyone else seems to be getting fast responses.) He did a few tests (the dummy load box, checking the 5.0v supply) and then we got around to the matter at hand, the dead Wireless. He was on the phone with tech support the whole time, and I "helped" on this end. Not too far into it, he changed out the SD card. Sure enough, no change! Actually, to my surprise, the WiFi wouldn't work at all. Well, that didn't hurt my case. I did the "router two feet away from the Blink" trick; this took awhile to sink in over at tech support, but eventually convinced them that boosters and extenders and "how far away is your router" just wasn't relevant. So, we ended up with choices of (1) The dreaded PLC (power-line Ethernet extender), or (2) Change out the Blink. He claimed that current Blink models are $4K ["citation needed" :)] so they might not want to do that. Anyway, tech support would decide and get back to me.

A few kind words about the PLC. First of all, as a (ham) radio enthusiast, pumping RF into your power lines is insanity. Everyone else in their right mind has filters to keep the RF in the box and out of the wires. The more practical problem is that I don't want another device and power supply taking another outlet in the living room, and I've got the same problem on the garage end. There are no convenient outlets anywhere near the Blink. The tech, by the way, was also an electrician and said that maybe they could run a 110 circuit out there for a lot less trouble and expense than replacing the Blink. It would actually be a nice windfall to have a 110 outlet on that wall, but anyway...

They called back later in the day, and a new Blink will be installed on Monday. Let's hope I happen to get one of the working ones :roll:

Footnote: When I got home after dinner the Blink was back to showing me the neighbors' WiFi's again. I did the network setup and actually got an "unplugged" message on my phone from BlinkNetwork, but then it went offline again. And so it goes.
And there goes the first capacity bar! At 24,000 mi on 9/9/2013.
Second bar at 30,500 mi on 2/7/2015.

Valdemar
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Re: Blink charger problems

Sat Jan 07, 2012 1:03 am

I just had to deal with an unrelated WiFi issue at home, my aging Linksys router started crashing after an Android phone connected to it received a s/w update. Installing latest f/w on the router fixed the issue. Just saying WiFi issues may not necessarily be on the Blink side.

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davewill
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Re: Blink charger problems

Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:16 pm

gbarry42 wrote:... A few kind words about the PLC. First of all, as a (ham) radio enthusiast, pumping RF into your power lines is insanity. Everyone else in their right mind has filters to keep the RF in the box and out of the wires. The more practical problem is that I don't want another device and power supply taking another outlet in the living room, and I've got the same problem on the garage end. There are no convenient outlets anywhere near the Blink. The tech, by the way, was also an electrician and said that maybe they could run a 110 circuit out there for a lot less trouble and expense than replacing the Blink. It would actually be a nice windfall to have a 110 outlet on that wall, but anyway...
I had a couple of thoughts on this. One is that at least one other person fixed their Blink connection problem with a WiFi to Ethernet adapter instead of a power line adapter. This would keep the RF off the power lines, but would still need an outlet somewhere nearby to power the adapter, however a power strip should cover that OK. The second is that if they are willing to run a 120v circuit, maybe they could run a cat5 drop from your router to the garage, instead. The latter is what I use, but the drop was already there in the garage, rather than something I added for the Blink. The installers were happy to run a length of cat5 from where the Blink was along the wall to where my drop was located.
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SharonaLA
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Re: Blink charger problems

Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:54 pm

My Blink failed to charge tonight for the first time in several months. I power-cycled it, and it charges, but it hasn't checked in with Blink for about 24 hours. I called Blink support. We tried a few network tests. It recognized the wifi and connected but failed to find the LAN or the Blink Network, whatever that means. The customer service guy said they can't hardwire my Blink because it's outside under a carport. They are going to set up a field service call. I don't really care whether it communications with Blink so long as it charges, but he said that if it doesn't connect, it will keep trying over and over on its own, which can interrupt or prevent charging. Also, I'll miss any updates.

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gbarry42
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Re: Blink charger problems

Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:48 pm

- Ecotality releases working version of Blink ? -

I had wished I could use that for the title, but after using it for a week, I'd say it's merely better. Continuing the story I began above, they returned with a new unit. Easy to remove and replace, and once in place, did all the right things. What I really wanted to show you was the "minor modification" to the unit:

Image - Image

[Updated content: I had thought the "new board" was a WiFi card. It's not.] The big board mounted under the display is an RFID reader. Maybe Blink decided to make all the units the same rather than having two models. But, the WiFi now works the way most of us would expect from WiFi. No silly extenders needed! It fired right up, and as soon as we had it configured (dhcp, even), it fetched the 1.8 firmware, all on its own, and was ready to rock and roll.

Now, it still resets itself now and then, does that "chirping" thing (I think that's the UI restarting, but I don't have to go out and look anymore), and I've had one instance of "stuck charging" while it claimed the car wasn't even connected, requiring me to cycle power. But, all in all, it is a LOT better behaved. I believe them when they say it gets hung up over a misbehaving WiFi card. I bet some of the rewriting for the 2.0 firmware is going to take care of this sort of thing.

And, once again, I can talk to it over the network and get my morning charge stats without having to go out to the garage to see the numbers! I had forgotten how nice that is!

About the "chirp" sound: I believe it comes from that button-looking thing at front left. 2013-Jan-01, it is going to get a volume control!
Last edited by gbarry42 on Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
And there goes the first capacity bar! At 24,000 mi on 9/9/2013.
Second bar at 30,500 mi on 2/7/2015.

DarkStar
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Leaf Number: 568
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Re: Blink charger problems

Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:54 pm

That looks like it could be a commercial Blink with the RFID tag reader... Any markings on it to indicate it's the wifi radio?
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gbarry42
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Re: Blink charger problems

Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:29 pm

Doh! It says "RFID" right at the top of the board :roll: I guess I'm still stuck with the original recipe WiFi. At least it is somehow holding together. I was just out there trying to configure it for my other router. It's still kinda cranky. Not that these routers help. The Netgear means well, but crashes about once a day, and the MediaLink, it won't even talk to for some reason. Blink HQ has nothing on record about MediaLink, so I may have to see if anyone in MNL land has tangled with one of those.
And there goes the first capacity bar! At 24,000 mi on 9/9/2013.
Second bar at 30,500 mi on 2/7/2015.

DarkStar
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Delivery Date: 25 Mar 2011
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Re: Blink charger problems

Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:59 am

gbarry42 wrote:Doh! It says "RFID" right at the top of the board :roll: I guess I'm still stuck with the original recipe WiFi. At least it is somehow holding together. I was just out there trying to configure it for my other router. It's still kinda cranky. Not that these routers help. The Netgear means well, but crashes about once a day, and the MediaLink, it won't even talk to for some reason. Blink HQ has nothing on record about MediaLink, so I may have to see if anyone in MNL land has tangled with one of those.
Blink was reporting previously that their units have trouble talking to some routers unless they are in 802.11b mode only (no A, G, or N), however last I was told this was supposed to be resolved via software. Maybe the new "2.0" version fixes the problem?
Mikiko (2011 Nissan LEAF ETEC) Status:
Reserved: 04/20/10 | Ordered: 10/01/10 | EV Project Blink Installed: 03/22/11 | Delivered: 03/25/11 | VIN: 568

Oregon Electric Vehicle Association | Electric Auto Association

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turbo2ltr
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Re: Blink charger problems

Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:43 pm

About the "chirp" sound: I believe it comes from that button-looking thing at front left. 2013-Jan-01, it is going to get a volume control!
The first thing I did when I took mine apart was unplug the piezo speaker. It's such an annoying sound!
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