NG1 seems to have died

I know so little about this stuff I can’t even come right out and say that the charger is the problem.
Here’s what happened: Early yesterday afternoon I parked my 2002 E825 w/Zivan NG1. I plugged it in to recharge and everything seemed to work well with the usual light display and usual sound of the charger. I came out awhile later while the battery was still charging and unplugged and took the GEM to go do laundry. About two hours later I returned home and tried to resume charging the batteries but when I plugged in nothing happened. The dash indicator light did not come on and the charger did not make any sounds. Today I am able to drive the GEM as normal but I cannot charge the batteries.
Is there anything obvious that will confirm what the problem is?

When you plug the car in, do you hear a computer fan come on under the dash?

Start from the point of origin.
Check the outlet you are using at the house. Make sure it has power by plugging something else into the outlet.
Then check your extension cord that you use to poke into your car outlet.
Is it burned or melted? Does it have power?
Look into the socket on your car. Does it have all the pins?

You should stop driving the car until you figure this out.

No, no fan noise, no clicking, no burning smells and no indicator lights.

The first thing that I did was to plug a lamp onto the cord coming from the socket. The lamp worked as it should.
The 12AWG extension cord appears to be in good condition. with no obvious signs of wear, melting, burning or pinching.
The pins are all present.
The car will not be driven until/unless I can get this straightened out. I will be putting it into storage and leaving for the season in about a week and a half. I currently have ~75% charge and hope to save that for when the car is in storage. If it can’t be fixed in the next few days it will be October before I can try again.

Do you have a 12v car charger? Hit each one to green light before you go. I would rather have you leave the cart at 100% and switch off the pack for storage.
Then we should pop off your upper dash and have a look at your charger and at least come up with recovery plan so you can come back to a n easy fix and be able to run your cart.

Or is there someone that can get access to your cart and fix it in your away time?

Once the GEM goes into storage it will not be possible to work on it. It’ll be packed in tight with deck furniture etc. all around it.
I have access to a trickle charger. The batteries are Trojan T-1275 installed Nov. 2000 and all test well. Do I need to disconnect and charge each battery individually or can the cables remain in place while charging?

No- You do not need to disconnect the batteries to charge them up individually. Just make sure + and - are on the correct posts as you are hopping the clamps around.

Not sure a trickle charger will quite do it tho. 2~3A x 6 batteries will take a while.

When you have a bit of time (before closing the place) consider dismounting the charger off the car and taking the cover off the charger and having a look. In your off season you will need to bring something back to replace it. You need a plan. Either have this one repaired or update to a DQ.

We just went through two weeks ago.

I always try to search for relevant older posts but somehow completely missed this one and there are some definite parallels here. Before I started this thread I already had checked a few really obvious things and had already opened up the dashboard and checked for fuses. I didn’t know about the fuse inside of the charger but I will be checking that. Meanwhile I did find that I have 120v going into the connection (looks almost like a 3 prong household plug) closest to that fuse.
If I were certain that the Zivan is the problem I would definitely want to remove it and rebuild or find a replacement while the GEM is in storage so I can hit the ground running next fall.
Right now the only thing that the GEM will not do is charge the batteries. It is important that I be able to move drive it ~100’ into the storage shed. Will the GEM be drivable with the charger removed?

Will the GEM be drivable with the charger removed?

Ah- Good point!
No, but easy enough to rig up a bypass.

If you look on top of your charger you will find two smaller wires (18ga?) going to the top left of your box. These are your interlock wires. They keep your car from moving when your charger is plugged in. The wires should be a red and a green wire.
With the box removed your car will think it is charging. Connect these two wires together and your car will drive without charger.

The red and green wires are Spade connectors(female) so if you can make a piece of wire with a male spade lug on each end that could jumper the red and green together. Otherwise, a flat piece of tin folded over a few times might also make a jumper. All temporary just to get it into the storage shed, not for driving around…

You definitely want to make sure your batteries are fully charged and acid full before storing for 6+ months.

Hack: if you have access to 2 42V scooter chargers you can wire those together in series and get 84V @ ~2A or 4A. That would be 14V per battery but if you watch it that should be ok for a short period of time and it will only hit that voltage when the batteries are full.

I am topping off the 5th battery and expect to have the last one charged later today. I located the two wires that need to be joined and will have no problem with that. I am going to pull the NG1 out today or tomorrow and try to get a look at the fuse inside of there. Given my time constraint about all I can really do is remove the NG1 sometime in the next week and then wait till October to put it back in.

Have a look at this thread Zivan NG1 heating input 120VAC pigtail

I talk about a design flaw which can also cause problems including help melt the fuse holder.
In the pictures I posted you can see the burned spade connectors for the 120VAC input power but also look behind those and you’ll see the tall black fuse holder(screw driver slot on top ).
Possible failures on this corner of the power supply for sure.

I hadn’t posted pictures but one of the things I did after the fact was to drill some air holes in the plastic case around these components to help keep them cool.

Zivan USA in CA has factory repair service. I have used them three times on three different GEMs. All three 18 year old chargers have proven durable and are still in daily use. If you are handy with electronics and soldering, the correct fuses are available and appear at the link below:

Otherwise, the charger can be sent out for repair. There was also a firmware update years ago. The charger will say “micro upgraded” if the upgrade has been performed.


You mean like this sticker?

@GEMmechanic , do you know if it is a fixed rate no matter what the failure is and what’s been the repair costs you’ve seen? Asking because I have one which had the fan fail and that took out something else. The thermistor had over heated as a result and almost unsoldered itself so I replaced it but that didn’t fix the problem and I ended up buying a used NG1 and the other is on the shelf.

The OP might also be interested in this info since it can be tough to send off when you don’t know if it’ll be $100 or $500.

I pulled off and opened up the charger. There is nothing that appears to be melted and nothing smells like melted epoxy or plastic. I removed and checked the 16A 500V fuse (the board is marked 16A 250V but the fuse is marked 16A 500V) and it is burned out. I checked several places in the Palm Springs area but could not find a replacement fuse. A year or two ago I saw something that made me think that the charger had been sent in on recall but there is no “Micro Upgraded” sticker so I must assume that it was not. I have run out of time for this season so I think that I’m just going to assume the worst and send the charger to Electric Conversions so that it will be ready to go next fall.
Thanks for the help.

I’m updating a thread that was last active in March. At that time I was in a hurry to get out of town and didn’t have time to dive in too deep.
In May I sent my NG1 to Electric Conversions in Sacramento, CA. and I got it back last week. I’m not sure what was done but the cost was $150 and, due to me being in Oregon, there was no sales tax. I would have liked a little more communication from Electric Conversions but, —oh well. I won’t get back to California till early November to install and (I hope!) get the Gem running again.
I’ll update again in November.

Unfortunately, that’s about the typical turn around timing for them. It’s basically a one man and his really old dog shop. At least that was the case last time I stopped in.

Did this come back with the “Micro Upgrade” mod done in it?

90 day turn around. Noted.