MX32FU charger & charging info


OK, my new MX32FU super gee whiz cabs are rechargeable, and the batteries are clearly inside.

To charge them, you connect them to either of the Zimo CAN bus jacks, one on front or one on back.

I knew that since the unit is outside in a weatherproof enclosure, I would need a way to charge them not connected to the MX10.

Greg's System Notes:

This is where I will keep notes to myself as I go, sort of a scratch pad. It's also my things to learn or do list. Eventually it will go.

This is at the top of the page for my convenience, sorry! It helps me keep this information handy

Current system h/w & f/w status

MX32FU - Cab 1:

UID 33EFF13E 0000C3DE

HW: 07.60.0414

SW: 01.28.0155 2020.09.03 19:00:50

MX32FU - Cab 2:

UID: 339321EC 0000C3F4

HW: 07.60.0414

SW: 01.28.0155 2020.09.03 19:00:50

MX32FU - Cab 3:

UID: 339321EC 0000C3F4

HW: 07.60.0414

SW: 01.28.0155 2020.09.03 19:00:50

MX10 - Command station:

sw:  1.21.0012
2017.07.28 17:11:19

Battery charge / status

On the 2 cabs I have, after charging all night, they have 4122 and 4176 millivolts shown. I can only assume they are lithium batteries.

To display the current voltage (cab config) E-0,  then scroll to Info / Statistic

Note, while this display updates power on time, and rx messages, etc, the voltage is NOT UPDATED, and you have to "re-enter" the Info / Statistic screen to get the current voltage. That sucks. Also note that the best test of charge is when the charge current drops. It won't drop to zero because the system is running.

cab 1

cab 1
cab 2

cab 2

cab 3
cab 3
   4191 4256 2020.09.13
 4122  4176    2016.03.26
 4137  4142    2016.03.28
 4104  4160    2016.04.02
   417117   2016.04.16
 409217414917  2016.11.14


To power or charge the cabs, you use the can bus, but it shows that a special cable “6POLCAN2” can be used in the xnet socket, where to get or what is the wiring?

Where are the CAN bus jacks?

The more I looked at the jacks, the more confused I became.

First the jacks are RJ45 (8 position), but you use the CAN BUS cables supplied, which are 6 position.

On the front, it's the left hand jack



On the back, it is the left hand one again.


Figuring out the wiring


I figured the first place to start was the CAN bus standard:

  1. CAN high
  2. CAN low
  3. CAN ground
  4. reserved
  5. reserved
  6. CAN shield
  7. CAN ground
  8. CAN V+ (optional power)

Zimo's "CAN" bus socket pinouts

But to add to the fun, there are labels on the MX10 front to identify the pinout:

Please note that the jacks have pins numbered from 1 to 8 left to right, when the locking tab is down.

So from the front panel we have:

  • snif +
  • snif -
  • ground
  • CAN H
  • CAN L
  • ground
  • + 30v

Notice that there are only 7 pins listed of the 8!!

Now looking at the back, we have 8 descriptions (better!)

  1. Boo N (booster N)
  2. Boo P (booster P)
  3. ground
  4. CAN H
  5. CAN L
  6. ground
  7. + 30v
  8. Boo UE

OK now this is making a bit of sense..

If you plug a 6 pin into the center of the above units, you get

  1. snif - or Booster P (which the cab probably ignores
  2. ground
  3. CAN H
  4. CAN L
  5. ground
  6. +30v

I measured the voltage and found 31.95 volts between pin 5 (-) and pin 6 (+) of an RJ12 cable plugged into the rj45 socket (note the pins refer to RJ11/12 NOT the RJ45 1-8)

Now, I still wanted to validate the Zimo CAN bus from a document. Axel Tillman sent me this:

zimo can

NOTE: the above pin numbering is WRONG.

The above information was for the MX1, but you can see the wiring order is right, but the pin numbering is backwards. If you number the pins according to standards (pin 1 is pin 6) you see pin 6 is CAN bus positive, and pin 5 is ground):

To prove the pictures above have the pin numbers wrong, see the pictures below. The picture below shows the plug on the left, and a jack (looking in) on the right.

So you need to wire a plug with pin 6 positive and pin 5 negative




The simple method was to take 2 RJ-11 plugs and only crimp 2 wires into them, positions 5 and 6. Remember the definition above for pin numbering, not the pin numbers in the picture of the Zimo cable.

So with wires in only positions 5 and 6, and I used a red wire in position 6 to remember polarity, positive voltage. Pin 5 is negative. It might be good to put a diode in series with one of the wires to protect from reverse polarity. If you add a diode, make sure you subtract 0.7 volts from the supply voltage if you are using a low voltage (this is why I have picked 9 volts for supply). I found the system was not charging if you got down around 7 volts.

After a while, both cabs throttled down to about 0.18 amps, so the charging system is working fine. I do detect more heat from the cabs when charging at 30 volts and that proves that the 30v was chosen for convenience, not the least heat and aging of the electronic components.

I have experimented with lower voltages, and there's no heating, and no appreciable difference in charging speed. I have picked 8-9 volts.

The way I detect full charge is that the voltage in the cab no longer increases: (you can read from the menu system)

Cab 1 finished at 4127 millivolts

Cab 2 finished at 4175 millivolts

I would like to see what current draw would be when the cabs are off, but they cannot be off when power is applied.

A tip, if you plug the cab in and it boots but not completely, unplug it and plug it back in. This allows you to use the menu system to see the battery voltage.



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