Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Flashing red lights on the battery charger

From Jennifer:

Hello Elizabeth,

After what seemed like an extremely long wait, my Travel Scoot is finally here! I put it together, and can’t wait to start having my own adventures!

I do have a question (already!). I am charging the battery (the li-ion) now. The battery is flashing red quickly continuously, and it is not getting hot. The sheet that came with it doesn’t say what blinking red lights mean, but I think it isn’t charging properly. Has this happened to you?

I hope you are doing well, and planning many fun adventures.

Thank you for your generous offer of help,


Jennifer, welcome!

I can't wait to hear about your first adventure, no matter how big or small. You're going to experience first-hand how wonderful it is to be mobile and (my favorite part) to feel the breeze in your hair as you zip around.

As for your question about battery charging, it's important that everything is plugged in in the correct order. With the lithium ion battery you plug the charger into the wall first, then plug the charger into the battery. Try that and see if it fixes the problem. When my battery is charging I've never noticed that it gets hot, so I wouldn't be concerned about that part.

If you have the same charger as I do and you have the single size lithium ion battery, when it's charging properly you will see a steady red light and one that flashes. When the battery is fully charged you'll see a green light and a red light. The steady red light is just telling you that the charger is plugged in.

If plugging it in in this order does not fix the problem, contact Tony at TravelScoot (mail@travelscoot.com) and he'll help you with it.

Happy scooting!


  1. When I got home from my last cruise my charger did the same thing even though I was using the proper sequence for charging. Tony told me in this case it would be one of two things....a bad charger or the battery went bad. He sent a new charger to me quickly to see if that was the issue and thankfully it was.

  2. I was also having a problem with the two red lights flashing continually when I tried to charged the lithium battery. When I plugged the charger into the wall..then plugged the charger into the battery...it solved the problem. Thanks

  3. Marie, I'm so glad it fixed your problem!

  4. When I first got my scoot and backup battery, I visually inspected both batteries just to be sure they weren't damaged in shipping. They looked fine.

    Since then, I've always had trouble with one battery.

    The first time I plugged it in, the light was green, but it wouldn't go - so I thought, well, maybe I hadn't charged it up just right or something, and just put the other battery on.

    when I got home, I plugged in the bad battery (carefully doing it in the wall > charger > battery sequence) and the charger light started out red. Eventually I noticed it was green (but I don't know for how long - it was plugged in for about 6 hrs total) and I unplugged it and stowed it in the car to use whenever the good battery ran down.

    Then I didn't get out and about for a while, so the next time I finally ran the good battery down, I'd sort of forgotten about the other one being bad. I tried to swap them out again - it didn't work again - I took it home again, etc.

    This last time I sent my husband to bring the scoot in from the car. He noticed that my good battery was about done, so he swapped them to ride it into the house. But the scoot still wouldn't GO.

    He put the depleted battery back on and rode it in anyway (it wasn't that drained, just hitting orange on inclines and whatnot) and since I had fallen asleep by then, he forgot to mention the bad battery, but he plugged in the good one to charge, and put it back on the scoot for me to use later, which I did.

    So here I am now, I've finally been paying attention enough to realize that yes, one battery IS actually bad. It lights up the charger and the scooter-indicator-lights just fine, and it makes the motor hum a little, but not move. And the good battery works just *peachy* at the same time that the bad one doesn't work at all, so it's not that i've left the brakes on or anything else nutso like that

    I was just sitting down to take the bad battery out of it's carry-bag and see if I could figure out what it's problem was when I discovered that the sides of the battery are bulging outwward so much that they're straining against the packing-strap that holds the battery to the baseplate.

    I hastily asked my hubby to take it out to the garage and put it somewhere "safe" until I could figure out how to dispose of it properly.
    I think I have to call the city to make a special collection for it. I'm surely not putting that thing in my car, or mailing it anywhere! It looks like it could blow at any minute! I'm probably paranoid, but my goodness it's scary-looking!

    Sooooo... what I'm wondering is - did I do something to cause this to happen? If so, what (I don't want to break my other battery).

    And how can I most economically replace this battery so that I still have a backup? It seems like shipping from CA to TX is really a little excessive if I can just go pick something up nearby that will do the job.

    I'll call travelscoot Monday - but of course, this happened on a Saturday, and we have out of town travel plans next week, for which I was really hoping to have a functioning battery and backup! EEK!

    Just thought I'd post this here in case anyone else has any ideas for the interim.

    I can be contacted via vor -at- me- dot - com

  5. Mommy, what kind of batteries did you buy? Are they both lithium ion? I'm asking because the SLA battery is charged by plugging the battery into the charger, and then the charger into the wall socket, and the lithium ion is the opposite.

  6. Oh, lovely.
    I do have the SLA batteries.
    I had it backwards.

    However, in my defense :-) The instructions were... obscure.

    The battery charging instructions that came with the charger read as follows (direct quote)

    "Connect the plug of battery charge the socket of battery"
    "Make sure the AC voltage is correct and plug in the power cord normally."

    I didn't know what to make of that at all !
    My (ahem) highly trained hubby (Masters in EE, for heaven's sake!) assured me that the -er wrong way was the right way. Go figure. ;-p

    Well, now that you say it that way, I can see how that's what they probably meant, but I still think it could use a little editing :-)

    I'll do it "right" from now on though.

    I did take pics of it to a local Batteries Plus location, and was told that:

    1. I would have had to work at it to make it do that, and if I've treated both batteries the same and only one bloated up, I should't panic about it.
    2. they could definitely replace those batteries right then and there with in-stock units, and the base price of the batteries before taxes and whatnot would be $45.00, (just in case anyone else gets stuck and needs a quick replacement) I'd just need to bring them the wiring harness, or preferably the entire old battery so they could recycle it safely. (That's $45 for each of the two units that make up a single travelscoot battery, BTW, so $90.00 base price for my purposes, plus taxes and labor if they charge me to do the wiring)

    I'll get on the phone with Tony in the morning.... ok, later in the morning and ask his advice, too, though. Don't want to buy something that really *isn't* comparable by mistake.

    I've never really needed the backup before (hence me not realizing for so long that it was faulty) but it's just Murphy's Law that if I go out *without* one, that'll be the time I'll need it, you know?

  7. I'm glad the charging problem has been resolved, and thanks for the information about Batteries Plus. That will be handy to know in an emergency!

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  9. Hardy sent me to Batteries Plus here in Boise to buy SLA batteries when I was having a problem with my charger for my l'ion battery.

    The SLA batteries did cost $90 (for the pair). Hardy had sent me a "kit" so I could wire the batteries together.

    I have been meaning to make a post on this kit and wiring the SLA batteries together.

    I thought the SLA kit would make a good emergency battery backup plan. You can buy the batteries locally when/if you need them.

    I asked Tony about these kits and at the time they were $65. You get the tray, bag, charger, and wires you need to connect the 2 SLA batteries you can buy at Batteries Plus.

  10. It worked out great! Tony called Batteries Plus to arrange for the batteries, and all I had to do was pick up the new set, and wait a minute for them to swap the wiring from the old set to the new!