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Thread: Di2 battery not holding charge

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    Default Re: Di2 battery not holding charge

    Firstly, many thanks to all who've contributed to this thread. Very much appreciated. I don't wish that others will experience similar problems, but if they do, I hope that they will find this thread a useful resource as I have.

    I think I have now narrowed it down to a couple of suspects. I'm somewhat relieved that the Y cable inside the handle bar is not at fault because I was dreading having to extract it and then replace it which seems like a massive faff.

    Thus far, junction B appears not to be the culprit. However, I am reserving final judgement since I haven't yet confirmed beyond doubt that all 4 plugs are in good order. I know that 2 are working perfectly. As such, it still remains on the provisional suspect list. That said, I am guessing that if 2 are fine, all 4 are likely to be fine.

    The prime suspects at the moment are the EW WU111 and the very short cable connecting it to junction B. I have plugged it back in to see if the problem resurfaces and waiting for a result.

    If the wireless unit turns out to be the source of the problem, then I suppose it can be added to the list of things to which SM PCE02 is blind.

    In the meantime, I have a question about the WU111's Bluetooth function.

    I think I mentioned that a Shimano Europe person said that the battery can be drained if there is another BT device in the area constantly trying to connect to the unit. I'm not saying that he is wrong or that it doesn't happen. However, the following is what I have observed.

    When I disconnect the E-tube phone app's BT connection from the unit and close the app, I can tell that the unit shuts itself off after a delay of just a few seconds. I know this because if I re-open the app, it no longer sees the unit until I turn the BT connection back on by pressing the junction A button. Therefore, my phone might be polling for my bike's wireless unit, the unit is not even visible unless I switch it back on. I assume, the unit is not "working" and consuming power in this state.

    Any thoughts so far?

    I have also stood next to the bike several times, at different times of the day/evening, with my BT-discoverable phone to see if there are any unknown devices available or polling my phone. Nothing. As I mentioned previously, the only BT devices in the house that are constantly in use (and therefore already paired) are out of range from the bike.

    So, I don't think it's a case of another BT device draining the power by trying to connect with my bike.

    If I'm correct, and I eliminate the short cable between the WU111 and junction B as a suspect, then it must be a defect with the WU111 itself as opposed to a rogue third party BT device (provided junction B is all healthy).

    Thoughts?
    Chikashi Miyamoto

  2. #42
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    Default Re: Di2 battery not holding charge

    My feeling is that the polling explanation is not right. The WU111 has to be turned on, it has to be paired with a device, the device is the thing that finds the WU111, not the other way around - this polling idea just doesn't make sense with my understanding of how bluetooth works currently. There's no "awake on network access" type arrangement for the WU111. You can't wake it up with the app for example. You have to use the button on the junction, right? When it is off, it is off.

    That doesn't mean it isn't defective and somehow draining the battery, but I don't think the polling explanation makes sense - unless the defect is that somehow the WU111 never actually shuts off but still disappears as an available connection when shut off is activated.

    I would wonder if it wasn't the short cable or (provisionally) the B junction.
    Last edited by j44ke; 2 Weeks Ago at 03:05 PM.
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    Default Re: Di2 battery not holding charge

    In the meantime, I have a question about the WU111's Bluetooth function.

    I think I mentioned that a Shimano Europe person said that the battery can be drained if there is another BT device in the area constantly trying to connect to the unit. I'm not saying that he is wrong or that it doesn't happen. However, the following is what I have observed.
    They probably meant that it is possible for the EW-WU111 to "stay awake" as long as there is a Bluetooth device connected to it.

    However, it should definitely go to sleep after a ride (assuming no BT devices are connected to it). If you ride the bike and then come back to it let's say 5-15 minutes later the EW-WU111 should definitely have turned off, just like you are describing (unable to connect to it).

    Some EW-WU111s are defective in that they never go to sleep / switch off, but yours seems to be fine shutting off.

    That doesn't mean it's not the culprit, but at least it switches off after a while ;-)
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    Default Re: Di2 battery not holding charge

    Quote Originally Posted by Chik View Post

    Thus far, junction B appears not to be the culprit. However, I am reserving final judgement since I haven't yet confirmed beyond doubt that all 4 plugs are in good order. I know that 2 are working perfectly. As such, it still remains on the provisional suspect list. That said, I am guessing that if 2 are fine, all 4 are likely to be fine.
    You can't assume this: I've got a Junction-B where only one of the 4 ports has an issue. In my case it was intermittent failure of the connection / wire and nothing to do with battery drain though.

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    Default Re: Di2 battery not holding charge

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    My feeling is that the polling explanation is not right. The WU111 has to be turned on, it has to be paired with a device, the device is the thing that finds the WU111, not the other way around - this polling idea just doesn't make sense with my understanding of how bluetooth works currently. There's no "awake on network access" type arrangement for the WU111. You can't wake it up with the app for example. You have to use the button on the junction, right? When it is off, it is off.

    That doesn't mean it isn't defective and somehow draining the battery, but I don't think the polling explanation makes sense - unless the defect is that somehow the WU111 never actually shuts off but still disappears as an available connection when shut off is activated.

    I would wonder if it wasn't the short cable or (provisionally) the B junction.
    Quote Originally Posted by TerryDi2C View Post
    They probably meant that it is possible for the EW-WU111 to "stay awake" as long as there is a Bluetooth device connected to it.

    However, it should definitely go to sleep after a ride (assuming no BT devices are connected to it). If you ride the bike and then come back to it let's say 5-15 minutes later the EW-WU111 should definitely have turned off, just like you are describing (unable to connect to it).

    Some EW-WU111s are defective in that they never go to sleep / switch off, but yours seems to be fine shutting off.

    That doesn't mean it's not the culprit, but at least it switches off after a while ;-)
    Yep, in the absence of the phone or a head unit (mine's too old and doesn't have BT) already paired with the bike, I think it points to the WU111's sleep function being broken, not some rogue BT device in the vicinity. In any case, this doesn't seem to be the case with mine although it doesn't mean that mine doesn't have another issue which is causing power drain.
    Chikashi Miyamoto

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    Default Re: Di2 battery not holding charge

    Quote Originally Posted by Tristan View Post
    You can't assume this: I've got a Junction-B where only one of the 4 ports has an issue. In my case it was intermittent failure of the connection / wire and nothing to do with battery drain though.
    Oh, I knew you were going to say something like this! :)
    Chikashi Miyamoto

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    Default Re: Di2 battery not holding charge

    Chik,

    Have you tried simply removing the EW-WU111 from your setup and seeing what happens?

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    Default Re: Di2 battery not holding charge

    Quote Originally Posted by bdaghisallo View Post
    Chik,

    Have you tried simply removing the EW-WU111 from your setup and seeing what happens?
    Yep, that's how I've narrowed it down to the 2 prime suspects. I am now trying to see if I can eliminate the short cable as a suspect by replacing it with the cable from the FD.
    Chikashi Miyamoto

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    Default Re: Di2 battery not holding charge

    Quote Originally Posted by Chik View Post
    Yep, that's how I've narrowed it down to the 2 prime suspects. I am now trying to see if I can eliminate the short cable as a suspect by replacing it with the cable from the FD.
    Gotcha! My money's on the BT unit. Good luck.

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    Default Re: Di2 battery not holding charge

    I was going to mention this upstream, but figured you guys might be able to sleuth it, but at the shop we have seen quite a few batteries (latest generation) simply flake out and fail, either within warranty period or not much beyond. Shimano has mostly been good about replacing them after walking through some diagnostics. Have you tried a new battery to see if it also falls victim to the parasitic drain?
    am I the only Marvin?

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    Default Re: Di2 battery not holding charge

    is the short wire one that enters the frame?

    I've had a bunch fail from bending over and over when the bars turn

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    Default Re: Di2 battery not holding charge

    Quote Originally Posted by giordana93 View Post
    I was going to mention this upstream, but figured you guys might be able to sleuth it, but at the shop we have seen quite a few batteries (latest generation) simply flake out and fail, either within warranty period or not much beyond. Shimano has mostly been good about replacing them after walking through some diagnostics. Have you tried a new battery to see if it also falls victim to the parasitic drain?
    Not thoroughly, only to the extent that after 3 days without the WU111 and the short wire, the battery was still 5/5 instead of being completely drained. BTW, that's with the new battery. The identical test wasn't done on the old battery, which is now with Shimano Europe. And, yes, they graciously replaced it with the new one, but I don't know whether they actually found anything wrong with the old (black) one.

    Quote Originally Posted by andrew flowers View Post
    is the short wire one that enters the frame?

    I've had a bunch fail from bending over and over when the bars turn
    No, it lives entirely inside the down tube near the bottom bracket, between junction B and WU111.

    The one that enters the frame plugs into the other side of the WU111. Given that when it is connected directly to junction B, the drainage is not apparent, I don't think there is an issue with it. Also, when the good boys at Woodrup assembled the bike, they left plenty of wire length between the handlebar and the head tube that it doesn't get bent when I turn the handlebar.

    Anyway, I think I eliminated the shorty as the culprit. I replaced it with another wire (from the FD), and the drainage still happened albeit at a somewhat slower rate -- battery level was at 3/5 instead of 2/5 after very similar length of time, a little less than 2 full days.

    I have now reconnected all parts except the shorty and the WU111 to reconfirm that everything else is working fine as a whole. Once that's confirmed, I plan to stick the WU111 (and the shorty) back into the grid to reconfirm that it's the cause.

    As always, thoughts welcome!

    Thanks!
    Chikashi Miyamoto

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    Default Re: Di2 battery not holding charge

    Quote Originally Posted by giordana93 View Post
    I was going to mention this upstream, but figured you guys might be able to sleuth it, but at the shop we have seen quite a few batteries (latest generation) simply flake out and fail, either within warranty period or not much beyond. Shimano has mostly been good about replacing them after walking through some diagnostics. Have you tried a new battery to see if it also falls victim to the parasitic drain?
    I had a new battery do just that. It died just after I flew down a hill in the 53x14. Had to muscle that home over a few hills. Took it out and put in a battery that I've had for five plus years. Nine months later it's still going strong.

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    Default Re: Di2 battery not holding charge

    Technology sometimes...I would say Bluetooth. I have had one EW unit and 2 Stages PM’s where the Bluetooth would seem to work but the batteries in the Di2 and the power meters would drain. In the Di2 when I replaced the EW unit it was fixed and when Stages did whatever they did (I don’t know if they repaired or replaced) those units have no issues. I am not an engineer but I am guessing that whatever the switch is that turns bluetooth on and off be it mechanical or electronic is not so perfected in a moving, bouncing part.
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    Default Re: Di2 battery not holding charge

    Quote Originally Posted by htwoopup View Post
    Technology sometimes...I would say Bluetooth. I have had one EW unit and 2 Stages PM’s where the Bluetooth would seem to work but the batteries in the Di2 and the power meters would drain. In the Di2 when I replaced the EW unit it was fixed and when Stages did whatever they did (I don’t know if they repaired or replaced) those units have no issues. I am not an engineer but I am guessing that whatever the switch is that turns bluetooth on and off be it mechanical or electronic is not so perfected in a moving, bouncing part.
    Defects and failures happen with everything, but with these electronic gadgets, it's just such a massive faff to even diagnose the problem. And we thought identifying the actual source of a creek that first appears to come from the BB can be a mind numbing exercise... but at least most cases can be fixed without having to replace a component.
    Chikashi Miyamoto

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    Default Re: Di2 battery not holding charge

    Just checked back into this thread, glad to see you’re almost at the end of the saga! I don’t know if you’ve tried this, but I’ve seen a handful of instances where having the eww inside the bike, even when the bike is not in use could cause battery drain issues. They are not officially designed to be ran inside the bike and the “shielded” install causes issues. I would be interested to see it installed externally, inline between the rd and it’s wire would be an easy check. I’ve seen this issue particularly on steel frames, I’ve had minimal issues with it on carbon bikes and I run it this way on my own aluminum bike without issues.

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    Default Re: Di2 battery not holding charge

    Quote Originally Posted by watchcwgo View Post
    Just checked back into this thread, glad to see you’re almost at the end of the saga! I don’t know if you’ve tried this, but I’ve seen a handful of instances where having the eww inside the bike, even when the bike is not in use could cause battery drain issues. They are not officially designed to be ran inside the bike and the “shielded” install causes issues. I would be interested to see it installed externally, inline between the rd and it’s wire would be an easy check. I’ve seen this issue particularly on steel frames, I’ve had minimal issues with it on carbon bikes and I run it this way on my own aluminum bike without issues.
    How curious. Thanks for sharing this.

    The last few steps, including the current one, where the WU111 was plugged in, the unit itself was hanging out of the bottom bracket shell rather than being inside the frame. Therefore, it hasn't been shielded. I am giving it another day, but everything points to a power drain unrelated to steel frame "cabin fever".

    But it just seems like WU111 is vulnerable to all sorts of issues...
    Chikashi Miyamoto

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