MMC pre-programs all new NLG5 chargers free of charge

News

NLG5_custom_CANBeginning May 2015, all customers of Metric Mind Corporation purchasing BRUSA NLG5 series battery chargers will have option to request to pre-program desired charging parameters prior to shipping – free of charge.

Background.

The BRUSA NLG5 series battery chargers – the golden standard of reliability and flexibility in EV industry have become very mature product, perfected over the years. The ChargeStar Software utility used to program NLG5 has been originally developed for 32 bit Windows OS (Windows 95 at the time). As such, it will install and run on any 32 bit OS for Windows released by Microsoft later, such as Windows 95/ME/2000/XP. Although not certified, it has also been proven to run under 32 bit versions of Windows 7.

The ChargeStar has been completed and stable far before Microsoft has released any of its new 64 bit OSes. Because of success of the NLG5, which is in full swing production now, the manufacturer has no need nor plans for its further development, focusing instead on the next generation NLG6 and more modern wireless charging systems products. This applies to ChargeStar utility as well, so there will be no upgrade enabling it to natively install and run under any 64 bit Windows OSes. Rationale behind this decision is that ChargeStar software is free and optional, it is not required for charger to work, and also because it can still be made to run under modern 64 bit OSes with minimal additional effort.

Therefore, if you use 64 bit version of Windows only and unable or unwilling to either use 32 bit compatible mode, or install a virtual XP machine running under 64-bit OS (such as Oracle VM VirtualBox), you will not be able to to install and natively run ChargeStar.

We receive feedback from many customers trying to use ChargeStar with OSes not certified by the manufacturer to run it under (including Linux and Mac OS), and customers who use USB-serial adapters. While ChargeStar works well, usually such users have initial connectivity problems as ChargeStar attempts to initialize non-existent hardware UART of virtual serial port. Success of such connection entirely depends on the quality of USB-serial driver the ChargeStar knows nothing about – how close it emulates real serial port and its timing. If ChargeStar senses “real port” while you are using USB-serial adapter you can map to COM1, it will connect with your NLG5 well. However, virtually all modern USB-serial adapters are meant for high speed connectivity and legacy consumer products and not made with backward compatibility with classic UART hardware that has just 16 bytes transmit and receive buffers. This often confuses ChargeStar which may give connectivity error while keep looking for “real” serial port.

For this reason MMC will provide service of custom programming NLG5 to your specifications as an option. It will be free of charge with the sale of any new charger, or you can send your existing unit to MMC to (re)program it to your specification for a $35 nominal fee.

That said, please keep in mind that you will always have ability to re-program the BRUSA NLG5 charger on your own! Unlike Zivan NG5, Nichicon or other pro grade battery chargers, the NLG5 has open user accessible interface. Your only consideration is that the cost of shipping to MMC both ways plus $35 re-programming fee may exceed the cost of a used laptop on e-bay running Windows XP, not to mention turnaround time and the fact that you might need to tweak your profile later more than once. Nevertheless, we now provide this option as an additional value to all our customers for the life of the product. This is especially attractive to those planning to purchase new units.