How to fix a Chauvet Freedom Par Hex 4 that will not charge

freedom par wont charge

 

If all four battery charge status lights blink together when connected to AC power, and the Freedom Par Hex 4 does not charge, it probably has a failed power supply. This video guides you through the process of replacing the power supply for a Chauvet Freedom Par Hex 4, while the description below explains troubleshooting and alternative solutions not mentioned in the video. I couldn’t find much info on this when mine started to act up, so I made this guide in the hopes that it’ll help other DJs to fix a Chauvet Freedom Par that is not charging.

BACKGROUND ON THE PROBLEM
Some of the earlier Chauvet FreedomPar Hex-4 units had batches of defective power supplies which have since been redesigned presumably to prevent this issue. 10 of the 16 fixtures I bought in 2015 have failed in this way (as of Feb 2020), and all the units came from the same production batch with sequential serial numbers. The failure comes without warning or other indicators, just one day it just won’t charge for no apparent reason. In 2018, I asked Chauvet for help wayyy-out-of-warranty, and they generously agreed to my request to send some replacement parts at no charge.

STEPS TO CONFIRM THE PROBLEM

  1. While unplugged, take out the six screws (shown in video) to swing open the bottom cover.
  2. Find the battery connector labeled “V-” and “V+” on the circuit board with red and white wires and unplug it from the board.
  3. Repeat this disassembly process on a known-good unit and place it next to the bad unit.
  4. Plug the battery from the bad unit into the power supply of the good unit. You do not need to take the battery out, but you may need to cut some zip ties to get enough slack in the cord to reach the other unit.
  5. (CAUTION: RISK OF ELECTRIC SHOCK) Before proceeding, carefully examine all connectors, bare leads, and wires to make sure they’re not touching each other, the frame, metal objects in your workspace, or you. Do not touch anything inside while connected to AC power. Once you’ve confirmed that you’re clear, plug the good unit into the wall for a moment and see if it charges the bad unit’s battery by looking at the charge status lights on the front panel. Then unplug it from the wall and wait for a moment for capacitors to discharge before proceeding.
  6. Now swap it around and connect the battery from the good unit to the circuit board of the bad unit and plug the bad unit into the wall to test.

If the good unit was able to charge both batteries, while the bad unit could not charge either one, the problem is likely the power supply of the bad unit. Replace it as shown in the video. Or try to replace the transistors which are the most likely failure point.

If both units could charge the battery of the good unit, but neither unit could charge the battery of the bad unit, the problem is likely the battery of the bad unit. Replace it.

WHERE TO GET THE PARTS
Right here: https://www.chauvetparts.com/product.htm?pid=102834&cat=11624 or call Chauvet Support. If the link has changed since this post was written, the part you’re looking for is Power Supply (BOM#16) for Chauvet Freedom Par Hex-4 Part number PTJ3013001097, price is about $100.

ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS
Send the Freedom Par that won’t charge to Chauvet for repair, just get an RMA through their website and follow their directions to have them service it for you.

If you don’t want to buy the replacement part, can’t have the fixture out-of-service for a while, or if you need to charge your unit right now and don’t have time for a new part to arrive in the mail, just follow steps 1-5 outlined above to use a known-good unit to charge the battery of a unit with a defective charging power supply board. It’s not an elegant solution, but it does work, it’s quick, and it’s fairly easy to do. Just don’t zap yourself ffs. And if you do, don’t blame me.

If you’re really technically inclined, you could try to replace the transistors on the power supply, which are the most likely point of failure. Astute observers may notice that the replacement part has been redesigned. My best guess is that the transistors failed due to heat and that the new design alleviates that flaw.

CAVEAT EMPTOR
Reminder, I am not a Chauvet repair person, I’m just a technically inclined DJ that is comfortable with dismantling expensive gear and voiding warranties. My experience with the 4 charge lights blinking on a Chauvet Freedom Par Hex 4 light fixture comes from having it happen to nearly all 16 of the fixtures I own. Use your best judgement before cracking open your fixtures.

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