RIP little red Vectrix

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Paul
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Joined: 03/24/2008
Points: 104

Well the end has finally come!

22500km and my V can no longer reliably manage the 21.7km commute to work. Cell temperatures have been rising as the weather (in Tasmania) gets colder and last week the V fell short by a few km.
That's ok I said to myself, just pull the pack down, I have been swapping out bulging cells every 12 months or so since mid '09, no problem. Just test each cell and replace a couple of duds. Easy!

But alas, 4 hours on Saturday spent in cell maintenance followed by a couple of easy rides and balancing charges have not sorted the problem.
The old V just would not make the full trip to work this morning....................I have lost confidence and took a car!

I will not give up just yet, but the time is fast aproaching when I must find an alternative.

Cheers

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Paul

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marcopolo
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Joined: 05/10/2009
Points: 837
Re: RIP little red Vectrix

Paul wrote:

I will not give up just yet, but the time is fast aproaching when I must find an alternative.

Paul, have you tried Matt (antiscab) lithium battery pack solution?

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marcopolo

R
R's picture
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Joined: 06/18/2009
Points: 1402
Re: RIP little red Vectrix

Paul, Mik's vectux has some kind of BMS, I think There's some posts about it in the collaborative handbook. And as Marcopolo points out, have you considered upgrading to lithium?

Paul
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Joined: 03/24/2008
Points: 104
Re: RIP little red Vectrix

Hi Marco and R

Yes, I have considered Antiscab's lithium kit, I have also investigated other alternatives in pack replacement. Mik's management system looks way too complex to implement.
There are three main obstacles to the above.
1. I am lazy, maintenance on the existing pack I can do, but wholesale changes are too much. Family, garden, work etc, etc
2. All my available spare cash was spent buying the V and installing solar on the roof, and the financial manager (wife) will not let the purse strings go! I must spend any future savings wisely.
3. I am a motorcyclist at heart and the limited range of the V just will not cut it. I have tried to convince myself otherwise for three years, but no, I just want to go for a looooong ride. ( I must spend any future savings very wisely )

And besides, I may have been a little hasty, the V has recovered somewhat and took me to work this morning!

Please disregard everything I say as the ravings of a whiner, prophet of doom and publicity seeking fool.

Cheers

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Paul

antiscab
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Joined: 07/07/2007
Points: 1598
Re: RIP little red Vectrix

Hi Paul,

If you need replacement nimh cells I can supply them (I'm in WA, but the shipping inside Australia isn't too bad).

Mik also has some, and I think theres someone else on the East Coast who has some aswell.

If you're interested, I will get some cells tested up.

Matt

__________________

Daily Ride:
2007 Vectrix, modified with 42 x Thundersky 60Ah
Vectrix 60Ah Lithium Tyres Fuel Registration Insurance cycle analyst replacement TC Charger
conversion
Spent so far: $5800 + $7000 + $1720 + $960 + $320 + $720 + $140 + $600
Cost to do it again: $2500 + $5600 + $1720 + $960 + $320 + $720 + $140 + $600
Cost for a Petrol bike:$6000 + + $1440 + $6000 + $800 + $1400 + $3200 servicing
Total spent: $17260
Total to do again: $12560
Total to have used a petrol bike: $18840
Total distance travelled so far: 79'120km

Paul
Offline
Joined: 03/24/2008
Points: 104
Re: RIP little red Vectrix

Thanks Mat.
We'll see how it goes

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Paul

ofx210p
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Joined: 10/20/2008
Points: 375
Re: RIP little red Vectrix

Paul, I know where you are coming from on the lazy front, but i think these things are also dependant upon prior efforts and the wearing down of enthusiasm.
If you consider selling her at any point in the future, I'd love to hear about it and i'd be willing (despite all the battery issues) to give her a lovely home here.

Incidentally is that the only Vectrix on Tasmania ?

Cheers

Chris
Auckland

Mik
Mik's picture
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Joined: 12/11/2007
Points: 3727
Re: RIP little red Vectrix

Paul wrote:

...
... Mik's management system looks way too complex to implement....
...

That's true - but it was and is not meant to be replicated as a BMS. It was and is more of a research instrument to figure out what is really going on in the battery pack.

You could implement a much simpler version of the "Vectux M-BMS" with practically the same functionality - it would even have saved you work compared to the repeated search for swollen cells.

The steps to build it would be these:
1) Find the 9 weakest cells and arrange them into one of the modules in the rear battery top layer. Both the capacity after full charge and the capacity after full charge followed by about 2 weeks of self-discharge should be tested.
2) Attach a diode protected cable to the end of the battery opposite to the module with the weakest cells.
3) Attach a cable (with 15k ohm resistors in series) to each end of the weakest cell for measuring voltage.
4) If you want to, connect two cables (with 15k ohm resistors in series) to the poles of one known good cell for comparative voltage measurements.
5) If you want, add in some cables to selectively top-up those weak cells with higher self-discharge rate (group them together in series).

Use it by:

1) Monitoring the weakest cell voltage while riding to "the edge of the range".
2) Performing slow EQ charges with a Freddy charger at will (or to re-awaken the battery after storage).
3) The weak cells will last much longer, but when they eventually fail, you will find them exactly where you left them: They are easily accessible for emergency shorting as a roadside assist procedure, or topup charge on the road through the cables in place (you could put in cables to the ends of the 9-cell module so any car with 12V system could give you a roadside assist topup charge).

It will cost you 2 weeks for battery testing and maybe AU$200.- for assorted hardware to build it well, durable and safe.

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This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

There is always a way if there is no other way!

Paul
Offline
Joined: 03/24/2008
Points: 104
Re: RIP little red Vectrix

Hi Chris
Thanks for the offer, don't know what a fair price is. Any ideas?
There are 4 Vectrix in Tassie that I know of:
-My red one- failed again today
-Green one belonging to Eyeinthesky, but I am not sure where he is at the moment, maybe Victoria
-Blue one not far from me, still going strong as far as I know (I assisted in a MC changeout a few months ago)
-Red(?) one in Hobart, whose owner I don't know

Cheers

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Paul

ofx210p
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Joined: 10/20/2008
Points: 375
Re: RIP little red Vectrix

hi paul
i got talking to charles (ex vectrix com.au) today and if all goes according to plan i might well be buying a complete machine from him.
On that basis - i know you love your vectrix - why not talk to him too about a replacement batt ? or go down the lithium route.

I know that my plan with whichever vectrix i get in the end, i'll be going the lithium rout eventually.

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