My first charge with The Lairds firmware

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kingcharles
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Joined: 08/17/2009
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This week I had my first play with The Lairds famous custom firmware and I just wanted to share my initial results.
My goal is to remove the noisy fans an I have a pretty good idea now how to achieve this as I have opened up the bike this weekend and measured what is possible and what will provide optimum airflow. I ordered some fans, and as soon as they arrive and I install them, I will post some pictures how I did the modification.

First the software installation.
As I recently purchased the CANBus cable it came with the latest windows drivers so I needed to download the PCAN_USB.dll file which is described in the handbook posted here and place it in the scooterdiag folder. After that immediate success in connecting to the bike.

I installed the firmware as documented and went for the mandatory ride to "empty the tank"
During that ride I immediately realized how brilliant it is to have the voltage readout in the dash. Because I needed to ride the batteries empty the voltage readout allowed me to control my acceleration in such way that it did not drop far below the 120V danger limit.

The next day I did my first charge with the new firmware. I monitored the whole charge quite closely and wrote down all the numbers.
After putting them in a spreadsheet it became clear that my batteries have already dropped to 80% capacity.

The good news is of course that most likely I will be able to keep them at this level a lot longer than with the old firmware. Because where the old firmware would drive the temperature up by at least 5-10 Celsius this time the temperature actually dropped at the end of the charge!

For those interested, here is the result of that first charge in the picture below.

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Frolle
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Joined: 05/11/2012
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Re: My first charge with The Lairds firmware

Congratulation to the success!
So the bar-meter compensates for the lost capacity in this new frimware?
I read somewhere that the charging should preferably be aborted bit in to the CC-charge, this to not get the EQ-charge, or was that only with the original firmware?

kingcharles
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Re: My first charge with The Lairds firmware

Frolle wrote:

Congratulation to the success!
So the bar-meter compensates for the lost capacity in this new frimware?
I read somewhere that the charging should preferably be aborted bit in to the CC-charge, this to not get the EQ-charge, or was that only with the original firmware?

Yes, the bar meter only showed 13 bars after the first charge. But it is not perfect yet, I have lost another 2 bars in the subsequent 3 charges although the range has not gone down. This afternoon on my way home I used all the bars and still had 130V when I got home. I need to understand things better but as long as it keeps getting me to the office and home I am ok. The temperature of the batteries is much better which is the main thing.
I have not interrupted any charge yet (only 4 so far) but the EQ charge is only 60 mins at 1,3 Amp and doesnt raise the temperature at all.
My new fans have arrived today so if weather allows I will open the bike this weekend to replace them (have to work outside).

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Mik
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Re: My first charge with The Lairds firmware

My understanding is that The Laird's modified firmware resets the bars to zero whenever the battery voltage is below 130V for a certain time after connecting the charger to the mains, or maybe also when the scooter is turned on and the voltage is below 130V.

I think that if you always do the same commute, and the self-discharge rate algorithm is set higher than the actual self-discharge rate of the battery, and your commute is only a bit shorter than your maximum range, then you will by necessity arrive at work with 130V in the battery (once everything has settled in during regular use).

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CO2
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Re: My first charge with The Lairds firmware

Could you put photos or video in youtube of this operation: open bike to change fans....?
I think I have 1 fan in my bike don't fonction.....

Domi422
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Re: My first charge with The Lairds firmware

I experience the same situation as Kingcharles. Only 13 bars and always more than 130 V left. Here is the datas collected on my 3 last charges, my commute is around 30 km.
Km done Range left Bars left Voltage
31 0 2 132
35 0 0 130
31 0 1 131

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kingcharles
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Re: My first charge with The Lairds firmware

Mik wrote:

My understanding is that The Laird's modified firmware resets the bars to zero whenever the battery voltage is below 130V for a certain time after connecting the charger to the mains, or maybe also when the scooter is turned on and the voltage is below 130V.

I think that if you always do the same commute, and the self-discharge rate algorithm is set higher than the actual self-discharge rate of the battery, and your commute is only a bit shorter than your maximum range, then you will by necessity arrive at work with 130V in the battery (once everything has settled in during regular use).

I believe the reset is at 120V if I understand the instructions correctly. Yesterday I lost another bar and had zero bars in the final 10km of my ride. Although it looks scary the Voltmeter tels clearly that there is enough juice left. (arrived with 126V)

This morning some bars re-appeared, probably because of the 10km riding at 0 bars.

So this indicates to me that your idea about the self-discharge compensation must be correct. I always ride to near empty on my commute, charge 2 times per day and try to time it such that I ride short after the charge is finished. So self-discharge is minimal on my bike.

I will keep an eye on it. Again, the batteries are nice and cool and this is what counts!

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kingcharles
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Re: My first charge with The Lairds firmware

CO2 wrote:

Could you put photos or video in youtube of this operation: open bike to change fans....?
I think I have 1 fan in my bike don't fonction.....

I will do a post on how I modified the fans. I have not done it yet though but I hope to find some time this weekend.
I will make some pictures.
There are already great videos on opening up the bike from lithium conversions. When you have the big black Fan assembly removed it is quite easy to replace a fan (if you can get a spare...)

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