First Vectrix!..

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Sacko
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Hi all, first thread for me over here. I am usually on Endless Sphere building bikes, but have taken the step into motorcycles; the Vectrix being the start.

I picked this up in Oxford, a couple of hours away from me in the UK.

 photo 2015-07-12 11.28.08_zpsqhtgkirl.png

The owner said he left the bike for a while, plugged it in to charge and nothing happened. Dead.

I have since stripped the batteries out to charge each series group (12 series cells), using the Imax.

I have charge the group of cells, left them to sit for 24hours, and checked which cells have dropped in voltage. To my surprise on 2 cells have dropped. Since charging them cells individually, they have remained at 1.22v.

 photo 20150712_113644_zpsxsvddpxw.jpg

I may look at testing these under a small load to check capacity and voltage drop off.

I am yet to put the pack back together and see if the Vectrix runs or not.

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Sacko
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Re: First Vectrix!..

The image that was moved.

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Sacko
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Re: First Vectrix!..

All plugged back in and tested out.

I have the Vectrix switched off.

Once I switched the power on at the wall, the following happens.

The fans on the charger are going, but only for 20seconds or so.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmWiK-85YGY

elevatorguy
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Re: First Vectrix!..

It looks like it is not reading the temperature boards, are the sensors all hooked up? the display never shows a change from 21c, it should read the battery sensors and indicate battery temperature.

MEroller
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Re: First Vectrix!..

Sacko wrote:

I have since stripped the batteries out to charge each series group (12 series cells), using the Imax.
...
The fans on the charger are going, but only for 20seconds or so.

Hmmm. You have put fully charged cell groups back in the bike, that the bike knows nothing about (thus no capacity bars), yet the charger does run up to 10A charging current, but sensing the end-of-charge voltage was reached switches off again. The battery is fully charged, after all...
But the Temp. bosrds may also play a role, as has already been menitoned.

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Bikemad
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Re: Charging fault

The flashing temperature and battery warning light is acceptable if the temperature sensor boards are not plugged in, but the really fast voltage climb with just a 10A charge rate is not.

Something is definitely amiss as the voltage climbs from 141V to 149V in ~10 seconds, and I suspect this is just the charger voltage increasing much higher than the actual battery voltage.

This is what I would expect to occur if the battery had been temporarily connected to the controller using some thin (high resistance) wires, as this would cause a large voltage drop across the thin wires with the 10 Amp load applied as the wires would quickly warm up, increasing their resistance even more.

However, if the battery is connected using the correct (original) wiring, I suspect there may be a very high resistance cell that is being excessively overcharged when subjected to the 10 Amp charging current. If you are able to measure the voltage of each module you should be able to locate where the voltage rise is taking place and then home in on the rogue cell.

I hope you have used some form of inrush current limiter (100W bulb etc.) when reconnecting the battery to the controller otherwise the controller can be damaged by the sudden rush of current to the capacitors.

Alan

Sacko
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Re: First Vectrix!..

MEroller wrote:

Hmmm. You have put fully charged cell groups back in the bike, that the bike knows nothing about (thus no capacity bars), yet the charger does run up to 10A charging current, but sensing the end-of-charge voltage was reached switches off again. The battery is fully charged, after all...
But the Temp. bosrds may also play a role, as has already been menitoned.

Thanks for the replies, much appreciated.

Each group of cells had 300mah put back into them to bring the voltage back up to 1.2V per cell.

A couple of the temp boards looked like they have seen better days. Can these be tested to see if they still function?

 photo 20150711_174829_zpsjolpwj6s.jpg

Sacko
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Re: Charging fault

Bikemad wrote:

The flashing temperature and battery warning light is acceptable if the temperature sensor boards are not plugged in, but the really fast voltage climb with just a 10A charge rate is not.

Something is definitely amiss as the voltage climbs from 141V to 149V in ~10 seconds, and I suspect this is just the charger voltage increasing much higher than the actual battery voltage.

This is what I would expect to occur if the battery had been temporarily connected to the controller using some thin (high resistance) wires, as this would cause a large voltage drop across the thin wires with the 10 Amp load applied as the wires would quickly warm up, increasing their resistance even more.

However, if the battery is connected using the correct (original) wiring, I suspect there may be a very high resistance cell that is being excessively overcharged when subjected to the 10 Amp charging current. If you are able to measure the voltage of each module you should be able to locate where the voltage rise is taking place and then home in on the rogue cell.

I hope you have used some form of inrush current limiter (100W bulb etc.) when reconnecting the battery to the controller otherwise the controller can be damaged by the sudden rush of current to the capacitors.

Alan

Thanks Alan.

Looks like I will have to pull the batteries out tomorrow evening :/

I have used a bulb instead of a pre-charge unit to charge the caps, but the video shows the bike using main discharge leads.

Mik
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Re: First Vectrix!..

Scrap the temp sensors and get your hand on a charger / MC software version from The Laird which does not need temp sensor input.

Cheers, Mik

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Sacko
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Re: First Vectrix!..

Mik wrote:

Scrap the temp sensors and get your hand on a charger / MC software version from The Laird which does not need temp sensor input.

Cheers, Mik

Cheers. I have been looking at the following as I have seen a couple of conversions.

http://www.evassemble.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=17

Im guessing I will still need to pay £200 for a CAN adapter :/

Sacko
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Re: First Vectrix!..

Just double checking that these are the correct CAN USB items needed;

http://gridconnect.com/can-usb.html#

There seems to be a few extension cables, some with terminators, some without.

http://gridconnect.com/can-bus-terminator.html

Bikemad
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Re: First Vectrix!..

Sacko wrote:

Just double checking that these are the correct CAN USB items needed;
http://gridconnect.com/can-usb.html#

Hi Paul, as you're in the UK it will be a lot cheaper (and quicker) to buy one from peak-system.com who are based in Germany.

The cheaper IPEH-002021 (non opto-decoupled) works fine and should cost ~£175.00 including delivery, and as they're in the EU there should be no import duty to pay either!

The one on gridconnect.com costs ~£180.00 including delivery, and that's with the 10% discount:

kingcharles wrote:

I had a chat via Twitter DM with a GridConnect salesperson and they want to support the Vectrix community. Below you can read the transcript.

DM:

GridConnect
I can create a promo code for 10% off for all Vectrix owners in the forums. I know you would prob prefer more but thats the best I can offer
GridConnect
Ok, Coupon Code "VECTRIXCANBUS" will get you 10% off any Peak System CAN products on http://t.co/Uzp9z8H.
GridConnect
My only request is that you please share the offer on the boards, we would be happy to extend the discount to those people as well

But Grid Connect's shipping charges covers only the carrier charges and does not include any tariffs, duties, custom fees, taxes or other regulations that may apply to countries outside the United States!

Sacko wrote:

There seems to be a few extension cables, some with terminators, some without.
http://gridconnect.com/can-bus-terminator.html

The cable required to connect the CANbus USB adapter to the Vectrix is just a simple Female to Female straight cable and does not need to be terminated:

X Vectrix wrote:

And you do not need any resistors. The CAN on the VX1 is fully terminated already.

I bought a 1.5 metre DB9 Female to Female RS232 Cable from eBay:

It was only 99p with free delivery and works very well on both of my Vectrixes.

Alan

Sacko
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Re: First Vectrix!..

Excellent, thanks for the post!

Best get these ordered tonight so I can make a start on it during the week.

Sacko
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Re: First Vectrix!..

Not much progress to be honest for various reasons.

Ordered a pair of these to charge the pack, enough to get past 100v anyway.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/291502134247?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

CAN USB ordered, along with extension lead.

Just need to source driver and Laird Firmware this evening.

Removed the panel to the charger.

 photo 20150720_214259_zpsvizh2isz.jpg

 photo 2015-07-20 21.52.16_zpsd4mpn0fs.jpg

Sacko
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Re: First Vectrix!..

On a slightly different note. I bought the bike knowing it had not been on the road.

I think that this bike has never been registered, but obviously want to get it back on the road.

I can register it on age related plates provided I can prove its age. Usually a letter from the manufacturer; unfortunately I don't think this is possible?

Has anybody else been in this situation? Any other way of proving its age?

Sacko
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Re: First Vectrix!..

On a slightly different note. I bought the bike knowing it had not been on the road.

I think that this bike has never been registered, but obviously want to get it back on the road.

I can register it on age related plates provided I can prove its age. Usually a letter from the manufacturer; unfortunately I don't think this is possible?

Has anybody else been in this situation? Any other way of proving its age?

Bikemad
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Re: First Vectrix!..

On the front of the frame there should be a sticker with the Chassis Number or Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) printed on it, and this should also have the date of manufacture (Month and Year) printed clearly in the top right corner:

If you look behind from above the front wheel you should be able to see it and take a photograph to prove its age.

The 17 digit/character VIN is also stamped (dot marked) on the rear lower section of the frame assembly just below the swinging arm pivot:

(And if I had cleaned off the mud in the above picture you would also be able to see it.)

It's much easier to see if you undo the right hand side panel retaining screw:

And then unhook the front fixing lug:

With the side panel removed, you should be able you to see the chassis number, unless it's all covered in mud like mine was.

If the first three characters of your VIN are SZC your vectrix will have been manufactured at the Wroclaw Factory in Poland.

Alan

Kocho
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Re: First Vectrix!..

Yes, you can test the sensors with a ohm meter (bike off). If you have already assembled the battery, you can test each sensor from the wires that connect it to the temp. control boards. They should all read about the same resistance value if they are all at the same temperature. At 20C they should be around 10KOhm, if I recall. See if you can find a series of posts on the subject that have the graph of the resistance vs. temperature. You should test at two different temperatures, say 15C and 25C to see if all sensors change their resistance by approximately the same value. In my case, one was damaged partially, so it would read the same as the good sensors at a particular temperature. If the bike was plugged in at that temperature, it would charge fine. But when it was hotter or cooler, that one sensor would be off by enough that the bike registered a fault and would not charge, thinking the temperature was off on that one bank of cells. I've since replaced that one bad sensor with a compatible one (costs something like $1 online, it's a simple surface mount thermistor that goes on the little green boards that screw to the cells) and the new one changes its resistance like it should. But I never got a chance to test it in actual operation on the bike as I upgraded to Li and ditched the sensors...

Sacko wrote:

A couple of the temp boards looked like they have seen better days. Can these be tested to see if they still function?

Bikemad
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Re: First Vectrix!..

If you are going to reuse the temperature sensors, as well as measuring the resistance across each of the thermistors, I would also suggest that you carefully check for electrical isolation between the thermistor connections and the heat conducting tinned copper surface of the PCB on each of the sensors that bolts directly onto the cell connecting post:

I think the design of the sensor board with such a small gap between the cell voltage and the sensor connections is just asking for trouble and I would not consider reconnecting mine without first modifying the PCBs to ensure the voltage cannot track across again.
Now that I am using The Laird's firmware with the reduced charge current, I am no longer concerned about the battery overheating while charging.

Bikemad wrote:

The graph clearly illustrates how much less heat is being generated within the battery during the 6 Amp charging process compared to the higher charging current that the original Vectrix firmware allowed.
My dodgy battery pack still gets warmer than it should (11.1°C increase on the worst module) but it's a lot better than the 27+°C increase I witnessed before when I had to manually terminate the charging process when it reached 40°C, so the temperature rise problem has definitely been reduced by a significant amount.

My Blue Vectrix that I purchased with a charging fault (where it would charge at a low current for ~5 minutes and then shut down) had a fault with the temperature sensors but began charging correctly after I unplugged the front and rear temperature sensor boards from the main harness.

Bikemad wrote:

I grabbed my voltmeter and placed the black probe on the battery –ve connection and started to measure the voltage on the temperature connectors.
The rear one measured ~1.6 volts on four of the six pins, but the front connector measured 95.4V on the outer pair of the four used pins and 92.8V on the inner pair.
So it looks like one of the temperature modules has somehow shorted across between the sensor wire and the battery connection that it is bolted to.

I was a initially concerned that the high voltage might have damaged the charger as the temperature boards are connected directly to it, but it seems to be OK. Although, it does charge slightly differently to my other Red bike with the identical firmware installed. The Blue one charges at 6 Amps right up to 145V and then drops to 2.2 Amps until the same 145V is achieved at the lower current, whereas the Red one correctly charges at 6 Amps up to 142V and then switches to the lower charging rate of 2.2 Amps until 145V is reached. Also, the battery cooling fans don't keep running for 10 minutes after the key is turned off like they do on the Red bike.
I don't know whether these slight differences are caused by the other bike still having the temperature sensors connected, or perhaps the charger might have been slightly damaged by the high voltage supplied via the temperature sensor board connections.
When I eventually remove the battery cover on the Red bike, I shall disconnect both of the temperature sensor boards to see if it makes any difference.

The Blue bike that had the charging fault still has both sensor boards disconnected and charges nicely with The Laird's firmware (the version that was adapted for use without temperature sensors which eliminates the continual flashing or the Battery and Temperature warning lights) and everything seems to be working fine now, apart from the flashing headlamp warning lights caused by the fitting of an LED headlamp bulb.

Alan

Sacko
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Re: First Vectrix!..

Thanks you for the info above, greatly appreciate it. The V62 document has been sent to the DVLA to request a replacement V5 document. If there isn't one, they will refund me the £25 and i'll have to apply for a registration (£100)

I have removed the temp sensors and going to install Laird Firmware on the bike hopefully.

I have also used the time to remove all the cells from the bike again and put more capacity in them; monitoring each cell for variance in voltage.

The PEAK CAN Bus has arrived. I have installed ScooterDiag 2.1 from this link in Youtube; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Km4U0d1okRc

Files seem to be everywhere, how do I go about getting my hands on The Lairds Software?

I have installed the drivers from the disk supplied and changed the DLL file in the ScooterDiag software;

http://www.peak-system.com/produktcd/Develop/PC%20interfaces/Windows/PCAN-Light%20API/Win32/PCAN_USB.dll

I now have a solid red light, but the bike isn't back together yet to test out the cable.

Kocho
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Re: First Vectrix!..

The ICM firmware that fixes the headlight status light blinking when LED light is installed seems to be offered free for the asking from vectrixsupport.com (David, XVectrix) here: http://dugasengineering.3dcartstores.com/Vectrix-Support_c_16.html

Bikemad wrote:

...and everything seems to be working fine now, apart from the flashing headlamp warning lights caused by the fitting of an LED headlamp bulb.

Alan

Bikemad
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Re: First Vectrix!..

Hi Kocho,

I already have the DIY-1708.hex ICM firmware installed but it doesn't stop the flashing dip and main beam warning lights with the lower power LED bulb.

I have fitted what was supposed to be a 30W LED bulb, but on dip beam the actual power is only 13.5 Watts and even on main beam (with both LEDS on) the total power is still less than 18 Watts.

Vectric Support wrote:

Free SW (contact us)
-Eliminate horn chirp
-Headlight fault icon bypass for HID conversion (eliminates flashing icon)

I no longer have the initial chirp on the horn as it now comes on fully straight away, so I assume the firmware modification to the headlight fault icon only applies to higher wattage HID bulbs rather than lower wattage LED bulbs.

I will try and contact David to see if my assumption is correct and will also ask if there is another version of the ICM firmware modified to suit LED headlamp bulbs.

I will post an update when I have more details.

Alan

Kocho
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Re: First Vectrix!..

The "DIY" ICM may or may not be the same file as the one from David. David's worked for me (and it's not called DIY in the file name). Give him a try.

Sacko
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Re: First Vectrix!..

Massive thanks to everyone who has volunteered information and assisted me with the Vectrix, especially Bikemad and Sandy!

I have now installed Laird software, which has removed the flashing lights and the bike is now charging to 142v and turning off. The charger seems fine as it at least staying on for 15 minutes or so.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl2RQkGmc6A

I have taken it out for a gentle ride to try and cycle the pack. Despite the range being 80 miles, it barely reached 30mph and probably had about a miles worth of juice.

Bikemad
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Re: First Vectrix!..

Paul, if you are using The Laird's charger software, the estimated range is actually displaying the battery voltage not miles, and the tripmeter needs to be set to Km mode for the voltage value to display correctly.

If you have 80 showing as an Estimated Range (and you are still set to miles instead of kilometres on the tripcounter) then the actual battery voltage will be somewhere around 129V.

Set it to kilometers to see the correct battery voltage and then watch how low the voltage drops when you accelerate. It should ideally remain above 120V, but after watching your initial charging video (the one where the voltage shoots from 141V to 149V in ~10 seconds) I suspect that your battery will quickly drop well below 120V with just a light load, never mind full throttle.

I think you really need to do a load test on the cells to find out how many are completely knackered. If it's just a few, then it might be worth replacing them, but if they are all very poor, then it might be better to consider a different battery pack.

Alan

Kocho
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Re: First Vectrix!..

And one more thing every Vectrix owner should do: spend $1, grab a 17mm open wrench, and replace the poor M10x1.5 nut at the back of their kick-stand with a stainless steel locking nut.

On both my VX1 bikes the original nut would undo itself and fall off if left unattended, causing a wobbly kick-stand and potentially a dropped bike. And I've read about it being an issue for others too.

Sacko
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Re: First Vectrix!..

Got one on way, cheers.

I have charged each group of cells, and recorded each cell voltage on a spreadsheet. I have done a load test using a 12v car sidelight, drawing 3.89amps. The test was done on each "group" of cells.

The bike was only charging to 142v though.

Today, I have flashed charger, controller and ICM with the new firmware from Laird and co today; and it has charged up to 145v and still going.

It has been going for the last hour, ill update with progress!

Sacko
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Re: First Vectrix!..

After a 9 hour charge: 4 hours CV followed by 4 hours of CC, plus an hour of EQ (I had gone to bed by this points); it is up and running!

The pack seems in excellent shape, but will pull it apart tonight and load test each cell. All bars were filled up completely using Laird and Co's new FW, meaning I am getting the full 30ah.

I have taken the bike around the block and love it! In all honest I didn't expect the power delivery it gave, and how quickly it got to full speed.

Sacko
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Points: 118
Re: First Vectrix!..

Rear tyre has perished around the rim. Pirelli CTS24.

After a read of various posts, I am going to go for the Michelin City Grips unless a better tyre has been discovered more recently?

http://www.mytyres.co.uk/cgi-bin/rshop.pl?details=Ordern&typ=D-112950&dsco=110&rsmFahrzeugart=MO&rsmFahrzeugart=MO&cart_id=76259...

http://www.mytyres.co.uk/cgi-bin/rshop.pl?dsco=110&Cookie=tyrecomp&details=Ordern&typ=MOTO-D-112951&ranzahl=4&nichtweiter=1&pk_c...

Kocho
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Re: First Vectrix!..

Check this thread too http://visforvoltage.org/forum/9041-67mph-my-vectrix-tested-tomtom , in case you want to consider a taller profile tire.

My experience with two sets of the OEM Pirellis in the rear is that the sides of the rear develop cupping too fast, IMO. See here for instance about cupping, scroll down a bit: http://www.rcmedic.com/tirewear.asp . But I'm 190lb, sometimes with a 150lb passenger, like to lean and take fast turns, so I'm helping there ;)

I don't know if other brands are any better for this, but on my cars I've always had better results with Michellin than other brands (not necessarily in terms of quiet, comfort, and wear resistance, but in terms of overall quality, able to balance, and grip on the road), so for my next set I'll likely get some Michellins myself, if I can find a sporty version similar to the Pirelly Diablo...

zeuz
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Re: First Vectrix!..

I've chosen for my Vectrix a Pirelli Diablo SC, following recommendations from other rider with quite some miles of Vectrix riding.

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