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Vectux now has Hazard Lights

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Mik
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I like it! About time that this basic feature is available on the EV scooter flagship.

Unfortunately, the way I rigged it up, the hazard lights will still fail if the main fuse blows.

Ideally the hazard lights would start immediately and automatically when the fuse blows, but for now I'm a happy camper anyway!

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kevin smith's picture
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Re: Vectux now has Hazard Lights

nise...kev

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Re: Vectux now has Hazard Lights

Awesome, nice to see this working. So how'd you do it? (Will I void my warranty?)

Arlo

Mik
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Re: Vectux now has Hazard Lights

arloguay wrote:

Awesome, nice to see this working. So how'd you do it? (Will I void my warranty?)

Arlo

Yes, technically you would void your warranty, at least in Australia. But I'm not the one to ask this question, it might be that it is also different in each jurisdiction.

Someone with better relations to Vectrix Corp. than myself could maybe ask them if Vectrix would agree to this simple and probably completely harmless modification.

But I doubt you'll ever get an answer. The non-disclosure agreement makes it hard for anyone on the inside to make comments.

HOW I did it:

First off, thanks to the guys in the Miami Jaycar Electronics shop! They gave me the idea to try to tap into the existing electronics (whilst I was getting advice on how to build an astable multivibrator) to drive the indicator lights.
The proposed idea was quite different from what I ended up doing, but the seminal idea belongs to them! They had also helped me with some very helpful hints for the RETAMPI and the M-BMS. Very knowledgeable and friendly guys there!

So instead of driving the lights from an auxiliary battery pack with 12V (for the relay) and 4V (for the LED's) outputs, and using an astable multivibrator to make them blink, I just "told" the stock electronics to blink both sides at the same time instead either right or left side only.

All you have to do is short all three cables going into the mechanical indicator light switch.
ORANGE is the common return in the middle. If either the GREEN or the GREY cable get shorted to the ORANGE cable (by moving the stock switch) then the Interface Control Module (ICM) switches the indicator lights "ON" on one side, and makes them blink. The mechanical stock indicator switch only allows either GREY and ORANGE, or GREEN and ORANGE to be shorted. Or none for "OFF".

I removed the plastic around the handlebar center, cut open the sleeve around the larger one of the two cable harnesses running through there, removed a bit of the insulation on the ORANGE, GREY and GREEN cables (without cutting them), and soldered short pieces of cable to them. Then re-sealed the solder joints with "Liquid electrical tape". Then connected the new cables to a DPDT switch which can be waterproofed with a rubber boot. Flicking the new switch shorts both GREEN and GREY to ORANGE, and the ICM does the rest for me!
.......................................................................................

Before slicing and soldering I did of course measure and test:

Same voltage between ORANGE and GREY as between ORANGE and GREEN. (I think it was about 6V).

No voltage between GREY and GREEN.

Less than a milliamp current flow between GREEN and ORANGE or GREY and ORANGE when shorted.

........................................................................................

I am still waiting for the "Liquid electrical Tape" to dry so I can add hot glue to further stabilize the cable joint, and need to drill a hole for the new switch somewhere.

So it has not been road tested yet, but it blinks happily for over 30min in the garage.

.........................................................................................

This modification costs less than AU$10.- in materials, and takes less than an hour to do.

In my opinion Vectrix should offer this as an optional, and free, addition during servicing, or allow owners to do it themselves without voiding their warranty.

It is easy, cheap, and likely going to save some lives and limbs.

And it's likely going to save Vectrix from getting sued by injured riders that got run over whilst crawling along according to the instructions in the users manual!

........................................................................................

I believe that the stock ICM can safely drive all 4 indicators at once, but I cannot be certain of this. I've never had the ICM open, yet.
I'm obviously willing to try it out and risk it, but it would be nice if you could all ask your Vectrix service people to clarify this question for you.

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moccasin's picture
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Re: Vectux now has Hazard Lights

Nice job Mik!

Thanks for sharing the info!!

Mik
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Re: Vectux now has Hazard Lights

I just thought of a better way for Vectrix technicians to do this:

By using pre-fabricated waterproof switches (with hazard symbol on it) with three cables already attached, and three insulation displacing connectors, the hazard lights could be installed in under 5 minutes!

4 screws to be removed and 2 hex screws loosened a little to take off the handlebar cover.

Drill hole in cover, feed cables through and fasten the switch.

Disect the harness cover, crimp IDC's to the three cables to connect the switch, wrap in electrical tape or heat shrink and put the cover back on.

Material cost would be less than $5.- for bulk purchases.

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Re: Vectux now has Hazard Lights

Very nice, Mik, much appreciated! Seems like an elegant solution.

I'm going to look for a stealth way to do this.

Arlo

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Re: Vectux now has Hazard Lights

There are two different blinking patterns, depending on when and how the hazard lights are turned on.

I'm glad I posted this video, watching it made me realise that one of the blinking patterns is clearly preferable to the other:

When the lights alternate blinking, then the green arrows on the dash blink.

When all 4 lights blink synchronously, then the green arrows are constantly lit. (The green arrows are also constantly lit if one of the normally corresponding indicator lights is disconnected. The constant illumination of the arrow is therefor kind of a signal that the stock electronics see something as going wrong.)

More importantly, the peak current draw would be about double as high when all 4 lights blink together.

The alternating pattern is also more "in your face" and better at alerting other drivers that your ride is not working properly at the moment.

So I'll be using the alternating blinking pattern if I ever need it.

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Re: Vectux now has Hazard Lights

That's kewl!

Hey Mik. You got enough knobs and buttons on that thing yet? HAHA!! ;-)

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Re: Vectux now has Hazard Lights

What are the 2 different ways of turning on the hazard lights?
Perhaps the turn signals already on, and not?

One could just use a SPST switch and connect the R and L lines together. Then, use the regular turn signals to turn the "hazard" warning on and off.

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Re: Vectux now has Hazard Lights

Yes, good choice.I think the alternate blinking is much more special, it even reminds me of Ambulances and police cars, not to broken down cars!!

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Re: Vectux now has Hazard Lights

Wow! Nice looking. Vectrix should have you for a developer.

Mik
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Re: Vectux now has Hazard Lights

moccasin wrote:

That's kewl!

Hey Mik. You got enough knobs and buttons on that thing yet? HAHA!! ;-)

Almost!

There is just a little bit more in the pipeline......

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Mik
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Re: Vectux now has Hazard Lights

garygid wrote:

What are the 2 different ways of turning on the hazard lights?
Perhaps the turn signals already on, and not?

One could just use a SPST switch and connect the R and L lines together. Then, use the regular turn signals to turn the "hazard" warning on and off.

When any two lights are already on at the moment when the Hazard Light Switch is flicked, then these two will turn off and the other two will turn on.

So to turn on the alternate blinking pattern I turn on the indicator, then flick the switch when the indicator lights are on.

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Mik
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Re: Vectux now has Hazard Lights

Step 0: (Not necessary, just to show why)

These are the three cables inside the stock indicator switch. No need to open it.

========================================================================================

Step 1: Removing the handlebar cover:

4 screws to be removed and 2 Hex screws (circled red) to be loosened.

========================================================================================

Step 2: Identify the GREEN, ORANGE and GREY cables without cutting the wrong stuff.

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Mik
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Re: Vectux now has Hazard Lights

Step 3: Tap into these cables somehow:

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Re: Vectux now has Hazard Lights

Step 4: Attach the orange cable to both poles of a double throw switch:

The other two cables get attached to individual poles so that they are not shorted until switched on.

It might be much easier to do step 4 before step 3 - because then you can do the soldering on the workbench instead of on the scooter.

(Step 3 could be done much quicker with insulation displacing connectors.)

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Mik
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Re: Vectux now has Hazard Lights

Step 5: Seal all current carrying parts with liquid electrical tape and/ or heat-shrink wrapping and / or hot melt glue and / or electrical tape to keep water out and to stop any vibrations causing trouble.

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Re: Vectux now has Hazard Lights

Step 6: Drill a hole in the handlebar cover:

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Re: Vectux now has Hazard Lights

Step 7: Inset the switch and seal it against water entry. Add artwork to increase the resale value of your ride.....HAHA!

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Mik
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Re: Vectux now has Hazard Lights

Today I used the Hazard Light in traffic for the first time.

There is one important difference to the test whilst parked in the garage:

The buzzer comes on, of course!

It beeps the same as with the normal indicators when I turn on the synchronous flashing, and it beeps double as fast when the alternating flashing is used.

It's nothing that could not be sorted out by a software change.

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Re: Vectux now has Hazard Lights

Hi Mik,
you did another great job! Thanks for the photos of the opened "handlebarcover" know i´m able to fix the problem
of my handlebar which is not in an exact right-angle with the frontwheel. My Dealer didn´t fix it, because there
no service available yet!!

Greetings from Austria to Australia Mike

Mik
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Re: Vectux now has Hazard Lights

mikemitbike wrote:

Hi Mik,
you did another great job! Thanks for the photos of the opened "handlebarcover" know i´m able to fix the problem
of my handlebar which is not in an exact right-angle with the frontwheel. My Dealer didn´t fix it, because there
no service available yet!!

Greetings from Austria to Australia Mike

I thought a few times that my left arm is a touch more forward than my right arm when going straight....maybe mine is not 100% straight, either.

How did you fix it?

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Re: Vectux now has Hazard Lights

Hi, it is not fixed yet, but i´ll take photos and post them, when work is done.

Greetings Mike

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Re: Vectux now has Hazard Lights

Hey Mik,
Any of these modifications void the warranty?

:) :? :)

Mik
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Re: Vectux now has Hazard Lights

oobflyer wrote:

Hey Mik,
Any of these modifications void the warranty?

:) :? :)

No, of course not, my warranty is totally un-voidable!
http://visforvoltage.org/forum/3462-vectrix-warranty-voided

About yours - I don't know. But I would really like it if some of you guys with a Vectrix could ask them about it!

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Re: Vectux now has Hazard Lights

I think it will depend on what gets damaged after the changing. If a rear-shock-absorber gets wheak after one year,
Vectrix might have a problem declaring the warranty is voided because of the modification of the hazzard lights.
If something of the electrical system or the mainboard gets damaged they will tell you your warranty is voided
because of your modifications (even it have nothing to do with (mainfuse blown or whorse...))

greetings Mike

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Re: Vectux now has Hazard Lights

Mik wrote:
oobflyer wrote:

Hey Mik,
Any of these modifications void the warranty?

:) :? :)

No, of course not, my warranty is totally un-voidable!
http://visforvoltage.org/forum/3462-vectrix-warranty-voided

About yours - I don't know. But I would really like it if some of you guys with a Vectrix could ask them about it!

:-) perhaps your warranty was made unavoidable for you

Mik
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Re: Vectux now has Hazard Lights

There would probably be a better place for mounting the switch, somewhere it can be reached without letting go of the handlebars.
That way it wold be easier to get out of traffic if the scooter fails suddenly (but only if it still has 12V supply for the electronics and lights etc).

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Mik
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Re: Vectux now has Hazard Lights

The hazard light modification has been repeated by at least one other Vectrix rider!

I'm glad it seems to have worked!

http://www.vectrix-forum.de/index.php/forum?func=view&catid=7&id=168#167

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Mik
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Re: Vectux now has Hazard Lights

This thread has been added to the Vectrix Collaborative Handbook, please stay on topic!

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