Fan differences between 1997 VX-1s??

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NJSteve
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Joined: 07/29/2009
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Today, I just picked up two 1997 VX-1 closeout bikes at a great price from a dealer. I was told they both had updated software. One was the dealer's floor demo and I was told that the second one was bought in fall of 2008 by the dealer and just recently uncrated. The techs at the dealer went over both bikes in prep for me to take delivery, so I don't know if they updated the software or if I am just getting the bike as they were sold by Vectrix. I also got two Vectrix cards that said (going from memory here) the software was from Oct 2008.

So my first question is there a way to get the bike to display its software version without plugging into the CAN plug? The salesman told me only they could access this info.

Probably mistakenly, I was under the expectation that both bikes would basically be identical except for the colors which are different. However, when I was driving them around inside a building, I was able to notice that one sounded like a fan would turn on and run as soon as the throttle was cracked open slightly. The second bike seemed dead quiet to the extent that I think I could hear the disc breaks scraping as the wheels turned and I never heard a fan run.

So while I haven't spent a lot of time with either bike, it appears that the newer one either has an additional fan installed or has a software change that runs a fan everytime the bike moves. The demo bike has serial number ending around 900 and the second bike has one ending about 1900 so I'm guessing that one was made about halfway through the run of 2007 VX-1 while the second one may have been one of the last ones made.

Could someone please shed some light on this fan issue, or link me to a previous post please? Is there an extra fan installed, or is it purely a software issue? I'm guessing running the fan all the time decreases performance, but helps prevent battery failure. I'm guessing the fan I hear is directed to the batteries, but that is just my guess and I haven't specifically looked yet. I'm also guessing this is the battery charge fan that I am reading about in this forum.

So I'm left to conclude that the two bikes must have at a minimum different software. I was planning to sell one based on the color but now I'm thinking I should keep the one with the fan running constantly because it might increase battery life. I plan to use the bike on shorter commutes so maybe I could get by with either one since I don't think I will be stressing the batteries too much, but I don't want to second guess what the factory thinks is best. Any thoughts on this issue?

My apologies if this is already answered elsewhere, but looking around I really haven't found this addressed yet, and I need to decide ASAP which bike to register. I'm thinking that as far as the color, I could switch the covers. I can't imagine that should be too hard. Thanks, and I'm glad to see I found an active Vectrix forum. I look forward to contributing.

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The Laird
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Joined: 07/30/2009
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Re: Fan differences between 1997 VX-1s??

Hello NJSteve,

First question. No, there is no way that you can read the software version without the Vectrix Diagnostic Software and a CanBus Connector (and computer, of course).

Fans. There are at least four fans on the bike.
1. One runs when the bike is under high power. This one can be tested by opening the throttle (briefly) whilst the bike is standing with the brake on. The fans runs faster as the power to the rear wheel is increased. Its purpose is to keep the power control electronics cool.

2. There is a charger fan which runs only when the bike is being charged, it is relatively quiet and its job is to keep the charging hardware cool. The output of this fan can be felt under the front of the bike above the wheel.

3. There are two 'plenum' fans. These are under the front seat inside a sealed chamber. These fans always run when the bike is being charged. I am not aware of any lower temperature at which these fans turn off. Certainly anything over 15 degrees C. they run (always) on charge.
The plenum fans will also run when the battery temperature is high when the power switch (laughingly called the Ignition switch) is turned on. This occurs whether riding or standing. The limits of this fan operation seem to be, Over 35degrees C turns the fans ON, Under 25 degrees C. turns the fans off.
To test the two plenum fans, remove the front seat (two bolts- visible with the passenger seat up remove the bolts 10mm metric spanner and slide the seat forward to release). Plug in the charger and when the fan(s) have started, check each by putting you knuckle on the plenum chamber top at each fan position (between the four screws - front fan and between the two screws and two 'screw holes' rear fan) If the fans are running you will feel a very distinct vibration. This will be of equal strength at both fan positions.
Anything you are told about fan operation must conform to the above pattern for the latest software.

IN THE EVENT OF A PLENUM FAN FAILURE IDEALLY, DO NOT CHARGE THE BIKE. If you must charge the bike, charge it only until the voltage (left instrument reading) reaches about 145volts or until the temperature reaches 8 degrees C. above ambient or 28 degrees C. MAXIMUM. (the temperature continues to rise after charging is stopped - without active plenum fans it is not possible to protect the batteries from damage).

The batteries will fail very quickly if they reach temperatures of over 44 degrees C.

The latest software is the one which gives charging delays using the brake levers and power switch. It also allows you to read the battery Voltage and Temperature - Left hand Instrument display. (Operate the 'kill switch' and apply the rear brake).

The latest Software Revision numbers are:

*ICM Rev 1008 - Interface(?) Control Module
Rev D. - Instrument Cluster
*BC Rev 3001 - Battery Charger
*MC Rev 1017 - Motor Controller
Rev 1003 - Battery Monitor 1.
Rev 1003 - Battery Monitor 2.

The three star marked items are those which were updated since September/October? last year (2008).

I hope that this information helps.

Happy riding.

Jason

RaDy
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Re: Fan differences between 1997 VX-1s??

Thanks, Jason very usefull and welcome to V.

Mik
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Re: Fan differences between 1997 VX-1s??

Thank you The Laird, nice summary!

I have a few small additions to make:

The charger has actually two fans, right next to each other, similar to the fans on heat sinks in a computer.

The devices cooling the battery compartment are better called impellers. Most people call them fans, but technically they are impellers.

I vaguely remember someone mentioning that one of the latest software version does not turn the Motor Controller Fan on as soon as "GO" is displayed, but only once significant current draw occurs. That could explain the different noise of NJSteve's Vectrixes.

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

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undead
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Re: Fan differences between 1997 VX-1s??

My bike once got up to 37c after hard riding with a pillion.

I can confirm that, above 35c, it was the only time I have ever heard the fans still running after the ignition switch was turned off, and the sidestand was down.

jmap
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Re: Fan differences between 1997 VX-1s??

To verify if the latest firmware is installed just turn the kill switch and the left break. If the temperature is displayed (on the left display) then it have the latest firmware.

NJSteve
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Points: 55
Re: Fan differences between 1997 VX-1s??

Thanks Jason,

Based on what you have described, I would guess I must have heard the Motor Controller Fan running. Unfortunately, I didn't happen to note what the display was saying the battery temp was. At the time the temps outside were maybe 25C or so, but the bikes spent 2 hours in the back of a truck that got hot maybe 35C or more at first. I say that because a heavy rain started about half an hour or so after I put the bikes in the truck and when I got home, the back was no longer hot. So I really would guess that the batteries did not heat up just from being in the truck, but it is a possibility I didn't consider at first.

Just to clarify, the bikes were hardly riden, maybe at 1 or 2 mph, so it would not have been from anything overheating from riding or even what I would consider major strain on the motor. The fan would not come on when the bike went to "go", only when the throttle was activated. It seemed the fan was set to operate strictly via the throttle. When I coasted and backed off on the throttle the fan would stop. I want to stress that the fan I heard was very quiet. In fact if I had been outside I may not have even been able to hear it over ambient noise and I hadn't even noticed it till I got inside.

So does anyone else have a bike that has a fan that seems to perform this way?

I'll have to see if I can read battery temp and voltage as well as check into things more closely.

Jason, you wrote "The latest software is the one which gives charging delays using the brake levers and power switch." I assume you meant to say display not delays. Is that correct? Thanks guys.

jmap
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Re: Fan differences between 1997 VX-1s??

Nope. The latest firmware let's you choose the charge delay. Somewhere in this forum are the latest firmware instructions.

NJSteve
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Re: Fan differences between 1997 VX-1s??

Ok Thanks I'll look for it

AndY1
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Re: Fan differences between 1997 VX-1s??
Mik
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Re: Fan differences between 1997 VX-1s??

NJSteve wrote:

The second bike seemed dead quiet to the extent that I think I could hear the disc breaks scraping as the wheels turned and I never heard a fan run.

That bike has a problem and you might damage the motor controller if you ride it without cooling. The motor controller cooling fan is not working as it should.

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NJSteve
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Re: Fan differences between 1997 VX-1s??

Mik,

Based on what is written in the software update info I tend to agree with you that I may a problem with the motor controller fan not working.

X Vectrix
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Joined: 08/04/2009
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Re: Fan differences between 1997 VX-1s??

The difference in these two bikes may be fine. First you have to determine which SW you have in the bikes. With the kill switch off hold left brake lever....if voltage and temp are displayed on the left display you have new SW. The old SW simply turns the MC fan on at its slowest speed when you enable the bike (if the MC is cool). This normally is very quiet and you may not even hear it. You can feel the discharge tho in front of the rear wheel. However, b/c of a random HW problem some of the fans run much faster when enabled (even if MC is cool). This isnt a problem, other than the bike is no longer silent. The new SW masked this HW bug by only turning on the fan when current is flowing or the scoot is moving (or MC is hot). So if they both have the new SW, you may hear one fan more than the other when you apply the throttle. A simple test was suggested above just to make sure the fan is indeed working, hold the brake and blip the throttle, the fan will come on full bore when a threshold of current is exceeded.

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