Vectrix has arrived

33 posts / 0 new
Last post
knabo
knabo's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 - 22:39
Points: 131
Vectrix has arrived

Today was the day. My dealer called and told me my Vectrix was ready to pick up.

My plan all along was to ride my Vectrix home. My wife was a bit skeptical, but I told here the dealer is 23 miles from the house. Even with an unconditioned battery, traveling at moderate speeds I should be able to go 23 miles no problem.

So today we drove down after work and signed my name numerous times. We went over the bike and all it functions, I checked out all the lights and fit of things. About half an hour later I was ready to roll. My wife was going to follow behind just in case.

After waving goodbye to the dealer I was off. A short run down the freeway in commute traffic then off to the back roads. I really enjoyed the low center of gravity. I did not fight the bike through the twisty roads. The closest I can compare is it seemed like a hammock, gently swinging back and forth. When I made it past the first leg of my trip I noticed my battery was about half empty.

Back at the dealership, when I turned the bike on, it showed a range of 25 miles. I attributed this to an unconditioned battery. The battery level was full. I noticed during the ride that the estimated miles did not jump around as much as when I took the test ride. This new version of software does a fair bit more averaging.

So there I am sitting at the intersection. I have a way to go and I have only half a battery. I wave to the wife confidently and start down the road. I noticed that I had already driven 16 miles and it dawns on me that I have grossly underestimated the length of the backroad path home.

Luckily the speed limit ranges from 35 to 55, so I travel at a moderate pace and as the estimated miles updates I think I can make it. I should be enjoying the ride through the gently turning road and cool evening breeze. But all I can think is I've got a headwind and the car behind me it a little close.

After 25 miles, about 5 bars left on the battery, I think if I can make it up the one last big hill it is down hill the rest of the way to town, I could make it. I see the hill ahead of me and it is looking pretty steep. Remembering Mik's experience on his hills, I am prepared to push if I have to. But the bike charges up the hill at a good pace with power to spare, I make it to the top with no problem and start down the other side. Here I get to do a little regenerative braking as I go around the sharp turns.

Once again I should be enjoying myself, but I am looking at my 4 bars left and think they are going to drop suddenly to nothing and I will be crawling to town.

I coast a good way doen the hill and only need a little power on the flats. I was about a mile from town when I got my first battery warning, 3 bars left. Speed limit was 35mph here so I still was okay. The warning light went out and I continued on.

A few miles and several battery warnings later I am down town. I can't quite get up to speed any more. 35 is doable but it takes a bit to get there. I look back and my wife is no longer following me (she apparently needed to stop for gas) I have no bars left, range is showing zero, I have a few miles left to go. One little hill slowed me down to a crawl but I didn't have to push. One more mile at 25 and I made it home.

34.8 total miles, first deep discharge complete

rontivo
Offline
Last seen: 7 years 11 months ago
Joined: Thursday, April 10, 2008 - 12:57
Points: 40
Re: Vectrix has arrived

Well told. I love the fact that your wife had to stop for gas. Gratz on the purchase and I hope you enjoy it.

AndY1
AndY1's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 12 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 - 04:29
Points: 1071
Re: Vectrix has arrived

Congratulations!

How many miles did you have on your odometer when you picked the bike up at the dealer? My dealer told me, that the new bike I will receive, will have aprox. 35km done from factory. Is that normal?

Also, please report, if and how much will your range increase with each deep discharge you make.

Buzby
Buzby's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 8 months ago
Joined: Saturday, April 26, 2008 - 08:13
Points: 318
Re: Vectrix has arrived

Mine was 30Km on delivery (by van). After each deep discharge, I get aorund 15Km added each time to the range (after 3 DD cycles).

- Raymond

knabo
knabo's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 - 22:39
Points: 131
Re: Vectrix has arrived

I had about 29 miles (46km) on the bike when I picked it up. I do plan on recording my range for each DD. My dealer recommended, after the initial 4 to 5 discharges, to perform a DD about twice a year. I don't know where he got his info from except maybe our local Vectrix rep. In any case I am going to write in my manual the total miles for each DD just to keep track.

Luther Burrell, Mesa, Arizona, USA
Rides: ZuumCraft from zuumcraft.com
Previous Rides: Blue Vectrix Maxi scooter

AndY1
AndY1's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 12 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 - 04:29
Points: 1071
Re: Vectrix has arrived

Thank you to both of you.

According to this battery guide:

http://www.batteryuniversity.com/parttwo-33.htm

regular deep discharges should be done once in every three months for Ni-MH batteries:

Nickel-cadmium in regular use and on standby mode (sitting in a charger for operational readiness) should be exercised once per month. Between these monthly exercise cycles, no further service is needed. No scientific research is available on the optimal exercise requirements of nickel-metal-hydride. Based on the reduced crystalline buildup, applying a full discharge once every three months appears right. Because of the shorter cycle life compared to nickel-cadmium, over-exercising is not recommended.

There's also a lot of useful info about the different battery types and a good tutorial about how to treat, discharge and when to charge your batteries.

All thanx go to Mik for pointing me to the guide :-)

Jeffkay
Jeffkay's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 years 6 months ago
Joined: Monday, July 16, 2007 - 21:40
Points: 90
Re: Vectrix has arrived

How long does it take to recharge?

Morrison
Offline
Last seen: 10 years 2 months ago
Joined: Monday, July 7, 2008 - 19:57
Points: 151
Re: Vectrix has arrived

How long does it take to recharge?

I have had my Vectrix since Monday July 7th. I did a deep discharge Monday night, Wednesday night and Thursday night. Several partial discharges also. So 3 DD cycles so far for me.

Here is my experience on recharge times. Everyone, please let me know if you have observed the same.

It takes about 3 hours 15 minutes during the "CP" phase to get the bars up to 16/17. This it goes into the "tr" for a bit, I am not sure how long. Then I observed the "CC" phase got the charge to 17/17. Then the "EC" phase runs about an hours.

I think the total time to recharge after a deep discharge is easily 5 hours with the "tr", "CC" and "EC" phases. Maybe 6 hours if it was a RDD (really deep discharge).

However, according to the documentation there is no harm in pulling to plug at any time. So if you just want it at 17/17 then it is likely 3 or 4 hours.

I am not sure of the range difference between a 17/17 charge that ends early versus allowing it to go through the final "EC" phase.

AndY1
AndY1's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 12 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 - 04:29
Points: 1071
Re: Vectrix has arrived

What was the temperature of the batteries when you started charging? It should be displayed on the left LCD display. The higher the temperature of the batteries, slower charging.

Morrison
Offline
Last seen: 10 years 2 months ago
Joined: Monday, July 7, 2008 - 19:57
Points: 151
Re: Vectrix has arrived

What was the temperature of the batteries when you started charging? It should be displayed on the left LCD display. The higher the temperature of the batteries, slower charging.

I typically plug it in as soon as I get home. I will check the battery temp next time.

Should I wait a certain amount of time before starting the charge? Is there any damage to plugging in right away? If the only side effect is slower charge, but no damage done, then I don't see anything to be gained by waiting for a cool battery.

Or am I wrong in this thinking? Thanks

Mik
Mik's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 3 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 15:27
Points: 3739
Re: Vectrix has arrived

I am not sure of the range difference between a 17/17 charge that ends early versus allowing it to go through the final "EC" phase.

That would probably depend on circumstances like the temperature difference between battery and ambient air temperature, and time to the next ride.

The RETAMPI (or rather a DMM connected instead of it) revealed that there is a small amount of current going into the battery during the 60min EC part, just enough to keep the voltage up whilst the battery is being cooled.

If for example the air temperature has risen to above the actual battery temperature due to the sun coming up, then continuing the EC part might even reduce range by heating your battery.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you have a hot battery at sunset with dropping ambient air temperature then continuing the EC charge will cool the battery and reduce spontaneous discharge if left standing over night.

Regularly riding off just at the finish of the CC cycle is probably very bad for the longevity of the battery, because this is when the battery has heated up from charging and then it heats up more due to draining it.

None of this is too important in winter, I guess.

Mr. Mik

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

Morrison
Offline
Last seen: 10 years 2 months ago
Joined: Monday, July 7, 2008 - 19:57
Points: 151
Re: Vectrix has arrived

Regularly riding off just at the finish of the CC cycle is probably very bad for the longevity of the battery, because this is when the battery has heated up from charging and then it heats up more due to draining it.

Mik, that is a good point. I guess most people would go all the way through the "EC" phase each night. I was using a 6 hour timer on my Vectrix plug in the garage. In the morning I would plug it back in and see that the "EC" phase still had a few more minutes of countdown time. Once it was 15 minutes, the other time it was 4 minutes.

I have been present at the end of the "EC" phase a few times and the Vectrix goes quiet, shuts down all digital displays and the fan stops. So that gave me some comfort about not wasting much energy if I just leave it plugged in for eight hours on the timer.

In order to avoid having the "EC" phase cutoff too early after a DD, last night I gave the electric timer 8 hours. This morning I found the Vectrix had completed all phases.

Mik
Mik's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 3 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 15:27
Points: 3739
Re: Vectrix has arrived

In order to avoid having the "EC" phase cutoff too early after a DD, last night I gave the electric timer 8 hours. This morning I found the Vectrix had completed all phases.

How do you determine that it has completed all phases?

I think it just goes into a brief EC phase when the charger gets plugged in again, even if it has completed all phases in the last few hours.

Mr. Mik

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

Morrison
Offline
Last seen: 10 years 2 months ago
Joined: Monday, July 7, 2008 - 19:57
Points: 151
Re: Vectrix has arrived
In order to avoid having the "EC" phase cutoff too early after a DD, last night I gave the electric timer 8 hours. This morning I found the Vectrix had completed all phases.

How do you determine that it has completed all phases?

I think it just goes into a brief EC phase when the charger gets plugged in again, even if it has completed all phases in the last few hours.

Mr. Mik

Hmmm, I don't recall seeing that this morning when I plugged it in to check the status. I will try again tonight and let you know.

What is your overnight charging practice. Do you use a timer? Or do you just leave it plugged in all night to let it pull whatever it wants? Thanks

AndY1
AndY1's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 12 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 - 04:29
Points: 1071
Re: Vectrix has arrived

My friends, who knows a LOT about batteries (he's been in Remote Control models for tens of years), told me, that it's best to start to charge the batteries at 20'C battery temperature and start to discharge (use) them when they are at 40'C.
So, it's best to rest the bike for a while after a ride so the temperature of the batteries are as close to 20'C as possible and start driving as soon as possible after the charge completes.
Also, the NiMH batteries have high self-discharge rate in first 24 hours - 10%. Another reason to start driving as soon as possible after a full charge.

Mik
Mik's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 3 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 15:27
Points: 3739
Re: Vectrix has arrived

What is your overnight charging practice. Do you use a timer? Or do you just leave it plugged in all night to let it pull whatever it wants? Thanks

I have slightly changed the double timer setting from what I described here.
Mo - Fr the Vectux charger and ABCool 12V power supply are on all day so I can plug in for topups any time without changing a thing.

Mr. Mik

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

Mik
Mik's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 3 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 15:27
Points: 3739
Re: Vectrix has arrived

My friends, who knows a LOT about batteries (he's been in Remote Control models for tens of years), told me, that it's best to start to charge the batteries at 20'C battery temperature and start to discharge (use) them when they are at 40'C.

They might not need prolonged trickle charging to equalise 102 cells though.

So, it's best to rest the bike for a while after a ride so the temperature of the batteries are as close to 20'C as possible and start driving as soon as possible after the charge completes.
Also, the NiMH batteries have high self-discharge rate in first 24 hours - 10%. Another reason to start driving as soon as possible after a full charge.

In other words, start charging so it finishes just in time, but including the EC cycle to allow equalisation and some cooling whenever possible.

Mr. Mik

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

Morrison
Offline
Last seen: 10 years 2 months ago
Joined: Monday, July 7, 2008 - 19:57
Points: 151
Re: Vectrix has arrived

What is your overnight charging practice. Do you use a timer? Or do you just leave it plugged in all night to let it pull whatever it wants? Thanks

I have slightly changed the double timer setting from what I described here.
Mo - Fr the Vectux charger and ABCool 12V power supply are on all day so I can plug in for topups any time without changing a thing.

Mr. Mik

Mik, reading your exploits with your Vectrix is very cool. I can imagine that the Vectrix engineers and designers are getting a kick out of reading your upgrades and redesigns. Imagine what they do to upgrade their own in-house alpha and beta test scooters.

As for myself, I am not nearly enough of a mechanic or electrician to take on that type of challenge. I am just trying to figure out the best practices for a newbie so that my Vectrix has the best range possible, a long lasting battery and the warrantee stays intact.

Morrison
Offline
Last seen: 10 years 2 months ago
Joined: Monday, July 7, 2008 - 19:57
Points: 151
Re: Vectrix has arrived
In order to avoid having the "EC" phase cutoff too early after a DD, last night I gave the electric timer 8 hours. This morning I found the Vectrix had completed all phases.

How do you determine that it has completed all phases?

I think it just goes into a brief EC phase when the charger gets plugged in again, even if it has completed all phases in the last few hours.

Mr. Mik

Hmmm, I don't recall seeing that this morning when I plugged it in to check the status. I will try again tonight and let you know.

What is your overnight charging practice. Do you use a timer? Or do you just leave it plugged in all night to let it pull whatever it wants? Thanks

Mik, I did some testing.
It appears that if the "EC" phase completes before the timer cuts off power, then the next time I plug it in it starts on the "CP" phase, finds the battery full, then goes straight to "CC".

If the "EC" phase does NOT complete before the timer cuts it off, then the "EC" phase is still in some stage of countdown when I plug it in.

Does this sound similar to your experience? Can anyone else confirm similar observations?

Morrison
Offline
Last seen: 10 years 2 months ago
Joined: Monday, July 7, 2008 - 19:57
Points: 151
Re: Vectrix has arrived

So, it's best to rest the bike for a while after a ride so the temperature of the batteries are as close to 20'C as possible and start driving as soon as possible after the charge completes.
Also, the NiMH batteries have high self-discharge rate in first 24 hours - 10%. Another reason to start driving as soon as possible after a full charge.

In other words, start charging so it finishes just in time, but including the EC cycle to allow equalisation and some cooling whenever possible.

Mr. Mik

I think I would need a different type of timer to make that strategy work. Perhaps a timer that would start charging at 1 am when I am already asleep and continue for 6 or 7 hours. The goal being that the Vectrix is ready and completing the "EC" phase at 8 am each morning.

That would require a lot of experience with estimating how many hours are needed and what time to start the charge each night, depending on how empty the battery is when I arrive at home.

My current electric outlet timer is fairly simple. It merely has a few basic choices. 2 hours, 4 hours, 6 hours, or 8 hours. It also has a pure ON or OFF setting.

Mik
Mik's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 3 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 15:27
Points: 3739
Re: Vectrix has arrived

Mik, I did some testing.
It appears that if the "EC" phase completes before the timer cuts off power, then the next time I plug it in it starts on the "CP" phase, finds the battery full, then goes straight to "CC".

If the "EC" phase does NOT complete before the timer cuts it off, then the "EC" phase is still in some stage of countdown when I plug it in.

Does this sound similar to your experience? Can anyone else confirm similar observations?

If you watch it repeatedly you will probably find that the behavior depends on battery voltage and maybe temperature, rather than how far exactly it got during charging previously.
I do not believe the Vectrix electronics have an actual "memory" of previous charging.

If you wait several hours after a full charge, with interrupted EC or not, the battery voltage will have dropped to about 141V and the charger briefly goes to CP and maybe CC.

If you turn off the power at the beginning of the EC stage, when it starts to count down from 59min, and then turn it on again, it will only do a few minutes of EC charging and then turn off. It does the same if you let it finish charging and then turn power off and on again very soon.

To check voltage and battery temperature you can turn the key to the ON position when the electricity is still connected but charging has finished. The display then comes on but you cannot start the engine.

A potential danger of using a timer is that you could drive off with the cable still plugged in!

Mr. Mik

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

Mik
Mik's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 3 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 15:27
Points: 3739
Re: Vectrix has arrived

So, it's best to rest the bike for a while after a ride so the temperature of the batteries are as close to 20'C as possible and start driving as soon as possible after the charge completes.

I inadvertently inclued that part in a quote earlier, but I do not actually agree with that statement.
It is correct for small RC batteries with a higher mass to surface ratio, because thay actually do cool down quickly.
The Vectrix battery stays very warm for hours and hours if the fans are not running. The safety container around it insulates it and, unfortunately, does not allow for spontaneous "chimney cooling".

So it might be best to do the first part of charging immediately, because it cools the battery.
NiMH batteries only start to heat up (during charging) when they are almost full.

I try to set my (double) timer to achieve something close to the following ideal:

Cool battery just after riding until temp is down to 20°C (or to ambient temperature level if it is higher than 20°C).
Then do a partial charge that does not heat up the battery and leaves enough empty capacity to allow CP, CC and EC charging when it is turned on again. (About 14-15/17th)
Start charging again a few hours before riding, so that it finishes counting down to zero just before I hop on... That will pre-heat the battery in winter for better performance, too!
In summer I might add in another ABCooling period from about 2am until charging starts, because it will be cooler then.

Ideally it would all be done according to an algorithm that uses ambient and battery temperature measurements and rider input re: when the bike will be needed again.

Maybe the CanBus can be used to program the Vectux accordingly.

As in: Tell your bike somehow that it needs to be fully charged at 0625am on Monday morning, and the electronics then cool and charge the battery automatically in the best way possible.

Mr. Mik

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

AndY1
AndY1's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 12 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 - 04:29
Points: 1071
Re: Vectrix has arrived

What is the temperature of the battery immediately after a complete charge cycle?

DaveD
DaveD's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 years 7 months ago
Joined: Monday, June 16, 2008 - 16:19
Points: 86
Re: Vectrix has arrived

I've been using this timer, http://www.smarthome.com/2046.html, and I've been pleased with it so far. It's programmable for both time-of-day, and also has a countdown timer.

knabo
knabo's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 - 22:39
Points: 131
Re: Vectrix has arrived

I also have that timer. Here in the San Fancisco Bay area there are rate differences you can apply for when you have an EV. But you have to use electricity in off peak hours, it boils down to antime between midnight and 7 am.

A timer seemed like a good idea.

Luther Burrell, Mesa, Arizona, USA
Rides: ZuumCraft from zuumcraft.com
Previous Rides: Blue Vectrix Maxi scooter

AndY1
AndY1's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 12 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 - 04:29
Points: 1071
Re: Vectrix has arrived

In my country, off-peak hours are:
- every weekday from 22:00 to 6:00 next morning
- whole weekend
- national holidays

Off peak price is 0,07064 EUR (incl. VAT) / kWh = 0,109492 US$ / kWh
Regular price is 0,11414 EUR (incl. VAT) / kWh = 0,176917 US$ / kWh

chas_stevenson
chas_stevenson's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 years 10 months ago
Joined: Wednesday, December 6, 2006 - 17:14
Points: 1309
Re: Vectrix has arrived

My friends, who knows a LOT about batteries (he's been in Remote Control models for tens of years), told me, that it's best to start to charge the batteries at 20'C battery temperature and start to discharge (use) them when they are at 40'C.
So, it's best to rest the bike for a while after a ride so the temperature of the batteries are as close to 20'C as possible and start driving as soon as possible after the charge completes.

This is very true in RC racing where you are trying to get the very most from your batteries in a short time and don't care that you are shortening the life of the batteries. Why do I know this because I raced RC cars for over 16 years and have over $30,000.oo invested is these little cars including a Sprint car which does 55 MPH actual speed. This is a completely different use of the batteries from what we want for scooters or e-bikes. The only part that translate is to charge the batteries when they are cooler. We also charged a pack in 10 minutes at outrageous current. I would not recommend this for scooters or e-bikes as it will destroy the larger packs we use. The high amp charge was to get the charge up fast and increase the temperature of the batteries. If you tried this on one of our large packs you would cook the batteries in the middle of the pack. Scooter and e-bike batteries are much larger. My e-bike battery is 120 cells and my largest RC battery is 7 cells. If I treated my e-bike battery like I do my RC pack it would not last 3 months.

Grandpa Chas S.

AndY1
AndY1's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 12 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 - 04:29
Points: 1071
Re: Vectrix has arrived

So, what is the best temperature to start a ride after a complete recharge? As close to 20'C?

chas_stevenson
chas_stevenson's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 years 10 months ago
Joined: Wednesday, December 6, 2006 - 17:14
Points: 1309
Re: Vectrix has arrived

Andy1,

If you are trying to race your bike then heat the batteries with a 5 to 10 minute hard charge just be you ride.

If you just want transportation and the batteries to last longer then the ambient temperature is fine, no need to heat the batteries and ride for an hour, they will get warm enough without adding the extra heat. I use my motor to help with transportation. I did not build it to race, but to each his own I just didn't want people to think they needed to push their batteries as your post suggested. As I have stated these are much larger battery packs than used by RC racers or fliers and you don't want to abuse them unless you want to race and get the most power possible for a short time. Another big difference is the time factor. In the world of RC racing you are trying to use every last amp of power in 4 to 6 minutes. In the world of EVs you want the power to last as long as possible. Many times I ride for well over 2 hours and still have power to spare because I only use it when needed. If I run the motor all the time I can go just over an hour before the battery cutout kicks in. So as you can see these are 2 different worlds and the battery packs must be treated differently to get the best performance for each world. BTW, I do abuse my RC batteries a lot.

Grandpa Chas S.

AndY1
AndY1's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 12 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 - 04:29
Points: 1071
Re: Vectrix has arrived

Thank you for your information. My intention is not to race, but to transport and I do want to treat battery as good as I can and get as much mileage from a pack as I can without harming or aging them.

I fly my RC helicopter with LiPo batteries and I'm new to NiMH (other than in the RC transmitter), that's why I want to learn as much as I can before I receive the bike.

chas_stevenson
chas_stevenson's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 years 10 months ago
Joined: Wednesday, December 6, 2006 - 17:14
Points: 1309
Re: Vectrix has arrived

Andy1,

The best advice I can give you is treat them just as you would your RC packs just turn down the current and keep them as cool as possible and you will get good performance with long life. That's really all I do and my e-bikes perform very well. I find giving them a long slow charge about once a month, during the summer when I am riding a lot, seems to help however I have no data other then feel to back this up with. This is something I do to my RC packs to get a few more charges from them as well and it seems to work.

Grandpa Chas S.

Pages

Log in or register to post comments


Who's online

There is currently 1 user online.

  • flapjacksbestof

Who's new

  • Jacupp
  • micarr
  • mechnique
  • kushtsz
  • Daria

Customize This