Installing the Modified Charger Software

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The Laird
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Installing the Modified Charger Software

Hello Folks,

I keep seeing questions on various aspects of 'fitting' the modified charger software. Maybe the following script will cover most of the questions and help some of you to make the decision to 'do or not to do'.

Installing the Adapted Vectrix Software for the P1.Charger

You will need the following items in order to complete the changes.

1. Laptop / Computer capable of running the Vectrix Diagnostic software (Windoze XP
works well, others I haven't tried)
2. CanBus adapter and connecting lead. -

or:- http://www.gridconnect.com/canadapters.html

3. Vectrix Diagnostic software loaded into the computer.

4. Hex Files named:-

a/ ESGA6T?? This is the new charger hex file. The question marks replace
the temperature limitation in degrees C.

b/ MC1014b This is the 'compatible' Motor Controller file

c/ BCR3001 This is the charger file you are replacing and can be
installed to return the scooter to it's present condition if
required.

d/ MCR1017 This is the Motor Controller file you will replace and is available for returning the scooter to it's present condition if
required.

************************************************

Installing the Diagnostics Software

First task is to load the diagnostic software into your computer.

Copy the two folders (ScooterSW and ScooterDiag) into a suitable directory.

The ScooterSW folder contains the firmware.
The ScooterDiag folder contains the diagnostic software

Copy the 4 .dll files into the C:\Windows\System folder, The 4 .dll files are needed by the diagnostic software to work
Open the folder C:\ScooterDiag\Ver 0.5 and select the file “scooterdiag”
Right click on the file and send a link to the desktop. Close the folder

Double click on the “link to scooterdiag” file on your desktop to run the Vectrix Diagnostic Software

Use the install file and then rename (I never throw anything away) the installed 'scooterdiag.exe' and replace it with the separately supplied 'scooterdiag.exe'. There are two different versions of the diagnostic programme, the earlier one comes with the install programme and the later version is separate.

Put your software collection into a new directory/folder so that it can easily be located when needed.

Install the drivers for the can bus adaptor using the manufacturer's instructions.

Connect the Can bus adaptor to the computer,, the red light should light up and remain constant.

Start the diagnostic programme, the red light on the can bus will blink if it is recognised and connected to the diagnostic programme.

Close the diagnostic programme.

Connect the computer to the bike using the can bus lead. Do not have the Bike charger cable connected to a mains supply whilst the computer is connected to the bike even if the mains is switched off.

Switch the bike on first and then start the diagnostic programme.

The diagnostic programme should show a green bar saying 'can active' at the bottom of the screen.. If not, then start the whole process again even to the point of re-booting the computer if necessary.

You are now able to see the different 'pages' of the diagnostic programme. Do not press anything yet and don't experiment.

Click the firmware upgrade tab.

The fourth module down is Motor controller and it shows the version of software which is current in the Vectrix. Make a note of the detail you will need it if you wish to revert to this software later. Note also the charger version which is on the third module down.

You have successfully installed the Diagnostics software/programmes. Do not play with it. Some of the 'things' that it can do to you/your bike can cause serious trouble. Learn from the mistakes of others.

DO NOT BE TEMPTED TO PLAY WITH OTHER BUTTONS. IT IS POSSIBLE TO REDUCE THE MACHINE TO THE CATEGORY OF 'EXPENSIVE DOORSTOP' WITH THE AID OF THE DIAGNOSTICS PROGRAMME.

Installing the 'new' Modified Software

Connect the computer to the bike using the can bus lead. Do not have the Bike charger cable connected to a mains supply whilst the computer is connected to the bike even if the mains is switched off.

Switch the bike on first and then start the diagnostic programme.

The diagnostic programme should show a green bar saying 'can active' at the bottom of the screen.. If not, then start the whole process again even to the point of re-booting the computer if necessary.

You are now able to see the different 'pages' of the diagnostic programme. Do not press anything yet and don't experiment.

Click the firmware upgrade tab.

The fourth module down is Motor controller and it shows the version of software which is current in the Vectrix. Make a note of the detail you will need it if you wish to revert to this software later. Note also the charger version which is on the third module down.

Load/install the motor controller first. (This is the dangerous procedure).

This file must go in in one piece, if it fails (I have never had a problem)
DO NOT SWITCH OFF THE BIKE but keep the computer attached to the bike and
restart the computer, then re-install the motor controller (the 1014b.hex file).

Loading/installing the Charger file, the esga6t40 is straightforward. It is longer than the BCR3001 file in order that it overwrites any remnants of the earlier file.

Procedure.

Click on the fourth module 'BROWSE' button and locate the file MC1014B.
Click 'open', and you will return to the firmware update page with the file MC1014B ready to programme into the bike.
Click 'program', at the bottom of the page a green bar will show the progress of the software installation. When it stops and reports 'completed', count to five, then click on the 'clear' button.

Do not be impatient. Touch nothing while the upgrade takes place.

Repeat the above steps for the third module down, this time selecting the new charger hex file- ESGA6T??.hex - The ?? is the cut off temp in degrees C.

Do not mix up the files, only programme the charger with a charger file. Only programme the motor controller with a motor controller file.

If the process halts or stalls at any point in the programming of either file, DO NOT SWITCH THE VECTRIX OFF. Instead, maintain all connections, shut down and restart the computer and or programmes as may be necessary. and repeat the install process, i.e. press the program button again.

Switching the Vectrix off whilst in the process of programming the motor controller module can result in that module requiring a factory re-installation of the boot loader, NOT CHEAP, NOT NICE and maybe NOT POSSIBLE.

If you are in any doubt about anything in the instructions above or if you lack knowledge or experience in this type of activity, THEN DO NOT ATTEMPT THE RE-PROGRAMMING, instead get someone to help and guide you through the process.

On completion of the above, you may find that one or two bike displays appear to behave oddly. Temp and battery indicators may flash alarmingly. Close the diagnostic programme and then switch off and then switch back on, the bike. All should now settle with no unusual behaviour.

Points to note.

Please read these operating instructions for the new software before using the bike and/or charger.

If you normally get 30miles per charge, don't expect more even if the bars and 'miles to go' tell you otherwise.
What you will get is a cooler running battery and a cooler charging battery.

When using these files for the first time.

Following the install, ride the bike until there is a distinct lack of response to a rapid throttle opening. This indicates that the battery is nearing empty. Then put the bike on charge. Any remaining bars on the fuel gauge should disappear as the charge begins.

You will have noticed that the plenum fans were running all the time that the bike was powered and for ten minutes after it was turned off. This is correct.

The bike will charge at a constant current of 6 amps for up to four hours or until it is around 70%/80% charged.
There will be two short 'tr' periods of 5 minutes each, and then the C.C phase will begin. This will last for up to four hours and be followed by an E.C. period of 1 hour.

The charger will still provide an occasional 'equalising' charge which will last for 1 hour only and should not cause any temperature rise.

Although this seems long time to charge, the charge is being carried out with little or no
temperature rise. The battery will have reached 70%+ within (usually) three and a half hours with little or no heating.
This compares favorably with the Vectrix charge time of two and a quarter hours (at around 11amps) to reach the same level PLUS considerable heating in the process and a 'cool down' period of 1hour. Total time = three and a quarter hours.

The 'fuel gauge' will fill up according to the input AHrs. If the fuel gauge fails to reach 17 bars, then this simply means that the capacity of your battery is lower than 30 Ahr. With my own bike, I started a couple of weeks ago with about 20 Ahrs and it has gradually built up and now indicates a full 30 AHr state.

In use.

The bike will count down the bars according to you use of 'fuel' and the estimated miles display will indicate a reasonably true prediction of the miles to go under the present rate of energy useage.

I have had an occasional hiccup with the est miles display, It has been known to 'Lock' onto the Default value when on a long regenerative run. The result is that the 'est mile' display simply counts down along with the fuel gauge, both ending at zero in due course.
Sometimes this 'lock up' will self clear whilst travelling, other times it clears on switch off and then back on. Either way there is no problem in that the fuel gauge will always empty before the battery is depleted.

The Temperature setting ( the ?? degrees C) is supposed to stop the charger in the event that the battery exceeds ?? degrees C. I have not tested it nor do I wish to. It should never be necessary as there are other safeguards (time and voltage) which should always operate first.

I suggest that you run the bike occasionally, until there is a distinct lack of response to a rapid throttle opening. This indicates that the battery is nearing empty. Then put the bike on charge. This to be carried out once per week / once per month or as indicated by a fuel gauge error.

I suggest also that, whenever you get down to three bars on the fuel gauge, that you should 'test' the throttle every so often, when you note a lack of response it's time to recharge.

Do not run the bike 'hard' when this lack of power / response is obvious. Do not run the bike past the 'red light'. Do not run the bike past the BUSvlt.

For the first charge, you should keep track of the voltage and temperatures. If you have a problem such as a high temperature or the voltage will not rise at the end of charge, it may be indicating that you have a faulty battery, I need to know this and may be able to compensate in the programme for it.

Allow the battery to charge fully occasionally or when you actually need that full charge, otherwise charge only to about 70% to 80%. (this is about an hour after the C.C. stage begins). This prevents higher leakage currents (which occur when the battery is 'full') which will shorten the battery life.

Running down to the 'red light' is not recommended, as the battery voltage is lower with this motor controller software. If the battery is in known good condition there should be no danger or damage, but a battery in poor condition could be damaged further by the excessive discharge level.

If you are in any doubt about anything in the instructions above or if you lack knowledge or experience in this type of activity, THEN DO NOT ATTEMPT THE RE-PROGRAMMING, instead get someone to help and guide you through the process.


Finally, I would like to remind you that my scripts have been a record of my attempts to reduce damage to the battery on my Vectrix scooter. I have told you what I am doing and why I am doing it and how I am doing it. I am not advising you to do anything, instead I am offering you the opportunity to imitate my work if you chose to do so.

Keep smiling folks,

The Laird.

Aircon
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Re: Installing the Modified Charger Software

That's brilliant.

Thank you.

oobflyer
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Re: Installing the Modified Charger Software

Hi Laird,

Thanks for the detailed instructions.

With the 50AH pack I won't be changing the motor-controller file, correct? If I understand correctly I just need to change the charger file.

We tried it today - but were unsuccessful. Despite following all of the steps carefully we were never able to get a green light within the scooter diag software program, rather we only saw the red "not connected" light. We tried several times (including rebooting) and decided to take a break and try again later.

I wonder if the adaptor or the cable is not making contact - I'll check continuity on the cable later.

Meanwhile, I rode about 50 miles today on about 31 AH :-)

oobflyer
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Re: Installing the Modified Charger Software

I just read Jonathan's post:

http://visforvoltage.org/forum/11662-problem-can-bus-usb-resolved

It may be that we're having the same problem. I'll try it again after downloading the alternate .dll file (probably next weekend when my son can help).

pyjohnson
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Re: Installing the Modified Charger Software

Can anyone help

I've been trying to install the new software following The Lairds instructions, I can't get the motor controller file to load, and yes the bike has NO motor controller software loaded now, the bike is still switched on and the battery is 80% full.

I've tried re-booting the laptop, still nothing.

When I hit the button for loading the software it asked me for a CLR24_X1.HEX file, then it tries to Transfer Clear and returns saying, Error, No response to Clear...please try again

Any ideas before my bike turns into a garage ornament

Regards,
Peter

-----------------------------------------------------------
Central Scotland

Mik
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Re: Installing the Modified Charger Software

How full was the battery before this started? Ooops - you already told us, it's 80% full. What parts of the bike seem to be on and consuming power? Is the headlight on? Are the cooling fans and/or impellers running? That will allow to estimate the time you have available to fix it before the "ornamental stage"....

Just to clarify the circumstances further:

1)Have you changed the firmware before?
2) If yes, was it with the same laptop/computer?
3) Was it with the same Canbus adapter?

Leave your Vectrix turned on for now until someone else replies with some sensible instructions. I do unfortunately not know how to proceed from here.

Good luck!

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

X Vectrix
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Re: Installing the Modified Charger Software

If it is asking for the hex file, it means that the files needed to program the memory cannot be found by the diags. These files are normally in the diag directory. These are programs that the diag uses to first clear the processor flash (set all bits to 0's), erase the flash (set all bits to 1's), then program the flash with the code.
If it cant find them it will not have erased memory. Try enabling the scoot. If it enables then the code is still running and you can turn off the scoot.

X Vectrix
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Re: Installing the Modified Charger Software

BTW...what do you mean by "the motor controller has no SW in it"?

pyjohnson
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Re: Installing the Modified Charger Software

BTW...what do you mean by "the motor controller has no SW in it"?

There is no info in the motor controller box

Regards,
Peter

-----------------------------------------------------------
Central Scotland

X Vectrix
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Re: Installing the Modified Charger Software

Does the bike run?
If there is no SW in it at all then you dont have a bootloader in it either and you will not be able to program the MC over the CANbus. It has to be programmed at the board level.

pyjohnson
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Re: Installing the Modified Charger Software

Does the bike run?
If there is no SW in it at all then you dont have a bootloader in it either and you will not be able to program the MC over the CANbus. It has to be programmed at the board level.

The bike is on, I can see the other software versions for the other parts of the bike

I can reload the charger software for exaple

I get an error message while it's trying to clear

Regards,
Peter

-----------------------------------------------------------
Central Scotland

pyjohnson
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Re: Installing the Modified Charger Software

Update (with a happy ending)

After exploring all known and suggested avenues it was time to switch my bike off.

The motor controller box in the diagnostic software was empty, I was getting an error message about Transferring Clear Algorithm when I tried to load any motor controller software, the bike would not arm to go. I had accepted the fact it was time to let the bike die, so I switched it off.

I then turned it back on, it came back to life, I can arm it to go, it charges, the diagnostic software says it has all the original files.

I'm a very lucky happy man.

As for what went wrong for me I'm not sure, The Laird has been helping me with my troubles and we will try and report back.

I'm just going to stick with the old software by order from my wife.

WARNING:- THE DIAGNOSTIC SOFTWARE CAN SERIOUSLY DAMAGE YOUR BIKE

Regards,
Peter

-----------------------------------------------------------
Central Scotland

The Laird
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Re: Installing the Modified Charger Software

Hello Folks,

Well, as Peter has already said:-

WARNING:- THE DIAGNOSTIC SOFTWARE CAN SERIOUSLY DAMAGE YOUR BIKE.

In the case of Peter's up-grade attempt, what went wrong was that the diagnostic software had not been correctly installed on his computer. I rather think that he did not receive/possess the version with it's installer programme and therefore the diagnostics software install was not 'complete or standard'.

I have now learned (and I didn't know this before) that, when the diagnostic programme installs the motor controller software it requires the use of three small programmes which are (or should be) contained in a folder (within the diagnostics folder). These 'programmes' are CLR_24.hex, ERA_24.hex, PROG_24.hex. There is no problem if the diagnostic installer is used to install the programmes onto your computer.

The lesson learned is to install the diagnostic programme, check that all files are present and correctly located, and then, and only then, can you consider any up-dating of software.

Peter had good cause to be concerned, however if he had canceled his way out of the programmes when his troubles first arose
he would have had no problem. And YES, it is easy to know how to deal with 'it' in hindsight, However, we have learned for the future. If everything does not go as planned, stop activities, seek advice, when all else fails try to cancel your way back out by reversing the way you came in (and a few prayers to various Gods won't go amiss)

Happily for Peter, no damage was done (except to his nervous system :-) and he does NOT own a £6000-00 doorstop/paperweight/garage ornament. He may have temporarily lost his nerve over software up-dates but it will return (especially when his battery begins to 'cook' under the Vectrix charger software :-)).

Those of you who read other threads will know that my own charger has failed, Mains input side only - apparently it is not uncommon. So, for the time being there will be no further work on the Charger programming as I have no 'test bed' on which to try modifications. I will report on the forum when I sort out the next step. Possibilities are, repair the charger _ unlikely at the moment, design and build a new charger into the old case - probably the most likely outcome, break it up for spares - possible or use it as a doorstop/paperweight. As far as the programming is concerned, I have one or two people who may well be interested in taking up where I have left off, if that becomes necessary. I shall contact them when the decisions are made regarding my charger's future.

On a much lighter note. MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone out there. And my special thanks to everyone who pitched in to help Peter out when he was in deep mucky stuff last weekend.

The Laird.

Telling it like it is as always.

R
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Re: Installing the Modified Charger Software

The Laird, you did an impressive work with the modified firmware. A real pity there won't be further improvements. Thank you a lot for your support.

The Laird
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Re: Installing the Modified Charger Software

Hello Folks,

The latest modified charger programme now has the battery voltage readout and therefore some changes to the installation and use patterns are necessary. Herewith the latest script.

Installing the 'new' Modified Software

Connect the computer to the bike using the can bus lead. Do not have the Bike charger cable connected to a mains supply whilst the computer is connected to the bike even if the mains is switched off. This applies to mains powered computers only, Battery powered computers should be o.k.

Switch the bike on first and then start the diagnostic programme.

The diagnostic programme should show a green bar saying 'can active' at the bottom of the screen.. If not, then start the whole process again even to the point of re-booting the computer if necessary.

You are now able to see the different 'pages' of the diagnostic programme. Do not press anything yet and don't experiment.

Click the firmware upgrade tab.

The fourth module down is Motor controller and it shows the version of software which is current in the Vectrix. Make a note of the detail you will need it if you wish to revert to this software later. Note also the charger version which is on the third module down.

Load/install the motor controller first. (This is the dangerous procedure).

*****************NOTE**********************

If the programme asks for a file by name then it is almost certain that you have an incorrect installation of the Diagnostics programme STOP working. Cancel your way out of whatever you are doing and ask for help.

********************************************

This file must go in in one piece, if it fails (I have never had a problem)
DO NOT SWITCH OFF THE BIKE but keep the computer attached to the bike and
restart the computer, then re-install the motor controller (the 1014b.hex file).

Loading/installing the Charger file, the esga6V?? is straightforward. It is longer than the BCR3001 file in order that it overwrites any remnants of the earlier file.

Procedure.

Click on the fourth module 'BROWSE' button and locate the file MC1014B.
Click 'open', and you will return to the firmware update page with the file MC1014B ready to programme into the bike.
Click 'program', at the bottom of the page a green bar will show the progress of the software installation. When it stops and reports 'completed', count to five, then click on the 'clear' button.

Do not be impatient. Touch nothing while the upgrade takes place.

Repeat the above steps for the third module down, this time selecting the new charger hex file- ESGA6V??.hex - The ?? is the cut off temp in degrees C.

Do not mix up the files, only programme the charger with a charger file. Only programme the motor controller with a motor controller file.

If the process halts or stalls at any point in the programming of either file, DO NOT SWITCH THE VECTRIX OFF. Instead, maintain all connections, shut down and restart the computer and or programmes as may be necessary. and repeat the install process, i.e. press the program button again.

Switching the Vectrix off whilst in the process of programming the motor controller module can result in that module requiring a factory re-installation of the boot loader, NOT CHEAP, NOT NICE and maybe NOT POSSIBLE.

If you are in any doubt about anything in the instructions above or if you lack knowledge or experience in this type of activity, THEN DO NOT ATTEMPT THE
RE-PROGRAMMING, instead get someone to help and guide you through the process.
On completion of the above, you may find that one or two bike displays appear to behave oddly. Temp and battery indicators may flash alarmingly. Close the diagnostic programme and then switch the bike off and then switch back on. All should now settle with no unusual behavior.

Points to note.

Please read these operating instructions for the new software before using the bike and/or charger.

If you normally get 30miles per charge, don't expect more even if the bars and 'miles to go' tell you otherwise.
What you will get is a cooler running battery and a cooler charging battery.

When using these files for the first time.

Following the install, ride the bike until the battery voltage drops to 120 Volts ( don't ride to the 'red light' this does not operate until the battery voltage is down to 102 volts – not a good voltage to get down to). This indicates that the battery is nearing empty. Then put the bike on charge. Any remaining bars on the fuel gauge should disappear as the charge begins.

You will have noticed that the plenum fans were running all the time that the bike was powered and for ten minutes after it was turned off. This is correct.

The bike will charge at a constant current of 6 amps for up to four hours or until it is around 70%/80% charged.
There will be two short 'tr' periods of 5 minutes each, and then the C.C phase will begin. This will last for up to four hours and be followed by an E.C. period of 1 hour.

The charger will still provide an occasional 'equalising' charge which will last for 1 hour only and should not cause any temperature rise.

Although this seems long time to charge, the charge is being carried out with little or no
temperature rise. The battery will have reached 70%+ within (usually) three and a half hours with little or no heating.
This compares with the Vectrix charge of two and a quarter hours (at around 11amps) to reach the same level PLUS considerable heating in the process and a 'cool down' period of 1hour. Total time = three and a quarter hours.

The 'fuel gauge' will fill up according to the input AHrs. If the fuel gauge fails to reach 17 bars, then this simply means that the capacity of your battery is lower than 30 Ahr. With my own bike, I started a couple of weeks ago with about 20 Ahrs and it has gradually built up and now indicates a full 30 AHr state.

In use.

The bike will count down the bars according to you use of 'fuel' and the estimated miles display (which must be set to kilometres) will indicate the battery voltage. It is normal for the voltage to drop when using power but it should not be allowed to drop under 120 Volts if at all possible.

The Temperature setting ( the ?? degrees C) will stop the charger in the event that the battery exceeds ?? degrees C. It should never be necessary as there are other safeguards (time and voltage) which should always operate first.

I suggest that you run the bike occasionally, until the voltage drops to 120 volts under a light loading. This indicates that the battery is nearing empty. Then put the bike on charge. This to be carried out once per week / once per month or as indicated by any fuel gauge error.

I suggest that, whenever you get down to three bars on the fuel gauge, that you should keep an eye on the voltage gauge when the volts get down to 126 or less then you are nearing an 'empty tank'.

Do not run the bike 'hard' if it sends the Voltage below 120volts. Do not run the bike to the 'red light'. If the BUSvlt appears you are doing damage to the battery.

For the first charge, you should keep track of the voltage and temperatures. If you have a problem such as a high temperature or the voltage will not rise at the end of charge, it may be indicating that you have a faulty battery, I need to know this and may be able to compensate in the programme for it.

Allow the battery to charge fully occasionally or when you actually need that full charge, otherwise charge only to about 70% to 80%. (this is about an hour after the C.C. stage begins). This prevents higher leakage currents (which occur when the battery is 'full') which will shorten the battery life.

Running down to the 'red light' is not recommended, as the battery voltage is lower with this motor controller software. If the battery is in known good condition there should be no danger or damage, but a battery in poor condition could be damaged further by the excessive discharge level.

If you are in any doubt about anything in the instructions above or if you lack knowledge or experience in this type of activity, THEN DO NOT ATTEMPT THE
RE-PROGRAMMING, instead get someone to help and guide you through the process.

This script is subject to revision from time to time. This particular script is dated 15th February 2012 and cancels all previous scripts on this topic.

Finally, I would like to remind you that my scripts have been a record of my attempts to reduce damage to the battery on my Vectrix scooter. I have told you what I am doing and why I am doing it and how I am doing it. I am not advising you to do anything, instead I am offering you the opportunity to imitate my work if you chose to do so.

Keep smiling folks,

The Laird.

Aircon
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Re: Installing the Modified Charger Software

Anyone in Melbourne Australia who'd be willing to do this to my V? I have neither the equipment nor the expertise to do this myself.

kingcharles
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Re: Installing the Modified Charger Software

When running this low heat generating software, would it be safe to replace the noisy fans with something less noisy like computer fans or will these lack cooling power?
My bike is always charged at night and is outside so I am hoping to get the noise level down.
Thanks

Once you go EV, Gas is history!

The Laird
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Re: Installing the Modified Charger Software

Hello Your Highness:-),

Yes, of course computer fans will lack cooling power BUT the batteries will lack heating power when using the modified software and they do work rather well.

So, the real answer is go ahead, use computer fans. My own Vectrix had a fan failure about two years ago and I replaced the fans with two obtained from Farnell (electronics suppliers). The fans which I used were / are 119mm 12v 0.5amp order code 960-6742.

The web address below takes you directly to the fans which are still available. Cost around £26 each including VAT.

http://uk.farnell.com/multicomp/mckd1212pmb1-6a-gn/fan-119mm-12vdc/dp/9606742

These fans have been in constant service since fitting and have served their purpose well. I have taken advantage of the lower power consumption and I am running them for an hour after switch off (it's in the Charger programme which I am using). They also run, as standard in the modified software, all of the time that the bike is in use. They are not silent but they are a lot quieter than the original Vectix fans (Impellers, as Mik will insist :-)).

If you do fit these, then you will have to trim the corners of the fans on one face (junior hacksaw job) but otherwise it is reasonably straightforward.

Perhaps I should have done a write up for this modification, I just didn't think that anyone would be interested at that time. By the way, I think that the original fans/impellers are no longer available, they were very expensive and an alternative had to be found.

Good luck, have fun, it's all in the game of keeping them going and as inexpensively as possible.

The Laird.

(Telling it like it is, as always)

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Re: Installing the Modified Charger Software

Hi all... just some notes and questions.

I'm running TheLairds latest version with voltage display showing. It really is quite a revelation watching the voltage plummet the moment you move. !

However the reason for my post is that I have a 30 degree celcius limit on my charging code placed their by TheLaird under my instruction. However as we are presently mid-summer here in NZ (even despite it being continuously rainy) our ambient temps are around the mid 20's so its easy to get the batteries to 30 degrees in use or above it. Obviously the fans come on for 10mins after use but don't stay on unless immediately put on charge plus i don't have a ABCool made (Yet).

I feel that if I am not charging straight away i want to put cool air across the batteries for longer than 10 minutes so that any residual heat doesn't propagate through the pack or even increase as they sit with no air moving over them. Also i know options in the charging program are very very difficult to put in.

On a couple of really warm days I've left the bike outside on my driveway in the shade where the coolest air is (garage is just hot and stuffy) and I literally leave the bike turned on with the side-stand down so that it is just running the fans constantly for as long as I feel necessary to cool the batteries thoroughly or at least to below my own self imposed 30degree threshold.

Other than the headlight potential to wear out quicker - is there any reason that I should be aware of that this may cause problems. I personally can't see any. Theft isn't a big worry as i am within a few metres of the bike and the lockouts would prevent someone running off with it easily.

Thoughts ?

The Laird
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Re: Installing the Modified Charger Software

Hi folks,

The 'cooling' problem. By far the best solution is to put the bike on charge immediately following any ride which heats the batteries. BUT NOT if you are still using the original Vectrix charger programmes.

With the modified charger software the battery will benefit from the cool air flow whilst the low rate charge (6Amps) will generate very little heat. Overall effect is to cool the batteries.

It is possible to extend the fan 'run on' period which follows use. On my own bike the fans now run on for 1 hour. With the low power fans, using one fifth of the power of the original Vectrix fans, this consumes an estimated 0.1 ampere hours in that hour. A similar one hour 'run on' with the Vectrix fans would consume 0.5 ampere hours, so maybe not such a good idea.

There is a solution, it's a bit tedious to operate but you can get used to it, and that is to have the one hour 'run on' and to have the facility to switch it off if not required.

This came up quite by chance. I was trying to arrange a longer fan on time and my efforts produced an 'odd' effect. Switching the bike 'on', on alternate times, the red battery and temperature lights flashed continuously. Whenever these lights were flashing, turning the bike 'off' canceled the fan timer and the fans stopped immediately. Switching 'off' when the warning lights were not flashing allowed the fans to run on for the preset time. (This is caused by a 'flagging' effect within the programme - but what the hell?)

So, there is a way to have 'cooling or not' as you wish IF you are prepared to accept these little foibles and are prepared to live with them. All I want is to know what you want and I shall try to oblige.

If you have widely varying Summer and Winter temperatures then I can provide programmes with different temperature ratings in order that you can fit suitable temperature limits for your prevailing ambient temperatures as the seasons change.

Struggling to please, and telling it like it is, as always,

The Laird.

Mik
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Re: Installing the Modified Charger Software

...
Other than the headlight potential to wear out quicker - is there any reason that I should be aware of that this may cause problems. I...

Thoughts ?

Just turn off the headlight. Hold "Pass" lever until horn has beeped twice, then let go. After the first horn beep low beam and high beam will come on together when high beam is switched on.

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

Mik
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Re: Installing the Modified Charger Software

...

There is a solution, it's a bit tedious to operate but you can get used to it, and that is to have the one hour 'run on' and to have the facility to switch it off if not required.

This came up quite by chance. I was trying to arrange a longer fan on time and my efforts produced an 'odd' effect. Switching the bike 'on', on alternate times, the red battery and temperature lights flashed continuously. Whenever these lights were flashing, turning the bike 'off' canceled the fan timer and the fans stopped immediately. Switching 'off' when the warning lights were not flashing allowed the fans to run on for the preset time. (This is caused by a 'flagging' effect within the programme - but what the hell?)
.

I had been wondering before if that feature could be added to later versions of your software. I would like that very much, because I sometimes just want to turn the power on to check the charge state, and then I have to put up with the noise of the impellers filling the garage for the next 10 minutes for no good reason. And just out of principle I like to be able to turn things off, completely, at will. The 10 minute impeller action is almost always too short when I want them to run, anyway. So this would be a great addition to the feature list for me, I'll send you a pm.

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

tt-tronix
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Re: Installing the Modified Charger Software

@The Laird:
I would add a warning to your 'install manual':

If you have the runke/EVPS charger, you should not update the firmware with a REV3xxx!!!! This works only for the ESD charger.

CO2
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Re: Installing the Modified Charger Software

@The Laird:
I would add a warning to your 'install manual':

If you have the runke/EVPS charger, you should not update the firmware with a REV3xxx!!!! This works only for the ESD charger.

Since when Vectrix use gold charger (Runke)? Year? Month?

dvdaudio
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Re: Installing the Modified Charger Software

Hello Laird, antiscab, et al.

Vectrix USA installed a brand new pack of NIMH in the Fall of 2010; just under warranty expiration in my 2008 VX-1. Am considering doing Laird's program change for much longer/easier charge; but noted some observations. Yes, Vectrix USA installed the new software available in late 2010.

I'm wondering if they changed some parameters in my own charger cycle, knowing I live in a high-ambient environment. Yes, it still begins with full 15-amp charge, but over time, I've noticed that the TOP Voltage I get now is 142 after full charge. Occasionally I've run pack down into the 125-126 volt range, but still have "bars" showing, even though I know the "feel" of when sluggish, along with drop in top speed: (only getting to about 70-80kmph [45-50mph). Even taking down this far, charger still stops (I guess, thinks full) around 142 volts.

I'm wondering if this is Vecrix USA solution to taking it easier on stressing the batteries (along with temperature rise) by limiting final voltage to (I'm guessing about 80% SOC)??

Glen
Arizona, USA

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