Vectrix Owners in the UK

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Leafnut
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Vectrix Owners in the UK

Hello vectrix owners

Say hello if in uk and what you ride

Red nimh vectrix
-john in Carlisle

Migortiz1
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Re: Vectrix Owners in the UK

Hi, I’ll add to the list
2013 VX1 Li+ with failing original batteries and looking to do a Leaf conversion
Keen to join a WhatsApp group - even if it’s the Spanish one

MOSFETmeltdown
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Re: Vectrix Owners in the UK

VX1 White 2008 Vectrix with Leaf cells
Beckenham, Kent.
http://tinyurl.com/vectrixfixed

Leafnut
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Re: Vectrix Owners in the UK

Lets hope more people join

alexanderfoti
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Re: Vectrix Owners in the UK

Hi all

I have setup a UK Vectrix Onwers forum. Hopefully I will be able to collect all owners in the UK on there.

I intdend to go through the "handbook" listed as a sticky on this site, and transpose it into a searchable wiki with the correct content.

The site is brand new, so please excuse the lack of any topics.

alexanderfoti
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Re: Vectrix Owners in the UK

Thanks SJ , I am starting to put info up on the forum/Wiki now, so do keep an eye.

Anyone know what software that Mosfetmeltdown above is using in his link, to calibrate batt voltages?

R
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Re: Vectrix Owners in the UK

Hi, any vectrix owner can join the group (only owners!), you can write in english there. However 99,9% of messages will be in spanish, if this is ok write me +34 616359324

JoeVectrix
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Re: Vectrix Owners in the UK

Hi to everyone. I live in Central London.

I bought my first Vectrix (Blue) in June 2008, but by 2015 the battery was too far gone, and I gave the bike to David Gibson at Emissions Free Solutions, who sold me a "new" one. I say "new" because which was essentially patched together from various parts at the old factory in Poland. So in Feb 2016, it arrived and it is a Blue VX-1 Li+. Regrettably, this one has now broken down, and I stumbled across this forum looking for help in trying to resurrect it since it appears that David is no longer providing a Vectrix maintenance service. I love my Vectrix, warts and all, and my wife has had a BMW i3, for 4 years, so we are a fully electric vehicle family. But I am useless at trying to fix this stuff, so I need to find someone to help me? Any suggestions?

Cheers Joe

Sacko
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Re: Vectrix Owners in the UK

What problems are you having with it?

MOSFETmeltdown
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Re: Vectrix Owners in the UK

What's up with your scoot then?

alexanderfoti
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Re: Vectrix Owners in the UK

I'll let you know when I take it apart tomorrow :)

Caruso
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Re: Vectrix Owners in the UK

2008 Li+ in metallic red. I commute most days with it, but the battery is nearing the end of it's useful life so am thinking of a new battery or even a new Vectrix from Vectrixparts.com

Has anyone bought a battery or bike from them since Emissions Free has gone?

R
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Re: Vectrix Owners in the UK

Hi, there is a Vectrix whatsapp group in English languaje, sure we can help you there. If you want to join just write me to this number 0034 616359324 (We cannot post join links HERE due to spam)

Vectrix Man
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Re: Vectrix Owners in the UK

Hi To All,

As you can see from my user name "Vectrix Man" I just might know a thing or too about them, well I do currently
Own 3 of them and have owned 7 previous to these 3. Now there is not a don't know about the Vectrix but I think it is best
that some true facts need to be said about the Vectrix so here goes.

1: if you have the Vectrix VX-1 then these use the 1.25 volt NIMH 30 amp hour battery cell. There are 102 battery cells, so 102 x 1.25 volts = 127.5 volts (in the Vectrix Owners Hand Book it states Battery Rated Voltage: 125 Volts (DC, Direct Current). Now these battery cells you can still get hold of and cost around £30 Each.

2; If you have the Vectrix Li then these use the 3.2 volt cell short lithium 30 amp hour battery cell. There are 40 battery cells, so 40 x 3.2 volts = 128 volts (in the Vectrix Owners Hand Book it states Battery Rated Voltage: 125 Volts (DC, Direct Current). Now these battery cells you can still get hold of but are getting low on stock and cost around £40 Each.

3: if you have the Rarer Li+ then these use the 3.2 volt cell long lithium 42 amp hour battery cell. There are 40 battery cells, so 40 x 3.2 volts = 128 volts (in the Vectrix Owners Hand Book it states Battery Rated Voltage: 125 Volts (DC, Direct Current). Now these battery cells you CANNOT get hold of I have tried everywhere other than China who will make them for you but at a quantity, yes you can get similar BUT they wont fit/will cause a lot of problems as being longer/taller/fatter etc, when you could buy them they where also £40 Each.

So anybody who has the Li+ good luck with replacing the batteries.

Now on to changing the batteries and what goes wrong?

One or more battery cells will die which then breaks up the series of the batteries, thus you now do not have full voltage supply, when I say series for those that do not know, put 10 batteries up against each other then connect the + from battery 1 to the - on battery two then the + on battery 2 to the - on battery 3 and the - to the next battery and so on. You will then end up with a - from battery 1 and a + from battery 10 now put a volt meter across these two and you now have the Voltage combined to all 10 batteries. Hope all that makes sense.

So one or more cells die thus low voltage from a series cell pack which leads to shorter range due to battery voltage dying quicker. Now to then change one or more battery cell, take care as NOT an easy job as these battery cell packs are bound by 3 metal containing strap, when you try to undo these the batteries will/can explode more so the ones that have died as you will find they will go FAT and will put pressure onto the straps as you undo them. You have been warned, now replacing the bad cells is easy BUT good luck trying to put the straps back on to retain all the batteries together as they then need to fit back in to the battery boxes they came out off and there is NOT a lot of tolerance/clearance to play with.

There is more to fitting/changing the batteries but the above info will give people who own one of these superb bikes (with a lot of flaws) or is looking to buy one here in the UK the knowledge of what to look out for, the reason why they have problems (Batteries) and the idea if its worth fixing or can be fixed.

Of course you can go and change over to Nissan Leaf Batteries for around 7000 euros or even Toyota Prius batteries around similar money BUT its not as straight forward as some may say.

There IS another alternative which I have been working/developing for over 7 years now which is nearly there but until I am 100% happy and tried and tested I will not release any details but watch this space, all I can say is I am buying up any Vectrix that comes up for sale (not stupid money please) to change over to my development once sorted.

As for David at Emissions Free, I have seen his work, he tried with good intentions, I have meet him and all I can say is carry on selling Fire Equipment as the bikes that have come my way that your guys have worked on is crap/shocking, even replacing a dead battery cell and putting in the battery cell the wrong way round (have photo and video evidence).

My passion IS Vectrix and one day Tesla will use what I have developed just ask Adrian and Arsalan from Tesla, until then keep hold of your Vectrix,
How Many Left State Only 48 left in the UK, and I have owned 10 of them before (3 now left in my ownership). 1 a daily rider, 1 my collectors piece, 1 R&D.

Regards Vectrix Man

"Vectrix Development To Blow Your Mind & The Future With Tesla"

HubCap
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Re: Vectrix Owners in the UK

Hi
I have had my blue Vectrix VX1 since 2007. The last few years have been frustrating. I spent a lot of money with two so called 'experts' from UK Vectrix importers who tried to fix a problem with the motor jerking almost like a petrol engine that had gone on to two cylinders from four.
It's had a replacement motor and temperature sensors. Nothing has fixed it. I'm going to give it another go and would welcome any suggestions.
Many thanks
Hubcap

Keep it shiny side up!

Bikemad
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Re: Vectrix Owners in the UK

I was going to suggest that you check the wires going to the the encoder as there have been several cases of the wires chafing against the outer end of the encoder retaining bolt and causing problems with the running of the motor.
Check out this thread for more details.

But if the motor has already been replaced, that wiring harness would probably have been replaced at the same time.

Either way, it might be worth having a quick look inside the motor cover to check everything is still OK and make sure that there is no sign of dust or other debris on the encoder ring:
//i.imgur.com/AXDbSoO.png)

If the encoder ring had been removed and refitted without using the correct tools to align it correctly, it is possible that this could also cause problems with the running of the motor.

You should be able to check it is reasonably concentric with the shaft by holding a piece of paper close to the outer edge while you rotate the rear wheel with a jack under the rear swinging arm to keep the tyre off the ground.
If it only just touches evenly all the way around it is probably OK, but if it is noticeably out of true, it might need to be readjusted (ideally with the correct setting tools).

More information regarding the encoder can be found here.

Encoder Replacement

Encoder Calibration & Motor Phase Check

Another possible cause could be a poor connection under one of the phase wire connectors where it tightens through the controller's PCB and into the IGBT:
//i.imgur.com/QM76S98.png)
But I presume this particular fault would be accompanied by a burning smell coming from the controller area.

I don't know what else to suggest that could be causing the jerking.

Whereabouts in the UK are you located?

Alan

aerial12
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Re: Vectrix Owners in the UK

New to this Vectrix owners group so don’t know if I am doing this post correctly?

I have a 2007 VX1 which I used to ride regularly until it sat in my garage for several years with a battery/non-charging issue.

I want to try and fix it while I am at home during the virus lock down.

Can someone remind me the total voltage overall for the bike?, each cell voltage?, battery set voltages, ie some are in x9 and some in x8 cell groups/sets. If I can determine this I might be able to charge and test for good and bad cells?
Many thanks in advance, Chris UK

Bikemad
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Re: Vectrix Owners in the UK

Hi Chris,

The nominal battery voltage is 122.4V (102 cells @ 1.2V/cell) but it is typically referred to as a 125V pack.
The typical charging voltage for a NiMH cell is 1.4V per cell, so the complete battery should be charged to 142.8V but mine has the Laird's firmware which cuts off at ~144V.
This equates to 12.6V for the 9 cell modules and 11.2V for the 8 cell modules.

I hope this helps.

Alan

aerial12
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Re: Vectrix Owners in the UK

Thank you Alan.

Are the x8 and x9 totals the wrong way around?

So is it best to charge the batteries in their sets, x9 and x8?
If so should the charging voltage be 1.4v for both the x9 (until they reach charged 12.6v) and x8 (11.2v)?

If I find bad cells not charging or reaching the correct 1.2v each can I simply remove and replace that cell? I know the metal strap is tight around each set but can one ‘bad’ cell be tapped gently out and a replacement cell be tapped back in to avoid the issue with re-strapping which I have no clue how to do. I do have a spare box of odd cells that came with the bike as I purchased her second hand, although may need to buy new ones. Any idea where I can get some if needed?

Can you advise where I could get a correct voltage charger. If not too expensive it may be wise to buy a few to speed up the process?

Bikemad
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Re: Vectrix Owners in the UK

Hi Chris,
You are absolutely right, the voltages were the wrong way around and I have now corrected them in my previous post.

A 12V car battery charger can be used to charge the modules but you will need to keep an eye on the voltage to make sure it doesn't exceed the target voltage for each cell/module as the car charger will try to charge all the way up to 14~14.5V.
I would also check the temperature of each cell during the charging process to make sure that one isn't getting noticeably warmer than the others.

Certain car chargers will not be able to charge these modules if their initial voltage is too low, as some chargers check the battery voltage and/or polarity before charging.

You could alternatively use a suitable R/C battery charger that has the ability to charge NiMH cells, but most of these chargers also require a separate power supply.

If the cells are good, they should all charge up to ~1.4V per cell, but you might want to make a note of the individual cell voltages in each module and then let it stand for a day or two see if any cells drop noticeably compared to the others.

Check out this video to see how to remove a cell without cutting the steel band.

I don't know where you would get new cells, but there must be loads of these available in used condition as many Vextrix owners are upgrading to Leaf cells and would probably be glad to get rid of the old NiMH cells.

Unless you are going to replace all 102 cells with new ones, using good second hand cells to replace any dead or faulty cells would be the most cost effective option, as the battery's useable capacity will be limited by the lowest capacity cell in the pack.

Alan

Bikemad
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Re: Vectrix Owners in the UK

Hi Chris,
I've just seen your recent post in another thread:

I am trying to get my 2007 VX1 up and running again after a period of non charging in my garage.

It now sounds like your charger is not working just because the battery voltage has dropped too low because it hasn't been charged for so long.
In which case, it should be a relatively easy fix, which involves making a simple trickle charger from a couple of LED power supplies that will bring the entire battery voltage back up above 100V so that the built in charger will be able to work again:


The charged voltage of a Vectrix Battery can be more than enough to cause severe injury or even result in death...
If you are not 100% sure of what you are doing, please don't try any of the following suggestions involving mains AC voltages or high DC battery voltages!

If you have the ESD charger it should be possible to use a pair of 13-21x1W 450mA LED power supplies to charge your dead battery without having to gain direct access the battery itself:

Check out this post for more details on accessing the ESD Battery supply connector.

Check out this thread for more information on the LED power supply setup shown above.

When I read your initial post in this thread, I thought that your Vectrix already had a battery/non-charging fault before it was left in your garage for several years.

This simple method of reviving the battery should be much easier than charging individual modules, especially if you have the silver ESD charger with the easily accessible battery plug as shown above.

As your battery pack appears to have been working OK before it was left uncharged, it should stand a better chance of making a reasonable recovery.

Alan

aerial12
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Re: Vectrix Owners in the UK

Hi Alun, I have all the batteries out already. I had a charging/battery issue before, hence I stopped riding it and it has remained in my garage for a few years. I will attempt to fix by charging and checking for dead cells. I also replied to another post asking for Vectrix’s for sale and responded that if I cannot fix it I might sell it. Cheers, Chris

aerial12
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Re: Vectrix Owners in the UK

Hi Alun,
I am going through the batteries, charging them and finding many of the x9 cell groups are charging to around 12 volts. Individual cells around 1.25 to 1.35 volts depending on cells. Should I expect a full 1.4v per cell if charging fully?

Bikemad
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Re: Vectrix Owners in the UK

Hi Chris,
The maximum cell voltage will vary in relation to the charging current:
//i.imgur.com/MT7LXC8.png)

The manufacturer recommends 6~15A charging current but it can be up to a maximum of 30A.

The cell voltages will noticeably drop when the charging current is stopped, but if you are measuring the cell voltages while they are still being charged with ~3A current, I would expect all the individual cell voltages to reach ~1.4V provided they are left charging for long enough.

When an individual cell has failed completely, it will usually remain at 0V when measured in circuit with the remaining good cells, as these cells are designed to create a short circuit across the terminals when they fail completely, this ensures that a single cell failure does not break the series link within the battery.

The cell manufacturer (EVB Technology) recommend that these NiMH cells are charge at a constant current of between 3~30A until a 90~95% State of Charge (SOC) is reached.
A trickle charge of up to 3A maximum can then be used to bring all the cells up to 100% SOC.

Alan

aerial12
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Re: Vectrix Owners in the UK

86983CD2-0D4D-4B53-85D9-16096D46F3BD.jpeg

Perfect, thank you Alun. I have tried using an old 12v, 1.25A charger I adapted to charge x8 at a time and have achieved approx 1.3v per cell when measured individually with a meter after disconnecting the charger. I guess this is a very gentle trickle charge. If no good let me know?

Bikemad
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Re: Vectrix Owners in the UK

1.25A should be good for trickle charging as it is not enough current to overcharge/overheat the cells.

While you have your battery apart, carefully inspect the temperature sensor modules for signs of corrosion, I had to disconnect both the front and rear temperature sensor control boards before I could get the charger working again:

I think the corrosion/oxidation (combined with moisture from rain/condensation etc.) allowed high voltage from the battery cell terminal to track across the small isolation gaps on the temperature module's circuit board:

This high voltage was then able to travel up the sensor wires straight to the temperature control boards, which subsequently failed, and when these boards failed, it prevented the charger (and CANBUS communication) from working properly.
Both temperature boards have been completely unplugged on my blue Vectrix for over three years and it still charges regularly with The Laird's (No temperature sensor) firmware installed.

Alan

aerial12
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Re: Vectrix Owners in the UK

If this turns out to be an issue where/how do I fix the software or buy new sensors?

I hope I can get a full set of batteries with around 1.2v to 1.3v per cell. If this is good?

Bikemad
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Re: Vectrix Owners in the UK

You should be able to get replacement front and/or rear temperature boards from Vectrixparts.com but it does not make it clear whether these are supplied complete with the temperature modules.

Alan

aerial12
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Re: Vectrix Owners in the UK

Thanks Alun, you also mentioned remove m them altogether and changing or updating software. Is this easy and the best solution?

aerial12
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Re: Vectrix Owners in the UK

Hi Alun, I have found a bad cell in a x9 set. Not zero volts but won’t go higher than 1.02 v so watched the video link and successfully, albeit not in 7 minutes, more like an hour, replaced this cell with a better one. Over night charged and is now in series x9, this set is showing 12.20 v on trickle charge. Is it not good if this remains the total v after giving it plenty of time, several days on trickle charge? I know you said they should be 1.4 v while still on charge (1.4v x9 = 12.6v not 12.2v).

Bikemad
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Re: Vectrix Owners in the UK

Thanks Alun, you also mentioned remove m them altogether and changing or updating software. Is this easy and the best solution?

I haven't actually removed the sensors, I have simply left the front and rear temperature control modules unplugged from the connectors on the Vectrix wiring harness.

Unfortunately, this causes the battery and temperature warning lights to flash continually.

The programming software is free to download, but you need a very expensive CANBUS adapter to install The Laird's modified Charger files, which only work with the Silver ESD charger.

Unfortunately, The Laird's modified firmware files are not compatible with the gold coloured Runke/EVPS charger.

Over night charged and is now in series x9, this set is showing 12.20 v on trickle charge. Is it not good if this remains the total v after giving it plenty of time, several days on trickle charge? I know you said they should be 1.4 v while still on charge (1.4v x9 = 12.6v not 12.2v).

It is probably because you are using a 12V 1.25 Amp regulated power supply instead of a charger, and it is not able to supply a high enough voltage to fully charge all 9 cells in series.
Try just charging 8 cells instead of all 9 and see if the cell voltage rises higher.

Alan

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