Todays Range : with NiMh batteries

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ofx210p
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Todays Range : with NiMh batteries

I rode like a nana all day today.

Decided that my range was being limited by my extreme acceleration rather than the constant speed sections. (Habit from years of unlimited petrol powered motorbikes )

So today i decided to ride until it slowed up. It was looking great, i wasn't in a hurry at all today and was really looking forward to seeing how far she'd go.

The bike showed 54km range upon power-up. This mornings charge had probably finished 6hrs previously. On the way in to work (15km) this morning it even showed 105km range at one point.... holy sh...

Anyhow, basically speed kept as low as traffic allowed up to 55kmh . As its rugby world cup here everyone on the roads is on their best behaviour so keeping the speed down was easy. More importantly i tried to stay 3-4 cars back in any traffic queues rather than going to the front. Thereby enabling me to keep to 'car' acceleration rates or around 1/4 throttle. This was adequate - uninspiring of course but adequate.

On the way home after about 35km amazingly it was still showing 45km range !!!! occasionally dropping to early 30's and late 20's.

I was thoroughly throughly enjoying this.

Later this evening - had to pop out so by which point it'd covered 45km with 22km range showing remaining. This again was no stress so off i went up and down some 'fairly' flat road by auckland standards. However at 52km everything slowed up very suddenly. Range dropped from 18km to 0, and batteries went from 5 bars (guess) to zero instantly.

Now i know that none of these effects are unusual for any regular reader of this forum but of course i failed to see this coming as normally i 'feel' it happening before with acceleration rate or a lowering of top speed from 100 to say 70kmh before realising NOW is the time to play it very safe. But of course keeping it slow and gentle it was just a bit of a sudden shock.

So a good day and a bad one. Luckily i was within 2km of my house when everything dropped to zero and i could limp very carefully home.

Bloody enjoyable day. I'll post voltages later when i've given it time to cool (if required)

Incidentally my daily routine is to ride the bike home. Leave it to stand from say 6pm til 10/11pm and then put her on to charge.
Unplug at 8am and ride into work. I'm assuming that from an ambient temp of 9 to 15degrees centrigrade that we've had this would be long enough to ensure nothings too hot. Also another point is presently my faulty temp sensors are unplugged hence no temperatures.

Oh well - hope this info helps anyone in some way.

Cheers

Chris

PS i was pulled over by the police last night... they were waiting at some traffic lights - i 'scream' up on regen braking to the red light. Then i hear them reading my licence plate to each other at which point I opened my visor turn to face them and nod and ask if everything is ok. They said yes and the lights went green. I accelerating as fast as she will to about 110% of the speed limit (so thats 55kmh) and then about 2km later - more traffic lights and they came along side this time windows down and looking curious. Then they ask what it is ? so i tell them and they ask if i'll pull over so they can look at it, making it clear that i'm not in any trouble but they are just interested. So we do and 15 mins later after they've all but ridden it... lol i'm on my way and the police are bemused but facinated. What a laugh. One interesting comment was that they thought it was very fast. Which i found interesting coming from a biking background it certainly isn't. However what i think helps this perception is the speed combined with lack of loud noise. Anyhow more fun. I love my vectrix.

ofx210p
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Re: Todays Range : with NiMh batteries

Voltage on system 126/127v upon plugin to mains.

kingcharles
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Re: Todays Range : with NiMh batteries

It is better to do the voltage reading immediately after riding. Also it is better to set delayed charging and let the fans cool the batteries. But without temperature boards that is not possible anymore

Once you go EV, Gas is history!

ofx210p
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Re: Todays Range : with NiMh batteries

This VX-1 is not running the latest software because of the temp boards as when the faulty ones are connected it wont charge up . So thanks to Antiscab I have an earlier set of firmware that allows the bike to at least operate. Consequently to my knowlege it doesnt have the delay function. However i rarely go to bed before midnight which is when i tent to plug it in to the power. So invariably its had 4-6hrs of cooling regardless.

Ahh, upon re-reading, i see your point about getting the fans to cool it rather than passive cooling. Gotcha. Hmm, shame actually i can't do this.

Unfortunatley this weekend is taken by family things so it may have to wait a week and get torn down and the temp sensors replaced. A job i'm not relishing the thought of.

Mik
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Re: Todays Range : with NiMh batteries

Just build and install an ABCool. It has better functionality than even the latest software. With an ABCool and 2 timers you can control much more than with the stock firmware.

For example, cool for 1 hr after coming home in afternoon, then start cooling at 04am (coolest time in heat wave), then start charging at 06am and stop at 07am.

Or, for winter, start charging at 03am so that by the time you hop on to ride to work, the battery will have been heated a little bit by the CC charge and you get better performance and range in cold weather.

You could even tweak the ABCool further by supplying 6V to the relay ( = enough to switch the relay, but not enough to make the impellers run), so that the cooling impellers are completely OFF during cold periods.

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

Aircon
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Re: Todays Range : with NiMh batteries

I got 32km @100kph a couple of days ago straight after a full charge. Obvioiusly freeway the whole way. Red light was on last couple of km.

ofx210p
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Re: Todays Range : with NiMh batteries

I haven't tried freeway all the way to empty simply because of nerves lol - My commute can be about 10km of 100kmh and 5km of 50kmh and by then i can 'feel' the batteries are less happy for sure and dont have 'that' much left in them.

Another test for another day ?

Aircon
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Re: Todays Range : with NiMh batteries

I haven't tried freeway all the way to empty simply because of nerves lol - My commute can be about 10km of 100kmh and 5km of 50kmh and by then i can 'feel' the batteries are less happy for sure and dont have 'that' much left in them.

Another test for another day ?

I probably should have mentioned that I didn't do it on purpose! The trip there I made it easily because of peak hour traffic I probably didn't get over 80kph the whole way, and some of it was even at 40kph. I arrived there with still 126v. Huge difference in battery drain doing 100!!

Caruso
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Re: Todays Range : with NiMh batteries

My range had seemed to be suffering recently. I was getting home ok, but with fewer bars than usual. This week, everything's back to normal. What's changed? School holidays have ended and my average speed has dropped accordingly as the traffic is worse!

ofx210p
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Re: Todays Range : with NiMh batteries

Had a funny day today

Charged the bike last night, and this morning got on the bike but was dismayed to see the range displayed as 34km !

Rode it into work fairly carefully as i was worried i'd only have 34km range today.

15km later at work, after a gentle ride and the range was showing 60km remaining.

hahahahah you have to laugh, mentioned it to work mates who said i'd obviously been riding it backwards all the way !

Rode it another 30km and its had enough today.

Can't wait til tomorrow and see whats awaiting me !

I love the vectrix its full of surprises (quote me on that when i'm grouching won't you!)

Cheers

Chris

ofx210p
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Re: Todays Range : with NiMh batteries

charged vectrix last night and today on power up its showing 107km range !!!!

Oh if only !

Photo to follow

Yesterday on a down hill section i had it showing 120km range anyone had better on a std battery ?
Matt you dont count !!!!

Chris

ofx210p
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Re: Todays Range : with NiMh batteries

Photo0255.jpg

Aircon
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Re: Todays Range : with NiMh batteries

charged vectrix last night and today on power up its showing 107km range !!!!

Oh if only !

Photo to follow

Yesterday on a down hill section i had it showing 120km range anyone had better on a std battery ?
Matt you dont count !!!!

Chris

I've had mine go all the way past 999 and start again! Downhill in the Burnley Tunnel.

ofx210p
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Re: Todays Range : with NiMh batteries

Is that a seriously steep and very long downhill ?

Aircon
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Re: Todays Range : with NiMh batteries

Is that a seriously steep and very long downhill ?

it's downhill at 80kph for about 2.5- 3km all up and an occasional/regular touch of regen is needed to stop the speed creeping up.

antiscab
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Re: Todays Range : with NiMh batteries

Yesterday on a down hill section i had it showing 120km range anyone had better on a std battery ?
Matt you dont count !!!!

:D

One of my customers lives up a hill so steep, that coming down max regen all the way isn't sufficient to stop me from accelerating......
I used to see 999km going down that aswell

Matt

Daily Ride:
2007 Vectrix, modified with 42 x Thundersky 60Ah in July 2010. Done 194'000km

ofx210p
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Re: Todays Range : with NiMh batteries

Very cool
Interestingly todays 107km range start went down to 50km ish within 5km of use...
lies all lies... oh if only i could go downhill everywhere

kingcharles
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Re: Todays Range : with NiMh batteries

Very cool
Interestingly todays 107km range start went down to 50km ish within 5km of use...
lies all lies... oh if only i could go downhill everywhere

It takes a while to see what the predictor is doing. I also didn't get it at first. But now it sometimes is actually useful. The predictor checks the usage of the last few minutes and uses that to show how far you can go if your usage remains the same. I ride two long stretches of motorway every day and use the predictor to check on these longer stretches how the bike is doing. It helps me judge if I need to take it easy due to strong headwinds or if I can go a bit faster without running it to low.So my advice is try to learn how to use it and it can be useful.
After charging the predictor uses the info from the last minutes before you started the charge to make its calculation. Just try going really slow the last bit of your trip and be surprised after the charge. Or go fast and disappointed.

Once you go EV, Gas is history!

ofx210p
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Re: Todays Range : with NiMh batteries

Thanks, I appreciate that and i did realise how it all works - but found it massively amusing how inaccurate it could get.

Today was a boring 45km range and now i am at work 15km later (doing work things obviously and not reading posts on here) i've got around 39km range. Again I actually get around 40km reliably. 50km if i ride like a granny. Never had more than 52km.

X Vectrix
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Re: Todays Range : with NiMh batteries

King Charles has the right idea when it comes to using the estimated range. It actually uses a rolling average of the last 2/10 of a mile current consumption and the remaining fuel gauge to calculate the range. There are a dozen ways you could calculate this, all with drawbacks. The existing method is a tradeoff between high accuracy but useless (gauge swinging all over the place moment to moment) and just a numerical representation of the fuel gauge (basically, range calculated using a fixed current consumption). I say "fixed current consumption" because a "fixed speed" needs too many declarations: flat ground, no wind, known weight, etc.

ofx210p: when you think about it, what would you base the estimated range on after a charge? The SW cant know if you are gonna be getting on the hiway or practicing your low speed balancing act. So it bases the initial range on the last known consumption. As you see it quickly adjusts itself.

ofx210p
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Re: Todays Range : with NiMh batteries

Absolutely. Its now my daily game of seeing what range i can make it show without causing an accident.

Due to the hilly nature of my ride to work - the best i've had so far is 125km. Interesting byproduct of riding as slow as traffic and keeping it smooth as to avoid over acceleration and to the 40-60kmh range is that ironically i rarely now use more than a touch of regen and practically no braking at all.

Today my bike started with 70km range and after my 15km ride its on 49km. I've noticed that in my experience 1bar = 5km (gentle) riding as for the bast few days i've been using 3 bars in the 15km and this morning i looked at the odo and it clicked over to 5.4km and i saw a bar drop off just at that moment. Sadly i don't think the following 15km on the way home has the same bar usage but i don't have my notes handy to check those details.

HarryS
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Re: Todays Range : with NiMh batteries

It has been about 1 year since I received a replacement NIMH battery from Vectrix for my 2008 VX1. I suppose I was among the lucky ones who filed in time and received a warranty claim while Vectrix was in bankruptcy. Anyway, I put about 4500 miles on the new battery and thus far things have been extremely well. Range is a reliable 40 miles on fairly hilly terrain. The battery bars predict the range correctly all the time down to the last bar as does the range indicator. The bike has not let me down once. Of course I became more educated as well thanks to all of you on this form. I drive 34 miles to and from work roundtrip and charge only once each night. No partial charges for me. The bike is driven to less than 80% all the time. I cool the battery well thanks to Mik's ABCcool which I use all the time and which is one of the best improvements to the bike! Thanks Mik! I always charge the night before I need the bike and if the weather looks bad, I leave the bike uncharged until I need I. I have never let the temperature get above 35C even during the hot Alabama summer. Once every 2-3 weeks I drive the bike to red light. I still have power all the way down to 120V as the pack looks very balanced. I hope it stays this way! Clearly, the way the bike has behaved on it's replacement battery would have been very successful in the market. My original battery never gave me 40 miles not even when I bought it new. I am staring to think..or hope.. That may be this was not a design flaw but that the first batch of batteries did not have proper quality control. Clearly a well balanced pack performs well.

ofx210p
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Re: Todays Range : with NiMh batteries

I think today i found the reason i dont get 40 miles like you do.

The best i've had to date is about 32miles (52km) and more regularly around 48km

However today i lifted my batteries out, dismantled each pack as I had to replace the temp sensors, and just measured the voltage of each cell with a multimeter whilst i was at it.

All were remarkably similar at around 1.344v. all except one which was flat zero. I then tested the resistance of that cell just for the hell of it and that was 0.7ohms

I noticed also that about 4 cells in the middle of the main pack are noticeably swollen, but not scarily so.

Anyhow - a couple of hours of slow work (taking my time to ensure i didnt do anything really stupid and the batteries are re-built and back in place. Nothing actually scary in there.

I do wonder now what that ONE single cell would contribute to the overall range.

Interestingly when the bike is powered up and plugged in to charge it was showing 138v which doesnt add up when 101 of the 102 cells were showing 1.344v or 1.342v 101 x 1.344 =135.74v not 138v. however 102 x 1.344v is just over 137v which is pretty close to 138. I actually double checked the dead cell so i am fairly certain it was dead so I wonder how the bike works out the voltage as things arent working out math wise here.

Tomorrow i'll get the body bits back together as its 12:54am here and its a bit late. But using the light bulb ICL it all worked like clockwork. Thanks to everyone who has done this before and who worked out and ironed out all the methods of doing it. Wholly appreciated.

The worst thing i did was put the battery pack back together as it came apart, rather than putting the duff cell to the top where it can be accessed easier. So at some point i'll have to dig back in there and lift it out again.

Mik
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Re: Todays Range : with NiMh batteries

The swollen cells will also have markedly reduced capacity.

I found (after months of testing) that simple checking for swollen cells found ALL cells below 20Ah capacity (@20A to 1.1V cutoff).

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

R
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Re: Todays Range : with NiMh batteries

My original battery never gave me 40 miles not even when I bought it new. I am staring to think..or hope.. That may be this was not a design flaw but that the first batch of batteries did not have proper quality control. Clearly a well balanced pack performs well.

Desing flaw. No doubt. My 3rd pack behaved like this, but only lasted 17.000 km. last 5000 km with serous problems. When it was new I could get 80 km out of it. They ALWAYS get out of balance. I guess with NIMH BMS all that bateries could easely get those incredible ranges for a sustained period of time (8 years??)... In fact, LI vectrix has only 30 Ah with BMS and has a real range of 80 km. I hope these cells will last 5++ years. I'm planning tu buy the upgrade.. but I must ensure these GP li cells are good enough.
Keep dreaming.

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