Since the day I bought it, my Vectrix bike has told lies. Sometimes, not a problem, other times, well, BIG problem. Have you ever tried pushing a 'dead' Vectrix? Yes, I know, stupid question. Of course you've had to push the Bloody thing and usually, because it's been lying again.
The 'lies' were one of the problems. Besides the battery failures, the lies were probably the next worse thing about the bike. Mine would often suggest that I still had 6 or 8 miles to go, would show perhaps 3 to 5 bars on the 'fuel' gauge and then a hundred yards (metres if you're metric) down the road it would crawl to a virtual halt and I would know that it had been lying again.
As you may know, I have been 'modifying' the vectrix charger behaviour. Initially, after re-arranging the charger in order to prevent 'heat damage' to the battery, I dumped the useless fuel gauge and estimated mileage readout in favour of using the 'left brake/kill switch' combination to allow me to estimate the miles to go. For some ten months that system has worked for me, and perhaps for one or two of you who have been brave enough to try my modified programme.
Just a few weeks ago, I was asked if it might be possible to re-jig the programme to work with the older Motor Controller which, I was told, gives a much more lively performance with it's better acceleration. Well, I never believe everything I am told, so I tried the earlier Motor controller and, yes, it does give a more lively ride and, yes, it does have better acceleration. My interest was captured with a new challenge. It seemed time to 'try again'.
I have learned much whilst working on the programming and felt more able to get the results required. Those results being. An accurate working fuel gauge. A more accurate estimated mileage readout. A charger operation that does not damage the battery. More even control of the battery temperature and one or two more minor improvements.
I have basically succeeded. It has been a long and tedious job, but I now have arranged twenty five changes in the programme in order to achieve the above improvements.
So what is the result of all of this?
Well, the end result (which is all that really matters) is that I have a charger file which, in conjunction with he 1014b Motor Controller, :-
1/ Charges the battery up to over 95% of the actual capacity (up to 30 ampere hour) of the battery without the normally associated heat damage.
2/ Fills up the fuel gauge according to the ampere hours put (charged) into the battery. (this means that 'full' / 17 bars represents 30 ampere hr) If the battery will not accept 30 ampere hrs, say it only accepts 24 ampere hrs, then the fuel gauge will reach only about 13/14 bars. This gives a direct indication of the battery capacity as it is, not as you might wish it to be.
3/ The estimated miles display now reads more accurately with faster updates. Maximum estimated miles is around 68, with a full fuel gauge (17 bars) proportionately less with less bars. On regenerate the display will show a maximum of 75 miles (a default setting) again this is with a full fuel gauge.
4/ The fans run on for ten minutes after switch off, and also if charging is terminated by unplugging. This is a fixed setting.
5/ The fans also run whilst riding and whilst charging.
I have also 'raised' the theoretical 'battery losses' to be more in keeping with the actual self discharge of the battery.
To date, I have not had the bars suddenly disappear with a corresponding loss of battery power. What happens now is that the bars run down and the estimated miles reduce as the battery charge is depleted. Near the end of charge the last bar will 'drop off', the estimated miles will be reading 1 or 0 and there will still be enough charge to run a little further ( mile? maybe a bit more). I have not had a power loss and still had bars displayed.
No more lies. No more 'range anxiety'. I now know when it is going to stop, well in advance and fairly accurately.
My own bike which was charging only to around 20 ampere hour a few weeks ago, (I knew that I had a battery problem and this was expected), has just taken a 27 amp hours charge. ( I now get well over 30 miles on a charge and this is in hilly country.) My 'damaged' battery is actually improving.
Another bike, which I have installed this programme into, had been standing for some months following an accident, the repair and the owners reluctance to use it for travel to work due to 'range anxiety'. This battery is now showing 23 ampere hour capacity, although when it arrived here two weeks ago, it showed less than 15 ampere hour. It has now been charged five times and is showing a 8 ampere hour improvement.
Just to restate what I am using:
I am using the 1014b Motor controller software with my modified charger programme.
There is no 'left brake /kill switch' facility (for reading the voltage and temperature – that comes only with the later motor controller software).
There are no more 'lies'.
There is no more 'range anxiety'.
There is no more 'pushing a dead Vectrix'.
The actual battery capacity can now be 'seen' on a charge from empty to full. If, at the end of the charge, there are fifteen 'full bars' then the battery capacity is (approximately) fifteen seventeenths of thirty ampere hours i.e. twenty six ampere hour.
There is no excessive temperature rise when charging the battery (not more than 3 degrees C) in fact the temperature sometimes drops whilst charging.
There is no need to 'cool' the battery before charging as the battery no longer gets overheated.
Whether the above is an improvement or not rather depends upon your point of view.
I am looking forward to Xvectrix's point of view on this one and I shall also look forward to your point of view as a Vectrix owner/rider.
One last point. I am willing to share my achievements with you all. I am offering this information and files for your interest only. I am not suggesting that you install these files or use the information in any specific or non specific way. You must accept total responsibility for any use that you put this information and/or files to.
Telling it like it is, as always.