Charging won't start. Help!

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antiscab
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Re: Charging won't start. Help!

Am I opening up from the front or from the back under the seat? If you could post a picture that would help. Thanks Matt!

On a positive note, it seems like I may be able to get a replacement charger.

heres a video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GERbQs1k9ic&list=PLCFDD8780E3FBEFD5&index=2&feature=plpp_video

I highly recommend disconnecting the blue anderson's now, at 120v we're talking a couple of days to 0V

Matt

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

Joshteacher
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Re: Charging won't start. Help!

It's disconnected, the video was great. Thank you! Hoping to get the charger soon. Have a video on opening the front to get to the charger?

BTW- if I wanted to charge with an outer charger (lower volts and amps), would I connect the terminals of the charger to the positive and negative terminals I see on the Anderson connector?

Frolle
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Re: Charging won't start. Help!

See: http://visforvoltage.org/forum/12650-topping-charging-300ma-ebay-led-powe-supply

Two of those can be used.

If you've separated the the Anderson connectors, you can charge the front battery by connecting one of those supplies.

To charge the rear battery you need to short circuit the "out put" from the battery pack. Use (preferably) crocodile connectors AND A FUSE 1 Amp minimum for this operation.
Then you can charge the rear pack through the rear Anderson connector.

Make sure plus and minus are not mixed up when connections the two small supplies are connected.

As you can see in the thread i link to, I charged my bike completely in 5-6 days, without any cooling.

The drawback is that you need to wait 2 weeks for the supplies shipped from Hong Kong, and that you will only be able to take one ride per week due to the slow charge.

It might be possible to use IMAX B8 if you not manage to lay your hands on a new charger for a reasonable price.
http://visforvoltage.org/forum/12347-use-imax-b8-rc-chargers-instead-built-one-possible
Nope fuel-gauge will not work after such modification.

antiscab
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Re: Charging won't start. Help!

It's disconnected, the video was great. Thank you! Hoping to get the charger soon. Have a video on opening the front to get to the charger?

BTW- if I wanted to charge with an outer charger (lower volts and amps), would I connect the terminals of the charger to the positive and negative terminals I see on the Anderson connector?

No, you would connect the terminals of the charger to the same place as where the motor controller connects to

Matt

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

Joshteacher
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Re: Charging won't start. Help!

Question:
I have removed my charger and replaced it with one from a shop. One issue arose during the swap: when I removed my charger, 2 black nylon spacers fell off from the scooter. I didn't get a chance to see where they came from. My best guess is that they were in between the charger and the mounts where two of the bolts go. The thing is, I'm not sure which of the 2 bolts it belongs to. I placed them with the bottom 2 bolts. Does that sound about right ? The spacers are black and cylinder-shaped.

Any thoughts?

MEroller
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Re: Charging won't start. Help!

My thoughts? Two spacers, two bolts could also mean one spacer for each bolt? Or are things so crooked in that area that both spacers on one bolt make geometrical sense?

My rides:
2017 Zero S ZF6.5 11kW, erider Thunder 5kW

Joshteacher
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Re: Charging won't start. Help!

An update: a very nice scooter company sent me a used charger, as well as some pointers on how to access the charger. It worked!! I'm back on the road on my Vectrix. Thanks for all the feedback and guidance!

martinwinlow
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Re: Charging won't start. Help!

You lucky devil!

My new charger ( http://visforvoltage.org/forum/13366-dead-charger ) cost me £500 ($800) but I managed to fit it myself and it that saved me another £160 ($260).

The spacers come from the bottom 2 mounts and just square the mating surfaces up from top to bottom. It looks like they went through a lot of development on the charger before going into production - and they still made a hash of it. The new Runke charger is a much more polished-looking job and mounts with 4 x M6x25 bolts.

The spacers are still required (ideally). Leaving them out wont matter hugely - mine were only about 10mm long - I assume yours are the same? Over the distance from top mounts to bottom (300mm or so), 10mm out of square won't matter much. Put them back in when your secondhand charge fails... and it will!

If you still have your old one I would try and get it repaired. Mine died when the in-rush current limiter failed (varister) or appears to have (see my photos on the link above). If you can repair it then you will have a spare. If you take the lid off, be careful not to damage it as it is very flimsy alu compared to the rest of the unit. Get a thin sharp blade and cut through the sealant all the may around before removing the lid.

How many miles did yours do before the charger failed?

MW

Regards, Martin Winlow
Isle of Colonsay, Scotland
evalbum.com/2092

martinwinlow
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Re: Charging won't start. Help!

You lucky devil!

My new charger ( http://visforvoltage.org/forum/13366-dead-charger ) cost me £500 ($800) but I managed to fit it myself and it that saved me another £160 ($260).

The spacers come from the bottom 2 mounts and just square the mating surfaces up from top to bottom. It looks like they went through a lot of development on the charger before going into production - and they still made a hash of it. The new Runke charger is a much more polished-looking job and mounts with 4 x M6x25 bolts.

The spacers are still required (ideally). Leaving them out wont matter hugely - mine were only about 10mm long - I assume yours are the same? Over the distance from top mounts to bottom (300mm or so), 10mm out of square won't matter much. Put them back in when your secondhand charge fails... and it will!

If you still have your old one I would try and get it repaired. Mine died when the in-rush current limiter failed (varister) or appears to have (see my photos on the link above). If you can repair it then you will have a spare. If you take the lid off, be careful not to damage it as it is very flimsy alu compared to the rest of the unit. Get a thin sharp blade and cut through the sealant all the may around before removing the lid.

How many miles did yours do before the charger failed?

MW

Regards, Martin Winlow
Isle of Colonsay, Scotland
evalbum.com/2092

Joshteacher
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Re: Charging won't start. Help!

Martin, I had about 1500 miles before the charger went out on me. I'm now a little over 3000 miles now.

Victrix
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Re: Charging won't start. Help!

Well, my incredible 2008 VX-1, with 70,588 km on the original battery, has finally developed a serious malady that I can't fix. The range has of course been steadily diminishing to about 24 km on a charge, but that's still been enough to get where I need to go. However, yesterday I rode it home in light rain at about 6 degrees Celsius after fully charging it. Today the charging cycle won't initiate even though the startup sequence is normal when I turn the key. No problem with the receptacle in my garage, so that's not the problem.

The bike has had a quirk since I bought it; the 17 bar range indicator has never worked and always shows zero bars even with a full charge. Multiple attempts with Vectrix Co. when they still existed failed to resolve the issue. I realized in time that the problem didn't affect any other functions of the bike so I learned to live with it, estimating my range by mileage and the "feel" of the motor response. Since yesterday however the gauge has come back to life, showing 13 out of 17 bars. The 14th bar flickers on and off when the bike is on the side stand, which I have read is a sign of a dead charger.

Given that the bike is 14 years old, Vectrix Poland seems to have gone out of business so I can't get parts or technical assistance and the Vectrix used part market isn't very good, what to do? Try to resuscitate the bike through a variety of likely fruitless efforts only to still have an elderly machine with other aging components, or just face the fact that after 14 years and 70,588 km the dear old thing is at the end of its service life and doesn't owe me anything.

What do you lads think?

cuttysark76
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Re: Charging won't start. Help!

Update it!
You can put a 30Kwh battery on it.
TC Charger (3Kwh) ~ 700€
BMS ~ 500€

Victrix
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Re: Charging won't start. Help!

I'd love to update it! Is anyone out there selling lithium upgrade kits with instructions? I'm no electrical engineer, so I'd need step by step guidance and pre-built components.

cuttysark76
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Re: Charging won't start. Help!

Where are you?
In Europe I know a few people who do it…
I’m unable to do it my self and I sent my bike to a Master in Spain. I’m from Portugal.

Victrix
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Re: Charging won't start. Help!

I'm in British Columbia, Canada - the end of the Earth when it comes to repairing electric bikes. Nobody here is willing to touch it.

cuttysark76
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Re: Charging won't start. Help!

It won’t be easy…
http://www.evalbum.com/geo/British+Columbia
Here you can find some EV enthusiasts from the British Columbia… Perhaps they can help you.

Or you could ship your bike overseas.
In Spain you’ll pay roughly 200€/Kw including assembly, with around 30Kwh of maximum capacity (Plus Charger (s) and BMS).

israndy
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Re: Charging won't start. Help!

I was really shocked how EASY it was to upgrade to Leaf cells in my bike. The hard part is laying your hands on the batteries, but I see them on eBay all the time. That's where I got mine. I tested them all when they were delivered to be sure they were good, all charging about the same amount, and then I bolted them together with threaded rod and attached them all with the included busbars except the center two so I didn't have to worry about getting much of a shock if I did touch the battery wrong.

Pulled the old battery pack apart as it was too heavy to lift w/o a hoist. To install the new battery pack I put the bike on its side and then lifted the end of the pack of Leaf cells into the cavity, then lifted the other end and slid the pack into the space. I put some blocks of wood in to prevent the pack from sliding around and lifted the bike back up (face away from the bike and use your knees)

Purchased a heavy battery extension cable for the negative lead as the Leaf pack ends up with the power at the two ends. I then carefully added the last connection between the cells giving me a somewhat more dangerous 150 volt pack. I hooked the battery extension cable thru a shunt to the negative lead from the bike. This allowed me to monitor the battery via bluetooth.

I then took a light socket with clips on the leads (this is mandatory so you don't blow the electronics in the bike) and installed a 100 watt bulb and ran the clips to the positive lead on the bike and to the positive screw on the battery and saw it light up. After the light faded (almost immediately) I waited an additional 30 seconds and I STILL got a spark when I connected the lead directly to the battery. The bike was now live.

I could have driven it immediately, but the software on the bike was NOT happy with me as the temp sensors the NiMH batteries used were no longer on the bike. I downloaded software from X Vectrix's site and uploaded it using the Canbus adapter (finally got my money's worth on that purchase). The bike rebooted and used the settings I had told it about during the install for number of cells and the battery gauge now reflected the SoC of the Leaf pack and I was able to drive the bike twice as far as the old batteries had supported. If I had purchased newer cells I could have maybe gone 3x as far.

There are a TON of threads here including mine, and a TON of videos including Antiscab's on YouTube that show you step by step how do do what I just instructed. It did take some time and was not without a little trepidation but I had my sweaty hands all over the battery while I was installing it before I completed the final connection, and never felt a shock, it's more than a 9v battery so you COULD feel something, but you have to get the positive and negative leads on your tongue, you'd need a BIG tongue! If you grab the battery with sweaty hands you will only be shorting across a few cells and that's gonna only be a few volts. Leaving the middle connection undone means you cannot grab the two ends of the battery and shock yourself.

I paid about $800 for the cells and then the extension cable, the bluetooth battery monitor and the battery balancers cost me another $100. Got to remove all the burned up NiMH cells that were causing the bike not to run, very happy.

______________________
I also own a 2018 Tesla Model 3 and a 2012 Mitsubishi iMiev

Victrix
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Re: Charging won't start. Help!

All good suggestions and much appreciated, israndy. However, my other concern with my 14 year old bike is the condition of all the other components and whether something else major is going to fail after the labour and cost of replacing the battery. For example, during the past year or so if I accelerated too hard with a full charge I'd hear and feel a nasty grinding from the rear of the bike accompanied by a sudden drop in speed. Quickly rolling back the throttle followed by gentle re-application alleviated the problem, but I assume this indicates wear to the planetary gears. This didn't worry me much until Vectrix Poland disappeared along with their spare parts page, and I haven't been able to locate a used motor/gearbox anywhere. Even if I did, I'd likely be buying a pig in a poke with no guarantee of health.

Hence the "to rebuild or not to rebuild" dilemma...

israndy
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Re: Charging won't start. Help!

It might be a good idea to take the bike apart a little, if you haven't watched the videos it's a simple matter of taking off the rubber foot rests and undoing the screws, I am forgetting the order but once the foot rests are off you take the step thru cover and the seat off and then you'll see the battery cover, unplug it's cord and then undo it's screws and remove it.

Realize you are now looking at lethal power, so don't be stupid

Get out a flashlight and check out the condition of the plastic carrier that the batteries are in. You won't be able to see the whole thing, but if you see any melted plastic the behavior you may have been experiencing could be a battery giving up. I had a popcorn sound from inside the bike and a loss of power, when I got the pack out it was one or three batteries that had expanded and melted. If these batts get overcharged they will fail in that way. Since the entire battery is a string if one battery goes the entire bike will act like it's running on that one critical batt. Also use your nose, it can smell like burning if you burned a batt or three.

Replacing the battery is an expensive option, that's why I got a second Vectrix to do it on, since that fixed all the issues with that bike it has become my main bike and the other was sent away to live in the mountains.

Don't know anyone that has a way to rebuild the gears in a Vectrix, but you probably could find one being parted out or sold as non-working like I did. The problem for me is that I find this stuff interesting, not as much as AntiScab but following in their footsteps and doing something out of my comfort level gives me stories to tell my friends.

______________________
I also own a 2018 Tesla Model 3 and a 2012 Mitsubishi iMiev

antiscab
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Re: Charging won't start. Help!

cheapest and easiest solution would be to use an off board charger such as this one:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32630731684.html?spm=a2g0o.order_list.order_list_main.241.2f331802mKQqXk

at less than 3A, you won't over heat your battery.
you'll need to use a 12V powersupply to run the fans

motor knocking or grinding gears noise that's intermittent tends to be the motor controller and/or encoder disc.
They're harder to get hold of than new gears (I haven't even heard of a gearbox failure yet)

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

Victrix
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Re: Charging won't start. Help!

Thanks israndy and antiscab for your excellent observations and suggestions. The grinding sound only occurs on hard acceleration and never intermittently, but that certainly doesn't definitively indicate gear wear. I've read that some Vectrix gearboxes were built with poor quality gears and some with good ones, so it seems to be the luck of the draw. My bike has over 70,000 km on it, much of that during rainy and dirty west coast weather, so I can easily imagine the gearbox having taken some excess wear. But even if the gearbox isn't the problem, as antiscab points out finding a motor controller or encoder disc is problematic and would exacerbate the complexity of a rebuild to a point beyond my (non) expertise. Kind of wish I'd gone into electrical engineering instead of medicine; I'd now be able to do something useful in retirement!

Victrix
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Re: Charging won't start. Help!

I've read that some Vectrix owners have removed dead chargers and installed a charging port for an external charger. Does anyone have how-to instructions for this procedure?

israndy
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Re: Charging won't start. Help!

Well, I installed a J1772 port on my bike, but it was pretty easy, it’s just an adapter to the NEMA 5-20 that I plug into the wall. It triggers the pilot signal on the J1772 and provides 208-240v from a public charging station to the bikes internal charger.

When you say Charging Port for an external charger it sounds like you mean a CCS or CHAdeMO charger. Sadly the battery in the Vectrix is only 150v, perhaps a few CHAdeMO chargers support power that low but not CCS, the more common.

______________________
I also own a 2018 Tesla Model 3 and a 2012 Mitsubishi iMiev

Victrix
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Re: Charging won't start. Help!

In order to rebuild my Vectrix with Leaf cells (or any cells!) I need a new charger to replace the original one that just died. I've been reading so many different accounts here of what charger to use (Runke, TC 1500W, TC 1800W) and all the mods that will be needed (cutting down cooling fins, building or buying brackets, firmware uncertainties) that I thought, why not just eliminate the onboard charger altogether and mount a charging port in either the glove box or the trunk, then use an external 110V charger like ZEV does with their scooters? I expect I wouldn't have the bar fuel indicator and the estimated range, but my Vectrix had a fault right out of the crate that prevented those two features from operating, so I wouldn't be losing anything.

So, if anyone has eliminated their onboard charger and installed a port for external charging, I'd be very grateful for some hints on how to proceed. Otherwise, if anyone has successfully installed a TC 1800W charger (the smaller, cheaper one) and can give a step-by-step tutorial, that would also be most helpful.

antiscab
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Re: Charging won't start. Help!

I've done both.
For onboard, I would suggest this charger: (the TC 1500W charger has been out of production since 2014, and the 1800W charger isn't available in a high enough voltage):
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005004883294152.html?spm=a2g0o.order_list.order_list_main.5.2f7c1802ATwxeI

For off board, I would suggest this charger:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4001174852346.html?spm=a2g0o.cart.0.0.687638dattieQL&mp=1

for either charger, I suggest putting an Anderson on the positive and negative terminals of the battery, to connect the charger to the battery
for off board, I just have the Anderson plug in the boot

For leaf modules, I suggest using a Daly BMS:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005004759934065.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.22073437UETvXS&algo_pvid=26768f79-97bd-4211-a9d3...

just order one with the right cell count. (18 leaf modules = 36 cells)
I normally use the BMS only for charging, so the 60A one is enough, leaving the motor controller connected directly to the battery

If you want discharge protection, get the 200A version with a fan and built in pre-charger. Just be aware that if the BMS disconnects, you lose all power including lights

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

R
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Re: Charging won't start. Help!

Hello, Where are you from? And what charger and battery do you have installed?
Here in spain we have strong vectrix community with 180 members, and we usually fix many vectrix problems. Vectrix are extremelly durable. One vectrix went past 200.000 km, and many have reached +100.000 km. In my opinion, your vectrix still have long way to go. I suggest you upgrade it with 3 12S Id3 modules (20 kwh), with BMS for vectrix with plugs to fit the cell wiring of these modules, and you install TC charger 3,3 with translator to work inside vectrix CAN system. if you plan to travel with it, istal double TC, to ger 6600W of charging power. Your vectrix will be like new, with over 250k of range.

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