Accessing VX-1 LI+ batteries

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azvectrix
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Accessing VX-1 LI+ batteries

I'm trying to get to the batteries in hopes of finding the bad one(s) and shunting it/them. It's different enough from the NiMH version that I'm not sure how to proceed at this point. Does anyone out there know?

 photo vectrix1.jpg

Mik
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Re: Accessing VX-1 LI+ batteries

Not sure if shunting is an option at all.

Does it not have a BMS of sorts? The BMS may not be happy with a zero volt cell and stop the show. Just guessing here, though.

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

martinwinlow
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Re: Accessing VX-1 LI+ batteries

Hi azvectrix,

What makes you believe you have bad cells? I assume your warranty is out? Have you spoken to Vectrix at all and if so, what was their response?

I am rather surprised you are having issues so soon with a lithium Vectrix. On the other hand, if the electronics are as poorly engineered as the original VX-1's, it makes perfect sense. They should have got Matt (antiscab) to design it!

The photo is not terribly good... but I would suggest just taking stuff apart (intelligently and carefully and photograph everything as you go) and play it by ear. ' start by removing the main fuse - that'll isolate the pack to some degree.

I assume you have had a good look on the net to see if there isn't a workshop manual available for download (like there is with the original)? It looks like the cell terminals are plastic wrapped (safer) but you should be really care full - no jewellery and wear good quality latex gloves etc etc.

MW

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

Paco
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Re: Accessing VX-1 LI+ batteries

Do NOT shunt bad cells, your BMS will be mad / dead.
If you have the software, you will see which cells are bad, and the only way is to replace them. I think LiFePo4 cells for Vectrix must be available somewhere on the net due to the number of bad packs.
Ensure to have the proper software for the charger that stops at 3.50v and not 3.65v which kills the cells.
Correct me if I'm wrong.
Good luck, my Li+ has problems to and I think I will do the same in a couple of months.

azvectrix
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Re: Accessing VX-1 LI+ batteries

That's a good point about shunting--I hadn't thought about the implications for the BMS.

The problem is that the battery equalized exactly twice in the year since I had the upgrade done. Usually the low-cell reading would get up to about 3.35 and sit there, no matter how long I left it plugged in. I still had plenty of range for my 40-mile commute, until a couple months ago. Then the low-cell reading after charging was even lower, and I got about 20 miles before the low-voltage cutoff.

I finally got Dana's attention, but he said they were having trouble getting batteries from Gold Peak. Presumably Vectrix will make good eventually.

Thanks,
Ron

JimmyB
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Re: Accessing VX-1 LI+ batteries

Ron, was this a Li+ from the get-go or did you have Vectrix convert it?

Either way it's more than a little worrying that both you and Paco are having problems.

azvectrix
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Re: Accessing VX-1 LI+ batteries

Yes, Vectrix converted it from the original NiMH. Yes, it's a little worrying...

Ron, was this a Li+ from the get-go or did you have Vectrix convert it?

Either way it's more than a little worrying that both you and Paco are having problems.

LithiumVectrix
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Re: Accessing VX-1 LI+ batteries

Do not shunt any cells in a Li-Ion or LiFePo4 battery pack. You will destroy the shunted cells and damage the good cells by overvoltage. You could also start a battery fire by shunting cells. The BMS should also shut down once you shunt a cell to protect the pack from over or under voltage conditions. Have the bike looked at by proper service people to diagnose the problem and replace any weak cells.

azvectrix
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Re: Accessing VX-1 LI+ batteries

Since it's obvious now that Vectrix isn't going to be able to help me out anymore, I've removed the batteries. None of them have enough voltage for my external charger to recognize them, so I'll have to use something else to bring them up high enough. A variable power supply, I assume? If so, what amperage should I set it for?

Fool me twice...

Thanks,
Ron

NUTOKA
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Re: Accessing VX-1 LI+ batteries

Hi,

my name is Andy and i drive a Vectrix VX1 Li+. I have since 1,5 year massive problems with my batterys but no one in Germany can help me. Now the have closed Vectrix Europe in Poland. I have still a range of 56km two days ago. I had 6 bars driving with 60 kph, them the scooter reduced to 50 kph, the red light flashed and all bars are gone. I never had the range of 100km. I drive very careful. Is there anybody who can help me?

Best regards Andy

mpregal
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Re: Accessing VX-1 LI+ batteries

I am another Li+ owner with problems.
The story is as follows:
New Vectrix Li+ bought on July-2011. No problem to complete 70-80km per charge (in my city you drive uphill and downhill almost all the time).
When it reached 6.000km (December-2012) the "battery warning signal" appeared for the first time. At this point my range was 50km at normal speed plus 10km at "turtle speed".
Contacted with Vectrix importer (who sold me the Li+) and I obtained new batts and new charger as per April-2013. I was told that the new batts were the "2nd gen LiFePo's", because first gen had lots of problems.
The new charger and new software were the latest gen available. 10 points for the importer (Going Green-Spain)

New bats were installed with 7.700km, and everything seemed to be ok. Once again lots of power & range.
But...when I reached 10.000km (only 2.300km after new batts were installed), the "battery warning" appeared again (more or less when I have used 50% of the bars), but a few meters after my bike was dead.
I have tried to force equalizations, partial charges, partial discharges and whatever I though it would be useful...but nothing.
At this point I can ride at normal speed for 40-45km and then all bars disappear and the bike dies....

I have asked to the Spanish importer if there is any warranty left or some way to repair the Li+....but my hope is falling down day-by-day.

So, please, keep us updated on the way you manage the problem.

Good luck!

mpregal
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Re: Accessing VX-1 LI+ batteries

Hi!

I also own a Li+ with battery problems (disappearing bars). I am trying to contact the Spanish importer to find a reasonable solution (this is my 2nd battery pack).

Please keep us updated on how you manage the problem.

Regards.

azvectrix
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Re: Accessing VX-1 LI+ batteries

With these lithium-ion batteries, is there a voltage below which they're no longer salvageable?

R
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Re: Accessing VX-1 LI+ batteries

Yes,compared to NIMH, lithium is very fragile. In Lifepo4 chemistry, the lower limit is said to be around 2.5V. Below that limit the cell gets permanent damage.

Mik
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Re: Accessing VX-1 LI+ batteries

Do the Lithium Vectrix still have the standby power consumption problem, or why would AZVectrix' cell voltages be too low?

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

antiscab
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Re: Accessing VX-1 LI+ batteries

if they are lifepo4 they can sit under 2v and still be brought back - it is very hit and miss

it is actually more important the lowest voltage they had reached, rather than what their voltage is now
if any cell was ever reversed it will be shorted internally, and have high self discharge (a cell that has never been overdischarged has 0 self discharge)

Can you list the voltage of all 40 cells?

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

azvectrix
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Re: Accessing VX-1 LI+ batteries

I just have a simple needle-type multimeter, and most of the cells, on the 0-10 V scale, I don't see the needle move at all; a couple might get up to 1 V. Considering what you say about the self-discharge, I imagine the whole pack's shot.

I was debating between getting your kit and doing it myself or going with the official Vectrix upgrade. Boy, did I make the wrong decision...

if they are lifepo4 they can sit under 2v and still be brought back - it is very hit and miss

it is actually more important the lowest voltage they had reached, rather than what their voltage is now
if any cell was ever reversed it will be shorted internally, and have high self discharge (a cell that has never been overdischarged has 0 self discharge)

Can you list the voltage of all 40 cells?

Seiermann
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Re: Accessing VX-1 LI+ batteries

Hello,
I´m an owner of the VX1 Li (the 30Ah-version). Since a few months I have the range-problem too but I rode the VX very hard as I´m a biker.
I took the battery out of the VX (1000km ago), did a "bottom balancing" of the cells (discharged every single cell up to 2,5V). After this I determined a off-load-voltages range between 2,6 and 3,1V. After reassembling all the VX had a little more range but at this time it seems to be the old range and red light status as before.
I think the GP cells are no good quality cause the new VX software (that runs on my VX since the Li conversion from NiMH to Li at Vectrix Berlin) keeps the cells always between 3,5V (highest voltage when charging) and 2,69V ("red-lamp voltage" when discharging) and so the cells couldn´t be bad normally...
I think the problem is the rising internal ressistance of the cells that causes problems mostly when I´m riding with higher speed or harder acceleration. When riding as a opa or only in the town with moderate acceleration I have still a good range up to 60km. Nevertheless I´m still looking for replacement cells and if someone knows a source it would be great to tell me. I know a guy in Poland who sells new GP cells, but only the complete batteries and no spare cells. The 30Ah Li battery costs 2000€...:-(
greets
Seiermann

R
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Re: Accessing VX-1 LI+ batteries

My brother has also an official LI 30Ah version, he has a damaged cell in the pack. (very bad quality, these GP cells)
Our best choice is to upload the official li+ 42Ah program, keep the original vectrix BMS, and install 80 primastic cells A123, totaling 40Ah, 40S 2P. A123 cells have similar lifepo4 voltage: We think the original charger and BMS will work fine. Any thoughts?

CO2
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Re: Accessing VX-1 LI+ batteries

And if the problem it's only the BMS (balancing problem) and not the bats?

R
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Re: Accessing VX-1 LI+ batteries

In my brother's case, a decreased range from 70 km to 20 km outlines battery problems. However, those problems can be generated, as you point out, by a BMS balancing problem. Who knows...

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