The Lairds view on Fuel Free's Firmware

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The Laird
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The Lairds view on Fuel Free's Firmware

Hello Folks,

A posting on the forum under 'Vectrix closing shop-sending people home' caught my eye, it looked interesting so I have reviewed it.

Now, I don't wish to be looked at as an old grumbler BUT.......

I have had a look at the claims by FuelFreeSoftware and, just for interest, made a few calculations and observations.

First noticeable thing on the website is the name 'Fuel Free'. The Vectric is 'fueled' but not by conventional fuel i.e. Petrol/diesel, it is fueled by electricity.

O.K. I'm 'nit picking' or am I? Well, I don't think so. The Web Site is too professional, and I would suggest that it has been designed by someone with marketing in mind as opposed to engineering reality. (Have we been here before?)

Lets take a look at the 'claims' made on their web site.

First - 'Higher Top Speed' - This has been done before. Vectrix pushed it up to 68 Mph/ 110Kph. This may also be the rated maximum motor speed so going higher may not be the best trick in the world. The higher speed also requires more current, not proportionally, but exponentially, This is not good for battery longevity. Battery internal heating rises exponentially with rising current.

Second - Raised Maximum Charger Power - from 1500 watts to 1800 watts. I may be missing the point BUT I found it necessary to reduce the charger out put to avoid battery heating under charge. 860Watts was the final figure which I used and still the battery reached 80% in less than four hours. This is also a very interesting claim as mathematically it doesn't add up. They have raised the charger output to 1800 watts, The battery, the original30A/Hr NiMH, has a capacity of 3750Watt/Hrs. 80% of 3750Watt/hrs is 3000Watt/hrs this, charged at a rate of 1800 watts would take exactly 1hour and 40 minutes to reach 80%. Theoretically it is perfect. - Except that in practice ie. by actual charging and measuring, it wont work due to internal resistance of the battery and the reducing rate of electro/chemical conversion as the charge progresses.

Third - Information on battery voltage. - Vectrix didn't put it on the instrument panel but The Laird did. What's new here?

Fourth - Estimated run time (Est Miles?). - They have 'corrected it. - The Laird corrected it and then dumped it in favour of the Battery voltage display which was considered far more useful.

Fifth - The 'Fuel Bars'. - They have corrected the fuel display. - YEP! The Laird's bin there and done that.

Sixth - Battery Temperature. - They have reduced/controlled it. - YEP! (again) Bin there, Done that.

Seventh - Temperature Sensors. - They have calibrated them. - Well, even Vectrix had them calibrated, so what's new here?

Eighth - Treatment of Batteries. - They say that they have 'Standardised and adjusted for EACH? Vectrix NOT DAMAGING THE CELLS' - Well, if I knew what they meant by this then I could comment.

Ninth - Durability of the Batteries. - This one I really like. They claim to have increased the battery life to 320,000Kms using a 60% SOC. (ie. not more than 60% capacity charge. I presume that this is total theory because, to prove this, the battery would need to be charged an discharged no less than
9020 times. (320,000Kms=198,000Miles. at 22Miles per charge (60% of max range 40Miles) that would require those 9020 Cycles) NOW. assume that it is possible to charge and discharge at a rate of Five cycles each day, it would take 1804 days or just under five years of continuous testing. How about that?

O.K. So I'm a bit of a cynic BUT, Engineers do not claim that which they cannot prove, at least, not when I learned my skills.

I have ignored a few claims, such as Bi-Xenon lighting, cruise control, Comsumption Snapshot and Emergency Flashers, which I consider 'nice to have' but can be done without.

I have also not commented on 'Speed Load' and 'Load Profile' because, frankly, I don't know what exactly they are talking about.

The Eco Boost technology is interesting. To use less energy at higher constant speed may be possible by optimising the 'timing' (yes- electric motors do have a timing system), However, the improvement isn't stated and no figures are given and this rather begs the questions, 'Exactly what is the improvement/. Can we have some honest figures?'

I shall comment no further except to say that if you are considering Purchasing this software, then you should be asking for 'proof of their claims' and more especially 'What guarantees are they offering in respect of battery and charger life and potential motor / gearbox damage?. Oh, I nearly forgot --HOW MUCH is it going to cost?

Consider also, what you get for your money. They are offering Higher Top Speed, Faster Charging, Longer Battery life Plus some 'nice to haves'. Come on Folks, I think that we've seen this somewhere else -Vectrix's Sales Brochure perhaps?

FINALLY, the obvious question we should all be interested in is, 'Which charger(s) can they programme, is it the ESD or the Runke or both/any others?

Well, that's my two pennyworth as they say. I look forward the the ensuing 'bun fight'

A Happy New Year to you all. Take care on the roads and mind the lunatics.

The Laird. - Telling it like it is, as usual.

RuFuS
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Re: The Lairds view on Fuel Free's Firmware

Dear The Laird,

I appreciate your point of view.

Let's talk a little bit about the information here:

http://fuelfreemotos.wordpress.com/firmware-vectrix-2/

FuelFree Motos is the name of the company...there is a fuel off-course, it's electricity. But GasolineFree or GasFree Motos doesn't sound good...don't you think so?

Well, I'm not going to be too long with my opinion or something else, and off-course I have tested your firmware a few years ago...I don't know how it is nowadays, but your firmware had a lot of bugs and there are a few things that were not working properly...but this is just my point of view...

Just an example:
- your firmware doesn't read correctly the fuel bars. it just measures the real capacity that goes into the battery;
- your firmware show the battery voltage but users lose the estimated range;

I also would like to inform that:
- runky charger is also possible to program;
- 3watt (instead of 50watt) power consuption in the ESD charger while power-off but plugged-in;
- temperature sensors could be also calibrated and not even the official firmware makes that...;
- i'm not going to tell much more about the firmware, but, for example, 120km/h or more is possible with less power...how? it says "120km/h with eco-boost technology" but off-course i'm not going to say how the "eco-boost" is made electronically and mechanically...neither parts will get damaged and a 140km/h unit is on schedule...what you say about limitations are not true...

About paying for something that took a few years to be made? Off course, I'm not a "gentleman" (as someone wrote) and will give this hard work for free as everyone could understand...

The way it will be sold is being thought...not easy as you could imagine...

Durability of the batteries was took in consideration of the specs of the batteries. We managed a lot of Vectrix's and made enough tests to check the wear on the cells...Vectrix claims a 1700 cycles...that's not the end of the battery it will still work perfectly after that but with less capacity...

BTW, the Charge Rate is USER SELECTED, so you can charge from +/-150Watts until 1800Watts and the batteries off course will last much much much more...

Just to finish:

- each firmware is prepared separetely for each Vectrix, this is, There aren't two Vectrix with the same firmware instructions!

The firmware is already working perfeclty since one year ago...

A lot of chargers got burned/damaged while it was developed and a lot of headache's, time and money were spent...nowone could even imagine...

By now, that's enough information...

Keep in touch...soon could be more about this...

Best Regards

The Laird
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Re: The Lairds view on Fuel Free's Firmware

Hi RuFuS,

Thank you for the quick response.

You haven't told us very much about the important things which you claim to have achieved. I am disappointed.

I would like to know how you can be certain about the battery longevity as you couldn't possibly have tested your assertions in the 'one year since it has been working perfectly'. As far as I am concerned it is an un-proven claim.

I can, of course, be quite certain as to the possible methods by which your EcoBoost technology works But, without the detail of your testing and the results, it is another un-proven claim.

Raising the speed to 140Kmph will require nearly twice the power that it takes to travel at 100Kmph. Even with your EcoBoost the NiMH battery won't like it.

Giving the user control of the charging process does not sound like a 'good idea'. Giving control of charging to say 60%, 75% 80% SOC would be good, BUT control over the power going into the battery? Most riders are not 'techies' and will be tempted to charge as fast as possible, NOT good for battery life.

Anyway enough of this banter. You have said enough for me to understand what is going on, which is what I was interested in. I also understand that you are only in the business to make money. I sincerely hope that you are prepared to Guarantee your product and stand the costs of any failures resulting from your endeavours.

I look forward to the inevitable reports which will appear of the forum in due course.

Bye the way. Congratulations on programming the Runke I am still working on it. No chance of sharing any of this I suppose :-)?

My best wishes to you and to your customers.

The Laird.
(Telling it like it is yet again).

RuFuS
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Re: The Lairds view on Fuel Free's Firmware

Hi again,

I don't need any proof and i'm not going to explain details about it...sorry, i don't want to be offencive, but your point of view seems a little bit jealousy...

The firmware is made and there are a few Vectrix's running in Portugal with it without any problem.

Off-course, firstly it was made possible here and now it's being thought to other countries...

Best Regards

CO2
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Re: The Lairds view on Fuel Free's Firmware

Great lesson of life my dear The Laird ( a true gentleman).
Dear Rufus, you are like Mr Chen....be cool, man!
You can sell your Sw, but don't lie to us with your stories.

ofx210p
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Re: The Lairds view on Fuel Free's Firmware

Have to agree with CO2 here... plus electronics and batteries and maths all go together. if it sounds too good to be true - then it probably is.

Sugarstorm
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Re: The Lairds view on Fuel Free's Firmware

I'm one lucky rider that is been using FFM SW for 8 months now, so what I will say is from personal experience. Let's start from the beginning:

1- There was no reason whatsoever for that public bashing of the name of the firm. That was low and not necessary. Moving on...
2- Higher top speed. Mine is at 120kms/h. Do I use it a lot. No. Almost never. Because I have a Nimh bike. But when ridding an A123 bike (and there are 3 out there, 2 in Portugal), 140kms/h top speed will not get the pack into any kind of stress. If I convert my bike one day, I want to have an higher top speed. It's only a problem for a nimh bike. Nice feature? No doubt about it!
3- Battery voltage info. Nothing to say here. You have it. They have it. I have it. :D
4- Estimated range. You droped it. FFM did not. And believe me it is extremely precise. If you are very familiar with a Vectrix, you probably could drop this in favour of the voltage. But if you are not a tech guy and just want an electric scooter, this is a very nice feature. How many guys in the world now what is the range left when you reach 131v? Or 124v? Or 119v? Get my point? Or do you assume ALL vectrix costumers are like U and me? FFM 1, The Laird 0. Sorry about that!
5- Fuel bar display. Also very precise.
6- Battery temperature. FFM have improved your work. More ventilation, lower charging current. I can tell you that in the past summer my pack never passed 34º, even when ridding hard at 1 PM on the sun, with temperatures above 40º. Celsius, of course :D
7- I will not comment this one because I don't have info about it.
8- Treatment of battery packs. FFM developed a way to ressurect dying Nimh packs. It´s a bold claim? Yes. I'ts true. YOU BET! Don't ask me how but a pack that had 10/12 miles of range after the treatment was back to life with 30/35 miles of real world range. How? Magic! Not really. It's just the magic hands and brain of portuguese Vectrix master.
9- Durability of the battery. My pack is at 43.500 kms and going strong. I think it passed 1000 cycles. At least I charge the bike every 30 kms, so much more than 1000 charges. How long will it last? Of course no one knows. Is 320.000 kms even a possibility? I would love it, but it's relly just a marketing number in my opinion. Maybe the first Prius Nimh packs might be helpfull in this discussion? Or not since they are only used in a very small range...
10- Bi-Xenon front light. I would say that every Vectrix owner, if asked, would point the bad lighting as one of the first faults of the bike. This one was tricky because the MC would freak out with a Xenon light, but again FFM found a way to solve this problem. Bad lighting? Solved! Not easy, but done.
11- Cruise control. This one is a beauty. The last 15 kms of my ride to work are done in a motorway/highway. Just set it and your right rist is no longer under preassure. A quick press in any brake (front, rear or regen) and it's off. And the best is that it actually is not a speed cruise control but an energy consumption CC. You set the amperage you want to spend and the bike will cruise at that energy level. If you rech a climb, speed will decrease, but on descends it will increase. Very good to cruise in ECO MODE :D
12- Instant Consumption. Also a must have for a Nimh Vectrix owner. We all know now that more than 60 amps is a big no no (great job chosing your pack Vectrix Corp!!!). And we now know that a Vectrix can go as high as 210 amps in some ocasions. With this feature you can keep an eye on the consumption and try to keep them bellow that 60 amp limit. Not easy on steep hills.
13- Emergency flashers. Never used it. And I hope I never will :D But I have them in case I need it.
14- Multi Charging speed. "Giving the user control of the charging process does not sound like a 'good idea'. Giving control of charging to say 60%, 75% 80% SOC would be good, BUT control over the power going into the battery? Most riders are not 'techies' and will be tempted to charge as fast as possible, NOT good for battery life.". You do have a good point here. But if you happen to care a little bit about your electric scooter you can change the charging speed to meet your needs. I usally charge at 5 or 6 amps. But there are some ocasions when you need to do 40kms and come back 2 hours latter. With your SW you would have to burn fuel and €/$/£. Or wait 4 hours at the destination :( . With FFM SW you just set it to 9/10/11 amps and get back home. Is it good for the pack? No. Do I do it often? Almost never! But I've done it. Fast charging a Leaf/Ion/Imiev is also bad for the packs and it is done everyday. And you are forgeting something very important. You are only thinking about Nimh bikes. Those Vectrix A123 out there can handle 20 amps or more when charging. So if you feed them 12 amps that is slow chaging!!!

Let me do a disclaimer here. I'm nothing but a VERY HAPPY costumer. FFM is not paying me to write this. I'm only doing it to clear some confusion regarding this amazing SW created by an amazing programer. Would I buy this SW again? No doubt whatsoever! Is it as good as it is claimed? YES!!! (if you forget the 320.000 kms part)

I think everyone knows how important you where to develop your SW. It was THE breakthrough that allowed the rest. You decided to share your work with the comunity. We all have to thank you very much for that.
FFM has a diferent aproach. I know that programing is the job of one of the partners of FFM. Is it crime to charge for it? No one is forced to buy it.

Sugarstorm - Telling it in a sweet and violent way at the same time :D

Paco
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Re: The Lairds view on Fuel Free's Firmware

Just to say that the latest Li+ official firmware by Vectrix adds all of these functionalities:
- emergency lights,
- cruise control,
- instant current,
- pack voltage (while riding),
- hi and low cell voltage (while riding).
Maybe it was possible to "take" these functionalities by analyzing and comparing hex files?

serges
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Re: The Lairds view on Fuel Free's Firmware

Hi people...

Not a Fuel free company but i'm still alive...

By Jmal...

More info in
http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/showthread.php?t=74989
Vectrix converting to A123

By serges

LithiumVectrix
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Re: The Lairds view on Fuel Free's Firmware

It is interesting that work is still being done on the Vectrix firmware for the scooter. I have read through Fuel Free Motos webpage, this thread and I have mixed thoughts. Some of the changes are useful such as being able to set charge rates and maximum SOC. Most people charge overnight and the charger can be programmed to take advantage of this. This would extend the life of Ni-MH batteries. At lower charge rates the Vectrix battery will have a more balanced charge in its cells. I like the idea that they have written many subsets of the firmware. It can be customised to the scooter. My scooter has different batteries to yours. The negatives are the claims of high speed and how they can achieve this with Ni-MH batteries. The currents are too high at these speeds. Their claim of EcoBoost is too vague and not supported by any specifications such as % current reductions achieved. Standard engineering theory does not support their claim.
The other features are nice to have and part of the package.
I have 2 Vectrix scooters. First is 90 Amp/Hr using Panasonic LiCo cells with range of 300Km . The second is 60 Amp/Hr using Panasonic LiCo cells and range of 160Km. These use the Lairds 2013 Li-Ion software. This has been free to install, thank you for your work. I have had no problems with it. I would benefit from the higher top speed as my batteries would support the higher current drain.

CO2
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Re: The Lairds view on Fuel Free's Firmware

Oh, now I understand.....So.... SW is from Jmal (thanks Serges)...and Rufus want only money in this forum.
Dear Sugar...are you sure about charging 20ah? With ESD or Runke?
I think it's free publicity, no!? (Please explain in a post this Sw and how fonction BMS for Li, with technical support)
Ok, perfect (where I have see that?).

The Laird don't worry, I think we know your value, and I know you will continue help this community.

Good Luck for this new gadjet Sw (for Li), Mr. Jmal.

RuFuS
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Re: The Lairds view on Fuel Free's Firmware

Hi!

There isn't any relationship between FuelFree's firmware and The Laird firmware...any of your "stories" aren't more than that...stories...

About the official li firmware with all those features...never heard about cruise control, instant current and emergency lights...

FuelFree Motos is property of a few persons and the one mentioned before is one of them...

About the "enginering" or whatever you want to call it, ecoboost is a feature developed taking the consideration of "high battery drain"...of course, we are not so stupid and it requires much less power...

So, just keep in mind that will not be any leak of information about this by now.

Regards

ofx210p
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Re: The Lairds view on Fuel Free's Firmware

The cruise control option was in the engineering versions of the firmware for the Vectrix SINCE 2008 as this document shows (see page7 item 2)
It was just never put into production versions of the firmware.
document from vectrix

I have personally been trying to get my hands on a copy of that firmware forever... but failed so far.

Cheers

Chris
PS (sorry for my tone of my last post. tired after flying for 24hrs from UK to NZ)

CO2
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Re: The Lairds view on Fuel Free's Firmware

One more time, you tell us nothing new!
I think nobody are jaleousy but want more information.
I bet this jmal had acces to Sw The Laird and make change.

RuFuS
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Re: The Lairds view on Fuel Free's Firmware

One more time, you tell us nothing new!
I think nobody are jaleousy but want more information.
I bet this jmal had acces to Sw The Laird and make change.

You can bet, think, tell and say some funny stories or whatever you want...it doesn't bother us...

Runke charger is also changed, so, what does it have to do with anyone else? Thinking like your funny (toy) stories, when The Laird would do it successfully, We can tell a funny story where he had access to our Firmware...isn't that right funny guy? Give me a break...

Regards

The Laird
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Re: The Lairds view on Fuel Free's Firmware

Hi Everyone,

I respectfully suggest that we all relax a bit on this topic.

I wrote my review on 'Fuel Free's' software because it seemed to be making one or two claims which didn't add up. It was never my intention to start a 'battle' over who did what or how or why.

I have made modifications to the Vectrix Charger software for my own benefit and have shared it with anyone who asked. I have also tried to help anyone with a problem regarding software and batteries.

'Fuel Free' are in it for the money, it's as simple as that.

I do congratulate them on having achieved more than I did. I had a little help from unexpected sources and I believe that also had a little outside help, in fact they had copies of my modified software and they may have had further help from me in terms of basic information. Having said that, they have still done well.

My biggest disappointment is that they have decided not to publish their results in an 'open source' way nor are they freely issuing the hex files, which means that they hold everyone to ransom over the supply of software. This is nothing new, those of us using Linux based computer platforms are familiar with both 'open source' and with copyright as in 'microsoft'.

Everyone should benefit from the results of his/her labours but I don't believe that it is necessary to hold others to ransom, I am sure that there are better ways.

No Matter. Lets not squabble any more over this topic. What's done is done and we are where we are.

Peace to you all, lets get on with having a happy new year and lots of trouble free miles.

Best wishes,

The Laird.
Telling it like it is, hopefully :-)

yokneamcity
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Re: The Lairds view on Fuel Free's Firmware

Thank You veru much Sandy for Lithium software!!!
I use it for half a year and very satisfied!

CO2
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Re: The Lairds view on Fuel Free's Firmware
One more time, you tell us nothing new!
I think nobody are jaleousy but want more information.
I bet this jmal had acces to Sw The Laird and make change.

You can bet, think, tell and say some funny stories or whatever you want...it doesn't bother us...

Runke charger is also changed, so, what does it have to do with anyone else? Thinking like your funny (toy) stories, when The Laird would do it successfully, We can tell a funny story where he had access to our Firmware...isn't that right funny guy? Give me a break...

Regards

I see you are very controversial man.
For me it's enought, you don't have any support.

RuFuS
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Re: The Lairds view on Fuel Free's Firmware

Let me try to understand...are you suggesting we got any help from you or someone else, The Laird?

CO2, We don't need your support...

CO2
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Re: The Lairds view on Fuel Free's Firmware

Nether do I, my friend, nether do I.
Continue with this fantastic attitude, you are so great!

X Vectrix
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Re: The Lairds view on Fuel Free's Firmware

OK I usually try to bite my tongue on threads like this but I cant on this one. Here is the scoop on this SW from Portugal. The custom charger features of this code was provided to an ex Vectrix employee for internal purposes only. Most of the claimed features already exist in the newest Vectrix Li charging code (variable charging power, programmable fuel gauge etc). Field techs were given certain tools to change the max current delivered by the batteries. This was done to tailor failing lithium bikes whose packs did not have the full capacity. They could limit the battery current and re calibrate the fuel gauge for lower capacities. This eased the load on compromised packs. Parts of it were never released and were intended for testing only, like the increased charge power (the charger has a 1500W HW limit however, SW cannot change this). This SW is being shared with the Portuguese dealer or whoever they are.
The ICM SW was also hacked by the same people and they were warned by Vectrix to not load any bikes with that code and that some of the code was unsafe, like the pseudo cruise control, which simply freezes the throttle command (Thus the claim that the speed changes but the current stays the same (ECO mode?)).
The motor has a safe RPM limit which will be exceeded if the bikes are allowed to go faster than 68mph. This limit is fixed in the MC SW, so unless they changed the wheel diameter or gearing it is unlikely that they exceed 68mph. I have seen what happens to these motors when the RPM limit is exceeded and I would not want my ass on the bike going 75 when it happens. It is highly unlikely that the MC code was hacked.

RuFuS
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Re: The Lairds view on Fuel Free's Firmware

OK I usually try to bite my tongue on threads like this but I cant on this one. Here is the scoop on this SW from Portugal. The custom charger features of this code was provided to an ex Vectrix employee for internal purposes only. Most of the claimed features already exist in the newest Vectrix Li charging code (variable charging power, programmable fuel gauge etc). Field techs were given certain tools to change the max current delivered by the batteries. This was done to tailor failing lithium bikes whose packs did not have the full capacity. They could limit the battery current and re calibrate the fuel gauge for lower capacities. This eased the load on compromised packs. Parts of it were never released and were intended for testing only, like the increased charge power (the charger has a 1500W HW limit however, SW cannot change this). This SW is being shared with the Portuguese dealer or whoever they are.
The ICM SW was also hacked by the same people and they were warned by Vectrix to not load any bikes with that code and that some of the code was unsafe, like the pseudo cruise control, which simply freezes the throttle command (Thus the claim that the speed changes but the current stays the same (ECO mode?)).
The motor has a safe RPM limit which will be exceeded if the bikes are allowed to go faster than 68mph. This limit is fixed in the MC SW, so unless they changed the wheel diameter or gearing it is unlikely that they exceed 68mph. I have seen what happens to these motors when the RPM limit is exceeded and I would not want my ass on the bike going 75 when it happens. It is highly unlikely that the MC code was hacked.

Well...more stories and speculation...

Have a nice weekend guys (mine is going to start)...

Best Regards

The Laird
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Re: The Lairds view on Fuel Free's Firmware


Hello RuFuS,

Along with many others, I would be most grateful if you would kindly stop being so offensive.

Your remarks give the distinct impression that you are not an engineer therefore you are in no position to offend those of us that are engineers.

Many thanks, in advance, for your co-operation.

Best wishes,

The Laird

CO2
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Re: The Lairds view on Fuel Free's Firmware

Enough!
Ok, you have a Sw...ok, you don't want explain...your problem.
But don't insult people (gentleman in this forum), only because they want advise (it seems this Sw have some problem with max speed, and max charge 20ah it's impossible).
Your arrogance is too much.
Show us you are a man, not a teenager.

R
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Re: The Lairds view on Fuel Free's Firmware

Ok, first of all, I want to apologize for not writing in English. This text is written in Spanglish!
Secondly, let's calm down: There's no point in discussing who has the best firmware or who needs help from anyone.
The situation for us, the Vectrix owners, is as follows:

One one side, we have Vectrix's way of business: If one single cell fails, you need to replace the entire battery, 3000-4000 euros. If you want to upgrade to LI+, you have to pay 5.000 Eur. for the conversion. Let's be honest, it is the correct way: replacing the entire battery ensures perfect operation of the Vectrix, but I can't afford this price, I'm just a passionate, but poor vectrix owner.

One the other side, we have the Gentleman The Laird, who is helping plenty Vectrix Owners. I've been using his NIMH firmware on a dying battery, enlarging its life 15.000 km more. Now I'm using his Li firmware on a 1600 Eur. DIY conversion , which is helping to keep my Vectrix on the road. The Firmware may not be perfect, but it does its job: Without The Laird's help, today my Vectrix would have been totally inoperative. I want to thank you again, The laird, for your help!

And then, we have a third side, the FFM firmware. What they achieved is really remarkable, but absolutely useless to us. They,re here to make money, no doubt, and it is perfectly fine to me: I'm sure they've spend plenty time and money (They may have blown some motor-controlers during the tests). But what a pity! They cannot sell the firmware to anybody outside Portugal!!

When I inquired them about their firmware, they requested me to dismantle all components of my vectrix (MC ICM charger), and post them inside a package to Portugal. Then they would return the items with their Firmware loaded, afterwards I would have to rebuild the entire motorbike, pray to Santa Rita Rita and find out if everything would run fine. If a problem took place, I would be forced to dismantle again, send components to Portugal again, and so on.
Not a real choice for me, that firmware cannot be purchased at all...

In summary, the only real option we have is The Laird,s Firmware. I wish that anybody, FFM or Vectrix itself, would help us with the MC Firmware, but so far, no news...

PS: Rufus, FFM can modify the MC code?
Cheers,
R

Aircon
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Re: The Lairds view on Fuel Free's Firmware

I have made modifications to the Vectrix Charger software for my own benefit and have shared it with anyone who asked. I have also tried to help anyone with a problem regarding software and batteries.

Without The Laird's help, today my Vectrix would have been totally inoperative. I want to thank you again, The laird, for your help!

In summary, the only real option we have is The Laird,s Firmware.

Absolutely spot on. If it wasn't for the Laird, we'd still be a bunch of people wishing for impossible things. Thanks to him I have a bike that, despite being modified, is still completely 'plug and play'. I can't thank him enough, and I know that goes for every single person who's benefitted from his hard work.

Aircon
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Re: The Lairds view on Fuel Free's Firmware

The motor has a safe RPM limit which will be exceeded if the bikes are allowed to go faster than 68mph. This limit is fixed in the MC SW, so unless they changed the wheel diameter or gearing it is unlikely that they exceed 68mph. I have seen what happens to these motors when the RPM limit is exceeded and I would not want my ass on the bike going 75 when it happens. It is highly unlikely that the MC code was hacked.

I'm an idiot, so I didn't want to comment, but I was wondering about that.

JimmyB
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Re: The Lairds view on Fuel Free's Firmware

I have made modifications to the Vectrix Charger software for my own benefit and have shared it with anyone who asked. I have also tried to help anyone with a problem regarding software and batteries.

Without The Laird's help, today my Vectrix would have been totally inoperative. I want to thank you again, The laird, for your help!

In summary, the only real option we have is The Laird,s Firmware.

Absolutely spot on. If it wasn't for the Laird, we'd still be a bunch of people wishing for impossible things. Thanks to him I have a bike that, despite being modified, is still completely 'plug and play'. I can't thank him enough, and I know that goes for every single person who's benefitted from his hard work.

Just want to echo this 100%. Without the expertise of The Laird and Antiscab, my Vectrix would be a doorstop right now.

Mik
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Re: The Lairds view on Fuel Free's Firmware

OK I usually try to bite my tongue on threads like this but I cant on this one. Here is the scoop on this SW from Portugal. The custom charger features of this code was provided to an ex Vectrix employee for internal purposes only. Most of the claimed features already exist in the newest Vectrix Li charging code (variable charging power, programmable fuel gauge etc). Field techs were given certain tools to change the max current delivered by the batteries. This was done to tailor failing lithium bikes whose packs did not have the full capacity. They could limit the battery current and re calibrate the fuel gauge for lower capacities. This eased the load on compromised packs. Parts of it were never released and were intended for testing only, like the increased charge power (the charger has a 1500W HW limit however, SW cannot change this). This SW is being shared with the Portuguese dealer or whoever they are.
The ICM SW was also hacked by the same people and they were warned by Vectrix to not load any bikes with that code and that some of the code was unsafe, like the pseudo cruise control, which simply freezes the throttle command (Thus the claim that the speed changes but the current stays the same (ECO mode?)).
The motor has a safe RPM limit which will be exceeded if the bikes are allowed to go faster than 68mph. This limit is fixed in the MC SW, so unless they changed the wheel diameter or gearing it is unlikely that they exceed 68mph. I have seen what happens to these motors when the RPM limit is exceeded and I would not want my ass on the bike going 75 when it happens. It is highly unlikely that the MC code was hacked.

That sounds like a number of very plausible explanations to me.

I think it is very unlikely that anyone would be able to write this software from scratch, without some access to leaked original code. Either they managed to get some source code (including explanations) for the charger, or, maybe more likely, just a collection of different installation hex files. It might even be just a matter of sending the right signals through the ScooterDiag software link to the MC.

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

X Vectrix
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Re: The Lairds view on Fuel Free's Firmware

Spot on Mik. The newest diag interface allows the battery current to be limited by configuring the MC memory, and for the charger power and charge capacity to be set (max charge power/capacity can also be set by the user). This is what was given to a few dealers and field techs. My guess is that they want users to send the components to Portugal b/c they dont want to distribute the diagnostics and/or the firmware that allows this.

kingcharles
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Re: The Lairds view on Fuel Free's Firmware

I would also like to express my gratitude towards the Laird for enabling me to add another 20.000 trouble free kilometres to my Vectrix! My bike now has more than 45.000km on the original battery. With no noticeable further degradation of the battery after installing the Laird software.
It is all about keeping these great bikes on the road, and mine is doing just that.
I only had to invest money in the CANBUS cable and am super super grateful that the Laird offered his software for free!

Once you go EV, Gas is history!

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