Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

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Kocho
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

You can try it before you put the pack in, but I think you don't necessarily need to weld it - use capped locking nuts in the blind area and the batteries will exert enough friction so that you can tighten the other end without the rods spinning. Some sort of locking washer on the blind end might help too. Of course, a spot-weld will give you a peace of mind that the rods won't rotate. There is enough clearance to use a flat wrench as a counter on the front sides with 18 cells to tighten the rods from the rear with a socket wrench. Then push the entire pack forward and secure it from the rear so it won't shift. I have not secured my pack from above - probably should do it at some point (I have it stuffed pretty good front to rear and side to side, so it won't be moving much, but I'd feel better if it is secured from above too).

I have not tried it, but when I did my conversion, it seemed possible that the entire pack could be assembled outside of the bike and lowered as one unit. But I did not have a hoist, so I assembled it on the rods inside the bike.

BLUESTREAK
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

Good job BEN, it's a shame that you could not use the 6mm smooth rod it's smooth for a reason and that't because those mods. won't slide over the all-thread rod as easy, anyway keep up the good work and photos. COOPER.

bennelson
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

I got the LEAF modules IN to the Vectrix yesterday! Thank goodness for chain hoists!

Don't worry, I took lots of photos and shot video. More to come soon!

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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project
bennelson
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project
bennelson
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project
Kocho
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

I may have missed it in your videos, but, did you somehow secure the pack against sliding backwards towards the controller? Despite the non-slip bottom and the corrugated plastic on the sides, it could still slide back and crush some wires eventually. Some have secured the rods through the front of the frame, others have put a wedge in the rear, others have secured through the bottom, and I imagine it can be done through the too cover as well.

And wait till you ride it :) Having some real range is quite liberating. I consistently get 60 miles between 148 and 128V or so, with lively riding and half of it highway at 60 to 68 mph.

Oh, and with David's firmware I have real-time amps and volts displayed on the left screen, so it's cool to watch how these things change with riding conditions... The thing draws upwards of 170A on hard acceleration (but I don't do that for more than a few seconds here and there) and is cruising at 50-90A at highway speeds, depending on grade and wind.

BLUESTREAK
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

Nice job BEN. and nice videos.

bennelson
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

Kocho, I did NOT specifically add any blocking or anything for securing the battery pack. It is a LOT of surface area in there, it really feels snug in place. We stuck a pry bar in there and it wouldn't move. Still, I was really only trying to get the main work done quick, knowing that I wanted to take the Vectrix to a clean transportation event, which was held today. I was planning on adding a wood block or something to the back of the pack before calling the whole thing "done". That said, what held the original NiMH pack in place? On my cycle, there was silicon caulk going through the side of the battery box against the batteries themselves, which appeared to be a way of helping secure the battery. I had to cut it all when I removed the original NiMH battery. On the other hand, Nick, the guy helping me in one of the videos, said that his Vectrix did NOT have that. The other thing I noticed is that it looked like the battery box cover fit very tightly on the top of the original battery, pinning it down into place. I may add some type of spacer to the TOP of my LEAF pack to secure it that way.


I DID get the cycle out to a clean transportation event today at the technical college in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Weather was sort of terrible, sleet/rain/cold. Well, that's spring in Wisconsin for you. Don't like the weather, wait five minutes...


However, there was an EV charging station right around the corner from where the event was, so I did ride over there and plugged in. That particular EVSE was one of the first in Milwaukee, and it has both Level 1 AND Level 2 charging, which can both be used simultaneously. (Ironically, only one vehicle can be parked there legally. My cycle was parked in the blocked off area to the side of a handicapped space, designed for unloading wheelchairs from vans...) A Chevy Volt was charging on the Level 2 connection, so I just tested out the charging station on the Level 1 plug. In my experience, most EVSE do NOT have a Level 1 plug available, which is why I built the J1772 to NEMA5-20 adapter in the first place. Glad to know that my ChargePoint account is still working...

Just before I was ready to leave, I saw a photographer trying to figure out where all the cars were. He showed up right about when the event was scheduled to end, but the weather was so bad, most of the vehicles left early. I pointed him to where two vehicles had moved to, but were still nearby, and told him I had the Vectrix around the corner (at the charging station) and could bring it back for him to photograph. I brought the cycle over and he got some shots of it. He was wondering if I could just flip open a cover or something to see the batteries. Uh, no. It's a little complicated to show off the batteries, BUT, here's what I've been saving that one "spare" LEAF module for - I have it with me to show off to people what IS INSIDE a Nissan LEAF, and now inside my Vectrix. The photographer got a couple of shots of me holding up the LEAF module and showing where the 18 modules are mounted in the cycle. So, maybe you will be able to see my photo in the Milwaukee Business Journal soon!


Another reason that I really wanted to get a main hunk of work done on the project this past Saturday was that I knew I would have ZERO time to work on it in the next few weeks. So, if you don't hear any updates in a while that's why. I also need to get an upgraded fuse and figure out my game plan for the BMS setup.

BLUESTREAK
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

HI BEN, the old original NMHI batterys was a perfect fit inside the battery boxa and did not have the 2-1/2in. extra space at the back end,it's not likely to move but if you were bumped pretty hard in the rear it could shift back and any thing that is hanging over the rear,wires ect. might smash into the controller cover. I cut short pcs. of 2x4 x 6in. long and cut it to fit snugly in the bay.keep the photos coming. I will have some nice photos of my special (vectrix vx-4-trike) soon.COOPER.

bennelson
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

I finally got a chance to do a few rides.

I sort of wanted to test how far I could go on a single charge, but I quickly realized that I didn't want to even try doing that in a single trip. Most of my trips are about 20 miles, so I ended up riding a number of times, intentionally NOT recharging, to run down the battery. http://300mpg.org/2015/05/10/vectrix-range-testing/

I got 91 miles on a charge! That was running the battery down to about the "shoulder" of the discharge curve. Starting voltage was 147V, ending voltage was 130.

I put some custom lettering on the cycle. http://300mpg.org/2015/05/18/custom-lettering-on-the-vectrix/

I also realized today that my 12 power port in the glove box doesn't work. Does it only work when the bike is on? I tested it in several key positions, and even with the kickstand up and "GO' mode on.

There's probably a little tiny fuse for the cigarette lighter plug somewhere, I suppose.

Does anyone regularly use the power connector in the glove box to charge phones and things? I also noticed a tag that says "0.5 Amps Max" on it, which is a shame, especially as iPhones are designed to charge at one amp. I had a solar panel with me, and that did a very good job charging the phone, even in the extremely overcast weather we had today.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkU3RPcS38Y

PS: I also mail-ordered a 10 pack of JST connector pig-tails. The balance charger I have uses that style connector. These should let me balance 3 cell modules at a time. It's also the same connector used for CellLogs. So if I wanted to use a few of those, I could just pop them right in too. I'm hoping to work on the manual balancing system this weekend.

BLUESTREAK
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

HI BEN, welcome back it is always good to hear from you because you always have good thing to tell. this vectrix forum ahs been mostly quiet since you have been gone, now it coming alive again.

Kocho
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

I got 91 miles on a charge! That was running the battery down to about the "shoulder" of the discharge curve. Starting voltage was 147V, ending voltage was 130.

Not bad at all - you must be riding yours rather gently ;) From 147 to 136V today I got about 50 miles, 30 of them on the highway at between 55 and 65mph, the rest in urban stop and go traffic.

Once you get down to 130V, there isn't that much left in the battery and the voltage begins to drop very quickly (as expected - the discharge curve gets steep below that).

Only once did I run the battery down to where the motor controller low voltage protection kicked-in. For me it started to limit the power around 120V or so (sorry, forgot the exact value) and entered limp mode with the red battery light on at around 116-115V or so. 100 feet from my house it "died" at 115V if I recall, would not move on its own, though instrumentation was on. It only managed to do less than a couple of miles from the time it started to limit my power to when it stopped (only did a few hundred yards in limp mode). So, I now know empirically that I can rely on the motor controller for low voltage protection :)

Basically, when it gets down to 130V, I'd better be near a charging place. If the Ah counter on the bike is accurate, from 147V down to probably about 130V it seems to consume about 40-45Ah out of the maximum 60Ah theoretical capacity of the battery.

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Re: iPhone charging from accessory socket

Does anyone regularly use the power connector in the glove box to charge phones and things? I also noticed a tag that says "0.5 Amps Max" on it, which is a shame, especially as iPhones are designed to charge at one amp.

Ben, you seem to have overlooked one obvious fact, there is a big difference in the two voltages:

  • Vectrix accessory socket output: 0.5 Amp current @ 12V = 6 Watts
  • iPhone lithium battery requirement: 1 Amp current @ 4.2V = 4.2 Watts
  • Charging iPhone from Vectrix 12V supply: 4.2 Watts @ 12V = 0.35 Amp current

Measure the current drawn from a car battery when your iPhone is charging via the 12V adapter to see if it is less than the allowable 0.5 Amp maximum.

Alan

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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

The cigarette lighter plug didn't work at all. I popped in a 12V to USB plug adapter that I use all the time. It has a little green LED on it just to show that it has power going to it and that it's working. It did NOT light up.
As far as current goes, I'm not sure how all the little 12V cigarette plug to USB adapters work. I would imagine that a few of the cheaper ones might just knock down the voltage with a resistor. In that case, voltage is irrelevant, and only current matters. I don't know if the better ones use real switching power controls or not. PWM from 12v to 5v sounds pretty complicated for a $5 product from the store. Who knows, maybe with as cheap and mass-produced as some electronics are, they are more complicated than I think. It would be interesting to do a tear-down on one of those little power adapters.

Also, I don't have the calibration for the shunt for the Cycle Analyst set up right. The current and AH counter on the Cycle Analyst just looked way off. I re-read the instruction manual, and it actually tells you to use a multimeter to measure the resistance of the shunt and then enter that into the analyst as a calibration. Of course, I have to tear the cycle apart to get at it.... Note to self: Do that while I'm working on BMS and everything else down near the cells.

BLUESTREAK
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

HI BEN, if the wires are hooked up backwards on the shunt the readings will not be correct, being in a hurry to put mine back to gather I hooked mine up wrong and did not realize it until i had the battery cover bolted down and had to open it up again and re-hook the wires, now it reads correct( the ah count is how you know it's hooked up wrong).

MEroller
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

Also, I don't have the calibration for the shunt for the Cycle Analyst set up right. The current and AH counter on the Cycle Analyst just looked way off. I re-read the instruction manual, and it actually tells you to use a multimeter to measure the resistance of the shunt and then enter that into the analyst as a calibration.

That you can depandably and precisely measure a resistance of 0.5 or let alone 0.25 mili-Ohms with a multimeter is sadly pure fiction. That is right in the realm of the resistance of even the measuring leads of your multimter, or even just the contact resistance of the 4mm connectors or the measuring tip itself. It should normally suffice to set the CA (in the Advanced Settings section) to the nominal resistance noted on your shunt, then it should as such already be a rather accurate measuring device :-)

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

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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

I needed 12 volts for my BMS, I used a universal wall adapter, small switching supply with a wide input voltage range, 12v at a few amps out.
If you overload the Vectix 12 volt DC/DC I have heard bad things happen.
Just a thought.

Jerry

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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

Repurposing a modern wall-wort to get a few amps of 12V out sounds like a good idea.

BLUESTREAK
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

HI BEN, If the shunt that you have came from GRIN TECH. with the anlyst it does not need any calabration it has been cabalarated already, I would check to see if the small wires are hooked up correctly. like I said before I hooked mine up backwards and it read the (AH) wrong and when I switched them it worked correctly.

bennelson
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

Here's a little video update for you.

Kocho
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

Ben,

Did you by chance document how to remove the bodywork in the rear? Mine was not put together very well and there are a couple of gaps where various plastic panels come together - I think the little clips these things have are not aligned well. I'd like to take it apart and reassemble to properly align these panels.

Thanks!

P.S., I think you will appreciate having access to the BMS leads without removing the seat. Why not temporarily route them in the trunk? I have them like this on mine and they are not in the way. I think I've posted a picture of how I did it in my thread on the Leaf Cells. Since that picture was taken I have reinforced the cable leads a bit and protected them in a little pouch, but they are still there. I can measure and if needed balance my cells by just opening the trunk rather than taking off the seat...

bennelson
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

No, I did NOT document pulling off the rear bodywork, but it's off right now and I was going to be putting it back together soon. Maybe I can take some photos/video as I put it back together.

zeuz
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

Hi Ben!

Great work you have done!

You should check these sites:
http://dugasengineering.3dcartstores.com/Vectrix-Support_c_16.html
https://fuelfreemotos.wordpress.com/international/
http://vectrixparts.com/

Please, keep posting your videos, photos and comments. :)

BLUESTREAK
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

"WOW" BEN, that is quite a mess you have there,I never saw one dissasimbled this far, I have had the rear apart but not the front and the reason is my memory is slowing down and I forget a lot of things now if it sits a long time, there was a time I could remember ever item that I owned or had. but at (71) things are changing. it looks like you have done a grate job, so keep showing your work I love it. COOPER.

zeuz
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

Hi Ben!

Great work!
Please keep posting videos, photos and your comments.

Also, check these sites:
http://dugasengineering.3dcartstores.com/Vectrix-Support_c_16.html
http://vectrixparts.com/
https://fuelfreemotos.wordpress.com/international/

bennelson
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

I got the Cycle Analyst working right. It was just a matter of the settings in the menu.

It's interesting to see the AH meter go up while using the cycle, then down while recharging.

http://300mpg.org/2015/05/27/5289/

I also started a spreadsheet to track my miles traveled and energy used to recharge. I have other cells of the spreadsheet calculate watt-hours-per-mile and MPGe, and an average.


I'm averaging 336 MPGe over 200 miles so far.

zeuz
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

I use http://www.spritmonitor.de/en/ for that matter.

You can also try My Charger (Google play)

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