Another VX-1 conversion thanks to Dugas

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zz
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Joined: Wednesday, May 27, 2009 - 08:47
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Another VX-1 conversion thanks to Dugas

Hey there,

I am happy to report that my 2006 Vectrix VX-1 is back on the road (with a vengeance) thanks to a Nissan Leaf battery pack from Hybrid Auto Center and a lot of help from Dugas Engineering.

The NIMH batteries in my VX-1 died from letting it sit too long without charging and it sat dead in my driveway for way too long. After reading some posts on this site, I finally got a pack to install. Installing the pack is super simple. Especially if you watch you tube videos from this guy:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8vCzJJI9NYIdU57vGu6VNQ

But getting the pack in was the easy part. After that I tried finding software and tools online to upgrade my controller and charger. This ended with my bricking my controller. I ponied up the $20 to ask Dugas a tech support question and boy am I glad I did. They helped me not only getting my controller flashed and working again, but also built me a custom adapter to be able to use an ELCON charger instead of the old (prone to fail) Vectrix charger. The ELCON is sweet and Dugas provided a complete kit for replacement. This included all the mounting hardware, an adapter box to adapt the ELCON connections to the existing Vectrix connectors, and really great instructions. I have replaced the software on both my controller and charger with the latest stuff from Dugas and my bike is working great. They even send me updates periodically.

The final step is installing a BMS from my friends at Lightning Motorcycles.

Now that it's upgraded, I'm still working on range calculations, but it's easily double what I had with the original batteries. The bike is a lot faster and seeing a top speed of about 70 now.

Just wanted to post this for anyone else considering a conversion. The packs are still relatively hard to find, but if you can get one and connect up with Dugas you should be in pretty good shape. Now that my VX-1 is on the road I would love to get my hands on a VX-3 and do the conversion on that. They seem to be really hard to find. If anyone has one they'd like to unload, please let me know.

In any case, here are the links to the people I worked with for my conversion:

http://www.hybridautocenter.com
http://www.dugasengineering.com
http://lightningmotorcycle.com

For software updates I'm using Vectrix Diagnostic Software version 1.0.2.1. I use the VX1Li panel.

Hope to see more of these on the road soon!

reikiman
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Re: Another VX-1 conversion thanks to Dugas

Hi ZZ,

You may remember that I had a Lightning BMS in my Karmann Ghia. I don't have that car any longer, by the way.

The Lightning BMS is cool because the threshold voltages are all configurable - low/high voltage per cell, pack target voltage while charging, and so on. But I thought the cell voltage values weren't high enough to be used with Leaf modules?

That is ... the Leaf modules are in a 2p2s arrangement (I think) and therefore at the module connector you're seeing a 2 cell voltage, or about 8 volts when fully charged and somewhere under 6 volts as the low voltage cutoff point. The actual numbers depend on the characteristics of these cells, I'm just doubling the values used with the LiFePO4 cells I'd used in the Ghia.

This means the threshold voltages to use during charging are about 7.4 volts for turning on the bleeding resistor, and about 7.8 volts for turning off the charger. That maps to 3.7 volts and 3.9 volts respectively per-cell thresholds.

Maybe the Lightning BMS does this, and I never had the reason to test it. I thought these threshold voltages couldn't be set to values over 5 volts or so. Or does it support voltages in the range necessary for Leaf modules?

- David Herron, The Long Tail Pipe, davidherron.com, 7gen.com, What is Reiki
- Electrified Electra To

zz
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Joined: Wednesday, May 27, 2009 - 08:47
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Re: Another VX-1 conversion thanks to Dugas

The Leaf cells are indeed two cells per package. They have two large poles and one small one between them. If you put the resistor between the large pole and the small one, you get the right effect.

Lionstrike
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Re: Another VX-1 conversion thanks to Dugas
zz
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Last seen: 4 years 6 months ago
Joined: Wednesday, May 27, 2009 - 08:47
Points: 18
Re: Another VX-1 conversion thanks to Dugas

Thanks! I wrote to those guys on ebay but they never got back to me. :(

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