Vectrix (2008 VX-1) Won't Turn Off

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martinwinlow
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Vectrix (2008 VX-1) Won't Turn Off

Hi,

(Very) Long story short, my Vectrix has developed a fault where it won't turn off!

It works pretty normally otherwise and (with the igniton key in the 'On' position) it drives and charges fine but the yellow wrench comes on occasionally and 'Canbus' shows on the dash (not sure if this is all the time).

Anyone got any clues before I start ripping it apart (again)?

Regards, Martin Winlow
Isle of Colonsay
Scotland

martinwinlow
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Re: Vectrix (2008 VX-1) Won't Turn Off

I have connected the PCAN tool and runt he Scooter Diagnostics app. The only thing I can see adrift is that there is a 'tick' in the 'CANbus' box on the main 'Summary' tab under 'Faults'.

The only other obvious sign of the issue is that on the same Scooter Diagnostics app tab, if I click on 'Show Instrument' only some of the virtual instruments work correctly.

Can anyone advise how to get anything more on this, ie which part of the CANbus system is not working correctly?

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

Bikemad
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Re: Vectrix (2008 VX-1) Won't Turn Off

Hi Martin,
If you still have temperature sensor boards connected I would disconnect them first to see if it then turns off.
When I had my original charging fault the bike powered up and the headlamp came on while the charger was plugged in and turned on.
I could get the ready light and power the motor without the ignition being turned on.

My canbus error was obvious as the charger and battery temperature section was unavailable and coloured red:

With the temperature boards disconnected, the canbus worked fine and I was able to charge the battery without the headlamps coming on etc. albeit with flashing battery and temperature lights.

I think the high voltage tracked across the temperature sensors and back up into the temperature controller boards causing damage:

Remove the battery cover and unplug the front and rear temperature boards one at a time and see what happens.

//i.imgur.com/FnmD5lE.png)

It might be worth sending an email to MatteoZordan at Vectrixparts dot com//i.imgur.com/T4PWiKt.png) to see if he has experienced something similar before.

Alan

EDIT: incorrect email address corrected.

martinwinlow
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Re: Vectrix (2008 VX-1) Won't Turn Off

Thanks, Alan,

Although disconnected from the pack (as the pack is now LiFePO4 - but not a Vectrix one) I have all the temp sense PCBs bundled up still connected to the bike. I was under the impression that they were still needed for anything to work. I will try removing them to see if it helps. It is worth mentoning that the temp sense PCBs have been as they are since I upgraded the pack ~6 years and ~10kmiles ago... but maybe the damp has got to them at least.

I don't appear to have the latest Diagnostics softwre either. My version is 2.1. I gather the version available from vectrixparts is 3.something... I shall have ago with installing it on my venerable Atom-based laptop.

If you know of anyone I could approach re persuing the CANbus side of things. I'd be interested to hear but I'll try Matteo.

Regards, Martin

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

martinwinlow
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Re: Vectrix (2008 VX-1) Won't Turn Off

I downloaded the latest Diagnostic App from Vectrix parts the afternoon and tried it on the bike but it did not sow anything new.

I tried disconnecting the temp sense PCBs at the connector and reconnected the pack battery. No change.

I tried disconnecting the battery charger via the controller plug bottom left as you look from the front of the bike. No difference.

The throttle responded normally in the DataSummary tab and the Can Bus Fault box there was still ticked.

I ran the Diagnostics app 'Fuel Gauge Test' under the 'CAN Bus Test' tab which responded normally (apparently... The fuel gauge levels on the bike went up and down in time with the test one on the laptop).

Under the 'Dashboard' tab, the virtual dash seemed to work better than before and I could, for example, set the bike's time via the laptop.

Any other ideas? I'm going to reflash the ICM tomorrow.

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

Bikemad
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Re: Vectrix (2008 VX-1) Won't Turn Off

I would be very hesitant about reprogramming anything while there is an existing fault on the canbus system, as there's a slight possibility that it could result in corruption.

The Vectrix diagnostic system check instructions are not very helpful:

From the summery page in the lower right corner within the Faults box are systems that are monitored by the scan tool. If any of these boxes are checked a fault is present and must be repaired.
After the repairs have been completed and the fault is no longer present, Turn off the Ignition.

Unfortunately I could not find a useful description of the ignition switch operation in the vectrix service manual documentation that I have, but I did find this diagram:
//i.imgur.com/kQqDIUF.png)
It would appear that the ignition switch connects between both the motor controller and the battery charger but the above diagram does not make much sense to me.

I'm guessing that the power to the ignition switch comes either comes from or goes to the motor controller's DC/DC converter. switching the ignition on presumably activates or diverts the DC/DC converter 12V output to the ICM.

I suspect that the problem lies somewhere within the motor controller, ignition circuit or possibly the charger.

It might be worth disconnecting the charger's data connection first to see if the charger is somehow inadvertently enabling the motor controller.
This video shows where the data connector plug is located on the Runke charger, but it appears to be right at the bottom on the ESD chargers:

Perhaps the motor controller has simply locked up? perhaps resetting the controller by disconnecting the battery for a couple of minutes and then reconnecting it again using a suitable inrush current limiter may reset a frozen microcontroller on the motor controller or DC/DC converter? Knowing how temperamental computers can be, I would definitely give it a try if nothing else works.

Alan

martinwinlow
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Re: Vectrix (2008 VX-1) Won't Turn Off

Hi Alan,

Thanks.

I have had the pack disconnected for over a year and always disconnect and reconnect (via a light bulb ICL) before tinkering with the wiring.

I have the manual and have seen that schematic before ... and it doesn't figure with me either, unless the charger, when connected to the mains, reproduces the effect of the ignition key in the 'on' position, ie turning on the bike/dash/ICM etc so that the charger's info can be displayed...? If so, it would support the theory that the charger is causing the issue... except that the ignition key still commands the bike to a 'run' state, enabling the usual double activation of the brake levers to get the 'Ready' displayed in the left dial (and it will then power the back wheel in a 'normal' way, turn on the headlight etc).

I did try disconnecting the charger from the motor controller but only the power connector, not the data. I'll take the fairing off and do that before I try re-flashing the ICM.

I had forgotten about Vectrixparts' videos. Something else to occupy my time during lockdown!

Regards, Martin.

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

martinwinlow
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Re: Vectrix (2008 VX-1) Won't Turn Off

So, today I tried:

Disconnecting both the battery connector and data connector from my Runke charger (which replaced the original ESD one at about 10k miles/6 years ago) which made precisely zero difference. Still turns on as soon as I connect the battery.

With battery disconnected, I removed the DC/DC converter connector on the controller (top right) and confirmed that the ignition switch gives no continuity between Pin 12 (ign+) and 4 Ign-) with the switch off and full continuity (1R) when on.

Disconnected the battery again, then disconnected the ICM and reconnected the battery and nothing much happens (as you might expect!), no ancillary electrics (horn, turn signals, headlight etc and no motive power either) but the storage box LED works - implying the DC/DC converter is working and on... I can't remember if this is normal or not? Should this light work if the bike is off? The PEAK CAN cable did not work either... also not a surprise.

Thinking that my issues may be sue to a low system voltage (due to removing the 5 3.2V LiFePO4 cells that I managed to ruin) of 120V. I tried disconnecting the battery and connecting the bike's battery leads to a 150V 3A bench power supply, set to 135V. Still no difference, bike comes on as soon as power is applied irrespective of the position of the ignition switch (ie exactly as when powered by the battery).

So, the question is, where is the bike getting its command to turn on without the ignition switch being on?

MW

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

Bikemad
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Re: Vectrix (2008 VX-1) Won't Turn Off

the storage box LED works - implying the DC/DC converter is working and on... I can't remember if this is normal or not? Should this light work if the bike is off?

The light comes on with ignition switch or the charger but stays of when both ignition and charger are switched off.

It looks like the Motor Controller may be the culprit if it is sending out the 12V accessory feed with the ignition turned of and the ICM disconnected.

Do you by any chance have anything connected to the 12V accessory socket supply like a phone charger with a DC/DC converter that might cause interference?

So, the question is, where is the bike getting its command to turn on without the ignition switch being on?

I presume all switching will be done via mosfets or transistors, so it is more likely to be a failed mosfet/transistor than a welded relay contact that might just need a gentle tap to release it.

You have already ruled out the ignition switch and the charger, so that leaves the Motor Controller or the ICM, as it's unlikely to be the Instrument Panel Cluster (IPC):

//i.imgur.com/ZaaNnn0.png)

I wonder if it worth doing a continuity check on the four pairs of canbus wires in the above diagram?

Any response from Matteo at Vectrixparts?

As you are using the Runke charger, are you also using Dugas software? If so, it might be worth asking David what triggers the power on and what might be causing the problem.

I presume the ICM has to be powered for the canbus connection to the Data Link connector to work, so you won't be able to simply unplug the data lead from the controller to see if the canbus error disappears. But you could unplug the Instrument Panel and see if the same canbus error is still there, or if a different one appears.

I'm rapidly running out of suggestions, and I feel sorry for Vectrix technicians if they only had the very limited information that is in the Vectrix service manual to work with.
It might explain why the last UK Vectrix dealer (Emissions Free Solutions Ltd) has finally abandoned Vectrix and totally given up on both sales and service.

Alan

martinwinlow
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Re: Vectrix (2008 VX-1) Won't Turn Off

Hi Alan,

Thanks for the input.

I would agree but rather than the MC it could be just the DC/DC converter (which is, as I'm sure you know, part of the MC PCB). I'm wondering if some muck has got onto the PCB and is causing a minor short somewhere that is commanding the DC/DC converter to turn on?

I will try a continuity check on the CANbus network later today. I assume that if I disconnect all the relevant connectors bar the ICM's one and attach one probe of my multimeter (set to continuity mode) to one side of the CANbus circuit (say, CANH) on any one of the other connectors then all the other CANH connector pins will show continuity (passing through the ICM’s CANbus … bus)? Then do the same to CANL?

It appears I do not have Mateo’s correct email address as my email to him bounced.

I have Dugas’ firmware (from 2015 following my upgrade from the original Ni pack to 42 x 40Ah Sinopoly cells, 6 of which have subsequently failed and been by-passed/removed) and a Runke charger (bought and DIY-installed from EmmisionsFree in 2017). I emailed Mr Dugas this morning through his website.

Yes, it seems Vectrix preferred the auto-industry’s rather pants method of repair ie replace stuff with new until the fault goes away. Hardly very scientific - but simple… and the customer will pay anyway, so who cares?(!)

I would like to think that, with the right bit of software, I could ‘sniff’ the CANbus network and establish what the CANbus error is and where it is originating. It’s a bit out of my experience but something that I would like to get to grips with, both for the sake of my Vectrix as well as many other EV-related projects I have on the go and planned. So, if you have any ideas, I’m all ears!

Earlier, I tried disconnecting the LED-converted headlight (just in case) and that made no difference.

I also did the same with the dash disconnected and again no difference but interesting (if not surprisingly) - with ignition switch on - the bike ran (as in the motor would turn the rear wheel), lights, horn etc worked as before. Still showing an intermittent 'CANbus' in the dash and occasional yellow spanner dash light.

I also took the following 2 screen shots, one with the ignition on and the other with it off…

Regards, Martin.


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

Bikemad
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Re: Vectrix (2008 VX-1) Won't Turn Off

Sorry Martin, I have very little experience with canbus systems so not much help from me.

Looking at your screenshots, I noticed there was a big difference between the Charger voltage and the Bus Voltage.
I have just tested my vectrix and there is only 1~2V difference when the ignition is on, so I don't understand why your Charger Voltage is showing 26 volts (18%) lower than the Bus Voltage,unless your battery plug is still disconnected from the charger and it's only showing the voltage stored in the charger's capacitors.

If I then turn the ignition off (and the charger turned on to power the canbus) I get the Charger Voltage displayed, but no Bus Voltage, but yours appears to be doing the exact opposite of mine.

It appears I do not have Mateo’s correct email address as my email to him bounced.

Oops, I appear to have mistyped his surname, it should be MatteoZordan at Vectrixparts dot com.
//i.imgur.com/T4PWiKt.png)

I have also amended the earlier post to correct my error.

Alan

martinwinlow
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Re: Vectrix (2008 VX-1) Won't Turn Off

Hi Alan,

Thanks. The Charger Voltage (under Charger Status) is showing 118V which is accurate for the battery voltage.I don't think the Bus Voltage (under Motor Control Status is showing the battery volts but what the nominal system voltage is. Clearly I need to change that if possible.

The only other difference in the 2 screenshots is the the 'VPE' window under Motor Control Status is red in one and green in the other ... and I can't remember which screenshot was with the ignition switch in the on position! I'm guessing the first window is ignition 'on' and the second 'off'.

Mr Dugas has been in touch. More later.

I have checked all the CANbus network for continuity and it all appears good.

I'll try Matteo again.

(For the benefit of anyone else...) I have been struggling to get the PCANUSB dongle working with the most convenient Windows XP Pro PC I have that is in my garage (I'm using a laptop at the moment). This was due to the drivers not being correct (as usual). Reinstalling the VectrixParts Diagnostic App direct from their site did not help. In the end I found that the PEAK PCANUSB driver installer for Windows 2000 (https://www.peak-system.com/PCAN-USB.199.0.html?&L=1 click on 'Downloads' ... at the bottom) worked. Once I ran the driver installer app and plugged in the PCANUSB dongle, the usual Windows 'new device' driver config window popped up. Using the 'Install Automatically' option and pointing the app to the newly created drivers directory loaded up the drivers fine. Then the Diagnostics App fired up correctly and the LED on the PCANUSB dongle lit up, flashing slowly (it flashes faster if connected to the bike as per normal).

Regards, Martin.

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

martinwinlow
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Re: Vectrix (2008 VX-1) Won't Turn Off

An update; At the suggestion of David Dugas, I tried the bike with the 12-way MC connector unplugged and it does not turn itself on. Awaiting a reply from David as to what to try next.

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

martinwinlow
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Re: Vectrix (2008 VX-1) Won't Turn Off

An update. So, the latest is that it appears there is a minor fault with the MC PCB. My justification for this is that with *all* connections to the MC PCB removed (bar the motor phase wires... and the battery, obviously), the MC still powers up ie there is 12VDC between Pins 2 & 3 on J22 (12-way, top right). Apparently, there is a sort of feedback circuit on the MC PCB where one section monitors another for signs of the ignition switch being turned off. When it sees this, there is a timed delay to allow the MC to shut down and then the monitoring circuit is also supposed to shut down but this is not happening.

So, I am either going to have to buy a new/used PCB or sending this one off to VectrixParts (VP) for repair. However, I have, as yet, been unable to get any response from VP, either by raising a service ticket on their website (2, in fact) or by emailing Matteo directly.

One other thing I am minded to try is to reinstall the MC firmware. Unfortunately, the old PC the files were stored on has long since died. It had revision 1024 if anyone has a copy I'd be glad to hear from you. Alternatively, if the one on VP's site will work then I'll try that but it is for the official Vectrix lithium version whereas my bike was originally a NiM H one... (I can't remember the details now as it was 2015 when I upgraded to a Sinopoly Li battery pack).

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

Drew
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Re: Vectrix (2008 VX-1) Won't Turn Off

Hi Martin, having caught up with all of this, it does seem like you've been trying everything - and in a very sensible order. I'd agree, it seems like one of the Mosfets has 'punched through', stopping the MC from switching off, effectively - it becomes like a stuck relay! Either that or there is some salt or furring of the tracks that is artificially driving the fet, even when you try and power down using the conventional means. Although the boards are conformally coated, have you checked for signs of track corrosion or contamination?

Good luck with this one. I checked to see which versions of firmware I have and all I have got is much older, sorry. Do post again if you get to the bottom of it.

BDI Drew

martinwinlow
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Re: Vectrix (2008 VX-1) Won't Turn Off

I have now extracted the motor controller PCB and sent it off to Matteo in Rome for repair.

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

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