Vectrix reports

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Mik
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Vectrix Real World Mountain Climbing Test Report

I have found the hill - or rather mountain - that took my Vectrix to the limit.

I did not publish this report earlier because I wanted to avoid further bad publicity for Vectrix and because I wanted to get Vectrix' advice on this problem first.

Now it has become imperative to publish this because I have a suspicion that the multi-function-throttle is causing the problem, and another Vectrix driver has had a potentially lethal throttle problem.

Funontwowheels = George wrote:

1. Throttle sticking, difficulty engaging reverse had to replace the sensor.

2. Was given a charger software update, after which the charger promptly blew, however got a prompt repair and new charger which seemed to work okay.

3. Nearly KILLED my self when the throttle stuck in the fully open position, only remembered about the kill switch at the last minute ... a frightening experience. I managed to affect repair by resetting the throttle sensor, however I now feel VERY APPREHESIVE when riding my Vectrix, in case the same thing happens again.

4. Battery and temperature warning lights now flashing all the time, indicating a problem with battery temperature sensors, have been unable to use bike for weeks. I am currently waiting for the bike to be uplifted and repaired and to take delivery of a loan bike. Have missed a couple of opportunities to exhibit the bike because of this and potentially lost sales.

See at http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2206-vectrix-owners-new-amp-prospective for details.
.

Another reason for publishing now is that the Vectrix team has not replied to my concerns
as expressed in the below email sent to Vectrix by myself on Jan 18th, 2008.
They did answer my email from Jan 9th, 2008, also quoted below, in a fast and appropriate manner, but I do not believe that the “diagnosis” was correct. These emails from Vectrix on Jan 10th and 11th, 2008 contained the last reference to any of my technical questions. Sales talk only since then from the Australian salesman, and nothing but a referral to him from the USA.

My Vectrix failed totally on Jan 15th, 2008, under non-demanding conditions (except for high humidity).

On Jan 17th, 2008 I sent Vectrix a link to the video in case it would help with diagnosing the problem. No answer whatsoever.

I sent this email on Jan 18th, 2008: (hyperlinks disabled in quoted emails to avoid confusion - they worked in the original and are all available further down in this report!)

Hello Xxxxx,

I believe the assessment that the noise during uphill driving was a "planned power/performance cutback mode" was incorrect.

As you are hopefully aware my Vectrix has completely failed during driving two days ago.

Yyyyy (Vectrix owner from Tasmania) immediately recognised the problem as the regen braking kicking in when I described the problem to him. He also had a look at the video and that confirmed his impression. Please have a look at it and get your design group to have a look at it, too please. Here is the link again:
.....ww.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7PWIvTcTNU
The noise happens at 2:37, 2:38, 2:39, 2:40, 2:41, 2:46, 2:50, 2:51, 2:59 and 3:49min into the 5 minute drive on the video.

Yyyyy has apparently had very similar problems with his Vectrix, i.e. regen braking engaging when it should not and his reverse was not working well, just like mine - until he lubricated the throttle, which fixed the problems immediately and permanently. His throttle was also squeeking, which I thought mine was not doing. I was initially very skeptical about this theory, too.
But only until I turned the throttle today on my now dead bike.
Here is the video:...ww.youtube.com/watch?v=2sdlK-ERW3M
As you can see in the video the throttle is so sticky and squeeky that it does not even return to zero spontaneously!
That was not apparent before the bike broke down without warning, and I never pulled the throttle again afterwards until Yyyyy brought up his idea.
I think it filled with water during the downpours that day, which then dislodged some of the lubricant; as long as there was some water left in the throttle it still had some lubrication, but after 15min of driving in dry conditions it had probably dried out sufficiently to become sticky.
I believe now that the throttle and regen braking system malfunctioned, which might then have let to a main fuse blowing.

Please let me know what you and your design group think of this theory.

Kind regards,

Mr. Mik


Since this email was sent, “Yyyyy’s” Vectrix has also shut down completely during gentle driving.

BUT: With hindsight, the squeaky throttle might have been caused by the tying down of the Vectrix on the tow truck, just to be complete.

The throttle two days after the bike stopped running.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

And this is the earlier email I sent to Vectrix on Jan 9th, 2008 regarding this problem:

Hi Zzzzz,

my Vectrix has again made noises and decelerated for split seconds whilst climbing the long, steep Henry Roberts Drive at about 60km/h, at almost full or full throttle.This time it happened repeatedly, not once only like last time. This time there was no slow car in the way, so the problem became more obvious.
I believe it is some sort of overload protection.

Here is a map of the route on which this happened: .......
maps.google.com...
You can view it in Google Earth for a better impression of the terrain.
The marked route is about 4km long, and climbs about 400m.

I have attached a sound file
recorded in the boot of the Vectrix; it isn't exactly Hi-Fi, but you can clearly hear the 6 buzzing sounds if you use headphones. The sounds happen at 5s, 6s, 7s, 8s, 9s and 21s into the recording.
Does not sound like much on the recording, but it sounds like a loud warning buzzer to the rider, and is accompanied each time by loss of all - or nearly all - acceleration.

Once I returned home, having rolled back down the mountain first and gaining 3km in range displayed, then traveled at 100km/h for some time, then 80km/h for several km, then stopped at home, the battery and high temp telltales came on and "bAthot" appeared where Trip A used to be... (see attached .jpg)

I measured the Motor/gearbox temp as 75deg C at the end of the ride (by infrared thermometer).
Battery temp was reported as 44deg C after 1 min of charging shortly thereafter.
Ambient temperature was 28deg C, and 25deg C up on the mountain.

Is this to be expected? Are these malfunctions or is my Vectrix functioning well, protecting itself against overload?

I am worried that I might have much more of these sort of problems once I am comfortable / safe enough to take a passenger along, and when it gets hotter.
28deg C is less than average temp for the season here, we could easily get around 40deg C.

I was initially planning to post this as another "Vectrix Gold Coast Test Route Report", along with my other reports on ......visforvoltage.org/forum/2547-vectrix-reports , but I delayed this when the buzzing sound happened for the first time a week or so ago (see my email to you from 31-12-2007, which also mentioned the poor range, long charging time, reverse gear unreliability, uneven regen braking and noisy gearbox ).

I do not wish to cause Vectrix any bad publicity, that’s why I have delayed posting the mountain report (That's why there is a Vectrix test route Gold Coast 1,2 and 4 on the forum, but no number 3; this climb was supposed to be number 3.)

I would however still like to report this test drive, in that forum, once the problem has been fixed.

Or, if it is not fixable, and simply represents the limit beyond which the Vectrix cannot go, then I would like to report that.

Henry Roberts Drive is really quite an exceptional climb, the problems with the Vectrix only show when there is no traffic because there is usually a slow car stopping you from going as fast as the Vectrix can.
Very few people would decide against buying a Vectrix because of an honest report showing that it struggles with a mountain that is probably steeper than anything they would ever tackle. And as usual, it would be clear that despite it's limitations, the Vectrix is ahead of any competition by lengths.
A report showing the Vectrix' limitations on a mountain road like Henry Roberts Drive would demonstrate to most people that the Vectrix can handle the terrain which they need it for with great ease.

And those people who decide to go EV despite living in very demanding terrain, well they definitely deserve to know what to expect before they buy!

I have also copied this to Xyz Yzx and Yyz Zyy, in case they can explain - or suggest diagnostic procedures etc. - why this is happening before you travel all the way here for the slightly overdue 1000km service.

Regards,

Mr. Mik

Please excuse me quoting myself here - but I need to make the background of this clear to avoid any misunderstandings.
..................................................................................................

.
.
Now finally back to the mountain climbing report:

.
.
The test route is the Henry Roberts Drive on the Gold Coast, Australia. It is in fact the uphill leg of the “Vectrix Real Word Regenerative Breaking Report Part 2”.

It is climbing Mt. Tamborine.

Here is a link to the map of the route: maps.google.com...
You can view it in Google Earth for a better impression of the terrain.

Here is a taste of it: (Elevation factor set to 1:1, no exaggeration!)

The test route is about 4km long, and climbs about 400m.

It has a speed limit of 60km/h, except for the first few hundred meters, where the speed limit is 80km/h.

My Vectrix made brief, loud noises accompanied by deceleration on the steepest part of the hill at 60km/h, but only if there was no slower traffic (like cars) getting in the way.
It’s the steepest long road around here, but is used by multiple commuters from Mt Tamborine to the Gold Coast on a daily basis. There might be steeper climbs somewhere around here, but I believe they would be much shorter.
The noise happens at full or almost full throttle.

I initially heard the sound once and reported it to Vectrix, then I made a sound recording of the noise with an MP3 player in the boot, and sent the recording to Vectrix (see quoted email above).

Xxxxx then advised me – after asking me several appropriate questions and confirming with the design team in a very timely fashion - that this was not a malfunction, but that the Vectrix was going into "a planned power/performance cut back mode".

After that advice I attached a video camera to my Vectrix to better record the problem. (There was too much noise in the boot to clearly record the noise without having to use headphones for replay.)

I sent a link to the video to Vectrix on Jan 17th and did not receive any reply indicating that they had come to a different conclusion compared to the conclusion after the noise only recording (= "a planned power/performance cut back mode" ).

Then I heard from Yyyyy in Tasmania about the throttle theory mentioned in the email of Jan 18th above.
.

Thats the view from the starting point:
S4025805.jpg

.

Here is the video I recorded during hill climbing on Henry Roberts Drive: (Same as in the quoted email above):
(You can also watch it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7PWIvTcTNU , which allows you to switch off the lengthwise distortion)

On the right of the screen you can see an altimeter indicating a climb of about 400m during the drive. The thermometer below the speedo measures the air temperature next to the left battery cooling air inlet under the front fairing.

The noise happens at 2:37, 2:38, 2:39, 2:40, 2:41, 2:46, 2:50, 2:51, 2:59 and 3:49min into the drive. Headphones still help a lot during playback...

The video/test drive starts and ends at the locations indicated in this google map:
maps.google.com...
The video is 5:05 min long.

Hopefully Vectrix staff have really looked at the video and the whole issue and learned from it, but the lot of them steadfastly refuse me any reply to my technical questions since several weeks now.

Vectrix’ current plan for my dead bike is to deliver a new Vectrix, supposedly harder to break, on Feb 5th or 6th, and to examine the old one in Australia.
I’ve asked many (so far) unanswered questions in regards to that, too…..Check the early adopters comment forum for more on that!

I’d really like to know if this noise-with-deceleration-phenomenon in the video was "a planned power/performance cut back mode" or something else.

In the absence of replies from Vectrix I have to ask you people on the VisforVoltage forums for advice – show them how it’s done, please!

I’ll abstain from directly asking Vectrix technical questions from now on, unless they invite me to do so or where I believe it is a safety issue.
I believe (and this is speculation, of course) that the issue has been discussed within Vectrix and that their staff have been advised to not answer these questions.

Instead I’ll put my questions here on “V”.

Mr. Mik

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

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Re: Vectrix reports

Hey Mik, sorry if I'm stepping on your toes here, but figured this is the most suitable place for me recent range evaluation.

This past Sunday I took my Vectrix out on a 'urban range test.'
My bike is fully functional and riding better than ever. I believe this to be because when the bad connection on my throttle was repaired the Vec-Tech also checked and upgraded my firmware or software (which is the right name?). He said the firmware i had on the bike was a revision that was never to go on a bike a called it 'bad software.' We speculated that it must have been wrongly upgraded when serviced at the dealership.

The effects I saw from the software upgrade are actually pretty broad.
The motor is smoother, I used to get kind of a lugging effects, and a slight push-pull vibration at lower speeds which is almost completely gone.
The bike accelerates faster and I seem to get slightly better range.
The estimated range now CHANGES, and can go up and down depending on my driving style. (on old firmware it simple decreased at a fairly static rate... which seemed more dependent on battery level.)

Anyways the bike was fixed a few days before, and I had completed the full battery discharge/cycle to finish the upgrade.
I set out on sunday with a 'full' battery, but within about 50 of leaving home my battery dropped a bar. Which there was no reason for this and I believe I didn't get quite a full charge (this is the third time I have had this occur).
How ever I continued my test.
I spent the first half of my battery at lower speeds, residental and lower city speeds of 25mph(40k/h) to 35mph (56k/h). I believe top speed would have been 37 or so on first half of the battery.
My riding style through out the test was 'normal.' I was not riding extremely conservative nor aggressively. I rode fast enough to stay with traffic (the +2 or 3 over speed limit) and accelerated with the flow of traffic (it was a Sunday however.)
Again the riding was stop and go, rolling stops, tight corners and short accelerations as I explored the different residential areas of my town.

The second half of the batter was higher speed. Average speed of probably 30mph (48k/h) to 50 mph(80k/h). On this part of the test I rode in large loops on the in town high ways and main rodes.
Again the time I stayed with the flow of speeding traffic in the afternoon My average speed here was probably about 43 mph.

When I finally charged my bike I had traveled 48.4 miles (77.89 km)
I rode maybe 1 or 2 miles past when I had zero bars, and zero range. I never road the bike to were the battery light came on and even when I did my final run down my neighborhood street, the bike had plenty of pick up and it topped 50 mph i think.

On the test it was subjected to one, very brief full throttle acceleration... The rest of the time was 'normal' riding. The payload of the bike was 135.5 lbs (61.46kg). I weighed in with full gear on...

Trip specs:
Travel time: about 2 hours 15 minutes.
Distance: 48.4 miles, 77.89 km
Top speed: 50 mph, 80 k/h
Conditions: city & urban stop and go, 'normal' riding style.
Average Speed: about 21.5 mph, 34.6 k/h, bike was on for entire duration.
Payload: 135.5 lbs, 61.46kg

After the test I am confident I could easily attian the 55 miles range advertised. I didn't start with a completely full charge and if i eased off the throttle and lowered speeds it would be no problem especially at my weight.

-- --

I returned home on the first warm afternoon I had expereinced in several weeks, and gave Eli (my bike ^_^ ) his first well deserved thorough bath.
I was glad to see the most of the bike stood up well to the water and corrosive salts and de-icers they use on the roads here. How ever the swing arm and motor housing appear to be slightly stained from some of the grime...
How is everyone elses bike hold up to corrosion?

Mik, I got read all your posts above, skimmed and looks like there is some very interesting stuff. Just been busy lately! Hope you get back on two wheels soon!

Mik
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Re: Vectrix reports
Hey Mik, sorry if I'm stepping on your toes here, but figured this is the most suitable place for me recent range evaluation.

No worries, thanks! About time someone pitches in, I never expected it to be such a long, lonely stretch. Or that it would take up so much time.....

This past Sunday I took my Vectrix out on a 'urban range test.'
My bike is fully functional and riding better than ever. I believe this to be because when the bad connection on my throttle was repaired the Vec-Tech also checked and upgraded my firmware or software (which is the right name?). He said the firmware i had on the bike was a revision that was never to go on a bike a called it 'bad software.' We speculated that it must have been wrongly upgraded when serviced at the dealership.

The effects I saw from the software upgrade are actually pretty broad.
The motor is smoother, I used to get kind of a lugging effects, and a slight push-pull vibration at lower speeds which is almost completely gone.
The bike accelerates faster and I seem to get slightly better range.
The estimated range now CHANGES, and can go up and down depending on my driving style. (on old firmware it simple decreased at a fairly static rate... which seemed more dependent on battery level.)

Anyways the bike was fixed a few days before, and I had completed the full battery discharge/cycle to finish the upgrade.
I set out on sunday with a 'full' battery, but within about 50 of leaving home my battery dropped a bar. Which there was no reason for this and I believe I didn't get quite a full charge (this is the third time I have had this occur).
How ever I continued my test.
I spent the first half of my battery at lower speeds, residental and lower city speeds of 25mph(40k/h) to 35mph (56k/h). I believe top speed would have been 37 or so on first half of the battery.
My riding style through out the test was 'normal.' I was not riding extremely conservative nor aggressively. I rode fast enough to stay with traffic (the +2 or 3 over speed limit) and accelerated with the flow of traffic (it was a Sunday however.)
Again the riding was stop and go, rolling stops, tight corners and short accelerations as I explored the different residential areas of my town.

The second half of the batter was higher speed. Average speed of probably 30mph (48k/h) to 50 mph(80k/h). On this part of the test I rode in large loops on the in town high ways and main rodes.
Again the time I stayed with the flow of speeding traffic in the afternoon My average speed here was probably about 43 mph.

When I finally charged my bike I had traveled 48.4 miles (77.89 km)
I rode maybe 1 or 2 miles past when I had zero bars, and zero range. I never road the bike to were the battery light came on and even when I did my final run down my neighborhood street, the bike had plenty of pick up and it topped 50 mph i think.

On the test it was subjected to one, very brief full throttle acceleration... The rest of the time was 'normal' riding. The payload of the bike was 135.5 lbs (61.46kg). I weighed in with full gear on...

Trip specs:
Travel time: about 2 hours 15 minutes.
Distance: 48.4 miles, 77.89 km
Top speed: 50 mph, 80 k/h
Conditions: city & urban stop and go, 'normal' riding style.
Average Speed: about 21.5 mph, 34.6 k/h, bike was on for entire duration.
Payload: 135.5 lbs, 61.46kg

After the test I am confident I could easily attian the 55 miles range advertised. I didn't start with a completely full charge and if i eased off the throttle and lowered speeds it would be no problem especially at my weight.

-- --

I returned home on the first warm afternoon I had expereinced in several weeks, and gave Eli (my bike ^_^ ) his first well deserved thorough bath.
I was glad to see the most of the bike stood up well to the water and corrosive salts and de-icers they use on the roads here. How ever the swing arm and motor housing appear to be slightly stained from some of the grime...
How is everyone elses bike hold up to corrosion?

Mik, I got read all your posts above, skimmed and looks like there is some very interesting stuff. Just been busy lately! Hope you get back on two wheels soon!


Thanks for that excellent report!

I'm looking forward to getting my replacement Vectrix in 5 or 6 days. There is every hope that it will perform better than the first one!

210kg (empty Vectrix) + 61kg TS = 271kg
210kg + 111kg MM = 321kg
321:271x100= 118.54%

It means that my Rider/bike combo was 18.5% heavier than yours.

That would definitely have an impact on range (and acceleration), particularly in mountainous terrain and when accelerating frequently.
But I don't believe it is all there is to it.

Re: corrosion: The 2 screws holding on the back seat are rusting, no other rust or corrosion so far.

Thanks again, keep it coming!

Mr. Mik

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

Mik
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Re: Vectrix reports

Hi,

the replacement Vectrix was delivered as planned.

Vectrix payed for all costs, re-registration etc. and delivered the new bike to me, 2000km from Melbourne.

It took quite some time and effort to condition the batteries, so I have not done much else with it yet.
I am posting the battery conditioning related stuff at: http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2707-how-best-break-vectrix-anyone039s-guess
(quite unfortunate how that hyperlink ended up being spelled, it was not me!!!)

Just a quick overview here for now:

Range needs testing now that conditioning is done. But I've got better things to do than ride around at 40km/h again....unless the bicycle racing club takes the bait and lets me use the Velodrome for a while.

Acceleration appears improved, about 9s from 0-80km/h with about 113kg pay load. Needs proper testing. The torque is still too limited (by software) from 0-50km/h for my liking. An override button (or the right software) that enables unleashing of all the power for experienced riders would be nice.....One day....

The reverse gear works each time like a charm now.

Not sure yet how reliable the estimate of remaining range is - it was completely out during conditioning (as expected).
Any incorrectly indicated remaining charge does not suddenly disappear any more, it remains on display even when my replacement Vectrix is barely capable of any movement any more; I believe it represents a remaining charge in the battery that is only accessible after further deep discharge cycles.
S4026439.jpg
The battery was very, very empty when this picture was taken.

Recharging time - need to analyse the data and observe recharging cycles now that the conditioning is complete before coming to conclusions.

Any problems when going up hills? - not yet tested on Henry Roberts Drive.

Fit and finish:
Not as near-perfect as on my previous Vectrix, but acceptable to me.

Fitness for what I need it for:
With about 111kg payload I cannot deplete the replacement Vectrix' battery on my commute and back, even when I am a pig with the throttle, break the speed limit (inadvertently of course), accelerate full bore after each stop, and generally waste energy where I can.
So I can get there and back without recharging at work and without having to worry about it.
The commute is about 20km +20km, mostly 80km/h and 70km/h speed limit, plenty of hills and wind. About 80m height difference between start and finish, with multiple smaller hills between.
My new Vectrix starts to drop to 80km/h at full throttle about 200m from home when I try to deplete it like that. (That driving style is however not that improbable - when the weather is really miserably rainy and windy and I need to keep the disk brakes dry, then I will actually need that amount of energy to get home!)

It might still be far from the advertised specs, but it does what I need it to do right now, with grunt and style, and for AU$0.70 in stead of AU$5.40 for petrol for my Camry per day.

And the price for crude went up to US$110.- today, I hear....

So far, I'd buy another Vectrix on the spot.

Mr. Mik

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

Mik
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Vectrix reports Noise levels

Hi,

noise levels are a very difficult subject; hard to comprehend physics and maths are involved, and even if one has the equipment to measure and express noise levels in technical terms, it does not mean much to most people.

It is all extremely subjective.

In wise foresight I have therefore long ago invested into a state-of-the-art pair of sound receivers, coupled to the most complex mechanism known to human science today.
My mother assembled it all for me in a convenient location: inside my skull.

By regular use of earplugs at he appropriate times (concerts, disco, work etc) I kept the equipment in good nick.

That's why I can confidently say that all those reports about the Vectrix providing "silent transport", "police silently sneaking up on criminals" etc are best disregarded altogether.

My new Vectrix is very similar to the old one in regards to noise levels.

Driving noise:
There is a high pitched whine which is loudest at about 35km/h. At that speed I find it definitely annoying, it seems to echo through the helmet or hit the resonance frequency of my skull - subjectively extremely noisy at that speed. At speeds up to 20km/h and above 50km/h there is much, much less subjective noise.

The frequency characteristics are very different from what an ICE bike emits, but the subjective noise level to the rider at certain speeds is way higher than from some well designed ICE motorbikes.
This might be different from a distance, but I doubt it.
It is also louder than most modern cars and the noise "sticks out" of the background traffic noise due to the high pitch.
I believe this noise comes from the gear box. It sounds just like a car gearbox in reverse, and a quick internet search will show you that this is due to straight cut gears for reverse and helical cut gears for the forward gears.
I also found multiple comments stating that racing gear boxes are all straight cut, because that is much stronger than helical cut, and a few comments contradicting this.
I'm out of my depth here, but I would bet that if someone was keen to void their warranty and open the gearbox they would find that the planetary gear box is "straight cut".

There is also considerable noise from the battery cooling fans and the controller fans. These may continue running for a while even if you stop or turn the Vectrix off altogether.

The recharging noise from battery cooling and charger cooling fans is also considerable. I can imagine neighbors complaining about it if it is recharged outdoors at night in a quiet neighborhood. The noise level is comparable to the outdoor part of a good air-conditioning unit for a small house - and there are laws governing where you may install them. If someone working late shifts were to recharge from midnight to 0530am in the vicinity of a neighbors window this might cause trouble.
Recharging outdoors next to a busy street is all but inaudible, it's only going to be a problem in an otherwise quiet environment.
It's also loud enough to be clearly heard through garage doors and internal doors.

Mr. Mik

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

Mik
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How to turn off the light on a Vectrix

How to turn off the light on a Vectrix

Hi,

not sure how much of this is malfunction - if any of it. Try at your own risk....

This procedure turns off the headlight on my Vectrix:

With the Main/Dipped Beam Switch in the LOW position, turn on the key; after boot-up pull the "Main-Beam Pass Switch" and hold; after 3sec the horn beeps once, keep holding; after another 3 sec the HIGH and LOW BEAM Telltales go out; let go of the switch. The headlight then goes out.

If you then switch the Main/Dipped Beam Switch to high beam both HIGH and LOW Beam come on, but only for a minute or so.

The rear light stays on continuously as does the front position light underneath the headlight.

This can be dangerous if you pull the "Main-Beam Pass Switch" (while the Main/Dipped Beam Switch is in the Low position) continuously for more than 6sec whilst driving in the dark, for if you let go then you have no headlight on until you flick the Main/Dipped Beam Switch to High Beam.

Turning the key to off resets it all.

Let us know if your Vectrix does this too.

The behaviour might be different with different software upgrade versions.

Mr. Mik

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

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Re: How to turn off the light on a Vectrix

And speaking of the Vectrix....

I was watching our (FL/USA) local news this morning and they had a "clip" about the Vectrix. It seems several have been "loaned" to the city of Sacramento, CA...Police...I believe they stated. Guess the company is trying to entice the city to purchase.

Gushar

Gus

Mik
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Re: Vectrix reports

Hi Xxxxx,

bad news, the new Vectrix has died today, just like the first one.

During gentle driving at about 60km/h suddenly all power and propulsion was gone; the speedo needle just stayed at 55km/h and all the lights are out since.

Have you worked out what happened to the first Vectrix? And why?

It's the same problem again as far as I can tell.

Regards,

Here is a video of the event: (Really boring stuff; only waiting for a tow-truck could be worse....)

So, back to the trust rusty ICE-Camry again.

Mr. Mik

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

Mik
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Re: Vectrix reports

Hi Xxxxx,

there is a link to a video of the instrument panel of my Vectrix during the breakdown ride at

http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2673-vectrix-range#new.

It might help you with diagnosing the problem, but I'm sure it's the same problem as last time.

Regards,

S4027440.jpg
There's something wrong with this picture.....
.

.

This is where you tie your Vectrix down if it needs towing - use the D-rings under the fairing, not the delicate multi-function throttle!
S4027443.jpg
.
.

Mr. Mik

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

eyeinthesky
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Re: How to turn off the light on a Vectrix

WOW! thanks for that info MiK, I knew there was a way to switch off the main lights
and you found it. find out how to reset my charger will you!

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Re: How to turn off the light on a Vectrix

WOW! thanks for that info MiK, I knew there was a way to switch off the main lights
and you found it. find out how to reset my charger will you!

Well, I use a surge protector and a timer. Maybe that's what kept my chargers going. Or it could be that my scooters just did not run long enough for the charger failure to unfold...

You said there are not many lightning strikes in Tasmania, but most power grid voltage fluctuations are caused by something else, anyway.
It could of course be that the Vectrix is utterly impervious to voltage fluctuations anyway, how could I know when they have not answered my questions regarding this in about three months?

Mr. Mik

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Re: How to turn off the light on a Vectrix

Darn!

On my bike that procedure didn't work to turn the lights off.
No beep nothin, I'll have to play around a bit but looks like, for my bike, that what the Vec-Tech said was accurate that the headlights are on permanently.

chas_stevenson
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Re: How to turn off the light on a Vectrix

I am curious, is there some reason you can't cut the wire going to the lights and add a switch? If the lights need to be connected for the power up sequence just turn them on and then after the power up is complete turn them off.

Just asking,
Chas S.

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Re: How to turn off the light on a Vectrix

Well I am certian that modification would void what is starting to sound like a highly valuable 2 year warrenty!

Besides the impact on the battery is said to be very little.

But it is interesting to know all the little tricks that the skimpy Vectrix manual doesn't cover. (not that it says anything useful anyways).

Keep 'em coming Mr. Mik!

Mik
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Re: How to turn off the light on a Vectrix

Well I am certian that modification would void what is starting to sound like a highly valuable 2 year warrenty!

Besides the impact on the battery is said to be very little.

But it is interesting to know all the little tricks that the skimpy Vectrix manual doesn't cover. (not that it says anything useful anyways).

Keep 'em coming Mr. Mik!

I agree - the safety value of permanently on headlights far outweighs the reduction in range.
The lights would have to be on for several days to make a difference to range.

The HID conversion idea is potentially valuable, though.
I bought a 35/35W car kit and bike harness, but have not had time to measure what that "ballast" demands of the power source.
It's likely close to what the Vectrix ?DC/DC converter can supply, but maybe too much.

Hope I'll get around to testing this soon, but only on the bench, not on the bike.

I would ask for Vectrix' approval before attempting an installation on the bike.

Mr. Mik

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

duca
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Re: How to turn off the light on a Vectrix

Do you really feel the light of the Vectrix to be too little? I found it better than on most motorbikes I've ridden so far: just keep the huge glass clean. I find it so good that I seldom use High beam also outside of town in dark streets: no need to change bulbs in my very humble opinion :)

Mik
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Re: How to turn off the light on a Vectrix

Do you really feel the light of the Vectrix to be too little? I found it better than on most motorbikes I've ridden so far: just keep the huge glass clean. I find it so good that I seldom use High beam also outside of town in dark streets: no need to change bulbs in my very humble opinion :)

The HS1 globe is apparently the new standard for motor bike globes.

But who wants standard....

The situation here is such that I dislike riding at night due to the behaviour of kangaroos. They show unpredictable flight behaviour.

They sit on the edge of the road, eating fresh grass growth caused by mowing of the side strips.
When - and if - they decide to hop off because of an approaching vehicle, then they might hop right into the vehicle, across the road, along the road, away from the road or any combination of the above.

And if there is a bunch of them, then all of the above at the same time.

Ergo, I want to see them as early as possible, and HID lights would help with this.

Mr. Mik

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duca
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Re: How to turn off the light on a Vectrix

Oh! I see: it really is an interesting Country where you live in, Mik! :)

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Re: Vectrix reports

Repair of my Vectrix is planned for March 19th, the new technician will fly here and try to fix it up.

Mr. Mik

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

duca
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Re: Vectrix reports

Wish you good luck Mik.
I had to leave the Vectrix alone a few days due to engagements after work which had been definitely out of reach of the scooter and today I eventually re-took the red mule on the path to work.
I had him two days on inspection too to sort out a problem with not fully recharging battery happening at times and throttle being sticky.
It seems all ok now: they have "inplanted" a new software release. Now the extimated range first changes after 3 point something km instead of 1,6km and seemingly it is put up-to-date also less often so you have a less crazy changing estimate range.
I'm little concerned about range too in that, according to the new software I cannot expect more than 60 to 70km the way I drive, which i "guesstimate" more in the range of 50 to 60km.
This means that I'm in real troubles every time I have contrary winds and/or ain't find any kind lorry to hide behind. In addition, within the year I'll be moving to a new home further still from work than I'm now.
Rumor has it, next year LiPo Battery pack should be issued from GP: I wonder if they need beta testers...

Regards

Mik
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Re: Vectrix reports

It seems all ok now: they have "inplanted" a new software release. Now the extimated range first changes after 3 point something km instead of 1,6km and seemingly it is put up-to-date also less often so you have a less crazy changing estimate range.

Regards

Thanks for the update!

Have you noticed any reduced hill climbing performance after the software update?

How many km have you clocked up now?

Mr. Mik

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

duca
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Re: Vectrix reports

Hello Mik,
Since update I have travelled 200km maybe and the grand total is near 6000km now (I'll edit this information with the precise number this evening :o) ). I have noticed that the motor is smoother in overall, but it might depend also from the fact that they changed the piece of which i don't remember the name which captates the position of the rotor and gives input to the controller as to when to give the electric impulse. Now when you release the throttle you have a true feeling of free-wheel. In comparaison it felt formerly like always a little braking. Performance uphill didn't change in my opinion but acceleration overall feels a little different, like somewhat smoother (but we are really talking about nuances), it might also depend from tyre pressure (I should check it more often than I do) and regen braking feels less strong than it was, but tis could well be in relation with the changing of the piece of which I can't remember the name rather than with the software update.
Also, they eventually changed the spring under the backseat. Pay attention to fold it to the rear when closing otherwise it could happen that it becomes squeezed between seat and a square "process" of the frame contour. If this happens, the spring won't hold the stretched position anymore. In Rome there are 2 known cases (mine and one dealer-scooter). In the meanwhile you see some scooter driving around, but Italians seem a little against the tide in some respect. After all, nowhere else you see that much smart-car around.

Why don't you try to tell the TR to get in touch with the technicians in Rome? They seem quite fond and after all the team here was apparently heavy involved with the latest stage of development from prototype to production, maybe they have an idea of what could have happened to you.

Regards

Mik
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Re: Vectrix reports

I have noticed that the motor is smoother in overall, but it might depend also from the fact that they changed the piece of which i don't remember the name which captates the position of the rotor and gives input to the controller as to when to give the electric impulse.

Regards

I think you might mean the Encoder Sensor in the rear wheel.

Mr. Mik

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duca
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Re: Vectrix reports

Yes! the encoder that is! :)

Mik
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Re: Vectrix reports

My Vectrix has been repaired on March 19th as planned.

Main fuse had blown.

More details later.

Mr. Mik

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

duca
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Re: Vectrix reports

Hope the best for you and your vectrix Mik: keep us informed :)

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Vectrix reports - loose break light cable and stand

Hi,

I had two problems with my Vectrix today:

First the GO sign would not come on as usually.

I then wobbled the side stand gently by hand (to test if the stand switch was maybe still pushed in), and the upper metal pin holding the stand springs broke off.

S4028009.jpg

It looks as if the side stand became a little bit loose, which makes the stand wobble sideways when it is in the down position.
This would not be much of a problem if it did not the put it's load onto the pin that broke off when the scooter leans onto it.

S4028011.jpg

I believe it is due to slightly inaccurate sizing of the stand and its bracket or the screw going through them. The screw holding it on has 2 identical washers next to each other.
The screws unthreaded part is a bit too long to allow squeezing of the two sides of the "fork" together to make it fit tightly. Two washers (installed in the factory I believe) had temporarily fixed the problem - until now.

S4028018.jpgS4028026.jpg

I temporarily added in a third washer (the larger one in the picture above) which made it possible to tighten the srews sufficiently to stop the wobble, but the pin needs to be welded back in.
Two packing straps from the boot to the stand appear to work well as a temporary solution until the new stand arrives.

S4028037.jpg

.
.

The first problem turned out to be a blessing in disguise: It was just a slipped off connector from the left break light switch. It caused the throttle activation procedure to fail, hence no GO sign.

Had this not happened, I believe the stand spring would have come off during riding, causing the stand to drop down with potentially painful consequences.

So, check that your side stand is not wobbling; if it is wobbling fix it by tightening the screws and adding in more washers if needed.

Mr. Mik

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

duca
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Re: Vectrix reports - loose break light cable and stand

It looks like the spring retaining pin is inserted by interference in the hole, am I correct? I wonder why it has not been welded or screwed with a thread... maybe just a point of loctite is enough to avoid it coming off again. I noticed too that my side stand was becoming wobbling. Actually it was the pivot screw becoming loose and protruding to the outside. This made the thread head interfering with the spring when lowering the side stand, that's how I noticed it. I tightened the nut and screw and that was it. I know it from motorbikes that the side stand always is something to take an eye upon, this makes no exception apparently. I don't think adding washers is a good idea, you could end with the actual thread working in the pivoting area or with not enough thread in the nut, not good. Anyway the "play"of the side stand in his lodgement is defined by the thickness of the seat and the widht of the "U" of the stand, it should neither be too tight as to get stuck.

Anyway apart from this, how is going with your Vectrix after the techician paid you visit?

Ciao!

Luigi

Mik
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Re: Vectrix reports - loose break light cable and stand

It looks like the spring retaining pin is inserted by interference in the hole, am I correct?

Luigi

I am not sure what you mean with "interference".

The broken off pin looks as if the end inserted into the hole was melted, but the circumference is smooth and clean.

I thought the pin might hold with a bit of glue because it gets jammed by the perpendicular pull of the spring, but that proved to be wrong.
It turns into a projectile instead, watch your eyes....

Locktite might work better, but would still risk sudden failure at any moment.

The Technical Representative of Vectrix Australia told me he would send a new stand asap.

He also helped to diagnose the problem with the loose brake switch cable by phone.

Unfortunately I still cannot get a center stand from Vectrix Australia.

Does anyone here have a center stand on their Vectrix?

Mr. Mik

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

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New place for: Vectrix reports

Hi,

this thread is getting a bit long, therefore I will continue to post here:

http://visforvoltage.org/forum/3272-vectrix-real-world-testing-2-noise-levels

to keep it more manageable.

Mr. Mik

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

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