Vectrix Technical Resources

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Mik
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Vectrix Technical Resources

A forum to collect and discuss the available technical information for Vectrix Maxi Scooters.

Mik
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Re: Vectrix Technical Resources

Hi,

while the below is definitely not free of hype, it nevertheless contains multiple very interesting bits of information.

This is where I found it:
http://www.techonline.com/product/underthehood/202103635

I have bolded the bits I find especially interesting and had not seen before.

Check the above link to see the diagrams etc in full size.

Under the Hood
September 26, 2007
One easy (green) rider

Rick DeMeis, AutomotiveDesignLine.com
TechOnline

Editor's Note: For further details on the Vectrix VX1 electric scooter, including images and information on the frame, instrumentation panel and a system block diagram, click here.

When design engineers were developing the Vectrix VX1 battery-powered electric "maxi-scooter" to compete with the likes of Honda, Yamaha and Moto Guzzi 400-cc gasoline-powered motorbikes, they faced a dilemma. They could build a machine that would outperform internal-combustion machines in acceleration and speed, but it would have so little range as to be useless to everyday drivers (except for drag racing). Or they could build a more practical machine with long range but with such weak performance that it would not be fun to ride and would be able to compete only with small Euro-scooters rather than the targeted internal-combustion machines.

For a full archive of articles and related On-Demand seminars, click here

The engineers found their solution by astutely blending bike structure and materials; battery technology; a correctly sized patented motor and transmission configuration; and control electronics and software. They came up with a design for a machine that delivers enough speed for highway driving (speed algorithm limited to 100 kph, or 62 mph) and with range to satisfy the majority of commuting customers (upwards of 72 miles, depending on factors such as prevailing wind, etc).

Enablers
To get the project moving, the designers relied on a lightweight (20-pound) aluminum frame, a nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery pack produced by Gold Peak in Hong Kong, and a hub-mounted motor/transmission, all of which form an integrated package ideal for the task. For instance, in a typical bike/motorcycle, the engine is below the rider, near the center of gravity (CG), and a chain drive delivers power to the rear wheel. But because the 102 cells in the 140-volt battery take up such a large volume and weight (to provide adequate range), the three-phase brushless, reverse-phase dc motor was designed for mounting on the wheel hub and drives the wheel directly via a 6:1 planetary gear--with the weightier batteries closer to the CG, cradled within the frame.

FEAT_LEADVEC_3.gif

The Vectrix-designed electric motor is supplied by SBA Parker Hannifin (Milan, Italy). David Dugas, Vectrix electrical engineer, notes that the motor has to work across a broad range of speed. The motor controller, with a Texas Instruments TMS320F241 16-bit DSP on board, handles this task, which entails operating from 0 to 1 kHz and 0 to 375 amps peak by controlling gain in the current loop. Because an electric motor produces its maximum torque at zero speed, torque is limited at low vehicle speed so the bike is less likely to get away (accelerate) from the rider and put excessive strain on the motor. Motor rpm is limited to 5,000, about 1,000 rpm below its capability, which results in the 62-mph top speed of the VX1.

Quarterbacking many of these and other electronic functions is the interface control module (ICM). This component handles throttle inputs and outputs to the motor controller; regenerative braking to conserve energy; instrument cluster displays; turn-signal blinkers and high and low beams; horn; and battery temperature and charge sensors. It forms a critical network "I/O box," as Dugas terms it. A deterministic CANbus network ties together the VX1 electric scooter's electronic controls and functionality.

Exposing the ICM printed-circuit board reveals it to be fairly conventional. Microchip Technology PIC MCUs are featured for control and CAN functions, along with LED drivers and FETs.

FEAT_LEADVEC_2.gif

Some of the unique design elements of the VX1 stand out in the software. Take the throttle control on the handlebar, for instance. Vectrix engineers could have used a conventional mechanical control link. However, they decided to take advantage of the scooter's electric drive motor to function as a generator and charge the battery pack by regenerative braking, and thus conserve energy when slowing the vehicle.

An Austriamicrosystems absolute rotary magnetic encoder provides a PWM signal of throttle-handle position that the ICM sends to the motor controller via the CANbus. To accelerate, the rider twists the handlebar grip downward, as with an internal- combustion engine. The difference comes when an upward twist is applied while traveling forward, which puts the powertrain into the "regen" braking mode.

The versatility of the electronic throttle-by-wire control architecture allows the electric motor to drive the VX1 slowly in reverse if the upward twist is applied when at a dead stop, which riders find useful when backing out of tight parking spaces for two-wheeled vehicles that are at nearly right angles to curbs.

The throttle encoder PWM signal is check-summed for integrity. For safety purposes, the bike turns off in the event of a complete failure, rather than having the system rely on the throttle position input by the rider.

In other examples of hardware/software flexibility, the ICM outputs charging data to the speedometer to display "fueling" current (as opposed to mph or kph) when the bike is plugged in for a battery recharge. The "fuel" gauge function measures and displays amp-hours remaining in the battery. Because the system is not measuring battery charge in µAmp-hours (as with handheld devices), the gauging is relatively easy and accurate.

Safety first
The ICM also quarterbacks safety functions and displays in conjunction with the motor controller. If the charge state is low, or a hot battery condition is detected, power is "gracefully degraded" to prolong range or allow the battery module(s) to reach an acceptable equilibrium temperature. (For temperature monitoring, there is a sensor on each of the 12 modules in which the cells are housed.)

ICM integration makes possible another safety function--monitoring turn-signal activation. If a blinker is on for a long time, the horn sounds to alert the driver. The blinker is not automatically turned off because the switch could end up in the "on," or thrown, position when the rider goes to use it again, leaving the bike without the signal function in that direction.

In discussing the major engineering hurdles faced in development of the VX1, Dugas is quick to note that, in addition to balancing performance and range, ensuring cool running even under Death Valley conditions was a primary goal. The solution was to employ current-control algorithms to handle battery heating and clever physical measures such as heat sinks, fins and fans (without major current use). The fans, interestingly enough, were implemented without the use of computational fluid dynamics but by knowledgeable trial and error by the design team.

These heat-handling measures were born in the company's Pink Room--an insulated enclosure where the VX1 demonstrated continuous operation at temperatures of 105°F with simulated cooling flows over the battery. Dugas noted that it was truly a worst-case scenario since not all airflow around the bike was replicated.

At the other temperature extreme--winter cold--operations and charging were modified. While range was down a bit, it came back up after a warmup period, Dugas said. And charging takes longer because of a battery preheating routine. (Normal charging, on 120 or 220 V, takes two hours to 80 percent charge and 3.5 hours to full charge.)

In another adroit maneuver in handling adverse conditions, the system will check switch states (such as the turn and horn switches) with high-current bursts into them to see if they are closed or open. The reason is that in seacoast salt air (i.e. such as the Massachusetts south coast), deposits can produce false switch-closed indications if low current is used.

Development surprises and the road ahead
When asked if any pleasant surprises fell into place during development of the VX1, Dugas said that the range went up after production bodywork with tighter fit--as well as production weight components--were available for the bike.

Looking to future developments of the electric bike concept, Vectrix is continuing development on a hybrid version with Parker Hannifin, whose fuel cell would be used to trickle-charge the battery.

Perhaps there will be a three-wheeler concept in the more near term, but with twin, steerable and articulated front wheels rather than a traditional tricycle having a pair of wheels in the rear. The idea would be that in some jurisdictions only a standard driver's license and not a special motorcycle ticket would be required. This arrangement would have greater stability, but would still be able to lean in turns with the closely spaced front wheels.

While the initial cost of the VX1--at around $11,000--is higher than that of competing gas-engine bikes (which run about $7,000), the overall operating cost of the VX1 should be less since it doesn't require gasoline or maintenance (except for brake pads), Vectrix said. So if you like emission-free, nearly silent running, take a hop on a VX1.

Rick DeMeis (rdemeis [at] cmp.com) is editor of AutomotiveDesignLine.com

Related articles:
Inside Kawasaki's Moto-GP racing bike
Video: Tear down that Prius!
Inside the Toyota Prius: Part 1 -- The airbag control module

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.
.
Here are some pictures available through the links on the original website:

diagram_from_ppt.jpg

pic_from_ppt_1.jpg

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 Technical Resources - ?? CANbus adaptor

Here is a link to what might be the adapter to connect a Vectrix to a laptop.

I am not sure if this is the right adapter.

Could anyone who understands how a CANbus works explain, please?

Would one need the adapter with optically isolated CAN?

What would one likely be able to diagnose or program without access to the Vectrix software? (CAN software apparently comes with the adapter).

http://www.testech-elect.com/phytec/can-pc-peak.htm

PCAN-USB Adapter
USB-to-CAN Connectivity
PCAN-USB Adapter

PART #: IPEH-002021E
PCAN-USB Adapter

PART #: IPEH-002022E
PCAN-USB Adapter w/ optically-isolated CAN

Description

This adapter makes it possible to connect any laptop computer or PC with a USB connector to a CAN bus. Galvanic isolation of up to 500 V between a host-PC and CAN signals is achieved with the help of an integrated DC/AC converter. The CAN is connected via a 9-pin SUB-D plug according to CiA standard recommendation DS 102-1. The LED integrated in the housing shows the operating state of the PCAN-USB. The PCAN-USB package includes a PCAN-Light Driver for user software development and the PCANview monitor tool.
Features

* Philips SJA1000 CAN controller
* 82C251 CAN transceiver
* baudrate setting to 1 MBit/s
* galvanic isolation to 500 V (for optically isolated configuration)
* supports 2.0A (11-bit ID) and 2.0B (29-bit ID) CAN
* hard-reset of the SJA1000 possible via software command
* space-saving plastic housing with USB-to-DB-9 (CAN) cable
* power supplied by the USB interface
* connection according to CiA DS102-1 standard
* includes configuration software and drivers

There are of course other vendors for this sort of adapter.

Mr. Mik

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

ratatouille
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Re: Vectrix Technical Resources - ?? CANbus adaptor

Hi Mik,

how can it reach 62mph at 5000rpm with 140/60 13" tires and a 6:1 ratio ?

I only get 48.6mph ??

Should i understand this 5000rpm limitation is only at start up ?

Jean-François

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re: Gearbox ratio

Ratatouille wrote:

how can it reach 62mph at 5000rpm with 140/60 13" tires and a 6:1 ratio ?

I only get 48.6mph ??

Should i understand this 5000rpm limitation is only at start up ?

I agree! The maths do not add up; a rough calculation shows that the rear wheel needs a much larger radius than it has.

I'll try to measure the wheel circumference later on - all that imperial measurement business for tires is too confusing for me... ;-)

The rpm limitation is only for the top speed; they limit the torque somehow at zero to 50km/h, something I would really like to change, because the acceleration was insufficient until I got to 50km/h. Average cars could outrun me at traffic lights.
("was" because my Vectrix is still dead).

Mr. Mik

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

ratatouille
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re: Gearbox ratio

140 = width of the tire (mm)
60 = height of the tire in percentage of the width (140*0.60) (mm)
13 = rim diameter (inch)

In the real world, depends also on total load, tire pressure and wear.

Your acceleration-stop video shows also a 0 to 80km/h in 11 seconds instead of 8.6 seconds claimed.

Jean-François

TangentStar
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re: Gearbox ratio

I agree,
While there is some interesting stuff in that article I am not completely sure on its accurace.
Is the model they address a preproduction or prototype?
My bike is registered a a Vectrix eMS instead of VX1 or whatever they cite it as.

I know for a fact that there is no display/light for the horn on the dash, and there were a couple other things that seemed 'sketchy'.

It even says on the Vec website that the voltage is 125 volts... not the 140 speced here.

Mik
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re: Gearbox ratio

TangentStar wrote:

I agree,
While there is some interesting stuff in that article I am not completely sure on its accurace.
Is the model they address a preproduction or prototype?
My bike is registered a a Vectrix eMS instead of VX1 or whatever they cite it as.

I know for a fact that there is no display/light for the horn on the dash, and there were a couple other things that seemed 'sketchy'.

It even says on the Vec website that the voltage is 125 volts... not the 140 speced here.

Yes, definitely not an official repair handbook!

It says :

Under the Hood September 26, 2007

on the website. I know no more than whats on there.

In regards to the 1:6 gear box ratio and 5000rpm motor limitation:

PLEASE CHECK MY MATHS!

I measured the rear wheel circumference as about 1.53m today.

100km/h : 60min = 1.6666km/min.

1666.6m : 1.53m = 1089.28rpm for the rear wheel.

(Test: 1089rpm(wheel) x 60min x 1.53m(circumference) = 99970.2m = 99.97km/h)

6 x 1089 = 6534rpm for the motor at 100km/h if the ratio of 1:6 was correct for the gearbox.

At a 1:5 gearbox ratio it would be 5 x 1089 = 5445rpm (motor).

.........................................................

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 Technical Resources - ?? CANbus adaptor


I am not sure if this is the right adapter.

But now I know that this one did work in front of my eyes and my camera:

DSC03216.jpg

And it looks a lot like the ones on here:

http://www.gridconnect.com/canboandto.html
.

And doesn't this (from the above site) sound good (it's got a penguin in it):
Linux FREE Download Driver
for CAN USB, PCI, Dongle Adapters
pad
DESCRIPTION:
PCAN-Light drivers for LINUX gives you access to all the CAN adapters under LINUX. The PCAN-Light drivers for LINUX need a Kernel Version 2.4 or higher. The complete package is freeware and is distributed under the GPL (Gnu Public License). After several Discussion with one customer we point out that the PCAN-USB low level Part of the Device Driver is confusing code. That means that these source files can be compiled by the GCC compiler (because it is real source code) but it is almost impossible to read the code. The reason for this change is that some of our competitors try to find out how we realize our "fantastic" band width with these small USB controller. If you need more information, contact us. The API (Application Programming Interface) for all the adapters is the same, so it is easy to develop software that runs with all the different CAN adapters Interfaces. At the moment we support the PCI, Parallel, USB, PC/ISA and PC/104 adapters.

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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Vectrix IGBT specification sheet

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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Rear Light Power requirements

Click here for details of current requirements for the rear light / break light.

It turns out the rear light uses 13mA at 12V and the break light uses 163mA.

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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Animal proofing the Motor controller and Impellers

Here you can find information on how to seal the rear end of the battery and motor controller housing so that mice, snakes and large cockroaches cannot get in any longer.

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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Side stand repair and dimensions

Dimensions for the pin of the side stand can be found here, in case you lost one...

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

clagros
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Re: Vectrix Technical Resources

Hi All,
I posted this question here since I was looking fro info regarding 'canbus'.
Today, after a full charge and 12 hs resting, I rode the bike very gently, under 30 mph, lights off, during about 15-20 minutes. The odometer marked 12 ktm. I stopped about a minute (the switch remained on) and when continuing I saw the (W)rench orange warning light and the 'canbus' error message.
I stopped the bike, switch off and on after a couple of minutes and that disapeared.
Questions:
1- What 'canbus' does mean, and what could happen?
2- Where can we get a list of common vectrix error messages with less esotheric explanations?

Thanks folks!
Claudio

Mik
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Re: Vectrix Technical Resources

Hi All,
I posted this question here since I was looking fro info regarding 'canbus'.
Today, after a full charge and 12 hs resting, I rode the bike very gently, under 30 mph, lights off, during about 15-20 minutes. The odometer marked 12 ktm. I stopped about a minute (the switch remained on) and when continuing I saw the (W)rench orange warning light and the 'canbus' error message.
I stopped the bike, switch off and on after a couple of minutes and that disapeared.
Questions:
1- What 'canbus' does mean, and what could happen?
2- Where can we get a list of common vectrix error messages with less esotheric explanations?

Thanks folks!
Claudio

At the top of the page, in the middle of the page, click on "up".

Then you are in th "Unsorted Trash and Treasure Trove".

Click on "up" again.

This gets you to the Collaborative Handbook Index.

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: Side stand repair and dimensions

Dimensions for the pin of the side stand can be found here, in case you lost one...

The repair described in that post is holding up well. No problems in over a year and about 6000km.

On one occasion during this time I had to remove the fairing so I could tighten the bolts which hold the side stand mounting plate to the battery container. They had become loose to the point of almost falling out! I refastened them with some loktite to fix the problem for good.

If it feels like your Vectrix' side stand is wobbly, then it probably is! Check it before your scooter drops on its side when you park it, or worse, the stand drops off whilst riding!

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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