Open Letter to Vectrix Corp.

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Mik
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Open Letter to Vectrix Corp.

February 25th, 2008
Open Letter to Vectrix Corp.
also to be posted on
http://visforvoltage.org/

I would like to alert Vectrix of a potentially serious safety issue with their Vectrix Maxi Scooter.

I have had two consecutive Vectrix Maxi’s fail completely during normal riding.
The failures happened spontaneously without any warning of impending trouble, and caused an immediate loss of function of all electrical systems.

The indicators, front and rear light and brake light were affected along with everything else, making it impossible to signal the need to get off the road to other traffic.

It happened at about 1400km total mileage with my first Vectrix, and at 1004km with the replacement Vectrix.
I am aware of the same issue with at least one other Vectrix in Tasmania.

I am disappointed to learn that almost six weeks after the initial incident, and almost three weeks after the replacement of my defective vehicle with a new one, the cause of the failure has neither been investigated, nor remedied.

I request that Vectrix makes it a top priority to investigate these failures and considers appropriate actions to avoid harm to Vectrix riders.

I will not feel safe to get back on a Vectrix until the cause of these recurrent failures has been established and remedied.
If this cannot be achieved within a reasonable time-frame, I will have no choice but to take steps to cut my losses and recover the purchase price.

Please be aware that I might submit replies by Vectrix to peer review on the “V is for Voltage” forums, in order to determine if a suggested cause for the failure - and any suggested remedy - is plausible enough to warrant taking the risk for a third time.

I would however prefer it – and highly recommend it to Vectrix Corp. - if Vectrix could contribute directly to the discussions on the “V is for Voltage” forums.

Not addressing the varions problems reported by several Vectrix riders in the “V' forums is likely causing detrimental effects on present and future sales for Vectrix Scooters.
It is very unlikely that a prospective Vectrix buyer will not come across the “V is for Voltage” forums whilst researching the Vectrix. The forums come up in first place on Google searches for the majority of likely search strings.

Vectrix Corp. has responsibilities towards both riders and shareholders, and might in my opinion be neglecting both by not publicly responding to the concerns expressed in the forums.

Despite the above mentioned concerns I believe the Vectrix Maxi is currently the best electric production scooter in the world.

Problems with early production new technologies are inevitable.
One can expect some initial problems, but the problems need to be taken seriously and be acted upon immediately.

The public needs to be kept informed of the progress, lest the public gets the impression that there is no progress.

Yours sincerely,

This was sent on February 25th, 2008 to the Australian Vectrix dealer, three high ranking persons within Vectrix USA, and the secretary for Vectrix UK.
Details made available to the moderators in a PM.

Mr. Mik

Mik
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Re: Open Letter to Vectrix Corp.

See below - it somehow got doubled up.

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

Mik
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Re: Open Letter to Vectrix Corp.

I just received an email with this text:

First let me apologise to my esteemed colleagues whom you have chosen to include in your email,
as I believe you are publicly misrepresenting the company's quality product.

It is upsetting that you have decided to go public with your comments rather than discuss these with me. I personally delivered a replacement vehicle to you, a journey of over 3000 kms, so that I could retrieve your first Vectrix to analyse why it failed. I have since employed a technician with extensive auto-electric skills to assist with the analysis.

It is apparent that you have been using your Vectrix beyond the scope of normal use, as evident by the many trials you have posted on the internet. I am also concerned of the tampering evident on your first vehicle, including third party lubricant added inside the throttle housing and other signs of dismantling which were not evident at the time I agreed to exchange your first vehicle.

You mention a fellow Australian in Tasmania, whom you are in contact with. Of the 20 Vectrix vehicles in regular use in Australia, only your bike, and his, have failed in this way. Only your bike and his have evidence of tampering as mentioned above.

Both bikes were garaged in country residences and have a documented history of being ridden well beyond the normal expected distances and speeds for an urban commuter vehicle.

, I urge you to retract your unfair claim to there is a safety issue with the Vectrix as:
i) Both failures you are referring to happened at slow speed during acceleration,
and would have been similar to stalling a normal bike at take off

ii) You were able to safely use hand signals to indicate to other traffic that you had stalled and were to move off the road, even though you incorrectly imply that "it was impossible to signal to other traffic..."

iii) You incorrectly imply that the failure you describe has not been investigated nor remedied, yet you have been involved in many telephone and written correspondence with Vectrix technical personnel, both from Australia and the USA, who have responded to your questions and concerns.

I will discuss your apparent concerns with my colleagues and contact you shortly.
Please re-consider in light of what I have pointed out as I believe you are making an unfair claim about the safety of Vectrix Maxi Scooters.

Regards,

I have considered thoroughly, and long, and repeatedly before writing the Open Letter.

The above email is so full of errors and wrong accusations, I do not know where to start.
Neither do I see the immediate need to start on it.
There was no tampering, no third party anything.
Equating a sudden loss of all power at 60km/h (on two new Vectrix scooters) with a stall during take-off characterizes the caliber of the other false comments in the email.

I can back up every single word I posted, and if necessary I can start to post the multiple unanswered emails I wrote. I just do not think that would be in anyones interest at this stage.

At this stage I would like to invite the dear reader to review my multiple postings, and then comment on this question (or comment anyway on whatever you feel is appropriate):

What part of the test rides on my two Vectrix scooters was outside of the advertised specifications?

Mr. Mik

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

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Re: Open Letter to Vectrix Corp.

Here is what the ACCC has to say in this respect:

"If it appears to the minister that certain goods create an imminent risk of death, serious illness or severe injury, an emergency order can immediately be made, without a conference, for a ban or a product recall, disclosure of defect and disposal, repair, replacement or refund of price."

http://www.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/788555/fromItemId/788579

Mr. Mik

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

spinningmagnets
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Re: Open Letter to Vectrix Corp.

"...It is apparent that you have been using your Vectrix beyond the scope of normal use, as evident by the many trials you have posted on the internet. I am also concerned of the tampering evident on your first vehicle, including third party lubricant added inside the throttle housing and other signs of dismantling which were not evident at the time I agreed to exchange your first vehicle..."

So far it sounds like you have been diplomatic and fairly reasonable. I have two questions. (I don't own an E-Scoot, but I am interested in their developement and their integration into society for those individuals for whom they may be useful).

Is he implying that you added unauthorised lubricant (to what I can only assume was a "sticky" throttle, why else to add lubricant?) that may have caused an electrical short?

It also seems to be a vague statement about you using your vectrix beyond "normal use". He doesn't state what he feels normal use is, but accuses you of somehow being "too hard" on your Vectrix (and assumeably, your severe use exceeded the Vectrix's capabilities, and led to a failure that "gentle use" would not have).

Briefly, could you describe you weekly user profile?

TangentStar
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Re: Open Letter to Vectrix Corp.

While it is unfortunate, Mr. Mik that you are experiencing these difficulties, I would like to add some positive input. I love my bike it brings me nothing but joys and thrills.
I'm 18 and I ride pretty dang fast, and its cold here. I notice that the battery provides slightly less power, for hard acceleration at about 45 degrees F and below. I've riden well below freezing with no problems. I ride in the mountains, city, and highway. How ever I acknowledge that my bike does significantly less 'work' than yours because of the payload.

My brief problem was due to assembly error and quickly fixed. No other problems to report, even my partly charged battery issue cleared up after firm ware update.

I hope you and Vectrix can work things out in a symbiotic manner. Best of luck to both of you!

Mik
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Re: Open Letter to Vectrix Corp.

I received an email today from a newly appointed technical representative for Vectrix in Australia.

It shows some serious commitment to start working out the problems.

Rather than posting the entire email here, I post my reply to it:

(Names changed: TR= Technical representative; SM= salesman; Mr. Mik=myself)

Hi TR,

thanks for your email and offer to collaborate to achieve a win-win situation.
When you write:

I look forward to working with you to obtain a win – win situation. You end up with a bike that is reliable, trustworthy and performs to your needs; we learn from your experience and can put in place procedures in order to improve our product.

that sounds a lot like what I have been trying to promote all along, but it takes two to tango...

I started this forum on Jan 29th, 2008: http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2789-trailblazers-early-adopters-or-guineapigs#new
with the sentences:

I don't mind guinea-pigs, but I do not like feeling like one. }:)

This forum aims at discussing what a "Code of Conduct" for EV vendors might look like.

A Code of Conduct that turns problems into progress;
enables utilization of the efforts made by "consumers" in the most efficient way;
and lets everyone win: producer, consumer, environment.

So, an email like yours today is what I would have liked to receive much earlier. Thank you! Lets get started!

There is a great deal of details available in the "Vectrix Reports" on the VisforVoltage forums:
http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2547-vectrix-reports has the majority of details about my riding you requested.

I could not possibly spend the time to write it all again, so please read the lot, you'll get a good understanding of the whole story.
There is an almost complete record of the distances and trips, conditions, temperatures etc. under which I have traveled on both my Vectrixes, in these forums.

There are also further very important details contributed by myself and others in the other Vectrix related posts on "V":

http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2707-how-best-break-vectrix-anyone039s-guess
http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2755-problem-instrument-panel#new
http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2760-economical-riding-styles
http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2206-vectrix-owners-new-amp-prospective
http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2673-vectrix-range
http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2958-what-could-you-convert-yourself-price-vectrix
http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2775-vectrix-technical-resources
http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2977-open-letter-vectrix-corp
http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2911-arguments-electric-vehicle-recharging-stations

All of them highly recommended reading for a Vectrix technician, particularly in your situation, having to pick up the pieces.

It'll take a few hours to read all the stuff, but will be well worth your effort, it contains most of the information you requested from me to help solve the problem, and will show you quite clearly that I have tried from the outset to be part of the solution.

Once you have read the "V" forum entries you could ask SM to show you all the emails I sent; there are a few important ones that I have not posted on "V", I think, but it's too hard to cross-check it all again now.

The first email I ever sent SM contained the following text:

Hi SM,

we spoke on the phone last Friday about the Vectrix.

Is a graph or table available that shows the reach of the Vectrix under varying conditions, e.g. different speed, ambient temperature, rider weight, hilly or flat, stop and go traffic or country driving etc?

I would like to know because my way to work and back is going to take it close to the Vectrix' limits, and I do not want to end up pushing it up the steep driveway at the end of the day... ;-)

Or maybe you can find out for me if the Vectrix is suitable for my commuting needs.

Here are the details:

I weigh probably 110kg including full protective clothing and my backpack.

The lowest temperatures are usually about 5Celsius on winter mornings, and the maximum up to 40Celsius in Summer.

I cannot recharge the Vectrix at work, so it needs to be able to do the return trip, including the steep 200m driveway at the end.

The overall difference in elevation is from 100m to sea level and back up in the evening, and the return trip is 54km.

Overall the trip to work takes 27min, at an average speed of 58km/hr; the return trip is similar, but more uphill.

The first part of the trip to work is a hilly 15km country strip going down to almost sea level, then back up again to about 80meters, with many smaller bumps of about 20-30m roller-coaster up and downs.

5km of this has a 80km limit, 10km has a 60km limit. In my Ford Falcon it takes 14min at an average 52km/hr for this 15km part, sometimes going over the limit when coasting downhill. No traffic light yet on this part.

This is followed by the middle part of 5km on the Highway, going 100km (or full throttle on the Vectrix), sloping up gently for half of it and down gently for the other half.

The last 7km of the trip to work has about 10 traffic lights, has 80km/h or 60km/h limits and is largely flat.

Please let me know if I am right assuming that the Vectrix would be up to the task, at least for a few years before the batteries start to loose some of their capacity.

And do you know how far off the fuel cell is from being available, and how much will it likely cost to retro-fit it into the current Vectrix model?

Many questions, sorry!

If you would prefer it then I could call you on the phone - just send me a brief reply and I will ring you instead to discuss my questions.

Please let me know when you are up in S-E Queensland for test drives!

Thank you very much,

END OF EMAIL TO SM...

Unfortunately, despite this and multiple other emails with clearly stated questions etc, I could only ever get sales talk out of SM.
And my first Vectrix was clearly unable to go the described distance despite his sales talk.
I don't know if Vectrix number 2 could have done it, because it died after only 1004km, before I could test for range.

In regards to SM's allegations of tampering and third party lubricants etc:

If there is a third party lubricant in the throttle of Vectrix 1, then it was added by the golf buggy technician whom SM introduced as the middle-man (instead of delivering the Vectrix himself, as promised).
The throttle was reportedly working in Melbourne, but in the golf-buggy shop it was sticky, not returning to neutral spontaneously. It took SM (via phone) and the golf-buggy man a day or so to figure out what was wrong.
I happened to walk into the buggy shop when the buggy-man had the throttle in pieces. I could well imagine that he had already applied some lubricant in an attempt to fix the problem at that stage, but I believe it is more likely that SM is thinking about another bike, not my Vectrix Nr.1, and that you will find the throttle lubricant in original condition when you actually have a look at it.
I also took apart the rear end of Vectrix 1 to replace the faulty rear light and took out the headlight to verify which sort of bulb is needed, because the manual recommends a non-existing bulb. It's all in detail on the above forums.
And I fixed the faulty boot-light switch, see emails to SM for details.
I did not touch or dismantle anything that could explain any of the problems, no matter how much SM would like to find that.

And for Vectrix Nr. 2: It's standing in my garage in untouched condition. Dead. See video and description of the breakdown on the forum above and in emails to SM.

As for your question re: cleaning: I did not clean either of them much, gentle hosing off of dirt (low pressure hose) on the foot boards and one gentle hosing after the trip to the beach (details in the forum) to get the salt spray off Vectrix 1, that's all.

I do not believe any longer that the total failures were moisture related; it was dry when each bike failed, and the bike in Tasmania failed the same way and apparently never ever got wet.

Another (hearsay?) report of a similar total Vectrix failure has today been posted on http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2673-vectrix-range

Thats 4 very similar events of sudden failure of all power whilst riding, amongst the few bikes on the road, plus who-knows how many undisclosed occurrences.

If I had to place a bet on what the cause is, my money would be on a faulty batch of fuses, or a detrimental effect of regen braking in mountainous terrain. But it's your job to figure it out, I can't do it without violating the warranty. I have not even tried...

The Tasmanian bike was fixed by replacing the "main fuse", I do not know if that is the same as the "motor controller fuse" you mentioned. Apparently one needs to take out one of the batteries to get to it, SM knows the details.

So, here is the situation in a nutshell as I see it:

SM has the broken Vectrix Nr. 1 and incorrectly claims I tampered with it.
I have the broken Vectrix Nr. 2 in virginal condition, and if SM prefers, then we can let the ACCC examine that Vectrix for reason of failure, risk levels due to that type of failure, and for any evidence of tampering.

Vectrix 1 had throttle problems and battery temperature display problems and other problems, see forums.

Vectrix 2 appeared to have been severely performance limited in regards to hill climbing ability, I will post details later on, when I have time.
The reduction in hill climbing ability has obviously not led to better longevity, and it needs to be removed or lessened in it's impact.

I do not want to be provided with a new replacement Vectrix again, I want the fault/s identified and fixed and then get back my first Vectrix in working order or have the 2nd Vectrix fixed. I do not have time for another repetition of the tedious breaking in process for the battery!

I'd like a Vectrix that gets me to work and back on day one, and then keeps on going for at least a few years without trouble.

Sorry to be hard-line, I hope once you have read through the forums you will understand.

My tolerance to sales talk tends towards zero these days, but I am willing to work together.

I still recommend that Vectrix Corp. reply to the various issues discussed in the VisforVoltage forums. That would be in every bodies interest.

Please let me know if you have any further questions after you have had a thorough look at the information in the forums.

Kind Regards,

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: Open Letter to Vectrix Corp.

Thumbs up to your TR so far: good luck Mik! :D

Mik
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Re: Open Letter to Vectrix Corp.

Time for an update, for as of today I have had more days with a non-roadworthy Vectrix than with a road-worthy one.....

That applies to each individual Vectrix as well as to the overall total so far.

.
.

I have exchanged several more emails with the new Vectrix technician (TR) and also spoke with him on the phone a few days ago.

TR requested that I keep our communications confidential for now until the cause of the problems has been determined. Fair enough.

He has come up with a hypothesis regarding the failures of my two scooters, but it's too complex for me to fully assess it's validity.

I believe that it will also be too complex for TR to assess the validity of the hypothesis without full cooperation by Vectrix Corp.

As far as I know he has asked Vectrix for advice, but I have no way of knowing if Vectrix Corp. are doing anything about the problem, if they are giving sensible answers to TR's questions, or if they are even answering at all.

I have not received any reply from Vectrix Corp. to the Open Letter so far (except from SM and TR as outlined above in this forum).

Mr. Mik

ps: I emailed the text of this post to "TR".

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

gushar
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Re: Open Letter to Vectrix Corp.

Why don't you just ask for your money back and wait till a dependable, reliable scoot of this size is available. I'm sure somebody will be coming forward with that eventually. I mean for the money these scoots cost you could have probably purchased a great EV conversion done by professionals on an existing auto that you like!

Just my thoughts...

Gushar

Gus

PJD
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Re: Open Letter to Vectrix Corp.

I must admit, some of the responses of the first e-mail were rather contrived. Except for reduced range due to steady high speed use, Rural use should be easier in the scooter than stop and go city use.

However, I must agree with the e-mail that the safety issue of sudden loss of power on a motorcycle on the highway cannot be compared to sudden loss of power, and subsequent stall, of an aircraft on takeoff.

Mik
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Re: Open Letter to Vectrix Corp.

I must admit, some of the responses of the first e-mail were rather contrived. Except for reduced range due to steady high speed use, Rural use should be easier in the scooter than stop and go city use.

However, I must agree with the e-mail that the safety issue of sudden loss of power on a motorcycle on the highway cannot be compared to sudden loss of power, and subsequent stall, of an aircraft on takeoff.

I can't make up my mind if you are kidding or if you read "SM"'s email a bit too quick.

He requested that I change the fault description to:

i) Both failures you are referring to happened at slow speed during acceleration,
and would have been similar to stalling a normal bike at take off

But in fact, both failures happened at a steady speed of about 60km/h on a mild uphill road.
No aircraft has been involved (so far).

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: Open Letter to Vectrix Corp.

yep, I was skimming the e-mail, saw "stall" and "take-off". and thought "airplane".
I'm not familiar with the term with regard to motorcycles.

As Gilda Radnor in the old "Saturday Night Live" news skits used to say: "Neever Mind!"

IbeRKT
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Re: Open Letter to Vectrix Corp.

i) Both failures you are referring to happened at slow speed during acceleration,
and would have been similar to stalling a normal bike at take off

Uhhhh, isn't this an electric bike?

Usually when people talk about a bike stalling at take off they are referring to a motorcycle with gears and a clutch, and the reason that it stalls is generally attributed to operator error (IE they popped the clutch too soon).

Mik
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Re: Open Letter to Vectrix Corp.

Uhhhh, isn't this an electric bike?

Usually when people talk about a bike stalling at take off they are referring to a motorcycle with gears and a clutch, and the reason that it stalls is generally attributed to operator error (IE they popped the clutch too soon).

You would have been soooo right until the glorious appearance of the Z-20!!!

It has taken stalling to a whole new (electric!) level!

As DonChristobal wrote:

I think of it like a clutch, you've got to engage it a little bit otherwise it stalls. When a light is about to turn I give the bike just enough throttle where I can hear it start to go forward and then from there I can go full throttle.

Mr. Mik

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

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Open Letter to Vectrix Corp. - Help with Peer Review, PLEASE!

Well, my Vectrix Nr. 2 has been fixed by "TR" (= Technical representative) and is running again since March 19th, 2008.

"TR" has been very good in trying to work out what the problem is that is causing the failures.

As I expected, it was the main fuse = motor controller fuse that blew, again.

The question is WHY DOES IT CONTINUE TO HAPPEN?
.

After fixing my Vectrix' fuse we drove to Brisbane and TR fixed the same fuse in another Vectrix, with less than 1000km on the odometer.
Thats four blown main fuses that I know of with certainty.
.

Because the fuses all failed unannounced and cut all power instantaneously it's kind of important to work out why, before one fails at 100km/h on the middle lane on the highway.

I would like "Peer Review" from the knowledgeable VisforVoltage members to help me decide if the explanation - and proposed cure - is good enough to risk a potential third failure in traffic.

.
.

.

Here are the core components of the hypothesis proposed by TR:(as I understand them)

A) The fuse burns incrementally until it suddenly burns completely under no particular load.
.

B) The partial burning of the fuse is caused by "Rotor Slip" in combination with low battery levels. This is supposedly causing current surges which are worst when a low battery is required to supply high amps, as in riding uphill at full throttle when the battery is almost empty.
It could also be worse when the battery is hot due to high ambient temperature and/or prolonged high speed or uphill driving.

.
C) The problem (recurrent small, additive damages to the fuse) can be prevented by avoiding driving in hilly country with less than 4-5/17 left on the battery display.
.
.
.
Here are some pictures of the dead fuse:

S4027900.jpg
The scale is metric.
S4027893.jpg
Littelfuse
POWR-GUARD
SEMICONDUCTOR FUSE
L25S 125
250VAC
250VDC

S4027889.jpg
RoHS SA SU
I. A. 200KA

S4027891.jpg
POWR-GUARD Products
Des Plaines, IL
1800-227-0020
Assembled in Mexico

..

.

Here are some links to pages about the fuse:

http://www.ortodoxism.ro/datasheets/littelfuse/L60S8.pdf
http://littelfuse.com/data/en/Data_Sheets/semi.pdf

The old fuse out of my Vectrix looks slightly different to the fuses in the pdf files above. And the replacement fuse I'm riding around on looks just like the blown one....
.
Here is a picture of the replacement fuse mounted in my Vectrix:
DSC03206.jpg
.

Apparently Vectrix Corp had not answered TR's questions regarding the above hypothesis, but instead said there had been a faulty batch of fuses. But that info is now weeks old and might be outdated.

.
.

My main problems in assessing the validity of this hypothesis are these:

Re A): I cannot find info on how these particular fuses blow - is it all-or-nothing or a-bit-at-a-time? And why would the last bit of the fuse blow at 60km/h slightly uphill with a 3/4 full battery?

Re B): It appears to me that Rotor Slip might indeed cause a current surge in a DC motor controlled by a VFD (Variable Frequency Drive), but I am out of my current depth here.
What I definitely don't understand is why a hot battery (with higher internal resistance) would make it worse; I figure if it has higher resistance, it will deliver less amps, and would be less likely to blow the fuse.

Thanks for your help!

Mr. Mik

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

PJD
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Re: Open Letter to Vectrix Corp. - Help with Peer Review, PLEASE

few comments:

I've never heard of a normal fuse burning out "a bit at a time"- the fusible metal reached it's melting point and rapidly breaks the circuit, or it doesn't. A "semiconductor fuse" is even faster acting. I'd be suspect of the technical competence of anyone who stated a fuse could burn out a bit at a time.

Is this fuse for the battery pack circuit? Motor phase circuits?

The current should be dictated only by motor speed (lower = higher current) Motor torque (higher = higher current) and the controllers current limiter setting. I'm not sure how the battery pack state of charge could anything to do with it.

Can you explain what "rotor slip" is? Does the Vectrix have some kind of torque converter?

Mik
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Re: Open Letter to Vectrix Corp. - Help with Peer Review, PLEASE

few comments:

Is this fuse for the battery pack circuit? Motor phase circuits?

Can you explain what "rotor slip" is?

The fuse seems to be connected to the "plus" cable of the battery. See photo of circuit board above.

Regarding rotor slip: I spent a few hours researching it and have a basic understanding of it now, but am not ready to explain it clearly.
Here is a good starting link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Induction_motor

Mr. Mik

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

NickF23
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Re: Open Letter to Vectrix Corp. - Help with Peer Review, PLEASE

I'm a bit surprised they don't use a relay. Then you could just press 'reset'.

Mik
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Re: Open Letter to Vectrix Corp. - Help with Peer Review, PLEASE

I'm a bit surprised they don't use a relay. Then you could just press 'reset'.

It is a mayor job to replace that fuse, and it is potentially lethal due to the electricity involved. It takes 1 to 2 hours for a trained technician. It also involves lifting about 45kg of battery out of the frame.

To re-connect the batteries after replacing the fuse a special cable is needed that connects the two batteries together for about 1/2 a minute before connecting them permanently.
The blue connector in the below picture must be disconnected to avoid electrocution. This blue connector is also the one that needs to be "bridged" for 1/2 a minute before reconnecting it.
DSC03211.jpg
A push-to-reset type of fuse would create an immediate and full connection, instead.
It would likely fry something, but I do not know what exactly.

But I'm still out of my depth, paddling and catching a breath here and there...

Luckily I am good at diving!

From the location of the fuse I would say that it was expected to rarely need replacement.

In regards to the "Rotor slip" phenomenon:

"The fuse could be blowing because of excessive rotor slip, this is when the rotor speed falls behind the coil frequency of the windings and causes a stalling effect even though the motor is turning. The result is very rapid increase in current draw and pop goes the fuse."

Mr. Mik

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

Mik
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Re: Open Letter to Vectrix Corp. - Help with Peer Review, PLEASE

Here is more detail about the fuse:

Part Number: L25S125
Technology: Fuses
Series: L25S
L25S Series - Very Fast-Acting Semiconductor Fuse Designed to protect today’s equipment and systems, Littelfuse semiconductor fuses are manufactured with Littelfuse-developed technology that sets tomorrow’s standards for accuracy, consistent quality, reliability, and predictable performance. By using advanced metallurgical, polymer, and materials research; mathematical modeling, and computerized statistical analysis; Littelfuse engineers have redefined “State-of-the-Art.”

Follow the Link for more information: http://www.littlefuse.com/part/L25S125.html

Does anyone know if this type of fuse can blow "incrementally", or get slowly damaged by operating conditions until they suddenly fail?

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

LinkOfHyrule
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Re: Open Letter to Vectrix Corp. - Help with Peer Review, PLEASE

I don't know much *cough* about semiconductor fuses, but I'm inclined to say, "No."

A metal fuse could, however, potentially burn out slowly. If it's the "right" size, it can get a little melted every time you accelerate, and eventually get to the point to where it just gets hot, increases its resistance (in turn getting even hotter), and suddenly blow. I did this with my skateboard fuse once. Not very often that happens, AFAIK.

The author of this post isn't responsible for any injury, disability or dismemberment, death, financial loss, illness, addiction, hereditary disease, or any other undesirable consequence or general misfortune resulting from use of the "information" contai

Mik
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Re: Open Letter to Vectrix Corp. - Help with Peer Review, PLEASE

I found an interesting website containing something about the use of fuses for solid state controls.

If the writer is right, then maybe the fuse in the Vectrix is not going to do the job of protecting the controller, anyway!

I could so far not find any specs or testing that verify that the fuse (Littelfuse L25S 125) meets the 2ms requirement for protection of solid state controllers that the writer claims is necessary.

Here is the link and a bit of the text:

3) "Semiconductor" or "I2t" Fuses:

These fuses are marketed by fuse manufacturers specifically for use with semiconductors. Claims to the contrary notwithstanding, however, most of these fuses WILL NOT provide reliable short circuit protection for semiconductors.
.......
5) "2 Millisecond" Fuses:

These fuses are "semiconductor" fuses that have been proven to clear within the nominal 2 millisecond time frame, and limit the peak currents and total energy let-through sufficiently to protect a semiconductor from short circuit damage.
These fuses can only be selected by empirical testing using specialized recording equipment, not from any published technical specifications.
They provide the only reliable, repeatable, effective protection for power semiconductors against short circuit damage.

What sort of fuses (or other protection) do the other commercial and DIY E-bikes have between batteries and controller?

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: Open Letter to Vectrix Corp.

Hello,

nice pics,

About the slip effect, the Vectrix motor is not an induction motor. It seems to be a brushless permanent magnet motor : Vectrix motor

Jean-François

chas_stevenson
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Re: Open Letter to Vectrix Corp.

That is a new approach, placing the motor in the swing arm. Also if I under slip correctly it can not happen in this type of a motor so the tech seems to be blowing smoke. (I might be wrong?)

vectrix_motor_01.jpgvectrix_motor_02.jpg

Grandpa Chas S.

jdh2550_1
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Re: Open Letter to Vectrix Corp.

Chas - is that a pic of the Vectrix swing arm? That's a nice setup - now all they need to do is replace the single-stage planetary gearbox with the DaVinci (is that right) set up. It strikes me this is the "best of both worlds" (world 1 being hub motor for minimum transmission loss/minimum noise and world 2 being non-hub-motor so that one can have more flexibility with gearing).

Mik - sorry I don't have much to add to the peer review.

John H. Founder of Current Motor Company - opinions on this site belong to me; not to my employer
Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas.

Mik
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Re: Open Letter to Vectrix Corp. - Help with Peer Review, PLEASE

Thank you all for your input so far!

I don't know much *cough* about semiconductor fuses, but I'm inclined to say, "No."

I've never heard of a normal fuse burning out "a bit at a time"- the fusible metal reached it's melting point and rapidly breaks the circuit, or it doesn't. A "semiconductor fuse" is even faster acting. I'd be suspect of the technical competence of anyone who stated a fuse could burn out a bit at a time.

Is this fuse for the battery pack circuit? Motor phase circuits?

I could not find any info on it in writing either, so I called Littelfuse today and spoke with an engineer.

He confirmed that the L25S 125 type of fuse can indeed receive small incremental damages from "transient currents" or "inverse pulses".

"It could be that transient pulses open the fuse after having been applied a number of times".

.

Regarding what the fuse does: According to TR it protects the IGBT on the VFD card; and also guards against runaway current in the event of excessive loading on the VFD systems.
.

So far then, this part A) of the hypothesis holds.....
.

.

So, on to part B), the rotor slip/eddy current/stalling effect part of the hypothesis:

Also if I under slip correctly it can not happen in this type of a motor so the tech seems to be blowing smoke. (I might be wrong?)

I initially also thought the explanation might be incorrect, so I asked "TR":

For starters, Vectrix says that their motor is a brushless DC motor, 3-phase, permanent magnets, 12-pole, 16-slot.

And what I find in regards to VFD's is that they apply to AC motors, not DC.

I cannot recall the exact answer, but as a synopsis of various conversations I can put this together:

The only really new part of the Vectrix technology is the motor.
Everything else is made of proven, standard electronic components (of high quality).
Although the motor is a DC motor, it is controlled by a VFD (Variable Frequency Drive) and therefore shows some of the characteristics of AC motors (like rotor slip).
Eddy currents in the rotor housing could change the coil inductances and thus change the coil resistances affecting the current draw.

That might cause the incremental damage confirmed to be possible by the Littelfuse engineer.

Does this make sense?

Thanks again,

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: Open Letter to Vectrix Corp. - Help with Peer Review, PLEASE

Strange.

i found articles about the electronic board and motor :

board pic ; Texas instrument chip ; chip doc

In the second one, they talk about "tuning the motor's phase angle advance". This can cause big unexpected current if done incorrectly and can be compared to "slip".

In this article, is mentioned the TI TMS320F241 which has apparently been discontinued.
The previous reference LF2401aseems to be the actual version.

What is yours ?

If you had a higher resolution pic of the board, you could read the references of the components and googling it could give more infos.

BUT according to the way of Vectrix Corp answered you, i don't think they will appreciate this kind of reverse engineering...

Jean-François

Mik
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Re: Open Letter to Vectrix Corp. - Help with Peer Review, PLEASE

In the second one, they talk about "tuning the motor's phase angle advance". This can cause big unexpected current if done incorrectly and can be compared to "slip".

BUT according to the way of Vectrix Corp answered you, i don't think they will appreciate this kind of reverse engineering...

Thank you, great finds!

Does anyone know if this sort of post could be seen as reverse engineering?

I would actually see it as a very forward way of collaborative troubleshooting.

Of course it's a worry if Vectrix Corp has the SH*** with me, particularly when looking at the complexity of some of the electronics needed to run the scooter.

It would be a very interesting project to keep it going without a warranty...

I think this deserves a new forum: What is reverse engineering?
http://visforvoltage.org/forum/3231-what-reverse-engineering

Mr. Mik

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

strawhistle
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Re: Open Letter to Vectrix Corp.

"SLIP --if an armature whose conductors form closed circuits be placed in a rotating field, it will develop dortorque because of the induced currents acting in conjuntion with the rotating field" the armature can attain the speed of thr rotating magnetic field, for if it did the cutting of conductorsby flux would cease and there would be no rotor current toruqe " "the differencebetween the speed of the rotating field and that of the rotor is called the revolutions slip" quote from Dawes Electrical Engineering V II copy 1947 a bldc motor is but an ac motor with the bias line moved to mid voltage and rotatied my artificial meens

thank GOD I wake up above ground !!!!

Mik
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Re: Open Letter to Vectrix Corp. - Help with Peer Review, PLEASE

In this article, is mentioned the TI TMS320F241 which has apparently been discontinued.
The previous reference LF2401aseems to be the actual version.

What is yours ?

After some deliberations at http://visforvoltage.org/forum/3231-what-reverse-engineering#new
(and another day without an answer from Vectrix Corp) I decided it is necessary to supply some more information in order to come to reasonably reliable conclusions here.
So here is the portion of the board in question, hope it helps:
DSC03206cutout3.jpg

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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