Vectrix Warranty Voided

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ratatouille
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

Hi Mik,

hope all this will end as fine as possible for you.

You can find here a Can bus tool. But without the Vectrix software, i'm afraid it will be useless.

(This link was found by "dirk pitt" from Vehiculeselectriques.free.fr who's used the Sd card logger).

Jean-François

GrooveConnection
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

There's smart arguments for and contra Vectrix Corp being made here and I will add my 10 cents...

True, they go through great lengths to service someone but this is partly due to country/state laws they are obligated to follow....(imagine this were a Chinese company - they would have not moved a finger, i.m.o.) and they also make up for their lack of a wide spread of dealerships.

The deciding factor for me as a customer would be the time I owned the vehicle and the percentage of time in which the bike could not be used because of technical malfunctions. Any judgment achieved per any claim of, say a consumer organization, would look at that primarily and probably demand that Vectrix prove that Mik tampered with the vehicle himself, in order to not have to pay that refund.

You also have to credit Mik with incredible patience and willingness to investigate - obviously he's one of us who want to participate in the E-volution of our own transportation and is also loving the bike (when it works!)

My wish was that V would honor their commitment so Mik can ride - I think he's been enough of an involuntary test-ride-guinea pig for V Corp.

Again, I am sad, because I was on the verge of getting the V, I did the test ride and loved it!
:(

Mik
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

You can find here a Can bus tool. But without the Vectrix software, i'm afraid it will be useless.

(This link was found by "dirk pitt" from Vehiculeselectriques.free.fr who's used the Sd card logger).

Thank you so much!

I think I'll need to get a CanBus for Dummies book - I cannot follow the instructions for the device!

AFAIK the Vectrix program is only the uploader for the settings and is not absolutely needed. It probably just prevents typing errors etc and makes it fast and easy to update/upgrade the software without errors.

But I do not know this, yet.

I tried to sign up for Vehiculeselectriques, but something went wrong and it will not let me back in. It must have sensed that I am only faking French LOL ;-)

Mr. Mik

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

Mik
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

Thank you everyone for your comments, much appreciated.

I noticed that the video-links in the threads leading up to this one are often not working. ( http://visforvoltage.org/forum/3272-vectrix-real-world-testing-2-noise-levels )

That has probably something to do with the "private" but "allow embedding" settings I choose at YouTube.

I have now made these videos "public" and they should work more reliably.

So, if you had any problems seeing the videos of before/after the gear box tuneup, have another look, please.

Before:

.

After:

.

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!

Mik
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

Hi Xxxxx,

I have contacted the Qld Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and discussed the issues in detail with a consultant.

They advise me that it will be 10 working days from receipt of the written complaint until I will be contacted by an investigator.

They also told me it usually takes 30 working days to resolve issues, if the parties agree.

I further enquired if it would be reasonable to avoid having the battery rework done by Vectrix whilst the investigation is ongoing.

I was told that this appears reasonable and that I could also consider having an independently qualified person examine the Vectrix for the causes of the faults, and to keep invoices and evidence of the assessment and the costs involved.

I am in the process of compiling a detailed written report for the OFT and anticipate that I will be able to complete it and send it later today.

Due to my Vectrix being neither charged or driven, there is no risk of the battery recall problem causing worsening of the condition of my Vectrix whilst we wait to hear back from the OFT.

Yours sincerely,

"Mr. Mik"

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

Mik
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

I came across an article in "Silicon Chip Magazine" claiming they tested the Vectrix.

http://www.siliconchip.com.au/cms/A_110503/article.html

IMO, not much testing worth mentioning was done, no acceleration, range, top speed, charging time etc.

But some interesting details about the internal workings, much of it speculation, some wrong as far as I know (like 110 cells in the battery; 1:6 planetary gear reduction).

Interesting is their explanation of how "brushless DC motors" are really not DC motors and how they work.

The part of the article dealing with the "Vectrix Health Check Diagnostics" mentions that 6-monthly checks will be required and that the anticipated cost will be $65.- or so. It closes with the remark that the diagnostic software will not be available to Vectrix users. It sounds as if they asked Vectrix that question.....
.
.

I am wondering if it is legal to sell a product which cannot be repaired by anyone other than the authorised dealer/repairer?

Is this the current practice with cars, for example?

Would the settings and software required to adjust the EFI for a BMW or Chevrolet be made available to independent repair/service garages, at least after the warranty period is over?
Or do they guess the settings?

Would it be legal to sell a new PC or a Mac without backup disks to restore the OS in case of HDD failure?

And in respect to the Vectrix - when you pay for this product, would you not be entitled to receive it including the software settings needed for it's operation?

Does anyone have insights into the legalities of these questions?

Mr. Mik

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

chas_stevenson
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

Would it be legal to sell a new PC or a Mac without backup disks to restore the OS in case of HDD failure?

This is one I can answer. Yes, it is done all the time. The newer systems are now loaded with a routine which allows the new user/owner to create a backup disk from the hard drive using the CD/DVD burner built into the system. This has become the standard practice.

Grandpa Chas S.

That is one of the reasons I feel like

Mik
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

This is one I can answer. Yes, it is done all the time. The newer systems are now loaded with a routine which allows the new user/owner to create a backup disk from the hard drive using the CD/DVD burner built into the system. This has become the standard practice.

Grandpa Chas S.

That is one of the reasons I feel like

And therein lies the rub....

Vectrix do not provide an option to back up the software needed to run it.

Mr. Mik

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

Vectrix-NH
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

Neither dose any other Motorcycle . Its all on a chip you can not alter .( At some point Vetrix will to, So you dont loss it when the Battery dies) and if you change it .
There gose your Warranty .
Down the road when people are out off Warranty or they sell a lot of Bikes so it werth some one hacking . the vetrix will have options . you will be able too smoke the rear tire or go 120 MPH . if you what. Most street bike have limited Speeds Most can never be changed . Vectrix can in time. We are some of the first vectrix Owner so we have fewer option . My Bike is doing great . I hope you get a quick and satifting end to
your Problems

Good luck ,Herb

BigTony
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

Hi All,
I have had my Vectrix for about four months now, I have done over 2000km and apart from a fuse blowing in the first few weeks, the bike has performed flawlessly. I weigh just over 140Kg(6ft4) and I regularly carry a pillion that is 80Kgs(6ft7) and the bike really flies, even with this load. When the fuse blew the Vectrix guys replaced it with a few days, something I was very surprised at as I had expected I would have to find a local place qualified to work on high powered battery installations to perform this. My daily commute is only about 10 to 20kms but I do trips to my Mother’s place which is 30kms away, and I have even done this round trip (60kms) without a charge (but it is not something I would do again).
I was the unfortunate recipient of a Blue Mazda3 into my right leg in morning traffic a few weeks ago, this moron didn’t see a 6ft4 fat man on a red bike with his 6ft7 son on the back with the headlights on in slow crawling morning traffic and gunned his car right into me from a standing start. Mazda3 had $4500 damage to left front guard and passenger door, the Vectrix, popped a plastic moulding that was easily pushed back and 20c worth of cutting compound to remove the blue paint from the rear faring. I had a sore leg for a few days. I really felt the low CofG working, He hit me hard and the bike just moved sideways and I never lost control and bought the bike to an easy stop. I didn’t have to make an insurance claim and after the police were finished with him, he felt he shouldn’t either.

I have had many new Bikes and cars in my time and there were problems with them all, of one sort or another. My wife's NEW Yamaha Majesty400 was recalled twice under warranty, once with a fuel leak that could have caused the bike to catch fire, and no Yamaha did not refund us the time, lost work hours or fuel it took to get it to the dealer, and Yamaha have been making bikes since about 1960, and making this exact model for nearly 7 years, and they didn't come to my house to fix it, and consumer affairs didn't make them give us our money back. My 2006 Kawasaki Vulcan has had three Monoshocks fitted so far under Warranty so far (they really should have asked my weight before they sold it to me), and it is now out of warranty and I’m going to be up for the next one. Both of my companies Honda HRVs had the transmissions rebuilt both under warrant (free) and again at 150kish out of warranty($3k). So why hold Vectrix up to a standard the rest of the Motorcycle (or in-fact the entire motor industry) does not come close to. I have never had such good customer service from any company as I have had from Vectrix.

I knew Vectrix were in Melbourne when I bought the Bike, (I am in Queensland, 1500ks away) I expected if there was and serious problem I would be taking the bike back to Melbourne to get it fixed. The same would happen if Vectrix Aust go belly up, I know I will be dealing with the company in the USA, So what. These are decisions "I" made when "I" decided to buy the Bike. Vectrix didn’t hide the fact they were in Melbourne or pretend to have a dealer in my area. This is leading edge "Production" technology, I expected problems. You knew you would void your warranty when you opened the bike, you admit it in your blogs and actions. Try sending Kawasaki a photo of a Vulcan engine stripped down to the last nut and bolt and then expecting them to do warranty work on the bike, no way, they would die laughingand so would Honda, Holden, Ford, Yamaha, Subaru. etc.....).

All this postulating is going you no good. I take it you are not an electrical fitter or a small engine mechanic, You are careful not to mention your professional qualifications. I have worked in the aircraft maintenance industry most of my life, hands on, tool chucking and oil changing, and I would never have opened a sealed Planetary gearbox unless I had a manual or maintenance procedure to back me up. There could have been a lot of things in that box that were 'use once" items (shims, seals, clips) and possibly preloaded spring assemblies that could have been dangerous. let alone some sort of digital encoding crap that needed complex recalibration procedures. These bikes are not toys.. Your comments about the planet gears are however spot on, I have matched lots of these assemblies in Hydraulic drive systems in gas turbine accessory gearboxes, and the gear match is critical to quiet and long term operation.

I think the structure of the letter you received from Vectrix Australia advising you your warranty was void is a piece of crap, written by a juvenile that has not been involved in any sort of consumer business. Provocative, emotional statements have no place in business communication like this. I would have ripped him a new one if he had done this working for me. In fact, as I see it the entire situation could have been avoided by better communication from Vectrix Australia.
But it takes two to tango, the very nature of your “Testing Program” is to try to insinuate they are lying with their specs and claims, “in the real world” well, what is their world or my world, “not real”. Of course they will feel insulted, I’ll bet these guys are as, or more passionate about these bikes than you were when you bought yours, but they will have their houses and probably life savings on the line trying to bring these bikes to Australia, and you wonder why they get insulted when you undergo a “testing program” that undoes their hard work, they are after all just people.
“In the Real world”, these guys have gone way beyond what any other manufacturer of anything would have done for you (and sounds like they have for all their other customers as well). Consumer affairs and fair trading action will only result in everybody lawyering up and then the bike will be forgotten. Time for a chill pill and focus on the bike, Both sides and particularly Vectrix Australia. All the chest thumping and blah blah, and after it all, Mik still has a noisy gearbox and his bike still smells like its burning. The lawyers will be richer and everyone will be exactly where they were before it all started.
As for Vectrix’s Lawyers trying to have you remove stuff from V is for Voltage, Blah, Blah, Blah, Guys, spend your money on selling bikes and let someone else buy your lawyer's next Merc.
I have read all Mik’s stuff and there is nothing defamatory in my eyes, Mik is telling it the way he see’s it, stop being such sooks, we are not stupid, we can see the difference between mik being a bit angry at not being able to do the commute he wanted and real problems, we all know there are problems with any device man makes, its what you do about it that makes the difference. But trying to cover up and suppress truth emerging didn’t work for the American Car industry or Microsoft and it won’t work for Vectrix either. As a matter of fact I see some great customer service from Vectrix in Miks listings, as well as some very ordinary communication from Vectrix. This is the 21st century, get with the program and start communicating with your customers. Use Blogs.

Lets face it, to fork the $A15k or so for one of these bikes you have to be passionate about something, as it is not a practical economic proposition as yet. It relies on everything to go right to succeed, something that in the ‘Real world” almost never happens. But it is a cool bike, its fun to ride and it is good for the environment. And apart from the moron that keep stopping you in traffic and saying “Dah, Is that electric ??” when its written all over it, it’s a pleasure to ride.
I'm not sure how many of these bikes there are on the road in Australia but I know mine is great and I am a very happy camper.

Happy Electrobiking

BigTony

duca
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

Higher spirits have spoken words of wisdom through the mouth of Great Chief Big Tony...
All should listen to these wise words and bury the war tomahawk for it is the will of the Higer Spirits.
It is futher advisable by the next meeting you add to higher spirits (at least 20+ alcoholic volumes) also a Peace Calumeth and you all smoke something really good and you will see, you will settle all your disagreements in no time and in peaceful manner....

Seriously: I really can only second Big Tony's words :)

regards

Mik
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

Hi Tony,
good to hear from you, I was hoping you would start posting sooner or later.

Glad to hear you have had such a good experience with your Vectrix, hope it continues.

I agree with most of what you say in your post, well put, I am also unhappy with the current stupid situation that can only help the lawyers.

But you would be a lot less happy if you had spend 3 out of 6 months with a non-roadworthy Vectrix, and I do not believe the trouble with your other vehicles was that severe, otherwise you might have considered asking for our money back.

Apparently Vectrix Australia have promised you a lot less than me...when I started inquiring, the first scooters had not yet arrived in Australia and the Hype machine was in full swing.
I did not ask for promises and hype, but got it anyway. All I wanted to know was if I could use the Vectrix scooter to get to work and back. Because the advertised range was about twice what I needed, I thought there was a chance it might work and wrote a detailed description of the commuting route. I was told it was "very doable on a Vectrix", in writing.

I was also promised that the "Trailblazer program" would provide exceptionally fast and good service should there be any problems. I was also assured that the Vectrix Scooter would be extremely reliable and hardly need any repairs or servicing.

You, Tony, have benefited greatly by the "Trailblazing = being a guinea pig" done by myself and others who bought a Vectrix before you. I do not know to which degree you are aware of it. Maybe you are not aware that we have met, or you do not mention it because you respect my privacy. I have a number of good reasons for keeping my personal details private, none of them sinister. Thank you.

Vectrix Australia would have been a lot more careful about making promises which they cannot keep by the time you bought your Vectrix.

They had also stopped insinuating that owners did something wrong and blaming them when their main fuses failed, because it was obviously not an isolated problem when your fuse failed. Yours was at least the 4th fuse to fail in Australia alone, mine were number 1 and 3.

They knew immediately what the problem was when your fuse failed, because they had seen it at least twice before and replaced the fuses twice before.
.

My first Vectrix was in a roadworthy state for only 21 days before the fuse failed.
I waited 22 days after the first fuse failure at 1400km until the scooter was replaced - replaced with a scooter which has much more severe problems than the first one.
This replacement scooter blew it's fuse after 17 days and 1004km.
The first 5 days in these 17 days the replacement Vectrix was useless.
The range was 9km on day one, with the last 2km at a snails pace, and it only increased very slowly as you would have read in my posts at http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2707-how-best-break-vectrix-anyone039s-guess#comment-14852.
Meanwhile the Vectrix Australia person who had delivered the replacement scooter was still in Brisbane, but did not come back to rectify the range problems although I had advised him of the problems. He drove from Brisbane to Melbourne, 2000km, without stopping after 100km on the Gold Coast to check the malfunctioning scooter he had delivered.

I only got 12 days of being able to actually use the Vectrix to get to one of my workplaces, before it failed again with a blown main fuse.

The cause for this had at that time not even been investigated, my first Vectrix was standing around in Melbourne waiting for someone with the expertise to find out what was wrong.
When I advised Vectrix Australia of the repeated failure on Saturday, the day it happened, I was promised that Vectrix would contact me on Monday to discuss how we would proceed.
When they did not even have the decency to keep that promise to contact me, I posted the Open Letter to Vectrix on Monday evening, because it was obvious that they were minimizing the problem rather than addressing it.

A few days after that, the tech guy who later fixed your fuse, the one who I say has great potential to turn things around for Vectrix Australia, was employed and examined my first Vectrix, finding of course that the fuse had blown. He told me that the scooter was running great with the new fuse and after a software update, and that it originally had had one of the first ever software versions running on it.

Meanwhile I continued to wait, this time 26 days, until the fuse was replaced by this new tech guy.
Your scooters fuse happened to blow one day before the visit to fix my fuse. That's why you got such quick service.

I picked the tech guy up from the airport, we drove to my place where he replaced the fuse and put my scooter on the charger. Then I drove him to your place to fix your fuse, about 100km.
Lucky for you, because I spotted your broken rear light. You might have been hit harder than you were (hope your leg is OK again) if you had not known about it being broken!

Noteworthy is that there was no warning displayed on the controls indicating that the rear light/brake light was malfunctioning; but disconnecting the number plate illumination connector causes the "position lamp telltale" to blink, and disconnecting the indicator lights causes the indicator telltales to illuminate constantly instead of blinking.
So, check that your Vectrix' rear/brake light works every now and then...
http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2547-vectrix-reports#comment-12382

I guess you had to put the replacement light in yourself, like I had to, and you technically voided your warranty in the process of taking the rear end of the Vectrix apart. Of course they are quite happy for you or me to do this when it suits them.

I also pointed out to the tech guy that the gear box of your scooter was much more quiet than mine, this was obvious from just the few meters driven in the garage.

Then I drove him back to the airport, another 120km or so. I offered and asked him to drive by my place again to check if the scooter was working OK, but he was certain it would all be OK and insisted to go straight to the airport although there would have been enough time. "Trust me" he said....well, that was the last time!

When I came home from dropping him at the airport the scooter was only 3/4 full, and the battery temp was increasing with a battery voltage of 151V being reached repeatedly during charging. In other words, now both the "full" and the "empty" points for the battery indicator were set incorrectly. Of course still no-one from Vectrix had heard the noise and vibrations, either.

Despite my requests to address the problem, and then posting the Vectrix Noise Level Report, nothing happened.

The the battery recall was announced and a person from Vectrix Australia rang me to advise me ahead of the mail-out that he thought that my scooter (and another one) were at particular risk. I had to charge outside, under no circumstances unsupervised.

Even 18 days after the battery recall was announced no VAP had ever test driven my Vectrix to assess any of the problems, let alone fixed them.

An email, in which I specifically mentioned the noise as one of the problems that need to be investigated during the battery rework visit, was answered by Vectrix Australia, but the noise issue was not mentioned in the reply, unlike the other several problems mentioned.

Of course, after the warranty was voided they claimed they were in the process of removing a new gearbox from another Vectrix for me. Shame they never told me before that they were doing this! As you say, Tony, poor communication.

And their claim that laying the scooter on it's side loosens mayor cables on the controller board speaks for itself - ridiculous!

Overall, in the Real World, I am paying off the loan since Dec 3rd, 2007, which will cost about AU$19000.- in total. Plus insurance of about AU$700.- per year.

I also had to use 5 days annual leave since then to assist in registering, repairing and "breaking in" my replacement Vectrix, half of the leave which I accrued over this time frame.

During this time I had 11 days with a roadworthy vectrix Nr.1, but it was poorly performing due to the old software versions running in it. ( See various reports by other Vectrix riders about the improvements felt after software updates).

And I had 12 days on the replacement Vectrix, between it developing sufficient range to be useful and it failing again with the main fuse blown; and 13 days between fixing the fuse and the side stand failing, requiring tying it up with straps and risking dropping the scooter each time when putting it onto the stand.

There was not one day on the replacement Vectrix without excessive noise and vibration from the gearbox, continuously damaging the rest of the scooter.

All up I have not had a single ride on a well performing Vetrix in over 6 months of ownership!

It's quite reasonable to be unhappy with this, I believe.

the very nature of your “Testing Program” is to try to insinuate they are lying with their specs and claims

I did not try to insinuate this, in fact I tried hard to report on the performance without making insinuations. Had my Vectrix met or exceeded the advertised specs, that's exactly what I would have, and have, written, for example at: http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2547-vectrix-reports#comment-12421
and
http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2547-vectrix-reports#comment-12538

If it looks as if they were lying, then that is not my fault.

Mr. Mik

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

Mik
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

Higher spirits have spoken words of wisdom through the mouth of Great Chief Big Tony...
All should listen to these wise words and bury the war tomahawk for it is the will of the Higer Spirits.
It is futher advisable by the next meeting you add to higher spirits (at least 20+ alcoholic volumes) also a Peace Calumeth and you all smoke something really good and you will see, you will settle all your disagreements in no time and in peaceful manner....

Seriously: I really can only second Big Tony's words :)

regards

In the higher spirits of the above words, here is a real Win-Win solution:

# Vectrix make me a VAP (Vectrix Authorised Person).

# I fix the scooter as VAP, therefore without voiding the warranty, until it is one of the finest Vectrixes the world has ever seen...with official access to the online service manual and support by their experienced technical staff, of course.

# then there will finally be a well working Vectrix on the roads in Australias fifth-largest city, the Gold Coast, which has the best climate in Australia for riding motorbikes, and where a large part of the population has too much money and a need for toys.

# then the rider of this Vectrix will be able to honestly tell all those people asking questions that this scooter works very well and will be competently serviced if there are any problems.

# that will lead to many more sales than "trying to launch a brand".

Mr. Mik

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

BigTony
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

Hey Mik,
Yep, we met at my place when they fitted the fuse.
Yes, I forgot about the Tail Light as it was destroyed during the fuse replacement procedure some how, Yep, they sent it to me a few days later and I spent 20 Mins fitting it. To replace the headlight bulb in my Kawasaki takes longer to than the tail assy in the Vectrix.
As far as being appointed as a VAP, I wouldn't get too excited there, Its not about demonstrated ability its more about public liability. You really should know what a MOSFET Block looks like, and what it is to work on DC electric powered devices. The 120-160V DC in this battery pack will kill you stone dead, and the peak current is scary, it could easily vaporise a spanner, or a watch, or a wedding ring etc, so they have good reason to err on the side of safety. Not to mention the thousands of dollars worth of parts that could be destroyed by incorrect workshop practices. The online manual will probably presume a level of trade knowledge that if not present could be dangerous. They could give you an action plan to become a VAP and the rest would be up to you.
Apart from your own safety, you might sell your bike one day and then the liability just gets silly. A trade certificate in something related to DC power and mechanical stuff would probably be a minimum I would think.

There is a procedure in the some sectors where an item that has had its warranty voided can be inspected by the company and the warranty reinstated or even extended with some extra cost, perhaps with some exclusions, but it can be done. Subaru are still sending me offers to extend the warranty on the three Foresters of theirs I had, and I sold them years ago.

Happy Electrobiking

Big Tony.

Mik
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

During the writing up of the complaint to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), and due to the input received by other V members as above, it has become clearer and cleared to me that pursuing Vectrix Australia for a refund, or for further work under warranty, is not consistent with my goals.

It would potentially cost them, and / or myself, our savings and achieve nothing but profits for the legal profession.

And my Vectrix would remain grounded for who knows how long.

My aim is to get a working EV, legally registered in Australia, that cuts my greenhouse emissions and sets an example for others that it is possible to do so.

It appears to me that the safest and most promising way to achieve this aim at this stage is to fix the Vectrix without relying on Vectrix Corp., the warranty, the OFT or the lawyers.

In other words, I’ll cut my losses and get on with it without a warranty.

I’ll keep the evidence, of course, in case Vectrix wants to pick a fight.

Life is too short to waste it on legal battles, even if you are right. The legal costs incurred might easily be a multiple of the purchase price of a new Vectrix, plus all the stress and time loss involved with it.

And repairing damaged components locally is bound to be more beneficial, both from an environmental and from an educational perspective, than having someone fly in to replace bits with new ones each time something fails.

I also believe that I will on average get the scooter fixed faster by myself than by Vectrix (with plenty of help by others, of course).
I might be very wrong here, it might prove to be very difficult to diagnose or repair the charger, for example, or make a rear light replacement etc, etc, etc.

And chances are that they will fail, sooner or later.

But figuring out how to fix it will be a heck of a lot more interesting than mulling over legal definitions and proceedings!
..
..

So lets get started with putting the scooter on it’s wheels again, so the Penguin can go riding!

Any suggestions for a good name for the first Open Source Vectrix?

Lictrux?

Vectrux?

Tux-mobile?

TuxTux?

Vectux?

Scootux?

.

Or is that sort of stuff copyrighted? I don’t want to end up with Linus’ lawyers chasing me on top of it all…

Mr. Mik

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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

Regarding the connector to link the batteries of the scooter to pre-charge capacitors and avoid arcing:

I would directly connect one of the sides of the wires, and use a ~250 ohm >5 watt power resistor to connect the other.

I'd wager on a 1kΩ 5W resistor

Could you please check my maths and comment:
.
Assuming the highest voltage the battery would ever have: 150V

and the highest amperage that is safe: 8mA (http://www.mpoweruk.com/shock.htm),

I get 150V/0.008A = 18750ohm, or roughly 20kohm as the value for a "safe" resistor.

With a very empty battery, say 108V, that would let 108V / 20000ohm = 0.054A through.

That makes between 108V * 0.054A = 0.5832W and 150V * 0.0075A = 1.125W .

So a 5 W, 20000ohm capacitor would be very safe, but needs to stay on for a (very?) long time to allow the capacitors to charge up, depending on how chunky they turn out to be.

A 1kOhm resistor would let 150V / 1000Ohm = 0.15A = 150mA through - potentially lethal.

150V * 0.150A = 22.5W ???

A 250 Ohm resistor would let 150V / 250Ohm = 0.6A =600mA through - potentially lethal.

150V * 0.6A = 90W ???

Does this mean that both a 250 and a 1kOhm resistor would soon fry if they had only a 5 W rating?
.
My multimeter is capable of measuring between 20microA and 10A DC, so I should be able to measure how long the cable with resistor needs to be bridged before the current flow becomes negligible.

Mr. Mik

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andrew
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

Mik, I think that is a much more productive approach to take. You'll be learning a lot to help other Vectrix owners once their warranty goes, or if Vectrix flops. It's important to understand safety as Big Tony pointed out. There's nothing Vectrix Corp. can do to stop you from working on your own bike, but I would urge them to provide you any documentation and training material. It is not in the best interest of Vectrix to have someone hurt themselves or damage property. That would be very bad publicity. Doing what you are, I would be extremely cautious. But, if you work slow, have taken all of the proper safety precautions and then some, and have learned the necessary skills, then you will minimize the risk of an accident. I highly suggest planning for a few weeks just to learn a lot about electricity, circuits, and safety. It would be very helpful to locate any safety courses in your area that provide electrical safety training according to any national standards.

Nothing is more important than knowledge and skills to work safely.

I based that 250 ohm value on the 150 ohm resistor I'm using for my motorcycle controller with a 72v system. The resistor seems to charge the capacitors in about 2 seconds. That would be 72v/150ohms * 72 = 34.56 watts, but the actual full charge voltage may be more like 77.5v, so this would be 40 watts max. It is a 5W resistor, and it doesn't get noticeably warm because it charges the capacitors so fast.

I have no idea how large the Vectrix controller capacitors are, so I shouldn't be giving any kind of recommendation. Sorry for that.

I don't know why you use the lethal current as a guideline. You should not be conducting this current through your body unless something seriously wrong happens. When making the connection, you should be using a connector rated for the voltage, and touching the connector housing (not contacts!). You should be using wire rated for the voltage. I would be wearing insulating rubber gloves designed for electrical work, and safety glasses at all times. I would have a fire extinguisher handy too.

[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/587-my-kz750-electric-motorcycle-project]KZ750 Motorcycle Conversion[/url]
[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/588-fixing-my-chinese-scooter]900 watt scooter[/url]
Pic from http://www.electri

Mik
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

I don't know why you use the lethal current as a guideline. You should not be conducting this current through your body unless something seriously wrong happens. When making the connection, you should be using a connector rated for the voltage, and touching the connector housing (not contacts!). You should be using wire rated for the voltage. I would be wearing insulating rubber gloves designed for electrical work, and safety glasses at all times. I would have a fire extinguisher handy too.

Thanks, Andrew, good advice.

I am using the non-lethal current as a hallmark, and signpost and an exercise to re-awaken my once good physics and maths skills.

I am doing the planning you suggest, and have since a while.

If accidentally a strand of copper wire poked through my gloves into my tissues, I would still be able to control my muscles and let go etc. whilst that current is running through me. It's just good to know that with less than a 20k ohm resistor in the bridging cable the same scenario would be potentially fatal. It kind of heightens your awareness to do the maths before the actual work...

Of course, two points of electrical contact would be needed, not one.

And, yes, the capacitors somewhere in the system pose an ever present risk even when the battery is disconnected.

I will have to be careful, no doubt!

And I will have to revise which resistor to use after I have identified the electronic components of the Scootux, particularly the capacitors.

Good idea to ask Vectrix for advice on safety, but I doubt I'll get much out of them except that I should not touch anything.

Mr. Mik

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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

I read the software issues with interest.

Why does an electric motorcycle or scooter have any kind of software anyway? There may be a PIC chip in the battery charger, of some digital foo-foo on the instrument display, but does a motor and controller need software?

What someone wants' to keep these things running long after Vectrix has gone the way of Studebaker?

I guess I'm a Luddite, but these geeks who designed the thing need to read some Thoreau - simplify, simplify, simplify!

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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

Hi Xxxxx and Yyyyy,

I decided to neither involve the Department of Fair Trading, nor to further pursue you for a refund of the purchase price or work to be performed under warranty.

See http://visforvoltage.org/forum/3462-vectrix-warranty-voided#comment-19818 for details of he reasons for this, please.

To enable safe repairs to be performed by third parties on the scooter, it would be helpful if you could advise me of the required safety procedures.

Particularly useful would be:

a) information on the resistor (and/or other electronic components) needed for the temporary bridging of the two batteries during re-assembly.

b) information on which parts of the electronic circuitry are "live" due to charged capacitors remaining in the system after the battery has been disconnected.

c) torque settings for the internal battery connections and specs for the braided connectors needed for the battery rework. You could of course send me a battery rework kit so I can have the work performed here with the right components.

d) any other safety related information required to enable third parties to perform work on the scooter safely, now that it is "out of warranty'.

Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

"Mr. Mik"

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

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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

Hi
The motor drive is brush less Is needs some programing for it run at all . CNC miller have use them for years .
But if you just give it a on it would have all HP at go it would spin the rear tire and stop so fast you would hit your head. . If you read the write ups in The recent Motorcycle magazines They like the proformance of it programing . Yes simplify . You can find all the part you need to just keep it running from many supply comp. they sell componant and kits to convert any thing to run electric . Vectrix has put it all together so you do not have to spend all you time building it . unfortunitly not the case for Mik . Hi Mik I hope you get yours going soon . And thanks for your work your doing . Some day I may need it too. Now I am just a happy Vectrix rider .

Happy riding , Herb

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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

When making the connection, you should be using a connector rated for the voltage, and touching the connector housing (not contacts!). You should be using wire rated for the voltage. I would be wearing insulating rubber gloves designed for electrical work, and safety glasses at all times. I would have a fire extinguisher handy too.

I have bought capacitors and cables, and also found where to buy a suitable adapter, but it costs AU$60.- just for the adapter.

I have a better idea (see illustration below):

First I will connect the plain cable between the two parts of the battery, then the (open) cable with the 3 resistors in line.

Then I close the circuit as below by inserting the probes of a multimeter into an auto-fuse holder soldered or crimped into the circuit. There should be little -if any- sparking due to the 2460 ohm resistance in the circuit.
I will then be able to observe how much current runs for how long through the cable.

Vectux Battery Bridging Cable Suggestion

Before actually doing this I will of course measure voltage between the contacts in the blue connectors and the battery terminals (after disconnecting the blue connector and removing the batteries from the scooter).

I would expect a voltage of about 58V between the contacts in the connector part on the front battery and about 33V between the contacts on the blue connector and the main battery terminals on the rear battery.
And 0V between the main battery terminals.
If I get very different measurements then the whole diagram is wrong and I need to rethink the whole approach.

When I check the controller board for the source of the burning smell I will identify the capacitors and calculate how long they would take to charge at 0.06A (if they are empty).
.
But first I need to get the battery out, I have the necessary hardware for it together now. (about a 45kg lift)

.
Regarding rubber gloves:
What is the difference between gloves designed for electrical work and "normal" rubber gloves for dish washing, gardening, chemical handling etc?
What I could find so far is that electrician gloves are individually tested, and maybe they tend to melt less if in an arc.
But the electrician supply shops seem to have none, and even the safety shop needs to order them in!
AU$ 90.- or so for a pair rated to 1000V, will have a look at them when they come in.
But I have a suspicion that cheaper gloves would be just fine, too, for 150V in dry conditions.
It might be a lengthy wait to get the correct size, 00 rated (500V) gloves.
.

Another question:
I have bought electrical tape to tape around metal tools if needed, and a set of insulated screwdrivers rated to 1500V DC.
Is there any special technique other than wrapping tools carefully with electrical tape without leaving unnecessary gaps?

Thanks for your help!

Mr. Mik

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

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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

Is there any special technique other than wrapping tools carefully with electrical tape without leaving unnecessary gaps?

You could also take a large piece of heat shrink and put it over the tools. Either way would work fine though.

Regarding rubber gloves:
What is the difference between gloves designed for electrical work and "normal" rubber gloves for dish washing, gardening, chemical handling etc?
What I could find so far is that electrician gloves are individually tested, and maybe they tend to melt less if in an arc.
But the electrician supply shops seem to have none, and even the safety shop needs to order them in!
AU$ 90.- or so for a pair rated to 1000V, will have a look at them when they come in.
But I have a suspicion that cheaper gloves would be just fine, too, for 150V in dry conditions.
It might be a lengthy wait to get the correct size, 00 rated (500V) gloves.

I can't recommend just any gloves because I can't find any publications to back this up. Also, there may be other dangers like them catching fire, and getting burned very badly. I would assume that electrician gloves would have arc flash protection, but I can't seem to find that without having the ASTM standard.

I checked over both "Build your Own Electric Vehicle" by Bob Brant, and "Convert It" by Mike Brown, and couldn't find any mention of using gloves for electrical safety which is odd. I didn't use any gloves when doing all of the wiring for my conversion and I think that was dumb. I always wear safety glasses though. I think wearing appropriate gloves would do a LOT to improve safety when working on an EV high-voltage system. I don't know why I didn't get some. I'm going to keep some with the tool kit on the bike.

There's some at Mcmaster-Carr for a lot less. Search Electrician gloves.

The standard for the gloves appears to be ASTM D120. Here's a description:
http://www.astm.org/Standards/D120.htm

Which says nothing about arc flash protection, but that might be buried somewhere in the actual standard. This page seems to indicate that this is part of the standard:

Electrician’s Gloves are individually tested to meet ANSI/ASTM D120 Standard and NFPA 70E for use around Electrical Hazards and Arc Flash protection.

I would really like to get the standard to see for sure but it's $36.

[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/587-my-kz750-electric-motorcycle-project]KZ750 Motorcycle Conversion[/url]
[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/588-fixing-my-chinese-scooter]900 watt scooter[/url]
Pic from http://www.electri

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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

Here are some measurements of battery voltage and a few questions:
.
Voltage taken between the points numbered in below diagram:

A) after disconnecting the blue connector between the two batteries, with main cables still connected to 1 and 2:

1.5V falling rapidly to 0.2V between 1 and 2. (unexpected)
.

B) With main cables at 1 and 2 as well as blue connector 3/4 / 5/6 disconnected:

64V between 1 and 2. (unexpected!!!)

0V between 3 and 4. (expected)

34.8V between 1 and 3. (expected)

34.8V between 4 and 2 (expected)

61.9V between 5 and 6 (expected)
.

C) Main cables disconnected and blue connector connected:

131.7V between 1 and 2 (expected)
.
Photobucket
Any ideas why there is a 1-2V voltage between 1 and 2 whilst still connected to the controller board, and why is there a voltage of 64V between 1 and 2 after being disconnected?
The series of cells in that battery is disconnected half-way, I expected 0V between 1 and 2.
The full voltage when shorting 3 to 4 should be 34.8V+34.8V= 69.6V, (not actually tested), but the actual voltage is only 64V.
I am wondering if it is due to some sort of induction effect, because of the proximity of the cells in the same housing, but don't you need AC or a moving electro-magnetic field for that?

When the blue connector is connecting the two batteries the voltage is as expected: 34.8V+61.9V+34.8V=131.7V, spot-on.

Mr. Mik

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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

Mr Mik, regarding your erroneous voltage indication.If you are using a digital multimeter it could be residual capactive effect as all batteries act as capacitors to some extent. Electrical safety? I was an electrical engineer before I became a pilot. One old sage of an engineer told me,"when working on High Voltage systems, keep one hand to yourself and one for the equipment. Don't make a circuit of yourself!" I follwed his maxim when working on motor systems up to 15kv...it works!!
regards
ray

Ray

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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

Mr Mik, regarding your erroneous voltage indication.If you are using a digital multimeter it could be residual capactive effect as all batteries act as capacitors to some extent. Electrical safety? I was an electrical engineer before I became a pilot. One old sage of an engineer told me,"when working on High Voltage systems, keep one hand to yourself and one for the equipment. Don't make a circuit of yourself!" I follwed his maxim when working on motor systems up to 15kv...it works!!
regards
ray

Thanks, Ray!

A very handy hint indeed...about the one handed operations.

.

Regarding the capacitor effect:

Good idea - but why is there no voltage between 2 and 3?

Yes, a digital multimeter was used.

I have an analog one, too, but need to find it first.

I assume that analog multimeters use more current to measure voltage than digital meters, and therefore the voltage would drop more rapidly to near zero with an analog meter, right?

After connecting the digital multimeter it took about 2sec for the voltage to drop from 1.5V to 0.2V (between points 1 and 2) when still connected to the main cables to the controller.

.

The rear battery is really two batteries in one housing, with 27 cells each.

2 rows side by side of 9 cells each, and three layers of that.

.
I'll start putting pictures in here once I have a suitable disclaimer ready...
http://visforvoltage.org/forum/3554-liability-issues-online-repair-manuals-can-someone-make-good-disclaimer#comment-20000

Mr. Mik

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

Vectrix-NH
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

Is there a diode between the two sides . that would let the current pass though the two sides when it was unplug from the front battery . also would that keep it from arcing as you plug the other battery in ? I know that is more of a Question ? But may be the direction to ask a pro .

Have a great day , Herb

raytheham
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

Yes you are right about the test meters. They are assessed for sensitivity as so many ohms/volt. My old AVO model 8 is rated at 20,000 ohms/volt and perfect for cars and "heavy" electrical work, but the digital one is rated at 100,000 ohms /volt and is used for electronic work as it does not put a load onto sensitive electronic components when measuring IC voltages and transistor gate voltages etc. This sometimes becomes a problem working on cars/bikes as you can get erroneous readings using digital meters...horses for courses!

The symptoms of the voltage decaying slowly are exactly what I would expect from residual capacitance. Regarding the other cells not having this, is probably because there is an internal resistance discharging the voltage.

My bike seems to be settling down with the new battery pack. The estimated range varying does seem to make sense, similar to the economy meter on my old SAAB, if you floor it the economy reads Zero and if you go down hill it reads max. A bit of a waste really but it does seem to be accurate enough. I am now up to 2100 miles, about 4,600 km. Commuting about 40-50 mph, 60-80kph I get a range of 40 miles, getting home with about 2 bars showing and about 6-8 miles left.

The noise is a continuous whine only varying in pitch with speed unlike the pulsating noise I heard on an earlier post.

My one niggle now is bugs getting behind the windscreen and having to remove it to clean them out!
Apart from that it is saving me a bomb in fuel costs. We are now up to £1.30 a litre for diesel! Ridiculous, as most of the price is tax. It used to take 4.5 litres to get to work and back in the 3 litre turbo diesel car I have, £5.85 as opposed to 45 pence to charge the Vectrix!

Regards
Ray

Ray

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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

Yes you are right about the test meters. They are assessed for sensitivity as so many ohms/volt. My old AVO model 8 is rated at 20,000 ohms/volt and perfect for cars and "heavy" electrical work, but the digital one is rated at 100,000 ohms /volt and is used for electronic work as it does not put a load onto sensitive electronic components when measuring IC voltages and transistor gate voltages etc. This sometimes becomes a problem working on cars/bikes as you can get erroneous readings using digital meters...horses for courses!

The symptoms of the voltage decaying slowly are exactly what I would expect from residual capacitance. Regarding the other cells not having this, is probably because there is an internal resistance discharging the voltage.

I found the analog multimeter and compared results between point one and two with everything disconnected:

64.1V with the electronic multimeter.
25V with the analog multimeter.
The digital multimeter reading drops from 64.1V to 24.5V when the analog meter is added.

Photobucket
.
Photobucket
.

Mr. Mik

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

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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

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