Vectrix low battery blues

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HCT
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Re: Vectrix low battery blues

Mik

I do not remember which one of those three HP4328A went to the guy in Australia .The price was as low as $300.00 to $500.00.
Check out those items # 360067018810, 360055153877, 290225605834 on e-bay site .

Have seem them going for as low as $150.00 with no probe or manual and since they do not have a probe , you are buying it as is.
Seem price as high as $795.00 guarantee to work and with test sheet showing test points.
Only bid on one that has the probe assembly , manual and is guarantee to work , the probe are longer being and are worth more than the instrument .
The instrument is not easy to repair and no longer supported by Agilent,they want to sell the new digital one for $ 5,000.00

From your posting and had no idea that the cells where stacked in 3, one on top of another that is a real problem, will make the testing somewhat more complicated .Had assumed all along that they where like my batteries on my Oxygen.
Can you take picture of one of the 3 cells stack and is there any access to each cell positive contact ? .
If not than the best you can do is measure the impedance of 3 cell stack ,at least will narrow down to 3 cells area.
Can you tell me how to post the pictures as you do , so that a click will magnified them,mine leave a lot to be desire .
Regards
Andre

MVC-842S.jpgMVC-063S.jpg

HEAT & LOSS & INEFFICIENCY RELATED DIRECTLY to IMPEDANCE

Mik
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Re: Vectrix low battery blues

From your posting and had no idea that the cells where stacked in 3, one on top of another that is a real problem, will make the testing somewhat more complicated .Had assumed all along that they where like my batteries on my Oxygen.
Can you take picture of one of the 3 cells stack and is there any access to each cell positive contact ? .
If not than the best you can do is measure the impedance of 3 cell stack ,at least will narrow down to 3 cells area.
Can you tell me how to post the pictures as you do , so that a click will magnified them,mine leave a lot to be desire .
Regards
Andre

I'll answer some of the questions and at the same time explain how the photo stuff works the way I do it...

The cells in the Vectrix batteries are in series, starting at the minus cable, zig-zagging across the top layer, then there is a connector down to the next layer, then another connector to the lowest layer, then a cable going all the way up again ending in one pole of the blue plug that connects the two batteries.

To show you the below picture I paste a link from my "Photobucket" account. A single click puts in on the clipboard, then I paste it into the post:
Photobucket
The VisforVoltage software does the rest and turns it back into a photo!

Photobucket offers a variety of editing options, including resizing the photos.
First I upload them to photobucket, then resize them to one of the preset sizes they offer. I insert that small size photo using the "HTML code" option, which shows the small photo (above) on VisforVoltage.
Then I provide the link to the full resolution picture by pasting the "Direct Link" option from the original photo into the following gobbledigook:
***<***a*** href="INSERT HYPERLINK FROM PHOTOBUCKET HERE" Target=>Click here for a higher resolution picture.***

I had to insert the triplets***of***stars*** to confuse the system so you can see the "code". But it is still incorrect!
I CANNOT GET THE V SOFTWARE TO SHOW THE CODE ON THE PAGE YOU SEE.

SOMEONE WITH MUCH BETTER IT (+ TEACHING) SKILLS THAN ME NEEDS TO EXPLAIN THIS, I GIVE UP!
HELP! HELP! HELP!

...
...

Without the stars "V" turns it into the result of the code, which of course is:
Click here for a higher resolution picture.

Boy oh boy, this is hard to explain, but honestly, it is easy to do!

I'm sure it is all too obvious how it is done to all the IT geeks on the forum...

Ask them how to do it, I'm still trying to figure it out myself!

...
...

THEN I PASTE ALL THE GOBBLEDYGOOK INTO AN OPEN SOURCE TEXT EDITOR, BECAUSE IF VISFORVOLTAGE, OR YOUR COMPUTER, OR YOUR ISP GO DOWN, ALL THAT FIDDLY WORK WOULD BE GONE... Been there, done that!

Then, I write some more, knowing I have a backup.

From an utterly exhausted

Mr. Mik (more later)

PS:Photobucket
Yah man, cligck for bigger immitsch...

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 low battery blues

Here are some more battery pictures to illustrate some of the points discussed in PM's:

Click on the images to enlarge them!

They are not in any particular order.
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In the next two photos the top two temp sensors are visible. There are apparently a total of 6 in each of the two batteries:
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The temperature sensor board and connector are lifted out together with the battery:

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Smashing the heavy battery into the nearby Motor Controller is a VERY BAD IDEA!

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Hope that helps!

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 low battery blues

I have tried out the "break in" procedure discussed here over about two weeks, but there was no obvious improvement whatsoever as a result.

Today the last 5 bars disappeared again in one hit at 42.2km trip distance.
(A BaLPoR just like before the procedure.)

The procedure consisted of consecutive shallow discharges followed by full recharges until the charger stopped, except for the last recharge today. That last recharge stopped with 23 min left to go in the EC part of charging, because I had to turn it off due to lack of time.

4.4km x 3, 11km x 3, 20km x 7, then todays 42.2km.....

I do not expect the single incomplete EC today would have a large impact at all.

Due to my increased watchfulness during the procedure I observed a few interesting aberrations from the usual charging behaviors, or rather noticed how variable this can be.
Examples are an EC cycle longer than 59:59, and one that stopped earlier than the expected 59:59. And sometimes the charger hits 151V and the batteries heat up, at other times it stops in the mid-140's and the battery cools down during charging.

I have not been able to recognize a particular pattern or system that is being followed by the charger, it might be partially random or too complex for me to figure it out by watching only the display, the intake air temp, the outlet air temp, the time, present power consumption and cumulative power consumption. There might be other factors influencing what happens, or pre-programmed behaviors like "trickle charge until the voltage hits 151V every 5th full recharge cycle and double this during summer in the year following every second leap year". Just guessing, who knows.

Fact is, like before, the Vectux is again trying to charge the batteries until the display shows 17/17th, but gets "stuck" at 17-x/17th, with "x" being the number of bars that suddenly disappeared in the BaLPoR, in this case 5/17.

I am becoming more and more convinced that this behavior is the result of reduced battery capacity. The lower the capacity, the more bars disappear in a BaLPoR.

My expectation is that every Vectrix will gradually develop this phenomenon
when the battery ages and looses useable capacity. Some scooters seems to show this phenomenon to a degree right from the start, particularly in Australia for some reason.

Hi theBaron: Any news from Vectrix Australia, yet?
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I am planning to do another range test at low speed soon, but this time on the flattest stretch of road around here which has an accessible recharging station nearby.
This one:
S4024892.jpg
And very little traffic! No stop and go etc, no need for hard accelerations to keep safe in traffic... I might even turn the front light off!
It is the flat part of the Vectrix GC Test Route 1, starting at the "Natural Bridge" rest area. Altitude about 180mASL. I recently checked that the power point has been repaired since the last floods, and that a 20m extension cable should be sufficient to save me another AU$300,- fine for "bringing a moped onto a parkland".

The previous 40km/h test run had an overall climb from 120m to 440m = 320m in it and multiple moderate undulations. Google maps now has a "terrain" view that lets you see the details.
I'm waiting for the right weather: Little wind. 20°C. No rain.
There will have to be a picnic for the "support crew", because after riding to the starting point at Natural Bridge it will take about 3.5hrs to fully recharge. Then I'll take off within a microsecond (or so) of the charge being completed, to avoid unnecessary spontaneous self discharge of the battery. The crew can look after the extension lead until I have done a few laps. Then I'll grab the extension lead, the "support crew" can leave and a lonely Mr. Mik will continue to terrorize the neighborhood on the quiet riverbanks with repetitive Vectux whines....

Not sure yet if I will remove locks etc to reduce weight - on an almost flat course with very little stop-and-go it should not matter too much if there is extra weight.

Tyre pressure will be: 41psi rear; 33psi front.

Riding position as well as speed will be governed by watching the RETAMPI to find the "sweet spots" rather than just going 40km/h rigidly.

The camera will be rolling most of the time, batteries and SD-cards are ready for 80-100km range recording (tell him he's dreamin')...

Afterwards I'll have to have another picnic until the battery is full enough to head back home again!

Basically a full days project, depending on many variables beyond my control.

Maybe tomorrow.....

Whilst I was doing all the above writing the charger has heated the battery to 39°C, during almost 5hrs ofcharging, and is still in "CC" mode! So I turned it off because I could not watch this battery abuse any longer. It's still only 15/17th full (or so it believes) and the ambient temperature in the garage is 20°C!

I'm glad I turned it off, because that revealed a major design fault in the ABCool 12V power supply . More about that later.

Mr. Mik

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

Vectrix-NH
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Re: Vectrix low battery blues

Hi Mik
You said The last 5 bar disappeared again . Have you sinked the display / charger
It is done by running the battery dead , the bike will not move at all. and hold the throttle wide open for about 10 sec. that resets the battery gauge and the charger . I was told the charger use that as part of when to turn it off for full charge .

If you all ready did this .use your marker to draw new line .

Happy riding , Herb

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Re: Vectrix low battery blues

Hi Mik
You said The last 5 bar disappeared again . Have you sinked the display / charger
It is done by running the battery dead , the bike will not move at all. and hold the throttle wide open for about 10 sec. that resets the battery gauge and the charger . I was told the charger use that as part of when to turn it off for full charge .

If you all ready did this .use your marker to draw new line .

Happy riding , Herb

It is the same thing!

The disappearing bars syndrome, the synchronizing of charger and display and a BaLPoR are the same thing.

It takes about 8 seconds at full throttle, whilst buSVLt (=battery under Safe Voltage?) is already on, to "achieve" this "sync-ing". The battery does not have to be so low that the scooter will hardly move any longer; if it's going uphill it happens when the scooter can hardly make it up the hill any more.

Mr. Mk

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

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Re: Vectrix low battery blues

I'm glad I turned it off, because that revealed a major design fault in the ABCool 12V power supply . More about that later.

Mr. Mik

Here you can find what this is about.

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 low battery blues

[/quote]
It is the same thing!

The disappearing bars syndrome, the synchronizing of charger and display and a BaLPoR are the same thing.

It takes about 8 seconds at full throttle, whilst buSVLt (=battery under Safe Voltage?) is already on, to "achieve" this "sync-ing". The battery does not have to be so low that the scooter will hardly move any longer; if it's going uphill it happens when the scooter can hardly make it up the hill any more.

[/quote]
If it is resetting when buSVLt is on and you hold it open for 8 sec . That may make thing go bad .
With the set point not at a full discharge it will not charge fully . now the buSVLt will happen sooner, and if you hold it open 8 sec it is set even futher from a good zero .

It is good to know as I got the buSVLt this morning ( a longer trip than nomal) at about 28 Miles , 5 bars and 55 mph. I just back off and it went away . I do not think I had the throttle open 8 sec.. the last time this happen was just after Battery recall . so I did a full discharge ( took an other 6 mile) so I know my range with my gauge.

Happy riding , Herb

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Re: Vectrix low battery blues

If it is resetting when buSVLt is on and you hold it open for 8 sec . That may make thing go bad .
With the set point not at a full discharge it will not charge fully . now the buSVLt will happen sooner, and if you hold it open 8 sec it is set even futher from a good zero .

It is good to know as I got the buSVLt this morning ( a longer trip than nomal) at about 28 Miles , 5 bars and 55 mph. I just back off and it went away . I do not think I had the throttle open 8 sec.. the last time this happen was just after Battery recall . so I did a full discharge ( took an other 6 mile) so I know my range with my gauge.

Happy riding , Herb

I'll find out when I do the range test on flat ground - hopefully later today. Looks like some showers about, but maybe it will stop.
On very flat ground I may be able to slowly get the last bars to disappear, but I doubt it very much.
I have tried many times to avoid the disappearing bars syndrome and have been aware since late 2007 that easing off the throttle might prevent the disappearing bars, when I wrote:
Once power drops and speed reduces, particularly when going uphill, it is tempting to pull the throttle harder to compensate for the loss of speed. Usually this ends very soon in pulling the throttle as far as it goes and.... "PUFF", the remaining range and battery capacity is gone.
I found that if I ease off on the throttle immediately when a reduction in power becomes noticeable, and demand less than the Vectrix is able to supply, the range keeps going down slowly.
I need to test this theory further, though.

Because my home is on a hill, and because my workplace (with the newly installed 6-outlet public recharging station) is also on a hill I have not been able to crawl around without causing a BaLPoR close to a recharging station.
Heavy as the Vectrix is, the smallest hill causes a BaLPoR and is literally insurmountable by pushing alone.

Mr. Mik

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

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Re: Vectrix low battery blues

I've had my Vectrix for a few weeks now and I have experienced this problem (loss of power/charge) with every charge so far. I contacted the dealer (Marin BMW in San Rafael, CA) when it first happened and they asked me to call back if it happened again, or continuted to happen. I called back today and they recommended that I bring it in for an analysis.
Before I bring it in for service I thought I'd try reseting the battery gauge by opening the throttle for 8 seconds, as posted here. But, I didn't see this recommendation in the owner's manual (the old nor the new). Where did this idea come from? Is it recommended by Vectrix? Is it a one-time cure, or does it need to be done on a regular basis?
I'll try it and post the results here later.

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Re: Vectrix low battery blues

Hi
The info is dirctly From Vectrix factory in New Bedford Ma , USA .

It is not in the owner manual as It should not need to be done again under normal use .

but some of us have found that if you are down to 4 or 5 bars and are going up hill and low volt warning come on and you do not let off the throtle If can be set in the wrong place .

It seam the way they percycle the batterys now they do not always get the gages sinked witch dose effect the way it charges , not shore if thats what is happening to you .but reset the gages would be a good place to start .

Happy riding , Herb

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Re: Vectrix low battery blues

I've had my Vectrix for a few weeks now and I have experienced this problem (loss of power/charge) with every charge so far. I contacted the dealer (Marin BMW in San Rafael, CA) when it first happened and they asked me to call back if it happened again, or continuted to happen. I called back today and they recommended that I bring it in for an analysis.
Before I bring it in for service I thought I'd try reseting the battery gauge by opening the throttle for 8 seconds, as posted here. But, I didn't see this recommendation in the owner's manual (the old nor the new). Where did this idea come from? Is it recommended by Vectrix? Is it a one-time cure, or does it need to be done on a regular basis?
I'll try it and post the results here later.

I think it's 10 seconds. But to be sure, hold the full throttle longer than the 10 seconds. And the battery has to be so much empty, that the bike doesn't move at all.

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Re: Vectrix low battery blues

Hi
The info is dirctly From Vectrix factory in New Bedford Ma , USA .

It is not in the owner manual as It should not need to be done again under normal use .

but some of us have found that if you are down to 4 or 5 bars and are going up hill and low volt warning come on and you do not let off the throtle If can be set in the wrong place .

It seam the way they percycle the batterys now they do not always get the gages sinked witch dose effect the way it charges , not shore if thats what is happening to you .but reset the gages would be a good place to start .

Happy riding , Herb

Thank you for sharing that information. It's a logical explanation for 4-5 bars disappearing effect. So, the cure for it should be to completely discharge the battery, so the bike doesn't move at all anymore and hold throttle at max. for at least 10 seconds.

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Re: Vectrix low battery blues

9-11-08
Well - I tried the 10+ second reset... I ran the Vectrix down to nothing again (which was easy as the last 5 bars disappeared on the way home from work today).
After holding the throttle open for 10+ seconds... nothing happened. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but there was no 'beep', or change in the gauges, or any other indication that the reset was successful. Is there supposed to be some indication? Or do I just have to wait and see what happens after the next charge?
In any case I'll post again in a couple days after draining the batteries again.
100_0524.jpg
9-13-08
The reset didn't help. I was down to 3 bars with 6 miles estimated ride distance when the bars and mileage disappeared, along with the error message on the left gauge (looks like "buSult" - pronounced "bullshit" I think).
I can't take it in for service for a few weeks, but I'll post again when I get it checked out at the dealer.

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Re: Vectrix low battery blues

Mine done not drop to no bars but dose buSult at about 4 to 5 bars if I am going full throttle .
I was told by Vectrix flag ship store that 4 bars was were it was happening to all the bikes , at full throttle.
if you are going slower on flat ground it happens later. as I said mine dose not do the drop to zero , but I alway let off the trottle and go slow to get were I am going . this only happens about once a month. when I do some out of the way errands on the way home. Most of the time I only get to half the bars on my 19 mile trip, about 12 miles over 55 mph.
Hope you bike dose what you need it to . mine is great for me.

Happy riding , Herb

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Re: Vectrix low battery blues

9-11-08
Well - I tried the 10+ second reset... I ran the Vectrix down to nothing again (which was easy as the last 5 bars disappeared on the way home from work today).
After holding the throttle open for 10+ seconds... nothing happened. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but there was no 'beep', or change in the gauges, or any other indication that the reset was successful. Is there supposed to be some indication?

The disappearing of the bars and simultaneous drop to zero range is the reset.

It happens going uphill at full throttle, right?

Watch the recharging after a reset:

If the battery was actually not empty when the reset occurred, then the voltage rises to 151V before it shows 17/17th and heats the battery.

I believe you can reduce this by riding further after a reset so that the battery is empty.

Mr. Mik

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

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Re: Vectrix low battery blues

My Vectrix is similar. I am typically able to get 18 to 20 miles for the first half of the battery meter.
But the final 8 or 9 bars seem to go much faster towards the end.
The final 8 or 9 bars seem to provide about 12 to 15 miles of range.

I have noticed when I get down to the final 2 or 3 bars that I really need to be careful to avoid the "bullshit" error and the Red battery light of doom.

I have learned to drop my speed down to 25 mph (40 kmh) during the final few bars. That is the optimal speed for maximum range. There is no point trying to go faster during the final 3 bars on the battery meter. You will just trigger the warning and put yourself into "limp" mode.

You need to accept that your battery range is near empty and don't push it full throttle in the final 3 bars. They are not nearly as solid as the first 3 bars of energy. It is common sense.

Even when the the battery shows 0/17 and 0 Est Miles range, I can still ride another 2 miles (low speed) on flat ground. Going uphill is impossible, but it will go a long ways on flat ground.

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Re: Vectrix low battery blues

I haven't been riding at full throttle - I've only had the Vectrix up to full speed a couple times. I just ride in town, not on the freeway. There are no hills in Stockton, CA - it has nothing but flat roads. Also I saw in the owner's manual that it is hard on the motor to push it along at max. speed (or to allow it to exceed max. speed)- so I've been taking it easy as I want this toy to last a long time!
This sudden loss of power has been happening to me every time, regardless of how I'm riding. I can be buzzing along at 50 MPH, or cruising at 25 MPH, it doesn't matter. Every single time so far the last few bars (3-5) have disappeared, along with the estimated residual mileage. There is a significant loss of power and there is the infamous error message (buSult?) I cannot believe this is "normal". If it were normal wouldn't there be some mention of this in the owner's manual?
Last night something new happened - at the end of the charge the gauge was displaying the error message, "bathot". I unplugged it (it was fully charged) and it seems OK this morning, but I hadn't seen that before. And again - this message isn't in the owner's manual. Has anyone else seen this message? It wasn't hot when I plugged it in. I didn't begin charging it until it had been sitting for a couple hours.
I'm thinking maybe I have a bad cell in the battery... anyway - we'll see what they say at the dealer when I bring it in for service.

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Re: Vectrix low battery blues

Bathot means hot batteries. Maybe your fans (2 for batteries) aren't working properly when being charged?

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Re: Vectrix low battery blues

Last night something new happened - at the end of the charge the gauge was displaying the error message, "bathot". I unplugged it (it was fully charged) and it seems OK this morning, but I hadn't seen that before.

As I wrote above:

Watch the recharging after a reset:

If the battery was actually not empty when the reset occurred, then the voltage rises to 151V before it shows 17/17th and heats the battery.

It tries to squeeze more Ah into the cells than they can accept after a BALPOR.
That heats the cells until either it is full, or has cycled into tr 4 times, or the temp reaches 45C. Or something like that.

I am getting to the bottom of this now at http://www.endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=6277&p=97007#p97007

The capacity test for cell Nr 12 is running now!

Mr. Mik

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

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Re: Vectrix low battery blues

i got a feedback from vectrix regarding the "disappearing bars" syndrome... they told me a software upgrade will be released by the end of september that is supposed to solve the problem...
keep the hope alive...

CD

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Re: Vectrix low battery blues

Great news (software upgrade) - I can't bring my bike in for service until October - I'm assuming that they have to do the upgrade at the dealer?

oobflyer
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Re: Vectrix low battery blues

Update - sortof: I called the dealer (Marin BMW in San Rafael, CA) about the software update. They hadn't heard about it as of 9-30-08. They also don't have all of the equipment they need to do the diagnostic testing on the Vectrix. They said they will call me when they have the equipment at which time I'll bring it in.
I haven't been stressing about losing the last few bars of charge lately - I've just been topping it off whenever I can...to be continued....Vectrix-cord.jpg

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Re: Vectrix low battery blues

Along with a more realistic state of charge indication, the software update is supposed to include a delay start for the charger. That would be a welcome addition for the Vectrix.

Mik
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Re: Vectrix low battery blues

Along with a more realistic state of charge indication, the software update is supposed to include a delay start for the charger. That would be a welcome addition for the Vectrix.

Hopefully it also includes additional cooling during the waiting period.
Wonder where they got the idea from...Haha!

ABCool 12V power supply

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Re: Vectrix low battery blues

I got the upgrade! I made the trek back to the dealer (Marin BMW - San Rafael, CA) with my Vectric in the back of my truck... too far to ride. They hooked up the Vectrix to a laptop and updated the software. (They also fixed a broken brake-cable mount). It only took a few minutes and I loaded it back into my truck and came home. I still have 50% battery level, so I haven't seen what happens yet when I get down to the level where the charge 'disappears'. I will try to ride today to see what happens and I'll post again.
100_0449.jpg

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Re: Vectrix low battery blues

I just finished reading the post under the heading of newest Vectrix firmare updates. (Is it safe to assume that this is an official post from Vectrix?) I rode my Vectrix yesterday, after installation of the new firmware, and it did the same thing as before(the last 5 bars disappeared along with the estimated mileage). But, now that I read this new post it seems that I needed to do a complete discharge and recharge to calibrate it. So, today it got a full charge (it took almost 5 hours - I guess because of the built-in cooling delays). When I get back down to the last few bars... I'll post again.

Mik
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Re: Vectrix low battery blues

I just finished reading the post under the heading of newest Vectrix firmare updates. (Is it safe to assume that this is an official post from Vectrix?)

No, but you, oobflyer, can answer the question by checking if your software update behaves just the way that "Volts76" described. It's up to you!

I rode my Vectrix yesterday, after installation of the new firmware, and it did the same thing as before(the last 5 bars disappeared along with the estimated mileage). But, now that I read this new post it seems that I needed to do a complete discharge and recharge to calibrate it. So, today it got a full charge (it took almost 5 hours - I guess because of the built-in cooling delays).

It might also be because it repeatedly tries to cook your low capacity cells with 10A until it gives up after 4 attempts! You need to watch the charging process if you want to know what is going on. Or monitor it with a camera or data logger or whatever else might work.

When I get back down to the last few bars... I'll post again.

Well, let me take a guess in the meantime, assuming that the description of the software update by Volt67 is correct, and that your Vectrix had that particular update installed:

1)Your total range will be unchanged.

2)The bars (x/17) will disappear quicker from the start, until it shows near empty when you would previously have suffered the disappearing bars syndrome.

3) The recharging after reaching 0/17th will take 3.5-4.5rs because the system has learned the capacity of your lowest cells and only tries to put in that amount. Maybe it will add a longer trickle charge, but it should restrict the CP phase to the capacity of the lowest capacity cell.

Right??? Please let the rest of us know!

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

eyeinthesky
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Re: Vectrix low battery blues

Hey Mik
Has the 4 top up charges after a few ks worked for you,
did it increase your distance,
the clean green machine has 12,500 klms traveled and no mechanical problems or electrical clitches the last 10,000

Pete

oobflyer
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Re: Vectrix low battery blues

Rain.jpg
Yes, I did notice the bars are disappearing more quickly - unfortunately after riding to about 50% charge - it started raining here in Stockton, CA! I still haven't reached that level where the charge usually disappears. It's supposed to stop raining on Tuesday... I'll ride again as soon as I can!

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