buSULt error with red battery light

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Morrison
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buSULt error with red battery light

I was doing a deep discharge on my battery and riding around trying to use up the final few bars on the meter.
I got the red battery light and a message "buSULt" or something like that. It happened twice. Both times I was going uphill with full throttle and the battery meter was low.

This may have already been discussed, but I cannot find much real info. Can someone give me the scoop on what this means? I assume it has something to do with me using the battery too hard while it is already low?

I have had the battery meter and estimated range lower than this with no such message or red battery light flashing. That is why I was a bit surprised to see this message with 4 bars remaining.

There was no real change in my ability to get around. But because I was inside of neighborhoods, I didn't have a chance to test top speed after I saw this message.

AndY1
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Re: buSULt error with red battery light

I think it has something to do as you say. Low battery charge + uphill + full throttle and the battery voltage drops to low - momentarily (for the time of very high load (more than 1C)). That doesn't mean that the off-load or normal load voltage is to low, but at very high load at already somewhat dropped voltage, it drops to low.

That's why the deep-discharge is best to do on a flat terrain with low load on the vehicle. That is a true deep-discharge as the voltage doesn't drop to the deep-discharge voltage because of the very high load, but because it's truly empty.

duca
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Re: buSULt error with red battery light

I'm with AndY on this. The Vectrix technician told me that the software goes on battery protection mode whenever the battery voltage drops below of 108V. With 4 bars left and in the condition you describe it can well happen. Maybe you will notice that in such condition once you reach flat terrain and gently apply power no such message appears.
In its own way it is a "normal" behaviour of the Vectrix I daresay

Mik
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Re: buSULt error with red battery light

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

jcdunn
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Re: buSULt error with red battery light

The first time I saw buSULt, I though the bike was telling me, "'Bull Shit', I ain't climbing that hill!"
...and it didn't, I had to walk it up the hill to the house....teach me to live on top of the hill!

AndY1
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Re: buSULt error with red battery light

ROFL!!!!

dvdaudio
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Re: buSULt error with red battery light

I am now getting this "buSULt" error message after 14-15 miles on a full charge; and not able to go past 40 MPH. Battery indicator is HALF full of bars. I just plugged in tonight with battery at 126 volts at the start of charge. I am wondering if my high ambient temperature is reducing battery range. I average about 40MPH around town; now needing to charge at 15-16 miles.

Bought Vectrix in December, now have about 1800 miles. Any advice from you experienced owners?

Glen O'Hara
PHOENIX, AZ
(getting into the 100's (40's C now)

AndY1
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Re: buSULt error with red battery light

Wow, that is hot. Hot temperature doesn't benefit these batteries at all.
At discharge, battery temperature shouldn't pose any problems.
Do you use pre-charge cooling? When charging, how high does the battery Voltage get at the end of CP charging?

dvdaudio
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Re: buSULt error with red battery light

Even if I plug in again after full charge (EC) only gets to 138 to 139 volts. (Yes, I got well into the 140's when new last December) I'm hoping I have not damaged any individual cells.

I expressed concern/question months ago to vectrix general email about living in Phoenix, but have no response. I may be riding some days near 45C (115F). (have to get to work) Even now, about the coolest it gets in my garage is 37-38 at night.

I don't have new software, but I always wait about 2-3 hours after riding before charging.

jmap
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Re: buSULt error with red battery light

Even if I plug in again after full charge (EC) only gets to 138 to 139 volts. (Yes, I got well into the 140's when new last December) I'm hoping I have not damaged any individual cells.

I expressed concern/question months ago to vectrix general email about living in Phoenix, but have no response. I may be riding some days near 45C (115F). (have to get to work) Even now, about the coolest it gets in my garage is 37-38 at night.

I don't have new software, but I always wait about 2-3 hours after riding before charging.

Those are high temperatures! The batteries doesn't like it. Vectrix Corp. says that there is no problem until the red light appears but at these temperatures, batteries are getting hurt! I am right now thinking on a way to charge it at high temperatures. Today mine reached 41ºC after 4 hours of equalizing. I am going to try to cover the bike and put my portable air conditioner under it to give cool air to the bike. I prefer to spend some $ on more energy consumption that hurting my batteries.

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Re: buSULt error with red battery light

I dont have such high temperatures but i also get 139 Volts after full charge, sometimes ive seen 140, but never more since i got the update.
Jmap is right about the temperature, you have to try to keep the battery cool, especially before charging and wait to use untill it reaches 30c, if you have to use it in high temps.

jmap
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Re: buSULt error with red battery light

The man has no option. He lives on a damn hot place!

azvectrix
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Re: buSULt error with red battery light

Glen,

I live in Tucson--cooler than Phoenix, maybe, but still too hot for the Vectrix. I've had mine on the road since last June, and while it made it through last summer, it's already decided not to make it through this one. I can get about 18 miles at my commuting speeds--up to 50 mph or so--but it's 19 miles to work.

The last couple of weeks I'd taken to doing my overnight charge outside the garage, taking advantage of the 30 F temperature drop. Too little, too late, though, and I still had to charge at work, outdoors.

I too am waiting to hear from Vectrix through my local dealer...

Ron

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Re: buSULt error with red battery light

In really hot climates you need to add an insulation layer between the black plastic cover and the actual battery cover. That keeps the sun's heat away from the batteries when riding and when parked in the sun.

You also need to run the cooling impellers a lot more than ususal, and at times when there is cooling air available. A 12V 5A power supply can be added (fully reversible) to run the impellers off the grid. I call it the ABCool 12V power supply . The info in that blog is of course already a bit outdated again, but the principle remains the same and works very well.

It's about time people make up their mind about what is more important: Their batteries, or their warranties!

Your batteries might not be damaged, just too hot. If they are around 40°C when you start to ride, then they will soon be so hot that the BMS limits the power draw and prevents the batteries from getting even hotter. This might feel as if they are empty, when they are just too hot.

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

dvdaudio
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Re: buSULt error with red battery light

Hey Mik!

Thanks a lot!

Not enough time to surf all the blogs, but looks like you're the guy in Australia willing to sacrifice warranty for all kinds of performance options??? IF SO - Happy WINTER Solstice to you!! Just opposite for us desert dogs in Arizona US. Sun almost straight overhead today at noon.

Was already mulling over how much range I'm losing, since I believe the fans are running just about all day while I'm parked at work. Fortunately my boss allows me a great spot in the shade. I don't know the parameters in the electronics, but was wishing I could just plug in WITHOUT charging in the heat of the day, just to run the fans. Obviously, during the days about to come, the bike and batteries would be just getting blown with hot (40-45˚) air.

My wife's gonna love (not) me pulling the Vectrix into the living room; but will try this out after some discharge.

But listen, while I've got you, and apologise if you have this info in older blogs, am hearing Vectrix struggling to stay in business; which has a two-edge sword if they go under. 1. no warranty 2. in a few years we'll own quite a collectors item if our bike in good working order. Do you know the VENDOR for the batteries? How to order replacements by pack or cell? Also, I think I saw some web pix with all battery packs disassembled? I know it would be great to have some charging methodology to deal with EACH CELL individually; as well as replace cells individually that really fall off the scale.

Any Ideas?

Thanks alot from your friends in the States.

Glen O'Hara
Arizona

Mik
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Re: buSULt error with red battery light

Hey Mik!

Thanks a lot!

Not enough time to surf all the blogs, but looks like you're the guy in Australia willing to sacrifice warranty for all kinds of performance options???

Not really. Vectrix Australia canceled my warranty, after I figured out how to improve one of the worst VX1 problems, the noisy gearbox (and posted it on V). I would have rather kept the warranty!

As it became clear how unreliable the VX1 is, and how astronomical the repair costs are without a warranty, I decided to not let them touch my scooter again. They were just learning how to diagnose and repair them, breaking things in the process. And I would have had to pay for their learning mistakes. They would have gotten the benefit, I would have continued to pay.... Much better I get the learning benefit (and share it!) and fix a "Vectux" for a fraction of the cost!

It was also clear to me that the battery would not last long, because many reports were coming in of failing batteries. So I decided to be proactive and find out what goes wrong before it was too late for my battery. The symptoms were clearly pointing towards the approach of an early death of my battery, and the eventual analysis confirmed this. I think I have halted the rapid deterioration by installing a manual BMS.

Now it seems I have one of the better ranges among the Australian Vectrixes...see this post: http://visforvoltage.org/forum/6804-refrigerated-charging#comment-38791

Other details you asked about can be found there:

http://visforvoltage.org/forum/5052-uneven-distribution-weak-vectrix-cells-within-battery-pack-why#comment-38814

https://www.endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=6277

https://www.endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=6853

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

Magendanz
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Re: buSULt error with red battery light

So a couple of weeks ago I was riding from Seattle to Redmond via the SR-520 floating bridge, probably the most congested stretch of highway in the Seattle area. I'd done a full discharge about two days earlier, so I was feeling pretty confident in my gauge accuracy and it showed that about 2/3rds of my battery charge remained...plenty to make it to Microsoft. As soon as I got on the bridge, I started losing power, got the red battery light, and started dropping segments on the gauge every few seconds. Before long I was Fred Flintstoning it up the opposite shore with no bars left, a "buSULt" message, and a long string of angry traffic behind me. (Unfortunately, this particular bridge has no shoulder.) I took the first exit and called a cab. The attendant at the gas station where I left the bike was nice enough to let me plug in, however when I returned after two hours it has only charged a few bars and the battery light was now blinking. Not a good sign.

I took the bike immediately to our local Vectrix dealer, and he found no problems reported with the software diagnostics. There was one temperature sensor that was running a little hotter than the others, but it was well within spec. His troubleshooting manual suggested the problem might be a shorted cell or bad temperature sensor, but without Vectrix technical support there was little he could do beyond that. He did get it to accept a "full" charge, but when he took it for a ride he experienced similar results. Loss of power, early battery light, and rapid drop in battery level until even 15 mph can no longer be sustained.

Today I ran an experiment. I started with a "full" charge, immediately started with less than full power, received the battery light within a mile, and then had the battery level immediately drop to zero. Now at significantly reduced power, I actually saw bars slowly return to the point where I was starting to gain confidence to stray farther from home. At four bars, however, they started dropping away and I was back to a crawl on the shoulder, receiving the "buSULt" message again. Total distance at this point was about 4 miles, the last mile at < 5 mph. I tried turning the bike off, which gave me a brief boost just like what I'd seen before when riding out the end of a full discharge.

Here's where things got interesting, however. I hit the cut-off switch and left brake to see that battery voltage was 129V and temperature was 51C. That voltage seemed pretty healthy, but the temperature seemed hot considering that ambient was around 10C. Reseting the cut-off switch, I was surprised to find that full power was almost completely restored. I zipped up 600 ft in elevation for at least 2 more miles at the power level I'd started, with no more "buSULt" messages.

Has anyone seen this before? Might I be lucky enough to just have a bad temperature sensor?

R
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Re: buSULt error with red battery light

There was one temperature sensor that was running a little hotter than the others

that battery voltage was 129V and temperature was 51C

Something is wrong in at least one cell, this cell is near that sensor. From which battery floor is this sensor from?
I suggest you avoid full charge and deep discharge, or the battery will die quickly.
If you want to ran an experiment, check all the cell voltages of the upper battery floor, with some charge, and then with quite discharged condition (avoid deep discharge). You'll find 18+16 cells to check. I can help to locate possible problems in the cells.

Have a look at this post, we found a 0.00 cell...

http://www.voltforum.cat/voltforum/YaBB.pl?num=1256521497

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Re: buSULt error with red battery light

I don't think a bad temperature sensor would slow you down with a BUSULT.

I think you have a shorted cell, which warmed her up to 51'C and lowered the pack's power output, but apparently it's not shorted all the time.

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Re: buSULt error with red battery light

I bought my Vectrix over a year ago and this same thing began happening to me right away - luckily it was under warranty. I took it back to the dealer and they replaced the battery pack. (It took them 6 weeks to do so!). They never told me any details about what went wrong (bad cell, temp gauge, etc.) just that the battery pack needed replacement. I haven't had any problems since then - other than the inaccurate fuel gauge, of course. I'm getting 30 miles per charge consistently. I have over 3,500 miles on it. Hopefully Vectrix will have a new owner soon and they will honor the original warranty.
Fairfield.jpg

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Re: buSULt error with red battery light

I know that this is a pretty old thread but I just encountered the same error in a 2007 bike running old software. With about 12 miles on a full charge, bike shwos BuSULT error and red battery light. Error goes off and bike drives with reduced power for another 2 miles or so with error coming and going. At the end the voltage reads ~128V. Interestingly, the battery bars don't go away. Still reads 8 bars at the end. All temperaure sensors read around 17C with one registering registering about 30C (Mod Temp 5 4D)I don't know what position that is. I took the batteries apart and measure each cell individually. By that time it was a few hours later. The lowest readng was 1.16V, the higherst 1.24V. Individual stacks read: Front top 9. 7V/ 9.7V front middle 9.6V/9.6V front lower 9.9V 9.9V rear top 10.86 10.87 rear middle 10.85 11.00 rear lower 11.0 11.0.
Any thought? I was kind of hoping for one dead cell that could be bridged. At least I cannot see that cell.

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Re: buSULt error with red battery light

We took the original poster's bike apart doing the same thing, looking for an obviously damaged cell that could be shunted. With mine, the affected cell was unmistakable. Cell voltage was zero on just one and the plastic spacers on either side had melted and pancaked out. Unfortunately, his situation was exacerbated by the fact that he left the bike uncharged for 6 months making cell voltages an unreliable indicator, but we also so no obvious outward signs of damage.

While there may be other causes of the red battery light with buSULt error, I still believe that a blown cell is the most likely cause, particularly when it's accompanied with a dramatic power drop and effect range of only a few miles even after a "full" charge. It may be that your damaged cell hasn't heated enough to melt the surrounding plastic. Also, to maximize the difference between the cell voltage of the damaged cell and the good ones, I recommend you drive it down until the bike will barely move. This should drain the affected cell of almost all its charge, while the good cells should maintain about 1.2VDC.

Given the location of your high temp reading, I'd charge it up, run it down, check again, and focus on the front pack's bottom layer, left side.

Chad

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Re: buSULt error with red battery light

I agree.

Mik
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Re: buSULt error with red battery light

I know that this is a pretty old thread but I just encountered the same error in a 2007 bike running old software. With about 12 miles on a full charge, bike shwos BuSULT error and red battery light. Error goes off and bike drives with reduced power for another 2 miles or so with error coming and going. At the end the voltage reads ~128V. Interestingly, the battery bars don't go away. Still reads 8 bars at the end. All temperaure sensors read around 17C with one registering registering about 30C (Mod Temp 5 4D)I don't know what position that is. I took the batteries apart and measure each cell individually. By that time it was a few hours later. The lowest readng was 1.16V, the higherst 1.24V. Individual stacks read: Front top 9. 7V/ 9.7V front middle 9.6V/9.6V front lower 9.9V 9.9V rear top 10.86 10.87 rear middle 10.85 11.00 rear lower 11.0 11.0.
Any thought? I was kind of hoping for one dead cell that could be bridged. At least I cannot see that cell.

Your battery is simply empty. The cell with 1.14V is deeply discharged and has been charged in reverse, heating it up.
The others are also quite empty. 1.24V * 102 cell = 126.49V - that is empty!

You need to hold the throtttle wide open for 10s when the red battery light and BUSVLT is on, that causes a BALPOR.

Then charge but turn off the charger when it hits the maximum voltage for the first time.

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: buSULt error with red battery light

I know that this is a pretty old thread but I just encountered the same error in a 2007 bike running old software. With about 12 miles on a full charge, bike shwos BuSULT error and red battery light. Error goes off and bike drives with reduced power for another 2 miles or so with error coming and going. At the end the voltage reads ~128V. Interestingly, the battery bars don't go away. Still reads 8 bars at the end. All temperaure sensors read around 17C with one registering registering about 30C (Mod Temp 5 4D)I don't know what position that is. I took the batteries apart and measure each cell individually. By that time it was a few hours later. The lowest readng was 1.16V, the higherst 1.24V. Individual stacks read: Front top 9. 7V/ 9.7V front middle 9.6V/9.6V front lower 9.9V 9.9V rear top 10.86 10.87 rear middle 10.85 11.00 rear lower 11.0 11.0.
Any thought? I was kind of hoping for one dead cell that could be bridged. At least I cannot see that cell.

Your battery is simply empty. The cell with 1.14V is deeply discharged and has been charged in reverse, heating it up.
The others are also quite empty. 1.24V * 102 cell = 126.49V - that is empty!

You need to hold the throttle wide open for 10s when the red battery light and BUSVLT is on, that causes a BALPOR.

Then charge but turn off the charger when it hits the maximum voltage for the first time.

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

HarryS
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Re: buSULt error with red battery light

IMAG0004.jpg

Mik;
there must be more going on. Did as you suggested. After the error message and red battery light plugged the bike in. Voltage starts out reading 126V and moves up to 140V within 5 minutes, at 46 minutes (picture) voltage at 146V and a half hour later reads 149V, all awhile the battery telltale moves up just a few bars. With half the bars, the charger switched to Tr mode and counted down. It kept repeating this several times.

Mik
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Re: buSULt error with red battery light

IMAG0004.jpg

Mik;
there must be more going on. Did as you suggested. After the error message and red battery light plugged the bike in. Voltage starts out reading 126V and moves up to 140V within 5 minutes, at 46 minutes (picture) voltage at 146V and a half hour later reads 149V, all awhile the battery telltale moves up just a few bars. With half the bars, the charger switched to Tr mode and counted down. It kept repeating this several times.

You probably have a bunch of lowered capacity cells in there.

I took the Vectux battery apart when the same symptoms occurred, just a little less pronounced. I got maybe 12 bars or 13 bars during a "Recharge after BALPOR" when the voltage maxed out. This basically represents the capacity of a significant number of cells with reduced capacity.

You can stop charging there, and you will probably have a fairly accurate range indication down to zero bars. But that is really just guesswork, you would need to analyse each cell with a CBA or some similar device to be certain.

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

AndY1
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Re: buSULt error with red battery light

IMAG0004.jpg

Mik;
there must be more going on. Did as you suggested. After the error message and red battery light plugged the bike in. Voltage starts out reading 126V and moves up to 140V within 5 minutes, at 46 minutes (picture) voltage at 146V and a half hour later reads 149V, all awhile the battery telltale moves up just a few bars. With half the bars, the charger switched to Tr mode and counted down. It kept repeating this several times.

Your pack is dying. That's exactly how mine died.

Mik
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Re: buSULt error with red battery light

If it dies depends on it's treatment!

Mine was "dying" 7000km ago, and still runs (with more power than any of the new firmware VX-1's !!!).

I'm not suggesting you should build a M-BMS like I did - it's not worth the effort except for the learning experience!

If you are smart enough to learn from other peoples mistakes (or their work), then you can use this to prolong the life of your pack: You must simply limit the demands to what the weakest cells can provide!

In HarryS's case, that seems to be about 9/17th of the "normal" range.

You might get thousands of kilometers more if you can do that!

Pamper the weakest cells.

Without proper analysis, you will of course have to guess how much pampering is needed! And the unknown factor of the increased self discharge rate of the weakest cells throws in a wild card that make something like "Universal Freddy" an imperative.

Of course, I'll be more than happy to buy the good cells out of your pack if you decide to continue discharging it until you get a BALPOR (each time causing several kilometers of reverse charging your weak cells). The good cells will remain very under-utilized and stay in good shape, don't throw the whole pack out without thinking!

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

HarryS
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Re: buSULt error with red battery light

Mik:
I decided to go ahead and install the Oct 2008 firmware nevertheless. Surprisingly after the initialization, i.e. full discharge followed by recharge with EQ the bike managed to go 34miles, pretty much the max range in my hilly area that I get with the 2008 Vectrix. Starting voltage was 143, the red light comes on around 125-126. Looks like the electronics were messed up and somehow the new firmware overwrote it. Anyway, barring anything else this one should be good now. I did take the opportunity to install a direct connector to the battery, via diode of course, and purchased a 150V regulated Sorenson power supply. I wa stoo lazy to build a Freddy but the plan is much the same. I like to balnace the pack using a fixed 0.3A 150V every now and then. Furthermore, I am thinking that this may be a great way to trickly charge when the bike sits for a while.
I'll keep you posted what happends after the next few rides.
I bought this second bike as a project bike to explore new batteries. I got a good deal on it.

Mik
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Re: buSULt error with red battery light

Mik:
I decided to go ahead and install the Oct 2008 firmware nevertheless. Surprisingly after the initialization, i.e. full discharge followed by recharge with EQ the bike managed to go 34miles, pretty much the max range in my hilly area that I get with the 2008 Vectrix.

I think that might be due to the temporary effect of the equalization charge upon the cells with elevated self discharge rate. They all got filled up by the equalization charge, then the electronics allow relatively deep discharge to determine the batteries real capacity. Next time, the new firmware will probably limit the range to less than this possible maximum, because it should try to stay away from the empty SOC point. If this alone is sufficient to protect your battery depends on the distribution of weak cells in the string. If they are of much reduced capacity and evenly distributed (evenly with regard to the number of cells in the 27-48-27 cell monitored segments) then the firmware will be at least partially blind to the suffering of the weak cells.
If they are concentrated in one monitored segment, then it might be more obvious to the firmware when they are nearing empty.

Starting voltage was 143, the red light comes on around 125-126. Looks like the electronics were messed up and somehow the new firmware overwrote it. Anyway, barring anything else this one should be good now. I did take the opportunity to install a direct connector to the battery, via diode of course, and purchased a 150V regulated Sorenson power supply. I wa stoo lazy to build a Freddy but the plan is much the same. I like to balnace the pack using a fixed 0.3A 150V every now and then. Furthermore, I am thinking that this may be a great way to trickly charge when the bike sits for a while.
I'll keep you posted what happends after the next few rides.
I bought this second bike as a project bike to explore new batteries. I got a good deal on it.

How about putting a diode in each cable, instead just one? I have been given this advice before, I think it might be standard practice to put a diode in the positive cable only, because theoretically that is enough to prevent closing of the loop and shorting the battery. In practice, however, I managed to fry my laptop and CBA 2 due to a ground loop fault, which I believe might have been prevented by an added diode in the ABCool harness.
A power supply might be cheaper than a Freddy plus the isolating transformer which is needed to increase safety.
Is the power supply output "floating" - can you get zapped by just touching one of the DC outputs whilst you are grounded?
How much did it cost?
Does it have much inrush current? Could you run it off a modified sine wave converter (12V DC car battery to 240V modified sine wave AC) for roadside assistance?

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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