First deep(ish) discharge done

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First deep(ish) discharge done

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I got it down to 1 mile then chickened out

Charging for 3.5 hours so far and almost done, no EC reading yet though...

I guess the first few charges from dead take a bit longer than when the battery is conditioned?

oobflyer
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Re: First deep(ish) discharge done

Congrats on the new toy! I just picked mine up yesterday. I was working on driving it down to an empty battery pack this afternoon when something strange happened. I had 3 or 4 bars left on the charge (8 miles estimated range left) when suddenly the charge and the range both dropped to nothing! I lost some of the power and had to drive about 30 mph the rest of the way home. I made it OK and plugged it in. I charged it up just halfway to see if it would happen again, but this time the charge gradually dropped from 3 to 2 to 1 bar - as I expected. Did you have this experience? I'm hoping/assuming that it happened because it was the first full charge/discharge and the batteries are not yet conditioned.
David

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Re: First deep(ish) discharge done

I have not had that experience yet - to be honest its been incredibly accurate. Were you constantly going from low speed to high speed throughout the jouney because that can cause it to jump around a bit?

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Re: First deep(ish) discharge done

I had 3 or 4 bars left on the charge (8 miles estimated range left) when suddenly the charge and the range both dropped to nothing! I lost some of the power and had to drive about 30 mph the rest of the way home. I made it OK and plugged it in. I charged it up just halfway to see if it would happen again, but this time the charge gradually dropped from 3 to 2 to 1 bar - as I expected. Did you have this experience? I'm hoping/assuming that it happened because it was the first full charge/discharge and the batteries are not yet conditioned.
David

It's what I call a BaLPoR.

Mr. Mik

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Re: First deep(ish) discharge done

Yes - perfectly normal and VERY inconvenient. On my first run, I had taken the estimate as gospel, and was 1 mile from home with a reported 10 mile left and it dropped to 0 and I ended pushing it for 1 mile! On my second DD a month later, I got down to 5 miles and it jumped to 0, and had to push it the last quarter mile. I was told once the 5 discharges are completed, there is no reoccurrence of the disappearing miles....

- Raymond

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Re: First deep(ish) discharge done

Yes - perfectly normal and VERY inconvenient. On my first run, I had taken the estimate as gospel, and was 1 mile from home with a reported 10 mile left and it dropped to 0 and I ended pushing it for 1 mile! On my second DD a month later, I got down to 5 miles and it jumped to 0, and had to push it the last quarter mile. I was told once the 5 discharges are completed, there is no reoccurrence of the disappearing miles....

- Raymond

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Re: First deep(ish) discharge done

Actually I was driving steadily at about 70-80 KPH for about 8 miles, then through town at about 50 KPH.
I guess I can deal with it for the first few charges... but I'm amazed that they didn't warn me about this at the dealer - what if I were stranded 12 kilometers from home?
Glad I'm not the only one!

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Re: First deep(ish) discharge done

Hi
The est mile is calulated from and average of your last 2 or 3 min. of driving .
So one mile est . could be 3 miles at 15 mph or a 200 feet at full throdle Est. is the key point .
You will get a feel for it . as everyone driving habbit are differant. On my regular trip on a Sunday drive at the speed limit a 25 mile trip uses less than half the battery . when I am in a hurry I will use the whole thing. like a regular gas bike you learn you own . as with my gas bike some times I get 55 MPG some times I get 40 with no gas gage you just get to know yours.

Happy riding, Herb

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Re: First deep(ish) discharge done

Yes - perfectly normal and VERY inconvenient. On my first run, I had taken the estimate as gospel, and was 1 mile from home with a reported 10 mile left and it dropped to 0 and I ended pushing it for 1 mile! On my second DD a month later, I got down to 5 miles and it jumped to 0, and had to push it the last quarter mile. I was told once the 5 discharges are completed, there is no reoccurrence of the disappearing miles....

I am not sure that it is "normal" in the sense of "not a malfunction".

It might be what you get when you have a substandard battery, they always differ from each other.

It's important that you new owners bring this to the attention of the vendors and try to get answers out of them!

The BaLPoR phenomenon does not disappear after 5 deep discharges and it does not occur due to a sudden behavior in average driving style / throttle use. The last few bars just disappear.

AND THERE ARE VECTRIX RIDERS WHO DO NOT SEEM TO HAVE THAT PROBLEM, SO IT IS NOT NORMAL.

Mr. Mik

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Re: First deep(ish) discharge done

Actually I was driving steadily at about 70-80 KPH for about 8 miles, then through town at about 50 KPH.
I guess I can deal with it for the first few charges... but I'm amazed that they didn't warn me about this at the dealer - what if I were stranded 12 kilometers from home?
Glad I'm not the only one!

How many km did your Vectrix have on the odometer when you got it?

And how far did it go before the 3-4 bars disappeared on you?

Mr. Mik

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Re: First deep(ish) discharge done

The Vectrix had 45 Km when I bought it. I was told that all of them have these many kilos because of the testing necessary after construction. (Is this true?)
I had drivin it another 50 Km or so when the last 3 bars disappeared.
I will call the dealer tomorrow to report the problem (they are closed today) and I will post their response here.

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Re: First deep(ish) discharge done

If it IS a malfunction, it has happened to almost every NiMh battery I have ever owned, that that has been in excess of 30. I may only have one Vectrix battery but as all we're talking about is the prediction of availability of forward motion by distance it is simply a calculation, and no more than that.

It exactly the same way my laptop battery tells me it has 6 minutes left and it shuts down in 2 - my local PC shop would laugh me out the door if I complained about the 'missing' 2 minutes.

The situation I described - the fact the battery estimate is becoming more accurate - is a plus, not as you appear to thing an anomaly that requires attention from a dealer. If it became erratic or unfathomable then I'd agree, but we're talking batteries here. As for your mention of BalPor, I have never had this, so was not a consideration or commented on. Why invent terminology - it simply gives a false impression of a 'known problem' and crying 'wolf' in this way will do nothing to assist the poster OR bring a sensible closure.

IF IT IS A PROBLEM IT HAPPENS WITH ALL NEW NIMHs - SO IT CAN'T BE THE PROBLEM YOU IMAGINE!

- Raymond

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Re: First deep(ish) discharge done

On my first run, I had taken the estimate as gospel, and was 1 mile from home with a reported 10 mile left and it dropped to 0 and I ended pushing it for 1 mile! On my second DD a month later, I got down to 5 miles and it jumped to 0, and had to push it the last quarter mile. I was told once the 5 discharges are completed, there is no reoccurrence of the disappearing miles....

How far had you ridden when it happened twice?

And how many km has your Vectrix traveled altogether so far?

Have you ever observed the charging process afterwards?

I believe that a BaLPoR is not a problem by itself.
It is necessary to have some sort of Battery Low Point Reset mechanism, because self discharge, replacement of the battery or leaving the light/electronics on for very long times might cause a mismatch between displayed battery capacity and actual capacity.
The real problem is if the battery is not able to accept the charge attempt to 17/17th during the first recharge after a BaLPoR.

What is needed is a Battery High Point Reset Procedure = “BatHPReP” that does not cook the battery and does not introduce virtual Ah that you cannot get back out of the battery.

Mr. Mik

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

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Re: First deep(ish) discharge done

It has only happened one time to me. I had already gone 33 miles (53 km). I had about 3 bars remaining and a range est of 8 miles (13 km). I was climbing the final hill to where I live. It is about 1/2 mile and is very steep. During the climb I lost 3 bars right away and my estimate dropped to 0.

But I got home is reduced speed mode. It kept climbing the hill. I decided to ride until empty in my parking lot. I rode another 3 miles with 0 bars and 0 est range.

It has never happened since. I think it was because I was riding uphill, full throttle and I had a low battery to begin the climb.

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Re: First deep(ish) discharge done

I called the dealer today (Marin BMW in San Rafael, CA) and talked to Garrik. He said that they've only recently become a Vectrix dealer and he was not familiar with this problem (of suddenly losing a charge). He did agree that it may be a characteristic of the NiMH batteries and is probably part of the conditioning process. He said they would be happy to take a look at it if it happens again, or happens consistently. I've only had the bike for 5 days and I've only charged/discharged it twice. It hasn't happened again, but I will keep an eye on it and post any changes here.
Dave
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Re: First deep(ish) discharge done

I've just completed 1000 miles last weekend, which works out at an incredible (for me!) 500m per month - something I didn;t even get close to on the Piaggio. It must be the economy askpect that is making me enjoy riding it more.

On the two occasions when the reading dropped to the floor, was at (1) Total distance of 32 miles, when it dropped from 10 miles to 0 and required a 1 mile push home. (2) Total distance of 10001 miles, when it dropped from 5 miles to 0 and required a 0.5 mile push to a local Shopping Centre's recharge point. These occasions also doubled as my 2 (so far) deep discharge cycles. After each, I noticed a 10 mile (average) increase in overall range, but I expect this will decline as the cells become fully conditioned. Also worht noting average temp is Summer... 17-22 C.

I can now rely on a 50 mile (Imperial) range using regen and not exceeding 28 mph. My riding ability is becoming gentler, and because of this the range improves.

- Raymond

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Re: First deep(ish) discharge done

On the two occasions when the reading dropped to the floor, was at (1) Total distance of 32 miles, when it dropped from 10 miles to 0 and required a 1 mile push home. (2) Total distance of 10001 miles, when it dropped from 5 miles to 0 and required a 0.5 mile push to a local Shopping Centre's recharge point. These occasions also doubled as my 2 (so far) deep discharge cycles. After each, I noticed a 10 mile (average) increase in overall range, but I expect this will decline as the cells become fully conditioned. Also worht noting average temp is Summer... 17-22 C.

I can now rely on a 50 mile (Imperial) range using regen and not exceeding 28 mph. My riding ability is becoming gentler, and because of this the range improves.

Do you mean you regularly travel 80km on one charge or is that the EST RANGE display?

Have you ever actually made it to 80km on one charge? That would be a real world record AFAIK!

How long were the trips that ended with pushing?

Mr. Mik

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Re: First deep(ish) discharge done

It happened again!
I had 2 bars left and 6 miles range projected and it dropped to zero bars/zero miles.
Picture_16.png
But, I don't seem to have the problem of pushing it home. Both times it happened I could still ride the bike, at very low power, for another mile or so. Today I limped home at about 10 MPH (back roads!). Now she's plugged in and charging up.
This will be the 3rd full charge, by the way. I'm looking forward to finishing this 5-cycle deep charging, so I can just keep the batteries topped off when I'm not riding. My employer gave me permission to plug-in while at work, so no worries.
Anyone else ask their employers about plugging in?
To do so - I will have to use an extension cord... a big taboo I hear. I read elsewhere on the blog that people are using extension cords with no problems. I plan to buy a short, heavy-duty one. Anyone else doing this?
Dave

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Re: First deep(ish) discharge done

limped home at about 10 MPH

I always feel a little silly when I have to do that.. there I am dressed to ride on the highway, on a motorcycle that looks like it can go fast, but limping along at 10 miles/hr ...

My employer gave me permission to plug-in while at work, so no worries. Anyone else ask their employers about plugging in?

I didn't have to ask, my employer has EV parking in the parking lot with chargers and everything. BUT these chargers are the AVCON and Paddle style units meant for the EV1/Rav4/EV+ etc which existed in the late 90's before GM and CARB teamed up to Kill the Electric Car .. fortunately for me it also includes a 120v power outlet. And FWIW on a campus with a couple thousand employees, I'm the only one using the EV parking.

BTW electricity is everywhere and these scooters we tend to ride only require 2 kwh to recharge. Most employers should be bright enough (uh, okay, we're talking about managers) to put that together, that a couple kwh of electricity is a pittance in cost.

I will have to use an extension cord... a big taboo I hear.

Uh.. uh.. uh.. just what's wrong with using an extension cord? I'm a little confused. Methinks that so long as it's a heavy duty cord then it doesn't matter a lot how long the cord is. There might be a bit of lossage in the cord but if the long cord is what you need to get the juice to your vehicle then go for it.

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Re: First deep(ish) discharge done

I always feel a little silly when I have to do that.. there I am dressed to ride on the highway, on a motorcycle that looks like it can go fast, but limping along at 10 miles/hr ...

Does this mean that it happens consistently?

.. just what's wrong with using an extension cord?

The owner's manual says that it's forbidden - something about causing the charger to malfunction. Using an extension cord will "void the warranty". Pretty strong words.

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Re: First deep(ish) discharge done

The owner's manual says that it's forbidden - something about causing the charger to malfunction. Using an extension cord will "void the warranty". Pretty strong words

Using a extention cord will create a voltage drop to the Vectrix charger plug , I suspect the charger is constant current ( and almost constant power ) so as the Input voltage drop from 120 to let say 100 volt the input current will go up propertionatly , as this current goes up , the efficiency goes down , power loss goes up .
In summary a extention cord will make the internal charger run much hotter , and possibly cause to over heat or blown a fuse.

I would have expected them to design it for as wide as possible input voltage range , realizing that not everyone has a convenient ac receptacle plug .
Wonder what they do if the charger fail and no extention cord used , however the wall AC receptacle is the last one on the run futhertess ,wired in the 1950 with 16 or smaller gage wire create essentially a long extention .
Do they speciafy a minimum current rated receptable for the charger ?

HEAT & LOSS & INEFFICIENCY RELATED DIRECTLY to IMPEDANCE

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Re: First deep(ish) discharge done

Using a extention cord will create a voltage drop to the Vectrix charger plug , I suspect the charger is constant current ( and almost constant power ) so as the Input voltage drop from 120 to let say 100 volt the input current will go up propertionatly , as this current goes up , the efficiency goes down , power loss goes up .
In summary a extention cord will make the internal charger run much hotter , and possibly cause to over heat or blown a fuse. ?

I think HCT is right:

At my place the voltage is regularly about 250V AC. (Should be 240V)
The Australian Warranty Booklet does not say that you should not use an extension chord.

I have once charged at a friends place, in his shed which is piggy-backed to the houses electrical supply, then through a long extension cable: and the voltage dropped to 208V.

I know this because I used a multimeter in line with the extension chord; I could see that the current was automatically increased by the charger so that the power consumption stayed the same at the lowered supply voltage. Without the meter I would not even have known that something was different.

Apparently the Vectrix is identical in different countries except for the power plug.

The charger seems to draw a standby current of about 0.5A no matter what the supply voltage is.

Another problem with an extension chord can be caused if it is coiled up during use.

So, use a "Wattsup", "Killawatt" or Wattevertheycallitatyourplace.
If it shows good voltage under full load early in the CP charging cycle, at the plug of your Vectrix, then the extension cable is no problem.

This is probably only an issue if you have a 120V supply.

And do not charge through 30m of cable coiled up in the trunk.

Mr. Mik

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

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Re: First deep(ish) discharge done

I just got my Vectrix a couple of days ago and, thanks to the postings here, I knew what to expect. Sure enough, it did. I made it back home just fine, then drove back and forth on my block to drain the charge further. I'll be glad when this process is done.

Thanks for all of the informative posts. Since I now have my scoot, I'll be posting.

marytee

Motoring in the Motor City

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Re: First deep(ish) discharge done

I always feel a little silly when I have to do that.. there I am dressed to ride on the highway, on a motorcycle that looks like it can go fast, but limping along at 10 miles/hr ...

Does this mean that it happens consistently?

Well, I do not have a Vectrix so I hope y'all will be kind to me as a non-Vectrix owner posting here ;-) .. what I have is my home-rebuilt Lectra motorcycle. It has an SLA battery pack and I have an 10-11 mile commute and the battery pack provides about 10-11 mile range if I'm light on the throttle and half the commute is at 30 miles/hr on side streets. Occasionally I'm not careful enough with the throttle and end up limping the last half mile.

The situation is not good for the life of the battery pack but it's what I have to do to use this bike for my commute.

I keep reading y'alls reports on how the Vectrix behaves and I'm so jealous. I also spent a lot of time talking with Electric Motorsport people last weekend and their GPR-S looks really nice too.

- David Herron, The Long Tail Pipe, davidherron.com, 7gen.com, What is Reiki
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Re: First deep(ish) discharge done

Congrats on the new toy MaryTee! Have fun riding. Looking forward to reading your experiences as well.
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Re: First deep(ish) discharge done

I'll stick with imperial miles (rather than try to convert and get it wrong!). The figures were based on what the EST Range promised, however after my second DD of last week, I've now managed to complete 50 miles each on two dissimilar routes, regular undulations and no major climbing, and not exceeding 28mph. For the trips that ended with pushing, the first one was on the very first ride where on setting off, the Est Range was 52 and after 32 miles the odometer shoed 10 miles Est before dropping to 0. On the second occasion, after the second DD the initial Est after 2 days charging (0000-0830 x 2) the Est Range was 38, but on arriving home had covered a genuine 50.9, on verifying this with a GPS, is showed the track distance as 50.4. I'm still not clear whether the Miles shown on the VX1 are Imperial or US (which is slightly shorter).

- Raymond

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Re: First deep(ish) discharge done

What's the latest on the FireFly battery technology? They seem to be very slowly developing commercial products, and doing it in a very controlled manner. If those batteries ever become available, they should be drop in replacements for your SLA's, but lighter weight and/or higher energy density.

As for not owning a Vectrix, no worries. We're not snobs! :-)

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Re: First deep(ish) discharge done

I'll stick with imperial miles (rather than try to convert and get it wrong!).

Thats fine, if everyone uses what they are familiar with we'll have more accurate reporting.
http://www.digitaldutch.com/unitconverter/ helps, but it does not have "Imperial miles".
Maybe that refers to nautical miles, there seems to be a slight difference between international and UK nautical miles.
I usually just multiply by 1.61 to get miles from km.

The figures were based on what the EST Range promised, however after my second DD of last week, I've now managed to complete 50 miles each on two dissimilar routes, regular undulations and no major climbing, and not exceeding 28mph. For the trips that ended with pushing, the first one was on the very first ride where on setting off, the Est Range was 52 and after 32 miles the odometer shoed 10 miles Est before dropping to 0. On the second occasion, after the second DD the initial Est after 2 days charging (0000-0830 x 2) the Est Range was 38, but on arriving home had covered a genuine 50.9, on verifying this with a GPS, is showed the track distance as 50.4. I'm still not clear whether the Miles shown on the VX1 are Imperial or US (which is slightly shorter).

That makes 81.95km and is so far the highest reported figure in the world! (Apart from ads...)
Congratulations!

Mr. Mik

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

Buzby
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Re: First deep(ish) discharge done

Really? I'm sure I can even better it (he says hopefully) but it really has more to do with creative riding and on warm summer days I like to smell the air and take it easy. Compared to tanking it in the pelting rain before I drown, and at the fastest safe speed to get me home without having to start pushing! I've only completed 2 full discharges, so being only halfway there, I hope to wring a bit more, but realistically I don;t expec the improvement to br quite as marketed as the last two.

- Raymond

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Re: First deep(ish) discharge done

Do they speciafy a minimum current rated receptable for the charger ?

The owner's manual does not specify the minimum current required, but I found something interesting on the web -
(See the second warning box in each image)
From my manual:
Picture_17.jpg

From the Vectrix website:

Picture_18.jpg

My Vectrix, although new, is the '07 model - maybe they updated the owner's manual for the '08 model. Anyway - it's available as a .pdf file from their website: http://www.vectrix.com/experience/interact (Click on "Download User Manual PDF")

I just downloaded it, but it obviously has more info than the manual that came with my Vectrix!

By the way - I lost voltage again today. This is the 3rd time in a row. This time I had 2 bars left and 5 miles estimated range. I happened to be looking at the dash when it happened this time - rather strange to watch the bars and numbers just blink out of existence.

Luckily I was close to the store where my wife works - I just rode inside and plugged in for a few minutes!:
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moccasin
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Re: First deep(ish) discharge done

By the way - I lost voltage again today. This is the 3rd time in a row. This time I had 2 bars left and 5 miles estimated range.

I think the "fuel" guage and estimated range indicators are a little like common fuel guages and in-your-head calculations. They just aren't going to be that accurate. I like Mik's magic marker modification to the charge indicator! :-)

I think for the most part, it's going to take getting to know your bike and your normal operating distances, and staying within the bike's mileage range FOR YOUR AREA.

I am new to this bike, and will bow to anyone else's greater experience, but I would think that if you're running a constant 25mph on flat ground, the charge indicator and estimated range may be a lot more acurate than if you're climbing a hill or running at 50+ mph. The charge indicator knows how much juice you got left, but it doesn't know how you are riding or what you have ahead of you. The "Est Range" indicator also doesn't know what you have ahead of you, and bases it's calculations on how you were just riding for the last couple of minutes, and perhaps it too assumes you are going to run 25 on flat ground for the remainder of the session?

If I could make changes to the instrument layout, I'd put the Est Range numbers at the bottom and smaller, and put the trip odometer at the top spot with big text, and move the clock down to the original range spot. From my 300 miles experience, the odometer is WAY more important and useful than a guess that some computer is making, or what the current time is.

I now know that for my daily routines, at the moment, my bike will go slightly over 27 miles, then shift to limited speed and power, and will crap out at 29, and is dead at 31. I don't expect any real improvement in those numbers after the 5 discharges, because I feel like it's my riding AREA that will determine my average range anyway, so I'll use the 27 mile max as my base, and keep an eye on the charge indicator. If it gets to half empty earlier than normal, I'll know I won't have 27 miles range

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