The new firmware and the consumer responsibility

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jmap
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The new firmware and the consumer responsibility

Was published early on this forum, the proceeding after being applied the new firmware:

"1.0 DO NOT recharge the bike yet. Begin the battery management initialization routine by immediately discharge the battery until the battery light (Red Telltale) illuminates. Then follow steps 2-5 to complete the initialization.

2.0 Set a pre-charge cooling delay. This selectable pre-charge cooling delay has been incorporated into the charging algorithm to cool the batteries prior to charging. This increases the charge efficiency. It is recommended that a delay be used whenever possible and that the duration be made as long as time permits. Set a pre-charge cooling delay as follows:
2.1 Unplug the bike.
2.2 Turn on the bike.
2.3 Pres and hold the SELECT (S) button on the right side of dashboard until you see the Set Delay mode activated on the left LCD.
2.4 Set the delay using the H and M buttons. Press and hold H to increment by 1 hour. Press and hold M to increase in 15 minute increments. The maximum delay you can set is 9 hours, after that it will go back to 0.
2.5 Once you are finished press and hold the SELECT (S) button until you see DONE flash briefly on the left LCD and the normal display returns.
2.6 Enable the programmed delay by pulling the left brake lever while turning off thee ignition key.
2.7 Alternatively you can enable a fixed 30 minute delay by pulling the right lever while turning off the ignition key.

3.0 Fully charge the scooter using the charge delay.
3.1 Plug in the scooter.
3.2 The dashboard will turn on and you will see the initial check, then it will turn off and the plenum fans will run.
3.3 Every 20 minutes the dashboard will turn on and the bike will check the battery temperature. If it is below the set threshold, the plenum fans will turn off and the delay will continue with the fans off. If the temperature is not below the threshold, the plenum funs will run.
3.4 At the end of the delay, the charger will begin a normal charge cycle. A the end of the charge a 1hr post cool down will begin with the fans powered by the battery. This will terminate earlier if the threshold temperature is reached.
3.5 The charger will then begin an equalization charge (this was initiated when new software was loaded). It is recommend that you let this equalization charge complete. The duration is set to 4 hours in addition to the regular charge time. However, if time does not permit, stopping the sequence will not harm your scooter.

4.0 Within 24 hrs, completely discharge the bike again. Be certain the battery light illuminates. This discharge does not have to happen in one ride, but do not perform an opportunity charge (short cycle) until after the bike has been fully discharged.

5.0 Once the battery light illuminates the initialization is complete.

Notes: Unless you want to change the duration, the programmed delay will stay in the memory, so you do not need to reprogram it every time. To enable the programmed delay, simply pull the left brake lever while you are turning off the ignition key prior to plugging in the bike.
Alternatively, you can enable a fixed minute delay by pulling the right lever while you are turning off the ignition key.

The software will keep track of the riding time. After every 12 hrs of riding an equalization command will be sent to charger which will initiate an equalization charge after your next charging cycle."

I don't know if you received it but here in Portugal, another paragraph are being distributed by Vectrix and I am very concerned about it!

It says that:
- Batteries should be discharged frequently to reduce memory effect;
- Once per week, the battery should be discharged (until the red warning flash appears;
- Once per month, the battery should be deeply discharged (until can't ride above 15mph / 24km/h);
- If the bike is not used, recharge it every 3 months.

I am VERY CONCERNED ABOUT THE FIRST THREE!
NiMh batteries don’t have memory effect!?! The proceeding is like they have!?
I think that they are trying that the status battery bars to adapt to current battery capacity for displaying correct readings. For that they need to know the maximum and the minimum, and know that they need that the users make deep discharges frequently! If I know something about NiMh batteries, they don't like deep discharges and the process that they are requiring reduce the battery life and autonomy.

Am I wrong? Did you receive that too? Besides the technical problems about Nimh characteristics, this regular proceeding is extremely annoying to the user! They want to kill the sells or what?

Please share your user and technical opinion.

Thanks.

moccasin
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Re: The new firmware and the consumer responsibility

I have elected to be a self appointed test monkey. I'm going to just ride mine, charge it, and not worry about it, and see how long it lasts. I'll report back when I have something to report! HAHA!! :-)

Hermes
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Re: The new firmware and the consumer responsibility

I decided to treat it the same way as mobile, cordless phones or anything that has a Nh or Lt rechargable battery. Let it go dry once in a while and fully charge it after it. Any other time, top it up according to need, time available etc. Otherwise we become slave to the product and start thinking petrol was less hassle after all.

Just a thought

Mik
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Re: The new firmware and the consumer responsibility

The whole concept is idiotic.

I cannot believe that a vehicle like this is able to be registered in countries like the USA and Germany.

There will be accidents and lawsuits from riders and / or injured third parties because the vehicle was driven in an un-roadworthy condition, and purposely! Repeatedly!

If you take your ICE vehicle on the road without checking that you have fuel, and cause an accident because you run out of fuel, you are potentially liable.
If you knew you had no fuel left, it's more likely you will be liable.
If you started to drive with the declared intent to run out of fuel on public roads, then you are a feast on wheels for the lawyers if anything ever goes wrong.

There will even be lawsuits where the opponents claim wrongly that the Vectrix was driven in an un-roadworthy state to condition the battery or teach the latest software a lesson. Any diligent lawyer will find the official Vectrix advice to ride the vehicle in an un-roadworthy condition and claim that the accident might have been due to this.

And still no hazard light for low-battery-crawling events....

Ridiculous!

Particularly in the absence of a decent BMS to prevent reverse charging of cells during the deep discharges. None of it makes any sense to me.

The deep discharging of batteries needs to be done with the vehicle securely parked, and the energy should be fed back into the grid or vented as hot air without risking the life of the rider.

For those people reading this who do not have a Vectrix: At the point where a Vectrix only gets to 25km/h on flat ground it is incapable of accelerating from a standstill if there is any moderate hill. You could not possibly accelerate safely at traffic lights and intersections. It is nothing but a traffic hazard without hazard lights, and ELECTRIC written all over it.

The Vectrix owners reading this know that it is true - or is there anyone who wants to deny this?

I am working on a rudimentary BMS that will allow (per-module) controlled discharging and recharging. The front battery is back together again with a bunch of extra cables hanging out:
//i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk217/Mr_Mik/Vectux/Battery/Battery%20Rework%204%20BMS/th_S4022603.jpg)

Not tested yet, though. It might be a flop.....

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

jmap
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Re: The new firmware and the consumer responsibility

I understand your point of view and I agree but right now I am a worried owner that want's to protect the batteries! Their procedure:
- Batteries should be discharged frequently to reduce memory effect;
- Once per week, the battery should be discharged (until the red warning flash appears;
- Once per month, the battery should be deeply discharged (until can't ride above 15mph / 24km/h).

Don't affect batteries life? I am confused...

moccasin
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Re: The new firmware and the consumer responsibility

...Otherwise we become slave to the product and start thinking petrol was less hassle after all....Just a thought

AMEN! Our ancestors never knew how long their horses would live. You just do what you gotta do, take reasonable care of what you got, and try to spend your life with as little stress and worry as you can. The Vectrix is an ANSWER, not a question. I appreciate that there are those that will forever focus on improvements, even at great costs for tiny steps, but I bought my Vectrix to become a part of the solution, not a part of the design team.

My guess is, it will take from 5 to 7 years for me to really know if the Vectrix was a good, or worthwhile investment or not, so until that time comes, I'm ridin and smilin. :-)

//www.moccsplace.com/vectrix/newsig.jpg)
jmap
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Re: The new firmware and the consumer responsibility
...Otherwise we become slave to the product and start thinking petrol was less hassle after all....Just a thought

AMEN! Our ancestors never knew how long their horses would live. You just do what you gotta do, take reasonable care of what you got, and try to spend your life with as little stress and worry as you can. The Vectrix is an ANSWER, not a question. I appreciate that there are those that will forever focus on improvements, even at great costs for tiny steps, but I bought my Vectrix to become a part of the solution, not a part of the design team.

My guess is, it will take from 5 to 7 years for me to really know if the Vectrix was a good, or worthwhile investment or not, so until that time comes, I'm ridin and smilin. :-)

Cool! I don't want to be a slave of mine either, but Vectrix seems to go that way and I want to find a way of handling well my bike but that not enslaves me.

marsupi
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Re: The new firmware and the consumer responsibility

2- Once per week, the battery should be discharged (until the red warning flash appears;
3- Once per month, the battery should be deeply discharged (until can't ride above 15mph / 24km/h)

The way I interpret these recommendations:
Most likely the purpose of #2 is to ensure proper calibration of the range calculation as constant shallow discharges will likely introduce an increasing error over time and #3 would be for the memory effect though Nimh don't have much, but a monthly deep discharge won't hurt it (think of it as a reset of the crystalline structure of the electrodes)

07 Vectrix, Vego 600 mod.48V 800W, Arcade Alu E-Cycle 24VSachs Hub

Hands0n
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Re: The new firmware and the consumer responsibility

Cool! I don't want to be a slave of mine either, but Vectrix seems to go that way and I want to find a way of handling well my bike but that not enslaves me.

Don't panic. Don't worry. Don't concern yourself with those additional instructions. Just use the Vectrix and enjoy your time owning and riding it. It is just a machine, it will wear out one day just like any machine before and after it.

There is a lot of FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) spread about batteries. You can read exactly the same kind of statements on any mobile phone website. The Vectrix and its siblings will draw similar FUD, ignore all of it. Sensible use of the Vectrix, avoiding deep discharges where possible, and charging to full capacity regularly and routinely will see you with many years of useful life.

The only thing that can enslave you is your mind, not the Vectrix.

kito
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Re: The new firmware and the consumer responsibility

I have not received any communication from Vectrix since I bought mine. Of course I have not bothered to get the updated firmware which maybe I should. NIMH do not have a "memory effect" therefore I suspect somebody may have wrote this in error. Unfortunately people use this term to encompasses any kind of battery issue.

In regards to discharge, I see no reason to do a discharge unless there is actually an issue. I often times do shallow recharges on my bike if it's convenient. I do not do opportunistic short time charges because I do believe heat is a issue and charge process heats the battery just as well as when its being discharged in use. Other than this I say just enjoy the ride. If you bike has range issues, then a discharge cycle is probably the first thing you should try.

I have only have 1K miles on my bike so I guess I will be a beta tester too. :)

AndY1
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Re: The new firmware and the consumer responsibility

3- Once per month, the battery should be deeply discharged (until can't ride above 15mph / 24km/h)

At least, now, they defined what a deep-discharge really is. If they defined it earlier, I wouldn't have discharged my battery down, so the bike would barely move, when I did my first deep-discharge.

Buzby
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Re: The new firmware and the consumer responsibility

I have - but I initiated the contact but it wasn't about the firmware updates. I'm told these will be done as and when the bike is either in for a service, or a tech is in the area. So I'm not really expecting a visit until I'm at my 1st anniversary as a happy Vectrix biker.

- Raymond

jmap
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Re: The new firmware and the consumer responsibility
Cool! I don't want to be a slave of mine either, but Vectrix seems to go that way and I want to find a way of handling well my bike but that not enslaves me.

Don't panic. Don't worry. Don't concern yourself with those additional instructions. Just use the Vectrix and enjoy your time owning and riding it. It is just a machine, it will wear out one day just like any machine before and after it.

There is a lot of FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) spread about batteries. You can read exactly the same kind of statements on any mobile phone website. The Vectrix and its siblings will draw similar FUD, ignore all of it. Sensible use of the Vectrix, avoiding deep discharges where possible, and charging to full capacity regularly and routinely will see you with many years of useful life.

The only thing that can enslave you is your mind, not the Vectrix.

Yeah. Thank you for your words... you're right but (there is always one) since the bike was an huge investment to me, I don't plan to buy another for many years. So I must care this one, very well, but of course without become a slave. Pleasure is the goal!

jmap
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Re: The new firmware and the consumer responsibility

I have not received any communication from Vectrix since I bought mine. Of course I have not bothered to get the updated firmware which maybe I should. NIMH do not have a "memory effect" therefore I suspect somebody may have wrote this in error. Unfortunately people use this term to encompasses any kind of battery issue.

In regards to discharge, I see no reason to do a discharge unless there is actually an issue. I often times do shallow recharges on my bike if it's convenient. I do not do opportunistic short time charges because I do believe heat is a issue and charge process heats the battery just as well as when its being discharged in use. Other than this I say just enjoy the ride. If you bike has range issues, then a discharge cycle is probably the first thing you should try.

I have only have 1K miles on my bike so I guess I will be a beta tester too. :)

Is now being said that NiMH "don't have much memory effect". That is different of "does not have memory effect". If the first is true, I can understand why deep discharges should be done monthly.

jmap
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Re: The new firmware and the consumer responsibility
3- Once per month, the battery should be deeply discharged (until can't ride above 15mph / 24km/h)

At least, now, they defined what a deep-discharge really is. If they defined it earlier, I wouldn't have discharged my battery down, so the bike would barely move, when I did my first deep-discharge.

I did the same too. I hope that the dangerous undervoltage level is well protected.

jmap
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Re: The new firmware and the consumer responsibility

I have - but I initiated the contact but it wasn't about the firmware updates. I'm told these will be done as and when the bike is either in for a service, or a tech is in the area. So I'm not really expecting a visit until I'm at my 1st anniversary as a happy Vectrix biker.

The new firmware just control better the heating on the battery, but extends charging process. Introduces also a good funcionality, the pre-charge timer. But introduces also some bugs, a friend of mine, with a fresh new firmware was riding when the pointer got stuck at the maximum position and stayed there...

kito
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Re: The new firmware and the consumer responsibility

Is now being said that NiMH "don't have much memory effect". That is different of "does not have memory effect". If the first is true, I can understand why deep discharges should be done monthly.

What is commonly known as the "memory effect" is from nicad batteries. If you continued to shallow charge a nicad the memory effect would reduce the battery capacity. However doing repeated deep discharge/ charge cycles would help recover from the issue. Obviously doing discharges repeatedly does reduce the overall performance of the battery from normal usage, but it helps if you battery suffers from the memory effect.

Here is a quote from duracell.com regarding NIMH & memory effects:

A properly designed application with Ni-MH batteries will result in neither
permanent performance loss nor perceivable temporary capacity decreases from this characteristic.

There is some info in this pdf about memory effects in NIMH.
http://www.duracell.com/oem/Pdf/others/nimh_5.pdf

oobflyer
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Re: The new firmware and the consumer responsibility

I got the technical bulletin in the mail today (snail mail!) The gentleman from Vectrix told me that they are still having trouble with their email server. Apparently the dealer was supposed to give me this information at the time of the update - hopefully others won't have to wait 6 weeks for the paperwork! Anyway - I'll try it soon. The first step requires discharging the battery, but it's raining right now here in Stockton, CA. :-(
I got my custom license plate today (the CA DMV is also running behind in their paperwork - it took a full 4 months!)
100_0784.jpg

Hands0n
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Re: The new firmware and the consumer responsibility

....... but it's raining right now here in Stockton, CA. :-(

LOL, its a good thing you don't live over here then, you'd never get out on your Vectrix :D :D

Its only water :)

oobflyer
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Re: The new firmware and the consumer responsibility

I DON'T HAVE THE NEW FIRMWARE - AFTER ALL!
I took my Vectrix to the dealer in October (Marin BMW, San Rafael, CA) for the upgrade. They hooked it up to their laptop, told me it was done and sent me on my way... but, I finally received the accompanying instructions, via snail mail, from Vectrix (the BMW dealer didn't provide them) So, today, 2 months later, I started the process by discharging the battery. Then I pressed the 'S' button to set the cooling delay and... nothing happened! I called the dealer again and they told me that Vectrix told them that sometimes the upgrade "doesn't take". This is apparently the case for me. None of the features of the upgrade have manifested on my bike: The remaining 25-40% charge still disappears, the cooling delay settings aren't working, the voltage/temperature readouts aren't working (according to the instructions I received from Vectrix you are supposed to be able to check the battery voltage, battery temperature and cooling delay settings by putting the kill switch in the off position and pulling the left lever).
Soooo.... I'll be loading it back in my truck and hauling it the 100 miles back to San Rafael!

The Saga Continues....

oobflyer
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Re: The new firmware and the consumer responsibility

Hey Mik, lighten up! I can't speak for all Vectrix riders, but I live in the U.S.A. and I have the common sense to just ride my Vectrix around the block for the final deep discharge. Don't give the lawyers any ideas!

Mik
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Re: The new firmware and the consumer responsibility

Hey Mik, lighten up! I can't speak for all Vectrix riders, but I live in the U.S.A. and I have the common sense to just ride my Vectrix around the block for the final deep discharge. Don't give the lawyers any ideas!

Statistically, most accidents happen close to home.

And lawyers practice coming up with ideas all the time, they do not need me to do it for them. They will work it out!

The real issue is that it is dangerous to the rider and others to ride a vehicle which is not roadworthy.

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

oobflyer
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Riding in the Rain...

Where do you live? Do you ride in the rain? What's the trick to see through your helmet without windshield wipers?

Hands0n
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Re: Riding in the Rain...

Where do you live? Do you ride in the rain? What's the trick to see through your helmet without windshield wipers?

LOL - clearly you don't live in the UK :D

Two things can be done to help clear your helmet visor - you'll have to repeat these from time to time as the rain builds up...
1) Dip your head slightly to cause the wind flow to sweep the water droplets down across the visor - or turn your head from side to side momentarily to achieve the same effect - do not overdo it, keep your eye on where you are going
2) Use your index finger (either hand) as a surrogate windshield wiper and stroke it across the visor - some motorcycle gloves have a built-in rubber "Vee Wipe" or a Chamois leather strip to help. You can also buy a rubber Vee Wipe that will slide over the index finger of the glove.

Some riders have also experimented with Rain-X solution, that is made for car windscreens and causes the water to run off easily. I find it can cause additional glare at night time so do not use it myself. But that is a matter of personal choice.

So where do you live? The Sahara or Arizona desert? LOL

undead
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Re: Riding in the Rain...

No trick really, keep the visor regulargly cleaned with some decent visor cleaner - this helps the rain to fall off it quicker and not streak

Because the visor is so close to your face, unlike a car windscreen, you kind of get used to seeing through it, whilst using your gloved fist to wipe of the excesss ocaasionally.

You can also buy some kind of mini wiper thing that fits to one of the fingers in your gloves - never needed one yet.

Edit, post above got in before me! written better as well :D

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