CANBUS and yellow wrench

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undead
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CANBUS and yellow wrench

1300 miles in, first time it happened.

Was riding down a motorway at about 65 and the bike suddenly jolted for a second, yellow wrench came on and CANbus was written in the left display.

Bike still seemed ok but i looked for somewhere to pull over anywhere, and about a minute later it vanished.

Vectrix told me to contact them if it happened again, just looks like a software hiccup - according to other threads on here its when the software throws a bit of a wobbley and loses communication or something.

Anyone else had this with the new firmware recently?

tom5007
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Re: CANBUS and yellow wrench

I had it once too but after a couple of secs it disappeared. Didn't have it since. Maybe it's to do with the new firmware learning about the bike.

Norman

marsupi
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Re: CANBUS and yellow wrench

Yep new firmware also
The wrench lit up for a few seconds just as I throttled forward as I was maneuvering out of my driveway then disappeared. Hasn't happened since.

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

Hands0n
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Re: CANBUS and yellow wrench

This has happened twice now, the other night on way home at 50mph on the dual carriageway, same thing, yellow spanner and CanbuS error that cleared after a short while. There seemed to be a "clunk" at the rear wheel which made me look at the dashboard. I reckon that the transmission cut out for a split second when the error occurred. In all other respects the bike is running fine!

Drew
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Re: CANBUS and yellow wrench

This CANBUS error nearly caused me to go and get a clean pair of pants this morning.

I was happily bumbling along on my way to work (in the frost) and came to my usual 45mph hill decent (with sharp left bend at the bottom), whereupon I applied the regen, and plenty of it, expecting to do 20mph round the bend.

The trouble is I don't dare push it round that bend in the frost because it is slippy. With full regen applied on the straight, there was then a sudden 'BANG', with which the motor braking cut out and the yellow spanner appeared, causing me to panic a bit as with the throttle twisted fully round, you can't reach the front brake lever. A little too exciting for my liking. I stayed upright, braking hard with the rear, but only just.

My thoughts are that maybe the Daart regenerative braking system, although very clever and useful, leads the eco-rider to rely on the regen braking system; I use it without thinking about it now. I do it entirely automatically as I rarely use the conventional friction brakes. However, when regen brake lets go (especially with no warning) it can be quite alarming. It's just like someone taking your normal braking effort away when you least expect it. The difficulty arises as you then have to rapidly adjust your grip from regen throttle position (hand rolled forward) to the front brake lever. Every second counts when a) you least expect it and b)that corner is looming.

It wouldn't have really been an issue on the flat. I'd have just though 'oh-well', carried out an off-on restart and been on my merry way again, speaking of which, that 'off-on' cured the fault this morning.

Thoughts and comments welcomed.

Brown-pants-Drew

Drew

Mik
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Re: CANBUS and yellow wrench

There is another scenario when the same problem happens even without a yellow wrench of doom or other malfunction (at least with the older software version, maybe it has been changed in the updates):

If the rear wheel locks up for a split second during regen braking, then ALL regen braking stops instantaneously and the Vectrix coasts.

This occurs on bumpy unsealed roads at slow speed when full regen is applied to stop the Vectrix on downhill parts. It would have to be much worse on black ice.

Whenever the conditions are not good (= dry road without oil, gravel, potholes, metal grates etc etc) it is best to use the disk brakes. Just to stay used to them.

If you do not practice the efficient use of the brakes regularly, then the sudden loss of regen braking will be disorientating and very dangerous.

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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Re: CANBUS and yellow wrench

This just happened to me this afternoon. I was driving home at about 50 MPH, with about 1/2 charge when the motor suddenly lurched (like the power was cut off for a 1/2 second). I looked down at the dashboard and found the yellow wrench light on and the CanBus error message on the left display. I immediately pulled over and stopped. I pulled my digital camera out to take a picture of the error messages, but by the time I aimed my camera at the dashboard the error messages disappeared. I slowly re-entered the road, accelerated back up to speed, watching the dashboard... and made it home with no further problems. I've had mine for about 8 months now - this is the only time I've seen this.

undead
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Re: CANBUS and yellow wrench

This happened to me when I had the october firmware installed quite a few times, most of the time I would not get a jolt, just the wrench and the error.

I would say it happened once a week, however it did the "jolt" thing about twice over the few months before the main fuse blew (I dont know if the two events were related)

Apparently it is due to the CAN losing connection, or reciving a bad parity signal but then correcting itself - a bug introduced mainly with the new firmware on some bikes.

RaDy
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Re: CANBUS and yellow wrench

This same thing has happened to me only once since i owe the Vectrix, the bike did the jolt for a split second and the wrench sign came on. i stopped, turned off then on and that was it. It has never happened again. ive had the bike for 2 and a hlf months and i have the latest update.

turok
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Re: CANBUS and yellow wrench

This same thing has happened to me only once since i owe the Vectrix, the bike did the jolt for a split second and the wrench sign came on. i stopped, turned off then on and that was it. It has never happened again. ive had the bike for 2 and a hlf months and i have the latest update.

I had the same thing yesterday: after 10 seconds of top speed it lost power for a split second, yellow wrench lit for 30 seconds or so, but I didn't stop. I kept going, and the next time I used my regenerative brake, the wrench light was off again.
I don't worry too much at this time, having read other similar issues..

"doing nothin = doing nothing wrong" is invalid when the subject is environment

Hands0n
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Re: CANBUS and yellow wrench

I have not had the CANBUS error since the latest software patch updated on a service last month (March 2009). It was not a full software update, just some service patches to the code. The Vectrix does not ride any differently, so whatever is contained in there is fairly minimal ..

belrose
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Re: CANBUS and yellow wrench

This happened to me too, only before the software update and the bike actually stopped dead, immediately while I was tootling my way up Pitt Street in the CBD of Sydney on my way to an appointment. It wouldn't go for about an hour and a half - two hours, despite numerous reboots, then eventually after about ... ~ 30-40 reboot cycles, it just started as if nothing was ever wrong. Paul Dawson the technical director who has recently left Vectrix Australia said that it was likely the drive motor jumping out of the groove it was supposed to be in momentarily and a software safety feature response ... or something like that ... I'm afraid I'm not a technical person and may have stuffed up some of the terms but that was the general gist of things.

PJD
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Re: CANBUS and yellow wrench

I don't want to throw a spanner in the whole discusson, but why the hell does an electric scooter need a CANBUS, or any sort of software to operate anyway? All its functions can be accomplished with simple analog circuits.

Gratuitous complexity is what did Vectrix in.

Hands0n
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Re: CANBUS and yellow wrench

I don't want to throw a spanner in the whole discusson, but why the hell does an electric scooter need a CANBUS, or any sort of software to operate anyway? All its functions can be accomplished with simple analog circuits.

Gratuitous complexity is what did Vectrix in.

Possibly, but we are going to see "fly by wire" on all modern developments. That said, the CANBUS issue is not serious inasmuch as it seems to be a transient fault that appears occasionally. Since I've received the latest software update (March 2009) I have not witnessed another CANBUS alarm. It may be too soon tell, but the info given to me by the trained technician (shop not Vectrix) is that it contains only minor bugfixes but was unable to say if it specifically contained code to repair the CANBUS error.

Of course, there could be a major CANBUS fault that is not the bug manifesting, as could any number of other electronic breakdowns.

Magendanz
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Re: CANBUS and yellow wrench

After having had two occasions in the first few months when I received a CANBUS error associated with complete loss of power and then no instances for 4 months now after my firmware upgrade, I figured the problem was solved. However, yesterday I received the yellow wrench with an ENCODR message. Unlike my original CANBUS error, however, I didn't lose power and the condition went away after a few minutes, so it may be another issue entirely.

Does anyone have access to a Vectrix technicians manual so that we can look up these codes?

PJD
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Re: CANBUS and yellow wrench

Possibly, but we are going to see "fly by wire" on all modern developments.

And what is the justification, or advantage of such. I am not arguing from Luddism (or maybe I am, but most elegant and reliable technologies are the simplest. CANBUS and software programming is used in IC engine cars because of all the sensors and control modules needed for the precise mixture and ignition timing to meet pollutant emission requirements. An electric vehicle should not need any kind of software to operate - all it does is make the owner completely dependent on factory service.

undead
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Re: CANBUS and yellow wrench

I had the encoder - it apparently was caused by dust on the motor encoder strip. I dont know much more than that I am afraid as they took it away to repair it.

moccasin
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Re: CANBUS and yellow wrench

Possibly, but we are going to see "fly by wire" on all modern developments.
An electric vehicle should not need any kind of software to operate - all it does is make the owner completely dependent on factory service.

I agree, until you start talking about issues with battery management, heat management, safe accelleration and regen braking, then things start to get a little complicated don't you think?

I don't know. Flashlights are over my head! HAHA!! ;-) How they ever got a fan to run with a penny and a lemon is beyond my comprehension!! I'm just happy the thing runs!! HAHA!! :-)

Hands0n
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Re: CANBUS and yellow wrench

Possibly, but we are going to see "fly by wire" on all modern developments.

And what is the justification, or advantage of such. I am not arguing from Luddism (or maybe I am, but most elegant and reliable technologies are the simplest. CANBUS and software programming is used in IC engine cars because of all the sensors and control modules needed for the precise mixture and ignition timing to meet pollutant emission requirements. An electric vehicle should not need any kind of software to operate - all it does is make the owner completely dependent on factory service.

:) Equally, I'm not really arguing the position *for* complexity - something that I tend to try and avoid in my own field of work. But as has been said above, its not quite as simple these days as twisting a control across a rheostat to increase the voltage into an electric motor. Modern day electrix power trains are by their very nature more complex - the Vectric's brushless motor is a case in point. And as the quest for more efficiency from the components continues I think that we will see increasing complexity introduced, albeit a the software logic level if nowhere else.

Not that I particularly welcome such complexity - it will increasingly tie us to the manufacturer and their support network, as does the vehicle industry of today. ICE motorcycles are a case in point, barely serviceable by an owner anymore, warranties tied in to very expensive maintenance regimes that are over-frequent compared to the ICE car, the list goes on. Complexity and artificial obsolescence built in!! One can only hope that the likes of the Vectrix will break that regime, but I somehow doubt it. I really suspect that the delay in getting this product into market mainstream is so that the manufacturers can design in as frequent support regimes to keep the cash coming in ...

PJD
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Re: CANBUS and yellow wrench

No one is proposing going back to rheostats. A analog brushless DC motor controller works fine at providing the throttle and managing other motor functions. Battery pack management and having a "smart" fuel gauge (especially with NiMH) may require some digital circuitry, but this can be done with a simple dedicated PIC or other microprocessor chip in the BMU.

My liFePO4 E-max is 100% non-digital, and once the usual Chinese QC faults were fixed, it is 100% reliable. The upcoming

Assuming Vectric does go out of business, I predict the only Vectrixs still running in a few years time may be ones that have been "gutted" and refitted with simpler off the shelf components like Kelly controllers (yes it is digital but only because it needs to be easily adapted by the user to different applications) and easy and home-sourced BMU's. I suppose Mik's Vectux is well along this path. And John Hardings REV1 will be a simpler largely analog design with similar performance and features as the Vectrix.

Mik
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Re: CANBUS and yellow wrench

I suppose Mik's Vectux is well along this path.

Unfortunately not!

I'm just propping up the battery and modding around the edges, trying to make the software belief everything is still OK...

Just to take the motor apart and put it back together again some special tool are needed. The motor has an "Encoder" which needs to be aligned and adjusted with special tools; then it needs to be programmed via the Canbus interface, or it will not run.

I doubt that the VX-1 motor will run with any of the other currently available controllers. It uses a different way of sensing rotor position, but this is all too complex for me at this stage.

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

moccasin
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Re: CANBUS and yellow wrench

I predict the only Vectrixs still running in a few years time may be ones that have been "gutted" and refitted with simpler off the shelf components like Kelly controllers

Therein lies an entreprenural opportunity for someone like yourself or a laid off Vectrix engineer to develop a retrofit drive train conversion kit from outsourced components so these bikes can roll on for decades.

When a mighty Oak falls, its acorns will sprout new trees. :-)

ElectricLou
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Re: CANBUS and yellow wrench

My new Vectrix at around 33 miles on the odometer displayed a wrench telltale and canbus on the left display. We were traveling at 35 mph and had 4 bars of charge left. I did not feel anything change. Pulled over to have a look and it cleared by itself. Will keep an eye on it. Bike has Oct 08 software.

jmap
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Re: CANBUS and yellow wrench

My new Vectrix at around 33 miles on the odometer displayed a wrench telltale and canbus on the left display. We were traveling at 35 mph and had 4 bars of charge left. I did not feel anything change. Pulled over to have a look and it cleared by itself. Will keep an eye on it. Bike has Oct 08 software.

This happened to me a few times and then disappeared. Vectrix support said to ignore if it was temporary...

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