Vectric died on freeway

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Infinite
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Vectric died on freeway

I have been hoping that all the posts about loosing power were due too "lemons". But now I am standing on the side of the freeway with my vectrix with no power. The speedo is even stuck at 50 which must have happened as I was slowing down. No signs of life.

I am now waiting for AAA. Typing on my iPhone.

Infinite
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Re: Vectric died on freeway

Made it to the dealer... or x-dealer... waiting for my wife to pick me up.

Infinite
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Re: Vectric died on freeway

BakeDown.jpg

Here's the proof. :D Add a lot of noise as car zip by. I was happy to say that at least 1 car did pull over without being flagged to offer help. So there still is some humanity left in the world.

Infinite
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Re: Vectric died on freeway

The fiasco continues. After towing the bike to the company that I purchased the bike from I found out that the dealership is no longer Vectrix dealer. Luckily they were cool enough to let me keep the bike at the place until tomorrow. The new dealership is closed on Mondays... so tomorrow I need to have a tow truck bring the bike from dealership A to dealership B.

I called Vectrix USA and was forwarded to a voice mailbox. At the time I was very concerned that I was going to fall in the cracks, but I actually received an call less then an hour after leaving the voice mail and was assisted. I mentioned that the bike didn't respond to being plugged in nor to turning the ignition. The Vectrix contact agreed that it's the main fuse and he explained that its not really a client serviceable issue. He was very nice and explained why and I thanked him for his time.

So, tomorrow my bike gets another tow to the new dealerships service department whom Vectrix has full confidence in. I am hoping that it was just the main fuse that blew and that it won't happen again. :)

undead
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Re: Vectric died on freeway

Same here - happened to me a coupleof months back.

Had just come off the motorway (Freeway) when it suddenly felt like it was spluttering along, then just died totally with the speedo stuck at 35mph.

Blown main fuse it is.

moccasin
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Re: Vectric died on freeway

Stuck speedometer seems to be a common denominator among those who've lost a main fuse. Its a shame Vectrix doesn't design a user replaceable fuse system for the bike, and perhaps after they've spent a bundle in warranty replacements they will consider that a viable design change.

undead
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Re: Vectric died on freeway

So, assuming the worst were to happen (Vectrix goes under due to recession or whatever) -how easy is it for a "novice" to replace these main fuses?

Mik
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Re: Vectric died on freeway

There are many different ways to describe a "novice"...

If the type of novice without any experience using tools and / or electronic components is meant, then it is too difficult.

A "novice" to the Vectrix, but experienced otherwise, who has a decent set of tools in the workshop, and a healthy respect for lethal current, can do it easily with a good set of instructions.

Any electrician worth his/her salt should be able to do it with some instructions.

Special (and not so special) tools needed:

A way to securely hold the Vectrix straight - centre stand might be sufficient,not tested by me though.

An attachment to lift the 47kg rear battery out of the narrow frame.

A hoist or a strong back to lift the battery out straight without whacking it into the nearby motor controller.

A torque wrench with 3.5Nm setting to tighten the 3 motor phase cables and the fuse nuts without screwing up the motor controller board, and 10Nm for the battery connection cables.

An inrush current limiter to reconnect the battery without sparks and high peak currents frying electronic components.

I probably forgot something in that list...it is definitely not rocket science, and it is definitely not a beginners project!

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: Vectric died on freeway

Most of these procedures and tools have been shown in various threads on "V" already. It is all scattered but the search function works quite well to find details.

Of particular importance is the correct use of an inrush current limiter (ICL). I used two cables, one of them with about 2.5kOhm resistance (10W) in line. I closed the circuit through my DMM so I could see when the current had dropped and stabilised before disconnecting the ICL and connecting the Andersons connector between front and rear battery. Using the DMM in line also allowed me to test how quickly the inrush current rises again once the ICL is disconnected: This happens very quickly, within a few seconds!

If the connector is closed more than a very few seconds after the removal of the ICL, then it might be the same as if the ICL had not been used at all!

That is in my opinion how the fuse damage occurs which later leads to sudden unexplained fuse failures.

It is quite difficult to disconnect the ICL and reconnect the main battery connector very quickly, because one half of the connector cannot be gripped properly, and tends to slide away underneath the air seal at the front battery. The 120A rated Andersons connector needs quite a push to slide together; most novices will be taken by surprise and NOT get the connector together on first attempt.

It is easily possible to repeatedly stress the main fuse during multiple attempts to close this connector. The tips of the lugs make contact, a spark flies, the connector does not close (click) properly due to the difficulty getting a good grip on it, so the person lets go to get a better grip, spends a few seconds on gently pushing the air seal out of the way without zapping themselves with the 64V in the front half of the connector, and the tries again. SPARK again when the lugs make contact.

I'm sure that this scenario sounds quite familiar to the VAP's reading this, at least to those who have done the battery reconnect procedure.

The solution is to connect the ICL to the back of the Anderson connector halves. For a few $$ worth of parts it could even be made a permanent part of the battery system. Just a small connector with a resistor in line. The small ICL connector would get closed first, stays closed, and then the big connector can be closed at leisure, no inrush current no matter how long it takes to close it!

One could even replace the function of the DMM that I used and integrate a lightbulb as the resistor into the ICL. The bulb would light up as long as the capacitors are sucking current;
once the capacitors are full, the bulb goes out or very dim, and then it'll be safe to connect the main connector.

What size lightbulb could best be used for this?

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: Vectric died on freeway

Did you use the latest software, i.e. the October 2008 version? I thought that this problem had been addressed in this software release which limits power draw. If not, that's quite troubling.

Mik
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Re: Vectric died on freeway

Did you use the latest software, i.e. the October 2008 version? I thought that this problem had been addressed in this software release which limits power draw. If not, that's quite troubling.

I assume this is a question to infinite? He bought his Vectrix used, see his post: http://visforvoltage.org/forum/5695-new-me-vextrix-owner-quothiquot for details.

It does not say what software version is installed in his Vectrix.

But it is likely that the fuse has experienced time with the old software, anyway.

I don't believe that is what does the damage, though.

This is what I was told by a Littelfuse engineer:

I could not find any info on it in writing either, so I called Littelfuse today and spoke with an engineer.

He confirmed that the L25S 125 type of fuse can indeed receive small incremental damages from "transient currents" or "inverse pulses".

"It could be that transient pulses open the fuse after having been applied a number of times".

http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2977-open-letter-vectrix-corp#comment-17982

In that thread we discussed the two possible core components of the fuse failures: Incremental damage to the fuse leading to later failure, and current spikes caused by riding with a low battery.

I have never seen any increased current draw during low battery riding when I still had the RETAMPI in place.

In my opinion the Oct 2008 software raises the low voltage cutoff point to protect battery cells from reverse charging, not to protect the fuse.

Incorrect or missing use of the Inrush current limiter is top on my list for possible culprits for the fuse failures.

Second on the list is frequent and lengthy maximum current draw at about 75km/h whilst going uphill; this leads to a sustained maximum current draw and I believe it might be stressing the fuse because it probably draws more than 125A (the rating of the stock fuse).

18kW / 108V = 166A (The 108V is the approximate battery voltage I measured with the M-BMS during full acceleration).

Maybe such lengthy times of drawing current more than 1/3 over the specs of the fuse will also cause incremental damage?

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: Vectric died on freeway

18kW / 108V = 166A (The 108V is the approximate battery voltage I measured with the M-BMS during full acceleration).

At what State Of Charge (108V)?

Mik
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Re: Vectric died on freeway

At what State Of Charge (108V)?

At fairly full SOC.

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: Vectric died on freeway

That's 5C-6C and is consistent with Vectrix NiMH batteries discharge characteristics:
//www.shrani.si/f/V/7M/2Tuopb2E/vectrixnimh.jpg)

Quite low Voltage and really high current.

Infinite
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Re: Vectric died on freeway

The main fuse is replaced, took 2 weeks to get the part... :P Now to figure out how I feel about the new Firmware.

myvectrix2008
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Re: Vectric died on freeway

I would like to add myself to the list of owners with blown fuses. My 7 month old Vectrix has just over 2800 miles on the clock when riding home quite normally the other evening and about 3 miles from my destination, the bike jolted. I looked down to see the speedo stuck at 55km/h, no LCD displays, regenerative braking, lights or indicators. After making sure it was safe, I immediately pulled over to the side of the road and come to stop using good old fashioned hydraulic brakes. After a couple of on/off cycles with nothing, I pretty much knew the main fuse had blown after reading similar stories on here.

After a quick call to the AA, I was recovered home within 45 minutes. A couple of phone calls and emails later, a technician came out to replace the fuse with an uprated version. Within 48 hours of the incident, the bike was mobile again. My thanks go out to Vectrix UK for the excellent customer service.

undead
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Re: Vectric died on freeway

I would like to add myself to the list of owners with blown fuses. My 7 month old Vectrix has just over 2800 miles on the clock when riding home quite normally the other evening and about 3 miles from my destination, the bike jolted. I looked down to see the speedo stuck at 55km/h, no LCD displays, regenerative braking, lights or indicators. After making sure it was safe, I immediately pulled over to the side of the road and come to stop using good old fashioned hydraulic brakes. After a couple of on/off cycles with nothing, I pretty much knew the main fuse had blown after reading similar stories on here.

After a quick call to the AA, I was recovered home within 45 minutes. A couple of phone calls and emails later, a technician came out to replace the fuse with an uprated version. Within 48 hours of the incident, the bike was mobile again. My thanks go out to Vectrix UK for the excellent customer service.

You were lucky, I was stranded at the side of the road for nearly 5 hours thanks to those tossers at the AA - if I didnt get my main membership free with my bank account I would ditch it in a heartbeat. Once vectrix got my bike, they were very quick. As for the AA, they lied to me constantly on the phone, gave me the runaround and I even had to CHASE their complaints department to get a response.

However this is par for the course for nearly all companies these days - I think you got lucky, which is a good thing.

Its sad that Vectrix, who have offered nothing but excellent customer service (with a few minor hitches - quickly sorted) are having problems where as the majority of large companies treat their customers like crap.

Glad its on the road again then - did they fix it onsite or take the bike away out of interest?

myvectrix2008
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Re: Vectric died on freeway

It was fixed on-site which I was pleased with. The AA contracted out a third party to recover my bike, who did actually have a motorbike franchise as part of their company, but like so many, knew nothing about the Vectrix.

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