A Glitch ALREADY in my Brand New Vectrix...

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Victrix
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A Glitch ALREADY in my Brand New Vectrix...

Immediate disappointment with the new Vectrix. It arrived Wednesday May 27th with a nearly full charge, the charge bars showing only the top one gone. The battery icon beside it showed all black (ie: a full charge). The remaining range indicator stated 95 km. After spending Thursday May 28th uncrating the bike, on Friday May 29th I rode it 2.5 km to the local insurance agent to get my plates, and the same distance back. The bike performed flawlessly. Later that evening I got on it to go for a longer ride to discharge the battery, and lo and behold the charge bars had suddenly all disappeared save for the very bottom bar. The battery icon beside the charge bars was still fully black, but the remaining range indicator stated 14 km. So, I turned the bike around, headed home and parked, and took the blasted car out for the weekend without being able to try charging the bike or contact a technician at Vectrix or the dealer from whom I bought the bike. It supposedly has all the updated firmware, but this behaviour is baffling. Any ideas as to what is going on with my expensive brand new bike with only 40 km on the odometer?! Thanks, guys!

Victrix
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Re: A Glitch ALREADY in my Brand New Vectrix...

By the way, I turned off the ignition and re-started the bike three times, with the same readouts each time, so no joy with that approach.

AndY1
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Re: A Glitch ALREADY in my Brand New Vectrix...

The bars represent the state of charge. The battery icon is just there to show, that bars begin at the bottom and when on top, it's fully charged.

Because you bike is still new, the battery state of charge indicator and a true state of charge are not syncronized. That happens, because the bars are only an aproximation, not an exact state.

My advice would be to do 2-3 full charges, each charge followed by a discharge (with light driving) to no less than 1/2 of the battery.

After that, do a full charge and a full discharge up to the point that the red battery telltale lits and that all bars suddenly disappear and range drops to 0. This is a sync point between the battery and charger. Then do a full charge and again a full discharge as described above. Then again a full charge and you should be set.

tom5007
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Re: A Glitch ALREADY in my Brand New Vectrix...

AndY1 is right. The initially the gauge and the battery state needs to sycronise. After a couple of rides as recommended by AndY1 you will see that the situation is more trustworthy. In general, when you kept the bike for a longer time untouched (i.e. a week or more) it is always save to do a joyride and then to complete a full re-charge short before you need the bike (i.e. charge through the night when you need to depart in the morning).

Mik
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Re: A Glitch ALREADY in my Brand New Vectrix...

Sounds like the battery has been left uncharged for months. The constant-on state of the MC drains a lot in addition to the spontaneous self-discharge of NiMH.

I would watch the first few charges carefully, because the already-full-cells in an unbalanced string can get damaged by over-charging. This might be worse than reverse charging when empty.

If (during charging) the voltage display gets to more than 149V before 16/17th are reached I would stop charging and ride the scooter for maybe 10km, then watch the charging again.

Avoid deep discharges. When performance drops, ask less of the scooter than it can provide and recharge asap.

I lack experience with the software that should be running in you scooter, and a lot of the Vectrix recommendations are aimed to keep the software "happy", or to trigger it into doing certain things.

I would probably try to ride very gently and short distances until the software has decided for the first time that an equalization charge is in order. That might be the first charge, I don't know.

The software might then be mis-calibrated, but your battery will probably be equalized.

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: A Glitch ALREADY in my Brand New Vectrix...

If the bike has been sitting for a while (like when they sit at a dealer for weeks), it's battery gauge is going to drop rapidly for the first ride, and your range will be greatly reduced. It's nothing to freak out about. Electric vehicles can't just fire up and run flat out, full range the same everytime like gas engines can. EVs will lose efficiency with long periods of non-use. No big deal, just ease your range back up anytime the bike is left for a week or more without use.

The battery gauge will regain its accuracy after a couple of charge cycles, and an occasional deep discharge.

As for the estimated range indicator, put a piece of tape over that display so you can't see it. It's not a range indicator, it's a ride efficiency indicator, based on your use of power over the last half mile or so, and it cannot even guess at what lies ahead of you on your journey. It's a stupid gauge that would have been much better off being a voltage display or battery temp display. Forget your bike even has it on there.

Your bike is doing just fine. You just haven't bonded with it yet. As you gain understanding and "oneness" with the system, you'll be hooked just like the rest of us, but in the mean time, start off with short distances and work your way up. This will not only condition the batteries better, but you will gain confidence in the bike and it's abilities, and the two of you will understand each other much better.

Anderson
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Re: A Glitch ALREADY in my Brand New Vectrix...

Later that evening I got on it to go for a longer ride to discharge the battery, and lo and behold the charge bars had suddenly all disappeared save for the very bottom bar. The battery icon beside the charge bars was still fully black, but the remaining range indicator stated 14 km

Something like this happened to me and when I tried to fully charge it the "battery hot" message came on and it stopped charging but the battery fan continued to run even when the AC cord was unplugged.

What if you charged it for only 5 minutes then unplug it wait 1 hour with the battery fans running to cool it down and continue doing that until it's fully charged 17/17 bars ?
Note To keep the battery fans running after the Vectrix AC cord is unplugged I plan to power the fans using an external 12 volt power supply.

Victrix
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Re: A Glitch ALREADY in my Brand New Vectrix...

Disappointment has turned to optimism as this greenhorn gets the hang of the Vectrix. I got back from my weekend away yesterday evening, and decided to take the bike out in an effort to discharge the batteries to the point at which the low battery idiot light would come on and I could then do a full charging. The charge bars were still at 1/17 and I just ignored the remaining range indicator. I rode 'round the neighbourhood, driving up the steepest hills I could find, and after 38 km the bike was still going strong! At that point I had to quit, not because of any problem with the Vectrix but because the too-small temporary helmet that I was wearing began to give me a serious headache! So, I'll take it out again this evening (rode the bicycle in to work today as usual) and see if I can finally discharge it. It is a stunning machine, an utter blast to ride, and already is turning a lot of heads as people try to figure out why it sounds so different. I think we're bonding already...

Wotnopetrol
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Re: A Glitch ALREADY in my Brand New Vectrix...

I think we're bonding already...

You did from the start, you just didn't realise it. ;-)

Simon

Mik
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Re: A Glitch ALREADY in my Brand New Vectrix...

Something like this happened to me and when I tried to fully charge it the "battery hot" message came on and it stopped charging but the battery fan continued to run even when the AC cord was unplugged.

That is the reason why I recommend:

If (during charging) the voltage display gets to more than 149V before 16/17th are reached I would stop charging and ride the scooter for maybe 10km, then watch the charging again.

What if you charged it for only 5 minutes then unplug it wait 1 hour with the battery fans running to cool it down and continue doing that until it's fully charged 17/17 bars ?
Note To keep the battery fans running after the Vectrix AC cord is unplugged I plan to power the fans using an external 12 volt power supply.

Even if you over-charge it repeatedly for brief periods like that, you are still over charging full cells with too much current. A full NiMH cell can convert about C/10 charging current into heat, that means 3A for the 30Ah cells in the Vectrix, the current during the "CC" charging part. During the "CP" part 10A get pumped through the cells and can cause pressure buildup and venting of the cells precious contents (if the cell is already full and the 10A continue for too long.)

It's better to stop charging when the battery is full, even if the electronics believe the battery is not full. Riding the scooter and then charging again will gradually close the gap, until it switches to "tr" and then "CC" charging when the gauge shows 16/17th.

That is all base on experience with the older software, you need to watch what happens with the newer versions. It might have changed.

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

Anderson
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Re: A Glitch ALREADY in my Brand New Vectrix...

Thanks Mik this isn't what I wanted to hear but I think your right.

I have a question is Nimh battery impedance important only in charging or charging and draining the battery ?
If the answer is only charging the battery and you could charge all the Vectrix's 102 batteries individually then you could get cheaper batteries and wouldn't have as many battery problems I guess.

Anderson
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Re: A Glitch ALREADY in my Brand New Vectrix...

Even if you over-charge it repeatedly for brief periods like that, you are still over charging full cells with too much current. A full NiMH cell can convert about C/10 charging current into heat, that means 3A for the 30Ah cells in the Vectrix, the current during the "CC" charging part. During the "CP" part 10A get pumped through the cells and can cause pressure buildup and venting of the cells precious contents (if the cell is already full and the 10A continue for too long.)

The obvious answer I didn't think of until today is why not charge it at a lower amperage then it would take to damage a single battery cell which according to you is 3 amps. I happen to have a variac (0-550 volts @ 3 amps) that I could manually operate to keep it between 2-3 amps and turn it off when it gets to 150 volts ? Also at the same time I would be running the two battery fans using an external power supply.

Mik
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Re: A Glitch ALREADY in my Brand New Vectrix...

You would probably destroy the motor controller in the process.

(Unless your Vario is DC, bit I think it is an AC device!)

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

Anderson
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Re: A Glitch ALREADY in my Brand New Vectrix...

I decided to use another Variac or Slide regulator I have and because it puts out 10 amps I will need to add a current limiter, see picture-drawing.

3 amp charger.PNG

Mik
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Re: A Glitch ALREADY in my Brand New Vectrix...

How are you going to limit the current to 3A?

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

raytheham
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Re: A Glitch ALREADY in my Brand New Vectrix...

Hi all, I would be very cagy about using a variac. The charger has a switched mode controller. If you try and limit the current into the bike the controller will continuously try and put more current in, programming itself accordingly. When you return to full power you will get a current surge...curtains for the controller, especially with the new software.

My second Vectrix has the new software. It gives me more range, about 15km more than the old software. It does this by gradually limiting the performance once you get down to 5 bars on the condition meter. Keeping up with the traffic up to 50 mph + at times I used to get 35-40 miles. I now get at least 45 miles on the same run, nearly all on the flat with a small hill each way into and out of Oxford.

The new software also allows you to put a time delay into the charging cycle, to allow the batteries to cool down before hitting them with full power.

It is important as others have said to condition the bike with 2-3 runs till the red light comes on. Once you have done this it is also important to fully run it down to the red light at least once every two weeks. I found this keeps me running at max range. On the two bikes I now have a total of 5000 miles, about 7000km and it still puts a smile on my face, and still saves me money on commuting costs.

I also have what they call the winter windscreen fitted plus the extension I had previously and its a dream now. Very little turbulence and buffeting, even at 60mph.

Love the damn thing, and I hope they keep the Uk distributors going, they are a great bunch of guys. Takeover is still in negotiation apparently so keep your fingers crossed.

Have fun and enjoy, its unique....the Zero 1 has still to prove itself, the longest run seems to be about 10 minutes on the trial bike version!!

All the best Ray

Ray

jethro
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Re: A Glitch ALREADY in my Brand New Vectrix...

The software requires two discharge/charge cycles to syncronise the batteries and everything else and then a full discharge at least everyother week, if you choose to ignore this you will never get the best out of a standard Vectrix.

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