Bikes dead? Won't charge... in Seattle

40 posts / 0 new
Last post
Infinite
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 1 week ago
Joined: Sunday, January 18, 2009 - 20:06
Points: 66
Bikes dead? Won't charge... in Seattle

I just moved homes about 4 month ago and I drove my Vectrix from the old house to the new. (only about .5 a mile) The battery was low at the time and I didn't plug in the bike because I was busy. I just tried turning on the bike and nothing happens. I plugged in the bike and nothing happens other then a faint electrical sound. I am going to try to plug it in again later today, but based off of what I have read the batteries must be too low for the charger to turn on which honestly just annoying.

I'm not one of the owners that has cracked open my bike and tinkered with it. I have plenty of tools but prefer non-lethal electrical projects. :D

What kind of charger is required to actually charge the Vectrix up enough so that the normal charger can charge the batteries? Are there any other ways to trick the bike into starting like a jumper charger and a cigarette lighter to cigarette lighter wire?

Thanks for the help in advance.

antiscab
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 5 days ago
Joined: Saturday, July 7, 2007 - 23:55
Points: 1686
Re: Bikes dead? Won't charge... in Seattle

cigarette lighter socket to a 12v source isn't a bad idea just thinking about it.

id say give it a try, you might be lucky to get the charger logic to power up from 12v.

as for bringing the traction battery voltage up, I used a charger intended for a 48 battery in series with a 60v 5A lab power supply.

you only need to get the pack voltage above ~100v for the bike to work as normal.

Matt

Daily Ride:
2007 Vectrix, modified with 42 x Thundersky 60Ah
Vectrix 60Ah Lithium Tyres Fuel Registration Insurance cycle analyst 2 x TC Charger & MC
conversion

Infinite
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 1 week ago
Joined: Sunday, January 18, 2009 - 20:06
Points: 66
Re: Bikes dead? Won't charge... in Seattle

Ahhh... the 12v cigarette lighter was a HUGE tease. I ended up using my Prius to try to get the bike to wake up... the bike turns on instantly just like you turned the key over, and it looks all happy. I was very excited at this point. It even shows 2 1/2 or 3 bars in the battery gauge. But as soon as you plug the bike into a wall socket to start recharging a yellow wrench icon lights up next to the Red Battery icon. Then the gauges turn off and they fade out slowly. I also tried plugging the bike in first and then plugging in the 12v power. The gauges always do their boot cycle, but maybe they just initialize that way by default. Huge tease... :(

I do have a 15v little AC power adapter that is a male cigarette lighter end that is used to charge my old car-jumper battery. I didn't know if I plugged that into the bike over night it would put any juice into the bike so that the main charger could take over. However, I am guessing that would have no effect as I'm assuming that unlike the Prius (which has a 12v battery for the computer and a separate system for the car power) that the Vectrix has it's main battery system and then has a transformer that lowers the voltage for the 12v computers, etc.

Agh... I really don't want this to become a project. Is there anyone in the Seattle area that reads this forum and works on their bike? I also don't want to buy a bunch of stuff just to get the bike running just to never use it again.

Thanks for the help... anyone have a link to a video or walk-though about how to take off the seat to access the batteries? And how to charge them?

Infinite
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 1 week ago
Joined: Sunday, January 18, 2009 - 20:06
Points: 66
Re: Bikes dead? Won't charge... in Seattle

If someone could recommend a specific charger and exactly what I am supposed to hook it up too I would greatly appreciate it. Taking apart the bike looks do-able but also looks like a huge pain in the ass. I mainly want to know what todo once it's all apart. Do I just hook up the charger to the Positive and negative terminals on the battery and leave it for a while then try to charge the bike ever so often with the built in charger? I don't have any electrical instruments. Maybe the cells are already damaged... :/

Mik
Mik's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 3 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 15:27
Points: 3739
Re: Bikes dead? Won't charge... in Seattle

You could build one of these: http://www.insightcentral.net/forums/modifications-technical-issues/14496-grid-charger-balancer.html

Or a "Freddy" charger, but that has a balanced and therefore much more dangerous DC output (unless it's used with an Iso-transformer).

It will take less than one minute of charging with very low current to get your battery back to above 100V.

This graph shows how quickly a deeply discharged and neglected 120-cell NiMH battery can recover with a 0.15A Universal Freddy charge (using a 4uF motor-run capacitor):
Photobucket
Red curve: Voltage x 100
Blue curve: Current x 10
X-axis: h:min:s:ms

The 120s battery (Panasonic 6.5Ah NiMH cells from first-gen Prius) had self-discharged to 28V (= 0.23V/cell) but came back to nominal voltage within about 3 minutes of just 0.15A charging! Once the voltage had stabilised, I increased the current to 0.6A (16uF cap); then turned off the charger. As shown, the voltage did not just drop back down to abnormally low levels. 12 hrs later (not shown) the voltage was still good, and the first charge of this 120s battery could continue at higher current rates.

Infinite, I'm pretty sure you don't need to worry about your battery having been damaged by this - it will be fine! After literally a minute of charging with a DC power source it will quite happily accept charge from the stock charger again.
One of the reasons why I like the charger design shown at http://99mpg.com/Projectcars/buildingahybridcar/ so much is this: It could be powered by a Vectrix, or a Prius, or a Civic, or an Insight HV battery, and charge practically any EV or hybrid battery out there right now!! A "Service Vectrix" so equipped could breathe new life into many a sleeping beauties even without grid power available! Might come in handy one day!

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

Infinite
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 1 week ago
Joined: Sunday, January 18, 2009 - 20:06
Points: 66
Re: Bikes dead? Won't charge... in Seattle

I am not getting anything if I Google "0.15A Universal Freddy charge". I really don't have the time to try to build a charger and do bead-board work, I really need something that I can just purchase online or at a auto-motive store. I pretty much have 0 free time in life. :/ Can you shoot me a link of a simple charger that would get the power high enough?

Can I just try charging the bike with a 15V cigarette lighter, or am I correct in thinking that this wouldn't work and could damage the computer electronics. Car systems often are completely happy with 15V of power, but I don't know if the power would ever get to the main battery.

No one has mentioned what to actually hook the battery charger up too? That info would be really helpful. :D

I like Antiscabs' "48 battery in series with a 60v 5A lab power supply" idea because I can find those items easily, but both those items seem to have a wide range of costs. I really just want to make sure I get one that will work, and hopefully not break the bank or just gather dust after being used once.

Thanks again for the help.

Mik
Mik's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 3 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 15:27
Points: 3739
Re: Bikes dead? Won't charge... in Seattle

I am not getting anything if I Google "0.15A Universal Freddy charge".

Leave away a few words! Without the 0.15A you would have come across a few interesting links, like this one: http://visforvoltage.org/forum/8918-new-battery-completely-discharged-vectrix-wont-give-any-sign-life#comment-49974

...
...

Can I just try charging the bike with a 15V cigarette lighter, or am I correct in thinking that this wouldn't work and could damage the computer electronics. Car systems often are completely happy with 15V of power, but I don't know if the power would ever get to the main battery.

Do not do this! You may well fry something and there is ZERO chance of success. There is no 12V to 125V DC/DC converter in there!

No one has mentioned what to actually hook the battery charger up too? That info would be really helpful. :D

It could be dangerous to tell you such details. If you don't know the answer to this very basic question, and you do not have time to learn about it, you could be one of those people who kill themselves in a rush by messing with this dangerous equipment! You need to remove the safety container with the sticker saying "Don't remove, Dangerous Voltage and corrosive chemicals!" (or something like that).

Any EV repair shop should be able to fix it for you safely. Try to find one in your area and give them a call. Tell them you need them to remove the battery cover (30min max) and apply a constant current DC charge for a few minutes, until the battery reached about 125V.
100VDC would also be sufficient, I think. But you need something that is current limiting, otherwise the battery will try to draw hundreds of amps when 120VDC are initially connected.

I like Antiscabs' "48 battery in series with a 60v 5A lab power supply" idea because I can find those items easily, but both those items seem to have a wide range of costs. I really just want to make sure I get one that will work, and hopefully not break the bank or just gather dust after being used once.

Thanks again for the help.

Gather dust it will! You only need it once. Unless you build your own, these devices are very expensive. The cheapest one to build is Universal Freddy, but it is not safe in untrained hands. Similar chargers - even less safe! - have been made by some people. A bridge rectifier and an incandescent light globe for current limiting is all that is needed. It produces a balanced DC output that could kill you by just touching ONE pole, not both, if you are grounded. Nasty! But dirt cheap and reasonably safe in trained hands with electrician gloves!

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

Infinite
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 1 week ago
Joined: Sunday, January 18, 2009 - 20:06
Points: 66
Re: Bikes dead? Won't charge... in Seattle

Thanks for the great post. I think you answered the question perfectly. The simple answer is there is NO simple or safe fix. I personally don't want to charge the bike myself.

Sadly I don't know of any EV Shops in Seattle and Google makes me think that there aren't many if any. The only company that does EV work locally is "The Green Car Company" and I really don't trust them anymore... at least not the service guys. They are really just a used car company that sells random EV vehicles. Long story... but Vectrix didn't want them to be their dealers as well. One of the local EV bicycle companies recommended I contact SEVA ( the local Seattle EV user group). I get the impression they don't want anything to do with non-bicycles.

I posted a help request on SEVA. Hopefully someone will come to my rescue... otherwise the bike might end up on EBay, which would be a shame.

Dauntless
Offline
Last seen: 9 years 3 weeks ago
Joined: Thursday, May 27, 2010 - 16:20
Points: 220
Re: Bikes dead? Won't charge... in Seattle

Can't resist.

Won't charge in Seattle? So take it to Tacoma.

So what I THINK the guy was suggesting when he was talking about using the cigarette lighter works pretty well with car batteries, but that's 12v to 12v, and lead acid. The idea is if it doesn't want to take a charge with the slow charge, you try a little electroschock therapy. The jumper cable between the bad battery and one you know is good. I always hook them up for a minute with the car not running, but get it started right away so the dead battery doesn't drain the good one. It amazes me how often it brings a seemingly hopeless LEAD ACID battery back to life. If you were to do it with the bike, you'd have the batteries out. That's DC. Is the Vectrix battery AC? That changes most everything, and I don't know enough to say what all it changes.

Your 15v AC adapter doesn't put out what a battery does, it's basically going to be much like the charger. The idea would be to find a BATTERY setup with the same voltage as yours. But again, I've only done this with DC.

So your Vectrix has LiFePO4? I don't suggest you play games with anything so expensive, or fragile. Lead acid is a lot tougher than people give credit for. A scooter shop is going to cost about 10% of replacements, if you have a shop available. I don't know that I have a place to take a bike near me, and I'm near Disneyland. The only place I know of that deals with electrics seems to know less than I do. And I don't have near Mik's knowledge.

WHo dares, WINS!!!!

Infinite
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 1 week ago
Joined: Sunday, January 18, 2009 - 20:06
Points: 66
Re: Bikes dead? Won't charge... in Seattle

I have an 2007 bike I think... original NiMH batteries. I would love A123 packs if they existed.

I wish the jump start trick had worked, that seems like a really great way of resolving the problem of waking up the computer without having to tear down the bike. Shame it doesn't work...

Infinite
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 1 week ago
Joined: Sunday, January 18, 2009 - 20:06
Points: 66
Re: Bikes dead? Won't charge... in Seattle

Good news. I am going to meet up with someone on Sunday who has a portable charger.

"I have a portable variac (bad boy) charger that we could possibly use to try and charge up the pack. output voltage is infinitely adjustable down to zero volts and it has amp and volt meters on the output so we can tell what we are doing. There is nothing automatic about it however but it would probably do the job."

They guy doesn't want to hurt the bike and was wondering if we should remove the electronics from the battery before charging? I don't think he has any special gear other then his charger. Is it okay if we charge the battery without removing the electronics from the terminals? I was under the impression that you shouldn't remove the battery terminals without the special gear when reconnecting (ISO's?)... anyway. If we can leave everything on then all is well.

I was hoping to have a solid game plan before he comes over.

AndY1
AndY1's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 years 5 days ago
Joined: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 - 04:29
Points: 1071
Re: Bikes dead? Won't charge... in Seattle

In my opinion, I think you don't need to disconnect anything. If the charger is anything like my dad's (he's an electrical engineer and builds his own chargers if he needs them), has has an adjustable voltage dial. As the guy, who will help you, said, it starts with 0 Volts and when he dials up, Volts go up. As long as the voltage of the charger is below the voltage of the pack, no current will flow into the battery. As soon as the charger's Voltage is above the battery pack voltage, the current will start to flow. That's what the charger's Amp-meter will show. As long as his charger is not 1500W one, which I highly doubt, the current going in will be slow, which is good. The moment, the charger's Voltage is higher than the battery's, the current will start to flow into the battery and the battery voltage will rise also. As the battery's Voltage will rise, the current will start to slow down, so the charger's Voltage will have to be raised again. The game of catching up only needs to last up to the 125V, then you disconnect the charger, put the battery cover back and plug you Vectrix to the wall-plug.

I really don't think you need to disconnect the battery from the Vectrix, because when you charge, the battery acts like some sort of compensator, which prevents over-Voltage.

Edit: It's the same if you full discharge the car's battery, when you leave the lights on. When you jump start the car with the empty battery, you only need to hook up another battery or car. In fact, the charger method is even gentler, because the Voltage jump is not so sudden but it's linear with lines already connected (no sparking).

Infinite
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 1 week ago
Joined: Sunday, January 18, 2009 - 20:06
Points: 66
Re: Bikes dead? Won't charge... in Seattle

Now that I have someone taking the trouble to help me out I want to have the basic information he needs to know and some details about taking apart the bike.

I do know that you typically charge batteries from their main terminals and that for series you charge the beginning and end of the series. I seriously need to know where people are charging their battery from... Are people were charging their batteries via the main power cord with the blue piece or directly to certain terminals. Based on the last post my guess is "no"... Based on the pictures its hard to tell if their is a main positive and negative post. In the image bellow you can see 2 red wires from the two closest battery series. But the other images I have seen show a black wire. From what I see it looks like there a 4 series of batteries. But I can't tell if they are connected to each other in series or in parallel... I can't see where the main power wire runs too... I have been looking at a lot of zoomed in images and just the one of the whole assembly shot from the top. So it's hard to get an idea of the whole battery.

Here is the best pick I have found online...
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Again, I just don't want to waste this guys time and he's coming to my place which is a HUGE random act of kindness IMHO. He doesn't want to damage the bike and I would prefer being able to tell him what is recommended... not, "the folks online think you should be able to figure it out on your own". :)

My other big question is, "How far do I need to tear down the bike to get access to everything I need?" Based on this picture it looks like I need to take the seat off, rubber foot rest things, which allows me to take off the middle fairing below the key. Once that is off it looks like all the screws for the main battery compartment are exposed. In the Vectrix Lab image I see that the lower fairings are all in place and I am guessing that they have the battery exposed for testing. So I'm assuming I don't have to remove the lower fairings.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Thanks again for all the help.

procrastination inc
procrastination inc's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 5 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, October 6, 2009 - 00:06
Points: 341
Re: Bikes dead? Won't charge... in Seattle

I think the two red wires (green and yellow ends) in the pic above hook the controller to either end of the battery. The blue connector is in the middle of the pack and splits it into 3 shorter strings

I plan on opening mine up tomorrow. I'll check that they are the ones and try to come up with clear instructions to strip it down that far.

If I understand correctly, your bike will have less than 80V between those terminals (charger won't start under this voltage)

You only need to get the battery over 80V (off the charger) for the stock charger to start working again. I think you should keep the charge current low, their is no cooling with those covers off.

Mik
Mik's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 3 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 15:27
Points: 3739
Re: Bikes dead? Won't charge... in Seattle

Now that I have someone taking the trouble to help me out I want to have the basic information he needs to know and some details about taking apart the bike.
...
....

Show him this for a head start: http://visforvoltage.org/book/ev-collaborative-hand-books/7099

And then this: http://visforvoltage.org/book/ev-collaborative-hand-books/6747

Once the covers are off, use a multimeter to find positive and negative end of the battery. They are of course the ones with the big chunky cables attached to them!

There is a harmless looking temp sensor board on the side - it is not harmless!

Don't touch anything except with multimeter probes and charger clips, and you should be OK.

Pulling the battery cover off is a bit tricky. You need to cut and later replace the cable-tie around the front-temp-sensor board to get it out of the way.

Get an organiser box and put all screws into it in order of removal. Take a bunch of photos. That should let you look back at how it all was before - in case you end up with left-over parts!

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

procrastination inc
procrastination inc's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 5 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, October 6, 2009 - 00:06
Points: 341
Re: Bikes dead? Won't charge... in Seattle

thanks for the handbook stuff mik. Very helpful

Mik
Mik's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 3 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 15:27
Points: 3739
Re: Bikes dead? Won't charge... in Seattle

thanks for the handbook stuff mik. Very helpful

There is heaps more!

But I cannot point people to it each time; we need more people to show an interest and help out, I'm getting a bit tired of it...

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

Dauntless
Offline
Last seen: 9 years 3 weeks ago
Joined: Thursday, May 27, 2010 - 16:20
Points: 220
Re: Bikes dead? Won't charge... in Seattle

Well, how about you point us to learning how?

WHo dares, WINS!!!!

Infinite
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 1 week ago
Joined: Sunday, January 18, 2009 - 20:06
Points: 66
Re: Bikes dead? Won't charge... in Seattle

The good news is I am still alive and well after taking my Vectrix apart. I am considering doing a write up of the steps because there isn't a really good linear flow to any of the image galleries. I also took a lot of photo's and with a little photoshop work I could make something very easy to follow. The existing photos were helpful but skip some steps and the lack of order is challenging... but I had my iPad next to me while I was doing the work and they did help at times.

I did find that I am missing 4 screws, so i might need some help trying to get replacements. It's a little annoying because the screws must have been lost by the scooter company that replaced my main fuse, whom was picked by Vectrix. Luckily they are just the ones under the seat, so they shouldn't be hard to replace once I find some alternatives and are not crutial. It explains why the plastic seems loose. :)

I decided to do the cinder block stand. $1.34 special with a couple layers of cardboard on both sides.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I am a little confused about the 4 main wires that come off the battery. I was originally thinking 2 for the charger and 2 for the motor controller... There are two beefy black ones that are clearly marked +/-, these are hard to see in the photo's but very easy to see in person. If you look at the blue plug that leads to the front of the bike they are clearly marked +/-. I am not sure what they go to? The computer? Then you have the Green and Yellow capped ones on the back which are labeled by the plastic grate ( which isn't in any of the pictures). Sadly, I didn't realize that my multimeter's fuse was blown so I am not sure how much power is in the battery.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I also gained some respect for the astronauts doing space walk repairs. Little screws are no fun with thick gloves. Lowes didn't have any high voltage gloves... but I did get a pair of electrician gloves to wear over a pair of grout removal gloves. I guess they use some heavy chemicals to clean up tiling grout. The Electrician gloves are just to help protect the rubber gloves from ripping. Picking up bolts and washers was pretty hard. :D I think that I only need both pairs on when I get inside the battery compartment.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The hardest part was opening the main battery compartment. I ended up just pulling it from the top back until it pops. The piece of plastic that stick off the trunk just barely lets the cover pass. You just have to be careful about not getting stuck on the fairing tabs. All and all it looked nice and clean inside.

I put the battery cover back on and just have 2 bolts holding it closed for the night just for some sanity. I am going to meet up with the guy and the charger tomorrow morning. Which reminds me... I need to e-mail him to bring a multi-meter. :/

Last of all, I also learned that Vectrix replaced my master fuse with a 200V one. (Mine old fuse blew while it was under warranty 2 year ago.) The fuse was aimed just right so that I could read it through the little cage that protects it.

Infinite
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 1 week ago
Joined: Sunday, January 18, 2009 - 20:06
Points: 66
Re: Bikes dead? Won't charge... in Seattle

Okay... I think I get it now. The blue connector connects the front battery to the rear one... :)

I didn't see the "not harmless temp sensor board". Nothing was zip tied to the read battery cover. Only the front battery cover has the black wire zip-tied to it. I just popped the two back tabs and lifted the back cover off.

Here is a photo from the top:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Mik
Mik's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 3 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 15:27
Points: 3739
Re: Bikes dead? Won't charge... in Seattle

Okay... I think I get it now. The blue connector connects the front battery to the rear one... :)

Yes, this is where the Inrush Current Limiter needs to be connected first if the blue connector has been opened. But for your purpose it can stay closed.

I didn't see the "not harmless temp sensor board".

You can see it's bracket on the left side in the photo below. It has the cables from the rear battery temp sensors and three voltage tabs connected to it. Potentially lethal! Have a look at the schematic: The "big" circuit on the left of the schematic is the temperature and voltage sensor board (temp sensor part not shown). And the parts on the right side represent the front and rear battery and the motor controller:
Photobucket

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

Infinite
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 1 week ago
Joined: Sunday, January 18, 2009 - 20:06
Points: 66
Re: Bikes dead? Won't charge... in Seattle

In this day an age there are still some people whom will to drive across town on a Sunday and help a complete stranger. :D The guy from SEVA showed up in his cool self converted EV car with his charger this morning. We looked at the battery and got to work. He suggested getting a standard charging port to make the job easier in the future. It seems like most of the EV cars in Seattle the Grey Anderson connector.

Eitherway, he had a very cool home built charger. It's pretty cool.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The battery only has 26 volts before charging. :(

We plugged everything in, and hooked up the charger to the battery. As everyone said it only took a minute or so to charge. We didn't have any beefy leads so we only charged at a single AMP so they wouldn't fry. We got the voltage up to about 125, then quickly removed the leads and plugged in the bike. The Vectrix charger happily started up like nothing had ever happened.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Then we spent about 30-45 minute chatting and checking out his car EV conversion. :D

I rode the bike around a bit after it was done charging and it seems normal. I won't know if the range is still good until I bother driving it to work... I think I'll do that on Tuesday.

Lesson learned... I won't ever ignore the battery again. The only part that was a bit annoying putting the bike back together was actually getting the trunk light kill switch to work. I ended up taking it all the way apart. The trick is that the leads need to have a slight angle and you have to make sure that you mount the plate in the correct way (with the shorter side facing towards the front of the bike. )

Thanks again for all the help!

Wildfire
Offline
Last seen: 7 years 10 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, September 1, 2009 - 19:40
Points: 61
Re: Bikes dead? Won't charge... in Seattle

Sorry for not being around home this weekend so as to notice this thread.. Actually, I probably wouldn't have been able to help too much except for to chip in a comment on my own experience with a near-dead bike. For me, this was a condition I encountered when the bike showed up after its cross-country journey; the bike which wouldn't do anything when turned "on". What did happen, though, was some whirring when I first plugged the bike in (the cooling fan on the battery charger, perhaps??). There were otherwise no lights on the dash and the main impellers certainly didn't come on. After an hour or so of this, I unplugged the bike and plugged it back in. Same deal (dead). Trying a second time, however, another two hours later yielded the now-familiar charging routine starting up. I'm not sure how close to death's door my bike actually was, but boy am I glad I didn't have to conduct open-heart surgery right from the get go!

Glad to see another Seattle-ite treading this forum. The folks down at Big People Scooters (part of Vespa - Seattle) have always seemed willing to help out with the Vectrix, though I'm not sure now that they've moved. Reminds me I have to give them a call as I think it's time to get that main fuse replaced with the 200A part....

rmillman
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 4 weeks ago
Joined: Thursday, July 30, 2009 - 19:03
Points: 20
Re: Bikes dead? Won't charge... in Seattle

Being in Boston, Vectrix sent a repair expert to my home with a special charger when they became operationnal three months ago. He accessed the plug above the front whell, right side, plugged his charger and 2 minutes later it was ready to recieve the charge from the on board charger. A very simple fix. Hopefully, this will be available in other parts of the country as needed.

Mik
Mik's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 3 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 15:27
Points: 3739
Re: Bikes dead? Won't charge... in Seattle

Being in Boston, Vectrix sent a repair expert to my home with a special charger when they became operationnal three months ago. He accessed the plug above the front whell, right side, plugged his charger and 2 minutes later it was ready to recieve the charge from the on board charger. A very simple fix. Hopefully, this will be available in other parts of the country as needed.

That is very interesting indeed! Thanks for sharing it.

This special charger might have had some circuitry to communicate with the charger and/or the motor controller board - but maybe there is a direct connection from the front end to the positive and negative battery terminals.

This might be diode protected (one-way), or a relay needs to be switched by the charger to close the connection to the battery.

Did you by any chance notice more details? How many cables were connected? Did the special charger output plug it into the charger, or were one or both connectors to the charger plugged into this special charger instead, bypassing the charger?

Was any part of the Vectrix powering up when this charger was connected? Or did it all happen without dash lights coming on, without cooling fans beginning to run, without boot courtesy light coming on?

Was there a connection to the Canbus in the glove box at the time? Was the laptop with Scooter Diagnostic software already connected?

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

rmillman
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 4 weeks ago
Joined: Thursday, July 30, 2009 - 19:03
Points: 20
Re: Bikes dead? Won't charge... in Seattle

The service guy simply reached up above the tire on the left side (looking at the bike from the front)pull out a connect wire connector and unplugged it. He then plugged in a small charger, ran it for a couple of minutes (after a minute the bike dask lit p and it started to go through the charge cycle routine), disconnected it and reconnected the one on the bike, plugged the bike into the wall and it it started in the charge cycle.
He said the access point was the charger connector (he did not say whether this was before or after any particular boards) and that his charger was set so that it would charge even if the batteries were too low for the onboard charger and that all that was needed was to quickly put in enough charge for the on board one to then work. The charge was smallish, about 12"X4"X6", weighed about 15lbs and he said cost about $5K.
There was nothing else that was done, e.g. no other wire connected of disconnected etc.
After this was done, he later checked tried to hook up his laptop through the glovebox which ended up not working because his cable connector had problems.

norcal
Offline
Last seen: 8 years 4 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - 10:19
Points: 7
Re: Bikes dead? Won't charge... in Seattle

Is it possible to get the folks still doing service in the different parts of the US to get listed, or at least there locations and phone numbers? I am just a Vectrix consumer with nothing but 5000 miles of "happy trails". It has been interesting reading for the last year or so all of the comments, lots of it in acronyms, and I never felt I had anything to say that would help the posts I read. Now I find myself joining in to seek deeper knowledge, since my "happy trails" came to an end.
Appreciate the photos to see what is going on (thanks Mik, dvdaudio and infinite), but need smaller steps (think IKEA instructions) to perform possible fuse replacement.
My bike won't charge, but still runs. Is that a fuse issue?
What happened: Charging the bike as usual, but after a few hours, when I went to start it I see no change in bars. Sometimes a heater in the building trips the circuit breaker and kills the plug I use for charging. I unplugged my bike and flipped the breaker and see that things on circuit are OK. When I go to plug in my bike, a spark leaped between outlet and prongs on plug. The batteries had some charge and when I went to plug it in to recharge and still show 5 bars from bottom. It runs fine, but I am hesitant to drain battery anymore as dead battery posts sound like kiss of death.
Not sure what happened.
Anyone with ideas or suggestions, or photo log with how to steps?
The dealers in the SF bay area are gone and/or unwilling to touch a Vectrix at this time.
Anything is appreciated,
Greg

Wildfire
Offline
Last seen: 7 years 10 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, September 1, 2009 - 19:40
Points: 61
Re: Bikes dead? Won't charge... in Seattle

Doesn't sound like the fuse is blown based on what I've read; if it was the fuse, the bike wouldn't run, turn on or do much of anything. Perhaps it is the charge controller that has gone kaput? One option would be to try a different plug in; perhaps a short in the building wiring is causing the breaker to trip. If you had both a space heater and a Vectrix plugged in to the same circuit, I could easily imagine overheating & damaging the building wiring (this is what the breaker is designed to prevent, but in my own experience you can still get some very toasty wires without tripping the breaker if you're right at the max for a long period of time).

Mik
Mik's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 3 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 15:27
Points: 3739
Re: Bikes dead? Won't charge... in Seattle

...
...
...When I go to plug in my bike, a spark leaped between outlet and prongs on plug. The batteries had some charge and when I went to plug it in to recharge and still show 5 bars from bottom. It runs fine, but I am hesitant to drain battery anymore as dead battery posts sound like kiss of death.
Not sure what happened.
Anyone with ideas or suggestions, or photo log with how to steps?
The dealers in the SF bay area are gone and/or unwilling to touch a Vectrix at this time.
Anything is appreciated,
Greg

What did you do after the spark? Did you leave it plugged in? What happened? Did you see a charger boot-up sequence, or did nothing happen?

How big was the spark?

I get a spark quite often when plugging in even small switch-mode power supplies. They have an inrush current.

Did the circuit breaker actually open?

Your fuse is fine.

Do not drive until you have charged; you risk that the battery will drain too low after your last ride.

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

mikemitbike
mikemitbike's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 years 3 weeks ago
Joined: Saturday, September 20, 2008 - 13:07
Points: 310
Re: Bikes dead? Won't charge... in Seattle

Hi there,
I had some problems twice with the bike´s plug itself.
The contacts isself got loose. Maybe this cold be the
problem, just have a look on it.

Greetings Mike

norcal
Offline
Last seen: 8 years 4 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - 10:19
Points: 7
Re: Bikes dead? Won't charge... in Seattle

I too had gotten a spark once before, but it was at home and not very big. It didn't open the circuit breaker. The spark this time at a different site was large enough that it discolored part of the white plastic on end of plug and opened the circuit breaker. I did not put it back into that plug. Drove home and plugged bike into usual plug at home and it did not spark, but it also did not begin charger boot-up sequence. It did nothing. Tried different outlets, waited and tried again on different outlet, still nothing. Plug itself feels tight with all the tines rigid at the end and cord connection under seat still solid. Earlier reply mentioned charger controller? I am not driving it until resolved. Thanks.

Pages

Log in or register to post comments


Who's online

There are currently 0 users online.

Who's new

  • daftarpokerqq
  • Jacupp
  • micarr
  • mechnique
  • kushtsz

Customize This