Vectrix lithium replacement

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turok
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Vectrix lithium replacement

Hi guys!

It seems things got a lot quieter here huh :)

Guess most Vectrixes have been scrapped or are gathering dust somewhere..

Well I still got mine.. must be about 10 years now..

Still cruising around on the original NiMh pack!
But it is getting a bit saggy now.. It will usually let me down after 15 km or so. I’m on a small island, but 15 km is really low even for here..

Thinking of changing the pack, because the rest of the bike is actually still pretty good I must say..

I know there is the vectrixparts website selling packs, but I find them rather expensive, so I was wondering if anyone did a conversion lately..

I wouldn’t be afraid to build a pack myself!
I don’t need hige range really.. I’d be happy with 30 or 40 kms or so, so I hope shedding some weight actually.

Any ideas would be welcome, what cells could be candidates, where to find, what bms, what charger...

I’m in Greece, but I wouldn’t exclude ordering from around the world..

Tx in advance!
And let’s see who’s still active here ;)

reikiman
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Re: Vectrix lithium replacement

Isn't building a pack with Leaf cells straightforward?

What resources are available for you in Greece? Or do you have to order from elsewhere in Europe?

- David Herron, The Long Tail Pipe, davidherron.com, 7gen.com, What is Reiki
- Electrified Electra To

MOSFETmeltdown
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Re: Vectrix lithium replacement

Dirk, I second that, get ahold of 18 to 20 Nissan Leaf cells and check out a few conversion videos on YouTube and you'll be back in business.

martinwinlow
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Re: Vectrix lithium replacement

Hello!... from the Isle of Colonsay (Inner Hebrides, Scotland, UK). We only have 12 miles of single-track paved road so the relatively short range of the Vectrix is simply not an issue - besides which I have another 5 EVs here to choose from!

I brought my 2008 VX-1 up here when I moved home (and business - EVBitz.uk) here last November from just north of London. It has been off the road over winter but the sun is out most days now and it's finally warming up - so the Vectrix is coo-ing at me from under its cover...

I upgraded mine to 42 x Sinopoly 40Ah LiFePO4 cells a few years ago which give it a good 50 miles of range. It has an Elithion Lite BMS which has not been ideal, frankly, and is rather unnecessarily complicated for modern, much more reliable cells - IMO.

I've had a quick look on the same (rather good) Czech site I bought my cells from and they have these...

https://www.ev-power.eu/LiFePO4-small-cells/LiFePO4-High-Power-Cell-3-2V-20Ah-Alu-case-CE.html#tab2

... (20Ah, 3.2V - 178Hx28Wx71D - 0.65kg) cells for US$30 each. 42 of them would only half-fill (but very neatly with 8 rows across the width of the V's battery box and 5 - and a bit - rows long) the battery box - and leave plenty of room above for BMS etc. The pack would only weigh 25kg!

This would give you the range you need (~40km) for $1260 (+BMS)!

Martin.

Regards, Martin Winlow
Isle of Colonsay, Scotland
evalbum.com/2092

turok
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Re: Vectrix lithium replacement

Hi thanks for your replies..

I've looked at some options..

Been looking at some youtube videos also, but I don't find one that shows what you actually need..

Nissan leaf cells seem pretty hard to find around here.. Except maybe from Vectrixparts' website but they'll cost around 150 euros per piece, so I was looking at Martin's solution also.. Seams feasible..

A few questions:

- BMS: I don't know much about them..
on http://www.shop.vectrixparts.com/category/batteries-bms I see some options.. what is needed/best?

- Charger: I have the silver one now (don't remember now how it's called). Does one use the same charger, or do you need another one?
Edit: I see there is software available for the existing charger to go with Lithium technology

tx

ps: I also wanted to try something else: I actually have 2 NIMH packs (both in about the same condition). No dead cells, just getting saggy.
I run one of the Laird's latest firmwares, but they limit the low voltage cutoff point at 109 volts. Is there a way of lowering this? To say 102 Volts like it used to be? (I know it's not good for NIMH, but hey, I'm about to throw them out anyway..)

tx again

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

Zapdos
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Re: Vectrix lithium replacement

I'm still riding mine, I ditched the NiMH packs long ago and the bike rides SOO much better with less weight. I just bought packs from HobbyKing and designed my own monitoring system. I've found that using 36 lithium cells in series provides a decent pack voltage. In my case I use 36Sx2P for 72 cells total. I've been buying 6S packs and connecting them together. At full charge 4.2V x 36 = 151.2V. The VX1 can kill these though if you aren't careful. Also changed the suspension on the back as it doesn't need to be so stiff with the less weight. This is not for the faint hearted though, Lithium batteries can be dangerous. I can take some photos if you're interested. This is not a recommendation though, it's completely experimental but I'm having fun with it and it gets me 16 miles to work up some steep hills....

turok
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Re: Vectrix lithium replacement

Sure, I'd like to see some pics!

Which cells did you use?
If you say the vectrix can kill them.. you have them without BMS?

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

Cosmo
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Re: Vectrix lithium replacement

Hi to all of you,
Ι am a newbie from Athens Greece looking for help (i just registered on the forum). I really dont know how to start a new discussion propably  i am not aIlowed to add/open a new discussion so i entered in yours as i think that my questions are similar to this topic. I had already a simple electric scooter with 24 lifepo4 60ah batteries but after i read a lot  about Vectrix  and  spending hours reading  the forum  i decided to buy one and try to convert it in lifepo4 version. I think that the forum is very helpfull  but i read so many things and i am really very confused. I just bought a used vectrix vx1 model 01/08 and i want to modify it  in a 42s lifepo4 60ah. I tried to revive the batttery pack but was already in very bad condition and i was able to go only 150meters with it. I ordered 42  lifepo4 60ah batteries. The bike has the ESD charger on board. I know that i need the peak pcan to usb cable. If anyone knows if someone sell a used cable it would be very helpfull as i want to buy one and the new is really expensive. I would like to know which is the right set up for me which  firmware sould i need  for
MC ICM and Charger?
I read a lot about Laird's and Dougas firmware  and for Antiscab projects and for the Prensel's magic box but more i read i am confused wich of the firmwares works for witch type of batteries (NiMh, li-ion, Leaf and lifepo4) and which is compatible for 42s lifepo4 configuration. I would like to keep the ESD charger and i would like the batteries to work between 3.66 and 2.5 volts as this are the safe parameters on battery specs. The max charging voltage should be 3.66*42=153.74v (154). I can buy (mini 1s balancing boards that can top balance the batttery (passive balance)at 3.66 volts without turning on and off the charger but i need a master module to stop the charger and to stop when a battery goes under 2.5 volts. Which firmware for ESD charger can work for my setup and what firmware for MC and ICM can work with it. I tried to open new discussion  but the forum says "You are not allowed to post new content in the forum".
Please help me to find the right conficuration for my vectrix and tell me how can i open a new discussion on this forum. Sorry if i dont use the corect way to ask for help.
Thanks

scooterguy
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Re: Vectrix lithium replacement

Hi Cosmo

I have been using Dugas Engineering firmware and really l like it. It is free and Dave helped me with it a couple of times when I needed advice. You can plug in the number of cells and the high and low voltages and configure the charger and Motor Controller. Should work for you. I am using the ESD charger and it has worked fine but I use a timer set to one hour for every 15 miles traveled and top it up when I am present for the final charge because it has been reported that it can sometimes not shut off as it should. I have never had this happen but don't want to burn down the building !

Here is what I have done for batteries. I have had my VX1 for two years and originally used 36 Chevy Volt cells which fit perfectly and gave me a mixed driving range of 50 miles but I wanted to take longer trips so I ordered these LG lithium modules from this seller on ebay for a total of $1460 including shipping. https://www.ebay.com/itm/LG-Chem-Solar-Battery-Golf-Cart-EV-Car-16-Cells-2-5-kWh-each-64-volts/142700202089?ssPageName=STRK%3AME... They are 16 cells in series and 45 ah each so I used two in parallel and then wired the pairs in series for a 32 cell 118v nominal 90 ah pack. The last pic is of the old Chevy Volt batteries which are still as well balanced as when installed two years and 6000 miles ago with no BMS . Impressive ! I expect the new pack will be the same as the cells are all within a hundredth of a volt of each other. They fit two on their sides and two vertically and fill the battery box with a half inch on each side and top which I filled with plywood spacers. The stock plastics still fit. I tested a group of 3 cells in one module and they tested to over 46 ah at a .44 C discharge rate so they are in great shape. I ran wires to groups of two cells and up to terminal strips under the seat for checking and balancing the cells if the need arises. I would have liked to do this with all individual cells but only have access to one end of the modules so the wiring would have been problematic. I took my first ride today and rode 50 miles at 60 mph, then 25 miles at 45 mph and finally for 5 miles at 30 mph in 45 Degree F weather here in Portland OR. So, 80 miles total and the cells were at 3.4v each. The bike is stored in an unheated garage so in the summer I expect to get 100 miles of mixed riding
per charge! I am happy !!

HIMG_20181227_182244.jpg.jhhhh.jpgIMG_20181213_175836.jpgIMG_20181213_175816.jpgIMG_20181227_182115(1).jpgIMG_20181227_182244.jpgindex.jpgp_.jpg

R
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Re: Vectrix lithium replacement

Nice Mod! beware with 32 S, efficiency drops dramatically, Try to increase to 36S. Mine is using 40S@4,15V, with TC charger.

scooterguy
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Re: Vectrix lithium replacement

Thanks for your comment. It is pretty quiet on here for sure ! I would have preferred more cells but for economy reasons tried to get the most watt hours in the available space using stock automotive cell modules. I was running a used 36 cell Chevy Volt battery which tested to about 5K and gave me approx 50 miles in the summer mixed riding. The new 32 cell pack is about 10.6K and I get about 90 miles in mixed driving but it's only in the 40s Fahrenheit here in Portland OR at present so I expect a bit more range in the summer. I was able to achieve 70 miles at 60 mph the other day and still have enough energy for probably another 10 miles at reduced speed. In order to add more cells I would have to mount them outside the battery box somewhere which I would rather not do. The increased range has certainly added to the usefulness of the bike and I plan to add some charging capacity which will allow me to do some short touring trips this summer. Pretty good charging infrastructure here.

turok
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Re: Vectrix lithium replacement

I found a good price for 40x 60AH Li cells..
https://www.lifepo4-batteries.com/sale-10668724-top-quality-3-2v-66ah-lifepo4-battery-cells-low-moq-factory-3-2-volt-for-ev-elec...
Don't know if they're good, but the price is very attractive, they quoted me 1536 USD. Just their BMS seems expensive (another 1194 USD).
Anyone a better idea for the BMS?

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

R
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Re: Vectrix lithium replacement

Hi Turok, just opened your link and reAD: Place of Origin: SHENZHEN CHINA
don,t buy them.

fstarkey
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Re: Vectrix lithium replacement

ScooterGuy - How are your LG-Chem cells holding up? (The ones you wrote about in January 2018.) Ant regrets? I've been planning on Leaf cells, but yours may be a better choice...

scooterguy
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Re: Vectrix lithium replacement

Hi fstarkey
The cells are working fine I rode 99 miles on one charge of mixed driving and the lowest cell was at 3.2v so that was it. I would not dare run them any lower. The individual cells were still within eight hundredths of a volt of each other. But I am having other issues that may or may not be related to the new pack with only 32 cells. The bike has had two issues running 38 Chevy Volt cells. I get the momentary power cut and the yellow wrench occasionally and have to turn the bike off and on again to restart the controller fan. This is a common known issue. Also, a couple of times the charger firmware has spontaneously reverted back to REV 0.1 from the Dugas Firmware I have used for the original Lithium conversion. Very strange. The charger will not function until the Dugas firmware is reinstalled. Both of these issues seem to happen more often since I reduced the voltage of the pack but It might just be coincidence. I started having charger issues, cutting out momentarily and a flashing red battery light for a few seconds but still completed it's charge normally. Decided to install a used charger from a wrecked bike and it charged normally for 4 hours and finished normally. Thought I was in the clear but after a 56 mile ride in the local hills the charger would not charge. The odometer showed 20342 which is not the mileage either in mph or klm. Diagnostic says no errors, bike runs fine. In the Dugas configurator the charger shows as not activated and I think the number in the odometer is a new activation code. I got the firmware back when you still needed to have it activated. I'm going to try installing all the latest firmware from his site. The complication of the Vectrix is it's downfall and it's redemption all at the same time. What other electric is there that you can configure to different battery packs and voltages using the same onboard charger ? I suspect the lower voltage of my new pack is not what is causing these problems but it's too early to tell . I have the original ESD charger so it would not be surprising to have trouble with it. 10,000 miles on the bike. It's an 07.

Bikemad
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Re: Vectrix lithium replacement

The individual cells were still within eight hundredths of a volt of each other.

Did you check the cell voltages again after recharging the battery to see if you still had a 80 mV difference between the highest and lowest cells?

I'm more used to the cells of a discharged LiPo packs being within 20mV of each other, so 80 mV (0.08V) difference seems quite high to me, but I suppose it is not too bad if there is no BMS to properly balance the cells before they were discharged.

Thought I was in the clear but after a 56 mile ride in the local hills the charger would not charge. The odometer showed 20342 which is not the mileage either in mph or klm. Diagnostic says no errors, bike runs fine. In the Dugas configurator the charger shows as not activated and I think the number in the odometer is a new activation code. I got the firmware back when you still needed to have it activated.

"Initial SW is good for a fixed number of power cycles and will display an activation code which you return to me, then I provide permanent code."

I wasn't sure if "power cycles" related to charging and discharging or simply turning the ignition on and off again(which I have do regularly in the garage to see what the battery voltage is, and also to open the seat to access my skid lid.)

In the end, I never actually installed David's original ICM firmware that he sent me to cure the flashing warning light after fitting an LED headlamp bulb, and also to convert the speedo needle to read mph instead of km/h, as I was too concerned that it might disable the scooter (after "X" amount of uses) which could have resulted in me being stranded miles away from home and with no way of getting back.

If I had known that it would not immobilise the scooter I would probably have tried it out.

Hopefully David's later firmware (which I seem to recall is now free) will cure your particular problem.

Alan

scooterguy
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Re: Vectrix lithium replacement

Hi Alan

Yes, when they are charged the voltages are within 10 mv as they are top balanced. These were 4 used LG battery modules I got on eBay so no way to know what the history is. The cells in each module were well balanced but the voltages were different for the 4 modules. I charged them in Parallel to balance the modules and am running them in a 2p2s configuration. 16 cells per module, 45 ah per module. A BMS will only balance the voltages at the top of the charge usually so the voltage when discharged is only dependent on the capacities of the individual cells. It doesn't really matter what the voltages are at the minimum voltage ( discharged ) as long as none of them are below 3 volts. The less difference in voltage when discharged would indicate how close in capacity the cells are though and to me 80 mv difference is pretty good. You probably know all of this already so excuse my ramblings.

I have a Brammo Empulse with 20,000 miles on it and when charged the voltage difference between the individual cells is 140 mv and the same when the BMS shuts the bike down. It doesn't seem to be a problem at all and I still get a 70 mile range with mixed driving. Of course I am only going by the dash read out because there is no way to actually check the individual cells so the readout could be inaccurate

I think the firmware on the Dugas site now does not need activation. I am going to try it today so I"ll report back on how it goes. I think when I got the firmware it was good for 24 cycles which I think was times the key was turned on and then you had to email Dave and he would send you different files to load to make it permanent. It has worked fine and the cruise control is nice and mph spedo is great also. Nice to see there are still a few people on this forum. The vectrix is such a nice machine ( except for the screaming gear noise) !

fstarkey
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Re: Vectrix lithium replacement

I have yet connect to mine. Is the bike, diag soft, or Dugas firmware choosy about CAN dongles? Have some at work, but recommendations should I need to buy one?
If anyone is interested...
Bought my 2007 VX-1 in the 2010, new-in-the-box fire sales. Has been my daily commuter since. Good for at least 11 months of the year, here in the Carolinas. (I usually wimp out below 32F and drive something else. Not worth donning full winter gear for a ten minute ride.) At the time, I needed a two-seat electric. V was only affordable option. Thought last year would be the end of the original pack, but still going minimally. Started the year at about ten miles range with normal power, but now notably impaired on the trip home, so charge at work. The commute is 9 miles round trip. In the old-days I could make it twice a day (going home for lunch) and still return to the the same neighborhood to play softball in the evening- all on a charge!

Presently 17960 MILES on the original pack. (Anywhere near a record?) Not going to make 19k. So, I'm assembling the bits and the bucks for a new pack. The Vectrix has been a joy! Both as a rider and as an EV engineer who had previously dealt with only prototypes, early models, and conversions. The Vectrix was my first experience with a fully realized product. The rest of the world simply doesn't know what they missed!

scooterguy
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Re: Vectrix lithium replacement

You will need the Peak Systems PCan adapter. The number on mine is - PEH 002021 86288. They are about $250 !! I got one on ebay for like $200.

I haven't got my charger working yet. Thought it would be better to seek advice from MR Dugas before I mess it up any more. Decided to look for the cause of my momentary cut out and then no controller fan problem. Mr Dugas suggested making sure the controller is well seated and tight with the heat sink. I pulled out the controller board and realized that when I reinstalled it after having the memory re-flashed that I neglected to fully tighten the machine screws that hold the smaller IGBT to the heat sink! Oops. Been driving it like that for 6500 miles. Hope this fixes the problem. While I had the controller out I temporarily installed a controller from a wrecked parts bike I bought for $100 and most of a day driving around in the sticks looking for the guys house. It works! Nice to know I have a working spare.

scooterguy
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Re: Vectrix lithium replacement

I got the charger working by installing the latest Dugas Hex files which don't need a code. Just install them and configure the battery values and you are good to go. Correction. The screws I left loose were for the DC DC not the IGBT. I reinstalled the MC board with more heat paste than before and still got the power hiccup and no MC fan glitch at about 25 miles into my first ride. Just to see what would happen I just kept riding . I was on country roads in hilly terrain driving between 30 and 55 mph and then about 5 miles at 55 steady and although I could feel a slight reduction in power at times I got no warnings or errors while riding another 25 miles. The air temp was only about 65 F so probably couldn't do it in 80 degree weather but it's nice to know that you don't have to stop immediately to cycle ignition key. I rode a total of 70 miles and the next day 60 more miles with no problems so maybe reinstalling the MC properly has improved the problem. ( fingers crossed ).

The new ( actually used but new to bike) charger is still acting funny so probably not a charger problem. While charging it randomly flashes the headlight, speedometer needle drops momentarily and yellow wrench appears with Busvlt error then error clears itself after a few seconds. Charger continues normally and ends charge normally so I am just going to ignore this till it gets worse or maybe fixes itself or stays the same. I have an external 110-220 volt charger that can charge at 17 amps so I'll carry that under the seat just in case. I can use both chargers with a J plug adapter and charge at 27 amps on 220 v ! I plan to use this setup for some local touring this summer. I also built a 1.4 K auxiliary pack from the old Chevy volt cells that is in two soft saddle bags and plugs in under the seat. With that installed I have 12K battery capacity which should give me over 100 miles range. Same size battery as $14,000 C Evolution !

Galago
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Re: Vectrix lithium replacement

My bike recently received a set of these LG Chem batteries --> OH YES! !
The bike is all that much more fun to ride when you can actually take it somewhere!

Also found the bms connectors for the module.
LGChem Connector.jpg
I sourced them at Thunderstruckmotors.com - I didn't see them listed but after
sending them an email the folks there were very helpful.
Included in the package is a pinout diagram.
lgchem_pinouts.jpg

scooterguy
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Re: Vectrix lithium replacement

Hi Galago. Glad to hear that the modules worked for you and that your V is back on the road ! Good find on the connectors. The same seller on ebay had the plugs with wiring harness for sale in a separate listing also. I just soldered wires to the copper strip connectors from the cells to the plug. The way I mounted the modules I only had access to one end of the modules so only can check cell pairs but I think that is adequate. The cells are very well balanced. In what orientation did you mount the cells? Maybe you found a better way.

Galago
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Re: Vectrix lithium replacement

Scooterguy: I believe my modules are mounted the same as yours.... not sure they would
fit any other way -- I dunno, maybe they would but I did not try it.
Bike_2.jpg

I used plywood pretty much the same as you; however, I put a few pieces under the
vertical modules to keep them from riding on the connectors. There is more room under
the stock plastics than I expected. I saw these modules a few months ago when looking
for a battery for another project but the thought never crossed my mind to use them in the
Vx-1 --> Thank you for posting pics of your bike - I wasted NO time getting them. :-)
I still have some left over "range anxiety"; but, I think this will pass the more I ride.

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