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That time my V10F went zombie


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Now that I've concluded this little adventure with the help of @Jason McNeil (eWheels) and the engineers of Inmotion USA, I thought I'd share my report here in case anyone else runs into the same issue.

Last Friday, my wife attempted to power on my V10F (of about 460 miles) and take it for a short spin to the store, as she sometimes does. As she describes it, the battery display was seen to illuminate briefly, but never finished, going dark. The power button became unresponsive, but the brake light was on at high illumination.

In this zombie state, the motor was not engaged, and there was no app connectivity, but there was bluetooth speaker connectivity and working speakers. It also appeared to be accepting a charge when it was plugged in, judging from the red light on the charger and the brick's normal operating warmth. If you're wondering why we would plug it in instead of taking it outside, my wife didn't know the whole backstory behind the earlier recall this wheel had returned from a month earlier. She thought maybe the battery was too dead to turn on. When I came home and heard the story, I was much more panicked. Inability to power off screamed, "fire risk!" to me, and I banished the wheel to the back porch.

Naturally, my misfortunes like to happen on the weekend, so it took a couple days to get an actionable response to my panicked queries. I figured it could take many days to discharge the battery at that rate, and this would ultimately prove true. My wheel was now a heavy, expensive, possibly incendiary traffic cone.

Jason advised me to open up the shell on the control board side and try to disconnect the battery. At best, a hard reset might fix it. At worst, I would need to power it off to ship it. The procedure looked simple enough, according to the dismantling video I was sent a link to.

The video lied. The pedal has to come off first, and this proved to be a nightmare to dismantle. Not depicted or described in the video were hard plasticky nylon pressure fittings that sit between the pedal axle and the outer cap screws. They like to become stubbornly lodged once installed, preventing axle removal. Over the next few days, I ended up purchasing a heavy soft hammer and a set of steel punches, since this is what the Inmotion people said they use to pound the pedal axles out in such cases. But brute force never did work for me. I'm no mechanic, and just didn't have the shop setup to vice it in place and apply proper leverage. In the end, I spent hours chiseling with a hammer and screwdriver to chip out the last traces of nylon on one side so that I could use a narrow punch on the other to drive the axle out.

With the pedal off, the rest of the shell removal was relatively straightforward. The control board was still on enough to have a blinking green light. I had no difficulty unplugging the power cable and plugging it back in. The wheel powered up and self-balanced just fine after that. It really did just need a reset.

In all, I estimate it went through about half of a full charge during its ~130 hours in zombie mode, a figure that might be of some value in determining which subsystems were active.

It's an interesting design question: How high does the rate of zombie brickings have to be before there ought to be a reset button? It's easy to say that one is not enough until the one happens to you and gives you the week that I had.

I was able to reassemble the wheel and ride it for several miles yesterday -- Jason sent me replacement fittings speedy quick -- and the wheel seems fine. But from now on there's always going to be a trace of anxiety whenever I go to power this thing on.

Edited by beast@tanagra
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Freezing on boot is different from freezing during usage. I don't think you have to worry about the latter:efee47c9c8: I believe the V8 also occasionally had something like this, but it was during boot only. So I hope you're good. And since you wear your full Batman gear anyways, I really don't see any reason to worry.

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  • 2 years later...

The same happened on my V10F a few months back, it's annoying for sure.

Fortunately unplugging the battery and plugging it again allows the wheel to restart just fine.
The annoying part is that I cracked a bit a side cover when opening the wheel these tabs are hard to get out.

0 issue with the wheel asides from that.

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