Resurrecting Voloci Electric Motorbike

The Voloci electric motorbike was made and sold by Nova Cruz Products Inc. during the period 2001-2003. It was too far ahead of its time and production soon ceased, but there are quite a lot of them out there. Unfortunately, the firmware had a bug and could get corrupted and a lot of these bikes did not get the very last update that fixed this. Kanda have just been working with one such guy to help him resurrect his machine.

There are various suggestions about how to update the bike’s firmware on the web, but they all miss some crucial details. The main code file is available but the fix also involves writing data to the separate EEPROM data memory and this is what is missing from the online descriptions.

The two files needed for the latest version, rev312, can be downloaded below as a zip file. It contains a Main.hex file for the flash (code) memory and a second data file for the EEPROM, main.eep. The Main.hex file is the same as the binary file available elsewhere (voloci_firmware_rev312.bin) except stored in a different format.

The final mistake made is to assume that the 8535 AVR microcontroller in the bike is an ATmega8535, but it is the early (now obsolete) AT90S8535 which programs differently.

Ok, you now can download the files required below and know what AVR microcontroller it is, but how do you get this code into the Voloci electric motorbike? For this you need an AVR In System Programmer or AVR ISP, but a lot don’t support AT90S8535 any more. Our Kanda AVR ISP range still supports this AVR microcontroller, so I’ll suggest you use one of these but other AVR ISPs may do the job.

If you are entirely ignorant about downloading code to microcontrollers and don’t want to get involved, we can preload our keyfob programmer with the correct files and settings and send it. Then you just need to disconnect the Hall sensor connector and the phase wires, power up the bike, plug in the keyfob and press the single button, job done! There is a link below to our AVR keyfob and you can contact Kanda support to load the correct files before shipping.

If you feel you can cope with a programmer, it is quite straightforward. Plug in the USB AVR ISP to the PC and let Windows auto-detect it. Now on the motorbike, disconnect the Hall sensor and phase wires, plug the ISP lead in to the 10-way connector and power up bike. Run the AVRISP-U software and it should automatically detect an AT90S8515 and set the software for this device. Now follow these simple instructions,

  1. Go to File menu > Load Flash and select Main.hex
  2. Go to File menu > Load EEPROM and select main.eep
  3. Go to Device menu > Auto Program Options and select Erase Device, Program Flash Memory, Flash Verification, Program EEPROM Memory and EEPROM Verification
  4. Finally select Device menu > Auto Program or press F5 key

Your Voloci motor bike should now run perfectly.
Voloci Electric Motorbike
Useful Links

AVR Keyfob Programmer

USB AVR ISP Programmer

Download Voloci Motorbike Firmware

One thought on “Resurrecting Voloci Electric Motorbike”

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