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Discussion Starter #1
I have ordered one of these from eBay...

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/251288487170

It cost £7 incl delivery so if it doesn't work then not much lost :)

I want to try it out with the Leaf using the LeafSpy android app and if I can find an app for the Ampera then I would like to try it with that too. Does anyone know of an Android app for the Ampera?

I can't wait to find out the real state of my Leaf battery after 20K miles and 2.5 years. The dealer report is not detailed enough to give me any clue.
 

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I use the Torque app, here's a demo of the torque video overlay:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7v79M861yk
The dashboard display is very customisable, and has many screens available, Its ideal for a cradle mounted screen.
There is a free trial version but you can't load custom pids.

Torque is Generic (it'll probably do the leaf too with the right Pid's) You'll need a list of custom PiDs for the Volt/Ampera there's a good one here:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AvK9F6VeA7dvdFUwSjBzR2FQM1BJTWZoLW43ZFdoTFE#gid=0
You can load this file into torque directly.

There is also a list for OVMS here:
https://github.com/markwj/Open-Vehicle-Monitoring-System/tree/master/vehicle/Car Module/VoltAmpera
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That looks exactly what I am after. Thx for that.

Now I just need a decent way to mount the phone in the car... any ideas? I would rather not drill or damage the dash. I was thinking of Brodit but I can't find a mount for the Ampera. Haven't yet looked for the Leaf.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I remember that thread now. I should have done a search on the forum... there is a lot of wisdom hidden away in here!!!

I shall look at this today :)
 

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Amazon has one mount left for the Ampera
http://www.amazon.co.uk/DSL-Brodit-Vauxhall-Ampera-Brodit-ProClip/dp/B005OCH7VE/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=1HEGUZ3PBQGIE&coliid=I2VDAJETS8GEZ1
for the basic mount and then you have to find the mounting kit for your particular phone.
I have had it on my wish list but have recently just bought a simple windscreen mount, a lot cheaper but I have not managed to try it yet to see if it vibrates too much.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00B ... UTF8&psc=1

I will be interested to see how you get on with the OBD2 dongle on the Ampera.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for than :)

I haven't decided to get the Brodit yet. It is not a cheap solution.

I'd also want the one that mounts on the left of the centre console anyway but I am not yet decided.

Thanks anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
ODB2 dongle arrived this morning.

Plugged in and loaded up the Leaf Spy app on my Android phone and it all worked straight out of the box. This is what the app is telling me about my Leaf battery...

Current total capacity: 60.88Ah
Health: 84.09%
Number of rapid charges: 143
Odo: 19668 miles
State of Charge (SOC) when fully charged: 94.8%

The pack voltage difference is 23mV min to max.

The display also shows when a shunt is active on one of the battery cell pairs. A shunt is when a small discharge load is applied to bring down the voltage for that pair. Interestingly I have a shunt indicated as permanently active on one of the cell pairs. Should I be concerned at this?

I am now trying to work out how to load up the Torque App with the PIDs to try it out on the Ampera. I am totally foxxed at the moment as to how to do that :-o

Update:
I have found how to add new PIDs to the Torque app so just need to bash them in and add them to the app display. It works with SOC% YAY!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Parax... what PIDs do you use?

I have set up SOC-R, SOC-U... what is the difference?

Also, Inst. P (kW), Fuel % seems to work too. That is all I have tried so far.

Great app tho. Paid for the Pro version as only £3.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yup. It is working for a few things. State of charge, instantaneous power plus a few of the things that are on the car already such as power used this charge cycle, etc.

I haven't yet explored it properly as I only went out for 30 mins but for under £10 (£7 for the OBD2 dongle and £3 software) it is pretty good already and once set up properly could give me all the info I need when out and about.

I will hopefully do a blog on it tomorrow... hopefully ;-)
 

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See tab 2 on the google spreadsheet for instructions on how to import the whole file.. (it'll save you tapping them in..)
 

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SOC U is useable (between 21.5% and 65%) expressed as 0-100%
SOC R is real as a total 0% to 100% expressed as 0-100%

21.5%R shows 0%U
65%R shows 100%U

*Edit those figures are not right, I picked them from the sum on the spreadsheet. but I havent back calculated the actuals.. you get the idea..
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Got it thx.

I have been chatting to Neil Stratford (@neilstratford) on twitter and he is very skeptical of the figures shown on these apps. He is suggesting that without official confirmation from the manufacturers as to what the numbers mean on theCAN bus then we should not place any reliance at all on the numbers meaning what we think they mean. I am paraphrasing many tweets but I believe that is basically his position (I am hoping he will come over and join the chat here so we can flesh out this discussion further).

I agree with him that the figures involve a lot of guesswork. The manufacturers, especially Nissan, do not publish their CANbus protocols and so it is only by back-engineering and deducing the meanings of each code can these apps be developed. It is not scientific and it is very unofficial. However, I believe that it is possible to back-engineer pretty accurately through observation of the data and comparing it with the real world and that is pretty much what they have done. I accept that it won't stand up to scientific scrutiny but as a driver I don't need that. I just want an indication of what is happening. If the numbers suggest a battery capacity drop of 10.27% and it is actually 10.17% I really don't care. All I need is an indication that it is about 10%. If the figures they use to determine that are not 100% accurate then I really don't care. As long as the end result is a reasonable indication of the truth.

Neil seems to be suggesting that there is no evidence that the battery capacity drops people are seeing with these apps are realistic or at all accurate. Well, everything I have seen to date suggests that the figures are pretty accurate but I am not totally convinced they are 100% accurate. It does depend on the assumptions made by those that back-engineered the code. Having said that, I would imagine that much of the code would be pretty obvious and a sensible deduction could be made as to the meaning based on observation of the real world events.

So, whilst it is fun to play with these apps it is worth remembering that it is just there as a bit of fun and although the figures look sensible to me and I believe the figures to be accurate they could be completely twoddle!

Make up your own minds :)
 

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I think it would help if there was a list of key OBD values including some details of confidence level and how the value has been verified.

Some items, such as odometer and speed are quite easy to verify, but others can be rather tricky.

As an example, I have done some work on the iMiev OVMS code and one of the key items there is a set of values that appear on 4 PIDs with a number that moves from 1 to 12. This "seems" to give 88 numbers that seem to be about right for battery voltages * 100. There are also 64 values mixed in with these that look very much like cell temperatures in Celsius plus 50 and move up when the battery is charged or used and down when rested. There are 88 cells in the battery pack so the voltages make lots of sense. It also makes sense that there are temperatures sensors throughout the pack, but why 64 and not 88 or 44? Also, the temperature may be offset by 48 rather than 50 or it could be (Fahrenheit / 2) + 20. In fact I have noticed that -55C seems to be a common "low-end" temperature for digital temperature sensors and I often think the temperatures I read are a few degrees higher than I would have expected - so maybe it is Temp + 55.
 

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I initially got the driver side Brodit and sent it back and they ordered me the passenger side one. I actually use it with a Zune HD (Brodit do a bracket for it) and the dedicated Microsoft Zune adaptor (I'll post a photo when I get chance). I have a Zune (aka XBOX Music) Pass and sync new music using WiFi when parked at home! Brodit stuff isn't cheap but then the car wasn't. An electric car AND a Zune - how more weird can I get ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
proddick, thx for that. Would you say that the Brodit was worth it? I don't mind paying that for something I will probably use every day but not if I can get something almost as good much cheaper.
 

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The fit of the Brodit bracket justifies the cost in my opinion. I did not use the sticky tape as it will make it easier to remove - my Zune is featherlight so bracket stays put without it. DSL have to meet DSR so if you don't remove tape you should be able to return for refund if not happy. I think they order from Brodit HQ in Sweden but I guess are not made there?
 
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