Dongle trouble ahead?

This is an intermediate post. I got a report from a user who ordered what seemed to be a bona fide KONNWEI, but had no success. That was slightly alarming, but one error could be anything. He send me the dongle that arrived today. *)

I did a quick test, only to discover several fields are not picked up. Went back inside to check the version and ATZ reported a neat 1.5.

Now I am worried that we have no decent advice anymore and the dongles are truly hit-or-miss. Either there are bootleg KONNWEI’s on the market, or they did something to their dongles breaking CanZE. I will investigate further, and maybe I can make this thing behave. Stay tuned.


*) Sorry about confusion I caused earlier with this post. I had mixed up this dongle with one that is still on order. I will report on that one separately, especially if it works.

Trip computer reset

There are two ways to reset the trip part, which makes the car “forget” driving and battery behavior.

Reset “light” is through R-Link. This will reset the range indicator (GOM) to a value proportionally┬á related to the capacity of the battery. In effect it forgets how (un)economical you have driven. It was used in the old days to check how healthy the battery was.

There is also a harder reset, called the “two pedal reset”. Keep the driver door open, start the car, keep the gear in N, press and hold both pedals and press up key on the windshield wiper control until the averages message appears in the display. Now hold that button. First it displays the current values, then it starts flashing, then the average values display —. Now let go. This reset seems to also make the battery computer (LBC) loose quite a bit of acquired parameters and the GOM shoots up to a crazy value.

The car will rather quickly re-learn the state of affairs. Just don’t rely on the range indicator on your first trip after a reset.

Volonteer wanted for Twizy

Thanks to the kind people running the OVMS project, we have access to quite a bit of documentation on the Twizy. Unfortunately, the current developers are unable to implement this knowledge into CanZE, mainly because lack of Twizy to play with :-). If developing CanZE taught us one thing, it is that it is virtually impossible to add functions without the car available; remote testing simply doesn’t cut it.

So, if any volunteer is available, we would be happy to take him or her into the team. There is no hard prerequisite (hint: when I started I had not written a single Android program), but it would be fair to say the following would help, in diminishing order of importance:

  • Owns a Twizy, ELM dongle and an Android device, and is willing to play and experiment with it;
  • Can bear to stumble along and spend too much free time;
  • Has done some development in Java or C++;
  • Has done some Android development.

We would love to hear from you!

Pictures of the PEC

This post is more for reference. In the R models there is no BCB and no PEB. These functions (power distribution, inverters, motor controller) are all integrated in one huge box called the PEC. Inside are several modules doing the hard work. Here are a few pictures of the PEC,the R240 motor, and the complete assembly.



R240 / R90 motor

R motor / PEC assembly

Pre-release builds

Starting now, we might sometimes publish pre-release builds for people who want to be on the bleeding edge, but are unable to build from the source. I am still checking if these can be unsigned builds. Regard these pre-releases as unstable and unusable, but if you are not afraid of fiddling with APK files and not afraid to re-install older, more stable versions if things go haywire, you might want to grab these from github in the releases section. They will always be clearly marked with an orange “Pre-release” flag. Here is an example, where we added some interesting BCB stuff to the experimental section.

Firmware screen

We’ve had quite a few remarks and questions about the modified firmware screen. Please note you now need to tap an ECU line to display it’s version information. We now display 4 fields that are all required to find the proper definitions of what these computers can and cannot do. Also, note that the reference numbers are gone. There are simply too many hardware permutations and we have no reliable source about what is the latest for what version of what hardware.

Opening up the BCB (teaser alert)

Today I finally got some data from the BCB. I am not crying victory yet, but here are a few teasers. Screen-shots were taken close to the end of a charging session on my home single phase 16 amps charge-point.

Harmonic leak currents look fine, with only the LF one (that is 50 Hz) a bit on the high side. Maybe the scaling is not good. We don’t know what acceptable values are.

On single phase, the voltages on the BCB screen look a bit weird, but I will be working on that.



Chris sent me a very interesting dongle. It is called a Freematics ONE. The simplest way to describe it is it being an ELM327 CANbus interface, plus a fully programmable Arduino UNO, plus an SD-card interface, plus a Bluetooth interface, plus serial-over-USB (oh yeah, could do a fast, wired CanZE version) plus an accelerometer, plus (optionally) one of WiFi, GPRS+GSM or xBee modules. Pricepoint is not crazy expensive: a bare version would come in at 70 USD.

I am still figuring what to do with it, but it sure is a great datalogger. And assuming the ELM327 “look-alike” chip inside is reasonably compatible with the V1.5 dongles we use, the Arduino code is in large part available, as I made that for the WiFi gateway. Anyone got cool ideas?

CLIP – part one

We received a CLIP clone today. CLIP is the tool that your Renault mechanic will use to diagnose any of the brand’s cars. The tool was very kindly financed by “kick-starter” style funding on the Dutch and UK forum. Thank you all for that! Reason I asked for it was that we really like to get to the data of the BCB (the charger inside the car) and we haven’t been able to figure out why. This post is a short update.

Let me first say, the hardware is a serious piece of kit. You have seen your dongles and my interface s and that┬┤s child play compared to this. Two rather massive 4 layer PCB’s plus a connector PCB. Admitted, it seems the hardware can do ISO 9141-2 next to CAN, but the ZOE doesn’t use that. Anyway, it explains the price-point somewhat.

The good news is that it works. Somewhat. As ar as we understand Renault is pushing more and more functions to their central services and there is very little we can do with the tool without online connectivity, which we obviously do not have. Or maybe we do not understand it yet, which is a possibility.

Still, it’s able to run a diagnostic script on all computers of the ZOE and extract their DTCs, including a more extensive context. In theory, that should be enough to teach us how to get at least some data from the BCB. Stay tuned for updates.

Teaser: charging history

More to follow soon…….