It’s been almost a year since we rolled out TPMS ID writing in CanZE. To be honest, it has always been problematic. Time had come to either fix it for once and for all, or to put a bullet in it.

With a fresh idea from Frédéric Richard and fantastic testing effort from several people in the community (with a special heads up to Göran Nybom who did super detailed testing using his TPMS sensor programming tool) it has been totally overhauled. CanZE now uses a different writing method, fixed all the writing problems, does verity-after-write, checks if the car has TPMS at all and has 100% match between pressures and ID’s *) Oh and inconsistent language (tyres, tires) has been fixed to “tires”.

The latest code is already available in the Open Beta. It will go to production in a couple of days.

*) Remember, the car does not know the actual positions. It assumes the correct IDs are mounted on the correct wheel positions. If you notice a pressure problem but it is indicated in CanZE on a different wheel position, it’s simply a matter of reshuffling the sensor IDs.

Göran Nybom reported on the issue tracker that the Vgate iCar 3 ELM327, which at least seems not to be some no-brand-with-always-changing-guts dongle, works fine. Price seems fair (20-ish), and it’s smaller than the KONNWEI which people might like.

This is no endorsement, we don’t have one, but if you do, please comment with your results, so we can update the hardware page. Or send it to me 😉

Edit: unfortunately, the one I received did not support the ATAL command and contained a main controller with a scraped off top marking. So unfortunately, I cannot honestly recommend buying Vgate, at least not from Aliexpress or Ebay. it seems that these are carbon-copied too. Well, the shell at least.

https://i1.wp.com/cdn11.bigcommerce.com/s-0dvqh/images/stencil/1280x1280/products/465/3810/icar_3_gb__74039.1425597854.jpg?w=918&ssl=1

With more features coming online in cars that unfortunately the software developers cannot and will not buy, we’re in the process of opening up an Open Beta channel for CanZE. If you are daring you can switch over to that track. The Open Beta will be used to release features that need additional testing.

A good example is the Tires screen. Writing TPMS valve IDs has been a long wish and it has been problematic since it was released. That’s what you get when unable to test on a real car! At this moment this is exactly what we are fixing (hopefully) in the beta.

Caution: The OpenBeta channel will not always be the bleeding edge latest and greatest. We have not yet determined if we will roll the actual releases over the Open Beta. We need to see how this goes. No promises. Remember, CanZE is a labor of love……

Nil the above. The way the Play Store works is that everything we put up there, Open Beta or production, has to have a higher number than the previous, and you will always receive the highest number you are entitled to. You are ALWAYS entitled to the production version, and are only entitled to the Open Beta if you opt in. So when we release a production version, by definition that will be the latest greatest. If we were still testing a feature at that point, we’d have to immediately re-release that feature version in the Open Beta.

Now if you decide to enroll in the Open Beta, we would appreciate if you can keep an eye on the issue tracker and report your findings, like for instance now for the Tire ID’s.

I had my hands on a ZE50, but unfortunately no CLIP tool was available to “tap”. Things have definitely changed.

  • The SAE1962 (“OBD2”) connector has moved to the A pillar just in front of the handle to open the bonnet;
  • The MM CANbus has been removed from the connector;
  • The V CANbus has been replaced with what seems to be a diagnostic bus.
  • The exposed CANbus is completely silent. At this moment my conclusion is that the connector is now connected to a separate gateway (port). It does not relay the free frame chatter and needs to be “coaxed” into delving deeper into the car. To make that happen I need to have a session with a real, updated CLIP tool.

It seems we’re right on time finishing up the “Use ISOTP mode” setting, because I doubt free frames will be made available at all.

Before you read on: this post in not an endorsement whatsoever. We stick 100% to our advice to either build a CanSee dongle if you want fast&furious, or buy a KONNWEI 902, as that is about the only dongle that is a fairly stable build for fairly cheap.

Having said that, as a sort of fun/silly experiment stemming from the “Use ISOTP fields” mode I wrote about earlier, I decided to order the absolute cheapest dongle I could get, and ended up with a usual “blue transparent case” model for under 2 Euros.

Guess what, it has a decent PIC processor, external EEPROM, Bluetooth 4.0 chip, and an Atmel (Microchip) CANbus transceiver. This is not some hacked together crappy thing with half baked software in the spare capacity of some Bluetooth controller. And here comes the unbelievable part. After some tweaking, I got it running with CanZE. I literally had to change two lines of code in the development branch. Which I will have to cross check with my KONNWEI dongle of course. I was honestly flabbergasted.

Thanks to SpeakEV user B9er we can present you even more pictures of a gutted Q model BCB and Filter. Contrary to my earlier thoughts, the neutral current sensor is in the black box. BTW, this part failed and he is looking for a second hand BCB or black box. Leave a comment here if you have one for sale for him please. And now for the eye candy…..

Coil, capacitor block, charger electronic block
More charger electronics block
Opened
It’s main board
Motor Neutral current sensor location
Power part
Current sensor board

The next two are from the filter module. One relay is the L3-N relay, the other bridges a pre-charge set of resistors. Remember this post? Yep, that’s it!

One of the two relays in the filter
Other side of the PCB, 4 big solder joints are the two relays; right one is pre-charge bridging the resistor bank

As announced. Many fixes, and new speed control for average speed control systems, a new research tool, and mode that might work a lot better for ELM based dongles.

Ever been busted by an Average Speed Camera system, also called SPECS? They measure your average speed by recording the time difference of passage between two camera locations, either a relatively short distance apart (i.e. between traffic light complexes) or up to several kilometers. In the Netherlands it is called “Trajactcontrole” (Trajectory [speed] control).

We have added an experimental screen called Average Speed to help you avoid tickets for these types of speed infractions. Start the screen and tap on any text on screen to start the measurement, which will be updated in real time. Tap again and a new measurement will start.

But be careful. Keep your eyes on the road and realize some of these systems take both an average as well as spot speed measurements.

Good news for people who want to dig deeper into their ZOE data themselves. We have had several functions to peek into the car. For instance, you can switch on field logging and when on, all fields that are pulled from the car by CanZE are also logged in files in your phone’s memory.

Also, there is the “All Data” screen where you can get all known fields of a single ECU in a single shot. On screen, and simultaneously in a log file.

This does give limited control though on what is pulled while driving. In the next release not only have we improved the log format, there will also be an experimental screen which enables you to log anything you want, as fast as possible. To enable this function you need to create a simple text file called _Research.csv in the folder where CanZE stores it’s log files (usually something like Phone\CanZE\). This file should have the exact same format as CanZE’s internal field definition files. Here is an example:

,7ec,24,39,.02,0,2,%,222002,622002,ff,State Of Charge (SOC) HV battery
,7ec,24,47,1,0,0,km,222006,622006,ff,Total vehicle distance
,7ec,24,39,.5,0,1,V,223203,623203,ff,HV LBC voltage measure
,7ec,24,39,.25,32768,1,A,223204,623204,ff,HV LBC current measure

This will show these 4 fields when opening the Research screen and they will be refreshed (and logged) as fast as possible. The field definitions can be found in the Assets folder of our github repository. BTW, these will all be updated in the upcoming release.

Note: ELM327 based dongles do not handle free frames (UUDT) very well. It is far better to use the equivalent diagnostic field (using ISOTP or ASDT). For ZOE, those always start with a 7.

This is ample opportunity to drop a serious reminder, as displayed when opening the repository and starting the app for the first time. A partial quotation:

Before you download and use this software consider the following: you are interfering with your car and doing that with hardware and software beyond your control (and frankly, for a large part beyond ours), created by a loose team of interested amateurs in this field. Any car is a possibly lethal piece of machinery and you might hurt or kill yourself or others using it, or even paying attention to the displays instead of watching the road. Be extremely prudent!
By even downloading this software, or the source code provided on github, you agree to have completely understand this.

Working for over a year, we’ve been making slow but steady progress on changing the way how we fundamentally talk to the dongle. The cheap Chinese dongles are awful coping with what we call “Free Frames”, and especially the torque bars make extensive use of those. Reliability is low, delay is high and many dongles won’t work at all. Finally, since the ZE40 models came along, many dongles were overwhelmed by the busier traffic on that type’s CANbus.

We’re getting close to releasing a version of CanZE that tackles all of the above. The downside will be that we will need to drop a few fields but we regard then as rather unessential. Think of indications like cabin temperature set-point, flap open; things that are clearly visible on the dashboard anyway.

For the technically minded readers: if approved, the next version will have an alternate mode that will use only ISOTP request-response type of communications. Next to loosing mentioned fields, a ISOTP is by definition somewhat intrusive to the car compared to free frame “sniffing”. This is academical though.

We will encourage all users using and ELM327 type of dongle, such as the KONNWEI902, to try switching on “Use ISOTP fields” in the settings; things might improve significantly. For those who have build or want to build an CanSee dongle, we suggest to keep using free frames. It will beat the ELM dongles in speed hands down. After feedback, we might automate the switch based on dongle type.

Stay tuned, all coding is done and we’re now testing.

Edit: As silly cheap dongles sometimes have no secure Bluetooth capabilities, CanZE switches to an insecure Bluetooth connection when “Use ISOTP fields” mode is switched on.