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Torque, MyGreenVolt, and Bluetooth OBDII dongles

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Torque, MyGreenVolt, and a Bluetooth OBDII dongle

Holy cow, I finally went down that rabbit hole.

A good overview on Torque can be found in this video [link] and a follow up in this video [another link]

MyGreenVolt is similar, but with fields specific to Volt and EV performance.

As a scientific geek I've been having an absolute ball taking the whole system from car to car and watching how things run.

As for the Volt, it's really astounding (and somewhat intimidating) to realize just how much the car is doing ALL THE TIME.

Edit: and the "Track Recorder" plug in is especially cool! [shown at 7:00 in video one above]
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ELM 327 Pirate Versions?

On the Wikipedia page that discusses ELM 327 OBD2 Adapters like the ones needed to use Torque Pro, it mentions that there are pirate versions of the OBD2 adapter device out there, Here's the relevant section:

Pirate clones

The ELM327 is a PIC microcontroller that has been customized with ELM Electronics' proprietary code that implements the testing protocols. When ELM Electronics sold version 1.0 of its ELM327, it did not enable the copy protection feature of the PIC microcontroller. Consequently, anyone could buy a genuine ELM327, and read ELM's proprietary binary microcontroller code using a device programmer. With this microcode, pirates could trivially produce ELM327 clones by purchasing the same microcontroller chips directly from MicroChip and programming them with the copied microcode.[4][5] ELM327 clones were widely sold in devices claiming to contain an ELM327 device, and problems have been reported with the clones.[6] The problems reflect bugs that were present in ELM's version 1.0 microcode; those making the clones may continue to sell the old version.

Although these pirate clones may contain the ELM327 v1.0 code, they may falsely report the version number as the current version provided by the genuine ELM327, and in some cases report an as-yet non-existent version.[7] Released software versions for the ELM327 are 1.0, 1.3a, 1.4b, 2.1 and 2.2 only.[8] The actual function of these pirate clones is nonetheless limited to the function of the original ELM327 v1.0, with inherent deficiencies.

Most of the clones are reporting ELM327 v1.5, despite the fact that Elm Electronics does not have a version 1.5.​

I bought my Bluetooth ELM 327 dongle (enhanced version) on Amazon for $10.99 from MEStart, using the link provided by Dutch. When I ask Torque Pro for "Adapter Version", it lists the firmware as "Version 1.5", probably indicating that it uses old pirated firmware. Ironically, under "Adapter Notes" it also mentions the piracy and says that one should beware of pirated adapters.

I think I would like to send this adapter back to Amazon and get a legitimate unit, but a quick look failed to reveal which offerings are legitimate and which ones are pirated.

Any ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Well that's interesting... and annoying.
I have absolutely no idea about what constitutes a legitimate dongle so if you find out please let me know.
 

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The ELM327 Clone Wars

Elm has links on their website, this should be helpful in locating a legitimate ELM327

https://www.elmelectronics.com/help/obd/links/

I spent some time looking at those links with limited success. The only unambiguous genuine adapter I found is an ELM-327.eu link that will sell you an "ELM327 Bluetooth. Original ELM Electronics Genuine ELM 327 Chip 2.2 SM" dongle for 49 Euros ($57.82 US). They will ship to the USA, but it may take a while for delivery. The company seems to be in Romania and the shipping charges to Seattle would be another 19 Euros. Their site explicitly says that it uses the genuine ELM Electronics' newest ELM 327 V.2.2 chip. They show a picture of the authentic Elm Electronics chip in their circuit board.

I gather that when interrogated by Torque Pro, the pirate units mostly say either Version 1.5 or Version 2.1, and it's better to have a "1.5" than a "2.1". Here's an interesting dissection of one of the pirated clones, along with a discussion of what's going on:
https://timyouard.wordpress.com/2015/09/02/disection-of-a-counterfeit-elm327-obdii-adapter-from-china/

I found an ELM 327 Identifier app available for free at the Google Android app store that checks ELM 327 Adapters to see which version and what codes they actually support. The link is https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.applagapp.elm327identifier . Running it on the ELM 327 Adapter that I bought on Amazon from the link provided by Dutch (see above), it says that although Torque Pro gives Version 1.5, it actually supports all codes for Versions 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.3b, and 1.4, but not 1.4b, 2.0, 2.1, or 2.2. Clearly, I have a pirated clone, but at least it's one of the better ones.
 

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Are there any versions of these or related softs for iphones/ipads? Or should I dig up my old android tablet (wherever it is)?
 

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The best app for getting OBD2 info from a Volt seems to be Torque Pro, which has no iphone version, only Andriod. There are other apps that do similar things, but for maximum effectiveness they would have to be able to download the Volt PIDs from a .csv file, as Torque does.

If it were me, I'd find your Android tablet or buy a used Android phone with a good screen that could be dedicated to this use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Update: QUIRK WARNING

So I used this setup to monitor OHM-RIDE for a while and suddenly I started getting "battery charge door open" warnings at random times even though the door was closed.

After a while I decided to pull the ODBII reader and no more warnings.

Re-installed the ODBII and within a couple of days the random warnings started again.

Removed it again and no more warnings since (it's been a while now)

So apparently keeping an ODBII dongle in the port -can- in fact send spurious signals around the system. Just wanted to make folks aware.
 

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I'm not buying into any OBDII tools until there is one that lets you tune the max motor current and change it from 120 kW to 150 kW. :)

Mike
That won't happen over OBDII, ever. It'd require a drive module reprogramming, but you'd risk demagnetizing your motors.
 

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So I used this setup to monitor OHM-RIDE for a while and suddenly I started getting "battery charge door open" warnings at random times even though the door was closed.

After a while I decided to pull the ODBII reader and no more warnings.

Re-installed the ODBII and within a couple of days the random warnings started again.

Removed it again and no more warnings since (it's been a while now)

So apparently keeping an ODBII dongle in the port -can- in fact send spurious signals around the system. Just wanted to make folks aware.
Reduce the rate and number of PIDs you're pulling (only do the absolute minimum you need) - you're overloading the system. You should be fine after that.
 

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I've been using MyGreenVolt for the last week. Rather fun to use. I've only had the car since sept 28th

I'm using about 14KWh/week over 40 miles. considering the lower temps not so bad as The HVAC and Batheat seem to use the most energy. I'm not sure what Other use is.
 

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Reduce the rate and number of PIDs you're pulling (only do the absolute minimum you need) - you're overloading the system. You should be fine after that.
Yep, I can confirm after driving for several hours with my OBD-II reader plugged in and my custom dash app running that I have no issues simply because of OBD-II. I only query what I absolutely need, and it works fine. It polls HV amperage and vehicle speed 10 times per second, as well as polling HV voltage, engine RPM, and battery SOC 2-3 times a second. Occasionally I get an OBD error reading HV amperage, but it never causes any codes or other misbehavior of the computer systems...it just means I don't get an HV amperage reading until the next poll.
 

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I spent WAY too much time this weekend setting this up! My wife was saying something about "obsession?"
LOL

Anyway.....
I spent quite a bit of time learning and understanding Torque and finally came up with this configuration for my phone....

Screen #1, Pretty much the stock "Performance Testing" screen from the default setup.


Screen #2, First part of the "Trip Computer".


Screen #3, Second part of the "Trip Computer".


Screen #4 Monitoring the EV systems, especially traction motor activity.


Screen #5 Monitoring the REX/Generator.


Screen #6 Temperature sensors.
Anything that would shed light on the position of the "active grill shutters"?
 
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