Toyota Rav4 EV Forum

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 Post subject: RavCharge, a solution to charge timer and entune woes
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:54 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:20 am
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Location: Seal Beach, CA
Update: RavCharge now includes the ability to check status and send commands via SMS! Go to menu->settings to activate SMS functionality. Also status updates performed while charging will now estimate your charging rate, displayed as both miles/hr and kw.

Update 2: Here's a basic getting started guide for setting up RavCharge to implement a charge start timer:

    Make sure you have a valid Entune account and can use Toyota's Entune app from a smartphone or tablet

    Using a newer, javascript enabled browser, on your phone/tablet or desktop (I recommend using a mobile browser, or Chrome on the desktop), navigate to ravcharge.com and log in with your Entune credentials

    The default, leftmost tab shows status information, the middle tab gives charging timers/controls, and the rightmost tab is for climate controls (refer to screenshots) - choose the middle for charging

    Touch/click Timer1 to expand the controls, set a time and optionally days (all are chosen by default), switch it to 'On' then touch/click 'Save'. Your browser should provide controls to ensure proper time formatting, if not you should use a different browser. If you really must enter text, the proper format is military time, e.g. 00:30 for 12:30 am. If you're not in California, make sure to adjust times to Pacific time before entering.

    In order to avoid your car being in charge immediately mode, and as a failsafe, you should also set your car's departure timer from the dash. I recommend setting it for 1-2 hours later than you actually want your charge to complete every day. How much later depends on how deep you usually go into the battery, and also on what level of current/voltage your EVSE provides. If you're new to the Rav4-EV, some trial and error will probably be needed here.


Original post follows
After all the missed 31st day charges, weird overestimates of time-to-charge, and other strange problems with the charge timer and entune system, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

I've developed an app called RavCharge that will hopefully make our lives with the Rav4-EV a little easier. Rather than choosing between iOS/Android/etc., I made it a web app which is optimized for smart phone browsers, but can be used from just about any computer. Here are some of the features I've implemented so far:
    A charge timer with a Start Time!
    A one-time climate control timer
    A battery charge display that shows the numerical percentage instead of just a picture, and estimates range at varying efficiencies
    Update, Charge now, and Start/Stop AC buttons that work - click it once and the app will keep trying to send the command to the car until it takes, so you don't have to keep going back to the entune app to make sure

Some ideas I have for future improvements:
    An end timer for charging that will allow you to set the volts/amps of your EVSE so that it can accurately estimate the time to charge
    The ability to run the climate control for longer than just 15 minutes
    The ability to stop climate control once a desired temperature is reached
    A "charging monitor" feature that automatically queries the car for the battery SOC every 5-10 minutes or so
    An option to factor in battery degradation (either user-inputted or deduced)
    Accounting for different timezones (everything's in pacific time for now)
    SMS/email notifications

Sign up now for a free 14-day evaluation, after which there will be a $39 annual fee to cover server expenses and my time.

Here are some screenshots:
Info page ("Refresh" in the upper right just updates the app display, "Update now" will query the car):
Image

Set charge timers:
Image

Climate control:
Image

NEW! Early Charge Protection (automatically adjust the car's departure timer so it won't start your charges earlier than you want it to):

Set the time before which you don't want the car to start charges, and the amps supplied by your EVSE, and RavCharge will periodically check to see if the car's estimated start time will be earlier than your "not before" time, and will adjust your departure time accordingly. This is still very much "in beta", so try it out and let me know how it goes!

Note that this isn't 100%. If, for example, you take a long drive and arrive home late, the car could start charging before RavCharge has a chance to update.

Image

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ImageRavCharge.com | 2012 Classic Silver | 2011 Leaf | Clipper Creek CS-60 | 40 amp openEVSE | 3.84kw PV


Last edited by fooljoe on Mon Sep 01, 2014 9:02 am, edited 9 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: RavCharge, a solution to charge timer and entune woes
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:17 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:50 pm
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Location: San Diego
I'd love to hear how you made that work this way!!!


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 Post subject: Re: RavCharge, a solution to charge timer and entune woes
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:37 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:13 pm
Posts: 1558
Location: Los Altos, CA
TonyWilliams wrote:
I'd love to hear how you made that work this way!!!
My guess is that he logged his own network traffic while his phone was running the Entune app., decoded the packets and then implemented the commands in his own web app.

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 Post subject: Re: RavCharge, a solution to charge timer and entune woes
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:54 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:20 am
Posts: 691
Location: Seal Beach, CA
miimura wrote:
TonyWilliams wrote:
I'd love to hear how you made that work this way!!!
My guess is that he logged his own network traffic while his phone was running the Entune app., decoded the packets and then implemented the commands in his own web app.
Yup, that's pretty much the idea.

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 Post subject: Re: RavCharge, a solution to charge timer and entune woes
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:38 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:01 pm
Posts: 183
Location: Long Beach, CA
Good job. PM'd you with my email. I assume the username/password combo is stored on the server. Not that it is a high value target, but do you care to comment on security?

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 Post subject: Re: RavCharge, a solution to charge timer and entune woes
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:22 am 
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Location: Seal Beach, CA
yblaser wrote:
Good job. PM'd you with my email. I assume the username/password combo is stored on the server. Not that it is a high value target, but do you care to comment on security?
Security was definitely one of the biggest concerns I had with developing the app. There's really no way around having to store your credentials on the server, so there is a risk, however small, that a hacker could infiltrate and retrieve them.

I took what steps I could to minimize that risk, including running a separate back-end server that contains the database and does all the communication with entune. This server is firewalled off from the internet, and all communications between it and the front-end user interface (as well as between the front-end and the user) are SSL encrypted.

Also, as you point out, this isn't the highest-value target - the most anyone could do with your entune password is run your battery down by starting the AC or start your charge before you're in super-off-peak. The biggest concern is if your credentials were to be compromised and they were the same that you used for other, more high-value accounts. So don't do that! As with any internet service, sharing passwords is a bad idea.

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 Post subject: Re: RavCharge, a solution to charge timer and entune woes
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 5:41 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 2:26 am
Posts: 303
Location: Austin, TX
Where does the XX kWh information come from? Is that is what is in the pack or what is left that is usable. I assume the latter but wanted to know what generated the value.
Thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: RavCharge, a solution to charge timer and entune woes
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2013 3:20 pm
Posts: 34
Location: Los Altos
Great. I am interested in beta testing for you. I have had 2 days recently when the car did not charge even after flashing to confirm that the charger is correctly plugged in. Very disruptive for the workday.


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 Post subject: Re: RavCharge, a solution to charge timer and entune woes
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:30 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:20 am
Posts: 691
Location: Seal Beach, CA
Ntd wrote:
Great. I am interested in beta testing for you. I have had 2 days recently when the car did not charge even after flashing to confirm that the charger is correctly plugged in. Very disruptive for the workday.
Go ahead and sign in. Since I've had lots of successful logins now, I'm removing the "beta" status and I've opened it up so that anyone with a valid entune account can login and begin a free evaluation period.
Kohler Controller wrote:
Where does the XX kWh information come from? Is that is what is in the pack or what is left that is usable. I assume the latter but wanted to know what generated the value.
Thanks.
Entune gives a 0-100 value for SOC, where 100 represents a full normal charge. I simply take the nominal 35 usable kwh figure for a normal charge and multiply it by the SOC value as a percentage. I can't vouch for how accurate it is (hence "approximate").

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 Post subject: Re: RavCharge, a solution to charge timer and entune woes
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:51 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:13 pm
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Location: Los Altos, CA
What is your recommendation for how to set the timers in the car to best use the RavCharge timers? If you disable the timers in the car altogether, it will default to Charge Immediately, right? So, that's not the right way...

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