Dala's Leaf buildthread (2015 Nissan Leaf)

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Sammyboi
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Re: Dala's Leaf buildthread (2015 Nissan Leaf)

Post by Sammyboi » 01. Apr 2020 10:47

It was an Finnish article, but couldn't find an English equivalent on it. Just these. But yea, you shouldn't have any problems with the frames. They will definitely hold. :lol:

https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... ncepts#pf5

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"A different approach is the conversion design vehicle VW (Volkswagen) e-Golf. It uses the existing platform of a mass production ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle with a corresponding production setup. The e-Golf is primarily placed on the right-hand side of the morphological box (Fig. 4)"

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Re: Dala's Leaf buildthread (2015 Nissan Leaf)

Post by Dala » 01. Apr 2020 12:11

Sammyboi wrote:
01. Apr 2020 10:47
It was an Finnish article, but couldn't find an English equivalent on it. Just these. But yea, you shouldn't have any problems with the frames. They will definitely hold. :lol:

https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... ncepts#pf5

"A different approach is the conversion design vehicle VW (Volkswagen) e-Golf. It uses the existing platform of a mass production ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle with a corresponding production setup. The e-Golf is primarily placed on the right-hand side of the morphological box (Fig. 4)"
Interesting, some thoughts on this Conference Paper,
- I don't know if I'm slow, but I can't seem to understand how to read the morphological boxes. Maybe something was lost when the document was made black/white?
- I'd argue that the VW E-Golf is even more of a standard vehicle. It is assembled on the same line, and has the cutouts for exhaust pipes, fuel tank is replaced by batteries etc. So it should be even more a normal car compared to the Leaf. So I cannot understand what the paper is about, they are talking about concepts, but doesn't seem to point towards any real applications to the E-Golf. The ID3 however is a purpose built EV from the ground up, so more of these concept discussions are applied to it.

Very strange. Maybe there was some confusion due to the BMW i3 having a carbon fiber chassis? That is the only one I can think of that goes outside traditional design.

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Re: Dala's Leaf buildthread (2015 Nissan Leaf)

Post by Sammyboi » 01. Apr 2020 14:32

Yea it is a bit tough to read, but i think they were talking about the current e-Golf. The Finnish article was a bit more simple. I tried to find more EV's with Body in White pictures which would tell which parts are which material, but the information is very scarce, so couldn't get much out of it. i3 is definitely different in that regard but seeing high tensile steels, aluminium, plastics and even carbon fiber seems to be the norm nowadays.

Enough speculating and rambling. We will soon need a different topic for this :lol:

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Re: Dala's Leaf buildthread (2015 Nissan Leaf)

Post by Dala » 01. Apr 2020 14:43

Yeah let's get back to battery stuff :D

I made another thing open source.

I've been approached by a few who have done bruteforce upgrades. Last year I experimented with the 30kWh cells inside a 24kWh battery, with mixed results. As you know, this method of upgrading has been superseded by the clean way to swap in newer battery packs, but since people are asking I made this information public.

https://github.com/dalathegreat/Nissan- ... ce-Upgrade

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Still, I DO NOT recommend this way to upgrade. But it will probably help someone out there :)

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Re: Dala's Leaf buildthread (2015 Nissan Leaf)

Post by Dala » 02. Apr 2020 15:28

Another minor maintenance thing, I figured it was a good idea to replace the cabin air filter. I picked this up a few weeks ago too, it was the cheapest filter available. I'm not to bothered about the charcoal ones, since I do most driving on open roads, so not a lot of smog to filter. And the electrical motor on this car doesn't have any leaky valvecover gaskets that would allow crankcase gas to enter the cabin, so I find it hard to justify the pricier filter. Someone convince me next time? :D

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And it was a good thing I replaced it, a ton of bugs fell out when I pulled the filter out. Look at that discoloration!

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I guess 5 years is quite a stretch for these filters, thinking about stepping the interval down to every second/third year. After all, it's a service item below 10€, and there are not really any other things to service on this car now :P

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Re: Dala's Leaf buildthread (2015 Nissan Leaf)

Post by Dala » 04. Apr 2020 14:37

So since the Muxsan CAN bridges were sold out, and I'm going thru quite a lot of them quickly, I decided to try and build some on my own. They are open source after all :)

I ordered a few PCBs from JLCPB. I opted for the more expensive lead-free version. And ofcourse in white, love white PCBs :D
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When I said a few, I meant 100x :D
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Now just waiting for the components to roll in :)

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Re: Dala's Leaf buildthread (2015 Nissan Leaf)

Post by Dala » 13. Apr 2020 12:49

Time to deep dive into the performance aspect of the LEAF. Maybe extract some more?

The energy.gov did a good test on the standard Leaf drivetrain. It can be viewed here: https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files ... 2013_o.pdf

They checked the output, efficiencies and temperatures at sustained high load. Here is a screenshot of one of the more interesting slides. Note the shape of the torque-curve.
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To understand more what is needed to modify I need more data. I upgraded my old datalogging cable to log two CAN channels at the same time. I need data from both EV-CAN and CAR-CAN at the same time. I also need to use a Kvaser Memorator which has two channels, instead of the Kvaser Leaf (nice fitting name) that only had one channel.
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And ofcourse when I was feeling it and decided to go test this I happened to be low on charge :) But it won't mess much with the results, the motor inverter should still be torque limited and not voltage limited.
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I did a quick full throttle pull, 0->100->0 km/h, and did the entire braking only with the regenerative braking. This is what the applied torque looks like in the logs. Notice the familiar shape? Never mind my unstable foot on the braking :D
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There are two interesting parameter that I'm logging. 'MotorAmpTorqueRequest[Nm]' is the one that the VCM sends to the inverter. "MG_EffectiveTorque[Nm]" is the response signal from the inverter that is sent back to the VCM. I think that we could try upping the demand message a bit with a CAN-bridge MITM-attack, but I don't know how much the inverter is willing to give before we go outside some limit set by the Nissan engineers. Now I need to go and cut the CAN-signal going between the VCM->Inverter :)

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Re: Dala's Leaf buildthread (2015 Nissan Leaf)

Post by Dala » 15. Apr 2020 08:55

How to read CAN data manually

Since I need to write code that modifies some values on the bus, I thought I might give a quick crash course on how to read the data manually. Let's say you start with a log snippet that looks something like this

Code: Select all

1	1	21163	RX	333265401		0x00000176	7	0x00 a9 05 6b 00 00 05 	
1	0	21164	RX	333265401		0x000001d4	8	0x6e 6e 3f 80 87 44 81 86 	
1	1	21165	RX	333265401		0x000001d5	5	0x00 00 00 01 d7 	
1	1	21166	RX	333265401		0x00000260	4	0xc8 c8 b3 a0 	
1	1	21167	RX	333265402		0x00000245	8	0x7f e8 02 18 b7 00 7f e3 	
1	1	21168	RX	333265402		0x00000292	8	0x98 68 1e 80 50 00 00 03 	
1	1	21169	RX	333265403		0x00000300	1	0x03 	
1	1	21170	RX	333265403		0x000006f6	3	0x91 00 00 	
1	0	21171	RX	333265403		0x000001db	8	0xde 80 9f ea 14 00 01 7f 	
1	0	21172	RX	333265403		0x000001dc	8	0x6e 0f 8f fd 00 c0 c3 68 	
1	0	21173	RX	333265407		0x000001da	8	0x9d 72 19 fb 0a e5 00 e7 	
1	1	21174	RX	333265407		0x000002de	8	0x00 00 00 00 00 00 01 40 	
1	1	21175	RX	333265407		0x000001cb	7	0x00 00 00 00 60 00 11 	
1	1	21176	RX	333265407		0x000001cc	4	0x00 00 05 41 	
1	1	21177	RX	333265408		0x0000054a	8	0x3c 80 70 0b 00 00 00 49 	
1	1	21178	RX	333265409		0x0000054b	8	0x10 48 98 12 14 00 00 01 	
1	0	21179	RX	333265408		0x0000054a	8	0x3c 80 70 0b 00 00 00 49 	
1	0	21180	RX	333265408		0x0000054b	8	0x10 48 98 12 14 00 00 01 	
1	0	21181	RX	333265409		0x0000011a	8	0x4e 40 04 aa 80 00 03 70 	
1	0	21182	RX	333265409		0x0000054c	8	0x64 65 40 00 00 50 51 00
We want to read the Nm value that the inverter sends back, it's in message 0x1da

Code: Select all

0x000001da 8 0x9d 	72 	19 	fb 	0a 	e5 	00 	e7 
		0	1	2	3	4	5	6	7
This message contains 8 bytes, and by looking at the database we see that the MG_EffectiveTorque is a 11bit long value, ranging from frame2,bit2-0,frame3,bit7-0. It is also signed 2's complement, but we won't worry about that right now.

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If we extract 9fb (this is 12bits), and convert it to binary, we get 1001 1111 1011. Now we cut off the first bit to make it 11bits long, and we end up with 001 1111 1011. If we convert this to Decimal, it is 507. In the database, we see that this message has a scaling of 0.5, so we simply multiply the value with that and end up with 253,5 Nm torque response.

Wow that is a lot of steps just to get a single value out, so you see why it pays off to use some tool that translates this on the go. It is very tiring to do this by hand, but a necessity if you are experimenting ofcourse.

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Re: Dala's Leaf buildthread (2015 Nissan Leaf)

Post by Dala » 21. Apr 2020 20:26

My initial attempts at persuading the inverter to output more power was a failure. Check this screenshot
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In this screenshot I added 10Nm to the demand when it went above 253Nm. So it seems like the inverter firmware clamps to some hardcoded value to keep 80kW, which is a damn shame. I might try some other tricks, but it feels like either firmware needs to change (incredibly difficult) or an inverter swap from a newer Leaf (never done afaik)?

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Re: Dala's Leaf buildthread (2015 Nissan Leaf)

Post by Dala » 24. Apr 2020 20:03

Time for some spring-cleaning!

I decided to install the summer wheels and do a proper spring cleaning session. The paint has suffered the salty roads for quite some time now, so time to give it some love.

Started with assessing the wheel-wells, they are surprisingly clean. Looks like my periodical winter spraydowns have helped with keeping the rust at bay. Here's the rear
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But on the front the cast iron knuckles have rusted significantly. I gave everything a good degreaser and pressure wash before putting on the summer wheel setup.
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I then focused on the paint. I did a pressure wash, degreaser, pressure wash, claybar+cleaner, P2000 compound, anti swirl compound and finally hand-waxed the paint. I think I spent well over 8h with the car, here's a picture midway thru
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And then the final result, shame the sun went away, but the paint really shines :)
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There is still some OEM orange peel in the paint, but I'm unsure how much can be sanded safely...

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Re: Dala's Leaf buildthread (2015 Nissan Leaf)

Post by Dala » 11. May 2020 11:58

Not much has happened, still waiting on some parts for a long needed project, but I wont post about it until I have all the parts I need ;)

Now for something completely different. The rear wiper was pathetic, so I inspected it. Turns out it was just about to crumble into pieces, so I replaced it with a newer Bosch unit.
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I also have most of the components needed to start building some CAN bridges, still waiting for the final ones. I will send this all to a local electronics expert so they can piece it together. And yeah, it probably would have been faster to order everything from China, but I like to support the local businesses in these times :)
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Re: Dala's Leaf buildthread (2015 Nissan Leaf)

Post by Dala » 18. May 2020 10:27

I finished up the trailer wiring. It was the least fun I've had with the Leaf :D

So to properly wire in the 7-pin trailer harness, I ran the cable into the boot and started to look for the light signals needed.
These can be taken from the left side.
- Turn signal left
- Daylight running light
- Brake light
- Chassis GND

From the right hand side light, the "Turn signal right". So this all means removing a ton of plastic panels to getting the wiring properly routed. Not fun!
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But the payoff now is huge. I now have functioning trailer wiring!
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NOTE! This car officially has 0kg of towing capacity in the registry. It is illegal to go on a road and tow. This picture was taken on the side of the road, I never recommend anyone to do anything illegal. Check your local legislation for how to go about for retrofitting a tow bar.

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Re: Dala's Leaf buildthread (2015 Nissan Leaf)

Post by Dala » 24. May 2020 10:04

Ok I promise this is the last post regarding towing, and we'll get back to something more interesting :)

So lets say I "Simulated" a proper tow run with a bigger trailer. It was possible to tow for 270km with a charge stop in the middle, going max 85km/h. Any faster than that, the air resistance from the big trailer cover would break the efficiency, as you can see from the picture it is quite a big one. It should be possible to go 160-180km on a single charge with the big trailer, which I am extremely satisfied with.

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Now there is no reason to borrow an ICE anymore! :)

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Re: Dala's Leaf buildthread (2015 Nissan Leaf)

Post by Dala » 26. May 2020 21:06

I'm still waiting for some parts, but I decided to post this already since it is functional.

Okay so here is a big upgrade for the Leaf. The stereo. I have the base model of the Leaf, which has a pathetic attempt at a stereo. There is a tiny display on the unit that is used for the reverse camera, making it a pain in the butt to reverse with. It doesn't even do bluetooth music streaming. It screams basic. Take a look:

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Oh yeah 2004 called and want their stereo back.

So what can we do about it? Lots. The base model stereo doesn't integrate with the climate control system like on the higher spec models. So on those it's not possible to change the stereo, since you then loose so much functionality. On this base model, there is a 2DIN slot that you can put whatever you want into. After doing some research, I found something that ticked all my requirements. These are

-Android based
-Will run Leafspy Pro
-Spotify
-Reverse camera compatible
-Front facing camera always recording
-Android auto optional

Turns out there aren't that many options that do this, but thankfully the 'Atoto A6 Pro' ticked all the boxes and more. I went with the A6Y2721PRB-G model, which also has gesture sensors.

Let's get to installing it! But not so fast, first you need to order these adapters:
-Axxess Aswc-1 Universal Steering Wheel Control Interface
-70-7552 WIRING HARNESS AFTERMARKET STEREO FOR NISSAN (07-UP) + SUBARU (08-UP)
-American International NDK780 2012-16 for Nissan Select Model Install Kit
-Steering Wheel Control and BackUp Camera Retention Harness AXXESS AX-NIS32SWC-6V
-Radio Antenna Adapter for Nissan/ Infiniti Scosche ref Part NAA2B Metra 40-NI12

After most of these adapters arrived, I started to install the stereo. To remove the middle console cover, grab the lower portion and pull it. The whole thing just pops out.
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After removing it, it's adapter fastening time. I won't show every tiny detail, but there is quite some cables to adapt. I also tucked in the GPS & Wifi antenna that came with the stereo behind everything.

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One thing that the Atoto unit comes with are extra USB ports. This is really useful, since the Leaf originally shipped with one USB port that was designated for ipods. This port only supplied like 125mA, which is not enough to charge a phone. The new ports are 1xQC @ 2000mA and 1x regular USB @ 500mA. This is a really nice upgrade!
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This is what it looks like all mounted, maybe 3d-print a cover for them later?
Image

After getting all the adapters in (minus steering wheel and reverse camera, still waiting for those to drop in the mail), I fired up the unit. After doing the Android setup, you're free to explore the unit and further set up all the apps you want to use. Note that I'm still waiting on the screen bezel, there are gaps on both sides of the unit.
Image

I have a feeling the Leafspy app will be quite heavily used :)
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I'm particularly fond of Spotify right now. Worth mentioning that this unit has way better drivers for the speakers, I originally planned to change the speakers in the doors, but after listening to it with this new unit, there really is no need at all.
Image

The screen is IPS and really hard to photo properly. But it looks amazing. This is what it looks like in full daylight, really easy to read the screen.
Image

10/10 would install again. Now to just wait for the steering wheel/camera adapters and bezel. :)

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Re: Dala's Leaf buildthread (2015 Nissan Leaf)

Post by Dala » 28. May 2020 10:49

Okay so a bit of an update on the PCB manufacturing. As you know a few posts back I posted pictures of a few PCBs that I had ordered. The original idea was to maybe assemble a few CAN-bridges by hand, and then let a local company do the rest. Turns out I have a lot to learn about PCB manufacturing and assembling.

So I visited the only local place in Vaasa that does PCB assembly. Very cool that such a service is available here! Here is the parts picking machine, rolls of components are fed into it, and it places them automatically in the correct location before soldering them into place in an oven.
Image

The main issue was size. Take alook at these measurements for a capacitor.
0.4mm x 0.2mm x 0x07mm
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- Most of the components are so tiny that you need microscopes to assemble them by hand.
- The PCBs that I order were "Lead Free HASL" coated for the pads. While cheap, this leads to uneven surfaces for the surface mount components. Gold was the de-facto standard for a precision job like this, but I didn't know that :) So new boards will be ordered from an EU supplier. You can learn more about PCB finishes here: https://www.kingsunpcb.com/the-differen ... /1604.html
-The edges of the PCB doesn't fit in their clamping machine, so the PCB will be redesigned, extended with a few mm on the sides (only particular to their machinery)

So I'm handing it over to them to fix my mistakes, and I'll learn more how much actually goes into precision automotive grade PCB creation :) I could ramble on more about this, but I'm holding back so we don't get too much offtopic :D

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