One-stop shopping for all your Rav4INFO questions.
Rav4INFO consists of three parts:
- A Palm device (with cables)
- the Rav4INFO program.
- The interface that connects to OBD2 port
The best choice of Palm device to run the Rav4INFO software in the car is the M5XX. These devices draw just a few milliamps when the back light is off. Some offer color or B&W displays. The M515 is brighter than the earlier generation (m505) color model. The M515 is the one I use and recommend. The display is high-contrast, and the back light can be turned on low, high or off. When the battery needs to be replaced (mine lasted 6 years of constant use in the car) find the battery and special tools on eBay.
The M130 will work as well, but has proven to be less durable. The M130 also requires the back light to be on whenever the Palm is on which limits the usefulness of the device when the device cannot be powered externally.
The Palm interface could be purchased from Michael Schwabe (mschwabe1950 _@_ gmail _._ com). Last we heard there are no more being made, so asking the Rav4EV list is your best bet.
So what's the point? What do I use it for?
- While driving, a good rough way of knowing that you're being efficient is to make sure that your Amperage reading is at or below your speed in mph.
Constant duty rating for the motor is 30 kW. Peak is 50 kW. You don't want to be driving at a constant draw above 30 kW, though exceeding it for hills and acceleration is obviously part of the program.
- No matter what your SOC, when you start to see your minV drop below 10V, you are EMPTY. Back way off and get on a charger ASAP.
- In general, the battery V's should all remain tight (0.2V difference and under from max to min) for the entire SOC range. When the gap starts to grow, you are getting near the end. When the gap gets significant (>1.0V) then you need to back way off and get it on the charger ASAP.
- If you are seeing >0.2V with high SOC, it is a good sign that the car needs to level. Leveling can give you a bit more range, but at the expense of beating up your batteries with two hours of overcharge.
- Try like heck to keep all temps below 110°. Drive gingerly if temps get up there.
- If battery temps are above 100, that's not the time to start charging.
- The front battery row (tray1) will almost always be warmer than tray2 which will be warmer than tray3. Welcome to single-direction air cooling.
- After a cold soak over night followed by a mid-day drive in the sun, it is easy for the batteries to be cooler than ambient.
- Touching the temps on the screen will change them from F to C
- Touching the voltages will take you to a new screen that allows you to see your averaged Wh/mile (starts fresh every time you click over)
- Touching the accumulated energy field twice resets it to zero.
- Touching the large font info at the top will allow cycling of that information through several fields.
Tips and tricks for Palm Devices:
- When the battery goes bad, it often expands and pushes on the screen as well as the front and rear panels (this can leave temporary marks on the display). Usually a new battery ($4-$7 on eBay) fixes the whole problem. If more has gone wrong, then it is time to call in the professionals (note that if you were to replace the battery every three years you would probably never have to repair anything else on the Palm. Cheap insurance in my book. In ten years, I've replaced the battery twice after it has swollen. Next time I will just do it at year three before the problem happens). If repairs are needed, there is a business that does nothing but Palm repairs: The Palm Doctor, 51612 US Highway 169 North, Mankato, Minnesota 56001-7713. Phone: (612) 326-4364.
- Size of SD card? As long as it is SD and not HCSD, a card up to 1 GB should work - some 2GB cards can work, but it is very difficult to find out which one. Stick with 1 GB SD card, and you'll be fine.
- To read programs (like Rav4INFO) directly from the card, follow these instructions: Installation and running of the software is possible via SD card. Put an empty SD card in your computer and create a folder named “PALM”. Then move to the newly created “PALM” folder and in it create a subfolder named “launcher”. After that copy the prc file to the “launcher” folder on the SD card. Eject the SD card from your pc and insert it in the slot on the palm handheld. The palm should open up with the icon of the program. An another option: Use the PALM to format the SD card. This approach will create the necessary folders automatically in the proper locations.
- To adjust screen brightness: Locate the tiny "sun" icon in the upper right corner of the data entry box. Click that, and you are presented with "off, Low, High." I find "Low" to be the best compromise for all conditions and battery life.
V1 of my mounting solution.
V2 of my mounting solution that I still use today.