Read Battery Capacity Yourself (Autel AP200 Breakthrough)

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by MrFixit, Nov 8, 2020.

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  1. MrFixit

    MrFixit Well-Known Member


    I would like to report a significant breakthrough with the Autel AP200 diagnostic scanner...


    Background:

    Many of us have had a desire to be able to obtain the Clarity's HV battery capacity ourselves (without the need to go to the dealer and beg / pay them for a readout). The initial HV battery capacity of the Clarity is 55 amp-hours. Some degradation over time is expected, but if the capacity drops below 2/3 of the initial value (or 36.6 amp-hours) then warranty service can apply.

    Quite some time ago, @AlAl informed us that the 'professional' versions of the Autel diagnostic scan tools are capable of reading out the Electric Powertrain data including Battery Capacity and many other parameters (reference this thread: Battery Capacity Test Results ). The problem is that this diagnostic device costs more than $500 which is enough to dissuade most of us from purchasing one.

    Autel also offers a consumer grade product that connects to a cell phone via Bluetooth (the AP200). This device is much more affordable (around $70). Several of us purchased these AP200 devices, and I was optimistic that it would enable us to read the Electric Powertrain parameters since Autel clearly had the knowledge base to do so. Unfortunately, the AP200 failed to read these values.

    Pathway to a Solution:

    I started a dialog with Autel technical support at least a year ago. They promised that a software upgrade for Honda vehicles could address this issue. One software upgrade eventually came out, but it did nothing to address this problem. Autel has not been very proactive in issuing software updates, and it had been a very long time without any new updates. I continued to query them periodically, but they were always non-committal as to when an update may come along, or whether it would fix this problem.

    About a month ago, I sent another message complaining about this situation and the lack of an update to address this problem with the Clarity. This time I was very fortunate, and got the attention of their engineering team. Their engineering contact was quite interested in fixing this problem, and he promised me a beta version that I could then evaluate for them. After a week or-two, he did indeed produce a beta version of the Honda code, and I was able to test it out. Much to my delight, I found that the Electric Powertrain portion of the Live Data was now functional! This is a major breakthrough, and now it is well within the reach of most any Clarity owner to obtain this important warranty and performance measure without being at the mercy of the dealer.

    Expectation Going Forward:

    The currently deployed Honda code for the AP200 is Version 2.01. The beta version that fixed the Electric Powertrain data is currently designated 2.01.54. This beta code for the Clarity will be incorporated into the next version released by Autel for the AP200. A new version is expected to be released in 1Q 2021.

    Although this code is not generally available at this time, this functionality has now been proven, and I am confident that we will have a path forward in early 2021. I felt it would be good to provide this information to the forum now because I know there is wide interest.

    One other thing to mention - The AP200 is a simple device that has now been proven to work with the Clarity. In the meantime, Autel has introduced 3 more [very similar] products. These are the AP200C, AP200H, AP200M. To me, this is just an over-complication. You can find all 4 of these versions on Amazon, ranging in price from $50 to $130. I suspect that any of these devices will be capable of reading Clarity's Electric Powertrain data, but I am trying to confirm this with Autel engineering. The differences have to do with how many vehicle brands are covered, and some of the more advanced diagnostic features. All I can say for sure right now is that the original AP200 will work. I will report back if I learn more about compatibility.

    The Honda V2.01.54 beta code was pushed to my specific serial number device for testing, and is not available for download until it is rolled into the next release (hopefully 1Q 2021).

    The AP200 can read an amazing amount of information from approximately 22 modules within the Clarity. Since the Electric Powertrain (containing the HV battery capacity) was of primary interest, I have attached the printout of this data so you can peruse it, and see what it contains. While testing, I also collected data from all of the other available subsystems, and if there is broader interest, I can attach all of the other data / printouts as desired.

    Please use this thread to collaborate on anything having to do with the Autel AP200 device(s). I will, of course, provide an update when I learn that the new software becomes available to all.
     

    Attached Files:

    01SB, Monir, Stan-O and 19 others like this.
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  3. aapitten

    aapitten Active Member

    @MrFixit this is awesome! Please keep us posted. I was bummed when I first tried my old garmin scanner - whatever the Clarity was sending actually caused the garmin unit to crash.

    Please keep us posted if/when you find out the firmware will be officially released and/or which other units will support our cars. I've only been waiting 3 years for this.... lol
     
  4. MrFixit

    MrFixit Well-Known Member

    I just heard from Autel Engineering.
    The 1Q 2021 software release will presumably support all 4 of the AP200 products.
     
    TomL and Robert_Alabama like this.
  5. aapitten

    aapitten Active Member

    Thanks! I'll look back/poke you early next year. I don't really want to shell out for a device till we know the release actually happens.
     
  6. TomL

    TomL Active Member

    I am delighted with this update. Another vote for MrFixit's awesomeness.
     
    insightman and Robert_Alabama like this.
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  8. zman0900

    zman0900 New Member

    Amazingly detailed info there. Even the voltages of every individual battery cell.
     
  9. Gary1

    Gary1 New Member

    Very cool... I'll be on that once it releases. One strange fact is my VIN: ends in 17996 so I have the next one made after yours :)
     
  10. Clarity_Newbie

    Clarity_Newbie Active Member

    MrFixit

    Excellent news and kudos for effort.

    If they need another Clarity beta tester..let me know...be glad to assist.
     
  11. lincomatic

    lincomatic Member

    I hope they really release the new firmware next year. By coincidence, today is 11/11, which is kind of like China's Black Friday.
    Autel's official store on AliExpress is selling the AP200 for $49.84. I'm going to pick one up. The price is good for another 27hrs as of when I'm posting this.

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32991837323.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.76091fa4x1ELcN&algo_pvid=2f388888-45ac-4b84-a13e-a7b32c7ada9b&algo_expid=2f388888-45ac-4b84-a13e-a7b32c7ada9b-1&btsid=0bb0623d16051568698414096ebb3a&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_,searchweb201603_

    On the product page, there is a button for a coupon to get an extra $2 off a $49+ order. Be sure to click that, and it will be applied in your cart.
    I realize that this is my first post, so I might look like a scammer, but I am not. I developed a CAN bus reader for the Nissan Leaf, and am hoping to eventually be able to contribute, and figure out how to get all the same data w/ a cheap ELM327 reader, or at worst, with my custom open source LeafCAN hardware.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2020
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  13. MrFixit

    MrFixit Well-Known Member

    @lincomatic - Nice... I started with the ubiquitous ELM327, but it seems like it would be virtually impossible to sleuth out enough information to obtain the PID's for this data without having access to a functional device and a CAN sniffer of some kind. Another forum member actually contemplated installing a hidden CAN sniffer, and going to the dealer for a readout in order to learn what the PID's are! This working Autel device provides a tool not only to read out the Electric Powertrain data, but to also allow further sleuthing of the underlying protocols. Although, I'm not sure it's worth it when you can get one of these for only ~$50.
     
  14. megreyhair

    megreyhair Active Member

    Thx for the info @MrFixit . Heading over to pick 1 up. :)

    While we are on this subject, anyone know how much it cost to add other car brands' support to the app?
     
  15. MrFixit

    MrFixit Well-Known Member

    Yes... I just ran my AP200 App, and verified that adding any other car brand costs $21.99

    The primary brand (with the AP200's that give you one free brand) is free, AND you get free lifetime updates to that brand.

    I believe the additional brands must be purchased initially, and they will also require an annual fee to maintain updates. If you are happy with the initial download for your vehicle, then you don't need to pay for updates, or could pay an additional fee sometime down the road for an update.

    Note: The AP200C comes with all brands (costs a little more). The AP200, AP200H, AP200M come with a single brand. I know that the AP200 is supposed to have lifetime updates for your primary brand. I am not 100% sure about the H and M, but assume they would be the same. You would need to pay for updates on secondary brands in all cases, and possible with any vehicle with the AP200C.

    I'm pretty sure that all updates would be free in all cases for the first year.

    In my opinion they have made this product line become convoluted and over-complicated. The original AP200 was clean and simple.

    You can see the features of the AP200 here:
    https://www.autel.com/c/www/mk1/3262.jhtml

    You can see the AP200C/H/M here (click on Comparison) to see differences:
    https://www.autel.com/c/www/mk1/3533.jhtml

    It seems to me that they are eliminating the AP200 in favor of the AP200C/H/M...
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2020
  16. ClarityBill

    ClarityBill Active Member

    I think we should just plan a gathering at MrFixit's, and do a group battery check....
     
  17. MrFixit

    MrFixit Well-Known Member

    Just bring your masks !!
    The beer is on me
     
  18. JohnT

    JohnT Member

    Hi Mr FixIt ....

    I looked at the Autel AP200M - about $90 Can from Amazon....BUT - do you 'have' to pay $19 a year after the first year; or will it not work if you don't pay?

    I would only get it for the Clarity battery info; but wouldn't want to perpetually pay $20 a year to use it..

    Thanks John
     
  19. MrFixit

    MrFixit Well-Known Member

    I have no experience with the AP200C/H/M.

    With the original AP200 (which I have), this is the relevant statement in the sales information:

    upload_2020-11-12_13-32-52.png

    You could be correct however. Here is a statement (Amazon seller) for the AP200M:

    upload_2020-11-12_13-36-10.png

    The Amazon features list does not seem especially authoritative, and I have seen errors in the listings with regard to the C/H/M.
    More research is required. Maybe this is the reason they are getting rid of the original and going with this confusing array of new ones - to increase their revenue with required annual payments.

    It is also quite possible that the annual payments only apply to obtaining updates. It is hard to believe they would disable your existing functionality after a year if you don't pay a fee.

    The AP200's are still readily available. Perhaps that's the best choice until they are gone? I'll try to find some more authoritative information (maybe something on the Autel pages).
     
  20. I just now ordered AP200 from Ali Express. In addition to $2 discount you get $3 off for using PayPal, so net cost is $45 plus tax. They said shipping time to the West Coast was 7 days.
     
  21. JohnT

    JohnT Member

    Hi BrianRC - do you have the link for that - I can't find the AP200 on their site at anything near that price - maybe you got their 11/11 special. Thanks John
     
  22. bpratt

    bpratt Active Member

  23. MrFixit

    MrFixit Well-Known Member

    Important Update to this thread:

    Based on a correspondence today with Autel...
    I am now recommending that you purchase the original AP200 and NOT any of the newer ones (AP200C/H/M).


    Reasons:

    The bottom line is that Autel not only overly complicated a nice simple product, but they made a major change to their ongoing pricing that significantly impacts the desirability.

    The bottom line is that ALL of the new devices require ongoing (Annual) subscription payments. This annual payment is not just required to obtain updates, but the device will cease to function (even at whatever the current revision is) if the annual payments are stopped.

    The original device (for the single manufacturer chosen) does not have any ongoing fees and lifetime updates are free. If you choose to purchase a second manufacturer, then there is a $22 per year subscription fee that applies to each additional manufacturer. If you wanted 2 manufacturers, you [could] trade off the cost of purchasing two AP200's vs. the cost of purchasing one and paying $22/year for the second manufacturer.

    In actuality, having to pay ~$20 per year for this kind of functionality is not a bad deal, it's just that the AP200 offers a much better deal (Free)!

    Just to give you the words straight from the horses mouth, here is the correspondence from Autel Customer Support:

    ************** Autel Correspondence - My questions in black, their responses blue **************

    For the original AP200:

    • Free download for ONE manufacturer
    • Free lifetime updates for that one manufacturer
    • Additional manufacturers $21.99 each
    • Is there an annual fee for updates to each additional manufacturer?
    The firs free software is life time free, you can download any software as the first free software. If still need extra software, you can purchase the software one by one, and each software will cost 21.99 USD/year.
    • Do you plan to discontinue this original AP200?
    At present, there is no plan to discontinue the original AP200.

    For the AP200C:
    • Purchase includes all manufacturers
    • Do you get free lifetime updates for all manufacturers, or is there an annual fee?
    The AP200C software purchased by systems, and the ABS+SRS system combined as the first free system and only the first year is free. Then need to purchase annually.
    • If you do not renew the subscription after 1st year, does the device stop working entirely, or will it continue at whatever revision existed prior to expiration?
    If stop renew the subscription after 1st year, then the whole system can't be used.

    For the AP200H and M:
    • Free download for ONE manufacturer
    • Are updates free for that manufacturer for only 1 year?
    Yes, correct.
    • After that, additional updates will cost $19.99 per year?
    AP200H is 15.99 USD/year for each software;
    AP200M is 19.99 USD/year for each software.

    • If you do not renew the subscription after 1st year, does the device stop working entirely, or will it continue at whatever revision existed prior to expiration?
    If stop renew the subscription after 1st year, then the corresponding software can't be used.

    If you have a document that clearly explains how these fees work, please point me to a copy.
    Really sorry that there is no document.

    *************************** End of Correspondence ***************************
     
    lt_dan457 likes this.

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