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BC Hydro charging network, CCS, and the SETEC adaptor

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,476
14,491
West Vancouver, British Columbia
Today I tried using the adaptor for the first time at a BC Hydro CCS station in North Vancouver, BC. I could not charge. The charging station displayed the message “Session cancelled by the vehicle”. I called the BC Hydro EV charging helpline and they confirmed that the charging station was working normally.

It appears to me the problem is the adaptor and that Lectron shipped me an adaptor with out of date firmware. I have informed them of that and requested a solution.

Maybe 25 years ago companies could get away with being Windows only, but that was last century.
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,476
14,491
West Vancouver, British Columbia
Today I tried using the adaptor for the first time at a BC Hydro CCS station in North Vancouver, BC. I could not charge. The charging station displayed the message “Session cancelled by the vehicle”. I called the BC Hydro EV charging helpline and they confirmed that the charging station was working normally.

It appears to me the problem is the adaptor and that Lectron shipped me an adaptor with out of date firmware. I have informed them of that and requested a solution.
Today I found a Windows 10 Pro notebook computer to use to try to update the firmware in my new Lectron CCS adaptor for Tesla.

I followed the instructions shown at Download CCS Charger Latest Firmware Updates

I completed steps 1, 2, and 3. I was not able to complete step 4 because there I could not find a “Ports” listing in the Device Manager. See second photo below.

I then attempted to complete step 5. I ran the V150.exe file and noticed that the Tesla adaptor firmware writer window did not show a port number in the Ports field. It showed an “Unhandled exception” error. See photo below. That did not surprise me since apparently the firmware could not detect the CCS adaptor connected to the computer through the USB port. It was connected using the correct mini USB cable. At this point I do not know how to get the Windows computer I was using (not my own computer) to detect the adaptor that I had it connected to, so I am not yet able to update the firmware.

For a consumer product the Lectron firmware update procedure is much to complex.

A78558EA-8916-4544-A19E-C7ECBF855A1B.jpeg
D8916511-C025-4A14-BA06-3216F87453AA.jpeg
 
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Today I found a Windows 10 Pro notebook computer to use to try to update the firmware in my new Lectron CCS adaptor for Tesla.

I followed the instructions shown at Download CCS Charger Latest Firmware Updates

I completed steps 1, 2, and 3. I was not able to complete step 4 because there I could not find a “Ports” listing in the Device Manager. See second photo below.

I then attempted to complete step 5. I ran the V150.exe file and noticed that the Tesla adaptor firmware writer window did not show a port number in the Ports field. It showed an “Unhandled exception” error. See photo below. That did not surprise me since apparently the firmware could not detect the CCS adaptor connected to the computer through the USB port. It was connected using the correct mini USB cable. At this point I do not know how to get the Windows computer I was using (not my own computer) to detect the adaptor that I had it connected to, so I am not yet able to update the firmware.

For a consumer product the Lectron firmware update procedure is much to complex.

View attachment 700173View attachment 700174
You need to install the USB driver "Windows_Installer_CH34x.exe" first. That is also on the downloads site.
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,476
14,491
West Vancouver, British Columbia
I tried using a different cable to update the firmware in my Lectron CCS adaptor and it showed the adaptor was on COM3 and appeared to complete the update successfully. But right at the end of the update it displayed the same error message that I had before. I’m going to be away for the rest of the week so may not be able to test the adaptor until next week.

7FCAE401-9DFF-4899-82AB-BC461E50F136.jpeg
 
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ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,476
14,491
West Vancouver, British Columbia
After finally successfully updating my recently acquired SETEC CCS adaptor to firmware V150 (a hassle to do, since I do not own a Windows computer and have to borrow one) I was able to successfully charge my Model X for the first time at a BC Hydro charging station in North Vancouver. My X is on V2020.48.37.2

I have not yet had the opportunity to try charging my Model 3 at that station, and I may not even bother because I typically don’t use that car for long distance trips. I bought the SETEC adaptor to potentially use while towing my trailer in areas of Canada that do not yet have Superchargers in place or where they are too far apart for me given the significantly greater energy usage while towing (which with my trailer is 50-80% more depending on conditions).

Regarding the BC Hydro station user interface; I had to call the support phone number to understand how to use the station. The BC Hydro EV app does not walk you through the steps to make the station work, and the instructions printed on the station were not correct, they were missing steps. The phone support person was very helpful! But I’m astonished that neither the app nor the station clearly provides the required steps. I made a note of the steps on my phone; here is what I was told:

◦ Open app and using the search function enter the charging station ID number including capital letters and dashes (why is it case sensitive?!)
◦ Select the result shown just below the search box
◦ The app screen will change, select start session
◦ Plug cable into car
◦ Charging should start in a few seconds
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,476
14,491
West Vancouver, British Columbia
Just completed the drive — towing my trailer — from Vancouver to Ucluelet on the west coast of Vancouver Island, averaged 322Wh/km. Not bad considering there were lots of elevation and speed changes on the route. Stopped for a charge in Port Alberin at a BC Hydro CCS charger using my new CCS charging adaptor. Got 46kW with the battery at about 65% so can’t complain about that. I paid C$8.85 for 29.7kWh of charge.
 

Vawlkus

Active Member
Feb 28, 2017
1,757
997
Halifax
Just completed the drive — towing my trailer — from Vancouver to Ucluelet on the west coast of Vancouver Island, averaged 322Wh/km. Not bad considering there were lots of elevation and speed changes on the route. Stopped for a charge in Port Alberin at a BC Hydro CCS charger using my new CCS charging adaptor. Got 46kW with the battery at about 65% so can’t complain about that. I paid C$8.85 for 29.7kWh of charge.
Didn’t think to ask before, but are you willing to make a list of compatible CCS for the Setek adapter? It’d be handy to be able to flag which networks and CCS manufactured chargers work with that thing.
 
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ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,476
14,491
West Vancouver, British Columbia
Didn’t think to ask before, but are you willing to make a list of compatible CCS for the Setek adapter? It’d be handy to be able to flag which networks and CCS manufactured chargers work with that thing.
I don’t think I’m going to be very useful in that regard; the only charging network I’m likely to ever use my CCS adaptor on is BC Hydro. Furthermore, compatibility is going to depend on the adaptor firmware number and the Tesla model and firmware. It’s a complicated topic at this point.

Or maybe I am not understanding your request?
 

Vawlkus

Active Member
Feb 28, 2017
1,757
997
Halifax
I don’t think I’m going to be very useful in that regard; the only charging network I’m likely to ever use my CCS adaptor on is BC Hydro. Furthermore, compatibility is going to depend on the adaptor firmware number and the Tesla model and firmware. It’s a complicated topic at this point.

Or maybe I am not understanding your request?
BC Hydro isn't making the chargers they're using (are they?), so knowing what types of chargers work regardless of firmware is at least a starting point.
Any info you give I'm going to be passing along to a larger EV support group so we can build a list of knowing compatible chargers so we at least have that.
 
I tried using a different cable to update the firmware in my Lectron CCS adaptor and it showed the adaptor was on COM3 and appeared to complete the update successfully. But right at the end of the update it displayed the same error message that I had before. I’m going to be away for the rest of the week so may not be able to test the adaptor until next week.

View attachment 701071
Okay, I just slogged through this exact same maddening process using my MacBook Air, Parallels and Win10. Jeepers, what a train wreck. I'm pretty sure turning off anti-virus was the key, although I did change the cable, too. After many failed attempts with the first USB cable, upon using the 2nd USB cable I got a notice from Win10 that access to the USB device was being cock-blocked by the Mac. There were instructions in the Win10 message for fixing the cock-block, but they were of no use since the Mac wasn't showing the USB device as being attached. However, the fact that a bloody message even appeared when I plugged-in made me jump for joy! Finally! Finally, a sign!

I saw the "unhandled exception" error message, and "the drive is successfully pre-installed in advance" message, whatever the hell that means, and the lack of "Ports (COM & LPT" <---OMG, that's so ancient) in Win10's Device Manager. But on this successful attempt, those messages did not appear, COM3 showed up in Device Manager, and the firmware update (V161-1) installed correctly with no error messages.

Whew. Oh, nice trailer! 😎
Burro First Supercharger.jpg
 
BC Hydro isn't making the chargers they're using (are they?), so knowing what types of chargers work regardless of firmware is at least a starting point.
Any info you give I'm going to be passing along to a larger EV support group so we can build a list of knowing compatible chargers so we at least have that.
BC Hydro uses at least two types of chargers:
AddEnergie SmartDC has a yellow character display and charging connectors on the side.
I havn't used a BC Hydro one recently, but the AddEnergie chargers on the Flo network do work with the latest V161-1 Setec firmware on my Model 3 LRD.

ABB has a touchscreen display and charging connectors on the front.
I havn't used one of these with BC Hydro specifically but have used another ABB charger that looks the same on the Greenlots network which worked with the Setec adapter V145 and V150 firmware so don't see any reason it wouldn't with the V161-1 firmware on a Model 3 LRD.
 
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srlawren

Active Member
Aug 3, 2020
1,136
773
Vancouver, BC, Canada, Eh?
When installing chargers for rental and apartment buildings becomes a common thing, they will *need* that standard, (most likely J1772? CCS low power?) At that point, the multiple standards thing will be a pain to deal with.

@MD-2000 to this point, I think the AC charging standard already is J1772, and Tesla already provide a complimentary J1772 adapter with all new vehicles. I think AC is a non-issue, but your points about DC charging and CCS to eventually become the dominant connector are quite valid.

I hope Tesla provide a first party CCS-to-Tesla adapter at some point and at a "reasonable" cost. I would most likely buy one to keep in the vehicle "just in case". While Supercharging is great, at least in the greater Vancouver area, there are only a handful. From where I live, they are all a 20+ min drive away, which makes a 40+ min round trip plus charging time in order to use, but I'm almost certain there are some CCS DC fast chargers closer. Currently we are getting by with L1 charging at home so it would be nice to have a close DC fast charging option. There is a planned Supercharger somewhere closer to our home but it's not scheduled to open until Q2 2022 and has already been pushed out several times in the past so I'm not confident of even that timeline.
 
To my mind, the solution is simple - just use cables. A charger already has (usually) both CCS and ChaDEMO cables. Add a Tesla cable. I presume this would require some sort of new protocols for the cars, a conversation with the charger that says "yes I'm a Tesla, but I see you don't care about my account with Tesla but still want to supercharge..." If only there were some way for Tesla to distribute such a software change to all cars.
Tesla already has this. There's an AC charging protocol, a Supercharging protocol, and a separate DC-fast-charging protocol used by the CHAdeMO adapter (and unofficially by the Setec adapter). This third protocol doesn't use a unique Tesla Supercharger identifier.

I can see they would not want to release the Supercharger protocol, as if this gets out, the details on the protocol may allow hackers to devise methods to bypass the Supercharging billing to get free charging.

However if they officially release the DC-fast-charging protocol specs (and have some sort of certification system so that manufactures using this protocol aren't going to cause "Teslas cause fires at fast charger!!!" news) then this would do what you want.
(In this case, they should also remove the 50 kW limit from this protocol)

Setec unofficially uses this in their adapter AND they manufacture DC fast chargers already with a Tesla connector.


EVgo does something similar in hardware by using a Tesla CHAdeMO adapter in line with the native CHAdeMO connector on a standard DC fast charging station.
 

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