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SWConnect Questions

Before running SWconnect App

Before you can run the SWconnect application, you will need to setup and account with Spotwalla at https://spotwalla.com

  • If you do not currently have a spotwalla account, please connect to spotwalla and create an account.
  • Once you have an account, you will need to create a new device for use with the application.
  • Select the Devices navigation menu.
  • Click on Create a Device button.
  • For Device Type select SWConnect IOS App Device.
  • Add a description. That description will show up in the application if you have multiple devices.
  • Click on Create to create the device.
  • From the Devices page, click on your new device, and select Web API.
  • Click on Enable to enable your device for Web API access. Your device MUST be enabled for Web API access for the application to function.

Using the app for the First Time

When using the app for the first time, you will need to login to spotwalla (via the application) and select the Web enabled device setup in the previous steps. NOTE: this will need to be done when you are connected to the internet, either via wifi or cellular.

  • Open the app to the main page.
  • Click on Application Setup. The Spotwalla Connection light will most likely be red.
  • This takes you to the Settings page. Now, click on Login to Spotwall.
  • On the login page, enter your spotwalla email and password.
  • Click Go in the keyboard while entering the password.
  • If your login is successful, you will be returned to the Settings page. If not, you will have the option to try again.
  • Once you have successfully logged in, you need to select your device.
  • Click on Device Selection.
  • If you have only the one device, it will automatically be selected. If you have more than a single device, then you will see a list of devices to pick from.
  • If you get an error trying to set the device, which reads "Invalid Device! The device key is disabled", this means you have NOT enabled the device for web access, as detailed above. Please click on Before running SWconnect App above.
  • When done in the settings page, you should have green lights for both Login Status and Device Status.
  • While in the Settings page, you can also enable Auto-track mode. This mode will automatically start tracking every time the app is started.
  • In addition, you can set the timed spacing between tracks that get uploaded to spotwalla. The default is 5 minutes, however, you can set a value between 1 and 10 minutes.
  • The application will remember your login and password, and device selection status. Generally you will never have to do this again, unless you'd like to change these values.

The Main Page

The main page is the first page you see when starting the application. There are several key pieces of information available on this page.

  • There are three lights that indicate status information
    • The Spotwalla Connection Light
    • Red - indicates that you have not set username and password, nor have selected a device
    • Yellow - indicates you have partially setup, generally caused by being logged in, but have not selected a valid web enabled device.
    • Green - You have logged in and have selected a device.
      The Tracking Light
    • Red - indicates tracking has not been enabled. No tracks are being sent to spotwalla.
    • Green - tracking is active.
    • Blinking Green/Purple - Tracking is active and application is is Auto-trackmode.
      The Internet Availability Light
    • Red - Internet is not available.
    • Yellow - Internet is available via wifi.
    • Green - Internet is available via cellular.

At the bottom of the screen you'll find information about most recent GPS activity. Note, this is only active when tracking has been enabled. If tracking accuracy if worse than 10 feet, the location information will be displayed in red. When accuracy improves to better than 10 feet, the color changes to grey.

The last line indicates whether or not there are points being buffered, that have not been sent to spotwalla. This can happen in a couple of specific cases:

  • You are out of cellular or wifi area, and the internet is not reachable.
  • You have not properly logged in, or selected a device

Generally this does not indicate a problem. Location points are buffered, or stored until internet because available again. At that time these points will be uploaded to spotwalla. If you have not logged in, you may log in at any time, and the next time a location is ready to send to spotwalla, the entire buffer will be sent.

Tracking is enabled or disabled by tapping the Enable Tracking or Disable Tracking button.

Custom Messages

The SWconnect app allows you to send a custom message at any time, as long as tracking is enabled (custom messages require a location fix, and thus tracking must be on. Tapping Custom Message from the main screen will take you to the Custom Message Page. From this page you can:

  • Enter custom test to be sent with the message.
  • Select the type of custom message to be sent from the scroller. The type of message defines the icon that will be visible on your spotwall trip page.
  • Tapping Send Message will send the message, or put it in the buffer of messages if internet is not available.
  • Tapping Cancel will .... well cancel the message and bring you back to the main page.

General Use

Once you have successfully logged in, generally you will start the app, and from the main page, select Enable Tracking, push the Home button, or Power button to put the app in the background, and ride. The app will run in the background, and you can still use your phone or other apps as needed.

Note that running the GPS can put a sizable battery drain on your phone. I have easily traveled for 7 hour trips without any battery issues, however I would suggest when possible plug your phone into power.

BE VERY SURE to turn off tracking when you are done with a trip. Remember that SWconnect runs in the background, so you MUST turn off tracking, or remove SWconnect from memory.

For those that prefer not to push too many buttons while getting started on a ride, you can enable Auto-track mode. With this mode, tracking will automatically start every time you start the application, whether it was backgrounded or not. Be cautions, because tracking starts immediately, and the GPS will be active. You can always look at the upper right corner of your screen for the Location Services arrow.

Apple iPhone Settings

The app will pretty much run without intervention once you've successfully logged in, selected a device and enabled tracking. However, there are a couple of points to watch for:

  • Make sure that Location Services are enabled, and that the SWconnect app is enabled in this section.
  • Make sure the Background App Refresh is enabled in Settings, and that SWconnect apps is enabled in this section too.
  • SWconnect app does not use a lot of memory, however, attempting to open a memory hungry application while SWconnect is in in the backgound can cause the OS to remove SWconnect from operation. If you happen to run some other application at a stop, double check that SWconnect is still running before continuing on your trip.
  • If possible, plug your phone in to power while tracking a long trip. Although the application does attempt to use "deferred location services" when available, there can still be a sizable drain on your battery during a long trip.

EVAccess Questions

Before running EVAccess App

Before you can run the EVAccess app you must have a valid account for the Mercedes B-Class or Smart Car web app. EVAccess does not have the capability to create or modify the web app accounts, however it does use the same login credentials to login.

Once you've created an account with Mercedes or Smart, you may open the EVAccess iPhone application. It will very quickly attempt to connect to the vehicle site. This login will initially fail, and bring up the Login & Settings pane. Enter your login credentials from your Mercedes or Smart account, and tap the Login button.

NOTE: If you are a Smart Car owner, you will need to change the switch on the Login & Settings page to select the Smart car setting. The default selection is a B-Class vehicle.

What do the various colors mean on the Charging Summary Screen?

The charging gauge is represented as a circular gauge near the top of the Charging Summary screen. The color of the outside circle represent different states of charging.

  • Blue - The vehicle is NOT charging, and it also is not plugged in.
  • Yellow - The vehicle is NOT charging, however it is plugged into a charger. (Note: The Smart Electric does not provide connection info, even when plugged in)
  • Green - The vehicle is actively charging

The two lines directly below the charging gauge represent an estimate of charging power. The color represents whether or not the data is current or historical.

  • White - The vehicle is actively charging, and the values represented here are considered to be current, or active.
  • Gray - The vehicle is NOT charging. This means the values are from the previous charging session and are to be considered as historical.

The next section contains 3 lines of information and details climate control settings. As with other data, the color is important too. Setting climate control remotely does not happen instantly, and is a 3 step process. The color indicates the current state the climate control change.

  • Red - When first setting departure time or remote climate control, the red indicates that this new climate control info has not yet been sent to the Mercedes servers.
  • Yellow - After being received by the servers, there is a period of time before the information will be sent to the vehicle. During that time the application is polling the servers to determine whether or not the information has been received by the vehicle.
  • White - This indicates these are active or current values in the vehicle.

Why are there two values for Charging Power?

The B-Class vehicle is cable of two different charging modes. The regular charge, and the range charge. The vehicle does not actually provide charging power information. It sends three pieces of info, which are used to estimate the charging power.

  • The starting state of charge (SOC) of the charging session.
  • The ending state of charge (SOC) of the charging session. Note that this is almost always provided as 100%
  • The number of seconds estimated to charge from the starting SOC to the ending SOC.

These values, and knowing the size of the vehicle battery, the application makes an estimate of the charging power necessary to charge from the starting SOC to ending SOC in the given time. Because the vehicle data doesn't indicate whether or not the charging session is a regular charge or a range charge, both values are calculated and presented.

The value to the left indicates the charging power, assuming the session was a regular charge. The value within parenthesis indicates the estimated charging power, assuming that the session was a range charge. One of the two values should be fairly close to correct. It is up to the vehicle owner to decide which value is correct, based upon whether the charging session is a range or regular charge.

What does the Last Vehicle Sync value indicate?

The EVAccess app never communicates directly with the vehicle. Instead the application talks to the servers which provide the web app interface for the vehicle. These servers communicate directly with the vehicle, although it is never real time.

The last vehicle sync time is the last time that the vehicle and the servers actually communicated. You can think of this as an indicator of how current the data is.

The application, when open, polls the servers every one minute to see if there has been an update. And once every five minutes the application specifically requests that the servers resynchronize with the car. At best you might see the last sync time update to within two or three minutes of the current time, but it is not uncommon for the server and vehicle to not communicate for hours if there is no change in data.

How often is the data refreshed?

  • When the app is active in the foreground, the app connects to the server once every minute.
  • Also while active, once every 5 minutes, the app requests the servers resynchronize with the vehicle.
    Note: this does not guarantee that the servers will sync any time soon with the vehicle.
  • While the app is backgrounded it's actually up to the OS. The application makes use of Background App Refresh, and has requested updates no closer than 5 minutes. The OS tries to be smart and only update when it thinks you may actually want data, so this may happen as often as every 15 minutes or so, or it could be several hours.
  • Studies have shown that there are very few background refresh requests in the early morning hours (midnight to 4AM).

Can I force a data refresh?

You can certainly request a refresh. Whether or not there is new data depends upon the last time the vehicle synchronized with the servers.

  • Opening the Login pane and simply tapping the "Login" button will cause a complete login and data refresh sequence.
  • Opening the application from the background will go through a full login and data refresh sequence.
  • Obscuring the interface with another panel like the Notifications or Control panes will cause a full login and data refresh sequence when the application window is no longer hidden.
  • The Apple Watch can request a data refresh, however the iPhone handles the data requests and transfers when this happens. The iPhone app must be in a valid logged in state to accept and handle this request.

I am unable to login, even with correct email and password credentials

If there have been several failed login attempts, the Mercedes servers institute protections to prevent unauthorized login. You can correct this however, via the regular web-app from Mercedes or Smart.

  • Bring up the standard web application in a browser window
  • When you attempt to login there, you will see a "captcha" image, where you have to input the numbers or letters as seen in the image
  • Generally, if you type in the login info correctly here, along with the "captcha" data, the account will be restored, and you'll be able to login via the EVAccess application.
  • Worst case you will need to reset your password using the web application. Once that is done, again you should be good to use the EVAccess application.

Note: This is rarely a problem, as once you have correctly logged in via the application, it remembers your login credentials, and you should not have to enter them again. If you DO happen to change your credentials on the web app, please make sure to go to the Login tab on the application, and re-enter the new info there.

How does the Apple Watch component work?

EVAccess now provides an Apple Watch app, which makes keeping track of your electric vehicle even easier. There a couple of tricks to getting initial sync and updates.

  • Install EVAccess on your iPhone.
  • Secondly, install EVAccess on your iPhone.
  • Once installed on the watch, run EVAccess at least one time on the iPhone. This allows the iPhone to connect, and send username and password info to the watch, so that the watch can later work without going through the iPhone.
  • Run EVAccess on your Apple Watch. You will see the primary screen, which contains range and charge information. Press hard to bring up a menu which offers the ability to Refresh and Relogin.
  • When initially synchronizing the Apple Watch, press on the Relogin menu button. This instructs the watch to go through a complete login and data fetch session, using credentials received previously from the iPhone.
  • After you have successfully connected via the watch, use this same technique to request updated information from the Mercedes servers. Generally you can tap on the Refresh menu button, which only makes a data refresh request.

Does EVAccess support Apple Watch Complications?

Yes. EVAccess provides one of every complication style. It is highly recommended that you setup an EVAccess complication on your watch face, as this causes the WatchOS to request updated information on a regular basis.

EVAccess tells the WatchOS to request updated information approximately every 15 minutes. When instructed by the OS the EVAccess app will connect out to the Mercedes servers, and request updated information. This, in my experience, tends to happen more regularly than the iPhone background update regresh.

EVAccess Watch App Primary Pages

EVAccess Watch app consists of three primary pages. Each page provides a different set of information or functionality.

  • The primary screen shows current range and charge information. As with the iPhone, the color of the range/charge information is defined by whether or not the vehicle is charging, and/or is plugged in. See above. A context menu is available from this screen by a force press, which shows a menu to refresh data, or to completely re-login to the Mercedes servers.
  • The second page contains information on the Climate Control system. From this page there are buttons to turn the remote climate control system on or off. Please note that this needs to be enabled in the E-Cell menu on your vehicle.
  • The last screen shows the vehicle efficiency parameters.

RV Dash and DDec Decode

Initial Application and Network Setup

Before the application can be used with a CANpod device, a network connection must be established to the device.

  • Plug the CANpod into your DDEC diagnostic port and turn the key on. It is not necessary to start the engine
  • Open the Settings application on your iPad
  • Tap the Wifi setting
  • Look for a network with a name starting with SKYNET
  • Tap the Skynet network and wait for the checkmark to appear
  • Tap the blue Exposure arrow
  • Set up an ad-hoc network to the CANpod
    • Tap Static in the IP Address selector buttons
    • Enter an IP address in the form of 192.168.11.XX where XX is a value between 103 and 250
    • Enter 255.255.255.0 for the Subnet Mask
    • Enter 192.168.11.102 for the Router
    • Enter 192.168.11.102 for the DNS
    • Tap the Auto-Join button to ON
    • Tap the WiFi Networks Navigation button to return to the Wifi Main Screen

You should now be ready to run the application

The SKYNET network is not visible in the Wifi Networks panel

  • Check that the CANpod cable is plugged into the black connector on the CANpod
  • Check that the other side is plugged firmly into the DDEC diagnostic port
  • Make sure that your key is turned to the ON position so that power goes to the CANpod

The app launches, but after several seconds I get a blue CANpod Error screen

  • Double check the network control panel and that you have selected the SKYNET network
  • Open the RV Dash settings and verify the IP Address and Port are correct
  • As shown in the settings panel comment, the IP Address should be 192.168.11.102
  • The port should be 23

If the error panel still comes up:

  • Open the RV dash settings panel again
  • Turn ON the CANpod Debug switch
  • Run the app again, and a grey background screen will come up showing the conversation with the CANpod and the application
  • When the error dialog appears take a screen shot of your iPad by pressing the HOME button and POWER button simultaneously
  • Open your Photos application, and select the Camera Roll album. In there you will find the screen shot that you just saved
  • Email the picture to support@rvtechtools.com along with a phone number to contact you, and we'll diagnose the problem you're having

RV Dash

How do I change the gauge mode to sliders (or to rotational)?

  • While the app is running, tap on the gears icon on the toolbar
  • Select Slider Gauges or Rotational Gauges

Can I change the size and placement of the gauges?

  • Yes. While the app is tap the gears icon on the toolbar and select Edit Gauges
  • A grid will appear and each gauge will be outlined
  • To size the gauge you can use either the two-finger pinch gesture, or tap and drag a corner or edge
  • To position the gauge, tap and drag from the center of the gauge
  • When moving or sizing the gauge will snap to align to the displayed grid. This allows for more precise placing and sizing of the gauges
  • To cancel the edit, simply re-select the current gauge mode from the gears icon menu
  • If the new layout is satisfactory, select Save Edit from the gears icon menu.

I tried to edit the layout, and now everything is a mess

Don't worry, this is really easy to fix! No matter how badly you get the gauges messed up, you can always return the original default layouts.

  • Tap the Gears icon in the bottom right of the toobar
  • Select Reload Defaults
  • This will reload ALL layouts to the original factory layout

I changed the gauge layout, but when I rotate the iPad my changes are missing

  • There are four separate layouts saved
  • For each of the two gauge modes (rotational and slider) there is a portrait layout and a landscape layout
  • Changes to one layout will not affect the others. You will want to individually change each layout to your preference

What are the two values in the center of the toolbar at the bottom of the screen?

If your DDEC computer sends these messages, these indicate the selected and attained gears

  • Not all DDEC computers send these messages. If not, these gauges will not appear
  • The left value is the gear selected by your transmission selector
  • The values will be R,N,1-6
  • The right-hand value is the actually attained gear
  • The values will be CR,CN,C1-C2,L2-L6
  • The C indicates Converter or slipping, while the L indicates Lockup
  • Knowing the actual attained gear is very helpful, especially in hill driving, knowing whether or not you can safely manually down-shift

I have gauges that always display zero. What can I do about that?

Depending upon the age of your vehicle and the level of the DDEC computer, some gauge data is never sent. There are a couple of options in dealing with this.

  • Ignore it? OK, that's probably not the answer you wanted, but several people do exactly that

Remove the gauge from the current layout using Edit Mode

  • Tap the Gear Icon and then select Edit Mode from the menu
  • At the top left of every gauge is a red X outlined in a circle
  • Tap the X and a confirmation menu will appear. Confirm, and the gauge will be deleted from the current layout
  • Note, as mentioned above, gauge edits affect only the current layout out of the four possible layouts. You will want to remove the gauge from all four layouts

Another option is to hide all gauges that are inactive or unused

  • Open the Settings application and select the RV Dash settings
  • Tap the Hide Unused Gauges button and turn it ON
  • Now, when you start the app, or rotate or change layouts ALL gauges will be cleared
  • As the gauges receive a message from the DDEC, they will turn visible
  • In most cases the gauges become visible almost immediately as most gauges receive update messages 10 times per second
  • Some gauges take many seconds to appear. As an example, the Coolant Level gauge receives a message only one time every 10 seconds

Sales and Other Questions

Where do I purchase a CANpod?

Please send an email to info@techtools.com If possible please include a phone number to contact you. Because this app currently runs on a limited set of tested vehicles, I want to be sure that we can handle your request first.

What is the cost?

Currently I am charging $350 for a complete software and hardware bundle. This includes a wireless CANpod, appropriate cable from CANpod to the diagnostic port, and both applications. The applications can be downloaded for free from the Apple website, but the bundle price includes the software apps.

What vehicles are supported?

At this point the application has only been tested with RV's and trucks with a Detroit Diesel S60 or 8v92 engine. The CANpod itself may be compatible with other vehicles, but might require a different cable, and testing before we can support it.

What if my vehicle or engine is not supported?

I am happy to pursue testing to see if the app can be modified to support your vehicle and engine. I would make you part of my beta team, and provide you with a testing application.

It is my goal to support other vehicles. If it's a matter of a different cable only, this can be handled quickly. If a new decoder has to be written, this will take a bit longer.

If the FAQ above does not answer your questions, please contact support at: support@rvtechtools.com