Charging in Portishead

Went off out. I originally planned to go to a National Trust property, but decided it was probably a little too far away, so went to Portishead instead.

Parked on the road, but as I walked towards the marina I saw an EV charging station in the Parish Wharf Leisure Centre car park.

It had four spaces and was on the Revive network. The car park it was in was free for three hours. I didn’t need charging (urgently) so didn’t use it. Useful though to know it was there for a future visit to Portishead.

ACC not activated

I have been using the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) on the Funky Cat quite a bit. I quite like using ACC when travelling through urban areas with a 20mph speed limit. It keeps me within the speed limit and obviously slows me down when there is traffic.

I did though have an issue with it yesterday when it failed to activate. I don’t know the cause, but with all the rain we’ve been having, I wondered if there was water on the sensors, which would mean that it wouldn’t function properly.

It wasn’t an issue I just had to drive without it.

I checked later on my journey and it was working again.

Maybe one to watch, just in case it happens again.

No regenerative braking…

As I left the office today I realised that the regenerative braking wasn’t in effect. The Funky was driving along without slowing down when I took my foot off the accelerator. 

I thought there was a problem and I remembered a similar thing happening a couple of weeks ago as well. I was concerned that maybe there was another software issue.

Then it struck me, I had charged the Funky up to 100%, it had a full charge. How could the regenerative braking charge up the battery, when it was already at 100%.

Once I had driven a few miles, and the power had dropped a few percent the regenerative braking started working normally and as expected.

Not one, not two, but three

I had left my car for a few days at the airport after travelling to Amsterdam.

Got in the car and set it to demist. When this happened in my old petrol car, I would usually wait a bit and drive off, so the engine would heat up quicker. Obviously with an electric car, this doesn’t happen, so I just had to wait.

I then got an error message that the the tyre pressure in one of the tyres was low and needed to be checked. As I was at the airport, and it was only slightly off, so decided to drive home and then sort it out the following morning. There was nowhere at the airport to check air pressure anyhow.

However as I travelled home, I got further warnings. First it was one tyre and by the time I got home it was three out of four.

Next day checked pressure on all four tyres and got them back up to pressure. 

The sudden drop in ambient temperature is probably to blame. Always worthwhile though going to service station and checking air pressure.

Roaming in Amsterdam

I was off to Amsterdam for a few days for a conference at the RAI conference centre.

Following some issues with roaming in Spain in 2022 I have been a little concerned about travelling abroad and if I would have connectivity issues. After Spain though, I had travelled to Ireland and Germany and both times everything just worked. However the last time I went abroad, in the summer to Portugal, I had a few issues when roaming with excessive data usage on my iPhone.

have a Three contract with unlimited calls, unlimited texts, and unlimited data. As this is a pre-October 2021 contract I am able to use all those allowances when roaming, but there is a 12GB fair use limit. On all my previous visits abroad, before Portugal, I have never come close to reaching that limit.

In Portugal I reached 80% of my 12GB limit within the first twenty four hours. Back then, I turned off mobile data and then I went into Settings -> Mobile Data and turned off all the apps which could use mobile data. There were a lot of apps.

So when I flew to Amsterdam last week, whilst I was on the plane went into Settings -> Mobile Data and turned off virtually all the apps which could use mobile data. Took me a while as there were a fair few. I turned off mobile data for virtually all my apps and also specifically iCloud Drive and iCloud Backup. I am pretty sure they were the culprits for my excessive data usage whilst in Spain.

I then reset the mobile data usage statistics. So when I came back to the UK I could check how much data I had used.

Schiphol Airport had free WiFi, so I could use that in the airport whilst I had a ninety minute wait to get through passport control.

Now I was lucky that the hotel and conference venue had good WiFi, and even Schiphol Airport’s WiFi was good. So there was less reliance on using my mobile data. 

When I was walking around Amsterdam away from the hotel and the conference venue, I did turn on mobile data for specific apps that I wanted to use, finance and travel apps for example.

After arriving back in the UK I checked the mobile data usage statistics I had used whilst roaming in the Netherlands from Tuesday to Friday.

It was 1.4GB and 1.4GB is a lot less than the 12GB fair use allowance I have.  So was pleased with that. I never felt I was limited in how I used mobile data abroad, as when I did need to use an app, I just turned on mobile data for it. I was lucky in having decent WiFi, so that did make a difference.

Spotted, a Funky in the wild

This morning I saw another Funky in the  wild. This is the first time I have seen another Funky Cat outside the dealership. I know that the car is quite rare, so had been looking, but today I caught one on the streets.

I was a little surprised to see that it was in the same estate where I live. A green Funky with the white roof. 

I have had my Funky since August, and have done over 2000 miles in the car,  including trips to Warwick and York, as well as regular trips and commutes to Bristol.

I thought I would see my first wild Funky in Bristol, but the first wild Funky I spotted was just a few  hundred meters from where I live. 

I was unable to photograph the Funky as I was driving, but it was there I tell you, it was there in the wild.

Charging in Sand Bay

I hadn’t planned on using the EV (electric vehicle) chargers in the car park at Sand Bay. I had driven down to go for a stroll along the beach. However many others had the same idea and though the car park was full, the two EV car spaces were free. Well I was driving an EV, so I parked there. Paid for my parking through the MiPermit parking app. 

This was a Revive charger. I had issues with the Revive chargers up at Cribbs Causeway. Mainly as they didn’t accept my debit card or my Shell Recharge card. As I had some time I decided to register with Revive and use the charger.

They don’t have an app, so you register for the chargers on a website.

This I managed to do, but had to immediately do a password reset, as my saved password didn’t work.

It was then a “simple” matter of plugging my Funky Cat charger into the charging point and the car.

You then use the website to start the charging process.

Well. Though the charger itself said it was charging, the right light was lit up, the website said it wasn’t. The Ora app, also said it wasn’t charging. I waited, but in the end I did want to go for a walk.

As I walked along the beach I checked the Ora app and saw that the charge had increased by 2%, so it was charging.

When I got back, I did find it quite challenging to initially stop the charge. The initial website status page had “vanished”.

There was no menu item for stopping a charge. 

I found out that I needed to scroll down the page, past the menu, and then I could see my current charging session. I was then able to stop the charge, disconnect the cables and drive home.

Well at least now I have registered for the Revive network. I could get an RFID card for the service, but it costs £9, which seems expensive, compared the free apps and cards from other services. I think I will stick with the website instead.

166 miles and more

car headlight

Charged the Funky yesterday, I got a predicted 166 mile range after charging to 100%.

This is nowhere near the 193 miles that Ora advertises for the Funky Cat. The closest I have got was 185 miles.

Ora have also announced that next month they will be selling fifty models of a new version, the First Edition+ which is similar to models sold in other regions. This has a longer range.

Most notably, the First Edition+ variant will host GWM ORA’s 63kWh battery, offering 260 miles of WLTP electric range.

Too late for me.

Next year there will be new models too.

In addition, ‘First Edition+’ will provide a taster of what is to come when the full ORA Funky Cat range launches in 2024.

Again, too late for me…

Edie Brickell – Good Times

I first saw the Edie Brickell – Good Times video when it was included on the Windows 95 install CD as a way of showcasing the video capabilities of the new operating system.

At the time video on a computer was something that just didn’t happen and if it did was usually as a small window showing the video, the phrase postage stamp sized video was often close to the truth. I remember been impressed with the two video files included with Windows and that I could play them on my PC. I think it was these videos that, as they demonstrated that video could be on a computer, inspired me to buy the Matrox Rainbow Runner video card so my PC could record and playback full screen video. I used that a lot for capturing video so I could play it back during Powerpoint presentations back in the latter half of the 1990s. It always bothered me that my television and video recorder could do all this video stuff, but my (much more) expensive computer was just not capable of playing video let alone capturing video. At least the Rainbow Runner allowed me to do what I wanted with standard definition video, even if a standard Windows PC couldn’t at that time.

Today my iMac is capable of playing multiple 8K videos at the same time as well as capturing and recording similar quality video. I can even stream 8K quality video from the internet. How times have changed, for the better I think. I am always impressed with how we can manipulate, edit and encode video these days.

As for the feel good song, even after all this time I still like to play it now and again, I think like any good song it stands the test of time in terms of its listenability.