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Discussion Starter #1
I've tried to work with ABRP for some time now, just managing to frustrate myself. Is there someplace I can locate instructions on how to use the app?

Thanks,

Rich
 

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I find the old version more user friendly: abetterrouteplanner.com/classic
Give this a try.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you Phil, I will. I can only think I'm doing something wrong as so many people seem to like the app.

Rich
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I just downloaded the "classic" version. You're right, it's easier to use. I really wish two things for the app:

Some set of instructions to follow prior to try and using the program, and,
Labeling of options so that you know what you're about to click on!

Rich
 

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Some set of instructions to follow prior to try and using the program, and, Labeling of options so that you know what you're about to click on!
You are not alone. I gave up for (among other things) the same reasons you have expressed.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
More serious response to the ABRP issues. Many well meaning and potentially useful apps are put together by intensly interested, highly educated and skilled technicians. What they fail to do is properly vet the interface with the "great unwashed" of the world, the actual users.

When I was a child, I served as a sgt and later a lt in the NYPD's Firearms and Tactics Section. I ran the NYPD Police Firearms Instructors School, Heavy Weapons Training Program and Research and Testing. One of my roles there was to create both written and verbal instructions for the accomplishment of complex tasks.

You would be amazed, when you slowly take apart a function which ought to be simple to accomplish (say running the qualification range at the NYPD). I mean, just tell the cops to get on the firing line, shoot at the target, score it, and move on, right?

Wrong.

I stood on the side and watched what was going on. It took me a day to write out step by step instructions for my instructors to follow in order to actually run the qualification line of fire. Three pages of mostly "bullets" of instructions.

So, one day ABRP might well be a useful (to me anyway) program. I'll keep slogging away at it. But if the creators simply sat down with a half dozen novices to the app and watched them struggle through the tasks needed in order to actually accomplish the designers goals, they'd sure learn a great deal!

Rich
 

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have yo messed directly with the website?
A Better Routeplanner

they have an release notes area that i find somewhat useful; But they also have a "Tell Us What You Think!" link.
and even a forum where you can reach out to other users.
A Better Route Planner

I messed around with the website long before I started trying the app, so it helped me understand how to use the app and what all it's symbols represented and how to manipulate it.

Good Luck. If you can figure out how to use it for your needs, it really is a neat little tool, even if cumbersome to use.
 

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More serious response to the ABRP issues. Many well meaning and potentially useful apps are put together by intensly interested, highly educated and skilled technicians. What they fail to do is properly vet the interface with the "great unwashed" of the world, the actual users.

When I was a child, I served as a sgt and later a lt in the NYPD's Firearms and Tactics Section. I ran the NYPD Police Firearms Instructors School, Heavy Weapons Training Program and Research and Testing. One of my roles there was to create both written and verbal instructions for the accomplishment of complex tasks.

You would be amazed, when you slowly take apart a function which ought to be simple to accomplish (say running the qualification range at the NYPD). I mean, just tell the cops to get on the firing line, shoot at the target, score it, and move on, right?

Wrong.

I stood on the side and watched what was going on. It took me a day to write out step by step instructions for my instructors to follow in order to actually run the qualification line of fire. Three pages of mostly "bullets" of instructions.

So, one day ABRP might well be a useful (to me anyway) program. I'll keep slogging away at it. But if the creators simply sat down with a half dozen novices to the app and watched them struggle through the tasks needed in order to actually accomplish the designers goals, they'd sure learn a great deal!

Rich
Having been involved with ISO 9000 years ago, I know exactly what you mean!
 

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They used to call these people "Technical writers". It's amazing that they can create sophisticated software with such poor or non-existant instructions.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Our basic philosophy I was taught at the NYPD Firearms & Tactics Section was, in regard any piece of equipment (firearm, ammo, ancillary gear, flashlights, the whole ball of wax), or tactic to be taught or used by our officers had to meet two criteria:

They (or it) had to be Task or Job Related, and,
They, or it, had to be Practical!
There are lots of bright ideas out there that fail one or the other criteria. So, if the piece of equipment or tactic was not somehow useful in accomplishing the mission (not job related), if even if the item/tactic was relevant to the mission but for whatever reason it was not practical to use, we’d reject it.

The above may sound like a reasoned and simple approach to handling such matters, but you have no idea the mischief which can be caused by well intentioned, intensely interested hobbyists, promulgating whatever earth-shattering idea they have come up with.

Rich
 

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More serious response to the ABRP issues. Many well meaning and potentially useful apps are put together by intensly interested, highly educated and skilled technicians. What they fail to do is properly vet the interface with the "great unwashed" of the world, the actual users.

When I was a child, I served as a sgt and later a lt in the NYPD's Firearms and Tactics Section. I ran the NYPD Police Firearms Instructors School, Heavy Weapons Training Program and Research and Testing. One of my roles there was to create both written and verbal instructions for the accomplishment of complex tasks.

You would be amazed, when you slowly take apart a function which ought to be simple to accomplish (say running the qualification range at the NYPD). I mean, just tell the cops to get on the firing line, shoot at the target, score it, and move on, right?

Wrong.

I stood on the side and watched what was going on. It took me a day to write out step by step instructions for my instructors to follow in order to actually run the qualification line of fire. Three pages of mostly "bullets" of instructions.

So, one day ABRP might well be a useful (to me anyway) program. I'll keep slogging away at it. But if the creators simply sat down with a half dozen novices to the app and watched them struggle through the tasks needed in order to actually accomplish the designers goals, they'd sure learn a great deal!

Rich
This right here. This is my life--a life I love, BTW. Figuring out how to design things for and explain things clearly to people, people who have a wide variety of knowledge, experience, and mental models, is one of the biggest challenges of product development. And it's one often overlooked. In part because many products are one-person ideas, and that person has the enthusiasm and the technical knowledge, but not the user experience design knowledge, and in part because the explaining is "just writing," and anyone can write, right?
 

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I really tried to use ABRP but found it to be unusable, and I spent years in software development as an engineer. In part, I don't think it actually has the functionality that is needed. But I also think that it is not intuitively designed. I haven't touched it in over 6 months and no plans on doing so. I just use PlugShare to find stations and Google Maps to plot legs of my route, which I can send to my phone and use with Android Auto. ABRP is a mess.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Sly wrote; "I just use PlugShare to find stations and Google Maps to plot legs of my route,"

Ditto. Fortunately I have a dual computer screen setup, so it's not difficult accessing both programs at the same time.

Rich
 

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The web version and the cellphone app work quite differently. I did like the old version as the new versions were full of bugs as each release was rolled out. The current version is working okay, within the limitations of limited data - and sometimes faulty AI in calculating a route. You have to use Plug Share and ABRP and a lot of common sense. You might have to break up the trip into segments and force it to go to places you want, especially if you want to use L2 chargers overnight.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
... You have to use Plug Share and ABRP and a lot of common sense. You might have to break up the trip into segments and force it to go to places you want, especially if you want to use L2 chargers overnight.
Yes, that's what I've found as well. Lots of cross referencing is useful. Jealous of the simplicity of the Tesla system which shows you where all your chargers are, and takes you right to them on the car's info screen!

Rich
 

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So, one day ABRP might well be a useful (to me anyway) program.
One day, ABRP won't be necessary. Do you need something like this for ICE trips? There was a time, early in the ICE adoption curve that fuel stops were scarce and careful planning was required for long trips. They lacked the internet and tools we have today, but eventually, ubiquitous fuel stops made ICE travel almost effortless.

I dream of the day when enough 150kW+ DC charging exists along travel corridors where I can stop when my body needs a break, grab a 15 minute boost and continue on my way. No planning, just pack up and go.

I dream of the day when states and federal highway planners see put solar + storage + 150kW chargers in all of the rest stops. Add the longer range of future EVs, faster charging capabilities in these future EVs, and supplement the rest stop charging with ubiquitous 150+ kW charging at restaurants and gas stations along the route. Where every hotel along travel routes has adequate L2 plugs for a majority of guests. And where freeway signage includes info on charging as well a gas and food.

That day will be the day you can simply get in your EV and go anywhere, without planning.
 

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One day, ABRP won't be necessary. Do you need something like this for ICE trips? There was a time, early in the ICE adoption curve that fuel stops were scarce and careful planning was required for long trips.
One of my grandfathers used to make a bit of extra money on the farm, pulling cars up the hill with his team of horses when it was muddy. :)
 

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One of my grandfathers used to make a bit of extra money on the farm, pulling cars up the hill with his team of horses when it was muddy. :)
One of my grandfathers made a trip from WVA to SoCal in the 1920s (Route 66). Some of the "highways" were dirt, essentially wagon train trails. He carried extra gas cans in his car, and filled up the car + spare tanks whenever he found a fuel stop. AC was not a thing in those days, so the desert stretches must have been pretty miserable.

I really don't remember what he said about navigation and planning fuels stops, but by then it was immensely more possible to make the journey. Route 66 was the first East West highway, before it, trips to the West Coast were next to impossible in ICE cars, forget it in the EVs of the time!

In those days, LA had a population of about 500K. San Diego was only 75K. He even made a jaunt down to the Long Bar in Ensenada.
 

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One of my grandfathers made a trip from WVA to SoCal in the 1920s (Route 66).
Quite an adventure! When my grandfather finally got a Model T, his longest trip was from northern Wisconsin to Milwaukee, when he had had a fight with my grandmother. He had to back up many of the hills.

There were many hills which did not have the grade reduced in those days, and the car had several interesting "features." There was no oil pump for the motor. It was gravity fed. Going up a steep hill could seize the bearings. Ford solved this problem by strategically locating the, also gravity fed, fuel tank. The carburetor would run dry before the bearings, if you drove up too steep a hill going forward. Also, he designed the simple planetary gear set so reverse was lower than 1st or 2nd.
 
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