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Thread: Help Please - Choosing a USB OBD II Device

  1. #1
    Low Bitrate stroths's Avatar
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    Help Please - Choosing a USB OBD II Device

    I am not new to computers, but am new to the CarPC scene. I have a pretty nice system built, but would like some opinions on this OBD 2 USB reader as I have no experience in this area. I have been reading through this subforum, but am still confused.

    I currently have a 99 Nissan Altima, but plan on getting a 2008 Altima within the next 6 months or so.

    Here is the one I am looking at which is about $50 shipped on ebay

    eBay Link

    Will this one work with both cars? Also, do these scanners need firmware upgrades or do the codes stay the same for the foreseeable future?

    Here are some specs on the ebay one I linked above.

    Combine ELM323+ELM320+ELM322 interface + CAN BUS
    Multi-Protocol Support:
    J1850 PWM (41.6 kbaud)
    J1850 VPW (10.4 kbaud)
    ISO 9141-2 (5 baud init, 10.4 kbaud)
    ISO KWP (5 baud init, 10.4 kbaud)
    ISO KWP (fast init, 10.4 kbaud)
    ISO CAN (11 bit ID, 500 kbaud)
    ISO CAN (29 bit ID, 500 kbaud)
    ISO CAN (11 bit ID, 250 kbaud)
    ISO CAN (29 bit ID, 250 kbaud)
     

    Features:
    • New Design! FTDI Chipset based design +ELM327 chipset
    • Works excellently with Scantool 1.18/1.08de versions
    Technical Specification:
    • OBDII Plug: J1962 16-Pin Male (to Car)
    • USB Port : (to Computer or PDA)
    • Length OBD2 cable : 1.5 meters
    • Weight (set) : About 380g
    • Color : Black cable
    Supported Software:
    • Scantool software:
      • : ScanTool.net OBD-II software, Ver. 1.18 /1.08de ScanTool.net v1.10 (DOS/Windows)
        : PCMScan for Windows (Ver. 1.0) or PCMSCAN
        : ScanMaster Pro for Windows (Ver. 1.0)
        ScanMaster v1.1 for ElmScan 5 (Demo) or ScanMaster-ELM
        : WGIobdii (Ver. 3.4a)
        : DigiMoto for Window (Ver. 3.7)
        : DigiMoto for Pocket PC (Ver. 1.0)

    Thank you for any help you can offer.

  2. #2
    VENDOR - OBDPros
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    A genuine ELM327 chip by itself costs $ 30.00, add price of the cables, enclosure, etc and you can see that there is no way you could get an original ELM327 for that price.

    Now the seller could also have developed their own firmware and gone that route but it seems they claim it's a genuine ELM chipset, so I am interested in hearing from someone who actually bought one of these if it indeed works as advertised, better yet I will buy one of these and report back on what I find out, if it ever shows up at my door that is

    Paul
    www.obdpros.com

  3. #3
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    I was actually about to buy this exact item yesterday, so I'd be really interested in your results.

  4. #4
    Low Bitrate stroths's Avatar
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    Thank you for the feedback. It will be interesting to see what happens.

  5. #5
    Low Bitrate stroths's Avatar
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    After reading other posts from michbound, I have decided to buy an OBD Pro USB from him for several reasons.

    1. He supports his products and is in the forums regularly. If I have questions or it breaks, I have someone in the United States that can help me resolve the issue.

    2. He made mention of possible flexible upgrade options if needed in the future in another thread. This will be useful if there are changes to the coding used.

    3. His device has a double buffer which the Chinese ones don't. This should help the device keep up with the data being sent.

    4. $50 extra for less headaches than I would likely experience with the Chinese version is worth it alone.

  6. #6
    Newbie djesco's Avatar
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    schematics and more

    Go to yahoo groups and do a search for ftuner project you will find schematics on how to build your own interface. There seems alot of people selling more rather than developing. You can build it cheaper. The chips to use are as folow: ELM320, ELM322, ELM323 or ELM327 dependant on application. (Some years back Jeff had worked on a project in Yahoo groups and then commercial versions came about from this) The original Schematics and project detail from 2001 was located on his site complete with schematics and layout for a OBDII to RS232 converter: http://www.planetfall.com/~jeff/obdii/

    However keep in mind any of the ELM____ microchips are simple program chips which convert RS232 to your application be it VPW, PWM etc.. Motorola makes several flavors to choose from such as MC32199, MC33290 and MC33390. These chips convert K-line ISO9141 into RS232 or J1850 (VPW) into RS232 and in addition to all of this there are some companies which give sample quanities of thier chipsets (never hurts to ask) .

    If you are wondering which protocol your vehicle uses I have included the following for 1996 and later vehicles:

    If you look at the OBDII connector you will commonly notice that not all pins are populated. Use the following information to compare.

    J1850 VPW--The connector should have metallic contacts in pins 2, 4, 5, and 16, but not 10.
    ISO 9141-2--The connector should have metallic contacts in pins 4, 5, 7, 15, and 16.
    J1850 PWM--The connector should have metallic contacts in pins 2, 4, 5, 10, and 16.

    By the way (no pun intended by this) But you don't have to use Elm scans software or better said yet "You are not limited to Elm Scan" eithier. There are several pieces of freeware software out there that you can use dependant of your application (Vehicle Make etc)

    Hope this helps

  7. #7
    Constant Bitrate vull's Avatar
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    sub.

  8. #8
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    Stroths,
    Bought the same Ebay cheap ELM327 USB OBDII scanner.
    Works great. Win XP picked up the USB and installed drivers.
    Vista Home Premium did just the same. Tried it on several cars, VW, Renault, Ford. Worked ok. Leave it on auto and it detects the protocols by itself.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyborg View Post
    Stroths,
    Bought the same Ebay cheap ELM327 USB OBDII scanner.
    Works great. Win XP picked up the USB and installed drivers.
    Vista Home Premium did just the same. Tried it on several cars, VW, Renault, Ford. Worked ok. Leave it on auto and it detects the protocols by itself.
    How much did you pay with shipping? Can you post a link or the sellers name.

    Thanx!

  10. #10
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    The OBD II scan code reader was from szhid on Ebay
    Paid 16.99 p+p and won the bid at 9.86 for the reader.
    Just do Ebay search using OBD then look for szhid as the seller.
    I have used it on 2000 petrol Renault Cleo, 2002 petrol Renault Scenic, 2004 Ford Connect diesel and 2007 diesel VW Caddy.
    Couldn't get it to work on 2002 diesel Ford Mondeo. The OBD connectors on diesels before 2004 aren't standard. I am experimenting to see if I can get it to work.
    Hope this helps

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