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Thread: USB OBD II lead - Acts like a serial to usb converter?

  1. #1
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    USB OBD II lead - Acts like a serial to usb converter?

    Hi guys,

    Looking around for OBD II leads. A friend of mine has one. Its serial. and works pretty well. I bought a van a few days ago (first buy) and it has the OBD II port, we tested with his lead and it all works perfect.

    He got his from ebay (where else? :P) some time ago. I went looking for a similar lead but unfortunately i can only find that lead with the usb end on it. Is it safe to say that a usb lead qwill just act like a serial to USB converter? and i can access it from programs by selecting com 3 or 4 or which ever it might be?


    Thanks,
    - Paul

  2. #2
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    most leads these days are usb , the older serial leads like vagcom work fine but the newer ones that are usb work with later versions of the programs , i have 3 different leads for my car all are usb and when installed show as usbto serial converters and yes they are configrable on different com ports

  3. #3
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    thanks a mill,

    Now Time to go look for a good elm 327 (for cheap)

    Any recommendations? :P

    cheers again,
    - Paul

  4. #4
    North of the land of Hey Huns
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluenarf View Post
    thanks a mill,

    Now Time to go look for a good elm 327 (for cheap)

    Any recommendations? :P

    cheers again,
    - Paul
    You get what you pay for. You could buy a cheap ebay deal for $20-$30 and have about a 50% chance of it working, or you could pay $85 for one of these: http://www.obdpros.com/ And have 100% chance of it working. You can even choose between USB (virtual serial port in windows) or true serial. I've been using mine for about a year now constantly, and it has zero issues.

  5. #5
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    You know what. Your perfectly right. Ebay is great for cheap and equally bad stuff!

    The only question left now, is: Do i go for USB or True serial?

    Considering i might be doing some application writing with it and interfacing to carpc (probably linux) would it be wise to go for true serial?

    If i ever do need it to be usb i suppose i can use a USB to serial converter.

    So i think i'll go with true serial from that website you listed.
    Any objections?

    :P

    cheers for the info
    - Paul

    p.s the ELM 327 works with most software?

  6. #6
    North of the land of Hey Huns
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluenarf View Post
    You know what. Your perfectly right. Ebay is great for cheap and equally bad stuff!

    The only question left now, is: Do i go for USB or True serial?

    Considering i might be doing some application writing with it and interfacing to carpc (probably linux) would it be wise to go for true serial?

    If i ever do need it to be usb i suppose i can use a USB to serial converter.

    So i think i'll go with true serial from that website you listed.
    Any objections?

    :P

    cheers for the info
    - Paul

    p.s the ELM 327 works with most software?


    Most software I've seen works for the ELM chip, it's usually listed as being "elm compatable".

    Personally, I'd go USB. The USB elm shows up as a virtual serial device similar to how it does in windows, so you access it as if it were a serial device (if I recall correctly, it's been a while), and this leaves your serial port open for other cool projects . I went serial and now I need to get a 4 port serial to usb hub so I can attach my I/O board.

    I wrote a linux OBD2 library for interfacing with the ELM327, if you are interested (and know c++) I could help you get started

  7. #7
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    Usb sounds like the one then.

    I just so happen to know C++, i have no immediate plans to start any projects with it. But when things get a bit quieter with work/school etc i plan to do something exiting.

  8. #8
    SuperMod - OBDII GPS Logger forum
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    I'm actually using a bluetooth one, which also presents itself as a serial port.

    FWIW, I saw linux got a mention above. I've been working on this tool: OBD GPS Logger
    which has a little thread on this very forum, here

    Gary (-;

  9. #9
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    Well, I took the bull by the horns and went and ordered myself an OBDpros usb interface..
    Hope they're fast posters!
    thanks for all the advice guys

  10. #10
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    Cable arrived this morning. And just as i suspected it doesn't work with my WIN 98 laptop. Good old NTKERN.VXD wont load the drivers.. whatever it means by that... I knew i shouldhave gone with the serial. But there you go. My advice to anyone is to go with the serial version!!

    - Paul

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