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Thread: ODB-II Questions

  1. #1
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    Post ODB-II Questions

    Ok....I have read through most of the threads in the ODB-II section, and I have just a few questions about this.

    1. How much do the adapters usually run, and is there a USB one? I saw a serial adapter.

    2. Does the software allow you to monitor the computer while during standard driving? Meaning, I would have the adapter always plugged in? My dad has the portable adapters to read diagnostics from an ODB-II connection, but I've only seen it run while idle.

    3. This is unrelated, but for GPS how does it know things like speed?

    I know these are very newb-ish questions, but I am in the process of building my carputer and I'm trying to determine what I need and don't need.

    If required I can post the items I have planned to purchase thus far.

    Thanks in advance, this site is awesome!
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  2. #2
    Low Bitrate cavramair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quickshot56
    Ok....I have read through most of the threads in the ODB-II section, and I have just a few questions about this.

    1. How much do the adapters usually run, and is there a USB one? I saw a serial adapter.

    2. Does the software allow you to monitor the computer while during standard driving? Meaning, I would have the adapter always plugged in? My dad has the portable adapters to read diagnostics from an ODB-II connection, but I've only seen it run while idle.

    3. This is unrelated, but for GPS how does it know things like speed?

    I know these are very newb-ish questions, but I am in the process of building my carputer and I'm trying to determine what I need and don't need.

    If required I can post the items I have planned to purchase thus far.

    Thanks in advance, this site is awesome!
    Answer, Question 1. Yes, you can adapt to serial, but I have heard that there are problems associated with that sometimes.

    Answer, Question 2. Yes, you can run it while you are driving, I would move the port up a little bit depending on where its at, so the cable isnt going to get tangled on your foot when you get into your vehicle.

    Answer, Question 3. It works on triagulation. It can determine your speed by how fast your position changes.

    I also love this site. Nice car, check mine out, I also have a Grand Am.
    -Drew Taylor
    2000 Grand Am GT PC

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavramair
    Answer, Question 1. Yes, you can adapt to serial, but I have heard that there are problems associated with that sometimes.

    Answer, Question 2. Yes, you can run it while you are driving, I would move the port up a little bit depending on where its at, so the cable isnt going to get tangled on your foot when you get into your vehicle.

    Answer, Question 3. It works on triagulation. It can determine your speed by how fast your position changes.

    I also love this site. Nice car, check mine out, I also have a Grand Am.
    Thanks for the fast answers!

    I have seen your car before! It was a result of a for grand am performance parts. It's a sweet ride. I'm just lookin to put the computer in it.

    Any idea how much an ODB-II adapter is?
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  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate Big Zack's Avatar
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    BR-3 from www.obddiagnostics.com is $88 , USA includes delivery ($98 USD All other countries)

    The interface supports OBDII protocols commonly used in US vehicles: VPW (General Motors), PWM (Ford), and ISO9141 (Chrysler, Asian, and European), and ISO 14230 protocol (also called Keyword 2000). (It does not support the CAN interface)

    Free software is for 32 bit Windows operating systems, such as Win 95/98/ME, or Win NT/2000/XP. Screenshots here: http://obddiagnostics.com/ScrnShot/Winscreen.html

    - Z

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the link Z!

    has anybody ordered something from this place?

    Is it a reliable site?

    Also, does anybody have this part? How well does it work?
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  6. #6
    Constant Bitrate Big Zack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quickshot56
    Thanks for the link Z!

    has anybody ordered something from this place?

    Is it a reliable site?

    Also, does anybody have this part? How well does it work?
    Search this site for obddiagnostics or BR-3 and you will find several comments from people that use the BR-3, including me.

    - Z

  7. #7
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    These inexpensive products will work ok if you just want basic data and to be able to clear codes. The problem is that wont read enhanced data on anything so if you are serious about using it as a performance scantool you should go with something else like autotap.

  8. #8
    Maximum Bitrate gork's Avatar
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    Yes, I use the BR-3. It works great.

    Re: Your question #3 about GPS and speed... GPS measures your position every 1s (most receivers), so the GPS is deriving your average speed over the last 1s by looking at the difference in position. Ie how far did you move in 1s? It's worth noting that while your GPS position may be inaccurate by 10-50ft or more, the inaccuracy usually stems from atmospheric distortion of the signals from the GPS satellites, thus the inaccuracy will remain fairly constant between readings. This has the net result of making the GPS speed measurement the most accurate reading a GPS can give you. GPS speed is generally accurate to within 10cm/s or 0.22MPH according to the spec sheets of most GPS units. If your car is travelling at a relatively constant velocity over the course of 1 second, the GPS will give you a much more accurate speed measurement than your car's speedometer can.

    I've always thought a fun little project could be done to compare ODB-II speed (tire rotation) vs GPS speed (actual ground speed).. The ratio between the two would change as your tires heat up and expand or cool and lose pressure (or get punctured and lose pressure). After you collect sufficient data, you could estimate the average air pressure and temp of your tires!
    MY CAR IS FOR SALE!
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  9. #9
    FLAC SnyperBob's Avatar
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    Hey gork - you said you use the BR3 - that's in your BMW, correct?
    Would you recommend it? and is it pretty much plug and play? I've been interested in picking a BR3 up, but just want to find out how well they work from ppl that actually one one.

    Any info is much appreciated.

  10. #10
    Raw Wave RoyN's Avatar
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    I ordered mine for about $85 I think from digimoto.com...

    There software (not included in the above price) seems to be one of the nicest, and their interface is USB native which is a plus for me...

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