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  • PC based scan tool or handheld

    Hi everyone,

    I am looking to buy a scan tool that gives me the most information and trouble shooting data. I really like the Equus Innova 3130 http://www.iequus.com/product_info.p...gory_id=1_10_7. I also like the Elm based PC tools. My question is are their any advantages that an ELM based tool like Scantool.net has over the handheld 3130 (which you can record live data and download it to the PC and do all the graphing etc. Can the scantool see any more codes or information over the equus? I'd rather have the ease and portability fo the handheld but am mostly concerned with the amount of usefullness and data I can pull.

    Thanks!

    Ed

  • #2
    I looked at the manual online, the problem with this type of device is that it's not extendible, what I mean by that is that the manufacturer has chosen to embed the specific pid's it wants to support and that is it, you cannot just send a message over the vehicle bus like you can with the OBDPro.

    So fo example say you figure out the message to send to unlock doors on your vehicle, you cannot use the iequus to send that message. Also it only supports the generic pids.

    Paul
    www.obdpros.com

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    • #3
      Paul,

      Thanks for the reply. I was wondering the same thing. Now I really like the portability of the iequus but I am wondering if the "open source" nature of ELM programming doesn't lend itself to greater flexibility long term. Hmmmmm Decisions decisions!

      Anyone else?

      Ed

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      • #4
        It really depends on what you are looking to get from the tool, and how you are going to use it.

        We sell a range of PC-based and handhelds, it really will depend on what the "must have" and "nice to have" criteria for the tool are for you.

        Gareth
        UKOBD

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        • #5
          Gareth,

          I mean primarily I am looking for a diagnostic device. I have two newer vehicles and am a DIYer who has had lots of SES lights that don't have hard pat fixes. So given that, I am also a computer engineer who likes to get the most from a device. I like the compact all in one solution of a hand held so I don't have to drag out a laptop cables, etc every time but my main concearn is that I won't be able to see certain manufacturer codes, data or something by going the handheld route. I guess I don't want to miss out on data or information because of a technology choice. Yep, a truely indecisive moment! Since you seem to have a lot of experience with the different units, can you give be a basic comparison of differences/advantages between the two formats?

          Thanks!

          Ed

          Comment


          • #6
            Ed,

            I see your point with regard to taking kit out to the car to diagnose it, but you can of course consider something like a Bluetooth interface which might give you the best of both worlds? You could also look at a tool like the Actron CP9180 which is a hand-held (http://www.ukobd.co.uk/gstore/store/...p?IDproduct=92) which includes a USB cable so that can connect to a PC after, print data off, etc.

            I suppose it can be an issue of the frequency you intend on using the kit, whether you are looking at just diagnosis, or whether you are also interested in tuning.

            There is inevitably more questions that answers!

            Gareth
            UKOBD

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            • #7
              Gareth,

              Yeah, I looked at blue tooth too but if I go the PC route, I will just use the kit. I doubt I will use it for much tuning other than a tuneup here and there. They are just family vehicles, nothing sporty or fun! So mostly just for fixing vehicles. I don't really care too much about the 0-60 dragstrips, etc... Just information to help me fix a problem.

              I looked at that Actron but on Actron's website they have a model comparison chart that says that model doesn't support OBD II Enhanced codes and the Equus 3130 seems to. They are both pretty vauge about it.

              Do the PC interfaces (other than the virtual dyno, dragstrips, and stuff for hard core performance auto work ) hold any other edge over the Actron/Equus? Do you have a favorite between the Actron you mentioned or the Equus 3130?

              Thanks a ton for all your help.

              Ed

              Comment


              • #8
                Your a Computer Engineer?

                Man, you're a fellow tech-head, and that alone is requirement enough to get the most capable and expandable solution. You're going to get to the limit of what the handheld can do pretty quickly, and then get miffed because you can't do the stuff you imagine you could do.

                Go the ELM327 based (or even better, the ELM327 compatible obdpro) unit with PCMSCAN software. Trust me. The only thing more hard-core is a J2534 Mongoose unit from Drewtech which, if you buy the right one, would let you access Manufacturer J2534 compliant software and download new calibrations to your car.

                Oh, and if you ever want to setup a CarpC for diags, the ELM unit is the only choice (out of thse you provided). This is MP3Car.com isn't it?


                Lukeyson

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                • #9
                  Lukeyson,

                  Thank you for the reply - I have been leaning towards the pc based option. I was looking at the obdpro and it seems to make a lot more sense than the traditional ELM. But then I found the digimoto. The price and features sound good but is it as extenible as the ELM/ODBPRO? Can multiple software packages work with it? Does it support terminal commands? Can I just write some code to interface with it or would I be better off hanging out with the odbpro and getting digimoto or PCM scan software?

                  Anyone?

                  Thanks for all the help, you guys are great!

                  Ed

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                  • #10
                    Joel from digimoto frequents this board so he should be able to fill you in on the digimoto hardware, I think the hardware that digimoto sells has a proprietary command set that is documented by ozen electronics but it would not work with the other ELM compatible software packages. I think PCMScan though does work with the Ozen electronic hardware.

                    Paul
                    www.obdpros.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well, I ordered a odbro unit yesterday. It just seems more logical to stay in the ELM type world. Digimoto looks very nice but I like the larger community of ELM-like. I will evaluate digimoto software against pcmscan before I make a purchase there. Anyone want to share thoughts. Sigh, I like the Innova stuff but thanks to Lukeyson for calling this geek on the carpet.

                      Thanks guys. keep the software opinions coming!

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