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  • question about hardware for ODB-II

    I understand that all the vehilces made from 96 and up have them, but where am i suppose to find this port? lol I have a 1998 Ford Explorer XLT, anyways
    What hardware do you use to connect this to your system? Do you use like a cable that connects from the ODB-II to a serial port ? Any input would be great, if i said something stupid, i'd also appreciate it if you pointed that out! thanks for the help

  • #2
    Typically you would purchase a hardware box that would connect to your PC via Serial (common), USB (less common) or 802.11b (www.obd2.com). The box would connect to the OBD2 standard connector (usually under the dash near the steering wheel) with a plug that looks like a parallelogram. You can also connect the box's wires directly to the back side of the vehicle's wiring harness if you don't have access to the particular OBD2 plug (or don't want to pay for one).

    Software then runs on the PC to interrogate the vehicle thru this hardware chain. The scan tool hardware usually comes with software to view the data appropriately. Sometimes you are able to also use this data in other integrated software that provides other capabilities like media playing.

    On the vehicle there is a layer of information called OBD2 which is supported across all US sold vehicles and is the most used information for diagnostics. Then, there is more data in what's called the Enhanced data (info like odometer) which very few aftermarket service scan tools access. It takes tons of time for a scan tool company to support all the data on the vehicle, especially the data that is specific to only that vehicle or vehicle line.

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    • #3
      So your lookin at 300$ to connect this port to your system eh ?

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      • #4
        I ordered my obd reader from obddiagnostics.com for $70 or so. I don't have a serial connector. So I bought a serial to usb connector from compgeeks.com ($8). I tried using the connector and its been screwy. Now my GPS isn't working. I gotta work on it this weekend. I may buy a different connector. I think that may be the problem.
        --------
        mykolJay
        99 Accord coupe
        http://www.geocities.com/accordpc
        My Project Thread on mp3car.com

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        • #5
          so your OBD-II to serial was only 70$?
          do you think the problem is in the cable or do you think its in the serial to usb conversion?

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          • #6
            I know VAG-COM ODBII will not work with serial to UAB convertors.

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            • #7
              well then seeing as i have a serial port, i should be fine then, and looking at around 70$ correct?

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              • #8
                If you are comparing the $300 (did you get this figure from obd2.com?) and a $70 box, most of the difference in price is amount of data support (Ease has the largest support for US purchased vehicles) and the rigour of the hardware (to be used in a service department - rugged). It is definately not apples to apples. But, it doesn't sound like you have lots of requirements today so the less expensive might meet your initial needs as you get your feet wet.

                Also regarding USB to Serial - it mostly depends on the chip in the adapter why a scan tool won't connect via USB. There are a few types available. I don't have the name at hand for the ones that work, but they were always $35 or so.

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                • #9
                  alright i must have read something wrong somewhere, all im looking for is a ODBII to serial for a computer. I have a 1998 Ford Explorer XLT. The only thing i seemed to find cost 300$ maybe i was lookin incorrectly. Is there a chance you could give me a link to where you saw this for 70$ Thanks that would be greatly appreciated.

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                  • #10
                    http://www.scantool.net/products/index.htm
                    StreetDeck.com Developer (I am Chuck)
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                    • #11
                      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

                      The OBD II standard requires car manufacturers to include a connector to hook into the system within three feet of the steering wheel inside the car, all you need to do is look underneath your dashboard. I think the Explorer has it just to the right of the steering wheel. Here is a picture of the connector:



                      (this one is from a 98 Jeep, but yours should look about the same)

                      -BZ
                      It has to start somewhere... It has to start sometime.
                      What better place than here? What better time than now?

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                      • #12
                        very cool thank you for the response, when i get a chance i'll check that out

                        and another thing, what exactly can you control with this thing, i know you can monitor tons of stuff in the engine, can you control your windows, locks 'n stuff?
                        And can you control the stock computer control chip in the car through it?

                        DAmn can you control engine timings ??? or just monitor them?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RogerWilco
                          very cool thank you for the response, when i get a chance i'll check that out

                          and another thing, what exactly can you control with this thing, i know you can monitor tons of stuff in the engine, can you control your windows, locks 'n stuff?
                          And can you control the stock computer control chip in the car through it?

                          DAmn can you control engine timings ??? or just monitor them?
                          OBD stands for on board diagnostics and its centered around emissions controls. I'd say its pretty unlikely you'll be able to control your windows or locks with it. But you can control things like timing and fuel curves, but i think its different for each make and model.
                          -Ross
                          02 Camaro SS
                          Opus 150W($150 used) Morex Venus 668 Case($109) Epia M10k($166) 128 Megs ($0), Maxtor 200Gig($76) CD-R/DVD($29) Lilliput 7"($285) Buffalo Airstation($42) Holux GPS($53) GM10-AUX(audio input, $72)
                          Tot: $983
                          Buying stereo!

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                          • #14
                            very cool
                            10 chars?

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                            • #15
                              Aside from diagnostics specific to engine and exhaust systems everything else is proprietary vehicle protocols.

                              I have a VW, and I got a VAG-COM reader, that lets me do ODBII and access all of the proprietary VW stuff.

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