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  • Advice for system??

    Iím trying to figure out what system to buy and because I have no experience with OBD Iím confused. I know I need an OBD II cable, some kind of interface, and software. Iím reading about the ELM interface but they sound slow and only works on a few vehicles. It also appears that there are more universal interfaces like ďOBDproĒ or ďAllInOneĒ which work with many protocols, but they also suffers with the problem of speed. I need to maintain an 04 Chrysler Pacifica. Auto Eninuity offers a complete package to do generic codes for $250 (so I can help my friends) but it will cost me another $150 to do all the engine codes on my car for a total of $400. ďEase Pc ScanĒ seems to be the most complete package but it cost! If I want just the powertrain on the Chrysler it will cost me $370. If I wanted the Powertrain/Body/Chassis it will cost me $445. Every vehicle I wanted to add (only basic codes) will cost me another $100. Over time I could get into a lot of money!
    If all use somewhat the same interface and all generic codes are the same then spending more money on software really only gets me extended codes. If a company, such as Ease Pc Scan, is a pro company (better everything) and not really meant to be DIY, and they will do things the DIY will never do, then I need to spend the money if I want the power. If I use a DIY interface and a PCMScan or Digimoto software will I ever get all the engine codes, and others codes, to fully diagnostic my car? Will those using an open source software eventually find and do more with codes than the pro companies? Which way do I turn? Please!
    steve

  • #2
    Well if all you are interested in is checking and clearing codes don't get a PC interface at all. Get a handheld reader for that.

    If you know enough to make use of the hundreds of sensor readings a PC interface gives you access to then you could go with ELM (contrary to what you said the new ELM Scan 5 is universal) and then get an open source program that will have code definitions and sensor readings. Remember, open source doesn't mean bad. Unix is open source and almost every major website or corporate network uses it (including Google). These sensor readings are the true value of OBD. A trouble code is only very general.

    If you know a lot about how a vehicle operates or want to learn get the PC interface, but if only need to diagnose and clear trouble codes get a handheld scanner (or, better yet, go to Advance Auto Parts/Auto Zone, they read/clear codes for free).
    Max Messinger
    Computer Expert
    Car Newbie

    2000 Maxima CarPC Progress: 99%--Basic computer fully installed, full stereo overhaul planned for the future

    Comment


    • #3
      Well said V1per. I have the OBDPros interface. Very in-expensive, and very powerful. It does not suffer with the slower speeds as the ELM chipset. But, as you stated is limited to the software you use (in my case just open source freeware so it is just a generic reader). It will give any code, but does not have the "extra support" that you would have to pay for to get in depth data and diagnossis of the codes. Luckily, I have ALLDATA for that. I love it. It is very Pricey though. Before I had ALLDATA and my OBDPro, I would go to Autozone to pull the code then google it. I would find everything I needed to troubleshoot the codes, and diagnose the vehicle off of it. You can always get the OBDPros interface and invest in some more in depth software later also.

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      • #4
        If I understand you guys correctly I can get the same thing that ďEase Pc ScanĒ gives me, which is going to cost up around $600, at Auto Zone and a subscription with AllData. What the high end OBD systems give is all the information right on my laptop, right? I have bought the factory manuals so with a cheap code reader and using the manual I can keep my 98 Forster & 04 Pacifica running fine, right in my own garage. I am a mechanic by trade and have always kept my own vehicles running but it looks like now days the computer will tell me to fix something instead of my wife. I need to be able to talk to my cars.
        I like the ability the laptop will gives me in data logging and real time reading of the sensors. I am going to buy the OBDPros interface and probably PCMScan from Palmer Performance Engineering. Can I expect to receive all the (Engine / Body / Chassis / Transmission) codes on my laptop? Then it will be up to me to figure out what they mean; do I have that right?
        Iíve been reading a lot about the other software packages, and some of them look very good, but Iím not sure these companies understand how important their reputation is to new buyers. I would never buy Proscan from Gore Research because of all the complaints, I donít trust them.
        Although ďdigimotojoelĒ is very active in helping people using this forum there were many complaints with ďDigimotoĒ back in June and I canít take a chance on his product at this time. You guys have been very helpful and have save me a lot of money.
        Thank you,
        steve

        Comment


        • #5
          Digimoto hasn't taken more then 1 business day to ship a product in over 7 months, but I understand you concern ~ you could always check out our own support forum if you are interested in knowing more. That is one thing I would look for before doing business with a seller, a live/active support forum. Secondly, Digimoto 5.0 has more features, more sensor readings, contains more DTC codes and offers more functionality then any other software application even close to its price range. Thirdly, the Digimoto hardware is 400% + faster then the ELM based hardware.

          You will risk a lot more long term if you order anything besides Digimoto at this point, but that's just my opinion . The only time I would suggest someone look at another package is if they have an immediate need for manufacturer enhanced capabilities ~ in which case I would suggest AutoEnginuity.com. If you are comparing AutoEnginuity's base package to Digimoto's base package, I still think you would find we have a better product at a better price.
          Joel Konecny
          Digimoto OBDII Diagnostics

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          • #6
            Just to put my money where my mouth is if anyone on this forum orders from us and the product does not ship within 3 business days (non holiday business days) we will send you the product and refund your money. If we do not have the product in stock we list it as back ordered on our shopping cart and we do not sell it.
            Joel Konecny
            Digimoto OBDII Diagnostics

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks Joel for the reply. I meant no disrespect to you and your company In my last post ; just a real concern. Most of what Iím reading is that people are suggesting to go with an interface based on the ELM327. It is universal and has the largest base of software. It looks like the ElmScan 5 and All-In-One use the ELM 327. The OBD Pro is similar to theELM327 interfaces but it is faster and has the possibility of full access to the OBDII datastream (in the future). It can also be upgraded by sending it back to Paul at OBDpro. Iím not sure about the how the mOByDic interface works but when you say it is 400% faster than the Elm327 stuff, I believe you. I would assume that OBDpro is about the same as yours.
              I am very interested in getting the extended engine codes on my Chrysler. Is that something Digimoto is interested in also? AutoEnginuity will give me engine extended codes but not body, trans, ect. Iím wondering will someday all this be available to the DIYíers and their PCís?
              For software I would like to be able to drive the car around and log what it is doing. I would also like it to read all the codes even if it doesnít know what they are. I would like to be able to add these unknown codes in (once defined) and keep advancing the software. I would like to be able to keep a log of the maintenance Iíve done to the vehicle and reset MIL and other resettable warnings. I would like the hardware/software to be fast enough the gauges have real meaning. And YES Joel, I need a supported forum for help.
              Iíve also discovered that my Subaru uses a J1962 Type A connector and my Chrysler uses a J1962 Type B connector. So I need software, interface (with USB cable), and some kind of cable adapter for the type B connector.
              steve

              Comment


              • #8
                Steve,

                We support the ELM based hardware, don't get me wrong. It is something our software works with as well. It is simply far too popular, for good or for bad, to simply ignore ~ Digimoto helped build the ELM name as we sold the product for years ~ in fact we sold nearly as many ELM based units as every other distributor combined, but no longer.

                From what I have heard if you are set on going with an ELM based system, I would probably also recommend OBDPro ~ you will see the before/after scenerio once Paul moves to a raw data feed. If you look at the top applications that exist to support the ELM, Digimoto, Palmer Performance, ProScan, ScanMaster, all of them except one company will work with multiple interfaces and all of them except one supports the mOByDic based interface. Don't pick your hardware based on what software you want to use (and visa versa), you have the flexibility to do what you want. I have promised Paul once he moves to a raw data feed on his OBDPro hardware, we will modify Digimoto to work with it.

                Most applications now days support a "terminal" type window. This will allow you to send in raw OBDII queries that will allow you to query any sensor you can find information on, but the concept of manually translating the response into meaningful data is daunting. We will also be adding features to allow users to build their own PID queries/formulas within the software. Digimoto will support enhanced, manufacturer specific, data down the road, but currently we support the SAE OBDII standards and the parameters it has defined. Simply a broad base of generic data. You might be better off looking for a tool that is designed only for your vehicle line.
                Joel Konecny
                Digimoto OBDII Diagnostics

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well, I have no prior experience with Digimoto but when I get my money back from the clowns at Proscan I fully intend to buy Digimoto, the software and the interface.

                  As far as data logging, almost all OBD-II computer interfaces do this.

                  And for Palmer, I have no idea how good their product is but it costs nearly twice as much as Digimoto, not to mention it doesn't come with acceleration/dyno capabilities, which are a must for me.

                  In the end, you have to know exactly what you want, and from the feature set you've listed it looks like you need, as Joel said, a Chrysler-specific utility, and maybe a few others to back it up.
                  Max Messinger
                  Computer Expert
                  Car Newbie

                  2000 Maxima CarPC Progress: 99%--Basic computer fully installed, full stereo overhaul planned for the future

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by v1per View Post
                    And for Palmer, I have no idea how good their product is but it costs nearly twice as much as Digimoto, not to mention it doesn't come with acceleration/dyno capabilities, which are a must for me.
                    Actually, our PCMSCAN software does come with dyno and drag strip features. In fact, we don't just show you what your quarter mile end time and speed are, but our software also shows your reaction time, 60 foot time, 330 foot time, 0 - 60 time, 1/8 mile time and speed, and 1000 foot time.

                    Our software also features Javascript support. It allows you to create custom parameters (written in Javascript) that can do virtually anything you want. For example, you can write a custom Javascript parameter to convert your O2 sensor voltage into an air/fuel ratio, or calculate fuel consumption from mass air flow. The possibilities are endless....

                    -Brian
                    Brian @ Palmer Performance Engineering, Inc.
                    http://www.palmerperformance.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Here are some screenshots for you:





                      Brian @ Palmer Performance Engineering, Inc.
                      http://www.palmerperformance.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hmmm, I don't think the acceleration testing or dyno capabiliteis are advertised on your site. Maybe I just need to look harder.

                        Ahhh, I see the screenshot on the homepage but it is not acknowledged in the feature list. You might want to add the accelerationtest/dyno to the feature page as it could be a deciding factor for some people (i.e. me).
                        Max Messinger
                        Computer Expert
                        Car Newbie

                        2000 Maxima CarPC Progress: 99%--Basic computer fully installed, full stereo overhaul planned for the future

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You're right, I need to get that updated! Right now, only our forum contains the new feature information about PCMSCAN. I focus most of my time on adding cool new software features and making the software as robust and bug free as is possible. The competition is always playing catch up.

                          -Brian
                          Brian @ Palmer Performance Engineering, Inc.
                          http://www.palmerperformance.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks for all the input; you guys are really helpful. Joel, you sure build a strong case for Digimoto. I am not set on getting a ELM based hardware. I want the most advanced hardware I can afford. As I said at the beginning, I have no experience with OBD and Iím confused. As I understand it OBDII is strictly emissions but emissions can give us an idea to the condition of our engines. Maybe OBDII is enough! You claim that Digimoto is better than the base package of AutoEnginuity. It will cost me $400 to get what I think I need from AutoEnginuity but maybe I donít need all of that. Iím thinking a lot about your product.
                            You are leading me to believe that OBDPro is just another flavor of ELM. Is that correct? From what Iím reading OBDPro is like 4 times faster than EML and can monitor the network traffic in my car. It sounds like speed changes are very simple and it has the capabilities to also send messages to the sensors. It sounds like if Paul is able to change the chip into a raw data feed I can just send my interface back and get it flashed. Iím having trouble finding a lot of information on the mOByDic interface. Letís assume for a moment that Digimoto is the best software and Iím going to use it. How does mOByDic compare to OBDPro working with your software?
                            Thanks for your time,
                            steve

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by sseverett View Post
                              You are leading me to believe that OBDPro is just another flavor of ELM. Is that correct? From what Iím reading OBDPro is like 4 times faster than EML and can monitor the network traffic in my car. It sounds like speed changes are very simple and it has the capabilities to also send messages to the sensors. It sounds like if Paul is able to change the chip into a raw data feed I can just send my interface back and get it flashed. Iím having trouble finding a lot of information on the mOByDic interface. Letís assume for a moment that Digimoto is the best software and Iím going to use it. How does mOByDic compare to OBDPro working with your software?
                              Thanks for your time,
                              steve

                              Looking forward to the book on this one!!

                              Digimoto lite is my favorite software in my small freeware arsenal right now. Used it several times this week already. It is just plain and simple easy to use. I just wish it had a few more features. I am curious as to how Digimoto 5.0 works out. If it seems pretty good, I may just have to cough up the cash later on.

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