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Thread: How does OBDLink CI compare to ElmScan 5 USB?

  1. #1
    Newbie smartass365's Avatar
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    How does OBDLink CI compare to ElmScan 5 USB?

    Is there any real difference between this and the 5 usb, besides being able to upgrade the firmware instead of replacing a chip?

    Does it support just as many real-time parameters?

    Is it possible to power it from usb or to switch it on and off with a carputer, allowing it to be left plugged in without fear of power drain?

    Thanks,
    Kevin

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    The one difference that I see...

    If you have an older vehicle you would need an ELM327 style interface as this does not appear to support all protocols

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    VENDOR - ScanTool Vitaliy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smartass365 View Post
    Is there any real difference between this and the 5 usb, besides being able to upgrade the firmware instead of replacing a chip?
    Yes. It costs less, and provides a faster refresh rate on CAN, ISO, and KWP.

    Does it support just as many real-time parameters?
    Yes. The number of available real-time parameters is determined by the software front end.

    Is it possible to power it from usb or to switch it on and off with a carputer, allowing it to be left plugged in without fear of power drain?
    Unfortunately, not at this time. We are trying to figure out a way to shut down the microprocessor, and wake it up later based on a software command or an external interrupt. If we are successful, this feature will be available via a firmware upgrade.

    Vitaliy
    OBDLink MX: world's smallest, fastest, most advanced OBD/Bluetooth adapter with SW and MS CAN support. Read the review to learn more.
    Need to look up a diagnostic trouble code? Try the most up-to-date, free DTCsearch.com!

    You cannot send me a private message using this forum. Use my email instead: vitaliy[@]scantool.net.

  4. #4
    VENDOR - ScanTool Vitaliy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by obdiinut View Post
    The one difference that I see...

    If you have an older vehicle you would need an ELM327 style interface as this does not appear to support all protocols
    This is not entirely accurate. Many older vehicles (going all the way back to 1994) used ISO9141-2. Starting in 1998, many vehicles started using Keyword Protocol 2000. Majority of all OBD-II compliant vehicles used one of these two protocols, with VPW (some GM cars) and PWM (some Fords and Mazdas) accounting for the remaining fraction of the vehicle fleet.

    All in all, OBDLink CI covers roughly 80% of the current OBD-II vehicle market, and this percentage will continue to grow as more CAN vehicles hit the road, and older vehicles are pulled out of service.

    On the marketing side, people who buy CI get a voucher that enables them to buy OBDLink for only $49.95.

    Vitaliy
    OBDLink MX: world's smallest, fastest, most advanced OBD/Bluetooth adapter with SW and MS CAN support. Read the review to learn more.
    Need to look up a diagnostic trouble code? Try the most up-to-date, free DTCsearch.com!

    You cannot send me a private message using this forum. Use my email instead: vitaliy[@]scantool.net.

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    Am I reading this right? If I get an OBDLink CI or an ElmScan 5 I can't leave it plugged in to my car at all times or it will drain the battery? This doesn't seem very useful for a carpc then. Is there another model I should go with that won't have this issue.

    Thanks!

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    VENDOR - ScanTool Vitaliy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbolter View Post
    Am I reading this right? If I get an OBDLink CI or an ElmScan 5 I can't leave it plugged in to my car at all times or it will drain the battery? This doesn't seem very useful for a carpc then. Is there another model I should go with that won't have this issue.

    Thanks!
    There are tricks that people use, that generally involve using some sort of mechanical switch or powering the scan tool from the CarPC's power supply.

    We are working on adding a power save feature to OBDLink, specifically for the CarPC market. This feature will allow customers to leave the scan tool plugged in for extended periods of time. Unfortunately, it won't be available until next year.

    Vitaliy
    OBDLink MX: world's smallest, fastest, most advanced OBD/Bluetooth adapter with SW and MS CAN support. Read the review to learn more.
    Need to look up a diagnostic trouble code? Try the most up-to-date, free DTCsearch.com!

    You cannot send me a private message using this forum. Use my email instead: vitaliy[@]scantool.net.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbolter View Post
    Am I reading this right? If I get an OBDLink CI or an ElmScan 5 I can't leave it plugged in to my car at all times or it will drain the battery? This doesn't seem very useful for a carpc then. Is there another model I should go with that won't have this issue.

    Thanks!
    I'm not aware of any other model that you can do this with. The problem is that there is 12 volts present at the OBDII plug in your car. That is part of the standard, which did not anticipate people keeping their devices plugged in 24X7.

    You can either do surgery on your OBDII socket to insert a relay that cuts power when the ignition is off, or you can alter the cable to do the same thing. I'd go with the cable since it is cheaper to replace the cable than rewire the OBDII if something goes awry.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
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    Or you can do what I do, which is leave it plugged in all the time. Even when I don't drive my car for a whole weekend, I have yet to manage to run the battery down.

    Gary (-;
    OBDGPSLogger, for logging OBDII and/or GPS data
    OBDSim, an OBDII/ELM327 software simulator
    mp3car forums: obdgpslogger, obdsim

  9. #9
    FLAC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bugbyte View Post
    I'm not aware of any other model that you can do this with. The problem is that there is 12 volts present at the OBDII plug in your car. That is part of the standard, which did not anticipate people keeping their devices plugged in 24X7.

    You can either do surgery on your OBDII socket to insert a relay that cuts power when the ignition is off, or you can alter the cable to do the same thing. I'd go with the cable since it is cheaper to replace the cable than rewire the OBDII if something goes awry.
    seeing as how i dont have a deep cycle battery i will definitely try hacking my cable up to add a cutoff. is the wire i want going to be red do you know? just curious, ill find out when i test it of course.

  10. #10
    FLAC
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    Quote Originally Posted by chunkyks View Post
    Or you can do what I do, which is leave it plugged in all the time. Even when I don't drive my car for a whole weekend, I have yet to manage to run the battery down.

    Gary (-;
    without knowing the adapter stays powered, mine has been the same way. i dont like it though, all these milliamps from all these devices start adding up. ill be installing a switch on my obd plug thats for sure.

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