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Thread: Elmscan 5 w/bluetooth wireless obd scanner reviews

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Cool Elmscan 5 w/bluetooth wireless obd scanner reviews

    Elmscan 5 wireless

    ElmScan 5 Wireless is latest PC-based scan tool. It supports all OBDII protocols and ships with a number of compatible programs.

    Processor: ELM327
    Output protocol: Bluetooth or Serial/usb
    Baud rate: 9600 or 38400
    Indicator LEDs: OBD Tx/Rx, RS232 Tx/Rx, Power
    Operating voltage: 12V, internal protection from short circuits/over voltages
    Dimensions: 3.75" x 1.7" (95 mm x 43 mm)

    OBDII Protocols:
    * ISO15765-4 (CAN)
    * ISO14230-4 (KWP2000)
    * ISO9141-2
    * J1850 VPW
    * J1850 PWM

    Package contents
    ElmScan 5 Wireless unit (hardware V2.1, firmware V1.1, Mfg date 3/26/07)
    OBD II cable
    Serial cable
    RS232 to Bluetooth adapter (for scan tool)
    USB to Bluetooth adapter driver (for PC)
    Mounting screws (for RS232 to Bluetooth adapter)
    Quick Start guide Software CD (OBD software)
    BlueSoleil V1.6 CD driver (for USB to Bluetooth adapter)

    PC, software, and vehicle use for the test:

    Toshiba Laptop Satellite A105-S4021 with Windows XP
    Pentium 4 desktop with Windows 2000

    Scantool V1.13
    Digimoto Lite V1.06
    EasyObdII V2.1
    OBD-DIAG V1.01
    wOBD V1.51 beta

    2001 Subaru Forester
    2002 Toyota Sienna
    2003 Toyota Camry LE

    CableToGo Serial to USB adapter (prolific chip)
    KeySpan USA-19HS serial to usb adapter (TUSB3410 chip)

    More features & functions than just read/reset code
    Various free & commercial software available

    Little expensive than standard serial/usb version
    Too many items to keep track (hardware & software CDs)
    New technology
    Need a laptop or desktop
    USB Bluetooth to RS232 adapter software is pain in the neck (can't get pass instruction in step#).
    Bluetooth working range
    BlueSoleil software crashed when install Windows 2000 PC & give up after 4th tried

    Summary: I have an opportunity to try Scangauge II, Auterra Pocket PC obd, and Innova Equus 3100A. All of them work on my vehicle, but not what I was looking for due to price, features, and flexibility. I purchased this combo because Elmscan 5 use 327 chip, which been around for awhile. The Elmscan 5 can be use either wireless or serial/usb. And, there are few free software available.

    Setting up the wireless, I ran a problem with BlueSoleid software. The first 2 tried spend about 3hrs I could not get it working by follow the instruction guide that came with it. The problem is the BlueSoleil software doesn't detect "FireFly-AE3B" as the instruction state. I was able to get it working after the 3rd tried by playing around (see my instruction below).

    The Elmscan 5 was hang just outside the door with window roll down. The bluetooth range work up to 30 feet through wall and up to 60 feet in open field. I also found the range is vary approximately 5 feet after reboot the PC and not sure if the humidity is the main cause of the outcome.

    Bottom line this is a good tool to have when you need it. It does work on all my vehicles and will pay itself after couple use. Don't ask me which one is best for you. It's all depend what you want to do with it. Those who just want to read the code and reset. The basic hand held will be just fine. My old laptop with 9 pin serial is dead so can't test it. There are pros and cons to all the obd and software. I also found out few weeks ago that Schuck's Auto Supply near my house no longer offer free obd checking and reset vehicle. I am not sure this is true from other Schuck's stores around the country. I hope this help some of you out there.

    Software result with wireless adapter
    Scantool V1.13 - The software work fine.
    Digimoto Lite V1.06 - The software work about 50%-60%
    EasyObdII V2.1 - It does detect the COM port & just hang. I can't even terminate the software by end task.
    OBD-DIAG V1.01 - The software detect the hardware fine. However, it doesn't update the reading & many option=0 (RPM, air flow rate, etc...)
    wOBD V1.51 - This is beta version. The software work fine.

    Software tested result with CableToGo and KeySpan USA-19HS

    Scantool V1.13 - The software work fine.
    Digimoto Lite V1.06 - can't connect COM port
    EasyObdII V2.1 - N/A
    OBD-DIAG V1.01 - can't connect COM port
    wOBD V1.51 - The software work fine.

    My version setup instruction
    1) Assemble ELMSCAN 5 wireless per instruction come with the unit
    2) Plug-in your vehicle diagnose port (you see the light ON then OFF from the OBD side to RS232)
    3) Turn key to on position, but not start the vehicle
    4) Check COM port available so less headache later. If it shows COM11 and above, you need to uninstall the COM port by going into the device manager. My shown up to COM14 under Port serial/LPT section. Why uninstall? Hint: Scantool V1.13 max out at COM10 & wOBD V1.51 at COM8 and less with other software.
    5) Install BlueSoleil software & reboot PC
    6) Plug-in USB to Bluetooth adapter
    7) The BlueSoleil will recognize the BT adapter and PC info windows will appear (this just info about the PC you are using (device name & device type). Click ok.
    8) Double click on the orange globe
    9) The software will search for the device and should be display " D934" or something similar (can't remember the last few #)
    10) Double click on " D934" or right click and select “refresh service”
    11) Double click on the Serial connection (third from the left side) or right click and select ”connect”. The Serial will pop up & show the COM port.

    ***12) Repeat step 8-11 if you reboot the PC or get disconnected****

    Info when you have it working:

    1) The RS232 to Bluetooth adapter should be green and no longer blink on/off, the yellow/orange light next to it should be flashing.
    2) The BlueSoleil software startup icon on the right side of your screen change from blue to green
    3) The D934 device has orange with the level signal bar next to it. Also the orange dash will run from device to the center globe

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Great post.

    Thanks as it helps me pick the tools I need for my application.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    New Hampshire
    I have an ELM327 based Bluetooth to OBD-II adapter too, sold by OBDKey. The WIDCOMM Bluetooth software it came with works pretty well. Perhaps you can use something other than BlueSoleil made for the same chipset?

  4. #4
    VENDOR - ScanTool Vitaliy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Phoenix, AZ
    I would like to mention that ElmScan 5 Wireless was superceded by the new ElmScan 5 Bluetooth. It is more compact, and the installation is a breeze. The new chipset relies on built-in Microsoft drivers, so BlueSoleil is no longer required.

    The kit (scan tool + Bluetooth dongle) has been tested for range, and reliable line-of-sight communication is possible at distances of up to 330 ft. Keep in mind that if you use a Class 2 dongle (not the one that comes with the kit), the range will be significantly reduced.

    We regularly test software by connecting ES5BT to a car parked outside, and connecting to it wirelessly from the lab.

    As an added bonus, the scan tool can be used though a regular serial connection, in which case Bluetooth is automatically disabled. It gets re-enabled when the serial cable is unplugged.

    Best regards,

    Vitaliy (

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