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jpconard
Dodge Dakota
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9/09/2007
12:39:52

Subject: OBD2 software for PC
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Any good reasonable cost software for notebook PC to connect to adapater to OBD2 port?

I did some research found a package around $100.

Found that some systems have a basic diagnostics and some called "enhanced".

Do the 4.7L have ability to give back "enhanced" info? I assume they do.

Any preferred software for these engines?

I'm not really looking to change parameters, just monitor sensors (log data over long term, week or so), and timestamp, so I can view data when a specific engine problem occurs (infrequently). The software needs nice graphics (not just text based info).

Anything like this available yet at the normal retail outlets? (Advance, O'Reilly, Autozone, Carquest, NAPA, etc.)



modain
GenIII
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9/09/2007
17:57:38

RE: OBD2 software for PC
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Check out www.obddiagnostics.com

I bought the BR-3 interface (software is free) and it does what you are looking to do. The software interface is a little crude, but it gives great real-time monitoring and will log the info for playback/baseline/comparisons/etc. It can capture and reset MIL codes. $77 plus shipping - can't beat that.

What's your left foot doing?
==============
2002 Graphite QC SLT Plus, 4.7L, NV3500, Superchips 3715, 3.92 LSD, R/T rear swaybar, no chrome, loads o'fun...
2001 Patriot Blue Durango SLT, 4.7L, 45RFE, Superchips 3715, 3.55 Open (for now)
1999 Forest Green Dakota RC Sport, 2.5L, NV1500, 3.55 Open



jpconard
Dodge Dakota
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9/10/2007
13:51:13

RE: OBD2 software for PC
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Thanks.

I found a couple of others, anyone have experience with either? I'm leaning towards the Proscan USB package for $159. Claims to be all protocols plus the new CAN protocol.

www.myscantool.com
www.autotap.com



Dan M
Dodge Dakota
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9/11/2007
06:26:28

RE: OBD2 software for PC
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I have the digimoto software. I'm far from impressed. When I scan my 02 it only finds a couple of supported sensors. I have to manually click through them all (and those annoying popups if it's REALLY not supported) to enable other sensors.

I'm still trying work out the bugs with their support though I haven't had much time lately to keep trying the suggestions and upload log files.

For now, i don't recommend it. It's such a hassle.

- Dan M



Dan M
Dodge Dakota
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9/11/2007
06:27:29

RE: OBD2 software for PC
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Oh the old version of lite supports more (that it finds automagically) than the paid version of 5 I have.

- Dan M



jpconard
Dodge Dakota
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9/11/2007
13:46:42

RE: OBD2 software for PC
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Thanks Dan,

Well I went ahead and got one on order. I found a nice looking ELM327 (that is the chipset supporting all protocols including the new to be standard CAN protocol). It is a wireless unit (bluetooth) so no cables. Some were the serial version with a bluetooth adapter, this one is designed as a bluetooth device (fairly small).

It comes with some software for PC, Palm, PDA, and smartphone, but sounds like fairly simple software. I planned to try the Digimoto lite, maybe will invest in a more costly package later.

Looks like people are writing software for these all the time, and it is difficult to get the best package without spending a fortune.

This unit was $150 plus $5 shipping so that isn't too bad. Should work on about any car now and into future. We will see.



jpconard
Dodge Dakota
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9/14/2007
13:56:25

RE: OBD2 software for PC
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Well I received the unit.

I could not get the included software to even install (and I'm more of a PC person than a mechanic), no offense to either.

And like Dan said, not much came up, even with the digimoto lite version I found - only RPM and TPS. Big deal.

But I found a package from a german site (but english) called OBD-DIAG (specific version 1.01 I think), that does report back much more, coolant temp., TPS, fuel rail 1, fuel rail 2, 2 o2 sensors, 1 catalyst sensor, manifold pressure, intake air temp, speed, and rpm, maybe a few more.

But it seems the software scales things incorrectly in some cases (can also see raw data, so it says) and unfortunately temps are Celcius (no option to change), and speed is KM. But it is the best I have found.

The bluetooth wireless works great, maybe a little slow in reponse, but I've read that is more a factor of this chip type ELM327, as even the corded versions are slower than other chipsets.

Also for some reason on wifes 03 Stratus the other software found most everything.

So I think it is more a function of what the software is doing to query the OBD than it is the hardware itself.

Anybody have more info, or a good general website geared toward OBD and Dakotas, it would be appreciated?





Dan M
Dodge Dakota
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9/14/2007
18:31:27

RE: OBD2 software for PC
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There's alot of free stuff out there. I'm considering puchashing mobydic based hardware.

Also, seems that in what I've been reading, the serial cable is more reliable than usb. Some of the packages I found would not work at all on my usb interface.

do you have a way to change the time out? It may be that the chipset is running too slow and timing out before the poll is completed.

- Dan M



jpconard
Dodge Dakota
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9/14/2007
22:23:58

RE: OBD2 software for PC
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You may be correct about the timeout, I'll experiment. I seem to get different results (different items picked up) with different software, which is OK. I'll just make a collection of packages, as who knows what different vehicles I may use this with.

Here is a link to a mOByDic bluetooth unit
http://www.ozenelektronik.com/
I know I found units with that chip someplace else but can't find it now. I think that chip is supposed to be faster than the ELM327.

My ELM chip is version 1.0A, I know they have version 1.2, so not sure what I am missing. Maybe I got an old one, or they don't have the new chip in the bluetooth unit yet?

I also found this Car-Pal here (not sure what chip), I'm thinking this is the same as mine just rebadged. It can with that software but I can't install it.
http://www.vitalengineering.co.uk/

The bluetooth is kind of nice. Had mine connected with engine off and could read it while in the house. The bluetooth creates a virtual "COM" (serial) port and then you tell the software what port to use. I've had no problems connecting (unless I'm too far away), just when it comes to getting all the sensor data. I think some packages I have are demos and they restrict what I can do. Bad for me to make a decision to buy (if I can't see it work, I won't buy).

Let me know if you find anything that works good, so far I'm most impressed by this OBD-DIAG,
http://www.er-forum.de/obd-diag-dl/index.php?direction=0&order=&directory=OBD-DIAG Software&
(zip version 1.01)



jpconard
Dodge Dakota
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9/14/2007
22:34:11

RE: OBD2 software for PC
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On that software OBD-DIAG, it has a screen in the setup for PID1 parameters and shows the raw data and what formula it uses for scaling.

It is kind of hidden so I thought I'd mention.



wayne
Dodge Dakota
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9/27/2007
16:35:59

RE: OBD2 software for PC
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Modain, or others

On your BR-3 interface, do you need to have the laptop hooked up to the truck to continuosly monitor everything?
Basically do I need to have the cable under my steering column all day long when I drive around?

How easy is the software/equipment to use? Where can I find information to cross reference what my truck is doing vs what is normal for my truck to do at certain times? (i.e. the O2 sensor is reading XXX but it should be reading YYY)or what the standard fuel trim should be (does it change while driving)

Does it show the fuel sync. setting?


Sorry if that doesn't make ANY sense.



modain
GenIII
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9/29/2007
04:10:12

RE: OBD2 software for PC
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I hope I can answer some of your questions satisfactorily.

<quote>On your BR-3 interface, do you need to have the laptop hooked up to the truck to continuously monitor everything? Basically do I need to have the cable under my steering column all day long when I drive around?</quote>

Yes, the cable must be on the OBD port and connected to the laptop running the software. Because of where the OBD port is located it is a real pain driving my QC - the cable hangs straight down and almost on top of the clutch pedal. I have to keep my foot real low on the pedal so I don't hit the cable. Maybe the OBD port can be relocated/repositioned?

This program (and others like it) just polls the OBD using standard queries. It deciphers the results and displays it in text/graphics so it is usable to humans. I found on their (and others) site definitions of these commands and results. I'm sure if you were adept at programming you could craft something usable for your purposes.

<quote>How easy is the software/equipment to use? Where can I find information to cross reference what my truck is doing vs what is normal for my truck to do at certain times? (i.e. the O2 sensor is reading XXX but it should be reading YYY)or what the standard fuel trim should be (does it change while driving)</quote>

The hardware/software is real simple to use. Don't know about the reference material you need, but I'm sure with enough time you can find plenty of stuff to give you a good idea what you are looking at.

A note about running the program: it eats battery power. My laptop has enough battery to run about five hours if I don't use the CD/DVD drive. When running the monitor program I'm lucky if it lasts past two hours. The serial port must suck the power like nothing else.

<quote>Does it show the fuel sync. setting?</quote>

It doesn't show fuel sync, but does show short and long term fuel trims. If the fuel sync is available via OBD it could be retrieved, but this program doesn't query for/report it.

<quote>Sorry if that doesn't make ANY sense.</quote>

Don't worry, it did. I hope I made sense. :-)


What's your left foot doing?
==============
2002 Graphite QC SLT Plus, 4.7L, NV3500, Superchips 3715, 3.92 LSD, R/T rear swaybar, no chrome, loads o'fun...
2001 Patriot Blue Durango SLT, 4.7L, 45RFE, Superchips 3715, 3.55 Open (for now)
1999 Forest Green Dakota RC Sport, 2.5L, NV1500, 3.55 Open



jpconard
Dodge Dakota
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10/01/2007
13:35:27

RE: OBD2 software for PC
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wayne,

The bluetooth model is wireless and sticks down approx. 3-4". So I can drive automatic with it on without any issues. It may not update as fast as a "wired" version, I'm not sure.

I think the OBD port could be relocated. Mine already seems loose in the bracket before I ever connected anything to it.

Some software packages can log and timestamp with the log. Most "freeware" packages I've ran across cannot. I've found another package EasyOBD2 which is all text but easy to read (green on black with larger text). Items are categorized nicely (temp. on one screen, O2 sensors on another, fuel trims on another, and general stuff on another).

Some packages support Freeze frame which is a feature of the OBD2. Not sure if Dakota can do it though. It is supposed to capture values for different sensors when an engine code is fired.

Overall I think it is a nice tool for $155 that I paid. I haven't been able to fix anything yet (nothing to fix that I can see), but I've monitored O2 sensors for week or so, fuel trims(see when rich and lean), can see when computer is in open loop while warming up in morning (and also when you floor it). Things like that is nice to actually see values being returned and everything seems to be in check.

What I can see -
coolant temp.
intake temp.
manifold pressure
fuel trims
O2 voltages
(one package returns battery voltage)
speed
rpm
(one package returns a value for catalyst O2 sensor)
computer in open/closed loop and why.
Throttle position
Calculated engine load

You also get code and pending code and reset capability.

Also as mentioned above, I run my notebook off cheap AC inverter, then you don't have to worry about notebook battery life.




wayne
Dodge Dakota
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10/01/2007
17:31:33

RE: OBD2 software for PC
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Thank you jpconard
Judging by the great info Modain and you provided, it looks like I should do some homeword and learn what my truck "should be doing/reading" when, so I can compare it to what it is actually doing.





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