Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    48

    Default OBD-II Laptop Hookup

    Not sure if this is the right forum, but I just bought a laptop and I'm looking to hook the thing up to my OBD-II (instead of buying a ScanGuage II). I've looked around and there's a few available but they're all so expensive! I'm assuming that's mostly due to the bundled software. Are there any cheaper alternatives out there? What would you guys recommend?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    SVTSkip
    Guest

    Default

    I use an XCal, so I'm no help...

  3. #3
    GearGambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    2,078

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SVTSkip View Post
    I use an XCal, so I'm no help...
    thats really the way to go.

    the scanners are a bit on the expensive side. but hooking up to a laptop (only to read everything) is usually done at the shops, where they need and use it on a daily basis, so it justifies the expense.


    1990 Mustang GT
    1994 Mustang GT Convertible
    2005 Mustang v6 in training
    2004 Expedition XLT

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    48

    Default

    You have to understand that I'm a computer geek, and I want everything to go through my computer. I'm having a laptop mount installed in my car, from there the laptop will make 80gb of MP3s available to my deck. On top of that I am getting a GPS unit for it so I can have an onboard navigation system. The interface with OBD II will go into the computer as well.

    It doesnt make sense to me to go out and buy a new deck that plays MP3s ($150), and to go buy a Tom Tom or something equivalent ($300-400) and on top of that an XCal ($150) when I can have my laptop taking care of all of this in one central unit.

    So I appreciate the suggestion, but an XCal isnt quite what I had in mind

  5. #5
    SVTSkip
    Guest

    Default

    I wasn't suggesting you buy one, only that I use one, and dont really know diddly about the computer side of it, or what you'd need to be able to properly interface. I merely mentioned that I use an XCal2 so that you'd understand why I couldn't really help you with your issue...

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    48

    Default

    That was more direted towards GearGambler :P

  7. #7
    SVTSkip
    Guest

    Default

    No prob, He was trying to help as well I'm sure ! Hopefully somebody here is using something along those lines that you can check on. I do know that ( again XCal ) SCT has the Liveload software that would allow me to hookup from the car to my PC, but dont know how much help that would be for you either...

  8. #8
    Cujo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    5,284

    Default

    They are not cheap by anymeans - ours are around 15,000 a piece :wtf:

    ANd require several updates each month - I will check to see if there is a alternate solution for your needs
    BMC Performance Project Car #007 UEI@BMC Member and Jester

    DIRTYDOZEN@BMC.MA FOUNDER 3rd in COMMAND MA-Bail bondsman M/A OFFICIAL TECH/INSTALLER

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    48

    Default

    Thanks, I understand that you were both trying to help I was just pointing out that there was a reason I wanted to route it through my PC.

    So far the best options I've found are:
    ElmScan 5 ($149.95)
    LaptopDyno ($369.75)
    Personal PC-Based Automotive OBD2 Scan Tool ($99.95)

    All of these are a lot more than I had expected. I figured you'd only need a cable to connect the OBDII output to the PC and then the software would take care of it. Seems like a lot of overhead when the car is already sending out all of the info.

  10. #10
    Warlock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,221

    Default

    Yeah, I tried to do this about two years ago and realized that it isn't as cheap as I thought it would be either. But I found that there is a reason for the overhead, and the problem is actually twofold. First, OBDII signalling protocols are not something that can be simply read and/or replicated by a serial or USB port.

    The on-board serial controllers on your average PC, while similar, are hard coded to communicate using signal specifications that differ in several ways from that of the OBDII signaling standard. Because of that, you need a hardware interface device in order to translate signals from one standard to the other and vice versa. A related caveat is that there are several different OBD signalling protocols and any one of them could be used by a given auto manufacturer, so the translating hardware must either be specific to the application or be able to detect and communicate with multiple signalling protocols.

    Then there is the second problem, which is that, once you have the hardware side of things figured out, you now need interface software to automate all the various signal capturing, analysis and programming duties. On commercial products, you have additional complications such as highly advanced diagnostic tools, and a much wider range of monitoring, analysis and troubleshooting functions, in addition to the ability to be a universal signal communicator, all built into a single application, which shoots the costs to astronomical levels (although I think the professional automotive diagnostic tool companies artificially inflate the price), so we get the shaft again. By the time it's all said and done, it's cheaper to get a hand held tuner.

    But if you are dead set on doing this, there are some really nice options now, like USB cables w built in converters, and and even Bluetooth interfaces... Check it out...

    http://www.scantool.net/index.php
    http://www.obd-codes.com/



Similar Threads

  1. 2K 'Stang - OBD II Location
    By M'Jax in forum 1994-2004 | SN95
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 10-26-2009, 02:29 AM
  2. 97 Cobra - OBD - P1516 and more
    By ImSoDan in forum Engine, Drivetrain & Rear End
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-18-2007, 05:48 PM
  3. OBD II says: Cylinder 4 Misfire
    By midnightracer in forum 4.6L
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 09-01-2006, 02:28 PM
  4. OBD II SCAN TOOL (LIKE NEW)
    By Tim in forum Sold Cars and Car Parts
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 05-13-2005, 11:24 AM
  5. OBD-2 testing in NC...how tough?
    By jaidedeye in forum Past Events (SE)
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-02-2005, 12:11 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •