Known problems with china clones of ELM327

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Known problems with china clones of ELM327

Postby FORScan » Thu Jul 16, 2015 5:03 pm

Here we try to accumulate and analyse known problems with china clones of ELM327.

Just to clarify, 99% of devices sold as ELM327 are counterfeit clones. The only question is quality of clone. First USB clone we purchased in 2011 for $25 had very good quality. Clones purchased 1-1.5 years ago and earlier have bad quality. Many of clones sold in 2015 have nothing to do with ELM327 except the brand itself.

Known problems:

#1. Adapters reported as ELM327 v2.1. Main chip doesn't support a half of original ELM327 commands and logic. Discussion thread:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=22#p840

Everyone can make sure using a terminal and sending some commands:

>ATI
ELM327 v2.1

>ATPP2ASV38
?

>ATE0
OK

>ATL0
OK

>ATH0
OK

>ATR1
?


Commands answered with '?' are unknown for this adapter. Although normal ELM327 should recognize them (API specification can be found on http://elmelectronics.com/)

This problem may exist in adapters of any type (USB, BT, WiFi)

Update 2015-09-15:

It seems the people who developed this piece of bugs have changed version from v2.1 to v1.5. So new adapter behaves the same, but returns v1.5 instead of v2.1. Also some missing commands are not the most painful problem of this adapter. Main problem is that is has very simplified and incorrect functionality comparing to original ELM327. For example, it is optimized for OBDII communication. OBDII commands are usually 2 bytes long as maximum. So the adapter doesn't read more than 2 bytes from the command string. FORScan uses service protocols that may send much more. So if FORScan tries to send, for example, 3 bytes to a module, the adapter sends only 2 of them (3rd byte is either not sent or filled with zeros). As a result, module doesn't respond or returns error instead of expected answer.

#2. Adapter is not able to process requests that return a lot of data. It simply freezes. Main chip seems to be OK (fair clone). Discussion:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1531

This problem exists in Bluetooth devices only.

#3. Adapter is reported as v1.5, but doesn't support a half of commands of original ELM327 set (but not the same set as in case #1 described above - seems to be another clone development).

Everyone can make sure using a terminal and sending some commands:

>ATI
ELM327 v1.5
>ATPPS
?
>ATI
ELM327 v1.5
>ATPP2ASV38
?
>ATE0
OK
>ATL0
OK
>ATH0
OK
>ATR1
?
>ATST32
?
>ATS0
?
>ATAT1
?
>ATCF700
?
>ATCMF00
?
>ATI
ELM327 v1.5


Commands answered with '?' are unknown for this adapter. Although normal ELM327 should recognize them (API specification can be found on http://elmelectronics.com/)
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Re: Known problems with china clones of ELM327

Postby oldbod » Thu Jul 30, 2015 8:38 pm

Have a number of members on our forum who are using forscan with mondeo mk3 tdci.

In general excellent results, but a little mixed when it comes to coding injectors (sorry, that one again!).

I'm wondering if there are any commands which have to supported that our members could test for?
Or performance criteria to watch for, like response times?

I should add that the reports spread over several months and hence versions of forscan, so if the latest has further enhancements the apparent issue may have already been addressed. Only today a member using latest version on a 2006 car had a definitely successful result.

(We are using the 'noisy old diesel' sound normally made when the pilot injection is turned off during relearn as a flag for success, unless a 233n error has been logged and can now be cleared).

Thanks again for a great product with great support.
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Re: Known problems with china clones of ELM327

Postby FORScan » Sat Aug 08, 2015 5:20 pm

Sorry for delay with reply, had no chance to respond in time because of a trip.

Coding injectors doesn't require a special support, so if connection is ok and all powertrain modules are found (PCM and FIP/ICU), it should be able to code injectors. But there was a bug with incorrect coding injectors in version around 2.2.2: FORScan displayed incorrect picture with injector orders that caused incorrect programming. The bug was fixed in version 2.2.3. Ottherwise, we are not aware about coding injectors on Mondeo Mk3.
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Re: Known problems with china clones of ELM327

Postby SoNic67 » Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:02 pm

I have two older ELM clones v1.5 and they work perfect. Bought a newer one v2.1 and it doesn't work with Ford protocol (Forscan or any other software). That one supports Hyundai's protocol tough.
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Reliable plug seller?

Postby WangDong » Tue Nov 24, 2015 1:13 pm

Does anyone of you know a reliable seller for good working USB connectors on Aliexpress or Ebay (Germany or any European country)?

Thanks a lot in advance.
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Re: Known problems with china clones of ELM327

Postby Tony Back » Thu Nov 26, 2015 7:57 am

China ELM327 1.5/v2.1 bluetooth one sometimes has power-drain issue or lose connection problem. But not all clone are bad, xtool tech made iobd2 adpater stands out for the good quality and it is allowed to update http://www.obdii365.com/wholesale/auto- ... eader.html
Last edited by Tony Back on Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Known problems with china clones of ELM327

Postby WangDong » Thu Nov 26, 2015 4:37 pm

I just found out that sellers on Ebay, Amazon and Aliexpress sell ELM327 that have been explicitly modified for FORScan. These type of plugs (price between ~USD 20-30) should be what I am looking for, as they are supposedly working with Ford and Mazda.
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Re: Known problems with china clones of ELM327

Postby FORScan » Fri Nov 27, 2015 2:12 am

Yes, such adapters usually have HS/MS CAN switch and may be (we assume, but don't know for sure) tested with FORScan. It doesn't exclude, however, other problems with clones (like freezing Bluetooth on some requests).
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Re: Known problems with china clones of ELM327

Postby WangDong » Fri Nov 27, 2015 9:29 pm

I ordered an adapter from Estonia and will let you know how the adapter turns out in a couple weeks or so. :)
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Re: Known problems with china clones of ELM327

Postby gammax » Wed Feb 10, 2016 3:04 am

hi. what about the fordscanner interface? this interface support ms can. i`m going to probe.
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