Output Control mode is special mode to substitute output signals to actuators, normally generated by a module, with the ones specified by operator. Or, in other words, temporarily transfers the actuators control from ECU to operatior. This mode is possible only when the module is switched to a special diagnostic mode. The mode limits normal module operations, so, for example, the instrument cluster in this mode may not not show anything. And if PCM is in the diagnostic mode and operator tries to drive, the engine will most likely stall (and this is not a FORScan limitation, but the control module limitation). We strongly recommend to use the Output Control function only when the vehicle is parked.
So, the only objective of the Output Control function is a diagnostic one. For example, using this function it is easy to check if the cooling fan normally works on low and high speed, or a lamp in the instrument cluster really works. It should be noted, however, that the Output Control may be implemented not for all actuators.
Let's review a use case for the following scenario: user wants to check instrument cluster lamps and gauges on Ford Ecosport 2014.
- Run FORScan, connect to vehicle, go to the Dashboard section, click Setup All Gauges button (or double click on a gauge). In the PIDs selection dialog, select the Control type:
Also select some read PIDs.
- Press the Control button:
The Output Control window will open:
Change its size and position to a convenient onee.
The function can be activated only when the Live Streaming is started. So for now all the controls in the Output Control windows are disabled.
At this moment there are 2 types of the Output controls: buttons are used for state parameters, such as On Off (there can be multiple states) and sliders are used for analogue parameters.
- Run the live streaming by pressing Start button. The output controls become activated and ready to use.
- Activate a control
Important note: current version of FORScan implements the following Output Control management logic: when the live streaming is started, the Output Control mode is not really activated. PIDs are read as usually in the live streaming mode. However, as soon as a control is activated for the first time, FORScan switches the model to the output control mode. PIDs continue to be read, however, their performance may suffer (especially when a control is touched). It should be noted that the management is transferred for the only actuator that was touched. Other actuators still managed by the module. If operator touches a second control, the corresponding actuator's management will be transferred to operator. And so on. There is no possibility to transfer the control back to the moduile for a specific actuator. The only way to switch back from the output control mode to the normal mode is to close the Output Control window.
Important note: FORScan doesn't care about seamless switching from one mode to another. So, in our example, if IC illumination in normal mode is 80% and user has set it to 0%, the IC display will shut the illumination off. In this example it is safe, however in some cases, for example when you manage a powertrain actuator, such as spark advance or somethink like this, it may be not unsafe. Another thing is a control of minimum and maximum value parameter, it is not performed as well (normally, it should be managed by module itself, but we recommend to be very careful anyway).
This is how the Output control window should look like when used:
- If the control doesn't respond as expected, the common log should be checked. Every Output Control operation is logged here, either as successful or as error:
Normally, there should be no errors. If you experience one, you need to contact us and send internal FORScan logs from this vehicle. If there is no error, but the actuator still doesn't respond or responds not like expected, it most likely means the module supports this command but doesn't really serve it. However, FORScan bug is not fully exluded too.