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FORScan Lite for Android: User interface manual


 General notes
 First run
 Status indicator
 Main screen and navigation
 Aggregated Output

General notes

This version of manual is actual for FORScan Lite for Android version 1.5.* .

Current version of the application for Android works with Bluetooth, WiFi and USB adapters. Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) adapters are not supported yet. Warning: bad quality clones that are not fully compatible with original ELM327 will not work. Also, some Bluetooth circuits in clone adapters may freeze on requests that return long data. It is strongly recommended to always try FORScan Demo before purchasing FORScan Lite.

All screenshots below are provided for Portrait mode, but Landscape mode is supported as well. Only phone screenshoots are provided by default. Tablet screenshots provided only if there is a significant difference in design or functionality.

The following FORScan Lite application behaviors have to be taken into consideration:

  • If the application is connected to the vehicle, the Android device will not switch to the sleep (idle) mode - display will be always bright etc. It means high energy consumption. However, the mobile device can be switched to the idle mode by pressing standard Off button on the top of it. When the application is disconnected from the adapter, the device returns back to normal mode of work.
  • When FORScan communicates with the vehicle, standard network activity indicator in the status bar is on
  • FORScan continues current operations even if user has switched to another application (background mode)

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First run

When application is started first time, two important operations must be executed: license check and setup connection to adapter.

1. License check. When application is started for the first time, it performs license check to make sure this is valid FORScan Lite install. User should not do anything but make sure the device is connected to the internet and it's google account is logged in. If FORScan Lite is unable to validate the license, the application may be closed. In this case, user needs to check internet connection and google account and run FORScan Lite again. License check is performed only once, so user can use application offline after the succesful validation. Sometimes, but not more often than 1-2 times per year, random license check may happen. If it happens, user should make sure device is connected to the internet and there is no any problem with google account.

2. Adapter setup. In order to connect to real vehicle, user has to setup Bluetooth or WiFi adapter. Here is detailed instruction on how to do it:

Bluetooth adapter:
- Connect adapter to vehicle
- Go to Android settings->Bluetooth->search for BT devices. After adapter is found and appears in the list of available devices, pair it (you should have pairing code, usually it is 0000 or 1234)
- Go to FORScan settings and set Connection Type to Bluetooth0 and select your adapter in the Bluetooth adapter list
FORScan Lite should be able to connect now.

WiFi adapter:
- Connect adapter to vehicle
- Go to Android settings->WiFi->search for WiFi devices. After adapter is found and appears in the list of available devices, tap on it to connect
- Go to FORScan settings and set Connection Type to WiFi and make sure IP adress and port number match to the ones for your adapter ( and 35000 by default)
FORScan Lite should be able to connect now.

USB adapter:
- Connect USB adapter via OTG cable to Android device
- Connect adapter to vehicle
- Go to FORScan settings and set Connection Type to one of USB types that fits. Available USB connection types are described in Settings
section of this manual
FORScan Lite should be able to connect now.

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Status indicator

Current progress and application status is indicated using color of the application icon at the upper left corner:

 -  Application disconnected
 -  Connection started, FORScan Lites tries to connect to the adapter
 -  application has connected to the adapter and tries to connect to the vehicle now
 -  FORScan Lite has successfully connected and ready to work
 -  Connection failed

Standart network activity indicator shows when FORScan is trying to communicate with adapter and vehicle.

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Main screen and navigation

Navigation is standard for Android applications. Phone version has main screen, tablet version has main menu at the left side that is available on all pages and can be used for navigation. So navigation is slightly different for phone and tablet:

In case of phone devices user can move only up and down through hierarchy of screens. Navigation down is performed by tapping on an action button, list/menu item and so on. Navigation up is performed using standard Android back button, that is duplicated with back button at the left side of home icon:

In case of tablet devices user can switch between sections from any place of the application. Standard android back button works here as well, but there is no a duplicate back button at the left side of home icon. Instead of, tablet version offers a special navigation menu in subsections:

In this example, user has 3 ways to leave the Add PID screen: press Android back button and return to previous screen, tap on the "PID profile" text in the navigation menu at the top of the subsection and return to the parent subsection "PID profile", tap on any item in the main (left) menu and move to another section.

Sections are the same as in regular Windows version, except that there are no Tests and Service sections (this is main difference of Lite version from regular one). Detailed description of every section will be provided below.

Application is managed in a standard way: using action bar buttons/menu. Main screen has only 2 buttons: connect/disconnect and information. Buttons connect/disconnect are self-explaining. Pressing information button shows the About page:

Most important information on this page is version of the kernel that is displayed right after the version of FORScan Lite for Android. All versions of FORScan use the same kernel, so this version number is in sync with the one displayed on FORScan Web site everywhere (announcements, Change history etc).

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Section item is the last one on the main screen, however it most important item on the first run. Here it is:


Available settings:

  • Demo mode - special mode to demonstrate application abilities even without connect to an adapter and vehicle. Initially, when application is installed, the Demo mode is on. But every time when user tries to connect, FORScan offers to switch from Demo to Real mode. If users agrees, the demo mode is disabled and normal connection to adapter is performed. Demo mode can be turned on any time using this option.
  • Measurement - using this setting user can choose between metric (default) and imperial measurement systems.
  • Instrument color - this parameter can be used to specify dashboard gauges text color. "Multicolored" value is used by default, but user can set some specific color for all instruments.
  • CSV delimiter - this setting lets FORScan know what CSV delimeter must be used to save live stream data in CSV format
  • Language for database resources - this option switch the language used by application core to display information. Either default device language or English can be set. English is source language for majority of the technical information in FORScan database. So this option may help to fix misreadings caused by incorrect translation
  • Debug mode - this option must be always off except the case when FORScan team asks for debug info.
  • Connection type - this setting enumerates all available connection types:
    - Bluetooth 0, Bluetooth 1, Bluetooth 2 - different Bluetooth connection types. In all cases, except exception mentioned below, the Bluetooth 0 type must be used. The Bluetooth 1 type may help in some cases when Bluetooth 0 doesn't work for some reason Bluetooth 2 uses low level API and in fact works only on Android 4.0 and 4.1.
    - WiFi - WiFi connection
    - USB Universal - general-purpose connection type. It has to be used if type of the USB-RS232 integral circuit is unknown, or native driver from the integral circuit's manufacturer doesn't work. This USB connection type was added in response to users' requests, using an open USB Serial library. Stability problems are possible using this connection type.
    - USB FTDI - connection using FTDI native driver, works only for FTDI USB-RS232 integral circuits. Cheap clones often use counterfeit circuits that are blocked in native drivers. In such cases USB Universal has to be used.
    - USB CH34X - connection using WCH native driver, works only for WCH CH34X.
    - USB Prolific 38400, 115200, 9600 - connection using FTDI native driver, works only for Prolific integral circuits. It blocks counterfeit integral circuits similar to FTDI. This driver can only use only a certain baud rates, this is why the list contains 3 USB Prolific connection types with 3 baud rates.
  • Bluetooth adapter - this setting contains a list of all paired Bluetooth devices (not only adapters). In order to make an adapter available here, it must be paired. It can be done in Android settings-> Search Bluetooth devices. As soon as adapter is found, it must be selected and special pairing code has to be entered (usually it is 0000 or 1234).
  • Bluetooth MAC - adapter's MAC address can be hardcoded in this field. The hardcoded adapter will always be on top of the adapters' list, no matter if the adapter is connected/paired or not. This setting may be helpful for some Car PC that have Bluetooth pairing procedure working improperly.
  • Enable/Disable Bluetooth - this setting, if enabled, turns bluetooth on when FORScan is started, and turns it off when it is stopped.
  • WiFi IP-address, WiFi Port - WiFi specific settings.
  • Auto-connect - this setting, if enabled, forces FORScan to connecto to adapter/vehicle immediately after the application's start.
  • MS-CAN support - this setting is used to let FORScan know how to deal with MS-CAN modules:
    - Auto - FORScan asks user about HS/MS CAN switch existence.
    - No - FORScan will not process MS-CAN modules
    - HS/MS switch - FORScan will not ask about HS/MS CAN switch availability, but move forward assuming it is available.
    - RTS relay - FORScan will manage HS/MS using special relay in adapter. This option works only on adapters equipped with the relay and only on USB.

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Vehicle screen keeps Adapter, vehicle and modules information:

The action bar has 2 buttons: Save and Service. The Save button calls Save menu that allows to save OR share the content of the section:

Note this Save menu structure is typical for FORScan Lite, these menus in other sections have the same organization:

Save button - save content to txt file in the FORScan document folder (Downloads/FORScan). The document folder is public so other applications can process these files. It also can moved to PC using standard synchronization procedure.

Send button - this function can be used to send the content as a text file attachment via Android email client or other application that supports sending files. If WiFi adapter is used, Internet is usually not available. However, the message can be stored as a draft and sent later, when Internet connection is restored.

The Service button is used to call a service menu. Service menu is used for special functions:

Clear cache button - clears all vehicle caches. When FORScan Lite is connected to the vehicle first time, it does full scan of vehicle configuration and saves it to the cache. It may take quite significant time, but subsequent connections are established much faster. If the cache is cleared, FORScan Lite has to perform the full scan again. Besides, the cache may contain some info entered by user. This is why the button is marked in orange. In the meantime, PIDs profiles are not a part of cache, so they are not removed when this function is called.

Save debug info - this button is used to save internal FORScan debug info to the documents folder. This function should be used only if requested by FORScan Support Team. This option is designed to be used only if there is no mail client and/or Internet connection on the device. Otherwise, it is recommended to use Send debug info option (described below). Important note: by default the debug info is not collected. In order to collect it, the Debug setting in the Settings section must be set.

Send debug info - same function as above, but does send the debug info using Android email client or other application that supports sending files. It is preferred way to share debug information.

Remove debug info - this button clears all collected internal FORScan debug info.

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The log screen keeps log information. The action bar has 2 standard buttons: Save and Clear log information:

Note: In contrast to the Windows version, where the log grows from the top to the bottom (most recent record is always at the bottom), in Android version the log grows from the bottom to the top (most recent record is always at the top).

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This screen contains list of DTCs grouped by modules. Every group row displays Module name and 2 buttons at the right: Read DTC and Reset DTC.

The action bar contains the following buttons:

  • Read DTC - re-reads DTCs in ALL modules
  • Reset DTC - performs DTC reset in ALL modules
  • Save - calls standard FORScan Save menu
  • Clear - clears the list (but doesn't remove DTCs in modules memory)
Note that the Read/Reset DTCs buttons are applied to ALL modules. In the meantime the Read/Reset DTCs in every module are applied to this module only.

Every DTC in group is displayed in a short view - DTC code and brief description. In order to get more details about the error, you have to tap over the row. The following DTC Detail screen will be opened:

Note that some parts of the text are marked in blue (as hyperlinks). These are "hints". In order to get a hint, you should tap over the hyperlink (in example below, IAT keyword is tapped):

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Dashboard, Table and Graph sections of FORScan Lite are organized in the same way. It consists of 2 parts: action bar with buttons and work area:

The work area contains gauges, every gauge displays data for a PID. A gauge has a scale and displays PID value in numeric and analog format, also it shows current measurement unit and PID name. Some PIDs cannot be represent in numeric format, so such PIDs have no scale, just PID name and text value.

Important feature is that you can select more PIDs that the Dashboard screen can display. You can then scroll up and down to see hidden PIDs. Also, if you tap over the PID on this screen, a PID description will appear for some time:

The action bar contains the following functional buttons:

  • Settings - calls PID profile settings screen, described in Details below
  • Start - starts live streaming
  • Stop - stops live streaming
    Note: Start and Stop cannot be displayed simultaenously.
  • Save - Save menu that allows to save or send by email either FSL (log file in FORScan internal format) or CSV log
  • Open - opens FSL files previously saved to documents.
  • Show/Hide Playpane - this button calls or closes a playpane (not available when live streaming is started) that allows to navigate through the log:

The playpane contains:

  • Time box at the middle that shows total length of the record and current position, in seconds
  • Navigation slider for fast but rough navigation
  • Navigation buttons for slow but precise navigation
When you press the Settings button, the screen PID profile settings is opened:

The screen allows to change current module. Every module has its own set of PIDs. So when the module is changed, FORScan Lite loads a list of selected profile owned by the module.

Also, the PID profile screen allows to manage list of PIDs - add, remove, edit and sort PIDs. To remove a PID, you should click at the remove button at the left of the row. To edit a PID, you should tap on the row - and the PID Detail screen (described earlier) will be displayed. The list can be sorted using a special control in the right side of every row. You should tap over the control (or make long tap over the row), then move the selected row to another position. PIDs can be added using Add button from the action bar (described in more details below).

If you tap over a row, the PID details screen will appear:

This screen contains information about a parameter, also it can be used to changhe some PID output settings. User can change displayed units and min/max value for numeric PIDs. Min/Max values are used to build gauge scale and graph upper and lower limits. User can also change precision (digits after the decimal point) for every numeric parameter.

Hints in the Detailed description are work in the same way as in the DTC detail screen.

The action bar has the following buttons:

  • Add - adds new PIDs from the list of all available PIDs (described below)
  • Clear All - removes all selected PIDs from the list
  • Save - this button allows to save the currently selected PIDs as a PIDs profile.
  • Load - the button allows to load previously saved profiles.
It should be counted that profiles from different modules are not compatible. So it is not possible, for example, load profile for PCM module if GEM module is selected. If user needs to display PIDs from several modules, the Aggregated Output feature has to be used.

The add new PID screen looks as the following:

The work area of the screen represents all PIDs available for this module. You can select one or several PIDs by setting checkbox at the left side of every selected row. Tap over the row opens the PID Details screen described earlier. The screen has a search bar at the top, you can filter the list using the bar. For example, if you type RPM in the search bar, only PIDs that contain RPM in their name or description will be displayed.

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Aggregated Output

Aggregated Output is a feature to display PIDs from several modules on the same screen. In order to use the feature, user needs to choose the virtual module All:

The virtual module All contains all parameters from all real modules. Every PID in the list is displayed with a prefix that points to the original module the parameter is taken from. While adding parameters to the profile, it is recommended to use the search bar at the top of the Add PID screen to simplify the PID search and selection. For example, if user types PCM, all PCM pids will be displayed as they contain PCM prefix in their description.

It must be counted that aggregated output has to switch between modules, buses and protocols. As a result, the output performance may drop very noticeable. Also in some cases the aggregated output may be practically useless, for example if user tries to out PIDs from HS and MS CAN modules on adapters with mechanical HS/MS CAN switch.

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The table screen displays PIDs in a table format:

Other functionality of this section is identical to the one described in the Dashboard section.

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The graph screen is designed to display PIDs in a graphical format that is most convenient for analysis:

Every graph also displays the current value of PID in numeric format at the top right corner, in the same color. It must be counted that the current value always means the most right visible point of the graph.

Other functionality of this section is identical to the one described in the Dashboard section.

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The Tests screen is designed to execute tests. User interface is similar to other sections, but also contains a progress indicator and a tab bar right under the navigation pane:

The progress indicator shows a test progress. The tab bar contains at least two tabs: a Tests tab that contains a list of all available tests, and a Log tab that shows the test log. Other tabs may be added to the pane depending on a test's type, these tabs usually contain results of the test. The application may switch the tabs during the test in an automated mode to provide user with information that is most significant at the moment.Of course, user can also switch between tabs manually.

To run a test, user has to select a test by tapping on its line. Checkbox at the left of every line is a choice indicator. Now, when the test is selected, user has to press the Start button to run the test. This sequence of actions should prevent a launch of an occasional or wrong test. Besides, there is an Information button at the right of every test line. User can get information about test tapping on this button. This information is also displayed when users press start, to provide a chance to cancel the test if wrong one called.

The mode a test is executed in depends on its type and can be automated or interactive. In automated mode tests do not require any feedback from user, so application shows test results at the end and becomes ready for the next test. The Stop button is not usually available in this type of tests, except the cases when the procedure can be interrupted by user. Example of automated test final screen:

Interactive test requires a feedback from user in order to be completed. For this purpose such a test usually shows an interactive dialog that provides information necessary for decision making. Some tests show result but do not exit after completion and require user to break the test explicitly. In this case network activity indicator in the status bar is active and Stop button in the tool bar is available to stop the test:

In addition to the Start and Stop buttons described above, the tool bar contains the following buttons:

  • Save - calls standard FORScan Save menu to save or send test results and log.
  • Clear - clears test results and logs

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The Service screen is designed to execute service procedures

User interface and logic of the Service section is identical to the Tests section.

WARNING! Some service procedures may require special skills and knowledge and/or designed to be used in pair with a service manual. Some procedures may be sensitive to adapter's quality.

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