ELM327-compatible adapters - how to choose

Discussion about adapters and connections - usage, problems, solutions
dmegyesi
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Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:57 pm
Vehicle: Ford Fiesta 1.25 82CV, 2016

Re: ELM327-compatible adapters - how to choose

Post by dmegyesi »

Hello everyone!

I just wanted to share my experience with these Chinese adapters. I had the same like a lot of people here, ELM 327 ver 1.5, however, I tried 2 different manufacturers and I got 2 different results.

First of all, the driver: the CD that is usually shipping with the device has either a virus or it has a super old driver, like 2001-2002, however, if you go to the chip manufacturer's website, you can find one from 2019, a very recent one which works perfectly fine with Windows 10 64-bit operating systems for example: http://www.wch-ic.com/search?q=CH340&t=downloads

All of these Chinese knockoffs have the CH340 or CH341 chipset, the difference is mostly just the cable itself or the sticker/marketing papers included with the device. The inside of the devices are 1:1 the same.

For Europeans, it is quite difficult to buy a good adapter, because either they are only sent to Poland (the really good ones), or the super expensive ones are coming from the United States and you have to pay an arm and a leg for import fees and it ends up costing a ton of money.

I bought these Chinese adapters from Amazon Spain, it's easy to apply for a reimbursement if there's a problem with them.

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1. First I tried this device, the most common one with the orange/purple sticker: It has a CH340 chip.
https://www.amazon.es/gp/product/B075WV ... UTF8&psc=1

Image

With the driver mentioned above, it is detected correctly by Windows, Forscan sees the adapter, but it cannot connect to the car. It keeps complaining that "turn the ignition ON". I wasted almost 4 weeks trying all kind of solutions, drivers, different Windows versions, Forscan versions, computers, etc., finally I decided to send it back.

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2. My next bet was another CH340 chip adapter, this time from the bbflyOBD company.
https://www.amazon.es/gp/product/B06XJ6 ... UTF8&psc=1

Or the manufacturer's website: http://bbflyobd.com/products/list/593856.html

Model code is: VINT-TT55502

Image

...and hell yeah, this one works like a charm!!! :D

It uses and needs the same driver as for the other one, Forscan detects it the same way, you get 3ms latency. But when you turn on the ignition, it can actually connect to the car and it can read everything perfectly! :mrgreen: I was so happy finally :)

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If this didn't work, I still had a 3rd option saved: bbfly company, but with the FTDI chip: bbfly BF32302
https://www.amazon.es/dp/B074JF6YNG/

I'm pretty sure this would also work, so if the above mentioned was not a success story for you, I recommend to give this a try. (This is a bit more expensive.)

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I hope you guys found this useful, please feel free to send me a DM if you need help with the drivers or anything.
rbentnail
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Vehicle: 2013 F150STX 4x4 5.0

Re: ELM327-compatible adapters - how to choose

Post by rbentnail »

Yes, I found the same as you with the Model code VINT-TT55502 from Amazon with usb connection. Never a problem with it once I found updated drivers.
joecshreve@yahoo.com
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Joined: Sat May 29, 2021 10:53 pm
Vehicle: 2020 Ford F150 XLT

Re: ELM327-compatible adapters - how to choose

Post by joecshreve@yahoo.com »

So, you are saying that if I can't connect no matter what I do it could be the cabled adapter itself ? I did buy a chinese knockoff (my bad)
STmk2_Spain
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Vehicle: FORD FOCUS ST MK2 2006

Re: ELM327-compatible adapters - how to choose

Post by STmk2_Spain »

Hi everyone,
I need to read and write the PCM module of my Focus mk2 ST 2006 and as you know it is crucial that the unit has a high speed baudrate, minimum 500kbps, HSCAN and it works stable. Well, I try with a clone ELM327 with switch HS/MSCAN and as you could imagine it has been a real rubbish, ELMCONFIG warned me that its speed is so slow (38000bps), and above all you can block and damage that module. Then, I have been seeing Viaken or CCY units but they are expensive, 62 euros included shipping cost. Well, what do you recommended me in a half-point, neither cloned Aliexpress unit nor a professional one like CCY or Viaken? Or perhaps, the best and secure option is these last ones. Evidently, It must have MS and HSCAN. :D

Ty all. :mrgreen:
tractmec
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Re: ELM327-compatible adapters - how to choose

Post by tractmec »

STmk2_Spain wrote:
Mon Jun 07, 2021 9:13 am
Hi everyone,
I need to read and write the PCM module of my Focus mk2 ST 2006 and as you know it is crucial that the unit has a high speed baudrate, minimum 500kbps, HSCAN and it works stable. Well, I try with a clone ELM327 with switch HS/MSCAN and as you could imagine it has been a real rubbish, ELMCONFIG warned me that its speed is so slow (38000bps), and above all you can block and damage that module. Then, I have been seeing Viaken or CCY units but they are expensive, 62 euros included shipping cost. Well, what do you recommended me in a half-point, neither cloned Aliexpress unit nor a professional one like CCY or Viaken? Or perhaps, the best and secure option is these last ones. Evidently, It must have MS and HSCAN. :D

Ty all. :mrgreen:
My first question would be " why do you wish to open that Pandora's Box?"

For PCM programming on these older modules the adapter selection is extremely limited and the ELM327 based adapters. as far as my experience with the ones I have, it is not possible at all!

These older PCM modules (Up to about 2010-2011MY) require an adapter with the ability to provide up to an 18 volt FEPS signal on DLC pin number 13 in order to open the PCM for programming. The two ELM327 Based adapters( granted,They are older OBDLink/Scantool.net adapters) that I have do not have any connection to the DLC Pin 13!
Someone with experience with the OBDlink/Scantool EX or an original ELS27(Not the ones with big orange letters and a Green PCB) might have another opinion however?

The adapter I have able to do this and only with Ford IDS is a Ford VCM2(177-C and no longer available) clone which I obtained in 2016 for about $200 CAD

You will need to do some more research into, probably J2534-2 capable Pass Thru adapters for this ability!

Also at this moment Programming for these older PCM's is not yet available with Forscan as it is still in development in the 2.4.3 Firmware branch, which is only available by Forscan support request!

What you propose to do is actually very risky with these old modules (Direct Quote from the Forscan team when I asked about this) and why(Again direct quote) the Forscan team has not released a 2.4.3x version with this ability enabled as of yet!
STmk2_Spain
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Re: ELM327-compatible adapters - how to choose

Post by STmk2_Spain »

Hi tractmen,
Sincerely, I am beginner of these subjects (a little more experience reading and writing PSG16 ECU of Opel or Vauxhall), and well, Pandora no really, perhaps activates the cruise control, :lol: . Well, all joking aside 8-) , I want to active the cruise control of my focus, and I only need active this option located in this PCM module. The other modules required have been active yet, using this rubbish of ELM327 cloned, the problem is that with read this module you need high baudrate. I have used elmconfig 0.2.17c for doing this. With this program you can access all option with every module of Ford.

It is not difficult to find some units that read these modules, here they are two, but a little expensive, hence my post. If someone knows others, a little cheaper, please tell me, but I will buy one of them.
https://www.viaken.pl/pl/polski-elm327- ... -2014.html
https://ccy.pl/en/shop/interfejs-obd2-s ... ccy-detail

Ty tractmen for your request.
tractmec
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Re: ELM327-compatible adapters - how to choose

Post by tractmec »

STmk2_Spain wrote:
Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:47 pm
Hi tractmen,
Sincerely, I am beginner of these subjects (a little more experience reading and writing PSG16 ECU of Opel or Vauxhall), and well, Pandora no really, perhaps activates the cruise control, :lol: . Well, all joking aside 8-) , I want to active the cruise control of my focus, and I only need active this option located in this PCM module. The other modules required have been active yet, using this rubbish of ELM327 cloned, the problem is that with read this module you need high baudrate. I have used elmconfig 0.2.17c for doing this. With this program you can access all option with every module of Ford.

It is not difficult to find some units that read these modules, here they are two, but a little expensive, hence my post. If someone knows others, a little cheaper, please tell me, but I will buy one of them.
https://www.viaken.pl/pl/polski-elm327- ... -2014.html
https://ccy.pl/en/shop/interfejs-obd2-s ... ccy-detail

Ty tractmen for your request.
Any time you are dealing with programming in these old PCM's it's potentially opening Pandora's box!

First of all and this should go without saying "BACKUP EVERYTHING"! I have seen this go to being all over but the crying too many times!
I have had no experience with those adapters you list although they say they are STN1170 versions which is an ELM327 designation but many of the clones claim this too!

The cost of the Adapter will be the least of your worries if it bricks a PCM. What you are proposing is still a risky proposition as it still involves erasing a PCM calibration and writing a different calibration file(can take 15 minuets to 1/2 an hour)(been there with IDS-VCM2 just updating a PCM calibration in the 03 Expedition and Changing Tire size one step in the 05 F150) that has the Cruise Control calibration enabled and it will still need the FEPS signal on Pin 13 to enable PCM programming. I am unaware if STN1170 Adapters have this FEPS signal ability. The older STN1130 and 1150 adapters definitely do not!

Programming the PCM is not just changing bits in ASbuilt(what checking the enabled box is actually doing) like the other modules involved in this process as you are actually erasing the PCM's EEPROM chip and Rewriting it so that you can check the cruse control enabled box.

I prefer J2534-2 Pass Thru adapters rather than ELM327 based adapters for this! The OBDLink EX or the original (ELS27White Board) if you can find one would be my only choice if I had to use ELM based adapters!

Forscan 2.4.3x can at the moment do only the FEPS voltage tests on PCM's prior to 2010-2011 that are on the HSCAN network (Have two of these a 2005 F150 and 2010 Fusion), which your 2006 Focus likely is. It will not even show any configuration and programming at all for older PMW/SCP networked PCM's(have one of these in an 03 Expedition and no PCM programming and configuration even appears, these are for me so far IDS-VCM2 only).

Forscan checks the adapter's ability to do this kind of programming when it first connects! If you see "any Can errors" in the error section of the Connection log I would not use that adapter for any programming!

If ELMconfig can do this job for you that will be your software option but I would not go any cheaper on the adapter than those. Also for this particular model year MSCAN will not be an issue as there likely is not an MSCAN Network but there is likely SCP/PWMJ1850 and ISO9141 networks as well as HSCAN!

Put a good charger on the battery and run out a cord and plug your laptop into power, the last thing you need is the car's battery going below 11 volts or the laptop battery getting weak and putting the laptop into suspend mode just as the The PCM blocks are being written. This has bricked more PCM's and left people with more Driveway anchors than I would like to count!

Good Luck!
STmk2_Spain
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Re: ELM327-compatible adapters - how to choose

Post by STmk2_Spain »

Evidently every step, backup done.
On the other hand, you have more experience than me (obvious) but you speak as it was a real madness. Obviously there is a risk when you work with this kind of things but if you want something and it is more or less possible, why not try if you do with all possible maximum security? It is clair if you do nothing , nothing happens. ;)
Here 2 videos (there are more) that show you just the step that I want to do. The first one show you all that you say, if you have an issue writing de PCM module and you have not made a backup, you are in a real problem.

Look from min.16:14 (all video shows you how activate all modules for activating cruise control) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_EGzfRbyZw

Look from min. 4:05. The same but here, he does not make any backup. :oops: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4UlGCSfR4Y
Goz1
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Re: ELM327-compatible adapters - how to choose

Post by Goz1 »

nice write up tractmen , lots of good information
Keithmac
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Re: ELM327-compatible adapters - how to choose

Post by Keithmac »

For me personally I would only trust my VCM2 for module programming.

I did my PCM in less than 5 minutes, as said the PCM is basically wiped clean before the updated Strategy etc is written.

Lots of room for error especially with sub standard adapters and thats probably the main reason FORScan pulled the module programming function.
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