View Full Version : OBD2 computer interface

12-31-05, 07:35 PM
There are many different machines that interface with GM's OBD2 interface. Does anyone have a favorite that they use often? I would like one that attaches to a Pocket PC or Palm device.

12-31-05, 08:23 PM
There are many PDA scan tool interfaces on the market.
You can also buy a software package that works with a cable on a laptop or PC. These aftermarket solutions are good for powertrain and maybe ABS but rarely have good coverage of all the systems on the car.
Of course the factory scan tool is the best, but it's about three G's.
I can't recommend one specifically but snap-on tools makes a new tool, I forget the name of it... someone help me out.
I think there are cheap OBD-II "code readers" out there that you can use to retrieve powertrain codes, but won't let you read data or anything like that.

HTH, good luck finding what you are looking for.
What kind of purpose are you going to buy this for? Do you work in a shop or do you just want to be able to check your own codes?

A google search should turn up lots of info on this one, but it would be nice if someone else had some experience using one so they could recommend something or steer you away from something bad.

12-31-05, 09:06 PM
The Snap-On system is the Modis. It's a really nice setup, which give you code readouts, live, and freeze fram data as well as other stuff too. It's also got a full color display and a digital oscilloscope and DVOM built in as well. I have used the PDA setup before as well, and I have to say that they can't read as fast as the dedicated scantools like the Modis or Tech 2. The one I was using thoguh, was a wireless bluetooth antenna which plugged into the OBD2 port, and connected to a Palm Tungsten E. It could be used with any bluetooth cpapble PDA thoguh, but I don't remember which company it was made by. I forget who makes it, but there's another one out there called the Genysis, whihc has a full color display like the Modis, but isn't as easy to use, and has less functions.

I'd just liek to add that Snap-On has a few version of the Modis. There is one that doesn't have the oscilloscope or DVOM and is slightly smaller with a different size screen, I think it's their newer, redesigned "brick"....those of you that have used it before know what I'm talkin' about..hehe.

12-31-05, 11:19 PM
Try www.autotap.com

01-01-06, 04:09 AM
That autotap looks very interesting. I recently downloaded TunerPro RT for free from here: http://tunerpro.markmansur.com/

Haven't hooked the vehicle up to it yet. I still need to buy the cables.

Whoa, back up here...TunerPro is for OBD1. Sorry about that.

01-01-06, 10:21 AM
I've been an Autotap user for years. The latest models are both software and firmware upgradable and these type upgrades are free. I have also received a free hardware upgrade from them because of special circumstances that they weren't obligated to provide . You couldn't ask for better customer service or nicer people. The same hardware works with both a laptop and a PALM with the appropriate software. You can do data logging and playback with both types. The only commanding you can do is turn off the CEL but there are thousands of data points that can be observed depending on the car and the level of software you buy. The unit is provided with a lot of suppporting data for evaluating results.

01-01-06, 11:59 PM
I also have the Autotap system. It will capture lots of sensor data and graph it for you, save it to log files, etc. You can view and clear DTCs and capture realtime data while you drive the car. I've found it very useful for not only diagnosing problems, but just for learning what's happening while I drive. It's interesting to me to watch how the various sensors influence fuel delivery rates and ignition timing. For a few hundred bucks, I think it's great to have for educational and diagnostic purposes. It's a *lot* less money than the Snapon or GM tools and, granted, it doesn't do all that fancy stuff, but it has helped solve every problem I've had in short order and I've definitely made my money back from it.

01-02-06, 01:41 PM
One shortcoming of Snapon models is that it can take years for them to develope upgrades for current cars. Apparantly if the cars are still in warranty they figure that there is no market.

01-02-06, 09:23 PM
Thank you all! I will check-out the AutoTap system. I want a means of troubleshooting problems which periodically occur with these otherwise extremely reliable cars. My former car was an '86 Riviera with a GCC (touch screen) that could be used for full access to the computers.

01-03-06, 12:31 AM
you do realize that you also have excellent acces to all the on-board computers through the dash and climate control panel? You don't need a specialized OBDII external hookup. It gives you lots of info to help troubleshoot any problems you might encounter.

While the diagnostic mode on the dash allows more functions on OBDI cars, OBDII still is able to display trouble codes and hundreds of data parameters on the dash displays. Cadillacs are well known for this ability.

I never owned 86 Riviera but I've seen their touch screen - I thought it was pretty cool and futuristic. Well ahead of its time. But I've also heard that it was a pain to deal with when the ambient light was bright (full sunshine).