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padgett 04-17-2012 06:52 PM

Inexpensive OBD-II
I am putting together a web page on inexpensive OBD-II programs for PC (netbooks) and Android (tablets, smart phones). Eventually I want to expand to include the more powerful/expensive (Autoenginuity, SuperChips) ones but for now am confining to sub-$50 add-ons.

If there is interest I may add some configuration templates but will only be for the Pentastar since that is what I have.

Constructive comments are welcome.

Below is the 10" Android tablet I velcro over the invisible instruments.


4whljunkie89 04-18-2012 05:17 AM

Re: Inexpensive OBD-II
could i use my ipgone or ipd with it? how does it work exactly???

padgett 04-18-2012 08:25 AM

Re: Inexpensive OBD-II
1) These work with the devices I have personally: PC and Android. Can check for Mac (have a MacBook) but do not have an iPhone or iPad.

2) All are based on intercepting the car's data stream by connecting a small processing device to the OBD-II connector near the e-brake and passing that data stream to a computing device (netbook, tablet. Or, if you prefer, magic.

3) Bottom line is that it is possible to monitor many of the sensors and outputs of a computer car & since 1996 MY the fed has standardised on how. Standardization makes things cheap. Some are easy to watch, others are considered proprietary by Chrysler-Jeep the same way they refuse to allow a WK2 owner to buy a service manual. These must be reverse engineered. No big, just takes time.

This is just a stress reliever for me & thought I would share if anyone was interested. Will say that without instrumentation there is no real way to evaluate changes such as a CAI.

Aiyer 04-18-2012 01:29 PM

Re: Inexpensive OBD-II

If I understand correctly, your webpage will have "downloadable" programs one can run on their tablet/PC and use a cable or some kind of device to read from OBD II port and display the vehicle info. If this is what you are doing, that's great news!

I have android phones and tablet that I dedicate to reading this info on my Jeep. :)

padgett 04-18-2012 03:38 PM

Re: Inexpensive OBD-II
Not quite: my site has links to both what I have purchased or acquired (freeware) and other products not yet tested. If there is interest I may make available some of the configurations I use for my WK2 but not the programs thamselves. This is because I have no way to maintain current versions controlled/owned by others. The page indicates which links have been checked and which have not.

Perhaps an OBD-II sticky for information exchange would be appropriate. I do know know what the JG policy is for information that Chrysler-Jeep has not released particularly relating to parameter PIDs.

padgett 07-22-2012 03:27 PM

Re: Inexpensive OBD-II
Update: Am now using a Samsng Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 and after two months of going around with Samsung tech they have now issued ICS 4.0.4 which fixes the constant pairing issue with ICS 4.0.3.

When I bought it, the Specs and user guide from Samsung promised everything I wanted: SD card capability, GPS, accellerometer, Bluetooth, Wifi (I have a mobile hot spot) but as time wore on there were a few promises not kept: for example the HDMI output was in the user guide but required an adapter that was not available. Now they have removed any reference to HDMI with no explination or even "we're sorry". Am afraid they have lost my trust.

Unfortunately, at the moment there is no device that has the combination of features I think necessary, the new Nexus has no SD card slot

Have an iPad but $50 for a program that may be equivalent to Torque seems a bit dear. Also backing up to my PC or even moving files around is not supported but at least a video output adapter is available but no provision for input e.g. a backup camera.

Based on history, Android would seem to be the place to go except the Google Play Store concept makes it hard for a VAR to preload programs.

Am working on a number of mounts, the Arkon seat bolt mounts are the easiest and least intrusive but at 18.5" are about 5" too short for a GC so I had to make extensions. A 7" tab fits nicely below the a/c controls. I am working on one that will be on a flip mount above the radio but that is going to require a sun shade.

Is anyone interested in this sort of thing ? I believe the full integration of web and auto systems is coming but doubt that any manufacturer is going to want owners/drivers to have the power and control of which Torque is capable.

Tybalt39 07-23-2012 10:53 AM

Re: Inexpensive OBD-II

Any interest in having your tablet display on the 430/730 display (including touch-screen)? There is a thread at for a product that connects your touch-screen in the car to the Android tablet via bluetooth and takes video from the tablet to display on the stereo screen. You would just have to get used to using a resitive screen when operating the tablet as opposed to the capacitive screens we now love.

The primary snag at this point is how to get video from the tablet to the screen. A Lockpick can take VBS video and display it on the screen, but you would have to use an HDMI-to-VBS adapter from the tablet (Amazon @ around $70). I have not yet seen how this would affect the clarity of the video.

This tablet adapter is also available for IOS.

telliottaus 11-28-2012 08:19 AM

Re: Inexpensive OBD-II

with your setup, are you able to see the speed when you are driving. I have a CRD and using torque pro I am unable to see the speed. I can connect via my pc using odbwiz and connect to the transmission ECU or Engine ECU - when I connect to the trans ECU I can see the speed, but lose most of the std engine PIDs. Ideally it would be good if I can address and red both at the same time, but not being familiar with the odb protocol the jeep is running i'm not sure if this is possible.


padgett 11-28-2012 12:07 PM

Re: Inexpensive OBD-II
It is a matter of setting up two frames, one for the engine and the other for the trans. With Torque I can select vehicle speed from either the ECU or the GPS. Since GPS is external should be able to get that regardless.

I'll need to make sure I have the latest TorqueScan (OBDWiz that can recognise "other" dongles) . Sounds like you are using a PC so will need to bring mine up, have been using Anndroid tablets lately. ZUJ 1.

telliottaus 11-30-2012 06:13 AM

Re: Inexpensive OBD-II
I've tried using torque and it works ok I just can't see the speed and can't work out how to address / interrogate the trans ecu and indeed if you can do that at the same time as the engine one. It may be something to do with the engine being the CRD VM motori, with torque I can't see how to access the transmission and not being able to get things like fuel and speed at the same time somewhat lessen the info... thanks

padgett 11-30-2012 08:02 AM

Re: Inexpensive OBD-II
It is a little difficult for me since the CRD is not available in the US so cannot checkout. For Torque I would suggest installing the TorqueScan plugin also from the store and see what it finds.

Part of the problem is that OBD-II is a US standard. There are others such as the European OBD (EOBD) and EOBD2 which are similar but not quite the same.

Our current OBD-II uses the CANBUS protocol which is like any other LAN protocol. It needs to know both what device it is calling and with what command. It also need to know what response to expect.

Most inexpensive devices are only programmed to access the ECU and request/receive about 100 standard parameters. To access the transmission parameters you need to be able to select a different device and to make requests of it. OBDWiz/TouchScan have this built in, I am not sure about Torque but it does have the capacity to load custom commands and interpret the responses.

Part of the issue is that unlike GM, Ford, Toyota, Mazda, and BMW CJF is very secretive about the extended PIDs for things like Oil Pressure and Oil Temperature. They exist, we just have to figure them out by trial and error. This takes time and I do not have a lot to spare. I can interrogate the ECU and get a response, the issue is finding the specific PID.

Some third party providers have entered into PIAs with CJF to have access to such but are legally prevented from disclosing or even talking about them. If they do, CJF will cut them off. This leaves reverse engineering which is quite time consuming and may be destructive.

That said, vehicle speed is a required parameter (mode 1 PID 0Dh ), I do not know why you are having trouble. See OBD-II PIDs - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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