OBDLink

We have temporarily suspended support for OBDLink.

OBDLink, a new scan tool from Scantool.net was released a couple of months ago and we modified OBD 2007 to support its extended feature set with the release of our build 1.0.14.0 early in October. Our release coincided with the release of OBDLink’s firmware version v1.1.0, which is their current firmware version.

Over the last 5 weeks we have been receiving regular diagnostic logs from users of OBDLink and have found that OBDLink is experiencing problems connecting to a number of vehicles. Most of these vehicles are either ISO 9141-2 or ISO 14230-4 protocol vehicles. The Scantool.net forum is also awash with complaints about OBDLink not connecting to similar vehicles. Some of the vehicles affected include Saab, Volvo, Audi, Renault and Mercedes.

These two protocols are used by the majority of European and many Japanese vehicles. ISO 14230-4 is the later protocol and used by nearly all European vehicles from 2004-2007. ISO 9141-2 was the first European OBDII protocol and was universally used by all European vehicles from 2000 when the EU countries first went OBDII compliant.

The critical part in any OBDII connection is when the software sends the command 0x0100 to the ECU(s) of the vehicle. This command is sent after the software first sends a command to the scan tool that requests that all protocols should be searched. The 0100 command tells the scan tool to first search for the correct protocol of the vehicle and secondly return a list of all supported pids of the OBDII compliant ECU(s) of the vehicle, when the correct protocol is found.

The scan tool should cycle through all the protocols testing for each one until it finds a matching response. If after cycling through all the protocols and there is no matching response, then the scan tool will report “UNABLE TO CONNECT”. The “UNABLE TO CONNECT” is the typical response you get when you try and connect an OBDII scan tool to a non OBDII compliant vehicle.

However, OBDLink is returning the “UNABLE TO CONNECT” response to many of these OBDII compliant vehicles. The same vehicles connect with other scan tools such as Scantool.net’s ElmScan5, which obviously illustrates the fault within OBDLink. Unfortunately there is nothing that any OBDII software can do about this situation as unless there is a connection made and a pid list returned, the software has nothing to work with.

When we were first sent an OBDLink, we didn’t experience any problems connecting to either ISO 9141-2 or ISO 14230-4 vehicles. So the connection problem is not across the board with these protocols. Normally before we release a build of OBD 2007 it is thoroughly tested by various beta testers from all around the world. Unfortunately none of our beta testers own an OBDLink, and therefore our testing process was not as rigorous as it is normally. It was not until the OBDLink scan tool was in more wide spread use that the problems became apparent.

We don’t know what the exact problem is, but assume that the problem must lie in their protocol detecting algorithm. We have offered our diagnostics logs to Scantool.net which demonstrates the problem, but as of this time, we are not aware of a solution to the problem. We presume that when the problem is solved there will be a new release of the firmware.

Scantool.net is requesting affected customers to contact them for a RMA.

Based in Melbourne Australia, GLM Software has more than 20 years of application development and practical automotive experience and is a leading producer of vehicle diagnostics software.