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dragartist

ECU Output to tablet

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Dear all,

In the next months I will be purchasing myself a new ECU, most likely a LINK Ecu.

My aim is to install this, and then link some kind of tablet (ideally an iPad) to display the engine information (speed, rpm etc.)

I wanted to try and find out a little more about what options I have, what others are doing and what I can realistically expect. I found a few threads on this, but all were very old.

  1. Am I correct in thinking that it is impossible for the ECU to expose an OBDII plug?
     
  2. Is anyone already running some kind of tablet setup in their car? If so, do you have any more information/images/videos?

Any advise would be greatly appreciated

Thanks,

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Dragartist,

We are running a few tablets currently. You can populate a OBD2 plug say from a junk yard harness and set it up anywhere in the vehicle. We use a wifi/ BT adapter to this plug that goes straight to the tablet. We were having some trouble at first but now have the bugs worked out. Communication speed is going to be the key here. Most factory vehicle scanners have a pretty fast transfer rate. Making sure the transfer rate from the ECU to scanner is correct is key. You will get broken data or very delayed data coming through. Check out the PLX KIWI device. I love this device as you can also overlay track data to it from your app. It is great.

Let me know if you need any help. PM me or email me tunedybyrde@gmail.com

-RichRDE

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Many thanks for the reply, it sounds interesting. So just to confirm, you manually wired an OBD2 plug into the ECU wiring harness? And then from here plugged a wifi/BT adapter?

Which tablets/software do you run? Do you have any pictures/videos of it in action?

(I thought it best to post here so others might benefit from the info)

Thanks again,

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We do not have any video of it in action. We are working on our new website and will be posting video's and content within the next couple weeks. We use the PLX KIWI device. 

Yes you can take a OBD2 plug and wire it. 

RichRDE

OBD2 Link.PNG

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Hi Scott,

Good to get the views directly from you. So, just to be clear, can you advise how exactly these people are running these apps with your ECUs?

I assume Rev is used by manually wiring in an OBD2 port and using a wireless reader/adapter?

I assume PCLink is done slightly differently to a windows tablet? Can you advise?

Lastly: When searching google I can see references to the G4 ECU but also the G4 "Extreme" ECU - this seems to have better connectivity to external devices - is this correct?

Thanks again,

Edited by dragartist

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So, just to be clear, can you advise how exactly these people are running these apps with your ECUs?

I assume Rev is used by manually wiring in an OBD2 port and using a wireless reader/adapter?

Both the Rev and Torque app receive data over blue-tooth or wifi from an OBD2 transmitter. The G4+ ECU is able to have it's CAN bus wired to an OBD2 port. So basically the data flow goes:

ECU > CAN Bus > OBD2 Port > OBD2 to wifi/blue-tooth transmitter > Phone > App

I assume PCLink is done slightly differently to a windows tablet? Can you advise?

This is the same version of PCLink that is run on windows XP/Vista/7/8/10 on a laptop. However the normal layout file needs to be adjusted to suit the tablet screen size and the data that is to viewed.

 When searching google I can see references to the G4 ECU but also the G4 "Extreme" ECU - this seems to have better connectivity to external devices - is this correct?

No, this is not true. The G4 ECUs that had a CAN or serial connection (just about all) were all capable of the same output options. However the G4+ ECU range is superior, as it is able to transmit OBD2 data over the CAN bus, where-as the G4 range could not.

Edited by Scott

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Many thanks Scott, very clear.

One final question: How does the tablet connect to the ECU if I would like to use PC Link? Is it a simple USB?

Thanks,

I believe you can use a usb to wifi adapter. You can use many different platforms of tablets for the units our there. Like Scott mentioned. This makes things so easy!

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For a windows 8/10 tablet another option is to use the standard ECU tuning cable, and then use an adapter to make the cable fit the tablet.

http://www.dx.com/p/usb-female-to-micro-usb-male-adapter-connector-113791#.V1dsIJF96Uk

One down side to this is that the tablet normally uses the micro USB port for charging, however someone may know a clever solution to this.

 

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Thanks guys. Going to do some more research and download PCLink to see how good I can make it "look" on a tablet screen.

Will report back here as I think it's useful for others to know, especially if the solution is quite straight forward to get working.

Thanks again,

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We have tested this ourselves on a windows tablet, it was straight forward to get it working. I did find it hard to adjust the 'views' on the tablet, so best to set them up on a PC and then load the PCLink layout file into PCLink on the tablet.

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You would normally connect a tablet via USB tuning port.  The port you have shown above is RS232 and CAN only - no USB.  If you connect via RS232 then you will need Rx, Tx & GND.  If you connect via CAN then you only need CAN H & CAN L (you cant directly connect a tablet/PC using CAN, this is mostly for motorsport dashes etc).  

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