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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

This is my first post on UK-MKIV's - I've just jumped ship form BMW to VW and came across this great forum.

I've just bought a Golf 4 V5, reading through the articles I'm wondering if it would be benificial for me to buy a Vagcom reader/programmer to use with my car and a pc. I'm an electronic engineer and so am fairly proficient with stuff like this, and I'd love to have a play.

Questions are as follows:

1. Is this something I can just buy off ebay? Do I just need software and a cable?

2. Cable pin out - Is a special cable required?

3. What benifits would I get? What does it do?

4. Price for the kit?

5. Best place to get it from?

Thanks in advance.

Mark.
 

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1.) You can buy a connector or eBay, though you would still need to purchase the software.

2.) Cable pin out and componets required if you would like to build your own are here and here

3.) VAGCOM allows you to do anything that a dealer can, reset service, diagnose faults etc, have a look here for more details, not not restricted to the Golf either, any thing in the VAG group.

4. Cables are around ?30-?60 depending on where you purchase from, the software is $99 USD to register.

5. Only get the software from Ross-Tech, as for the cable, either watch here for a GB or build your own from the links above.
 

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Most aftermarket cables are only compatible with VAG-COM versions up to 311.2. No aftermarket cable works with version 500.0 or newer.

You can order the real thing -- a KEY-COM, which includes an embedded license -- for $229 direct from Ross-Tech. $229 is about ?120 these days.

-Uwe-
 

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?120 is very decent value guys.......if you can't stretch your budget that far - split the cost with a Dub mate......easy!
 

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Uwe, Are VAG-COM.co.uk affiliated to Ross-Tech? I don't see them on your Distributor List

Also are any forum discounts to be had?

As you cheaper by a couple of quid but what about import duty & VAT?

I looking @ the KEY-USB, mainly to do the Cruise Control installs

as the VW1551 has had to go back to its home

Would this do the job or shall I go for a PRO kit
 

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VAG-COM.co.uk is an authorized distributor. They are listed on our Distributor Page as "Cister Automotive" which is their business name. See also:

http://www.vag-com.co.uk/disclaimer.htm

We don't do forum discounts. Forum discounts would mean disounting to almost everyone..:) We think we charge a fair price for our product to begin with.

You will have some VAT to pay to get into the country. We have to declare the true the value of the hardware we ship, but remember, we're not shipping you any software (unless you buy a Pro-Kit). There should be no duties to pay -- we classify the interfaces with a harmonized tarif number for "Signal Coverter" which is duty-free into the EU.

If you're doing cruise control installations, I would recommend that you consider compatibility with future cars (Mk.5's) which require a HEX+CAN interface.

You do not need to buy a Pro-Kit to get a HEX+CAN interface. The Pro-Kit is intended for shops who don't have internet access (and hence need the CD and printed manual) or who simply want the convenience of having everything packed in a nice case -- and are willing to pay for it..:)

-Uwe-
 

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Cheers Uwe,

Just been reading up on the HEX-USB+CAN ?207.60 inc Postage

I think the extra will be worthwhile as Im personally looking to Buy a MK5 GTi
 

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Just a couple more questions

If I bought from a UK Distributor such as VAG-COM.co.uk, they would ship from within the UK

So I would not have any extra to pay?

or could I do what has been suggested before & put 'My Family' to avoid VAT

Also if I ordered today, How long before I received it ??
 

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If I bought from a UK Distributor such as VAG-COM.co.uk, they would ship from within the UK. So I would not have any extra to pay?

Yes, I believe all the distributors listed on our website ship from within their own country. Sadly, the question with at least some of them seems to be "How fast?". You may want to contact whomever you're ordering from and verify stock before ordering. If we're ever out of stock on a particular item, we go to great pains to make this obvious on our site. Unfortunately, I've not been able to prevail on all of our distributors to do likewise.

-Uwe-
 

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Cheers again Uwe for your quick response

I'll go for ross-tech as its ?60.00 cheaper inc Postage

& take the chance with Customs

** Order Placed - HEX-USB+CAN ?207.60 ($384.00) via Paypal **
 

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For anyone in the UK wondering about delivery time from Ross-Tech in the US, I ordered my HEX-USB+CAN on a Friday & it arrived at my house on Monday morning!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the quick reply guys, and sorry for my not-so-quick response!

I made a box using opto-couplers at the weekend using the schematic at www.planetfall.com/~jeff/obdii/ but have been struggling to get it working right. The only sensor I have been able to intermittently read is the ABS, with all other modules coming back with excessive comms error messages.

First thoughts are a poor connection since I do not have a j1962 connector yet and was playing around by just pushing bare wires into the car socket. Thinking ?8.50 was a bit steep for a plug the J1962 connector I've ordered one from the US (came to about ?5 inc p&p) and so am still waiting.

Does this sound like a logical conclusion to the errors I'm getting, or could it be something else?

Also, I made the more simple inteface using opto-couplers rather than a micro, because after a quick perusal of the interface standard it would seem the micro would offer no greater functionality for a VW and is only required for various other manufacturers' OBD systems. Is this correct?

Cheers,

Mark.
 

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Those opto circuits are incredibly fussy about the exact components you s elect. Take a 'scope to it and look at the rise and fall times, levels, and and especially the level at which a transition on the K-line causes a transition on the RS-232 data line back to the PC. There's a reason we stopped selling interfaces based on opto-couplers more than two years ago! :)

Yes, there are distinct advantages to using a microcontroller, even on VW's, and the biggest reason is Windows. The Windows serial drivers have considerable latency, which makes it impossible to hold protocol timing exactly like the factory's tools when using a dumb interface. There are some control modules which are very fussy about the protocol timing which will never work reliably with dumb interface driven by a Windows app. All interface we sell now have a micro in them and work even on those "difficult" modules.

-Uwe-
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the info Uwe, I'll take the interface into work tomorrow and have a look at what you suggested.

I was undecided at the time which interface to make - looks like I might have to go back to the drawing board and make a new one with a micro.

I'll keep you guys posted on my progress.

Mark.
 

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I ordered a KEY-USB from ross-tech on Sunday evening which arrived this morning.

First class service though thats exactly what I expected when I placed my order.

Don't bother with cheaper third party leads, go for the proper lead with a full license included.
 

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@ GaryM

I've ordered a HEX-USB+CAN due tomorrow

Did you get any custom charges added?

If so, how much or was it just VAT @ 17.5%
 

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Quote: posted by tkpeters on 23/02/2005 18:59:40

@ GaryM

I've ordered a HEX-USB+CAN due tomorrow

Did you get any custom charges added?

If so, how much or was it just VAT @ 17.5%

No customs or extra charges yet, just the payment for the cable which I made to Ross-Tech via Paypal [:D]
 

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I was undecided at the time which interface to make - looks like I might have to go back to the drawing board and make a new one with a micro.

You aren't going to find plans for any microcontroller-based interfaces which are compatible with VAG-COM. The best you're going to be able to do if you make it yourself is to put a MAX-232 on the PC side and an ISO-9141 (K-line) tranceiver (or two) on the car side. Not perfect, but a heck of a lot better than optos.

-Uwe-
 
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