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Old 11-25-2005, 17:01   #1 (permalink)
boxcar
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Ease or AutoTap diagnostic software ?

There's two ODBII software packages that seem comparable in price, AutoTap
and Ease Diagnostics. Both are PC based. I'd like some input on both if
possible. I'm just an old backyard mechanic and not a professional. If
anyone used either of those, I'd appreciate your comments.


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Old 11-26-2005, 07:01   #2 (permalink)
Ol' Duffer
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Re: Ease or AutoTap diagnostic software ?

In article <foOhf.1488$Ba6.851@newssvr30.news.prodigy.com>, pop-
popNOSPAM@snet.net says...
> There's two ODBII software packages that seem comparable in price, AutoTap
> and Ease Diagnostics. Both are PC based. I'd like some input on both if
> possible. I'm just an old backyard mechanic and not a professional. If
> anyone used either of those, I'd appreciate your comments.


I have an AutoTap, which comes with a proprietary baud/protocol
converter pod. It's basically a read-only device which can clear
error codes, but won't program things like transmission shift
points or spedometer calibration. The basic package works well
enough, but beware of their "free" upgrade which locks the pod
to work with only one serial number software. I'd rate it as
satisfactory, not impressive - it did the job I bought it for,
but I might try something else next time around.

Not familiar with the other one.
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Old 11-26-2005, 10:01   #3 (permalink)
Jim Warman
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Re: Ease or AutoTap diagnostic software ?

AutoEnginuity is spoken of quite highly in some other forums.... Sorry, I'm
not familiar with any of them but I can mention some of the features to look
for.

Another poster has mentioned proprietary capabilities... this allows you to
access other modules on the network. On some, there is only the PCM but on
yet others there can be many modules (a late model Windstar would have as
many as seven)..

The ability to read datastream.... this is the PID data you may have read
about. Deciphering PID data can be a little tricky at times.... if a sensor
has more than one PID, we should monitor all the PIDs for that sensor (if it
is suspect) to enable us to decide if the readings are rational.

Active command mode is next to nirvana. With this feature, we can command
the module to operate an output to see if the module can perform the task.
There are other uses for this function as well.

I'm not sure if some of the other test modes that the factory tools have is
available on any of these... The ability to read MODE Data, cylinder
contribution testing and relative compression testing. All of these are
handy features at one point or another. There is also the possibility that
once the other DIYers in your neighbourhood find you have a decent scan
tool, you will become almost too popular.

Being able to reprogram the module(s) may or may not be a desirable
function. While easy, it is still possible to fudge a reflash (the latest
program calibration for Fords is available at motocraft.com) and render the
module "stupid". Special techniques and information are required to recover
from one of these incidents. Also, if the module is brought up to the latest
and greatest calibration level and you decide that you preferred the way the
old calibration performed, there s no turning back the clock.

HTH
"boxcar" <pop-popNOSPAM@snet.net> wrote in message
news:foOhf.1488$Ba6.851@newssvr30.news.prodigy.com...
> There's two ODBII software packages that seem comparable in price, AutoTap
> and Ease Diagnostics. Both are PC based. I'd like some input on both if
> possible. I'm just an old backyard mechanic and not a professional. If
> anyone used either of those, I'd appreciate your comments.
>
>



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Old 11-26-2005, 12:01   #4 (permalink)
Happy Traveler
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Re: Ease or AutoTap diagnostic software ?

EASE have recently split their product into a 'home' and a 'professional'
line. The 'professional' version enables more and more modules in the
software package, depending on how much you are willing to pay. It even
seems to offer multiple protocol capabilities for more than one automaker.
But I don't think that even the full-fledged version comes anywhere near the
full set of capabilities of the OTC or similar costly equipment.

The home 'version' has two levels. For an extra couple hundred bucks they
allow accessing the O2 sensor data (is that 'mode 7'?), recording a data
stream of unlimited duration and running the KOEO, KOER on-demand tests.
Still no cylinder balance or any bi-directional capabilities (probably a
liability issue for them). I have had this version for years and it served
me well. Thought several times of upgrading to at least gain access to some
body and chassis function, like ABS or A/C. First it wasn't even available,
then it was hundreds of dollars extra and still 'read only', finally they
moved all that to the really expensive 'professional' line.

Caveats:
1) You have to go through several 'lawyer' screens, full of warnings each
time you start the software.
2) They have an annoying copy protection method, which requires installing
the software, then calling them (during east coast business hours, of
course) with some number that it generates, obtaining another number from
them and typing it in before anything will work. You will have to do this
again if your computer crashes and the software needs to be re-installed
and, obviously when you change computers.
3) Things might have improved recently, but the user interface that I have
is very clunky, confusing, and does not follow any MS Windows conventions.
Unless you use it frequently, you will be wondering "how do I get this
screen to show up?" each time you try to do something.
4) Last time I looked, the PC interface of their box was still RS-232
(serial port) only. Most newer laptops don't have serial ports anymore, so
you'll need yet another box to go between your car and your computer (and
install the driver to support it). Inexpensive, but annoying.


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