How to tell If you're using a proper OBD/DCAN cable

RayBan

Corporal
Oct 27, 2016
154
153
0
39
www.rbttuning.com
Hi Guys,

as I have some funny days with lots of head scratching laying behind me, I thought why not share my findings here, to save anyone using xHP or similar flashtool from the same headache.

Regardless what tool you're using for flashing or reading your ECU's you always get recommended to buy a "proper" INPA cable. Usually one is told that "proper" cables costs around 60 - 100 USD.

I bought cables from various (and well known) sources the last years with prices ranging from 40 - 80 EUR. But as I discovered today (with the help of a macro lens), expensive doesn't make you safe when it comes to OBD/INPA cables with FTDI Chips.

Look at the pictures in the zip file:

Besides from the fake one being apparantly "kissed" by the solder gun, you can clearly see the different refinement levels of the engravement on top. Additionally the housing itself appears to be "rougher" on the fake one. Please see the additional link for more information on that.

The fake cable worked quite reliable for reading fault codes and logging stuff, but failed nearly every time when it came to flashing.

So even If you bought from a trusted source, maybe you want to open up the cable (usually only 4 screws) and take a detailed look at the soldered FTDI chip.

P.S. I have 2 of these fake cables from the same source at home, and even the one that's not damaged does not nearly work as good, as the genuine one.
 

Attachments

  • Pics FTDI.zip
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doublespaces

General of the Army
Oct 18, 2016
8,938
4,143
0
AZ
Ride
2009 E93 335i
I bought a random cable years ago, back when I was working on an android port of the bmw flash. When I got my second 335, luckily MHD existed already and it worked perfectly. I guess I got lucky.
 

Bmac

Specialist
Nov 8, 2016
78
34
0
Great White North
Some people have bought cables on Amazon and they worked perfectly, others have bought from the same source and they never worked. Same thing for eBay and a number of cable stores. It's been a total crapshoot. Having read feedback from hundreds of MHD users there is only 1 source I'm aware of that hasn't had any reports of cables not working: bimmersoftware.com.

If people just followed the MHD recommendation and bought their cables from them there would be a lot less problems!
 

ysjeon1698

Specialist
Dec 1, 2016
79
14
0
29
Texas
just bought Galaxy Pro 8.4 with extra 64GB SD card inserted for only $110. tested with OTG with my usb, it caught instantly. I will test kdan cable today and post the link where I got it :D
 
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Bmac

Specialist
Nov 8, 2016
78
34
0
Great White North
Please don't...just because it works for you doesn't mean others will have the same luck. People have had issues with cables from every source except the one listed above. Recommending a cable from somewhere else ends with a bunch of help threads because people were too cheap to spend a few more bucks on a proper cable.
 

ysjeon1698

Specialist
Dec 1, 2016
79
14
0
29
Texas
My dcan cable from amazon worked instantly with my galaxy pro 8.4
I won't post the link because someone complained that it won't work on others... just PM me if you have N54, 335IS 2011. It should work fine unless you get a defect cable. Anyway... my question is...

My galaxy pro 8.4 has no internet.... how am I suppose to buy MHD lol....?
 

Bmac

Specialist
Nov 8, 2016
78
34
0
Great White North
Just use wifi or set up your phone as a mobile hot spot for your tablet. Your Amazon cable may or may not be good. Even the bad cables can connect to the car with MHD and they will often begin the flash process, but if the cable isn't good the flash will fail and it can leave your car inoperable until you re-flash it with a good cable. That's why MHD recommends the cable that they do; they are known to work. If it were me I would take a close look at the chip in the OP's pictures to make sure your cable has the right one (unless you can afford to be without your car for a few days).