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Old 10-27-2010, 10:03 AM   #21
Nightwalker
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Default Re: Anyone try one of these out yet?

It uses an FTDI converter chip. I opened the unit up and I have the exact chip number, but I'm on my phone at work right now (I'm on break), so I don't remember the exact chip number.

When I get home today, I'll snap some pics and type up my idea for how it works... and try the windows xp laptop.

I've just been sick as hell for the past few days and finally got to the doctor yesterday, so I'm sorry about being so slow with this.

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Old 10-27-2010, 09:48 PM   #22
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Default Re: Anyone try one of these out yet?

Alright, just so you all don't wet yourself getting through my post, it DOES work.
I loaded the program/drivers on my windows xp laptop and everything worked flawlessly on the first attempt.

NOW, onto the more technical side of things:

I ripped the unit apart (just 4 phillips screws) and this is what you have:

TOP:



BOTTOM:



The unit uses an FTDI FT232RL usb-to-serial chip, in the UART flavor.
http://www.ftdichip.com/Products/ICs/FT232R.htm

This chip pretty much translates the USB code into code that the main microcontroller on the circuit can understand (UART serial). This chip is very common, I've used it in some of my own designs.

On the top of the circuit, to the left near the USB plug is the main microcontroller (brain) of the unit. It is the Microchip PIC18F458.
http://www.microchip.com/wwwproducts...cName=en010301
I've used a related chip to this one, so I pretty much know whats going on inside of it. It accepts the UART serial data from the FTDI chip so that it can easily talk to the computer.
The chip also has a built-in CAN controller too. Therefore, this chip can very easily communicate with the Astra.

Another chip that the circuit uses is the Microchip MCP2551:
http://www.microchip.com/wwwproducts...cName=en010405
This is simply a chip that goes between the PIC18F458 microcontroller and the Astra's CAN bus. It is just a transceiver for the CAN bus differential voltage signals. I just wanted to point it out, I've used them as well.


So, the windows 7 x64 installation was a bust. I have a few things to try, but at the current moment, I'm pretty sure the 64 bit drivers are just buggy.
Windows XP ran perfectly. I plugged the OP-COM in, it asked for the drivers, and I pointed it to the CD that came with it. No issues at all with it.

So I went to install the software, and this is where it gets kinda shady.
I has 2 versions of the program. A normal copy of the program that requires you to activate it (i.e. its not free). BUT, they include a couple programs and instructions on how to crack the program to force activate it. Yes, it is illegal, but since it is coming from Hong Kong, they aren't being stopped.

The second version of the program is pretty much the same as the first, but it is pre-cracked. You just copy and paste it to your harddrive and go.
BUT, there are 2 issues with this as well. Like the other one, this is also an illegal copy of the program. Again, nothing can really be done about it. The second issue is that my anti-virus pops up with a trojan warning linked to the main programs' .exe file. Do keep in mind though, a lot of cracked programs that bypass activation can trigger a "false positive." This is when an anti-virus thinks a program is a virus when it really isn't. I've dealt with a lot of false-positives before, so this may not be an issue.
Just to be safe, I'm keeping my laptop off of the internet that is running the OP-COM until I can get a better idea for if it is legit or not. I do believe it is ok, but I'm always overly paranoid.


Now, onto the actual software.
I used the pre-cracked version. It can read info from the Astra pretty easily. It pulled various info like the VIN, engine model and such. The only issue that it has is trying to identify the Astra. Because the reader is for the Opel, it cannot decode the VIN for an auto-identify option. So you have to manually go through menus to get the functions.
Its pretty simple, you choose 2008 -> Astra-H -> Z18XER engine (or whatever the model is). It then gives you multiple areas of the car to start reading from.

I did a quick read from the engine, and it started pumping out info in REAL TIME. I was pretty impressed. I slowly pressed the gas pedal and it was showing the pedal position. This was with the engine off.

I didn't get too much into the rest of the program, a storm was rolling in so I had to pack it up and come in.

Hopefully I'll get some more time in with it to figure out what else it can do.

So, other than the issues with the software, I'd say that so far its a good buy.

...
My audio system thread, how to replace speakers: http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=137456

2008 Astra 3 door XR, 5-speed MT Black Sapphire, custom audio system

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Old 10-28-2010, 12:47 AM   #23
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Default Re: Anyone try one of these out yet?

Sounds pretty awesome. If you get a chance to check out if it can edit settings, that would answer every one of my questions about this adapter.

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Old 10-28-2010, 12:55 AM   #24
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Default Re: Anyone try one of these out yet?

This thing marries and divorces things?

Ya know, if there would have been a $40 device for divorcing me from my wife a couple years ago it would have saved me about 15 grand

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Old 10-28-2010, 11:40 AM   #25
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Default Re: Anyone try one of these out yet?

My next plans for this is in fact to see if it can edit values. That would be great.

I also will check if it can marry/divorce, but I have to dig out my stock head unit.
I'm also certain this can't marry/divorce people though. I could have saved 15 grand on my marriage.

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Old 10-28-2010, 07:15 PM   #26
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Default Re: Anyone try one of these out yet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightwalker View Post
My next plans for this is in fact to see if it can edit values. That would be great.

I also will check if it can marry/divorce, but I have to dig out my stock head unit.
I'm also certain this can't marry/divorce people though. I could have saved 15 grand on my marriage.
I wish I had known about this like two months ago. With a $40 price tag it would have still saved me like $60 at the dealer. :-)

...
~~ Bryan ~~
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Old 11-30-2010, 02:19 PM   #27
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Default Re: Anyone try one of these out yet?

*bump* Whats going on with this tool now? have you managed to do anything more with it?

...
Marc-Antoine

2009 Astra XE 5-door, Twilight Blue.
"I have four rules in the Astra. No food, no drink, no smoking, and no vomit. Got it? Now... let me just put my coffee in the cup holder..."

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Old 12-08-2010, 03:58 PM   #28
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Default Re: Anyone try one of these out yet?

Honestly, I've done nothing else with it recently, I've been tied up with other things, but I found my stock head unit, so hopefully I'll have some extra time here soon.
I'm taking a week off from one of my jobs closer to xmas.

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Old 12-28-2010, 11:24 AM   #29
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Default Re: Anyone try one of these out yet?

Any chance this unit can turn off DRLs?

...
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:18 PM   #30
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Default Re: Anyone try one of these out yet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulff3 View Post
Any chance this unit can turn off DRLs?
Why would you want to turn off your DRLs?

Also, remember that if you head into Canada they are mandatory, and apparently will get ticketed.

...
~~ Bryan ~~
2009 Astra XE - manual, wired FM mod
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Old 12-30-2010, 09:48 AM   #31
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Default Re: Anyone try one of these out yet?

Because I don't like DRLs and will never drive in Canada.

...
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:34 PM   #32
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Default Re: Anyone try one of these out yet?

So it's for asthetic purposes then? I can understand that, but would personally rather people see me coming. Lessen the chance they will inadvertantly swerve to hit me. :-)

...
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:35 PM   #33
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Default Re: Anyone try one of these out yet?

Sorry, "Aesthetic". :-)

...
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Old 01-03-2011, 07:03 PM   #34
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Default Re: Anyone try one of these out yet?

Sorry guys, still haven't gotten around to doing it. The day before my week off from work, I got into a fight at work (I'm on security) and had my shoulder dislocated.

So, I've been in bed most of the time, but I hope to crawl out to the car tomorrow and hopefully try it. I'm going through withdrawls from not driving!

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Old 01-04-2011, 10:00 AM   #35
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Default Re: Anyone try one of these out yet?

Hello Guys,

I hope you can help me. I bought a front end crashed Saturn Astra XE from US in last year (I live in Hungary, Europe).
The car is repaired now, everything is ok, but missing only 1 wiring harness of front side and I don't know what is the GM part nr. of that to order a new one.
Could you check it anyone for me ?

The ends of this cable are going in to outside air temperature sensor and in water radiator temperature sensor and the other end is a 10 or 12 pin connector. The all wiring is right front side.

Who check it for me he will be my guest on a very-very big mug of beer

Thanks,
Zoltan

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