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Vag Com

Discussion in 'A4/A4 cabriolet/S4 forum(B6 chassis)' started by N80KRR, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. N80KRR
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    N80KRR Member

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    [Feb 27, 2009]
    Does anyone know anything regarding vag com/ Like what interface I would need if I wanted to run it back to my laptop? Preferably usb
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  3. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 27, 2009]
    There are two schools of thaught on this.

    I use a cheapo ebay lead which cost me a tenner. The free version of the software does the basics, and if you want the extra/full features you can pay $100 for a licence for the software.

    Or you can buy a genuine rosstech cable, which comes with the software for around £250-300quid

    In my view, the cheap kit will do the job, an unless you're rolling in cash, or perhaps a trader, i cant justify the expense of the genuine kit. The ebay route also means you can get the lead for a tenner and do the basics with it, and then, when the requirement to actually use the full features comes along, you can get the licence then, instead of shelling out the full bucks and only ever using it to scan for fault codes now and then.

    The ebay leads tend to use the older serial interface, but the usually come with a serial to USB bridge inside the lead, so you only need a USB port on your laptop.
    The real rosstech ones are all USB these days afaik.
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  4. Roscoepeko
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    Roscoepeko New Member

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    [Feb 27, 2009]
    Does the shareware software that comes with the ebay offered leads allow you to record figures under acceleration to plot bhp and torque maps ?
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  5. Issac Hunt
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    Issac Hunt Active Member

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    [Feb 28, 2009]
    Unlikely. Invest a decent genuine lead from Ross-tech and you wont go far wrong!
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  6. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 28, 2009]
    Roscoepeko: No, however an ebay lead with a full software licence will do.

    The ebay approach will cost you around 10-15quid for a lead and $100 (£70) for the licence, and that will give you full logging capabilities, along with all the adaption and recoding features.

    Rosstech official route will cost you something between £250 and 300quid, and the only real advantage you'll get over the ebay approach is that you can buy the shiney CANBus version, but that doesnt actually gain you anything on a B6, and the fact that you can join the official rosstech owners club that seems to exist on this forum.
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  7. BahnStormer77
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    BahnStormer77 BahnStormer

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    [Feb 28, 2009]
    in addition to the obvious eBay £10-£15 leads:
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260358231667&ssPageName=ADME:X:RTQ:GB:1123

    how about these? (Super VAG 5053 DIAGNOSTIC OBD 2 Scanner)
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI....260362199509&_sacat=See-All-Categories&_fvi=1

    £60 for a hand held diagnostics unit, that's supposed to offer even more than regualr VAGCOM?

    I'm ASKING not suggesting.... as I'm trying to work it out: £15 for a cable makes sense, £60 for a full kit that's supposed to offer even more, including handheld unit seems to be pretty good value... and then back to a regular cable for £250-odd?!?!
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  8. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 28, 2009]
    i cant see how that scanner can offer any more than vagcom tbh, but it could well offer a similar set of features, perhaps without the datalogging facilities.

    I think i'd rather use a laptop and proper interface that some generic handheld thing, and £85 for a fully working vagcom setup seems to be to be a better buy than the handheld box, to me anyway.
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  9. BahnStormer77
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    BahnStormer77 BahnStormer

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    [Feb 28, 2009]
    but the handheld will apparently offer the same features and functionality... and seems to cost less than the VAGcom software alone?!?
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  10. Marko
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    Marko Member

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    [Mar 3, 2009]
    To me the full kit is well worth it. Being able to run road test and record data to graph is excellent value. Fault codes are only half the battle.
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  11. PetrolDave
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    PetrolDave Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 3, 2009]
    The scanner is just that ... a scanner. VAG-COM (or VCDS as it's called now) offers much more than just scanning, you can modify not only codings but also adaptation value settings, login using secuity codes, etc.
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  12. evilscotsman
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    evilscotsman Space Cowboy

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    [Mar 3, 2009]
    that handheld can also change any adaptations and codings too, I downloaded the manual and read it, but the chinglish in the software menus on the unit put me off anyway. I do find though that the laptop is awkward to use in the car since you cant put it on your lap and due to the sports seats it slides round at a stupid angle on the passenger seat....

    Its down to personal choice and intended use I guess.

    The handheld fits in the toolbag but the laptop is my prized posession and I dont want it shooting off the seat if Im logging and have to brake for some chump and get a broken £500 laptop....make your own decisions on that :)
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  13. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 3, 2009]
    Sit it on the floor then?

    When i've done any logging runs in the past, ive worked the laptop while someone else drives. When your doing 3rd gear power runs the last thing you want to be doing is trying to footer with a laptop at 95mph.

    Vagcom is the way to go. If you dont have a laptop, then pick up an old P3 machine off ebay for <50quid and use that.
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  14. BahnStormer77
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    BahnStormer77 BahnStormer

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    [Mar 3, 2009]
    handheld ordered.... I'll let u knwo how I get on.... my laptops tend to be £1000+
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  15. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 3, 2009]
    Seems you asked, then simply ignored our advice.

    The way i see it, with vagcom, you have a support network. Tons of people on here have it and know what they're doing with it. Run into a problem with what you have, and you'll be off out to buy a vagcom lead to find out whats going on.
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  16. BahnStormer77
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    BahnStormer77 BahnStormer

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    [Mar 3, 2009]
    Sorry Aragorn - shd have explained that more: not completely ignored.

    The choices seemed to be £15 for an unsupported cable and then I could pay another £70 for software if I wanted anything more than error codes, but if I wanted the proper support and the same thing that all the real enthusiasts have, then I had to fork out £250+ for a cable and software - but either way I'd need the laptop.

    The main niggle is that although I've got a couple of really nice laptops - they're actually company hardware (and company supported OS, etc), so I decided if I could do without the laptop, then the sensible option was one where I wouldn't risk damaging them by mucking around with them in the car.

    If the software was all included in with the £15 cable and there was lots of support for the cheap eBay cables, then it might have been worth the risk and I might have gone for it, but as soon as I was going to spend >£50, I figured the handheld would be the safer option.
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  17. BahnStormer77
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    BahnStormer77 BahnStormer

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    [Mar 3, 2009]
    And have faith: N80KRR might still go the full RossTech vag com route since he was the one asking for advice specifically about VAGcom originally and maybe he's got £250-£300 to spend on this.
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  18. evilscotsman
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    evilscotsman Space Cowboy

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    [Mar 3, 2009]
    you can buy a chinese cable called vag hex usb that uses version 409.x of vagcom, and will unlock all the features, you just have to hunt around on fleabay for that one.

    rosstech wouldnt approve but it is available and cheap from ebay, until they take it down I dont see why you shouldnt buy one :)

    Just dont try the later versions with it, 409 & 607 did work ok with them but version 700 or higher have a firmware update automatically that kills the chinese cable
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  19. PetrolDave
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    PetrolDave Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 4, 2009]
    I use an Acer Aspire One netbook plus a Ross-Tech HEX-USB+CAN cable - lightweight and practical, plus fully functional with no restrictions. I run Windows XP plus VCDS (the new name for VAG-COM) 805.1, and I'm trying out the 812.3 beta.

    The genuine Ross-Tech cables cost more but there are no restrictions and you get great support. Especially with USB cables that support is important, many third-party cables have USB drivers problems.

    You pay you money and get peace of mind and low stress, or you save money and gets loads of hassle and stress at the time you want it least - when your car isn't working right.
    #18

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