Friday, August 2, 2013

odb scan tool for brunnhilde

I have been resisting adding another electronic gadget to Brunhilde. When I am driving I don't want to be distracted. Having owning this Sprinter based diesel chassis camper for over a year now and learning the servicing of this vehicle I  am now convinced that monitoring a number of crucial parameters of the engine management system is beneficial for an operator to get the most of this complex machine. One of the top benefits is improved fuel economy. With ever increasing fuel cost as well as the desire to minimize the carbon footprint are the major motivations for me to invest in this tool.

after a lot of reading on the Sprinter-Source Forum I settled on this ODB scan tool
the competing tool is this which cost a lot more
There are also a number of smart phone based products out there but I want a dedicated device because I want my smart phone for many other functions.

so there is a $9 mail-in rebate - but they really make you work for it
a few days later it arrived
it is quite compact and light  - the three buttons are all at the backside; i ordered the windshield mount option too
 to me if your product can be damaged by plugging into a ODB port it is not ready for prime time
 it takes a bit of work to set up for the vehicle and select my initial parameters
on the Sprinter-Source Forum there are a lot of discussions of people have trouble with the windshield mount falling off; i would have to wait and see after a few days; the suction cup definitely is much inferior to the RAM mounts I used for the iPhone
In order to submit the rebate application for $9 the vendor make you jump though the hoops. You have to answer a number of stupid multiple choice questions after reading their mind numbing instruction of what not to do to the problem-prone windshield mount. The entire obstacle course for submitting the rebate really leave a bad taste in my mouth. This is why I make no text mention of this product.

Here are all the forms you have to fill out and send in to get the lousy $9 rebate. For me the more difficult the vendor make the rebate submission the more I am determine to not let them get away from paying it. Yes, they designed in many potential disqualifying steps to increase the chance of your submission would be disqualified.

what make me chose this over the scangauge is the larger and more legible display; i chose to buy the windshield mount because the 3 buttons are located on the back side
Because of the injuries on my leg I cannot test out the operation for quite some time. To get the most out of this tool it is important the user understand how the tool obtain the data, and most important, the limitations of the data provided by the Sprinter's drivetrain management system. For example, the Sprinter EMU has no direct way of monitoring the fuel consumption of the engine. Yes, that is absolutely right!

at the mean time i am binge-watching cooking shows
being a temporary crippled does not stop me from cooking slow food - i am making curry lamb stew at home; this is the oregon lamb that i brought back from white salmon, wa

Some readers may remember I have already invested in a diagnostic tool for Brunnhilde (an Auto Enginuity) just awhile back so why buy this one?

The Auto Enginuity diagnostic tool is for servicing the vehicle. It is diagnostic while this one is a multi-function gauge while driving. This gauge cannot display many propriety diagnostic trouble code of the T1N Sprinter. Alternately the Auto Enginuity's diagnostic tool requires a PC to operate so it is not suitable for use while driving.

Update - 19:00 PST
Reading through the 60 page user manual and the contents of the website I am very impressed how well all the documentations are written. The manual is very clear and concise. It is by far one of the best product technical documents I have read recently.
the user manual is very concise

this page explains how instantaneous horsepower and torque are derived
As the available gauges are vehicle dependent I tried to figure out which ones are available for Brunnhilde. On the website there is a Gauge Availability Estimator which you can enter the vehicle make, year, and model. I wasn't expecting there is a good chance to find the 2005 T1N Sprinter but I was wrong. It is listed under Mercedes Benz. I will print it out and highlight the one I want to set up in the display pages. I would organize them by group relationships and degree of importance. This list is very useful to save time figuring the page set up.

a partial list of available gauges for 2005 t1n sprinter - i do not have high expectation of some being terribly accurate (e.g. instantaneous MPG, or short trip statistics etc)

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