Alfa 159 OBDlink LX or MX... do 159's have GMLAN - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 13 Old 10-12-15 Thread Starter
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Alfa 159 OBDlink LX or MX... do 159's have GMLAN

Hello quick question for you guys I want an OBD bluetooth dongle for my tablet and an android app. So I have narrowed the choices down to the ODBlink MX Or the LX. The LX is cheaper and should have all the features I need but the OBDlink MX also comes with GM SW CAN sometimes referred to as GMLAN. So my question is do our 159's come with GMLAN, I wondered if this would have come to us through the GM partnership that created the 159 platform etc.

Here are the links to the OBDlink MX: https://www.scantool.net/obdlink-mxbt/

Also on a side note has anybody had any luck with a wired USB on 159 and an android tablet that supports otg, I have read about mixed feedback online.

I already have Multiscan and the Gendan box so dont tell me that is the better option.. this is purely for getting live data to my tablet.
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(Post Link) post #2 of 13 Old 11-12-15 Thread Starter
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Any Ideas as I will just buy the LX from what I can see the 159 does not support GMLAN
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Hi, I'm afraid I can't help on your own query.

But since we seem to be on the same route looking for an alternative for MES, that is to say having also a possibility to read real live data on Android devices or iPad, I wonder if you might be able to explain the differences (pro's - con's) between bluetooth or wi-fi. Like the MX exists in both variants.

Thank you.
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(Post Link) post #4 of 13 Old 15-12-15 Thread Starter
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Hey Leo,

MES is a fine tool which I use when doing 'alfa' specific tasks - proxy alignment etc, an alternative would be alfaOBD but at the price its sold for I would prefer to get MES.

If you are on Apple it looks like you would need a wifi adapter for most of the apps, there are only a few apps that support the BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy protocol)
The adapters that support BLE
Carista
Kiwi3
Or search for BLE OBD and there are a ton of adapters on amazon.

In theory the wifi obd dongle has faster speeds on say a laptop (OBDlink MX), but apparently on android the bluetooth (OBDLink LX) is slightly faster for some technical reasons... If you are using a laptop you would be better using a USB dongle with much faster speeds...

On Android the Bluetooth is the better choice apparently the wifi adapters are fine for use in short periods but tend to drop off under long continued uses, and also stop you using data (4G) etc.

On android you can automate the startup (of device) on Ignition, auto connect on bluetooth and auto open the app of your choice once connected; for me this is the perfect choice and is the reason that I went with the OBDlink LX instead of wifi or BLE.

Also apparently bluetooth 2.1 has higher data speeds that BLE so makes for an even better choice in my case; Bluetooth vs. Bluetooth Low Energy

I am going to keep updating this thread with my results; but this will not be until Christmas as my girlfriend is getting me the adapter. i am really interested to see which route you take and for us to compare our results.

From my understanding It all depends on the device you have, if Apple you should really go for BLE if the apps you want support it if not then go for wifi. (OBDlink LX will not work on apple).

If android then its best to go for Bluetooth 2.1 dongles as the data speeds are higher, but BLE dongles are fine for most uses. (I am happy to be wrong about the data speeds but from what I can see this is the case that contradicts the Kiwi 3 marketing material).

Let me know if you have any questions.

BT
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Many thanks for your comprehensive feedback BT!

I must admit as I was tempted to go using an old iPad1 for quick and easy on-route diagnosing, I now tend to start using my Android phone. Just because you will always carry and by that have all-time acces in a sudden emergency on the way (fingers crossed that won't ever happen, but as I alsways fully service by myself, I don't like the idea of ending up abroad depending on a foreign garage).

For normal maintenance I also use MES since it started by freeware and in the meantine switched to using their cantiecar. Which actually works with Bleutooth, but is far too large to keep it plugged in all the time (fuse cover won't close).

I will follow your findings with interest in due course and promise to update you from my side once decided. For now I will again carefully study your advice first.

Best regards, Leo
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(Post Link) post #6 of 13 Old 17-12-15 Thread Starter
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Hey Leo,

One option you could possibly try is using something like this so you can continue to use the cantiecar, would be a flat obd extender cable : Low Profile Right / Left Angle OBD 2 II Extension with Flat Ribbon Cable 1'/30cm CAN Bus Compatible: Amazon.co.uk: Car & Motorbike Then you could put it somewhere out of the way. One thing you may want to be careful with is the Cantiecar doesn't drain the battery when the car is off...

Can you pare the cantiecar to your android phone?

Regards,
BT
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Thanks for the tip BT, didn't know these extender cables do exist. Would be something to consider to avoid having to open the cover and moreover not having to fully remove the cover from its hinges when necessary to log a test drive.

For long term coonection the Cantiecar won't work, there's no sleeping mode feature like OBDlink has.

Your advice made me try if Cantiecar works with my Android phone and yes; pairing shows to be possible. Even with (a demo) version of AlfaOBD it works fine.

I will however still consider buying the OBDlink LX. Also not sure yet if there would be special advantages by a full license of AlfaOBD or any other like Torque.
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(Post Link) post #8 of 13 Old 03-01-16 Thread Starter
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Right so I have had the OBD link for 9 or so days, its amazing! Works flawlessly with the 156 2003 1.8 ts , 159 2007 1.9 JTDM, 166 3.2 2004. The data is fast and the connection does not drop like some people have experienced with the Wifi Version.

The OBD link gives all the functionality of the old blue Gendan elm 327 box that I use with Fiat Multiscan but on my android device!

Fitting in the 159
It is as simple as;
1. Opening the fuse box cover
2. Fitting the OBDlink https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1528/...9a1be001ef.jpg
3. Turning on the ignition
4. Pressing the pair button on the OBDLink, then searching for the OBDLink on the device of your choice.

The device will go into sleep after about 10 mins of locking the car and not being used.

Fitting in the 166
If you were to use it with the 166 with the fuse box cover on you would need to use the extender as described above then locate the unit out of the way towards the top right I found was a good place then using some BlackTak locate it onto the top of the fuse panel

Fitting in the 156
I am pretty sure the same would be for the 156 but at the time I left the fuse box cover off and did not try putting it on, But as the extender is cheap just get one as it will help when the time comes to use it.

So far the conclusion of the OBDlink LX is, its expensive for a OBD reader but for what it is but it is well worth the price, you really need to invest in the correct software to achieve what you want so in the coming posts I will test the OBDLink with the most popular Android OBD tools AlfaOBD, Dash Command, Torque, etc and obviously OBDLink's own software in the next posts I will compare and review their functionality with the 159.

But the primarily conclusion is that the OBDLink LX (hardware) is ace, the speed and volume of the data that is streams is unbelievable considering it is over bluetooth, it allows for a realtime dashboard and a ton of data logging to be exported to CSV files over 30 parameters when I was testing all at the same time.

I will also try and screen capture the software inuse so that you can experience the realtime speed of the OBDLink LX with the apps.

Tried a cheap adapter to compare but it didnt work... https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1587/...df7c24afe9.jpg
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Last edited by bt75alfa; 03-01-16 at 21:58.
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Hi BT,

Wondering how you get along with your own OBD permanently connected, I would like to share that I find it comforting to always have a possibility to read the ECU while on the move. Not that I have been experiencing troubles so far, but still to have it as back-up while you'll almost always carry your phone.

One annoying thing however, over time it appears that after some time not been connected to the device, it won't reconnect anymore. It keeps visible for my MotoG but any attempt to connect, either AlfaOBD or the OBDLink Software that is provided, fails until I take it fully out and put it back again.

Is this something you recognize?

Thing is, the idea of not having to open the fuse panel any longer, is not entirely working out now. Perhaps you have a fix.

Cheers, Leo
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(Post Link) post #10 of 13 Old 29-03-16 Thread Starter
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Hey Leo,

I hope everything has been going well for you and there has not been a big need for any use of the OBD software!

With the OBDLink there has been zero issues. I have not removed it since my last post, While driving it works perfectly with all the software I have tried. The only slight annoyance is that AlfaOBD software does not seem to automatically reconnect if you are connected before you start the car.

It could be worth doing a hard reset of the OBDLink I think you hold the button down for about 10 seconds, and also deleting the pairing on your phone and also the connection in the apps.

One thing - I did notice that if you run 2 apps at the same time it can kind of block anything connecting and you need to restart the bluetooth connection on the phone. Mine is a MotoX (2nd Gen).

A few questions that could help.

1. Are you using an OBDLink LX or the Can Tie?- They are not connected at the same time using a Y splitter are they?
2. Are you connected directly to the OBD port OR are you using an extension.
3. Are there any other bluetooth connections running in the car i.e your radio/ parrot
4. Are you using the latest app versions?
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Sorry BT,

....for this very late response to your kind advice

I will answer in between your questions:


1. Are you using an OBDLink LX or the Can Tie?- They are not connected at the same time using a Y splitter are they?
=> No, I only use OBDLink LX in combination with AlfaOBD on my MotoG (1st Gen.) The CarTieBar on which MES is running I do only use ocassionally (like last weekend to reset the service intervals after an oil-change).

2. Are you connected directly to the OBD port OR are you using an extension.
=> Permanently and directly fitted to the OBD socket from the car. No splitter or extension cable.

3. Are there any other bluetooth connections running in the car i.e your radio/ parrot
=> Interesting you mention, because I suspect that Blue & Me is sometimes the one which causes the problem. However, other times staying connected with both (B&M as well as OBDLink) isn't any issue.

Once connecting doesn't work for one time, then also resetting my phone first doesn't do the trick. The only thing that works then is to take the OBDLink out and in again. Then I don't need to pair again, which is remarkable I think.
If I don't take it out and in, just trying to pair again after first deleting the data from my phone, by resetting using the small button it won't help. I think the little button is just for (re-)pairing both Bluetooth devices.

4. Are you using the latest app versions?
=> Whoeps, from AlfaOBD I only have the demo version. Perhaps I better buy a paid license (wonder though if it will cost a yearly update like MES, need to check. Such will have not much use for the 939 platform, since there won't be coming much updates anymore. In fact FIAT already isssued the latest factory updates quite some time ago.).

What I noticed btw from a very short trip lately after which my brother asked me to read out his BMW (yeah, these machines do also throw an error ocassionally ), is that when I detached the OBDLink from my car, it was quite warm. Not hot, but it made made me wonder yet why since there seems not to be another heat source surrounding in that particular spot behind the dashfacia.

I will keep you posted once I have found out more.

Many thanks again!
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I also use the OBDlink LX, permanently connected to the obd port on my Alfa 159 2.2 JTS.

To add to other users experience, the OBDlink LX works flawlesly with Torque Pro, AlfaOBD and its 'native' app OBDlink. It is also able to reset service interval, which a cheap ELM327 bluetooth device I initially bought on ebay was not able to do.

I would be interested to know if other users have managed to add any useful custom PIDs on Torque Pro and OBDlink for the Alfa 159 2.2 jts engine -- I have AlfaOBD on a tablet, but I usually carry my phone around where I only have Torque Pro and OBDlink apps available.

Furthermore, I would propose that it might be beneficial to all involved if we shared some values on similar engines for PIDs of interest. For example, short and long term fuel trims, O2 sensor values + RPM readings, Fuel pressure + RPm readings etc.

Thanks again for any replies and please keep sharing info on this thread.
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Hello everyone, thanks to this thread,
I bought a ScanTool 427201 LX that I'm using for a few days.
I have not decided which app to use with my Android phone.
I'd like an app that would allow me to fully investigate my Spider (939 with engine 3.2 and change Q-Tronic) and why not, to change something, like turning off the belt beeps when not inserted, or the automatic closing of the windows when I close the car.

I thank all users for their valuable suggestions.
Giuseppe
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