WGIobdii by Winsted Group Inc

Discussion in 'Automotive Products' started by admin, Jul 18, 2016.

  1. admin

    admin Administrator Staff Member

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    WGIobdii by Winsted Group Inc
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    "An inexpensive bilingual software in metric and standard for the ELM RS232 ic chip. The ideal alternative to accessory gauges or use as a full diagnostic shop tool. Includes the Vtach, 3 1/2" virtual tachometer."
    This is an OBDII scanner for "ISO" equipped vehicles. We'll get into what vehicle makes are covered when we start our testing. This OBDII scanner is PC/Laptop based and is in the "Windows" format. The images above, from left to right, are the bright yellow nylon storage case, the contents inside the case which includes the hardware and the software. That's it, as simple as that. You will find as you read this review that this system is very well designed, and simple to install and configure. With the unique "automatic detection of rs232 interpreter, automatic interface speed detection ,and no requirement for COM port settings" there is no complicated configuring of the laptop (or pc) settings, which is a HUGE plus. The system has been designed to look for the available laptop's COM port and then it will actually determine the speed of the port, and setup the hardware from there. If it sounds like I know how the hardware works, but I don't (grin). All I know is that I had no problem with the use, setup and installation. When you are reading my review, the technical wording or phrases that are in " " I have taken directly from the manufactures website. I wanted to make sure that I used the correct terminology and they have it explained perfectly on their website.
    Product review performed by:
    Bruce Bonebrake
    Managing Editor at BATauto.com
    The computer requirements to run the scanner system are very minimal. You will need a CD drive in order to install the software, and the scanner system is designed for the Windows operating system. This can be used with Windows 98, ME, XP, NT, 2000 and will require 6MB of free hard drive space available for scanner software to install. The scanner hardware connects to the laptop/pc via a cable to the serial port. On the website, the manufacture has the optional USB to serial port adapter available for those laptops/pcs that are not equipped with a serial port, but do have a USB port. The nice thing about the laptop/pc requirements for this scanner system, is that if you already have a laptop/pc you will not have to go out a buy a different computer to use with this system, and if you don't have a laptop or pc, you can find one very reasonable that will be more than adequate to use with the scanner. I would strongly suggest using a laptop for the scanner package. The functions and features of this scanner system allow the scanner to be connected to the vehicle and driven down the road. With a pc, you will be limited by the length of the connecting cable. The laptop I used for the review (shown above) is an IBM ThinkPad 760EL. This has a color TFT display, Pentium 133MMX, 80 MG of RAM with the internal CD drive. The laptop does have the serial port on the rear of the laptop so no USB adapter was required. The laptop is running Windows 98 2nd Edition and performed flawlessly and very fast with the scanner system. Let's go ahead and get started...
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  2. admin

    admin Administrator Staff Member

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    Installing the scanner software is fairly simple. The program does not "autorun" when installed in the CD drive so you want to double left click the "My Computer" icon on your desktop. You will see that the program is recognized in your CD drive, which in this case is drive D. Double left click the icon and the contents of the scanner software CD will be displayed. In the contents you will see the "setup.exe" icon. Double click the icon and the program install will start. There are other ways you can install the software, but, this is the way I normally like to do an install like this so I can see the contents within the CD.


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    The InstallShield Wizard will load, click Next...


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    Licence agreement, read agreement, select "I accept", click Next...



    Fill out Customer Information, click Next...



    Ready to install the scanner program. Review the information and if everything is correct, click Next..



    The program will install..



    The installation is complete, click Finish. And that's it!! The program is installed on the laptop.
     
  3. admin

    admin Administrator Staff Member

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    You will find the scanner listed in the Program listing. To make it simpler to open the program, it will just take a couple of steps to create a shortcut for your desktop. Locate the program in your program group, and then right click the scanner program. Choose "Create Shortcut" and you will see the second listing for the scanner program...



    Next you want to single left click the shortcut and while holding the left mouse button down, drag the shortcut from the program group onto the desktop and drop the shortcut (release the left mouse button). You will now have the shortcut for the program on the desktop. To open the program, you can either double left click it or right click and select "Open". The error message at the right appeared because we do not have the hardware connected to the laptop and the test vehicle..so.. with the software completed, time to connect to the vehicle!!

    (NOTE.. how to create the shortcut above was shown on the Windows '98 system. Your operating system may be slightly different, and if so, just simply go to Windows Help and locate "How to Create a Shortcut" and follow the instructions.)


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    Before we attach the laptop to the vehicle, there is something I want to talk about. As shown by the pictures above, the laptop temperature on the top of the laptop (you can see the infared sensing dot by the icons on the picture to the left) is 87 degrees F which is just about what the ambient temp was in my shop. When I inverted the laptop, you can see that the temp on the bottom of the laptop is 121 degrees F!! BE CAREFUL!! The bottom surface of the laptop can get extremely hot, and this is a Pent 133!! A good rule of thumb is the faster the processor speed the more potential for a higher laptop case temp. If you decide that you may want to install the laptop in vehicle, Winsted Group Inc has some NICE vehicle mounts listed on their website. Click HERE for more information.
     
  4. admin

    admin Administrator Staff Member

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    ISO (Asian, European, Chrysler, Dodge)


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    The scanner system is available several different ways. You can buy the individual kit specific for your make of vehicle, or a package of all three. The software and hardware can also be purchased separately. There is even a kit form available should you want to build the hardware yourself!! Alot of purchase options for whatever specfic need you have. The system that we are reviewing is the:



    Since 1996 when the vehicle manufacture had to have the OBDII system in place, the ODBII system had to be one of three protocols:
    ......ISO 9141 (Typically Chrysler, Dodge, Asian and European)
    ......PWM J1850 (Typically 41.Kbs Ford)
    ......VPW J1850 (Typically 10.4Kbs GM and Chrysler, Dodge
    (courtesy of Winstead Group Inc website)


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    Our test vehicle, a 1997 Chrysler Town and Country with a 3.3L has the Check Engine light on, and no apparent performance issues. To connect the scanner hardware, we attach the cable to the 9 pin serial port on the laptop. Next we attach the other scanner cable to the vehicles DLC connector (usually located under the dash on the drivers side).


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    The screen shot at the left above would be what you should see when the program starts and everything is properly connected. If you would receive the error message that I showed earlier in the review, you need to double check your hardware connections and also make sure that the COM port is available. What I mean by that is some programs such as the Palm Sync, will load at startup and the COM port is looking for that device. If you would have a problem that you can not resolve, simply email the Tech Support at the scanner manufactures website. The screen shot at the right above is what we were talking about earlier. There is no complicated COM port configuring you need to do. The scanner program automatically will search for the COM port that the hardware is connected to and then test and configure the system to the port! Amazing!!


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    The screen shot above is of the scanner program loaded, connected to the vehicle and operating. The scanner is divided up in four functions with the fifth being the Exit function. As you can see at the bottom of the window, there are choices in which language, measurement, scan interval and the tach range. You can easily change the settings by clicking on the selection you desire.


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    The DTC stored in memory, after performing the tests on the EGR system, I found that the Vacuum Solenoid /Transducer was faulty. With the part replaced we will clear the DTC..


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    To clear the DTC(s), you press the MIL Reset button. An MIL Reset alert will pop up to let you know what all the MIL Reset process will consist of. After reading the alert, select the Yes to the "Are you sure you want to reset?" question.


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    As you can see by the picture above, there are now no DTC's present and the Check Engine light is now off.


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  5. admin

    admin Administrator Staff Member

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    While we are still in the DTC section, one other option is the "List all codes". When selected, the list of DTC's will be displayed with the DTC number and brief description of what the code means.


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    One thing to keep in mind, this system is not just a "code reader" but a very useful diagnostic tool. The screen shot above is the Monitor (Set 2) function. There are a series of functions that you can turn ON or OFF. By default, the functions are off.


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    To turn a function on, simply click on the OFF button next to the selection you wish to display. If you look at the last selection, Fuel System Status, it was clicked ON but on this application, it is not available.


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    Next we have the Monitor (Set 1). With all selections clicked on, the readings above were taken driving the vehicle at 39 MPH. As you can see, all the monitored systems can easily be viewed in one quick glance. The bar chart type of readout makes determining whether a system is within an acceptable range a snap.



    Again we are viewing the scanner system in the Monitor (Set 1) function. This time we have a screen snapshot at 55 MPH.


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    Shown above, still in the Monitor (Set 1), I have set the program to display in French and the values are set to display in Metric.
     
  6. admin

    admin Administrator Staff Member

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    So far we have displayed the DTC that was in our vehicle's onboard computer. Using the AllData information system, I determined that the EGR control solenoid/transducer was the fault. I replaced the part, cleared the DTC from memory, and then using the Monitors Set 1 and 2, monitored the various systems at idle, and at various speeds of driving. So far the scanner system is impressive, but, I was REALLY impressed with the Vtach function!! I have not seen anything like it and it is INCLUDED with the scanner package. I can see where this function alone would be worth the cost of the package.. check this out...



    The Vtach is the fourth available function of the scanner system. By looking at the screen shot above, you will see that the vehicle is at idle, stopped. If you look at the screen shot you will see that there is a speaker icon that can be selected for sounds to be heard during the Vtach operation. You can also select the Turbo and Speed functions, At the bottom, you will see the Show Settings button. And as with all of the scanner function screens, you can select the Return button to return you back to the startup/menu page of the scanner program.


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    With the Show Settings button selected, you can see that the button now displays Save/Hide Settings. You can toggle this function from one display type to the other. With the Settings displayed, you can see that ALL of the various ranges that can be adjusted to whatever the user would want to set them at. What this means, is that you can change, for example, the Horsepower Range. You can click on, type in your numbers, and change the RPM range you want this to be. Also, the sound function, when the Vtach changes from one set band to another, you will hear a .wav played through the speakers on the laptop. Very nice!!


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    With the settings adjusted to ranges I want, as you can see from the screen shot above, at 1806 RPM, 55 MPH, the Vtach changed colors (grin). The color and the direction of the colored lines, indicates that we are in the engines Torque range. On the Vtach screen, you will see the different line patterns explained. So, with the change in colors, the way the colored lines are arranged, and don't forget the .wav (sound) that we selected, you can easily tell when the engine changes from one range to the next.



    The Vtach at 2209 RPM, 21 MPH we are in the HP+Torque range. The boost gauge, even though this vehicle is not a Turbo, also functions as a vacuum gauge. So by looking at the Vtach screen printout above, it is easy to see that the vehicle is accelerating.


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    The screen shot above, 3178 RPM, 68 MPH, the Vtach is showing us that we are in the Horsepower range.



    The screen shot above, 4346 RPM, 60 MPH, the Vtach face is red, and the cross-hatch line pattern tells us that we have reached the engine RPM redline. Remember, all of these settings are user adjustable. Can you imagine the possibilities here? I am VERY impressed!!


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    We always take time and rate the product after a review, so here is how I rate this product:



    Overall Product Design:
    I would say the software design is excellent!! Very easy to install on the laptop, accurate test results, the automatic port configuration is NICE!! The hardware is simple in design, the attaching cables are high quality and should survive constant repeated use in a repair shop environment. The Vtach function really impressed me the most. Truly amazing!!




    Product coverage and usefulness:
    The product is designed for 1996 and up OBDII vehicles. The coverage would depend on which protocol you would purchase. This product is designed for the DIY'er, the professional mechanic, and the enthusiast who may want to permanently install the laptop/scanner in their vehicle.



    Product Value:
    The system tested, the ISO protocol, has a selling price of $199.00 USD or $285.00 CND
    . To place an order for the system tested, please click here. To purchase a different protocol, or all three protocols, please click here.



    System Requirements for Use:
    The system is complete "less" the laptop or PC. This will given the buyer the option of which laptop or PC to use with the system. The system is Windows based and will work on Windows '98 and up including Windows XP. If your laptop or PC is not equipped with a 9 Pin serial port, an adapter, sold at the manufactures site, is available. To order the USB adapter, contact the manufacture by clicking here.



    System Upgrades:
    The system upgrades will be available to the system owners as a downloadable file. Contact the manufacture for more information by clicking here. There are two FREE demo's that can be downloaded if you want to take a look at the system before you make the purchase. To get your FREE Demo of the system, click here and scroll down to Downloads. There are two download versions available, English and French.



    Closing comments:
    Thank you all for taking the time and reading my product review!! I know this is a large review with a lot of images, but I felt this was the only way to truly show and explain this system. I know for those of us that have the "dial-up" service that the load time for the review was lengthy but this was mainly due to the amount and the size of the images. Thanks for your patience!! I really like this scanner system. It was not only very useful but it was actually fun working with the Vtach. I really like that feature!! This company has been in business for over 15 years so I think they will be one to really watch. I can see good things evolving from this system. If there is a downside, it is not the scanner manufacture or even the vehicle manufactures fault. The system tested, for the ISO protocol, does not cover every Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth model. This is because some vehicles may be equipped with the VPW protocol that is used 100% on the GM vehicles. For a percentage of the Chrysler vehicles equipped with the ISO protocol, click here. The percentage is shown per model year.I believe the best value would be to purchase the complete system including the hardware and software for all three protocols. Keep in mind the temperature factor of the bottom of the laptop when using the system or deciding on which laptop to purchase. As a rule, the faster the processor speed, the higher the potential temperature will be. The IBM ThinkPad with the Pentium 133Mhz worked just excellent with the scanner system. A used laptop such as the one in the review can be purchased very reasonable compared to a new laptop. One important thing to keep in mind if you should decide to purchase a used laptop to use with this system, make sure that the laptop battery is in GOOD/WORKING condition and if possible, purchase a DC adapter for the cigar/accessory outlet on the test vehicle. Without a DC adapter or a good battery, your not going to be able to drive the vehicle with the laptop installed (you would need an AC outlet). If you are having trouble finding a used laptop, I do sell used laptops. I can tell you now that I will not have the cheapest prices, but I don't sell junk. All of my laptops are fully tested and are in as close to perfect condition and complete as I can possibly make them. To look at my laptop selection please click here.
    I appreciate the business, but don't feel it is necessary to purchase your laptop from me. This is a hobby for me, and I do it because I enjoy it, not to make my income.
    I want to extend a special thank you to John Stead and all of the folks at the Winstead Group Inc!! You really have a system to be proud of!!



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    I want to thank the folks at:


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    For the use of the AllData Information system used to repair the vehicle in this review!!


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    Thank you for reading the product reviews and articles at our website!! For a list of all the product reviews and technical articles we have available, please go to the:


    BATauto Resource Center


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