Category: Hardware

The CanSee dongle firmware has been updated to handle 29 bit requests properly. This version (004) is required if you intent to use CanSee with the new ZE50, please update the firmware. If you have modified the software you need to merge the changes. If you do not intent to use your CanSee dongle with a ZE50, there is no need to update.

I thought dongles could not be further cost-optimized. Well, I was wrong. I ordered this as case / connector donor for a CanSee dongle. No screws, no wiring, blob processor. It cost me EUR 2.81 delivered, less than an empty shell. It didn’t work for CanZe of course.

GΓΆran Nybom reported on the issue tracker that the Vgate iCar 3 ELM327, which at least seems not to be some no-brand-with-always-changing-guts dongle, works fine. Price seems fair (20-ish), and it’s smaller than the KONNWEI which people might like.

This is no endorsement, we don’t have one, but if you do, please comment with your results, so we can update the hardware page. Or send it to me πŸ˜‰

Edit: unfortunately, the one I received did not support the ATAL command and contained a main controller with a scraped off top marking. So unfortunately, I cannot honestly recommend buying Vgate, at least not from Aliexpress or Ebay. it seems that these are carbon-copied too. Well, the shell at least.

Before you read on: this post in not an endorsement whatsoever. We stick 100% to our advice to either build a CanSee dongle if you want fast&furious, or buy a KONNWEI 902, as that is about the only dongle that is a fairly stable build for fairly cheap.

Having said that, as a sort of fun/silly experiment stemming from the “Use ISOTP fields” mode I wrote about earlier, I decided to order the absolute cheapest dongle I could get, and ended up with a usual “blue transparent case” model for under 2 Euros.

Guess what, it has a decent PIC processor, external EEPROM, Bluetooth 4.0 chip, and an Atmel (Microchip) CANbus transceiver. This is not some hacked together crappy thing with half baked software in the spare capacity of some Bluetooth controller. And here comes the unbelievable part. After some tweaking, I got it running with CanZE. I literally had to change two lines of code in the development branch. Which I will have to cross check with my KONNWEI dongle of course. I was honestly flabbergasted.

Although the last picture of Raplh’s Zoe Plugin has a make-like flair, he didn’t stop there and even installed some led indicators using a NeoPixel strip.

a perfectly fitting cover
a look above the cover
the NeoPixel’s are shining through the cover
easy to plug out
Start it up πŸ˜‰

Thanks to Ralph for sending me pictures of his Zoe plugin, which is basically a CanSee dongle that exactly fit’s into the car. But take a look at the pictures yourself.

the bottom layer
the solder side
ESP32 installed
gluing the ODB connector
all connections in place
the installed plugin

The first case doesn’t fit 100% – as usual – so I’ve made some improvements before launching the next print. πŸ˜‰

As the original case doesn’t fit the needs and can’t be easily modified to do so, I just decided to create a new one. 3h of printing to go … let’s wait and see πŸ˜‰

Today I’ve been building two more CanSee dongles. As the case is slightly different than the one of my development build, the screws don’t fit, so I needed to tape the cases, but the dongles do work, despite of the tape πŸ˜‰

These two babies are definitely test builds, meaning that I experimented a lot on how to put the different elements together, putting them in the wrong order, placed them upside-down and all that kind of stuff that occurs while experimenting.

But they are operational πŸ˜‰

Anyone interested in getting one?

Just be warned: I’m not a professional and doing this just for fun, so the risk is fully yours! Although I’ve tested them in my car (which did not blew up … uff) I give no warranty and will not be responsible of whatever you do with the dongle.