$21 CARAPP APP327 Bluetooth OBD2 Car Diagnostic Scanner

As cars become more sophisticated, you’re now able to access all sort of data from your car and display this on a computer or tablet to diagnose problems or simply to create your own high-end dashboard. This morning, I’ve come across CARAPP APP327, a Bluetooth diagnostic scanner compatible with OBD2 standard (On-Board Diagnostic II), which could can just connect on an OBD2 connector if your car is recent enough. This has been around for many years (since 1996), but I had never heard about this technology until today.

OBD2 Connector (Left) - CARAPP APP327 Bluetooth Scanner (Right)
OBD2 Connector (Left) – CARAPP APP327 Bluetooth Scanner (Right)

Wikipedia OBD2 page explains the OBD2 connector (16-pins) should be within 2 feet (0.61 m) of the steering wheel according to the standard, which also specifies the type of diagnostic connector and its pinout, the electrical signaling protocols available, and the messaging format. After you connect the Bluetooth adapter, you just need to install the applications needed for your platform (e.g. Android, Windows, iOS, etc…) which you can get from an installation CD, or download an application that supports OBD2 standard such as Torque Pro or Torque Lite for your Android device.

Torque Pro User Inteface

Let’s go back to CARAPP APP123 and its key features:

  • Function – Read trouble codes, check trouble codes, display current sensor data, calculate fuel oil consumption.
  • Wireless – Bluetooth with a transmission range up to 10 m
  • Interface – 16-pin OBD2
  • Software Platforms – Android, Win XP / Win 7 / PPC (Windows Mobile)
  • Protocols Supported – ISO15765-4 (CAN), ISO14230-4(KWP2000), J1850 PWM, J1850 VPW, ISO9141-2
  • Output Protocol – OBD2 @ 115.2Kbps
  • Power – 12 V / 35 mA working current

The device can report the engine and vehicle speed, load values, the temperature of the cooling liquid, the fuel system status, short-term fuel adjustment, long-term fuel trim, the air flow rate, oxygen sensor voltages, fuel pressure and more. Since it follows OBD2 standard I would think it’s compatible with Torque Pro/Lite, but could not find specific demo videos for this particular device.

CARAPP APP12 costs $21 on Dealextreme, but other cheaper and more popular ODB2 Bluetooth diagnostic scanners are also available such as Soliport ELM 327.

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