elm scan tool

I have a 1998 Chevy Venture van. I am thinking of building the elm scantool interface. Does anyone here have any experience or thoughts on the interface? Comments? If I get it to work, will it be much better than a
simple scan tool such as the Actron? Thanks, Terry
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I built mine for about $50CDN, can't tell you how well it works though, my car is not OBDII. I made the one for GM only.
Steve

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Hi,
I built one from scratch last year for my S10 Blazer and pickup. It works fairly well with and old P133 laptop that I picked up for $15 a a local swap-meet. All in all, I probably spent around $40 for the computer, the Elm 322 chip and some odds and ends. And I'll probably use the laptop for other stuff. For me it wasn't just the low cost of the unit it was the challenge of building something.....
Below is an excerpt from a posting I made on the scantools.net website...........
Aside from the laminate and the PCB artwork offered on the scantools.net website, I acually made the entire PC board myself. I printed all the images on standard white paper with my 12 year old Wang laser printer (with the toner setting on maximum). I then ironed (literally!) the reverse version of the image directly to my freshly cleaned copper-clad PCB. Cooked toner makes a pretty good resist. Even at 300 DPI the thru-holes were pretty clean.
After wetting in tapwater, I was able to rub off all of the paper fibers. I chose to drill all the holes at this point (before etching), to prevent any traces from being ripped off the board by the drill bit. This worked out well.
I then etched the whole thing in a Pyrex baking dish. Not bad for mostly kitchen work! Light buffing with some emory cloth took all the toner resist off and polished the traces for soldering.
Later, after I had installed all the compnentrty, I had a heck of a time with the listed gain of a number of transistors. Be careful here. Compatible parts aren't always. As I was using scavenged parts (nearly everything but the ELM 322 chip), I only had myself to blame.
After some help from the guys on the website (Thanks Vitaliy!), I was able to get thing working properly (replaced some transistors with higher gain units).
I haven't checked the website recently to see if the new version of software is out (the one with data logging), but there are a number of free or next to free programs that will work with the Elm chipset......
Now I'm waiting for my first SES code to appear....... 8^)
packrat
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