How I understood and fixed my Chinese Star Diagnosis System SDS Compact C3 - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 04:40 AM Thread Starter
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How I understood and fixed my Chinese Star Diagnosis System SDS Compact C3

Unfortunately this is a long post but the subject is complex and confusing.
I still have several issues and these will be listed in the next post. Any help will be much appreciated.

If you are having trouble with your Chinese Star Diagnosis System (SDS) or are interested in getting one, the attached documents may help you decide what to do.

I produced my SDS quartet of documents after months of research and experimentation with a Chinese SDS after it stopped working.
Document 1. SDS What is it
Document 2. SDS Instructions For Connecting and Using
Document 3. SDS Software Installation Instructions
Document 4. SDS Transfer From External HDD to Internal HDD

There is some duplication in the documents so that each one can be used independently of the others.

I do not profess to be an expert in SDS, far from it, but I do find that keeping the important information in one or two documents in as simple a form as possible helps me in future when I have a need to revisit the subject. It may therefore be of use to other BenzWorld members. As always any feedback is much appreciated.

Be warned, purchasing, owning, setting up and using a SDS can be an extremely difficult project and one not to be undertaken lightly. There is a plethora of information available on SDS on the Internet but unfortunately it is mostly non constructive, quite often abusive, and fairly often not available without paying a fee to some very enterprising people.

My SDS as supplied came without any installation instructions other than a couple of crude videos and an out of date pamphlet for the RS232 Card. The SDS has inbuilt instructions and videos which are very helpful for using and understanding the SDS.

After a lot of assumptions and several emails to the supplier, I eventually got my SDS configured and communicating with my car and began cautiously testing the various functions and capabilities of SDS. I particularly like the Workshop Information System and the StarFinder and have used them several times to date. I have yet to have a real need to use DAS but began self training just in case, and progressed to the point where I could exercise the cabin lights (easy to watch from outside the vehicle) and got to the stage of opening and closing various flaps on the ACC. Since getting my SDS working again I have been able to read out the list of fault codes stored in my vehicle and erase them. The faults were mainly caused by me fiddling with relays and fuses etc. and removing the front seat to repair my seat heater and ventilation fans.

When my SDS stopped working it took me two months of research and experimentation to recover from my predicament. My most important and unexpected discovery was that the RS232 data link is temperamental if operated at the recommended baud rate of 115,200 bps. The laptop and serial adapter card worked fine but it seems that the MUX, RS232 to RS485 converter, or the car itself, could not cope with these high data rates. I have now set host and guest COM2 settings to 9,600 bps and the MUX is very reliable and connects every time. There doesn’t seem to be any penalty with using the lower baud rate. The second document contains my fault finding techniques using a free serial port monitor which I downloaded from the Internet. I used two separate installations of this application to watch the data traffic in both the Guest Virtual Machine environment, and the Host Serial Port through the MUX, while SDS was communicating with my vehicle. This was critical to the successful outcome, as without the port monitor you have no idea whether the SDS is communicating with the vehicle or not.

I also found the order in which you do things when starting SDS was important and I have listed the connection regime which has worked reliably every time since instigating it.

After the success with the above I became even bolder, and have now transferred the SDS application from the external HDD to the internal HDD. I partitioned the laptop hard drive and cloned the SDS software onto it so that I no longer need to use the supplied external drive. This was mainly for convenience, and as I have a dedicated laptop, disk space was not an issue. It makes a huge difference in the number of cables that you need to worry about during a diagnosis session.

Finally, my Chinese SDS is a very useful tool for a MB enthusiast, but be warned it is very temperamental. Now that I have reached a stable configuration I no longer fiddle with the installation settings (especially the inbuilt SDS tools such as SDnetAssist etc.) which are available via the Virtual Machine Start, All Programs, Service, etc.) as these seem to create errors, which in my case usually require a full reinstall. I keep a dedicated 150Gb hard drive with a cloned backup of the supplied SDS HDD for this purpose.

Regards,
ricebubbles

Key search words:
Chinese MB STAR Compact3 C3 Diagnostic Diagnosis Assistance System SDS DAS PCMCIA Cardbus Adapter Card OX16CF950 RS232 COM2 serial port settings MUX application software installation guide guidance tips how to fix understand how I fixed Xentry Diagnostics Workshop Information System WIS SDS What is it SDS Instructions For Connecting and Using SDS Software Installation Instructions partition laptop HDD clone external HDD drive
Attached Files
File Type: pdf SDS What Is It Version 01.pdf (1.84 MB, 2699 views)
File Type: pdf SDS Instructions For Connecting and Using Version 01.pdf (1.33 MB, 3488 views)
File Type: pdf SDS Software Installation Instructions Version 01.pdf (1.41 MB, 4741 views)
File Type: pdf SDS Transfer From External HDD to Internal HDD Version 01.pdf (1.02 MB, 1987 views)
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post #2 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 04:43 AM Thread Starter
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Help Needed to Understand my Chinese Star Diagnosis System SDS Compact C3

As I explained in my previous post, I still have several issues in understanding my Chinese Star Diagnosis System SDS Compact3 C3. Any help will be much appreciated.

The documents referred to were attached in my previous post.

Issue A: MUX Icon Remains Unlocked.
My SDS seems to work fine now that it is installed on the laptop internal HDD, except for one small detail. The MUX icon on the Virtual Machine Desktop used to change from unlocked to locked once the car was connected and communicating properly. See Figures 8 and 9 in Document 2 SDS Instructions For Connecting and Using. Now the icon doesn’t change from unlocked for some reason, but the MUX is definitely connected and working. I have tried all the obvious connection settings but nothing affects it. It is a minor detail and I can live with it, however if any one has any idea how to fix it, it would be much appreciated.

Issue B: How to delete/remove an unused MUX Icon.
When the Virtual Machine Desktop starts it shows the Desk Band Group of icons in the bottom right Toolbar. These show the connection status of the SDS to the Internet and to the MUX. The initial icon in my Desk Band is a legacy from when I first got my SDS going. It shows the MUX as ‘D6’. MUX ‘D6’ also appears in SDConnect Toolkit as well. See Figure 5 in Document 2 SDS Instructions For Connecting and Using. After recovering from my inoperative SDS (see previous post), now when I connect my MUX to the laptop, the icon changes to a ‘D’ icon with an unlocked padlock. See Figure 90 in Document 2 SDS Instructions For Connecting and Using. My issue is; how can I delete the original ‘D6’ entry?

Issue C: Purpose of a couple of applications in Virtual Machine Folder ‘mb activate tools’.
My SDS came with a folder called ‘mb activate tools’, which obviously contains several tools, applications and patches for fixing the various problems which occur with these Chinese SDS’s. Some of the applications are apparent as to what they are for, but some are not. I need some help in understanding the purpose of a couple of them.
“C4_To_C3” Seems like it has something to do with converting a Compact4 (C4) SDS to a Compact3 (C3) SDS. Why would you want to do this? As I understand it a Compact4 (C4) SDS has the same software as C3 but has better anti electromagnetic interference properties and smaller hardware and is required when using a SDConnect (wireless MUX).
“Convert C3_to_C4_SD_Connect” As I understand it, SDConnect is the name given to the wireless version of a MUX which came after the earlier RS232 cable connected MUXes. Therefore it seems that this application is to convert a Compact3 (C3) SDS to a Compact4 (C4) SDS, to suit a wireless MUX, if that was what was supplied.
Folder ‘mb activate tools’ contains a file ‘wrar393sc.exe’. What is this application used for?

Issue D: Also a general question. In the brief instructions that have been provided with one of the patches, it states to “copy the application to the affected laptop”. Does this mean to run the exe file from the Virtual Machine Desktop/environment or from the Host Laptop Desktop/environment?

TIA,
ricebubbles
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post #3 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 05:54 AM
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Ricebubbles:

I'll bet that wrar393sc.exe is a self extracting file to install

WinRAR version 3.93

an older version of the winrar archiving system.

Last edited by tower; 08-01-2012 at 06:19 AM.
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post #4 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 12:06 PM
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RiceBubbles,

Thanks for all the info...I have an "for education" setup also and was wondering what to do with all these cable etc. I have some experience with serial RS232/RS485 comms in general and I'll try to share what I come up with.

I got my setup yesterday and so I far have the software installed and running. I have yet to connect the multiplexer to the car. I'm going to give my trusty USB-RS232 adapter a try first (its about 6 yrs old) and has worked for a lot of data acquisition projects in the past. I'm still ordering the PCMCIA card today and an industrial RS232/485 USB adapter to test.
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post #5 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-14-2012, 08:19 AM
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Great post, really learned a lot from it. I have on issue unrelated to this, I'm mostly interested in WIS and EPC and I found and downloaded some version from 01/2012 Looks like it isn't the Standalone version but the Wisnet Ewanet which you briefly mention in one of your .pdfs. Unfortunately i don't know how to install it(need StartKey) and i've been googling for hours without any luck, like it's impossible and I'm left wondering why would somebody upload software which is useless. Since u seem to know more than all the resources i managed to find googling for past 5 hours i guess u are my last hope
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post #6 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Hi LethalIndustry,
Unfortunately I don't think I can help. All I know on this topic is in my attached pdfs a few posts back.
Regards,
ricebubbless
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post #7 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-18-2012, 02:54 PM
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I recently bought one of these C3 clones and it came with ZERO documentation, so I was quite pleased to find the information which you have provided. I do have one question. Does everything have to run through the Virtual Machine program? I have yet to locate that program on my machine. I have copied the 80 Gb hard drive which was supplied to a 250 GB drive which had XP pro already installed. Thanks. Bill
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post #8 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-18-2012, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Bill,
The Chinese Star definitely needs to run in the virtual environment, unless you have an IBM T30 laptop. Apparently the VMWare progamme emulates a T30 Desktop.
Re your copy on the larger drive. Just keep a watch that the drive letter designations make sense and are recognised. You will notice in my pdf that I carefully arranged the copy on the internal hard drive to be the same letter designation as when it was used from the external HDD.
Brian
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post #9 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-19-2012, 04:28 AM
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Thanks for the reply, Brian. My supplier supplied the HDD for either the IBM T30 or the Dell D630. I bought one of the Dell D630s to run the program, so maybe I don't need the Virtual Machine. I have been tracking the drive letter designations. In the package with the HDD was a flash drive. My computer recognized this because I got a message telling me that drivers had been installed. But, when I go to "My Computer," this drive does not show up. My supplier told me that this was a "key" for the program. Has anyone else gotten something like this? I had hoped that it contained some documentation. Anyone have an idea of what this does? Thanks. Bill
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LethalIndustry View Post
Great post, really learned a lot from it. I have on issue unrelated to this, I'm mostly interested in WIS and EPC and I found and downloaded some version from 01/2012 Looks like it isn't the Standalone version but the Wisnet Ewanet which you briefly mention in one of your .pdfs. Unfortunately i don't know how to install it(need StartKey) and i've been googling for hours without any luck, like it's impossible and I'm left wondering why would somebody upload software which is useless. Since u seem to know more than all the resources i managed to find googling for past 5 hours i guess u are my last hope
Learn to use the forum search function;

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