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Discussion Starter #1
From what I've been able to gather on the forum, Carsoft 7.4 coupled with the Multiplexer 38-pin interface and the OBD-II cable provides the most robust diagnostic and real-time data capture for our cars. I took a look on eBay and found the item below. Is this all I'll need, aside from the software? Do I purchase the software by itself, or should this come with the software?

In the same vein, is the serial protocol used by this interface published anywhere? If so, I might try my hand and writing my own interface. Looking at the Carsoft screenshots leaves me a little...underwhelmed.

Thanks!

Here's the item:

eBay Motors: MB Multiplexer Mercedes Diagnostic Tool Carsoft 7.4 (item 160195202991 end time Mar-02-08 04:43:01 PST)
 

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The Carsoft 7.4 software may or may not come with the Multiplexer .....sometimes it is specified in the listing that the software is not included, but is supplied....sometimes the opposite......:rolleyes:

.......Carsoft 7.4 can usually be found for download with a bit of searching

Your 2004 model is right on the cut-off date for Carsoft 7.4 to work.....if its manufacture date is infact 2003 then it should work

........oztds posted success with an Australian late 2003 model (would be a 2004 model in the US)

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r170-slk-class/1353349-carsoft-obdii.html

also note from last post by oztds that there seems to be some limitation on the live data via OBD11 compared to 38pin

The Multiplexer box looks different to the ones I have seen.....but the leads look correct.....I guess there are several Chinese suppliers now

Price looks good....if it doesn't work on your SLK you should be able to resell it fairly easily on eBay or via this Forum

I have to agree about the interface..... unimpressive ...but functional

Cheers

David
 

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What David said... :D
PM me if you don't get the software.
Supposed to work till April 2004 manufacture - ie. all of the R170 series.
Doesn't work with R171 - or at least, I haven't tried.
Live data isn't so good on later models as earlier ones IMO.
Leads on the unit look the same as mine - can't tell from the top of the box though if it's the same unit.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Figured I'd resurrect my dead post rather than starting a new one...I'm ready to purchase this now, but after looking at it it appears that the multiplexer box only has one large connector. Does that mean that I can only hook up OBD-II OR the 38-pin connector? If so, does OBD-II give me anything the 38-pin won't (DTC's, etc.)?

If not, has anyone permanently installed this in their vehicle, and is that recommended? I'd obviously like to be able to drive around with this connected in order to get live data, but I'd prefer not to have a cable running out the side of the hood and into the car if at all possible! If it's possible to spend some time installing it and just leaving it connected at all times, I'll gladly do that.

Thanks!
 

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Figured I'd resurrect my dead post rather than starting a new one...I'm ready to purchase this now, but after looking at it it appears that the multiplexer box only has one large connector. Does that mean that I can only hook up OBD-II OR the 38-pin connector? If so, does OBD-II give me anything the 38-pin won't (DTC's, etc.)?

If not, has anyone permanently installed this in their vehicle, and is that recommended? I'd obviously like to be able to drive around with this connected in order to get live data, but I'd prefer not to have a cable running out the side of the hood and into the car if at all possible! If it's possible to spend some time installing it and just leaving it connected at all times, I'll gladly do that.

Thanks!
38 pin or OBDII connects, not both. Functionality the same AFAIK.
Your model SLK will be OBDII - connector to be found under the dash near the steering wheel - just behind the hood lever.
Driving while connected not recommended because cable interfares with your legs, and CarSoft doesn't have any recording - just instantaneous data. watching your laptop instead of the road isn't recommended.

There are other software packages for use with OBDII that do have recording and graphs - perhaps one of those? Keep your eyes on the road though.:p
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Mmmm...probaly not great, then, as I just ordered the multiplexer interface yesterday! Is there a better OBD-II package that will work with my car? I'd like to see as much data as possible...graphing's nice too!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
After doing some poking around here and elsewhere, I've purchased an AutoTap. Thankfully the eBay seller for the CarSoft interface cancelled the sale and refunded my money without protest!
 

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I should have siad, the difference between CarSoft and the rest is that CarSoft allows you to interrogate all the MB systems, not just the engine as the others do.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Even via the OBD port? I did purchase the Chrysler extended code set to go along with the Autotap, so hopefully that will be sufficient. Honestly, all I REALLY need to get is access to view and reset any and all DTC's, and be able to view performance-related data. I tend to be paranoid about the drivetrain, so being able to view everything related to that area's going to be my biggest concern. Everything else I just need to be able to view and reset DTC's. From what their site says, I'll get this with Autotap; is this correct?
 

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I'm not familiar with Autotap, but reading their website it seems for engine codes only. OBD's genesis was emission controls and the infamous CEL DTCs. So standard OBD diagnostic systems only diagnose the engine.
MB use other pins on the OBDII connector for other subsystems - gearbox, PSE, ABS, Airconditioning etc - that's what the multiplexor does - switch the K lines to the relevant subsystems.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
UGH, so IS there a system (other than something outrageously expensive like a STAR station) that will do what I want? It seems I want the visual display like Autotap, but with the functionality of Carsoft (with logging added). It's not too late for me to cancel the Autotap order...

Will Carsoft work with the Autotap interface? Vice versa? Are there any third-party applications that can work with the Carsoft interface to provide more a more visual representation of the data? Is the Carsoft serial protocol published on the net? In that case, I could write something...
 

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UGH, so IS there a system (other than something outrageously expensive like a STAR station) that will do what I want? It seems I want the visual display like Autotap, but with the functionality of Carsoft (with logging added). It's not too late for me to cancel the Autotap order...

Will Carsoft work with the Autotap interface? Vice versa? Are there any third-party applications that can work with the Carsoft interface to provide more a more visual representation of the data? Is the Carsoft serial protocol published on the net? In that case, I could write something...
You will not find the protocols on the net as they are a closely guarded secret, the only way they can be cracked is to do reverse engineering using the OEM test equipment and a second (non OEM reader) using a pigy back fashion with cables. The OEM test equipment talks to the car and the non OEM picks up all the info. Given this info it can be changed to a suitable protocol for another tester;)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well, I think I'm running out of time in terms of being able to cancel the Autotap order...I guess it comes down to this: if I value diagnostic and troubleshooting as a FIRST priority, with logging and live data being a SECOND priority, does that mean you'd recommend I go order the Carsoft interface again?

Sorry to be so wishy-washy!
 
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