Projects & Stories

ODB2, DealerTool and Linux

Sometimes I am wondering myself why people pay a lot of money for closed-source software when they can use open-source for free.

This time I simply wanted to read my ECU for errors and some sensor information. If you quickly search for "Triumph" and "ECU" you will end up with expensive Window Programms.

But if you dig a little bit deeper. You will know that reading your ECU is pretty much standardized, whether it is a car or your motorcycle!

Everything you have to do is buying a ODB2 cable for your laptop and downloading the right software.
You'll find a cable for 8-10 Euros in your favorite auction house (For the horde!).

And in respect of the software I chose scantool.net which was sufficient enough for reading error messages. There are probably more free programs out there!

If you use debian/ubuntu you should be able to install it via:

$ sudo apt-get install scantool
$ sudo usermod -a -G dialout $USER

For Arch you can install it via AUR:

$ sudo yaourt -S scantool
$ sudo usermod -a -G uucp $USER

The second line with usermod is needed if you don't want to run scantool as root. It adds your current user to the group able to read/write tty interfaces.

After that attach your USB2ODB cable and start scantool.

I had to change to metric system and adjust the Baud-Rate to 38400 for my Triumph Tiger 800, but if that doesn't work for you, feel free to play with the configuration values.

If you attached your cable COM1 should translate to /dev/ttyUSB0. If not it will automatically search for a serial interface at /dev/ttyS0. You will see it in your console. Luckily the program is very verbose \m/

So far, Lukas