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Old 26th July 2015, 21:54   #1
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Default Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories

Like any other true petrolhead, I love to have lots of instrumentation and to see all kinds of data about the car and journey while driving. Unfortunately, my humble Maruti SX4 has very basic instrumentation. It does not even have a basic MID to show simple information such as average fuel consumption, leave alone anything as fancy as a tyre pressure monitoring system.

Over last couple of years, I have been playing with various accessories and gadgets to add some bling to my otherwise spartan stock instruments. However, mostly it has been a story of discovering some fault or the other with whatever I tried. I even bought a Nexus 7 specifically for car use last year and attempted to use it as a unified device for all navigation, music and diagnostic purposes, but soon realized it was a bit too cumbersome for daily use.

Finally, I think now I have got a stable and useful setup, and in this thread I will attempt to post quick reviews of various accessories used in the setup. As I mentioned, this is a story of trial-and-error, and lots of research for various accessories, and hopefully I can share some tips that others might find useful.

I know that there already exist other threads about specific accessories such as TPMS, but my objective is to discuss the complete setup together, and discuss the issues about compatibility and cross-considerations while choosing even the simple accessories such as charging cables. And hence this new thread. The major components of this setup are:
  • Car mount/holder for the phone/tablet
  • Phone/tablet
  • Bluetooth Kit (since SX4 OEM music system does not even have Bluetooth connectivity)
  • OBDII adapter and an app to read OBDII data
  • TPMS system
  • Miscellaneous components such as chargers and cables.
I will discuss each of these in the subsequent posts.

Last edited by Dr.AD : 28th July 2015 at 14:42.
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Old 27th July 2015, 10:07   #2
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Default Re: Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories

Car mount/holder for phone/tablet:

Although this sounds like simple and easy (since there are plenty of car mounts/holders available in any accessory shop as well as on various online shopping sites), this is actually a very critical and tricky part. I tried several phone holders over last two years - some cheap ones and some expensive ones. Invariably, most of them were OK for a few months, and then started rattling or losing their grip (where they hold the phone) over time. It was even harder to find a right mount for a 7" tablet such as Nexus 7. Tired of whatever I had tried, I started searching for a "serious" car mount that would meet the following requirements:
  • It should be able to hold both a 7" tablet and a 5" smartphone, without any rattles.
  • It should have a strong enough suction cup to hold the weight of a 7" tablet (~300 grams). I don't like to glue anything to the dashboard.
  • The mounting position should not obstruct my view of the road.
  • At the same time, the mounting position should be somewhere near my line of sight (I should not have to take my eyes off the road to look at the phone/tablet).
  • I should be able to easily reach the phone/tablet where it is mounted in case I want to reach it to do some basic operation (of course, I would avoid any serious use of phone while driving, but it should allow some simple and quick use such as swiping across the screen to change the displays in Torque Pro etc.)
  • And last but not the least, the phone/tablet should get a cool draft of air from the AC vents, and should be away from direct sunlight as much as possible. From my past experiences of using an Android phone for navigation, I had realized that the phone would get pretty hot when used for a couple of hours and that too when placed in direct sunlight. In fact, my earlier phone used to crash due to overheating, and the overheating of phone became a deal-breaker for using an android device as my only device for all car needs. I had to revert back to my old trusted MapMyIndia Navigator. So I had to have a way to solve this critical problem, if I wanted to use an Android device for all car needs.
Finally, I found a car mount and an appropriate mounting position that would meet all of my constraints. I found this EXOGEAR ExoMount Tablet S (http://www.exogear.com/products-exom...ash-mount.html), that seemed just perfect for my needs. I was thinking of ordering it from their website, but thankfully, found it available from one seller on amazon.in for Rs. 3300, and ordered it immediately.

Here is how I installed it:
Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories-01exogearmount.jpg <br /> <br />
With my phone mounted on it:<br /> <a href=Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories-020exogearmount.jpg <br /> <br />
And with my tablet (Nexus 7) mounted on it:<br /> <a href=Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories-021exogear.jpg <br />
As you can see, the phone/tablet is held right in front of the AC vent, which keeps it really cool. In fact, on long drives, even after heavily using the phone continuously for several hours (for navigation, journey tracking and for Torque Pro <i>simultaneously</i>), I find it chilling cold when I touch it. The cold metal touch of the full metal+glass body of Xperia Z3 is an awesome feeling! The arm holding the phone is mounted on a 360 degree rotatable ball joint, and thus I can easily adjust it to either landscape or portrait mode as required. <br /> <br />
Overall, this nifty and robust tablet mount turned out to be extremely useful to me. And after using it for last 9 months (including several long drives and driving over all sorts of road conditions) I am very happy with it.  Holds either my Nexus 7 or my Sony Xperia Z3  absolutely tight, with minimal (although not zero) rattles even on very  bad roads! <b>I would totally recommend it to anyone who has similar needs as mine.<br /> </b></div>   <div style=

Last edited by Dr.AD : 28th July 2015 at 14:56.
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Old 27th July 2015, 21:01   #3
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Default Re: Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories

Phone/Tablet:

I had been using MapMyIndia Vx140 as my navigation device since around 2009. It served me really well over all these years. However, somewhere in 2014 I decided to retire that device and move on to an Android phone for all my navigation needs. I thought that Google Maps as well as some offline navigation maps available were much better than the archaic maps on the MapMyIndia device, and even the cheapest of the smartphones beat the Vx140 device hands down in hardware specs! Further, I started using apps such as Google "My Tracks" for tracking all my long drives, and then wanted to use Torque Pro for realtime dashboards. Thus, it was clear that I needed one phone that could handle all of this simultaneously.

Till 2014, I was using Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, and that was a pretty good phone in its time. However, when I started to use it for navigation as well as logging journey tracks simultaneously, it started to get overheated and would crash due to overheating. It was simply not capable of such heavy duty use (the RAM was too small and the 1GHz single core processor was too slow) in hot and sunny dashboard conditions over extended period of time. So I needed to have a new phone, and started researching for a new device, with my in-car needs as the primary use case!

My needs were: a great (full HD - 1080p) and bright display that could be read even in sunlight, a really fast processor and good amount of RAM (2GB minimum, and 3GB ideal) to handle all the heavy duty apps simultaneously, a great camera (so that I can sometimes skip on taking another camera on those scenic drives and use this phone as my primary camera if required), fully waterproof (for those "Monsoon in Goa" pictures), lots of storage for my music and good sound quality for music playback etc. In addition to these functional requirements, there were some additional "geometric constraints": I wanted a phone with all flat edges (no curvy sides) because flat sides will fit snug into the ExoGear Exomount. I thought that the curvy sides that are in vogue would actually make it hard for the ExoMount to grip the phone properly, as the contact area would be minimized to a line instead of a surface. And I wanted the length of the phone that would fit into the ExoMount. Further, I wanted at least a 5" display for easy readability while driving. Further, I wanted the charging port on the side of the phone and not on the top or bottom, because the top/bottom edges would be in contact with the mount, and would be hard to charge the phone from those sides. A side charging port will make it easier to charge the phone while mounted as shown in the pictures in the previous post.

Thankfully, late last year Sony launched the Xperia Z3 in India, and that phone met all my requirements perfectly. Besides, it is really a gorgeous phone and I thought it was indeed a masterpiece of engineering! I bought it very soon after it was launched, and thus, since December 2014, that has been my primary phone as well as my primary in-car entertainment/navigation/tracking device!

Just before that, I also bought a Nexus 7, as at that time I had thoughts of using the 7" tablet as my primary car device. It also met most, but not all of the constraints mentioned above. However, after using it for a while I felt it was a bit too cumbersome. Instead the 5.2" screen of the Xperia Z3 was a more ideal size, and thus, I eventually settled on using the Xperia Z3 as my primary car device.

Bluetooth Kit:

The stock head-unit in SX4 does not come with Bluetooth connectivity and therefore, I had to procure an aftermarket Bluetooth kit. Luckily, I had procured a simple kit long ago (described in my earlier thread here: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...ml#post2687383 (Beast prevails over beauty. Story of my SX4-ZXi VVT)) and since then I am very happy with the effectiveness of this kit. So nothing new to mention about that here.

However, in the context of setting up the phone as a primary car device, this Bluetooth kit plays an important role apart from the primary role of taking the phone calls and steaming the music. I can use this Bluetooth connection as an event to identify that the phone is being used in the car, and then use the Sony "SmartConnect" app to automatically perform certain actions. For instance, the moment my phone is connected to car Bluetooth, SmartConnect automatically launches Torque Pro app, adjusts the daytime as well as nighttime screen brightness to the levels I define, maxes the volume etc. I can really configure the phone in any which way I like just for the car use, and this configuration will kick in automatically when connected to the car. I really love this. So in summary, having this Bluetooth kit has enabled this great feature which I had never even thought of when I bought this kit back in 2012!

Last edited by Dr.AD : 28th July 2015 at 15:47.
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Old 27th July 2015, 22:32   #4
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Default Re: Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories

Torque Pro/OBDII Setup:

Now this is the most exciting part. I had been reading about various OBDII adapters for long, and always thought of getting one. However, I could not find any concrete information anywhere about whether SX4 supports the OBDII protocol. Thanks a lot to fellow bhpian and a friend abirnale for confirming that OBDII adapters (especially the ELM327 adapter) works on SX4, in his post here: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-t...ml#post3294174.

So, taking inspiration from him, I ordered a cheap ELM327 adapter from amazon.in, just to try it out. I ordered something called "SuperMini ELM327" adapter priced at about Rs. 950. Abirnale had mentioned that the adapter he used was too big to be plugged in all the time in the OBDII port, and would interfere with the foot movement near the accelerator paddle. I was a bit nervous about this since such an issue would be a deal-breaker for my attempt to set up a continuous real-time monitoring system. Thankfully, this "SuperMini" adapter turned out to be really compact and so small that it fits into the OBDII port without any noticeable protrusion, and has absolutely no interference with my foot movement whatsoever.

Here is a picture of what I got:
Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories-elm327.jpg <br /> <br />
I installed the trial version of Torque app to test the OBDII adapter. Thankfully, it worked in first shot, and I purchased the Pro version of Torque immediately.<br /> <br />
For those who are not familiar with it, Torque Pro ( <a rel=https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...l.torque&hl=en) is one of the most popular apps for reading the OBDII data. It has both diagnosis capabilities (reading the error codes, system checkup, resetting error codes etc.) as well as real-time dashboard and graphing capabilities. It has a pretty useful - although a bit cumbersome and non-intuitive - GUI and allows the user to setup various dashboards as per their liking. It also offers various "themes" (for colors, fonts and appearances etc.) to choose from.

Here are some screenshots of my torque displays:

My primary dashboard screen:
Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories-screenshot_20150726143626.png <br /> <br />
Parameters related to engine performance:<br /> <a href=Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories-screenshot_20150726143639.png <br /> <br />
Real-time monitoring of timing advance in the context of engine RPM and power (I really like this!):<br /> <a href=Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories-screenshot_20150726143703.png <br /> <br />
Monitoring of speedo errors: <br /> <a href=Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories-screenshot_20150726143713.png <br /> <br />
The so-called "trip computer":<br /> <a href=Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories-screenshot_20150726143810.png <br /> <br />
Some performance counters, useful in those rare times when I get a chance to try these:<br /> <a href=Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories-screenshot_20150726143821.png <br /> <br />
A list of raw data, as well as "distance traveled with MIL on" and "distance traveled since MIL was reset":<br /> <a href=Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories-screenshot_20150726143746.png <br /> <br />
And finally, roll and pitch meters and the very cool "skidpad" showing the acceleration components:<br /> <a href=Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories-screenshot_20150726143854.png <br /> <br />
And here are some screenshots of the dark theme I use in nighttime:<br /> <br /> <a href=Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories-screenshot_20150728084028.png <br /> <a href=Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories-screenshot_20150728085221.png <br /> <br />
Having used this for more than a month now (including a couple of long drives), here is my quick review of Torque Pro/ELM327 setup (Note: The overall performance is a combination of that of Torque Pro app and that of the ELM327 adapter. I am yet not sure whether some of the issues mentioned below are due to the buggy app or the buggy adapter - could be either or both! Need more time and tests to figure this out). <br /> <br /> <b>The positives:</b><ul><li>With correct settings for vehicle weight and volumetric efficiency etc., I think I have got the fuel consumption figures pretty accurate now. The FE shown by Torque is within 10% of that measured using tank-to-tank calculations, which is in line with what the stock MIDs show (for those cars which have one).</li> <li>The data shown for directly measured parameters (as opposed to calculated values such as FE) is extremely accurate and very useful to have. For instance, I find it immensely useful to see actual engine coolant temperature as opposed to the vague needle position on the stock temperature dial. Battery voltage is another very useful data to have, which is a direct and accurate measurement.</li> <li>It is very cool to see fuel flow rate in liters/hour, especially when idling - you know how much fuel you are burning in idling.</li> <li>It is a great learning tool. It is so much fun to watch various parameters go up and down, and to correlate their behavior with each other and to the overall vehicle performance. I feel I have started to understand my car much better after monitoring this data for a month or so.<ul><li>For example, refer to this discussion on whether coasting in gear saves fuel (<a href=http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...save-fuel.html (Does coasting save fuel?)). After having gone through that thread, it was really nice to see that on my car, coasting in gear indeed saves fuel! As I coast in gear, assuming I have built up sufficient momentum already, I can see that the fuel flow rate goes down to 0.0 (fuel cut off by ECU), and the instantaneous FE goes to the maximum possible value. On the other hand, if I coast in neutral, the fuel flow rate remains at about 0.7 liters/hour, roughly the same as that when idling.
  • You can set warnings and alarms on either the low or the high values for any of the parameters, and this works quite well actually. You can even set verbal warnings for "aggressive driving before engine reaches operating temperature", and also a verbal notification when "engine reached operating temperature". This feature works great, and pretty cool to use.
  • And of course, it is just so much fun to have all these dials and digits changing values in real time as you drive the car. And you can play with different color themes and backgrounds and fonts to get whatever look you like on the dials. It is as if you can design your own dashboard. The sheer fun value of this app is enormous!
  • The negatives/bugs:
    • The only real annoyance I have experienced is the failure to connect to ECU once in a while. I have observed that typically at a frequency of about once a week (roughly 30-40 connect/disconnect cycles), the app refuses to connect to the ECU. It keeps saying "Adapter not found" or "Searching for protocol" or something like that. The only solution to this is to remove the adapter from the OBDII port and put it back. Then the app connects fine. In my 6 weeks of using this app, I have faced this about 5-6 times. Maybe it is the cheap quality of my ELM327 adapter. Maybe someday I will try a better quality adapter and hope that fixes it.
    • While the direct parameter measurements (e.g. coolant temperature, battery voltage, instantaneous fuel flow rate, mass air flow rate etc.) are very accurate, the "calculated" values (e.g. HP and Torque at the wheel) throw some funny values once in a while. Even these are fairly accurate in general, but there are one or two instances where definitely some bug hits somewhere. For instance, once for a tiny fraction of a second it showed the torque at wheels as some 210 Nm (my engine has a peak torque of 150Nm), and recorded that as the max torque value. Funny, but obviously wrong. And on another occasion, while driving in perfectly dry and sunny conditions, with temperature about 27-28 C, it suddenly gave me a verbal caution about "icy conditions". And this funny thing happened once again when driving at 29C. It actually made me laugh out loud on hearing this warning. I guess either there is some bug somewhere, or maybe it detected some loss of traction for a tiny bit of a second somewhere (maybe a bad spot on my tyre?), and interpreted that as icy conditions.
    • The Bluetooth connection to the ELM327 introduces some interference and noise in the Bluetooth connection to the car audio system. I always had a great and absolutely clear call quality over my Bluetooth kit, until I installed this ELM327 adapter. Now, when I talk on phone, there is a noticeable interference and noise (very similar to Radio Frequency Interference noise mentioned here: http://www.arrl.org/files/file/RFI%2...ps-carrier.mp3) on my phone calls. I need to figure out a solution to this. Maybe again it is due to the cheap adapter that I got. Maybe a good quality adapter would not have this issue.
    In summary, it is a great tool to have, and in spite of the couple of minor irritants I mentioned above, I am absolutely loving this app. As I described it to my colleagues in an overenthusiastic moment soon after I got this whole thing working, "it is an engineer's dream come true to get all this live data". And I would still stick to that statement!

    Last edited by Dr.AD : 28th July 2015 at 16:00.
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    Old 28th July 2015, 11:04   #5
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    Default Re: Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories

    Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS):

    One critical data that OBDII can't give you is real time tyre pressures and temperatures. My "instrumentation" would never be complete without this data. In general, I have always felt that it would be very nice to have a TPMS in my car. Many times during my long drives, for whatever reason, I would start wondering if my tyre pressure is alright, and it would be too cumbersome to stop driving and get down and measure the tyre pressure. A real time information on this would be of immense value.

    Before I got a TPMS, I bought these "tyre pressure valves" (picture below), and used them for some time. These work quite well, but these can't be a substitute to a proper TPMS in any sense.

    Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories-030tpvalve.jpg <br /> <br />
I have been reading about various TPMS devices and technologies available for quite some time. Here is a quick summary of what I learned and what I wanted:<ul><li>Type of sensors (External or Internal):<ul><li>Internal sensors are fitted inside the tyre, and are attached to the air inlet valve from inside. They have inbuilt batteries which are not replaceable. You have to instead replace the complete sensor unit when the battery life is over. These sensors require the tyre to be removed from the rims for fitment, and would require professional help in fitting. Further, tyre rotation would be a bit cumbersome process and you have to follow certain predefined rotation patterns for the system to properly re-learn the new positions of the sensors.</li> <li>External sensors are essentially sensors fitting inside valve caps, and these can be directed screwed onto the valves, just like a valve cap. Basically you take out the normal valve cap and screw in these sensors-cum-caps there. In order to prevent potential theft of these external sensors, they come with a specific nut that you put in before you screw in these sensor caps, and then tighten the nut using a mini spanner provided with the sensors. This is the so called "anti theft feature". The batteries are easily replaceable by just opening the sensor caps. Thus, you don't need to replace the complete sensor (replace only the batteries instead) at the end of the battery life. Further, tyre rotation is not at all a problem since you can simply plug them in and out on any tyre you want. Fitment of these sensors is a trivial 10 minutes DIY job.</li> <li>Overall, given the advantages of external sensors mentioned above, I decided to buy a system with external sensors.</li> </ul></li> </ul><ul><li>Types of display: There are TPMS systems where the display is integrated into a device that directly plugs into the accessory power socket or the cigarette lighter socket (for example, this one: <a href=http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/tyre-a...ml#post3638724 (Onboard Tyre pressure sensors) ). Then there are small dash mounted devices which show tyre pressure and/or temperature of one tyre at a time, and keep rotating this information across all tyres. And then there are devices which show all four tyre pressures as well as temperatures at the same time. I wanted this last type.
    • Power Supply: Some TPMS systems need a continuous power supply, usually provided from the accessory power socket or the cigarette lighter. I did not want this because I already use the power socket for my phone, and besides, I would hate to have one more wire running and dangling across front console and over the dashboard. The "display built into the power socket device" type mentioned above is free from this issue, but then these displays have to be mounted directly on the power socket. This means in most cases they would be in some hidden or awkward location, totally away from the driver's view of the road. You have to take your eyes off the road to see the tyre pressure readings. I decided against these types primarily for this reason. Luckily, I found a third type, where the device has a rechargeable battery that powers the display. You can charge this battery once in a while and then for a reasonably long usage time, the display is powered by the internal rechargeable battery. You can mount it in any position you like, near your line of sight, and without any wires dangling. I decided to get this last type again, for obvious reason.
    Thankfully, after some search, I found a system that exactly meets my constraints. I bought something called "SPY Universal TPMS-X6" system from Aliexpress. Here is the link to the manufacturer's product page: http://www.matronics-marketing.com/tpms.html. You can search for this on Aliexpress and you will find several vendors selling this.

    Here are the pictures of the box:
    Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories-031tpms.jpg <br /> <br /> <a href=Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories-032tpms.jpg <br /> <br />
And here is a close-up shot of the system mounted on my dashboard (you can see more pictures of this in the post above about the ExoMount):<br /> <a href=Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories-033tmps.jpg <br /> <br />
This is the external sensor mounted on my tyre: <br /> <a href=Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories-04sensor.jpg <br /> <br />
I received this just a few days ago, and I have used it only for last 4 days or so. Therefore, I can't comment on the long term useability/reliability at this time, but nevertheless, here is a quick review of the pros and cons I observed during my short usage so far.<br /> <br /> <b>Pros:</b><ul><li>As mentioned earlier, it has external sensors which are very easy to install and remove, the battery can be replaced easily.</li> <li>The rechargeable battery in the display is a great feature! No dangling wires required. They claim that once charged fully, the battery can last one month under "normal usage". I doubt that, but even if it lasts me one week, and I charge the battery once a week, I will be happy. I fully charged the battery when I received the device, and in 4 days of "normal usage" so far, the battery status still shows as full. So these are good signs for a useful battery life!</li> <li>One nifty feature is that it has a vibration sensor to determine when the car is parked and when the car is moving. When you park the car (or sit absolutely stationary), the display automatically switches off in about 35 seconds. And any motion after that (for example, opening the car door to get into the car), switches on the display and the system comes alive! This really eliminates any need to manually switch it on and off, and you can just mount it there and completely forget about it. I really love this feature, and in my 4 days of usage (and several random tests to test this feature to its limit), I found this working brilliantly every single time!</li> <li>The size of the display is just perfect - not too small (where you would struggle to read the digits), and not too big to block your field of view in any way.</li> </ul><b>Cons:</b><ul><li>Nothing really, expect for one <i>potential </i>issue: In order to save the batteries in the sensors, the sensors transmit the data only when the car is moving at a speed of about 20km/h or faster. I guess the sensor assemblies have some kind of accelerometers that detect the rolling motion and start transmitting. This would really extend the battery life of the sensors significantly, considering that the car is stationary (e.g. parked overnight) for a significant number of hours in a typical day. Assuming on average 6 hours of driving per day (this is already a very high number considering this is <i>average</i>), this feature would extend the battery life 4 times as compared to transmitting the data all 24 hours per day. However, the downside is that you can't get a fresh reading when parked (the display still shows the last reading when parked), and you have to wait till you get some speed to get a refresh of the data. This is still OK, but what happens if a sensor fails? As it is, the display just shows the last reading when the sensor is not transmitting anything, and there is no indication on the display whether the value is fresh or not. Thus, if a sensor fails, I wonder if the display would keep showing the old value forever, and until you yourself detect this anomaly, it would not give you any error message about the failed sensors. This is a potential shortcoming as compared to some other systems which directly display an error message (e.g. an ER message instead of the pressure number) when a sensor fails. I call it <i>potential </i>shortcoming because this really does not come into picture in regular usage and would be an issue only in the supposedly rare case of sensor failure. There is also a small possibility that it does actually have some sensor failure warning that I would discover in case of a sensor failure. Who knows? I will have to wait and watch on this front.</li> </ul>In summary, it is too early to comment on the long term reliability or usability of this, but  I am totally happy with this system in my short use so far.</div>   <div style=

    Last edited by Dr.AD : 28th July 2015 at 16:21.
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    Old 28th July 2015, 13:33   #6
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    Default Re: Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories

    Miscellaneous accessories:

    Having covered the major components, some small miscellaneous accessories are now required to complete the set-up. The most obvious one is the car charger to charge the phone/tablet. The important consideration here is that the Nexus 7 requires 1.5A current to charge it, and most generic car chargers actually provide lesser current, something about 800mA or so. If I use such a generic charger, then the tablet would not actually get charged, but instead will get discharged very slowly while in continuous use. In other words, instead of increasing the charge, all the charger is doing is reducing the rate of discharge. Thus, obviously I wanted something with a sufficient charging current.

    The first product I liked and purchased from amazon.in was this PWR+ dual micro-USB charger (see picture below) for about Rs. 2400. I liked that it had very long cable (2m length), and each charging point could give a 2A current (4A total). Thus, in theory, I could charge two tablets simultaneously if required. This also had good overheat and spike protection.

    Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories-100pwrpluscharger.jpg <br /> <br />
I used it for about 6 months or so. However, there were a couple of issues. The wires were actually a bit too long for my need and it became a mess to manage the bundle of extra wire length. The wires could not be detached from the charger, and thus the bundle of wire had to be kept there all the time. It was not very compact as well. It took some noticeable space in front of my charging point. Another major drawback  was that such high current introduced noticeable Radio Frequency Interference. I could not listen to FM radio while using this charger as it would introduce way too much noise in my radio reception.  And lastly, recently I purchased a magnetic charging cable for my Xperia Z3 (more on that later), and that came as a USB cable. That meant I needed a charger with a USB socket to plug this cable into, which rendered this dual charger useless. <br /> <br />
So recently, I bought this dual-USB charger made by Capdase, from flipkart for about Rs. 1000:<br /> <a href=Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories-05capdasecharger.jpg <br /> <br />
This gives 2.4A (max total for both USB sockets), which is good enough to charge one tablet and one phone simultaneously.  Plus it is very compact. You can see in the picture below that it fits flush with my power socket (cigarette lighter socket), and does not take any additional space:<br /> <a href=Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories-06charger.jpg.jpg <br />
Now I could easily use my magnetic cable with this charger. However, this did not solve my RF noise problem. This charger also introduces RF noise, and currently I am just living with that noise in my radio reception. Since I mostly listen to my own music collection from a USB drive and rarely listen to the radio, this is not a deal-breaker for me. <br /> <br />
Next question was about the ease of charging the phone on the go. The Xperia Z3 being fully waterproof has a flap/cover that covers the microUSB port on the phone. It is a pain to remove this flap for connecting the charging cable every time, and to put it back after disconnecting the cable. Because of this, I often found it hard to quickly snap in and out the charging cable while on the move. <br /> <br />
Luckily, I found a solution in the form of this magnetic charging cable. Thankfully, the Xperia Z3 has a built-in magnetic charging port, and the charging end of this cable  magnetically snaps on this port for charging. Thus, I can easily attach the charging cable to the phone without fiddling with the flap on the misroUSB port. Really easy to use, and this indeed solved my "ease of charging" problem on the spot! <br /> <br />
The magnetic charging cable: <br /> <a href=Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories-071magneticcable.jpg <br /> <br />
The magnetic charging end attached to the phone:<br /> <a href=Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories-08magneticcable.jpg <br /> <a href=Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories-09magneticcable.jpg   <div style=

    Last edited by Dr.AD : 28th July 2015 at 16:40.
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    Old 28th July 2015, 14:28   #7
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    Default Re: Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories

    Summary: To wrap it up, here is a picture of my dashboard with what I like to call my new "instrumentation". I know it is a bit of an exaggeration to call it as instrumentation, but nevertheless, this gives me a lot of real-time data and now I know a lot more about what is going on under the hood and inside the tyres while driving. I simply love having this data. And as one can easily tell by looking at the pictures, all of this is a very simple DIY add-on stuff (after sourcing the appropriate gadgets).

    Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories-10dashboard.jpg <br />
For me, this also takes care of the bigger issue so nicely elaborated in this classic thread: <a href=http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/owning...rade-swap.html (ARTICLE: YOUR 5 year old car : Keep, Upgrade or Swap?). My car would complete 5 years on July 31, 2015, and this new TPMS is my "anniversary gift" to the car. These new toys and the simple stuff keeps rejuvenating my interest in this otherwise fine car, and keeps me just a little bit away from the temptation to go for that 320Nm 1.6 S-Cross (although of course I would change the alloys on the spot if I were ever to fall for that temptation).

    Anyways, that's all folks. Thanks a lot for reading!

    Thanks,
    -AD

    Last edited by Dr.AD : 28th July 2015 at 16:43.
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    Old 28th July 2015, 17:31   #8
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    Default Re: Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories

    Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) section. Thanks for sharing!
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    Old 28th July 2015, 20:59   #9
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    Default Re: Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories

    Post deleted by the Team-BHP Support : Please do NOT post messages that add little or no informational value to the thread. We need your co-operation to maintain the quality of this forum.

    Please read our rules before proceeding any further. We request you to post ONLY when you have something substantial to add to a discussion.

    Last edited by GTO : 11th August 2015 at 12:49.
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    Old 28th July 2015, 21:35   #10
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr.AD View Post
    Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
    Hey DrAD,

    I too have bought the TPMS and awaiting delivery. Shall part a wish review as soon as I get it.

    I have bought the Accessory socket plug in type TPMS from AliExpress.

    Last edited by a4anurag : 28th July 2015 at 21:38.
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    Old 28th July 2015, 22:15   #11
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    Default Re: Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories

    Great additions there and pretty neat installation!

    I too had bought the bigger version of the ELM 327 last year for my Accent Viva which is my daily drive in Bangalore. However, it did not read most of the data regarding fuel. No Real time average, trip average or DTE. I thought it might not be supported in my Viva so tried in my Liva and Elite i20 too. Same problem with them as well. Was pretty hopeful to complete my i20 experience since this feature is the only thing missing conspicuously from the otherwise fully loaded Elite i20 Asta.

    Tried many other apps too with same results. Do you think buying full version would help?

    Last edited by vinayrathore : 28th July 2015 at 22:16.
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    Old 28th July 2015, 22:19   #12
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vinayrathore View Post

    Tried many other apps too with same results. Do you think buying full version would help?
    Before you think of buying the full version, go to settings page >> OBD Adapter setting >> check for the list of "Available Sensors". See below:

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    Old 29th July 2015, 09:53   #13
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    Default Re: Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post

    I too have bought the TPMS and awaiting delivery. Shall part a wish review as soon as I get it.

    I have bought the Accessory socket plug in type TPMS from AliExpress.
    OK, great. Looking forward to your review of that system. I also thought about the socket plug in type TPMS. They are really compact and clean, with no wires involved anywhere. However, my only concern was that this will be installed far away from the line of sight. In SX4, the power socket is at the bottom of the front console (i.e somewhere in front of the gear lever), and it will be impossible for me to read the data properly from that position while driving the car, without taking my eyes off the road for more than a second or so. Further, this would keep my socket occupied all the time, and I would have to get a socket splitter for using other devices which need power too. But for those cars where the accessory socket is in a more visible position, or if one gets a splitter and puts in a new socket, these plug-in TPMS would work great.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vinayrathore View Post
    Great additions there and pretty neat installation!

    I too had bought the bigger version of the ELM 327 last year for my Accent Viva which is my daily drive in Bangalore. However, it did not read most of the data regarding fuel. No Real time average, trip average or DTE.
    ...
    Tried many other apps too with same results. Do you think buying full version would help?
    Thanks vinayrathore. I am not sure Torque Pro (full version) would help you in this case. As a4anurag has pointed out, you should check which PIDs (sensor information codes) are available for your ELM adapter/car combination. If certain codes are not available there, then no app would help.

    However, having said that, it is possible that the particular EML327 adapter you got is faulty and does not read or transmit some codes. I have read about such faulty adapters in various forums. In Torque forums as well, they mention about specific MAC addresses which are faulty adapters. So you might want to check that. Maybe you can get hold of a different ELM327 adapter from a friend or from a shop for testing, and test if you get more data from that adapter.

    Last edited by GTO : 11th August 2015 at 12:50. Reason: Quoted post deleted
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    Old 29th July 2015, 09:59   #14
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr.AD View Post
    OK, great. Looking forward to your review of that system. I also thought about the socket plug in type TPMS.
    I drive a Swift and the accessory socket is in the same place as your SX4.

    Though I'll have a different problem, psychological actually, I don't like anything on the dashboard and don't windshield area. My line of sight must be clear without any holders etc. Hence I prefer this type of TPMS.

    If I can ask you, what price did you pay for this?

    Last edited by a4anurag : 29th July 2015 at 10:11.
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    Old 29th July 2015, 10:12   #15
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    Default Re: Review: My "Instrumentation" (Torque Pro/OBDII setup, TPMS etc.) and related accessories

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post

    Though I'll have a different problem, psychological actually, I don't like anything on the dashboard and don't windshield area. My line of sight must be clear without any holders etc. Hence I prefer this type of TPMS.
    Oh, interesting. I can totally understand your point of view. It is actually interesting to note how different people can have different preferences when it comes to ergonomics.

    Another point in favor of not necessarily mounting it on dashboard is that the plug-in type, just like any other TPMS, has an audible alarm for any pressure abnormalities anyways. So one could say that you don't need to keep reading the pressures all the time. Just read it on those occasions when you are in doubt, and the alarm will tell you anyways when something is wrong.

    So there can be multiple valid opinions about the mounting positions/types.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post

    If I can ask you, what price did you pay for this?
    I paid around $178. If you check Aliexpress, the same system is available from various vendors from about $170 to $200.
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