30 March 2015

Zada Tech OBDII CAN bus hardware

Zada Tech's wide range of customisable LCD multi gauges have so far benefited from external sensors supplied by ourselves. There have been requests on numerous occasions from our customers to add the support of connecting to the OBDII port and retrieving readings to avoid the installation of the same or extra sensors, especially the ones that already exist on the car.

We have now come up with a solution to enable our customers to connect Zada Tech's controller box to their OBDII port with CAN bus protocol and monitor the desired values. There is also an optional extra hardware add on that is fully integrated into the controller box.

There are three ways you can monitor engine values on your car using our gauges:

  1. Use external sensors with Zada Tech's controller box.
  2. Use OBDII with CAN bus protocol connected to Zada Tech's controller box.
  3. Use external sensors alongside OBDII all connected to Zada Tech's controller box.

If your car is an older model, without an OBDII port and CAN bus, you will need to install extra external sensors on your car to be able to monitor certain values.

However if your car is a newer 'modern' car (normally 2005 onwards) with an OBDII port and CAN bus protocol, then you do not necessarily need to have external sensors installed. This is because our optional extra OBDII reader is able to obtain values from your car's ECU. Having said that, in some cases your car's ECU may not have some of the readings that you are after, then you need to use external sensors (supplied by Zada Tech) in conjunction with OBDII.

For example turbocharged cars do not have the boost values, in particular the vacuum, living within the ECU. Hence boost is not obtainable via the OBDII port. This is when you would need a boost sensor installed on your car as an extra sensor. Readings such as oil temperature, coolant temperature and fuel pressure can be obtained from the OBDII port alongside the boost just mentioned. This setup would therefore make use of the OBDII values plus extra sensors that may not already be on your car.

You may ask yourself "what if I have an OBDII port on my car which is older than 2005"? Well, your car will have an OBD or OBDII port, but it does not necessarily support CAN bus protocol. Older protocols that exist on OBDII ports are marginally slower than CAN bus protocol. Our hardware does support the older protocols but we cannot make the readings fast and as we read them when they come in, this could be as slow as one reading every second!

Finally if you have an aftermarket ECU that supports CAN bus, with a customised CAN bus protocol and PIDs by the manufacturer, our hardware can still read the values to enable you to monitor certain desired values.