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I recently bought an ECS OBDII-USB cable with the intention of trying out Ross Tech VCDS software. Before buying the full version, I decided to try the free VCDS Lite version. Here's the cable I bought:
http://www.ecstuning.com/Volkswagen-Passat_B5-FWD-1.8T/Search/Cable/ES6928/

The first step is installing the software drivers so your USB port can emulate a COM port. The ECS cable is based on the FTDI chip and ECS gives the location of the driver. http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htm

However, the easier path is to let windows automatically find and install the required drivers. This requires an internet connection. Connect the cable to your USB port. Windows should alert you about the new hardware and give you an option on where to look for the driver. Choose the option to look for it via Microsoft. The search took about 5 minutes but the driver was found and installed. Windows will then ask about a second driver. Follow the same procedure.

Now open device manager. Your installed COM emulator hardware will be listed under PORTS. Click on it and see which COM port was assigned to it. You will need this info when using VCDS.

Once both drivers for the cable are installed, you can launch VCDS Lite ( or download it and install it). On the interface window click on the options button. Here you can select which COM port you want to use. It should match the port assigned in the windows device manager. You can click test that make sure the port is working OK ( no need to connect to the car's OBDII connector).

Once everything is working ok, you can connect the cable to the car's OBDII connector and start exploring the software functionality. I was able to quickly scan engine and CCM faults. I definitely impressed by Ross-Tech VCDS product and anyone working on these cars should seriously consider buying it.
 

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Yes it will work, Yes you can read codes/clear codes, But you cannot use it to perform any Basic Settings or log measuring blocks.

I know this because my co-worker bought the same ECS Vag cable and installed everything correctly, and in the end, i had to bring my genuine Ross Tech HEX-CAN USB cable and do his Throttle body adaptation and perform some basic settings.

But yea, ROSS Tech VAG COM is awesome, you should invest in the real thing later down the road.
 

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As a follow up to the recent thread on VCDS-Lite port assignments and testing....

First, I've read the threads about Full VCDS, with the authenticating hardware dongle, and decided to start with Ross-Tech's supplied VCDS-Lite option. Until I know my laptop and car are on speaking terms, I wanted to start with the basics.

Kudos to Ross-Tech for providing this stepping stone to the full package.
All I need at the moment is confirmation that the codes quoted by AutoZone haven't changed, and a way to reset them while I try debugging the electrical problems.

The only speedbump on that VCDS-Lite package is that you have to get a cable, and Ross-Tech doesn't supply the basic interfaces.

I received my (yes, eBay...gasp) USB to ODBII cable and was eager to get it working with my Passat. I won't provide the specific vendor I bought from, out of deference to the site sponsoring by ECS and Ross-Tech. I did avoid the sub $10 cables coming straight from China. The connectors and wire on those cut-rate options look like they wouldn't hold up to even moderate use.

This is my twisted tale of how I got my setup working on my XP loaded laptop.

First, the brief version..... ugly details of how I got the short steps to follow.

First, install your drivers (should be asked to do so automatically when you first plug in the cable).

After you get the drivers installed, use your Device Manager Hardware tab to check on your defined ports. You should see the USB Serial Port with an assigned port in the list. Make sure it is COM1, COM2, COM3, or COM4. If it's not, use the driver's advanced port options to shuffle some things around and get the cable on one of the first 4 ports.

Next try running the VCDS-Lite Test of the port you assigned. It should state "Port Ok", and may state that the interface is found. If you get an "Interface not Found" on the port test, try connecting the cable to the car, switching the ignition to On, and running the VCDS-Lite test option again.

For reference, my cable uses the FT232R USB UART chipset, FT232R. The drivers shipped with my cable are the latest available from the chipset company Virtual COM Port Drivers

This is the same set of chipset drivers pointed to for the ECS cable referenced at the top of the thread.

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Now the long version of what can, and did, get in the way of making this an easy process for my setup.

I downloaded and installed the VCDS-Lite sofware on a thumbdrive, along with the drivers and a VAG-COM 409.1 install that came on a disk with my cable. I let the laptop find and install the drivers when I first plugged the cable into it. It's running XP, and it automatically detected the hardware and asked for a pointer to the drivers.

Being optimistic of the power of Plug-N-Play, I attached the cable to the car's port and tried the VCDS-Lite install. The Options- Test reported it found a working cable interface on COM2. I plunged ahead trying scan options. I wasted much time with the software as I tried to run combinations of scans that all came back with "Controller Not Responding".

Then I realized that VCDS-Lite thinks it saw the interface on the laptop, even when the cable wasn't connected to the laptop. That was a critical clue that VCDS-Lite was confused by something else on the laptop. Something that looked enough like the required port that it was talking to some piece of hardware not connected to the car.

Digging some more, by using the Device Manager to query Port assignments, I found the that my laptop had assigned a port number above COM4 to the USB Serial interface. I moved some other assignments around to free up COM2, so that the cable would be one of the selectable ports on the VCDS-Lite Options page.

I spent another large amount of time, on two separate computers, trying to get the VCDS-Lite Test options to recognize the interface. I would get a "Port OK" but an accompanying "Interface Not Found" message would keep the software from accepting the settings.

This was all based on reading the VCDS-Lite online manual at Ross-Tech, and advice in other startup threads. On there it states that the cable test can be done without connecting to the car. Wiggle, click, toggle, reinstall....nada.

Some additional web searches provided references in other forums that sometimes a 3rd party interface is not recognized by VCDS-Lite until it is attached to the car's port. As soon as I connected the cable to the car, I was up and scanning in less than a minute.
 

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vwblack said:
you cannot use it to perform any Basic Settings or log measuring blocks.
Strange. Mine does. You can't access all of them, but you can log some of the basic ones. Haven't tried changing any settings yet, but I think it'd be the same thing.
 

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Just got lucky and got a used Genuine Ross-Tech Dual K-USB cable for 20 bucks!!!. I LOVEEEEE Craigslist.

:D:D:D


BTW, I am in Columbus OH and will help any one who needs VAG-COM. If I had to pay the whole price tag, I would probably do it for a six-pack but since I got it for almost nothing, everyone can use it for FREE!!! Just PM me!
 

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Strange. Mine does. You can't access all of them, but you can log some of the basic ones. Haven't tried changing any settings yet, but I think it'd be the same thing.
One thing I noticed on my setup was that the virtual port defaults resulted in poor latency for communications. If your VCDS-Lite sessions are getting "Too Many Communication Errors" messages when attempting to communicate with some car modules, it may be that your port latency is poor.

The Ross-Tech FAQ lead me to the correct driver parameter to adjust to improve the latency. After I adjusted that setting the communication errors cleared up.

http://www.ross-tech.com/vag-com/usb/FTDI-VCP-Options.png
 

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I had the Lite Program for a while then i got the Real cable and the full version. Well worth the money. Also you end up making alot of friends fast for some reason.
 

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I've got an old laptop and full-serial cable. I was more meaning that I can't log ALL of the measuring blocks. Think it was just the first 25 or so... But right now it's just a play-thing for me, and to clear the codes when I need it. If I ever get serious with it, I'd probably just buy the Ross-Tech cable.
 

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Hi, glad to hear that it works well for you. I am trying to identify the right cable for my Passat 2003 GLS (US) and I get more and more confused with what is available in terms of cables. I there anyone with the same car that could send me the source where they bought it so I do not end up baying the wrong cable?

I have been told that many of the cables work with the MK3 and MK4 but I cannot find anything telling me if my car is any of these two.

I used on of my friend's HEX-CAN USB from Ross-Tech and worked perfect to find the DTC's (misfiring) and clear the codes.

Ross-Tech website-table tells me that I need to use KII cable but the after market do not use that nomenclature.
My VIN number is: WVWPD63B93P030631

Thanks, Wilson
 
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