Choosing an OBD Adapter


There are many different kinds of OBD adapters, but they can be broken down into three general categories: off-the-shelf adapters, and OBD ICs (chips). To choose the right OBD adapter for your application, you must consider a number of factors, including:

  • Cost
  • Time to market
  • Supported OBD protocols
  • Physical size/form factor
  • Connection type: USB, RS232, WiFi, Bluetooth, UART, etc
  • Special features: upgradeable firmware, low current mode, enhanced commands

It is important to remember that there is almost always a trade-off between features, cost, and time to market. Your job is to find the right balance of the three competing requirements for your application, keeping in mind that sometimes the best long-term solution is different from the best short-term solution.

For example, suppose that you are given the task of designing a small, low-cost OBD-enabled device, with the goal of fielding ten units for a pilot rollout within four weeks. The best short-term solution may be to use an OBD module, which would allow you to concentrate on the design of your device and build the prototypes in time for the pilot. To reduce the cost per unit, you may later incorporate the OBD function(aity:in tour devign ,useng an OBD Ahipsand dricreet compeonnts

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