Is my MVCI cable bad?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Technical Discussion' started by SB6, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. SB6

    SB6 New Member

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    I bought a cable and techstream CD from eBay, and have been trying to get it set up. However, techstream wo't connect; it says "Unable to connect to VIM."

    I set it up on a 32-bit Windows 7 virtual box. Initially, Techstream was actually reading the cable and connecting, but it seemed to me that none of the ECUs were actually being read. It would turn from yellow to white when i double clicked on an ECU, but it wouldn't show any actual information. The cable's light was also mostly red the entire time.

    Now, however, the cable light remains green the entire time it's connected to USB, but techstream cannot connect. Techstream gives the "Unable to connect to VIM" error every time I try to connect to the vehicle. Is the cable bad? The firmware update tool seems to be connecting to the cable, but Techstream won't.

    I did try running the DLC3 Cable Check tool within Techstream, but I'm not sure if was actually doing anything. All the checks resulted in red connections.

    I was also able to take the cable components out of the plastic casing to use my multimeter probes on, but I wasn't really sure what to look for
     
    #1 SB6, Jun 6, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
  2. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Hmm ... maybe take Techstream out of the picture, try installing Drew's J2534-1 bus analysis tool and see if that will talk to your cable at all.
     
    SFO and PriusCamper like this.
  3. SB6

    SB6 New Member

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    Just tried using this tool, but I'm not sure what to look for...
    Here is what it shows which the cable connected to my laptop, but not to my car. All the other tabs look blank to me. Later I will try connecting the cable to my car and checking with this tool again
    upload_2019-6-6_22-26-39.png
     
  4. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Looks like you already clicked "Load DLL". Next, notice that even though it says "No boxes found", the Open button is not grayed out. You can click that, and it should find your mini VCI box, and tell you what the device firmware version is. There's plenty of other stuff you can do with the tool, but that at least will tell you whether the box is completely dead or not.
     
  5. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    This is great... Thanks! I bought an ebay mini-VCI years ago and have yet to get a laptop and Prius working together on it... Gonna tinker with the software above and see if I can finally get a connection.

    Do any of you have links to the best online threads about getting a Mini-VCI to work?

    There's so many of them... But is there one that's better than all the others?
     
  6. SB6

    SB6 New Member

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    I tried pressing "Open," but the results page just tells me "No boxes found" when I press it. So does that mean the cable is bad?
     
    #6 SB6, Jun 7, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
  7. SB6

    SB6 New Member

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    I've just been wandering around between different threads found through Google. I don't know about the best thread, but I think the process is mostly the same. The only differences would be between operating systems (mainly 32-bit vs 64-bit) and if you're using a version of Techstream that requires a key, or one that just requires you to mess with some files for activation.
     
  8. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Yep, that makes it sound bad.

    Well, once upon a time, there was a real company, XHorse Electronics Co., Ltd., making the product they called the Mini-VCI, but the counterfeiters swarmed in to sell the cheapest possible copies of it, and that (as I understand it, anyway) left the original company unable to compete in the market for its own product. So wherever you buy them now, they will all show up as "XHorse Electronics" when you plug them in, and some of the seller sites even have the gall to claim to be XHorse in the listing, but none of them are. They are all being built of the cheapest available parts in the cheapest achievable way, and they'll have the exact kind of quality-control consistency you'd expect from that, even among units bought from the same seller. Sometimes it's just a matter of buying 'em and sending 'em back until you get one that has its glitches in the functions you don't care about, and doesn't glitch in the functions you want to use.
     
  9. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    It's not just an issue of counterfeit and cheap knock offs, it's also the issue of the original maker of this device charging outrageous prices. I mean if you have to choose between a knock off in the $20 range vs. an original Mongoose in the $600 to $1500 range what are you going to choose? As in sometimes companies go broke by charging way too much for something that's incredibly inexpensive to make and they only have themselves to blame.

    I sure hope we change start tweaking laws so we can destroy the criminal price gouging of the pharmaceutical industry who are literally bankrupting and killing people in the USA for no other reason than personal greed. I mean selling medicine for $8 in other countries, but selling that same medicine for $800 in this country? We the people need to put a stop to that!!!!
     
  10. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    That wasn't the choice though.

    The $500 Mongoose is made by Drew Technologies. They are still in business, doing fine, selling their tool to working shops that are willing to spend the money to use the tool Toyota tests and supports, and have no surprises.

    When XHorse Electronics introduced their Mini VCI, it was a much more affordable J2534 dongle than the Mongoose, something we could justify picking up for ourselves. Does anybody remember what the original price of an XHorse Mini VCI was, back when you could get a real one? $50 maybe? Perhaps as much as $80 like the VxDiag?

    It's too late now, because nobody could resist buying things claiming to be XHorse Mini VCIs while selling at $30 or $20 or $12. Now those are the only ones you can get.

    So by accepting nothing but the absolute cheapest merchandise, we haven't made the high-priced Drew Technologies suffer our consumer wrath. All we've accomplished was to clobber XHorse, who did what they could to provide us a much more affordable alternative, but we left them in the ditch to save twenty more dollars buying counterfeits of their product.

    There's a saying, cutting off your nose to spite your face....
     
  11. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    No such thing as price gouging in America. It's a FREE country. NO ONE is forcing you to buy it.
    If you don't buy it, they don't make any money. They either lower the price or go out of business.
     
  12. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    No such thing? Are you crazy... Diabetics are dying because they can't afford their medicine and are rationing it to the point of death. How is that not forcing someone? And your Free country rhetoric doesn't mean people should die just because they can't afford their meds, which they could easily afford in any other country that is truly free enough to punish con-artists who are making people bankrupt.

    Wacked out crooked criminals and organized crime covering for each other talk like you... They act like there's no such thing as breaking the law because breaking the law is all they know. I'll make a note of who you represent in your messaging and do my best to warn others away from you.
     
  13. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    I see the fumes have already effected your brain! :)
    Just to remind you, we were talking about batteries.

    If you are not happy with the United States, you are free to go to cuba, north korea, north vietnam, russia,
    venezuela seems like a fine country..... (y)
     
  14. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I thought it was dongles.
     
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