fixed : budget friendly OBD2 dongle for my car

Question :

My car’s on-board computer system sometimes gives unexplained, rather random, error messages. Up until now, I went to the dealer garage to have my car’s on-board computer system be analyzed and reset. Recently I heard that I could buy an OBD2-dongle myself and read and erase error messages myself. That would be a real time (and money) saver.

Is there any budget-friendly OBD2-dongle that I can use with my iPhone ?

 

Answer :

Yes there are several OBD2-dongles available that can do the job for you. Just make sure that you keep these things in mind when choosing one :

  • make sure the OBD2-dongle is compatible with iOS (as some are only compatible with PCs or Android-devices)
  • make sure the OBD2-dongle’s connection is over Bluetooth LowEnergy a.k.a. BLE (since that’s the only way to be able to connect your iPhone to your regular WiFi-network (internet) and to the OBD2-dongle at the same time)
  • make sure the OBD2-dongle is based on the original ELM327 chip (most cheap Chinese knock-offs are based on problematic, unreliable clone chips)
  • make sure the OBD2-dongle is compatible with the software you are planning to use with it (not every OBD2-app connects equally good to every OBD2-dongle & if you need to erase the error messages, most FREE versions won’t do so you will usually need the Pro version)

One of the cheapest reliable OBD2-dongles I’ve found is the TONWON OBDII Pro Bluetooth BLE4.0 for about €26,- ;

buy it on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de

And do not forget to get an accompanying iOS-app :

most interesting for the budget-wary is Car Scanner ELM OBD2 Pro for about €5,50

(or the more expensive OBD Fusion at about €11,- or even the €20,- OBD AutoDoctor that even has an additional Mac-version)

…so buying into this DIY-solution is cheaper than having your car’s on-board computer system reset only once !

enjoy !

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fixed : Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse seems bricked or broken

Question :

As I was fiddling with connecting to a bluetooth speaker, the connection to my Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse suddenly vanished. Even though my iPhone can still see the Mi Band, but it says “Can’t connect to band” and on manual retry connection cannot be established due to a time-out error. In Bluetooth Preferences the Mi Band is visible, but not connected, and on manual retry I also get no connection due to a time-out error.

Is my Mi Band bricked or broken ? If not, what is the right way to reconnect my Mi Band to my iPhone ?

 

Answer :

You are probably in luck as even when your Mi Band seems bricked or broken, is most of the time just hangs and can be fixed doing a reset.

The reset & reconnect procedure in short :

  • switch-off Bluetooth
  • reset the Mi Band
  • reboot your iPhone
  • switch-on Bluetooth
  • reconnect via Bluetooth

That probably isn’t enough info, so here’s a step-by-step walk-through :

  • on your iPhone, swipe-up from the bottom of the screen to get the ‘underwater’ Settings pull-up panel
  • click on the Bluetooth-icon in a white circle, which will then turn grey, indicating Bluetooth is OFF
  • now take the sensor-pod of the Mi Band Pulse out of the bracelet and put it in the refrigerator (yes, the one in your kitchen, but not in the freezer)
  • leave it there for at least one hour (officially that should be at least 4 hours, but experience shows that only one hour will also do most of the time…)
  • first, do a reboot of your iPhone by pressing the MENU- and ON/OFF-buttons at the same time until the screen goes black and a white Apple-logo is displayed [ NOTE : for some iPhones the reboot procedure (a.k.a. “hard reset”) is slightly different ; more info can be found here ]
  • when the iPhone comes back up, type your access code to unlock your iPhone
  • then swipe-up from the bottom of the screen, and in the pull-up Settings panel, click on the Bluetooth-icon in a grey circle, which will then turen white, indicating Bluetooth is ON
  • and open the MiFit-app on your iPhone
  • then, take the Mi Band sensor-pod out of the fridge and plug it in the Mi Band-charger cable and put the USB-end into a USB power adapter (a powered USB-port will also do most of the time)
  • now be quick : only during the blinking of a LED on the Mi Band sensor-pod you have the opportunity to reconnect !
  • while the LED blinks, in the Mi Fit-app, in the Status view, click on reconnect to re-establish the Bluetooth-connection between Mi Band and iPhone
  • if all orange-collored texts are gone from the Mi Fit-app, you have successfully reconnected, if not : just unplug & replug the Mi Band sensor-pod, try again and make sure you act quickly
  • everything should now work properly ; enjoy !

If you can’t get it to work using the above procedure, just try again. And if that still doesn’t help after several tries, try these versions of the procedure, in this order :

  1. try again, without putting the Mi Band sensor-pod in the refrigerator
  2. try again, exactly as described (so including the refrigerator procedure)
  3. try again, now keeping the Mi Band sensor-pod in the fridge for at least 4 hours
  4. try again, now keeping the Mi Band sensor-pod in the fridge overnight
  5. try again, but start with deleting the MiFit-app from your iPhone, and reinstall it after reboot
  6. try again, exactly as described

You probably have things up and running by then, but if you’ve done all this and it still doesn’t work, your Mi Band sensor-pod is probably broken and you should contact your reseller for a replacement…

Good Luck & enjoy !

 

Note/update : there seems to be a German language unofficial manual for the similar Mi Band (so not the Mi Band S1 Pulse), that you can get here :

Xiaomi Mi Band – Anleitung, Tipps & Tricks – das inoffizielle Handbuch

A preview excerpt of this book (which might give you some answers also) can be found here :

Google Books preview – Xiaomi Mi Band – Anleitung, Tipps & Tricks – das inoffizielle Handbuch

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