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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New Edit 10-16-2004: There's some new an exciting news in the last post by me. Enjoy!

Edit: I'll cut to the point so you guys don't have to read through all this. Use these drivers (graciuosly provided by Uwe himself) and your Hex-USB cable will emulate a COM port. Drivers even work with Vag-COM itself.
http://www.ross-tech.net/vag-com/download/Virtual-COM-Port.zip
End Edit . . .
A couple of you have asked about sharing my findings in getting a HEX-USB cable to run with software that only wants to see a VAG-ISO cable on a COM port. I know I must not be the only one with a 1.8T car, seeing all the recent posts about software, and not being able to use any of it because of having a USB-Vag cable. I wanted to share with all of you the procedure I go through to make this work.
A little history, I was browsing through some of the GIAC, REVO, and APR software posts that allow you to tweak with your ECU. I happened to get involved in a discussion about USB to Serial adapters. Someone happened to post and FTDI adaptor. Even though it was USB to Serial and not Serial to USB (which doesn't exist), that post would happen to be the clue I was looking for. I tried to manipulate the HEX-USB driver with no luck. Poking around the driver that came with the newest release of Vag-COM, I saw references to FTDI. Thinking about the Hex-USB hardware, and the hardware in general (layer 2 OSI), I knew something was translating USB signals to serial line protocol. With my research and findings, I am led to believe that inside the HEX-USB cable is some sort of USB to Serial line chip. Good thing FTDI is nice enough to provide drivers on their website free of charge to anyone who wants them
I played around for a little while and got the FTDI driver to recognize the HEX-USB hardware. Below is the easiest and fastest way I could get things to work and I wish to share with you all.
Please be forewarned that I cannot take any responsibility for anything bad that may happen as the result of this. By going further, you are doing this at your own risk! DO NOT contact me or Ross-Tech for technical support!
Also please note that Vag-COM will not recognize your HEX-USB if the driver is installed like this. You'll have to undo these changes and feed the adapter the Ross-Tech standard HEX-USB driver to work with Vag-COM. For those of us lucky few with multiple USB ports (me included) each USB port has to re-reference the drivers when plugging the device in (only on the first time). What this means in simple terms is, if you have multiple USB ports, set up one USB port solely for this purpose, and when you plug into another USB port, feed it the Vag-COM standard driver. Now you have dual capability

Please note that I am running Windows 2000. The procedure should be almost exactly the same for Windows XP, and similar for Windows 98 and ME. If you are computer savvy, you'll be able to run through this fine.
First thing, grab this zip file package (paste this shortcut in a browser window) and save to your hard drive
http://www.ftdichip.com/Files/R9032148.zip
Now, unzip these files somewhere you can remember, "Desktop" is a good place.
Now complete the following:
1. Plug in your Hex-USB cable
2. When Windows asks for a driver, choose "display a list of the known drivers for this device so that I can choose a specific driver"
3. Scroll down the hardware types tree until you see a category named "Ports (COM & LPT).
4. Choose on the left column, "Standard Port Types", and on the right column, "communications Port".
5. Choose Next, ignore the warning window, and choose yes. Continue through the wizard until the machine asks to be rebooted.
6. Do NOT reboot the machine at this point. If you accidentally do, no biggie, just takes more time.
Please note, at this point, the procedure you just went through will NOT get your HEX-USB cable working as a COM port, however, it is a necessary step in getting the FTDI driver to recognize your HEX-USB cable as a legacy COM port, who knows why. I have been unable to get the FTDI driver and the HEX-USB cable to recognize each other until I complete this procedure (or something similar, which I won't get into, keep it simple!), so it is necessary step, as wasteful as it may seem.
Now, run through the following steps:
1. Go to "my computer", right click, manage.
2. Go down the console tree until you see "Device Manager". Click there and a hardware tree will come up.
3. Notice the COM port you installed previously has a yellow exclamation point. You need to right click that COM port, hit properties.
4. Go to the "driver" tab on top, and hit "update driver". At this point you will need to hit "next", then choose "display a list of the known drivers for this device so that I can choose a specific driver", then "next".
5. Now you need to feed Windows the downloaded driver. Choose "have disk" and browse over to the directory where you expanded the driver zip file specified above. Pick any one of the three files that will show up in the directory, hit "open", then "okay". If you have done everything correctly at this point, you should see the something called "USB serial Port". Pick that, ignore the warning, and finish out the wizard.
6. The machine will probably ask for a reboot at this point. Do it.
After reboot, go to my computer, manage (just as before). Notice now that you have, under ports, a USB COM port
Under the driver properties, you can switch between virtual COM ports (COM1, COM2, COM3, etc). That should be it.
Using this method, I was able to use APR's ECU Clone utility and pull my immobilizer code out with no issues at all. IMO, if I got this far, things are working as they should and a COM port it being emulated. Furthermore, I would think that if there were any compatibility issues, that APR's ECU Clone Utility would error out.
Anyway, glad I could share with you all. Enjoy!



Modified by John A at 3:00 PM 4-21-2005
 

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Re: My findings on using a HEX-COM USB cable with software for the 1. ... (Super1.8T)

Quote, originally posted by Super1.8T »
Please be forewarned that I cannot take any responsibility for anything bad that may happen as the result of this. By going further, you are doing this at your own risk! DO NOT contact me or Ross-Tech for technical support!

Thanks for posting this part.

Have you tried using the Revo or GIAC applications with your HEX-USB?
 

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Re: My findings on using a HEX-COM USB cable with software for the 1. ... ([email protected])

Andy, my intention in posting this was one of sharing, not meant to step on your toes. Hope it wasn't taken that way http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
I respect Ross-Tech and their staff and what they have done. I was just hoping to share with those who were stuck like me with a USB cable (never thought I would say that).
I didn't dare try the REVO software yet. One person already killed their car (got it back up with the help of APR, go figure). If I had the GIAC trialware, I'd experiment.
I did find out that Vag-COM did not like the HEX-USB installed like this on the COM port version of Vag-COM. Maybe when things worked with APR's ECU clone, that was a fluke, not sure; hope I haven't led anyone astray. I wish I had a few other programs to test this on so I can know 100% if this works. But doesn't the fact that I talked to the immobilizer controller say that it works?


Modified by Super1.8T at 1:09 PM 1-14-2004
 

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Re: My findings on using a HEX-COM USB cable with software for the 1. ... (Super1.8T)

Great work Super http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif Eventually GIAC, APR, & REVO will most liekly incorporate USB but until then
 

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Re: My findings on using a HEX-COM USB cable with software for the 1. ... (Super1.8T)

Quote, originally posted by Super1.8T »
Andy, my intention in posting this was one of sharing, not meant to step on your toes. Hope it wasn't taken that way http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
I respect Ross-Tech and their staff and what they have done.

No offense taken at all, my thanks is genuine. I'm glad you posted what you did.
 

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Re: My findings on using a HEX-COM USB cable with software for the 1. ... (Super1.8T)

Super1.8T: Good info! I don't feel you are "stepping on our toes" at all. We've never had a problem with people using our our interfaces with other software. In fact we went to some length to make sure our intelligent serial cables (like the HEX-COM) power up in "dumb interface" emulation mode, specifically so they would be compatible with third-party software which expects a dumb serial interface. With the USB interfaces, we made a conscious trade-off. We chose the "direct" drivers because they gave us better performance.
Observations:

* I'm somewhat surprised that you were able to get those drivers to work without modifying the INF files to match the unique USB Vendor and Product ID in our USB interfaces, but I'm not going to argue with your success.
* I'm surprised that VAG-COM doesn't recognize the HEX-USB as a HEX-COM when used with the COM port emulation drivers. The last time I tried this it did. The problem is the overhead (latency) inherent in emulating a COM port causes problems with some control modules which use the older KW1281 protocols. This is why we don't want to support VAG-COM when you're using the emulated COM port drivers.
Also a warning: If a PC only has one USB port, I'm guessing it might be royal PITA to switch back and forth between the drivers. A potential solution: Get a cheap USB hub. Windows treats each port on a hub a seperate port and you should be able to associate our drivers with one port while associating those drivers with another.
All in all, I think it would be better if APR, GIAC, and Revo would incorporate support for the "direct" drivers that we ship with our interfaces into their software. These drivers eliminate a lot of overhead by not emulating a COM port, and it's very easy to incorporate support for them into one's software. I've heard reports that APR's program already works with those drivers, presumeably because their DPP cable uses the same chip and drivers. As I've previously said, if any of these companies wants our assistance with this, we will be happy to provide it.
-Uwe-
 

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Re: My findings on using a HEX-COM USB cable with software for the 1. ... (Super1.8T)

Thanks for all the help, but I can't get it to work with Windows XP. I don't have that LONG list of stuff to pick from that I used to have in 2000. Is there anyway to enable that in XP? Because I can't find the category Ports, because there is no list.
 

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Re: My findings on using a HEX-COM USB cable with software for the 1. ... (Uwe)

Uwe, I am very happy you aren't angry with what I found! When I saw your name, I was waiting to be ripped a new one . . .
It would be wonderful if other vendors would do exactly as you suggested and use your direct drivers. Your interfaces are THE standard, and I don't now why other vendors just don't call you guys up and work together, since 99% of the people I know are using your company's interface with their product.
Uwe, you are probably correct, in that since Vag-COM did not see the Hex-USB cable (when emulated) as a COM port, I did things in a crazy way. Perhaps all other software is not as advanced as Vag-COM, and therefore looks just for a connection (per say) and not much more? I'd like to do some more fooling around and get the thing working even better, but I am afraid I am at the mercy of the drivers I can find. I'll still try and post my results here, if I can find anything better.
Mean time, APR, GIAC, and REVO, please hear us on this! Go see Uwe and have support for his interfaces, using his drivers! It'll make the VW community happy, at least those of us with USB-Vag cables.


Modified by Super1.8T at 4:14 PM 1-14-2004
 

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Re: My findings on using a HEX-COM USB cable with software for the 1. ... (nebulight)

Quote, originally posted by nebulight »
Thanks for all the help, but I can't get it to work with Windows XP. I don't have that LONG list of stuff to pick from that I used to have in 2000. Is there anyway to enable that in XP? Because I can't find the category Ports, because there is no list.

Well, basically, if you can first install the interface as a standard COM port (even though it won't work) and then feed the driver (you downloaded) to the machines, in theory, that should work. Perhaps what I'll do this evening is try to get the thing working on XP tonight and post my results.
 

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Re: My findings on using a HEX-COM USB cable with software for the 1. ... (Super1.8T)

Would having no COM ports on the laptop be a problem? I don't have any on my laptop, but I would think the software should still be able to install as a com.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: My findings on using a HEX-COM USB cable with software for the 1. ... (nebulight)

Bascially in a nutshell, in order for the FTDI drivers to work, you first have to force a generic COM port driver in there. However you are able to do that, go for it. Windows is retarded, in that in one instance, you can try certain drives, which won't work, but after you tewak a little, they do work.
Try to put the Ross-Tech USB driver back in after you get this set up. It'll tell you "the specified location does not contain any information about your hardware". But in the beginning, you could put the Ross-Tech USB driver right in there. Retarded, huh? Now you all know what the story of my life is, day in and day out, of a network administrator. Windows is much better than it used to be, but seriously, things like this get old after years of doing it.


Modified by Super1.8T at 4:34 PM 1-14-2004
 

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Re: My findings on using a HEX-COM USB cable with software for the 1. ... (Super1.8T)

Quote, originally posted by Super1.8T »
Bascially in a nutshell, in order for the FTDI drivers to work, you first have to force a generic COM port driver in there. However you are able to do that, go for it.

I don't think XP is allowe it, the only COM port driver I found on my system are sys files, and I believe they are looking for inf files. Any help with that?


Modified by nebulight at 4:36 PM 1-14-2004
 

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Re: My findings on using a HEX-COM USB cable with software for the 1. ... (nebulight)

OK, I found the stuff I'd been playing with some time ago:
http://www.ross-tech.com/vag-c...t.zip
These drivers have the INF files tweaked for the VID/PID in our interfaces, which should allow you to install them all versions of XP when you plug in one of our interfaces and the "New Hardware Found" wizard appears. The installation process should be similar to the one published for our Direct Drivers except that you will "browse" to wherever you've unzipped these drivers to instead of your VAG-COM folder.
Be sure to plug your USB interface into a different USB port than the one you usually use with the Direct Drivers for VAG-COM! That way, the "New Hardware Found" wizard should appear. If it does not, chances are you already have our Direct Drivers installed for that port.
If you don't have more than one USB port, please get a cheap hub first, otherwise it may be a PITA switching back.
Disclaimers:
* The use of VAG-COM with these drivers is "unsupported". Please use VAG-COM with the Direct Drivers that we supply with it!
* Obviously, we can't provide support for other companies' freeware software either. Try/use these drivers at your own risk.
-Uwe-




Modified by Uwe at 4:45 PM 1-14-2004
 

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Re: My findings on using a HEX-COM USB cable with software for the 1. ... (Super1.8T)

Uwe! you're a genious! http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif The driver package you gave is a "more correct" package than the ones on the FTDI site. I got halfway there, detecting the high speed serial converter, but that "generic USB Serial port" was the issue. I could never find an FTDI driver that fit just right Now, looks like things are working better than they were before. I am going to go outside and try Vag-COM and see what happens.
 

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Re: My findings on using a HEX-COM USB cable with software for the 1. ... (Super1.8T)

OK, I've just checked on my XP desktop. The drivers I posted above install fine.
I've got a 4-port USB hub. Port number 1 on this hub is where I'd normally plug in a USB interface, and I've got our regular Direct Drivers associated with that port. So I plugged a HEX-USB into the port number 2. Got the "New Hardware Found" wizard. Installed the above drivers (two steps, one for the hardware itself, one for the "USB Serial Port").
Now when I plug my HEX-USB into the Port number 1 it is recognized as a "VAG-COM Compatible USB Interface" (using the Direct Drivers) as usual. If I plug it into port number 2, my PC recognizes it as a "USB High Speed Serial Converter" on COM4.
In the second configuration, VAG-COM recognizes the HEX-USB as a HEX-COM. But again, using VAG-COM that way is "unsupported"! So *please* use two different USB ports, one when you want to use VAG-COM, and a different one when you want to use "tuning software". If you do this, you can have both drivers installed on your PC and choose between them by simply by plugging the USB interface into the appropriate port. If your PC only has one USB port, please go get a cheap self-powered USB hub to avoid having to constantly uninstall and re-install the different drivers.
-Uwe-
PS: The above drivers should work with our older TWIN-USB as well as the HEX-USB.
PPS: If you've used VAG-COM through your HEX-COM or HEX-USB, you should unplug the HEX-COM or HEX-USB from your car for a few seconds before attempting to run any other software. That will ensure that your interface is reset into "dumb interface" compatibility mode.




Modified by Uwe at 5:15 PM 1-14-2004
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Re: My findings on using a HEX-COM USB cable with software for the 1. ... (Uwe)

Uwe. I was able to get Vag-COM (the serial port only version) to recognize my USB interface as a COM port using these drivers, however, in order to use the software, I was asked to upgrade the firmware, from 1.17 to 1.19 (I think). I DID NOT do this. Being an IT person, flashing hardware via unsupported software is deadly. People, if you are doing what we are, DO NOT flash the firmware in your HEX-USB!!! (unless Uwe says it's okay). We don't need any dead heardware!
nebulight, you may want to use the driver package Uwe referenced above. That will bypass the crazy stuff I had to do to get this to work. The difference being, when you feed the driver, you should detect a high speed serial converter, and a USB COM port. You need to reference the same driver folder for BOTH pieces of hardware. As Uwe stated, it can be a pain to get the drivers back in order as they should, but play around with it and you should be able to get it.
Again, many thinks to you Uwe for sharing!!! Now, I have to figure out what I can test this on. I don't have anything but Vag-COM, APR ECU clone, and the limmings thing from REVO (which I won't try).


Modified by Super1.8T at 5:16 PM 1-14-2004
 

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Re: My findings on using a HEX-COM USB cable with software for the 1. ... (Super1.8T)

Actually, flashing the firmware isn't particularly critical about timing or latency, so I expect it will work fine.
What I don't understand is why you're using the Serial-Port only version of VAG-COM. The version with USB support also works fine with serial ports. The only reason we have two versions is that the version with direct USB support won't run under Windows 95 or NT4.
-Uwe-
 
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