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Old 01-15-2020, 03:55 PM   #1
OnTheFence
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Which INPA K+ CAN Cable with Switch DCAN can you verify has worked?

Want to get INPA. Need a specific cable to buy.
Want one that people can verify has worked
Please post link.
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:12 PM   #2
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Which INPA K+ CAN Cable with Switch DCAN can you verify has worked?

The one Balidawg recommends!


AntiBreak Ediabas D can INPA K+... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0817D2L9J...p_mob_ap_share

It even has a switch to connect pins 7 & 8..


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Old 01-15-2020, 05:34 PM   #3
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If you're going to go work on any E90 or newer generation cars, get the Bimmergeeks' cable (despite what BaliDawg says). Every other cable out there has flawed firmware that causes some module communications to fail when being used in D-CAN mode.
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Old 01-15-2020, 08:23 PM   #4
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i do like my bimmergeeks expert cable, but it is probably overkill. and annoying that i have to use the double k-line adapter. so you're better off getting the cheap one with the switch does the job of the adapter (jumping two pins together). bimmergeeks pro cable looks marginally better than the ones on ebay.
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Old 01-15-2020, 08:26 PM   #5
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I don't think they sell the "expert" one anymore anyway.
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Old 01-15-2020, 08:37 PM   #6
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i guess i went with that expert cable because i was worried about the switch breaking, and i am biased against transparent cable. probably nothing wrong with the pro-cable.

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Old 01-15-2020, 09:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerraPhantm View Post
If you're going to go work on any E90 or newer generation cars, get the Bimmergeeks' cable (despite what BaliDawg says). Every other cable out there has flawed firmware that causes some module communications to fail when being used in D-CAN mode.
I want INPA cable to also work with E83 (n52, 2010)
Don't get Bali cable then ?


Switched Left is for older chassis such as E46, E39, E53, E38 etc...
Switched Right is for newer chassis such as E90, E60, E70 etc...
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Old 01-15-2020, 11:13 PM   #8
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I think you'll need D-CAN if you want to flash the DME on the E83, in which case I'd get the bimmergeeks cable. Otherwise it uses K-line for everything else.
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Old 01-16-2020, 12:42 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by TerraPhantm View Post
If you're going to go work on any E90 or newer generation cars, get the Bimmergeeks' cable (despite what BaliDawg says). Every other cable out there has flawed firmware that causes some module communications to fail when being used in D-CAN mode.
Only reason I stopped recommending the BimmerGeeks cable was after seeing several out-of-box failed cables. I think it was around 5-6 cables over a 3-4 month period.
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Old 01-16-2020, 12:56 AM   #10
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I have several different K+DCAN cables, including the one linked in post #2 above. They all work with the E39 and E46 for everything including flashing with WinKFP. They also work for reading/clearing codes, seeing live data, and coding various modules on those two older cars as well as our 2011 E92 and 2013 E84, but I haven't tried them for flashing on the newer BMWs for the reasons TerraPhantm mentioned.

Point being, if you're not flashing the newer BMWs, the typical K+DCAN cables work fine.
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Old 01-16-2020, 02:51 AM   #11
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Only reason I stopped recommending the BimmerGeeks cable was after seeing several out-of-box failed cables. I think it was around 5-6 cables over a 3-4 month period.
Did the bad bimmergeeks cables not work at all or was it more subtle?
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:20 AM   #12
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Did the bad bimmergeeks cables not work at all or was it more subtle?
There were two failure types we saw. One with no connection to the car at all (both circles in INPA were empty) and another where there was connection but it was rapidly intermittent (both circles in INPA were flashing rapidly). In all these cases I was connected remotely so couldn’t examine the cable.

I have seen these same failures on typical ebay or Amazon purchased cables as well, so I just assumed BimmerGeeks was selling the same cables for more money, which might be incorrect. The quality on all these cables seems hit or miss, but for $20 I figure it’s a fair risk.

People ask me all the time, “Which cable should I buy?”, and I just suggest to get the cheapest one from a seller near you that accepts returns.

One thing I find funny is that most cables use a four position switch when only a two position one is needed. Did the buyer for the manufacturer get a killer deal on a ton of 4-position switches???
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Old 01-16-2020, 05:35 PM   #13
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One thing I find funny is that most cables use a four position switch when only a two position one is needed. Did the buyer for the manufacturer get a killer deal on a ton of 4-position switches???
Ha, ha ... I noticed the same 4 way switch on the generic Amazon k+dcan cable (Taotao) I picked up recently. I bet the same factory makes most of the cheap generic cables.

Since I am looking to get an e90, I ordered the BG cable last night so hopefully it works and I can return the generic one. Sounds like I should be able to tell quickly if there will be issues. Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 01-17-2020, 06:21 PM   #14
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I think you'll need D-CAN if you want to flash the DME on the E83, in which case I'd get the bimmergeeks cable. Otherwise it uses K-line for everything else.
Yes, I saw a post on another forum where the E83 user said exactly that.
He could do all INPA actions except the DME.
Seems like he needs a different cable then?

Can you clarify D-CAN vs. K-line?
If a cable is sold as K+DCAN, with the switch, it should work on E90/E83?
What kind of cable do you figure he had? K-line only?

Actually, this even says INPA from 1998 to 2008 models.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0817D2L9J..._Jd6gEbTA7X8TF

What does the BimmerGeeks cable have that the switch cables are still lacking?
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Old 01-17-2020, 06:21 PM   #15
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Also, when do you need to flash the DME ?
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Old 01-17-2020, 06:59 PM   #16
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Yes, I saw a post on another forum where the E83 user said exactly that.
He could do all INPA actions except the DME.
Seems like he needs a different cable then?

Can you clarify D-CAN vs. K-line?
If a cable is sold as K+DCAN, with the switch, it should work on E90/E83?
What kind of cable do you figure he had? K-line only?

Actually, this even says INPA from 1998 to 2008 models.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0817D2L9J..._Jd6gEbTA7X8TF

What does the BimmerGeeks cable have that the switch cables are still lacking?
So the facelift (N52) E83 is a little bit weird. It uses the MSV80.1 DME. Unlike its predecessor (the MSV70), the MSV80.1 has no capability of communicating via K-line. The hardware and software just isn't there. So what BMW did was wire up its CAN high/low wires directly to the OBDII port (at Pins 6 and 14). Everything else lives on the K-lines. Transmission still goes to Pin 7 I believe, and everything else to Pin 8.

I don't know for sure what kind of cable that guy had. He may have had a non-CAN cable. Or his D-CAN cable may have simply had CAN turned off. Impossible to tell which without more information.

The only thing the switch on the D-CAN cables does is join pins 7 and 8 together. this is needed on pre-E9x cars, because the the DME and EGS sit on pin 7, and everything else sits on pin 8. In the old days cables used to come with pins 7 and 8 soldered together and the cables would work with everything without fussing around with a switch. However when BMW switched to the CIC navigation system in 2010, they wired up ethernet to the OBDII port. The ethernet wiring uses pin 8 in addition to all the other unused pins on the port. In those cars cases, when you connect a cable that has pin 7 and 8 joined together, that confuses the software because it interprets some of those signals as data, which is obviously junk. So at that point most cables started coming without pins 7 and 8 connected together, and shortly after the cables with the switches started popping up.

As far as what the bimmergeeks cable does:
The way all BMW D-CAN cables work is that there's an onboard microcontroller that takes a K-line message, wraps it in a CAN packet, and sends that to the module. Then for received messages, it unwraps the CAN-packet, turns that into a K-line message, and sends that to the computer. That microcontroller has firmware onboard that handles the conversion seemlessly, so INPA/Ediabas doesn't know the difference. Unfortunately the firmware (which was written by onestopelectronics and eventually copied by all the Chinese clones) has a bug that causes it to wrap/unwrap some messages incorrectly. In the case of the MSV80.1 that the X3 has the consequences aren't too large - it causes you to be unable to read memory addresses, and flashes are much slower. In the case of other modules (all MOST-bus modules, GM transmission modules, E9x/E6x M DMEs), the bug causes junk data to be written and can actually brick those modules.

The bimmergeeks cable has firmware that fixes that bug, and it can read/write to all modules without issue. There are also some QOL improvements like allowing the cable to be switched between modes without having to unplug/replug the cable (though in fairness you can just leave the cable in D-CAN mode and both D-CAN and K-line communications will work).
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Old 01-18-2020, 08:37 AM   #17
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Thanks Terra! Confusing stuff.
Old cars are K and new cars are DCAN?
INPA talks K-line? Hence the conversion stuff ?

First, if I have an E46 and a facelift E83, should I bother with INPA at all?
Stick with PA Soft? Still have no idea when I would need INPA.

Next, if I do need INPA, it sounds like the Geeks cable is he only way to go.
The clone cables are unsafe for which cars exactly? 2010+? Or only cars with CIC/Ethernet stuff?
My 2010 E83 is pretty bare bones. Not even Bluetooth.

It sounds like Geeks cable is the way to go.
Less worry for an extra $20.
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Old 01-18-2020, 09:57 AM   #18
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In general, BMWs built from MY2008 onward are D-CAN.

E46/E39/E38/E53/E85 - Everything is K-line. Powertrain stuff on pin 7, everything else on Pin 8.

N52 E83 - DME is D-CAN, everything else is K-line

E60/E65/E90 - Pre MY2008 they're K-line with every module on pin 7. MY2008 onward they're D-CAN.

INPA... it's a little hard to explain without getting a little technical, but basically the entire suite of software (INPA, NCS Expert, WinKFP, etc) is known as the Ediabas suite. Ediabas itself is basically a set of protocols that will allow a computer to interface with BMWGroup vehicles. The real engineers actually working at BMW all have interfaces that natively speak CAN for the newer cars. But these cables are expensive, rare, and difficult to clone.

For old cars where BMW used K-line, the cables were simpler since that tech dates back to the early 90s - they basically were just modified serial cables. So the aftermarket found it easier to take a cable that converts a serial message into a CAN message rather than making a native CAN cable compatible with the ediabas suite of software. BMW made it relatively easy to do that, because the actual messages within the CAN packets are essentially identical to the serial packets - they just needed to be transmitted over the different bus type.

So IMO since you have a car that has a D-CAN DME, it's best to just get a cable that handles that communication well. And if you ever get an E90, E60 or whatever in the future, that cable will still be good there. If you skip past that to the Fxx cars... that cable isn't useless, but most people just use ethernet nowadays since it's easy to DIY a cable and it's faster.

As far as PASoft goes - it'll work with all your cars, but it won't be able to communicate with the X3's DME since PASoft does not support the CAN-bus.
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Old 01-18-2020, 11:51 AM   #19
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Thanks for the explanation Terra. It really helps in making sense of things.
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Old 01-18-2020, 06:39 PM   #20
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OK, I;ll get the Geeks cable.
But again, when do you ever need to flash the DME ?
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