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Beetle Minion
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been reading about VAG-COM and am likely going to want to buy the interface cable to tinker. I'm a geek that way.

I found the Ross-Tech site, and am focusing on the $350 solution.

I see the cheap cables on Amazon and elsewhere and figure you get what you pay for. And this doesn't strike me as something you want to cheap out on. Even read some ECU horror stories.

Am I reading this right?
 

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The generic 409 cables from China; if they work, would only allow you to run the VCDS lite. which @$99, capabilities are limited compared to the full genuine ross tech VCDS cable and software.
The only other issue is which version you buy; there is a $250 version which is can bus capable (but won't work on the K-line capable earlier cars) and the $350 version which is Can bus capable and backwards compatible with earlier cars as we'll; then the new wireless version.

Check out the links below to understand what the coverage is for the different types of cables:

http://www.ross-tech.com/vcds/interfaces.html

I have the hex can version; this has the added benefit of being able to scan any Volkswagen up in till the presently shipping models and should be compatible for the future models, unless a totally new connection is created by the automotive industry.

http://www.ross-tech.com/vag-com/hex-usb+can.html

Lastly, the latest version; wireless PC and smartphone capable: hex net. As a new product is definitely a step up on price at $500

http://store.ross-tech.com/shop/VCHN.html

I have had the HEX PLUS CAN USB version, since 2007 and have been very happy with it, I think it is the best bang for your buck and the most compatible with all the Volkswagens on the road! The nerd, in me; would like to have the latest and greatest; plus, using my smart phone wirelessly would be very convenient but my cables, are fully functional (even though; I am tethered to a pc, in my case a laptop). Maybe, if it comes down in price in the future; I will consider upgradIng. On the downside of the wireless set up; is the limitation on how many cars VIN #'s you can scan and this is somewhat of a deal killer for me; especially, with the increased price. So, in my view; while it is cool it is wireless, it is somewhat crippled right out of the [email protected] $400 or unlimited amount of cars @ $500. I want to be able to scan as many cars as possible and not have to worry about limitations.
 

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Beetle Minion
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92 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Yeah, the $350 version seemed like the best choice. Not sure I want to risk a cheap China cable. Just wonderng if that was the only game in town.

The $250 option had some limitations that made me a bit nervous. Seems like the extra $100 gets you a more flexible/capable solution.

Need to look into the wireless one...

EDIT: After reading a bit more, it seems the $250'option might work for me. I'm only going to use it on my 2013 Beetle, and the couple of functions it can't do (clear all DTCs and enable/disable transport mode) are not a big deal.

Where did you see the wireless one?

EDIT2: never mind, found it. http://www.ross-tech.com/vcds-mobile/
 

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Beetle Minion
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92 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for that great run down. I think I'll stick to the wired version. Probably the $350 one just so I don't end up regretting if later, maybe help some other folks out. Need to chew on it some more.
 

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Yeah, I think that's the best way to go; the $250 version, would only be capable of 2005 and up and it would not have phone support from Ross Tech, that you might like to take advantage of, at some point.

http://www.ross-tech.com/vag-com/Micro-CAN.html

VCDS License with HEX-USB+CAN Interface (All VAG, 1995-Current Model Year; Unlimited # of VINs):

http://store.ross-tech.com/shop/VCHUC.html

HEX-USB+CAN: FTW! I have been using it since 2007; mature product, solid, I have NEVER had any hardware issues with the cable, I keep it updated all the time for free (via the web); you will not regret or be disappointed with VCDS! I recommend this product; to everyone, who wants to be able to fix their VW and not be beholden to the vw dealer or shop, which will usually charge you, for a scan.
 
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