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> Breakouts > AES LineSPI (SMART BOB)



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Perfect tool for scan tool "No Communication" errors and CAN network diagnostics.

You are all too familiar with the DLC: it is small and next to impossible to probe without straining your back or damaging the pins.

What protects your back and the DLC at the same time?Now, imagine a DLC that is 5-times larger, sits in your lap and loves to be probed.

We call it the AES LineSpi SMART BOB.

The AES LineSpi SMART BOB is a pass-through breakout box for the OBDII DLC (diagnostic link connector).
It's a DLC magnifier: makes the DLC 5-times larger.
It's a DLC extender: puts the DLC where you need it.
It's a spy: exposes the activity on each OBD-II dedicated dataline.

Yes, you still have to locate the vehicle's DLC and attach the LineSPI SMART BOB but after that everything is so much easier:
* Probing: no more damaged pins
* Power and Grounds: the LineSPI SMART BOB immediately indicates their status with LEDs on pins 4, 5, and 16.
* Monitoring: Use your lab scope, meter, logic probe, test light, etc to get voltage measurements from any DLC line.
* Jumpering: jumper from any pin to any other pin while scanning or monitoring.
* Your back: spend less time on your belly, bent over and squeezed in. When was the last time you did an oil change on your back*
* Scanning: perform all scan tool functions while doing everything listed above while sitting in the front seat or standing outside the car.

The AES LineSpi SMART BOB is 7.5" x 4" x 1.5", that is 5-times larger than the vehicle's DLC.
It is a 'smart' DLC 16-pin breakout box with pass-through technology: view live scan tool data while monitoring any DLC line with your lab scope, multimeter or logic probe. The intelligent front panel design of the AES LineSpi is enhanced with LEDs that identify OBD-II protocols making it easy to locate and reference datalines and identify the active protocol.

LEDs are used to indicate status of power, grounds and communication activity on OBD-II dedicated datalines...
* Pin 16: Red LED lights up when there is power.
* Pins 4 and 5: Green LED's on each pin light up when ground is good.
* Pins 2, 6, 7, 10: Yellow LED's on each pin light up to identify vehicle data OBD-II protocol and activity.

* The AES LineSpi SMART BOB mimics the layout of the vehicle's DLC with two rows of 8 pins. This makes it easier to reference pins off each other.
* Labels identify the function of each pin that is an OBD-II dedicated dataline.

Compatibility and Connections
* Vehicles: The AES LineSpi SMART BOB is compatible with OBD-II vehicles.
* Scan Tools: use it with your OBD-II compatible tools.
* Measurement Tools: The AES LineSpi SMART BOB takes the 16-pin spades on the vehicle DLC and converts them to safety banana sockets. This allows you to connect all types of leads and probes that use 4mm banana plugs (including those with safety sheaths) into any of the 16-datalines. Any tool that uses a standard test lead or probe can then be connected to the the AES LineSpi SMART BOB, these include, lab scopes, meters, logic probes, test lights, etc...
* Measurement Types: in addition to scan data you can ohm out and check voltages at any pin with your scope, multimeter or logic probe.

More Features
* The AES LineSpi SMART BOB also gives quick, safe and convenient access to chassis ground and power through the DLC connector.
* 4-ft extension cable with DLC adapter connects to vehicle.
* Pin 16 input protected with 1.2 amp polyfuse.

How does the AES LineSpi SMART BOB earn its money?
If the tool saves you as little as 5-minutes everyday and you earn more than $20/hour then the tool will pay for itself in 6 months.

The tool repays you by saving time when you run the special tests and measurements required to complete a repair or make a diagnosis. Additionally, before you scan the vehicle it is a good practice to test the DLC to ensure it will not fry your favorite scan tool. Your scan tool will love you for it!

You can use the AES LineSpi SMART BOB for:
* No communication between scan tool and vehicle: find out why the scan tool will not communicate, in many cases the DLC is the problem.
* Scan tool protection: Ever hear about aftermarket radios on VW's?
* Ohm-out and Jumper: perform special functions and tests.
* Bench Programming: yes, somebody does that
* Monitor voltage during Programming
* Transmitter Programming on some GMs
* Honda: set the ECM in SCS mode with your scan tool connected
* Lexus: help diagnose electronics systems (Sirius, GPS) on pin 6 and 14
* Troubleshoot Bosch controllers that short to ground

* AES LineSpi SMART BOB unit with 4-ft extension cable
* CD-based manual (online version)



LineSpi Layout

Pin 1
Pin 2 Yellow LED (VPW,PWM)
Pin 3
Pin 4 Green LED (Gnd)
Pin 5 Green LED (Gnd)
Pin 6 Yellow LED (CAN)
Pin 7 Yellow LED (KWP,ISO)
Pin 8
Pin 9
Pin 10 Yellow LED (PWM)
Pin 11
Pin 12
Pin 13
Pin 14
Pin 15
Pin 16 Red LED
- Connection to vehicle via 4-ft cable not shown.
- Connection to scan tool via 6-in cable not shown.


Red LED on pin 16

The red LED uses both grounds, pin 4 and 5. This is accomplished by the use of diodes and affects how the red LED will respond to ground issues.


For example, if the vehicle wiring to pin 4 has a high resistance problem it will not affect the red LED because it still has a good ground path via diode 2 and pin 5, the signal ground.


As a general rule: The red LED will dim if:
* The battery voltage is low
* The wiring to DLC pin 16 is defective
* Both ground circuits have resistance issues


Green LED on pins 4 and 5

Each ground LED (pin 4 and 5) is connected to battery voltage via pin 16.

Therefore, a ground issue on pin 4 will not affect LED 5. A dim individual green LED will indicate a circuit problem with the corresponding circuit.


Self-Healing Fuse on pin 16

The socket input to pin 16 is protected by a self healing fuse between the socket and the cable. If for some reason a short were to develop between the pin 16 banana socket and a ground outside the LineSpi the fuse will open protecting the LineSpi, the DLC connector and associated wiring. Note that if a scan tool is connected to the LineSpi when a short occurs as described above the power to the scan tool will not be interrupted.


This fuse is rated at 1.5 amps and will open the circuit at 2.7a (temperature dependent). Reset the fuse by disconnecting the fuse from power and let cool.



Yellow LED on pins 2, 6, 7 and 10 

Yellow LED's light up on pins 2, 6, 7 and 10 to show communication with scan tool and for communication protocol identification.

When the yellow LEDs illuminate depends on the vehicle. For some vehicles none or multiple yellow LEDs will illuminate as soon as the LineSpi is connected and the ignition is turned on. A Ford PWM is an example. Pin 2 and 10 will start flashing as soon as the ignition is turned on even though a scan tool is not connected. Also, the brightness of the LED depends on the nature of the signal it is following.

The LineSpi LEDs can be used to quickly identify the communication protocol. The best way to identify the protocol is to set the scan tool up for LIVE DATA. This will result in a constant data stream between the scan tool and the vehicle. Next, locate the LED(s) that are flashing.

For example:
• Only LED 7 flashing: Protocol is either KWP or ISO 9141
• LED 2 and LED 10 flashing: Protocol is PWM

The User Manual goes into more detail.


Stories from the Field #3: No Power at Pin 16

Situation: Your scan tool requires external power and there is NO POWER on pin 16, and you need scan data now and do not want to spend time troubleshooting pin 16.

Solution: Connect the AES LineSpi to the vehicle DLC, then connect an external power supply to the AES LineSpi via Pin 16. This will power up the LineSpi and the scan tool. Also, the LineSpi's built in thermal fuse will protect the vehicle from more short damage.


Stories from the Field #1: Monitoring Voltage during Flashing…

When flashing you need to maintain a voltage of at least 12.6 volts up to 14.6. If voltage drops below 12.6 your flash will be corrupted. Using the AES LineSpi lets you easily monitor voltage with a DVOM. Put the black lead on Pin 4 and the red lead on Pin 16.


Stories from the Field #2: Protect your Scan Tool…

We have heard that when Saturn Body Controller Module fail they may put 12 volts on Pin 2. (something to do with a power transitor). When a scan tool was connected this voltage fried the scan tool. To check the voltage on Pin 2 with the AES LineSpi you can connect your DVOM black lead to Pin 4, red lead to Pin 2. Should get 0 to 7 volts (CLASS II DATA). If you get 12 volts (battery voltage) we urge you not to connect your scan tool.


Stories from the Field #3: Pete Meier's Hands-on Review

Pete Meier is a technician and technical writer who likes sharing his thoughts about the tools he uses.

He lists the AES LineSpi as one of his favorite tools. He says, "It makes testing loss of communications issues easier, and prevents damage to the female pins of the DLC itself ... The jacks allow easy connection to a scope for pattern viewing, and you can even test the voltage drop on the chassis/signal pins by plugging in your scan tool and turning it on to load the circuit. Then use your voltmeter, one lead to battery ground and the other to pins 4 and 5." He even made a short video...





2012 Buick LaCrosse No-Start When Hot

At timestamp 10:23, Ivan and Keith use the LineSPi to chase down a CAN problem with a VERUS connected to pins 6 and 14. At timestamp 19:05 they pull out the "old trusty" Vantage and measure 122 Ohms across pins 6 and 14 and then 61 Ohms across pins 12 and 13. Is it a bad module or wiring?


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