GM Tech 2 guide for beginners

Some users are very interested in GM Tech 2, but they are confused even after reading some thread in the forum, since they have never use it before. Take one user for example, he has no ideal on the following 3 questions.

What all of these pieces of hardware ar, and what they do?

I’ve got a 2004 9-3, and I view the WIS on an old laptop, Do I need a laptop in order to work the tech 2?

What is the CANDi for?

To answer his question as follows:
Aside from Generic OBD2 P-Code reading and resetting, in order to do any kind of computer work with a Saab you need a Tech 2.

Tech 2 consists of the Hand-held unit itself, which contains a ‘VCI’ (vehicle communication interface) Module and a PCMCIA Card, along with the necessary cables/connectors, which includes an external Power Supply of 12v@1500mA.

The PCMCIA Card contains the software program used by Tech 2.
(NOTE: These cards require a specific architecture, ie. Linear)

Saab 9-3 (9440) beginning in Model Year 2003 (04 for convertibles) and 9-5 (9600 and 9650) use a ‘CAN’ (Controller Area Network) interface, which requires ‘CANdi’ (CAN diagnostic interface) in order to do anything other than read/clear generic OBD2 codes.
Many of the functions require Security access, which comes by way of TIS (Technical Information System).

This can be complicated to do for several reasons, both Hardware- and Software-related:

-The Software is proprietary
-The Software is no longer maintained
-The Software is pirated
-The interface between the Computer and Tech2 is done with RS232 Serial Protocol which is not a feature on PCs for at least a decade AND requires adapters since the actual connector on Tech2 is RJ45 (Cat5 or better Network Cable)
-The software (being ‘antique’, unsupported and not subject to further development) is only compatible with Operating Systems and OS Add-Ons contemporary to the time it was developed.
-Some versions of the Software (eg. 148) are ‘buggy’, meaning that there are some functional differences which may require rolling back to an earlier version (eg. 146) in order to produce the intended effect. This requires the ability to write to the PCMCIA Cards, either via TIS (which is ridiculously slow) or another means.

It is NOT necessary to use a portable PC to get TIS and Tech2 ‘hooked up’, but it is highly desirable if for no reason other than repeated long walks back and forth and/or really Loooooooooooooooooooooooong Network Cables.

Hopefully this helps to this user and more users who have the same questions.



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