I contacted them about the misleading nature of this image - it shows a graph being printed and I can imagine that being a hit with customers - “a picture says a thousand words” as opposed to a list of numbers you have to decipher. It would be really cool to be able to show the customer something like changing fuel trims compared to engine revs and I’m pretty sure they would be impressed and gain more confidence in our abilities. I did everything I could to try to print out a graph and then contacted support who told me it is not possible - the “media department is responsible for the pictures in the listing” and they thought they were being clever by showing a graph being printed.
I gave them a 3/5 star rating for “item as described” but 5/5 for service and didn’t request any compensation - I just expressed my disappointment in it’s inability to do what had caught my eye in the listing and they have “promised” to change the offending image - after all it certainly suggests you can print graphs.
All of that aside it is already one of my favourites now - the graphic I/M readiness display, the green-orange-red lights showing “pass” pending code” and “fault code” on the front which means not even having to scan the vehicle again to find out that a code has appeared and the superb feel of the buttons. Whenever I think of buttons on these scan tools I think of the awful squishy buttons on the Launch Creader VI+ which require what feels like twice the movement of squishyness of other tools to be pressed down before you have to push harder to get a ‘click’ - if it wasn’t for the fact that all of the buttons feel the same I would have concluded that something was broken on my Launch Creader. This also reminds me of how dark the Creader display is - I dug into the menu to see if there was a setting for brightness but there isn’t. But I digress - I wish all my scan tools had the same feel as the buttons on my NX501.
Speaking of buttons - most of these tools have a “shutter delay”. I’m now comparing them to budget digital cameras where you aim at the subject, push the button, and then the subject steps out of the way just before the shutter finally goes “click” and takes a picture of …. nothing. The Autel and Foxwell come to mind right away, you want to scroll down the screen and click the button several times and there is such a lag you end up going one or two lines lower than you wanted. You have to either click slowly and wait or count the exact number of clicks required and push the button that many times then wait - which is a rather ‘disconnected’ way of working with the tool. The Nexpeak has a fast enough response that it doesn’t leave you wondering if you just pressed the button and it’s about to move down a line or not. The ‘beep’ is also pleasant enough that I didn’t bother about going into settings to disable it as with most of the other tools that are loud enough to be heard in a noisy workshop - meaning that when the shop isn’t noisy the beep is just plain annoying.
Graphs: The Nexpeak 501 is the clear winner here, up to 4 graphs at once “moving smoothly” across the screen. The Autel 805 can show two graphs, one above the other, or “merge” the two but they are still jumpy and out of phase so if you are watching short term fuel trim and oxygen sensor readings at the same time they take turns at refreshing which is annoying. The Foxwell has quite a nice display of the graph [two only] but the lag on its buttons really annoys me - you have to wait a while between clicks to see where the cursor lands. When I’m using the Nexpeak I don’t even think about any of these issues, when I pick up the other scan tools I immediately start thinking of how I have to work around their limitations. The Autel MD805 is not bad on the graphs, the refresh rate is reasonably fast so that when you’re viewing two screens, one above the other [there is also an option to merge the graphs as well], it’s not as irritating as the Foxwell NT630 which “marches” the screens, left right left right left right…. and makes it hard to follow because your concentration goes up down up down up down…..
8/1/2019 Today we had a 2002 Holden VX in the workshop. The Autel MD805 was the only one that would communicate with it. The Launch CRP123 only goes back as far as 2005 on Holdens.
With regard to “button lag” the reason why the Nexpeak is the smoothest to work with is because it only acknowledges a button press once it has moved to the next line from the previous button press. In other words you could press it 5 times very fast but it will beep once and when it has moved to the next line it will accept another press[presses] to move to the following line - which makes it easier to get where you want to go without ‘overshoot’. The other tools will give you 5 beeps if you press it rapidly 5 times and then eventually get 5 lines down - which results in a lot of overshooting the target because you keep pressing the button to get lower down the screen because of the slow response time.
At the moment, if I had to choose only one budget scan tool it would be the Autel MD805 because of the wide range it covers and its ability to scan 54 systems. If I was only working on engine faults and every vehicle was 0bd2 in our workshop [highly unlikely in the New Zealand vehicle environment] I would take the Nexpeak NX501. It’s smooth operation, graphic I/M readiness mode and smooth moving 4 graph screen are the winners in the budget scan tools department.
20/01/2019 Today I used the Autel AL 539 multi-meter function and for no real reason clicked on “review data” first to see what saved info looked like from my last obd2 scan. The menu flashed quickly and switched to Spanish or some other language - I double checked my settings and it is set to English which of course is what the main menu showed anyway. Autel products seem to be fraught with bugs.
30/04/2019 - my Autel ML529HD arrived and so far I am reasonably impressed with it. The buttons are a huge improvement over the older Autel scan tools’ “clicky” buttons. The first thing I tried it on was a 2010 Volvo truck fully expecting that it would not work because many of these 24V compatible budget scanners are only good for American trucks with their 6/9 pin configurations. It actually got into the engine ECU and exhaust after-treatment systems, found the fault codes and provided live data. Time will tell if it can get into the Japanese Isuzu trucks we see so often and I will update once I know.
18/05/2019 Someone contacted me and expressed concern that the instructions that came with his ML529HD stated that the operating voltage was 9-16v. Mine works fine with 24v trucks and this is from the site I bought it from, stating that it is good for 28v.