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So I bought the Schwaben Scan Tool... Review and Q&A

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So I bought the Schwaben Scan Tool... Review and Q&A

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Old 03-02-2016, 09:23 PM
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So I bought the Schwaben Scan Tool... Review and Q&A

As the title suggests, I bought ECS Tuning's Schwaben Pro Scan Tool. I've seen them mention it in a load of threads here, and the tool has NO reviews anywhere, and no one has any info.
Given that it's $200, I thought I'd do a good deed and maybe help somebody out.

I'm going to cover a few topics:
1. First Impressions
2. Usability
3. Features I've tried

I have an R58, so I'll be able to answer questions readily about it but of course it'll apply to R56, etc. This weekend, I'll use it on my girlfriend's R50.

So, my first impressions, first.


Holding the Schwaben tool. I have large hands.
It seems well constructed. Has a rubberized surround that looks like it'll survive a drop or thirty. The cable leading to the OBD plug is about 42" long, which for my Coupe is enough to bring the tool just outside the door, when the door is shut. Not a problem to use inside, at either seat. There is a port on the bottom for a mini-USB cable, and a microSD slot on the left side. (It came with an unbranded 4Gb class 6 card)

It includes a zippered case with an embroidered Schwaben logo. It's OK, I guess. It's marginally padded and seems to be made of the same material my old gradeschool backpack was. Includes an elastic strap to hold the scanner and a pocket on the flap for the USB cable and the microSD reader also included. I'm nonplussed, nothing particularly special about it.

The first thing I actually did with it was plug in the included USB cable and see what happens. (I used my Windows 8.1 laptop) It powered on quickly.


Powered on and on the default screen.

Next, I installed the Foxwell software called FoxScanner. It had me create a username and password, registration data (address, etc). I'll be honest, I got it straight from Foxwell (the actual manufacturer) and I didn't even bother with the CD.

A bit of a problem... As soon as I inserted the microSD card, Windows Defender had a FIT! It claimed malware was present in the autorun file.
[See edit below - this is a false positive]

[edit - removed screencap of false-positive malware]

With that mess out of the way, I registered the scanner and checked for updates. I'm pleased to say that it was easy to do, pop in the card, check a box, hit update. There was a couple updates available, and very recent too. Time will tell how frequently and what quality the updates are.

I clicked the card back in its slot, and brought the scanner out to my car. To connect it, just plug it in to the OBD2 port and it'll light up. You can use it as a regular OBD2 reader if you want (I think; haven't tried it yet) or select the MINI logo.

So, at this point it's rather late here and I need to sleep. My next post I'll actually get to what everyone wants to know, "what does it actually do." (Cliff's notes: It's INPA, but far easier to use and in your hand.) In the mean time, if anyone has questions, or wants me to check a feature for them, I will.

[Edit note: ECS contacted me and let me know the malware warning I got is a false-positive.]
 

Last edited by GeneralSpecific; 03-03-2016 at 05:25 PM. Reason: update for false-positive on malware
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Old 03-03-2016, 06:19 AM
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Old 03-03-2016, 07:12 AM
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PM'd you.

Make sure you select your MINI model and check out so you will be informed when new stuff comes out!

Tool is here for reference: https://www.ecstuning.com/Search/SiteSearch/ES2975699/
 
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Old 03-03-2016, 08:52 PM
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me too...
 
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Old 03-03-2016, 09:26 PM
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Part 2

Alright, time for part two.
Last time, I mentioned that the scanner is like INPA - for those that don't know, INPA is a diagnostic tool typically used with a laptop and a special OBD2 cable. It can be tricky to set up (I have used it on my R58 and an R50) but it's capable of an amazing array of diagnostics and controls.
This scanner is SO MUCH EASIER to use than INPA.
2. Usability
Plug in the scanner and it'll turn on, bringing you to the main screen. Speaking of screen, it is not a touch-screen. Navigation is done using the soft-touch buttons, which feel like... one of those universal TV remote controls with the comically large buttons. I had no issues navigating; all button presses react quickly and there's no lag that I can detect.
Once it's on (again, takes maybe two seconds to turn on) you choose your model (in this case, MINI - it also does BMW, and, inexplicably, Rolls Royce) At that point, you get the VIN, either through an automatic scan (my preference), entering it manually, or "manual selection" (which I haven't tried).


This is my car, there are many like it, but this is mine.


With the scan complete, you can scan for active modules, (Auto Scan), directly select your control unit, or enter the Service menu.

The auto scan polls a list of options your car may or may not have, and it takes a while. I think the full manual-select list has 39 control units; my car had 12 units respond - it takes a short while to scan since each unit is polled for response and any errors.


a sampling of the full code list


A sample of my control units' list and response

If there is a fault reported, it will tell you how many and you can read the error, such as these in my TPMS system:


I have winter tires without TPMS sensors.

You can also do a "quick erase" which goes through all control units and eliminates all codes. This includes stored codes, which other scan tools won't see.

Each control unit has its own menu:


Each control unit has a menu similar to this. Option 6 is my favorite.

Here's my ABS pump:

So information. Much datas. Wow.

OK, that's enough for one post. Next, Part 3 - features I've tried, aka the Fun Stuff. (I'll show what Option 6 does)
 
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Old 03-03-2016, 09:52 PM
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In this post, I'll dial down in to a control unit and bend it to my will.
The procedure is the same for any control unit with an option to activate. First, you have to drill down to your component and choose "component activation". I think it can be accessed more quickly using the manual control unit selection, but this time I used the automatic scan and selected the unit that way. Either way works, and it's nice to be able to skip the scan if you know which unit you want to try. (a touch I appreciate)

Some control units have several layers deep worth of control, while others may have only one. For example, the ABS unit has like one option, whereas the radio has at least 6 top-level options and several levels below most of those options. It depends on the complexity of the control.


The RAD2-BO User Interface menu (the radio, in other words)

I chose it because it is an example that has lots of options. Let's poke it...

These work like you'd think. Except I'm not willing to try GERMAN STUFF IN ALL CAPS.

Here's a sample of what you'll get when you select "Turn On Radio":

All individual control screens look like this.

That's just one option. There's so many more that I can't list everything. Just about all the diagnostics you could think to run, it can do. For example, have a buzz on songs with high bass levels but you can't tell which speaker it is? Turn on your radio to that song, and activate only one speaker at a time until you find which one buzzes.

One warning, though - DON'T activate the PDC beeper. Even if your car doesn't have PDC (parking distance control) it can still make the noises. If you activate it, it will stay on until you finally find the option to turn it off, and it will annoy you. It won't even turn off if you remove the key from the ignition. (this could be easily patched, I think, by adding a "deactivate" option to the PDC-activate option. All that's there now is "Activate")

OK, there's more to cover, including CBS resets, interval control, and engine parameter trimming (you can even control your engine idle RPM in various circumstances...)

Any questions so far? I'm not sure how my weekend is going to go, so ask away. Hopefully I can pick this review up on Friday evening, or Saturday sometime.
 
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Old 03-04-2016, 06:17 AM
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Great read. Keep up the good work!

Personally I'd like to see more for the first gen (but I'm biased). Second gen's onward have lots of tweaks and things to play with, but the first gens are so handcuffed.

In addition to the first gen's airbag, ABS test/clearings, I'd like to know if the oil interval can be reset (probably) and changed (unlikely) on the first gen.

Keep at it though, thanks for your contribution to the community
 
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Old 03-04-2016, 12:32 PM
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if it will reset adaptations on R50/52/53 I'm getting one.
 
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Old 03-17-2016, 09:22 AM
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I bought one as well, for the sole purpose of using it to reset my adaptations but as of right now it seems as though it won't. fyi, I'm using it on a 2005 r53
 
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Old 03-17-2016, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by macnagaf View Post
I bought one as well, for the sole purpose of using it to reset my adaptations but as of right now it seems as though it won't. fyi, I'm using it on a 2005 r53
I am playing with one too, and I can't seem to find it in the menu either
 
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Old 03-17-2016, 11:33 AM
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I will hook it up tonight on my R52 tonight to check, last time i checked it it was certain modules for the older MINIs, i saw it the other day on my r58, which of course has more options being that its a newer BMW system in the car.
 
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Old 03-17-2016, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by ECSTuning View Post
I will hook it up tonight on my R52 tonight to check, last time i checked it it was certain modules for the older MINIs, i saw it the other day on my r58, which of course has more options being that its a newer BMW system in the car.
Yeah, let us know what you find I've tried everything lol even emailed foxwell about it just to be 100% sure I'm not screwing it up in any way. Time will tell I suppose, just would rather this work than have to return it
 
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Old 03-17-2016, 02:26 PM
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Also, you can reset the oil and inspection intervals with the scanner, not too sure about changing the interval times though.
 
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Old 03-17-2016, 05:38 PM
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Can't wait for more info, I'm really interested in one of these. What are these adaptations you guys are talking about? Do R5x's adapt to anything?
 
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Old 03-19-2016, 09:43 AM
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I'm really curious to know if this thing will do all the codings that one could normally do with NCS and a laptop, like disable key chime, one-touch sunroof open and close, disable bulb-out warnings, etc.? If that's the case, this code reader is definitely the way to go!
 
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Old 03-19-2016, 11:07 AM
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Tbh I'm looking into what Bavarian Auto has available on their website. Autologic. Supposedly does all the coding and programming available to BMW at the factory, so I might have to give that a shot. Only downside is that the tool is tied to your vehicles VIN, unless you get a professional or enthusiast kit. But I'm thinking that's all I'd need anyways and for $179 its not too shabby in the least!
 
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Old 03-20-2016, 05:57 AM
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Originally Posted by rosvick View Post
I'm really curious to know if this thing will do all the codings that one could normally do with NCS and a laptop, like disable key chime, one-touch sunroof open and close, disable bulb-out warnings, etc.? If that's the case, this code reader is definitely the way to go!
I second that... I'd be interested if could code the auto window up/down for example.

In 2016, I'd also wish it could work with Mac, no just windows...
 
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Old 03-20-2016, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by TG. View Post
I second that... I'd be interested if could code the auto window up/down for example.

In 2016, I'd also wish it could work with Mac, no just windows...
I was hoping for this feature as well, but I see no evidence that the tool supports it.

As for the R53 adaptations, do you have a particular adaptation you wish to reset? I can check on an R50 which sould be similar. I was able to reset my valvetronic adaptations for my R58 and I noticed that it ran smoother at idle.
 
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Old 03-20-2016, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by TG. View Post
I second that... I'd be interested if could code the auto window up/down for example.

In 2016, I'd also wish it could work with Mac, no just windows...
It should work on a Mac, just not with OS X. You can install Windows and use Apple's Boot Camp to run it without any additional software, or also install VM software like Parallels to run OS X and Windows simultaneously. With Boot Camp you can choose Windows or OS X at start up, or run both at the same time with Parallels just like switching between different programs.
 
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Old 03-20-2016, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by RB-MINI View Post
It should work on a Mac, just not with OS X. You can install Windows and use Apple's Boot Camp to run it without any additional software, or also install VM software like Parallels to run OS X and Windows simultaneously. With Boot Camp you can choose Windows or OS X at start up, or run both at the same time with Parallels just like switching between different programs.
I use bootcamp for parametric 3D work but it's a bit cumbersome and not really sustainable over time...
 
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Old 03-20-2016, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by ECSTuning View Post
I will hook it up tonight on my R52 tonight to check, last time i checked it it was certain modules for the older MINIs, i saw it the other day on my r58, which of course has more options being that its a newer BMW system in the car.
Can I make any setting adjustments on my R52 with this tool?
 
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Old 03-20-2016, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by GeneralSpecific View Post
I was hoping for this feature as well, but I see no evidence that the tool supports it.

As for the R53 adaptations, do you have a particular adaptation you wish to reset? I can check on an R50 which sould be similar. I was able to reset my valvetronic adaptations for my R58 and I noticed that it ran smoother at idle.
I need a fuel trim adaptation reset. I have a P2096 code and I have already checked for leaks in the intake tract and there was nothing. Switched my O2 sensors out for new ones and now need to reset the adaptations to get rid of the code and pass inspection by the end of March
 
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Old 03-21-2016, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by macnagaf View Post
Also, you can reset the oil and inspection intervals with the scanner, not too sure about changing the interval times though.
Cannot change the service intervals range from what I found. But it will reset the CBS and the other service intervals.

Originally Posted by sevin View Post
Can't wait for more info, I'm really interested in one of these. What are these adaptations you guys are talking about? Do R5x's adapt to anything?
I think they were talking about all, I found some in the tool once before but it was for certain modules. Not most modules like the gen2 MINIs. Digging more into this as it has so many feature.

Originally Posted by rosvick View Post
I'm really curious to know if this thing will do all the codings that one could normally do with NCS and a laptop, like disable key chime, one-touch sunroof open and close, disable bulb-out warnings, etc.? If that's the case, this code reader is definitely the way to go!
No coding at this time yet, except for reprogramming some factory modules back to stock ( like for module replacements) possible in the future with more updates from foxwell.

Originally Posted by DaGriz View Post
Can I make any setting adjustments on my R52 with this tool?
What type? It cannot really code at this point, if you are think about auto up, down, auto up top, drls , auto locks, etc.

Originally Posted by macnagaf View Post
I need a fuel trim adaptation reset. I have a P2096 code and I have already checked for leaks in the intake tract and there was nothing. Switched my O2 sensors out for new ones and now need to reset the adaptations to get rid of the code and pass inspection by the end of March
Gen 2 MINIs you can reset more. We are checking on the others.
 
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Old 03-21-2016, 10:27 AM
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Will it let you clear adaptations, and monitor all of the sensors on your car (R53) like you can do with bmw software? It's nice to be able to monitor your intake temps, MPS, O2 sensors, RPMS, etc....
 
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Old 03-25-2016, 11:29 PM
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Hi, I've been a long time NAM reader since I had the 2010 R56 Justa. I recently upgraded to a 2015 F55s (what a difference!). When I read about this scan tool I decided to take a chance and ordered one from ECS. The user manual that it comes with is quite generic and not BMW/Mini specific and so I've started documenting every item on the menu. As you will see below it's quite a long list and I'm scratching the surface (especially if there will be an updated version soon). This is just the F56 section (they don't actually list F55). Please excuse the typos if you find any. The ones in green are menu items as you drill down deeper into each item to the right.

The first two screenshots shows the components in Live Data for CAS and EGS ECUs. As you can see, each of these has a Read Code and an Erase Code options. I think these will be useful to help isolate problems that are not ODBII standard codes. It also has other pieces of data like rows 397-399 where it counts the number of seconds that you've been driving in either D, S or manual mode.








This section is related to component activation with CAS where you can test components like LED cornering lights. I activated them in the menu which switched them on for 10 seconds (I guess long enough for you to run out and check to see if they're working).


 

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