Top Alternatives to Mercedes Star Diagnostic Scanner C3 & C4 Tool

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In our opinion, there are better alternatives for those who like to do their own troubleshooting. Whether you are a repair shop a Mercedes-Benz owner consider these scanners as well.  Note that we do not endorse any of the following OBD II / CAN scanner brands. Links to obd2tool.com listing are provided if you need to check current prices.

If you are looking to purchase a Star Diagnostic System with Xentry for Mercedes-Benz there are a few things you need to consider.

Learning Curve: In order to use the diagnostic scanner properly you need to learn how to use the Xentry software. While reading, clearing fault codes is not very difficult anything besides that requires that you have proper training. Yes, you can find a few guides online on how to perform certain programming using Xentry but if you don’t perform the programming accurately you may end up causing more problem than you solve.

Consider Genuine Scanner: The only problem is that they are quite expensive and require a yearly license. If you are considering to buy a clone of the scanner made in China keep the following concerns in mind.

SCN Online Coding: Unless you buy the scanner from the official Mercedes-Benz source, you will not be able to perform SCN coding of control units. That’s because Mercedes Star Diagnostic scanner will try to connect to Mercedes-Benz database for verification of SCN code in order to program certain control units. That is not possible unless you have purchased a valid license. With that said there may be some basic coding and programming of control units that can be done but this programing can also be performed with other advanced scanners.

Mercedes Star Diagnostic Problems with Software (Xentry) VM Ware Installation: All the setups that you see for sale that state that they use VMware environments are not legitimate hardware and software. Besides the fact that these scanners are not legal copies, they are also prone to crashing and run much slower than direct Windows installations. Yes, you are required to have a Windows XP with a serial port for the MB Star Diag C3 scanner. Many VMWare Mercedes Star Setups experience problems some of which you can see posted on this site: MB SD C4 C3 problems and solutions.

License: In order to get the full features offered by Mercedes Star diagnostic scanner you need to sigh up for a yearly subscription and pay a license fee. This is not financially feasible if you only work on one or two Mercedes-Benz models. If you end up buying a cloned version of the scanner the Xentry software key will expire in a few years and you will not be able to use your scanner at all.

How to pick out a decent SD Connect C5 for Mitsubishi Fuso

Appear right here: How to pick out a decent SD Connect C5 for Mitsubishi Fuso diagnostics

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FYI, each MB Star SD Connect C5 application share the same main interface when you login.

But the car coverage is different for use. For standard MB SD connect C5, you might have luck with Mercedes and Sensible only!

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DAS Xentry C3 C4 Diagnostic Software, Resources, Wiki

Xentry DAS (Diagnostic Assistance System) is the complete diagnosis system that is used to troubleshoot Mercedes-Benz car problems and is the official Mercedes-Benz dealer software. It can configure, reprogram, initialization of new components, program, perform guided tests, read or erase fault codes in any of the systems including AirMatic, AirBag, SRS, EIS, Transmission, ETS, BAS,  and all of the control modules. DAS Xentry software requires the C3 Multiplexer Star or C4 SD Connect hardware. The c3 multiplexer is an earlier model that was replaced by the C4 SD Connect. To operate Xentry, you will need a laptop with a serial port RS232 to connect the Multiplexer and run the Xentry software. The online marked is flooded with pirated versions of Xentry Diagnostic scanner, so be careful and avoid those hacked versions. Online merchant which may not be authorized resellers, distribute the software and show you how to install Xentry as you can see on this guide.

Individuals or business in United States can purchase systems by contacting the Mercedes-Benz USA LLC. Contact MBUSA the official source by visiting STAR TekInfo website.

1. Where to buy  Xentry C3 Multiplexer or C4 SD Connect?

The system was listed for sale and can be purchased from sellers on www.obd2tool.com.

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Be wise when you purchase a Xentry DAX Multiplexer as there seems to be a lot of cloned versions on the market. Unfortunately, there isn’t a good way to know what is original or not. Buying DAS Xentry program Diagnostic Software for Mercedes Benz on Amazon at least adds an extra layer of protection in case there is an issue. We would not recommend buying from retailers that ship from China on eBay. Yes, you can return those units if there is a problem but you will have to pay return shipping and will not know if you are getting an original unit. We do not endorse any of these sellers and do not know if these are authentic versions.

To learn how to use Xentry software MB Star C3 or C4 DAS watch this video that was posed online by OBD2TOOL.

2. What is Developer Mode Extension for DAS.

Developer extension of the DAS for Mercedes-Benz vehicles allows in-depth configuration and programming of the control units. This option is typically enabled for the factory version of the scanner. It was meant for development and testing purposes of the onboard electronic systems. It will allow the user to change the configuration of the car. For example, you can change the ECU, program to use a different engine model, change the speed limit or torque settings and a lot more. Using Developer Mode without knowing exactly what you are doing can be dangerous.

3. How to change the speed limiter on Mercedes-Benz?

4. Programming and modifications instructions.

For a more complete of programming that you can perform with Star Diagnostic tool visit this forum thread:

5. What is SD Media?

SDMedia (Star Diagnosis Media) is a collection of video, audio and text files that will help any technician gain knowledge on how to troubleshoot Mercedes-Benz cars.

6. What is WIS?

WIS.net stands for Workshop Information System. It has how-to information, instruction, digrams, specification data on how to perform any repair on Mercedes-Benz cars.

7. What is STAR Tekinfo?

STAR TekInfo is the officail Mercedes-Benz USA LLC website that provides repair documentations and training. It is supported by MBUSA Dealer Workshop Services Department. It includes information on repairs, tools and scan tool diagnostic.  You can subscribe by visiting STAR TekInfo official website.

8. Incoming search terms.

SDmedia, WIS repair program wiki, diagnostic system, Mercedes Star Diagnosis, TIPS media library, knowledge base in the Star Diagnosis, DAS Xentry program C3 Multiplexer, MB SD Connect C4 Diagnostic Software for Mercedes Benz Engine, transmission, air conditioning, SRS (airbag), ABS, ASR, MPL, GM, BENZ ORIGINAL ANTI-THEFT DASX SYSTEM, KEYESS GO SYSTEM, OBD II SYSTEM

eCom Compare with SD Connect C4

Here is some feature about eCom, MB Star C4 and Xentry Connect . Hope can help you choose right tool.

eCom – laboratory\development tool. Most cheap and light. Can’t be used with DAS\HHT vehicles. Does not support kline communication. Need to be specially setup on any diag sw installation.

SDConnect C4– workshop\robust tool. Most universal in use. The only limitation is kline communication in Vediamo from ver5* Easy to setup. In most cases work as is. As for China clones, SDconnect has the best PCB design, the winner.

Stardiagnos Connect – workshop\robust tool. Very big and heavy. Most expensive. Similar to SDConnect because it is like PC+multiplexer in one housing .Has very specific setup as update blue ray disk has not installer but full HDD image with OS + user application. Complicated in installing additional software as you do not have direct assess to operating system.

MB SD Connect C4 requires to update VCI

We have a customer whose MB SD Connect C4 diagnostic system runs great but suddenly require an VCI upgrade.

He rename the VCI update file, but still failed to run Star diagnostic self test (Error screenshot attached)

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Solution:

Re-install mb sd c4 battery, update MB SD C4 firmware to V2.3.2.

Some users feedback that SDConnect from OBD2TOOL with serial number 101044 will take firmware update risk. If you use our DAS software without internet connection, it will work.

SDconnect C4 DTS-monaco user manual

MB SD Connect C4 DTS-monaco user manual:

1.What is DTS-monaco?
2.Which MB sw version comes with DTS-monaco?
3.Why do you need DTS-monaco?
4.What’s the difference between DTS-monaco and Vediamo?
5.Where to get DTS-monaco confirmed to work?
6.Where to download DTS Monaco for free?
7.How to install DTS Monaco on Windows 7?
8.Any good success with DTS Monaco?
9.How do people think of DTS Monaco?

1.What is DTS-monaco?

DTS Monaco enables the comprehensive testing of diagnostic communication, diagnostic data and diagnostic sequences in the areas of engineering, testing and preparation of manufacturing tests. It can be adapted flexibly both for a whole range of different test tasks and for different user groups.

2.Which MB sw version comes with DTS-monaco?

12-2017, 03-2018, 05-2018 (newest)

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3.Why do you need DTS-monaco?

1)Areas of Application
* Development of diagnostic and control functions for ECUs
* Function test and validation
* Integration and system test
* Preparation of test sequences for Manufacturing and Service
* Analysis of returns and Quality Assurance

2)Flexibly Adaptable to the Relevant Task

DTS Monaco is part of the Diagnostic Tool MB Star C4 Set product family and is based on the DTS Base System. Monaco stands for Modular Analyzer for Vehicle Communication. A clearly laid out start page enables simple and fast access to the functions required most frequently. The actual workspace is divided into two: one area with a fixed layout and one with layouts that you can toggle between. A status display below shows communication server messages. The various functions are realized using special, configurable interface elements. These “HMI Controls” can be arranged freely in the layouts in configuration mode and comprehensively configured.

3)Early Detection of Problems and Errors

In execution mode, a configured workspace can be “started”. In doing so individual functions can be started automatically and communication can be established in advance if so required. Self-generated test sequences enable both simple and very complex function tests. This makes it possible to detect, and remedy, communication problems and function errors at an early stage. Communication data and test results can be documented in entirety in the process.

4)Fast Results

For typical use scenarios predefined templates including an universal database for the OBD self-diagnosis as well as various protocol templates (WWH-OBD, J1939-73 among others) are supplied. In Demonstration mode, all functions can be tested, even without an interface and a license, using a detailed example including simulation. Furthermore, the tool has a completely integrated OTX runtime for running complex test sequences in accordance with ISO 13209. An authoring tool for creating such OTX sequences can be started directly from SD Connect C4 DTS Monaco.

4.What’s the difference between DTS-monaco and Vediamo?

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DTS-monaco vs. Vediamo

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DTS-monaco wins, definitely!

5.Where to download Star Diagnostic DTS Monaco for free?

https://mega.nz/#!p9ZDGKwS!VTn9fB80Z9-YKpV8aj9PkRXR3KinAT6RFiW13GGdOHI It’s free but with unknown security.

6.Where to get DTS-monaco confirmed to work?

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Here you go.

http://www.obd2tool.com/category-163-b0-MB+Star+Diagnostic+Tools.html

7.How to install DTS Monaco on Windows 7?

When installing DTS Monaco to communicates and works with SD connect c4 all user installed SDconnect Toolkit version 2.1.3. And no one tried to force the work SDconnect Toolkit version 2.1.4.2, which is installed together with the installation of Setup_Addon_DAG. And I did it.

Checked only on the system without DAS/Xentry.

DTS Monaco 8.03.12.

Windows 7 x64.

Follow the next steps:

1)  Install Monaco
2)  Install Setup_Addon_DAG
3)  Go to С:\ProgramData\I+ME ACTIA\Toolkit\
4)  Open and edit toolkit.ini

Code:

ShowInTray=2
NetworkIcon=2
DeviceIcon=1
ConnectionState=1

1)  Save file and reboot Windows
2)  Connect SDconnect MUX via cable
3)  Start System Configurator
4)  Go to Licenses and you will see your MUX as DCDIPartW with your serial number. After editing in Interfaces type of MUX will change to MVCI_IME_ACTIA_GmbH_SDconnect
5)  Go toInterfaces

Code:5

eCOM_SMR
Interface name – > SDconnect_SMR
Bus system interface – > D-PDU API
D-PDU API version – > I+ME ACTIA GmbHXS_D_PDU_API_FOR_DTS_8_03_12
Module type – > MVCI_IME_ACTIA_GmbH_SDconnect
Cable – > CABLE_OBDII_SDCONNECT
Physical links: CAN1, CAN4, CAN8

1)  Click Save and close System Configurator
2)  Now you can connectto the car or single ECU

8.Any good success with DTS Monaco?

DTS Monaco works good – Mercedes W205 coding
Mercedes-benz W205 coding with DTS Monaco

SDconnect C4 (C5) 2018 05 Software Released Notes

Since 03.2018, DTS-Monaco and Vediamo were added to 05.2018 SDconnect C4/C5 software. That is the biggest difference from old versions.

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05.2018 XENTRY/DAS Released Notes:

* DAS Standalone Activated.
* W(2014) Activated in DAS.
* Offline Programming Activated.
* LKW EOL OFFLINE MENU & VMAX for Tucks activated.
* Smart Cars VIN reconfiguration PassFree Activated.
* Added SMART 451 & 454 OFFLINE KEY TEACH-IN program
* Added Development Data & Development Data (inside control unit adaptation) SAM451(SMART)
* Added Development Data & Extra Coding(inside control unit adaptation) ESP451(SMART)
* Added Development Data and Read coding-string in ESP 454
* Add extra functions: Writing VIN & Development Status (inside control unit adaptation).
* Audio Video Navigation and telematics – add Dev menu in DAS COMAND APS menupurpose: Add developer menu in DAS Command APS menu.
* Audio Video Navigation and telematics – HU Exchange Audio 50 to COMAND password free
* purpose: No password required, F3 to continue.
* DAS Special Function Password Free PKW and SMART. special functions, e.g AB or ABR ecu in DAS W204, you are asked to insert password. With this system, you can enter any character, minimum “1” and F2 to continue.
* Erase SCR/ADBLUE fault code (in MR) with correct New FDOK XN.
* * – Erasing of emission-relevant (SCR/ADBLUE) fault code: No need FDOK encrypted random number, F3 to continue.
* * Calculate correct nueu-FDOK XN internally, and change the encrypted random number to correct one in memory
* NFZ SonderFunktion Password Free purpose: password free for NFZ when doing SonderFunktion (Flash/Programming).
* Nox Torque Limit Setting (FR/CPC0) with correct New FDOK XT
* purpose:
* – Nox Torque limit Setting: No need FDOK encrypted random number, F3 to continue
* – Calculate correct nueu-FDOK internally, and change the encrypted random number to correct one in memory
* – Added value: UNLOCK Legal speed limit direct edit without going to special function
* Special Function Password Free Transporter
* -purpose: Special Function Password Free for Transporter
* TRANSMISSION or GETRIEBE – EGS1 Special Function password free
* purpose: No password required, F3 to continue.
* TRANSMISSION or GETRIEBE – EGS2 Diagnosis Routine password free
* purpose: No password required, F3 to continue.

05.2018 Xentry/DAS 100% Tested with MB Star Diagnosis SD connect C4 (C5):

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MB SD Connect C4/C5 software V2018.03 has released

MB SD Connect C4/C5 software V2018.03 has released

Software display:

You can also choose different laptop,for example,EVG7 tablet,Panasonic CF52 Laptop,DELL630 laptop

Which mb sdconnect c4 worth the money?

Mention MB SD Connect C4, it seems that there’s a lot of different manufacturers and quality levels of multiplexer clones. Here’s the one I went with, however I didn’t bother with the HDD/software they included or a dell D630 laptop. I have a background in computers, so I set myself up a vmware virtual machine and installed all the software with the (occasionally somewhat difficult to follow) information on mhhauto. I have heard of people having problems using VMware, but I didn’t experience any myself.

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As for the hardware itself, mine is of decent quality. I have no real complaints with it other than it losing it’s WiFi configuration once drained of battery (which happens quickly, but it’s not really an issue since it draws power from OBD when connected), but I prefer using a cable connection anyway.

P.S I will warn you that if you’re not very familiar with computers/configuring software/some basic computer networking (IP address assignments, etc), you might have a hard time getting everything to work. Definitely look into the details of getting everything set up before buying. I wish there were a complete and total guide to setting up everything (go to last part for details). Getting everything working properly took quite a lot of reading and searching, and a couple of days of tinkering. Patience is a plus.. if I had to compare MB Star C4 to something else in terms of difficulty (computer-wise), I’d say it’s similar to setting up a microsoft exchange server without errors.

SD Connect C4 – MUST READ BEFORE YOU BUY

I’m in the market for an MB SD Connect C4 mercedes benz diagnostic tool and have been trying to spend my time doing some homework to avoid getting a garbage unit. I certainly can understand what a lot of people have been saying about the widely varying quality that’s out there. I am a EE and PCB designer, so I’m trying to make use of that knowledge to select the best unit that I can.

To that end, I’m going to share what info I’ve collected so far, and when I finally end up buying whatever unit I do, I’m going to do a full teardown on it and post the results here.

As another matter, I’ll openly post details on who I buy the unit from and impressions after receiving it.

Near as I can tell right now, there appear to be about 4 “factories” that make different units.

One thing I’ve been asking all of the sellers for (and I would encourage others to do the same) is photos of the actual unit (including PCBs) with a unique identifier in the photo to prove that the unit they say they are going to send me is the actual one they send me. Of course, some sellers immediately bail at this, but then you know who to avoid ahead of time.

In general, a lot of the components used in a C4 are getting quite long in the tooth. Many of the parts are approaching 20 years of age. Thus, you stand a fair risk of getting pulls (used parts) and/or remarked parts on these.

In following posts, I’ll provide photos of what I can discern as differences between the units along with some commentary about whatever info I can provide at this point.

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In this first photo, I’ve outlined some things I feel are important to note. They have a set of 4 analog switches on the PCB. In this photo, they are ADG426 from OBD2TOOL. I’ve seen some clones that use DG526CY from Harris/Intersil. The DG526CY, besides being completely obsolete, has an typical RDSON of 270 ohms vs 80 for the Analog Devices part. It also has a -55dB isolation vs -75dB for the AD part. In short, the AD part is just a much better mux. So with that said, I would insist on any unit I’m interested in using those.

A second thing you’ll notice is the use of can crystals where 4 pin variants were intended. This is just sloppy and cheap. There may also be issue with loading (and ultimately clock stability) depending on whether they matched the loading caps to the substituted crystal or not.

I haven’t had a set of photos high res enough to look at the rest of the actives in detail yet, as most sellers don’t seem to post them.

There’s also an issue pointed out on the bottom of the board where one of the (what appears to be) MOSFETs in (what appears to be a) D2 PAK looks like it was hand soldered. Again, no good.

This next photo is of the relay PCB — I think one of the MHH members posted this from an original SDC4.

SONY DSC
You’ll notice the use of NEC UD2-4.5NU relays and EPCOS S513N chokes. I’ve seen plenty of PCBs where they remove the chokes and stub them out with 0 ohm resistors. That is a high crime in terms of signal integrity. You see a lot of “full chips” comments where these are present, although that is a bit of a misnomer. It should read as “common mode filters present”.

On this PCB, you’ll also notice the use of multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCC) near the switching supplies. A lot of clones seem to use electrolytic capacitors in place of the bigger MLCCs because of the cost. MLCCs are preferred for switchers because of their low ESR. I really cannot comprehend why the clone makers skimp on these. Even in the US, in reel (e.g. 4K pcs) qty, a 47uF MLCC is about $0.20/ea. That means the difference of probably about $0.50 for the whole PCB. The other advantage of MLCCs is that they more or less last forever, whereas electrolytic caps will eventually dry out and fail (and who knows how old the ones you’re getting are and what the quality is to begin with).

In the upper right hand corner, you’ll see some footprints that weren’t solder pasted during stencil printing. To me, this is a good thing. You know what parts were intended to be populated and which were not. You also get a chance to examine the ENIG finish.

In the next photo, you’ll see the MPC5200 board. This is an 8 layer PCB.

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There are a couple of things of note on this board:

(1) The AMD 10/100 ethernet PHY that’s used comes in 2 revisions and a few different temperature ratings. I have to check the details carefully between the rev A and B, but in terms of temp rating, this should be ‘I’ (industrial) vs ‘C’ (commercial).

These PHYs are ancient now, so any price difference should be minimal between the C and I version. Thus, again, I can’t imagine why anyone would try to save $0.01 and use the C version.

(2)(Anturage corrected me here — this header brings out USB, MII (Ethernet MAC), and some other signals)
(Will update below with the location of JTAG when I find it…)

The header at the lower left hand corner of the board is the JTAG header for the MPC5200. For PowerPC, they refer to this interface as BDM. I haven’t seen anyone talking about it on here, but this could be quite useful in some cases if/when the SDC is flaking out. For anyone who’s not familiar with this interface, it allows you to halt/breakpoint/single step the processor. You can also test the memory attached to the CPU etc. Unfortunately, on this particular PCB, some solder paste leaked through (although I’m not exactly sure how this could happen if I think about it…) onto a few of the pads.

(3) The memory chips are at the bottom. They’re DDR SDRAM (I made a mistake when I originally posted this, I wrote that they were not DDR, but upon closer inspection, they are). You can see the series termination resistors between the memory chips and the MPC5200. As others have pointed out, these should be identical and from the same date/lot code. These parts are plentiful and cheap as dirt, so there’s absolutely no excuse for any funny business there.

(4) The Spansion S29GL064N is a 64Mb (8MB) parallel NOR flash. Pretty standard for the time this unit was designed. This is what the MPC5200 boots from and where U-Boot, the RTOS, etc. live. You can dump and rewrite the contents of this flash via JTAG (mentioned above). These parts are still readily available and cheap.

You’ll notice on this PCB that right below the AMD PHY, there’s a 32KHz tuning fork crystal in a 4 pin package. This is the package that should have been used on the other PCB as well.

In general, this particular PCB looks to be of reasonably high quality.

The last photo that I have is of the LCD display.

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I’ve seen a lot of different variants of this particular board.

There’s this example ‘FT-C4-LCD’. I’ve seen another ‘LCD V1.1′ variant as well.

The biggest thing with this board is that it’s a HASL (hot air solder level) finish. Granted, this is not the most complex PCB in the world by a long stretch, but it just goes to show you how for these companies will go to save every last penny. Although I haven’t seen the back side of one of the ‘FT-C4-LCD’ variants, the ‘LCD v1.1′ variant seems to use some ST microcontroller. Maybe the FT-C4-LCD has one on the back?

There’s nothing else particularly remarkable about this board, although my impression is that the higher quality units seem to use this FT-C4-LCD variant. If anyone has information to the contrary, I’d certainly appreciate knowing about it.

So as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been sending these photos to any prospective sellers with SD C4 units and asking them to address the issues I’ve pointed out here in writing.

If they either can’t or won’t, I just simply move on. I’m sure there are some people that will argue that I’m just wasting my time, but that’s fine, it’s my time to waste. I think if enough buyers start insisting on better quality up front, and stop buying garbage, it may encourage the factories to improve their quality in general.

To that end, I’m asking any seller to guarantee, in writing, that I will receive exactly what we agreed upon up front, or that they will have to provide a full refund and pay return shipping. To be fair, I am willing to pay more for that. I’m not asking for a top shelf unit at a rock bottom price.

So for any sellers reading this that are interested, please post a note on here, as it may be of interest to others. No need to PM me. Any experience that I have with any seller, I will report back to on here fairly and accurately. I think anyone deserves a fair chance. At the same time, I will be completely honest and detailed about the entire experience, so please bear that in mind ahead of time. I would encourage others to do the same. I feel like this is one place where open communication will benefit everyone.

To any sellers that might be reading this:

Please understand that none of us want to buy a unit, have problems, and have to deal with sending back to China and playing games with you. All anyone wants is a high quality car diagnostic scanner that will work reliably for years. It is better for you and for us to pay a little more up front and get a better quality product. Since you go to great lengths to obscure your production sources, it becomes your job to communicate to them that poor quality is not acceptable.