Ross-Tech can supply several different Interfaces (the hardware needed to connect a PC to your car). One end of the interface plugs into the a Serial (RS232) or USB port on your PC. See our Computer Requirements. The other end plugs directly into the OBD-II port present in all 1996 and newer VW/Audi passenger vehicles. VCDS also works with many 1990-1995 (OBD-I) cars, but these may require the optional “2×2″cabling adapter.
All of our Interfaces offer the following advantages over others on the market:
- Act as a dongle for the full-function version of VCDS. No “Software Activation” required!
- Precision-molded diagnostic connector made to our own specifications that fits all VW/Audi vehicles, even those with “tight” trim around diagnostic socket.
- Work with “Lame Port” Laptops including Compaq and Acer models.
- Built-in, Electronic Protection from the “Aftermarket Radio Problem”.
- Fully automatic support for 2002+ Audi models with dual K-lines without kludgy switches (KEY- and HEX-series).
How to choose the interface that’s right for you:
First, decide how you’re going to use VCDS:
- If you’re a professional mechanic who needs compatibility with all diagnostic-capable models from 1990 through the latest vehicles, or you’re an enthusiast who demands the best, get a HEX+CAN. These Interfaces are also available in a Pro-Kit. See our Pro-Kit Page.
- If you’re a budget-conscious hobby-user just working on your own car, our KEY-series or Micro-CAN interfaces may be for you. The KEY-series is compatible with most cars from 1990-2002, as well as all newer ones which do not require CAN for diagnostics. The Micro-CAN is designed exclusively for use with the latest cars based on Mk.5 technology which require CAN for diagnostics. However, the Micro-CAN is not compatible with the latest Audi A4, A6, A8, or Q7 models; these models require a HEX+CAN.
- Check the Application Chart for your vehicle to see which Interfaces can be used with it.
Second, consider the PC you’re planning to use:
- If you’re using a modern laptop running Windows XP, you should get a USB interface. Although USB interfaces are no faster than the serial versions, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find new PCs with serial ports and a USB interface is more future-proof.
- If your PC has a CPU speed of less than 1 GHz or is running an older version of Windows, we recommend using a serial interface — but please check that your PC has a serial port with 9 male pins.