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Split from General / Technical for discussion of anything electrical, electronic... 12v, Inverter, Satellite, Headlights, flashlights etc.
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Ultra gage

December 6th, 2017, 8:37 am

I'm thinking of getting an Ultra Gage. How do you like it or not?

Re: Ultra gage

December 6th, 2017, 9:08 am

I'd guess most people would really like it. Compared to the "good old" Scangauge II, it's cheaper and does more, and I'd say looks nicer.

But.... I still prefer the Scangauge II. I'm probably in the minority though. I haven't had an Ultragauge, but I did drive a buddy's rig (also Ford E-series with V10) cross country that has one (and helped him install and program it). Why do I like the Scangauge better?

1) Simple interface that is 100% obvious to use.
2) All buttons on the front, where I can easily reach them, and their function is clear.
3) It never stresses me out trying to figure out a function (see #1).
4) It does all the things I'm looking for (reads codes, monitors four functions, which I can easily change without looking up how - including TFT which is the main reason I bought one).

That all may not apply to you, obviously. I'd guess more people prefer the Ultragauge, but figured I'd put my two cents in.


PS: I don't know if this was an anomaly or what, but my buddy finally ended up disconnecting the Ultragauge when parked. For years (literally) he had some parasitic draw that would bring down his start battery when parked (he had a manual connector switch to the house bank, and it was always OFF, so that wasn't the issue). We fussed and tested and finally just started unplugging things each time just to see when it would stop happening. When we eventually unplugged the Ultragauge (it wasn't our first suspect), the parasitic draw went away. No idea WHY it was doing that, and he never tried a different one, so who knows if it's common or some odd bug he had.

I do notice my Scangauge II lighting up on its own very occasionally (for about three seconds), but it must not draw much because I have left my Chinook in storage for up to three months (indoors, no solar, and left start battery connected to see how it would do) and no issues at all firing right up when I got back. I also routinely leave it without starting or charging for 14 days when I'm camping (no connection to house bank or solar charging) and don't have any issues. But still, no idea if it's an Ultragauge thing or just a one-off. And that may not matter - or even be noticed - anyway, depending on how you use your Chinook.

Re: Ultra gage

December 6th, 2017, 10:20 am

Thanks Blue,
I think the OBDll is always on. That could be the reason for the draw?

Re: Ultra gage

December 6th, 2017, 2:18 pm

It must be something like that. With my Scangauge I'd say that I see it light up maybe once a week or something, for a few seconds (could be more but then in three months no noticeable draw). The Ultra gauge seemed to draw enough to kill buddy's battery (same battery as I have, Group 65 AGM) over a couple of weeks or so. I don't know if there's a reason the Ultra Gauge would somehow incite the OBD to use more energy or if it was a fluke. At any rate, it might not matter to some people as they either start/drive more often, or leave the rig plugged in, or have the solar going through a bi-directional combiner so it charges the start battery too. Still just interesting though,

Re: Ultra gage

December 6th, 2017, 3:18 pm

Jermanitor wrote:Thanks Blue,
I think the OBDll is always on. That could be the reason for the draw?

Pin 16 in OBD2 is always hot. The ECU is up only in "Run." It's up to the port device to shut itself off when the ECU is down.

Re: Ultra gage

December 6th, 2017, 3:31 pm

I have the bluetooth version of ultragauge. I am still playing around with it. not the easiest thing to use, and I was a GUI developer in my former life.

Other than that, it is a great gadget. It does draw power all the time, so I pull it off when my Chinook is on my driveway between trips. My wife got scared by the sound on my cellphone whenever they connect, so I have to figure out how to shut it off.

Re: Ultra gage

December 6th, 2017, 3:45 pm

chin_k wrote: It does draw power all the time, so I pull it off when my Chinook is on my driveway between trips.

Really? Huh. Curious. I could understand if there was a draw to hold settings, but that would be a very small fraction of an amp. Have you measured draw? Does the manufacturer acknowledge this? Seems totally avoidable unless it's constantly pinging for a bluetooth device...
Removing it every time would be really annoying. :x

Re: Ultra gage

December 6th, 2017, 5:50 pm

Durned old Ford of mine barely has an OBD-I.

If it had the later one like you guys, I'd find a HUD (heads up display) model that projected the info on the lower part of the windshield.

Just because :D

Re: Ultra gage

December 6th, 2017, 9:59 pm

The same friend who had the Scangauge and then the Ultraguage, also had a bluetooth OBD reader before that (yep, he likes to try new things - although he used the bluetooth one on his tow car). He found the same thing, which is that it ran down the battery because it was apparently always "broadcasting." (This was in 2014 and I don't remember the specific model.)

Re: Ultra gage

December 7th, 2017, 3:49 am

The Ultra Gage set up is really simple. Plug it in and select the gages that you want it to display. :lol:
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