This J-42598B vehicle data recorder review is applicable to the J-42598B +CAN and the J-42598 manufactured for General Motors and their Kent Moore tool division by OTC SPX Corporation. This vehicle data recorder is rather easy to use, you simply plug the cable into the OBD2 data connector in the vehicle and test drive the vehicle.
While you are test-driving the car it is recording data and at the same time deleting data. This continues until the record button is depressed. It will then record data from both prior to and after the button being depressed without deleting or erasing. This recording is referred to as an event.
The unit will record up to four events. After the test drive, the mechanic takes the vehicle data recorder to the bench or PC workstation area for diagnosis. The PC must have a version of the Vehicle Data Record software installed. This software is referred to as the VDR Host Application.
The VDR must be powered by a VDR accessory kit, which includes the proper power supply and a COM to RJ45 cable. These components are not included with the VDR purchase, as most dealers that purchased a VDR already owned a Tech II and could use that tools accessory kit.
You can get a VDR Accessory Kit HERE
The Host application communicates only on the original four Communications ports on PCs. It cannot communicate by USB to Serial adapter.
Upon connecting the VDR tool, and selecting the synchronize or transfer of the data, the software will first attempt to open the Com port you assigned. If successful, it will then attempt to communicate with the VDR. If either of these fails, there will be no transfer.
Upon completion and transfer, you can view the data now transferred to the Host application. Here you can view the data, graph it, print it, etc.
It is possible to use the VDR and the Host application in a live data mode, but it is cumbersome. As you can see the data capabilities and graphing are up to the best standards and very useful for the mechanic. It has the capabilities that you would expect in a professional quality scan tool like the 2X80S.
We tested several units and found the J-42598B and the J-42598B +CAN to be the most reliable tools. Several J-42598 versions were purchased from eBay sellers for testing. All of them failed to communicate with the Host application. We tried everything we could think of to get the communications working, from hard configuring Com ports in the BIOS, to different versions of the Host application, to building a fresh PC with every MS operating system from Windows 95 through to XP. None worked
None of the J-42598 tools was internally inspected, as there was little to be gained from this extra work and testing
We noticed one thing very peculiar with the eBay tools, every one of them seemed to prefer trying to communicate on a particular Com port (not all the same port). We have no explanation for this other than perhaps, since they did not communicate that the tools had been damaged or self programmed upon first usage.
At any rate, if you purchase a GM VDR J-42598B or a J-42598B +CAN, even used or repossessed it will most likely work well for you. However, the same cannot be said of the J-42598! It is a shame that a company that can build a tool with quality like the OTC Monitor series which is almost indestructible, can build a tool of such low quality as the J-42598.Perhaps that explains their version changes.
Comparing our 2X80S to competitors
|Controls Data Corruption|
|Improved Data Speed|
|Enhanced Software Included|
|Phone Tablet PDA Capable|
|Multiple PC Applications|
|Multiple Phone Tablet PDA Applications|
|2 Wheel Vehicle Applications|
|Legacy OS Support|
Yes or Included No or not included Some or limited
|All above information is based on published information as of 01/2015 or products purchsed to confirm|