Force User Manual v1.0
Force User Manual v1.0
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Force User Manual P a g e | 1
Description:
Force is an Android application capable of measuring the torque, power and acceleration produced
by a vehicle’s engine. Paired with a Bluetooth OBDII module, Force can also log engine sensors and
check and clear Check Engine Lights (CEL).
Force is a vehicle performance and diagnostic tool that allows you to monitor all aspects of your
vehicle’s engine. Unlike other applications, Force does not require an OBD-II Bluetooth module to
measure torque and power. Force relies on your smartphones internal sensors and highly tuned
digital filters to estimate torque and power without the need for external modules. If you would like
to check engine diagnostic trouble codes (DTC’s) or log engine sensors, then Force will work with
any OBD-II Bluetooth modules.
Without the need for an OBD-II Bluetooth module, Force can accurately measure the torque, power
and acceleration produced by a vehicle’s engine. In addition to torque and power, Force measures
the ambient air temperature and atmospheric pressure which are two key factors in an engine’s
performance. This allows you to compare different engine modifications (such as exhausts, intakes
and ECU maps) with consideration for the ambient weather conditions that effect engine
performance.
For those that want to know more about their engine, Force can be paired with any OBD-II
Bluetooth module to provide information from key engine parameters (such as mass airflow, timing
advance and intake manifold pressure) and check and clear diagnostic trouble codes/check engine
lights (DTC’s/CEL’s). Force can log outputs from multiple engine sensors to an external .CSV file that
can be opened in any spreadsheet application for further review. Force can read and clear both
stored and pending diagnostic while also supporting over 2000 SAE diagnostic trouble code
definitions. Most manufacture defined codes can also be read and cleared.
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Contents
Description: ................................................................................................................................................... 2
The Dynamometer Screen: ........................................................................................................................... 5
Create a Vehicle: ........................................................................................................................................... 5
The Vehicle Screen: ................................................................................................................................... 6
1.)
Add a Vehicle To Force:............................................................................................................. 6
3.)
Select a Gear to Perform Dynamometer Pulls: ......................................................................... 7
6.)
Enter the Vehicles Drag Coefficient: ......................................................................................... 8
7.)
Select a Picture Icon of The Vehicle: ......................................................................................... 8
8.)
Finish the Vehicle: ..................................................................................................................... 9
Measuring Torque and Power: ................................................................................................................... 10
1.)
Mount your Device: ................................................................................................................ 10
2.)
Ensure GPS is Enabled: ............................................................................................................ 11
3.)
Verify your Vehicle Information:............................................................................................. 11
4.)
Perform a Dynamometer Pull: ................................................................................................ 12
Review Vehicle Logs: ................................................................................................................................... 13
1.)
Review Logs in Force ............................................................................................................... 13
2.)
Review Logs from the CSV file:................................................................................................ 14
Weather: ..................................................................................................................................................... 14
Purchasing a Bluetooth OBDII Module: ...................................................................................................... 15
OBDII Logging: ......................................................................................................................................... 15
OBDII Check Engine Light: ....................................................................................................................... 15
Supported Bluetooth OBDII Modules: .................................................................................................... 16
Beware of ELM327 Clones: ................................................................................................................. 17
Connecting to a Bluetooth OBDII Module: ................................................................................................. 17
1.)
Enable Bluetooth on your Device: .......................................................................................... 17
2.)
Plug the Bluetooth OBDII Module into your Vehicle: ............................................................. 17
3.)
Pair the Bluetooth OBDII Module to your Android Device: .................................................... 18
4.)
Select the Bluetooth OBDII Module you want to use within Force: ....................................... 18
5.)
Start the Bluetooth OBDII Connection: ................................................................................... 19
6.)
Open the OBD Manager: ......................................................................................................... 20
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Check and Clear Engine DTCs:..................................................................................................................... 21
1.)
Connect Force to the Bluetooth OBDII Module: ..................................................................... 21
2.)
Open the Read DTC View: ....................................................................................................... 21
3.)
Check Engine DTCs: ................................................................................................................. 22
4.)
Clear Check Engine DTCs: ........................................................................................................ 22
Logging with OBDII: ..................................................................................................................................... 23
.................................................................................................................................................................... 23
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The Dynamometer Screen:
The home screen for Force is the Dynamometer Screen which displays key vehicle, sensor and weather
information along with the dynamometer plot. The Dynamometer Screen also allows the user to start
and stop dynamometer pulls by pressing the Start/Stop button. When a dynamometer pull is
performed, the results will be graphed in real-time to the dynamometer plot.
Information displayed on the Dynamometer Screen:
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Selected Vehicle
Ambient Air Temperature
Ambient Air Pressure
Engine Torque
Engine Power
Engine RPM
Vehicle Speed
Accelerometer
Create a Vehicle:
The first step to using Force with your vehicle is creating a vehicle
representation with information from the real-world vehicle you will be
using. In order to create your first vehicle you will first need to enter the
Vehicle Screen. This can be accomplished by simply touching the Vehicle
menu item from the Dynamometer Screen.
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The Vehicle Screen:
The Vehicle Screen contains a list of all the available vehicles. Force can
store an unlimited number of vehicles. Each vehicle is represented by a
picture icon, make, model, year and brief description. You can select the
vehicle you want to use by checking the box to the right of the vehicle
information. By default, there are two existing vehicles when you start the
application. These exist as examples to help guide users through the initial
vehicle creation process. You can delete these vehicles, or in the case that
you happen to own one of these vehicles, you may use it with your realworld vehicle.
1.) Add a Vehicle To Force:
To add a new vehicle, touch the Vehicle menu item and select the Add
Vehicle option from the drop-down menu. You can also edit the
information of the vehicle that is currently selected, or delete the vehicle,
from this menu.
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2.) Entering the Vehicle Information:
The Create Vehicle Screen is where you enter all of the vehicles information.
You will need to provide the following information about your vehicle. All of
this information should be readily available with a quick search of the
internet.
Force provides a list of many common vehicle makes and models, but if your
vehicle doesn’t exist, you may add it by touching Add Make or Add Model.
Required Vehicle Information:
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Make
Model
Model Year
Curb Weight (in Kilograms)
Drag Coefficient
Frontal Area
Driveline Type
Transmission Type
Selected Gear
Gear Ratio for the Selected Gear
Final Drive Ratio
Tire Width
Tire Aspect Ratio
Tire Diameter
3.) Select a Gear to Perform Dynamometer Pulls:
It is important to note that Force will only work while the car is in the gear that you have selected.
There are two reasons for this. Firstly, a dynamometer pull is done in one gear. Secondly, under the
hood, Force calculates the engines RPM based on the vehicles speed which is measured by the GPS
sensor. The transmissions gearing determines the engine RPM based on the vehicles speed, so it is
important that the gearing and tire information is correct. You should select a gear that is tall enough to
allow the engine to produce full load, but not so tall that you violate traffic laws.
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4.) Enter the Vehicle Tire Size:
The tire size should be for the tires that drive the vehicle. The size of your vehicles tires can be found on
the sidewall of the tires. If you have changed the size of the wheels or tires, be sure to use the size of the
tire that is currently equipped on the vehicle and not the size of the tire that the vehicle came equipped
from the factory with.
5.) Enter the Vehicle Weight:
The vehicle weight, in units of kilograms, is another important piece of information as it is used to
calculate the amount of torque required to accelerate the vehicle. The weight of the vehicle can be
found in the vehicles owner’s manual or should be available with a quick internet search. There are also
a number of calculators available to convert from units of pounds to units of kilograms. Note that the
vehicle weight should include the weight of the driver and any other additional weight that has been
added or removed from the vehicle (gasoline, carbon fiber parts, stereo systems, an extra passenger,
etc...).
6.) Enter the Vehicles Drag Coefficient:
You will also notice the vehicle drag coefficient and frontal area. These factors are not as important as
the transmission’s gear ratio, the tire size and vehicle weight, but are still important. It takes a significant
amount of force to move a vehicle through the air and the drag coefficient and frontal area allow Force
to account for this additional force. This information is usually available in the manufacturers
specifications and can be found online.
7.) Select a Picture Icon of The Vehicle:
If you would like to associate a picture icon of your vehicle in Force, you can
do so by touching the default vehicle icon. A picture cropper will open up
allowing you to select and crop a picture from your device as long as it is in a
PNG or JPEG format.
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8.) Finish the Vehicle:
Once you are satisfied with the information you have provided, you can touch
the Done button at the bottom of the screen to finish creating the vehicle. It
will now be available in the Vehicle List for you to select.
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Measuring Torque and Power:
When you are satisfied with the vehicle you have created and you have
selected it from the Vehicle List, you are ready to measure the engine’s
torque and power. Make sure Force is displaying the Dynamometer View and
the correct vehicle is selected.
1.) Mount your Device:
To use Force, you need to vertically mount your phone, as level as possible, in
the windscreen of your vehicle. The screen of the phone should be square to
the front of the vehicle. You can use the Acceleration Gauge at the bottom of
the screen to help you level the device. There are a number of vehicle
mounts for specific phones and generic “one size fits all” models available.
Any of these mounts is fine as long as it allows you to adjust the phone so
you can mount it in a level and square position. What you are really doing here is aligning the
acceleration sensor so it is aligned with the longitudinal axis of the vehicle so Force can measure the
vehicles acceleration accurately.
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2.) Ensure GPS is Enabled:
If you are not using a Bluetooth OBDII module, Force needs the GPS to determine the vehicles speed.
Make sure the GPS is enabled on your device. If you are using a Bluetooth OBDII module, Force will
measure the vehicle speed using the vehicles speed sensor.
3.) Verify your Vehicle Information:
Before you go out and make your first dynamometer pull, it is important that you verify that the
information you entered about your vehicle is correct. To verify your vehicle information, put the vehicle
in the gear that elected to use with Force and entered the information for. Compare the RPM that Force
calculates to the RPM from your vehicles tachometer. If the RPM are close to each other, you are good
to go! If the RPM do not match, then you need to go back and double check the information you
entered. I have found that on a number of vehicles, the gear ratios that were stated by the
manufacturer were incorrect. It may take some research to find the correct transmission information for
your vehicle.
The vehicles tachometer should match Forces tachometer when the vehicle is in the selected gear*:
*This is true as long as the vehicle is in the selected gear and isn’t stationary. If the car is stopped and
idling or if the vehicle is in a gear other than the gear you selected for Force, Force will be unable to
estimate the engines RPM. This is true unless the Force is connected to the OBDII.
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4.) Perform a Dynamometer Pull:
To measure the torque and power your vehicle is making, first find a stretch
of road that is as flat and as smooth as possible. Be sure to obey all traffic
laws. Put the vehicle into the gear that you have elected to use with Force
and bring the vehicle to a low starting engine RPM*. Touch the Start button
on the screen and accelerate the vehicle at full throttle to the engines
redline. To finish the dynamometer pull, touch the Stop button. The results
of the dynamometer pull will be displayed on the screen and a CSV log of
the pull will be saved to the devices external storage.
*If you are using an automatic transmission, you will need to shift the
transmission into the gear you have elected to use with Force. Be sure not to
be so aggressive with the throttle that the transmission kicks down into a
lower gear. This can be a little tricky, but is doable.
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Review Vehicle Logs:
There are two ways to review dynamometer logs in Force. You can review
them within the Force application or open the associated CSV logs with any
spreadsheet application. To review a log within Force, enter the Vehicle
Screen by touching the Vehicle menu item.
1.) Review Logs in Force
Once you are in the Vehicle Screen, touch the Logs tab to review the
dynamometer logs associated with the selected vehicle. You can move
through the available logs by swiping the screen left or right. Force will
display key information about the log as well as the dynamometer plot
itself.
Force displays the following log information:
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Peak Torque
Peak Power
Peak Acceleration
Average Torque Under the Curve
Average Power Under the Curve
Average Acceleration Under the Curve
Max Torque RPM
Max Power RPM
Max Acceleration RPM
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2.) Review Logs from the CSV file:
Force saves all dynamometer pulls and any engine sensors that were logged during the pull to an
external CSV file that can be opened by a spreadsheet application. To get these files onto your
computer, you will need to connect your device via USB to your computer. You can access the external
storage of your device and navigate to the Force folder where the logs are stored with the computer file
explorer. The logs for your vehicle will be stored under Force -> Logs -> Your Vehicle Name. You can
transfer the files you want over to your computer and then open them with any spreadsheet application
for further analysis.
Weather:
Force pulls your local weather to determine the ambient air temperature and air pressure. The air
temperature and air pressure are logged to all dynamometer pulls. This is because air temperature and
air pressure have a dramatic effect on an engine’s performance. Hotter air is less dense and contains
less oxygen (what an engine produces power with) than cold air. Hotter air also makes gasoline less
stable, which can result in less ignition timing advance. Air pressure is what forces air into your engine
(at least on naturally aspirated cars) and less air pressure means less power. This is why engines produce
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less power at higher altitudes where the air is less dense. Air temperature and air pressure are
important factors to consider when reviewing torque and power on a plot.
Purchasing a Bluetooth OBDII Module:
Force can be connected to the vehicles OBDII system with a third-party Bluetooth OBDII module. Once
connected, Force can log a number of the engines sensors and also has the ability to check and clear the
vehicle’s Check Engine Light (CEL).
OBDII Logging:
All OBDII modules offer the same access to the engines sensors, but not all vehicles are equipped with
the same sensors. Assuming the vehicle is equipped, Force can log the following sensors:
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Command Equivalence Ratio
Timing Advance
Engine Load
Mass Air Flow
Fuel Level
Fuel Pressure
Fuel Rail Pressure
Vehicle Speed
Engine RPM
Long Term Fuel Trims Bank 1-2
Short Term Fuel Trims Bank 1-2
Barometric Pressure
Intake Manifold Pressure
Air Intake Temperature
Ambient Air Temperature
Engine Coolant Temperature
Engine Oil Temperature
Throttle Position
02 Sensor Voltage B1-4S1-4
Exhaust gas recirculation temperature
Fuel Injector On-time
OBDII Check Engine Light:
Force can also check and clear both stored and pending Check Engine Lights (CEL)/Diagnostic Trouble
Codes (DTC). Force supports over 2000 SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) DTC definitions and a
limited number of manufacture DTC’s. Note that some vehicle manufacturers have implemented
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additional diagnostic systems in addition to the SAE mandated OBDII system. Generally, Force can read
the DTC’s from these additional diagnostic systems, but is not always capable of clearing the DTC’s.
Supported Bluetooth OBDII Modules:
In theory, Force should work with any Bluetooth OBDII Module, but I have tested the following modules
with successful outcomes.
OBDLink MX Bluetooth Scan Tool
Extremely fast, reliable connections, seems to
work with everything, battery saver feature.
Preferred module.
OBDLink LX Bluetooth Scan Tool
Extremely fast, reliable connections, good value
DBPOWER® Super Mini ELM327 V1.5
Likely clone, slower, can be unreliable, old version
of the ELM327, but it does work and it is
inexpensive
Vgate ELM327 Bluetooth Scan Tool
Likely clone, slower, but reliable connection,
claims to have a more recent ELM327 version,
works well, inexpensive
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Beware of ELM327 Clones:
I would be wary of the cheaper Bluetooth OBDII modules. Many of them rely on what are known as
ELM327 clones. The ELM327 is a proprietary chipset that facilitates communication between the
vehicles OBDII system and other devices. It is a common chip in many OBDII modules. The 1.0 version of
the ELM327 did not implement any form of copy protection. The 1.0 version was cloned and is now
widely available, generally from China, in devices claiming to contain an ELM327. The 1.0 version of the
ELM327 was buggy and missing many features that are available in later versions. Many cloned devices
will also claim to have a later version than 1.0, but this is not the case. A genuine ELM327 chipset is over
$20, so if you are looking at entire ELM327 Bluetooth module that cost less than $20, you can be sure it
is a clone. I am aware that the cloned versions are everywhere, and I have tested with them to verify
that they work, but I would avoid them in favor of higher quality modules that don’t rely on stolen
technology.
Connecting to a Bluetooth OBDII Module:
1.) Enable Bluetooth on your Device:
The first step to connecting Force to an external Bluetooth OBDII module is to ensure that your device
has Bluetooth enabled. On most devices, this will require opening the Settings application on your
device, selecting Wireless Networks, locating the Bluetooth item and then switching it into the “On”
position. You will see a little Bluetooth icon in your menu bar once it is active.
2.) Plug the Bluetooth OBDII Module into your Vehicle:
Once you have activated the Bluetooth on your
Android device, the next step in plugging the
OBDII module into your vehicle. On most vehicles
in North America, the OBDII port can be found
under the driver’s side kick-panel, just above the
pedals (generally towards the door).
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3.) Pair the Bluetooth OBDII Module to your Android Device:
After you have plugged the Bluetooth OBDII module into your vehicle, you will need to return to the
devices Bluetooth menu by opening the Settings application on your device, selecting Wireless
Networks, locating the Bluetooth item. Within the Bluetooth menu, there should be a “Scan” button
that you can press to find the Bluetooth OBDII module. You may need to also press a button on your
Bluetooth OBDII module to make it discoverable. Once your Android device has found the Bluetooth
OBDII module, you may be asked to enter a pairing code which is usually 1234 or 0000.
4.) Select the Bluetooth OBDII Module you want to use within Force:
Force needs to know what Bluetooth OBDII module you want to use. To select the module, open Force
and select the Settings menu item. Under OBD Devices, you will need to tap on Bluetooth Devices. You
can then select what module you would like to use with Force.
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5.) Start the Bluetooth OBDII Connection:
Force needs to instruct the OBDII module to initialize the communication between it and the vehicle’s
ECU. You can do this by touching the OBDII menu item and then selecting Start OBD Connection from
the dropdown box. Before starting the OBDII connection, first make sure you vehicle is either started or
the key is in the “On” position. It may take a while for the OBDII connection to be established. If a
connection has successfully been established, you will see a vehicle icon appear in the menu bar and the
vehicles engine RPM displayed on the RPM gauge. If an error occurs, you should see an error message
explaining what went wrong.
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6.) Open the OBD Manager:
If you have established a valid OBDII connection you can access the OBD Manager by touching the OBD
menu item and then selected OBD Manager. The OBD Manager displays key engine sensor information
and allows the user to access the Check Engine Light screen. The OBD Manager displays the following
engine sensors:
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Engine RPM
Vehicle Velocity
Engine Temperature
Air Intake Temperature
Mass Airflow Sensor
Throttle Position
Timing Advance
Long Term Fuel Trims
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Check and Clear Engine DTCs:
1.) Connect Force to the Bluetooth OBDII Module:
To check and clear a vehicle’s Check Engine Light with Force, it first needs to
be connected to the Bluetooth OBDII module. Once this has been
accomplished, you will need to open the OBD Manager by touching the OBD
menu item and then selecting OBD Manager.
2.) Open the Read DTC View:
Once you are in the OBD Manager, you can touch the Read DTC menu item to
open the Read DTC view which will allow you to read and clear engine DTC’s.
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3.) Check Engine DTCs:
To check engine DTCs, touch the Read DTC button. After a few seconds, a list of all of the stored and
pending DTCs will appear. Force supports over 2000 SAE (Societry of Automotive Engineers) DTC
defintions, so for most DTCs you will see a definition along with the DTC code itself. If the DTC is a
manufacturer DTC, meaning a DTC that is specific to the manufacturer and/or the specific make of the
car, you will most likely see “Manufacturer DTC”. Finding the definitions of most manfucaturer defined
DTCs will require additional research.
4.) Clear Check Engine DTCs:
To clear check engine DTCs, touch the Clear DTC button. This will clear all
OBDII related DTCs. Note that some vehicles are equipped with additional
diagnostic systems other than OBDII, which was originally intended to be a
diagnostic tool for vehicle emissions. Force will sometimes read the
diagnostic codes from the manufacture defined diagnostic systems, but will
rarely clear the codes themselves. Clearing manufacturer defined
diagnostic codes requires specialized software that is, in some cases, only
available to dealers.
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Logging with OBDII:
You can log a number of engine sensors with a Bluetooth OBDII module. The sensor values will be logged
to the CSV file associated with the dynamometer pull. To select the sensors that should be logged, touch
the Settings menu item in the Dynamometer screen and touch OBD Commands at the bottom of the
menu. A list of sensors that can be logged will appear. To select the sensor, check the box next to it.
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