Loading the diagnostic software

Loading a diagnostic software image

First, choose the diagnostic software you want to run. CASCADE supports Hi-Scan Pro/Carman Scan I ROM packs in binary format, as LHA archive (usually with a .DAT extension), and with a self-extracting RAR wrapper (.EXE file; this is how Hyundai S-System is shipped). Any file that is not a plain binary ROM image will be unpacked automatically. See also “Getting Hi-Scan Pro Software for Hyundai and Kia“.

Main Screen

On the top left you see the emulated LCD screen. Below are the emulated function keys and the hint display, where CASCADE will show you tips for acquiring a successful connection with your vehicle. Further down are the record/replay buttons, the “Grab Keyboard” checkbox, and the machine status indicator.

The “Grab Keyboard” checkbox is normally enabled and makes sure that you can use the diagnostic software using the keyboard, which is much more convenient than using the on-screen buttons. In cases in which you need the keyboard for other purposes (such as when entering a custom baud rate), you can uncheck it to make the keyboard available to the user interface.

If the machine status indicator says “RUNNING”, the system is operational. If it says “STOPPED”, the system has been halted. Usually, that means you have not loaded a diagnostic software image yet.

Status LEDs

Status LEDs

On the right you see the status LEDs that give you a glimpse of what is going on internally:

  • “serial” is lit when the serial port is activated.
  • “data rx” and “data tx” light up as data is being received or sent, respectively.
  • “break” is on when an ISO-9141 “slow init” or ISO-14230 “fast init” is performed, that is when the diagnostic software attempts to establish a connection with an ECU via K line.
  • “eeprom” turns on when the non-volatile memory is accessed, for instance on start-up or when changing the diagnostic software system setup.
  • “echo” is on if CASCADE has determined that the running diagnostic software expects all transmitted bytes to be sent back (echoed); this is mostly “tourist information”, CASCADE changes the setting automatically.
  • “beep” lights up in cases where the original device would beep, which I have determined to be far less annoying. 🙂
  • “CAN” indicates that the interface has been switched to CAN bus mode. If this LED is off, the system is in K/L mode.
  • “iface” shows if an interface is connected to your computer and being used by CASCADE. If this LED is off, communication is not possible. Usually, it is off because no suitable interface is connected, or the FTDI drivers have not been installed.
  • “rec” turns on while recording a session, and “play” when replaying one.


Below the LEDs, you find the keypad used to control the diagnostic software. All these buttons are mapped to keys on your keyboard, which is the easier and thus recommended way to use them. The mapping is as follows:

Hi-Scan/CS1 button       CASCADE key
ON/OFF                   F10
*                        B (backlight control, not functional in CASCADE)
SHIFT                    SHIFT (left or right)
HELP                     F12
left/right/up/down       left/right/up/down cursor key
0 ... 9                  0 ... 9 (main keyboard or numeric keypad)
NO                       N
YES                      Y
ESC                      ESC key
UNDO                     backspace key
ENTER                    RETURN or ENTER (numeric keypad)

Baud Rate Control

Below the keys you will find one of the most important features of CASCADE: The transmission speed (baud rate) control. Although the speed can often be determined automatically, in many cases it is important to set the correct speed to succeed in communicating with your vehicle’s electronics.

The “Baud Rate Control” box defaults to “Automatic”, meaning it will trust the diagnostic software to be able to set the speed correctly without human intervention. This works well for vehicles adhering strictly to the standards, but in many cases, you will have to help CASCADE by setting the speed manually. To do so, you can click on the third radio button near the number field that, by default, says “9600”. Here, you can select the correct baud rate – if you know it – or simply try different settings until you succeed in connecting to the ECU you wish to diagnose. You are not restricted to the predefined baud rates (although these are the most common ones and should thus be tried first), but can also key in a custom baud rate. To do this, deselect the “Grab Keyboard” checkbox and enter your chosen baud rate, then select the “Grab Keyboard” checkbox again. (Note that all this only applies to K/L mode; if your control unit speaks CAN, you will not have to bother with this.)

To the right, in the “Current Baud Rate” box, you can see the communication speed actually being used (“Actual”), and the one the diagnostic software thinks should be used (“Requested”). Note that there may be a slight difference between these two values even when baud rate control is set to “Automatic”. This is because of differences between the devices’s serial port and the FTDI USB-to-serial converter. Don’t be concerned, the difference is usually around 1%, which is completely harmless and will not cause any problems connecting.

K Line

One shortcoming of CASCADE is that it cannot switch wires on your USB interface, while the original device’s interface is capable of doing so. Usually, that does not pose a problem because most vehicles have at least some components attached to the standard pin 7; some manufacturers, however, connect secondary control units to other pins on the diagnostic connector, meaning – unfortunately – that these cannot be connected to without modifying the interface hardware, i.e. rewiring the line connected to pin 7 to a different pin.

While CASCADE is not capable of doing that for you, it can at least give you a hint about which pin might be the correct one. If you try to connect to an ECU, and the “K Line” indicator shows a different pin than 7, you might want to investigate if your vehicle perhaps uses non-standard pin assignments. Note, however, that the heuristics used by CASCADE are not 100% foolproof, so you should consult a wiring diagram for your vehicle to make sure you use the right pin before connecting a modified USB interface to your vehicle. (Again, none of this applies to vehicles diagnosed over the CAN bus, which always use the standard pin assignment.)

Interface name

Below the K line indicator you can see the name of the interface chip CASCADE is connected to. If this says “none”, CASCADE was not able to find any interface. The reasons are as detailed above, in the description of the “iface” LED.


“File” Menu

Here, you can load a different diagnostic software (“Load ROM”), load and save states (registered version only), or quit the application.

“Machine” Menu

This menu allows you to control the scanner system, namely to reset it without erasing the non-volatile memory (“Reset”), and to reset it and also clear the non-volatile memory (“Factory Reset”).

“Help” Menu

In the help menu, “Online Help” leads you to this page; the “About” box tells you about the software version.

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