Let’s take a look at the CMD OBD flash tool. The tool at first glance is what would be classed as an all in one tool. Apart from being solely an OBD flash tool it can also be upgraded to support a number of boot loader protocols. On this occasion we will be just looking at the OBD part.
So, to make it simple lets break it down in to different parts, let’s first look at the GUI and software.
The first thing you will notice with CMD is that the tool is secure, in the fact that the software and the tool have a security protocol. The tool must go online and handshake the CMD server at set points in time. This ensures total tool security against cloning and also from theft.
After pairing the tool to the PC we can now start the software and have a look at the layout and protocols offered. From the first glance the software looks very basic in terms of a fancy GUI, as unlike its competitor all the vehicles are not laid out with make, model, engine size, output etc. The CMD is a tool for people who are already at an advanced stage of chip tuning, where they don’t need a babysitter and should already know the differences between vehicle models and ECU specs.
The CMD has another major feature under its belt, a VIRTUAL READ function. This feature lets you download original files from CMD’s online server 24hrs a day for ECU’s that cannot be ready by OBD alone. This includes boot loader only reads such as ME7, ME9, MEDC17, Simos, Visteon DCU102 and the once popular EDC16 Opel ECU. This was a major breakthrough for Opel vehicles, where tuning, EGR and DPF modification could only be done by BDM method. The CMD can virtual read the full BDM file then write the full modified file back through the OBD port, thus saving time and removal of the ECU.
Read speeds with the CMD are undoubtedly the fastest out of any of the tools. Virtual reads are circa 30 seconds; with OBD reads with vehicles on CAN usually range from 2 minutes to 20 minutes. This is a major positive for busy shops or mobile users.
Flashtec are also at the forefront of new protocols and read/write techniques. They release a steady stream of very usable updates, usually first out of the tool manufacturers, which work first time.
The tool has industry standard features such as a battery real time monitor, a recovery function in case of interrupted flashing, DTC clearing function, automatic checksum correction for all protocols, Automatic resistor switch-KLine 470 ohm pull-up resistor for VAG EDC16.
Overall the CMD is a very stable tool, Very reliable and gives you piece of mind when you press read or write button that the tool will perform.
As with everything, one tool cannot be good at everything. The only downsides that can possibly be found to the tool are that of the older / unpopular protocols i.e. older ford/jaguar vehicles and some Japanese petrol vehicles, but on the flip side it can flash all the newer models.
Also with the CMD the online protocol / virtual read functions can be problematic / slow / not work if you are not in a wifi or 3g/4g data area.
Unlike its competitor, the CMD does not come with the free ST boot-loader function but in comparison it is not really required as the virtual read will give you the required file. The boot-loader is only required to read out already modified files.
I would score the CMD a 9/10.
Positives would be unrivalled read and write speeds, the virtual read function, its security and also the upgradability of the tool – so a 2nd tool does not have to be purchased.
Negatives would be that a few of the older vehicle protocols are not covered and the tool can sometimes be a problem without an internet connection.