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Mstislav Medvedev
Mstislav Medvedev

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BMW Diagnostic Head Emulator: What It Is and How to Use It




If you own a BMW vehicle, you may have heard of BMW Diagnostic Head Emulator (DHE), a software tool that emulates the presence of the diagnostic head ICOM-A, which is used for communication between the vehicle and the diagnostic software. DHE allows you to use ISTA/D and ISTA/P software on your PC without having to buy an expensive ICOM device. In this article, we will explain what DHE is, how it works, how to install and configure it, how to use it for diagnostics and programming, and some tips and tricks for using it effectively.




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Introduction




BMW Diagnostic Head Emulator (DHE) is a software tool that emulates the presence of the diagnostic head ICOM-A, which is a hardware device that connects the vehicle's OBD port to the diagnostic software on a PC. ICOM-A is part of the ICOM system, which consists of three components: ICOM-A, ICOM-B, and ICOM-C. ICOM-A is used for communication with all BMW vehicles, ICOM-B is used for communication with MOST bus systems, and ICOM-C is used for communication with 20-pin diagnostic connectors.


The benefits of using DHE are:


  • You can save money by not having to buy an expensive ICOM device.



  • You can use any standard OBD cable or adapter to connect your vehicle to your PC.



  • You can use any PC that meets the minimum requirements for running ISTA software.



  • You can access all the features and functions of ISTA software, such as diagnostics, programming, coding, service reset, etc.



The requirements for using DHE are:


  • A PC running Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, or 10.



  • An OBD cable or adapter that supports K-line or CAN bus protocols.



  • ISTA/D and ISTA/P software installed on your PC.



  • DHE software downloaded from a reliable source.



How to Install and Configure DHE




To install and configure DHE on your PC, follow these steps:


  • Download the DHE files from a reliable source. You should get a ZIP file named BMW_Diagnostic_Head_Emulator_Install.rar.



  • Extract the ZIP file using a file compression program like 7-Zip or WinRAR. You should get a folder named BMW_Diagnostic_Head_Emulator_Install.



  • Open the folder and run the file named setup.exe. Follow the instructions on the screen to install DHE on your PC.



  • After the installation is complete, open the folder named C:\Program Files\Softcom Ltd\BMW Diagnostic Head Emulator.



  • Run the file named Diag Head Emulator.exe as an administrator. This will launch the DHE software.



  • On the DHE software window, click on the Settings button. This will open the settings window.



  • On the settings window, you need to set up the virtual network and the emulator. The virtual network is used to create a connection between DHE and ISTA software, and the emulator is used to simulate the ICOM device.



  • To set up the virtual network, you need to select a network adapter from the drop-down menu. This should be the same network adapter that you use to connect your PC to the internet. You can check your network adapter by going to Control Panel\Network and Internet\Network Connections.



  • To set up the emulator, you need to select an interface type from the drop-down menu. This should match the type of OBD cable or adapter that you use to connect your vehicle to your PC. You can choose from K-line, CAN bus, or K+CAN bus.



  • After you have selected the network adapter and the interface type, click on the Save button to save your settings.



  • Close the settings window and go back to the DHE software window. You should see a green light next to the Status label, indicating that DHE is ready to use.



  • To connect DHE to ISTA/D and ISTA/P software, you need to run them as an administrator. You can find them in the folder named C:\Rheingold. ISTA/D is used for diagnostics and ISTA/P is used for programming.



  • When you run ISTA/D or ISTA/P software, you should see a message saying that DHE is connected. You can also check the connection status by clicking on the VCI Config button on ISTA software. You should see that DHE is selected as the VCI (Vehicle Communication Interface).



How to Use DHE for Diagnostics and Programming




To use DHE for diagnostics and programming, follow these steps:


  • Connect your vehicle's OBD port to your PC using an OBD cable or adapter.



  • Turn on your vehicle's ignition, but do not start the engine.



  • Run DHE software as an administrator and make sure it is connected to ISTA software.



  • Run ISTA/D or ISTA/P software as an administrator and select DHE as the VCI.



  • Select the vehicle model and interface from the menu. You can either enter the vehicle identification number (VIN) manually or scan it automatically using ISTA software.