How to connect Ford UCDS adapter to Forscan

Important tips and guides of Ford UCDS Pro adapter connection with Forscan:


FORScan implements standard J2534 Passthru API to access J2534 Passthru adapters, no matter if it is UCDS , Ford VCMII, CanTieCar, Tactrix OpenPort, Vxdiag VCX Nano etc . Yes, different adapters implement some aspects of J2534 standard differently, so we periodically fix J2534 issues in FORScan. For example, in latest versions we added J2534 message send timeout that, as realized later, doesn’t work properly in adapters like VXDIAG Nano (makes them extremely slow). We are going to fix it in the next release. But connection procedure is quite simple and straightforward. This procedure in FORScan works well and not changed for months if not years. Connection issues, if any, most likely caused by adapter or it’s drivers.


As for UCDS, we researched connection problem with this adapter several months ago and found out the following:


  1. Old versions of UCDS (v2?) had problem with J2534 drivers. FORScan was able to access the DLL that implements J2534 API (ucdsj2534.dll) in a standard way. But this library had additional dependencies (unknown for FORScan and other s/w) – libusb0.dll and ftd2xx.dll available in the same folder. This is incorrect driver implementation, However it can be fixed quite easily by copying the libusb0.dll and ftd2xx.dll from UCDS folder to any place FORScan can access it – either in Windows DLL system folder or in FORScan EXE folder.


  1. New versions of UCDS (v3) seems to have no libusb0.dll dependency anymore, but ftd2xx.dll dependecy still exists. FORScan has NO ftd2xx.dll distributed, it uses FTDI drivers installed in the system, if any. So if there are no FTDI drivers installed in the system (so FORScan can reach this DLL in Windows system DLL folder), FORScan may not be able to access UCDS J2534 API. Again, we consider it incorrect J2534 API implementation. However it can be easily fixed by copying ftd2xx.dll from UCDS folder to FORScan EXE folder.


  1. New UCDS versions have complex anti-piracy protection system. In our tests we noticed that couple of times FORScan was unable to connect to UCDS until we ran native UCDS software that connected to their server and verified the license, also enabled CAN mode ON.


FAQs of “UCDS adapter in Forscan”:


So explain what it means for an UCDS v3 adapter with Forscan?

It means that if you use UCDS v3 and it doesn’t work with FORScan, copy ftd2xx.dll from UCDS exe folder to FORScan exe folder. This is an incorrect J2534 library implementation by UCDS, and not a problem of FORScan. Also, if you have FTDI drivers installed in your system (so ftd2xx.dll is available in Windows system folder) everything should work “out of the box”. This is why it works “out of the box” for some people (who seems to have FTDI drivers installed) and doesn’t work for others (who have no FTDI drivers installed).


Can I use the UCDS adapter with Forscan?

Yes you can. A lot of FORScan users successfully use it.


Somebody knows how to connect the UCDS adapter to Forscan?

If you’ve got the UCDS adapter drivers loaded you should see it listed in FORScan settings, connection tab under J2534 Adapters section.


Some new drivers needed?

I have the v3 Ford UCDS adapter and after I installed the drivers it showed up automatically in FORScan for me and works on my Windows 8 & 10 laptop.