BenchForce™: A Visual History

Welcome to BenchForce: a visual history. We will be showing you, step by step, a visual history of our products from their first incarnation all the way to our current lineup. We think our modular approach is the most cost-effective, simplified way that we can offer these solutions to our customers. In fact, we have customers contacting us all the time who are using our first Hobbyist solutions, because they have been modular and user-friendly from the start.

Rest assured, BenchForce™ is a mature line of products, not something concocted and thrown together overnight with gadgets from an auto parts store and some switches hot glued on.

Let’s take a quick look back at where we came from and who we are now. 

Hobbyist Series - Pre BenchForce™ (pBF)

Hobbyist Series - pre BenchForce PowerBlock

BenchForce™ products started out as our Hobbyist Series. This was our first of our pursuits toward the simplest and cleanest way to move the OBD-II diagnostic port out of the car and onto the bench. With only wires to hook up ignition power to, you needed to supply your own ignition power source, such as a battery or other DC power supply.  In order to stop users from swapping polarity and possibly wrecking an ECU, we used orange and black wire and labeled them as positive and negative. Multiple harnesses were available, which hooked up to the black weather-pack connector on the far right. This was a step in the right direction, but we wanted to make it better.

To this day, we offer support for the Hobbyist series with the BenchForce to BenchForce and Hobbyist Series Y-Splitter Adapter.

Professional Series Rev.1 - Pre BenchForce™ (pBF)

Professional Series pre BenchForce PowerBlock

Since the beginning, the success of BenchForce has been dependent upon feedback in order to improve our products. Even on this first revision to our switch assembly, we listened to customer input. Based on what our customers asked us for, we added a more durable housing and a power jack for ignition power input.

We didn’t know it then, but we discovered what would be the basic design we have stayed with to this day. A CNC-milled, aircraft-grade billet aluminum housing. This was our first circuit board-based solution and cemented the basis for our existing BenchForce™ platform.

Professional Series Rev.2 - Pre BenchForce™ (pBF)


With the addition of a CO2 laser to our shop at EFI Connection came a laser-engraved bench programming switch assembly. Based on customer requirements, the circuit board traces were increased in width and the current capacity for all components was increased to five amps. These switch assemblies do not have every cavity in the OBD-II port wired in because of the limitation with the 16-pin connector we used.

This new 5a circuit board-based solution will prove to be the requirement for future ECUs. We haven’t yet tested any controllers that require more than 5 amps. With the increased amount of work the controllers in cars do these days, it is possible that we may eventually find one.

BenchForce™ PowerBlock I, II, III, IV with ROM Boot

BenchForce in a Line- Switch Assy

With this update came two things:

  1. the brand BenchForce™ was launched
  2. we needed additional capacity for the wiring within more complicated ECUs.

We decided to simplify your bench and add CAN termination within the PowerBlock™ itself. (for BenchForce Powerblock II and above)

For the PowerBlock III, the diagnostic port isn’t the only thing we brought from the vehicle and onto the bench: The MIL (malfunction indicator lamp) was added based on customer input, giving a physical indication to the programmer / tuner / user when the check engine light turns on within the ECU.


To the Future

Great Scott

Now that we're back, we don't pretend to have any idea what the future will bring. We do know that by listening to the requests from our customers, we have outgrown our previous home at eficonnection.com and we continue to add new harnesses and improve our products every step of the way.

Thank you to all of you for being our customers. We appreciate your feedback and support.