In this article we will talk about tuning ECUs Motronic (Bosch), GM, DSM (Mitsubishi), Jetronic, etc.: BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, Volvo, Chevrolet and not only, with external EPROM memory: 27c128, 27c256, 27c512, 27f512, etc. This is a relatively outdated ECU cars 80-90-ies. Many tuners will say that the ECU data is not "chipable” or setting up ECU data is very difficult, and the best solution is to install a "sports" control unit such as MegaSquirt, Vems, AEM, Haltech, etc., but due to the hardware primitiveness, fortunately, there are currently ways for these cars to fully configure online. For this purpose, there are memory emulators that allow you to detect the memory chip with the ability to change the memory dump (ECU firmware) in real time using special software for editing calibrations. The advantages of setting up a standard control unit, as opposed to installing an external one, are: maintaining a standard diagnostic system; no need to replace or rework standard wiring; no need to replace or supplement sensors; no need to coordinate on-board control units with the engine ECU.
Real Time ECU tuning. What does it mean?
Online ECU setup is the process of changing the parameters of the control program (calibrations) ECU (Electronic Engine Control Unit) in real time, usually during engine operation. Undoubtedly, this is the most efficient and productive way to configure a standard ECU, as opposed to firmware by programming the memory chip using a programmer; in-circuit programming or using an adapter for the diagnostic connector. One of these available solutions today is CobraRTP emulators.
The emulator is installed (connected) in the memory chip connector, and performs the same role. As a rule, the memory emulator allows you to change the firmware (i.e., the contents of the memory) in real time through a program on a PC. In fact, this can be called “on-the-go " chip tuning. CobraRTP emulators work with various online calibration editors, including the well-known TunerPro RT.
TunerPro Universal Editor
TunerPRO RT - universal online firmware editor in binary format (bin), with the ability to add your own plug-ins and work with various devices: diagnostic scanners, loggers, programmers, as well as with memory emulators: Moates Ostrich (Demon), Xtronics Romulator and others, as well as with CobraRTP.
For connection, use the hardware interface (DB9 – outdated and almost unused) or a virtual serial port (COM-USB). Thus, connecting devices to TunerPro can be implemented as a USB interface or Bluetooth. CobraRTP emulators, and in particular the version of MotronicRT It is available in 2 versions: wired (USB) and wireless (BT).
Only installed drivers are required to programmatically configure the connection of emulators. TunerPro automatically selects the speed and other pairing parameters when searching for connected devices.
TunerPro requires an XDF file to work with firmware. XDF is a configuration file that contains parameters for the location of calibrations in the firmware (addresses), as well as additional information (data bit rate, checksum settings, total address offset, table settings, and much more), for the ability to present firmware data in a convenient form for editing (maps, tables, scales, check- boxes). Accordingly, for each ECU (firmware), the XDF file is selected individually.
Online setup process in TunerPro RT
To work with the equipment, you need: TunerPRO RT. First, you need to have the ECU firmware in BIN format, which can be obtained by reading a dump from the standard chip using a programmer, or searching for it on the network, as well as the corresponding XDF file.: https://www.tunerpro.net/downloadBinDefs.htm, https://cobrartp.com/downloads/, Google. If you have all the necessary files, open Bin + XDF, and get the same maps, tables, parameters, etc.
Next, you need to connect the emulator to the computer and connect in the software:
After that, you need to load the firmware (Bin) into the emulator (as we remember, the memory emulator performs the same role as the chip, and has a similar memory):
You can start your car and start the long-awaited setup!
For example, we need to adjust the idle fuel supply (idle fuel map):
As you can see, TunerPro has a sufficient number of tools for editing parameters. After changing the values, there is no need to download the entire firmware again (already changed) in its entirety, for this you can enable the “Online " mode, and download only the changes:
Thus, data is loaded in fractions of a second, rather than loading the entire firmware (about 3-5 seconds). This is called a full-fledged online configuration of the ECU, when the ability to change the firmware is available when the engine is running and all actions are performed within seconds!
Also, emulators such as Moates Ostrich and CobraRTP have additional features, one of which is “address hit tracing” maps in real time. This means that you can see which cells (values) in the tables are currently being accessed by the ECU processor, which significantly simplifies the setup process, and the less experienced tuner becomes clearer about the main aspects in setting up the control unit.:
As we have learned, online configuration of the ECU using memory emulators is very appropriate, where possible, rather than installing a "sports" control unit, which has its own significant advantages, if there are currently available tools for these purposes.