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Old 03-29-2011, 07:35 PM   #1
svtguy88
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Open Source?

So, I'm not entirely sure where to put this - but the Tuning forum seems most appropriate.

One of my STI-owning buddies tells me the Subaru folks have got an open source tuning solution. I don't remember the name off hand, but essentially he said you buy the cable to connect the ECU to your laptop, and can flash it (using some free software) with downloadable maps, or customize your own.

Not to discredit all of the great things that have come out of Tom and others' many hours of dyno time, but the premise of open source OBDII is enticing to me.

Has anyone heard of anything like this? What about from a non-flashing standpoint - ex: reading the vehicle's sensors and reporting them back to the user on a laptop (or carPC, for that matter).

Just some thoughts...I'm bored outta my mind in class.

**edit**

Did some more reading. Checkout OpenEcu.org. It has a lot of info on what I'm referring to. As of right now, it looks like Subaru (at least the WRX/STi) is pretty well supported, and DSM/Mitsu is coming along. I did a basic search of their forums and found a guy with some Ford binaries...

I may have to delve a little deeper into this...



Last edited by svtguy88; 03-29-2011 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:04 AM   #2
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In the simplest terms, no there is no open source for a Focus (or any Ford far as that goes).

There is alternative software that could work, but doesn't. Tweecer, Binary Editor, etc. The problem is unless you have an SVT there is no calibration file for the software to work.

I'd thought it would be the best route for me to do open source on the fly tuning. So I bought a Quarterhorse from Craig Moates and I bought the software from Paul Booth (BE and EE). Turns out non of it will work with out a calibration file and for that file to be made for me will cost a pretty penny. So I looked into how to do it myself. Well it's far to complex for me to understand so I found a deal on an xcal2 and PRP and went that route. I still have the QH and software, it's licensed to me and works I just can't tune the car with it. I'll probably play some and see if I can figure something out eventually.


Basically it would be nice to have OS tuning options for the Focus. But seems everyone is too damn lazy to push for it and make it happen. Guess it's what I'd expect though being we're a bunch of cheap ass's.
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:56 AM   #3
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Wow. Took a loooong time to get someone to reply to this.

It's a shame that the Focus community isn't more "tech oriented." I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the Subaru and DSM folks are who have this working.

Now...this calibration file. I do have an SVT, but I didn't think there was much different between the way the regular focus and the SVT get tuned. What is the calibration files job?

As for the software/hardware you mentioned from Moates. I did some reading over on fj and it seems like some have looked into this already. I'd be more interested in adapting the open source options (the Subaru/DSM solution) to work with the Focus. I mean...no sense in paying for software that doesn't really work. If I end up putting any time into this, it's gonna be with the goodies over at openecu.org.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:06 PM   #4
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From what I understand, which I'm no computer expert or Electronics Engineer grain of salt and what not ...

The calibration file is basically a map of the ECU chip. It's needed to tell the software what is where and how to read it. This map is different for different ECU box codes and then still different for ECU calibration codes (though only slightly). For instance my car has an ECU box code of ZYF5 and a calibration code of KRAF4ZC. From what I'm told ZYF5 is on the rare end of the spectrum and only has 5 other box codes that share the same map. A box code like LFQ1 is more common (I think it's LFQ1, not important anyways).

But in your case this doesn't matter because the SVT has a different ECU altogether. All the Foci besides the SVT/ST170 run a standard EEC-V which uses a Motorola 8065 chip. The SVT/ST170 uses a 'Blackwood' chip. (or at least that's what it's referred to as, not sure who makes it really) The nice thing about the SVT is that all of them use the same ECU calibration file. So what works for one works for all, which also means that if someone has mapped the SVT ECU everyone can benefit ... and someone has so you're in luck.

When I was on the phone with Adam Marrer, an ECU guru from out east, he'd told me that he routinely plays with SVT Focus's and that they are fully supported by the software/hardware I'd purchased. But being I don't have an SVT I can't confirm this personally.
I would say your best bet is to give him or Clint a call/email and ask to be sure you're supported.
Clint's email is: TechSupport@EECAnalyzer.net
Adam's is: adam@popsracing.com

But now that I think about it I don't think the SVT has a J3 port. So you'd have to use the OBD port which would be called 'pass-through' tuning, same thing the SCT/Diablo/Special Forces uses -- more on what 'pass-through' is can be found here: http://www.drewtech.com/support/j2534/

But email Adam and see what he has to say once. Great guy and always willing to help where he can.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:37 PM   #5
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A quick google of "Motorola 8065" brought me to a lot of Mustang forums, and one guy had commented on the "newer PowerPC boxes" - that is the ECU in the SVT and other newer Ford's (I think I read that a LOT of new ones are PPC based, which is funny, as I'm posting this from an aging PPC Mac). His comment also noted that the SVT box DOES have a J3 connector, but it is disabled. I assume whatever method Adam uses enables this connector somehow, allowing for non OBD-port tuning.

I did a bunch more reading over at OpenEcu and it *sounds* like I could use their hardware (the OBD II cable with an attached ELM32 board) to dump what's on the ECU, but there are no .xml definition files available for most of the Ford stuff, as I understand. I assume these "definitions" are the calibration file you are referring to. Basically, with an .xml to define everything, all of the OpenEcu software (which is all free, might I add) *could* work...

Interesting Ford thread @ OpenEcu

He posted some files too...one is .pdf mapping out the various functions and a lot of tech info on the older type of ECU (not what's in the SVT). But, the last post intrigues me. He says that the "newer PowerPC stuff" is a little better laid out (someone commented that the Ford ECU layout was less "obvious" than a Denso ECU)...

Last edited by svtguy88; 04-06-2011 at 02:48 PM. Reason: I can't psell.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:37 PM   #6
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If you have an Android phone, buy the Torque app and, get a Bluetooth ODB2 adapter to read codes, revs, speed, 0-60 times, 1/4 mi. times boost, etc.

It is worth the $4.24 app and $25.00 adapter cost.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:41 PM   #7
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^^^I own an Xcal already - not to mention I could probably write that Android app if I really tried. Not to say it isn't cool - in fact a similar app that I saw advertised for the iPhone is what caused me to start researching the possibility of communicating with the SVT ECU without use of an Xcal/Predator/SCT Pro Racer package.

The idea of what this could bring is enticing to me. I guess that's just the computer nerd in me coming out.

Last edited by svtguy88; 04-06-2011 at 03:01 PM. Reason: still can't psell.
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:04 PM   #8
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IIRC, .xml is specif to Tweecer. So if you'd want to go the BE/EE route it wouldn't work ... which BE/EE costs less and works just the same far as I understand.

Also note that the .PDF is for the EEC-IV and not the EEC-V which you have. I've been able to dig up very little on the EEC-V documentation. Yes it may be similar in operation but far as mapping it goes it's far more complicated due to the size difference from EEC-IV, minimum 256K (EEC-V) vs 56K (EEC-IV) ... and IIRC the Power PC is 512K.
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:17 PM   #9
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You are right on the crazy huge memory leap on the PowerPC chips - I read that in my Google quest. The only reason I mentioned his .pdf is that he also said that the operation of the newer chips is similar, and more user friendly (I'm not really a big fan of binary decimals...lol).

The more that I read about OpenEcu, I'm a little deterred from it. Apparently the "open source" application has a call to check for a connected Tactrix module...meaning it won't work without a Tactrix unit - or wouldn't without some...convincing.

The reason I like OpenEcu is that even though you are stuck with Tactrix equipment, is that they encourage users to write their own applications. I haven't looked into the BE/EE route too much yet (I will), but allowing access to an app that I write is a huge plus for me - as I stated, I'd like to eventually have a pretty GUI that can run on a CarPC and the driver can see the vehicle's vitals on the dashboard. Just a thought...I mean the idea of a free tune (or almost free) with user-adjustability is awesome, but I don't think the Focus community is technical enough to get "homemade" tunes to the point that the Focus tuning elite have already done.

A friend of mine with a WRX is going the OpenEcu route, and his tuner will actually use the open source software for dyno tuning. I guess the rate is a little higher, as the software isn't quite as polished as the commercial alternatives, but I still found it pretty sweet.
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:21 PM   #10
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so this would never be available for a base model zetec?
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