EFI ECU FAQ


OK I found the software I need. What do I need that you sell?

The most important equipment for you will probably be the pocket programmer. It allows you to read your chip and put it's content into a file. It also lets you write to an EPROM after you have changed the EPROM data with an editor. It comes with everything else you need - including cable and power adapter.

You will probably want a UV EPROM eraser sooner or later. This allows you to shine a special light into the quartz glass window on the chip to erase the chip and get it ready to reprogram. There is usually a sticker on this window and you should clean it off with isopropyl alcohol to avoid problems. Once the chip is erased, you put it in the programmer and will probably want to run blank check.. There is a bit of information about UV erasing.

With larger chips 27C256 and 27C512 you can instead use 29C256 and 29C512 that we sell. these chips are electrically erased and you don't need a UV eraser (With the 29C512 Connect pins 32,31 and 30 together and let pins 1,2 and 31,32 hang over the socket.)

The other thing that we have is the Pocket-ROM. This lets you put a file into it and instead of plugging a chip into your ECU you plug a cable and it looks to the ECU like it has a chip plugged into it. With this you can make changes while the car is running! You are actually tuning the parameter and seeing the result instantly. I'm told that it often pays for itself the first time used in savings of dynamo charges. The Pocket-ROM requires a windows computer with a serial port (it works with USB serial ports too!). The process is called emulation and if you are emulating a chip with less pins than the cable - let the pins on the pin-one-end of the cable (with the red stripe) hang over.

GM ROM House Numbers


GM (in what can only be described as an attempt to keep life interesting) decided to use house numbers on their EPROMS. This list of GM_ECU_eproms.html_chips will help you figure out which chip type it is.

More GM info is at thirdgen.org

Make your own Memcal Adapter

Here is the info you need..



Steps to do it

  1. Hook up your Pocket Programmer to your computer.
  2. Load the Programmer's software, Run the software, and choose the correct EPROM type.
  3. * Take your computer chip from your car and place it in the Programmer CORRECTLY.
  4. Use the Programmer's software to read your chip.
  5. Save the chip image to your hard drive. This is the BIN.
  6. Run your Editor.
  7. Load the correct calibration file.
  8. Load your BIN.
  9. ** View/Change the chip's parameters and tables.
  10. Save a new BIN.
  11. Shutdown the Editor and return to the Programmer's software.
  12. Ensure the correct EPROM type is selected.
  13. Place an erased chip on the Programmer.
  14. Do a 'blank check' to ensure the EPROM is erased.
  15. Program the EPROM with the BIN .

Static damage is an issue

Working on an ECU requires the correct use of a ground strap connected to the ground of the car AND the ground of the computer that will run the romulator software. Connect the grounds FIRST then the emulator. Such static damage is by far the most common reason romulators fail - you can also damage ECUs and ROMs if you don't take static precautions. A detailed understanding of static can be found here ESD

Using the Romulator

The first thing you want to do is get the romulator running with a known good chip image. Take the chip out (using ESD measures) and save a copy of the chip to a file using the Pocket Programmer. Start up the romulator software (PKT_ROM.exe) and set the correct device type. If the romulator is plugged into the ECU, the ignition of the car MUST be on when doing operations in the romulator software. Press the Load Buffer button and select the file you save. Then press the Buffer-to-ROM button. At this point turn off the ignition and turn it back on to reset the ECU and try and start your car. If it won't start, try the alternate pull-hard/pull-soft setting.

After you have the car running with our software, you can now try using any third-party software.

How to keep from frying your Pocket-ROMulator

First, connect a wire from something metal on the back of your computer to the ground of test system circuit board. Second, put on a ground strap connected to the same ground of test system circuit board - only now should you think of touching anything electronic. While emulating with the above mentioned connections, your computers ground, the ground of the test system, and your skin surface will remain at the same voltage.

EFI users should note that sliding on car seats generates static that breaks electronic things. You should have a ground wire that connects something metal (like a connector screw) on the back of your computer that goes to an alligator clip that you fasten to the frame of the car. You should then have a ground strap on that is also connected to the car frame. If you don't wear a ground strap you will lose valuable time and equipment.

What if I need help?

Before you call or email be sure to look at Pocket Programmer FAQ page or the Romulator FAQ page first. If you need to contact us, we are here to help you. Be sure to know what OS (Operating System you are running, the version of the software (in the title bar of the program window) and for the Pocket-ROM the hardware version found (look just under the com port selector near the bottom left-hand corner of the program window.)

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Disclaimer

This information may have errors; It is not permissible to be read by anyone who has ever met a lawyer.
Use is confined to Engineers with more than 370 course hours of electronic engineering for theoretical studies.
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