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Old 10-15-2012, 04:30 PM   #1
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What does it take to program your own ECUs?

I really want to learn how to program ECUs. I'm currently on the verge of getting my certification in Visual Basic, but really feel like I know nothing yet, especially about ECUs. Take Visconti for example of a successful tuner, how did he learn? Any help is appreciated.
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:06 PM   #2
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Buy the software from ecutek for $3600
Buy a dyno
Rent garage
Install Dyno
Get some advertising and test and prove your results
Its all mixture timing and tables and shit. You can do it if youre committed.

there ya go...
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:19 PM   #3
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Well how i learned was trial and error under professional supervision (could get expensive when you mess things up lol), best way is to put in some shop time.

started with a SAFC-Neo, just working out target A/Fs, (had a rented wideband), then moved on to piggy back systems (Emang ult, utec)
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goat_cheese View Post
Well how i learned was trial and error under professional supervision (could get expensive when you mess things up lol), best way is to put in some shop time.

started with a SAFC-Neo, just working out target A/Fs, (had a rented wideband), then moved on to piggy back systems (Emang ult, utec)
Did you need any previous programming experience?
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:19 PM   #5
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Did you need any previous programming experience?
From my understanding, its less about programming and more about configuration and knowing what each parameter does and how they relate to the others.

The heavy lifting programming is, for the most part, already done by ECUTek.

Someone with ECUTek tuning experience feel free to keep my honest here, but I'm fairly certain that something like Visual Basic experience won't really help.

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Old 10-16-2012, 07:25 PM   #6
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To the OP, I dunno what your OOP skills are but the guys at Ecutek do have a help wanted page if c+ is your cup o tea...
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:47 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Foobar View Post
From my understanding, its less about programming and more about configuration and knowing what each parameter does and how they relate to the others.

The heavy lifting programming is, for the most part, already done by ECUTek.

Someone with ECUTek tuning experience feel free to keep my honest here, but I'm fairly certain that something like Visual Basic experience won't really help.

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You're probably right... Sounds like ECUTek is to ecu programming as Dreamweaver is to HTML.
I'm sure the guys at ECUTek know what they're doing, so learning any low-level programming would probably be borderline useless for ecu programming. Of course, learning to code ecus from the ground up may lead to a better grasp of the subject, so I think.

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To the OP, I dunno what your OOP skills are but the guys at Ecutek do have a help wanted page if c+ is your cup o tea...
I have no experience with OOP and am not really sure what it is, actually. Is that autocad? I am only half way through a semester of an introductory programming course at my community college; haven't really learned jack yet. C+ will be one of my classes in the near future.
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:54 PM   #8
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Hate to nitpick, but since I have a software development background: OOP = Object Oriented Programming, C+ should be C++, an object oriented superset of C.

Rather than ECUTek is akin to Dreamweaver, I think it's more like ECUTek is to an open operating system, and ECUTek Tuning is like tweaking the operating system's config or registry files and possibly a bit of kernel modding and high-level scripting.

The stock Subaru ECU is sort of like a closed operating system that nobody but the OS vendor can change.

Again, someone with ECUTek experience can keep me honest here. Admittedly, I have zero experience in this arena.
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuBlake View Post
You're probably right... Sounds like ECUTek is to ecu programming as Dreamweaver is to HTML.
I'm sure the guys at ECUTek know what they're doing, so learning any low-level programming would probably be borderline useless for ecu programming. Of course, learning to code ecus from the ground up may lead to a better grasp of the subject, so I think.



I have no experience with OOP and am not really sure what it is, actually. Is that autocad? I am only half way through a semester of an introductory programming course at my community college; haven't really learned jack yet. C+ will be one of my classes in the near future.
OOP is "Object Oriented Programming", which C++ is.
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foobar View Post
Hate to nitpick, but since I have a software development background: OOP = Object Oriented Programming, C+ should be C++, an object oriented superset of C.

Rather than ECUTek is akin to Dreamweaver, I think it's more like ECUTek is to an open operating system, and ECUTek Tuning is like tweaking the operating system's config or registry files and possibly a bit of kernel modding and high-level scripting.

The stock Subaru ECU is sort of like a closed operating system that nobody but the OS vendor can change.

Again, someone with ECUTek experience can keep me honest here. Admittedly, I have zero experience in this arena.
Thanks. Sounds like ECUTek is sort of like a replacement operating system for the car's computer, right? Does it completely replace the car's factory operating system, only utilizing the hardware? Please bear with me here.

My guess is that a lot of the ECUTek tuners don't really know how the program works, they just know how to utilize it to tune vehicles. I wish Visconti or someone really experienced could chime in...
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:46 PM   #11
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Would @Visconti chime in?
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:51 PM   #12
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I'd suggest PMing him to look here in this thread, he's super busy so i dunno if he browses off topic threads.
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:02 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuBlake View Post
Thanks. Sounds like ECUTek is sort of like a replacement operating system for the car's computer, right? Does it completely replace the car's factory operating system, only utilizing the hardware? Please bear with me here.

My guess is that a lot of the ECUTek tuners don't really know how the program works, they just know how to utilize it to tune vehicles. I wish Visconti or someone really experienced could chime in...
Sort of, yeah. When I said "open operating system" that's not true in the purest definition of course - only ECUTek tuning interfaces can actually change the configuration settings, but that's more open than the stock ECU code which doesn't allow anyone but Subaru. A truly open operating system analogy would require something like OpenECU which allows anyone to mess with the ECU settings. This doesn't exist for our platform at this time.

Your car's ECU is basically a computer, as you already know. It has some stock loaded firmware on it from Subaru that is locked so that nobody else can change it. Simply put, this firmware manages things like air/fuel mixture, ignition timing, and idle speed. As cars became more sophisticated and added more electronic gadgetry, the ECU also became more sophisticated and now ties in things like valve timing, fuel injection, and other things that interface with the ECU that your car has. Assuming you've got an ECU that was unlocked (with an ECUTek flash for instance), all of these functions can be fine tuned by a tuner to meet specific needs (fuel economy, performance, accommodating an aftermarket air intake system, etc).

The more electronic sensors/actuators a car has tied to the ECU, the more functionality you would typically find. For instance, autoblip, launch control, and flat foot shifting - all possible because of our car's drive by wire system. This type of functionality is provided by ECUTek through their programming. It's not clear to me if ECUTek Tuners like Visconti, FA20Club.com, or Perrin have access to that code to rewrite it. They may be able to tweak some settings though.

Again, this is all general information regarding modern ECU's. For specifics on ECUTek and how it relates to the FT86 platform, I'll let one of the ECUTek guys speak to that.
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Old 10-17-2012, 12:44 PM   #14
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I'd suggest PMing him to look here in this thread, he's super busy so i dunno if he browses off topic threads.
I am aware that he is. I may just have to bother someone, respectfully, to get the information I need though...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foobar View Post
Sort of, yeah. When I said "open operating system" that's not true in the purest definition of course - only ECUTek tuning interfaces can actually change the configuration settings, but that's more open than the stock ECU code which doesn't allow anyone but Subaru. A truly open operating system analogy would require something like OpenECU which allows anyone to mess with the ECU settings. This doesn't exist for our platform at this time.

Your car's ECU is basically a computer, as you already know. It has some stock loaded firmware on it from Subaru that is locked so that nobody else can change it. Simply put, this firmware manages things like air/fuel mixture, ignition timing, and idle speed. As cars became more sophisticated and added more electronic gadgetry, the ECU also became more sophisticated and now ties in things like valve timing, fuel injection, and other things that interface with the ECU that your car has. Assuming you've got an ECU that was unlocked (with an ECUTek flash for instance), all of these functions can be fine tuned by a tuner to meet specific needs (fuel economy, performance, accommodating an aftermarket air intake system, etc).

The more electronic sensors/actuators a car has tied to the ECU, the more functionality you would typically find. For instance, autoblip, launch control, and flat foot shifting - all possible because of our car's drive by wire system. This type of functionality is provided by ECUTek through their programming. It's not clear to me if ECUTek Tuners like Visconti, FA20Club.com, or Perrin have access to that code to rewrite it. They may be able to tweak some settings though.

Again, this is all general information regarding modern ECU's. For specifics on ECUTek and how it relates to the FT86 platform, I'll let one of the ECUTek guys speak to that.
So it may not be an open OS, but it is similar to an OS, so I think. Or maybe it just unlocks the existing OS.

Definitely sounds like there's plenty of room for a beginner to blow up his own engine. I wonder if the software itself comes with instructions or tutorials... Of course, what I want is an advantage to get a jumpstart in this field, so what i'm looking for is a college course or something to study.

I have sort of been keeping up with Visconti's thread, and i'm pretty sure his software does now include throttle blip and some other cool new advanced features like the ones you mentioned.
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