FAQs PAGE

OBDI Tuner and RT Tuner

What will I need to tune my vehicle?
Can I run the Tuner program under Windows Vista/Windows 7?
Why are there multiple ECM Definition Files for the same Cadillac cars?
I just downloaded the latest Tuner update. How do I install it?
How do I know if my 94 LT1 car has a Rev B calibration stored in the PCM?
I'm having trouble communicating with the PCM in my '94/95 LT1. What should I do?
My ECM has a long blue module (Memcal) but no EPROM. What do I do?
How do I use the  C.A.T.S Tuner Program?
I started the Tuner program. Now what do I do?
The Tuner setup program will not run?
How do I identify the correct ECM Definition File?
What kind of calibration files work with the Tuner Program?
I get an error message when opening a calibration file. Why?
Do I need to understand binary or hex numbers?
How do I work with EPROM's?
How do I work with Flash ROM's
Why does the Tuner program ask for a password when I select an ECM?
How much does the Tuner program cost?
How do I order C.A.T.S. software?
I received an updated Definition File. How do I install it?
When I try to open a particular table, I get a run-time error 6.
What is C.A.T.S. update policy?
How do I know if I have the latest version of my ECM Definition Files?

 

OBDII Tuner

Is the OBDII Tuner still available for purchase from C.A.T.S.
I am a current user of the OBDII Tuner program. Do I now get support from JET?
How can I get the latest version of the OBDII Tuner program?
I'm having problems communicating with the vehicle. What can I do?
Is there any data logging software that is compatible with the C.A.T.S. OBDII interface cable?

What will I need to tune my vehicle?

1994 - 95 LT1 Cars:

If you are working on a 1994 - 95 LT1 car you'll need one of our LT1 Tuning Kits. These kits come complete with the Tuner program, $EE ECM Definition File and the interface cables you'll need to connect you PC to the car for reading and programming the car's computer. If you car has an OBDI style ALDL connector (12 pins), you'll need the LT1-Tune-1 kit. If your car has an OBDII style ALDL connector you'll need the LT1-Tune-2 kit. If you'd like to be able to tune cars with either style ALDL connector then you should get the LT1-Tune-Y kit.

 

If you already have a compatible ALDL cable (we have tested and verified the cables from AKM Electronics (www.akmcables.com), TTS Power Systems (www.ttspowersystems.com) or Craig Moates (http://moates.net).) then all you'll need is the Tuner program and the $EE ECM Definition File.

 

EPROM Based Vehicles:

Most other OBDI GM vehicle have a computer that uses an EPROM to store the calibration information. To tune these vehicles you'll need one of our OBD1-Tune or OBDI-Pro-Tune kits. These are complete kits have everything you'll need to tune your vehicle including the necessary software and hardware. If you already have an EPROM programmer for reading and programming the EPROMs the you can purchase our Tuner program (or the RT Tuner program if you want to do real-time tuning) and the appropriate ECM Definition File separately.

 

If you would like to be able to tune your vehicle in 'real-time', that is while the engine is running, you'll need the RT Tuner program ($99.95) instead of the standard Tuner program, the appropriate ECM Definition File and the Romulator EPROM emulator from Xtronics or the Ostrich or AutoProm emulator from Craig Moates (http://moates.net). Real-time tuning allows you to make changes while the engine is running and immediately see the affects of the changes you are making. This can significantly shorten the tuning process. The RT Tuner program does everything the standard Tuner program does in addition to real-time tuning support so you don't need both programs. When you're finished tuning, you'll want to program an EPROM with your final calibration and disconnect the emulator so you'll still need an EPROM programmer. If you would like to purchase one of the OBDI-Tune or OBDI-Pro-Tune kits with the RT Tuner program instead of the standard Tuner program you just need to purchase the RT Tuner upgrade ($30.00) when you purchase the kit.

 

Please note that since the 1994-95 LT1 Flash based ECMs do not have a removable EPROM there's no way to connect an emulator to these ECMs so you can't do real-time tuning on these cars.  

 

Can I run the Tuner program under Windows Windows 7 or Windows 8?

The Tuner and RT Tuner programs can be run under Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows 8. Please follow the following steps to install these programs on a PC running Windows 7 or Windows 8.

 

1. First you must be logged on as an administrator.

 

2. In order for the programs to install correctly the installation programs must be run in Compatibility mode. Download the setup program for the latest version of the Tuner program from the 'Downloads' page on our web site and save it to your Desktop.

 

3. Before running the setup program right click on it. Select Properties from the list and then click the Compatibility tab. On the Compatibility screen check the 'Run this program in compatibility mode for' box, select the default Windows XP SP2 (or SP3), check the 'Run as administrator' box, click on the 'Apply' button and then click on the 'OK' button.

 

4. Now double click on the setup program to install the Tuner program and follow the on-screen instruction to complete the installation.

 

5. After completing the installation you'll also need to set the Tuner program itself to run in compatibility mode. To do so, right click on the Tuner icon on your Desktop, Select 'Properties' from the pop-up menu and then click the 'Compatibility' tab. On the Compatibility screen check the 'Run this program in compatibility mode for' box, select the default Windows XP SP2 (or SP3), check the 'Run as administrator' box, click on the 'Apply' button and then click on the 'OK' button. 

 

Why are there multiple ECM Definition Files for the same Cadillac cars?

Unlike most other GM vehicles the calibrations used for these cars changed from calibration to calibration so that the locations of the calibration parameters in the calibration (.bin) files moved from calibration to calibration in many cases. When the calibration parameter locations change or different calibration parameters are used a new ECM Definition is required. To determine which of the Cadillac ECM Definition Files you'll need depends on the specific calibration you are working on. The calibration is identified by the Broadcast code (four letters) which is located on the ECM label and sometimes also on the Memcal. Compare your Broadcast codes with the ones listed for each of the Cadillac ECM Definition Files to find the correct one. If you have a Broadcast code that is not listed please contact us for more information.

 

 

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I just downloaded the latest Tuner update. How do I install it?
The Tuner update is a setup program that installs any updated files to you PC. To install the updates, just double click on the downloaded file to start the installation and then follow the on-screen instructions. By default the setup program installs the updates to the folder 'c:\program files\cats\tuner'. If you originally installed the Tuner program to a different folder you'll need to change the installation folder when you run the setup program.

After installing the update, run the Tuner program and select 'About' from the "Help' . Verify that the new version is shown on the About screen.

How do I know if my 94 LT1 car has a Rev B calibration stored in the PCM?

There were a relatively small number of 1994 vehicles that used the early Rev B calibration so you should start out with the standard $EE ECM Definition when working on a vehicle or a calibration file for the first time.
 
To verify that the calibration isn't a Rev B, select the 'PCM_EE' from the 'ECM' menu to use the $EE ECM Definition File. Then open the calibration file using the 'Open' function from the 'Files' menu or read the calibration from the PCM using the 'Read PCM' selection form the 'Tools' menu.
 
Next open the 'Constants Table' and look at the values for the Cylinder Volume and Injector Flow Rate parameters. If these values look reasonable, then you are working with a standard $EE ECM Definition File. If you are in fact working with a Rev B calibration, then the values for these parameters will be very strange; the Cylinder Volume is typically 0 and the Injector Flow Rate will be a ridiculously large value like 793.46 lbs/hr.
 
If it turns out that you are working with a Rev B calibration, then click on the 'ECM' menu and select "PCM_EEB' from the list and re-open the calibration file or re-read the PCM to view and edit the calibration parameters.
 

 I'm having trouble communicating with the PCM in my '94/95 LT1. What should I do?

 

First check the following:

 

1. Unplug the ALDL cable from your PC and reboot your PC.
 
2. Once Windows is back up and running plug your ALDL cable into a USB port on your PC. (It should not be connected to the car.) If you get the Windows 'Found new hardware' message and Windows asks to search for a compatible driver then the drivers did not install correctly and you should repeat the driver installation process.
 
3. Once the USB drivers are installed, click on the Windows 'Start' button and then select Control Panel. From the Control Panel double click on 'System', click on the 'Hardware' tab and then select 'Device Manager'.
 
4. Go to 'Mice and other pointing devices' and verify there is no 'Microsoft Serial Ball Point' item listed. If there is right click on this item and select 'Disable' from the pop-up menu.
 
5. Go to 'Ports (COM and LPT) and verify that there is a USB Serial Port listed there. Unplug the ALDL cable and this COM port should go away and then reappear when you plug the ALDL cable back in. If there is no USB Serial Port listed here then expand the 'Universal Serial Bus controllers' section of the Device Manager and right-click on the 'USB Serial Converter'. Go to the 'Advanced' tab, and check the box indicated as 'Load VCP'. Then hit 'OK'. Unplug the USB/ALDL cable, and plug it back in. Expand the Ports (COM & LPT) section of the Device Manager and you should now see a USB Serial Port listed.
 
6. Note the COM port number assigned to the USB Serial port. It should be a COM port between 1 and 16. If a COM port number greater than 16 was assigned you'll need to change the COM port number manually. To do so right click on the USB COM port on the Device Manager screen and select 'Properties', click on the 'Port Settings' tab and then click on the 'Advanced' button. Select a new COM port number of 16 or less. (Note: the COM port number you select should not be currently in use by another port.)
 
7. Run the Tuner program and click on the 'ECM' menu. Select 'PCM_EE' from the drop-down list.
 
8. Click on the 'Options' menu and select 'Comm Port Setup' from the drop-down list.
 
9. On the Comm Port Selection screen click on the COM port number that was assigned to the ALDL cable when you installed the drivers (it should be shown as 'Available') and then click on the 'OK' button

 

Here are some things that can cause communications problems with the vehicle:

 
1. Make sure there are no other programs running on the PC when you are reading or programming the PCM, including virus protection software, screen savers and power management functions.
 
2. If you are using a laptop with an IR (Infrared) interface, disable it.
 
3. Make sure your car battery is fully charged. Do not attempt to read or program the PCM with a battery charger connected to the battery.
 
4. Avoid anything that might generate electrical noise such as other cars running nearby or large electrical motors, etc. I've even had reports of laptop battery chargers causing a problem.
 
5. Make sure you have a good connection to the PC and the ALDL connector.
 
6. Check the in vehicle ground connections, especially if its an engine swap. A poor ground can cause some strange problems.

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My ECM has a long blue module (Memcal) but no EPROM. What do I do?

The EPROMs used is these ECMs are located in the Memcal. (You can see the EPROM through one of the holes in the top of the Memcal.) To gain access to the EPROM, carefully remove the blue (sometimes it's tan) plastic cover. The Memcals generally also contain the 'limp-home mode' resistor network and some knock sensor signal conditioning circuitry. There are several ways to work with these Memcals.
 
1. You can unsolder the EPROM and then install a standard IC socket so you can then easily plug in new calibrations. This can be a little tricky if your not comfortable with a soldering iron and you can damage the EPROM if you're not careful.
 
2. You can use the HDR1 Memcal adapter that allows you to plug the Memcal into your EPROM programmer. The only downside to this is you may need to modify your EPROM eraser so you can put the entire Memcal in it to erase EPROM and every time you want to make a change, you have to erase that EPROM unless you have multiple Memcals.
 
3. You can use the G1 Memcal Adapter. This allows you to use the SST27SF512 Flash chip in place of the original EPROM (which can be left in the Memcal). This allows you to easily remove the Flash chip, erase and reprogram it with the inexpensive Burn 2 programmer and reinstall it with no soldering required.

How do I use the  C.A.T.S Tuner Program?
The Tuner is a generic tool configured by ECM Definition Files that have the required information for a specific ECM or PCM. Obviously the hard part is knowing what the binary values define and how to scale them into useful engine units.

The program runs like most 32 bit windows applications, and is in simple English. No knowledge of binary or hex is required. Checksums are automatically updated upon saving the final result.

To use the Tuner program effectively, the user will need to understand the functions of the internal combustion engine and the basic operation of a closed loop control system. 

I started the Tuner program. Now what do I do?

I have the Tuner program running but most of the menus are inactive and nothing seems to work. You open a calibration file before most of the functions of the Tuner program become active. If you're running the evaluation version of the program you need to obtain a type $42 calibration file. This is a very common calibration and you can easily find an example calibration file on the internet. The calibration files are technically copyright GM so to avoid any possible copyright infringement issues, we do not include a sample calibration file with the evaluation program. 

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The Tuner setup program will not run?

When I try to run the Tuner setup program, the main setup screen is displayed briefly and then the screen disappears and the program ends. This problem usually occurs because the riched32.dll file is missing from your 'System' subdirectory or the files is an incorrect version. Click on the following link to download the current version of this dll file.

riched32.zip

To install this file, unzip it and place it in your 'System' (or 'System32') subdirectory. If there is already a version of this dll file in this subdirectory, do not over-write it. Rename the existing file 'riched32.old' first.

How do I identify the correct ECM Definition File?
Like most GM products, calibrations are defined by a part numbers, a traditional 8 digit number and by a short form description know as a "Broadcast Code"
 

Example:

Broadcast Code  P/N ECM or PCM P/N Program ID Scan tool ID
ARJU/7493 16147492 01227747 $42 6301
ANHT/2498 16134297 01227727 $8D 5081
ASWH/1727 16141562 01227727 $55 6121
ATNX/5668 16145667 01227730 $8D 5571
Broadcast Code:
The four letters are unique to the actual software, the '/' and 4 digits are the last 4 digits of GM's part number for this particular calibration.
P/N:
This 8 digit number is the part number of a calibration installed in memory (EPROM) and and other hardware required to install it in you ECM or PCM. 
ECM P/N:
The ECM (or PCM) p/n describe the specific hardware that the code is to be used in. 
Program ID:
The template ID is always a two bit code that describes the "layout" of the calibration, in other words exactly where thing are located and the calculations performed. 

While the layout is the same the numerical calibration will differ for each Broadcast Code
 

Scan Tool ID:
The Scan Tool ID allows a mechanic to identify the exact calibration by reading a "Scan ID" form any Scan Tool. 
After quick review of the above information, it should be obvious that the ECM or PCM part number doesn't describe the software, we prefer to use the broadcast code and the Program ID byte. Our ECM definition files are set up to match specific calibrations therefore we name them after the ID byte. 

Referring to the example, the TunerCat $8D configuration file will run with ANHT and ATNX even though they reside in different ECM's  both are $8D templates.  What this means is the spark table will be located in the same place and be scaled the same, and so will all the other tables in the $8D calibrations, (These happen to be Camaro & Vette calibrations).

The $55 calibration is a Buick/Pontiac/Chevy passenger car, after the first 12 or so bytes the calibration is completely different than the $8D calibrations. 

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What kind of calibration files work with the Tuner program?
Binary files (EPROM image),  sometimes known as a binary dump are the required data format. These files are the most compact and are a direct EPROM (or Flash ROM) image.

I get a file error message when opening a calibration file. What's the problem?

If you open a valid calibration file but have chosen the incorrect ECM Definition File, the following error message will be displayed:

To correct this problem, click on the 'ECM' menu and select the correct ECM Definition File before opening the calibration file.

If the calibration file is corrupt or in a format that the Tuner program does not recognize the following error message will be displayed. 

The calibration file must be a binary file that is an exact binary image of the EPROM. This means that the binary file must also be the correct length for the type EPROM used in your ECM. The file extent must be '.bin'.

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Do I need to understand binary or hex numbers?
No, the C.A.T.S Tuner works with decimal numbers expressed in conventional units e.g. RPM, milliseconds, Volts. The translation to the native binary is automatic.

How Do I work with EPROM's?
There are two basic options when working with the older ECMs that used an EPROM to store the calibration information.

1. You can use the appropriate adapter (G2 EPROM Adapter for the earlier ECMs or the G1 Memcal Adapter and HDR1 Memcal Adapter for the later ECMs that had a Memcal). This allows you to use the SST27SF512 Flash chip in place of the original EPROM. Using the SST27SF512 Flash chip allows you to use the  inexpensive Burn 2 Programmer to erase and reprogram the Flash chip. This option has several advantages.

    A. You can use the Burn 2 Programmer rather than a more expensive standard EPROM programmer.

    B. You don't need a UV EPROM eraser.

    C. You can leave the original EPROM unchanged.

2. You can erase and reprogram the original EPROM. To do this you will need an EPROM programmer and a UV EPROM eraser. While the 'up-front' cost for this option is higher if you plan to tune a large number of vehicles this option would be less expensive because you don't need an adapter and Flash chip for each vehicle you tune.  

Most GM ECM's use 2732, 27C128, 27C256 or 27C512 EPROM's. Most any part number variation is ok, the processors are relatively slow, so you don't need to buy fast chips. (See our EPROM Pin out page for further information.)

Some sources of EPROM's and Programming equipment are listed on our Links page.

How Do I work with PCM's with Flash Memory
The FLASH memory chips are not removable. To tune this vehicles you need to connect to the ALDL connector in the vehicle. The Tuner program has built in utilities to read and program the PCM through the car's ALDL communication connector but you will need one of our USB/ALDL interface cables so that you can connect you PC to the vehicle.

We offer complete tuning kits for the 1994 - 94 LT1 cars that include everything you'll need. These kits include the Tuner program, the $EE ECM Definition File and the ALDL interface cable you need to read and reprogram the car's computer. This cable connects you PC to the car's ALDL (diagnostic) connector under the dash. Two different ALDL connectors were used in these cars; an OBDI style 12 pin connector and an OBDII style 16 pin connector.
 
There are three different versions of each of these kits available. Which version you'll need depends on the type of ALDL connector in your car:
 
    LT1-Tune-1: This kit includes an OBDI style ALDL interface cable for cars with the OBDI style 12 pin ALDL connector.
    LT1-Tune-2: This kit includes an OBDII style ALDL interface cable for cars with the OBDII style 16 pin ALDL connector.
    LT1-Tune-Y: This kit includes an ALDL interface cable that will work with both types of ALDL connectors.

We also offer similar tuning kits for the 1994 - 95 L31 and L82 V6 cars.

 

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Why does the Tuner program ask for a password when I select an ECM?

The ECM Definition Files have provisions for password protection. This provision was included for users who are developing their own ECM Definition Files using the Definition File Editor program. While we do not use this feature with our Definition Files, these files do contain a 'default' password that the Tuner program ignores. These passwords (including the default password) are keyed to the 'last modified' date of the Definition File so if this date is changed, for instance by editing the Definition File with any program other than the C.A.T.S. ECM Definition File Editor, the default password will no longer be correct.

Also if an ECM Definition File is e-mailed without being zipped, the 'last modified' date will be changed when the file is downloaded. This is one reason we always zip the Definition Files. If you want to e-mail a Definition File that you have created, you must zip it first.

How much does the Tuner program cost?

The registration cost of the Tuner program is $69.95. This registration cost includes the $42 ECM Definition File. 

All other ECM Definition Files cost $19.95 each.

How do I order C.A.T.S. software?

You can either send a check or money order (USD) to us or you can purchase on-line using PayPal or a credit card. See our How To Order page for details.

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I received an updated Definition File. How do I install it?

When we send you Definition Files, they will be zipped into a single file. If appropriate, this zipped file may also contain an updated FormLib file and may include Definition File help files. To install these updates unzip all the files contained in the zipped file into your Tuner subdirectory (usually c:\program files\cats\tuner), over-writing the old versions of these files.

When I try to open a particular table, I get a run-time error 6.

This is usually cause by a outdated version of the FormLib.tff file. To download the latest version of this file, click on the following link:

FormLib.zip

After downloading this file, unzip the FormLib.tff file and place it in your Tuner subdirectory, over-writing the old version.

What is C.A.T.S. update policy?

As a registered user, you are always entitled to any updates that we make to the software and any of the ECM Definition File which you have purchased.

How do I know if I have the latest version of my ECM Definition Files?

To check which versions of the Tuner program, FormLib file and ECM Definition Files you are currently using, run the Tuner program and select 'Version Information' from the 'Help' menu. Compare your versions with the 'Version Info' page on our web site.

If you need updates to any of your files, please send us an e-mail and tell us which files you need. We will then e-mail them to you.

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 Is the OBDII Tuner still available for purchase from C.A.T.S.?

No. In order to increase our ability to continue product development and to provide improved technical support the OBDII Tuner program is now being sold exclusively through JET Performance Products as the JET Dynamic Spectrum Tuner.
 
For additional information please visit the JET Performance Products web site at www.jetchip.com, send an e-mail to sales@powerbyjet.com or call 1-800-535-1161.

Several professional OBDII Tuner packages are also available from Wester's Garage (http://westersgarage.eidnet.ca/programmingsoftware.html)

 

 I am a current user of the OBDII Tuner program. Do I now get support from JET?

No. We are still supporting our current OBDII Tuner customers. You should contact us for updates to the software and Vehicle Definition Files as well as purchasing new Vehicle Definition Files.

 How can I get the latest version of the OBDII Tuner program?

We've posted the latest updates to the OBDII Tuner and WinFlash OBDII programs on our web site at:

 
    www.tunercat.com/obd2/updates/tnr_updt.html
 
and
   
    www.tunercat.com/obd2/updates/wf_updt.html

 

 I'm having problems communicating with the vehicle. What can I do?

1. First make sure you are running the current version of the WinFlash OBDII program. To check which version of the WinFlash OBDII program you are using, run the WinFlash program and click on the Help menu. Select 'About' from the drop-down list to display the program version. To check on the latest version available click on the following link:

 
    www.tunercat.com/obd2/updates/wf_updt.html
 
If you are not running the latest version of the WinFlash program then download and install the update to the latest version from this link.
 
2Check the Com Port buffer settings on your PC. To do this click on the 'Start' button, then go to Control Panel and double click on 'System'. Then click on the 'Hardware' tab and then click on the 'Device Manager' button. Next double click on 'Ports' and then double click on 'Communication Port(COMX)' where 'X' is the serial port number that you are using. Select the 'Port Settings' tab and then click on the 'Advanced' button. On this next screen verify that the 'Use FIFO' checkbox is checked. The default buffer settings are usually OK but you might have to experiment with these settings a little. Smaller buffer sizes reduce the chance of communication errors but too small a setting can cause buffer overruns.
 
3. Run the WinFlash program and select 'Comm Port' from the 'Setup' menu. Try reducing the Data Block Size and see if that helps.
 
4. Make sure there are no other programs running on the PC when you are reading or programming the PCM, including virus protection software, screen savers and power management functions.

5. If you are using a laptop with an IR interface, disable it.
 
6. If there is a modem installed on the PC, try disabling it. Sometimes they can interfere with normal serial port communications.
 
7. In some PCs the BIOS allows for manual comm port settings or you can let the Operating System set the settings. On these PCs go to the Bios setup during boot-up. In the Bios setup disable the IR port (if installed) and select 'Auto' settings (operating system) for the Modem.
 
8. If you are using a USB to serial converter make sure that you have the latest drivers for it and that the converter can support block data transfer at 57600 baud.
 
9. If the vehicle is equipped with OnStar make sure that you pull the associated fuse(s) to disable it.
    To disable the OnStar system  in 1999 - 2002 vehicles remove the following fuses:
 
        SEO1 (Special Equipment Options/OnStar)
 
    To disable the OnStar system in 2003 - 2005 vehicles remove the following fuses:
 
        INFO (Vehicle Communications Interface Module)
        RADIO (Entertainment System)      
 
    If you still have problems reading the PCM try removing the following additional fuses:
 
        TBC BATT (Body Control Module - under hood fuse box)
        TGC IGN 1 (Body Control Module - under hood fuse box)
        SEO ACCY (Special Equipment Options/Assy)
        TBC 2A (Body Control Module)
        TBC 2B (Body Control Module)
        TBC 2C (Body Control Module)
        TBC ACCY (Body Control Module)
        IPC/DIC fuse
 

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 Is there any data logging software that is compatible with the C.A.T.S. OBDII interface cable?

Yes, the ECM-Pro Scan Tool program from Wester's Garage (http://westers_garage.eidnet.org) is fully compatible with the C.A.T.S. OBDII interface cable.