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Old 12-28-2016, 10:26 PM   #1
noid
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Motronic BIN and .XDF files, lets build a repository

With the ease of creating your own chips, I am surprised at how hard it is to find .bin and .xdf files for Motronic E30's.

The software is free (winOLS/Tunerpro/etc), the EPROMs burners are inexpensive ($50-80) and come with their own burning software and EPROM Chips are $2-5 each.

Back when our cars were new, the task would have been much more tedious; everything is in hex, you have to manually burn the hex codes one by one, no internet to reference, etc.

But come on folks, its been 30 years, we have the internet, peer reviewing and can approach tuning in an open source kind of way.

First point of clarity: The actual tuning part has a steep learning curve, but the access to maps, copying and burning chips is fairly simple.

Second point of clarity: EPROMs do not have encryption, and as such a chip can be reproduced for essentially the cost of a new chip ($2-5).


*Important*
There are numerous tuners, including on this forum who make tuning chips as a form of income. They are good at what they do, and this repository shouldn't contain their .bin files unless they consent to their distribution.



Lets cover some basics for folks who may want to get into burning their own chips or into light tuning.

.XDF files are essentially definition files that tuning software like tunerpro uses to decode the HEX code found on the chip to make it readable (separates specific tuning parameters and maps for editing).

.XDF files are specific to the Motronic version (not the car), therefore an XDF that was made for example for motronic 1.3 should work for all 1.3 chips found in any car that utilized motronic 1.3.

For an E30 that would mean that an .XDF file made for 1.3 would work for ECU's ending in 173, 380, 382, 524, 525, 526, etc.

Likewise an XDF made for 1.1 would work with 153, and 1.0 would work with 073, 081.

XDF files are made by individuals and thus vary in completeness or accuracy, and may not define the full Hex range found on the chip.

.bin/.ori files are the actual code images of the chips.

When loading a bin into a program like tunerpro it is important to make sure the XDF you are using was made for the version of motronic you are looking to edit.

How can you help?


To build the repository there are two different ways we can harvest .bin files

1. Copying our existing chips

You can buy your own hardware or send them to me and I can create the bin files (PM me for address).

2. Finding existing bins we may have on our computers over the last 30 years or we have found on other forums or mediums

At minimum my hope is that we would be able to get a stock bin file for every E30 ECU so we can cross reference the HEX to see if there were any factory differences between ECU's (particularly in the same motronics version family).

From there to collect as many .bin and .xdf tuner files as we can!

Feel free to host your own files to link here, or you can PM me and I can upload them on my site for hosting.

My contribution:
380 STOCK ECU BIN
Motronic 1.3 XDF
153 STOCK ECU BIN
173 STOCK ECU BIN

A couple of the bins and XDF above are from Tunerpro's website, the 380 ECU I found elsewhere.

I have yet to find a good Motronic 1.1 XDF.

For those interested in viewing the HEX of the BIN codes in their raw form you can use:
http://hex-works.com/eng

I did a little bit of research between the 173 and 380 ECU to see if there any HEX differences and it looks to be nearly identical in-so-far as the XDF is capable:



However there are some ~4000 differences in the byte spaces that are not defined by the XDF.



Hopefully with more XDF's we can figure out what these remaining bytes contain.
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Old 12-29-2016, 12:58 PM   #2
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i don't know jack shit about computers. think about the little gimped up retarded kid that always gets picked last for playground kick ball. if you were picking teams for this, i would be that guy.

with that said, i think what you are trying to get started is a good idea. i have a couple e30 ecu's laying around. i also have an e36 ecu or two. the computer i am really interesting in doing something with is the dme i have that came with my 2002 m5 engine(s62)
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:44 AM   #3
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I think "finding" XDFs is a red herring - most of the ones I have come across, for early Motronic or otherwise, are very poorly put together with quite a few things wrong. I wouldn't trust my engine to a random XDF I found on the internet somewhere.

I'm not certain that all Motronic versions have the same offsets - there very well could be differences between 173, 380, and 5xx offsets. It would be really nice if that were true though!

Should also think about extending this to other versions of Motronic - they all really work basically the same way, even Motronic 3.x used on the E36.

There's a site that described the inner workings of Motronic in pretty good detail, I'll see if I can find it. All of the maps are actually spelled out in the binary - however, we don't necessarily know what they all do, which is the tough part. There are no DAMOS or A2L files for these old computers (well, there were, but they were so simple back then that the DAMOS was written out on paper!).

WinOLS isn't free BTW.
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Old 01-03-2017, 11:47 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nando View Post
I think "finding" XDFs is a red herring - most of the ones I have come across, for early Motronic or otherwise, are very poorly put together with quite a few things wrong. I wouldn't trust my engine to a random XDF I found on the internet somewhere.
Ironically, I would say calling XDF's found on the internet "random" is a red herring. The majority of existing XDF's may be poorly put together, but there surely are XDF's you could trust with the appropriate credentials and peer reviewing.

You indirectly trust whatever XDF were created by SSSquid, MarkD, JimC, etc if you are willing to use their chips, right?

Now whats to say that there isn't someone just as knowledgeable or even more so than them who has created an XDF and would be willing to share it?

Profitability is not a prerequisite for learning or knowledge sharing.

Theoretically, there may be XDF's from other parts of the world where E30's are very popular and often modded (Germany, Lebanon, Eastern Europe), that we do not know about.

Theoretically, there are people who may have information dating back to the original coding documents but don't posses the capabilities to create a XDF. The original programmers are likely still alive and their NDA's long expired.

Theoretically, someone may have backwards engineered and isolated every hex code group to each particular function capable of the chips found in the motronics 1.3 schematics.

80's tech isnt AES 256bit encrypted by top level government security, it is very feasible that someone has the information either in complete or partial form, and could help the cause.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nando View Post
I'm not certain that all Motronic versions have the same offsets - there very well could be differences between 173, 380, and 5xx offsets. It would be really nice if that were true though!
Fairly easy to cross reference hex codes to look for any differences.

As per my original post and as you point out in your post; without a sufficient XDF, it is difficult to identify what those differences mean.

Between the 173 and 380 there are some 4000 hex address differences.

Its like a treasure hunt


Quote:
Originally Posted by nando View Post
Should also think about extending this to other versions of Motronic - they all really work basically the same way, even Motronic 3.x used on the E36.
Expanding would be great, but on an E30 forum I think there is a benefit to keeping a narrow focus at least initially.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nando View Post
There's a site that described the inner workings of Motronic in pretty good detail, I'll see if I can find it. All of the maps are actually spelled out in the binary - however, we don't necessarily know what they all do, which is the tough part. There are no DAMOS or A2L files for these old computers (well, there were, but they were so simple back then that the DAMOS was written out on paper!).

WinOLS isn't free BTW.
Large companies like Bosch and BMW keep these kinds of records fairly well.

The fact that they were dealer orderable parts until Dec 2014 means they have a stake in retaining this information.

Getting access to them is another game altogether. I work for a fortune 10 company and can relate to how difficult it is to extract information like DAMOS files from a company with a lot of bureaucracy (legal needs to approve, managers need to approve, etc, etc, etc), no matter how old they are.

Never the less, I have sent out a couple emails to Bosch, seeing if they would be willing to part with 30+ year old information. I dont expect a response, but it doesn't hurt to try.

I did however find the Motronics 1.3 schematics on a German site which I have attached.
Attached Images
File Type: pdf motronic-1.3-BMW-E30.pdf (88.0 KB, 28 views)
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Old 01-03-2017, 12:05 PM   #5
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Interesting find:

http://jmgarage.ru/wp-content/upload...-RBOS-EDS2.pdf

An internal Bosch document talking about (in german) how schematics, codes and values are stored and retrievable from their internal systems (including a section on ECU's).
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Old 01-03-2017, 12:25 PM   #6
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Interesting read about the Dinan chip from when Dinan had to certify their chip with the Air resource board of California back in 1991.

https://arb.ca.gov/msprog/aftermkt/d...eo/D-176-2.pdf
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Old 01-03-2017, 12:27 PM   #7
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I have some bosch documents that pertain to older motronic as well (if I can find them).

EDC16 is quite a bit different from Motronic 1.3 although the concepts are similar.

I always thought that disassembling Motronic 1.x would be pretty simple - but the issue isn't simplicity. It's that these things are so old much of the data isn't available or is simply lost. I can find tons of information on a DME produced in the last 15 years, but before 1999 it's very difficult to even find datasheets for many things.

Anyway, I'd love to contribute where I can. But, I have a lot of irons in the fire already..
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Old 01-03-2017, 12:42 PM   #8
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http://www.conmir.pl/wp-content/uplo...-1.7-guide.pdf
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Old 01-03-2017, 12:45 PM   #9
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Just put them where public files have always gone for TPrt...

http://www.tunerpro.net/downloadBinDefs.htm#BMW

http://www.tunerpro.net/download/bins/BMW/

Then label them so people can follow from here.

GM ECU's have been hacked to no tomorrow, code masks and functions have been completely rewritten to the point they act as open source stand alone.

Once you understand how bins, definitions, scalars, multipliers etc work, this is a great forum for further understanding (I know it's GM, but lots of good info on finding maps etc)...

http://www.thirdgen.org/forums/diy-prom/
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Old 01-03-2017, 12:47 PM   #10
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I can't find that Motronic site I was looking for anywhere - it was a really old Porsche site that detailed the binary structure, how the offsets are calculated, and what the calculation factors are for converting hex values into numbers humans can understand. Maybe I have it bookmarked on another computer..
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Old 01-03-2017, 12:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nando View Post
I can't find that Motronic site I was looking for anywhere - it was a really old Porsche site that detailed the binary structure, how the offsets are calculated, and what the calculation factors are for converting hex values into numbers humans can understand. Maybe I have it bookmarked on another computer..
Quote:
Originally Posted by nando View Post
Anyway, I'd love to contribute where I can. But, I have a lot of irons in the fire already..
All good, help where and when you can.

One idea of expanding the 'reliable already-tuned' .bin base may be to go after abadonware.

For example, chip companies that used to exist but have since gone out of business and as such those chips no longer have any copyright associated with them.

One such company I know of is autothority that also went through the ARB:
https://arb.ca.gov/msprog/aftermkt/devices/eo/D-228.pdf

They look like they went out of business a few years ago.
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Old 01-03-2017, 02:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nando View Post
I can't find that Motronic site I was looking for anywhere - it was a really old Porsche site that detailed the binary structure, how the offsets are calculated, and what the calculation factors are for converting hex values into numbers humans can understand. Maybe I have it bookmarked on another computer..
F.R. Wilk wrote it. Last I looked, it was gone...

EDIT: Now the domain has expired.

http://ww38.frwilk.com/motronic/afm.htm

You can still find some of it on Clarks-Garage.com
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Old 01-03-2017, 02:36 PM   #13
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Damn. Knew I should have copied it when it was available - looks like he's deleted everything, and even excluded it from the internet archive (didn't even know that was a thing).

Edit: I found some of it..
http://web.archive.org/web/201507310...c.ws/index.htm

I would copy everything about 2d/3d maps etc. while you can. All of that stuff applies to our Motronic computers.
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