mik at info.fundp.ac.be
Tue Apr 1 07:12:38 EST 2003
Hi Brett, see comments below!
At 18:38 31/03/2003 -0500, you wrote:
>As stated by others, you're paying for a lot more than just the physical chip.
Agreed, it was also my first statement regarding this matter.
>As seen with the early S4tt chips that caused overspun turbos, it's not
>something any old yahoo can do. There's considerable R&D involved. Some
>tuners/chip makers/whatever even go to the effort of getting their
>modifications emissions certified and stuff.
Agreed as well.
>>So basically, nothing except your morals could ever prevent you from
>>making and selling copies of someone else's chips
>History's against you on this one- the details are sketchy and shrouded in
>myth(and probably a fair heap of rumor), but the proprietor of Total Audi
>Performance supposedly spent time(6mo I think?) in a UK prison for fraud-
>ripping off another tuner's chip and selling it as his own.
Hmm, well, it may be possible, I had never heard about this one but if it's
true, then the facts I've heard about regarding these laws might be false...
>You certainly are risking business, but not from loosing customers- more
>from getting your pants sued off. If you hold such a publicly cavalier
>attitude towards the IP of other chip makers, how are they to know you
>didn't, in fact, rip off their tables, or base your work significantly off
Well, I am ready to share my chip's contents with them in order to prove I
ripped no one off. Or we can do something with a third party that would
simply use a hex editor to compare my chip's contents with their chip
contents, this way anyone could see I didn't rip off anyone, nor base my
work on anyone's, except Bosch and Audi's original work.
> I am -not- implying that you DID rip anyone's code off, but..if you ran
> down the street with a gun screaming "MURDER IS GREAT! ETHICAL!
> WONDERFUL!", you should not be surprised if some folks take a great
> interest in digging up your back yard and poking around in your basement.
True, maybe I shouldn't have said it like I did but it was a matter of
showing how honest I am rather than how I ripped someone off.. You can be
quite sure that if I had actually ripped someone off his chips and had sold
them, I wouldn't ever have stated what I have in my emails, and I won't be
able to tell the details I'm giving sometimes about the Motronic's real
> What I think -would- be interesting is to inquire with the various
> original chip makers, and ask if they would be willing to in essence,
> open-source their chips for the I-5's, considering how old they are;
> somehow I doubt any of them are making money hand over fist on the I-5
> mods. In fact, we're seeing more and more tuners dropping the older
> Audis completely.
Well, what you think would be interesting simply can't happen. Ever. The
reason is below. And I can assure you that all tuners who've been selling
I5 mods until now are making 100% profit on the chips they sell, even if
they don't sell a lot of them.
> A similar request could be made to Bosch- request permission to
> disassemble the ECU's programming and produce derivative works solely for
> the same ECU. I doubt Bosch could really argue that anything in a 10+
> year old ECU is still a trade secret or has commercial value, so there
> wouldn't appear to be any harm to them in releasing some of the rights.
You can disassemble the ECU programming anytime you want without even
asking Bosch but the problem is that you won't be able to find much
information this way...
Bosch doesn't care if you're requesting information for a 10+ year old ECU,
the problem is that this ECU is a Motronic and that basically all the
Motronics work the same, and as you might already know, all nowadays cars
with Bosch ECUs and gasoline engines use Motronic. So basically, YES, the
contents are still secret and still have commercial value.
There are very VERY VERY few people around this world who know what they
are talking about in Bosch ECUs and map structures, and I think right now
after some serious investments and months spent studying map structures of
all sorts, I am one of them.
I have searched for months for the kind of information you're looking for,
and actually there's no need to disassemble a chip's contents to find out
how it works, and even if you do, without the right information from Bosch,
you won't be able to understand anything.
Bosch won't ever give this kind of information away, and the tuners can't
as well, simply because most of them don't have this kind of information. I
am talking about the real factors/offsets to apply to every relevant hex
value inside an eprom in order to be able to understand to what it
correlates in real world values.
>As others have pointed out, it's still fairly involved to perform the
>service of programming the chip and installing it, so I still see a place
>for 'tuners' to make their money. Further, I would argue the market
>couldn't justify continued go-it-alone R&D; I would think even a few hours
>on a dyno wouldn't be recoverable for most. Collective/community R&D,
>however, is another matter entirely- and the tuners would have something
>better to sell.
Well, my point isn't about the fact that the market isn't very interesting
with these cars but rather the fact that once you know how to find the
relevant values in one type of Motronic chip, you could pretty easily find
the same values in another, more recent Motronic chip, even though the
hardware needed to chip more recent cars is more and more sophisticated and
expensive. So basically I'm telling you from the start, you have no chance
to succeed with your project, unfortunately for your good intentions for
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