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I've decided to make a complete tutorial for beginners on how to connect a Trionic 5 (T5) ECU to a computer for custom tuning and live monitoring abilities. This article's knowledge is out there, and common for some people. I spent countless hours researching several things across the web to figure out how this is done. This is the no bs, simple and conclusive connectivity solution for those of us with t5 ECU's. Let me save you hours of researching.

First off, this method uses the most modern CAN USB. There are several methods of connecting the ECU to a computer, and new methods seem to be discovered all the time. This is the method I found the easiest.

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This article is pertinent to the T5 ECU. However, the technique is almost identical to those of you that have T7 on your 93's. How do you know if you have T5? If you have a red Direct Ignition Cassette, you have T5. This ECU software was used on all 900's and 9000's from 1994 to 1998.

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Now, first we will go through how to connect your ECU to your computer for live monitoring purposes. This means the ability to be able to have a laptop in the car with you while your driving and monitor hundreds of different things. There is also the ability now to live tune your ECU while you are driving, but that will be covered later. The main use for this is to test a tune.

Things you need

-Lawicell USB to CAN converter (CANUSB)
https://imagecraft.com/jumptocan.html

This is expensive for most people, but well worth it. CAN is an old technology that many modern PC's dont have. This adaptor makes it possible for new PC's (Win XP,Vista,7,8) to have CAN connectivity.

-DB9 Female Adaptor
Amazon.com: PCCables.com 6ft DB9 Female to Mini Din 8-pin Male: Computers & Accessories

This is how you will connect to your ECU from the CANUSB adaptor. If you have some old printer cables lying around, you may be able to find one. They are also sold at radio shack in the drawers with electrical parts. You can pick one up there for around 6 bucks too. Just try to find on that already has wires coming out of it, it makes it much easier. Also, if you want to have the ability to do live monitoring as well as full ECU flashing, pick up two of these.

-Windows PC (Laptop)
Must be running Windows XP, Vista, 7, or 8. Using Windows 8 is a little trickier. I would recommend not using 8, but you can. If you do, read this article http://www.can232.com/?p=340 This regards installing the CANUSB drivers on a Windows 8 PC. I did it, so I know its possible.

-Electrical Multimeter
Most people already own one of these, if not, pick one up at Radioshack or Walmart for about 25 bucks.

-General Electrical tools
-Pliers, Wire Cutters, Wire Strippers, some spare wire, wire nuts ect.


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TUTORIAL

Install drivers for CANUSB at http://www.can232.com/?page_id=75
-You need FTDI drivers as well as the CANUSB DLL driver package for your operating system

-Take a DB9 connector and locate pins 2,3, and 7. These 3 pins need to have
wire leads on them that are stripped. Use your multimeter to figure out which wires are connected to which pins and use the corresponding wire when connecting to the SFI. This is what will be connected to the SFI connector on the car.

-Locate SFI connector on car. The SFI connector is located on the same wire loom as the ECU. The ECU exists in the passenger side foot well. The glovebox must be removed for easy access. Once you have located the ECU, follow the wires up about 1 foot and you should find a connector there with nothing attached to it.





-The above picture shows the schematic for how to wire the DB9 to the SFI connector. (and a picture of the SFI connector itself)


You can either just memorize the colors of the wires on the SFI and cut and solder/wire nut them or you can crimp terminals and slide them under the pins. Either will work.

-At this point, you will need to download/install t5suite 2.0
http://trionic.mobixs.eu/


NOTE: I highly recommend reading the t5 documentation PDF, as well as the t5suite 2.0 manual PDF. They are very well written and very informative pieces of literature explaining in great depth how every aspect of the ECU of our cars work, how to tune, and flash, as well as t5suite itself.



Now, with the DB9 leads connected to the SFI, plug the DB9 into the CANUSB and plug that into the computer's USB.


Start t5suite and go to the Online Tuning tab. Then start the car and press Connect ECU at the top left. Then at the top is a button "Configure Realtime Panel". At the bottom right corner of the screen should say ECU connected.


If no errors come up, and the numbers are changing, you are done. Enjoy live monitoring, as well as an AFR gauge.


PS. I will add more pictures of my setup in the next few days. I wrote this late at night. Please excuse any errors, and as always, use at your own risk.
 

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Wow, i'll be the first to thank you for this. I haven't gotten into the idea of tuning myself, but this changes my mind!

I was throwing around the idea of getting dash command for my iPhone, but for $100+ for a wireless obd2 adapter, $140 for a can usb adapter seems like a great investment!

I just thought i would thank you for your effort in writing this.
 

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let me say that, THIS. IS. AWESOME. since i bought my saab i've looked far and wide for a tutorial on how to do exactly this. its nice to know someone with the know how took the time and effort to help the saab community. i vote for a sticky
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I'm glad you guys appreciate this. I searched the internet high and low looking for a tutorial like this. One just didn't exist. Anyways, I've got more to add.




Some pictures of what your final product should look like. Note that this really isn't that difficult.

http://i686.photobucket.com/albums/vv226/Atv821/IMG_0831.jpg
http://i686.photobucket.com/albums/vv226/Atv821/IMG_0832-Copy.jpg
http://i686.photobucket.com/albums/vv226/Atv821/IMG_0829.jpg
http://i686.photobucket.com/albums/vv226/Atv821/IMG_0818.jpg


As far as T5 suite goes, the connect ECU button is circled in red, and the other two circled are the buttons mentioned.
http://i686.photobucket.com/albums/vv226/Atv821/Untitled-2.jpg



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HOW TO CONNECT ECU FOR PERMANENT FLASHING PURPOSES

-There is about a 2% chance that you may brick your ECU doing this method as mentioned above. The only way to recover a bricked ECU is with a BDM device. The only person I know of that makes these is a guy that goes by the name of "Johnc" on ecuforums.com. Not sure if he is a saabcentral member.

-An easy solution that I use for this issue, go to a junkyark or ebay and buy a junkyark ECU for your car. This way, if you brick your original, you can still drive your car. I have a friend with a BDM device that can unbrick my ECU's, though its never happened to me before.

-This method is referred to as the bench flash. This means every time you want to flash your ECU, it must be removed from the car (and put on a bench).

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ITEMS REQUIRED

-Windows xp,vista,7,8 pc

-Lawicel CAN USB device

-DB9 Female Connector

-120 Ohm Resistor

-Soldering tools and skills

-15 to 19 volt power supply 300mah or higher.
Aquire this from from Ebay for about 15 bucks or find one laying around your house that you are willing to cut up.

-Junkyark ECU connector (optional)
Most junkyards would be more than willing to sell you one for less than a 20. Makes this whole process easier. Make sure you have atleast a foot or more coming off of ECU connector.

-Basic electrical tools

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Some things in here are covered in the above tutorial. Refer to that for detailed instructions.


-Buy/setup/install CAN USB. >More info in previous tutorial

-Get your female DB9 connector and strip back the wires used for CAN HI (Pin 7 on DB9) and CAN LO (PIN 2 ON DB9)
-Use multimeter to determine which wire goes to what pin

If you have a junkyark ECU connector, follow this diagram to connect corresponding wires to pins on the ECU to the DB9 wires

http://i686.photobucket.com/albums/vv226/Atv821/tut.png

ON THE ECU SIDE
+15v from power supply
____________________
PIN 1 -ECU
PIN 48 -ECU
PIN 60 -ECU


GROUND FROM POWER SUPPLY
_________________________
PIN 24 -ECU
PIN 25 -ECU

CANHI
PIN 62 -ECU CONNECT TO PIN 7 ON DB9

CANLO
PIN 63 -ECU CONNECT TO PIN 2 ON DB9

The 120 ohm resistor needs to be soldered between CANHI and CANLO



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Now you should have your ECU connector made

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For those of us cheap b*******s who were too lazy/broke to get a ECU connector, instead of splicing all the wires into the ECU connector, instead use crimpable terminals and just slide them onto the appropriate pins on the ECU as described above. Just make sure you take some tape and label every wire (Theres only 8 of them) so you don't have to figure it back out every time you want to reflash your ECU.

-Once you have this done, connect DB9 to CAN USB and plug that into computer. Plug in power supply.

You should be good to go in t5 suite at this point. I am not going to go into depth about how to actually setup and tune your car, but Ill give you enough to get the idea.

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T5 SUITE TUNING AND THEORY

-If you go into t5 suite and select the File tab and then select User Library, you will be asked to enter your car. Doing this will load the stock bin file for your ECU with all stock values (factory). This is something that can be done without even connecting your ECU. The idea here, is to take the stock bin file and modify it how you like and then upload (flash) it to the ECU's memory.

So, by opening t5's library bin file for your car, you already have what is in your stock ECU. You open it in t5 suite and start modifying it. The easiest way to flash your car to stage 3 for example, would be to just select the tuning wizards tab in t5suite. This is a dummy proof bin file that you can flash to your car.

Another neat menu to explore where you can change some cool things would be under the Actions tab, then select "Trionic Options (Firmware)" that's where you can turn your secondary O2 sensor of and other some other neat options.

http://i686.photobucket.com/albums/vv226/Atv821/Untitled-3.jpg


Anyways, I think you guys get the idea. There is tons of knowledge in the t5suite manuals and documentation PDF files that you all should read if your at this point. I could go on forever...


Good luck with this, and once again, this is an "at your own risk" thing as usual.

PS: This is nowhere as complicated as people like to make it sound. This is beginner stuff, don't let my tutorial make you think that this is complicated. I can whip a DB9 to ECU connector in less than 10 minutes. As far as t5suite, that's where things can get complicated. Just READ THE MANUALS!




Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
+1 as well this should be a sticky :) also what changes from a t5 to a t7? this made alot more sense than alot of the others that I have read :)


Thank YOu
TOM
I have never messed around with a t7. The reason being that a t7 93 engine is not that good, or atleast, not as good as an NG900 engine. Many people I have talked to say that the B205E (the 2.0t in a 93) engine is only good for 300hp on stock internals, yet NG900's with the B204E are good to almost 500hp or higher(rumoured, never seen it done with my own eyes). So I intentionally buy 1998 or older cars for the B204E engine.

Anyways, back to your original question, the t5suite manuals don't really say that it is any different. I believe it is actually identical. The only difference being is that you would download and use t7suite instead of t5suite. I know that 93's have the same SFI port so... Ill have to try it on my buddy's 93 and report back.
 

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I use t7 suite with the combiadapter purchased from a member of http://www.trionictuning.com . It's fully supported in t5/7/8 suites and does both bdm and can connections to the ecu at the same cost of the lawicell adapter. A connection to the ecu can be made in a bunch of places, mine was made as close to the ecu connector as i could get and the cord hides in my glove box. ;ol;
 

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Great info here. I've been meaning to build one of these for a while, mostly for flash tuning, but the live mapping is tempting now you've explained it so well. I am crap with electrical stuff, but you've cetainly made it easier. Many thanks!
 

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wow I've been scouring the internet an the tronic literature for just this info for the past 2 week. Not that I didn't enjoy it, but it's consumed an inappropriate amount of time. I now Know more about CAN Bus architecture than I ever wanted to :eek: considering I had no idea what it was.

thank you for the write up

also on the canusb website and in the tronic manuals it mentions terminating the can connection with a 120 ohm resistor in parallel with the can HI and can Low wires. have you found this to be necessary for either the in car tuning, or permanent bench flash?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
-As far as connecting in on the C900 hazard switch, I have absolutely no idea. I have never owned a C900 and am not familiar with the architecture.

-As far as terminating the connection with a 120ohm resistor. I did not terminate with 120 ohms, I know some people have, and the reason why I did not is because in the trionic literature it states "trionic is already terminated internally by 120 ohms...this voids the need to for adding a resistor on the trionic side". Kind of hard to understand just what they mean, but like I said, I didn't and it works.

-As far as live flashing goes, here's a little breakdown. If you have any knowledge of how computers work, you know that RAM is instant loaded memory, just like the RAM in your computer. The trionic ECU has the same. The trionic ECU also has memory, which can be compared to the hard drive of your computer. As the process goes, the information in the memory(hard drive) of the ECU is loaded into the RAM when you start the car. This information is now being used by the CPU of the ECU to control the car. The way live tuning works, is by changing the information in the RAM. That being said, yes you are technically changing things while the car is running, but RAM is cleared whenever power is lost, IE., when you turn off your car. So you can change whatever you want in the RAM, and turn the car off and it goes away. The process of live tuning, as I somewhat explained in the tutorial, means that you go out and drive your car with your laptop and change settings in the ECU's RAM. This means you feel the effects immediately. As soon as you are done and are happy with the results, you save that particular BIN file from T5suite onto your computer. You then bring the car home, and bench flash it, as you normally would, with the BIN file that you made while you were driving it. Point being here, you are editing realtime values, and when you do that, they are not being stored to the ECU's memory, so they will be lost if you shut off the car. This is handy because you can change small things one at a time without having to reflash your ECU hundreds of times.
 

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so what you are saying is that i can alter the map to a modified one and it will stay until I disconnect the battery then it will revert to the std map i would then have to load the modified map again until the next time I disconnect the battery
 

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If you flash a modified file to your ecu via can it stays permanently or until you reflash. All adaptation changes and changes you've made while live tuning are to SRAM, which is lost when power is disconnected. So if you make changes and they work you save a copy of them and apply them to your basefile and reflash the ecu so they wont be lost.
Pulling and bench flashing your ecu gets old pretty fast so live tuning gives you the ability to only add what you've already tested. When i first got started i had an lpt bdm which requires pulling the ecu every time you want to make a change, and doing it again if you didnt like it. Pulled and bench flashed mine way too many times before i got the combiadapter.
I have a t7 now and it only needs 12 volts to flash so hopefully the ecu wont ever have to be removed from the car.
 
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