Technical Questions
 
1. We are a tuning shop and wish to purchase boards for tuning, but burn EPROMs after
2. Can I use an earlier (non-consult) ECU with just an emulator?
3. Now does initial programming work?
4. Can't you just reprogram the image in the ECU?
5. How many ROM images will fit in the boards?
6. Does the Nistune board stop Consult working with other Consult software?
7. How do I download a ROM image from my ECU to send to you guys


1. We are a tuning shop and wish to purchase boards for tuning, but burn EPROMs after

That is fine and will work. It is possible to have several ECUs with boards fitted, just for tuning. You can then download those maps and save them into a factory ROM image. This ROM image can then be used for burning to EPROM or FLASH chips for plugging into socketed ECUs or daughterboards. Several tuners are currently doing this currently with our boards. Usually they install a board per ECU type (Z32, R32, S13 CA18, S13 SR20 etc) and use that as a 'tunable ECU'.

However you will find that once you are in the workshop with a customer waiting or are paying for dyno time that selling the customer a real-time board installed and integrated with their ECU will outweigh the normal 'ROM tuning' when performing ROM erasure, burn and testing are required.

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2. Can I use an earlier (non-consult) ECU with just an emulator?

Yes this is entirely fine. But without a Type 1 board installed you will only be able to change parameters in realtime with no consult guages or maptracing. Type 1 / Rev3A boards are self contained realtime boards and do not need or support plugin emulators.

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3. Now does initial programming work?

When a board is ordered, it is either programmed prior to shipping with the customers ECU ROM image or can be programmed by a tuning shop using the NIStune programmer using a Base Image Programmer and the NTProgCE software.

A standard Nissan ECU ROM (BIN) file is converted by NIStune Developments to an ENT (Encoded NISTune file) and then programmed into the board using NTProgCE. The encoding adds special firmware to modify the NIStune board installed inside the ECU.

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4. Can't you just reprogram the image in the ECU?

In most circumstances, once the Nistune board is installed in the ECU with a programmed image, it is only ever necessary to change maps, tables and constant values in the ECU. Where there is a need to load maps from another ROM image, you simply load that ROM image into Nistune and upload the new maps. All these functions can be performed whilst the engine is running in the vehicle.

Where it is necessary to upload an entire ROM (including different ECU program code), then the board will need to be removed from the ECU, jumpered to 'program mode' and reprogrammed using the Nistune programmer.

The reason for this is that the Nistune firmware runs using the factory ECU ROM code. It is not possible to replace the factory ROM code whilst the ECU code is executing. This is how Nistune is able to perform real time updates.

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5. How many ROM images will fit in the boards?

Nistune is based on the latest technologies using Programmable Logic Devices and EEPROM backed NonVolatile RAM (NVRAM). The size of the NVRAM used on Type 1/2 boards is 32K and on Type 3/4 boards is 64K. Hence the boards will typically store just the one ROM image.

Daughterboards with larger storage capability to store multiple ROM images typically use FLASH memory. You also cannot perform realtime tuning using FLASH memory because its write times are slow, and it requires an erase in large sized blocks before rewriting a single byte inside that block.


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6. Does the NIStune board stop Consult working with other Consult software?

Once the NIStune board has been installed in an ECU with NIStune firmware operational, it will run a modified version of Nissan Consult called NIStune eXtended Consult.

This new communications protocol enhances standard Nissan Consult whilst keeping the majority of functionality from existing consult. This means that you can use your NIStune board with other consult software.However there is one exception :- The RAM read command (0xC9) has been removed with the NIStune firmware and replaced with the NIStune eXtended Consult command. This will mean that software features such as Read ROM, RAM monitor and maptrace will not be available on other Consult software.
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7. How do I download a ROM image from my ECU to send to you guys

To download your ROM image:
1. Download NIStune from our website www.nistune.com
2. Run trial version using name: trial / email: trial which allows a single run
3. Load the address file matching your vehicle (from downloads page)
4. Connect your laptop using a consult cable to the vehicle
5. Operations - Consult Download
6. Save the file to disk and email to us

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