I am fairly new to the forum, I have just recently started seriously delving into various threads. Up till last week I wondered why there was a "free-EMS" at all, i figured it was simply a die hard DIY group that wanted to spin their own ECM for kicks.....
A little background, years ago, like well over 10 years ago, I owned and operated an auto repair shop in the same building as an engine machine shop. It was just me and 50% of my work was removing and installing the engines that the shop next door was building, the other 50% was regular old mechanic work.
One day a guy came in with a 89 chevy truck, he wanted an engine built that would perform better than the stock engine, cost was not an issue. So we ( the machinist and i ) set about ordering every reasonable " COMPUTER FRIENDLY " performance part we could find;
All of witch were supposed to work with the factory ECM, however, it didn't work out that way, not even close. The poor guy had thousands of dollars invested in this engine and it barley even ran.
I called edelbrock and they informed me that i would have to have a custom chip (eprom) burned. This was impossible as the closest place that could do such a thing was 6 hours away. I found a company called tuner-cat that sold software that would allow me to customize the eprom, woo-hoo.
Endless hours of arduous tuning later the truck ran fantastic.
A few months later i stumbled upon a web page for building a DIY WB o2 sensor ( man what i would have given to have had that trying to tune the chevy! ).
That site led me to another fledgling DIY project, the Mega-Squirt.
Back then MS was very small, the first couple i bought and installed did fuel only, then came Mega-Spark, it was the same processor and circuit board as the MS but just did spark.
Then the code merged, MSextra was born,... then MS2...MS2extra.
All this was great, i could now tune just about any car that came through the door, I don't remember how many cars and trucks i built and installed MS systems on, but it was a lot.
And throughout that time, MS was as open as it could be, regardless of what they are spouting now, back then you were free to play with the source code all you wanted, in fact it was encouraged. I still have the willette programmer i put together so i could burn blank MS1 processors, there was even dedicated thread for it. If MS has "never been open source" how do you explain that?
Sometime around MS2extra V2.xxx I had to close the doors on my little shop and get a better paying job (divorce sucks). I haven't done much EFI tuning at all since then.
After a few more years playing mechanic changed jobs and quit working on cars altogether.
Some years back i stumbled onto this site, and wondered why someone would try and re-do what MS had already done, and why it was called "free". I figured it was a guy (or group of guys) that wanted to do their own thing, and weren't happy with the MS stuff for whatever reason, good for them, more power to them....
What i didn't realize was MS had changed.
This didn't really sink in till a few months ago, a friend at work has a mustang he wants to tune, and i still had at least one MS board, an early version of the micro-squirt module, and an EEC-IV adapter board in storage somewhere, great! I set about building him a "plug and play" computer for his mustang using the micro module and the adapter board.
Only at some point in the build ( or maybe in the 10 years of storage ) , the MC9S12 on the micro module died. Minor problem i thought, ill just buy a new chip and figure out how to burn the boot-loader, I remembered from MS-past that guys did this all the time. I had a BDM that i had ordered years before, back then i really wanted to be one of the guys playing around with the code, but i never got around to trying it.....
I ordered a new chip, downloaded some software, found what i thought was a good .s19 file to put on the chip aaaaannnnnd nothing.
So i did some digging, MS has changed, to say the least....not only is it completely taboo to even talk about playing with the code, there are threats of lawsuits, and holly crap, did MS stuff get expensive.
OK, i get it, there were a handful of guys who did 95% of all the hard work coding, and they were also the guys who contributed countless hours on the forum and manuals, so they want to close it off and make some money on it, fine. but there were also a lot of us in those early days that cumulatively contributed 1000s of hours R&Ding new code versions and providing feedback. I for one found a bug in the IAC control of the early MS2.
Just seems kinda wrong, am i miffed that now i have to buy another Micro-module? Yea, kinda, but what really burns is I used to be a huge MS fanboy, i felt like i was there at the start and helped build it up to some extent. looking at the site now, its completely anti-DIY when it comes to code development.
So, i get it now, This "free" EMS thing is what MS used to be ( or at least pretended to be ) .
Am i still an MS fanboy....... kinda
, but i hope i can find time to start playing with a true DIY system soon. keep up the good work guys