EcmSpy Cable for Palm PDA

The connection between the PDA and the Buell ECM is created via special cable and dongle (connector).

So far, ECMSpy is only supported on PalmOS for PDA. Many different connector adaptors and cables are provided to connect to the PDA. Additionally, the Palm PDA provides different serial interface connectors; some work with the standard RS232 interface (known from PCs), others support the TTL interface, as it is known in the world of microcontrollers and electronics.

Regardless of the interface, the PDA is equipped with, usage of a wireless Bluetooth connection is highly recommend, if provided by the PDA. To set up a Bluetooth wireless serial link, a Bluetooth Modem has to be plugged into the Buell's diagnostic port. The TTL cables are very sensitive to noise pulses from the vehicle's electric system, whereas Bluetooth provides an automatic error correction. For logging purposes the PDA's CPU should be as fast as possible, otherwise the data rate is decreasing too much. A Palm Tungsten T5 is a good choice in this case. Because of his built-in storage no additional memory card is required.

The ECM's diagnostic port requires signal voltages of between 0 and 5 Volts, which falls into the voltage range of TTL interfaces. A PDA with RS232 interface (-12 Volt to +12 Volt) requires a voltage converter which adjusts the signal voltages to the ones requires by the ECM (TTL level, as mentioned above).

When no user input is detected, It is quite common for PDA to power-off automaticaly after a given amount of time, to conserve battery life. On some PDA this feature can be turned off when the device is connected to an external power supply. The serial voltage converter (RS232 to TTL) requires an external power supply as well, which can also be used to supply the PDA at the same time. PIN 4, on the Diagnostics Connector of the Buell ECM provides a handy supply of on average 12 Volts. This can be used as power source for the serial voltage converter as well as supplying the PDA at the same time. There are also some small applications available for PalmOS, that make the PDA run longer than in the stock setup.

Only a handful of components are needed for the Converter and Supply electronics, which can be easily obtained from electronics suppliers such as Maplins and RS Components (both in the UK). The grouping-together and building of these components can also be placed on a pre-drilled assembly board, equally available from the aforementioned companies. If you require a smaller form factor unit then you will need to create (etch) your own cicuit board.

A very simple layout of the electronics needed to connect to the ECM would look as follows (click on the image to see a bigger version in a new window):

Click picture for an unscaled view

The top half of the image concerns the voltage supply to the PDA and the serial voltabe converter, the lower half the serial voltage converter itself. The connector layout for the four clips is as follows:

  • KL1 pin 1 = ECM Transmit, TTL
  • KL1 pin 2 = ECM Receive, TTL
  • KL2 pin 1 = +12 Volt (from the diagnostics port on the Buell)
  • KL2 pin 2 = Ground (from the diagnostics port on the Buell)
  • KL3 pin 1 = PDA Receive, RS-232
  • KL3 pin 2 = PDA Transmit, RS-232
  • KL4 pin 1 = PDA Voltage Supply, Ground
  • KL4 pin 2 = PDA Voltage Supply, +5 Volts

The bill of materials needed for the diagram above is not particularly long:

  • C3 = Elcap 1µF, 16Volt - elektrolytic capacitor
  • C4 - C7 = Elcap 10µF, 16Volt - elektrolytic capacitor x 4 pcs.
  • C10 = Cap 0,1µF, 16Volt - bipolar capacitor
  • IC2 = 7805 - voltage convertor 5V
  • IC2 = MAX232 or similar - serial voltage convertor
  • KL1 - KL4 = Terminals - 2-pin terminal x 4 pcs.

To connect to the ECM's diagnostics port a additional connector is required. This connector can be obtained from a company called Deutsch IPD, part number "DT 06-4S". Only three of the four connections in the ECM's diagnostic port are active. Transmit, PIN 3, Receive, PIN 1 and Ground, PIN 2. The numbers are engraved on the back of the Deutsch connector.

Thanks to Michel for translation.