Sunday 17 November 2013

Increasing Z-Wave distance for the RaZberry

I have been building my own house during the last 3 (long) years. Being an electronic hardware type of guy, I thought it needed some home-automation to finish my project off.

There are many different types of system out there. X10 has always caught my eye but I was never really happy with the "send and forget" method of signal transmission. Recently I've been looking at Lightwave RF (Siemens) as a solution due to its low-cost but for any network connectivity, you need to buy a gateway to connect it to the internet.

I have my own PC Windows 2012 based server for all of my files and Media Server but I wanted something light weight, reliable and cheap to run for 24/7.

I really like small custom designed micro-controller boards (after-all it is my main job too!) and the Raspberry PI really whetted my whistle so to speak.

What got me thinking about home automation more was that you can easily fit a daughter card onto the board called RaZberry to give you a full Z-Wave wireless capability.

What's more, if you look into it further, there are a lot of open-source home automation servers available for it that can interface with the RaZberry such as Domoticz.

Great, I excitedly bought a few Z-Wave controllers from Fibar, namely the FGS-221 Double Relay Switch. I installed the module to one of the light switches opposite my office, loaded Domoticz to the Pi and set it off. Absolutely nothing happened!!! The Razberry module could not pair with the Fibar module; I took it out of the switch back-box and set it up on my desk.... and it worked. Hmmm, I think there's a bit of a range problem here.

The Razberry module is small and has an equally small antenna on its PCB. Z-Wave in the EU operates at 868MHz which is around 86mm for a quarter wave antenna. No problem, get an 86mm length of wire and solder it to the capacitor on board just before it enters the Z-Wave module. I would recommend the capacitor rather than the test points because these could break off.

And does it work? Of course it does!


Thursday 9 May 2013

ECUFix Updated to V5.9.8.4

ECUFix - has had an extra binary added v.!

AUDI S4 MY05 4.2L 360HP 8E0910560G 0261207997 1037366830

Download it from HERE.

Please note that ECUFix has a new licensing system. Once you install the above program, you will have to install a new license key; please email me if you need one....

Sunday 5 May 2013

Zen Lightbox Added

To make the store more snazzy, I have updated ZenCart with Zen Lightbox. You should not notice anything but product images should, in future, have a nicer look....

Monday 22 April 2013

ECUFix Website Now Mobile Friendly

Over the past few months I have been working on installing a new skin on the website. A website that can handle desktop and mobile devices is more commonly known as a "responsive" website.

The skin that I purchased was from a fellow Google+ guy called Jose Carrillo. He has developed a responsive skin and provided stella support by working with me to get it running on

For more information about this responsive skin and others, drop by his website at for a look round.

ECUFix is Back!

My Windows 2012 server would not start yesterday; it was stuck in a continuous restart loop. A quick call to my co-location guys at Alphadex got me into the facility at Manchester's Media City. The Keyboard and Monitor were already set-up, enabling me to get right down to locate the fault.

The fault? A mis-configuration in the registry, fixed by pressing F8 just after POST and then selecting Last Known Good.

After a restart, we were done and back up and running. Excellent service from the Alphadex guys!

Sunday 21 April 2013

ECUFix Server Is Down.

My server has decided not to announce itself on the Internet. Trying to come up with a solution. It will probably be tomorrow by the time it's back up and running.

Monday 15 April 2013

Windows XP Compatibility with VS2012 - Part 2

Well, I loaded update 2 of Visual Studio 2012 and selected XP compatibility for the resulting project.... and if you run the exe on an XP machine you get a "The procedure entry point InitializeCriticalSection could not be located in the dynamic link library KERNEL32.dll"

Oh dear, so after reinstalling VS2010 onto my machine, up popped this solution from tedwvc

How to get Visual C++ 2012 Update 2 statically linked applications to run on Windows XP

So, if you now re-download ECUFix and install it to your Windows XP machine, all should be well. The slight downside is that you need to ask for another license.

Download ECUFix from HERE.

ECUFix Windows XP Compatibility

I dropped a bit of a clanger... after changing my development environment from Visual Studio 2010 to Visual Studio 2012, I have accidentally introduced a regression whereby the executable could no longer run on Windows XP.... oops!

From the Visual Studio Developer's Blog you can:

To target Windows XP:
  1. In Solution Explorer, open the shortcut menu for your project, and then choose Properties.
  2. In the Property Pages dialog box for the project, under Configuration PropertiesGeneral, set the Platform Toolset property to Visual Studio 2012 – Windows XP (v110_xp).

I now understand what has gone on and will update the latest build of ECUFix.

Tuesday 9 April 2013

OBD-II Socket 12V to Flying Lead pinout

A few customers have pointed out that there is no wiring diagram for the OBD-II Socket 12V to Flying Lead in my shop. Well, wait no longer, here is the wiring detail:

2.Bus positive Line of SAE-J1850
4.Chassis ground
5.Signal ground
BLACK/ 4/5
6. CAN high (ISO 15765-4 and SAE-J2234)
7.K line of ISO 9141-2 and ISO
10.Bus negative Line of SAE-
14.CAN low (ISO 15765-4 and SAE-J2234)
15.L line of ISO 9141-2   and ISO 14230-4
16.Battery voltage

Saturday 6 April 2013

ECUFix recompiled with Visual Studio 2012

A few people are having a problem with the latest version of ECUFix to accept their new license file. I have updated ECUFix for one recompiled in VS2012. Hopefully this should now work....

Monday 11 February 2013

New types of OBD-II Plugs in stock.

New Types of OBD-II Plugs - are now in stock. These are of a better quality than before, even having a pcb mounted behind the plug's contacts.

These plugs also come with a lock nut for the strain relief too - no other manufacturer supplies this.