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Old 02-10-2016, 12:43 AM   #1
fl1p
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Default PROTuners: Why do you lock your maps?

My question is why - why do PROTuners insist on locking their maps?

To date, I have heard two almost reasonable answers
  1. Proprietary Information / Techniques
  2. Fear of being ripped into because of some douche blowing up their own motor and blaming the tuner

The second, in my opinion, is the most reasonable objection, but one that's easily remedied by a couple waivers, and a hash (checksum) of the original MAP.

The first is complete bull****. I'm sorry. As a customer, I'm paying you for a service. How can I reasonably review the work that you claim to have done, in most cases safely, without being able to .. review it?

I completely acknowledge that tuners have years of work and experience behind the decisions that go into a tune. But claiming that your experience/technique is proprietary would be like me claiming that my experience as a carpenter is not allowed to be reviewed by the homeowner, and they just have to 'trust me'.

Cobb is the only one that can claim proprietary software, software which they license to you, the tuner to use. As a tuner, it's my opinion that you, the tuner, have an obligation to stand by your work should it ever be questioned, not hide behind a password.

I know I'm fairly passionate about my stance, but I would like to hear other input and/or a legitimate and compelling argument as to why you, a tuner, insist on locking your maps.

Lastly, if you are a tuner that doesn't lock their maps, please contact me. I'm looking to do business with one of you.
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Last edited by fl1p; 02-12-2016 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 02-10-2016, 04:29 AM   #2
Nuked
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Back when opensource first came out, folks were pulling the roms after being tuned and "sharing" them. It was quiet an enlightening experience, as folks found out some tuners were using suspect techniques at best. A good example is one particular tuner would take the ignition timing map and basically use blocks of timing as opposed to a nice smooth transition across the rpm/load range. Another was tuners stating they had a tune that would be optimized on octane rating and all you had to do was switch what you put into the tank. Come to find out, all they did was put a high octane timing map in place and let the knock sensor pull the timing back for pump gas. Not exactly the most safe or ideal way of accomplishing that feat. Those shady tuners use the password to protect their reputation and business. These are the ones I do not agree with. Others don't want their base maps being shared for free, this I have no issue with.

Now I totally see your point about checking their work. Unfortunately the tuners cannot trust that every person is they tune won't turn around and share the tune with others. I am not sure about the Subaru Cobb maps, but with the Focus ST you can share an unprotected map with someone else simply by changing the file name.
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Old 02-10-2016, 06:44 AM   #3
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I could see it having some to do with sharing like what was previously mentioned. I could see someone getting pro tuned and sharing or selling the map to others and or causing damage to someone else's motor. Then talking crap about the tuner who didn't even tune their car. Bad for reputation and bad for idiots who want the easy way out and apply someone else's tune on their forum built car.
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Old 02-10-2016, 09:48 AM   #4
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So, Cobb already has encryption routines built into both their software (ATPro at least), as well as the AP itself. It would be trivial to add a second "locking" feature in to ATPro that instead of locking a Race user out, locked the map to the car.

EG: The file format is pretty similar (I've looked). Allow for ATRace maps to have an encrypted block (not the whole map) that has some kind of unique information (AP / ECU Serial for example), in an encrypted blob[2]. This would allow only the person who has access to ATRace for that specific car to open the map, and prevent any unreasonable sharing outside the scope of what I'm proposing, thus completely negating reason two I list above.

Until Cobb implements my proposal, a reasonable solution to the second item above would be to have the following
  • At time of completion of service (when customer comes in), they are required to sign a form that contains the sha256 checksum[1] of the tuning file, completed by the tuner.
  • Prior to tuning happening, they agree not to share, distribute, etc the final map. The map is for their car specifically and could easily cause issues if used on someone else's car (which most people do already)
  • Part of the normal disclosure would include an absolution clause. Should you, the customer raise hell about their tuning job, the tuner has the right to reveal all forms publicly, as well as the hashes of the file in question, and all correspondence leading up to, as well as post (eg: for updates) tune.







Footnotes

[1] A cryptographic hash is a mathematical representation of the contents of a file. They are used forensically as unique identifiers of a file.

[2] Encrypted blob actually contains two parts.
  1. The hash of the actual file to identify tampering and validate that the map is actually the map that was originally set by the tuner
  2. The UUID of the AP to be used, the UUID of the ECU/something else unique to the ECU being worked with
By having both of these things, the following are prevented
  • Unable to share/load the map with any other ATRace user
  • Unable to flash the map onto any other car except the car it was designed for
By having both of these things, the following are still allowed
  • ATRace users are able to load their own map and view it, maybe even modify it (would require some extra thought - eg: a dirty bit in that encrypted blob, etc)
  • ATRace users would be able to review the work/services rendered
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Old 02-10-2016, 10:45 AM   #5
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Bottomline is most tuners are not willing to share their work with you whether you paid for it or not. You basically have two options, deal with it and get a protune or start educating yourself on tuning and use ATR to do it yourself.

There are a good few tuners that are willing to share their knowledge and answer questions and explain how and why things work. If you can get the tune done in person from a willing individual you can learn a lot. On the other hand there are those that won't tell you anything except where to send your money. Those are the guys I steer clear from.

SQ
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Old 02-10-2016, 11:26 AM   #6
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There is one other aspect I've seen too and that's lack of knowledge on the customer end, say the tuner unlocks the map, and then the customer posts up screen shots. Then you get the "forum" tuners they tell them the tune isn't right and they have seen different things in the tune. That being said there are many smart people that have helped to develop Open Source and Tune that do know their stuff, unfortunately those aren't always the ones who respond.

This issue makes it more difficult for the tuner having to explain why the person on the forum is wrong and that in doing what they say it will affect the safety of the car even though their buddy did it.
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Old 02-10-2016, 04:31 PM   #7
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we cant expose our community tuners

copy and paste away guys
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Old 02-10-2016, 05:46 PM   #8
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Old 02-10-2016, 07:00 PM   #9
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Should Subaru include the name/contact info for the engine calibration guy when you buy the car?
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Old 02-10-2016, 11:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuked View Post
Bottomline is most tuners are not willing to share their work with you whether you paid for it or not. You basically have two options, deal with it and get a protune or start educating yourself on tuning and use ATR to do it yourself.

There are a good few tuners that are willing to share their knowledge and answer questions and explain how and why things work. If you can get the tune done in person from a willing individual you can learn a lot. On the other hand there are those that won't tell you anything except where to send your money. Those are the guys I steer clear from.

SQ
Cheers man, I know all of this, it's just hugely frustrating. I've reached out to two 'reputable' tuners in my area, and neither are willing to work with me either. I've been tuning my own car for about a week now and have been absolutely loving it. Having a pro to bounce things off of would certainly be ideal, but I'm getting it done
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Old 02-11-2016, 12:23 PM   #11
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Is there any chance we could get our own section on this forum for Access Tuner Race "self tuning". I've learned a lot about tuning with this software but I'm sure there are lots of thing I don't know. It would be nice if we had our own area to swap info and even share screen shots of maps. I know that this would also allow some really bad tuning ideas to be thrown out there but I think most of us will be able to sort out the really bad stuff.
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Old 02-11-2016, 01:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deseely View Post
Is there any chance we could get our own section on this forum for Access Tuner Race "self tuning". I've learned a lot about tuning with this software but I'm sure there are lots of thing I don't know. It would be nice if we had our own area to swap info and even share screen shots of maps. I know that this would also allow some really bad tuning ideas to be thrown out there but I think most of us will be able to sort out the really bad stuff.
This is an excellent idea, and something I would like to see Cobb representatives active in. Over on the Focus ST forum there is a self tuning section in which Cobb reps are actively involved with the members who self tune via ATR. As long as the Accessport has been around the Subaru community, I am surprised at the low involvement both from Cobb reps as well as folks tuning themselves, or at least willing to learn about the concept of tuning.
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Old 02-12-2016, 02:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deseely View Post
Is there any chance we could get our own section on this forum for Access Tuner Race "self tuning". I've learned a lot about tuning with this software but I'm sure there are lots of thing I don't know. It would be nice if we had our own area to swap info and even share screen shots of maps. I know that this would also allow some really bad tuning ideas to be thrown out there but I think most of us will be able to sort out the really bad stuff.
This. Please? This would be a fantastic subforum.
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Old 02-12-2016, 02:34 PM   #14
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Should Subaru include the name/contact info for the engine calibration guy when you buy the car?
I'm not sure why or how this is relevant. Some high end manufacturers do this, at least a name.
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Old 02-15-2016, 11:58 AM   #15
deseely
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Who do we need to talk to in order to get our own section or subforum for ATR self tuners. Should we start A new thread?
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Old 02-16-2016, 01:37 PM   #16
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I have tunes from a tuner that is no longer doing tunes they moved on to bigger things I guess. My question is can somebody unlock my present tune so I can use it and make changes on accesstuner race?
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Old 02-16-2016, 04:44 PM   #17
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can we add a section for "I don goofed and **** blew up" lol
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Old 02-18-2016, 12:01 PM   #18
deseely
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshfl420 View Post
can we add a section for "I don goofed and **** blew up" lol
Here's my opinion on people blowing up there motor because they don't know what they are doing.

If you don't know how to juggle chainsaws but you decide on day to fire a couple up and give it a try, you get what you deserve.

If you don't know how to wrestle alligators but you decide one day to show a 12 ft gator who the boss is, you get what you deserve.

If you don't know anything about tuning a car and have never tuned one before but decide one day to tune your own car, you get what you deserve.
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Old 02-21-2016, 12:14 AM   #19
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Its probably to stop you from sharing the info with others
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Old 02-22-2016, 09:23 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deseely View Post
Here's my opinion on people blowing up there motor because they don't know what they are doing.



If you don't know how to juggle chainsaws but you decide on day to fire a couple up and give it a try, you get what you deserve.



If you don't know how to wrestle alligators but you decide one day to show a 12 ft gator who the boss is, you get what you deserve.



If you don't know anything about tuning a car and have never tuned one before but decide one day to tune your own car, you get what you deserve.

Yep. Pay to play is shorter lol.
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Old 03-03-2016, 01:41 PM   #21
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I totally see the whole "sharing" thing being a big reason behind tuners locking their maps.

Also, if I were doing tunes professionally (or at all), I wouldnt want anyone to be able to alter my tune (or share it). Both because I wouldnt want to tune someones car and have everything just right and have the car owner go behind me and change my tune and destroy his engine, but also because, why did you bring me the car if in the first place if youre just going to change it yourself afterwards?

I also kind of feel that they do it so if you want or ever need a re-tune, you will most likely take it back to the exact same guy, instead of having "shop B" alter "shop A"s previous tune for additional mods afterwards.
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Old 03-06-2016, 04:04 PM   #22
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Just wanted to point out that even if the map was not locked, ATR would not let you share it because it is locked to one AP & one copy of ATR i believe.

Tuners will keep the maps and versions that they have created. So lets say you send them a log to tweak something they are going to go off of the last revision that they have on hand. If the map was left open and you changed something then they basically have no knowledge of what changes you had made. So any changes for tweaking are based off the last copy of that map they have on hand. So it would be inherently dangerous for them to make changes on the map that they believe your running when in fact it had been modified.
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Old 03-07-2016, 12:06 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy_sti View Post
Just wanted to point out that even if the map was not locked, ATR would not let you share it because it is locked to one AP & one copy of ATR i believe.
The map is associated with whatever serial number AP is on the ATR account it is saved in, and it is NOT permanent.
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Old 03-07-2016, 02:34 AM   #24
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Quote:
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The map is associated with whatever serial number AP is on the ATR account it is saved in, and it is NOT permanent.
I use pro so i am not too sure of how ATR does it.
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Old 03-08-2016, 12:41 PM   #25
96SubyImpreza
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fl1p View Post

The first is complete bull****. I'm sorry. As a customer, I'm paying you for a service. How can I reasonably review the work that you claim to have done, in most cases safely, without being able to .. review it?
Take a log, perhaps?

If you are paying someone to tune your car it's very likely that you are not in the position to "reasonably review the work" to a decent degree of accuracy.

Quote:
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Should Subaru include the name/contact info for the engine calibration guy when you buy the car?
made my day.

Last edited by 96SubyImpreza; 03-08-2016 at 12:43 PM. Reason: Love me some Airboy.
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