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Old 04-26-2013, 12:50 AM   #1
lil'redwagon
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Default Lifespan for Tactrix 2.0?

Hey all,

How long has your Tactrix 2.0 lasted you before it started acting erratic?

Here's my story:
I've been successfully using and flashing my JDM EJ207 swapped engine/ECU with my Tactrix 2.0 cable for a couple years now. But about 6 months ago, it started to give me flashing errors. It was saying flashing voltage to low. So i started only flashing my car when I was home with a battery charger on my battery, and it was fine. But then It started giving me that error more frequently, so I searched and found some threads where people were talking about voltage errors. What fixed it for them was downloading the new version of ECUFlash. So I did that.

Now, when I plug in the cable, it doesn't acknowledge that the cable is plugged in. Obviously, I thought it was the driver, so I removed and reinstalled it, along with ECUFlash, but that didn't seem to help.

What was weird was that I tried Learning View, and it also gave me the error like there wasn't a cable plugged in. Then I wiggled the part that plugs into the OBD2 port the same way they wiggle the connector in the emissions testing stations, and it worked! So I tried flashing with ECUFlash, and it gave out in the middle of a flash! It gave me the error that said not to shut off the ignition, just retry the flash. So I did that a couple times and it didn't work. Then I wiggled it, and ultimately, held it pressed in, and it worked!

So at this point, I'm trying to figure out if it's the Tactrix cable going bad, or the hardware driver, or my car's OBD2 port. I don't want to keep trying it because I don't want to risk bricking my ECU.

Here are the details on my setup:

2002 WRX with V8 EJ207 engine/ECU
Tactrix 2.0
ECUFlash 1.44.3721 (OpenECU Drivers are bundled with this version of the ECUFlash download)
Windows XP SP.3
Probably something like, 80 reflashes on the ECU/Cable.

Thanks for reading, any thoughts?
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:59 AM   #2
dux10
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Tactrix cable. The "older" 2.0's were crap. Tactrix says they have fixed it and if your send them your cable, they will repair/"update" it so its more robust. I think I tuned 10-12 local cars with my 2.0 before it displayed the same symptoms as yours. I sent it back and the repaired it at no cost to me...

Steve @ Pullz-On Tuning
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:47 PM   #3
Concillian
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Never had voltage too low issues. I've had it tell me voltage was too high when I try to flash in the summer heat right after shutting the car off.

I also had one that the USB connection snapped off the Tactrix PCB. My second is pretty abused in the USB port area too.

Now I use one of these USB cables to keep my knobby knees from whacking the USB cable:
Amazon.com: StarTech.com Mini USB Cable - A to Right Angle Mini B - 6 Feet (USB2HABM6RA): ElectronicsAmazon.com: StarTech.com Mini USB Cable - A to Right Angle Mini B - 6 Feet (USB2HABM6RA): Electronics

The straight cords just stick out too far.
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Old 04-26-2013, 03:31 PM   #4
lil'redwagon
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Default

Thanks guys!

Concillian, great idea, thanks! I already broke off the first cord it came with. I'll probably be ordering one of those soon. It'll make the driving part of the logging process a lot less worrisome!

And thanks Steve! I'll try to get a call out to Tactrix today. I'll see if i can send them my cable for them to inspect it. That will at least eliminate that variable. I will update the thread with what I find out.
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Old 04-26-2013, 04:08 PM   #5
jthatch12
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I'm having low voltage issues also. It's super sketchy when flashing my car. I thought it was a computer issue until you just mentioned this. I just sent tatrix an email hopefully I can get a new unit!
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:28 PM   #6
mikeyPSF
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lil'redwagon View Post
What was weird was that I tried Learning View, and it also gave me the error like there wasn't a cable plugged in. Then I wiggled the part that plugs into the OBD2 port the same way they wiggle the connector in the emissions testing stations, and it worked!
Sounds like a poor connection in your OBD2 socket.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lil'redwagon View Post
So I tried flashing with ECUFlash, and it gave out in the middle of a flash! It gave me the error that said not to shut off the ignition, just retry the flash. So I did that a couple times and it didn't work. Then I wiggled it, and ultimately, held it pressed in, and it worked!
You can restart a failed flash as many times as it takes as long as you don't turn off the key. Good that you followed the instructions to not turn off the key.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dux10 View Post
Tactrix cable. The "older" 2.0's were crap. Tactrix says they have fixed it and if your send them your cable, they will repair/"update" it so its more robust. I think I tuned 10-12 local cars with my 2.0 before it displayed the same symptoms as yours. I sent it back and the repaired it at no cost to me...
The older cable is the same as the newer cable with reinforced connections to the USB. The upside is that you're less likely to sheer the USB off the circuit board, but the downside is that if you hit the USB cable hard with your leg, you can really tweak the connector. If you look at the underside of the USB connector in the OpenPort carefully you can see that there is a seam in the metal. If that seam isn't tight with no visible gap, then it's likely that you've had a strong hit and the USB is potentially fitting a little looser. Using an USB right angle cable like Concillian mentions is a good choice, but even better is using an OBD2 extension cable to move the OpenPort out of the leg area all together if you find you're bumping in to it.
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Old 05-01-2013, 05:48 PM   #7
gfv355
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I doubt its the obd port. Honestly just sounds like normal wear and tear. Every time you plug in your openport 2.0 the pins wiggle ever so slightly. That combined with thermal expansion/contraction and the possibility of striking it with your leg during a datalog or whatnot can loosen the solder that terminates the pin to the circuit board. I have no doubt after time voltage errors can be an issue. Like dux10 says its probably a great time to contact tactrix and get a replacement.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:07 PM   #8
lil'redwagon
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Dom 3 XT-R, 400WHP

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Thanks for the insight, guys! I've tried calling them a couple times, and left a message, but haven't heard back. I'll keep trying, but yeah, I'm guessing that it's just normal wear and tear on the Tactrix module, considering the heat and jostling it's subjected to by sitting in the glove box for a couple years. I'll update when/if I get in touch with anyone there.
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Old 05-02-2013, 02:32 PM   #9
mikeyPSF
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To get a faster response, just email support at tactrix dot com. Heat and rolling around in the glove box won't cause a problem. The issue would only be caused by hits to the USB connector while the unit is held in one place by your cars OBD2 connection. You said that it started working after you wiggled it in the OBD2 connector. That doesn't sound like a OBD2 connection issue to you?
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:19 PM   #10
lil'redwagon
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Dom 3 XT-R, 400WHP

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Yes it does, but there's the Tactrix side and the car side that connect - I'm just not sure which side has the issue.
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:19 AM   #11
dux10
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999 out of 1000, its the 2.0 lol

Steve @ Pullz-On Tuning
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:13 PM   #12
SimpleWrx
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Mine worked once. Now I ordered a cable one from evo scan
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Old 05-11-2013, 06:22 PM   #13
lil'redwagon
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Dom 3 XT-R, 400WHP

Default

Update: I still haven't been able to get in touch with the Tactrix people, but I successfully flashed my car three times today with my old cable. The only thing I did differently was make sure the USB->OpenPort connection was solid instead of focusing on the OpenPort->OBDII connection. I'll keep using it as is, and if anything changes, I'll update the thread for anyone searching in the future.
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Old 09-21-2013, 09:09 PM   #14
lil'redwagon
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Dom 3 XT-R, 400WHP

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Update (sorry it's taken so long - I've been very busy at work, so I haven't had much time to mess with my car): But I got in touch with the Tactrix guys. They were extremely responsive and easy to work with. And they genuinely care about their product and customers, so I have no hesitation that they would take care of me in the future. They're just a small company, so if they don't respond right away, keep trying. When you get in touch with them, they take care of you like a small company does, that is to say, with personal care and service. So to close finish up this thread, I'll just say that I'm happy with the cable, and I'm happy to support a small company that really supports our community!
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