Engine Analyzer

American diagnostics / 40-400
July 7, 2009 at 17:36:07
Specs: Windows XP, 3.0Ghz Pentium 4/512 Meg
Hi Tom,

This one is going to be a little off the wall, but I figured you might be my best line of defense. I recently purchased a Bear Pace400 engine analyzer. The unit was built back in 1994 and started life with a DTK computer with a 486/sx processor. Most of the new automotive diagnostic software runs on Windows XP so I made the assumption I could upgrade to a faster computer and make the whole package work. Alas it seems I was wrong... I replaced the DTK motherboard with an industrial PCI/EISA backplane and a HI-CORE i6414 Single Board Computer. The current configuration runs Windows XP without a problem the original BEAR software and hardware is another issue all together... The original BEAR configuration uses a proprietary communications card they refer to as the "CAN BOARD" most likely as it uses the Intel 82526 controller area network chip to communicate between the 4 different processors used on the analyzer 1) The Computer 2) The Test Computer 3) The OBD Computer 4) Remote Control. The last software update the company wrote uses DOS 6.22... I've tried to run this software under CMD.exe with no luck I have even tried VMware workstation and that doesn't work either seems for some reason or another it does not communicate with the CAN Board, I am also curious as to why Windows doesn't even see that card attached to the EISA bus... I do have a separate drive in the computer which I can boot DOS from and the program kind of runs, but the remote and the OBD computers don't work as I believe the processor is running way to fast and causes timing issues.... Please feel free to ask any questions as I know most here have no idea what an engine analyzer is let alone an OBD computer.... Guess that happens when a Car Geek mixes with a Computer Geek and he get into something way over his head... Any help or suggestions is appreciated....

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July 7, 2009 at 18:20:46
If virtual machine doesn't work, you might try DOSBox


DOSBox does slow down some DOS games & apps and just might do the trick for you. Your other choice is likely the restoration of the 486/sx machine.

Machines like this usually use proprietary boards like your CAN board to keep you from repairing or cloning the system. Chances are the CAN board is a pretty simple digital to analog converter (or something similar) but you'll sure as hell not be able to find any usable info about it. Bear, Sun and others guard that info well.

This machine for personal or shop use? If a shop, I can certainly understand why you'd want one machine, one printer and so forth.


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July 7, 2009 at 18:28:51
Don't fix something if it isn't broken

PowerMac 9600(1 ghz G4)
512mb RAM
50gb SCSI
ATi 9200 PCI

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July 7, 2009 at 18:34:19
I think I used on of those! Wow, I thought it was a heck of a toy back then. In fact not a lot better than the old Sun system.

A few ideas.

We still use "can" in many machines, we have laptops to diag them and program ladders and mmi's and the list goes on. It is well supported. As to your case there might be a lot of other issues to work on.

One is xp should run most dos apps. Might have to set version, might have to do a lot of irq and autoexec and config.sys settings to get it working.

The best place would have been to print out all the files you had, along with contents of readable config files. Copies of any data files would have helped.

I'd start by using your board with basic dos, there are ton's of places that offer boot disk, All you need to do is format a small partition and use sys to get it up. After that you might need a few things.

Might have to buy dos if you can somewhere, IBM dos and freedos may or may not work.

You will not get a VM to use the can board.

"Best Practices", Event viewer, host file, perfmon, antivirus, anti-spyware, Live CD's, backups, are in my top 10

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July 7, 2009 at 19:09:11
CAN is an industrial control bus similar to X10. You may want to keep the original computer as there might be timing issues.

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