Ostrich 2.0

The meanest emulator known to man.

The meanest emulator known to man.

The release of the Ostrich 2.0 was the marking point for the next generation of Moates products. Along with a 75% size reduction, the Ostrich 2.0 also boasts many firmware advances. The Ostrich 2.0 connects to the host computer with a baud rate of 921,600bps, which is the fastest bit rate supported by standard RS-232.

In English, this means uploads, download and verifies happen in less than 2 seconds for most ROMs.

There are also some new features for developers available on the Ostrich. Features like ROM tracing, and window tracing allow developers to keep track of what addresses are being access within specific regions of the ROM. This is helpful for reverse engineering roms, and can also aid in datalogging ECUs with limited datalogging capability.

The following software packages are known to be compatible with the Ostrich 2.0:


  • Hondata (Note: Old “Stage” software before S300 only.  No S300 support)

  • Neptune (Note: DEALER VERSION ONLY!!!  We do NOT sell Neptune software that works with the Ostrich.)

  • eCtune

  • BRE

  • TurboEdit

  • TunerPro

And many more…

To purchase the Ostrich 2.0, please see this item in our Online Store here


Environmental Compatibility


The Ostrich is NOT designed to be left in an engine bay!!!  It will fail prematurely if exposed to the heat of a bay.   It is designed for a maximum operating temperature of about 80C (175F).

The Ostrich is NOT designed to be exposed to moisture!!!  It will fail prematurely if exposed to liquids.  It will fail prematurely from condensation inside its case.

If you are going to use the Ostrich in harsh environments, try to do so for short periods of time and then program a chip for long term use.  We recommend this in general but it is especially important in harsh environments.

Due to its internal battery constantly powering portions of the device, the Ostrich can easily be ruined by condensation caused by sudden drops of temperature in humid environments.  Returning the Ostrich to a cool (~50-77F / 10-25C) , dry environment after exposure to high humidity before attempting to use again  is a very good idea.  Placing it in a sealed bag with dry rice or another desiccant can help if condensation is suspected.


Supported Targets – 24, 28, 32 pin 8 bit ROMs

The Ostrich is a general purpose emulator.  It can be used to emulate up to a 4 megabit ***8 bit*** EPROM.  It cannot be used to emulate 16 bit ROMs like the 28Fxxx.  The Ostrich 2.0  is available with DIP28, DIP32 cables.  The SocketBooster 1.0 is used with 24 pin applications.

  • 27C32 (TBI GMs, Old Bosch Motronic) = 28 pin emulation cable, Socket Booster
  • 27C64 (misc ECMs) = 28 pin emulation cable, Socket Booster
  • 27C128 (misc ECUs) = 28 pin emulation cable
  • 27C256 (misc ECUs) = 28 pin emulation cable
  • 27C512 (misc ECUs = 28 pin emulation cable
  • 27C010 (?) = 32 pin emulation cable
  • 29F040 (?) = 32 pin emulation cable

We have NOT performed extensive testing to determine the fastest access time for the Ostrich2, but we estimate that it is in the 65-80ns range.  90s is 100% safe.

In cases where you have a PLCC package chip, you CAN use the Ostrich 2.0 but you need a DIP->PLCC adapter.  We do NOT sell these.  Logical systems seem to sell suitable adapters.

The SocketBooster and the Ostrich 2.0

The SocketBooster is never required when using the Ostrich 1.0 but it is required for most 27C32-based applications when using an Ostrich 2.0.  You can think of it as a signal amplifier for the Ostrich 2.0.  In most applications, the Ostrich 2.0 can produce a strong enough signal on its own.  If your ECU acts like it has a bad chip or no chip installed when using the Ostrich but the same program works as a chip, this could be a sign that your application needs a SocketBooster.  (It could also mean that your Ostrich is failing…)  You might ask, “well why don’t you use a SocketBooster all the time?”  Unfortunately, the SocketBooster interferes with the operation of the “trace” feature of the Ostrich.

This is a list of applications where we have found a SocketBooster to be ABSOLUTELY necessary:

  • 86-93 GM TBI ECMs using a 24 pin 27C32 EPROM

This is a list of application where we have found a SocketBooster to be necessary in SOME cases:

  • 90-93 Nissan Z32 8 bit ECUs, 90-93 Nissan R32 Skyline 8 bit ECUs.  (By extension, most 8 bit Nissan computers around this age)
  • 90-94 Mitsubishi DSM ECUs

This is a list of applications where the SocketBooster is 100% NOT needed:

  • 88-95 Honda ECUs
  • 86-95 GM TPI “Memcal” style ECMs
  • Nintendo NES and Gameboy
  • All 32 pin applications

If you don’t see your ECM listed, email support@moates.net with the particulars of your application.

About Emulation Bank Setting

If you enabled the “Emulation Bank” toolbar in TunerPro, there are some additional settings to play with.  Note: the Demon-Ostrich Reset Utility will modify the bank settings, restoring them to a sane setting for 28 pin EPROM use.
The ‘bank’ is a 64k chunk of memory, which is the maximum amount of data that can be presented using a 28 pin cable. Each bank can be presented independently, so you could have 8 ‘tunes’ if you want.  Switches must be in the 28 or 24 pin operation for this mode to function properly.
For the 32 pin, the firmware option of setting ‘bank8/full4mbit’ is used. The switches are also positioned. In this mode, all of the memory is addressed and presented.
Keep in mind that the Ostrich and most software it supports will ‘assume’ that you are placing the values at the highest address range of memory. (Unused address lines are pulled up at the ostrich via 100k.)  If you’re wanting to play with banks and the Ostrich you will need to be very careful of which memory you address.


Power Consumption

User Jon Sole was kind enough to share this information with us.  Jon measured the Ostrich 2 drawing about 71mA of power with USB disconnected in his application (3S-GTE) versus 16mA with USB connected and supplying power.
While trying to use the Ostrich on a 3S-GTE platform, Jon discovered that the ECU would freak out and land in limp mode with USB disconnected but run fine with USB connected.  Suspecting that the difference in power draw between an ordinary EPROM and the Ostrich was the culprit, Jon is going to try an provide a secondary 5V power supply for the Ostrich to hopefully allow the Ostrich to be used with USB disconnected without the ECU revolting.


Ostrich Use with PLCC32 Targets

The Ostrich can be used with PLC32 targets, but we do not sell the necessary adapters.  In most cases, you will need to get the EMU3206 cable we sell so you are starting with a 32 pin DIP.  We have fund these vendors sell adapters that will work for emulation of PLCC32 targets:


Making Your Own Cables

We recommend you buy a suitable cable from us.  You should not bother reading this section unless you understand how EPROM addressing works and you have a specific need that cannot be met with a cable we already sell.  This is not for beginners.  You are warned.

Parts can be found here (Page 106: PCI-24, PCI-28. PCI32, IDS-34)

The pinout of the Ostrich is more or less the same as the chips that it is designed to emulate, viewed from above.  The two switches define the possibilities – 24 pin(2732), 28pin (27C512) and 32pin (AM29F040).

A very important thing to note is that all pins are live in each mode, i.e. if you are using the Ostrich to emulate a 27C256 in 28 pin mode, you must make sure that the highest address pin (A15, pin 28) present on the 27C512 but missing on the 27C256 is in a defined state by using a pull up/down resistor.  Although the Ostrich has very weak internal pull-ups, allowing pins to float in an undefined state is likely to cause problems.  TunerPro RT and most software typically top-justifies bin files when uploading them to the Ostrich so generally pull UP resistors are going to be what you need.  If your target system has hard pull downs (ground) on “unused” address lines, you will have to either disconnect these lines from the target system and manually pull them high *OR* adjust where in the Ostrich’s memory bins are uploaded to.

In 32 pin mode, the Ostrich uses 32/34 pins with the same pin numbering scheme as a 29F040:

Ostrich2 32pin mode

In 28 pin mode, the Ostrich uses 28/34 pin with the same pin numbering scheme as a 27C512:

Ostrich 28pin27C512-chip_end

In 24 pin mode, the Ostrich uses 24/34 pins with the same pin numbering scheme as a 2732:

Ostrich2 24pin


Data Trace

The Data Trace feature of the Ostrich 2.0 allows you to observe which data in its memory is being accessed by the target system.  It’s a little more complicated than it sounds so there is a dedicated support page for the Trace Feature.