Power Arc Ignitions

Ignition Development System (IDS)
Computer Programmed Precision Performance for 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 & 8 Cylinder Engines

                                                ECP (Edge Card Programmer)

                                           Actual cable length is about 5 feet
Download PDF version of manual here
The ECP (Edge Card Programmer) is used to program all new IDS ignitions with the edge card programmer connection. The adapter has an integrated USB to serial converter and a LED light which indicates whether or not power is applied to the ignition. The adapter has a standard USB connector on one end and a SATA cable connector on the other end (do not plug the SATA connector into a computer).  The SATA or edge connector plugs into the the updated versions of the CD,  CD-L, C (discontinued) and D (discontinued) series ignitions.

Before an ignition can be programmed the IDS application must be installed. D
ownload the appropriate version of the IDS setup file here and install the IDS application.  When prompted make sure to install the USB to serial driver software for the ECP adapter. You can now plug the USB cable into the ECP and the computer.  Wait until the ECP USB serial adapter is recognized by the computer before starting the IDS application.

Important:  Run the application as administrator or you might not be able to program the ignition.

Now go to the
Config menu and choose Configure Serial Port.  Press the Detect Ports button and pick the serial port that corresponds to the ECP adapter. This will typically be COM3.  The ECP driver software defaults to COM3 unless some other device has already taken this port.  If there are multiple COM ports the highest port in the list is likely the ECP adapter. You may have to use trial and error or go to the Windows Device Manager - Ports (COM & LPT). The ECP adapter should show up as an USB Serial Port with the COM port number listed. If no serial ports are detected make sure the ECP adapter is plugged into a USB port in the computer and that the device drivers have been installed.

Goto About Dialog
Next go to the help menu and pick About and then Power Arc IDS.
You must have the ECP hooked to the computer and the ignition. The edge card connector can only be plugged one way into the ECP and ignition module.  Power must be supplied to the ignition during this operation. If the ignition module is installed in a vehicle turn the ignition key/switch on. You may also use an AC to DC 12V wall adapter if it was purchased with the ECP. Do not use a battery charger to power the ECP adapter or the ignition module. If the ECP LED light is not on you do not have power to the ignition. Once power has been verified click on the Read button.

If the the values in the About dialog box load then you are ready to program the ignition.  If you get an error message :
  • Run the application as administrator.
  • Re-configure the serial port. Try a different COM port if multiple ports showed up during detection. It may be necessary to restart the IDS application after you re-configure the port.
  • Make sure the ECP adapter is plugged into a USB port.
  • The edge connector must be plugged into the ECP and ignition.
  • Make sure power is applied to the ignition. The red LED light on the ECP must be on when programming an ignition.
  • Cycle ignition power.  Turn the power off to ignition and then back on. ECP adapter LED should turn off then on.
  • The ECP adapter should have been recognized when plugged into the computer. Verify version 3 or above of the IDS software was installed.
  • Re-install the driver software if USB device was not recognized. Go to powerarc.com downloads section and install the latest USB to serial driver.
To program the ignition simply open/create the desired ignition map (curve file *.crv) and press the program button.  Make sure the ECP is connected to the USB port of the computer. The edge card connector must be plugged into the ECP and the ignition. The ignition must have power supplied to it when programming as indicated by the red LED of the ECP. When finished programming the ignition remove the program cable.  The ignition will not operate with the program cable inserted. A detailed explanation of how to create a timing map can be found in the help section of the IDS application once it has been installed.  Contact Power Arc if you are interested in programming ignitions with the ECP adapter.