New Modular ECU for MX5 Miata NB8B and NB8C

Hi everyone, this video describes the new Modular ECU for the MX5 Miata NB8B and NB8C, which includes the naturally aspirated, variable valve timing engine and the factory turbo, or SE - or in the US it was called the MSM for Mazdaspeed Miata. Some people may ask why we did a Modular ECU for these cars when we already have the Select ECU. Firstly, as you can imagine we're phasing out the Select ECUs, as the Modular ECU is far superior in terms of processing power, the fuel model which leads to how quick is it to tune and how nice the car is to drive. You've probably seen the modelled injector section in the software by now and that makes a big difference to how nicely they tune up and the amount of work involved. Secondly, the Select ECU was a little bit short on outputs to control the NB8B really nicely. For example both thermofans were driven at the same time so this presented a big electrical load to the engine when they were first turned on. We got around that … [Read more...]

The BS Epidemic

OK, normally I keep this show family-friendly but I'm so passionate about this that I'm just going to let it flow and be myself. I'm going to address something that Paul Yaw from ID calls the "Bullshit Epidemic" - firstly I'm going to address a very silly article that's been shared recently and then I'm going to address the general problem. In this industry, my fight is not against our competitors; my fight is against ignorance and misinformation. The majority of our technical support load is not people wanting to know how to use our products; it's telling people about the car in front of them. If more tuners knew more about tuning, EFI and diagnosis then our lives (us and our competitors) would be a lot easier, tuners' lives would be easier and customers would be more satisfied. This is why in our tech videos I don't just talk about what the ECU does, I also talk about what's actually happening in the real world because, damn it, it's important. So in this fight, my enemy is … [Read more...]

Turbo Speed Sensors on Modular ECUs

Increasingly recently, people have started to install turbo speed sensors to monitor the rotor speed of their turbochargers. I'm not sure if the goal here is more data to monitor spool, configure antilag or just to make sure that you're not overspeeding the turbo, but many people have asked for the ability to measure turbo speed and record it on the ECU, so we've added it for some specific types of sensors. The ECU supports up to 2 turbo speed sensors so that you can measure the turbo speed of two separate turbochargers. If in the future we build the turbo speed into either exhaust back pressure monitoring or part of the boost control algorithm, then turbo 1 will correspond to the odd bank, or the front half of the engine in a twin-turbo inline 6 eg the RB26DETT, and turbo 2 will correspond to the even bank or the rear half of an inline. The inputs that can be used have to be high speed frequency inputs; so normal digital inputs or analogue inputs are not suitable. These … [Read more...]

Open Loop MOP Control for RX7s and MOP Control for RX8s on Modular ECUs

This article describes how it is possible to do open loop MOP control on a rotary engine using a Modular ECU. Firstly, we don't recommend this except for testing purposes. Mazda included a position sensor on the metering oil pump so that it could be closed loop controlled, and also on the RX8, if the factory ECU detects a metering oil pump failure, it limits the throttle authority to 5%. If you're not running premix then the engine will have the wrong amount of lubrication. Let's start by discussing the types of metering oil pumps. Firstly, the series 5 (FC) and the series 6 (FD) are mechanically very similar. They look the same except for a slightly different part number, 198700-0050 for the series 5 and 198700-0060 for the series 6 - and also the Series 6 has a single connector for the motor and sensor, whereas the series 5 has separate connectors for the sensor and the motor. The series 8 (FD) has the same connector as the series 6, but looks quite different as you … [Read more...]

Using Built-in Scope Function of the Modular ECUs

The modular ECUs all have a built-in scope function. This is mainly to aid in diagnonstics, but can also be used for tuning some functions which happen very quickly. Firstly let's have a bit of an introduction of what an oscilloscope is and how to use one, and then we can show some examples of applications that you can use it for. In the olden days, it used to be called a CRO - Cathode Ray Oscilloscope, and this is what I grew up with when I was a little engineer. It usually has 2 channels, and basically gives you a graph of voltage against time for each of the two channels. Each channel has a probe, and you attach the probe to the voltage that you want to measure. Because the tool can be used for a wide range of applications, from milliVolts to hundreds of Volts, you need to be able to adjust the vertical scale. Similarly because you may be watching things that happen in very short time domains, for example microseconds, out to very slow events which happen over a period of … [Read more...]

Target Boost Modes on Modular ECUs

This article describes using target boost modes in the Modular ECUs. Firstly, let's talk about the reason we do it this way. What we found with the Select ECUs was that the majority of people were happy to run an open loop duty cycle, but a few wanted to do closed loop functions also. Also, people wanted different boost levels under different conditions. For example with different ethanol content, or an external input switch to select a different boost level, or in different gears. The vast majority of people wanted the switch to hold a certain boost level, which if you have a well configured mechanical system, will equate to a fairly constant duty cycle, but in other cases this doesn't happen and you end up with boost creep or taper as RPM increases. If you do want to do closed loop, then as well as having different base duty cycles under these different conditions, we need to have different boost targets as well, or run in open loop mode. This means that if you want to … [Read more...]

The M1200 ECU

This article is about the Adaptronic M1200 ECU. We have been looking for a way to replace the e420d for 4 cylinder engines using the technology from our new Modular ECUs, but in a way that we can match the price point of the e420d which was very popular. Well, we’ve found a way to do it, but there are several limitations compared to the M2000 required to get the cost down (not only of the ECU but of looms as well). Here are the differences: In short, it’s a cut down M2000 with less capable outputs, and less in the way of output diagnostics, and it can’t be upgraded in the way that the Modular ECUs can. We use the 48-pin OEM connector as well, not because it’s cheaper than the Superseal connector on the ECU end, because it isn’t really – but it makes the looms a lot more cost effective. I know that some of our competitors offer on their basic model ECUs only 3 or so 0-5V inputs, of which you need to use one for throttle position, one for MAP and that leaves you with one to … [Read more...]

Selecting Injectors for the Modular ECUs

In previous articles, I’ve said that you can select your injector from a dropdown list. There are currently 60 injectors in the list, so I thought it would be appropriate to show some options to find your injector and what other information you can gain from the injector selection screen. Firstly, the injector selection can be found under “outputs -> injector type” screen. The Modular ECUs currently support up to 4 stages of injection and you can select a different injector type for each stage. So each stage has its own injector selection screen. Rather than searching through the list, you can click on the “Search…” button next to the dropdown list. This brings up a list of all the injectors we have characterised so far, but as I mentioned it would be painful to search through all of them. So instead it might be easier to do a search. For example if you know that the injector is a factory Nissan injector, you can type “Nissan” into the search bar, and all the … [Read more...]

How to Setup Open Loop Boost Control on Modular ECUs

This article describes how to configure boost control in open loop mode on the Modular ECUs. In open loop mode, it means that the duty cycle is fixed in your ECU settings, and whatever boost that generates is what you get. This is the way many tuners configure boost controllers because it’s relatively easy to do it this way. It has its limitations though so let’s talk about basic boost control hardware first of all. First, I’m going to look at the mechanical side of boost control; the reason being that often people think that what they need is to learn about the ECU settings, when they don’t really understand the mechanical system they’re controlling. If you do know this well then skip ahead! We know that exhaust gas comes out of the engine and spins the turbine, which in turn spins the compressor which generates the boost. To regulate the boost, we control how much exhaust is allowed to bypass the turbine through one or more wastegates. The wastegate is a flap or some other … [Read more...]

Ignition Timing Tuning Modes on Modular ECUs

This article explains the different load axes of ignition mapping, as well as temperature corrections for ignition timing. Similarly to the fuel mapping, the Adaptronic Modular ECUs can use a combination of MAP and TPS for ignition timing tuning. The ideal measurement would be the pressure of the air in the cylinder, which would be best approximated by MAP x VE. However we wouldn't want a system whereby someone changes the fuel map and then that changes the ignition timing as well - even though that might be scientifically accurate, it's important for ECUs to behave as tuners expect them, otherwise the tuner can't make the ECU do what is needed. It's set in the settings for your ignition map, so if you're using dual maps there will be a setting for ignition map 1 and another for ignition map 2. The most basic is MAP. This has a pretty good correlation with the pressure of the air that's in the cylinder, and therefore how quickly the flame front spreads through the … [Read more...]