Adaptronic Modular RX8 ECU

Hi everyone, I’m really excited to be able to tell you about the new Adaptronic Modular RX8 ECU. As you might know we were one of the first to have plug and play solutions for the Mazda RX8 back in 2010, and in those days we did it using the Select ECU. The Select ECUs only had 4 injector outputs, no CAN and no drive by wire so a few things were left to the factory ECU, and the P2 and secondary injectors were driven in parallel, so there were still 3 injection stages but it limited your ability to run low impedance injectors on the later stages. Also because it left the electronic throttle to the factory ECU, this allowed you to keep the factory idle control, cruise control and traction control, but it also meant that factory ECU functions such as the oil metering pump control could reduce your throttle authority if it detects a fault. Also the factory crank angle sensor has to be used, which makes life a bit difficult for people doing 13BREW and 20B swaps. I also wanted … [Read more...]

Setting up AEM CD7 Dash with Adaptronic Modular ECU

The AEM CD7 dash is one of the many full colour TFT dashes on the market. It has built in support for many aftermarket ECUs and a fully configurable CAN system. This article shows two ways that it can be used. In both, we will just use the CAN1 connection on the dash. The dash actually has 2 CAN busses, but we will just use the first one in this example. In terms of physical connection, all the pins we need are found on the 4 pin DTM connector. The colours are as follows: Pin and Colour  AEM Name Our connection 1 - White CAN 1+ CAN H – J2-15 on M2000 / M6000 2 – Green CAN 1- CAN L – J2-23 on M2000 / M6000 3 – Red Switched Power Ignition  switched power - J2-7 on M2000 / M6000 4 – Black Power ground Power ground – J2-8 on M2000 / M6000 Note that here, the standard red/black are used for power and ground, and white/green are the CAN pair, unlike the Racepak where they use red/green for power and ground, and white/black for the CAN … [Read more...]

CAN Protocol and Adaptronic CAN System

This article describes the CAN protocol in general, and also describes the native Adaptronic CAN system. Firstly, CAN is short for Control Area Network. It is a multi-drop broadcast protocol. The physical connection is via a twisted pair; with a high and a low signal. When the bus is in the recessive state, both high and low signals are at the same voltage. When the bus is in the dominant state, the high line goes to a higher voltage and the low line goes to a lower voltage, with the average voltage remaining the same. This provides excellent noise immunity and is a similar principle to many other protocols such as RS485, RS422, Ethernet and even good old analog phone lines – none of which are shielded usually. Multiple devices can be connected on the bus in parallel, and there is no bus master; any device can broadcast a message. The bus should be terminated at each end with a 120 Ohm resistor. Because of the way CAN works, every device on the bus must be set to the … [Read more...]

Using a Racepak IQ3 dash with a Modular ECU

About the Racepak system EeRacepak has its own implementation of CAN which it calls VNET. This is a 250 kbps bus, where different CAN IDs are allocated for different variables which can be transmitted and logged. As well as the CAN IDs being broadcast to transmit data, there is a separate protocol which allows information about the data to be read and written (you can consider this the “settings”). Any scaling / offsetting is done in the sensor interface (or EFI interface) itself, and the dash only displays or logs these scaled data. Therefore to change units between metric and imperial, this must be done not in the dash setting, but in the device generating the data (in this case, the ECU). The pinout on the VNET connector is as follows: The wire colours of the VNET cable which we used to wire up are as follows: Pin Colour Function Connection Green Power ground No connection required if the dash has its own power. Otherwise you can connect this to … [Read more...]

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...]