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Thread: ZFuel

  1. #101
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    I always thought that "DIP" stood for - Dual Inline Packages.
    Carl B.

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    Dual Inline Package

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    Who's going to write this up for ZCCM Magazine? You'll only get a 1-page article, but it'll probably get some attention from engineers that aren't members here, to get even more development or refinement.

    You could also put it into GrassRoots Motorsport.
    Drive Responsibly.
    enjoy classic Rock music.

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    SIP, J-lead, PGA, been there too
    There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply.
    The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey.


    John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)



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    JCB,

    I haven't determined the selling price yet. I can already tell it is going to be more than I originally hoped for, but it won't be astronomical or out of line with any other similar system. (except for rcb who said price is not an issue for him. His will be wicked expensive! )

    I do have the models & respective capabilities defined. There will be two models available: the HellFire Classic & HellFire Hybrid.

    • Both models will be 100% configurable via the GUI for all fuel delivery maps & can support any intake manifold, throttle body, head, piston/cam upgrade ect.
    • Both will also allow you to run any stock or after market sensors such as (stock vane style AFM, MAP, MAF, analog TPS, non-stock temp sensors, ect.)
    • Both can control the fuel pump to give you a configurable # of sec prime pulse when ignition is turned on. Yay! no more hot start problems.
    • Both will support a bone stock engine compartment or a highly customized one with AFM missing, custom intake, big bore Throttle Body, ect.


    The major difference between the two is that the Hybrid will be able to take over ignition duties & will have additional IO necessary for things like crank position sensors, turbo capability, shift lights, & similar. For 90% of us the HellFire Classic will fit the bill. However, if you are crazy and want to go all out with a crank trigger wheel, full on ignition control, coil on plug, & sequential injection you'll want the HellFire Hybrid.


    Tomohawk,

    Once I get the prototype operating a car & have something tangible to show, I'll contact a few of the Z channels to get more feedback. For now, the push is to continue development and testing.



    Inquiring Minds Update -

    I haven't had much time to work on it over the holiday, but I have the serial communication protocol fully implemented. I can now easily transfer command & data to/from the ECU. Data is transmitted with packets using a 32bit CRC so we have 100% reliable data. This is more of a pain than just simple ascii commands with carriage returns but in my opinion is mandatory for something that is controlling your fuel & ignition. One wrong bit when downloading a fuel map using simple ascii and you could seriously lean out an engine. I know it's a remote possiblity, but why worry. The communication protocol I used is a derivative of a custom one that I wrote about 7 years ago & is currently being used in well over 50,000 units in the field. It's on an industrial controller in an extremely noisy environment. It's time tested, and we will have no problems.

    The GUI now autodetects the ECU as soon as it plugged in to any USB port, and then both the GUI/ECU maintain the connection & keep the user informed of the status. The GUI has a connected ICON & shows details at the bottom of the screen in the status bar. The ECU has an led dedicated to the communication link. I want the connection to be seamless & simple for the user.

    I'm chomping at the bit to get this thing connected to the Z and some real world sensors, but I'm being patient. The GUI will be the primary debug tool for me as I bring the system up so I'm spending a lot of time making it solid and useful. Most users will probably never ever see it, but the ones that do connect their laptop I want to blow away by how simple it is to use. This is not an easy task as there is a lot of capabilities to the system.

    Lenny

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    Excellent progress.

    Were you intending to "run" the ECU on the bench before you tossed it into a car? I saw in one of the pics you had an EFI harness out on the bench... I was figuring you would power it up using that harness and use pots for the temp sensors, etc and a sig-gen for the ignition input. Twiddle the pots and watch the injector pulse width change?

    I set one up on my bench like that but didn't get it to work. I didn't have a lot of time and had to get the car back together, but I figured I would take an hour and see if I could get it to work on the bench. I unfortunately ran out of time before I got any meaningful data.

    If you want me to put that test set-up together, let me know. My Z is down for the season.

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    Captain,

    Yes, my plan is to first simulate just as you outlined. However, I'm cheating. I also layed out a breakout interface pcb at the same time as the HellFire (I should post pics of it too) This board connects to the engine harness and has two pigtails that come out of it. One for the stock ECU , one for the HellFire. In theory I will be able to hot swap between the two ECUS while the engine is running as both see the same input signals. I buffered the inputs to the stock ECU and routed a path to the HellFire so it sees what the Stock ECU sees. There's a bit of head scratching I'll need to do to make sure the sensor scaling matches.

    The outputs are switched via relays and one toggle to run the engine from either ECU depending on the toggle switch position.

    There's also pots and switches on the board to simulate the engine sensor so I can just use it and the HellFire on the bench. I stopped short of adding a timer on it to simulate RPM. I'll just use a function generator.

    Lenny

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    Any details on the GUI? Are you a programmer also? I Googled "Hellfire" and now I'm probably on somebody's watch list....
    1976 280Z, with some minor modifications

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    Zed,

    Yes, I'm a hardware/firmware design engineer & I've been writing windows code for almost 10 years. I posted a screen shot early on in this thread. The gui has changed a lot of course, but this gives a general idea. Look back up to post #25 for details on it. I'll try to include the picture here as well.

    screenshot1 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Apparently with all my mad ECU design/software skills I've been touting I can't make this picture show up in this forum.. Just the link.


    Lenny
    Last edited by superlen; 12-01-2013 at 09:50 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by superlen View Post
    Apparently with all my mad ECU design/software skills I've been touting I can't make this picture show up in this forum



  11. #111
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    The breakout board sounds like a great idea. I miss having access to facilities to do stuff like that.

    When I set-up my test bench, I did not have an AFM loose so I just tried to cobble together a substitute with pots and resistors. I also used a sig-gen for the ignition input and the bottom line is that I never got injector pulses and I didn't have the time to figure out why.

    I'm not sure if there was a problem with my simulated AFM or if my faked ignition pulses weren't good enough to fool the ECU.

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    Captain,

    Thanks for posting the pics in the thread. For the life of me I couldn't get the tags to work properly.

    On your test setup I'm guessing it was your ignition pulses weren't high enough voltage. I have the same problem firing the stock ECU on the bench. The ECU is set up to work from the flyback on the coil & there is a threshold (I don't know what it is yet - maybe 30-40V???) that has to be met. Neither of our signal generators were hitting this mark. I hadn't thought about that when I made the breakout board or I would have put some sort of HV pulser on there.

    Lenny

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    Here are some latest GUI pics.

    I do want to stress that most people are NEVER going to have to see any of this. Just plug the HellFire in place of your stock ECU and party on. But for those who want to modify, tweak, play, or twiddle, the GUI is going to be nifty. Also note in these pics you might see random buttons and hacks that I have in there for testing. Ignore anything that looks silly.

    Here is the main configuration screen for the overall system showing how to set which method of Air measurement you like. You can also see some of the other settings such as fuel pump prime seconds.




    Here is the screen showing the Sensor list. Each sensor has its own calibration data (shown later) that can be tweaked to accommodate any analog sensor you throw at it. The unit will ship with calibration for the stock sensor obviously, but if you find yourself wanting to use a coolant sensor from a Ford Escort or a Yugo, you can. I will however, make fun of anyone who puts a Yugo part on a Z car.



    And finally, here is a shot of the calibration screen showing the coolant sensor. By adjusting the numbers in the table at the left one can tweak around the curve that fits your sensor. The graph is mostly just for visualization to give some feedback that you aren't typing in something stupid in the table. The graph for most all sensors should be a fairly smooth curve. The number of data points to fit the curve is limited to 16. You can use as little as 2 points or a max of 16. The ECU then does a piecewise linear interpolation between the closest two input points when calculating the output.



    As always, feed back is appreciated.

    Len

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    Hi Lenny,
    Its really impressive work your doing and the GUI looks clean and easy to use
    Chas
    Chas
    5/77 280Z HLS30 403100 with some modifications
    Original colour: 305 Light Blue. The PO changed it to Red

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    Hey Len,

    If you have data tables that you want reduced to 2nd or 3rd order polynomial equations. I can do the curve fitting and reductions if it helps.
    There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply.
    The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey.


    John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)



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  16. #116
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    That's what I'm talking about Lenny, "plug-n-play" all the way for me
    Nothing complicated
    Hmm....knew I shouldn't have made that statement regarding price.

    Oh I see FastWomen, the things that I heard referred to as "chips" on occasion. Thanks for the insight.

  17. #117
    1978 280Z (stock) TomoHawk's Avatar
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    The really net thing about "chips" is how they got that name.
    Drive Responsibly.
    enjoy classic Rock music.

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    Chas,

    Thanks for the compliment.

    Blue,

    I may take you up on that a little later on. I remember us discussing the curve fit software you have & it was pretty cool. While I'm not implementing equations in the realtime code, it would be useful in calibrating different non-stock sensors.

    Len

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    I'll be glad to help.

    Get the device working, debugged and optimized with the Datsun crowd then make money off the Porsche guys.
    There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply.
    The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey.


    John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)



    ZCars in Eastern Canada seaport ready for shipment to Europe

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  20. #120
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    Looks like a well laid out GUI! Very exciting!

    So I saw a pic of a flaming red pickup in your photo stream. I'm hoping that's not how your Hellfire board got its name!

    So Tomo, why is a chip called a chip?
    My last three sports cars while I still owned all three:

    2001 BMW Z3 Roadster 3.0i soft/hard top (sold)
    1966 Ford Mustang Coupe (sold)
    1978 Datsun 280Z (enjoying very much )

  21. #121
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    btw having the engine set up for two fuel modes: Economy and Power (with an optional USB switch would be a nice feature).

    One target would be 12.5 and another would be 15 to 16
    There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply.
    The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey.


    John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)



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    Sarah,

    That truck was HellFire prototype 1. JK. That was my friends Dodge 1 ton. It was a really sweet truck. It sprung a diesel leak onto the exhaust manifold. The sad thing was that he was hauling a skyjack out to my house to help with a pool install when it caught fire.

    Blue,

    I have a AFR table that is adjustable (similar to a VE table). It's normally programmed for Economy (14+) when you're driving around in the "cruise" portion, but when you "tip in", or punch it to pass, or under any conditions where you want power, it will drop down into (12ish) AFRs. It might still be nice to have a remote switch override to force economy as with my driving I'm usually flooring it & would always be in the cells that are set to power.

    The tables are completely adjustable so if one wanted a fixed 14.7 or 12AFR or whatever, they could do so.

    Len

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    Yes, I think the economy override is a feature that should be on all programmable EFI systems. Making use of the speed flexibility of software reconfiguration is what software programmers seem to lack these days.

    For example why the hell can't Microsoft just make a kernel and maintain the GUI's as a separate modules so that when you buy windows 8 you can choose the GUI you are comfortable with and quick with? Seems like the power of software has been abandoned.

    Your hardware with the ability to flip between a few maps would be great and fairly unique however it should have been standard for years.


    I would do tables like this:

    1. lean cruise with rich power (hybrid1 12.5 and 16.5)
    2. shoich cruise with rich power (hybrid2 12.5 and 14.7)
    3. rich all around (power1 with target ~ 12.5)
    4 rich all around (power2 with target ~ 13.5)
    5. Stoich (target ~ 14.7)
    6. lean all around (distance1 with target ~15.5)
    7. lean all around (distance2 with target ~ 16.5)


    Last edited by Blue; 12-03-2013 at 05:26 AM.
    There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply.
    The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey.


    John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)



    ZCars in Eastern Canada seaport ready for shipment to Europe

    http://ZSportCanada.com


  24. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by superlen View Post
    On your test setup I'm guessing it was your ignition pulses weren't high enough voltage. I have the same problem firing the stock ECU on the bench. The ECU is set up to work from the flyback on the coil & there is a threshold (I don't know what it is yet - maybe 30-40V???) that has to be met.
    That was my thought as well, but I didn't have the time to investigate. I didn't want to just go raising the amplitude without investigation first. I didn't want to pop anything.

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    Inquiring Minds Update

    - Still making steady progress on board bring up.
    - Have basic Analog Sensor reading all functional & values being passed along to the GUI for realtime viewing. I'm just passing raw a/d counts for now.
    - I have to add in some more read/write commands to the communication code in order to send down the sensor calibration structures & then...I should be able to see realtime calibrated values in the GUI. TPS goes to 33%, GUI shows 33%. Coolant sensor reads 88degs, Gui reads 88deg. Yay!

    Of course, there is tons more to do, but we have 1/2" of ice and 6" of snow on top of it. I've got some free time.

    Lenny

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    In the beginning, they actually used a thin wafer of silicon, like a potato chip, but thinner.
    Drive Responsibly.
    enjoy classic Rock music.

  27. #127
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    Exciting stuff here for the Z community!! Don't understand half the poop you are talking about, but it sounds impressive. I should know more since I am in the middle of a MS3x install-

    With this Hell-Fire set-up and a day at the dyno, Z owners might get a new respect for their car.
    Steve
    71 240z,bw-5sp 2.4-40 over,balanced,e-88,big valves,ported&polished, stage2,header, triple Mikuni's 40's
    3.90 Subaru STI LSD

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    All I can do is to cheer Lenny on at this point. Lacking anything more intelligent to say...

    Go, Lenny, go! Go, Lenny, go!
    My last three sports cars while I still owned all three:

    2001 BMW Z3 Roadster 3.0i soft/hard top (sold)
    1966 Ford Mustang Coupe (sold)
    1978 Datsun 280Z (enjoying very much )

  29. #129
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    I second that FastWomen! Go Lenny! Wish there was something more I could do besides cheer Lenny on.

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    Thanks for the cheers everyone. I'm still making progress. I've mostly been playing in the snow with the kids, but have done some work on low-level boring stuff to get all my sensors reading/scaling properly. Nothing new to really show yet that's exciting, but maybe later this evening I can post some more fun stuff.

    MadKaw,

    Let me know if you have any issues getting your MS up and going. I don't really know anything about MS specific details as I've never installed one, but I'm fresh up to speed as you can imagine on general Fuel Injection settings/tuning. Helping you (if you in fact need some, which you probably don't but still it's fun to discuss) would help me I'm sure.

    superlen

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    Inquiring minds update.

    - Nothing...at least not much. I've been trying to catch up from the snow storm.

    I did clean up the GUI a bit & I received in some new 2.5 bar MAP sensors to test.

    Also I modified the communication protocol to save some size while transferring data to/from the ECU. My goal is to transfer ALL setup data up to the computer within 2sec after plugging in. You jack in & "poof" all the data is now fresh live and realtime!

    I have also confirmed that I can successfully do the following for all the Sensors Setup Information:

    - load/save the setup from a file on the computer hard drive
    - read/write that setup to/from the HellFire ECU's local ram.
    - load/save the ECUs ram copy to the onboard Flash (make it sticky so it stays there after power cycle)
    - Reset the Sensor information in the ECU Flash to Factory Defaults.

    The next step is to duplicate all of this for the other setup information like general purpose Fuel Injection setup, MAP tables, Target Lambda tables, ect. ect. Some of this is already done, but I need to test thoroughly before moving on.

    I do have a question to throw out for feedback. It pertains to how the GUI should handle sending changes to the Hellfire. Consider the following:

    1. - For no reason you decide to hookup the laptop to the HellFire to play with it. (Obviously, it's running your car better than it ever has before and ever will. ) But still you can't resist the urge to "tweak" something, or show off to you're friends your new toy.

    2. You jack in. "Poof" you have all this cool data in front of you & you decide to change the target AFR (Air to Fuel Ratio - normally around 14.7) to slightly more rich when warming up in the mornings. You change it from 13 to 12.5.

    3. Now you have just changed it in the GUI (but only the GUI at this stage, it hasn't been sent down yet). Which would you rather have happen right after you hit "Enter" upon changing the data.

    a) Alert you that you just changed the GUI and highlight the change in yellow as it now does NOT match what is in the ECU. The assumption is you may change several things, look at them, decide that indeed is what you want and then hit a big button labeled something like "Download your changes to the Kick-Ass HellFire ECU".

    or...

    b) As soon as you change something, automatically send that data to the ECU's ram (thus keeping the ECU and the GUI always in sync). To be clear, each time you change something it would be sent down and take effect immediately on the ECU. You can download all the parameters while the ECU is running so you would get instant feedback without have to also click an additional button to update. However, if you want to make several changes at the same time (while the car is running) this method wouldn't allow that.

    And then once the data is received by the ECU I have two options as well.

    a) Just store the copy in RAM and let the engine run with the new paramaters until you are happy and want them to be saved to flash (make 'em sticky). If you don't also tell the ECU to save by clicking the "SAVE to FLASH" button, the changes you just made will be lost on a power cycle.

    b) Every time you send something to the ECU, just go ahead and write it to Flash. I tend to think this one is better as I can't think of a good reason to NOT do this. The only reason is if you want to test some changes and after playing with them you want to revert what you had before easily (cycling power). You should always save your tune to a backup file on the pc & thus could always get back to a tune you liked by just loading it from the hard drive and sending it down.

    Thanks in advance for any feedback.

    Len

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    I think first getting a dump from the ECU and comparing to a back up in the GUI application should be done before most new loads.

    Keep these as ECU restore states for backing out....keep the last 10 to 20 and date/time stamp them automatically.

    Having an "Are you sure?" is a good thing but make an option where it can be disabled. (this will help with fast changes for comparisons)... no one wants to wait for a computer in a car.
    There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply.
    The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey.


    John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)



    ZCars in Eastern Canada seaport ready for shipment to Europe

    http://ZSportCanada.com


  33. #133
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    Hi Lenny,

    What you are doing certainly has WOW effect. All the option are better than what I have now, but if I had a choice I would prefer 3a with yellow highlight than "compile" or "send"
    The ECU should update the flash in one go.

    This is like releasing the Zed from the dark ages without giving it a complete brain transplant, by that I mean installing a Megasquirt system. Great work your doing.

    Chas
    Chas
    5/77 280Z HLS30 403100 with some modifications
    Original colour: 305 Light Blue. The PO changed it to Red

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    Blue,

    Good idea on the last 10-20-30 (however many) burned. I can do that automatically hidden from the user no problem. Every time they burn a copy to the Hellfire I can store a local copy on the hard drive time stamped. And Yes there will be an "are you sure" popup of some sort. I hadn't thought about letting the user turn on/off that feature. I have it OFF now just because I don't want to click the button 50 zillion times while testing the communication.

    Chas,

    Thanks for the feedback and kudos. Releasing the Zed from the dark ages is indeed what I was going for. Plus blinking leds and realtime GUI screens showing your engine status are just plain COOl.

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    Ha! Classic batch style user interface questions. Before I get into any thoughts about them, let me make sure of one other thing first:

    Make sure you have a bullet proof, iron-clad, robust, absolutely all situation covering way of recovering from a half-completed config download or flash burn. You're always at the risk of interrupted communications halfway through a configuration download and you want to make sure you don't end up with a half-lobotomized patient that's stone dead because if can't make heads or tails out of the configuration data.

    Someone trips over and yanks out the USB cable.
    Someone shuts the car off at just the wrong moment.
    Someone disconnects the battery at just the wrong moment.
    Someone gets a "You've got mail" at just the wrong moment.

    As a last resort, an NMI driven H/W "RESET" button on the ECU itself that restores some sort of factory default config?

    As for the question at hand... I'm sure you remember in the olden days, the classic reason for not burning to flash every time was that they had a limited number of burn cycles. If you've got the cycles to burn (pun intended), then I'm thinking burning every parameter when you hit "ENTER" is the way to go. That way, it would be easier to tell if you screwed something up.

    Of course, the drawback of that would be (other than the number of flash burns) is that if you're changing multiple parameters at the same time that are related in some way, you could wish to dump them all at the same time.

    I'm thinking that offering an option to work on a config either "online" or "offline", with the default being on?

    At the end of the day, my real answer would be "Doesn't really matter. It's going to work so well and be so kick-ass right out of the box that you shouldn't have to be messing with it that much."

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    Capt,


    Are you sure we're not related? You really have great ideas!!!

    FYI, I have a fail safe for the download. Here's how it works. I actually keep multiple "tunes" stored in the flash:

    Tune F: Factory default (can't ever be changed by user - ever ever. Period.)
    Tune L: Last known successful Tune downloaded.
    Tune 1: User Tune #1 (This is where you normally download to)
    Tune 2: User Tune #2 (This is if you want multiple tunes stored for testing on the road A/B comparisons quickly)
    Tune X: User Tune #X (I can have as many as we want, but 2,3,4...yada yada is even overkill I think)

    When the user downloads a tune, it goes to User Tune 1,2,3,x & assuming that the complete Tune download is successful, HellFire runs with this. If your dog happens to chase a squirrel though the shop & exits with the usb cable attached screwing up your download, I'll blow away your screwy download with the last known download.

    I'm waffling on a hard switch to revert back to a factory default....I would really like to mandate that the user use the GUI to perform this, but I do like having the backup of another method. I have spare GPIO inputs that I could use for this.

    The Flash has 100k cycles on each location so we can Tune, tune, tune...till the cows come home. Plus I have a bit of wear leveling code that will take place as well.

    Of course, the drawback of that would be (other than the number of flash burns) is that if you're changing multiple parameters at the same time that are related in some way, you could wish to dump them all at the same time.
    - Yes... This was my thinking too & I considered having the user be able to toggle between instant update/batch. I'm really just leaning towards always being in instant so it's just like you're inside the ECU tweaking with a screwdriver. Instant feedback. Then, if you need to change several things at once, just turn off the engine, make them all then restart.

    One could also just download the new tune to User Tune 2 (while the car is running UTune#1) & when happy, just flip the switch. Blue touched on this earlier as he wanted it to be fast/easy to make a change while testing. I think to do A/B comparisons. (Blue, correct me if I assumed wrongly).

    There's also a method to completely burn in a new version of firmware via the gui, so we are field upgradeable. The bootloader is located in a protected bootblock of flash so it can never be erased. The only way to brick the ecu is to have an actual hardware problem. The user can try to download "War & Peace" if they like, it won't brick it.

    Len

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    Here's another status update for anyone following.

    Today was a small milestone as I connected a full EFI harness to the HellFire. For a few weeks now, I've been playing with the software and sensor calibration routines. The stimulus to the board has always been my breakout/simulator board. Additionally, I wasn't running +12V power. The usb connection was providing +5V that powered all the circuitry. I did this just for ease of development (no need for lab supply on desk, no extra pesky wires in the way, ect).

    This morning, I connected a stock harness ( I think from a '75) & powered up. All sensor inputs worked flawless!!!! WOOT WOOT.
    The IAT, CLT, TPS (idle & WOT switches of course), cranking signal, Battery voltage & AFM output were all showing on screen as they should.

    I have an AFM lying on my desk with the cover off. I can move the vane from 0 to full scale and watch my sensor input go smoothly from 0 - 100%. Changing the scaling works great and I can scale it to give me raw A/d Counts, or the voltage at the ecu pin, % full scale, or cc/sec of air flowing through it. I still need to calibrate to determine the cc/sec of air. This is of course the critical measurement we need but for now it's set to just show voltage.

    The IAT was showing 28.9 deg C which is a little high for my office but I am running a space heater below my desk keeping my feet warm. More likely I thought was that my calibration numbers that I calculated based upon the FSM are a little off. They are definitely coarse as I'm only using 5 data points and I need more. Both Captain and Blue have volunteered to calculate some better numbers & I'm ready to take them up on it and buy some beer. For grins I took the AFM and set it down in front of the space heater & immediately the IAT on the computer screen started rising.

    The on board MAP sensor is tested and working great as well. I have also ordered a MAF sensor off a Infinity q45 to test as well. I already know the transfer function of it in grams of air/sec, so I'm going to plumb it in front of my stock AFM while the car is running and use it to get a baseline calibration curve on the stock AFM flowrate vs output voltage.

    The next thing is to test the circuitry that detects the coil firing and test the injector drivers.

    So far knock on wood, No smoke from the prototype board, and not even any blue wire jumpers needed.

    Lenny
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    Very impressive! So will I have it in my Xmas stocking on the morning of the 25th? Hmmmm????

    That's a nice method you have of cross-referencing the AFM output to actual airflow. Dumb question: Have you confirmed the spring calibration is correct on your AFM?

    I think I'm going to pop a champagne cork when you have your Hellfire board running your Z! The anticipation is too much!
    My last three sports cars while I still owned all three:

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    I'll do what I can Lenny. I have a lot of spare EFI parts and a 77 280z at your disposal.

    I can also transform curves to equations for compactness in code and smooth transitioning.
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    Sarah,

    I was hoping to have at least a steady state baseline map running (read Idling with at least a halfway close 14.7 AFR) in the Z by New Years. It's still a possibility, but with some Christmas travel and such, i don't think I'll make it.

    And, I'm still laughing at even the thought that I would have a calibrated AFM. As you probably guessed,like most all of us, I have an old worn out AFM that who knows how much it has drifted/spring weakened or how much the spring has been tinkered with.

    I have several thoughts on this:

    1. My assumption is that most don't have a clue where their AFM is really at.
    2. My GUI can easily adapt to any slight (or even fairly major) drift as long as the internal wiper is smooth and doesn't have dead spots. However, tweaking a bunch of numbers that aren't even close to linear by hand doesn't sound fun or productive at all.
    3. In the GUI, I'll have a virtual "wheel" that the user can advance or decrease. This will simulate popping the cover & manually changing the spring rate. It will adjust the numbers on the fly for you. The benefit is that a) it's easier b) You don't have to worry about risking the integrity of the seal on your cover & use gobs of silicone to make sure it's water tight when done. c) you can easily go back to stock by clicking a button as opposed to remembering where your wheel started at. d) It's far easier to click a button while the car is idling, than to loosen the bolt adjust, retighten, ect. (usually with the car off) I feel this virtual feature will allow the user to "tune" their particular AFM's drive in pretty good. Experimentation will tell. I can't wait to get to that point.

    4. How do we know if our AFM has dead spots? Testing with a voltmeter is a great start, but somewhat time consuming, and I never know if indeed there was a tiny dead spot I just missed. Plus, what if the dead spots only show up during vibration. People who have investigated their AFM internals know that the wiper is just held in place by the pressure of the arm. What if your wiper is just barely touching and sometimes you get a hiccup? Wouldn't it be nice to know the overall AFM Wiper health? I have a great solution. Anytime the HellFire is running, it will be building a histogram of all the data points it sees on the AFM input. The GUI can show a bar graph of where the AFM mostly hangs out at. Obviously down at the rest position & idle there will be much greater activity & then one should see a somewhat smooth bell curve. The key is that if you see one spot in the middle of that smooth bell curve that is down in the weeds. Voila! That's a point where the wiper has a dead spot!

    5. Ok, all the cool stuff aside, we still have the problem of whats the calibration supposed to be? What is the standard? Two possibilities: a) calculate/measure what a factory tuned brand new AFM is & use that as the gold standard. b) Measure as many unmolested 40yr old AFMs as possible to calculate what the normal drift is for these things and use that as the standard. For now, I'm leaning towards a. (with a caveat). The base calibration should be as close to possible as a factory new AFM. However, I would like to ship the HellFire Classic configured with the golden calibration, but with the virtual wheel set to what is most likely the best setting for a tired old AFM. In reality that may just not work perfect, & some tweaking of the wheel may be necessary for the absolute *best* setting. However, one thing for sure is that it will work better than the stock ECU hands down.

    Blue,

    Thanks, I'll try and post later today my input circuit & a picture of the calibration screen for the IAT/CLT. Here are some quick details. I have a 6.2K pullup to 5V, the sensor is of course the other resistor to form the voltage divider. The 12bit A/D maxes out at 3.3V. (0- 4096 counts = 0-3.3V input)

    Lenny
    77 280z - test vehicle
    HellFire L28 digital ECU replacement janitor.

  41. #141
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    Great progress!

    As for the temp sensors... The data points in the FSM for the temp sensors are wrong.

    Use these instead:

    Steinhart-Hart coefficients for the temp sensor RTD's. Same ones for both the IAT and WTS.

    C = 1.89571E-07
    B = 0.000257545
    A = 0.001305386



    Graph it in Excel and you can pick off as many points as you need... You want me to send you my file?

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    Hi Lennyclaus

    I think it's true we have very little idea what the true tension should be on the clock spring. Someone had to wind up the things and calibrate them on the assembly line back in the late 70's. I wonder whether the calibration specs/procedures could be obtained from Nissan. Hmmmm... I wonder whether Mr. K could be the conduit for this information?

    Absent any useful info from Nissan, here's my take on the AFM, and this comes down to speculation and opinion. (I think Blue and I might disagree somewhat on some of the details.) Firstly, Blue (John) measured a couple of AFMs that he believed were unmolested and came up with a spring calibration procedure here: http://atlanticz.ca/zclub/techtips/a...ion/index.html. We can only guess what has happened to these springs over time. They are surely weakened, but by how much? And are they simply deformed, or has their spring constant changed? I'm sure it's a some combination.

    However, assuming this calibration is correct, it could become the closest thing we have to a gold standard, unless someone somewhere has a better AFM, perhaps a NOS unit, from which we could take measurements. I'm not confident that a refurb AFM is really calibrated any better, using any more "correct" standards, than what could be done with the AltlanticZ method.

    And you may say none of this matters, but this is where I disagree somewhat, and I think this is where John and I disagree. During high'ish RPM (maybe 4500'ish?), WOT operation, the AFM will supposedly open fully ("pegging out"). Perhaps there is some enrichment function as RPMs continue to increase. I haven't found any useful info as to how this might happen, and I think this is where we get into mysterious territory. Perhaps John knows something I don't.

    Anyway, it seems to me that the AFM will peg out at an "incorrect" airflow rate with the wrong spring tension. For instance, if a system is enriched by loosening the clock spring, the AFM will peg out prematurely, possibly resulting in a lean mixture at high RPMs. So I think it's important to have the right spring tension.

    My thesis has always been that the ECUs, being analog devices operating under severe thermal conditions, have drifted over the decades, apparently towards shorter injector pulse widths. The correct compensation for the leaner condition is then to widen the pulse width at the ECU, and the best way to do that is by adding resistance to the CTS circuit. I disagree with the approach of loosening the clock spring, not only because of the AFM pegging out too soon, but also because the clock spring, if anything, is probably ALREADY looser because of the ravages of time and use.

    Anyway, my suggestion is to adopt some sort of gold standard for clock spring calibration. John's is probably the best we have. For the Hellfire to work properly out of the box with an OEM configuration, I think it is essential for the user to ensure at the very least that the fuel pressure is right, the CTS resistance is right, the AFM's potentiometer is functioning to spec, and the AFM's clock spring is calibrated to John's spec. As you say, these AFMs are all over the place now, mostly because of ham fisted adjustments by previous owners and/or their mechanics.

    Anyway, that's my 2c.
    Last edited by FastWoman; 12-22-2013 at 11:49 AM.
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    I'll make a flow bench and map AFM flap movement to CFM/Flow.

    The volumetric efficiency and engine size can easily be used to map CFM against RPM and CFM against HP.

    btw John is baddog, philip is blue.
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    Seems like it might be easiest, though not as fun, to just install it, drive it, watch the AFR's, and use the GUI "wheel" to change the slope and the base pulse width to set the "y". Just sayin', the time spent on figuring out stock AFM flow-voltage curves might be moot. That's the point of adjustability, right? So we can tune to our set of old used parts.

    The AFM's are also complicated by the shape of the air passage. It's not a vane in a straight tube, it's a vane in a contoured passage. Nissan must have spent a lot of trial and error time getting things just right.
    1976 280Z, with some minor modifications

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    Oops! Sorry Philip! I glanced up, saw the name beneath the quote (John Rushkin), and thus it was registered in my oft too flighty brain.
    My last three sports cars while I still owned all three:

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    Excellent feedback everyone.

    Captain, Yes please email me the xls you have if you don't mind. I remember you saying the points shown in the FSM were not quite spot on. My readings confirm that.

    However, assuming this calibration is correct, it could become the closest thing we have to a gold standard, unless someone somewhere has a better AFM, perhaps a NOS unit, from which we could take measurements. I'm not confident that a refurb AFM is really calibrated any better, using any more "correct" standards, than what could be done with the AltlanticZ method.
    Sarah, I agree with this.. I have looked at the Atlantic Z site before, but I didn't realize it was Blue's creation. I also agree with your thoughts about a loosened clock wheel is going to peg out at higher RPMS. With the stock ECU we just had to live with it. For HellFire the simple solution is to tighten the clock spring until the 4500-5000rpm range does NOT peg it. Then we can calibrate the lower portion no problem. Poof! Now we have a nice full scale to use.

    As for the inputs being spot on in order to have it work perfect out of the box, I totally agree. However, If you have a good running Z now & you plug & play a HellFire, you will still have a good running Z(and you can tweak it to a great running Z). The same goes for a crappy running Z. Assuming it wasn't the ECU just being thrashed, plug & play HellFire will still result in a crappy running Z. However, this is exciting to me as now you can get all kinds of feedback via the GUI to troubleshoot your engine. we can validate your temp sensor(s) are close or waaaay off. We can validate your AFM doesn't have dead spots & we can validate the clock spring adjustment is reasonable. We can validate your idle switch & WOT switch operate properly. HellFire can also read shorted and open injector circuits. We can't *easily* tell if your injectors are spraying correctly, but if one want's to pull the rail & stick a graduated cylinder under each injector (one at a time of course) you can run an injector test and it will tell you the exact flow of each injector using *your* fuel pressure. This would even calibrate out an adjustable regulator if someone was running 40psi or something silly. I need to get busy. I have lots to do.

    Blue,

    I have been thinking about building a flowbench as well, but too much to do. My redneck solution was to use the Infinity Q45 MAF plumbed in front of my stock AFM. The Infinity MAF has a know transfer function that I can read on the fly & then do the math using that output plus IAT to derive the CFM of the stock AFM. My software is written to support MAF anyway so it's not much extra work. The MAF sensor reading comes in on the wire that used to be the AFM Reference voltage so the wire is already right there at the correct location in the engine compartment. ( I don't need the reference as I'm sending regulated +5V to the AFM, not bat voltage) It would be awesome to compare the graph I get with your flowbench measurements. We could send some AFMs back and forth to compare apples to apples too. As you mentioned VE would work too, but I don't have a starting map for the VE of a stock LJet. I'm sure people have them from MS installations that would be close. My VE tables are 16x16. (smaller works too, it's configurable, just max is 16x16)

    Zed,

    I agree with you and I'm sure I'm going to be doing some of that, but I would still like to know as close as possible the real numbers. That way I won't be tuning the AFM thinking it's off when really it's some other issue I have that's causing the AFR to be off. I do think there is still going to be some "seat of the pants" tuning. Or is it playing? I'm not sure. haha.

    Lenny
    77 280z - test vehicle
    HellFire L28 digital ECU replacement janitor.

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    Lenny, your idea of tightening the clock spring a tad for expanding the upper end of airflow metering might work, except you have to be mindful that the earlier 280 models have the fuel pump cutoff switch in their AFM. If the AFM vane does not hover open far enough, the fuel pump can cut off. Apparently this is already a tedious little dance with some Z owners.

    I love that the Hellfire will be such a powerful diagnostic tool. I hadn't even considered that. On that subject, you say you can "easily" tell whether injectors are delivering fuel (and/or whether there is problem with a cylinder?). I presume you would do this by selectively disabling individual injectors and measuring the effects on RPM. Yes?
    My last three sports cars while I still owned all three:

    2001 BMW Z3 Roadster 3.0i soft/hard top (sold)
    1966 Ford Mustang Coupe (sold)
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    Sarah,

    I said we *can't* easily tell if the injectors are delivering the proper amount. At least that's what I was trying to imply.

    I have thought about selectively disabling injections to check if a cylinder is misfiring/injector clogged, ect, but I haven't spent any time on it. What's more interesting to me is rotating through a squirting sequence in an attempt to do sequential injection. Without a sync pulse of some sort, I don't know which cylinder is where so sequential isn't really possible. However, if I rotated through all 6 possibilities and monitored rpm and MAP I *might* be able to detect which of those sequences resulted in the most stable idle & then use it. From my research sequential doesn't buy a whole lot, but it does help make a nice stable idle.

    BTW, I was unfamiliar with the fuel pump switch touchiness on some models. The user would just have to make sure that their switch was adjusted so that it operated at idle or just turn over fuel pump control to HellFire and forget about the AFM switch.

    Note: There is a slight caveat with the HF taking over fuel pump control. The Z's wiring harness is wired for the ECU to control the relay if it likes (via pin 20), however Bosch didn't load pin 20 on all ECU's. Even ECUs with the same exact part number don't necessarily have that pin loaded. So depending on what ECU someone sends in as a core they may/may not have that functionality out of the box. Because of this, I routed the signal to both pin 20 & pin 11. Pin 11 is unused in the harness, but is always loaded on the connector.

    So...if one desires fuel pump control, but has pin 20 missing they need to move the wire in their harness connector from pin20 to pin 11. There's no soldering or cutting & the harness will appear perfectly stock afterward. Taking the connector apart & moving the wire/pin from one location to the other & putting back together is all that is required. A small sharp pick/tool will be needed to let the pin release from the body.

    Lenny
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    HellFire L28 digital ECU replacement janitor.

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    Captain,

    FYI, I keyed in the equation so I'm good to go. No need to email something. Thanks,

    Lenny
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    HellFire L28 digital ECU replacement janitor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by superlen View Post
    FYI, I keyed in the equation so I'm good to go.
    Lenny, Cool. So do the calculated numbers more closely match your measured?

    Quote Originally Posted by superlen View Post
    ( I don't need the reference as I'm sending regulated +5V to the AFM, not bat voltage)
    Also, I don't remember where I read it, but I thought the reference was also intended to account for temp drift of the AFM resistance. Let me see if I can dig that up or if I'm imagining things.

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    I created my table, but I haven't downloaded yet. I need to change out a pullup to adjust my range some & I built the table around the new pullup. I'll test tomorrow.

    Also, it seems plausible the reference is also used for drift, but I don't recall coming across that anywhere. I do have it wired up in the stock configuration so I could use it if necessary, I just chose to ignore it.

    Len
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    I love the thought of being able to drive my 77 280 without having to make adjustments almost every time I drive her! Now fine tuning is another story. That would be enjoyable. I swear my ECU floats from lean to rich and back.

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    Rail voltage can drift (bat 12.0V to bat 12.8V to alt 12.8v to alt 14.8 v or more) so cleverly real-time-scaling by measuring a reference (the value of a voltage divider circuit) can help keep thing under control. Especially during transients to the bus (such as turning on lights)
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    Blue,

    I do measure Battery + on board the ECU. I need it for modeling the injector dynamics for a low/high battery. The stock ECU does this too, but I'm assuming because of the lack of technology at the time (or maybe "complexity needed" is a better term) they couldn't use the same reference on the AFM input circuit so they had a sensor in there as well. I suppose possibly the ref sensor in the AFM is what they use to determine their BAT + for injector dynamics, but I wouldn't understand why they stuck it there if thats the case.

    Len
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    Blue,

    I forgot to add. Have you seen this forum: Home There is lots of good info there and seem to be a friendly bunch.

    Len
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    I think because the old ECU was 100% an analogue computer, they had to do everything relative to the supply voltage and use ways to compensate where required...like the AFM. If your system monitors the DC bus then you can compensate in code.
    There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply.
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    And I'll give you a different perspective...

    I would derive all of my analog stuff using precision reference voltages or current sources. I wouldn't want to have to know what the battery voltage was unless I really needed to. You might be able to figure out a way such that you do not care what VBatt was at all.

    I'm assuming there's a good stable (maybe even band gap) reference source used by the on-board A/D's and D/A's? There's no way they're using the digital supply for conversions, right? Use the same or another good reference source to drive the sensors and the battery voltage no longer matters.

    You might still need to know when it comes to the injector pulse because the opening speed is so influenced by system voltage, but other than that, I'm thinking you shouldn't care.

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    Subscribed to this thread! This is awesome stuff. Sounds like a perfect upgrade to my Z.
    1978 280Z (Current Project) (Bought from original owner)
    (6/70) 240Z (In the family since 1973) (Project currently on hold)

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    @Captain.

    Yes, the bat volts is only for offsetting any sagging/excessive voltage that the injectors see. I did connect the AFM reference voltage wire to an a/d input, but I'm going to use it for MAF or any other analog signal we may need/want from the engine bay.

    @CG.

    Your avatar makes me jealous. If only the bottom of my car looked that good.

    General Status Update.

    - I'm firing injectors. (well five out of six, something on one channel has an issue I need to chase down) Woot Woot!
    - Just for grins, I did a quick code hack to make the pulse width vary linearly with the AFM input. This allowed me to watch the injector PW on the scope vary as I moved the vane in/out. It's obviously not accurate at all, but for me was fun to see some actual real world feedback. I do have all three Injection methods (MAP, MAF, & stock AFM) simulated and tested on the PC but without any base map at all to start with, or half way close AFM calibration numbers, it's a moot point to try them in the car yet. Plus, I have a lot of cleanup to do on the interrupts that fire the injectors & general testing. I'm getting closer though!!! I was shooting for New Years Day to have the first in car test, but I think that's slipped now.


    Len
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    I was shooting for New Years Day to have the first in car test, but I think that's slipped now.
    We forgive you.

    Great progress! You should video your test vehicle running for the first time on your Hellfire system.

    Just curious: Would coil-on-plug be possible with your ignition management version? I think you said lost spark with flywheel timing would be possible.

    Well, you've put in a great effort. You may now take the evening off, but be right back to work on it tomorrow!
    My last three sports cars while I still owned all three:

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    Sarah,

    I will definitely video the first start attempt & post for posterity. No cheating, I'll post it as it's shot. I have a high confidence that it will at least cough, sputter, backfire, foul the plugs, or in fact even catch fire!

    And to answer your question on ignition... The HellFire Hybrid will be able to do COP. You would of course have to use an additional ignition harness (will be supplied with the HellFire Hyrbrid version). This harness contains the inputs needed as well for the Crank position sensor, cam if desired, ect. I haven't detailed yet exactly what the ignition harness is going to look like, but it will exit out the back of the ECU case and have an appropriate automotive style connector & appropriate cabling/ends. TBD COP is the ultimate goal on my personal Z so when I get it dialed in, I will most likely offer a complete kit as well with all coils, brackets, exact lengths of cables, and plug and play connectors.

    I'll be back on job bright and early tomorrow morning....or maybe I'll just write code all night.

    Len
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    Nice! I look forward to seeing the video!

    Happy New Year!
    My last three sports cars while I still owned all three:

    2001 BMW Z3 Roadster 3.0i soft/hard top (sold)
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    Really cool Lenny! I'm going to talk this owner into doing this upgrade by spring. I'll get him teased by making his car run ok on your "Donor" ECU then sell him on the benefits of Hell Fire!!

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    Que evil slow voice and fingers tapping together...."Excellent."

    Thanks JR. I'm glad the spare ECU got you farther down the road. I've been watching the thread & your follow on ignition woes. It sounds like you're just about there.

    Lenny
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    Just a quick update that I've done nothing on the HellFire for the last week, save for a tiny bit of cleaning up the code. I should have more time this week I hope.

    Lenny
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    LenNY! LenNY! LenNY!
    Go, Lenny, GO!
    My last three sports cars while I still owned all three:

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    Hi Lenny,

    I forgot about some accurate AFM voltage measurements I took on a working 77 280z. They are near the bottom of this page in the tables. I also plotted and modelled a curve and its compact equation.

    http://www.atlanticz.ca/zclub/techti...ade/index.html
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    Blue,

    Thanks for the link to that curve. I had read that page before but didn't remember that a curve was there. This should help in getting a starting point/sanity check for a Voltage VS Airflow table. When I hook the Hellfire to my running car, I can generate the same curve. In theory, while the absolute voltage will be different because I'm feeding the AFM wiper with 5V, the curve should be the same (assuming both AFMs are both not tweaked too far away from stock) I'll post & we can compare.

    I still want to do a good flow bench test of the AFM vs cfm, but for now I have other priorities with the code & building a flow bench will have to wait.


    Lenny
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    I am currently working on basement (floors, walls, paint, plumbing, then the garage). I'll be busy for a couple of months but after that the flow bench will be made
    There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply.
    The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey.


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    Time for another inquiring minds update.

    I haven't worked on the code as much as I planned last week (been getting house ready - my wife and I are expecting a baby in April), but did reach some critical milestones.

    1. Qualified the timer resolution and pulse width timing. We will have 1us resolution for all fuel pulse widths & ignition timing.
    2. Tested all timer channels & the ability to control each injector sequentially as opposed to simple batch mode.
    3. Tested the RPM calculations and timing for all the injection pulses. We can read RPM from 250 to well over 14K rpm.
    4. Tested the neg. coil input to the board!!!

    #4 for a big one. This morning marks the first time the HellFire was connected to the Z Car! For bench testing, I have just been using a function generator to simulate the coil pulse and bypassing the input circuit that handles the high voltage input. This morning I trudged out through the snow to the shop to jumper over Power, Ground & the coil neg to the HellFire. The battery was completely dead and it was around 45 degrees. I hooked up the battery charger & started a fire in the stove while the battery was being charged.

    The original plan was to run the car off the stock ECU and just monitor the input on the HellFire to make sure it was reading the pulse. Being cold and lazy I decided to just hook the HellFire up in place of the stock unit & crank the starter. I have an led that tells me each time the injectors batch fire so if I see the led, I'll at least know the input circuit works. The system is currently selected to run with the MAP sensor which wasn't hooked up, & there is no AFM calibration installed at all, but I didn't care as I just wanted to bump the starter a few seconds & watch the led pulse.

    2secs later the engine was idling!!!!!!! It was a massively rich rough running idle, but HellFire was running a Z. The stock PW with no enrichments & WOT is around 8.5ms & that's what was being output without the MAP sensor connector & no AFM calibration. It just happened to work out that that PW was not too far off from what this cold engine could tolerate.

    I didn't run it long, maybe 2 min or so as I was scoping the input circuit. By then the shop was filled with a massive quantity of rich gas fumes & I had to kill it. I was smiling and giggled a little. It might have been the fumes.

    My apologies to Sarah. I was supposed to film the first start attempt, but again I wasn't planning on testing it running, I just wanted to see an led pulse.


    Lenny
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    Congratulations to you and your wife on the new baby.
    1972 240Z #918 New Sight Orange
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    1972 240Z #110 Persimmons Red

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    "Mr. Watson- come here- I want to see you".

    HLS30 371-239 (1/77)
    Every time he touched her, she told him that places where she wanted to be more beautiful!
    Mr.Tamura said it is like an old craftsman of Buddha statue,he did not creat it, Buddha itself...
    Kats

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    That's great results Lenny! Can't wait to hear the next test results. When are you going to test with AFM in place?

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    Lenny, Congrats on the start. Yet another sucessfull milestone and congratos on the up and coming new family member
    Chas
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    Lenny,

    That's awesome! History made today, right? Up till this point in time, there have only ever been two engine control systems used to run a Z car motor... a) The factory Bosch/Hitachi and b) the MS options.

    Today marks the use of a third.

    Smoky and poorly running, but it was the use of a third option!

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    Wouldn't it be awesome to witness this first hand? History in the making.

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    Yeah, too bad there wasn't a video or anything!

    How about this. There was so much smoke and haze in the garage that the camera wouldn't have worked anyway. And it wasn't really "running", but was in fact simply "sputtering rhythmically".

    Work with me here... I'm trying to set up explanation for Lenny to have a second chance to get the camera rolling and have justification to claim it was the first REAL success.

    Yeah, yeah. That's the ticket!

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    IT LIVES!!!!

    Congrats, Lenny! This is all very exciting! I'm wishing you some decent weather, so that you can continue troubleshooting.

    And congratulations on your expected arrival in April! Woohoo!

    It's all wonderful news! And I forgive you for not having the video. Maybe you give us the video on the second start, when you have the MAP hooked up (or are running in the AFM mode) and are starting it for real. Yes?
    Last edited by FastWoman; 02-03-2014 at 09:02 AM.
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    Captain, I think this was the first successful implementation of a digital ECU designed specifically for the 280Z. So it actually was a first -- much more exciting than even the Super Bowl, IMO.

    Disclaimer: OK, I'm not a football person...
    My last three sports cars while I still owned all three:

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    Thanks to everyone for their comments & congrats. "sputtering rhythmically" as Captain said is about right. I've poured gas from a coke bottle and made an engine idle better, but still....It was running.

    It was definitely more exciting than that SuperBowl.

    Lenny
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    It was definitely more exciting than that SuperBowl.

    Lenny[/QUOTE]

    Isn't that the truth! Pathetic game and I'm a fan of neither teams.
    Can't wait for more updates, keep 'em coming Lenny.

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    Ok.

    I did a quick video this afternoon.

    HellFire L Jet Digital ECU in Datsun 280Z - First Start! - YouTube

    Len
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    CONGRATS LENNY!!!! Way Cool Cool! Oh yeah, Congrats on the baby too!! You have made history! I agree, way better than the super Bowl.

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    Yeah, that's awesome! At least she runs.

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    I can't wait to get rid of that hot start heat soak condition. I can pull off that zx injector fan/bandaid. Hope the hellfire won't be too expensive when all the bugs get worked out.

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    Just watched the video. It was documented history in the making.

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    It worked on Iwo Jima, shoot it again.

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    AWESOME! TOTALLY AWESOME! Thanks, Lenny! You made my evening!
    My last three sports cars while I still owned all three:

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    I believe the proper internet lingo for this is woot!
    -1975 Datsun 280z

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    Lenny, you have the answer to my prayers. Congrats on both the new babies, your life will change forever, but it will be great fun. Thanks again for all the great work.
    75 280Z almost done
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    Thanks again for all the congrats. I'm planning on trying another run this weekend with the MAP sensor connected & some guesses at the VE table. I have a wideband O2 on the way so it's seat of the pants for now just to get close. My Z has some issues that really need addressed, but tuning it up is not as fun as playing with the electronics and I just can't stand it any longer. I want to see some HellFire action...good or bad.

    At some point I'll obviously have to tune it back to factory settings to get a good baseline, but for now I'm going into hacker mode to learn some about how it's all going to play together. Let's hope the temp is at least double digits in the morning.

    Lenny
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    Kudos to you, braving the weather like that! Have fun. We'll be thinking of ya'.
    My last three sports cars while I still owned all three:

    2001 BMW Z3 Roadster 3.0i soft/hard top (sold)
    1966 Ford Mustang Coupe (sold)
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    Update.

    I ran the Z again today (barely) with the HellFire board. Not as successful today as I hoped for, but I was able to grab some data points running the stock ecu I needed. It was still running way too rich. I had warmed up the shop to 75 deg so the cold temps that were working for me last weekend were gone. Today I ran with the map sensor connected so it should have pulled the pulsewidth down to something close, but I couldn't get it so stay running for more than a few seconds at a time.

    I suspect it was the extremely long, extremely small diameter vacuum line I used to plumb the intake to the board for my impromptu test. I was worried about it being too small & causing issues. The MAP reading was very sluggish and wouldn't pull down to any appreciable vacuum at all. Therefore the pulsewidth stayed up there and was just too large & dumping too much fuel. In addition, the Map table I'm using is just a wild guess as to what the Z might need, however I'm sure the table wasn't the primary problem, it was the map reading.

    Lenny
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    Get lots of extra fresh plugs Lenny. All this rich running is going to fuel foul them and not help you at all.

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    Tomohawk, Lenny emailed me last week, I will be talking to him this week and we will be getting an article in ZCCM. It will be more then 1 page for sure .

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    Quote Originally Posted by superlen View Post
    I did a quick video this afternoon.
    Thanks Lenny. Would you please get a photo of the intake manifold to see how it looks with the extra parts? I'm trying to take stuff off my for a clean look, and you need to add sensors for the new control system.

    Perhaps the new sensor(s) are not very noticeable?
    Drive Responsibly.
    enjoy classic Rock music.

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    Tomo, Pomorza (Jan) posted this photo of his megasquirt setup, which would have the same MAP sensor as one possible configuration of Lenny's system:

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.n...12958556_n.jpg

    The beauty of these systems (either MS or Hellfire) is that they're configurable for what you have and what you need. The Hellfire can work as a P&P ECU with stock components (including the AFM) if you wish. Or it can be configured more like Jan's MS system with the MAP sensor. Or I *think* it can even be configured with a hot-wire MAF sensor, which would go in place of the AFM and would be maybe 1/4 the size.

    If I understand the MAP sensor strategy correctly, it can be done with a small vacuum line running from the intake manifold to a MAP sensor placed on the circuitry board of the ECU. Or there can be a MAP sensor attached directly to the intake manifold, with wiring running to the ECU. (Right, Lenny?)
    My last three sports cars while I still owned all three:

    2001 BMW Z3 Roadster 3.0i soft/hard top (sold)
    1966 Ford Mustang Coupe (sold)
    1978 Datsun 280Z (enjoying very much )

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    Tomohawk,

    Yeah..what she said (points up) Sarah is exactly right. That's why I hang out here, there are so many smart peeps.

    The intake on my Z in the video is 100% bone stock. Several Z lovers have expressed an interest in what it looks like under the hood. Not surprisingly they seem to all be in California. In the base configuration, HellFire just replaces your stock ECU and you party on with all you're stock sensors. For many owners, this will be fine. They now have an ECU they can connect a laptop to and read all the sensors, get error codes, tweak a little to accommodate that aging AFM spring, or adjust for that cam/header they just added, ect. No drastic changes, but you know have infinite tuneability and 2014 technology in your mid 70s car.

    However.... I'm not one of those owners. I like to tinker, change, customize & like you, want a sleek clean intake/engine. For others that feel the same way, this would be my recommendation:

    Stage 1 - Cold start valve...we doneed no stinkin' cold start valve. Lose it & associated plumbing. HellFire will monitor warm up temps and supply all additional fuel that the cold start did (programmable of course if your car needs a little more/less) Additionally, I know how to use a gas pedal to warm up my car & I don't live in Fargo, so ditch the AAR and water lines for the heater block under it. (how many times have we seen it leaking). Now we have the beginnings of a clean intake. Grind off all the associated mounting bosses of course. The beauty of stage 1 is that no part of your wiring harness needs modified. No sensors added, and you don't need to even know how fuel injection systems work at all. You will have some extra wires/connectors that were used by the old harness to hide or if you want to, just remove them and clean up the harness. I would still consider Stage 1 to be an easy DIY project and I would still call it plug and play. (yes it's a stretch as your removing a lot of junk off the intake)

    Stage 2 (AFM Upgrade )
    And when I say upgrade, I mean lose it! Turn it in to a coffee table, some yard art, or a boat anchor. The AFM in 1975 was a great thing & even now they can and do work (sometimes), but they are restrictive, have temperamental circuitry inside that has drifted/aged, and IMO are ugly. Stage 2 is for the serious Z hacker & depending on how you approach it, you are going to become very knowledgeable about how FI systems work. There are two options for replacing the AFM. As Sarah pointed out, you can use MAP or MAF. The MAP option is the cleanest install, as the location of the AFM is just replaced with a straight pipe. You will need to add into this pipe an Intake Air Temp sensor. (IAT), and a vacuum line from the intake manifold needs to be ran into the cabin and hooked to the ECU. The second option is to use a MAF sensor. It will plumb in the same place as the old AFM. They are not as restrictive, not as large, not as ugly, but not as clean as a straight pipe. It too will need an IAT. Either of these methods will require playing with the software some to dial in the setup depending on what parts you find. It's not rocket science, but it's not shake and bake either. I've tried to make the software as intuitive as possible & I will have a few pre-canned setups with some know parts that if you use these, all the calibrations will be done for you. Think Infinity Q45 MAF & GM IAT.

    You asked about how visible the sensors would be. It will depend on what you do and how crafty you are hiding them. For the absolute cleanest look, run with MAP. You will have one vacuum line running from the intake through the firewall, and one IAT that I would add on the bottom side of the straight pipe were the AFM used to be. No one will see it on the bottom side. To me, this makes an incredibly clean intake.

    Now, don't even get me started on the distributorless ability of the HellFire Hybrid version.

    Lenny
    77 280z - test vehicle
    HellFire L28 digital ECU replacement janitor.

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    Art,

    I'm back from my business trip so we'll touch base when you have time, and I got my ZCCM magazine subscription in today. They look great. Thanks.

    Lenny
    77 280z - test vehicle
    HellFire L28 digital ECU replacement janitor.

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    Sarah,

    I realized I didn't completely respond to the MAP statement/question you made. Yes. You are right (again ), the easiest way to get MAP is to use the MAP sensor that is built into the ECU, just run a vacuum line and connect.

    If however someone has an external map sensor, they can wire it up & tell the software to use the external instead sensor instead of the the on board one. If they do that, then the internal MAP would then serve as a continuously monitored barometer (BARO). This would be nice if you lived in a mountainous area and started your car at one altitude and then drove to another. If you live in Kansas, well it's not much of an issue. If you run MAP the BARO is set when you start the car (actually when HellFire powers up & before the cylinders begin to turn) to whatever reading it's at and does not change until you turn off/back on.

    You could also have continuous BARO if you are running the stock AFM, Alpha-N, or MAF, as the internal MAP sensor would be available in those cases as well. The stock ECU does have some limited BARO abilities as well. In the CA models there was the altitude switch that tweaked the fuel map at one particular altitude. Go above the preset altitude & less fuel is squirted, drop back below it and more fuel is squirted. On/off, Higher/Lower, leaner/richer. The BARO just gives a very accurate more precise ability in that department.

    The flexibility to do this comes from the ability to re-arrange most all of the external sensors with respect to the wiring harness. For instance, you could wire the AFM signal to the TPS wires instead of the stock AFM wires, and vice versa (which would be silly, but you could do it). In the software setup for each sensor, there is a field to select an ECU pin number. If you tell the software that the AFM is attached to pin X instead of pin Y, it doesn't care how crazy your wiring scheme is, it will just read pin X and run with it. For the stock system, you obviously wouldn't need to do that, but if someone is customizing (as is my hope that many users do), this feature is awesome.

    Len
    77 280z - test vehicle
    HellFire L28 digital ECU replacement janitor.

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