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Thread: ECU Reviews

  1. #1

    ECU Reviews

    Hello,

    My team is switching from a Honda CBR600 to a Yamaha YFZ450, and we're currently looking to purchase a new ECU. We're deciding between five options:

    -Haltech Platinum Sprint 500 (http://www.haltech.com/product/plati...um-sprint-500/)
    -MegaSquirt 3 (http://www.diyautotune.com/ms3-pro.html)
    -PE3-100P (http://www.pe-ltd.com/joomla/index.p...mart&Itemid=58)
    -MoTeC M400 (http://www.motec.com/m400/m400overview/)
    -DTA S40 Pro (http://www.dtafast.co.uk/S_40_PRO.htm)

    As part of our benchmarking, we're requesting information from current and former users of any of the above regarding:
    1. The ease of use on the software side (also software/hardware interface). Did you find settings were easy to locate and intuitive?
    2. What other features did you find useful (traction control, launch control, etc.)?
    3. If you ran into trouble, how was the customer support you received?
    4. Approximately how long did it take for the ECU to be delivered from the time of order?

    Any input/reviews would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    Tyler

  2. #2
    M84 user here, basically a fixed input m400

    1) extremely....everything is very well documented and easy to use in my opinion
    2)Yes....aka...all the above and more. Cut ignition to shift, traction control and launch control are all either implemented, or in the process of being implemented
    3)excellent. The MoTec east and west offices are very well versed and will help out on the spot. Also we (had) a motec dealer close by, check and see if you do or not. Having someone close that knew what the heck was going on was a major help early getting the motec wired in a running properly
    4)3 days of shipping
    South Dakota State University Alum
    Electrical/Daq/Engine/Drivetrain/Tire guy '09-'14

    Go big, Go blue, Go JACKS!

  3. #3
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    We've used the MoTeC M400 on our CRF450X since 2009.

    I'd echo most everything jlangholzj said.

    1) The MoTeC products are very well documented.
    2) We run all of the above, plus a MoTeC ACL and SIMs for data acquisition. The integration across the huge number of MoTeC subsystems, accessories and 3rd party vendors is great. The i2 software is fairly easy to use, and can be customized with macros.
    3) Chris Brown from MoTeC West was on the 1996 OSU FormulaSAE team. He knows what an FSAE team needs. His book, "Making Sense of Squiggly Lines" should be in every team's library.
    4) They always have the ECUs in stock, so overnight if you need it. Some of the other products sometimes have to come from Oz, so they can take longer.

    MoTeC is expensive. To me, that's the only downside. It is professional grade, does the job, and will last your team many years.
    Bob Paasch
    Faculty Advisor
    Global Formula Racing team/Oregon State SAE

  4. #4
    I was going to edit my original post....but I'll just say it here so it doesn't get buried.

    I'll also swing around and say that I've dealt with Brian at PE before as well. We've used the PE1 as well as the edge (now the PE3). They make a good product and is a bit more budget friendly than the motec. Brian knows whats up and treats his customers well its just that all of the fun stuff isn't as "readily available" as the Motec because they're not as strong in motorsport as motec. Guarantee that if you talk to brian on the phone though that he'll get you going on what you need.

    One of main selling points for us on the motec was the fact that we had the local dealer and another couple tuners in the area that were motec familiar (one is even e85 familiar! SCORE!) so having the ease of growth, knowledge and help for us at the time was very valuable and I'm sure it will be in the future...due to the turnover rate of the team. There's only so much of engine/systems tuning that you can document....the rest is a little more of an art. The other main selling point for us was that the motec has 3d tables for its compensations. This is a little daunting at first but once you get into tuning its quite intuitive and very nice to have. Last time I dealt with the PE3 software that was not a capability but brian may have changed that by now. I can see the appeal for simpler compensations but for us, running a higher compression motor with e85, i needed everything i could get to have that motor start reliably and consistently.

    another option to the motec is also buying one used. The M84 that we bought was ~$4k with functions unlocked but you can find them used at a lower price....especially if they have less options unlocked!
    South Dakota State University Alum
    Electrical/Daq/Engine/Drivetrain/Tire guy '09-'14

    Go big, Go blue, Go JACKS!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlangholzj View Post
    another option to the motec is also buying one used. The M84 that we bought was ~$4k with functions unlocked but you can find them used at a lower price....especially if they have less options unlocked!
    Another option is to buy the MoTeC with options locked, then later if or when your team finds more money they can pay MoTeC and get the unlock codes.

    Everything I've heard about Performance Electronics has been good.
    Bob Paasch
    Faculty Advisor
    Global Formula Racing team/Oregon State SAE

  6. #6
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    I have tuned cars and worked with everything on that list except the DTA.

    In my opinion, it is an easy choice. What is your budget?

    If it needs to be as cheap as possible and your willing to learn a lot, go with the Megasquirt. Datalogging is OK, analysis software is alright. But the bang for your buck is off the scale.

    Can you only spend a moderate amount? Then look at the PE3 or Haltech. The PE3 has great support with Brian, and will run most anything well. The downside is the datalogging, it is horrendous. It is hard to set up, doesn't work right, and the analysis software is the worst I have ever used. You will need a separate datalogger. Thankfully it will output over CAN to a datalogger, but it is still a new feature that can be buggy. That said, to run an engine it works well.

    Haltech is somewhat of a MoTeC clone with some of the variables named differently and different looking software. Works well, more robust datalogging than the PE3 and not too much $$. It is average.

    If you can spend the $$, downright just get the MoTeC M400. It can do anything you ask of it, very configurable, customer support is amazing, and the datalogging setup is far beyond anything else on the list. i2 is just simply great. CAN bus support is rock solid, especially when you link it up with other MoTeC devices. Also the reliability is great. For example I have had a 5v rail shorted out for a solid 60 seconds by accident once and it survived fine. I know for a fact some others on this list wouldn't.

    Basically the MoTeC ECU's are on the same level as Bosch, McLaren and Cosworth stuff (but easier to use than all three of those). The other ECUs on this list are a step below.

    There is a reason when I was president of PITT's team I switched to an M400, PDM32, and SDL3.
    Last edited by Cardriverx; 10-11-2013 at 01:27 PM.

  7. #7
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    PE3 - New firmware

    i've used the PE3 a fair amount. While it's true that the data logging isn't as good as on a motec, it,s a good unit to get an engine running for a moderate amount. Also, their new firmware which is currently in Beta includes a bunch of stuff like traction control and launch control which puts in on a higher playing field. Looking at our current budget, PE3 is gonna be the way for us for the forseeable future.

    As mentionned above, customer service is awesome. Whenever you have an issue, Brian will usually be able to find your problem pretty quick
    Paul Charbonneau
    Formule Polytechnique Montreal
    2009 - 2012 - Suspension Lead
    2012 - 2013 - Team Captain
    2013 - 2014 - Suspension and Electronics Lead

  8. #8
    I used a PE3 with Texas A&M in 2012. To answer your questions:

    1. It was extremely easy. I had no problems learning how to use the software in about 10 minutes. Hardware to software interfacing is easy easy. Take the comm harness, put an RJ45 end on the proper wires and away you go.

    2. We only used it for normal tuning, no ignition cuts or launch control. Logging seemed to work fine for us. We didn't do anything very demanding with it.

    3. Customer support was excellent. We ran over an ECU(long story) the week before competition and PE built and got us one within the week even though there were none in stock at the time. That board eventually failed for some unknown reason (I would bet it had nothing to do with PE and everything to do with our engine team's incompetence)the day before we left for Lincoln, but PE overnighted another one to competition. They were also great with support on the phone.

    4. I don't know for the first one, but the subsequent two were very fast.

    Overall, I really liked using the PE3. It was stupid easy to set up and the base map they provide is plenty good enough to be a starting point your restricted map. They are also plug and play with the yfz's stock harness. You literally unplug the stock ecu, plug the PE3 in, and go. This allowed us to make one electrical harness for both the stock and restricted engine, which let us do suspension testing before getting the restricted engine tuned and in the car. I don't think you can go wrong for the price and support you get from them.

  9. #9
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    The PE3 will run an engine just fine, but like I said if you have the budget there is absolutely no reason not to get a MoTeC. It is all about what you can afford.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by coleasterling View Post
    Overall, I really liked using the PE3. It was stupid easy to set up and the base map they provide is plenty good enough to be a starting point your restricted map. They are also plug and play with the yfz's stock harness. You literally unplug the stock ecu, plug the PE3 in, and go. This allowed us to make one electrical harness for both the stock and restricted engine, which let us do suspension testing before getting the restricted engine tuned and in the car. I don't think you can go wrong for the price and support you get from them.
    If you're switching to the YFZ450R EFI engine, this is an excellent point. It is plug-and-play with the stock bike's harness.

    I've run the Megasquirt 3 on a single. It does not cope well with a missing tooth crank wheel and VR sensor on a single, presumably because it processes the angular input in software rather than having dedicated hardware for the task. We had the best success with a non-missing tooth VR crank wheel and a single tooth cam trigger. Our new control system with a 32-bit processor and a TPU has no problem with quick, reliable sync and start using a 12-1 VR encoder on a WR450.

    1. Tunerstudio MS is nice and has continually growing support due to the online community. You'll miss the colorful graphs once you're introduced to more industrial calibration software. In fact, Freescale is offering Tunerstudio MS as a low-cost calibration tool to OEM's. The biggest issues seem to come from usb-serial adaptors and drivers.
    2. SD card logging and USB integrated into the housing were nice on the MS3. I recall that it had an excellent amount of I/O for the sub-$1k price bracket, including frequency inputs for more wheel speed or flex-fuel. You can also find it to be an extremely flexible platform if you're wiling to create the new functionality in C code. ETS's Clean Snowmobile Team managed to utilize their stock gauge cluster with custom CAN communications added in their code.
    3. You get a quick, responsive online forum community that features the creators of the product and many more knowledgeable individuals.
    4. Only as long as was required for shipping, I recall no supply issues.
    Last edited by Mbirt; 10-12-2013 at 01:22 PM.
    -----------------------------------
    Matt Birt
    Engine Calibration and Performance Engineer, Enovation Controls
    Former Powertrain Lead, Kettering University CSC/FSAE team
    1st place Fuel Efficiency 2013 FSAE, FSAE West, Formula North
    1st place overall 2014 Clean Snowmobile Challenge

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