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Comparing ECU's

General Tuning Discussion

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So there are a lot of ECU's that are coming out with pretty much VE based computers, i'm wondering if they all are the same expect like certain features? how are they rated to say the new Motec 1 series? like for example AEM infinity, Haltech Elite, MegaSquirt 3 pro, and i'm sure there's more but that's the most common in the States side.

VE fuel modelling is definitely a current trend among aftermarket ECU manufacturers. The actual VE fuel model though isn't anything new and isn't specific to a certain brand or manufacturer. It's simply an implementation of the ideal gas law that models the engine's ability to fill it's cylinders with air. This is the fundamental principle behind VE fuel modelling and the basis for every aftermarket ECU's VE fuel system.

Where there are differences though is in how the ECU handles injector characterisation. The principle behind the VE fuel model is that if the ECU accurately knows the mass of air in the cylinder and how much fuel the injector can supply, it becomes relatively simple to provide the required pulse width to achieve a certain AFR. The problem is that injectors are complex beasts and to do the best job possible you need a lot of complex data that is not feasible for a tuner to come up with on the dyno.

The end result of all this is that different manufacturers have gone down different paths of complexity. Motec's M1 for example requires complete characterisation data for the injectors (reference flow, reference pressure, as well as linearisation tables to account for the non linear area of flow). Others such as Haltech offer a slightly simplified model based off injector flow and dead time. The end result is that if the ECU doesn't deal properly with the injector flow, we may end up tuning around this in the efficiency map. It is starting to become a case of splitting hairs though and we are talking about the upper few percent of ECU accuracy - basically all of the ECUs you list are going to do a great job of controlling your engine.

I dont see too many references to the Microtech product on here. What are people opinions on them. Ive been running a LT9-C and it does what I need but nowhere near the adjustments like the Motec, Haltec ect. You get what you pay for I suppose. Pretty cheap at $795 with loom.

Not a fan of micro tech at all... Had experience with them earlier with friends cars and micro techs and they ran, but nowhere near as nice as a stock ecu... Car started, ran and made more power when it had a carby.

Only tuned one myself early on, Didnt like it at all and was not happy with the tune, so much so I took it to another shop who had been doing microtechs for years but it still wasnt much better, Their laptop software is just a electronic version of the hand controller pretty much...

Rotary guys seem to love them tho :S

Being relatively cheap is no excuse either, Megasquirt 3X pre-built is $817USD with two looms

-CLT, IAT, TPS, O2, Tach Input

-Fuel pump output

-8x Spark outputs (unused can be used as +5V few miliamps outputs ie LED indicator lights or relays)

-8x High current Injector outputs (unused ones can be used as high current drivers 5A GND Switch)

-3x High Current outputs 10amps

-13x Medium current outputs (3A)

-3x Analogue inputs

-4x switched inputs

-1x Cam input

-1x Flex fuel input

So...MS is very good (seems) and have a lot of features like a more expensive ECU.

Personally I start to use a series 1 AEM 30-1810, and for what i want run very good (I had build a new engine wiring because my AEM is for bugeye impreza, and i have a GC8).

So, near my town I have this Microtec, anyone knows this ECU?



I've tuned many microtech ECUs over the years. I can't say I'm a huge fan and compared to the more complex ECUs I'm used to dealing with (Motec/Link/Haltech/Vipec/AEM etc), they seem very backward. They will run an engine and under WOT they will do an acceptable job of making power. They don't have a lot of the more complex features that we now come to expect from an aftermarket ECU but they are built to a price point and they are built I believe for a certain type of customer.

Microtech ECUs are relatively easy and fast to tune as they don't have high resolution maps that need to be tuned. Generally you can install one pretty quickly and get the car running without too much trouble and this makes them appealing to the DIY guy with little to no knowledge of EFI. If you want to replicate factory driveability though, then this isn't the ECU for you.

Personally it isn't an ECU that I would put on my own cars. I understand it has a place in the market though and it can't be ignored. In fact because of it's relative popularity (particularly in Australia and NZ), we have considered doing a course on them.

Thanks for the replies re Microtech ecus.

It would be good if Andre could do a video on the setup and tuning of this ecu. I have wired in and tuned it to the best of my abilities. But to learn more in general about tuning ect is why I joined this site. They do use 16x16 matrix tuning tables ect. So its ok but not anywhere near the others for options. I am very much a DIY person as are many of us on here so a course/ webinar would be great. And this is one of the more basic ECUs to start out with.

Heh Andre, I have full software and Dongle for the Hks power writer software. Wanna do a webinar or something like that for education purposes? I can donate for the study. I will warn though, its a pirated one. So dont cry me a criminal because HkS havent distributed enough of resources for wide range of tuners. In the country I live in there is only one guy who does it and he lives 1500 kms away. Not many people in mid east who do this either. Maybe someone will pop out in Dubai or Qatar but thats is it.

With the lack of support for the HKS FCON V Pro ECU, and the fact that the power writer software is only available to HKS Pro dealers, it wouldn't make much sense for us to provide training on such a niche product with a very narrow market sorry.

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