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I'm in the begging stages of building a simple 'test stand' for some of the classic race cars I build. Essentially what I am wanting to do is monitor the Lambda, EGT's (4 cylinder mainly) and the rpm all on the same screen, ideally on a laptop.
I know that I could monitor all these things using innovate products and logworks 3 however I would prefer to invest my money into sensors that operate via CAN so that they can also be used on a modern car I will be building in the coming months. I believe that if I use a product such as the Motec LTC and convert it via a UTC then I can monitor the Lambda through the Motec software? But am I able to make a CAN line to connect a CAN K-Type Thermocouple and an RPM To CAN to the UTC too? Would the software be able to interpret this data or is there any software that is able to do this? My knowledge around this area is quite poor so please excuse the questions!
What you want is a logger with a flexible CAN interface. You will connect to the logger with your laptop to view the live sensor readings. And you'll be able to log data when the car is running without the laptop attached. A Motec CDL2 or L120 with LTC would be a good place to start.
EGT's will require an amplifier -- since you are keen to get on the CANbus, I would suggest you might check out this setup from ECU Master: https://www.ecumaster.com/products/egt-to-can/
Or you might prefer products from a UK company like Race Technology, or Cosworth with more local support.
Thanks for your response David, to go the route I want to go with interfacing to a PC - does there have to be a logger inbetween the sensors and the computer or is there a way of doing it without?
Products like the MoTeC UTC are designed to talk to MoTeC loggers, displays, older ECUs mainly for configuration. There is no easy/convenient way to log LTC or EGT data broadcast on the CAN bus directly on the PC. Instead that data is stored in the logger, and you download that onto the PC and use MoTeC I2 Analysis software to look at it.
If you're looking for a science project, then you might be able to get one of the CAN-scanner type devices that can log CAN messages into a Spreadsheet-like CSV file, then use something like MegaLogViewer for analysis.
You can also view the live data on the logger when it is running through the Monitor Channels window.
One option that would be quite flexible may be the cheapest Link G4X ECU - an Atom. Very flexible CAN that can read data from almost any 3rd party CAN device. 10 "CAN slots". 2 NTC temp inputs and 4 analog inputs that you could add direct-wired sensors to - for example fuel pressure or something chassis related. Could monitor knock if it has a suitable RPM pickup. 500MB high speed internal logging if you wanted to log without a PC connected. PC software screen layout is completely user-configurable and has many live display options - Analog gauges, digital gauges, time plots, XY plots, Histograms, Bar gauges etc. Quite commonly used for ignition only control on classic engines too.
Racecapture pro (display on Android tablet), or Realdash (Android & Windows) might be lower cost options that are reasonably flexible and can read/display/log CAN devices. A bit more DIY level and a steeper learning curve though.
Example PC Link screen: