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Power distribution modules

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Hi from Melbourne Australia,

I'm in the current build process of a tube chassis door slammer drag car, gonna be an old skool dual carby MSD ignition style setup with crank trigger & single coil

I will be using a Fueltech 550 ecu mainly for data logging purposes, but also ignition and car control, eg ignition control, air shifter signal, safety shut offs, and possibly other functions yet to be determined.

I'm at the wiring stage

I may be looking at using a PDM for the cars power requirements.

I have a couple Q's re PDM's:

Other than physical hard wiring between the PDM itself and devices, physical hard wiring between the PDM and ECU, can bus from PDM and switch panel, main battery power, what other wiring might be required to or from the PDM?

Can any brand PDM, interface/work, with any brand ECU?

Some PDMs accept full analog channels as inputs and can be used as a channel expander for data logging or less critical ECU functions. I've used them for brake pressures (and the PDM can activate the brake lights), additional temperature inputs. You can mix-match PDMs, but I will advise to select the keypad based the PDMs requirements for easiest setup.

Not all PDM's play with other brands. As David said some have analog/digital inputs and some don't. With a fuel tech you're going to be a bit limited in the CAN communication department, so hardwiring may be the easiest solve. The fueltech keypad I think it proprietary, it kinda looks like a Blink marine but its different and I'm not sure the protocol is public. Depending on what you want the keypad to control it may be easiest to run a FT keypad and use generic outputs to control the PDM.

You could get fancy and sniff the keypad to control the PDM or have the PDM send can messages replicating a FT expander, but there's only 3 that could do that (AIM, ECUmaster, or Motec)

I'll list some of the PDM's pro's and cons off the top of my head to help you choose a direction:

Maxx - avoid, this is proprietary to their brand ecu's

Haltech - CAN locked, designed to be proprietary and paired with an Elite ECU, avoid. does have 8 inputs

AIM - open CAN, only supports Blink keypads (not well I might add), decent logic control and the 32 has 2 digital and 10 analog inputs

AEM - PMU8, avoid requires a controller from AEM

Racepack Smartwire - Has digital inputs, no CAN, not great software, $$

Motec - digital inputs, open CAN, $$$

ECUmaster - this is my personal choice. open CAN, 16 digital/analog inputs, highly programmable

I'm wary of any brand I haven't tried using yet, many of the cheaper options seem undesirable for one reason or another

Hey thanks guys for the great advice.

Tyson , I have checked out the ECUmaster PDU16 it looks like it will more than handle my power distribution needs, at what looks like a reasonable price and best of all locally available.

Can I just confirm what you suggested in regards to using FT keypad ?

"Fueltech keypad will use the available generic outputs on the FT550 ecu to send input signals to the ECUmaster PDU16 to operate selected loads" ?

hardwire outputs from the Fueltech to the PMU's inputs. Then using generic outputs on the Fuel tech software you can control the PMU's functions.

For example lets say you have a button on the keypad that you want to use for say headlights or something not covered in the FT software, use a generic output linking the keypad button to an output on the FT. Then you have to program the PMU to take the input its wired to and enable power to the lights.

The PMU has a Fueltech CAN file in it, so you can use what's on there but its not super comprehensive, using the method above should help extend your functionality of both devices if needed.

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