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Tiny word of caution on the Ecotrons Accurate Lambda Meter - if you're looking for an actual fast GAUGE, this is not the one to get. When I installed mine, I noticed the gauge only updated once every second or so - that's basically zero fidelity while they advertise in a boasting manner with "whole measurement finished in 5ms". While this MAY be true for the analog output (don't know for sure yet), the gauge basically tells you nothing.

I mailed Ecotrons on this, as I assumed the software wasn't allowing me to set the Gauge update rate properly, and told me "the update rate of the gauge cannot be changed and is 2Hz". Why you would throw all this sweet sweet fidelity out the window is beyond me, but apparently that's how it is:

Quote

The gauge for ALM-gauge have fixed update rate , update rate is 2Hz , so you can't choose 20 or 100Hz or higher than 2Hz in the software , you only can choose 1Hz or 2Hz for this gauge . You may be think this is slow , but its advantage for display is jarless , if the update rate is higher , the display is unstable , flickering.

On my trusty old MTX-L (with relatively bad analog outputs), at least on the gauge itself the update rate is fast enough (like 25Hz or something) that i can see the AFR oscillation due to the lambda control. Tells me everything is working as it should. The ALM Gauge version is unable to display this level of fidelity on the gauge itself.

So if you're getting an Ecotrons ALM - best don't bother with the gauge version as it doesn't tell you much. Better to split the fast analog 0-5v out and use an aftermarket gauge or something.

Edited by Boxman
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23 hours ago, Boxman said:

Tiny word of caution on the Ecotrons Accurate Lambda Meter - if you're looking for an actual fast GAUGE, this is not the one to get. When I installed mine, I noticed the gauge only updated once every second or so - that's basically zero fidelity while they advertise in a boasting manner with "whole measurement finished in 5ms". While this MAY be true for the analog output (don't know for sure yet), the gauge basically tells you nothing.

I mailed Ecotrons on this, as I assumed the software wasn't allowing me to set the Gauge update rate properly, and told me "the update rate of the gauge cannot be changed and is 2Hz". Why you would throw all this sweet sweet fidelity out the window is beyond me, but apparently that's how it is:

On my trusty old MTX-L (with relatively bad analog outputs), at least on the gauge itself the update rate is fast enough (like 25Hz or something) that i can see the AFR oscillation due to the lambda control. Tells me everything is working as it should. The ALM Gauge version is unable to display this level of fidelity on the gauge itself.

So if you're getting an Ecotrons ALM - best don't bother with the gauge version as it doesn't tell you much. Better to split the fast analog 0-5v out and use an aftermarket gauge or something.

 

Good to know! I'm planning to do an ALM LSU-ADV Board install and split the analog output between my ECU and my Auber Electronics Display which I got bundled in with my Thermocouple. All that said will the analog signal be distorted in any way if I split the signal? 

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Regarding wideband selection, I would probably stay away from the ECOtrons unit, or any other unit that uses the CJ125 chip. 

If you want to spend a few hours reading:

http://forum.diyefi.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2267

http://www.hptuners.com/forum/showthread.php?56106-Ngk-Afx-wideband

If you don't feel like reading, get the AEM X-series wideband.

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It's just where you want to use it for.....

The analog output of the ECOtrons is superfast which is very benificial for the wideband regulation as we already have seen in several occasions.

The digital output however is way too slow (only 2 Hz)  to be usefull for Gauge readings.

 

(I seems to be always something with these WB controller manufactures)

 

Edited by Piet
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I have 2 bungs in my exhaust so I'm in the process of doing some scientific-style tests and analyses on the response of these things, and whether or not that really makes a difference for WB regulation in its current form or if the bottleneck lies somewhere else.

I'm comparing and simultaneously logging the analog outputs of:

  • Innovate MTX-L LSU4.2 (12Hz update rate)
  • Ecotrons ALM-ADV (200Hz update rate)

I have yet to swap their positions in the bung but honestly the first indicators show there's not a lot of difference between them regarding to what the ECU sees.

Regarding your link, @Tightmopedman9, 3 years old may seem a bit outdated since Ecotrons keep updating their stuff. However, I agree their package is rather weak with the literally 15$ gauge they ship it with. Without having to read through the entire 31page thread ctrl-f'ing "cj125", could you summarise what you/they think the issue with devices using that chipset is?

Edited by Boxman
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That fred guy in that thread does seem like a bit of a dictator (apart from a diehard Alan to fan) when reading through some other threads :P

That AEM-x seems like a pretty nice device on paper, I would love to see some logs with it driving the wb regulation.
It's also a fair bit more expensive than the ecotrons unit though.
I'm not a fan of controllers stuck in gauges in stead of seperate units, as it makes them harder to ground properly for our application.

It does have a can output. Maybe that could be used somehow to get a more accurate signal at the ecu.
It would require a somewhat precise (&fast) dac in the ECU, but once that is in place all the data would be transferred digitally in stead of via an analog cable which is inherently noise sensitive.
If the dac was to be driven by the ecu 5v converter itself, then you could also eliminate offsets due to voltage regulator tolerances.
Hmm I suddenly feel the need to experiment with some stuff.

The gauge shipped with the ecotrons unit is evidently crap, there's no denying that, but the controller itself is yielding very good results with the cars I have installed them in.
I also like the design of the thing, with robust connectors etc.

Boxman, keep in mind that the logging runs at 26 fps at best, and the wb mod runs a fair bit faster than that.
This makes direct comparison between the two controllers hard via direct adc logging.
A little test which may be interesting (albeit not very scientific per se) is to log the stft, afr requested, and vs afr measured on a 50 km/h drive or so. Then repeat while driving the wb control with the other sensor, while trying to keep driving conditions the same. It's impossible to get conclusive data with a road test ofc, but it may yield some more interesting data apart from what I've already seen.

I think to get the most out of faster response times, the stft pid needs to be tweaked a bit as well.
I've been logging in a friends me7 car which seems to use factory wideband control, and it looks a fair bit tighter than our m44 version.
Maybe something can be learned there to further improve our implementation.

Edited by venderbroeck
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Boxman, keep in mind that the logging runs at 26 fps at best, and the wb mod runs a fair bit faster than that.
This makes direct comparison between the two controllers hard via direct adc logging.

The delays and characteristics I'm seeing that are limiting the WB mod (i think) are way slower than the 25Hz at which I'm logging, by about a full order of magnitude. I'm making some combined measurements while also scoping the actual voltage on my injectors to leave no open ends (this part is already conclusive). I'm not yet finished and will present my results in a few days when I've done the final conclusive tests, but atm my hunch is that what limits the WB mod has inherently different (physical) causes than the response-time of these chips/packages. I'm seeing little difference in the behaviors between the 12Hz and 200Hz package is what I'm saying, but like I said I need to do my conclusive tests before I'm willing to state anything as a fact.

Anyway before we discuss this, I've got to analyse this data :)

Edited by Boxman
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The CJ125 chipset is simple to interface with, and it controls all aspects of wideband control according to Bosch specifications, the draw back is that it is slow. The ECOtrons unit may update the analog output at 200hz, but there is no way that it is outputting relevant information at that speed. I believe the CJ125 chip is limited to about 65ms response time (15hz).

The MTX-L is a poor choice for comparison, since it has no dedicated sensor ground, and the heater control and LED control all switches from the same 5V rail. It is very sensitive to electrical noise and their non-standard control of the wideband heater doesn't bode well for sensor life. 

The 

3 hours ago, venderbroeck said:

That fred guy in that thread does seem like a bit of a dictator (apart from a diehard Alan to fan) when reading through some other threads :P

Yeah, the bias from the moderator in that thread seems off, and Alan seems pretty arrogant and stubborn, but despite that there is a lot of useful information to be gleaned. 

3 hours ago, venderbroeck said:

That AEM-x seems like a pretty nice device on paper, I would love to see some logs with it driving the wb regulation.
It's also a fair bit more expensive than the ecotrons unit though.
I'm not a fan of controllers stuck in gauges in stead of seperate units, as it makes them harder to ground properly for our application.

They make 2 versions, an inline version and the gauge version. Both have dedicated electronics ground. If we are talking about functionality I think the extra cost is easily justified.

3 hours ago, venderbroeck said:

It does have a can output. Maybe that could be used somehow to get a more accurate signal at the ecu.
It would require a somewhat precise (&fast) dac in the ECU, but once that is in place all the data would be transferred digitally in stead of via an analog cable which is inherently noise sensitive.
If the dac was to be driven by the ecu 5v converter itself, then you could also eliminate offsets due to voltage regulator tolerances.
Hmm I suddenly feel the need to experiment with some stuff.

I think to get the most out of faster response times, the stft pid needs to be tweaked a bit as well.
I've been logging in a friends me7 car which seems to use factory wideband control, and it looks a fair bit tighter than our m44 version.
Maybe something can be learned there to further improve our implementation.

Why not just convert CAN to serial and then send that to the 2nd serial channel input on the ECU? This is something I am currently experimenting with...

For M4.4 WBO2 regulation to approach the accuracy of ME7, the narrowband emulation scheme needs to be abandoned, the fuel regulation must be based on the absolute deviation of the target vs the actual AFR. Also, something I am currently experimenting with. 

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The MTX-L is a poor choice for comparison, since it has no dedicated sensor ground, and the heater control and LED control all switches from the same 5V rail. It is very sensitive to electrical noise and their non-standard control of the wideband heater doesn't bode well for sensor life.

It's all I've got for comparison atm, but I fixed the noise problem earlier by having a friend build a dedicated 0-5v buffer between the gauge and the ECU, which eliminates practically all of the noise. The graphs I'm making will show this. I agree the MTX-L is originally balls, but with the analog output mod it wasn't that bad.

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I can ask if he has a schematics (my electrical engineer friend built it for me) but it's a high input impedance buffer built to filter frequencies above 25-ish Hz and to not influence the analog output voltage at all. It's an active device. The analog-out controller of the MTX-L is pretty bad, it couldn't handle a simple passive low-pass filter at all, it would completely flip out.

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I agree that if aem-x really is a lot better that the cost may be justified.How much 
Ecotrons claims that it matters in which way the cj125 chip is controlled, so they may be able to use some trickery to extract a better response time than other people have.
I didn't see much info on the ecotrons part in that thread and why it's on the avoid list, other than some personal qualms of the OP.
I have yet to see evidence why the alm is to be avoided honestly, as I've had such good results with those controllers.

Converting to serial crossed my mind as well.
I think it could work pretty well, and it would certainly be much more convenient, but i wonder if the incoming data can be processed fast enough not to lose too much of the response time.
The adc port readout happens pretty fast for that matter.

Improving the accuracy of the current wb will indeed certainly mean recoding the fueling strategy to some extent. I think the me7 code could provide with some ideas for that. I wish I had more time to dig through it in detail.

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I think that 'list' at the beginning of the thread is pretty useless.

I was reading another thread about the ECOtrons and someone was saying how the response time was slow as well, I'll see if I can find it again. I have no personal experience with the ECOtrons, so I'm just parroting what others have said. 

By processed fast enough do you mean reading the serial data on the ECU side?  If you setup a serial interrupt and put it at low priority you'd be able to parse the data just as quick as an ADC, if not quicker. 

 

1 hour ago, Boxman said:

I can ask if he has a schematics (my electrical engineer friend built it for me) but it's a high input impedance buffer built to filter frequencies above 25-ish Hz and to not influence the analog output voltage at all. It's an active device. The analog-out controller of the MTX-L is pretty bad, it couldn't handle a simple passive low-pass filter at all, it would completely flip out.

Yeah, that would be nice. I have a problem with the MTX-D (oil and temp sensor) and the reading seems to be highly influenced by noise. I was planning on building a simple passive filter to deal with it, but I have yet to scope the signal to determine the best course of action. 

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Yeah interrupts would work. I was still thinking of a polling solution for some reason. Via serial would be purely digital then. That would eliminate signal offsets and noise which in itself would already be an improvement. Maybe this can be done for the alm output as well as it has a serial port from which afr data can be read with their program. Not sure how speedy that output is.

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