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Street datalogging


sltous
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I have been interested in adding some data logging to my car but I am primarily expecting to use the car (and the data logging) on the street rather than on track.  Primary goal is some pre-diagnosing problems so I'd be interested in GPS logging of engine parameters (oil pressure, oil temp, water temp, rpm, TPS, etc) probably with a button to 'tag' unusual behavior for review.

 

For instance: over the weekend I was on a nice drive but found myself forced to stay at very low throttle due to other cars on the road and I was experiencing some kangarooing around 0% throttle where the drivetrain drag would slow me down then applied throttle would accelerate and the cycle would repeat.  Ultimately was able to rev out the engine on a passing section and regained confidence everything was OK but it would have been nice to have a record I could review at home.

 

The car has an unlocked MBE9A4 ECU so it may be that the easiest thing to purchase is an AIM or similar data logger and connect over CAN.  I have been interested in the AIM PDM or similar products so I could get additional data streams for 'free' from a weight and wiring complexity standpoint.  My uncertainty is if AIM software is well suited to street use as the mapping will certainly not be able to find a track for mapping.  It would be a fun addition if the software could recognize the same sections of road and allow me to compare various time spent on the same section over days/weeks/months but this is not a primary goal for me compared to recording for potential problems.

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The Aim Solo2DL with OBDII connector is gonna be the cheapest Aim option ($700) if you have to have GPS info tied to the data. You can get it to learn a custom route/track, I've never used that feature though. You'll need the MBE9A4 programming software to configure what data is sent out on CAN, then configure Aim to get it. The AiM software is Race Studio 3, you'll have to define a custom CAN protocol on it, it's not too hard. I can send you mine if you need a template.

 

If you don't need the GPS, I would think your ECU software should have a built in data logger.

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It should be easier than that.  Set the AIM Solo 2 software to read your Caterham as having a Noble ECU.  Connect the AIM Solo via the J1962 (OBD2 style) plug.  Then it will work as Noble also used the MBE9A4 ECU.  Some of the CAN data channels are spurious but you can filter for that with some study.    

 

Then the data read out can be visualized along with the GPS data as follows:

 

 

 

I set mine for track but you can set a one way route analogous to a hill climb or rally stage.  

 

I don't think the AIM software is smart enough to set triggers for pre-defined limits but I have not played around with it to that level of sophistication.  If you experience kangarooing then note the time and go back to review the data based on that time stamp.  

 

For the kangarooing, keep in mind that for some Caterham models some of the problem was being caused by a weak throttle return spring.  

 

 

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Thanks for the thoughts on the AIM software.  I had not considered thinking of street use as a 'rally,' that may help me understand what I can expect from the software.

 

With respect to the kangarooing as a symptom of a soft throttle spring, the roller barrel ITBs seem to have a pretty hefty return spring so I don't think this is my issue but it may be work checking out.

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