14point7 iDash – Datalogger on a budget

idash-arrived_zpshpvc7jqh

I tried to do as much research as I could about this unit, I had spied it a while ago and recently had an application for a friend and customer who needed to check his AFR and EGT’s at the track, as it seemed he was super rich on the track but perfect on the dyno, and if he leaned it out on the track to get some response and pull out of the corners then when he put it back on the dyno the operator freaked out that it was too lean.

So we needed to see what it was doing on the track, as it was obviously very different to sitting in a dyno cell.

The car in question is a dirt track car, 4 cylinder on methanol. I considered that after he had finished with it would very likely be utilised in other temporary installs, so decided on a Dual Lambda version for future-proofing.

Ordering…

I ordered the iDash unit on the 10th of October, thinking 2 weeks should be enough time to get the unit and install for testing, factoring in an evening for wiring.

The next day I see an email with a tracking number, saying 1x iDash Dual Wideband O2 has now shipped. I check the link to tracking, and see that a shipping label has been created and item is awaiting collection. It remained like that until the 18th when I sent Alan To (the owner of 14point7.com) an email asking if tracking is glitched and it’s actually been sent, or if it really hasn’t left yet?

His reply is that he intended to send it last week but no, it hasn’t gone yet. My reply outlined that I considered I’d left enough time by ordering when I did; and he sent using express USPS and I actually had it within a week from that email. He didn’t charge extra for express shipping, though I expected to not have to seeing as it hadn’t been sent within a reasonable time from ordering it.

I guess that’s a reasonable result from what happened, considering I still needed the unit.

The fun part…

Initially I planned on a sealed box with the required wiring coming out of it, however space is at a premium so that idea was scrapped.

idash-firsttest_zps17mrkmy6

We ended up situating the unit in a position that gets no/minimal mud or water and allowed tidy routing of wiring. We ran RPM, a single Lambda, 4x EGT. We added wiring for TPS but ran out of time to mount it on the throttle linkage setup, so ran without initially.

idash-mounted_zps4x5xzdol

Because I’m a cabbage, we did zero sensor calibrations and everything looked reasonable. Oh, except the rpm multiplier we changed to 0.5 to read correct, and set AFR to methanol scale. It ran for a meeting that way and everything looked okay.

idash-egt-lambda_zpsco1472ss

Before the next meeting we did a calibration on the EGTs and set up a throttle position sensor on a linkage to the carbs. The joy of web based (and wireless) tech is I can do most things from my phone besides view the datalogs.

idash-egtcalibrate-phone_zpsgdpbixat

 

Datalogging and WinLogView

Starting and stopping the iDash logging function worked fine from a single device, but we found that if we started from a phone, then stopped on the laptop, it had no data recorded. If we started and stopped on same device it worked fine. I could even start/stop logging from my phone, and download the log file to phone, then transfer to PC to view the log. Well, convert to a readable .csv from the .dat file it downloads using the supplied converter program, and then actually open the log in WinLogView.

We currently have an issue with noise on the EGT inputs, and are working to eliminate that but we can still see trends and set it to discard outliers by setting a range that looks reasonable from a scan through the log in Graph View.

You can see the trend in the bottom lines of the below graph, plus the spikes. Default filtering is set to average across 2 records, I set it to 1 to identify why my data looked funky and found this below. I have a couple of tricks to try yet including moving power suppy and earth point. The probes are ungrounded junction exposed tip, but are not from 14point7.

idash_egt_spikes_zpsssaqfnak

Once I had viewing the log files sorted (I found out how to get it to save fields to view so I didn’t have to manually select and set scale for each one every time – File/Save Graph, FYI), I then looked at Matrix Mode to try and see trends easier.

Throttle position (Vin1 raw voltage) vs RPM and plotting AFR seemed to be a good ideafor a start. You can set colours start and end points, and it blends between the values to allow easy viewing of trends.Here red is lean, green is rich. So yeah, there’s a bit of a tuning issue there. If you mouse over each cell, it shows the max, min, and average, and sample number. There are a bunch of settings to tweak to get the data to be useful for you.

idash_matrix_zpszxn00fvn

Conclusion

I think it’s an awesome unit for the price; initial customer service let him down – though I understand this is likely a side-business considering the pricing , and I wouldn’t hesitate to get another unit if needed. I would just allow more time for it to get to me and/or be more proactive about following up if I see shipping not tracking any movement.

It does everything we need, price is right, and so far I’m very impressed aside from the odd non-recording of logs which I believe is from changing connected devices.

I would recommend the unit, taking these things into consideration.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s