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Old 07-18-2003, 03:35 PM   #1
rob
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Exclamation Great new WideBand O2 unit!

Hi guys,

I have been in contact with the designer for this new WB sensor for the past year or so. It is finally ready for limited production.

http://www.innovatemotorsports.com/

Check out the FAQs and the manual for all the details, but here are the key features;

Cheap! $350 for display/control unit, Bosch sensor, cables, software, o2 bung and plug.
Lab grade accuracy with very fast response
44 minutes of datalogging of WB data plus 5 channels
2 Definable analog outputs
Auto Gas Temperature and pressure compensation
Easy sensor calibratoin to free air
Configurable to run with both BOSCH And NTK O2 sensors
Configurable for different fuels.

Let Klaus know that Rob sent ya.

Enjoy!
Rob
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Old 07-18-2003, 05:43 PM   #2
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Their meter is probably a fine product, but they apparently couldn't resist over-hyping it.

One of its claimed features is:
Quote:
Self-calibrating and self-compensating for pressure and temperature variations
However, in the user manual in Section 4.1, there is this warning:
Quote:
On turbo charged vehicles:

Install the sensor downstream from the turbo before the catalytic converter. The high exhaust pressure before the turbo interferes with the lambda measurement and the high exhaust temperatures encountered there can damage the sensor.
High exhaust temps are unlikely to actually damage the sensor (the WRX's front A/F sensor, mounted upstream from the turbo, is proof of this). However, the sensor won't work if the EGT is higher than the sensor itself. And compensating for high exhaust pressure is possible (see www.egortech.com/index.htm), but the LM-1 sure isn't doing this.

Another claimed feature is:
Quote:
Significantly more accurate than analog/conventional method
And in their press release, they go a little bit further:
Quote:
Competing air-fuel-ratio meters vary widely in their precision, price and portability. The best ones are in the $3-$5,000 range, are designed as lab-grade instruments for big operations, and require careful and regular calibration. They are, however, no more accurate than the LM-1. In fact, because of calibration problems, in many cases expensive analog meters are less precise than the LM-1s 0.01λ accuracy specification.
The Horiba MEXA-700Lambda Meter, which uses an NTK UEGO (wideband) and is in wide use by auto manufacturers, claims only a 0.3 A/F (0.02λ) accuracy at A/F=9.5 (λ=0.65). Another popular meter found in many auto manufacturers' engine development labs is the ETAS LA4 Lambda Meter, which uses a Bosch LSU4 UEGO. Its claimed accuracy is 1.5%, which at 0.7λ (it's richest supported lambda) is about 0.01λ.

When you call Klaus and tell him Rob sent you, also ask how he determined his meter's margin of error and whether he can post his data on the website. :)

Last edited by Jon [in CT]; 07-18-2003 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 07-18-2003, 07:07 PM   #3
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I've also thought of some other questions to ask Klaus when you talk to him.

The original plan, when Klaus knew he could buy LSU4 sensors from VW dealers for $45, was for a meter with sensor at $300 (see http://www.diy-efi.org/diy_efi/archi.../msg00139.html). Now one can buy a single LSU4 for only $28.95 plus shipping. Assuming Klaus is buying these sensors in bulk, what happened to the $300 target price?

Also ask about:
Quote:
A cheaper module is also planned that does not include storage and LCD display but allows the user to program the HEGO output depending on other sensor data using downloadable maps.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to knock Klaus. In fact, I even gave his company a plug on NASIOC last week, in http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...hreadid=389959.
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Old 07-18-2003, 07:58 PM   #4
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Jon,

These are all fantastic questions to ask Klaus. Maybe if you ask nicely, he will also pass along his patent submission on the measurement technique. Please update when you get a response.

-Rob
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Old 07-18-2003, 09:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by rob
Maybe if you ask nicely, he will also pass along his patent submission on the measurement technique. Please update when you get a response.

-Rob
I did check the USPTO's patent applications database and failed to find anything recent (2003) regarding the control of an UEGO sensor that wasn't already assigned to a major auto manufacturer. Maybe if YOU ask nicely, Klaus will join us here and explain everything to us.
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Old 07-18-2003, 11:45 PM   #6
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Wish there was a bit larger AFR display on there. I can't read things that small when I'm driving, especially black on LCD-green. :-/
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Old 07-19-2003, 01:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jon [in CT]
I did check the USPTO's patent applications database and failed to find anything recent (2003) regarding the control of an UEGO sensor that wasn't already assigned to a major auto manufacturer. Maybe if YOU ask nicely, Klaus will join us here and explain everything to us.
Oh, come on Jon, you have the intelligent questions...

In patent filing, is there a stage before they show up in the applications database? I can't remember the process...
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Old 07-19-2003, 01:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by 8Complex
Wish there was a bit larger AFR display on there. I can't read things that small when I'm driving, especially black on LCD-green. :-/
Hey 8,

Do you have a NB LED meter thing in your car now? You could program one of the analog outputs to go 0-1v and use your current A/F guage to quickly read it.

As a haltech guy, you will appreciate the second analog output. You can use set it to go 0-5v and use the 6.34U software to log AFR. Nifty, huh?
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Old 07-19-2003, 02:06 AM   #9
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Yeah, that'd definitely be damn sweet, especially if it logged it as an actual AFR. I never did get the chance to upgrade the firmware... decided I didn't want to risk it if the car was doing ok on it's own.

This is definitely a solution that I'll be looking into when it comes down to my next project, though. AFR is too important to slack on.
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Old 07-19-2003, 02:14 AM   #10
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Jon is the best...

Quote:
2 Definable analog outputs
How/in what manner are the analog outputs definable, and over what range?

The TEC3 is only able to recieve a 0-1volt lean to rich o2 signal. I can define the axis values of the EGO sensor response curve, but it must be lean to rich.

Does one of the analog outputs come pre-programmed with a standard narrowband o2 sensor response curve? As in, could one input the signal to an oem ecu? Is it just a dummy lean->rich->lean->rich signal, or is it actually respresentative of lambda?

Can Klaus' digital AFR meter give me the analog output I need? Can Klaus gaurantee the analog signal accuracy, and how precise can he gaurantee it to be?

Is the software a windows based environment?

Like Jon, I'm curious how he can claim better accuracy than the sensors themselves provide... but I'll just accept that as hype.

How long is the cable between the meter and sensor? Is it acceptable to legthen the cable, and what is the max length Klaus would recommend (taking into account I^2 R losses of the cable?

What is the power draw of the meter/sensor?

I agree the display could use some growth hormone therapy... I like the display on my Lambdaboy.
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Old 07-19-2003, 12:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Austin
How/in what manner are the analog outputs definable, and over what range?

The TEC3 is only able to recieve a 0-1volt lean to rich o2 signal. I can define the axis values of the EGO sensor response curve, but it must be lean to rich.

Does one of the analog outputs come pre-programmed with a standard narrowband o2 sensor response curve? As in, could one input the signal to an oem ecu? Is it just a dummy lean->rich->lean->rich signal, or is it actually respresentative of lambda?

Can Klaus' digital AFR meter give me the analog output I need? Can Klaus gaurantee the analog signal accuracy, and how precise can he gaurantee it to be?

Is the software a windows based environment?
The LM-1 provides two analog outputs which can be independently programmed to produce voltages in the range 0-5V. These two "signals" are accessed using a stereo phono jack.

The factory default settings for the first signal are designed to emmulate the voltage produced by a narrowband switching 0-1V oxygen sensor (see illustration, below). If you have an engine management system that relies on such a sensor for closed-loop A/F control, you can replace it with your new wideband sensor and route this signal to the ECU's narrowband input.

The factory default settings for the second signal produce a 1-2V signal, where 1V corresponds to an A/F of 10:1 and 2V corresponds to an A/F of 20:1. This signal is designed to be used with a digital volt meter, allowing one to directly read A/F from the DVM's display.

Defining the outputs is done using a Windows PC program. Here's an example, showing how the narrowband emmulator signal is defined:

According to the user manual:
Quote:
The graph display is automatically scaled to the selected voltages. For each output you can specify a minimum and maximum lambda value and the associated voltages. Below the minimum and above the maximum lambda values the output voltages stay constant at the associated programmed voltage.

Click the Program button to download the new data into the LM-1.
In summary, I find the LM-1's "analog out" design to be extremely clever and flexible.

Last edited by Jon [in CT]; 07-19-2003 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 07-19-2003, 05:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Austin
Like Jon, I'm curious how he can claim better accuracy than the sensors themselves provide... but I'll just accept that as hype.

How long is the cable between the meter and sensor? Is it acceptable to legthen the cable, and what is the max length Klaus would recommend (taking into account I^2 R losses of the cable?

What is the power draw of the meter/sensor?

I agree the display could use some growth hormone therapy... I like the display on my Lambdaboy.
As I recall, the orignial Lambdaboy display consisted of about a dozen LED lights arranged in a row on top of the meter's metal case. You must have a newer version.

My previous posts completely neglected the sensors' accuracy limits. Thanks for mentioning this. The LM-1 ships with a Bosch LSU4 sensor. Here's a spec sheet from Bosch describing their LSU4 wideband sensor:
ftp://ftp.diy-efi.org/incoming/Bosch...20english1.pdf
The specs are a little old (1999), but you can see in section 4.2 that the sensor's accuracy after 500 hours is rated at 0.02λ.

Last edited by Jon [in CT]; 07-19-2003 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 07-19-2003, 05:57 PM   #13
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In re-reading my posts in this thread, I now realize that I've been way too harsh on the LM-1. It's a fact that we don't really know the accuracy of any of the other "low priced" wideband meters (Lambdaboy, OZ-DIY-WB, FJO, EgorTech, etc.), either. This meter, if it works as advertised (ignoring the accuracy claims), completely blows away any of those other meters in terms of functionality and it costs significantly less than any of them.

I understand that LM-1 shipments are scheduled to commence next week and I'm looking forward to hearing a report from an actual user.
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Old 07-19-2003, 07:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jon [in CT]
As I recall, the orignial Lambdaboy display consisted of about a dozen LED lights arranged in a row on top of the meter's metal case. You must have a newer version.
My version has a nice big 3 digit LED display.

My big problem with the lambdaboy is the analog output signal's accuracy. The wideband unit itself gives a 1.8-2.8volt rich to lean signal, which is extremely accurate compared to the digital readout on the meter. You use an inverter/amp card (basically just a voltage divider) to change the signal to a 0-1volt lean to rich. I've tried several different inverter amp cards from Lambdaboy, with several different styles of power supply, and several different calibration curves... none come close. The closest I can come is to make my own cal curve using butane testing of the o2 sensor and a DMM connected to the analog output, but even that's lacking as it's difficult to get the meter stabilzed on any singal AFR value.

I'd love to buy one of these from Klaus as long as he can gaurantee the accuracy of the analog output.
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Old 07-19-2003, 07:05 PM   #15
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That's the Lambdaboy display.


The packaging of Klaus' meter looks much more professional than the Lambdaboy. The lambdaboy is basically a PCB inside an open ended project box... not exactly the most rugged on-the-road setup.
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Old 07-19-2003, 07:13 PM   #16
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A big improvement over the original Lambdaboy "display"
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Old 07-19-2003, 09:16 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Austin
The wideband unit itself gives a 1.8-2.8volt rich to lean signal, which is extremely accurate compared to the digital readout on the meter. You use an inverter/amp card (basically just a voltage divider) to change the signal to a 0-1volt lean to rich. I've tried several different inverter amp cards from Lambdaboy, with several different styles of power supply, and several different calibration curves... none come close.
I wonder whether your "accuracy" problem might be due to "offset voltages." The main OZ DIY guy mentions it here:
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/...b/message/3770
And if you don't feel like signing up to read that, go to the bottom of this page:
http://techedge.com.au/vehicle/wbo2/wblambda.htm
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Old 07-20-2003, 01:04 AM   #18
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Jon,

You had questions about the LM1 placement before the turbo. The boche spec sheet lists maximum operationg temps. I would assume this is why the LM1 has this warning.

Maximum temperatures (max. 250 h in 10 minutes intervals)
Exhaust gas at sensor element
- for standard sensor: <= 980C
- for sensor with Inconel protection tube: <= 1030C (8.3)
Note: If the exhaust gas temperature of 850C
is exceeded, the heater power must be switched off
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Old 07-20-2003, 01:26 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jon [in CT]
I wonder whether your "accuracy" problem might be due to "offset voltages."
The card is grounded at the same point the analog signal output from the meter is grounded.

The problem lies in the sophistication of the inverter/amp card. It's basically a rack of Zener diodes and a voltage divider network to give the reference voltages. It's output varies greatly on the type of power supply given to the card.

The inverter card as it ships is powered by two 3v lithium batteries in series (making a 6volt supply), although it really only needs 3volts for the zeners to function to give their reference voltages. I first hooked up a variable power supply @ 5volts I have at work, which is basically a 10:1 step down transformer and a full wave bridge rectifier along with a few rheostats to give various desired voltages. That gave me one cal curve based. Then I wired the batteries back up to the power supply, giving me yet another cal curve. Using the 5volt sensor power supply from the ECU's 5volt bus gives me yet another cal curve.

Bleh... I don't want to hijack this thread anymore.

Rob - would you please forward my questions to Klaus
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Old 07-21-2003, 07:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Austin

Rob - would you please forward my questions to Klaus
Austin,

sorry I am going to avoid being the go-between. email directly; contact@tuneyourengine.com

Be sure to post the answer!

Thanks,
Rob
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Old 07-21-2003, 10:35 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by rob
sorry I am going to avoid being the go-between. email directly; contact@tuneyourengine.com

Be sure to post the answer!

Thanks,
Rob
Excuse me, but didn't you, in your original post say:
Quote:
Originally posted by rob
I have been in contact with the designer for this new WB sensor for the past year or so. It is finally ready for limited production.
So given this, why shouldn't we consider you the "go-between?" Does Klaus not answer your questions?

Last edited by Jon [in CT]; 07-21-2003 at 10:42 PM.
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Old 07-21-2003, 11:38 PM   #22
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Jon,

I have been an interested customer since his original post to the diy-efi list. Ever since, I have been in corespondance off an on getting development updates. When Klaus said it was ready, I offered to pass the word around.

I understand the confusion from my initial post, but I just wanted to clarify it would be best to ask your questions to him directly. He is the one who designed and sells them after all. I'm not trying to be rude.

-Rob
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Old 07-21-2003, 11:41 PM   #23
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I asked him to visit here and answer questions.
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Old 07-22-2003, 12:58 PM   #24
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Hi guys,

Rob pointed me to this forum about our LM-1. Because I know this thing well I will try to answer some of the questions:

1. Patent application:
We filed for a provisional patent in January. The full patent application is in process. Provisional patents are not listed in the patent data base. Within the next few months the full patent application should be in the database (government speed).

2. Accuracy:
The accuracy of the meter was determined by using lab-grade calibrated gases usually used for calibrating smog-check equipment. By testing about 50 sensors we found an accuracy of < +- 0.1 AFR for the worst case sensor. The problem is repeatability for even the same sensor. Depending on ambient air pressure, humidity and (in case of the Bosch sensor) sensor housing tenperature causes variations can occur.
The unit DOES NOT use the built-in calibration resistor of the sensors.

3. Maximum operating temp and temp control
The heater system in the LM-1 operates off the impedance of the pump cell, not the sensor cell or the heater resistance. During warmup the LM-1 continuasly monitors the resistance of the heater element (positive TK) until it reaches about 85% of the nominal heater resistance value. Then it switches to regulate temperature of the pump cell using a PID algorithm. When a sensor is powered up the first time it warms up by heater resistance first, then regulates the temperature by the impedance of the measurement cell (Nernst cell) to the nominal resistance of the Nernst cell as per Bosch specs. After a settling time of 20 seconds with constant Nernst impedance it measures
and stores the dynamic pump cell impedance. Sensor manufacturers don't specify the pump cell impedance because it cannot be easily measured, specially at stoich. At stoich the pump current is 0 in conventional designs and you cannot measure impedance with 0 current. Our design works differently and therefore allows to measure it. Using the pump cell impedance was severall advantages:
a. Oxygen pump factors are dependent on pump-cell temperature, not Nernst temperature. Measuring pump cell impedance allows more precise temperature control.
b. Pump impedance has an even steeper temperature coeff. than the Nernst cell impedance.
c. Injecting a high frequency signal into the Nernst cell for impedance measurement requires removal of that signal through filters. These filters increase the response time of the system.
Placing a WB sensor in front of a turbo means that the maximum operating temperatures of the sensor can easily be exceeded (even with the heater off). Because the Bosch sensors are much more temperature dependent than for example the NTK the accuracy will greatly suffer. The NTK on the other hand is less temperature sensitive but much more pressure sensitive than the Bosch, so it will suffer more from pressure induced inaccuracies.
The turbo itself also acts as a great mixing device. Exhaust gas exiting the headers are anything but uniformly mixed, specially on the rich side. This causes noise in the output simply because richer and leaner gas pockets pass by the sensor (if the response of the system is fast enough).

3. Analog output resolution
The analog outputs are two 10 bit DACs with a range of 0-5V leading to an output resolution of 4.88mV. The lambda signal is first converted to a range of 0.5 lambda to 1.523 lambda (0.001 lambda resolution at 1024 steps). The result is then mapped to the specified curve for each output. Because of the 10 bit resolution of the DACs a 0..1V output would have a resolution of 200 steps.
The numeric display (lambda and AFR) is the lambda value averaged over 0.3 seconds. Any faster and the last digits would just blur in the real world. For logging the lambda data is averaged over 1/12 second (the logging data rate). The bar-graph on the display and the analog outputs are derived from instant lambda with a sample rate of 50..150 Hz depending on sensor response speed and lambda. The minimum lambda is sensor dependent. In case of the Bosch it's minimum is about 0.65 lambda.

4. Display size
To add a bigger display for AFR you could just use a digital voltmeter module (0..1.99V) available from several manufacturers. You can also use a round instrument as for example supplied by Steward-Warner and intended for NB sensors. Just program one analog output to the range the display instrument uses.
Because we display a lot of textual information as well on the display for diagnostics we chose to use a 2x16 display. The large versions of these displays are expensive and would not easily fit in a hand-held unit.

5. Pressure compensation
The measurement method we use and have applied for a patent indeed does allow to theoretically compensate for exhaust pressure. Unfortunately the Bosch sensors have a temperature dependent parasitic resistance in the virtual ground of the pump/Nernst cell. This interferes with our pressure compensation by simulating exhaust pressure changes when there is in actuality only a change in sensor housing temp. We are working on a software way around that so that you can download it later to the meter. This is a try, not a promise.

6. Pricing
In my original post 7 month ago on DIY-EFI I mentioned a target price of $300.-. This was a little optimistic (mea culpa). At our current production quantities we cannot reach that price and still have decent margins to allow further development. We think at $349.- we still are very competitive given the features we were able to pack in the product. We are committed to continuously improve and enhance the product through software updates which can be downloaded for free from our web-site.

Regards,
Klaus
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Old 07-22-2003, 02:00 PM   #25
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Looks like a good deal. Too bad they didnt mount the display so it was easy to permanently mount as a gauge.

I have the FJO unit and still looking for a good way to map my 5v analog out to 1v for closed loop use.
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