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Old 01-28-2006, 08:51 AM   #1
varmint007
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Cool Automatic Custom Tuning Software

Why doesn’t this exist?

Tuning is a nothing more setting a goal, watching a bunch of output, changing some inputs, and watching those outputs again until your goal is reached. Is there anything that’s magically ‘human-only’ in that process?

Maybe the reason we don’t have the MegaAutoAutoTuner (henceforth referred to as MAAT ) is because of liability. Perhaps no company with deep enough pockets that could fund the R&D has ever had the cahones to release a product like this to public, for fear of toasting motors and getting sued? But you would think this could be done conservatively and progressively and even make the buyer sign very comprehensive waivers…..

Maybe no one’s thought of it? Yeah, right.

Computers are MUCH better than humans when it comes to reading massive amounts of data, understanding ranges, and making decisions based on repeated input/output cycles.

MAAT would work like this:

- give it a bunch of different baseline log files for a range of preset driving conditions (idle, WOT through all gears, Part throttle, etc)
- let it chew on those files and develop a “profile” of your motor while you decide how you’d like to shape your dyno curve, peak boost, AFR, MPG (ok that’s a stretch), and how close to the razor’s edge of safety you’d like the tune.
- Pop those numbers in
- Hook up the wideband, EGT, and hopefully a 4 gas meter to MAAT and let him start tweaking
- The computer can read injector duty cycle, EGT, and AFR so it should be able to keep you safe
- After each round of teaks MAAT will tell the car owner to go driving to get enough logs to determine the result of the tweaks.
- Theoretically the MAAT central database will grow and allow all the MAAT instances around the world to get smarter and smarter based on Bayesian stats (perfect for this application) to reduce the number of “tweaking” rounds

Anyone want to kick-in a half million in seed money? I’ll run the marketing campaign. And Yes, I know we need to work on the name
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Old 01-28-2006, 10:28 AM   #2
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I think the Element Hydra does something like this... admittedly, I know relatively little about it, but that's the impression I got from reading some of the documentation on Element's website. It sounds like you calibrate a baseline for your car and provide targets for the Hydra to attempt to reach. It then "auto tunes" based on conditions it sees on the road.

Perhaps someone with some actual Hydra experience can add more...
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Old 01-28-2006, 10:30 AM   #3
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The hydra adjusts the fuel map when you have the optional WB02 plugged in. I hear there will be future plans of hooking an EGT sensor to it as well.
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Old 01-28-2006, 10:37 AM   #4
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<cough> <cough> Check out my thread on UTI. I have just finished the initial stages of this "Auto-Tuning" for all utec+WB owners.

It observes your actual AFR and compares it to your target afr. It also looks at your maf voltage and your maf modification value. It then, based on some pretty fancy mathematical calculations, determines the perfect "MAF Mod" for you to run the exact target afr that you desire. I tested it yesterday on its initial run and it dialed in my map area that I was tuning(50% column) to within 0.1 AFR of my target.

As time goes by it will be more and more accurate, this is just the initial stages.

Jeff
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Old 01-28-2006, 11:41 AM   #5
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Power is not gained from fuel management. Power comes from timing- fuel other than what is needed for combustion is simply used for heat management. THere are several ecu's out there with an "autotune" feature for fuel such as AEM, Autronic, Hydra, etc. The math to make an autotune is not complicated. You take the AFR you have, divide it by the AFR you want and that's the percentage of change you need to make to your fuel value up or down to ive you that exact AFR. So you multiply that new value by the fuel value in your map and you get the new number- put that number in and the car will hit that AFR. I can usually tune fuel in any car y running two passes on the dyno- one to get a log of th current afr's then I do that little calculation or on autronic use the "math" key and it does it for me, put in the new values and make another pull to verify the changes. That's easy.

THe problem with a full auto-tune which would do fuel and timing is that we do not currently have a cheap method of monitoring in-cylinder pressure and therefore do not have the feedback like we get from a wideband. People are working on stuff like ION sensing and actually using regular pressure sensors in cylinder but the current stuff is very expensive. Every car- even cars with the exact same setup will take different timing numbers. We do this by experiemntation, ideally on a load bearing dyno in which we load the car into each cell on the map and add timing until it doesn't make more power. THat number corresponds with peak cylinder pressure. Once we can reliably measure in cylinder pressures and knock on the cheap the "tuner" ie the person will no longer be neccessary. Hope that kind of clears it up for you.
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Old 01-28-2006, 12:15 PM   #6
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Doesn't XEDE have a SMART feature now which auto tunes?
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Old 01-28-2006, 01:22 PM   #7
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Auto-tuning anything other than fueling does require a bit more information. I only deal with the fueling part of the story. tuning in the afr will result in better power output, but it is by no means all there is when it comes to making power.

Jeff
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Old 01-29-2006, 10:28 AM   #8
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Hey Drac, interesting - I never thought of power cooresponding so closely to cylinder pressure. A few questions below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drac9
The problem with a full auto-tune which would do fuel and timing is that we do not currently have a cheap method of monitoring in-cylinder pressure and therefore do not have the feedback like we get from a wideband. People are working on stuff like ION sensing and actually using regular pressure sensors in cylinder but the current stuff is very expensive.
It's very feasible to have an EGT gauge and WBO2 hooked up to a car all day long, and not very expensive. Also, professional tuners aren't using direct pressure monitoring either. In other words, the problem you describe exists for AutoTuning software and professional "manual" tuners.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drac9
We do this by experiemntation, ideally on a load bearing dyno in which we load the car into each cell on the map and add timing until it doesn't make more power. THat number corresponds with peak cylinder pressure. Once we can reliably measure in cylinder pressures and knock on the cheap the "tuner" ie the person will no longer be neccessary. Hope that kind of clears it up for you.
I agree, the dyno is the one huge advantage a professional tuning shop will have over DIY AutoTuning tools. Dynos have a much more controlled load, predictable conditions, safer, etc... But I've got to think "road dynos" and accelerometers like G-tech will eventually get accurate enough to detect very small changes in TQ and HP while just driving around. Maybe they're already that good? When that does happen, won't dynos become less important to a tuner?

thanks for the good reply...
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Old 01-29-2006, 11:35 AM   #9
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Auto tuning is precisely what the factory ECU does. It does it incredibly well. It targets AF, has a pretty smart fuel trim system to ensure target AF is achieved, corrects for knock, "learns" timing in general according to some predetermined assumptions (base timing map, timing correction map), and has two fuel maps in case you get a bad tank of gas.
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Old 01-29-2006, 12:07 PM   #10
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I agree, but based on the fact that you're in this forum, you feel FHI could have picked some more agressive targets

I'm looking for an aftermarket EM that can get tuning results similar to or better than a Custom Tune.....automagically.
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Old 01-29-2006, 01:38 PM   #11
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Maybe I'm just stupid, but isn't this kind of thing exactly why we have ECM's and o2 sensors? Until I got into "tuning" I had no idea the process was as devoid of auto correction and feedback as it is. What is being described seems simple in our climate of computer experts today.

????
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Old 01-29-2006, 02:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zornorph
Maybe I'm just stupid, but isn't this kind of thing exactly why we have ECM's and o2 sensors? Until I got into "tuning" I had no idea the process was as devoid of auto correction and feedback as it is. What is being described seems simple in our climate of computer experts today.
????
Exactly.

Come on Shiv, Trey, Phil, etc... if you build it, they will come

This kind of thing can probably be built as a plug-in to any of the popular DIY packages (UTEC, Hydra, Street Tuner, etc.).

Also I'd love to see openecu.org make some movements toward this type of tool.
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Old 01-29-2006, 06:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drac9
Power is not gained from fuel management. Power comes from timing- fuel other than what is needed for combustion is simply used for heat management.
Power may not come from AFR, but safety sure does. I understand your point, but don't trivialize AFR tuning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zornorph
Maybe I'm just stupid, but isn't this kind of thing exactly why we have ECM's and o2 sensors? Until I got into "tuning" I had no idea the process was as devoid of auto correction and feedback as it is. What is being described seems simple in our climate of computer experts today.
Believe me, if it was simple it would have been done already. ECU programmers aren't morons.

Problem #1: AFR tuning. Yes, it can be done, but it requires a basemap to get you started. Ask any AEM tuner about AFR tuning and they will roll their eyes at you. Every AEM tuner I know says that autotune isn't worth using, becuase they can dial in fuel faster manually than using autotune. Plus, there is the boost problem, which I will explain.

Let's say you want to run 20 lbs of boost. Using the "autotune" method, the engine would have to see 20 lbs of boost being run in the engine, and then measure all the pretty sensor bits in order to make corrections. This isn't such a hot idea when your existing fuel map goes up to 14 lbs of boost. In this case, you would boost 20 lbs and overrun your fuel map, and *boom*, bye bye engine. The "autotune" feature could in no way respond fast enough to correct your AFR, so it can't handle boost pressures higher than your current map is designed to go.

Problem #2: Ignition timing. As Drac9 alread pointed out to you, there is no way to measure optimum ignition timing. Nobody seems to have created a workable ion sensing algorithm, and EGT is not the correct way to measure ignition timing. The stock ECU will only advance timing, and not retard it, which gives you only half the function you really need. Additionally, knock sensing is not the best way to set ignition timing either. In order to do this right, you really do need some way of measuring or estimating cylinder pressures. There is a lot of research in this field right now, but nothing is really production ready.

Problem #3: Liability.. Suppose for a sec that you had a shiny new autotune box that users could plug in and use. This presents a huge liability problem. Users being what they are, guaranteed a bunch of them are going to blow something up. Even the best autotuning is still going to need some sort of guidance, and users are probably going to get that wrong. Any company making an autotune box is opening themselves up to huge liability from all the Lusers breaking stuff, getting mad, and blaming the product.

In the whole scheme of things, tuning costs aren't that high. A good tuner will always make more power out of a car than the best autotuning ever could. Keep in mind that tuning isn't completely a manual process - tuners use some advanced tools to help them so that they aren't looking at 30 bajillion numbers just to tune a small section of the fuel map.
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Old 01-29-2006, 07:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NavyBlueSubaru
Auto-tuning anything other than fueling does require a bit more information. I only deal with the fueling part of the story. tuning in the afr will result in better power output, but it is by no means all there is when it comes to making power.

Jeff
Do you go to school with a kid that drives a red 97 Supra TT?
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Old 01-29-2006, 07:22 PM   #15
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Alright, AFR tuning is important, but only for safety. Once you have enough fuel to support combustion of the given amount of air any additional fuel is just heat management, which is VERY important.

"Professional" tuners may not be using ion sensing to adjust ignition timing but they are basically doing that by following the method I outlined. Peak power will come at peak cylinder pressures that do not induce detonation so by using this method they are in fact "sensing" the correct amount of timing, albeit not nearly as accurately. EGT is not a good method to use because it is fairly slow and affected by both ignition timing and AFR. By the time you see the change in egt the damage will have already occured. The only way to tune timing properly is on a dyno, preferably a load bearing dyno. So called "road dynos" and g-techs will never be as accurate as a real dyno.

AFR is not as hard to do as everyone wants to make it out to be- Just remeber the base fuel map is basically the VE map of your engine. So remember double air- double fuel. AEM calls this "boost comp." Basically you find a gven AFR for a certain load and RPM, if you double the load at the same RPM your map should show double the fuel. If you do this you will not have a "boom" when you hit a load you haven't seen before. Then you can log your full pull and make little changes to get your desired AFR's. Autronic does it a bit differently in that it asks you a few questions about your engine and builds a background VE map for you engine- you then fine tune this VE map using the charge temp estimation table and the base fuel table. An autronic will run a car with just one cell in the base fuel table, that's how well their VE algorythm works.

Hope that kind of helps you guys to figure out a few things. Please ask if you have any questions about anything I've said
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Old 01-29-2006, 07:30 PM   #16
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Also, for the record I do think it would be possible for someone to take the datastream from the dyno and basically make a macro that increases ignition timing in each load cell until maximum power is reached via the dyno datastream and the ECU log, while also monitoring knock via a traditional knock sensor. But you'd need a program for each ecu and it would have to be tailored to the individual dyno as well. Also, traditional knock sensors are basically useless once you have modified any aspect of the engine that would change the noise profile. Manufacturers speand a lot of moeny developing knock sensors to sense the exact resonant frequency which corresponds with a knock event in a given engine. As soon as any of the paramters change the knock sensor is no longer calibrated to properly detect real knock events. WHich is where ION sensing will be an awesome advantage. Some OEM manufacturers are currently working on systems which do ion sensing and AFR autotuning via wideband 02 sensors. But we're still a ways off.
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Old 01-29-2006, 09:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drac9
Also, for the record I do think it would be possible for someone to take the datastream from the dyno and basically make a macro that increases ignition timing in each load cell until maximum power is reached via the dyno datastream and the ECU log, while also monitoring knock via a traditional knock sensor. But you'd need a program for each ecu and it would have to be tailored to the individual dyno as well.
Also keep in mind that real ignition tuning can only be done on a load-bearing dyno. Dynojets are inertial, and the only load-bearing type I know of are Dynapacks.
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Old 01-29-2006, 10:11 PM   #18
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Exactly- we're on the same page- SOme dynos that are load bearing and not intertia style are: Dynapack, Dyno Dynamics, Superflow, Mustang, Land and Sea and even a few models of Dynojets are now available with an eddy current braking system.

My Dyno Dynamics dyno will be arriving shortly and I can't wait for it to get here. I'm tired of tuning on inertia dynos. For those of you who are not familiar with the difference between an intertia dyno and a load bearing dyno I'll cover it quickly here.

First I'll cover the inertia dyno. These dynos use large rollers of a known weight and diameter. The dyno measures the amount of time it takes to accelerate this known mass to a given speed. Using these numbers a simple calculation will give you a torque number. Torgue is then calculated to horsepower using another calculation. These types of dynos are great for max power runs and are ok for basic tuning as long as it is full throttle tuning. The downfall of this type of dyno is it can only calculate power by accelerating the roller. Therefore you cannot tune partial throttle and low load on an intertia dyno. You can effect changes by monitoring the basic shape of the torque graph, but it will not be nearly as accurate as a load bearing dyno.

Second we'll cover a load bearing dyno. The dynos generally have small, easy to accelrate rollers. These dynos are able to hold a car at a given speed by using a brake. One the end of the roller is an arm. Under the arm is a very sensitive scale. The movement of the tires works to overcome the brake and the arm presses on this scale, giving a tractive effort reading. This is calculated into torque. The benefit here is that the car can be held at pretty much any speed and by modulating the throttle you can hit and hold the car in every load cell on the map. In each cell you can adjust timing in real time or "steady-state" by adding timing until the car does not make more power. In this manner you can gaurantee maximum torque in every cell of your map that you can hit on the dyno. There are a few areas you can't hit though, such as idle and overrun.

These are basic explanations but gives you an idea of the advantages of the load bearing dyno over the intertia style dyno.
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Old 01-30-2006, 12:33 AM   #19
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Plenty of very talented custom tuners make lot's of customers happy with big power and relatively few grenaded short-blocks WITHOUT ion sensing or load-dynos.

I'm suggesting, somewhat ignorantly, that all of this could be done without ANY dyno. I'm not a guru by any means, but looking through the data I've logged, I have a VERY wide range of loads, where throttle position can always be known. Given enough logging runs would easily give the software enough data to fill every load cell.

Am I missing some crucial deal-breaking reason that Auto-tuning can't happen?
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Old 01-30-2006, 07:14 AM   #20
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All of you guys fail to realise that "Auto-tuning" only dials in the AFR that "YOU" specify.
The tuning is still done by a human, the ECUs just tune/target what the human tuner tells it too. An auto-tune is not going to search for the Perfect AFR, because a perfect AFR is defined differently by every tuner and every car.

TMS
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Old 01-30-2006, 09:16 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by varmint007
- you decide how you’d like to shape your dyno curve, peak boost, AFR, and how close to the razor’s edge of safety you’d like the tune.
Hey TMS, I think we realize that.

So yeah there would still need to be a manual step of inputing the target values. That's the only way to manage the different types of hardware you may have installed as well.

For instance, you wouldn't shoot for 21 pounds of boost on a TD04 with the stock exhaust.
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Old 01-30-2006, 09:30 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by varmint007

For instance, you wouldn't shoot for 21 pounds of boost on a TD04 with the stock exhaust.
Why not?

I just think alot of people want a system that will "tune" the car for them. You will never find it. You will find tools that will make tuning easier but that is about it.

TMS
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Old 01-30-2006, 12:06 PM   #23
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?
you mean line the autronic does ... and has for years
IIRC you fill in 2 tables - an open loop table and a closed loop table
there is a demo on efi101 where they start with a blank fuel map they then dyno the engine hitting all the cells and the a/f values are auto populated
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Old 01-30-2006, 12:25 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaxx
?

IIRC you fill in 2 tables - an open loop table and a closed loop table
I would assume that the tables you refer to are populated by a human. That is not a system that will find the best AFR/timing for your set up.

It only dials in what you/your tuner tells it. If you don't know what to tell it to shoot for the system can not determine what it should be running.
I think alot of people belive that one of these systems will replace the knowlege of a tuner. It will not. It will make hitting your target AFR's easier but you still need to tell it what to tune to.

Sorry I guess I have a different understanding of tuning. I don't see tuning as setting the AFR/Ing. That is something any monkey can do. My understanding of tuning is the knowedge of what AFR/Ing to run on a car and when. All these "auto-tune" things do is make it easier for the tuner to get to where they want the car to be. The "auto-tune" does not tune your car.

TMS


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Old 01-30-2006, 02:21 PM   #25
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Pick your poison. If you auto-tune AFR then someone has to "tune" the AFR target table. Do you think the AFR table for a VF39 and a GT35R are the same? Likewise with timing. I suppose you could advance timing until it knocks like the stock ECU, but with the turbo the size of your head that could be a rather expensive proposition--knocking at 250 ft lbs is not the same as knocking at 500 ft lbs. EGT is a tool, but not really a measure of MBT timing, especially with varying AFR.

If we are going to have autotuning I think it will come with a very fast "in cylinder" pressure sensor coupled to a couple of target tables (programmed by tuners). Right now those sensors are about $1000 a piece and I'm not sure that they are fast enough for high RPM tuning. The "ion" plasma sensors look like a promising method, but as far as I can tell not ready for prime time.
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