Electronic Solutions for Motorsport

Ignition Timing Manager Update

3 min read
Ignition Timing Manager teaser screenshot

A quick update on the progress of an upcoming product, the Ignition Timing Manager.

We have an development version of the App up and running and we also have a development unit ready

In the next few days we will move onto the vehicle testing. It has taken a little longer to get to this point that we would have hoped for.

The biggest issue so far is getting so much more information onto a phone from the app in a timely manner. The Ignition Timing Manager is easily the most advanced product we have developed to this date, not with regards to the AI but the resolution it will give the tuner for manually entering settings.

In the future I can see the possibility of another, more advanced product which will use the vehicle’s built in knock sensor for active ignition timing adjustment but the Ignition Timing Manager will always be manually controlled. We will get the Ignition Timing Manager up and running first and see where that takes us!

The challenges so far have been fitting all the data onto a mobile screen in a way that didn’t need scrolling (or at least a lot of scrolling if you have a low resolution screen!) and making it easy to adjust the cells in the 5×5 table without having to resort to typing a number in for every cell.

When you have a nice big lap top screen to lay things out on and a direct cable connection between an ECU and the laptop, the interface and communication are much easier!

So far I think we have done a good job and I don’t see the interface needing any major improvements functionality wise at this point which should help get the product out on time ie January 2020.

Ignition timing manager interface.  Teaser/development screenshot
Aesthetically it still needs a bit of work, this teaser screenshot shows where we are at the moment.

I think the timing function input software has a lot of potential, our hope is, that the unit will pick up timing signals without the user having to calibrate the Ignition Timing Manager unit to the vehicle they are working on.

We have the timing input on the CAM Manager product but this is the first time we build a product that will alter this signal.

Ignition Timing Alteration – Methods

Over the years we have had a lot of experience with piggyback ECUs and have seen two main techniques for altering ignition timing.

The first has been by intercepting the signal that comes from the timing sensor itself eg AEM FIC and the other method is to manipulate the timing sensor that comes from the ECU and into the distributor/coil packs eg Greddy E-manage.

Honestly, I am not sure how much difference the two approaches make in reality. On the one hand we have the car’s ECU working on manipulated timing data and on the other hand we have the engine working on manipulated timing data.

Is this is distinction without a difference?

I’m inclined to believe it is given that piggyback manufacturers have not settled on one of the methods.

Going into the testing of the timing manager I have an open mind, we will try both methods, first to see if there any difference between them and also if one method gives us an obvious benefit over the other, for example, I’m thinking that intercepting the signal coming from the timing sensor may have an advantage because it would mean we could leave the car’s ECU to figure out the spark time for each coil pack, whereas intercepting coming from the ECU the Ignition Timing Manager will be sending ignition signals to each of the four coil packs. This would be less wiring for the user.

But vehicle testing will gives us a concrete answer.

When we have some news from this testing I will write another update to let you know how things are progressing and if we can keep to the scheduled release date!

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