"Technology for Tuners" Newsletter
This is Innovate Motorsports' "Technology for Tuners" Newsletter,
Issue #7. These updates are intended to keep you informed
of tuning tips, firmware updates, application notes, new
product releases, company news, and other useful information.
In this issue:
1) XD-1 is Shipping!
2) LC-1 in Final Pre-release
3) SEMA & PRI Recap
4) Roadmap for the MTS
5) Customer Testimonials Contest
6) Tuning Tip- The Oxygen Sensor Scale Analogy
XD-1 is Shipping!
The bezels are cut. The firmware is done. The cables are
molded. The light-emitting (and light-sensing) diodes are
The test fixtures are testing. The wait is over. The XD-1
With a ton of innovation, we think the XD-1 was worth the
- 21 programmable RGB "needle" LEDs
- Remote control button
to start/stop log sessions, calibrate sensors, and view
- Total thickness of ¾” allows
surface mount or thin-pod installations
- Programmable warning
lights with multiple dependencies
- Universal design can
display AFR or any channel that LM-1 is logging
dials with web tool for printing custom dials / gauge
The XD-1 is available in 4 color combinations, as an accessory
for the LM-1 (click
here for ordering details), or as a
standalone kit (includes an LC-1).
in Final Pre-release
The LC-1 (aka Lambda Cable) is a complete wideband controller
built in to a sealed and rugged cable. It features the
same industry-leading patented digital circuit found in
the proven LM-1, and includes digital in & out, plus
two programmable analog outputs. The LC-1 can connect
directly to the XD-1 for a standalone AFR gauge, and is
ideal for using with an ECU, a piggy-back fuel controller,
a laptop/OBD-II tuner, a separate data logger system, or
a dyno. (If your dyno has analog inputs, you can start
doing 8-cylinder tuning without even waiting for LogWorks
2.0). MSRP on the LC-1 is $199 with a sensor, and $149
without a sensor, so you can see we’re still serious
about bringing you the best in pro-quality digital tools
at prices for the pro and enthusiast alike!
SEMA & PRI Recap
SEMA and PRI 2004 were a great success. The MTS won a
couple of awards (S3 Magazine's Best 50 Products, Turbo
Magazine's "Wickedly Hot Product"), we met, or reconnected
with, numerous customers and dealers, and we got lots a
great ideas and feedback from all of our motor sports friends.
The LM-101 videos were a hit, and everyone was excited
to finally see the LC-1 and XD-1s. Thanks to all of you
who came by and said hello.
Roadmap for the MTS
With the release of the XD-1 and LC-1,
the Innovate MTS (Modular Tuning System) continues to
grow. The next key
elements are LogWorks 2.0 and the AuxBox-SD. Here is
a preview of the planned features for these two projects:
LogWorks 2.0 provides support for up to 32 channels of
data. This is key for tuning individual cylinders, or for
doing full data acquisition. For example, 8 wideband sensors
plus RPM, MAP, CHT, and acceleration
would require 12 channels. Other key features of LogWorks
2.0 include a 3D tool for visualizing fuel maps in 3 dimensions
to quickly “see” problem spots; a virtual gauge
configurator to individually customize the format, size,
and placement of on screen gauges; and expanded input/gauge
The AuxBox-SD is a 32-channel data recorder built in to
our existing LMA-3 multi-sensor input box (the popular “AuxBox").
The AuxBox-SD utilizes standard “SD” memory
cards, and can record up to 200 hours of data (32-channels,
All Innovate products share a common communication protocol
and can be combined in a variety of ways. A couple of the
applications that will be possible with the expanded 32-channel
- 4, 6, 8, or 10 LC-1’s with
LogWorks 2.0 or the AuxBox-SD (or both) for
individual cylinder tuning.
- A full 32-channel data acquisition system for <$3K
(8-channels of wideband AFR, 8-channels of CHT, MAP,
RPM, 2-axis accel, duty cycles, torque, wheel speed,
Customer Testimonials Contest
The photo above is of Dave Owen, ECTA record holder at
215.642 MPH set in Maxton, NC in October 2004. Dave writes:
"THE INNOVATE MOTORSPORTS LM-1 ALLOWED ME TO PERFORM TUNING
WITHIN MINUTES OF MY PASSES, OPTIMIZING THE PERFORMANCE
OF THE MOTORCYCLE, AND SETTING THREE NEW RECORDS. The LM1
has helped me tune even better than with a chassis dyno,
and is simple to setup and operate. Your tech support has
been outstanding…..second to none. Thank you for
providing me with a product that has proven accurate and
reliable, at OVER 200 MPH!!!”
Dave got his bag of swag (T-shirt, decals, etc.), and
you can too. Just write a quick testimonial, take a cool
photo (you and an Innovate
or snail mail). Each month we’ll select the best
ones, and send the winners some Innovate stuff. And you
might even see yourself in a national magazine ad.
Tuning Tip- The Oxygen Sensor Scale Analogy
By Klaus Allmendinger, VP of Engineering, Innovate Motorsports
Here’s an analogy for how the LM-1’s measurement
principle works, and how it differs from both narrow-band
technology, and other wideband technology:
Narrow-band Sensors: Like a balance scale with only one
Picture a balance scale like the ones used by merchants
and traders for the last 10,000 years. These scales work
by adding various known weights to one side until both
sides balance. But if you had only one reference weight,
all you could know is if your item weights more or less
than the reference. This is what a narrow-band, switch-type
sensors do (even 3-wire or 4-wire versions). They tell
you if you are higher or lower than 14.7 AFR, but nothing
else. This works for regulating engines to 14.7AFR at idle
or cruise, but is useless for maximizing efficiency or
Wideband sensors: Like a spring scale
A Wideband sensor is more like a spring-based scale. These
scales determine a weight by measuring the deflection of
a spring. A set screw is used to set the spring tension
to a defined deflection for a known exact weight. The spring
analog in this example is the pump current, the set-screw
is the calibration resistor provided by the sensor manufacturer
and the known exact weight is pump current required in
free air. Another issue with this scale is that when you
put a new weight on the scale, you need to wait until the
scale stops oscillating.
But what if the spring looses tension with age or manufacturing
tolerances make the spring deflection non-linear?
The very expensive high-end meters supply a 'calibration
table' that compensates for the 'spring' non-linearity
on a sensor-by-sensor basis. Producing this table is a
laborious and expensive process and is naturally only correct
for a new spring/sensor.
The Innovate LM-1
The LM-1 uses a different principle. Let's go back to
the balancing scale analogy: What if you had only one reference
weight? And there were only 3 things you know about this
1. It is heavier than any produce you want to measure.
2. It does not change over time.
3. It is cheap, any rock will do.
How can you possibly precisely measure with just this?
If you were an electronic superman you can put that weight
on and off the scale so fast that the scale, due to its
inertia, hardly has time to move. The inertia is dependent
on the sum of the measured weight, the reference weight
and the weight of the scale.
If you put the reference weight on and off so fast that
the scale stays in balance, you can determine the weight
by the time ratio between having the reference weight on
and off. By weighing a precisely known quantity (free air)
once you can also exactly determine your reference weight.
From that and the precisely measured on/off times you can
determine the weight and inertia of the scale exactly without
calibrated springs or reference weights. You can also at
any time recalibrate it by measuring free air again. Another
advantage of this measurement method (still staying with
the above example) is that you can measure much faster
because you do not need to decide which new (smaller) reference
weights to add or take away to get the scale in balance.
Also, you don’t need to wait for the spring-loaded
weight to settle and stops oscillating.
The LM-1 uses this
approach, putting the 'reference weight' on and off several
hundred times per second. The precision
of this approach is then limited by the precision of
the time measurement. Fortunately crystal oscillators today
allow precise time measurement at extremely low cost
tolerances of ~0.0001%. Precision resistors (the equivalence
of a balance weigh set) come in tolerances of 1% to 0.1%
and get VERY expensive for higher precision.
Until next time... Keep On Tuning!
NOTE: If you found any of this useful, and you'd like
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the link at the bottom of the original email.