Innovate Motorsports' Newsletter #15


New Air/Fuel Gauges
New "Plus" & "Duo" Kits
Race Tech Direct (Sensors & more)
Kurt Johnson wins in Phoenix

OT-1 Update

Honda (PGMFI/Chrome) Plug-in
MegaSquirt Plug-in

Tuning Tip: Methanol Issues

This is Innovate Motorsports' "Technology for Tuners" Newsletter, Issue #15. These updates are intended to keep you informed of tuning tips, firmware updates, application notes, new product releases, company news, and other useful information.

New "DB" Gauges

In partnership with Nordskog Instruments, Innovate has released two new 52mm (2 1/16") air fuel gauges. Each gauge features a bright LED (available in blue or red), and retails for $289. Each kit includes the gauge, an LC-1 wideband controller, oxygen sensor & bung/plug, and the award-winning LogWorks engine-tuning software.

For tuners seeking the most cost-effective way to start monitoring Air/Fuel Ratio, the DB series gauges offer an attractive option, while opening the world of true digital data acquisition and software engine analysis.

New "Plus" and "Duo" Kits

We've aslso released 3 new LC1-based kits. These kits combine our most popular products, while providing a cost advantage over the sum of the parts (if purchased separately). All kits are still expandable, and all kits include the award-winning LogWorks software.

The "LC1+" Kit includes an LC-1 plus an SSI-4 ($299). The "XD16+" kit includes an LC-1, XD-16, and an SSI-4. And the "LC1 Duo" kit includes 2 LC-1s and a DL-32. More info.

RaceTechDirect Sensors and Kits

Innovate Motorsports recently announced the launch of a website - RTD, also known as Race Tech Direct. RTD sells professional quality sensors, ultra competitive bundles, and starter kits. Some of the high quality products that RTD sells are: 

Kurt Johnson wins in Phoenix

Kurt Johnson and the ACDelco Racing team battled their way to the winner's circle at the NHRA Nationals in Phoenix, AZ. After qualifying seventh, Johnson combined a very consistent race car with some tremendous driving to score early round wins over Jeg Coughlin, Richie Stevens and Erica Enders in the second race of the 2007 POWERade Drag Racing season, before squaring off against No. 1 qualifier Jason Line in the final.

Kurt uses LC-1's on every cylinder to get the perfect tune, and to adjust to changing conditions at the track.

"Over the last two days, we got a handle on the tune-up, allowing us to make the right calls and put ourselves in a position to win. For the final, we just concentrated on doing the best we could. Fortunately, I did my part behind the wheel, and we ended up in the winner's circle. It was just a great day in the desert." Congrats to Kurt! More info.

OT-1 Update

There's good news and bad news about our forthcoming OT-1 "OpenTune" OBD2 interface. The bad news is that it is delayed- we expect to continue development and validation through May, with full production starting shortly thereafter. The good news is that MSRP will be much lower than originally expected. The OT-1 is expected to be available for $149 (vs. $399), and an OT-1+LC-1 kit (OBD2+ Wideband) will be available for $299. The interface will support all known protocols, including enhanced parameters for most cars sold in the US since 1996. Stay tuned.


BradaTech develops Bluetooth adapters and "Pocket Lambda" software (Pocket PC / Windows Mobile) for use with Innovate products. Wireless connectivity via Bluetooth technology can be both powerful and convenient. For example, log data to your LM-1 while road testing. When you pull into your garage, your benchtop PC will "see" the LM-1 and you can download and view your new logs without connecting (or disconnecting) any wires. Or, you can have a laptop in the passenger seat while you're road testing with an LC1+ kit. The laptop can be running on its internal battery, and logging data via bluetooth- no wires attached whatsoever! More info.

Honda (PGMFI/Chrome) Plug-ins

The world of Honda "Programmed Fuel Injection" (PGMFI) is huge and complex. We don't even pretend to understand every ECU, engine, chip, emulator, etc., but we know people who do. And we wrote and support a LogWorks plug-in that logs data directly from many tools popular in the PGMFI community. More info.

MegaSquirt Plug-in

The original Do-It-Yourself programmable electronic fuel injection controller. We've written a plug-in for LogWorks that enables synchronous logging from MegaSquirt (I or II) and any of our products (widebands, accelerometers, thermocouples, etc.). The plug-in is included in the current version of LogWorks. More info.

Tuning Tip: Methanol Issues

When tuning a methanol engine, make sure the engine is warmed up before you switch on the wideband system. (The short operation without heater power will not damage the sensor.) Here's the reason:

Many methanol engines run very rich, not only because of the low stoich AFR of methanol (6.4), but also because methanol has a very high latent heat value compared to gasoline. On a cold engine only part of the inducted or injected methanol even vaporizes and takes part in the combustion. The rest runs out of the exh. ports still in liquid droplet form. This can be seen on the exhaust ports that show traces of liquid methanol running out. This liquid methanol can kill the sensor by heat shock (high latent heat, as said), just as water can.

In addition the EGTs of methanol are typically much lower than on a gasoline engine, while the exhaust gas volume is higher. This causes the sensor heater to not be able to keep the sensor at operating temperature and it will error out. Even higher supply voltage will not help because the sensor heater has a limit to how much wattage can be supplied to it. After all, these sensors are designed for production cars with much lower power than a methanol fueled dragster. Using a double height bung so the sensor is out of the direct exhaust stream will help the sensor heater to keep the sensor in its operating temperature range.

Until next time... Keep On Tuning!
-Innovate Motorsports

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