TuneECU IS your friend … just don’t forget it!

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid TuneECU TPS resetI’ve just had a fun few hours preparing the Capo for its MOT (annual inspection) and one of the issues I wanted to get around to sorting was the slightly high tick-over.

For quite a few months now the idle has been 1,500 – 1,550 when warm – not enough to be troublesome, but noticeable. Problem is ….. I’ve plain forgot to do anything about it once the ignition was turned off! So today I dusted off the cable and charged the old ASUS notebook and plugged in.

Thankfully it was just as I hoped, the TPS (Throttle Position Sensor) was not at zero with a closed throttle. It was reading 1%. A tap on the ‘TPS Reset’ had it reading 0% and the idle was fine once again. So, the question is, have I got a TPS on its way out, or was it simply the fact that I hadn’t done a reset in 18 months ( 20K+ miles), something I used to do at every service. I’m hoping it’s the latter and will endevour to make sure I hook up TuneECU during all future services. Funny really that a tool I used to hook up on an almost weekly basis slowly slid to the dark recesses of the workshop over time.

TuneECU (app) gets all sensor-tive at last!

Back when the TuneECU app arrived, I recall having a brief email exchange with Alain Fontaine the developer about the lack of a ‘sensors’ page ….. and could it possibly be added. He was very polite, but I got the feeling this was WAY down on his list of priorities for the app. Now I can’t blame the chap, he’s worked very hard through the years providing TuneECU for a huge range of bikes, something I know we’re all immensely grateful for and his free time can only stretch so far trying to please everyone!

However, since that time I’ve honestly felt the app is a bit of a lame duck. If I want to work with maps, then TuneECU on a laptop or full-on PC is my instrument of choice, always was, always will be. The datalogger is a bit of a gimmick and doesn’t allow me to datalog inputs other than the preset ones. So that only really leaves the basic diagnostics – tacho, IACV, fan and fuel pump as being useful tests I can perform if I’m stuck by the roadside. Year after year I’ve longed for the sensors to be displayed, to bump the app up to an honest to goodness road-side diagnostics tool in my top pocket …….

……. well that day has arrived! TuneECU can now display up to 16 sensors at a time from an extensive list available. Turn some off, turn others on, as long as you stay under 16 then they’ll all display just fine. I’ve run the app with both OTG cable and via Bluetooth on Galaxy Note 3 and 4 with the engine running and off, everything appears to read OK. I’ve yet to go through the list and check the readings against TuneECU (PC), but from what I can see, the readings look reasonable. Of course the battery voltage is still 0.2V low, but that’s a standard cock-up by the ECU! 

Now, if all the sensor info is available in the app, maybe Alain might update the datalogger to allow us to choose the sensors it logs ……. that would be nice! 😀 

UPDATE 14/07/17

Just had an email back from Alain …. we may well be getting a choice os sensors to display on the datalogger sometime soon. Now that is fantastic news!!

TuneECU (Android) update to V2.2

TuneECU Andriod app V2.2 - Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid Sagem ECUStop the Bus (or your Caponord) and grab yer smartphones again, TuneECU has just been updated to V2.2 ………… worthy of mentioning? Oh Yes! Alaine has addressed the poor connection (cable) AND the screen freezing if you swiped it when logging issue. Now TuneECU connects to the Capo quick as you like, just as it used to. I tried it numerous times and never once had a problem – fantastic! All-in-all a positive step forward …..

TuneECU (Android) update to V2.1

TuneECU Andriod app V2.1 - Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid Sagem ECUTuneECU app for the Android was updated again  last week to V2.1 – Google store says bug fixes and adding the Ducati 848/1098 & 1198 are the reason. Time then to give it a whirl on the old Capo and see if the experience has improved from last time. So with the sun shining brightly and making the barn a nice cosey sun trap to work in, and the road devoid of the sound of machinery and promised workmen, I rummaged around for the cables charged the phone and set about pulling the seats off.

Bluetooth (ELM327 V1.5)

elm327Connection was the same as before and data is still slow to update – tacho and TPS seem quick enough but the side-stand takes a whopping 5 seconds to change state. Still no side-stand or Fan status indicator like the PC version. The datalog facility worked, but seems to have a bug, more on this later.

Cable (Samsung Note 3)

Connection is now very poor, taking 2, 3 or 4 attempts to get it to connect. Each time I get a flashing red indicator, sometimes going orange then back to red followed by a dialog box telling me to recycle the ignition. The connection worked fine with version 1 and 2 so something has definitely happened in the latest release. Oh and the Samsung was tried with two cables and both cables tried with old faithful – the Asus EEPC901 and they worked just fine with the PC version. Once connected however, the data seems to be displayed quicker than Bluetooth and the connection was stable even when starting the engine.

Datalog

TuneECU app datalog via cable not Bluetooth on Samsung Galaxy Note 3 from Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-RaidGetting this to work took a bit of time, simply because it turns out I have to touch the ‘REC’ icon in the bottom left hand corner of the Diagnostics screen for something like 4 or 5 seconds for it to toggle to orange and begin recording. Once recording I can’t change screens, but if I swipe left or right as though trying to get to ‘Adjustments’ or ‘Map’ then data on the screen freezes and you wonder what the hell is going on …… but the data is still being logged in the background. Swipe in the opposite direction, as though going back to ‘Diagnostics’ and the screen starts working again.

Disconnect from the ECU and ‘Datalog’ now appears at the bottom of the ‘ECU’ drop down menu, click and select the log file to open and a new window opens with the data displayed as a graph. TPS, RPM and Engine Temp are logged, but apparently no way of selecting other data to log other than TuneECU app datalog data file diasplay on Samsung Galaxy Note 3 from an Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raidthese three. The TPS and RPM are a nice distinct line with good contrast to the background, however the Engine Temp is dark blue dots on black background …….. difficult to read clearly in bright light. The data is stored in CSV format so it’s easy to bring the files into your PC and use something like Microsoft Excel to display it. Incidentally the screenshot of a data file on the TuneECU (Google) page shows additional information – Speed / MAP (Manifold Air Pressure) and what looks like gear position …… so there is certainly scope to allow more (bike model specific) information to be logged and displayed.

Conclusion

I so want to like this software. Building in the datalogger is great but in the light of the connection issues and slow performance when in operation, I’m reluctant to use it at the moment preferring to stick to the old PC version and my TuneBoy based datalogger. Of course this is only one persons view with a specific combination of bike/phone, but if others are experiencing the same or similar problems, then maybe addressing these issues to make a solid and robust platform before adding any more new bikes or functionality would be the way forward …… just my six cents worth. Let’s see what V3 brings.

TuneECU App – v1.2 update

TuneECUWhen I checked my phone this morning I noticed that the TuneECU app had updated to v1.2 overnight ……. somehow I guess I’d missed it update to v1.1! Anyway, with a few minutes to spare I hooked up to the Capo (cable & Bluetooth) and noticed that the ‘Neutral’ light is now working – a bit sluggish, but working none the less, which is an excellent step forward. Now all we need is a nice new screen with the sensor data, plain text like Tuneboy would be fine ……. please Alaine. 🙁

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid - TuneBoy Sensors

TuneECU App – Review

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid - TuneECU Android AppA week ago I downloaded the TuneECU Android App, spent a few minutes scrolling through the screens, then sat back and waited for Mr Postman to deliver a USB3 OTG cable for the Samsung Note 3 and a Bluetooth module from Ebay.

Here we are a whole week later and I’ve used the App successfully with both connection methods. Indeed the App is stable and remarkably quick and easy to set up connections and seems to take no longer than its PC sibling to communicate with the ECU. I didn’t experience any drop-out when starting the engine with either method and map Read/Dowload via cable seemed on a par with my netbook. So far, so good…….

……. Now for the downside.

Those of you that have used TuneECU(PC) will be familiar with the three modules it contains – Map Edit, Diagnostics and Tests and I ask you which of these modules are likely most useful in a day-to-day situation? In my books that’s the Diagnostics/Tests ….. why would I want to remap a bike from a smartphone for a start, let alone mess with mapping while out and about commuting to work or heading off for a summer jolly. Mapping is best done at Dyno time, in a workshop and let’s face it, once done probably won’t need revisiting for a long time, only engine/exhaust mods or ECU replacement come to mind.

So my wish list is for an App with full Diagnostics/Tests, the stuff that may well help me at the roadside, that will show me an intermittent coil when the ECU hasn’t triggered the EFI light or generated a code and other information that the simple dashboard diagnostics just doesn’t display.

 

Unfortunately it’s here that the App falls flat. As much as I swiped and tapped I couldn’t find a screen to show me the sensor data – Injectors, Coils, Air Temp, O2 sensor, Barometric etc . In fact the display doesn’t even show me Neutral, Fan or Side-stand …. All familiar sights on the PC version. So I dropped the author Alaine an email. And this was his response.

There is no sensors page shown in the App, maybe this will be added in the future. The Fan and Side-stand lamps are not written into the software and yes there is a bug with the O2 graphic display. He hasn’t come back to me yet about the missing Neutral lamp.

So that’s it …. An interesting novelty App, unfortunately nothing really useful to offer as a diagnostics tool while out on the road ……. For now the cable and Bluetooth module can find a place on a shelf somewhere, while the trusted Asus notebook keeps me company with TuneECU 1.97 doing what it’s always done – and doing it very well!

I’ll end by saying that since the Capo was ported to TuneECU back in October 2010, I’ve used it extensively even though I still have TuneBoy on the netbook. Alaine is to be applauded for his work in bringing a great piece if software to the bike world – for free. So I feel uneasy writing a negative review of the App, but in the end I’ve tried to be as honest as I can about its abilities with regards to the Caponord. Maybe it’s having far more success among the Triumph fraternity, I don’t know.

TuneECU for Android is now out

TuneECU for Andriod on Google Play StoreOn the 15th September 2014 the eagerly awaited TuneECU for Android app was rolled out on Google Play Store priced at €9.99. It doesn’t currently support reading or reprogramming of maps through Bluetooth only via cable, but it is version 1 so this may be added at a later date. Either way, it’ll make a handy pocket diagnostics tool and save luggage space leaving the notebook at home!  Here’s a link to the TuneECU webpage where you can read more about what’s needed to get it working on your Caponord.

It might be nice to look at putting together a fully waterproof Bluetooth module/cable that can be left permanently attached to the ECU, maybe with a remote switch in the luggage tray to power it on/off ….. another winter project! 😀

 

TuneECU Andoid app in the pipeline!

TuneECUI just popped over to the TuneECU website and saw a ‘NEW’ one-liner tucked away below the latest TuneLibrary.dll download link on the front page ……. I almost missed it, did a double take and followed the link in a flash ….. and I’m glad I did!  It certainly looks like those clever folks have been busy, three nice screenshots of an Android TuneECU app. Shown below courtesy of Tom.

So I fired off an email asking for permission to use the screenshots and to enquire if the software would work with the Caponord and although not 100% sure at the moment, Tom’s pretty sure it will …. he just needs more information back from the programmer. So bookmark tuneecu.com and keep watching!

Making connections

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid ASL 606-05PC-HE connectorHooking up the netbook to the ECU when datalogging has always been a pain. Seats off, fumble around for the Molex connector, run the cable under the seats, refit the seats …… and away we go. So when I saw a neat little MIL style connector that Andy has fitted to his Capo, I couldn’t help asking about it.

Turns out it’s made by Deutsch Autosport and they make a whole range of high quality connectors specifically for the motorsport industry. Here’s a link to the catalogue. Anyway, all-round nice guy that he is, Andy made me a chassis socket and plug assembly with 300mm of loom at each end. Not only that, he popped them in the post to Italy … and they arrived a couple of days ago. And I must say ….. WOW! ….. beautifully machined and fully waterproof with a nice machined cap to keep the greeblies out.

So now I’ve reworked my old TuneBoy cable and installed the connector on the dash. I’ve used shielded cable back to the original molex plug to reduce interference on the data lines and it all works fine.

So it only remains to say a big thank you to Andy for doing this for me. I owe you one! Now if you’re thinking of hot-footing it over to the AF1 forum to send Andy a PM – don’t. This was a one-off kindness and he won’t be making any more, so please don’t ask.

A trundle up to Silverstone

Force_IndiaWhile over in the UK I popped over to Sahara Force India Formula 1 team at Silverstone to meet up with Andy (Beasthonda) from the AF1 forum. We’ve been exchanging emails on and off for months now and this was a great chance to put a face to the name.

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid ECU Oscilloscope TuneECUI took along my netbook and OBD cable and remapped his Capo while Andy hooked a patch-box and oscilloscope into the instrument panel wiring loom so we could accurately measure a particular signal from the ECU. It was certainly a whirlwind exercise – all done with one eye on the storm clouds brewing overhead! Everything went smoothly and afterwards Andy gave me a guided tour of the team headquarters, it was fantastic. So I’d like to thank Andy once again for his kindness, hopefully we’ll meet again when I’m next over on the Capo. Cheers!

UPDATE: See the foot (bottom right) of the picture above? A fine example of a foot I think you’ll agree …. but it’s not mine and it’s not Andy’s. It belongs to Rob Ashworth who tried desperately to get out of the shot but didn’t quite make it. Rob in fact supplied the oscilloscope and twiddled the knobs in a flurry of practised professionalism. As they say, better late than never ……. Rob, thank you for your assistance and it was a pleasure chatting to you.