Originally Posted by Michael Plummer
No disrespect to you, so please don't be offended. Your knowledge is far superior to mine, and I do enjoy reading your posts. You have helped countless, and I do mean countless number of people who can't seem to get their cars to start, idle correctly, or even drive properly on this Engine Management forum. But yet you still recommend others to buy a system that has a huge learning curve.....why? Price should not be the deciding factor when buying parts, especially when you can't even enjoy driving your car.
No offense at all and I'd argue that you honor me too much!
The simple answer is that I don't actually think the learning curve is huge.
Now let me qualify that statement a bit. The way I see it, there are 2 parts to a successful implementation.
Part 1 is the use-case. If your use-case will be to use the factory ignition and RPM system (TFI) and and batch/bank fire fuel injection, the configuration for the ECU to work is really very simple. I think the challenge is often finding the relevant and accurate information of what exactly to do for this use-case, and this is attributed as a huge learning curve. There are different Megasquirt hardware options, but they aren't as "right and wrong" as it may seem. I definitely suggest certain hardware over others but any of them will actually work, and work well enough that at the end of the day the driver almost certainly couldn't tell the difference.
As your use-case expands the learning curve will grow. Sequential fuel injection, COP ignition, traction control, boost control, launch control, and more. Lots to learn there, but you don't need any of that. The OP in this thread certainly doesn't need any of that. His factory harness, an adapter harness or PNP, a pre-assembled ECU configured for a mustang already (available as a PNP or as a pre-assembled "full board" Megasquirt), and he's all done with Part 1.
Part 2 is tuning. At this point everything works, tuning is getting those things to work in harmony with the engine and the other tune-able parameters. In my opinion, the learning curve here is the same as any other standalone. You just can't tune an engine perfectly with any system if you don't understand how engines operate, what the purpose of the different tune-able parameters are, and how the difference parameters influence and dance with each other. This part does have a massive learning curve, I'm just on the surface and probably always will be.
Originally Posted by Michael Plummer
Granted, there is a place for a low cost EMS but in my opinion it's really designed for people who have an above average understanding on Engine Management Systems. Some of the biggest turn-offs I see with these systems is the constant software updates to correct problems. The very confusing lineup of systems and versions. Go to this web page for this update, go to this web page for this service pack, etc. Software updates should be about new features and not service packs to fix existing problems. Man, I could go on and on but I'll end it here. My rant is over, and I welcome your comments, and no offense will be taken.
You're right. The biggest turnoff to Megasquirt is difficulty in finding the information that you need to know for what you want to do, and a support base that just can't compare to the "big boys" with their big price-tags.
The firmware update process could be more streamlined. You're not getting the firmware for the ECU and the software for your laptop in the same place. There's nothing to ping you that new firmware is available unless you find and subscribe to a forum thread.
To your point, there's a whole separate learning curve for the operation and maintenance of the system. So it's not going to be for everybody but in today's world, I still don't think it's that bad. We use computers and have smartphones with apps for this and that. I don't see it as any worse or unwieldy. To update your firmware, there's an app for that. To tune your ECU, there's an app for that.
Anyhow. I probably seem like a fan-boy though I try not to be. I think MS is a fine choice for some people and if I think it will work for someone my intention is only to point it out as an option and to help them find the info they need out of the forest of info they don't. If it seems I'm trying to cram it down people's throats I apologize.