Automotive technology continues to advance at a pace that is faster than ever seen before in our industry. As tuning continues to further its complexity, the tools used for that tuning must also evolve to suit the needs of the end user. This is especially true when it comes to dyno tuning.
While many of us traditionally think of dyno tuning as making a few pulls and adjustments to obtain a higher horsepower and torque number, that’s only a small part of both the dyno’s usefulness to the tuner, and of what it is used for. We caught up with Dynocom’s Allison Blackstein and Chirs Moberg to discuss the latest from this innovator in dynamometer technology.
More Powerful, Easier To Use, Software
Traditionally dyno operators and tuners have used at least two computers to run their tuning operations. There’s the dyno computer, connected to the dyno itself, and the tuning computer, typically a laptop that is inside the car with the operator. There’s also often a control mechanism for the dyno as well. Dyncom’s latest version of its Quantum software has eliminated much of that.
The new unified logging capability of the Quantum software allows tuners and dyno operators to use just one laptop for everything. “Typically a tuner has managed one laptop for running a dyno and one for tuning the ECU. We’ve combined that so that a single laptop can be used to both control the dyno and to tune the ECU,” Moberg says.
This is made possible through Dynocom’s integration of third party tuning software capability, as well as its new virtual dyno controller. The virtual dyno controller is part of the quantum software that replicates the function and operation of the Dynocom handheld dyno controller, but does so via a laptop and Wi-Fi connection. The virtual controller appears on the dyno computer screen, and it looks and operates just as the physical controller would. “The virtual controller is operated by clicking a mouse, or using a touchscreen (on a touchscreen enabled device) to control dyno operation,” Moberg says.
In addition to the third party integration there’s also the Quantum software’s new unified logging capability. This allows dyno operators and tuners to compare data in one place. “Traditionally tuners have one set of information that is coming from the dyno on one computer, and other information coming from the ECU on the tuning computer. The new Quantum software allows users to view the data from the ECU alongside the dyno data. This gives a more complete picture and makes comparing data easier,” Moberg says. Say for example you’re tuning a car, and you want to monitor the changes you’re making along with the air/fuel ratio that the dyno is reading, or the power the car is making, or something else that needs to be compared between what the dyno shows occurring, and what the ECU is commanding. This will allow all of that to happen in one screen, making data analysis easier.
Traditionally tuners have one set of information that is coming from the dyno on one computer, and other information coming from the ECU on the tuning computer. The new Quantum software allows users to view the data from the ECU alongside the dyno data. This gives a more complete picture and makes comparing data easier. -Chris Moberg, Dynocom
The latest version of Quantum can also playback this data in a number of ways. Data can be displayed as gauges, linear, graphs, and other methods. It’s simply a matter of the end user specifying how they want to display the data.
Another interesting and useful feature are some of the testing profiles that come preloaded in the quantum software. Not every tuner, vehicle, or scenario is the same. As such, Dynocom has included multiple, easy to access and adjust, dyno operation profiles. An example of this that Moberg demonstrated is the diesel lug test. “Diesel engines tend to operate in a very narrow RPM window when compared to gasoline engines. One critical test for diesel tuning is a lug test. We’ve built in a predetermined profile that will conduct this test allowing a more accurate depiction of the diesel’s output and a better overall test.”
Ever wondered just how your tuning changes were going to play out on the track? Dynocom’s new Quantum software can do that as well. There’s a virtual drag race simulation that Moberg says is modeled after a gaming visualization. This simulation allows two tunes, or vehicles to be compared on the dyno. “We map the sets of dyno results onto the drag strip, and the way they performed on the dyno is played out on the virtual drag strip,” Moberg explained.
There’s also now a virtual drag racing function in the dynamo software. If you’ve wondered what your car might do up against a similar one that’s been on the same dyno, or maybe even how your car might perform now as compared to before this dyno session the two can be compared. Moberg says the dyno data is mapped onto a virtual drag strip and then run using a gaming style visualization.
In many tuning scenarios the final verdict and adjustments come after a road test. “The dyno does not represent all the forces that act on a car when its on the road. There’s no aerodynamic drag, no road friction, often the dyno testing is not taking into account the mass of the car. Virtual road simulation takes a very detailed engineering approach to dyno testing. The mass of the vehicle, the frontal area of the car, drag coefficient, rolling resistance of the tires. Many of these are a function of speed or speed squared. The computer calculates this and applies load to the eddy-brake to simulate this. The virtual road simulation allows the final tune in to be done on the dyno rather than doing a road test,” Moberg explained.
There’s more to the new Quantum software from Dynocom than we can even list in one article. Things like the new ribbon style interface, and a more dynamic, visual user experience that should make navigating the software easier than ever before. There are also considerations like the unified naming function for using third party software, allowing quick and easy display of third party ECU data in a logical manner. These are just a few of the various new features built into the latest version of Quantum.
Improved Air/Fuel System
Dynocom was also showing off its newly updated air/fuel system. According to Allison Blackstein, the system now switches on and defaults to Lambda, but can easily be changed to display air/fuel ratio with the flip of a switch. Additionally, the new Dynocom AFR system is compatible with gasoline or methanol fuel.
Other features include:
Two analog output ranges: the second range is wider at 0.55 to1.24 Lambda
Will work with NTK (supplied) 6mA, 4mA, and Bosch LSU4.2, and LSU4.9 sensors