Archive for October, 2010

smartycam intructions re calculated gear position

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

This was written by someone for whom English is not their first language. That’s fair enough as they are an Italian company but if you are going to leave people unsupported it isn’t going to work. Ive found enough people who have failed with this calculated gear thing that there is clearly some sort of problem.

Heres their document —————— my comments in brackets

If the vehicle ECU does not provide the information concerning the engaged gear follow this procedure to compute it. For the procedure to be successful carefully follow these instructions. {I wish I could}

The procedure is to be set via software and starts automatically at ECU Bridge first start up(start up being power up of the bridge?, startup of the engine? or restart after uploading configuration?}: this is why software configuration is to be made before vehicle power on{no power on means no power to bridge which means no software configuration uploaded to it}. Gear calibration is to be correctly performed once.Afterwards it is no more necessary. {I wish}

Gear channel calibration is made through rpm and speed channels. These channels are to be both correctly working and configured{both display on smartycam so are working fine}. In case of protocols with more speed channels configured the system will use the reference speed. AIM suggests to use as reference speed the one of a driving wheel. The computation works also in case of a non driving wheel or a GPS speed but in this case more attention is required to the wheels that should not slip or block during the learning lap.

1 6 3.2.2 – Activating the procedure

Gear computation is to be set via software with Race Studio 2. With reference to the image here below:

• run software;

• press “AIM system manager” on the left vertical keyboard (1); • select SMC Bridge (2);

• create a new configuration or select an existing one; • activate “System Configuration” (3) layer;

• enable Calculated gear function and fill in the number of available gears on the vehicle (4);

• set the reference speed: select GPS speed in case OBDII protocol is being used, as highlighted in the note (5). {done all this and the system warns me i am overwriting the previously set gear setup so that implies all is good}

Once the configuration transmitted to ECU Bridge the system is ready for the learning lap that samples speed and RPM signals needed to perform the gear computation.


1 9 3.2.3 – Learning lap During the learning lap follow carefully these instructions:

• start driving ensuring that the street is clear;

• engage all gears in sequence;

• keep each gear engaged for at least 5/6 seconds;

• drive in a “smooth” way avoiding sudden accelerations, slips or wheel blocks in braking; RPM should increase gradually; {does this imply that you have to increase revs, do you have to go to a certain number of revs, by the time I get to sixth in the Exige I cant go more than a couple of thousand rpm and certainly no-where near my 8500 limit}

• engage all gears and switch of the vehicle or ECU Bridge once the last gear reached{now theres a challenge, fire it through all six gears andafter 6 seconds in 6th turn it off? on some recent tests ive been pulling the power connection to the ECU after i use 6th but it hasnt helped}; if this is not possible shift the gears each 5/6 seconds engaging the clutch for the minimum time.{what on earth does that actually mean? I’m in 6th at 180km/hr and then I do what?}

{then what ? do you turn it off, keep going or what?}

1 7 3.2.4 – Erasing gear calibration

To clear gear calibration use Race Studio 2 software. The procedure is the same performed to set calculated gears but in spite of “Calculated” highlighted by “4” in the previous image, set “None” and transmit the configuration to ECU Bridge.

To re-compute the engaged gear select again Calculated option and transmit the configuration: ECU Bridge is again ready for a new calibration. {done this dozens of times and gives warnings that suggests it really is overwriting}

{So all is good except if you look at my video you will see that the it goes through all the gears by the time it reaches 15km/hr in first!!! thats odd in itself as you would imagine that if it has got the wrong ratio of speed ot RPM it would be just in the wrong calculated gear all the time it was in first but no it aries while it is in one gear}

Smartycam aggravation

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Spent yet more time on the Smartycam today. Got the throttle graphic working by following their instructions but am seriously failing and wasting lots of time trying to get the calculated gear position to work. I can’t get any support as I got dudded in Singapore where I bought it by the dealer there who for some reason referred me onto someone else who is not an authorised dealer. The Australian distributor wont even approve my membership of the support forum here even though it was his sub dealer in Singapore who I tried to buy from and they redirected me. It’s really pretty poor and one of the great failings of the Smartycam and of AIM themselves.

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130i needs new tyres

Sunday, October 10th, 2010

Great news. We get rid of the ghastly runflats. And it wore out the rear first like a real car ought to. They only lasted 11000 km but hey if we wanted economy we would have a 120.

Sunday Lotus gathering

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

Took the Exige on the run. Having been driving the Esprit so much recently it made the contrast much more obvious. The Esprit is a capable loper that eats road surprisingly quickly. The Exige is an angry terrier that makes a huge fuss and talks to you all the time. It is fearsomely quick but never easy.

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Working on the Elan +2

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010

Got my dads Lotus Elan Plus2 out for the rear of his workshop and cleaned it up. He wants to sell it so we got some pictures and have them all on a page here. It’s a really nice little car and amazingly original, it was parked in 1989 and was a tired runner. It needs bodywork and paint and some TLC but comes with a new chassis, full set of new bushes and lots of spares so its got a good prospect of being a nice car  again. See here for more pictures and details.