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Old 05-20-2016, 07:13 PM   #1
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Default Hydra Users. Are you happy with your Hydra?

i have an '03 with a Voodoo II. I've been wrestling with which ECU to use to replace the piggyback setup. I'm leaning towards the Hydra because I'm comfortable with Flyin' Miata. So, Hydra owners...how satisfied are you with your ECU? If $ weren't the issue do you think that it's better than the good Megasquirts? I've been hearing good things about Reverant's builds.

I don't mind learning some tuning, but I'd prefer that the car be driveable out of the box. Is it reasonable to expect this if I do a careful install and stay with all the FM recommended parts? If you were doing it again would go Hydra? Or Megasquirt ? Or something else.

Help me me get off the fence and take the next step!

Thanks,

Paul
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Old 05-20-2016, 07:34 PM   #2
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No matter what it will need fuel table tooning.
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Old 05-20-2016, 07:41 PM   #3
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When I installed my MS3 Basic, I waited about a week before hooking up the DB37 connector. All I did was plug it in, hook up the vacuum line, and go. It was a little rough, but I drove the car for a week like that on pure basemaps with no O2 sensor feedback. It cold-started, idled, didn't die at stoplights, and revved smoothly through the entire rev range.

I do not recommend that you actually do that, ever, but it's a great example of just how good a good Megasquirt product can be. I genuinely believe that the MS3 Basic from Reverant/MSLabs gives up nothing to the Hydra, and I think it does a few things better (electronic boost control, specifically).

I have tuned on Hydra 2.5 and 2.7, as well as a variety of MS units.
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Old 05-20-2016, 08:34 PM   #4
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Speaking as a Hydra owner, if I had to do this all over again - I'd lean HEAVILY towards the MS solution as opposed to the Hydra. With as many users of MS as there are here, you have an endless amount of tuning support. As well as locally. With Hydra, you are land locked to extremely few tuners out there that can reliably assist you unless you become an ace yourself. The manual is such a depressing set of pages in it's thoroughness that I've stopped referring to it and rely more on what I learn by trying things or by reading online or by borrowing tunes to compare and look at. The cost difference between the two solutions is quite evident when you price out the total solution package.

With that said - if you were to purchase the Hydra from FM - the base maps will work from Day 1.
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Old 05-20-2016, 10:06 PM   #5
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Paging codrus, who has owned both.
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Old 05-20-2016, 10:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savington View Post
When I installed my MS3 Basic, I waited about a week before hooking up the DB37 connector. All I did was plug it in, hook up the vacuum line, and go. It was a little rough, but I drove the car for a week like that on pure basemaps with no O2 sensor feedback. It cold-started, idled, didn't die at stoplights, and revved smoothly through the entire rev range.

I do not recommend that you actually do that, ever, but it's a great example of just how good a good Megasquirt product can be. I genuinely believe that the MS3 Basic from Reverant/MSLabs gives up nothing to the Hydra, and I think it does a few things better (electronic boost control, specifically).

I have tuned on Hydra 2.5 and 2.7, as well as a variety of MS units.
That is consistent with what I've been hearing lately. I'm not looking forward to the learning curve, but either way, I'll need to figure out some of it. Thanks for your input. The piggyback has worked well, but the time is coming to take the leap.

Paul
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Old 05-20-2016, 11:41 PM   #7
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I switched from voodoo to hydra this winter. After pricing everything out- mspnp, knock control ms, air temp sensor, etc- i think it came out to around $1300. Then i looked at hydra...for $700 more, i got a basemap that was literally dead on, and unlimited jeremy support. Maybe not for others, but for me, that is worth $700
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Old 05-21-2016, 03:38 AM   #8
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I owned both, but the Hydra I owned was 2.5. 2.5 which is significantly more primitive than the MS3 I have now. I'm told 2.7 is much improved in this regard, but I have not used it.

I bought my Hydra 10 years ago, and at the time the megasquirt solutions weren't even close. The Hydra was plug-and-play long before the megasquirt was and it supported low impedance, peak-and-hold injectors which meant you could use big injectors without it idling like crap. Obviously both are PnP now, and the newer EV14 injectors have mostly eliminated the need for peak-and-hold drivers.

There are two advantages to the Hydra that I'm currently aware of. The first and most obvious is that you get support from Jeremy @ FM, and you can call him up any time (well, any time that it's business hours in Grand Junction) and he'll spend a bunch of time with you on the phone, answering your questions and walking you through how to use it. Jeremy has also written a very nice manual explaining step-by-step what you have to do to get it working on your Miata. The other advantage is that it's got a built-in wideband controller, which means it's more compact and has less wiring and other crap under the dash compared to the MS3+LC2+CAN-bus adapter that you need to get equivalent speed and reliability in your wideband signal.

Against that, the MS3 is less expensive, although not as much as it initially seems. Adding up the MS3, LC-2, CAN bus adapter, and air temp sensor prices on the TSE web site I get $1500, vs $1875 for FM's Hydra kit. The MS2 and MS3 solutions embraced by miataturbo.net have traditionally been "community support" in the form of posts to the forum. The same information is available but nobody spoon-feeds it to you, instead you need to do some work and research on your own initiative to search the forum, find threads, and read and understand them. I say "traditionally", because TSE's offering of the MS3 is relatively new, and I don't know what level of phone support Andrew is providing with them, you'd have to ask him.

EBC on my MS3 works quite well, whereas EBC on my Hydra was completely useless -- so much so that I bought a GReddy Profec B spec 2 standalone boost controller to use instead. I don't have a direct A/B comparison though, partly because I was running down-rev on 2.5, and partly because I switched turbo setups around the same time. I've only used the MS3 EBC with an EWG turbo, which is substantially easier to control.

One thing I found frustrating about the Hydra was that the software was not updated frequently, when it was it the updates tended to focus on new features that I didn't need rather than bug fixes, and they weren't free. Upgrading the MS3 is much simpler and bug fixes are more common. I think some of this has changed with Hydra 2.7, but I have no direct experience with it so I can't say. FM's web site says that upgrades are now DIY rather than involving shipping the ECU around.

Other advantages to the MS3 -- it's got a built-in USB port, so you don't have to screw around with an external USB-to-serial adapter. The management software (TunerStudio) is a Java app, so it'll run on Windows, Mac, and Linux, vs just Windows for the Hydra. The biggest advantage to me is that the source code is available for the MS3. It's not open source (which is a pity), so I can't redistribute any changes I might make, but being able to read the source makes it possible to figure out how something works on it even when there is no documentation available. I will note though that the code is in a mixture of poorly-structured C and two different flavors of assembler, so it's not easy going. A lot more of the internal details of the MS3 are available, which makes it more hackable.

I think there are good reasons for buying either. The Hydra might be better suited to a user with less tuning experience who doesn't want to learn to tune it, is likely to "set it and forget it" and is willing to spend a bit more money rather than time. The MS3 is more of a power-user solution, it's not necessarily more capable than the Hydra is, but those advanced capabilities are more accessible.

I haven't used an MS2 directly, but my impressions of it are that it it's missing some features relative to either Hydra 2.7 or the MS3, while being available at a substantially lower cost.

--Ian

Last edited by codrus; 05-21-2016 at 03:51 AM.
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Old 10-29-2016, 01:13 AM   #9
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I've been on a Hydra 2.6, now 2.7. I've fucked around with FM's base maps and have had a generally OK time with the ECU. There are known bugs (random misfires for no ******* reason), hardware concerns (super special snowflake WBO2, diode fix), and lots and LOTS of money involved with getting one worth a damn. The company doesn't seem to exist anymore, and nobody tunes them. I've seen a few for sale over the last several years, and they're STILL for sale.

If I had to do it all over again, I would never even think about approaching a Hydra ECU.

I've heard similar shitshows with megasquirts, but those things are so goddamn prevalent that you can walk four blocks and find an expert who has fixed your specific problem before.
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Old 10-29-2016, 01:49 AM   #10
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Anyone that is looking to do their own tuning or upgrading their setup, or deviating from the cookie cutter FM setup, shouldn't even be thinking of Hydra.

Also - when Jeremy stop supporting Hydra, and he will, because their new thing is the even more terrible new "exclusive" EMwhatever it is, you will be screwed. Completely screwed. And hydra cares even less about you just like they told all the previous version owners to either upgrade to their newest version for a bunch of money, or pound sand.

I mean, this is laughable.
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Old 10-29-2016, 07:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
Anyone that is looking to do their own tuning or upgrading their setup, or deviating from the cookie cutter FM setup, shouldn't even be thinking of Hydra.

Also - when Jeremy stop supporting Hydra, and he will, because their new thing is the even more terrible new "exclusive" EMwhatever it is, you will be screwed. Completely screwed. And hydra cares even less about you just like they told all the previous version owners to either upgrade to their newest version for a bunch of money, or pound sand.

I mean, this is laughable.
Thanks for the reply 18 psi. I wound up buying the Hydra about 6 weeks ago. I hope that it serves me well. The FM "cookie cutter" setup seems to be fine for me. I just wanted the car to run well, not do anything groundbreaking. I agree that the future seems to be Megasquirt but when I tried to get in touch with Reverent, I never even got a response to my PM so I had concerns about what kind of support I would get there.

Paul.
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Old 10-29-2016, 11:18 AM   #12
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I've had awesome experience working with DIY Autotune. From what I hear, brainiack's support is great as well. It's hard to beat a mega squirt. You won't be locked into any specific sensors or even tuning software.
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Old 10-29-2016, 04:14 PM   #13
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Reverant is much more responsive to e-mails. Try him that way.
That me221 ecu and software is awful.
The list of bugs on this thing is endless. Latest beta got my friend's AC to STOP WORKING.
Want to know why he's on beta right? Because his huge spal won't stop spinning otherwise lol such fail.
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Old 10-30-2016, 05:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmhellings View Post
I agree that the future seems to be Megasquirt but when I tried to get in touch with Reverent, I never even got a response to my PM so I had concerns about what kind of support I would get there.

Paul.
Are you sure you PMed me? I can't find a single trace from a PM from you (searched with the forum name "pmhellings" and all I got is a reply in the Enhanced MS3 topic).
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Old 10-30-2016, 08:33 AM   #15
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Hi Reverant,
Actually, you are correct, I think that I couldn't PM you because your box was full. It was disappointing since you had been so well recommended by a friend. I was on the fence for such a long time Hudra vs. Megasquirt. I knew that I would need my hand held a little bit on the whole ECU deal and it was comforting to know FM could be easily contacted by phone or e-mail with support. Out of two friends who had installed ECU's before me, one chose Hydra and the other chose your Megasquirt. Both had equally satisfying experiences although the Megasquirt guy had to put together everything else that he needed himself. The Hydra guy just wrote a check and everything was in one box. There's an appeal to that for some of us (older) folks who care more about the simplicity of the process than the size of the check.

I certainly meant no disrespect and I'm sure that I'd be very happy had I bought your product. I do recommend you when discussing upgrades with other Miata enthusiasts.

Paul
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Old 10-31-2016, 10:53 AM   #16
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Tec3
Hydra
Adaptronic
MS3

I liked the MS3 so much more, but then I regularly chatted with one of the devs and helped make it better than when I got it.
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