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Old 12-21-2011, 01:34 AM   #1
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Question Which MegeSquirt is right for my build?

*I did a lot of searching and found a lot of good info, but nothing really answered the questions I have. One problem is I'm not seeing a whole lot of info on MS3 so I thought I'd make a thread to answer all the questions I have, and compile some information that I imagine other MS noobs might want to know, and attempt to make something worthy of being a sticky.*

I'm wanting to build and install either this MS2 or this MS3 for my '97, and I'm trying to decide which one I should go for. My goals are to turbocharge the car at a later date, after I get MS figured out and then boost the car to a modest, and then moderate level, I'm not trying to have "all the boost" here. Features like "launch control" interests me and I would want to take advantage of stuff like that.

What does MS3 have that MS2 does not?

Do the benefits of the MS3 out way the added cost?

Can I upgrade from the MS2 to MS3 at a later date?

Whats the difference between the MS3 and MS3x?

How is support for the MS3? Am I going to have trouble finding answers for the questions I have?

Which one is easier to assemble? Can an intelligent person with a rudimentary knowledge of soldering and electronics assemble these kits?

What besides the kits do I need to assemble and then use my MS2 or MS3?

Are there any big changes or additions coming to MS2 or MS3 that would make it worthwhile to wait a bit before purchasing my MS?

Are there any reasons that I should or should not get a MS2 or MS3 that I haven't asked about yet?

These are both "standalone" units, correct?

Thanks for the info.

*If your looking for info on MS1 click here.

Last edited by gearhead_318; 12-21-2011 at 01:52 AM.
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Old 12-21-2011, 01:52 AM   #2
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Most of this is highly subjective (eg: the MS3 is "better") or marginally relevant (eg: the MS3 can control 8 injectors and 8 coils and will also massage your prostate while you drive) however there's one thing that I can answer directly and unambiguously which may help:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearhead_318 View Post
Whats the difference between the MS3 and MS3x?
The MS3 is a CPU. More specifically, it's a daughterboard containing a CPU and some support electronics which, like the MS2, is designed to plug into a "main" Megasquirt board.

The MS3X is an expansion board which may be used in conjunction with a complete Megasquirt system that uses an MS3 CPU. Essentially, the MS3X contains injector drivers, ignition drivers, some general purpose I/O circuits, a cam input circuit, etc.

You can build a Megasquirt system using the MS3 CPU without the MS3X, in which case wiring, configuration and mods will be done on the main board (to accept the cam input, drive the coils, drive the idle valve, etc) as they would be with a Megasquirt system built using an MS1 or MS2 CPU. This is because the main board, having been designed in the stone ages when engines used distributors and throttle-body injection, is laid out to accomodate only two injector drivers, one trigger input, no logic-level ignition outputs, no PWM idle driver, etc.

However, if you choose to add the MS3X expansion board to a Megasquirt system built with the MS3 CPU, then you do not have to do any of the usual hacks and modifications on the main board to handle all of this, because all these circuits and more are provided for you on the MS3X. When an MS3 is combined with an MS3X, in fact, the main Megasquirt board becomes almost completely useless apart from the fact that it contains the power supply and the MAP sensor.

(This is also why designing the MS3 to be footprint-compatible with the MS1 was an inexcusably stupid and wasteful decision for which the designers should be punished by being forced to replace the intermediate shaft bearing in every single Porsche M96 engine ever made, with the engine still in the car, while listening to French polka music and having boiling mayonnaise poured over their genitals.)
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Old 12-21-2011, 04:52 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
(This is also why designing the MS3 to be footprint-compatible with the MS1 was an inexcusably stupid and wasteful decision for which the designers should be punished by being forced to replace the intermediate shaft bearing in every single Porsche M96 engine ever made, with the engine still in the car, while listening to French polka music and having boiling mayonnaise poured over their genitals.)

QFT, having to buy a V3/3.57 mainboard to hook up to a MS3 is a shocking waste of money.

Also FWIW you can use the MS3x with a MS2 CPU. There's a board available to make it PnP too.
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:12 AM   #4
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:waiting for shueind to post how awesome the ms3x is:


but please notice my sig


Joe I thought about desiging a new mainboard for the MS3 cpu, you really just need the 5v circuit, and a few inputs like the air and clt temp. actually I think that's it.

The honestly should have made it standalone, like the microsquirt if you will. But whatever the case, it made it easy for me to upgrade. I still use plently of functions on the mainboard, since I was on msII, all I did at first was drop the ms3 cpu in and drove off, then swapped injectors and coils to the ms3x once that came out. I'll soon input my VSS into it.
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:13 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
:waiting for shueind to post how awesome the ms3x is:
It is BONERIFIC!!! I am about to go to work. I will post more about its awesomeness when I get there.
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:34 AM   #6
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I'd go with MS3 + MS3X because the build is so much more easy. No need for a sequential board, no need for new input circuits, no need for ebc circuit, fan output circuit, vics output circuit, PWM idle board etc etc. All that is on the MS3X card. Well worth the bit of extra money to get a lot more functions (like sequential spark and VSS).
I know a lot of you guys don't feel this way, but I don't feel it's worth it anymore to build an MS2, especially on a NB (I know you have a NA).
If you count the costs of all the extra circuits on a MS2 build, you're not too far of a MS3 + MS3X


Edit: compare the complexity of my MS2 build to my MS3 build. Can't add hyperlinks here (surfing through an anonymous proxy has weird results sometimes), just look at my westfield site.

Last edited by WestfieldMX5; 12-21-2011 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:35 AM   #7
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where does one buy the V3.57 board?
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:37 AM   #8
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where else?
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearhead_318 View Post
*I did a lot of searching and found a lot of good info, but nothing really answered the questions I have. One problem is I'm not seeing a whole lot of info on MS3 so I thought I'd make a thread to answer all the questions I have, and compile some information that I imagine other MS noobs might want to know, and attempt to make something worthy of being a sticky.*

I'm wanting to build and install either this MS2 or this MS3 for my '97, and I'm trying to decide which one I should go for. My goals are to turbocharge the car at a later date, after I get MS figured out and then boost the car to a modest, and then moderate level, I'm not trying to have "all the boost" here. Features like "launch control" interests me and I would want to take advantage of stuff like that.

What does MS3 have that MS2 does not?
A lot of features, best way to find out is to download tunerstudio and create a new project with MS2 firmware 3.1.0 and then view a new project with MS3 firmware to see the differences.

Quote:
Do the benefits of the MS3 out way the added cost?
Probably

Quote:
Can I upgrade from the MS2 to MS3 at a later date?
Depends on the board type you get, get a PCB v3 board with MS2 yes you can.

Quote:
Whats the difference between the MS3 and MS3x?
Ones a cpu the other is like a breakout board with bunch of easy to connect pins.

Quote:
How is support for the MS3? Am I going to have trouble finding answers for the questions I have?
Depends on the questions.

Quote:
Which one is easier to assemble? Can an intelligent person with a rudimentary knowledge of soldering and electronics assemble these kits?
You should be good to go with either.

Quote:
What besides the kits do I need to assemble and then use my MS2 or MS3?
Wiring harness adapters.

Quote:
Are there any big changes or additions coming to MS2 or MS3 that would make it worthwhile to wait a bit before purchasing my MS?
Not sure

Quote:
Are there any reasons that I should or should not get a MS2 or MS3 that I haven't asked about yet?
If it were me I would save my cash for a different system. Few I have in mind is Vi-PEC v44, MoTeC M4\M400, Autronic SM4.

Quote:
These are both "standalone" units, correct?
yes

Quote:
Thanks for the info.

*If your looking for info on MS1 click here.
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:41 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by f_devocht View Post
I'd go with MS3 + MS3X because the build is so much more easy.
I agree with this. The easiest build for me to date was a v3.0 board with MS3+MS3x.
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:52 AM   #11
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where else?
oh man, I gotta buy it from you?

jk, we will talk on G(angster) chat.
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:54 AM   #12
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no, diyautotune silly. for an MS3, I personally wouldn't spring for the v3.57, it's a waste.

Honestly, I'd buy a blank v3.0 board, heatsink, a map sensor, and then order all the required parts to populate the board (like $20 in parts) from digi-key.
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:15 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearhead_318 View Post
What does MS3 have that MS2 does not?
Technically it has a much better processor and a ton of extra outputs that are usable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearhead_318 View Post
Do the benefits of the MS3 out way the added cost?
Yes if you go with the expander board to. It makes it so the amount of circuits you need to build is greatly reduced, and if there is a feature you want to add in later generally it is just adding a wire.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearhead_318 View Post
Can I upgrade from the MS2 to MS3 at a later date?
Yes you can. All that is required is is pulling out the ms2 processor board and plugging in the ms3 processor board.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearhead_318 View Post
Whats the difference between the MS3 and MS3x?
MS3 is simply the newer and upgraded processor. The MS3x is the expander board that has all the additional circuits that control all the cool features.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearhead_318 View Post
How is support for the MS3? Am I going to have trouble finding answers for the questions I have?
Support is pretty good if you get on the ms3efi forum. In all honestly James and Ken, the 2 developers, are more or less exclusively working on MS3. They are occasionally back porting some things to MS2, but it is not much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearhead_318 View Post
Which one is easier to assemble? Can an intelligent person with a rudimentary knowledge of soldering and electronics assemble these kits?
To me building the MS3x is easier to build. You do not have to build any of the spark, fan, AC, tach, ebc, VSS, or other circuits that would normally get built on the main board for MS2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearhead_318 View Post
What besides the kits do I need to assemble and then use my MS2 or MS3?
I would suggest getting a DIYBOB, MS3x harness, and standard MS harness. It costs a bit more to buy the DIYBOB and premade harnesses, but makes actually wiring it all easier and cleaner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearhead_318 View Post
Are there any big changes or additions coming to MS2 or MS3 that would make it worthwhile to wait a bit before purchasing my MS?
As far as I know there are no hardware changes coming to MS3 or expander board. All coming features are software based and adding them will just be updating your firmware. So waiting is not needed, except to save up for an MS3x.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearhead_318 View Post
Are there any reasons that I should or should not get a MS2 or MS3 that I haven't asked about yet?
You should get an MS3 and the expander board, the end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearhead_318 View Post
These are both "standalone" units, correct?
You can make both standalone, or parallel. That all comes down to how you wire it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearhead_318 View Post
Thanks for the info.
You are welcome.
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Old 12-21-2011, 03:27 PM   #14
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Thanks everybody for the information. I'm considering either going for a MS2, figuring out how to use it before bootcamp, sell it (break even/make profit since I'll be building the kit and selling it assembled ) and then go for the MS3x. I looked at upgrading from MS2 to MS3x but that would cost $200 for the and MegaSquirt-III daughterboard kit, and $90 MegaSquirt-III MS3X Expansion Card, and at that point it's pretty much the same cost as a MS3 kit.
Or, I'll just man up and get the MS3 and MS3X expansion card like a baus, that's what I'm going to try to do, but this will be a Christmas present so I don't want to ask for too much, know what I'm sayen'?
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Old 12-21-2011, 04:10 PM   #15
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dont forget the $40 case...
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Old 12-21-2011, 04:18 PM   #16
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There's no reason to go MSII before MSIII.

there's no learning curve, if anything it's eaiser; it's just more expensive up front.

If you wanna go ms2 with no plans on upgrading to ms3 in the future, I'd suggest the DIYPNP.
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Old 12-21-2011, 04:37 PM   #17
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My opinion is ms3 simply because the firmware appears to be in its infancy as far as abilities are concerned. Paired with TS, I see a whole new set of autotune possibilities. I had the diypnp. While it is perfectly capable, the firmware had hit a wall due to maxing out the available flash memory.

I think ms3 will eventually allow you to autotune a lot of the areas that are troublesome to tune
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Old 12-21-2011, 04:48 PM   #18
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plus the developers are working exclusively on ms3 improvements/enhancements.
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Old 12-21-2011, 04:54 PM   #19
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Old 12-21-2011, 06:21 PM   #20
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No need to buy a case (included in the unassembled kit) or DB9 cable (there's a usb port on the expander card). If you want to get fancy, put the oem connector inside the case. That way you don't need the DB37 either.

Last edited by WestfieldMX5; 12-21-2011 at 06:32 PM.
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