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Some MS Qs (MS3Basic, MSPnP Pro, MS2E)

 
Old 10-19-2018, 10:47 AM
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Default Some MS Qs (MS3Basic, MSPnP Pro, MS2E)

Hey guys,

I picked up my MSM a few weeks ago, and as those before me, am unimpressed by the OE ECU and driving characteristics.
I've read the summary threads, searched/read various 'MegaSquirt MSM' threads, and still have some questions, moreso as I've seen a few misc MS models coming up for sale used.
Apologies for the number of questions, but have been adding to them as I've been trying do do the research.

Goal for the car is primarily a DD, retaining OE injectors for the foreseeable future, swapping OE and MS yearly for OBD2 inspections. May do some auto-X and HPDE events in the future (along with cooling and other reliability mods to support), but I'm not seeing the car or engine going much over 200WHP in the next several years if ever. Idle needs to be solid and both AC and PS will be kept.

So, I've seen a few MS2 Enhanced models coming up for sale, and while I know the community recommendation is 'buy the MS3,' I'm unclear what this gets me, for my purposes.
I saw some reference to the MS2E having OBD2/CAN output built-in (yes, I know, this isn't for inspections but for ease of additional data collection), while I think all MS3 variants need the added cost CAN module to do the same? Am I wrong on this?
The MS3 CPU certainly isn't 'overly fast' at 50MHz, but it's possible it's 'fast enough' - don't know.

Also noting the MS3 has been out some 5+ years, so seems likely it's about due to see an MS4? Have also seen references to an MS3 'Enhanced' but haven't seen one in existence, so - am all confused there. (e.g. https://www.mslabs.gr/mslc.html )

I've heard, but don't know if it's true, digital wideband input is preferred to analog - am guessing for noise reasons, but will any/all of the MS2E/MS3 Basic/MSPnP Pro do digital wideband input, and if not - how much am I losing there, if anything (for my purpose)?
Will all 3 work with PLX gauges including their wideband? (i.e. https://www.plxdevices.com/ProductDe...e=897346002719 )
Knock sensor support - IIRC, all NBs have OE knock sensors - are they sufficient? Any differences across 2E/3B/PnP Pro?

Use of a GM IAT sensor seems to be all over the place, some saying just use the OE unit, or to use the GM. Can someone enlighten me to the real story here? If the GM is faster responding or more accurate, does it output the same signal for when I need to swap the OE ECU back in? Is it worth NOT plumbing it into the same OE location and moving it downstream towards the IC or elsewhere for any reason?

Finally - timing wheels. Have added/used previously w/TEC, but seems like few add them for the MS. I'm assuming it's not needed, but may be worth a few HP/smoother running with a higher resolution wheel?

Last edited by rtp; 10-19-2018 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:02 AM
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You want a MS2e or MS3 basic made specifically for MSM, not just any NB2.

MS2E has the digital can built in, so you can hook up a compatible digital wideband via digital input, for 100% accurate signal.
You WANT digital wbo2 input. or you will be fighting to get the actual gauge and megasquirt to show the same values.
For me, i had a typical issue of my actual gauge reporting like 10.5 afr and megasquirt seeing 11.2 afr. so i was running pig rich, but megasquirt thought all is peachy.
i fixed it buy getting a digital can module for my ms3 basic.

I had a ms2e on my turbo 99 nb1, and now have a ms3 basic on my nb2. and honestly both run the car well.

timing wheel stays stock.

GM open element IAT sensor responds much faster, and its best to locate it just after the intercooler for most accurate readings. and to avoid sensor heat soak. which leads to overly lean engine restarts, after the engine sits for a bit while hot, and heat soaks the sensor. put some quick disconnect connectors on the wires, and you can go back to stock sensor for inspections easily.
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:08 AM
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I hate it when people make it sound like non-digital wb inputs are basically hopeless when thousands of us have been using it for decades with no issues.

With that out of the way: sounds like you should be ok with either option, but to go ms2 anything at this point in time, to me, is silly. It's like getting a 90's brick motorola "cell phone" in 2018. it aint 1998 anymore
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:18 AM
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Also, you can get a digital wideband signal working for MS3 without a special module. The 1.5 firmware supports direct connection to the AEM X-Series wideband over CAN, as long as you are not also trying to use a CAN dash.
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by borka View Post
You want a MS2e or MS3 basic made specifically for MSM, not just any NB2. noted

MS2E has the digital can built in, so you can hook up a compatible digital wideband via digital input, for 100% accurate signal.
You WANT digital wbo2 input. or you will be fighting to get the actual gauge and megasquirt to show the same values.
For me, i had a typical issue of my actual gauge reporting like 10.5 afr and megasquirt seeing 11.2 afr. so i was running pig rich, but megasquirt thought all is peachy.
i fixed it buy getting a digital can module for my ms3 basic.

I had a ms2e on my turbo 99 nb1, and now have a ms3 basic on my nb2. and honestly both run the car well.
timing wheel stays stock.

GM open element IAT sensor responds much faster, and its best to locate it just after the intercooler for most accurate readings. and to avoid sensor heat soak. which leads to overly lean engine restarts, after the engine sits for a bit while hot, and heat soaks the sensor. put some quick disconnect connectors on the wires, and you can go back to stock sensor for inspections easily.
Thanks, good info. Suspected what you mention on relocating the GM IAT but good to get confirmation.
A used MS2E is v5.4, which I'm not clear on per Rev's thread if that includes both digital wideband input and OBD2 output w/out the CAN module?
If using an analog wideband input, I am assuming you can adjust the WB voltage-> AFR readings to make the two match, or is that a black hold of frustration/just do digital?

Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
I hate it when people make it sound like non-digital wb inputs are basically hopeless when thousands of us have been using it for decades with no issues.

With that out of the way: sounds like you should be ok with either option, but to go ms2 anything at this point in time, to me, is silly. It's like getting a 90's brick motorola "cell phone" in 2018. it aint 1998 anymore
Understood. As it is, I'm thinking it's already past time for an 'MS4' but haven't seen anything, or even the listed MS3 Enhanced or Ultimate in Rev's chart being spoken about.
I can find a used MSM2E for 500-ish, a used or new MS3 Basic or PnP Pro for 1000-1100 (+ CAN module), so just sorting if I 'strongly need' to go with one of the MS3 options (and still if so, which - I 'think' the MS Basic has a daughterboard for the MS3 CPU and possibly some IO, while the PnP Pro is one somewhat 'cleaner' board, but functionally the same..).

Is there a quantifiable improvement in idle quality, AC or alternator operations, or finally HP or drivability for a non-track-dedicated MSM between the 2E and 3 models?

PS - I see Brain and maybe Borka have offered build services, but am I wrong in thinking that only Rev or diyautotune are doing PnP MS3 models?
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Old 10-19-2018, 12:18 PM
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Lol. I do not build megasquirts. Far from it. I'm just a basic user.

I've owned rev built ms2e and now ms3 basic. And happy with how both work.

dont overthink this, just pick one. Both will work fine.

analog wbo2 offset can be adjusted. Sometimes It's a pain though.
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Old 10-19-2018, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by rtp View Post
MS3 Basic or PnP Pro for 1000-1100 (+ CAN module)
PnP Pro + AEM X-series = no CAN module needed
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Old 10-19-2018, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by rtp View Post
...The MS3 CPU certainly isn't 'overly fast' at 50MHz, but it's possible it's 'fast enough' - don't know....

...Also noting the MS3 has been out some 5+ years, so seems likely it's about due to see an MS4? Have also seen references to an MS3 'Enhanced' but haven't seen one in existence, so - am all confused there....
As someone that works in the IT industry... It sounds like you're trying to apply PC logic to an MS I've learned that these don't always overlap
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Old 10-19-2018, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by borka View Post
Lol. I do not build megasquirts. Far from it. I'm just a basic user.
Oops, sorry - still confusing some of the usernames and see you in a bunch of the MS threads I've been reading.
Yes on probably overthinking - just trying to do it once.

Originally Posted by afm View Post
PnP Pro + AEM X-series = no CAN module needed
K, but I don't want an AEM as I have plans for gauges and have a 2 DIN radio that will be limiting gauge space. Plan is to go with PLX Devices wideband + add in additional sensors over time. Any issues there (for any of the 3 ECUs)?

Originally Posted by cpierr03 View Post
As someone that works in the IT industry... It sounds like you're trying to apply PC logic to an MS I've learned that these don't always overlap
Eh, I also work on embedded devices nowadays, although no longer as a developer..speeds are relative, but it's always tough to 'guess' at 'ideal speeds' for different applications. CPUs were upgraded between MS2 and MS3 - possibly due to being cheaper for the 'faster' ECU over time, or because the speed was desirable. I don't know which, so thus the question.

It seems like the M2E v5.4 board, it doesn't have wideband input or OBD-2 output, so I'd need to add the CAN/OBD2 module to any of the 3 ECUs, then?

Also, have seen Westfields alternator control - is this still needed, and for any of the 3 ECUs, or has battery overcharging become a non-issue now? He mentioned issues specifically on the MSPnP Pro AFAICT: https://westfieldmx5.wordpress.com
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Old 10-19-2018, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by rtp View Post
K, but I don't want an AEM as I have plans for gauges and have a 2 DIN radio that will be limiting gauge space. Plan is to go with PLX Devices wideband + add in additional sensors over time. Any issues there (for any of the 3 ECUs)?
I thought you wanted digital wideband input? As far as I know, PLX is not supported for digital in.

Most people on here use gaugeless widebands and just look at the AFR on the tuning laptop / logs, since every vendor (not just PLX) offers them like that. AEM offers an inline X-series controller packaged like that.
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Old 10-19-2018, 05:53 PM
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Or you can have zero gauges and monitor everything from an Android stereo connected to the megasquirt and running MSDroid.

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Old 10-19-2018, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by afm View Post
I thought you wanted digital wideband input? As far as I know, PLX is not supported for digital in.

Most people on here use gaugeless widebands and just look at the AFR on the tuning laptop / logs, since every vendor (not just PLX) offers them like that. AEM offers an inline X-series controller packaged like that.
Well, ****.
I am seeing a digital output for the PLX, but not seeing it's calibration info offhand. Note that while it talks about outputting to a DM-6 or DM-100, there is a splitter they sell - would this not work?
"It includes two analog outputs (wideband 0-5V, and narrowband 0-1V) for interfacing with 3rd party devices and one digital serial output for interfacing with the DM-6 gauge and other Multi Gauges. "

Or worst case, I guess I could do the wideband direct to MS, and use the CAN add-on to a DM-6/PLX multi-gauge?

Limited gauge space... kind of sucks, thus PLX. I want AFR, boost/vac, oil/water temps, etc.
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Old 10-19-2018, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by borka View Post
Or you can have zero gauges and monitor everything from an Android stereo connected to the megasquirt and running MSDroid.
Thought about something like this and haven't quite discarded it yet, but while I love Linux, IOS > Android and it's ingrained in my family, so the head unit is already purchased and on-hand for wireless CarPlay (Pioneer AVH-W4400NEX).
It does have video/AUX inputs so I suppose maybe that's a path to consider, just don't want to 'need' a tablet or other device on hand to get basic gauge readings.

Was going to create a separate thread on (multi)gauges, as I'm just starting to try to sort this, but good info nonetheless and yet more to consider/sort out.
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Old 10-19-2018, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by borka View Post
You want a MS2e or MS3 basic made specifically for MSM, not just any NB2.
Can't speak to the MS2E, but the MS3 Basic for the NB2 and MSM is the same unit. There is an internal jumper to select which IAT sensor is used. That's the only difference.
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Old 10-19-2018, 09:31 PM
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I don't have time or energy right now to get into all the differences and all your questions. Ms4 has been under devolopment aince at least 2015. But dont sit around waiting for it.

What i can say is that if you buy an MS2 ill ban you. The MS3 is better in every way. You have AC and you want good idle, so that means a MS3.
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Old 10-20-2018, 02:45 AM
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Originally Posted by rtp View Post
Well, ****.
I am seeing a digital output for the PLX, but not seeing it's calibration info offhand. Note that while it talks about outputting to a DM-6 or DM-100, there is a splitter they sell - would this not work?
"It includes two analog outputs (wideband 0-5V, and narrowband 0-1V) for interfacing with 3rd party devices and one digital serial output for interfacing with the DM-6 gauge and other Multi Gauges. "

Or worst case, I guess I could do the wideband direct to MS, and use the CAN add-on to a DM-6/PLX multi-gauge?

Limited gauge space... kind of sucks, thus PLX. I want AFR, boost/vac, oil/water temps, etc.
I think you are getting a bit tangled up in CANbus... The MS3 you are going to buy (hint, hint) has a CANBus connection. You don't need anything extra.

The 'module' that you are talking about plugs into the Wideband end, not the MS end. It's purpose is to take a dumb wideband controller, which doesn't support CANbus, and connect it up to the CAN data bus. Another device plugged into the same CAN network can then read the data off it, such as megasquirt. If you have a modern/clever wideband module, like one of the AEM ones mentioned earlier you don't need that module as they can plug into CAN natively.

If you have other CAN devices, they can daisy chain onto the network and share data between the ECU / displays too - eg a gauge that reads off all the data that the MS has access to, such as boost, coolant temp. MS could also read data off the gauge sensors - so it could pull oil pressure, oil temp into itself.

Advantage of the CAN wideband connection is that it's entirely digital - as long as your wideband module is connected up properly MS will always get an accurate reading. With an analogue connection, if you haven't followed the instructions properly connecting up the sensors and grounds, and set up the offsets if you need you can get a variation due to ground noise. This can be controlled / minimised though.

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Old 10-20-2018, 03:45 AM
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Originally Posted by rtp View Post
I 'think' the MS Basic has a daughterboard for the MS3 CPU and possibly some IO, while the PnP Pro is one somewhat 'cleaner' board, but functionally the same..).
This is false, both the Basic MS3 and the Pnp Pro use a mainboard and a daughterboard. Also, the Basic MS3 has more I/O than the PnP Pro.

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The “into to megasquirt thread” mentions that the MS3 basic has 5 inputs with built in pull up resistors - and I was just wondering why it would have so many, while the MS3Pro PnP has just 2 (with no pull ups?)
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Old 10-20-2018, 10:18 AM
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Hydra's quit developing, Link is just now coming out with some new PNP units, AEM has never been a large market, and all buy one of us are too cheap for Motec. I don't blame Rev or DIY for not coming out with the MS3e or MS4 respectively yet, doesn't seem like there's enough competition to do so.

DIY is still developing, they've got the MS3, MS3X, MSpro, and MSpropro, and I think they have an MS3propropro now too, but I think they're called ultimate and evo. So development is certainly continuing, however the Miata only has the MS2 and MSpro.

As for which one of the current units to get, here's my background; I've tuned about a dozen MS2pnps, a dozen MS3 basics, a handful of MSpros, and I think 2 MS2es.

Obviously the MS2 isn't an option for you, and although a very capable unit, I really felt like the MS2e had a few too many similarities to it rather than feeling more like an MS3.

MSpnppros had great features, speed, and tunability, however I have had a MUCH better base map to start with on the MS3 basics, and I absolutely love the 12v power supply, ground, and input for the wideband. Makes initial setup that much easier.
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Old 10-20-2018, 01:16 PM
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I have MS3 pro PNP, and I love it.

echoing what others said, go straight for MS3. Your idle and drivability will be much better.
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Old 10-20-2018, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by shuiend View Post
I don't have time or energy right now to get into all the differences and all your questions. Ms4 has been under devolopment aince at least 2015. But dont sit around waiting for it.

What i can say is that if you buy an MS2 ill ban you. The MS3 is better in every way. You have AC and you want good idle, so that means a MS3.
Both LOL and (closest I could get to 'no, please don't do that!' on the bolded part.
The latter part (AC and want good idle - is sort of what I was looking for, as in is there a qualitative difference with the MS2E and MS3 variants for idle and general drivability. Thanks - yours is the first response I've seen saying there is.
The only reason the MS2E is in the mix is one's popped up used, which would let me go to replacement ECU sooner than going MS3 Basic or MSPnP Pro.

Originally Posted by jonboy View Post
I think you are getting a bit tangled up in CANbus... The MS3 you are going to buy (hint, hint) has a CANBus connection. You don't need anything extra.
The 'module' that you are talking about plugs into the Wideband end, not the MS end. It's purpose is to take a dumb wideband controller, which doesn't support CANbus, and connect it up to the CAN data bus. Another device plugged into the same CAN network can then read the data off it, such as megasquirt. If you have a modern/clever wideband module, like one of the AEM ones mentioned earlier you don't need that module as they can plug into CAN natively.
If you have other CAN devices, they can daisy chain onto the network and share data between the ECU / displays too - eg a gauge that reads off all the data that the MS has access to, such as boost, coolant temp. MS could also read data off the gauge sensors - so it could pull oil pressure, oil temp into itself.
Advantage of the CAN wideband connection is that it's entirely digital - as long as your wideband module is connected up properly MS will always get an accurate reading. With an analogue connection, if you haven't followed the instructions properly connecting up the sensors and grounds, and set up the offsets if you need you can get a variation due to ground noise. This can be controlled / minimised though.
Thanks, I think I need to go do some more homework on this part. I understand on grounding/analog issues leading to differences between MS and gauge reading, so digital is preferred.
What I'm trying to sort out is what I need in order to run multiple PLX (or other similar - haven't found many) gauges pulling both aftermarket and existing sensor data. I know I can display at least most of this in a tuner studio dashboard, but I'm not going to be generally driving around with a laptop, so was planning on replacing the water temp and oil pressure gauges with a pair of DM6 gauges if possible, if not - find somewhere else to get them to fit.

Originally Posted by Reverant View Post
This is false, both the Basic MS3 and the Pnp Pro use a mainboard and a daughterboard. Also, the Basic MS3 has more I/O than the PnP Pro.
Thanks. There's an MS3 Basic for sale used which I'm considering as well - apparently, new/never used, but ~2 years old. Is there a changelog thread on any revisions since then? (Will go check again - found the MS2E thread but not sure I recall seeing an MS3 Basic revision thread).

Originally Posted by curly View Post
Hydra's quit developing, Link is just now coming out with some new PNP units, AEM has never been a large market, and all buy one of us are too cheap for Motec. I don't blame Rev or DIY for not coming out with the MS3e or MS4 respectively yet, doesn't seem like there's enough competition to do so.
DIY is still developing, they've got the MS3, MS3X, MSpro, and MSpropro, and I think they have an MS3propropro now too, but I think they're called ultimate and evo. So development is certainly continuing, however the Miata only has the MS2 and MSpro.
As for which one of the current units to get, here's my background; I've tuned about a dozen MS2pnps, a dozen MS3 basics, a handful of MSpros, and I think 2 MS2es.
Obviously the MS2 isn't an option for you, and although a very capable unit, I really felt like the MS2e had a few too many similarities to it rather than feeling more like an MS3.
MSpnppros had great features, speed, and tunability, however I have had a MUCH better base map to start with on the MS3 basics, and I absolutely love the 12v power supply, ground, and input for the wideband. Makes initial setup that much easier.
LMAO on the propro and propropro nomenclature, but appropriate.
Shuiend (sp?) seemed to mention worse idle with the MS2E - if that's the case, I'm going to pass there. Had also seen some reports of problems with alternator control and some batteries being overcharged - is that resolved in firmware for both 2E and 3 variants now?
On the plus side, I do have a base tune to compare to from someone with what will be a similar modified MSM with OE injectors, so will at least have some comparison to look through if/when I hit tuning rough spots.
Only other contender in the price range seems to be the MaxxECU, which winds up about the same cost (includes the software, includes wideband, etc.) and looks nice on paper but inevitably some things I don't foresee caring about, at least for this car (DBW as an example), and doesn't have the community knowledge of the MS.
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