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Old 11-13-2006, 06:49 PM   #1
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Default Why go MS?

Why go MS? What does it offer over EMU? As far as I can tell thru web-based information, both systems are close in price and functionality. I know at least one of you guys has gone from EMU to MS. Pros/Cons?

I see plenty of statements like "MS is the best ECU outside of Link" all the time, but never anything factual to back it up. Yes, I understand the HUGE price point difference between MS and Link, Hydra, Tec, Xede, et all.

My inquiry is soley motivated by curiosity. Please, try to sell me.
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Old 11-13-2006, 07:18 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben View Post
Why go MS? What does it offer over EMU? As far as I can tell thru web-based information, both systems are close in price and functionality. I know at least one of you guys has gone from EMU to MS. Pros/Cons?

I see plenty of statements like "MS is the best ECU outside of Link" all the time, but never anything factual to back it up. Yes, I understand the HUGE price point difference between MS and Link, Hydra, Tec, Xede, et all.

My inquiry is soley motivated by curiosity. Please, try to sell me.
to learn......
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Old 11-13-2006, 07:22 PM   #3
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It's cheaper than the EMU and it is a true standalone. I don't know how else to put it.

PS, MS is just as good or better than a link, IMO.
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Old 11-13-2006, 07:25 PM   #4
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even if not to learn, a full ecu stand alone that can do everything for under $500 is pretty sweet.

and if not EMS you're stuck in a rut like me; I can't safely control my fuel past 10psi. The rx7 AFM causes you to go super rich (10:1) after 5.5K and stays stoich prior. It makes it difficult to tune, you either have to choose a solid 12:1 prior to 5.5k and deal with rich top end or vise versa. This means that running larger 30% larger injector on the stock ecu isn't practical.

I "could" technically tweak my AFM with resistors and tune out the rich top end, however, it would be 100% easier to control my fuel with a laptop:
put in and pull fuel wherever
run larger injectors
ditch the HP pump
Ditch the FMU
Ditch the Bipes

the cost of a pre-built MS is pennies compared to an FMU, Bipes, and FP.
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Old 11-13-2006, 07:25 PM   #5
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I thought people still run them piggy back because they don't handle certain things like idle IIRC.

None the less, I still don't see it. What would make a MS standalone better than an EMU piggyback? What extra capability or feature does it offer?
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Old 11-13-2006, 07:35 PM   #6
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Lose the AFM, big improvement in plumbing. Dunno if Miatas hit fuel cut when too much air flows through the AFM, but that's a consideration if so.

A WB is $175. MS is $150. Maybe another $25 in incidentals, and you're at $350 for full programmable EMS and Wideband.

With full EMS, you don't have to deal with the limitations of the OEM setup... you also don't get the benefits like sequential injection.

When I first started looking into turboing a Miata, I thought, ooh, let's do a RRFPR ($100?) and some sort of boost retard ($100-150). That's more than MS, and you'll always be futzing with limitations. And as Scott says above, you might be able to bandaid (FMU/Bipes) your way to acceptable timing or AFRs in boost, but then you've got oddball behaviour in vacuum.

//edit - running OEM ECU for idle, A/C, fuel pump, Tach, etc. - that's running parallel, not piggyback. Piggyback is modifying OEM ECU output en route to the device (injector or coil). MS generates its own signals entirely.
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Old 11-13-2006, 08:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle242gt View Post
//edit - running OEM ECU for idle, A/C, fuel pump, Tach, etc. - that's running parallel, not piggyback. Piggyback is modifying OEM ECU output en route to the device (injector or coil). MS generates its own signals entirely.
Thats just what I was going to say .

Also don't forget that for about $9 in parts for the MS and a fast acting valve you can mod the MS to also be a boost controller. The valves can be had for around $30. I bought the solenoid offered from DO with my WI kit and according to the manufacturers website it's response rate is 20ms. I'll know soon if it infact up to the job of regulating boost. That right there is another great savings the MS is, even the boost controller in the GB is $200. I personally did the switch because I wanted to build my own, and I also liked the functionality of the MegaTune over the Support tool after messing with both. Plus MegaLogViewer IMHO is one of the best datalog viewing/tuning tools these eyes have ever seen.
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Old 11-13-2006, 09:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben View Post
None the less, I still don't see it. What would make a MS standalone better than an EMU piggyback? What extra capability or feature does it offer?
What EMU are you comparing the MS to? The MS is MILES beyond anything that is piggyback (ie SAFC, BIPES, etc)

For $500 can your "EMU"-

Tune a completely customizable 12x12 Fuel Map?
Tune a completely customizable 12x12 Spark Map?
Handle boost control duties?
Use a knock sensor to retard timing?
Datalog RPM, 02, CLT, IAT, Spark Advance, Duty Cycle among other things?
Control a Nitrous, Water or Propane injection system?
Provide a signal for a shift light?
Stutter box launch?
No lift to shift capabilities?
Infinitely varible Rev limit settings?

Hell if I asked it to, it would probably shine my shoes too!

Also, when the software gets upgraded, you dont have to spend a dime. There are tons of people writting software because its a hobby.
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Old 11-13-2006, 09:19 PM   #9
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This makes me want to get on the bandwagon already and scrap the Voodoo box my car came with. You have me hella excited now.
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Old 11-13-2006, 10:01 PM   #10
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do it. Its a totatal pain in the *** at first ... well not really because i brought most of it on myself. There are pretuned maps available and if you do your wiring right from the getgo, you will be able to boot one of them up and drive off. Oh yea with some injectors you will be able to push your 7psi setup to 12 and even beyond if you dare.

The functionality of it is quite amazing, also amazing is the learning curve.
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Old 11-13-2006, 10:14 PM   #11
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Emanage Ultimate can do more than you think. I have purchased a TEC-3, so I will be grtting rid of the Emanage, but it is a wonderful unit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecugrad View Post
What EMU are you comparing the MS to? The MS is MILES beyond anything that is piggyback (ie SAFC, BIPES, etc)

For $500 can your "EMU"-

Tune a completely customizable 12x12 Fuel Map? yes, but 16x16
Tune a completely customizable 12x12 Spark Map? yes, but 16x16
Handle boost control duties? yes
Use a knock sensor to retard timing? In the works and may be in the last firmware release
Datalog RPM, 02, CLT, IAT, Spark Advance, Duty Cycle among other things? yes
Control a Nitrous, Water or Propane injection system? yes
Provide a signal for a shift light? I'm sure there is a way, but I have not looked into it
Stutter box launch? yes, w/ launch control
No lift to shift capabilities? yes
Infinitely varible Rev limit settings? yes

Hell if I asked it to, it would probably shine my shoes too!

Also, when the software gets upgraded, you dont have to spend a dime. There are tons of people writting software because its a hobby.
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Old 11-14-2006, 03:43 AM   #12
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If you look at MSnS-extra, you get all the features of the Haltech E6X except sequential injection. If you look at the Haltech E6X, you get most of the features of MSnS-extra except knock retard! Not only is MegaSquirt a hell of a lot cheaper, I'm sure the former problem will be resolved first, too!

I know I'd choose knock retard over sequential injection...
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Old 11-14-2006, 04:45 AM   #13
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That is a $1300 ecu + $125 for map sensor and connector? +1 megasquirt. Where haltech will be greater than megasquirt is in their product support and ease of use. However I could be completely wrong because ive never used haltech.

... this is a MS vs EMU debate, lets keep it civil. In my experience, MS is very cool and I have some trouble tuning it, but its still fun because im using it on my project car. EMU might be a safer bet if you need your car to get you to work every day, but there is a workaround to this problem called a "boomslang harness" and apparantly it is only $30. It would allow you to swap your stock ecu to MS and back in only a few seconds. If you used your ms as a standalone (which i recommend) you will not need to cut any wires on your stock harness and could plug in the stock ecu in a rut! Honestly, i had trouble finding the right harness online and went ahead and cut the harness, but i wish i used the boomslang as it would have allowed me to use stock ecu whenever I wanted.
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Old 11-14-2006, 08:48 AM   #14
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The boomslang ecu extension harness is gonna cost you a little more than that. $30 is just for one of the connectors. If you wanted both the female and male ecu connectors it would probable run you about $60. If you wanted it premade with wires and heatshrinked then it will no doubt run you around $100. The connectors though are very much worth the price. Thats what I'm using, completely headache free. I also have an extra forsale in the forsale forum.
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Old 11-14-2006, 10:00 AM   #15
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EMU=E-Manage Ultimate. I'm not asking why a programmable ecu is better than a bipes. Nor am I asking why I'd go MS over a fuel pump and rrfpr.

I am trying to decide which route to take:
1> Plug And Play E-Manage Ultimate $500
2> Plug And Play MegaSquirt $450
3> Add standalone data logger to current pressure system $225

The car is decently quick now, though not spectacularly, at 7psi. First gear is still usable but the rear will step out at the top of second. It is not dyno tuned and I think I have 15 rwhp I can pick up, if not more. With my msd ign, ic, begi fmu, wablro, and 266 cc injectors, I know I can safely run 10psi + if I wanted. But now I have a hard-on for data logging, which will cost roughly 50% of a MS or EMU, so I figure I may as well go for it and gain the benefits of a flow based system over my pressure based.

Who's running 440 cc/min injectors or larger? How is idle quality? My car idles completely smooth right now.

I'm also getting 26 mpg city, and 30-32 highway, so economy is a (minor) consideration.

I appreciate your answers.

Ben
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecugrad View Post
What EMU are you comparing the MS to? The MS is MILES beyond anything that is piggyback (ie SAFC, BIPES, etc)

For $500 can your "EMU"-

Tune a completely customizable 12x12 Fuel Map?
Tune a completely customizable 12x12 Spark Map?
Handle boost control duties?
Use a knock sensor to retard timing?
Datalog RPM, 02, CLT, IAT, Spark Advance, Duty Cycle among other things?
Control a Nitrous, Water or Propane injection system?
Provide a signal for a shift light?
Stutter box launch?
No lift to shift capabilities?
Infinitely varible Rev limit settings?

Hell if I asked it to, it would probably shine my shoes too!

Also, when the software gets upgraded, you dont have to spend a dime. There are tons of people writting software because its a hobby.
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Old 11-14-2006, 10:37 AM   #16
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I personally only spent about $300 total on my MS setup. I think the fact that you can build it on your own, and that it will take you a solid day at the most to get it up and running make its the best decision(Took me 2 days in the middle of the week during classes). Between kingofl337's and aussiedriver's build logs you can get spark and fuel running in no time. Then just use one of the premade .msq files on the settings thread. Of course if you don't feel comfortable assembling it then I could see why you would rate it at $450 to get someone else to make it work for you. But its honestly not that hard. If you don't know how to solder you can just go to Radioshack and get a cheap breadboard and start soldering some wires. You'll be condifent enough after like 30 mintues.

About the idle though, I will be installing my 550's next week with the rest of my turbo install. I'll let you know then, however Al Honous (sp?) would be able to answer that right now. I don't see there being any problem though. The map sensor and fuel maps can go down to 20inHg vacuum which is idle. With the EMU you will have to also buy the greddy map sensor (another $100) in order to tune idle properly. I'm not sure if you included that in your price chart.
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Old 11-14-2006, 11:54 AM   #17
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Yeah, 450s are fine. It's not really an issue with a standalone. Another difference between MS and EMU is simply that the MS is an ongoing open-source project. People are thinking up all kinds of wild ideas for add-ons and writing new code for it all the time. It's all free, and you can talk to the creators.

Download megatune for MS and see what you think. Compare it to the EMU program if you can.
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Old 11-14-2006, 12:50 PM   #18
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Thank you. Good answers. I think that initially people were a little defensive because they thought I was critisizing their decisions, but that is absolutely not the case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by neogenesis2004 View Post
I personally only spent about $300 total on my MS setup. I think the fact that you can build it on your own, and that it will take you a solid day at the most to get it up and running make its the best decision(Took me 2 days in the middle of the week during classes). Between kingofl337's and aussiedriver's build logs you can get spark and fuel running in no time. Then just use one of the premade .msq files on the settings thread. Of course if you don't feel comfortable assembling it then I could see why you would rate it at $450 to get someone else to make it work for you. But its honestly not that hard. If you don't know how to solder you can just go to Radioshack and get a cheap breadboard and start soldering some wires. You'll be condifent enough after like 30 mintues.

About the idle though, I will be installing my 550's next week with the rest of my turbo install. I'll let you know then, however Al Honous (sp?) would be able to answer that right now. I don't see there being any problem though. The map sensor and fuel maps can go down to 20inHg vacuum which is idle. With the EMU you will have to also buy the greddy map sensor (another $100) in order to tune idle properly. I'm not sure if you included that in your price chart.
Partly, I wanted to rule out cost in determining which was the better unit for me, but I can get a complete pnp emu for $500. Also, I can't dedicate more than 20-30 minutes a day, so the build will take me weeks. I had my knee and leg repaired recently so I would like to spend as little time as possible in the passenger footwell.

I am perfectly capable of doing my own assembly and soldering. I solder db-x serial cables for rs232 communication all the time (I'm in the home automation business). I learned how to build from schematics in high school and got plenty of experience through college, so I don't need that type of learning experience. It would simply be quicker and easier for me to have someone build and trouble shoot it. And then just plug the thing in. Hopefully without hurting my knee.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Hounos View Post
Yeah, 450s are fine. It's not really an issue with a standalone. Another difference between MS and EMU is simply that the MS is an ongoing open-source project. People are thinking up all kinds of wild ideas for add-ons and writing new code for it all the time. It's all free, and you can talk to the creators.

Download megatune for MS and see what you think. Compare it to the EMU program if you can.
I'll do that. Thanks for helping.
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