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Programmable ECU - Dr. Digifant
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ARMc
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 2:06 pm    Post subject: Programmable ECU - Dr. Digifant Reply with quote

Has anyone heard of or had any experience with Dr. Digifant's products? He offers a programable digifant ECU that utilizes a modified throttle. It does away with the click closed, click full throttle design and employs a potentiometer to provide a signal for his modified control unit. He seems to indicate that his ECU makes the input from the AFM (LMM) superfluous. He also has a "freely programable" blue tooth version. Rumor has it that it will fire injectors individually instead of batch, but that isn't confirmed on his web site. Its great to see continued interest in developing waterboxer tech. Anyone know if this is this what Marco is using? Flame me if this is old news and I missed the post Laughing

https://doctor-digifant.com/

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 2:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Programmable ECU - Dr. Digifant Reply with quote

Interesting, never seen this before. I would question whether it can fire injectors at all since it is merely inserted between the TB and the ECU. It wouldn't know what injector to fire without a crank sensor.

Apparently he's taking control algorithms from Motronic systems configured without a MAF, using a MAP sensor instead, to estimate mass airflow. Using the throttle plate angle, RPM, inlet air temp, and fixed engine displacement, instead of manifold pressure, TP angle, and RPM, value to calculate mass airflow, instead of direct MAF measurement. Should work as long as the temp sensor in the AFM isn't hinky from age.

If he has the fuel maps well designed and the algorithms tuned, it would be a fairly elegant solution compared with gutting the whole thing for a GW setup for e.g. I'd jump right on it and be the guinea pig, but alas, I have no WBX Laughing
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 3:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Programmable ECU - Dr. Digifant Reply with quote

khughes wrote:


Apparently he's taking control algorithms from Motronic systems configured without a MAF, using a MAP sensor instead, to estimate mass airflow. Using the throttle plate angle, RPM, inlet air temp, and fixed engine displacement, instead of manifold pressure, TP angle, and RPM, value to calculate mass airflow, instead of direct MAF measurement. Should work as long as the temp sensor in the AFM isn't hinky from age.


yeah that should work fine, as you said. its not alpha-n anyway so it should be relatively forgiving

as you said - im sure its not firing anything sequentially without additional position sensors
i guess it is possible it fires the injectors in batches but with individual (or paired up?) drivers... not sure how thatd be a benefit huge benefit but whatever works!

if it comes with a canned tune, its worth a shot!
curious to see what the interface looks like, i suspect this is some form of modified MS though (there are a handful of pretty popular MS modified variants floating around)
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 4:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Programmable ECU - Dr. Digifant Reply with quote

khughes wrote:
Interesting, never seen this before. I would question whether it can fire injectors at all since it is merely inserted between the TB and the ECU. It wouldn't know what injector to fire without a crank sensor.


done thru the distributor

https://www.efihardware.com/products/2622/Sequential-Distributor-To-Suit-Your-Engine

and honestly, you'd really want a cam sensor for precise injection control. a crank sensor is basically there for rpm and ignition timing.

batch fire works well to cool cylinders but you get cleaner emissions an a bit better idle with sequential
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 5:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Programmable ECU - Dr. Digifant Reply with quote

I didn't see much text on the website, but noticed a few things from the pictures. It looks like he's using a board from no-limits-motorsport.de which I deduce he has customized and programmed to control the WBX.

The integrated pressure sensor is notable, and may account for the comment about not needing an AFM, as others have suggested.

From the looks of the transistors, he may indeed have individual fuel injector control. But the programming would determine if they fire individually or not. While the Digijet (1.9l WBX) has individual Fuel Injection wires between the injectors and the the ECU (11,12,23,24), the Digifant (2.1l WBX) injectors share one (pin 12). In other words, using this with an existing Digifant system, you'd need a few more wires to individualize the fuel injectors if you want to go that way.

To my eye, some of the components appear a little under-rated for longterm use (though the pics may be of a prototype). The DB25 connector might not be able to handle the full current/amps and get worse in time. The spacing on the driver transistors is awfully close, which could lead to overheating on long/hot drives if the case is not actively cooled. But whatever, if this works it's an impressive start and he can improve upon it as needed.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 5:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Programmable ECU - Dr. Digifant Reply with quote

Too much computer goobly gook for my weary brain!

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 7:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Programmable ECU - Dr. Digifant Reply with quote

khughes wrote:
ARMc wrote:

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....using a MAP sensor instead, to estimate mass airflow.


So that metal nipple is where the vacuum hose to MAP interfaces?

Neil.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 7:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Programmable ECU - Dr. Digifant Reply with quote

RawUmber wrote:
The DB25 connector might not be able to handle the full current/amps and get worse in time.


For what it's worth different flavors of DB connectors have been on thousands of MS setups without issue. Surprising for a computer component, but, it works...

Vanagon Nut wrote:

So that metal nipple is where the vacuum hose to MAP interfaces?


Yup, there's probably a short run of internal hose inside between that case nipple and the sensor itself

khughes wrote:

Apparently he's taking control algorithms from Motronic systems configured without a MAF, using a MAP sensor instead, to estimate mass airflow. Using the throttle plate angle, RPM, inlet air temp, and fixed engine displacement, instead of manifold pressure, TP angle, and RPM, value to calculate mass airflow, instead of direct MAF measurement. Should work as long as the temp sensor in the AFM isn't hinky from age.


For what it's worth for a speed-density setup you don't need throttle angle. Engine speed, pressure and temperature, with a known displacement is enough.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 8:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Programmable ECU - Dr. Digifant Reply with quote

valvecovergasket wrote:

Vanagon Nut wrote:

So that metal nipple is where the vacuum hose to MAP interfaces?


Yup, there's probably a short run of internal hose inside between that case nipple and the sensor itself


Thanks. Like it does on the 5 cylinder Eurovan ECU, if I recall.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 8:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Programmable ECU - Dr. Digifant Reply with quote

Vanagon Nut wrote:
So that metal nipple is where the vacuum hose to MAP interfaces?

Neil.


No, I don't think so. I don't think it has a MAP sensor. Just saying that the "type" of algorithm that some Motronics use, with a MAP along with other sensors to calculate mass airflow, could also be done with a similar calculational approach. You can use RPM, displacement, Throttle position, and temp to do the same kind of calc. Just not as accurate as a direct measurement, but it works.

This box can get the air temp directly, the TP directly, and the RPM from the ECU (Hall sensor pulses) and displacement to do a similar calculation. Different way to skin the cat.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 9:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Programmable ECU - Dr. Digifant Reply with quote

Very cool. Eliminating those tb switches and the afm would pretty much take care of any driveability issues I've had over the years. I'd love to see this in action.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 12:43 am    Post subject: Re: Programmable ECU - Dr. Digifant Reply with quote

I'd like to see a kit that also gets rid of the distributor. With nearly twenty years of WBX ownership, I've gone through two Hall senders, one coil and had several bouts of TPS issues.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 8:36 am    Post subject: Re: Programmable ECU - Dr. Digifant Reply with quote

Is there a price on this thing that I'm not seeing?

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2020 6:30 am    Post subject: Re: Programmable ECU - Dr. Digifant Reply with quote

This will be awesome. Having done the same swap on my e30 (megasquirt, using MAP) I know the throttle response, power, and delivery are all massively improved.

I, too, would like to see a price. I'm assuming somewhere around $1000-$1200. The dollar isn't doing too hot right through, so maybe quite a bit more.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2020 9:12 am    Post subject: Re: Programmable ECU - Dr. Digifant Reply with quote

Zeitgeist 13 wrote:
I'd like to see a kit that also gets rid of the distributor. With nearly twenty years of WBX ownership, I've gone through two Hall senders, one coil and had several bouts of TPS issues.


This would be GoWesty's EFI setup...
(Uses the previous distributer location for a position sensor.)

https://www.gowesty.com/product/electrical/23981/g...nt-kit-?v=
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2020 9:31 am    Post subject: Re: Programmable ECU - Dr. Digifant Reply with quote

SyncroHead wrote:
Zeitgeist 13 wrote:
I'd like to see a kit that also gets rid of the distributor. With nearly twenty years of WBX ownership, I've gone through two Hall senders, one coil and had several bouts of TPS issues.


This would be GoWesty's EFI setup...


just skimming the long thread here on that system it seems like it could be a much more powerful add on if it allowed folks to further tune it themselves.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2020 7:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Programmable ECU - Dr. Digifant Reply with quote

A few days ago I emailed Dr. Digifant to alert him to him of this discussion, to see if he might chime in and answer our questions. I figured he'd might also see it as an opportunity to build interest around his product. Maybe if more of us poked and prodded him he would give us some answers.
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