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Technical Bulletin: ECU Program and Logging Downloads--All ST & TT rev 8-26-22


Greg G.
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Posted (edited)

Technical Bulletin 8-23-22 (revised 8-26-22)

ECU Program and Logging downloads—Applies to all ST and TT Rules-- effective immediately

The following revision of ST Rules Section 8.2 will take effect immediately.  New wording is in green font below. 

We have revised this Technical Bulletin (8-26-22) to include specifics we now have on connector pin configuration, and to clarify a few items.  New wording is in purple font below.

 

8.2  Vehicle Inspection

All completed ST/TT Car Classification Forms are available on-line for review by any competing driver
https://airtable.com/shrtuIZcugofvmCJZ/tblzOXuQ6j4GJh4nT/viwgWtC3AQ0QAJPI0

Super Touring vehicles are subject to detailed inspection by any NASA Technical Inspector and visual inspection by Super Touring competitors at any time when the car is at the track.  Super Touring Officials retain the right to request any disassembly or other procedure required to verify vehicle compliance.  At random times or at the discretion of the Super Touring Officials, any car may be ordered to report for rules compliance testing on a chassis dynamometer.  All Super Touring competitors have the option to be present for official chassis dynamometer testing; however, the printed results of Dyno testing are the property of NASA, and will only be shown to Super Touring Officials, who will let the competitor know whether or not the vehicle was compliant, and may show the competitor the results at their discretion if compliant, and will show the competitor the results if non-compliant.

Competitors must comply with any request by ST Officials to review and/or download ECU computer programs.  When aftermarket software, stand alone, or piggyback engine management is used, the competitor must supply and use the programming hardware and software (if needed) to provide data to NASA officials for further analysis.  The data must include both the vehicle’s configuration files "map(s)" and data logs (when possible) in an unlocked and non-password protected form.  This also applies to any other electronic device that an engine sensor is wired to with communication to the ECU via CAN bus communication.   As well, competitors may have GPS accelerometers and/or data loggers placed in/on their vehicles at any time by Super Touring Officials to help verify rules compliance. And, as stated above, GPS monitoring may be used in lieu of Dyno testing when collected data shows convincing evidence of non-compliance. 

Furthermore, engine data logged while on track may be compared to engine data logged during compliance Dyno inspection, which may result in disqualification if there are discrepancies between the two. For any vehicle with OBDII or data logging capability, continuous engine data must be able to be obtained through one of the three following methods; 1) OBDII interface, 2) Deutsch DTM06-4S 4 pin connector with pin 1 – 12V, pin 2 – Ground, pin 3 – CAN+, pin 4- CAN- for a NASA supplied data logger, 3) direct connection to the ECU or other logging device via the manufacturer’s cable.  If the OBDII connection is being utilized by another device, then option (2) or (3) above is required, except in the case where the OBDII connection is being used with a logging capable AIM device.  All channels capable of being logged must be made available at the request of NASA officials.  In the future (2023+), NASA plans on requiring specific channels to be logged and these channels may vary based on vehicle configuration.

NASA understands that there are factory built racecars with locked ECU’s where the configuration files cannot be accessed (must be proven by the competitor to be factory locked). These cars must provide data logging capability as above. 

Any ECU calibration maps that are downloaded by NASA for further compliance analysis will be deleted/destroyed at the end of the event or when it is determined that a competitor is not out of compliance.  Data logs generated by an ECU are NOT calibration maps, and will be kept and catalogued by NASA for the purposes of future compliance checks.

 

 

 

Edited by Greg G.
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  • Greg G. unlocked this topic

1. I know this part is old text, but can you clarify "All Super Touring competitors have the option to be present for official chassis dynamometer testing."  Does that mean any competitor has the right to be present for testing of anyone else's car, or just that they have the right to be present when their own car is tested?

2. Can you expand on "two wire CAN bus AIM connector for a NASA supplied logger?"  Part number, pinout, picture, example, something?  Maybe it was supposed to refer to the 5-pin connector used by the AiM data hub: https://www.aim-sportline.com/us/products/data-hub/index.htm If so, what needs to be wired, just CAN+, CAN-, and GND, or also battery power?

2b. Is there a reason the exemption only applies when the competitor has a logging AiM dash connected via OBD2 and not for competitors that have a logging AiM dash connected via CAN or direct ECU?  Especially since direct ECU (if serial/RS232) usually has the same limitations as OBD2, namely that only one device can be connected at any given time.

3. ECU calibration maps will be deleted at the end of the event but not data logs.  The assumption is that data logs don't contain any calibration information, but that's not necessarily true.  Often they can contain ignition timing, fueling levels, cam timing, etc; some of those (cam timing for example) can be used to validate the engine is functioning correctly and thus the target and actual are logged so a comparison can be made later.  Can we have data logs deleted at the end of the event too?

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Hi Scott,

1) While the rules state that all ST competitors can be present for Dyno testing (but not close enough to see the display screen showing the Dyno run results), they can certainly be overridden by the NASA Officials at the Dyno if the area is too impacted or other distracting issues are occurring.  Being present does not mean that everyone gets to see the results of the testing.

2) We are working on defining the two wire CAN bus AIM connector.  We wanted to get this out as quickly as possible, so competitors knew it was coming.

2b) The basic idea is that we obtain valid logging of data.  If our Technical Director of Competition determines that a setup such as you describe is giving valid and accurate data, it would most likely be permitted as an exception.  He will look at your example, and determine if this is something that needs to be taken on a case by case basis, or can just be written as another exception.

3) No.  Data logs will be kept for possible use at future events, including regional events.  However, we won't be posting this data publicly.

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Can “aftermarket software” be clarified? Is modification of the stock engine map on the original ECU “aftermarket software”, or is this referring to the software used to program the ECU?

 

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30 minutes ago, mslevin said:

Can “aftermarket software” be clarified? Is modification of the stock engine map on the original ECU “aftermarket software”, or is this referring to the software used to program the ECU?

 

Yes, a reflash of the stock engine map on the OEM ECU is aftermarket software.  There are possibly some specific cases of issues of "Locked" software.  For those, please contact Brian Locke, NASA Technical Director of Competition,  [email protected]

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Can you clarify that only access to the data logging system is required? ...and that a connection to a NASA Supplied AiM device is not required if the car already has another data logging system, i.e. Motec Data or comparable.

Also, what are the required engine parameters?
For example, my car is a factory built GT4 car with a factory ECU. I have a motec data system, but the only engine parameters I have available are:
 
Engine Speed
Vehicle Speed
Engine Temp
Throttle Position
Gearbox Position
Brake Pressure

Aim has no protocols available for my car and there is no information available through a generic OBD-2 Connection. 

 

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5 hours ago, Greg G. said:

Yes, a reflash of the stock engine map on the OEM ECU is aftermarket software.  There are possibly some specific cases of issues of "Locked" software.  For those, please contact Brian Locke, NASA Technical Director of Competition,  [email protected]

I believe a ton of "reflashed" modern stock ECU's are done as a service and the ability to change them on the fly does not exist with out thousands of dollars investments that individuals are not willing to make. And even the ones that can be remotely flashed have no actual access to any of the actual information. You just plug it in and literally click install. For example, this is the case with many VW/Audi/Porsche ECU's. You physically remove the ECU and send it a company like APR, and they reflash the ecu and you reinstall it. I support an Audi TTRS race car that is an ex-pro PWC GTS car, and this is the case with it. I also know that this is common practice with many factory built TCR cars as well. 

How would this be approached and enforced? and why does it matter if the rules for dyno testing/logging already exist to police this? 

Edited by Chris Coffey
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14 minutes ago, Chris Coffey said:

I believe a ton of "reflashed" modern stock ECU's are done as a service and the ability to change them on the fly does not exist with out thousands of dollars investments that individuals are not willing to make. And even the ones that can be remotely flashed have no actual access to any of the actual information. You just plug it in and literally click install. For example, this is the case with many VW/Audi/Porsche ECU's. You physically remove the ECU and send it a company like APR, and they reflash the ecu and you reinstall it. I support an Audi TTRS race car that is an ex-pro PWC GTS car, and this is the case with it. I also know that this is common practice with many factory built TCR cars as well. 

How would this be approached and enforced? and why does it matter if the rules for dyno testing/logging already exist to police this? 

Hi Chris, you've covered a lot of ground here, but I think I can answer your question by stating the intent, which is that every car on track is making the same power as they were on the dyno when they submitted their forms.  As you said, a ton of modern stock ECU's are flashed in the manner you mention, but also a lot are not.  There are a number of hardware/software combinations where someone can have multiple maps stored, and easily flash the car without the need of any expert service.  Or, there are several products that allow the use of OEM controls to do on the fly map switching.  This, along with the advanced functionality of stand alone ECU's, is what we are concerned about. 

Remember, even with factory built racecars, series such as SRO and IMSA still require outside logging.  I'm happy to answer more questions specific to your car via email, but just come prepared to share with us your Motec data logs.  If we do not have access to enough information on those logs, you will likely get a stand alone AIM logger to monitor your acceleration. 

Also, please fill out the survey attached in the email for Champs, that way we know what model and year your factory built car is so we can do our due diligence, thanks!

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  • Greg G. changed the title to Technical Bulletin: ECU Program and Logging Downloads--All ST & TT rev 8-26-22
  • National Staff

Note that we have revised this Technical Bulletin (8-26-22) to include specifics on the option (2) wiring connector, and a few other issues that were not specifically addressed.  Here are photos of the connector.

image.thumb.jpeg.cb06b8ba82e0d8d175dd50aacb6a29e1.jpeg

image.thumb.jpeg.ed11e46ddf07aa84820301a4f73f7ea9.jpeg

 

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Well done guys, keep up the good work! 

Coincidentally, I just bought a bunch of those connectors and related bits. I will be ready for next year!

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