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Data Logging?
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Posted 2015-07-17 2:26 PM (#145174)
Subject: Data Logging?


Posts: 187
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
*DISCLAIMER*: This may not be the right category for this question, but neither "Carburetors," "Exhaust," "Electrical" nor "Accessories" seemed quite right, since this involves all of those categories. I promise not to be offended if ths Mods decide to move this post elsewhere, lol.

*DISCLAIMER 2*: I don't know what I'm talking about, and freely admit that. But I like to tinker, and so I started wondering, "what if...?"


I have read a lot about when, why and how to tune your fuel mixture, as well as dire warnings of engine failure if you get it wrong. Nevertheless, it seems to be a bit of a black art. The most scientific approach seems to require the use of a dyno -- not, perhaps, ideal for air-cooled engines like ours. Other options seem to be rather hit-or-miss and very subjective.

In another life, I was a pilot (I even did a couple of stints as a flight instructor), and on a carbureted, piston-engine airplane, there is a knob in the cockpit that lets the pilot adjust the mixture on the fly (no pun intended) to compensate for the effect of altitude on your fuel/air mixture. In addition, there is usually an "exhaust gas temperature" (EGT) gauge in the cockpit which is one of the tools you can use to tweak the mixture in flight. A lot of auto tuners use O2 sensors to help them tweak their cars' computers, too.

In yet another area of interest for me, there have been a whole boatload of relatively inexpensive and quite capable microcontrollers like the Arduino, Beagle Board, Raspberry Pi, etc. released on the market in recent years, as well as a number of accessories and modules to extend their capabilities.

Putting all of this together, has anyone experimented with building a simple data logger, or using an off-the-shelf commercial product, to monitor parameters like EGT, CHT, exhaust gas O2 levels, and throttle position to determine the effects of carb settings, exhaust modifications, and such? I've already got an Arduino with an SD card-based "data logger" with accelerometer and air pressure/air temperature sensor (I wanted to fly it in a model rocket -- I know, I'm such a geek). Adding a couple other sensors to monitor engine and exhaust parameters wouldn't seem that hard, even if you needed to incorporate analog to digital converters so you could use off-the-shelf automotive sensors. Would such a data logger provide any useful data to someone wanting to dial in mixture settings, particularly after making intake, exhaust, or other mods to an XS?
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