LinkECU's latest G4X firmware update, available to download for free, has some exciting new features including Paddle Shift Control, CAN Keypad Configuration, Race Timer and Power Management, plus more.
Paddle Shift Control
With Link's latest firmware release G4X ECUs can now control Paddle Shift (aka Flappy Paddle gearboxes) allowing for quicker, safer and smoother gear shifts and a longer lasting gearbox. With Paddle Shift you can keep two hands on the wheel at all times leading to greater car control and faster lap times.
The key features of Link's new Paddle Shift system are:
Professional Motorsport level shift control Advanced and highly flexible logic and safety strategies. Compatible with all common pneumatic, hydraulic, DC solenoid, or CAN bus controlled actuators.
Advanced Shaft Speed Matching Cuts during the shift sequence can be as simple as a fixed percentage cut or as advanced as an ECU calculated RPM target based on gear ratios and wheel speed to ensure the dogs can easily engage with the ideal small difference in input versus output shaft speeds.
Controlled RPM Blip Target & Anti-push Limiter The RPM achieved during a downshift blip can be controlled with a limiter to ensure the shaft speeds are matched for smooth engagement. The limiter can also be held for a period after the shift is complete to prevent “push on” effect from the blip.
Mis-shift Detection and Retry logic If the ECU can't engage the next gear within the specified maximum shift time it considers it a mis-shift and will re-attempt the shift. The amount of retries is configurable.
Over Rev Protection Downshift will only occur when the RPM is below the specified downshift RPM maximum to prevent an over-rev when the lower gear is engaged. If the driver attempts a shift when the RPM is too high then the ECU will delay the shift until it is safe to do so.
Stacked Shifts If multiple down shifts are requested, (for example tap the downshift paddle 3 times at the end of a straight) the ECU will perform each downshift as soon as the RPM is low enough to allow shifting without over rev. Stacked shifts can be disabled or the number of stacked shifts allowed can be limited for those that prefer more manual control.
Clearing Stacked Shifts can be set to be triggered in a variety of ways, such as making a new shift request in the opposite direction, exceeding a certain preset throttle amount (TPS or APS), no additional gear available, compressor pressure too low or even by time elapsed since request.
Gear Lockouts Link's Paddle Shift control has a range of flexible gear lockouts for Reverse/Neutral/First to prevent accidental selection. For example it can be set up so reverse cant be engaged unless speed is below 1kmh, clutch is pressed and the driver holds the down paddle for more than 2 seconds.
Half Shifting for Neutral is supported i.e. accessing neutral halfway between 1st & 2nd on a motorcycle gearbox. Neutral halfway between 1st & R is also supported.
CAN Keypad Configuration
With Link's latest firmware release G4X ECUs can now control the two most used CAN Keypads on the market: Greyhill and Blink. Link can support the use of up to two CAN Keypads at once, giving you up to 24 keypad buttons to use.
The key features of Link's new CAN Keypad configuration are:
Button Types Link can support a variety of button input types such as: Latch button presses (press button for on, press button again for off), Momentary button presses (press and hold for button on, release button for off), Incrementing (each button press increases output by 1 on a scale that can be set between 0-10), Up-down function (use two buttons, one increments, one decrements).
Backlight Colour The standard backlight colour can be set can be set to one of nine preset colours. The brightness of the backlight colour can be adjusted to suit.
Button Colour The buttons are able to change to one of seven preset colours to indicate different functions i.e. a button can be set to change colour to indicate it has been pressed and something is now on, standard backlight colour for off, green for on. Along with changing colour, buttons can be set to flash a colour i.e. a button can be set to be red, but set to change to a flashing red once the button has been pressed and an output is now on.
Button Dimming Both the backlight colour and the button colours can be set to automatically dim once the headlights have been turned on.
Configuration The CAN Keypads can be configured directly through the G4X PC Link and do not require a third party application.
Race Timer and Power Management
With Link's latest firmware release G4X ECUs now have Race Timer and Power Management features. These two features are most commonly used in Drag Racing, but can also be used in other motorsport disciplines.
Race Timer and Power Management are when the ECU recognises the vehicle has started moving (through a preset function like the clutch or handbrake being released) and the ECU starts a timer from zero, which it can then use to control engine power etc. This can be done by setting things like boost pressure, ignition timing, staged nitrous etc. against the timer i.e. as time elapses a drag car would have travelled further down the dragstrip and would be able to handle more and more turbo boost without breaking traction.
The timer can be reset or cancelled based on a preset like the TPS changing (i.e. if a driver has to get out of the throttle) and can be used as a safety feature i.e. shut down engine after a set time. The timer can also be cross referenced against other parameters like engine rpm or wheel speed and the ECU can automatically adjust the settings like turbo boost to ensure they are at optimum levels from that time.
Gear Shift Control Link's (Non Paddle) Gear Shift Control has also been completely reworked with improved separation between the different stages of a shift. Other features have been added including a shaft speed matching limiter which targets the correct engine speed for the next gear's ratio.
Accumulated Fuel Usage and Economy can now last over power cycles (so after the ignition has been turned off an back on again).
Alternator Control Function is for vehicles that don't use a regulator. Instead Link's ECU controls the alternator to specify a voltage.
The Lambda Overlay Table can now be applied based on a Digital input or other logic in the ECU, to allow more comprehensive control of the target AFR.
CAN Lambda Run When Stalled There is now a setting to allow the Link CAN Lambda to be easily enabled before the engine starts to allow tuning of start-up and cold start.