Since a couple of months, I’ve been testing several shift lights I wanted to install on my F430 manual.
The main challenge of the system I want to assemble is that I don’t want to touch or cut any of the ECU or Coil pack wires. That would be the easiest solution indeed, just bring a wire to one of the Motronic Ecu’s and connect it with any of the 4 coil pack signals to get an equivalent tacho signal.
I don’t care to cut wires elsewhere in my car as I’ve already done for several mods but not those of the Motronic Ecu’s. These Ecu’s are the heart of the engine and it wouldn’t be a good idea to add any impedance or distortion on one of these wires.
The main challenge was to connect the progressive shift light on a Can bus interface which is able to capture the broadcasted rpm frames on the Can bus. On the F430, the Can bus can be easily found as it is part of the OBD connector. I will come back on this part of the mod a bit later.
Regarding the shift light itself, I chose the Shift-I solution made by Ecliptech (Australian company). This shift light is just a brilliant piece of engineering using 7 bright LED’s (double LED’s per LED) ! I’ve totally tested it using my oscilloscope and my wave signal generators and it never failed. It was extremely precise and very fast.
It can be completely configured :
- Rpm Calibration value : 0,5 to 8 (default 2)
- Rpm Sensitivity
- Rpm hysteresis
- Shift points : set lower and upper RPM set points
- Rpm set point interval : intervals of 50, 100, 250, 500, 1000, 2000 and 4000 rpm
- Display mode : 12 different RPM display modes
- Automatic battery voltage indication at ignition on and during cranking the engine
- Over voltage warning : alerts if voltage exceeds 15.5V or 16.0V or 16.5V
- Battery mode only : the shift light can be set to run only in battery mode
- Cruise mode timer : dims the display if the RPM has remained steady foIr a period of 30, 45, 60, 90 or 120 secs
- Startup display configuration : off, shift sequence, shift sequence then battery voltage, battery voltage then shift sequence
- Brightness control : the level of brightness of the LEDs can be set and varies depending on the ambient light (dark, they automatically dim).
- Temperature protection : automatic LED dimming when operating in hot environment
The Shift-I exists in 4 different versions :
- Straight / Green-Amber-Red LED's
- Straight / Blue-Red LED’s (the one I chose)
- Curved / Green-Amber-Red LED's
- Curved / Blue-Red LED’s
It has only 3 wires to connect :
- +12V : ignition 12V (+15)
- Tacho signal : 5V or 12V
You can find more information on their website : http://www.ecliptech.com.au/
I’ve been in contact with them many many times for technical support as I wanted to dig deep into the technical specs of the Shift-I, especially regarding how the Shift-I manages the different pulse signals. Tony, part of the Ecliptech support team, has been answered very fast on all my question. Sometimes, I was really wondering if he ever sleeps
! Great guy, really hats off to him.
Manuals can be downloaded here : http://www.ecliptech.com.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=71&It emid=70
The following picture shows how you would normally connect the Tacho wire but in this mod, I will take the Can bus approach as explained before :