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Android/iOS connected to your ECU(PowerFC , Nissan ECU and others)

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I have owned different sport nissan chasses for 15 years now, and with them I was able to get quite a deep knowledge of wiring and working with different ECUs. And, since my second hobby is programming of microcontrollers and various electronics, I often came up with all sorts of useful improvements that help in this process. As a result, the last 3 years I have spent almost all my free time on the development of a device that gives almost limitless possibilities in monitoring and displaying data from Nissan's ECUs and Apexi PowerFC on a smartphone / pad, being a low cost alternative to sports devices. It is interesting that at the same time it is noticeably bypassing them in functionality.

I called the device "Wite", and it should work with any PowerFCs and any Nissan's ECUs that support Consult I protocol (all our S, Z, R, P before 2000, any Nistune) as long as other aftermarket ECUs.

At the moment it looks like this:


It so happened that at the same time the absolutely best dashboard app RealDash appeared on the market (guys are just damn geniuses). So, of course I started using it.
However the main disadvantage of using PowerFC and a standard Nissan ECU in front of more modern sports ECUs is the impossibility of connecting additional sensors (fuel / oil pressure, temperature, WBO, etc.), as well as the lack of emergency modes and alarms for these sensors. As a result, you are forced to install additional gauges and track something with your eyes, but this doesn't work normally (the driver needs to look at the road), and noticeably spoils the interior.
Therefore, I spent an uncountable amount of time again, and added the ability to connect up to 4 additional sensors and an input for a digital signal from wbo controller.
In summary, what we have in the current version, in short:

Technical details:

  • direct connection to ECU(PFC, Nissan, others), no additional adapters needed
  • Wifi connectivity to RealDash (iOS, Android, Windows), optional Bluetooth (Android, Windows), USB OTG (Android, Windows)
  • can read up to four additional external analogue sensors (pressures, temps, etc.) and feed the signals to dashboard
  • can read digital output from wideband gauges (no more of that stupid calibration of analog outs and signal noise/offset due to ground loops!)
  • has a simple web server for diagnostics and some settings

In particular for Apexi PowerFC:

  • can communicate with new (16bit) and old (8bit) PowerFC CPUs
  • communication with FcEdit(replacing FC Datalogit completely) for tuning by wire or Bluetooth
  • can change some of PFC settings from dashboard (smartphone) instead of FC Commander

In particular for Nissan factory ECU(or Nistune):

  • communication with any available windows software for tuning over Wifi or Bluetooth or wired. Not yet finished completely. How it works over wifi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UT316hFZfOg
  • run diagnostic active tests available in ECU
  • read error codes

The RealDash app capabilities include:

  • convert and calibrate any incoming data before displaying as a gauge
  • very flexible logics for alarms, warnings
  • huge variety of customizable dashboards
  • excellent logging possibility (analyze it yourself right at the track, or shoot to your tuner via messenger) and nice log viewer
  • insert google map (navigation), rear camera video, music player right into the dash
  • send commands to PFC via buttons, sliders.
  • send all the data from your car in real-time to a cloud server for remote monitoring (professional track tool!)
  • laptimer with all the data we have

I'm planning to add the following features (it will depend on the popularity of the adapters):

  • Wifi connection to FcEdit (already tested, but requires some time to finish) and Nistune Software. Provides transfer rates that are just as fast as a wired connection and 2-3 times faster than Bluetooth. Fully galvanic isolation of laptop from the car. And cool fast connection, without any mess with the wires.
  • Upload/download all the PFC/Nistune maps from your smartphone. Track, Street, Lo-Hi octan maps for example. Or use it for remote tuning.
  • Real-time ignition/fuel control, based on knock value for PowerFC! Killer feature for PFC, that I always wanted to have. PFC has almost the best knock detection algorithm (if somebody saying that their Link, AEM, etc can do this better, don't believe them they are wrong), but no ign retard capability. I can try to pull out timing, give more fuel temporarily, based on knock value in real-time. It will be adjustable for sure.
  • Limp mode and shutdown your engine in case of low oil pressure(or something other criticals) for safety reasons.
  • Antilag/Pro Start. Didn't give it much thought yet, but I reckon there are ways to do it.

Sample dashboard screens:



And small videos:
Sorry for the quality, I'll do better. There just isn't enough time for everything. You can watch RealDash YouTube channel for better quality.

Sample wiring configuration:




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Excellent work there!

Does the PFC have passthrough for the hand controller? your unit seems to use that port

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Thank you guys! It's no so easy to inform people about such a new stuff. Furthermore I'm an old forums user and don't know much about social networks. It will alive only if quite a lot people will be interested in.

1 hour ago, Duncan said:

Does the PFC have passthrough for the hand controller? your unit seems to use that port

Don't understand clearly the question. If you mean does Wite can passthrough data for the hand controller, no it does not. I can't see a point for that thing. As it can replace it completely and can gives you much more than just replace.

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I don't want to sidetrack your thread too much because it's not specifically about that, but PFC handcontroler has been so successful because it is a cheap and easy display that can be mounted somewhere to keep an eye on things (as well as the fact you can make adjustments to ECU settings and tune quickly if necessary). That makes it a little different from your product which will need a separate display hardware of some sort.

Of course what you are providing is more modern and functionally rich, but the functionality is not identical.

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Posted (edited)

It is ok to discuss anything related here. I really need your feedback and opinion, Thank you!

Sorry, I still don't understand :) You can fix your phone on the panel in the same way as hand controller. On temporary mount if you wish. But it will be much more informative and has functions of logging, very flexible alarms, "hotkeys" for boost modes, etc. Isn't it? By the way, you can keep your phone in your pocket and in will inform you by audible speech warnings via stereo system or BT earphones. Many ways...

And OLED commander 350$ for a new one. Used old scratched untested commanders about 100-200$. Wite costs near this range too. So, it is a question, which one is a cheap. :)

Edited by Nomis
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Noticed you mentioned RealDash, however Powertune Digital has supported Nissan Consult and Apexi FC for years (does require a Hako) and does far more than almost all the other dashes out there. It started as the original raspexi project. they dont have external sensor support but have said its coming shortly. They have laptiming, datalogging and its like half the price of the other dashes out there.

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Yeah, I know. 500$US for a dash, plus 200$ for a fc-hacko and you must replace your factory cluster.

Some text about comparison with hardware dashes:

Wite's and RealDash advantages over hardware sport dashboards(AiM, AEM, Motec, etc):

  • Price. Yes, it is much more cheaper(and suddenly can do much more). Large variety of new/used Android/iOS devices for any budget. Or just use your own phone, that you have got already.
  • Logs. In fact, the best option to monitor your engine is logs. You haven't got a computer in your head and just cannot notice and remember all the data that these dashes show you. Peaking values, that many people relate to, are almost useless in reality for most of the data. Prices for hardware dashes with logging is about 1.5-2 times higher than without it. And reading logs that they recorded is a real headache - you have to mess with flash-drives, cables, laptop(!). Special complicated software. You must be a race engineer or have one in your luggage, in short 🙂 While RealDash has very useful and simple log viewer always right in your phone. And it much more flexible in logging what you exactly need but all the data. If you don't want to read logs yourself, you can easy message them to your tuner, and he can read it immediately.
  • Warnings. RealDash has much more flexible logic comparing to the hw dashes. And it has possibility of audible speech warnings, that they don't have at all. If something goes wrong, you will be warned by audio speech as in sci-fi movies. I really love this thing.
  • Laptimer. For hardware dashes the price will up for this again. RealDash has this in your phone. If you wish to have an accuracy compared to racelogic's products, just connect to your phone external 10Hz bluetooth gps receiver. And some of modern phones are good anyway.
  • I've a street legal car and just don't want to replace my factory cluster. I can go with android radio, rear view mirror or just fix my phone on the panel for trackdays or start logging process on it.
  • Send commands to ECUs (not all ECUs supported). Modify your boost control settings, limits, test fans, pumps, etc.
  • Design. Just look at that premium dashboards! And you can customize them. Someone experienced enough can create their own dashes from scratch with almost any type of animation.
  • Remote telemetry over the internet to your friend, spotter, mechanic, fans. Real motorsport feature.
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Oh, I'm interested for Nistune, but I don't have time to play with my car these days. Too much f**king work all the time.

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Powertune has audible warnings via a 3.5MM jack that comes out of the dash you can connect to a headset or speakers, so to say the others dont have audible warnings isnt true (im not sure about all the others its been a while since i looked into dashes). You also dont need to replace the factory cluster at all, so I'm not sure why you mentioned that. Mines mounted on my steering column in front of the factory cluster.

Still sounds interesting, what is the total price of everything combined? Your box, realdash, tablet purchase, mounting cost ?

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Posted (edited)

Interesting, how audible warnings can be set in powertune? Can't find anything about it in docs and website. Can I upload my own sound files?

You didn't remove factory cluster, but totally re-cover it with the new one. For me, it's almost the same, I just wanna see my good old-school cluster :) And direct replacement is much cleaner than overcover.

Prices for the adapter will be in 3 groups - the cheapest around 100$ and will only be able to display power FC's data (as a replace of commander but with logs). Then versions with additional sensors, and the most expensive will give possibility to tune via laptop. About 300-350$ I think. And you can upgrade to version higher by updating software only. And can upgrade for new knock retard features when they will appear.

RealDash basically is free but the logs. For logs about 6-7$, for various premium skins range is 2.5-6$.

Phone already in you pocket :) You can use any tablet/phone/radio/rearmirror for your budget. In my car now the cheapest google nexus II for testing purposes. It costs about 25-40$ and works fine:



Edited by Nomis
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Posted (edited)

Awesome idea. 

Price will make it or break it. 


I do think keeping the HC working would be ideal. People like to have more, not swap. I use my HC all the time. 

Edited by Butters
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On 14/03/2021 at 3:26 AM, Butters said:

I use my HC all the time. 

How do you use it? What functions? It's so mess menus for me and awful display.

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well i check knock and read peak values, which hopefully you will solve the need for that and have it on output ? 

I;ve used it to tune the cold start many times. (Mods, mods, mods)

Scale when i change injectors prior to proper tune and same again when i switch fuels. 





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Posted (edited)

I'm trying to say, that all these stuff you will have in your phone. Please, look at pictures with boost control settings page.


Edited by Nomis
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And what other people are trying to say, is without their hand controllers being connected at the same time it's a bit of a deal breaker. Why do you think FC datalogit have a hand controller passthrough port ?

I myself would absolutely get this for my 33 IF I could still have my hand controller connected. Not everyone prefers touch screens to do things and prefer actual tactile buttons.

Don't get me wrong I love what you've done, seems great. I just think you've dropped the ball on not having hand controller or the datalogit hardware port there 😔

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