Getting ready to purchase the electronics for a new build of mine and was wondering what's the hot lick these days as far as components ?? I'm using the K&R kit and a Biondo mega 500 delay box. What's all the fuss about the "grid" and is it worth the investment for a bracket car ?? What does and can it do ??? Also is my tried and true 6al obsolete??
Looking to do it once and not look back .....
If you don’t run any ignition retards, don’t use the ignition to shift with be it time or rpm, don’t use a 2 or 3 step, don’t want any ignition data acquisition, don’t need to check the accuracy of your delay box, don’t have the ignition lock the transbrake activation during a run, don’t have a laptop that you can use to program with, then 6AL by itself is an excellent choice. Even adding a 7730 to the 6AL is an excellent choice.
If you want some / all the above, purchase a MSD 7730 / 7720. If you do go Grid, put a large terminal strip in so that you can move or add any items and features you may want in the future.
The question is this…… what do you want the ignition to do ??
I love my grid because I can change everything with just a couple key strokes.
The data logging alone is worth the investment. I have found a few problems I needed to correct by just looking at the runs and comparing them. Things I would have been guessing at for some time.
You can wire the grid 7730 to your 6al and have a pretty bullet proof ignition.
72 Nova "Hooptie"
|DRR Top Comp|
I've been using the 6AL Programmable for quite a while now. If I were building new I would probably buy the Grid so I could screw everything up.
Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right. Here I am.......
I added a grid controller to my existing 7Al3 probably 5 years ago
I only bought it to use the timing manipulation ad run recording features.
I can replay every run and since I S/C race primarily it easily backs up my recording tach and is way more accurate at showing rpm and time.
I usually look at all runs after a race and delete them.....
If the car was not running the number particularly well at a race I might be able to see it RPM wise on the recordings....
Not as good as a Racepack obviously but better than nothing.
I used it for a while for start retard and launch retard also.
Back the timing up for wide open racing if the track might not be so great.
I even had the timing backed up way down track when Etown had issues a few times down track with poor traction. Didn't work....
Gives you something else as a tuning tool and can give you some feedback like a Data recorder
Thanks for the feedback !!!
I do want to shift by rpm, I will need a 2 step, data acquisition is nice to have and I don't currently own any ignition boxes other than a half dozen used 6al boxes that I wouldn't use for this car anyway, I'm not sold on a 6al, they've just always worked for me and are simple.
I wasn't really sure what the grid was capable of. Sounds like its a no brainer to have. This car will be a footbrake/delay box ride so all the bells and whistles makes sense, especially starting from scratch.
Anything else I should know ???
Nothing wrong with using a 6al with the grid. You get all the functions at half the price since you won't need to purchase the 7720. And you already have spares.
72 Nova "Hooptie"
72 Nova "Hooptie"
The only reason I don't have a Grid is that I rarely make 2 consecutive runs with the same 2-step RPM. I usually double in Box/No-Box and use a dedicated chip with the Box, then have a dial to constantly adjust the RPM for No-Box.
It would be a more cumbersome process with a programmable ignition. It can be done for an extra $250 with a 7740 and 7751, but still not as simple as unplugging a chip and plugging in the dial. More opportunity for mistakes.
I shift using my K&R delay box/panel....time or rpm...
I rev limit using the 7AL3 and chips...3 step
I never hooked up the rev limiter functions of the grid.....some info with the grid instructions said it may not work well with a 7AL3. I don't change rev limiter rpm very often.....
Sent box back once for updating firmware.....Have never downloaded updates since...
I have thumbdrives with old and new programs......had a lot of trouble at one time when they changed and did updates. Had to send it back to be corrected. No charge to me other than shipping one way...
The program I use is not very "user friendly" when I download runs.....I find it very awkward to use but I don't use it all that often.
Downloading runs is really what I'm talking about....Maybe the newer updates are better....I use it as is...
You of course need a decent laptop too.
You could just add the 7730 and do the same thing you are doing now. Connect the Legacy cable to your current ignition box for Top (same as having a chip and unplug the cable to plug in the dial for no box. You'd have to verify with Mark but I don't think it would hurt anything. You get all the functions of the grid and still be doing it the way you are now.
I use a Digital 6 so I am stuck with the built in rev limiters until I change it out.
72 Nova "Hooptie"
I'm doing exactly what you want to do with the
My suggestion is make sure you have at least 2 weeks to install the Grid and play with the features. Maybe I'm a slow learner but I like to have a firm understanding of what I'm dealing with before leaving the garage. It's not as simple as just plugging up some wires and go. It could be that simple but you probably want to do a nice installation without wires just running everywhere.
I really like the Grid and all I would really change is it would be nice to have a
I'm definitely happy with the install and equipment. It has been flawless!
Edit: I should add I installed the Grid 7 Ignition Box at the same time. Fixed part numbers for launch controller.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Brktracer,
Been using a Grid on a 6AL for over 2 years. I use start retard, both ‘shift’ outputs, three step, it checks my delay box for accuracy, logs rpm, voltage, timing, gear change, when tbrake button is pressed and when tbrake releases. Sometimes i’ll Use launch retard and-or a custom ignition curve,use it almost like some do a throttle stop.
It’s handy for a lot of things..what did you cross at, how many times did you whack the gas at the stripe, what your converter is doing, I wouldn’t race without it now.
Software was pretty straightforward to me, but probably because I program PLCs every day.
I have the 7730 Grid Controller connected to a 7AL-3, best investment I’ve made in a while. As soon as I win a PowerBall lottery I’ll buy the 7720. I’m still learning all the features of the system and know that I am missing a few tricks, computer science is not my strong suit. I use the data acquisition feature and have filed a number of different timing maps for quick access which I change based on track conditions.
Great tool, fortunately I have a 14 year old neighbor who knows this stuff inside out, and he works cheap.
What is the hot setup?
Well I don't know that. But it seems like a lot of the smart kids are going COP. I switched to efi last winter and dug my heels in to stay with my digital 7. But it and my megasquirt didn't play well together. So I bought coils and made the jump with the ignition too. You have all sorts of control of each cylinder, if you are into that. Frankly, I'm not sure I will ever get into that.
But if I were starting from scratch with ignition, and had any thought of efi in the future, the smart money would be doing the ignition with a Megasquirt. You can data log all you want, and control more than you would ever want to. Add a few sensors later and some injectors and you are efi. If you are into that.
Foxtrot Juliet Bravo
Just a suggestion. Instead of exercising the rpm port on your ignition switching between box and no-box (it could fail eventually doing this) you could do this for less than $100 using a MSD 8737 3-step module plugged into the rpm port of your ignition.
I’ll assume that when you remove the delay box you need to place a jumper plug where the box was attached to, or, you may be using a simple toggle switch for this function. Either way this is what you would now do.
In the MSD 8737 module 2 port you’d place the maximum rpm chip. In module 1 the delay box mode launch rpm chip would be inserted. In module 3 the adjustable launch rpm dial for no-box. Here’s how it could work.
In box mode the TB output from the delay box would activate the TB and module 1 launch chip. With the delay box removed and the jumper in place for no-box the TB button would activate the TB and module 3 that has the adjustable rpm dial.
The remainder of what I am writing is not directed to Tony Leonard.
MSD Grid has the ability to launch in two different programmable rpm modes in 50 rpm increments. You can easily switch between them as I wrote previously for the analog method.
Depending on what type of shifter you are using (CO2 or big Electric coil) how you could / would wire Grid to work would need to be determined.
I have written about how to wire and program Grid for FB so that it will mimic the Delay box method. By this I mean that the “Time from Launch Timer” runs and allows you to use the Shift Light RPM, Output Switch Timer and programmable Launch Retard feature.
Grid can also be wired just to shift in FB without starting the Time from Launch Timer also.
Read more about Grid HERE
I use an older 10.1” netbook that rides along in the car behind the drivers seat that I installed a SSD in so not to be damaged internally. It’s in the sleep mode and I can be into Grid and change whatever and have it put away in 1 minutes time. For me this works better than the 7751 because I have access to everything and not just the Launch RPM programmable setting. After returning to my pit area I pull it back out and download the DA of the run.
Something to consider. Smaller 10” laptops are less expensive now and have SSD inside, run windows 10 and have a usb port for about the same price as what you would spend on 7740 / 7751.
We have the grid set up and i love it. Mark help us new guys set it up around 2 years ago. Great so far..
"Just Shut Up and Race"
Great idea. I have a netbook already that I really don't use anymore. Not sure if it has a SSD. It is probably about 8 years old and running Windows 7.
I bought a used laptop to run MSD, Racepak, and Mychron (for the jr.) exclusively. It's kind of big and the vibration would likely kill it.
Thanks for the tips.
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