free hit
troutrou - The Lotus Forums Jump to content


Basic Account
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

8 Neutral

About troutrou

  • Rank
  • Birthday 10/11/1977

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Interests
    - Stylish old British sports cars at large, but Esprits in particular ;-)
    - Linux OS
    - Electronic Engineering
    - Helicopters and aeronautics at large
    - Traditional woodworking

More Info

  • Name
    Trouilliez Vincent
  • Car
    30% of a BRG/Magnolia SE
  • Location
    44600 Saint-Nazaire, France

Recent Profile Visitors

3,415 profile views
  1. HI Erik, Wow, sorry for the late reply ! The forum did NOT send me an e-mail to notify me of your reply, even though I did ask for daily updates on this thread ! GRRRR ! Yes nothing beats a real ECU indeed ! But 10 years ago when I did this little ECU reader, I had absolutely zero money. I was doing it mostly to keep me occupied as I was job less at the time... but zero money to put into the project. So an ECU simulator using an 8 bit MCU worth just a few Euros, was much better than nothing : at least it allowed me trouble-shoot the routines that receive the data. Make it work, and reliably so, robust, especially when I disconnected/reconnected the ALDL cable to purposefully corrupt frames in mid-air. This way at least I knew that it could receive and decode frames reliably, a vital prerequisite, isn't it ! ^^ Obviously it was not good enough, and now I must fine tune it on a real Esprit or real ECU at least like you did, to take into considering all the timing issues, mostly. I am surprised you had performance issues with an 8 bit AVR ?! I was using an ATmega32 (because at the time it was the biggest one available in DIP package, hobbyist friendly...), running at 16MHz, and it was plenty fast enough, even though I do run a user interface unlike your recorder. And I didn't code it in assembler either, I am not masochist ^ ^Just (plain) C, compiled with GCC on Linux. The serial port of the ECU is so slow, only 9600 baud, that the RISC AVR is getting real bored most of the time ! LOL The only real limiteing factor, was the SD card module I was using to record the data ! It was MUCH slower at random writes, than the advertised specs on the manufacturers web site ! I was targeting 10 readings per second, and this was not possible using random/atomic writes, so I had to write the decoded frame into the CSV file as a single big write command. Not the end of the world, mind you. Anyway, the measured performance of the SD card reader, when writing a full Mode 1 frame in one shot, to the SD Card, was just a bit under 100ms ! So I could juuust about achieve the 10 readings per second I was targeting (which seemed the most I could get anyway, given the time it takes the ECU to transmit the mode 1 frame to begin with, plus the tiny frames the ECU and reader must exchange to agree on sending a full Mode 1 frame. But that SD card module I bought 10 years ago ! I guess faster ones I available today, for 10 times cheaper, which alleviate the problem. So not too sure why you had performance issues with an Atmega. Anyway, depending how long it takes for me to finally get my Esprit, after so many years dreaming of it... if I am feeling impatient then yes I will probably do what you did and get an ECU.. depending on price ! No idea how easy they are to find and how much they cost ?! Attached, my source code, and a few pics of the (CAD) board Source
  2. Hi Erik, You didn't give the source files for your program. That would be the interesting bit. I am particularly interested in the protocol handler routines. 10 years ago I too had some fun designing a custom hardware solution. Records also on an SD card in .CSV format. Made an ECU simulator to go with it, so I can send frames to the ECU reader, to feed it with some data, worked fine on the bench... but when I tried it on a friend's Esprit once (only had one shot at it sadly), I could not get my bloody reader to establish contact with the car, grrr... though the little ALDL line "monitor"/terminal I put together, did show that recognizable frames were being sent regularly by the car. Anyway, looking at your protocol handling routines to compare them with mine, might help me figure out what I am doing wrong !... and hopefully get my clunky prototype to work... once I have an Esprit to try it on that is ! LOL.... some day, ahem... Reader uses a conservative design with a simple 4x20 text LCD, as the main focus for this first iteration, was on getting the protocol layer working, the important stuff, rather than spending time and code space on a fancy user interface. But, a little later I did some early work with a 256x128 graphics LCD, not much, just enough to display a bitmap picture of an Esprit. 10 years later, I am toying with the idea of revisiting my design, make it more current, improve the hardware, and implement this large graphic LCD and design a more user friendly UI around it.. Might add a touch screen to it as well, as it's become affordable these days. No Arduino there, all custom/hand crafted, but happens to use an Atmel AVR Atmega like the Arduino uses (I think ?), though when I chose that MCU family back then, I had never heard of that Arduino thing. Certainly was not " the thing" it is nowadays that's for sure.. Anyway, glad to see others playing with hardware ! ^^ Vince
  3. LOL ! Could also be a simple PROM or a fancy EEPROM.. but looking closely it looks like it's an old fashioned ceramic package so yes, most likely an EPROM. Just need to lift the sticker to know exactly what chip it is... Enough sarcasm though ! ^^ I think the OP was more interested in knowing what company this non-OEM chip is from, so as to know its technical specs, feedback on it etc... rather than just "it's some random obscure 0.9 bar boost chip, made by some random obscure unknown bloke some time somewhere "... LOL ! Not putting a date, firmware revision and company name on the sticker, is a bit strange.. does the guy who did this not want to take responsibility for his work ? ... not very confidence inspiring to say the least. But maybe that's just me of course ! ^^
  4. Yes it looks promising, thus far, looking forward to see its guts, crack it open ! But do so extremely gently of course... With some luck the body will just be held together with clips, with less luck it will be glued or ultrasonically welded. In this case you need to "Dremel" the joint/weld with a small cutting disc, being careful not to penetrate the plastic body by more than the thickness of the enclosure... the electronic circuit board will probably be right behind and could get easily damaged. Set the speed of the Dremel as low as is possible as long as it can still cut the plastic. The slower it goes, the less damage it will do to the electronic board, should the disc go too far, or slip. No need to be overly worried... just be careful, take your time, and cut it all around with precision... it is doable If the plastic is very thin, you might even be able to cut it with a sharp knife, less risky than a rotating tool. Obviously I am crossing fingers that it is not welded ! LOL Sorry for babying you like this, I apologize, but I had a bad experience with a friend who needed to repair the electronic ignition module on his Honda motorbike. I told him to be cautious, to take his time when cutting it open... but I think his patience lasted only 1 and half minute : the damage he made to the circuit board was way too much. Took me a lot of time to repair all the broken traces, but sadly he went so far as to go THROUGH the thickness the circuit board itself.. hence doing damage to the other side, the component side... which was "potted" with epoxy resin as often in such gear, so I had no physical access to the components to even attempt a repair ! He ruined his module just because he could not be bothered take 5 or 10 minutes to do a careful job, how sad... Or if you don't feel like cutting the case,.... just replace your clock with an after market one like Chris did, and send your OEM to me, I will open it myself. If it's repairable I will send it back to you a few days later, should be quick to diagnose, those things aren't exactly rocket science... Vince
  5. Well it depends what's wrong with your clock ?! If you mean that the LCD display itself is damaged / "leaky", all you can do is replace it. However if the LCD display itself is good, and you suspect it's just the electronic part of the clock that's not working right... then depending on how it's made (never torn one apart before), might be repairable since it's all school electronics... the kind of thing I like to work on and fix. However if the mechanical construction makes likely that it would get damaged while trying to take it apart, and/or if all there is to see inside is a blob of epoxy rather than discrete components... then you are out of luck I think ! So... to sum it up : - Describe your symptoms better (take pics of what you see, if that helps convey the message...) - If it appears that the LCD itself is OK but the electronics is at fault, then once you have removed the clock from the binnacle, take some pics of it, and try to open it geeeently. If you managed to get in it without damage... take a few macro pictures of it to show me what's in it exactly, so I can see if it's made of discrete components or just black blob of epoxy... I am in France but such a small and light item should be very cheap to ship to me... of course would be easier if there was another electronic guy in the UK... is there any electronic fellow on this forum BTW ?! Just curious ... Obviously if the clock is from another car, likely I guess, and that you can find a replacement for a couple quid at the local scrappy... might not worth trying to repair it, I guess. Still, just for the fun of it I would like to try and see if I can repair it ! Would ship it back to you in case of success, would make for a spare, can't hurt. Vince
  6. You are welcome. Just for correctness... I think I got carried away when I stated that the regulator "had" to be on fuel rail itself. The last 3 cars I had, a Renault 21 TXi Quadra, had the regulator on the rail, which is actually very practical when I had to replace on of them : superb access, only one hose connected to it, and then just pops off ! However before that I had a Renault 21 GTX (same engine but 8 valve cylinder head not 12V like the TXi variant) and now I think about it, on the GTX the regulator, though it was indeed real close to the rail, a couple inches at best, was actually mounted on the inlet manifold, with 3 pipes going to/from it (fuel IN, fuel OUT, MAP compensation). This one was a real pig to replace.. was almost 10 years ago and I still remember it. My big hands didn't help for sure. Also had a R21 GTS before that, different engine but still MPFI, and in this car again the regulator was "standalone". Didn't have to change that one, but access was excellent, so would not have been a problem. So, sorry for the BS I said in my first message in this regard...
  7. Hi Martin, Like most (all ?) fuel injected engines, the regulator is mounted directly somewhere on the fuel rail. In the Esprit, it's more precisely mounted on the rear-most end of the rail. I circled it in green in the two pictures below. On the second picture, the charge cooler has been removed, making it much easier to see the fuel regulator... Hope that helps. Vincent Trouilliez
  8. I don' t have particular knowledge of Blaupunkt, but I used to see their stereos as OEM fitment in mundane cars in the '80 and early 90's, over here in Frog land, and "epitome of Engineering" never came to my mind about these units, to be honest ?! Or maybe it's just that Blaupunkt marketing department managed to generate a feeling of an upmarket brand, in the USA ? But maybe I didn't have the full picture back then, maybe they did make high-end units as well, I wouldn't know. What they do as of today doesn't look any better than the ordinary "in your face" stereos, that every manufacturer make these days, I would be hard pressed to tell a Blaupunkt from any of the other brands. I can think of nice German engineering, though, for car stereos. But that would be Becker-(Harmann). Still made in Germany... in 2002 when I discovered their existence, their basic CD player cost 1500 Euros... maybe that would have been 2000 USD at the time. For that price you can afford decent engineering and local manufacturing, I guess. I think they stopped making stereos 10 years ago or so... probably because they refused to cut cost by outsourcing to Asia unlike what Blaupunkt did as I understand you. I just looked at their website and it seems they decided to make a quick come back to car stereo land, to revive old memories, due to popular demand I feel... I did eventually buy a (two actually) Becker stereos, last year.. got the 1998 MY model I fancied... cheaper than the original 1500 Euros, but still more expensive than some brand new units. 60 bucks for a non-working one, and 150 for the working one, but can be twice that depending on your luck. Some famous/old models from the '60s still cost little fortunes from what I could see. There are "fans" it appears... Today they are still in business but concentrate on navigation system it appears.. probably because it's the only niche where they can still be profitable. Nobody wants to pay 1500 Euros for a stereo these days... so they had no choice but abandon that market segment I guess. Of course if you want a fancy unit with a retractable screen and all the bells and whistles, that won't do it. Becker gave up on stereo before this type of units became trendy, I think. Anyway, hoping that was maybe remotely useful. Regards, Vince
  9. Ohhhhhhhhhhhh......... The SE is my favorite model, it really hurts to see the poor girl in such a state ! And he wants 50K Euros for that ? I will offer 50 Euros : the price of the steering wheel and Lotus badge at the front, which look like they are pretty much the only parts that could be salvaged from this wreck ... Says "unique example" , well I bloody hope so, for the sake of Esprits ! I know I know... to each their own as usual, and I am sure someone will find it beautiful and will be overjoyed to pay 50K for this chef d'oeuvre.
  10. OK, so from you just said, looks like the compressor is good (gives enough pressure), and the clutch works too, and the fans work as well. So basically all you need to figure out is why the clutch is not being powered... so again, get your multimeter out, and print the diagram, and start troubleshooting ! ;-) Sorry but not much else I can tell you... I can't do it for you... you have the car not me ;-) Yeah electrical problems are a pain, but the more you do it the easier it becomes... and the hot weather is supposed to motivate you, I would think ! ;-) Looking more closely at the diagram, I understand what's going on with the reversed biased D6 diode... 12V is not supposed to come from the rad relay at all ! So no point swapping it. Instead, power to the clutch comes from the low pressure cut pout switch, makes sens, so check that. As I already said, just work your way backward until you find where in the circuit the 12V disappears !
  11. Sounds like it's a regular 88 Turbo, not an SE.. but that is easy enough to figure out, just send a few pics of the car, exterior, interior and engine bay ! ;-) If it's an SE you will find the big red intercooler sitting on the engine, to start with ! :-)
  12. BTW, something totally unrelated... your avatar says you have an '88 SE ?! Either it's a typo, or you managed to lay your hands on an early prototype of some sort ?! Thought the SE didn't hit the market until mid-1989 from memory...
  13. If you don't already have it, here is a copy of the electrical diagram for the A/C (and heating and cooling) circuit. Just start at the beginning : from the compressor/clutch then move upstream progressively, one step at time, methodically. So first, engine stopped, run a wire from the positive terminal of the battery , and feed the clutch directly, to see/hear if it engages or not ! If it does, then the problem is upstream, so start up the engine and turn the A/C on and poke around 'til you find the faulty part ! ;-) Engine running means be careful where you put your hands and tools ! ;-) Have fun ! Shouldn't take you too long, depending on your experience with electrical troubleshooting ! One thing that troubles me though, in this diagram, is the DIODE 'D6' ! polarized as it is, with 12V on it's cathode and ground on the anode, I don't see how current could ever flow through the coil of the clutch ?! Hmm.... I must be misinterpreting that diagram... if anyone could shed some light...
  14. OK, so looks like you might be lucky and the A/C is fine and it's just an electrical problem ! Time to get your multimeter out then, and go poking around, armed with the electrical diagrams ! ;-) Can't help you with details as I don't even have an Esprit, but it's just basic electrical troubleshooting, so should not be too difficult/long to diagnose, I would think ! ... of course accessibility might get in the way of concerned electrical components, I wouldn't know, short of a car. Others will be able to help I am sure. But if you already suspect a relay or whatever, and have a spare one at hand, then yeah doesn't hurt to swap them. But in the general sense, it's best to first properly troubleshoot the problem so as to exactly know what's wrong ! ;-) Swapping parts blindly is not exactly troubleshooting... and can cost time and money, if you swap parts that didn't need to. Maybe it's just the wiring needing refreshing, and there are actually no faulty parts anywhere... again you can't know until you get your multimeter and start troubleshooting the thing methodically ! ;-)
  15. Hi Carl, Not an expert on the Esprit A/C, but it works the same as any other car so... what I learned on my daily runner while taking its A/C apart, along with the practical advice I was given by an actual A/C specialist/independent, might still be helpful. If the system is checked and found to be charged, then at least we know that there is enough refrigerant left in the system and that it is not leaking.. otherwise the refrigerant would have disappeared long ago. So that also means that the fragile/exposed/prone to failure condenser is not leaking either, which is good news for you, as would be expensive and labor intensive to replace. So next move is to make sure the compressor is actually running : with the engine idling, switch the A/C on : you should feel/hear a slight and sudden drop in engine RPM (then followed immediately by an increase, ECU is now compensating), due to the extra load the compressor puts on to the engine. This will rule out any electrical problem that could cause the compressor not to run: a dodgy low-pressure cut-out switch for example. If the compressor is running and we have enough refrigerant in the circuit, and still no cold or not enough cold... then the specialist told me it is usually due to : - The expansion valve malfunctioning (sticking, or seized altogether...) needs replacing. They don't last forever, especially as they typically are not used regularly enough to be kept healthy, just like any mechanical device... - The dryer that's "full" (of water) : it's a consumable, needs replacing. Its role is to store/remove moisture from the system... once it's full, it's full, nothing to do but replace it with a brand new one, and make sure you wait 'til the last second before removing its plugs/seals and fitting it to the system that's otherwise already sealed everywhere else... otherwise you just make the drier suck the ambient moisture, reducing its life expectancy stupidly ! - Lastly... and after you have fixed the two above issues, you may be unlucky and have a defective/worn out compressor. I guess this could be tested by checking the high-pressure side of the compressor to make sure it's strong enough. So I guess my advice would be : 1) Rule out any electrical problem (in case the compressor does not run), because this you can do yourself and for no money. 2) If compressor does run, then not much else you can do yourself at this point, so take it to an A/C specialist, an independent (even it that can take some searching to find one), not some crappy car center that knows shit but will charge you anyway. You should get much better service from a real specialist. He will be able to check the health of the compressor, then if its OK, you sorta know that the drier and valve need replacing. It's not worse being cheap and replacing only one or the other. Just replace both at the same time and you will be set for a long time. Otherwise if you are likely not to get optimal performance and will need replace the other component soon after... and pay again to recharge the system yet again ! Not worth it... For efficiency and peace of mind, it's really highly advisable to replace both the drier and valve at the same time. Of course that's assuming the valve is still available new... no idea ! :-/ Drier should not be a problem I think, even if the original is not available, it should be possible to fit a different model, most of them share the same basic mechanical design/shape. The service manual ( 'PD' section) does give plenty of information on the A/C. Hope this gives you some pointers, until the more experts out here come to correct me ! ;-)
  • Create New...