Engine Bridge P-Mag controller
I purchased one of these last year when they first came out and had a lower intro price. Finally installed last week and flew once. It's great to see the information from each P-Mag and be able to modify settings via a simple browser interface (not device specific). I had previously used the EICAD software from EMagair to program them but had no visibility as to what they were doing.
The down-side: I really wanted to feed data to my Dynon EMS but have no type C inputs available for 0-5V inputs.
The MFG is also a VAF advertiser.
I agree that the Engine Bridge P-Mag controller is a hidden gem that many are not aware of.
A year ago I had the opportunity to upgrade my EngineBridge PMag Controller from the older Bluetooth model to the newer WiFi model.
The new updated Controller requires the connection of the Tx and Rx control leads from each PMag plus 12 volt power and ground wires into a 15 pin D-sub connector (standard density male pins).
In addition, I added two 22 awg shielded wires to pick up the 5 volt variable analog output from the EngineBridge Controller to my Garmin GEA 24 EIS. This would allow me to display the Timing Advance Angle of the PMags while running. These shielded wires were connected to pins 19 (GP1 / POS 1) and 20 (GP1 LO / GND) and pins 22 (GP2/ POS 2) and 23 (GP2 LO / GND) using standard density female sockets. The pins I chose are general purpose inputs (GP1 and GP2 on Connector 244) to the EIS that can be programed to display on the engine information page.
There are a total of seven general purpose inputs that can be used for displaying additional outputs from the Controller (Coil Dwell Time and Reported Temperature). The pin assignments for these inputs are shown on page 26-37 of the "G3X Touch Installation Manual, Rev AM".
I mounted the small Controller box behind the panel on the right side with Velcro on the flat triangular sub-panel brace.
After all the connections were made, I powered the panel and chose "SETTINGS" on the iPad and selected the WiFi output from the Controller. After entering the supplied password and the IP Address in the browser, the main screen appeared on the iPad.
I checked each of the optional screens and confirmed that the stored ignition settings in the left and right PMags were correct.
To program the EFIS to display the Timing Advance Angles, I followed the instructions in the "G3X Touch Installation Manual, Rev AM" on page 35-181. You need to open the GDU 46X, PFD in Configuration Mode by holding the Menu button during power on and select the Engine page. Scroll down to the General-Purpose Inputs and enter the name associated with the input. (I used "LEFT ADV DEG" and "RIGHT ADV DEG".) Enter the recommended minimum and maximum timing values (18.0 and 48.0) and enter the calibration curves for each of the inputs. You can add color coding and tick marks if desired. Save and exit the Configuration Mode.
After re-booting you will see two bar graphs on the engine page that show the current real-time degrees of advance for each of the PMags. You should expect them to match each other at all times unless something has gone awry.
I was very pleased with the results. The WiFi connection seemed to be faster and more stable than the previous Bluetooth connection. The information displayed on the iPad appeared somewhat small but the graphics were obviously designed to be displayed on an iPhone instead of the larger iPad. You can enlarge the graphics on the iPad if you wish by using two fingers.
The entire installation could be accomplished in a single day. If starting from scratch you would need about 18 feet of two conductor 22 awg shielded wire for the PMag connections and about 14 feet of single conductor 22 awg wire for each pair of the analog outputs you wish to connect to your EFIS. Use un-shielded 22 awg wire for power and ground wires as needed to power the Controller.
Re-setting and sending new values to the PMags is simple and easily done using the Controller screen that is nearly identical with the one from the older Bluetooth model.
The EngineBridge people have done a very nice job in improving upon an already excellent control system for PMag ignitions. A special thanks to Nidal Robb who answered a multitude of emails that kept me on the right track.
Jim, thanks for the info - do you feel that having the engine advance logged is providing you some interesting information? I've got the EI Commander and glance at the ignition advance from time to time and have often wondered how the numbers there compare to other things like MP and RPM and of course EGT and CHT.
On-Screen Timing Advance
The on-screen display of the current actual timing advance is primarily used for diagnostic purposes, for example a timing miss-match or a disconnected manifold pressure source. Other than that, its just one more thing to watch so you don't have to look out the window.
Kidding aside, the real value is the means to set the timing advance exactly for your engine and your desired performance objectives. All the things you can do with your EI Commander.
Just be very careful. If you are looking at the data in-flight and hit the wrong button your p-mags will fault. I did this once by mistake and it really got my attention! I forget how I cleared it.
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