Learning with AEM’s OBD-II Data Logger Makes Street Cars Faster



One of the benefits of running a stand-alone EFI system is the ability to record many levels of information through its built-in data logger. With this information, a tuner can learn how to get even higher performance from a combo in response to the track, weather conditions, or part changes. Thanks to the new AQ-1 OBD-II Data logger (PN 30-2501; $ 649.95), owners of streetcars with original EFI systems can easily record data from the factory PCM and external sensors.

To learn more about this powerful new tool, we reached out to Eric Holiday at JPC Racing, who recently started using the AQ-1 for logging, which makes his job of tuning cars a lot easier.

If you’re looking to tune a 7-second Stang like Mo Makki’s monoturbo S550, having plenty of data to look at is a big help. JPC Racing uses AEM’s new AQ-1 OBD-II data logger (PN 30-2501; $ 649.95) to record information from factory and aftermarket sensors.

We get the question every week, “Hey, how can I make my car faster? “- Eric Holiday, JPC

“We get the question every week, ‘Hey, how can I make my car faster? ” I do not know. You have to give me more information, ”explained Eric. “Say someone has a car and mentally you think it should be a lot faster than it is. You start asking ‘How fast is the boost coming in?’ Or ‘How is that? is it or how is it going? ”If they have a journal they can send you, from there we can basically say“ Here’s where we think you need to improve ” and try to help them grab it. ”

Because the AQ-1 is designed to tap into the factory OBD-II data stream, it’s really easy for people to provide that information to a tuner. Simply plug the unit in for power, plug in the OBD-II connector and configure the free software on your computer and you are ready to save factory data. It will even read and clear diagnostic trouble codes like a portable tuner.

If this was not enough, the AQ-1 records data from the factory electronics, but it can be supplemented with data from eight analog inputs provided.

“The other advantage is that it is not limited to AEM sensors. Any 0-5 volt sensor, whether it’s an automatic meter, GM MAP sensor or whatever, you can just hook up to those signals, ”Eric explained. “So if you have an Auto Meter electric fuel pressure gauge, you can attach that wire to your gauge and it will record the fuel pressure. You just have to manually configure the sensor, but it’s pretty straightforward.

With just a power supply and an OBD-II connection, you can plug in the AQ-1 and start connecting. The software to read the logs from the SD card is free. These additional wires on the harness allow up to eight additional sensors to be connected, such as air / fuel ratio, boost, exhaust back pressure, fuel pressure, oil pressure, liquid temperature cooling, exhaust gas temperature, etc.

Features of the AEM AQ-1 OBD-II

• Reads / records OBD-II port channels of vehicles from 2008 onwards

• All data channels recorded in a single log file with real time clock

• Reads and clears trouble codes

• Four analog inputs

• Three switched digital inputs

• Easy connection to AEMnet compatible devices

• RS-232 serial input included to add a NMEA0183 GPS device

• Internal three-axis accelerometer (/ – 4g MAX)

• 2 GB removable SD card included for log files (up to 32 GB)

• Track mapping capability

• Data downloadable via USB port or SD card

• Free AEM data analysis software with HD video encoding to add data overlays to videos

It also has three switched digital inputs, which can record data in response to a switch; say a nitrous switch or transbrake. It is even wired with the AEMnet CAN bus and an RS232 serial connection, which offers even more possibilities for recording data.

“The AEM gauges you have, especially the new X-series CAN bus, don’t take any input out of the box,” Eric enthused. “You can just ADCs right into the recorder and you basically have a free channel. “

These flexible inputs even make the AQ-1 useful on pre-OBD-II vehicles, as it has many channels ready to record non-factory data.

“If you have an old Fox body, for example, and it’s not OBD-II but you want to see the voltage of your air mass meter, you can attach your air mass meter to one. digital inputs and it will record your air mass meter running on the track, ”Eric said.

It even includes an on-board three-axis accelerometer to record the car’s movements during a pass or lap. This data and all other settings are saved on an SD card like the one you put in a digital camera. This makes the data infinitely scalable and easy to share.

“Even if you are in open-tracking, you can just put a map and for that lap and record all the time you spend racing,” added Eric. “Then you can come back and just replace the card, go back and compare the two tracks. “

The AQ-1 OBD-II data logger offers logging rates of up to 1000 samples per second per channel and it can store this data on SD cards up to 32 GB, so you will have plenty of data to consider. Eric Holiday of JPC Racing uses journals like this to learn how to maximize a combination.

It’s not serious business, however. If you want to overlay some of this data on a video of your car in action and share it with your friends, AEM data analysis software offers HD video encoding to get the job done.

To learn more about the AQ-1, you can visit the AEM website here.


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