Caponord Datalogger Pt2

Wow what a whirlwind learning curve the last two days have been. Thanks to a Brain that (unusually) suffered the minimum of ‘Blue Screens’ and a patient wife who put up with all the muttering, mumbling and furtive running to and fro I now have a datalogger that is receiving info from the GPS and adding it to the log.

No doubt, chicken feed – a mere stroll in the park to any reading programmers …. me, I’ve taken out a lifelong subscription for Anadin! So, deep breath, sink a beer and pencil out the next step ……. I’m starting to get a liking for this digital-crochet lark!

I’ll try and get a snippet of video to post up so you can see it working ….. or crashing, whatever it decides!

A datalog slog

As many of you are aware, last year was a breakthrough one for Capo owners because we got the fantastic (and free!) TuneECU software. One thing we haven’t got though, is a datalogger …… the only thing I’ve seen to date is the very basic offering with the extortionately priced TuneBoy software.

One thing he did though, was supply the Visual Basic 6 source code with it – and that set the old brain cogs whirring once again. Could I turn my hand to programming and figure out how to do the job myself? Well it’s been a week or so and if I say so myself, I’m rather chuffed at the progress so far. It took a few days to get my head  even marginally around what the hell I was looking at … and a few more to port it over to a more modern (Visual Studio) software and deal with the additional problems that caused.

Anyway, here I am on a sunny Tuesday afternoon with a couple of screenshots from the little darling as it did the business with the Rally Raid.

So what’s it do?;

  • Logs RPM, throttle position, Air temperature, Engine temperature, O2 Volts, O2 Status, Cooling fan activation and Battery volts.
  • It also calculates and logs Maximum RPM, Minimum and Maximum battery voltage ( twice for minimum – starting and general running), Maximum Air Temp and throttle position.
  • The graph initially projects the complete data run and can be zoomed into for extra detail. The cursor locks onto the data plots and displays the reading from that point.

It looks as though data files are about 100Kb per hour in size, so storage space isn’t going to be an issue ….. unless your logging to a ZX81! There’s still more tweaks and twiddles I want to make but the majority of the work is done ….. the down side? Well, because it’s a derivative of the TuneBoy package, it uses the same modules to connect to the ECU – and therefore, needs the a TuneBoy cable. So if you haven’t got a TuneBoy cable …………………

Extra stuff I’d like to do;

  • Add GPS location/Speed data to the file from my Garmin.
  • Add a timecode or some way of keying the log to a video/audio feed.
  • Add extra analogue inputs via another USB – brakes, fuel pressure etc.
  • Tea making and cashpoint functionality ….. eh???

But of course, one step at a time …… chickens in, dogs walked and fed, play with kittens …. oh look it’s time for bed, maybe another day. Night, night.

Bug in TuneECU 1.9.3 regarding Sagem ECU

A new version of TuneECU has been released that may well be relevant to Caponord/Futura owners. If you have recently downloaded version 1.9.3 ……. remove it as it has a bug with regards to communication to/from the ECU. A new version 1.9.4 has been released (Monday 16/05/2011) that fixes this issue, although this is untested at the time of writing.

‘Deuce of Spades’ a film by Faith Granger

Stepping away from the Aprilia for a moment … away from the world of bikes even, just a quick word or two about an excellent Hot-Rod film.

The centre piece is a 1932 Ford Deuce Hot-Rod owned by Faith Granger. Faith also happens to be the writer, producer/director/cinematographer/editor …. chief cook and bottle washer and most definitely the driving force behind the production of ‘Deuce of Spades’. Oh, and she acts in it and sings on the soundtrack! It’s a simple story about a simpler time, about lost love and second chances, mostly shown in flash-back to the mid 50’s after the cars new owner (Faith) finds a letter lost in the bodywork for over 50 years.

Can she unravel the story of the Deuce and its owner Johnny Callaway?

Ok, so lets be ruthlessly honest … there’s nothing really new here, bad boy meets good girl, loses good girl, loses car. Car gets squirreled away until our heroine finds it …..

Oh boy, that sound so cynical ….. because it’s much, much more than the underlying script. Through excellent photography and an attention to detail second to none, you are there, in the 50’s ….. surrounded by the most delicious pulsing of  fine-tuned v8 engines doing there stuff, lazy summer nights, white T-shirts, Coke in bottles and testosterone fueled midnight drag-racing!

What I feel makes this film so special is that Faith is an independent film maker … working a normal job and filming at weekends on a shoe string budget. I’m not going into the details, suffice to say, please go and read about Faith, her 32 Ford and the making of the film here:

Beg, steal, borrow or better still …. support Faith by buying a copy!!! Until then, here’s a movie trailer.


The slippery slope to oblivion.

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid - slowly dissapearing from TouratechThe new 2011 Touratech catalogue turned up yesterday – well both of them actually. The main phone-directory tome (all 1,219 pages) and the positively sylph like ‘Timeless’ catalogue for “Enduros of the first generation”…. no doubt sporting a nice line in aluminium false-teeth containers and enduro incontinence pants!

Well I thumbed through both … then thumbed again. Oh dear, it appears the Caponord no longer gets its own chapter. In fact its accessories are relegated to a chapter called ‘Travel Enduros’ …. us and the Triumph Tiger 955i. No longer worthy of our own pages we’ve shifted sideways to the Twilight Zone pending a place in the ‘Timeless’ catalogue of 2013 no doubt. Or are we destined to be wiped from the accessories catalogues for good?Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid - good shade for the animals!

Some bikes of course become the darlings of the media, some the riding public – and some are  a hit with both. The Capo though, slipped through the net. Neither loved or hated by the press and frankly let down by Aprilia themselves by virtue of a poor dealer network, hardly the stuff that attracts hard earned dosh to swap sweaty palms. The public hardly got to see one, let alone try it … so the Capo came and went … and wasn’t missed with its passing. That, frankly, is tragic.

Oh well, mine still makes for a nice bit of shade ……