Flat-line dashboard

Franken-CapoWith just over 82,000 miles on the Caponord, the dashboard died. Yes, while about to set off from a rather innocuous little shop car park on a hot and humid afternoon, the dashboard shuffled off its mortal coil … Curled up its toes, bought the farm – as dead as the proverbial Dodo.

On the way home I mulled over the possible cause, was it the additional microcontroller/hardware I added in 2013 or simply a failure of some part of the original Magneti Marelli circuit board? By the time I got home, I had a few possibilities rolling around my head, but nothing concrete. 15 minutes after cutting the ignition, the dashboard was on the test-bench.

Ultimately the fault was traced to a ‘Via’, a hole where a signal/power track passes from one side of the board to the other. In this case, where there should have been 12 Volts, there was 2 Volts! A simple wire link bypassed the problem and the dashboard popped back into life.

So is it a design flaw or manufacturing defect? I’d say probably a bit of both! Below is a photograph of the faulty area on a Mk1 and Mk2 board. Notice the Mk2 (right hand) has a much larger track area AND has 4 Via’s instead of the Mk1’s single Via bringing power from the top of the board to the underside. All well and good BUT both boards still only have a single Via (red dot) to pass power to the regulator on the front ……….. And it’s this Via that failed!

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-raid dashboard track

 It seems that this was known to be a troubled area and was re-designed …. sort of. But the fact that the last Via was never upgraded, simply left this as the weak link – unfortunately, one of many on these boards!

Anyway, this one’s a runner for now ……. and that’s a jolly good excuse for a run around for an hour or two to thoroughly test it out! 😀

A little light circuit training

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid - Dashboard large LCD panelOn a previous post I mentioned a visit by Mike081. During his stay I said that I’d like to get hold of another instrument panel at some point, so I could look into the circuit and programming in more detail. It just so happened Mike had a board lying around and he promised to sent it over. Well, true to his word, a Mk2 Caponord board was sat on the postbox when I got back home the other day. Cheers Mike!

First, I made a stand to support the little beauty while I prodded and poked around withAprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid - AutoCAD circuit layout my trusty multimeter. The next job was to try and fix it! The board had a couple of problems, a high resistance track and faulty regulator but nothing too taxing. Next up, I photographed the front (high resolution pic here) and back, then imported them into AutoCAD and started the tedious task of unraveling the tracks and components (click on pic).

Next up, the EEPROM. The little memory chip that contains settings and data relevant to the running of the board and recording of mileage and trip.

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid - dashboardTwo AF1 forum members – Michele (MCR) and Andy (Beasthonda) have been forefront in unraveling the data on the chip and how it alters the way the board works. The bottom line is that instrument panels from both the Caponord and Futura can now be reprogrammed in various ways and used on either bike. This also means that the ability to safely recover boards that have reset to factory default is now possible.

I’d like to thank both Andy and Michele for including me in the email exchange and for sending data and documents so I can better understand the particular settings for each bike – Cheers gents, you’re the best!

So this week I’ve experimented with the alternative settings and sure enough my little board has changed from Caponord to Futura and back and dabbled in metric and imperial measurements and even been a hybrid – Caponord with Futura LCD display and Speedo/Tacho calibration.

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid - dashboard