So that old question of what comes first? the chicken or the egg equally applies to tuning - what comes first? the tuning or the data logging? Sure, the 'end game' is tuning a vehicle just the way you would like it to run, but the question is how do you get there? While many tuning products are often compared to EFILive, in most cases there is one big difference - Scan Tool data and more specifically data logging features just don't compare.
Data logging has certainly come a long way and is now considered the single most important 'tool' to assist in tuning. Originally EFILive was first released as a Scan Tool for the GM LS1 market teamed with B&B's AutoTap hardware in 2001, but it wasn't until 2004 that EFILive released FlashScan V1, it's own in house hardware design and the first integrated USB based scan and tune tool for GM LS1 vehicles, so clearly data logging comes long before tuning.
While the EFILive scan tool was comprehensive, a common request from customers was that data from other sources was needed to take data logging one step further to make meeting that 'end game' of tuning easier and more efficient. So EFILive set about integrating wideband controller data using voltage measurements with FlashScan V1.Whilst working well in many cases, this innovation wasn't without it's drawbacks. Voltage offsets and vehicle electrical noise resulted in inaccurate AFR readings and were an issue for some customers, but for the majority and the industry as a whole incorporating wideband readings into the data stream was a giant leap forward. Adding to these advancements was the fact that FlashScan V1 would allow users to record up to 20 minutes of data logging without a laptop connected.
With a comprehensive scan tool and tuning tool written by the same company, EFILive delivered a feature that we all now take for granted - the integration of scan tool data in a tuning tool application, and the ability to overlay logged data on a tune file. What a huge time saver for tuners.
With GM changing communications protocols on the release of the E40 LS2 controller, and EFILive expanding into other GM markets including Duramax, further hardware development was needed. 2006 saw the birth of FlashScan V2, and delivered SD card capabilities. Effectively data logging moved from a max of 20 mins on FlashScan V1 to only being limited by the size of an SD card. FlashScan V2 delivered other logging improvements too, including integrating wideband controllers via the FlashScan V2 serial port, completely eliminating problems of voltage offsets and noise, as well as introducing stop/start capabilities creating a single log over multiple time frames, perfect for the race track.
Along with advances of the internet and compact size of data logs, remote tuning and helping our forum friends moved from the category of wishful thinking into reality for both professional tuners and enthusiasts. More importantly geographical location and time zones of those participating became irrelevant. The 'send me your log' posts on forums grew as people shared tuning ideas and methods and offered suggestions on what was best to log to identify conditions in the vehicle to be modified. .....click to view The Evolution of Data Logging - Part 2