The MSD View software controls all of the functionality of the Power Grid System Controller. The following information gives a brief explanation of each function or feature in the system as well as the settings that control it. While using the program, hover the mouse over a Function to display a brief explanation. When the system controller is connected to a PC via USB MSD View will automatically recognize it and load the settings stored in it. Note: Ensure that MSD View is installed on the PC prior to connecting the Power Grid Ignition Controller.
INSTALLATION OF THE VIEW SOFTWARE
1. Insert the installation CD Rom into the CD drive, wait up to 30 seconds, the CD will auto run, IF THIS DOES NOT OCCUR:
Locate and open the CD Drive.
Double click on the Setup file.
2. Select “Click here to Install Version X.XX”.
3. Once loaded, your monitor will have an MSD View X.XX logo. Accept the agreement. Drive the installation to your program files folder, press the enter key. The installation will complete, select OK.
4. A window will be opened with two aliases, double-click on the MSD View alias to launch the software.
5. Connect the system controller via USB. If the software does not recognize the controller and auto-connect, manually select the Power Grid in the popup window and click Connect.
Note: The View Software can be downloaded from www.msdignition.com.
SAVES AND TRANSFERS
Using the Power Grid System Controller changes are in real time if the computer is linked to the ignition. You can create and save numerous files on your PC and transfer them for testing purposes or to use for various locations and conditions.
The following instructions will go through a general description of the use of the Power Grid System Control following the tab system that you will see in the software.
PROGRAMMABLE FEATURES AND SETTINGS:
These are the most basic settings of the system. They will need to be set the first time the system is installed in a vehicle.
Number of Cylinders: This tells the system the number of cylinders. Must be selected correctly for proper timing and rev limiting.
Maximum Timing Reference: This is the advance that is set with a locked distributor or crank trigger. The system controller will use this as its base for all timing marks and can never advance past the preset point. It is critical that this advance is set properly.
Note: When using EFI the max timing reference and the main timing must be the same number.
Number of Gears: This tells the system the number of gears used in the transmission. This information can be used a variety of ways depending on the functions and modules used in the system.
Ignition Type: Found under General Settings, this option allows a user to select between using the Power Grid Ignition, PN 7720, or one of the MSD legacy ignitions.
DIAGNOSTIC LED INDICATOR
There is an LED that monitors the status of the system and allows the user to quickly know if all systems are working properly, recording is in process, or if there are errors. The possible conditions of the light are listed and explained below:
OFF – No power to the unit
1 Seconds ORANGE – Power ON light test
10 Seconds ORANGE – Slew/Time Rev Limiter Active (alert active for 60 minutes of power on after module is disconnected)
Blinking ORANGE – Recording in process
Blinking GREEN – Input trigger (Mag or Points) below 500 rpm without Alerts
Blinking RED – Input trigger (Mag or Points) below 500 rpm with Alerts
GREEN – Running with no active Alerts
RED – Running with active Alert
This is used only in applications where the individual cylinder timing is going to be used. The fiber optic connector communicates when the #1 cylinder fires. With this information, the controller knows which cylinder is being fired allowing for the individual cylinder timing capabilities. Only the MSD Fiber Optic Inductive Pickup Kit, PN 7555 will work for this system. Cam-sync’s cylinder #1 identification is also used in the data acquisition recordings.
In the Gear Shift selection the user can set items such as launch and shift delay so that the system will not have a false shift detected immediately after launch or a shift should there be an rpm drop for any other reason.
Launch Delay: The amount of time in seconds after the launch that the system will ignore an rpm drop to prevent false shift detection. This can be set from 0.00 to 10.00 in .01 second increments.
Shift Delay: The amount of time in seconds after sensing a shift that the system will ignore an rpm drop to prevent false shift detection. This can be set from 0.00 to 10.00 in .01 second increments.
1->2 Shift: By setting the rpm drop the user tells the system how to sense when the car is being shifted during a run. The setting is controlled by a drop down list with rpm from 200 – 1,500 or can be set to be activated by a Step Retard wire instead. The number of shifts that is shown is controlled by the number of gears the system is set to in the Settings – General tab.
Using the Shift Light controls opens a variety of options designed to help make sure the light is exactly as desired. The shift light setting can be set by single rpm increments. In this control tab, each value can be entered to the exact rpm desired and the light’s intensity can be adjusted so that it is visible without blinding. The number of gears that appear on this tab will be auto-populated by the program after the number of gears is set in the general settings. This can also be used with a relay as a transmission shifter. The maximum current for this circuit is 3 amps.
Light Intensity: This percentage setting controls brightness of the shift light for easy use in both day and night racing. If being used for anything other than shift light control, the intensity must be 100%.
Power-On Test: Normally set to on but can be turned off if desired. The power-on test turns the shift light on as soon as the controller receives power to show that the circuit is complete and working.
Launch Light: The Shift Light will turn on if the engine rpm is between the launch low limit and the launch high limit. The light will blink if rpm is above the launch high limit.
Gear 1-5: A setting can be adjusted for each individual shift. To do this enter the engine RPM that should turn the Shift Light ON for each gear.
When the switch is activated it will supply ground to a circuit in order to turn an item on by time and/or rpm. The circuit can maintain up to 2 continuous amps. If more than 2 amps is needed a relay is recommended, PN 8961.
To activate or deactivate this circuit the system must see a programmed time and/or rpm setting which is programmed in the Settings – Output. Using both On and Off values will set a window to control the switch. The output will only be activated while within the set window and will be deactivated as soon as one or both sides of the windows are not met. All parameters must be met for the output switch to be activated. For example, if values are entered for both RPM On and Activation Point (timed on) then both of those values must be reached before the switch is activated. The rpm function becomes active and the time function begins counting after the Dark Blue launch wire is released.
Note: If using the time activation function a duration MUST be set above 0.00 or the switch will not be activated by time.
The user can set the timing from 0 - 60° BTDC. However, actual timing will never advance past the maximum timing reference nor will the timing retard more than 30° from the max timing reference. MAX and MIN timing lines will be displayed for convenient reference in the main engine timing tab. (Those lines can be turned off by unchecking them in the upper left column.)
Note: When using EFI the max timing reference and the main timing must be the same number.
Engine timing cannot exceed the maximum timing reference. In order to advance timing, the main timing map must be set below the maximum timing reference. I.E. If the crank trigger is at 40° and the main timing map is set to 35° there will be up to 5° of advance available.
Using MSD View software, an entire timing curve can be mapped. The map specifies the actual engine timing. The Power Grid will retard the input trigger to obtain the correct engine timing. The maximum timing reference must be set properly for correct engine timing. These maps include changes in 50 rpm increments and timing changes down to 0.1 degrees. A maximum of 30 points can be set per map.
This map will show all engine timing maps that are drawn based on rpm values such as timing curves per gear. The information for all of these maps is accumulative in the software. In order to edit a particular timing curve the user must go into the proper tab per function.
Start Retard: As part of the general engine timing curve, users can specify a start retard. While each engine responds differently, the typical recommendation for a start retard is to to pull out 10° from 0 - 600 rpm. A variety of other ideas can be applied to a start retard, including ramping timing in as engine rpm climbs. Use of such techniques is at the discretion of the user.
This program provides the ability to modify the timing curve for each gear. One curve can be created for each gear, up to six, from 0 – 15,000 rpm in 0.1° increments for every 50 rpm. You can program up to 30 different points on each Gear Curve. The number of gears shown and how a shift is detected are dependent on the selected values in the Settings tab.
In the Ignition Timing – Gear Curves tab, an individual curve is plotted for each gear. Each change made for the gear curves references off of the Main Timing curve are set in the Engine RPM tab, not off of the max timing reference. Gear curves are NOT cumulative; i.e. Retarding 1° in 2nd gear does not affect 3rd gear settings.
Note: The gear curves are independent of each other. In order to make progressive changes, one gear’s starting point must match the final timing of the previous gear’s curve. Leaving a gear curve unedited will result in normal timing for that gear regardless of other gear curves ahead of or behind it.
INDIVIDUAL CYLINDER TIMING
Note: To control ICT an inductive pickup, PN 7555, is required.
To accomplish timing changes per cylinder the engine’s firing order must be entered first. Firing order is programmed in the tab Ignition Timing – Individual Cylinder – Firing Order by numbering the order into the Value column. Many common firing orders can also be imported from a database within the software; to do so simply go to FileImport and open the “firing_order” folder where an engine description can be selected.
Similarly, if an engine uses a firing order not included in these options the settings can be exported to be saved in the same file.
After the correct firing order is entered individual cylinder timing can be created by editing rules. Up to 10 rules can be entered to control various aspects of timing for a single cylinder at a time. Each rule has six (6) values that can be controlled; Cylinder, Retard/Advance, Timing, From Gear, Delay, and Ramp Time. To make a rule the first four control values must be entered, Delay and Ramp Time may be left at the default of 0 if desired. When timing is changed on an individual cylinder, in order to bring the cylinder back to original timing an equivalent amount of timing must be used to offset (DO NOT use 0°). I.E. If cylinder two is retarded by 3° in RULE 1, in order to put the timing back in the cylinder must be advanced in a later rule by 3°.
Cylinder: Double click this value to select the cylinder for which timing is to be altered.
Retard / Advance: Enter whether timing will be Retarded or Advanced. After using this option timing changes will always be entered as a positive number.
Note: Engine timing cannot exceed the maximum timing reference. In order to advance timing, the main timing map must be set below the maximum timing reference. I.E. If the crank trigger is at 40° the main timing map is set to 35° there will be up to 5° of advance available.
Timing Change: Enter the amount of timing that is to be retarded or advanced. This value will always be a positive number, regardless of whether advance or retard is desired.
From Gear: This setting determines from which gear the timing change will become active. If gear one is selected the timing change will be active at all times unless a delay is used.
Delay: This is the time, in seconds, that will pass prior to initiating the timing change after the proper gear change. This setting defaults to 0.0 but can be taken up to 5.0 seconds. If a timing change is desired during an entire run, but not other times the engine is running, this setting should be entered as 0.1 sec.
Ramp Time: The amount of time it takes for the Individual Cylinder Timing to be fully engaged. During this time the controller will ramp the timing change from the starting point to full timing.
Note: Changes made in Individual Cylinder Timing are cumulative. If a cylinder’s timing is to be altered for a duration of time two rules must be made, one to initiate the change and another to reverse the change at the appropriate time.
LAUNCH RETARD (TIMING BY TIME)
This function allows a user to set an engine timing curve based on the run time from launch (release of the dark blue wire). It can be programmed from 0° to 20° in 0.1° increments. Up to 30 trace points can be set per 0.01 sec. across the available 10 seconds. When the Launch wire is active, the retard value is the placement of the first dot. When 12 volts are removed from the Dark Blue wire the engine timing will follow the prescribed curve added to the base timing set at the engine RPM map.
There are five step wires that control each of the corresponding step retards. These retards can be set so that they are not active until a specified rpm is reached even if the wire receives voltage. Using this system a step can activate as soon as the trigger wire receives 12 volts or after the engine reaches a specific rpm with 12 volts at the trigger wire. Once the retard is activated, timing can be changed in a single step or be ramped in over a period of time. The retard can also be turned off in a single step or ramp after a prescribed time after power is removed.