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Thread: Blue Screen of Death during WOT?!?!

  1. #11
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    Good point.
    Racing cars often use unsuppressed HT cables - ie, pure copper without resistive splug caps instead of typical carbon/resistive leads.
    Usually radios will pick up that noise - especially on AM - but few race cars have HUs etc. (My rally car did, but we drifted in style.)

  2. #12
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    I agree, interference can be the cause. I was once playing with a homebrew plasma ignition / CDI for a single cylinder engine using a non res plug. The ECU is a pic micro and each time I revved it up the MCU would reset on its own. Not surprising due to the amount of interference that thing spew out.

  3. #13
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    Yeah youd think that. But ive seen this problem before with volt drop at high rpms. Low amp rated alternator with high powered ignition system was the problem. And I doubt its interference from ht leads. The pc would drop out at low rpm's too not just at high rpm's. Good luck
    Last edited by pcmoto.com.au; 05-29-2013 at 03:51 AM.

  4. #14
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    IMO that must have been a heck of a low rated alternator. Spark energy is essentially negligible compared to other overheads, and alternators should have enough reserve to charge at low RPM with headlights & wipers.
    Being a high powered ignition I'd suspect an unusually low output alternator (for racing etc) or maybe even and incorrectly geared alternator.
    But as I said, that's easy to determine with a simple voltage test. Or even switching other loads like headlights, or noting headlight dimming.

  5. #15
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    I did some testing. Revved the motor while sitting in neutral - screen did not turn blue.

    Took the car out, did a pull, and screen went blue at higher rpms.

    I purchased some vibration absorbing material and placed between the ECU and mac mini (my mac mini is mounted to my ECU). Still does the same thing.

    I'm running an OEM alternator that reads anywhere from 12.8-13.7v during high rpms.

  6. #16
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    I highly doubt it would be a low powered alternator unless you don't have a battery in the vehicle or the battery is too low powered. You can run a vehicle without an alternator at all although the battery would die quickly if you have quite a few things on board. With a properly working alternator the battery will take up any short term slack. The 12.8 volts at WOT sounds more like a low output alternator but shouldn't be an issue if the battery is in good condition and the voltage is fine at other times. If it was a low voltage problem causing the problem then the vehicle would not run smoothly either.


    If it would make you feel better about the charging system being the issue I suggest temporarily installing a standard battery in the vehicle. You need to totally isolate the computer from the vehicles power system. You CAN ground the battery to a good ground location in the vehicle but as long as the computer is totally running from this battery you should be fine. In this test the computer should run totally fine regardless of RPM of the vehicle. If it does then you have an issue with the charging system somewhere. If it does the same thing as it has been doing you have isolated that it is not the charging system.

  7. #17
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    Running a vehicle without a battery is not recommended. On some vehicles it can raise the voltage thru the roof.
    On all vehicles it means there is no filtering of the rectified AC nor of any spikes that typically arise which can be quite capable of blowing on-board electronics.


    JETT86 - your alternator voltage is too low, but it depends on where you measured it.
    The key voltage is that of the battery. Alternators regulate to provide typically 14.2V or up to 14.4V at the battery (not above 14.4V long term). [The old set point until about 30-40 years ago was 13.8V but that was found to be too low for good battery life.]

    The alternator itself may output higher (voltage) to compensate for voltage drops to the battery, though single wire "D+" types won't - they'll stick to their set point, typ 14.2V etc.

    Any point downstream from those voltage sources will be at a lower voltage due to voltage drops under load. (Whether higher than the battery due to the alternator depends on the vehicle's wiring.)
    The greater the number of fuses and switches (and load current), the greater the voltage drop. Hence why most have dedicated power to their PCs and audio etc (max voltage and a better filtered/cleaner supply).

    You could try redheadedrod's independent battery suggestion noting that that may also effect any supposed bad connection problem.
    Last edited by OldSpark; 06-04-2013 at 06:22 PM.

  8. #18
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    You should never run a vehicle without a battery. It is important to the charging system and you can cause damage to the electrical system without it in place. You can however run a car without an alternator but won't run long. I was only referring to running the computer setup you have off a battery on its own.

  9. #19
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    Yeah, I just wanted to educate those that didn't know or that may misconstrue.


    An alternator-less car may run all day, or up to a few hours at night.

    If charging at only up to 13.7V, I'd be surprised if the battery lasted 2 years - probably more like 6 months if occasional short runs.

  10. #20
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    I would suspect the RF as being the issue.

    I have heard that race cars with non shielded cables put out a serious amount of RF and can prevent the use of ECM's without having issues so it wouldn't surprise me that a computer that isn't properly shielded against RF wouldn't work either.

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