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PLX Devices R-500 Wideband Digital Air-Fuel Monitor

High-Performance Tuning At Your Finger Tips

Scott Tsuneishi
Mar 12, 2007
0704_impp_01z+plx_r_500+front_view Photo 1/9   |   PLX Devices R-500 Wideband Digital Air-Fuel Monitor

It's interesting to consider that the two most trivial things in life can also be the most important when it comes to stroking a man's ego. The tales of men and their historical conquests over the number of women they've shagged throughout their lifetime, and how frequent, always manipulates the male testosterone to flow just a wee bit faster. Forget about your promiscuous behavior. Nothing inflates the male ego faster than the random chatter of comparing who's got the larger horsepower number. The battle of who's packing the most ponies tends to overshadow the importance that import enthusiasts don't know squat when it comes to high performance engine tuning. It's one thing to bolt on thousands of dollars worth of parts to your turbocharged/ high compression naturally aspirated vehicle, but another to be able to properly tune the engine to last for more than a week.

PLX Devices introduces a convenient, hand-held portable unit entitled the R-500. This small,yet powerful tool serves as a datalogger and wideband combination, built into one simple-to-use unit. Taking three of the most essential tuning parameters for any high-performance engine, the R-500 unit implements (air/fuel, EGT, and knock) and delivers a multitude of tuning parameters. Using the latest 32-bit microprocessor technologies, the PLX R-500 can deliver information at lightning speed with pinpoint accuracy. The R-500 has been proven to be a valuable tool when interfaced with a standalone or piggy-back fuel management system as a tuning reference for wideband tuning. With enough processing power for the end user to tune and safeguard against unwanted engine failure, the R-500 combines the newest in automotive tuning innovations with affordability we can all appreciate.

The PLX R-500 has the capability of connecting up to three external sensors for the ultimate in engine tuning. Included in the kit is a Bosch LSU 4.2 wideband oxygen sensor, which replaces the underachieving factory narrow band O2 sensor found on many factory equipped vehicles. PLX utilizes the latest digital PID and DSP technologies to maximize O2 sensor reaction time and accuracy-accurate to 0.1 AFR.

0704_impp_02z+plx_r_500+features Photo 2/9   |   Chock full of features, the PLX R-500 has an integrated "real-time dyno" built within the unit. With the dyno, the end user has the ability to measure horsepower and torque without spending time and money at the local dyno shop.

Deciding on switching over from gas to methanol , or perhaps ethanol? The R-500 can be fully customized to select the specific fuel setting for your application. Fuels with lead are also compatible with the Bosch sensor. Also included with the R-500 is a K-Type thermal coupler for all-important exhaust gas temperature measurements. This unit is pre-programmed and ready to be wired for an external knock sensor which can be purchased through PLX. A common occurrence many engine tuners face is the premature pickup of knock detection from engine background noise such as piston slap or valvetrain noise. The PLX R-500 can be set up to neutralize your engine's background noise, eliminating the chance of your factory ECU backing off timing, resulting in a loss of horsepower. Measuring both knock volts and audible knock detection gives the engine tuner the capability of "listening" to your knock sensor with headphones to detect ping, or signs of premature detonation.

Along with the numerous features available on the R-500, this small, black box has a highly sought after data logger input. The R-500 features a built-in 6 input (2 speed, 4 analog) data logger with 90 minutes of on-board memory. The 2 speed inputs can be connected to any signal which gives a pulse (Freq Range: 0Hz-10 KHz) such as ignition pulse, injector duty cycle or vehicle speed. The 4 analog inputs can be connected to any signal which gives a voltage between 0-5V such as air intake temp, engine coolant temp, or mass air flow sensor.

Are you witnessing some hiccups or noticeable power loss while racing on the track? The boys at PLX understand the importance of keeping tabs on your engine's performance. A fully customizable software program enables the end user to display any gauge setup or style to his or her liking while selecting custom colors, background, and labels. For the more hardcore individuals, the PLX R-500 can be interfaced with your laptop to display up to six simultaneous channels against time on the built-in 2D logger. The more familiar 3D logger setup is also available to plot against two other input channels of your choice. Engine, load and AFR can all be plotted in 3D to maximize the fuel tuning for your vehicle. The PLX Logger software can be downloaded from their website for free. This program, when used with the R-series units, enables recorded data to be uploaded to a PC through a USB port for analysis. Data can be recorded in real-time on the PC or linked with the R-500 for real-time PC monitoring or download with prerecorded data.

0704_impp_04z+plx_r_500+fuel_tune Photo 3/9   |   PLX Devices R-500 Wideband Digital Air-Fuel Monitor

PLX continues to push the envelope as the unit's software is fully upgradeable with new firmware (current version 2.2) and additional features available on the PLX website. The R-500 controller comes with a firmware reflash card that connects to the R-Series controller while the other end attaches to your computer's parallel port. Upload the new firmware, reboot and your R-500 wideband controller will be updated within minutes with the newest software. Whether you're on the dyno, road racing, terrorizing the street or pulling some quarter-mile passes at your local drag strip, the R-500 can be fully customized to suit your vehicle's needs. With simple-to-use programs, packed with a plethora of features, the end user only needs to acquire the data, record information, download and analyze, whether in the race pits or at home. It's that simple.

0704_impp_06z+plx_r_500+fuel_tune Photo 4/9   |   Accuracy in tuning can be achieved using the 2D or 3D logger to maximize fuel tuning.
0704_impp_03z+plx_r_500+cable Photo 5/9   |   The PLX R-500 unit comes with a 10-foot K-type EGT probe with 1/4-inch diameter tip male/female sub mini connector for easy connect and disconnect.
0704_impp_05z+plx_r_500+oxygen_sensor Photo 6/9   |   Included within the kit is a Bosch LSU 4.2 wideband oxygen sensor, which replaces the underachieving factory narrow band O2 sensor.
0704_impp_08z+plx_r_500+warning_light Photo 7/9   |   Protect your engine from damage with the fully programmable warning light. The R-500 warning LED can be fully customized to activate based on a 1 or 2 variable comparison. For example, you may choose to set the warning light to activate if your throttle position exceeds 50 percent and your AFR rises above 13.9. You may also setup the warning light as a shift light utilizing a 1 variable comparison.
0704_impp_10z+plx_r_500+g_sensor Photo 8/9   |   For 80 dollars, you can purchase a G-sensor monitor. This 2-Axis G-Sensor gives the R-500 the added capability of data logging your vehicle's forward acceleration, braking deceleration and cornering road-holding grip. Any changes to your vehicle's engine power, brakes, tire compound, alignment can be detected with the PLX G-Sensor and data logged for analysis.
0704_impp_09z+plx_r_500+computer_connect Photo 9/9   |   Connecting the R-500 to your PC is made easy with an integrated USB 2.0 port. Windows will automatically detect the R-500 as a device each time it is connected to your USB port. The R-500 controller comes with a firmware reflash card that connects the controller to your computer's parallel port. Upload the new firmware, reboot and your R-500 wideband controller will be updated within minutes with the newest software.


By Scott Tsuneishi
247 Articles



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