Innovate Simple Sensor Interface SSI-4 - Reviewed

Written by Joe Baker on . Posted in Automotive

Innovate Simple Sensor Interface SSI-4If you have been following the close examination of the Innovate LM2 as given in the comparison review a month or so earlier, you will know that I was very frustrated as I was not able to acquire reliable RPM readings on the Innovate LM2 -- an otherwise top product.  Testing the SSI-4 in an effort to fix the RPM non recording as explained in the LM2 review,  SHOULD have been easy but it wasn’t. 

The test car in this case is a 4.2 litre 6 cyl 1970 E type Jaguar with  single coil “hall effect magnetic sensor Ignitor ignition system, using a single GT 40 coil and the original dizzy.

So how did I fare?

For starters, I contacted the manufacturers to ask if I could also attach the Inductive clamp as their downloadable instruction manual on the SSI-4 suggested that I could.  I was told that I must have downloaded an old copy as the SSI-4 did not support the Inductive clamp.  I rechecked and yes, I was right and not suffering dementia yet.  I had in fact downloaded the latest version.  So armed with the detail, I once again contacted Innovate and pointed this out and gave them not only the page number, but the paragraph as well.  This is an extract of my email:

 Page 12 refers
 Paragraph 8.3.1 Measuring RPM (Input 1 only)
 Look at the screen capture, it specifically talks about
 
 "Also for an inductive clamp on No 1 Spark plug"
 
As I like the idea of the inductive clamp, and I think it would solve many  issues  for you readers can you please check it out and I will hook up  as per your comments if you think we can make it work via the SSI-4  as well as the other coil method.

I finally got told that any reference in the instruction manual to the Inductive clamp was an error and was assured that the incorrect reference within the instructions would be removed forthwith.  At the time of this going to print, the error in the manual, if it is indeed an error, is still there.  It’s not so much whether the SSI-4 supports the Inductive clamp or not, its really about the “I care” or “don’t care” attitude of the seller.  It is obvious to me that the lack of “after service” or technical expertise is frustrating me and a lot of other people, but hey, if I’m wrong, put it in the comments to me and I will remove my “shot” at the lack of instructions and technical after service.

Anyway, with a very low tolerance level towards this product I began to try and set up the SSI-4 to accept the input signals for the LM2.  I must make you aware at this stage that the LM 2 once connected to RPM signal via the SSI-4 is supposed to log the signals along with AFR but not display them.  You can only have dynamic readings of RPM if you have a PC also connected to the LM2.  Unfortunately, we are starting to get wires everywhere so something that started off easy with minimal wires, is now getting a bit like “spaghetti bolognese”

First we connected the SSI-4 exactly as described by the instructions which we found lacking and ambiguous, so rather than take a chance, we again contacted Innovate who confirmed our final connection decisions were correct as far as they seemed to know.

Innovate SSI-4 connected

Next we ran into problems in getting the laptop to find the serial port, but eventually it wanted to play and we were getting good dynamic AFR readings shown on the laptop. 

But does the SSI-4 work, you want to know??  NO! I screamed, all we got was a few RPM spikes.  But the spikes did in fact record to the removable data disc in the LM2, like it was supposed to.

You should note that I did not end up trialling an OBD cable either on the LM2 or the SSI-4 and in both cases I will admit it has more chance of success, but that was not the connection I set out to use, they say it works from the negative of the coil and that’s what I set out to check.
Well in the wee hours of the morning, totally disheartened after dabbling around for hours trying various other methods of connections, we finally reached an all time low. 

Simple Sensor Interface another viewGuys I hate to say this, but I’ve had enough!  I am not happy to recommend that you buy the SSI-4 to get RPM out of the LM2.

Now I think I am as smart as the average bear in these fields and let’s suppose I did in fact get it wrong, although we tried all sorts of ideas after the first connections failed, the whole thing looks like an abomination and rest assured it is not neat connectivity but a tangled confusable mess of wires everywhere.

Conclusion
With a recommendation of “thumbs and fingers” down this product appears to be basically unsupported by any instructions that you can easily follow or that you could have faith in.  The satisfaction of product queries and the possibility of a working connection seems to depend pretty much entirely on the good nature and expertise of you guys within the forum.

This may be harsh but I say, save your money and connect up the ZT-2 Zeitronix or use the Innovate LM2 AFR and watch the tacho in your car!   

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