MazdaEdit vs. VersaTuner vs. AccessPort - RX8Club.com



Series I Engine Tuning Forum EMS (Flash Tuning, Interceptor, Piggy Back, Stand Alone)

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Old 07-09-2018, 08:39 PM   #1  
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MazdaEdit vs. VersaTuner vs. AccessPort

So I realize that by asking this I may start a feud but I haven't seen any real comparison between these three options and I'd like folks opinions on which of the three tuning options to use for S1 Rx-8s. The info below is just from what I've been able to gather and any corrections to info we be made if identified.

I am not a tuner (yet) so ease of use and versatility are the big points for me. I'm not looking as much for the HP gains as making corrections that I've seen recommended such as OMP rate increase, fan temps, etc. Other folks, of course will want to be able to squeeze as my HP out of both stock 8s and mods so input in that area will still be appreciated.

Cobb AccessPort - I know it isn't really available anymore but you can still find unmarried ones on eBay and it would appear the MM is still selling remote tuning maps. This used to be the go-to option back when I had my first 8 but I never got to play with it to see how user friendly it is. Now I live in at least the same state as MM so it may be easier to get things done if it's still the recommended route. If I recall correctly, Cobbs can also be used as a dedicated gauge of your chosing which is a plus.

MazdaEdit - It seems this is the new go-to for folks who don't mind pulling out a laptop to do their tuning. Considering that ECU tuning is mostly tables, having a PC to save multiple old maps to might not be such a bad thing. Couple this with my personal goal of converting the factory nav into a carputer, and this may be the best option. The software has been described elsewhere as highly versatile but, again, I haven't used it so user-friendliness is still up in the air. Either way, it appears to be tuning software without gimmicks and that may be for the best.

VersaTuner - I really need to read up on this more but a rep described it thusly, "VersaTuner is software (Windows application) that can connect to your car and change the way your engine operates to give you more power, better fuel economy and greater control." Sounds fairly standard but with some features not found elsewhere like launch control. Again, I really need to read up more on this one but for whatever reason appears to be the less popular option.

So, experienced tuners, I'd love to hear your opinions on the pluses and minuses of each option if you happen to have been lucky enough to have hands-on experience with any of them.
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Old 07-10-2018, 01:20 AM   #2  
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They all pretty much function the same way honestly from what I have gathered.

I have played with Cobb a little and MazdaEdit alot

The two are basically the same when it comes to tuning.

From the pictures Versatuner just looks like a prettier version and from I have heard/read offers the same options.

MazdaEdit is also cheaper too at only $420 for the personal version after picking up an Openport 2.0 which is like the versalink

Only thing that Versatuner might have extra is the Launch Control and No Lift Shifting if that even applies to the RX8.
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Old 07-10-2018, 11:29 AM   #3  
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Cobb shouldn't even be in discussion as Cobb did what they always do when sales don't match their goals and abandoned the established customer base. If you have an AccessPort and an old laptop that happens to have the software, you can use it, but get to live in fear that the laptop may die and leave you in the dark.

MazdaEdit has shown accuracy challenges with tables in the Miata community, granted so has ECUTek, but ECUTek seems more diligent about correcting errors, updating records, and sharing knowledge to those that have bought into their product. How accurate are the table descriptions and how fully-mapped is the ECU within MazdaEdit for the RX-8? I am fond of ECUTek, unfortunately they developed for the NC but not the RX-8. Given the small number of owners and lack of additional development from Mazda, I don't see ECUTek *EVER* bothering with our cars.

VersaTuner looks promising as they seem engaged in the community (forum posts) and offer updates (semi-frequently?). I just want to know if they did the OpenTablet path of copying MazdaEdit table records, or if they did their own engineering to identify table functions and thus (hopefully) documented them with accuracy. Again, my only MazdaEdit experience is with the Sky-G motors, where the tables aren't always what they say they are (especially under ignition since Sky-G uses 8 ignition maps depending upon VVT, temp, and calculated values such as catalyst condition. Maybe ME's mapping of tables is good with the RX-8 since it has been out longer?
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Old 07-10-2018, 09:18 PM   #4  
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Cobb shouldn't even be in discussion as Cobb did what they always do when sales don't match their goals and abandoned the established customer base.

MazdaEdit has shown accuracy challenges with tables in the Miata community, granted so has ECUTek, but ECUTek seems more diligent about correcting errors, updating records, and sharing knowledge to those that have bought into their product.

VersaTuner looks promising as they seem engaged in the community (forum posts) and offer updates (semi-frequently?). I just want to know if they did the OpenTablet path of copying MazdaEdit table records, or if they did their own engineering to identify table functions and thus (hopefully) documented them with accuracy.
Cobb - Thank you for the info about Cobb bailing on support. I had hoped that they were still providing corrections.
MazdaEdit - I'd love to hear from someone who tunes their 8 with MazdaEdit to confirm or deny any issues with table accuracy. If there are variations but both static and known, it's less of an issue than if it's variable.

VersaTuner - I've seen a few of the VersaTuner posts and I'm glad to hear that they're still engaging with us. Hopefully either a tuner can weigh in with accuracy details or a VersaTuner rep can clue us in on table function accuracy.
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Old 07-10-2018, 10:00 PM   #5  
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Yea, I dont want to infer that MazdaEdit does have a concern with the RX-8 tables, as I just don't know. I can I can only speak to their ND Miata tuning; so like you, I hope to hear from an owner or calibrator that uses them with our platform.
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Old 07-10-2018, 11:36 PM   #6  
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I have never heard of that issue with MazdaEdit with the RX8 and have read alot of threads/posts about it and watched the videos on them, plus I do tuning with Edit and have had no issues scaling MAF/Injectors

I did my research on it as well before and for me planning on Staying NA Edit was for me and it offered a nice price for the Pro version so I can offer tuning for local RX8 owners.

Only big gripe I hear is how the tables are limited for guys that go turbo.

MazdaEdit does have good customer support though, the guy responds to emails very quickly.
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Old 07-10-2018, 11:39 PM   #7  
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If I planned on going boost id just go to adaptronics personally but versatuner just released an update giving better tables for turbo guys and some some other features as well.
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Old 07-11-2018, 01:29 AM   #8  
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A lot of us use MazdaEdit on turbo setups. Not sure what you mean by about tables limited for turbo guys - the loads on certain tables just need adjusting. I.e. create or load an FI base map, and play with that one until you're tuned. The tables are defined by the ECU, the tuning software just accesses the existing tables, it doesn't create new ones. There are no deal-breaking "wrong tables". I can't remember the exact details, but from memory there's a section in the high RPM range of two of the OL fueling tables that are swapped (e.g the 3-4 gear table and the 5-6 gear table), however the AFRs on these tables is typically very similar on both tables, so it really doesn't cause any issues. It hasn't been confirmed whether this is an ECU bug or a ME bug. If it's an ECU bug it'll be present on AP, ME and VT tuning solutions. In short, I wouldn't let this specific table problem stop you from buying ME.

I haven't looked into Adaptronic (recently acquired by Haltech) features as I'm not looking to purchase a new tuning method, however, if it offers turbo specific safety features not available on the stock ECU, I'd definitely pay the money for it. E.g. ignition cut triggered by overboost, knock sensor, high AFRs under boost, etc. It does support flex fuel, which would be cool - no need to change your tune when you fill up with different gas.
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:09 AM   #9  
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A lot of us use MazdaEdit on turbo setups. Not sure what you mean by about tables limited for turbo guys - the loads on certain tables just need adjusting. I.e. create or load an FI base map, and play with that one until you're tuned. The tables are defined by the ECU, the tuning software just accesses the existing tables, it doesn't create new ones. There are no deal-breaking "wrong tables". I can't remember the exact details, but from memory there's a section in the high RPM range of two of the OL fueling tables that are swapped (e.g the 3-4 gear table and the 5-6 gear table), however the AFRs on these tables is typically very similar on both tables, so it really doesn't cause any issues. It hasn't been confirmed whether this is an ECU bug or a ME bug. If it's an ECU bug it'll be present on AP, ME and VT tuning solutions. In short, I wouldn't let this specific table problem stop you from buying ME.

I haven't looked into Adaptronic (recently acquired by Haltech) features as I'm not looking to purchase a new tuning method, however, if it offers turbo specific safety features not available on the stock ECU, I'd definitely pay the money for it. E.g. ignition cut triggered by overboost, knock sensor, high AFRs under boost, etc. It does support flex fuel, which would be cool - no need to change your tune when you fill up with different gas.
That is good to hear. The case you note about the tables being switched/mixed up is a common concern with the ND and MazdaEdit. If it is known that those maps are 'switched', it should be a simple matter for the developer to update their descriptions to reflect 'This is 3-4' and 'This is 5-6'; otherwise it deepens the learning curve and makes the already complex task of calibrating a car more difficult as you have to now test and verify that a modified table actually does what you expect it to. Overall it sounds like the experience with MazdaEdit and the RX-8 is better than it is with the ND, which is fair since the ND platform is still so new.

As of now, I'm still on the fence between ME and VT; ME sounds like a great value if you are a calibrator, since the Pro version has a lowish cost of entry and allows for tuning multiple Mazda platforms. As an individual, the playing field sounds more equal or at least much closer together.
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Old 07-12-2018, 03:12 AM   #10  
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Here's a useful link on the Adaptronic engine protection features:
https://adaptronicecu.com/blogs/modu...-modular-ecus/
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Old 07-14-2018, 09:59 PM   #11  
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The issue with the gear maps is that you don't know which table will be used (without testing) and it can swap between tables without you changing gear as JB mentioned . To overcome this is pretty simple , just set all maps to be the same . There really isn't the ability to tune by gear on the stock ECU.

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Old 07-17-2018, 07:28 PM   #12  
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Sorry for the slow response back, apparently I'm not getting the notifications. Anyway, thank you for the info on ME. For the time being, my 8 will be NA so, thankfully, turbo isn't a factor...yet. Most of what I'm looking for out of a tune is fairly mundane but it's good info for anyone else tracking this thread. I'll keeping reading up on Adaptronic but I, from what I'm seeing here and elsewhere, think ME will likely be the way for me to go.

Thanks for all the great feedback, guys. Now I just need to find a good tuner here in Phoenix.
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