You're looking at the dyno's progress as of July 2017
I started building this dyno in the summer of 2012, before I knew anything about hydraulics, electronics, or circuit board design. In the beginning, my motivation for building a dyno wasn't really connected to the business. I wanted to do it because I wanted to push the GY6 engine to its limits, find its breaking points, and make improvements based on real test data (not superstitions).
It's been a long project, and a very deep learning experience. If you'd asked me in 2012 how long it would take to build the dyno, I would have told you "2 months tops". That was somewhat true, as the physical frame and hydraulics were all functional at that point, but capturing good data out of the machine (with no computer) was too difficult. Now here we are in the 5th year. Dev time is extremely limited. On average, I've only been able to dedicate a couple days per month to developing the dyno. Life and building a company tends to get in the way of non-critical things.
As of July 2017, I have every detail worked out. All of the components on hand. All of the plans and diagrams laid out on the table. At this point the only issue is getting the time. Time to put it all together physically, electronically, and bring it to life by coding the software.
The 2012 "two month" version of the dyno (no computer)
At this point, I could simulate a load for up to 28hp. But I couldn't easily capture good data. This wasn't cutting it, as a dyno isn't a dyno without rock solid data. Just a fancy test stand.
Making it a true dyno with reliable data capture and automation control
Professional dyno suppliers wanted $3,000 for JUST the dedicated dyno computer alone, so developing one myself for my exact needs was the obvious decision.
Here is my custom Dyno Computer. On the left is my dyno computer fitted into an off-the-shelf panel box enclosure. On the right are the stepper motors, driver, and power supply. All of the computer-related hardware was less than $300, sourced from standard CNC online parts stores.
I found that the most advanced commercially available dyno computers (for small engines) are built with yesterday's technology and are lackluster on features unless you want to spend upwards of $40,000 on a turn-key machine! This may have changed in the last few years. I haven't checked.
Q: What will you do with the dyno when it's finished?
A: Test performance parts, publish the data here, do shootout tests, and piss off a lot of snake oil sellers!
Q: How much has it all cost, up to this point?
A: I'll tally up everything and edit this post later. A decent estimate would be $2,500 (stretched out over 5 years).
Q: Where do you source your parts?
- The frame was an old $35 piece of junk I picked up at an estate auction.
- The engine cradle is a Yerf Dog GX150 swingarm.
- The mechanical parts were fabricated here in the BD machine shop on the mill, lathe and plasma table.
This project is entirely funded by your orders!
YOU make this possible. Thanks for your support!
Progress in chronological order:
- Features Overview
- The 2012 build - Frame fabrication, and the Hydraulic system
- Early lessons learned
- The Computer System (Wireless DAQ, Operator Control, and Automation setup)
- Stripping, painting, and rebuilding
- Hydraulic "working fluid" temperature control
- Automation and remote control (with stepper motors)
Travis • Buggy Depot • Enthusiast owned and operated since 2005