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Discussion Starter #1
I am going to add a EGT gauge to my sled this year.  I know I want either a Westach duel analog or a Pyro 2000.  I like them because I can get the round guages to fit right into my dash.  I can't decide if its worth it to pay the extra $60 for the digital.  Thanks for any suggestions.
 

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I'd buy digital any day of the week. Easier to read..better resolution.
 

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Does anyone know if the pyro 2000 will react faster than the analog will.  I have heard digatrons will.  Or does that all depend on what probe you get.
 

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</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (PurpleZRT @ July 01, 2002, 12:38pm)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">I'd buy digital any day of the week. Easier to read..better resolution.[/b][/quote]
An archived article on Digatron Gauges...[


Some sledders automatically associate the words "exhaust temperature monitoring" with racing and/or high performance. While to some extent this is true, you would be amazed at the number of average sledders that are choosing to install EGT gauges on their sleds.

So, why the sudden rush for EGT monitoring? Because these sledders are beginning to realize the three important roles that EGT monitoring can play, which is something that high performance racers have known for some time; performance, reliability, and engine safety.

Based on visitor feedback and feature surveys, SnowmobileWorld decided to explore EGT monitoring in-depth with one of the most popular digital exhaust gauges in the industry today, the Digatron 30 Series.


THE BASICS:

There are two basic industry designs for exhaust temp gauges; analog and digital. We'll take a look at the pros and cons of both including the main differences in operating characteristics.


Analog:

Analog EGT gauges, in short, provide temperature monitoring via a pointer or needle. Their display type is very similar to your existing sled tachometer readout. They usually come with few features other than backlighting and typically have an accuracy level of +/- 60 degrees.




Analog EGT Gauge Pros and Cons

PROS

Significantly less expensive.
Still provides reasonable tuning aid.
Small compact design.

CONS

Lacks memory/other features.
Slower response.


Digital:

Digital EGT gauges provide temperature monitoring via digital readout. Their display is typically larger than analog and include much greater feature capability incorporated into the unit. They provide extremely fast response with a high level of accuracy; +/- 12 degrees.




Digital EGT Gauge Pros and Cons

PROS
Provides greater accuracy and response.
Incorporates enhanced features such as memory and recall functions.
Provides better tuning and diagnostic ability.

CONS
Much more expensive than analog.
Units are typically larger.


Analog VS Digital: Which is better?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It depends entirely on the application in which you are using it for. If you are a sledder looking to provide safe jetting information and baselines, analog would serve you well and at a substantially reduced cost. If you are a high performance sledder or racer, looking to get every available horsepower from your engine with enhanced diagnostic ability, then digital is the best solution for you.

Analog gauges provide only approximate EGT temperature simply because they are slower in response and their scaled readouts cannot provide that high of accuracy. It is difficult to tell whether you are running 1125, 1135, or 1145 degrees F on your exhaust temps because the scale cannot provide that great of detail. What you can tell is that you are above 1100 degrees F, below 1200 degrees F, running somewhere in between. While this provides some sledders with the information they want to keep jetting in check, this proves inadequate for the serious tuner.

Digital EGT gauges on the other hand, are highly accurate and provide lightning fast response time. Not only will you see the exact exhaust temperature you are running, you will also know how it compares with your other cylinder(s), instantly. This becomes very important when tuning for maximum performance. Digital gauges are often advertised that they have the ability to show a single cylinder misfire at full rpm. While this may mean absolutely nothing to the average sledder, it does demonstrate just how fast and accurate they are.


DIGATRON'S 30 SERIES EGT GAUGE:

The Digatron Series 30 (34) exhaust temperature gauge is a feature rich unit that provides excellent EGT monitoring along with some extras. Our test unit was equipped with the optional water temperature channel; a feature that we feel all gauges should have. The model DT34SN3 ($555.00 list) features triple exhaust monitoring, rpm and water temperature monitoring, memory function, alarm limits, maximum value recall, three sets of all channel storage/recall, and backlighting. We also ordered the optional remote store switch, something we will discuss later.

Our gauges arrived securely packaged and with the optional equipment included as ordered. We have found that the packaging products arrive in can usually give some hints as to how well the product and/or company performs. Poor packaging is inexcusable and is usually indicative of the companies' lack of commitment to customer satisfaction. This was definitely NOT the case with our Digatron gauges. They arrived on time and professionally packaged.

We started off by reading the instructions thoroughly. They were straight forward on how to install the gauge and on how to set it up. Placement of the gauge itself is user preference though we highly recommend that you choose a location that will provide shelter from damage and the elements. We chose to mount our gauge on the hood, just behind the windshield. All necessary mounting hardware is included though special mounting requirements may need additional parts.

GAUGE INSTALLATION:

We attached the two provided L-shaped brackets to the gauge, then marked the holes accordingly on the hood. We drilled both holes slightly larger than the provided screws, just enough to allow for clearance. With the gauge in place we tightened both the screws holding the L-shaped bracket to the hood and also where the bracket connected to the gauge itself. This process was simple and took no longer than 15 minutes.

With the gauge mounted, we used a top hood vent to route the EGT, power, and water temp connecting cables into the engine compartment. These cables from the gauge are only short pigtails, with BNC (twist-to-lock) connector ends.

We decided to start off by connecting the power cables first. Digatron recommends that you tap into your sled's lighting coil wire BEFORE the voltage regulator. Power supplied to the gauge after the regulator can cause some erratic readings. After locating our regulator, we used the included wire screw to connect the power lead to the lighting coil. We attached the negative lead directly to the engine ground, as recommended by Digatron.

To connect the water temperature sensor, we needed to come up with a housing that would hold the water sensor (believe it or not, the housing is not included?). We were able to find a fitting at our local hardware store that we could adapt for use with the sensor. We sized the fitting for the correct size coolant line that we had and drilled/tapped a hole on one side. We then screwed the water sensor into the fitting. We cut the coolant hose just beneath the filler neck and removed about an inch of the hose. We put the coolant temperature sensor inline with the hose and fastened with some hose clamps. We then connected the proper water temp lead to the sensor and one to ground.

Lastly, we needed to install the exhaust probes. Digatron provides a basic probe location, but we recommend you check with your specific pipe/sled manufacturer, especially if you have an aftermarket exhaust. Exhaust probe location is crucial for accurate readings, so don't guess. Our exhaust system happened to be stock, so we consulted our manufacturer's racing handbook for the exact recommended probe location. Using a 3/16" bit, we drilled a hole directly in the center of the exhaust pipe at the specified measurement. You will usually measure your probe location from the piston face or the cylinder exhaust flange, whichever your manufacturer recommends. If you are unsuccessful in obtaining this location information for your particular model, Digatron recommends a baseline of 2" from the head side of the exhaust flange.

We then placed the exhaust probe on the pipe and tightened. A piece of advice; resist the temptation of overtightening the probe clamp. It WILL break...

We repeated the above steps for each cylinder and the probe installation was complete. Our task now was to properly route the probe cables and connect them to our gauges. Digatron recommends that you keep the probe cables a minimum of 6" from ignition system components (plug wires, spark plugs, ignition coils, magneto, etc.). While this is not always possible, you should do your best to keep them away from these sources which will decrease the chances of getting erratic readings from your gauge. After routing our cables and marking which cylinder each one came from, we identified and marked which gauge pigtails correspond to each display window. We like to keep the PTO side cylinder (left) in the upper left display window, the center cylinder in the lower left window, and the MAG side cylinder (right) in the lower right window. RPM is always the upper right display. This way, if we see an abnormal reading on our gauges we know precisely which cylinder to begin checking. An easy way to find out which pigtail goes where is to connect one probe at a time. Whichever window suddenly displays a temperature is the one that corresponds to that pigtail.

We finished up the installation by using a few wire ties to make everything look good and to hold everything securely. Now that the gauge installation was complete, it was time to focus our attention on setting up the gauge.

GAUGE SETUP:

There are a few parameters that must be set for the gauge to work properly. This involves following a step by step procedure of entering values into the gauge. Since this process is very detailed, we choose not to discuss this aspect in this article. The process though is clear cut and detailed very well in the included instruction manual. You will be entering your limits (RPM, EGT, WATER TEMP) and also providing information on the number of lighting coil poles your sled has, etc. Expect to spend about 10 minutes for complete setup. Please note: setup can only be performed with the engine off. An internal battery powers the gauge when the sled is not running.

With gauge installation and setup complete, it was time to see how they work.

USING THE GAUGE:

The operating instructions give you a detailed overview of how to use the gauges and what each button does. Our first step was making sure the EGT temps showing were accurate. To do this, you need to monitor plug color and piston wash while comparing your findings with the temp gauge. This will provide you a baseline for jetting and assure you that the display matches your actual exhaust temperature. Since you may be asking yourself what the purpose behind doing all this is, we offer this explanation: As mentioned before, probe location is crucial for accurate readings. Having the probe too close to the cylinder can actually cause a false LOW reading since the probe tip is being cooled by unburnt fuel/air mixture. This is why you need to be absolutely sure that your temp readings are indicative of your plug color AND piston wash findings. Once you have assured that this is true, you can safely rely on the temp readings indicated. Our temps were definitely in line with our piston wash and plug color, so on with more testing.

Our first real discovery after using the gauge was how far off each cylinder was with one another. You should strive to maintain a maximum difference in EGT readings of 50 degrees F between each cylinder. We had one cylinder 185 degrees lower than the other two. None of them were within 50 degrees F of each other. We checked our readings at several different throttle positions to see where the rest of the jetting came in at. You'll be amazed at how much horsepower you're giving up in improper jetting.

Our second major discovery was how far our factory tachometer was off. We never realized that these things could be so inaccurate. We were shifting out a good 350 RPM over our recommended shift RPM.

As you play with these gauges, you begin to realize that they are much more than a diagnostic aid or safety net. As racers and performance enthusiasts have known all along, they are a definite performance add-on. You can bolt on as much horsepower as you can afford, but if you aren't jetted correctly and pulling correct RPM levels, your results will be poor. We would go as far as to say that you can get as much horsepower from a set of these gauges than you can a good port job or set of performance pipes. Properly tuning your engine and clutching is of monumental importance for maximum performance.

Some of the features of our Digatron gauge provided us with interesting data. It was nice to see the maximum values of our RPMs and EGTs while making a wide open run. Knowing that you have alarm limits set to alert you to problem areas was also reassuring.

We have to say though that we didn't like the store function feature whatsoever. The gauge includes the ability for you to press a button to store all EGT and RPM values at any given time, up to three individual sets of data. This proved to be of no use since it is nearly impossible to locate the little button much less depress it while shooting down the trail or field. If you want to use this feature, buy the Remote Store Switch ($19.50 list). We wanted to use the unit without it first to see what the difference would be. Our findings were that you might as well not have the store feature if you don't buy the remote switch. This really shouldn't be optional equipment, it should have been included right from the start. Imagine, trying to hit a button on your gauge while traveling at 60 MPH. We're surprised it isn't included for safety to say the least.

We were also annoyed with the fact that the water temperature sensor DOES NOT come with a housing, nor is there one available from Digatron. Even though we were able to find a solution relatively easy, we felt that this should not be left up to the customer to find.

Beyond that, the gauge functioned beautifully. After tuning the sled based on the new Digatron data, we could really feel the difference. Now the sled ran like it does only when it gets real cold outside. You know the feeling. Our RPMs were now right on target, no more overrev on the big end.

We also had the opportunity to use the Digatron gauge as a diagnostic aid. There is nothing like the feeling of knowing precisely when a plug is beginning to foul and which cylinder is the culprit. It completely takes the guess work out of trying to figure out which cylinders are firing good or bad, or which cylinders are getting fuel and which ones aren't. We even had a UFO fall off one of our carb slides. The Digatron gauge reported the problem on the PTO cylinder instantly.

CONCLUSION:

Our Digatron exhaust gauge performed wonderfully. It gave us benefits of tuning that we simply could not achieve without it. We were able to tune our clutching and jetting to precise levels, which in the end gave us a noticeable power increase. Besides this, it gave us security knowing that we have monitoring capability with preset alarm levels that notify us of problem areas. The Digatron EGT gauge is much more than an exhaust temp sensor. It allows you to fine tune areas of performance with accuracy that you simply could not achieve without them.

Many sledders are beginning to realize the benefits of exhaust temp monitoring. Not only do they provide engine safety, they also are a true performance add-on. They provide unmatched diagnostic ability, allowing you to track problem areas quickly and accurately.

So the next time you decide to purchase some "bolt on" performance components, maybe you should consider an  exhaust temp gauge. It may be all you need to get that extra performance and security you've been looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks thats what I was looking for.
 

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I would like to mention that just because one has egts, does not mean you can keep your modified engine from burning down.  

They do come in handy for jetting your carbs; however, not always will they warn you that you have a heat problem!  

Hall of fame, Brad Hauling, once told me that he seen engines go with egts only reading 800 to 900 degrees!  

I run the same digitron gauge mentioned above, the dt34sn3 model.  I find the digital tach and water temp very useful.  The Egts are great for dialing in your modified carbs, however, after I have everything all setup, they really don't do me much more good...  

Actually, watching them climb when I am trail ridding often makes me start to worry, when I should be relaxing and enjoying the trail ride!

just my 2cents.....
 
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