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-   -   Interview with Ron DeLong, inventor of the ScanGauge (

MetroMPG 12-01-2007 11:34 PM

Interview with Ron DeLong, inventor of the ScanGauge
I had a phone conversation this morning with Ron DeLong, SG inventor. This was with the intention of writing a page for that delves a little into the background of the guy who makes every fuel saver's favourite toy.

Very friendly guy, happily chatted with me for 30 or 40 minutes about a whole range of topics. We talked a bit about his work & education background, what makes him tick, how the SG came to be, some of the challenges and a few future plans for the magic little box.

MetroMPG 12-01-2007 11:35 PM

Many people who own ScanGauges wonder why the "fuel cut" on deceleration doesn't show up in the instantaneous numbers...

I did ask about fuel-cut specifically, and the answer was: cars which do have overrun fuel cut do not all report it the same way. IE - some continue to calculate and report injector pulse width despite the injector(s) itself being inactive (he speculated that this is so "reignition" will be smooth).

On that point then, you should believe what your service manual says about fuel cut-off on overrun, not the SG. (Which raises a question: will an auto tranny will do fuel cutoff? What would keep the motor spinning if the TC isn't locked up?)

He also emphasized that the difference between the SG and the other OBD products on the market is the amount of time & programming effort his company has put into the fuel consumption calculations, so he's understandably protective about revealing specifics.

He also said that a significant amount of time is spent "debugging" cars which don't all follow the same rules, in terms of OBD2 communication. IE the cars that follow the "expected" programming do show "9999" mpg on fuel cutoff. (Mine happens to be one of the cars that doesn't, even though my service manual says it has that feature). He also estimates the effect on accuracy of not factoring that condition into fuel economy calcs is probably about 0.1%.

MetroMPG 12-01-2007 11:38 PM

There are NO plans to produce a pre-OBD2 product. They're busy enough producing the devices for the more standardized post-1996 cars.

I think we could probably collectively come up with pre-obd2 instrumentation options. With respect to Yoshi, many people driving pre-obd2 cars by definition can't afford (or don't want to spend the money for) a MID.

One thing I've been thinking about is simply a datalogging DMM. You could use it to monitor/graph a single sensor variable, such as MAP. It wouldn't translate directly into MPG, but would still be very useful for testing or commuting, once you established baseline instant/average values. Essentially a digital, recordable vacuum gauge. That's the simplest thing I can think of.

MetroMPG 12-01-2007 11:41 PM

For those following this thread, the interview is now up at

There isn't a lot of new juicy technical info that people who follow the news & rumours about the SG don't already know. Maybe a couple of things:
  • - the intention to add user-definable "gauges" to the SG2 for vehicles which offer more info through ODBII than the standard pre-defined set of gauges (e.g. your vehicle may have multiple temp sensors, gear indicators, etc.)
  • - the fact that the current unit is currenly using less than 1/2 of its processing capability, leaving lots of room for future SG2 improvements via downloadable upgrades.
  • - Ron's assertion that the SG2 will have a "long shelf life" - meaning the focus is on software development, not changes to the hardware.

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