AIM MXS

Post Reply
Midlana1
Site Admin
Posts: 3048
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 16:44
Anti-spam question: 4
Are you a spammer: No
Location: Southern California

AIM MXS

Post by Midlana1 » 25 Jan 2018, 11:02

Another flat dash, and the one I have, is an AIM MXS (note the similar name between this dash mfg and the one above, AIM vs AEM. they're completely unrelated companies.) http://www.aim-sportline.com/eng/produc ... /index.htm

Having installed, configured, and used it for several years, I can attest that it's reliable, but the configuration didn't go smoothly. The biggest problem was that I bought it believing their claims that it worked via the vehicles CAN bus. This is a big deal because it means plugging in one simple cable and everything "just works" - of course, it didn't. The problem is that for whatever reason, the dash doesn't make available all the CAN parameters sent to it from the ECU. It felt like shady advertising to find that things like MAP, oil temperature, and intake temperature - sent by the ECU, were completely inaccessible at the dash end. This meant having to run separate wires from the actual sensors to the dash and reading it as an analog sensor. It works fine but was really annoying since the values are already in the CAN message - the dash just ignores them.

Just as bad is that the dash wasn't versatile enough to allow users to pick the CAN variables they want to use. Instead, the dash is more of a "here's what you get" product. Along the same lines, users also aren't able to configure the screen layout. That was another big disappointment, partly my fault because when I saw they used a bit-matrix screen, assumed that any variable could be placed anywhere on the screen. Well, it can be - just not by users, who are forced to pick from a limited list of factory-created screen layouts.

Full disclosure - I got an early unit, along with the early firmware. "Maybe" they've improved things, but because of how long it took to get everything to display correctly, I don't currently feel inclined to dive back into that mess.

So do I recommend it? It depends on what you want to display. If you want infinite configurability, I'd recommend the AEM unit instead. That said, and regardless of the chosen unit, keep in mind that infinite configurability also means it'll be a lot of work to set up.

Oh, and AIM has quite a few other dashes as well - http://www.aim-sportline.com/eng/index_car.htm

ShadowCat38
Posts: 167
Joined: 22 Jun 2015, 10:38
Anti-spam question: 4
Are you a spammer: No
Location: Oklahoma City

Re: AIM MXS

Post by ShadowCat38 » 04 Feb 2018, 21:08

Midlana1 wrote:The biggest problem was that I bought it believing their claims that it worked via the vehicles CAN bus. This is a big deal because it means plugging in one simple cable and everything "just works" - of course, it didn't. The problem is that for whatever reason, the dash doesn't make available all the CAN parameters sent to it from the ECU. It felt like shady advertising to find that things like MAP, oil temperature, and intake temperature - sent by the ECU, were completely inaccessible at the dash end.
This seems like shoddy programming at a minimum. CAN protocols for engine communication follow SAE standards (J1939 to be specific in this case) as long as the engine is OBDII or later. It is incredibly basic to pull data from the bus, especially if your device isn't broadcasting or trying to claim an address in that bus to add to the traffic. I've developed programming for several 1-piece instrument clusters that used nearly all the data from the engine controller. Usually, the exception has been fuel level, and that is because CAN-compliant fuel senders are about 10x as expensive as the standard variable resistor-on-a-float solution. In those clusters, the entire J1939 library was accessible, but was only enabled for the cluster if I told it to be and how to use it.

That's disappointing if the program and cluster is really at fault. Since to be compliant with OBDII, all of the diagnostic data must be on the bus, it has to be there, it's just not being used.

Post Reply