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The Mega Meet is a yearly gathering of MegaSquirt users which for the past few years has been hosted by DIY Auto Tune. I've wanted to attend shortly after becoming a MegaSquirt user (way back in 2004/2005!) however as the meet was traditionally in the spring this never did work for me as scheduling wouldn't allow it. However in 2014 it happened to take place in September and this coincidentally was exactly when I was to book my first vacation in many, many years. Or ever, in fact.
I flew out of Detroit Friday Sept. 19th to land in Atlanta GA an hour later, pick up a rental car (Ford C-Max Energi...lacking a charge cord though...seriously, Budget?!) and then drive to Suwanee where the meet would take place at the DIY Auto Tune headquarters the next day. Due to the ridiculous traffic outside of Atlanta (though surprisingly the drivers didn't tailgate and respected the space cushion I leave in front of me) I arrived at the Fairfield Inn at almost 7PM. By the time I had checked in I was quite hungry so I went directly to the Applebees next door. Oh, wait, there's an Outback right beside! Oh well, the Friday meeting spot is Applebees so to Applebees I go.
I was very early so after eating I sat around with some beer and read email until I started seeing "Megasquirtish" people wandering in. Wandering over I took the first free seat and it turned out to be the best (sorry everyone else...) table. Because I was seated with no other than the firmware authors Ken and James. The next few hours were discussing everything and anything Megasquirt, EFI and car related with some rousing side topics thrown in. Around midnight we spilled out into the parking lot for some time with a 1000HP+ MS3-Pro powered Supra.
Saturday morning it was a short trip down to DIY Auto Tune's headquarters where the parking lot was filling up with people and vehicles. A few hours were spent talking Megasquirt and rotary with the other attendees before the planned events started.
Introductions were made by Matt and others at DIY Auto Tune (sorry, I am terrible with names) as they talked about the event, Megasquirt, DIY Auto Tune and where it all started. The venerable Bruce Bowling himself then took the stage to speak of the progression of MegasSquirt all the way from a pet project by Al and Bruce, through the various versions and all the way to the present. Thew news was broken that a certain small engine manufacturer is well underway at using a Megasquirt EFI system to replace their carburetor. So soon, that new lawnmower you buy may sport a Megasquirt logo! A strange man known only as dieselgeek appeared and gave a talk on how to have a successful project. An important topic that is sadly often ignored as judged by some of the projects I've followed that are disaster. Following that, it was the guys from EFI Analytics turn to extol the virtues of scatter plots to visualize datalogs. It was then question and answer time.
Food and drink was then served (of notable mention, this was the first time I had eaten pizza in just over 20 years) as more socializing took place. I took the opportunity to mill about and get a good look at some of the Megasquirt equipped vehicles which had arrived. It was great meeting people but honestly, being recognized ("Hey, are you Aaron Cake?") is always going to creep me out just a little. While this took place the Supra was being prepared for dyno tuning.
With the Supra strapped down it was once again dieselgeek's show as some tuning techniques were covered, centered around drivability, cold start and idle. Then the power tuning took place. Now I don't quite remember what the final number was but I seem to recall it was somewhat North of 1200HP produced at a boost pressure of around 35 PSI. And had to be measured in high gear to avoid tripping the torque alarm on the dyno.
After that the scheduled events concluded so from then on it was more socializing well into the evening.
Have I ever mentioned how I think the highway structure surrounding the US Interstate road system is, well, rather insane? One way streets everywhere, some exits only leaving in one direction, and curious signage. I guess that's a roundabout way of saying I missed the road to the hotel on the way back and through a system of one way streets was funneled onto the Interstate. Which meant I had to drive two exits out of town in order to meet with a street to put me back in the direction of the hotel. At least it was only 15 minute distraction. Once at the hotel it was a quick shower to remove the stink of E85. With such little food intake throughout the day (though plenty of drink intake! American beer...) it was a tortuous wait at the Outback for a table. But the pork porterhouse chop and cool Fosters was worth it. Oh, how I miss the Outback.
It was next morning I flew from Atlanta, to be back in Detroit Sunday afternoon. I sort of wish I had stayed another day because as I drove to the airport Sunday morning, I passed several billboards advertising a "massive gun show" in Atlanta. Guess I could have wandered around Atlanta for a day and flew back Monday.
Just one quick disclaimer about the 13B Miata: I'm not presenting the pictures here to show the car off, but as a caution to how a 13B should not be set up. I spoke with the owner at length who was having major issues with the vehicle and told him what he needed to do to correct the problems. Last I heard they put an LS1 into the car and sold the 13B. Probably the best choice for them.
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