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Old 03-14-2018, 12:46 AM
svyolo svyolo is offline
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: bellingham, wa
Posts: 93

I have been aware of SDS's existent for well over a decade because of my involvement with another industry (automotive engine conversions). They have been selling EFI for a long time, successfully. I don't think they have changed their website in that decade. LOL.

I have absolutely nothing against EFII or its owner. I am sure I could be just as happy with his system as SDS's. The two companies' systems have vastly more in common with each other than they have differences. Everything but the ECU's are off the shelf automotive parts, with some custom mounting.

The big difference I see is that it looks like EFII chose a more cookie cutter approach, and they do more of the installation for you. More of the wiring and connectors are pre-made, which might be a great idea if the buy is not VERY comfortable soldering and crimping wires. The downside, if you consider it a downside, is by putting extra connectors at the firewall, you create more potential failure points in the wiring. Extra connectors, professionally done, might be more reliable than fewer connectors done by someone without a lot of wiring experience. Look at your wiring ability, and make your choice.

I chose the "cookie cutter" approach with my engine conversions, but it was an easy choice as the install vehicles were always the same. With homebuilt aircraft it is a lot different. Firewall forward they might be pretty similarly laid out, but that is about it.

Like I said I don't have a great preference for either. I have a few things I would rather see on both systems, mostly from a wiring standpoint. But I would start out using either system, bone stock, as they both work.

I have emailed Ross at SDS extensively, and have found him extremely knowledgeable and helpful. I would guess the owner of EFII is similar, based on what I read. I will be buying a system in the next month or 3, and I will be buying SDS.

But I would not disparage EFII for their different product philosophy either.
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Old 03-14-2018, 09:30 AM
DanH's Avatar
DanH DanH is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: 08A
Posts: 7,989

Originally Posted by Bluelabel View Post
The weakest part of the EFII kit was always the 1990s technology SDS ECU that was included.
Could you be more specific? Are saying the re-badged SDS ECU's sold by EFII were unreliable, or merely lacked features introduced later?

BTW, that 540 you're flying was certificated on October 31, 1957.
Dan Horton
Barrett IO-390
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Old 03-14-2018, 10:52 AM
vlittle's Avatar
vlittle vlittle is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Victoria, Canada
Posts: 2,026

...The weakest part of the EFII kit was always the 1990s technology SDS ECU that was included....

It's a well known fact that no good technology came out of the 90's, as long as you ignore the deployment of the internet, cell phones and fiber optics and a bunch of fruity computer stuff that I can't remember😀.

Everyday, I design electronics that use integrated circuits developed since the 70's. They seem to work OK.

Nowadays, hardware is pretty reliable as long as conservative engineering practices are followed. The ongoing problem is software quality, largely due to the layers of abstraction (3rd party tools, libraries, developers). Try and calculate the MTBF of software-driven systems, and you'll see what I mean.

So don't be surprised when the 90's lawyer calls (on his cellphone) or emails (using the internet) seeking compensation for false and defamatory statements!

V e r n. ====
RV-9A complete
Harmon Rocket complete
S-21 under construction
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Old 03-31-2018, 11:28 PM
charosenz's Avatar
charosenz charosenz is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Longview, Wash
Posts: 101
Default 17 years with SDS and could not be happier

I bought my first EFI system from SDS shortly before 2000. I bought my second one about a year ago.

I could not be happier. The system provides excellent versatility in both EFI programming as well as ignition.

Ross has been there answering all my questions for 17+ years. I have no experience with EFI.

If you are looking a very versatile, affordable EFI+Ig system that has a proven track record and great personalized service. I would recommend SDS.

Longview, Wash.
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