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The M1200 ECU

December 13, 2017


This article is about the Adaptronic M1200 ECU. We have been looking for a way to replace the e420d for 4 cylinder engines using the technology from our new Modular ECUs, but in a way that we can match the price point of the e420d which was very popular.

Well, we’ve found a way to do it, but there are several limitations compared to the M2000 required to get the cost down (not only of the ECU but of looms as well). Here are the differences:




In short, it’s a cut down M2000 with less capable outputs, and less in the way of output diagnostics, and it can’t be upgraded in the way that the Modular ECUs can. We use the 48-pin OEM connector as well, not because it’s cheaper than the Superseal connector on the ECU end, because it isn’t really – but it makes the looms a lot more cost effective.

I know that some of our competitors offer on their basic model ECUs only 3 or so 0-5V inputs, of which you need to use one for throttle position, one for MAP and that leaves you with one to do everything else you might want to do. One of our core values at Adaptronic is encouraging people to do things the right way, and since I’ve learned so much about fuel systems over the last 2 and a half years I think it’s really important to use a fuel pressure sensor and for the ECU to use it in its fuel modelling. Also some engines like the early Toyota ones really need 3 crank / cam triggers to sync up quickly, so we’ve left all 3 triggers available and the third one can be used for flex fuel.

Also in deciding the best way to handle the connections, obviously I looked at what our competitors have done and it seems that the way many do it is by using a single 34-pin Superseal header. The reason we chose not do to that was that 34 pins doesn’t really give enough functionality in my opinion. It would have given us the opportunity to make the device waterproof but we have a lot of data on the thousands of e420ds we’ve sold over the years and enquiries we’ve had; waterproofness on the entry level ECU has come up as a question very rarely, and we know that people either use enough functions to warrant more than 34 pins, or if they don’t then we want them to – for example fuel pressure as I mentioned before.

It doesn’t run the exact same firmware as in the Modular ECUs, but it’s the same code base – some code such as to drive the outputs is different for example. But it means that you still have access to the excellent fuel modelling in the Modular ECUs, the communications and so on. It also means that maps are compatible except for the limitations on the outputs, and as we develop other functions like exception detection they will be available in the M1200 also.

We think this is a big step up from the functionality of the e420d at the same price point, made possible by some things we’ve been able to do to improve performance at the same price (that is, new technology we’re using on the Modular ECU that wasn’t available before), and also some things we’ve been able to do to reduce cost in other areas of the ECU (for example the ECU enclosure).


Thank you and happy learning!