Regarding DSJ’s recent article on the Honda and Ferrari teams curious misfires possibly due to radio wave effects on the management systems, I submit that the Phoenix scenario is closest to the most likely culprit.
I am an engineer for a fire truck manufacturer that builds its own chassis. Many of these trucks utilise Detroit Diesel’s new “D-DEC” computer engine management system, which is, in effect, the same type of system being used in the racing engines. We recently have received some service calls reporting that the engine speeds up or slows down, etc, whenever the emergency communication radio is keyed. After some research and comparing notes with Detroit Diesel and our competitors (I’d like to see Honda and Ferrari do that!), we reasoned that certain radio frequencies were disrupting the management system. Reworking the system to eliminate some diodes, which can pick up RF signals, cured the problem (changing an entire fire company’s radio frequency crystals was cost prohibitive). Since there are several dozen frequencies commonly used by fire and rescue departments, it is quite probable that at some tracks, the local radio waves could interfere with some management systems. ANDY MAUCK, Ohio, USA