This is the big one. This is what has kept us so busy and quiet over the winter. Over the last few months, a small team has been hard at work quietly putting together a new project.
We've been working in silence for some time as we wanted to have something to show for our efforts before we made an announcement. Simply put we took the view that talk is cheap and only action matters.
We were holding on for the correct time and recent developments mean that time is now.
It is the great pleasure of the team to announce FOME.tech.
FOME began in concept as a simple fork of the rusEFI project but has expanded in breadth as time has worn on.
At its core FOME is intended to deliver a more reliable, higher quality and more user focused experience than seen in earlier open-source engine management systems.
The current status of FOME
At present the main thrust of the work has been invested into our new PNP architecture which was codenamed Polygonus. This is a dual PCB design similar to other well-known and proven solutions available in the aftermarket, comprising a brain board and vehicle specific baseboard and put to good use on our new plug and play ECUs.
At this time, we have Polygonus based solutions in prototype stage for Mazda Miata, BMW, Rover V8 and Harley Davidson applications. These new pieces of hardware will be gradually released as each completes the testing necessary to ensure the quality we insist on.
Soon, we will have some universal (not vehicle/engine specific) versions that can be fully open-sourced. We would also like to provide a guide on how the universal boards are designed as a reference for how to design vehicle specific baseboards of your own.
This may take some time, but we hope for this to happen over the next 6 months.
The rusEFI fork
The FOME team began within the rusEFI project and over time found that there were changes that we would like to see that would not be possible within the rusEFI project. rusEFI is primarily a development platform and this has led to many users being dissatisfied with the stability and ease of use of the system.
The team remains grateful for the effort, commitment and groundbreaking hard work that has gone into rusEFI over the years. However to best serve the needs of our customers and clients it became vital that we forge our own path forward and we wish the rusEFI project well for the future.
There are 3 areas in which we would like to progress FOME over the coming months and we hope that with the public reveal of the project this will be possible to accelerate.
1. A high quality user experience. A heroic effort has gone into some recent changes to the base rusEFI firmware FOME was based on to make it easier to use and to remove older obsolete features. While the current version of FOME will be familiar to existing rusEFI users, there are a number of changes and the team feel these are really starting to make a difference.
With that said, over the next few months the team wants to continue working towards a stable "version 1.0" release. The goal for that release will be a feature-complete and well tested baseline.
We want this release to be the solid foundation upon which we can build all new editions of the FOME ECU firmware - and to that end we will most likely publish a list of the features we would specifically like comments on with regard to "1.0"
2. The knowledge, resources and educational material that a project like this is able to provide to its users.
At present we have created a wiki and have begun populating it with pages and knowledge where we have had time. Any project of this scope requires a vast amount of documentation. We currently have a small team of people working on the wiki and our intention is to populate all of the pages visible in the current version before moving onto more advanced topics.
Good documentation is vital to a great user experience. We want to be able to provide high quality, accurate information that can educate our users beyond the simple information presently available online.
3. Last is a longer-term goal: to expand the project to more than just engine control.
Modern vehicles are complicated machines with numerous different control modules needed to operate. We see affordable, open-source alternatives for these controllers as an important tool not only to repair older vehicles, but also to modernize their systems.
We would like to begin the task of bringing other controllers under the FOME umbrella, be they body data modules to expand the logging capabilities of the ECU, power steering controllers, CAN bus gauges, or PDMs. A rich FOME ecosystem of compatible controllers is the goal we aspire to.
We have had a few questions asking what FOME means, or what it stands for.
The simple answer is nothing, or, maybe it stands for all the values referenced above?
As a word "fome" is Portuguese for "hungry", perhaps it was chosen because we were hungry for change?
Perhaps we thought it worked for Japan's GReedy so on a lower budget we would be left just hungry?
One of our group developed the backronym "Free Open Motorsport ECU", which captured the goals of freedom to modify and repair, open source and our current project focus, but with time this might change as we look at other vehicle systems.
The reality is FOME does not have to mean anything, to quote Will Ferrell "No one knows what it means, but it's provocative... ...It gets the people going!"
Most importantly you're unlikely to forget FOME.
We hope you don't, and we hope to see you as members of FOME.Tech in the near future.
Welcome to FOME.
FPP and The FOME team.
Discord: FOME Discord
Website: FOME.tech website