Overview Some consumers have come to us wondering what if they should buy a Trinity or a Big G CHAPERONE. While it should be clear that Big G CHAPERONE does not offer tuning like the Trinity, many customers have asked if they should keep their handheld tuner and buy a Big G CHAPERONE or discard their handheld tuner to purchase a Trinity. This review was done on 7/2/2009 using a Trinity purchased from retail. We are constantly evaluating other products on the market to see what we can improve, and we feel that sharing our results will help customers make informed decisions. After an in-depth review, our opinion is that Trinity offers the same tuning capabilities as a less expensive handheld programmer, but doesn't have the data acquisition, display, and customization capabilities that Big G CHAPERONE offers. We recommend that you keep your handheld tuner and use Big G CHAPERONE as your in-dash display. You can keep your existing tuner and you will save money in the long run because Big G CHAPERONE can be used with any 1996-present OBD2 vehicle, including whatever you own next. Big G CHAPERONE
Big G CHAPERONE offers the following Advantages that are absent from Trinity System 41% Higher resolution display on Big G CHAPERONEâ€™S screen 20% Larger Display on Big G CHAPERONE 's screen 98% more color depth on Big G CHAPERONE 's screen Daylight sensor with auto adjusting brightness on Big G CHAPERONE Support for 2 RS232 ports on Big G CHAPERONE Support for 2 USB Host ports on Big G CHAPERONE Speaker and stereo line-out on Big G CHAPERONE Industry standard AMPS-4 mounting bracket on Big G CHAPERONE for more mounting options Power/Suspend button on Big G CHAPERONE
Enhanced Parameters OBD2 Diagnostics for all OBD2-compliant vehicles Enhanced PID support for more OEMs with more parameters on Big G CHAPERONE Support for AEM, Autronics, DTAFast, Emerald, FAST, Haltech, Hydra, Link, MOTEC, and EFI Technologies ECUs on Big G CHAPERONE
Expansion Optional GPS Navigation with turn-by-turn directions on Big G CHAPERONE Optional 1-20Hz USB and Serial GPS sensors on Big G CHAPERONE Support for serial data streams from Innovate and Zeitronix on Big G CHAPERONE Q Support for all Widebands with 0-5V output on Big G CHAPERONE Support for all sensors with both linear and non-linear 0-5V output Expandable to 8 or 16 analog inputs using USB on Big G CHAPERONE Supported USB sensors including accelerometers, K-Type Thermocouple(s), and more on Big G CHAPERONE
Customization and Advanced Features PC Based Theme Editor compatible with Big G CHAPERONE Ability to create custom warning sounds with stereo audio output on Big G CHAPERONE Play MP3's and digital videos on Big G CHAPERONE Linux and 3rd party application development possible with Big G CHAPERONE
If you want more technical information, below is an in-depth look at both products.
Display Although it's hard to tell from pictures and advertisements, the Big G CHAPERONE display is larger, has a higher resolution, and more color depth than the Trinity. The Big G CHAPERONE uses a 4.3", 16 million color 480x272 touch-screen TFT. The Trinity's display looks big because of the case design, but it's actually 20% smaller at 3.45" with 98% less color depth at 262 thousand colors and 41% lower resolution at 320x240 resolution.
Big G CHAPERONE Display The Big G CHAPERONE display takes up a majority of the case area, maximizing space on your dashboard
Trinity Display While the case on Trinity makes the display look big, you can see from this picture that most of the case is significantly wider than the display.
Big G CHAPERONE Display We were able to double the amount of data displayed on Trinity Display this is the same image on a Trinity, at the same resolution. Trinity's gauge screen, at the same resolution.
The number of pixels determines how much readable information you can display on a screen. Look at the total number of Pixels on Big G CHAPERONE compared to the Trinity, and the resulting price per pixel. You would have to buy 2 Trinities to display the same amount of readable information on screen that a Big G CHAPERONE can. Product
Screen Total Color Resolution Size Pixels Depth
Big G 4.3" CHAPERONE Trinity 3.45"
Auto Cost Per TouchThousand Adjusting Brightness Screen Pixels Backlight
130,560 16,777,216 yes
Parameters and Networks A great display is important, but only if you have access to the important parameters you want to see. This is an area where Big G CHAPERONE advances. The Big G CHAPERONE and Trinity both offer enhanced support beyond generic OBD2, but the Trinity only offers enhanced parameters for limited Chrysler, GM, and Ford vehicles. Big G CHAPERONE supports all of those vehicles, plus adds enhanced parameters for Subaru, Mitsubishi, Toyota, Hyundai, Kia, and more. Granatelli spent thousands of hours of work developing a database stored in Big G CHAPERONE with these parameters. They also include non-OBD2 modules, sensors, and even replacement EFI systems for the racers. Big G CHAPERONE YES YES
OBD2 Check Engine Light read/clear OBD2 generic PIDS
YES* YES* Engine All modules Only**
GM Enhanced Chrysler Enhanced Subaru Enhanced Mitsubishi Enhanced Toyota Enhanced Hyundai/Kia Enhanced Included Analog Inputs Support for non-linear analog inputs Option to add more analog inputs Optional serial GPS 1Hz Optional USB GPS 1Hz - 9Hz Support for Advanced GPS systems (up to 100Hz) Innovate Serial Data Support (MTS) Zeitronix Serial Data Support for ZT2 Support for Diablosport power puck Support for AEM EFI System Support for Autronics EFI System Support for DTAFast EFI System Support for EFI Technologies EFI System Support for Emerald3D EFI systems Support for Fast EFI Systems Support for Haltech EFI Systems Support for hydra EFI systems Support for Link EFI Systems Support for Support for MOTEC EFI Systems Support for Phidgets USB 8 and 16 channel analog input boards Support for Phidgets 3-axis Accelerometer Support for K-Type Thermcouple(s)
Engine Only** YES NO NO NO NO 2 NO NO NO NO NO NO NO YES NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO 1, Not Yet
Engine + Trans YES YES YES YES YES 2 YES Yes, 16+ more YES YES YES YES YES NO YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES 2+
* did not work on all OBD2-compliant vehicles we tested ** as of Trinity PID list 5-29-09
Customization If you expect to fully customize your dashboard, you may be interested to learn about the differences in customizability between the Trinity and Big G CHAPERONE. The Big G CHAPERONE has 6 built-in themes to choose from that all feature different colors and styles. If you don't like any of those themes, you can also design your own using the theme editing tool. This will literally allow you to put any pictures, gauges, graphs, slider bars, or text that you want on your Big G CHAPERONE. (Big G CHAPERONE)
Skin Editor designer view)
The Trinity does allow you to layout pre-defined gauges on the screen, but you have extremely limited control over the look and feel of the gauges. Plus you have no way to configure audible warnings since Trinity has no audio hardware
Under The Hood Price shouldn't be the only factor in a purchase decision. Before you buy, you want to know what's under the hood. Buying electronics isn't that simple because many manufacturers won't tell you. When we took apart our Trinity, we found mechanical interference with between the pedestal and LCD data cable, mechanical interference between the LCD display and components on the PCB causing them to bend, and an intermittent cable connection between the OBD2 cable and PC board connector. The interior of the case wasn't sprayed with conductive paint, which we feel is important to prevent EMI issues in the vehicle cabin. The LCD display also did not have a glazing cushion separating the touch-panel from the exterior case.
Areas of Concern with images
Trinity's display interferes with a component on the PCB (diode), bending it. Our Trinity had a broken soldier joint on one side and a lifted pad on the other.
Trinity pedestal has mechanical interference with the LCD ribbon cable. Over time this may wear against the cable causing the LCD to malfunction.
Trinity does not have conductive paint inside the case. We didn't perform a full EMI test on Trinity, but we observed that nearly all GPS systems and other indash monitors (including Big G CHAPERONE) have conductive paint to prevent risk of EMI interfering with vehicle operation. Look at Big G CHAPERONE's conductive paint
Trinity does not have a gasket/cushion to separate the touch panel from the case. It is recommended practice to use a glazing cushion to separate the touch panel from the case to prevent interference and incorrect touch readings.
Trinity's cable doesn't make a solid connection, causing the data streams to disconnect intermittently during our tests.
Trinity's OBD2 cable does not fit right angle connections, requiring the customer to purchase a male-female right angle adapter cable to use in common installations.
By comparing these two products, you can see that Big G CHAPERONE's mechanical design is far more clean and mature including expansion features not present on the Trinity. All of this technology allows Big G CHAPERONE to collect data faster, access more protocols and networks, offer a more feature rich user interface, and do more with that data. Big G CHAPERONE Bottom
Big G CHAPERONE Top
Technical Specs Display Color Depth Auto Adjusting Backlight touch-screen
Big G CHAPERONE Trinity 4.3" 480x272 TFT LCD 3.45" 320x240 TFT LCD 16,777,216 262,000 Yes
Processor Flash Memory RAM Memory Expandable Memory Operating System USB Ports RS232 Ports Analog Inputs OBD2 Circuitry Audio Field Updatable Firmware
240MHZ - Primary Processor 40MHZ - Secondary Processor 32MB NOR 64MB Up to 32GB (MMC/SD Slot)
128MB NAND 64MB MMC/SD up to 2GB promised, not enabled yet
3 (2 Host, 1 Device) 2 2 ARM7 based high performance OBD2 design 16-bit stereo out + 2W speaker
1 (Device only) none 2
240MHZ - Processor
32-bit Micro none
GPS Sensor 1-20Hz, GPS Navigation, Accelerometer, Wideband O2, EGT, Expansion + 3rd Additional Analog inputs Analog inputs + Diablosport add-ons only Party Options (up to 32), Aftermarket EFI Systems, 0-5V sensors, RS232 devices, USB Host Devices
Pictures Trinity Front View
Big G CHAPERONE