Ford Focus ST170

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Product Review - Dreamscience STRATAGEM for ST170

Introducing... the Dreamscience STRATAGEM DSF3000 for the Ford Focus ST170!

First of all, I would like to say a big THANK YOU to Jared of Dreamscience for this unit, which allows me to do a review of this unit for the Ford Focus ST170 vehicle. We will start off this review with the blurb from Dreamscience...

The STRATAGEM ST170 advanced flash tuning unit loads performance files onto your vehicle and stores your original stock program. Supplied with 5 pre-programmed tunes, (Performance, Race95, Race 95 Induction, Race 97 & Race 97 Induction), you now have the ability to select your tune on the fly and you have full user adjustments too, including Timing, Fuel, Rpm, Fan temperatures, idle speed etc. Also included, live data logging of up to 24 parameters, fault codes and analogue input for wide-band O2.

Neat, huh? The Dreamscience STRATAGEM unit is based on the DSF3000 unit.

Before I start with my review, here is the Dreamscience STRATAGEM DSF3000 Unboxing - In All Its Glory! :D


Click on the image for bigger size

The packet from Deamscience

Inside the package, I have these:

Silver car label. Looks nice!

Some information about Dreamscience

The warning label, the Dreamscience unit and also sticker

The unit

Close up of the unit

Size comparsion with Bluefin unit

Size comparsion with Bluefin unit

Stacked up with each other

Arty photoshoot ;)

Loaded it up... the 1st action

Correct map loaded up

Selecting the tune - Performance

Selecting the tune - Race 95

Selecting the tune - Race 97

Selecting the tune - Race 95 Ind

Selecting the tune - Race 97 Ind

Technical Specification

The Dreamscience STRATAGEM comes with 5 custom made tunes suitable for the ST170, which are:

  • Performance = An economy program ideal for long motorway use.
  • Race 95 = Race map for 95 standard unleaded fuel.
  • Race 95 Induction = Race map specifically for Induction Kits, C.A.I.S
  • Race 97 = Race map for 97 Super Unleaded fuel, Tesco 99, BP Ultimate.
  • Race 97 Induction = Race map specifically for induction kits, C.A.I.S
Uploading the map

I've been using the Dreamscience STRATAGEM map in my car for a few weeks to see how it compares with my Bluefin unit. To start off with this test, I removed the Bluefin map from my car, reset the ECU, and used my car for two days to let the original Ford ST170 map settle down.

Then I uploaded the Dreamscience STRATAGEM map to my car, picking the Race 97 map, just like I did with Bluefin Level 2. This will allow me to get the "feel" of the previous Bluefin's ST170 map and to ensure a fair testing between Dreamscience STRATAGEM and Bluefin maps. I selected the "Race 97" map as I use BP Ultimate Unleaded which has 97RON. The 1st upload took 7 minutes. When it was done, it did an "Erasing Module" and then another "Downloading ECM" which took 9 minutes. So that took 16 minutes in total. I suspect it is for the first time of having Dreamscience installed.

1st impression, compared with Bluefin, the first thing I noticed was that the "shutter" from 2,000rpm when you put the foot down has disappeared. I have tried different method of my driving to get it to happen again and after a few weeks, it has not happened, when it usually happens when I had Bluefin installed. So a good result from Dreamscience, I guess.

Over the few weeks of driving, some normal driving and other times, doing some hard driving, I am now starting to find that the car "goes" much quicker than Bluefin when I put the pedal down. It also gave me better & smoother power delivery across the rev range.

This test was carried out when the engine is warm, as I find it gives me the best result, just like you do with the normal ECU/Bluefin map - after all you shouldn't be driving hard when the engine is cold anyway. :D

With the live data logging software, I took out my laptop and had it running in the car with the OBD plugged in to the USB port on my laptop. And it was exciting to see all of the data being displayed live as you go along.

However the downside about using the laptop was that it is too bulky to carry around. I think it would be better if the software & cable are available for PDA version. My mobile phone runs Windows Mobile 6 and it has a Mini-USB port. I am sure there is a Mini-USB -> OBD cable out there and all we need is software to finish this off.

I contact Dreamscience about this and they said a PDA version would be ready in the next 2 to 4 months time (Sept to Nov 2008), so this is something I am looking forward to!

Now, here's the "quick fire questions" to Jared of Dreamscience:

Q: How did Deamscience started?
A: Started as a laboratory based business with staff working in physics and embedded systems who had a keen interest in Ford cars since the age of 16.

Q: How many staff works at Dreamscience?
A: We have 9 staff at present

Q: What will we see from Dreamscience in the future?
A: We have just launched Vauxhall support with the VXR range first and will be looking to support Ford diesel next. We have a revolutionary product pending but cannot give anything away just yet.

Q: Will you be creating a new map for the new Ford Focus RS (due 2009)
A: Yes we have one on order too and should be one of the first to release.

Technical Questions

Q: What is the 9 pins socket on the top of the device? Is it something that we can use or it's really for you to do some diags or other purposes? (i.e. Master Dealers)
A: This is for a wide band oxygen sensor like the Innovate LM1 and is used if customers want to use the data logging software, Live link and want to see Lambda too.

Q: Bluefin comes with a warranty in case Bluefin damages the engine or something related. Does Dreamscience come with one? If so, how long?
A: Our device has a 12 month warranty, we do not offer a warranty for the vehicle and would advise customers to review any offered warranty carefully for the numerous small print.

Q: I notice the ST225 map are updated now and then but have not seen any for the ST170. Is it because the ST170 is already tuned enough where you can't find any more power out of it?
A: The ST170 is a new device and all the 5 tunes are the very latest so there are no updates necessary.