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  #1  
Old 06-23-2013, 01:04 PM
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alienbogey alienbogey is offline
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PHP Hydra Chip?

I was this close to ordering a DP F6 chip with tunes, then I kept on reading threads and came across PHP's website and their Hydra chip. I find their website to be somewhat cluttered and unclear, at least to me, thus my questions.

[ I know I could try to ask PHP, but it's Sunday so I can't call, plus their Contact page is full of warnings about how busy they are, how much email they receive, their spam filters, and say that if you don't get a reply in 72 hours to try again. I'm hoping some folks here will have answers on a more timely basis. ]

So here goes:

• Anyone have the Hydra? Happy/unhappy?

• "Choose from our extensive library of standard calibrations"

There follows at the bottom of the PHP page a list of tunes, but no pricing. Does this mean the $425 price includes the tunes as well?

• "Supports most competitors’ calibrations"

Does this mean you can buy a tune from Brand X or Brand Y, and then install their (emailed?) tune into the Hydra? (If so, I understand the "Hydra" name)

• If you can theoretically by Brand X or Y tunes to install on the Hydra, will Brand X or Y actually sell you tunes to install on a chip you didn't by from them?

• "Optional dash-mounted USB cable and bracket for permanent installation"

The standard package already lists a USB cable as included, and I certainly want to permanently install the thing, so why is another USB cable necessary for it to be permanent?

• "Fully compatible with PATS-equipped vehicles"

What are PATS-equipped vehicles? Does that apply to my '01 F-350?

• "Update and Reprogram ONLINE using our FREE HydraFlash™ software"

Hmm, I don't suppose there is a Mac version?

It certainly seems like a good value with the digital switch included in the hardware, and a great value if in fact the tunes are included, too.

If it's true that you can put other brands' tunes on there — and that other brands will sell them to do so — it seems to me that you could get Brand X and Brand Y onto the Hydra and switch between them on the fly to really be able to tell which you prefer.

Also, I would like to get DP's decel tune, which PHP doesn't offer.

All in all, the Hydra sounds great, but I haven't found out a whole lot about the tunes themselves.
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  #2  
Old 06-23-2013, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alienbogey View Post

• Anyone have the Hydra? Happy/unhappy?

I can't answer this because I don't use one.

• "Choose from our extensive library of standard calibrations"

There follows at the bottom of the PHP page a list of tunes, but no pricing. Does this mean the $425 price includes the tunes as well?

Straight from the website:

• Starting at $425 for stock trucks or trucks with
mild modifications - INCLUDES 15 STANDARD
CALIBRATIONS!



• "Supports most competitors’ calibrations"

Does this mean you can buy a tune from Brand X or Brand Y, and then install their (emailed?) tune into the Hydra? (If so, I understand the "Hydra" name)

This means that anybody who writes tuning (or copies tuning written by someone else) for these trucks can download the HydraFlash Builder Utility and put their programming on the Hydra WITHOUT having to read/erase the entire chip. Yes, the calibration would be emailed to the customer. PHP's calibrations come straight from a server and aren't emailed/downloaded to the customer's computer though.

• If you can theoretically by Brand X or Y tunes to install on the Hydra, will Brand X or Y actually sell you tunes to install on a chip you didn't by from them?

I would hope so.....Selling pre-written tuning for stock trucks is a money-maker.

• "Optional dash-mounted USB cable and bracket for permanent installation"

The standard package already lists a USB cable as included, and I certainly want to permanently install the thing, so why is another USB cable necessary for it to be permanent?

The optional USB cable that comes with the Hydra includes a bracket to permanently mount it. The standard-issue cable is just a standard USB Type A/Mini B USB cable available anywhere.

• "Fully compatible with PATS-equipped vehicles"

What are PATS-equipped vehicles? Does that apply to my '01 F-350?

Don't worry about it. You don't have it.

• "Update and Reprogram ONLINE using our FREE HydraFlash™ software"

Hmm, I don't suppose there is a Mac version?

Nope, because Apple demands MONEY to write software applications. You'll have to find a PC-based computer to use HydraFlash (which is a better platform anyway).

It certainly seems like a good value with the digital switch included in the hardware, and a great value if in fact the tunes are included, too.

Also, I would like to get DP's decel tune, which PHP doesn't offer.

My money says that you'll have to find someone else to write you a "decel" tune because I don't think DP-Tuner will sell Hydra programming.

All in all, the Hydra sounds great, but I haven't found out a whole lot about the tunes themselves.

The standard calibrations are not any different than the calibrations that are on a Phoenix chip so if you can find any information about PHP's tuning in general, you'll have your answer.
See replies in red.


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  #3  
Old 06-23-2013, 05:19 PM
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Love mine! Not in love with the switcher but I'm just picky about how things look in my truck. It's PHP chip but I have Gearhead's tunes on it.
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  #4  
Old 06-23-2013, 07:57 PM
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There support is crap

I have tried over the last month or so to contact them PHP by Email with no responce to any of my questions
so don't expect any back up
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  #5  
Old 06-26-2013, 01:29 PM
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Thanks for the replies.

Yep, I emailed DP and Justin replied that they won't sell tunes to run on Hydra.

Summaries so far as I can tell:

PHP is significantly less money for the package with more tunes - but I don't want most of them. People report difficulty getting support, and their own web site warns of it being hard to get a hold of them.

DP is more money for the package with the five tunes I do want, but Justin promptly answers questions - usually the same day.

I want the best tunes and am willing to pay for them, but "best" is hard to tell from behind a keyboard.
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  #6  
Old 06-26-2013, 01:41 PM
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Cody (Cleatus12r) is my solution to PHP's supposed support issues. He has all the answers I ever need. However, when I first bought my chip I had a few questions and had no problem getting in touch with PHP. I left a message with Bill's wife Cory and he called me back later the same day. This is just my experience and I am not trying to downplay those of anyone else.
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  #7  
Old 06-26-2013, 04:39 PM
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I have had a DP F5 for 6 years. I have never had a support issue with them. I have had at least 3 re-burns, due to mods to the truck and/or buying more tunes. Jody, Diane and Justin have always answered questions promptly. Customer service is a big selling point for me.
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  #8  
Old 06-26-2013, 06:56 PM
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DP's customer service is the best by far.. their tunes are great. I have been trying to test the Hydra (which I have) with a couple of tuners and so far it's a no go..Good money spent with very little results at this point..
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  #9  
Old 06-26-2013, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alienbogey View Post
I was this close to ordering a DP F6 chip with tunes, then I kept on reading threads and came across PHP's website and their Hydra chip. I find their website to be somewhat cluttered and unclear, at least to me, thus my questions.

[ I know I could try to ask PHP, but it's Sunday so I can't call, plus their Contact page is full of warnings about how busy they are, how much email they receive, their spam filters, and say that if you don't get a reply in 72 hours to try again. I'm hoping some folks here will have answers on a more timely basis. ]

So here goes:

• Anyone have the Hydra? Happy/unhappy?

• "Choose from our extensive library of standard calibrations"

There follows at the bottom of the PHP page a list of tunes, but no pricing. Does this mean the $425 price includes the tunes as well?

• "Supports most competitors’ calibrations"

Does this mean you can buy a tune from Brand X or Brand Y, and then install their (emailed?) tune into the Hydra? (If so, I understand the "Hydra" name)

• If you can theoretically by Brand X or Y tunes to install on the Hydra, will Brand X or Y actually sell you tunes to install on a chip you didn't by from them?

• "Optional dash-mounted USB cable and bracket for permanent installation"

The standard package already lists a USB cable as included, and I certainly want to permanently install the thing, so why is another USB cable necessary for it to be permanent?

• "Fully compatible with PATS-equipped vehicles"

What are PATS-equipped vehicles? Does that apply to my '01 F-350?

• "Update and Reprogram ONLINE using our FREE HydraFlash™ software"

Hmm, I don't suppose there is a Mac version?

It certainly seems like a good value with the digital switch included in the hardware, and a great value if in fact the tunes are included, too.

If it's true that you can put other brands' tunes on there — and that other brands will sell them to do so — it seems to me that you could get Brand X and Brand Y onto the Hydra and switch between them on the fly to really be able to tell which you prefer.

Also, I would like to get DP's decel tune, which PHP doesn't offer.

All in all, the Hydra sounds great, but I haven't found out a whole lot about the tunes themselves.
For me the support was a big ? PHP seemed over worked and under staffed. That happens sometimes when there is a big demand for a hot product. Anyway I liked their product and found out Gearhead writes tunes for their or TS chips with free reburns. That was big to me. Some places wanted $30 for each tune updated....do the math....it can be kinda spendy. Turns out my TS chip was fried by the previous owner and sold it without tell me about it, so that is why I was in the market for a new one.

Another thing was I didn't want a chip that wasn't 'net' updateable. The Hydra seem to fit the bill.

I, also like you, was willing to fork out a big chuck of change for the best but the F6 seemed overpriced to me. Just my $.02. I think I got just as good if not better tunes in the end.

As far as using the Mac, you might have to load a second Windows OS on it -OR- pick up a cheap laptop or netbook just for it.
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  #10  
Old 06-26-2013, 10:11 PM
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ive had a f6 and a hydra and i prefer my hydra by far
the major selling point to me was not being locked into one brands tunes like the dp products
as of now my hydra is fully loaded with php stock tunes but matt will be getting the call after the build
$425 for the hydra and $175 for gearhead lifetime reburns is still less than i spent on my f6 a few years back
and i get free reburns via email anytime i mod the truck
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e 99 F250 super duty ext cab xlt 7.3 PSD ZF6 this describes it best... http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/10...ld-thread.html
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  #11  
Old 06-26-2013, 10:26 PM
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I have hydra with Gearhead. It doesn't HAVE to have PHP tunes on it and you don't HAVE to buy it from them. Just a thought buy it from someone else that has customer support u like.
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:36 PM
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I, too have a Hydra with Gearhead tunes, and I've had an F5 with DP tunes. I wrote my impressions in another thread awhile ago, if you want to search for it. The gist is that none of the tuners (persons or companies) are perfect, but each has compelling strengths, and I had good experiences with all the people. I will tell you that Matt may not be the fastest at making complex changes, but he will work like a farm animal to get it right, and it's hard not to be impressed with that.

Mark
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Old 06-27-2013, 09:53 AM
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I don't need "instant response" to my queries, but I do expect to get a reasonably quick response.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScaldedDog View Post
I will tell you that Matt may not be the fastest at making complex changes, but he will work like a farm animal to get it right, and it's hard not to be impressed with that.

Mark
I've only heard great things about Matt & his work/work ethic and should I switch tunes, I'll be looking to him (or Tony Wildman) for my next setup.

I originally bought a DP F5 for my truck. It worked fine and I was very happy with the results.

I tried PHP's product, and honestly didn't notice much difference in the product. My experience with their responsiveness when getting my chip reburned was "less than ideal". I promptly sold that chip and went back to DP.

I look for "bang for the buck" and more tunes for less money sounds great, but don't discount the "after the sale" service you get, because that's what you'll be living with .. for however long you keep that hardware.
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  #14  
Old 06-27-2013, 12:37 PM
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I'm all about customer service, so DP wins in this aspect of the debate... and not by a small margin.

That being said, I've learned a few things about tuners, tuning, and our trucks... and many of you know there are very few unturned rocks in my path to Powerstroke paradise:
  • If you're tuning a stock truck that's 100%, it's likely you won't need any changes... so the topic of follow-up is moot. It's still nice to have the digital display of either unit, and the reassurance you can change things easily (if you want).
  • If you're tuning a modified truck that's 100%, it's likely you'll need a few tweaks to the tunes to get your one-of-a-kind system to adapt to your goals. These tweaks should be done in the first weeks/months after your purchase (you need seat time before making changes), but it shouldn't take too many rounds if your feedback is detailed enough. The Hydra or F6 make this very convenient. Only digital disaster would demand contact after the dialing is done.
  • If you're tuning a stock/modified truck that's not 100%, you've placed yourself in Powerstroke purgatory... and you'll be asking the tuner to compensate for whatever isn't working right. It's essential to have the updateable features of the Hydra or the F6 so you can go the 12 rounds with the tunes. This will get your truck to the level of "tolerable"... maybe, but no amount of tuning can completely make up for an issue with the vehicle. To make things even more entertaining, if you ever fix the issue with the truck after you've tweaked the "Toleration" tunes... this will trigger a twitchy truck. This scenario is a recipe for an InEffective Diesel in your driveway.
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:01 PM
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Thanks for all the thoughtful replies.

I'm torn between the PHP Hydra and the DP F6 (remember, indecision is the key to flexibility), but I'm taking comfort from the fact that it appears that I can't go wrong with either one.

I'm also trying to make sure everything is right before chipping (thanks Tugly), and just installed the AIS intake.

Finally, I just unexpectedly had to put about $1600 into my camper, so the chip may not happen immediately.
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:01 PM
 
 
 
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