Video Review of DSC Sport Controller

I love almost everything about my 2011 Turbo but I knew going into it that the suspension wasn’t going to be as good as my more modern 2016 991 series Targa was. After some seat time in and around Seattle, I have to agree. Even in normal mode, the 997 series is harsh on the crappy Seattle roads and sport mode is unusable on anything other than perfectly smooth asphalt. While my car is equipped with the Porsche Adaptive Suspension Management (PASM), the software that controls it is almost a decade old.

In comes the DSC Sport Controller. I didn’t want to spend a bunch of money and didn’t want to screw with the shocks or springs. Given I can barely get out of my garage without scraping the front spoiler, I certainly didn’t want to lower the car at all. I had read nothing but great reviews of the DSC Sport Controller and liked the idea of a simple controller/software swap to jump to 2020 software technology. The controller more intelligently manages the adjustable shocks and also improves the software for the dynamic engine mounts on the car resulting in a more compliant ride on bad roads as well as improved high speed handling and cornering. At least that’s the sales pitch and I decided to try it out myself.

I ran some test before the swap, plugged I the new DSC controller and drove the same streets back to back. To me, it was an immediate and obvious difference. In normal mode my 997 feels just like my 991 did and feels like it handles rough roads so much better. I was even able to put it in sport suspension mode and leave it there for most of the day. It too felt like my 991 in sport mode…much firmer but I’m not taking kidney shots with every bump. The limited high speed cornering I have been able to do tells me that it is working just fine at speed as well but I’m far from being a pro and I’m not taking my car close to the limit. My verdict is that this inexpensive and easy DIY upgrade made an immediate difference for the problem I was trying to solve. I love the car even more now.

I decided to try my hand at making a review video, mostly so I can play around with some fun camera tech. I’m no videographer and likely belong behind the camera but it was fun to do:

Some fun photos I took while out and about doing the testing and filming the video:

PNWR Tech-Ed Seminar on Radar Detectors

My 2011 Turbo came with a high end fully integrated radar detector / laser jammer, the Escort 9500ci. It was state of the art back in 2011. The benefit of a fully integrated system is that you can’t tell its there…no ugly device stuck to your windshield. The drawback is that unless the manufacturer supports an upgrade path, it ages quickly. When I saw that my local PCA chapter, the Pacific Northwest Region, was putting on a TechEd session all about radar detectors I just had to go.

PNWR arranged to have Ariel Bravy from Vortex Radar lead the class and it was informative and fun. This was my first TechEd session but if they are all this well put together, it won’t be my last. We started with some classroom sessions to learn all about the equipment, the options and how radar and laser works in general. There were some off-duty and retired police officers there to lend their perspective as well. Then we went outside and got to test some cars and guns to see how they held up. Mine did okay shifting the laser hit but it was able to punch through eventually. The clear winner to beat laser is the AL Priority system which also issues frequent updates. Escort has never and will never update the older 9500 system. While having a radar detector is fun to play with, my outdated tech isn’t going to keep me out of trouble against modern laser guns so I’ll stick to Waze and save the really heavy foot for the track.

Time for some critical “mods”

My automotive mechanical skills are severely lacking but I can tackle the easy stuff and I completed my two must do mods this morning:

I started by re-flashing my Cobb tune to stage 1 on 91 octane since 92 is the best I can find in the Seattle area and I don’t want to mess with custom mixes. The last owner had the 93 octane tune. I’m sure I won’t notice a difference and this will give me peace of mind. Say what you want about Cobb vs custom tune but this was so easy to do myself. I’ll have to see how the car feels with the stock engine and PDK tune so I can appreciate what I have. Super easy to flip back and forth.

Next I installed the Rennline ExactFit iPhone mount. Picked it up from Suncoast and the install was super easy, just follow the video they provide a link to.

I like the look, where it mounts and that it doesn’t interfere with the passenger, the glove box or cover up the PCM.

Time to get back in a 911…time for some market research!

I’ve always loved cars, and in particular I have always loved the Porsche 911. I’ve owned an old air cooled 78 SC Targa. I had the pleasure of owning a rare air cooled M491 optioned Cab, an 87. I was lucky enough to be able to order a new 2016 911 GTS Targa. I had so much fun tracking it on the shipping route from Germany and even watched it live on a webcam as it went through the Panama Canal like a lunatic. For all the right reasons that I don’t regret for a second, I had made a major career move from the private sector to the non-profit world. Not surprisingly, it is much less profitable and as a result, I sold the Targa. After a few years without a 911 to call my own, I was feeling the itch. Time for some research!

I wanted to avoid taking the depreciation hit of a new car again so I spent a lot of time searching for a car that captured the true essence of Porsche, was still a bit modern, was at the bottom of the depreciation curve and would be fun to drive. After some initial research I narrowed my choice to a 2010 to 2013 997.2 TT or TTS Coupe with the PDK (manuals are actually much more expensive and for this car, I ideally wanted the TTS/PDK anyway. I had never owned a 911 Turbo and this model year seemed like the perfect fit!

I did a complete analysis of every car that fit that criteria available for sale in the US (this was in Nov/Dec 2019) and here are some interesting facts:

  • I found 106 cars currently for sale
  • Only 9 with a manual transmission with prices ranging from $80K for a high mileage tired looking Cab to $155K for a low mileage Coupe.
  • Model year has little impact on price in this range, it is tied to mileage and condition.
  • Average price for a Manual Cab is $98K with 30k average miles over 6 cars
  • Average price for a Manual Coupe is $120K with 25K average miles over 3 cars
  • Average price for a PDK TT Cab is $88K with 25K miles over 17 cars
  • Average price for a PDK TT Coupe is $85K with 33K miles over 21 cars
  • Average price for a PDK TTS Cab is $95K with 25K miles over 22 cars
  • Average price for a PDK TTS Coupe is $99K with 32K miles over 37 cars

Here are the price and mileage trends followed by trends for just the coupes (click to enlarge)

With this data I had what I needed to evaluate all of the available cars and find the best deal that checked all of my must have boxes.

I created a thread on Rennlist which has this data and some additional data / viewpoints in the thread – Research thread