|Good meeting last night!||Sam Harmon||9/19/12 11:33 AM|
Many wonderful things happened:
-Several new people showed up (if any of you are now subscribed to the list, hello!)
-We now have some new neighbors in the back of LaunchHouse - The Tesla Orchestra! (http://teslaorchestra.com) A few of us helped them move their gear off the truck and into the building. Their usual meetings are on Tuesdays as well, I believe, so there is some very high likelihood of collaboration!
-We received an amazing donation - A 4-axis MaxNC 10 CNC mill (THANK YOU ED!)
--It definitely needs a little work - it's missing collets and the collet closing nut. Some Googling last night indicated that it should be compatible with Taig collets, so I'll go ahead and order a set of those (we have my Taig Micro Lathe at the space already, and they could be used with that as well on the off chance that they don't work with the MaxNC)
--Corwin is going to try to get it moving with our EMC2 box sometime this week. We'll likely do some further work on it this weekend.
|Re: Good meeting last night!||Matt Hummel||9/19/12 3:39 PM|
As a new person, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone I met last night. It was so great getting to meet and talk with everyone and get to see the space and the potential that is possible there. I cant wait to get together, collaborate, conspire, and see what awesome stuff we can make!
|car's computer (new project) [was: Re: [makersalliance] Re: Good meeting last night!]||Ken||10/17/12 6:02 AM|
Here's something I've been wanting to do for a time:
Every car sold (new) in the US since 1996 has a computer in it. Given
the equipment, you can read a lot of info this computer is collecting.
E.g., when you take your car in for an E-check, they probably plug into
it and just read what the computer is saying about your car's
performance and then give you a pass/fail on that basis.
Also, when you take your car into a shop for repair, depending on the
problem of course, a mechanic may well plug a code reader into this
computer to help in diagnosing the problem (for which they'll charge you
$50 to $100... just to plug it in and print out what it says!).
There are code readers on the market which you can buy which do the
same. You can borrow (essentially for free) such a device from
Autozone, but it's not nearly as sophisticated as what you can buy these
days for $20-$25 (+ cost of software). There is a wide variety of
devices which can be used to read the car's computer, and for different
purposes. For instance, some cars will give you a running output of
your mileage. Others will also tell you how far you can travel on the
amount of gas in your tank. Some cars can tell you if you need air in a
tire. These features and *many* others depend on the make, model, and
year of your car, but they could also be implemented "after-market".
(It gets complicated-- but pretty amazing-- real fast.) So in later
phases of the project, we could branch out into multiple sub-projects.
One sub-project would be to build in the ability to sniff the traffic
between various devices (s.a. OBD-II code readers) and the computer.
For a couple bucks, there's a cable to plug into the OBD socket which
then gives you two sockets. This could be used to read (only) what the
other device (e.g., which a mechanic might plug in) is doing. The OBD
computer isn't a multi-user system, so obviously two devices can't send
requests to it at the same time. What I've read on this topic suggests
that the data communications between devices and OBD computer uses the
standard serial protocol or something close to it. But confirming this
and discovering the particulars would be one motivation.
But the main project, one with broader appeal, would be the cool system
set out at <http://www.instructables.com/id/Android-Tablet-as-Car-PC/>.
There's a lot of info there, but essentially folks are querying and
reading car diagnostics with an android device as the front-end, but
also using the same android device for GPS and music. This is way-cool IMO.
I still like to listen to live, over-the-air radio now and again; if
others are interested in that, we could make it another sub-project to
somehow incorporate that into the system. There are other possibilities
|Re: car's computer (new project) [was: Re: [makersalliance] Re: Good meeting last night!]||Joe ODonnell||10/17/12 7:57 AM|
You can get a small android tablet at best buy for $60, it doesn't have gps included, but it could be wifi tethered to ones gps phone. The dollar stores now have cheap android phones, some of which may have gps.
Tiffany Rad gave a 2010 notacon talk on hacking cars, and was in a few articles lately on the subject of cars being infected with viruses:
A tablet in which one could change engine operating characteristics such as torque curve could well be a viable product. Rims buying young people would probably like that. It might also work as a general car parameter display device, for those with a focus on mpg, emmisions and the like.
Club member Steve recently got a software defined radio device to work, giving us the ability to not only receive the am and fm bands on a computer, but any signal (except cell blocked frequencies) between 60 mhz and 2ghz. It would probably be a challenge to get that to work on Android though.
I think the only reason a car to android tablet project doesn't seem to have happened widely yet in the maker community, is the extra expense of making a serial connection to the tablet. That might be addressable with USB updates in the latest Android OS. Or by use of the $50 ioio board, or the Amarino project.
If you obtain the connectors for your car and can find out if it uses one of the standard serial protocols, I'll see what I can do on getting Android to communicate with a serial line.
--- On Wed, 10/17/12, ken <eins...@linuxmanagers.net> wrote:
> From: ken <eins...@linuxmanagers.net>
|Re: car's computer (new project) [was: Re: [makersalliance] Re: Good meeting last night!]||Joe ODonnell||10/17/12 7:59 AM|
> You can get a small android tablet
Should have said 'You can get a small android tablet at Big Lots for $60.'
> From: Joe O'Donnell <joseph....@yahoo.com>
|Re: car's computer (new project) [was: Re: [makersalliance] Re: Good meeting last night!]||Joe ODonnell||10/17/12 8:13 AM|
Apparently there are already a bunch of OBD to serial diy connector projects:
So the next step would be to make one of these, practice with a laptop first, and than port it to Android. Or maybe just use the Raspberry-Pi if an expensive LCD can be found.
|Re: car's computer (new project) [was: Re: [makersalliance] Re: Good meeting last night!]||kasmith||10/17/12 8:39 AM|
I am extremely pleased to see this discussion as building and expanding a "Carputer" has been a long-time interest of mine.
I currently have a computer built into a sports car. This provides GPS-navigation, cell phone enhancement, wi-fi access point, large MP3 file collection (mostly books, some music). No OBD as this car is a 1995 and does not have a standard OBD.
I am currently building a much more elaborate system for an RV and have been playing with various OBD software packages connected to a cheapie OBD-USB adapter. So far everything works well, but the appearance and capabilities vary widely.
I am expecting to control an Icom radio that uses a PC control program to provide a location-aware scanner and logger.
I will be very interested in participating in discussions and information sharing in these areas and look forward to seeing what Makers can do.
- Kendall Smith
|Re: car's computer (new project) [was: Re: [makersalliance] Re: Good meeting last night!]||Joe ODonnell||10/17/12 11:20 AM|
|Re: car's computer (new project) [was: Re: [makersalliance] Re: Good meeting last night!]||Ken||10/18/12 9:47 AM|
Sorry, I should have been clearer: the *software* protocol is serial.
This is what the car's computer understands. But this protocol can be
run over USB, bluetooth, even cat5 and wireless. You just need to tap
into the OBD-II socket (generally under the dashboard) and then
receive/send serial from there to the car's computer. Early devices
which plugged into the OBD port were serial hardware and went into a
serial port on some dedicated device. But since then, all kinds of
dongles have been developed which allow connecting to different
hardware. Last summer I bought a USB dongle ($45 from a Czech company)
which I was able to plug into my laptop. But then I discovered that it
was possible to read codes from the car's computer continuously while
driving around and I decided I didn't want a USB cable tethered to a
laptop, the USB cable draped over the steering column. It looks nerdy
(and it's more secure against crackers), but I got annoyed with the
cable and so am now in the market for a bluetooth dongle and a small
android tablet. Google's Nexus is looking good, but I'm still looking.
On 10/17/2012 10:57 AM Joe O'Donnell wrote:
> You can get a small android tablet at [Big Lots] for $60, it doesn't have gps included, but it could be wifi tethered to ones gps phone. The dollar stores now have cheap android phones, some of which may have gps.
|Re: car's computer (new project) [was: Re: [makersalliance] Re: Good meeting last night!]||Joe ODonnell||10/18/12 12:14 PM|
Thanks for the clarification, the vivid linq android connector I found later yesterday uses a bluetooth tunnel. OBDII apparently specifies one type of connector, and 5 optional types of combined electrical/software protocols. Presumably those communication protocols are encapsulated when sent over other network layer connection types, possibly in dongle proprietary ways.
Here are the 5 optional (before CAN was mandated in 2008) protocols:
On 1996 and later vehicles, you can tell which protocol is used by examining the OBD II connector:
J1850 VPW --The connector should have metallic contacts in pins 2, 4, 5, and 16, but not 10.
Do any of the bluetooth or usb dongles give accessible full i/o to all the OBDII traffic?
If not, than the bt or usb traffic could be sniffed, or one of the above 5 protocols emulated with the launchpad or arduino. That might be what that $170 ecu programmer connector I mentioned yesterday does.
--- On Thu, 10/18/12, ken <eins...@linuxmanagers.net> wrote:
> From: ken <eins...@linuxmanagers.net>
|Re: car's computer (new project) [was: Re: [makersalliance] Re: Good meeting last night!]||Ken||10/18/12 1:19 PM|
That kind of project might be kinda fun, if I didn't have so many other
projects on the wing. And there are dozens of bluetooth OBD connectors
on the market for $25 and less. (There are lots of USB and wifi
connectors out there also.) For that little bit of money, for me, it's
not worth heating up a soldering iron.
The amplifier and other wiring going to the tablet (see attachment) and
some custom software running on the tablet are going to be enough of a
project in my schedule. I'd like to add in an FM radio somehow, one
which would be controlled from the tablet, of course... but that's not a
deal-breaker. I have an old car radio (of course with amp) from which
I'd like to remove the display and then the mechanical volume and tuning
controls and replace all that with stuff controlled by the tablet. I
don't know what I/O I'd use on the tablet for that though.
|Re: car's computer (new project) [was: Re: [makersalliance] Re: Good meeting last night!]||Ken||10/18/12 1:56 PM|
On 10/17/2012 02:20 PM Joe O'Donnell wrote:
>Yes, and that 'chip' is really expensive to replace. Plus, it's against
the (federal?) law to tamper with it. It's main purpose originally was
to optimize engine efficiency so as to reduce air pollutants. And it
does a good job at that. (And we all want clean air, right?) And,
personally, I wouldn't want to tamper with the logic which many
engineers over many years, using the best equipment and research, have
designed. But I do want to be able to query my car's computer to keep
an eye on its performance, see if something is trending bad (know more
than what the 'Check Engine' light says), and also keep better and
automatic track of mileage, how many miles are left in the gas tank, and
lots more like that.
A lot depends upon what sensors are built into your vehicle. But yes,
with some cars it's possible to get an indication of the condition of
your brakes, if a tire needs air, if you forgot to screw the cap back
into the gas filler tube (e.g., after tanking up), and lots more.
> </firstname.lastname@example.org>> wrote:> *Kendall Smith*
> KASmit...@gmail.com </mc/compose?to=KASmit...@gmail.com>
|Re: car's computer (new project) [was: Re: [makersalliance] Re: Good meeting last night!]||Ken||10/18/12 2:32 PM|
On 10/18/2012 03:14 PM Joe O'Donnell wrote:True. And that often means you have to use the software which is sold
(at ridiculous prices for the better stuff) along with a particular
dongle. From my little bit of research, Torque seems to be the
preferred software for a lot of dongles, one reason being that it works
with a variety of dongles. (The torque website has a list of
compatibles.) There's also free software (FOSS) out there, but what
I've seen is far less sophisticated than Torque... so far. But I
haven't given up for that reason on doing some programming with this.
(More on that later.)
Sorry, the text above got wrapped.
This depends on what you mean by "full". :) The USB dongle I have
claims to "do" all protocols. But if you don't have the software to
access the meaning of the i/o, then what's the use?
Also to consider: the federal government mandated that vehicles'
computers provide a specific list of data. However, different vehicle
manufacturers, seeing the benefit of cyber-controls, enhanced that
mandated list in all kinds of separate and proprietary ways-- which of
course they don't divulge, but which have been partly
reverse-engineered. Ford, in particular, jumped into this area big time.
For these reasons, a nice sub-project would be to construct a sniffer or
listener to read and record the i/o when a proprietary device is
attached to the OBD-II port. Then, when you take your vehicle in to a
shop, you could record the i/o between their proprietary (and much more
sophisticated) device and you car's computer and maybe pull some meaning
out of it. I wouldn't want to leave my tablet in the car while it's in
the shop though, so a different device would be needed for that,
something probably hidden behind the dashboard which taps into the
relevant wires running between the OBD port and the car's chip and
simply records the data blips onto a USB stick for later playback into
|Re: car's computer (new project) [was: Re: [makersalliance] Re: Good meeting last night!]||Joe ODonnell||10/18/12 3:32 PM|
Neat idea. One of the Torque plugins is an open source example of how to code a plugin. It lists all the active 'pids' available from OBDII, and the source code for it suggests this includes the none standard pids. For the none standard pids it lists it's hex code and measurement, without a description of what it is.
The majority of all OBD-II PIDs in use are non-standard. For most modern vehicles, there are many more functions supported on the OBD-II interface than are covered by the standard PIDs, and there is relatively minor overlap between vehicle manufacturers for these non-standard PIDs.
AutoEnginuity, who manufactures OBD-II scan tools, provides the following example on their website:
Although Ford does implement the largest subset of the OBDII standard, the typical vehicle only supports 20 - 40 [standard] sensors and is limited to the emissions powertrain. Using the enhanced Ford interface, a typical Ford vehicle will support 200 - 300 sensors within half a dozen systems; that's essential systems such as ABS, airbags, GEM, ICM, etc.
Our enhanced Ford interface coverage is only matched by factory tools; we have support for 3,400+ [Ford] sensors selected from all 58 [Ford] systems.
There is very limited information available in the public domain for non-standard PIDs. The primary source of information on non-standard PIDs across different manufacturers is maintained by the US-based Equipment and Tool Institute and only available to members. The price of ETI membership for access to scan codes starts from US $7500
However, even ETI membership will not provide full documentation for non-standard PIDs.
> From: ken <eins...@linuxmanagers.net>> Date: Thursday, October 18, 2012, 5:32 PM> --
|Re: car's computer (new project) [was: Re: [makersalliance] Re: Good meeting last night!]||Jonas||10/19/12 7:25 AM|
I'm very interested in this project and would like to try it out! I'll
do my best to look through all the info everyone posted (seems to be a
lot!) over the weekend. I don't think I'm comfortable with "tweaking"
any of the car's computer configuration but I would like a readout and
some other connectivity/features through a tablet and/or mini computer
(navigation, music library, etc.). Will there be anyone at the next
meeting interested in experimenting with this project next tuesday?
> > --- Hide quoted text -
> - Show quoted text -
|Re: car's computer (new project) [was: Re: [makersalliance] Re: Good meeting last night!]||Joe ODonnell||10/19/12 10:39 AM|
Yes, I'll be there and possibly others. If you want to experiment with reading the computer, the easiest and cheapest way to do that is:
-Google or shop for a cheap usb or bluetooth OBDII Torque compatible connector.
The Torquescan plugin provides programmable access to the Torque program and it's data. So you can program your own alerts or do other things.
It's easy to put Android audio into the car stereo using a line in connection, fm transmitter or bluetooth device. It would be significantly more challenging to setup Android to change stations,amp volume, or act as a 5 speaker equalizer controller.
Btw Raspberry-Pi enthusiasts, if any one can install windows-xp on it, or maybe react-os, we can turn it into a computer controllable scanner and FM radio.
It might be cool to combine functions, like have Android detect with OBDII when the car goes over 55, and than play the song 'I cant drive 55.' It could also record engine/driving conditions and correlate it with a map. But if it starts saying 'Yes Micheal' that might me a little scary.
--- On Fri, 10/19/12, Jonas <jal...@gmail.com> wrote:
> From: Jonas <jal...@gmail.com>
> To: "Makers' Alliance" <makersa...@googlegroups.com>
> Date: Friday, October 19, 2012, 10:25 AM> --
|Re: car's computer (new project) [was: Re: [makersalliance] Re: Good meeting last night!]||Aaron Lewis||10/19/12 1:45 PM|
Awesome! I love the "drive 55!" idea! Freakin hilarious!
|Amplifier Tip [was: Re: car's computer (new project)]||Ken||10/23/12 4:34 PM|
Here's a hip tip for an amplifier that my brain somehow stumbled across
over the weekend. First, the context:
On 10/18/2012 04:18 PM ken wrote:
>A couple years ago a friend gifted me a car stereo when the display on
mine went dim. For reasons irrelevant to the current situation, I never
installed it, but kept it around. Over the weekend it occurred to me
that it's got an amplifier in it. Moreover, this amplifier has got to
be really close to the right size (electronically) for the
audio-from-Android-to-car-speakers part of this project. Moreover #2,
the chassis it's mounted in fits perfectly into the hole in the
dashboard where my previous sound system sat, making it probably not too
tough to mount it securely. Moreover #3, it has pins in the back--
i.e., in just the right place-- to connect up with power and speakers
and antenna. Moreover #4, it's got an AM/FM radio in it (which maybe I
could tap into to listen to when I'm not in the mood for the MP3s on the
tablet). Moreover #5, it seems to have controls for a CD carousel--
which I already have in my car, stock, and which I'd love to utilize
also. Moreover #6, except for the volume controls (two knobs), all the
controls on the front of this (otherwise junk) car stereo are
essentially digital, e.g., Select (AM or FM1 or FM2), Scan (for radio
stations), Increment and Decrement (radio tuner), CD Selector (from
those CD loaded into the carousel, and others.
The takeaway for most people here are #s 1, 2, and 3 (and perhaps
others). I.e., if you're needing an amplifier for this project, you can
get a very suitable one for cheap or maybe even free by laying hands on
an old car stereo.
Of course you'll need to know what the pins on the back serve. I didn't
have this info and it took me the entire weekend to track down
schematics. See attached PDFs. The one entitled *KEYBOARD* is for the
front panel where all the aforementioned controls (#5 and #6) are, what
would be replaced by some kind of unit to be controlled by the tablet.
How exactly to accomplish this part, I don't yet know. I haven't even
had time to examine the schematics myself yet. If anyone has comments
on them, fling 'em at me.
|Re: [makersalliance] Amplifier Tip [was: Re: car's computer (new project)]||Martin||10/24/12 6:16 AM|
Looks like thinkgeek has an android OBDII kit on sale right now:
Open Source Software fan? check out: http://www.nooss.org/
Chat: li...@conference.jabber.nooss.org which is bridged to irc at
Personal Stuff: http://www.hebrank.com/martin/
|Re: [makersalliance] Amplifier Tip [was: Re: car's computer (new project)]||Ken||10/25/12 4:29 AM|
Yeah, this kind of device is one component of this project. The "On
Sale" price of the thinkgeek unit is about three times what other,
similar devices go for though.
|Re: [makersalliance] Amplifier Tip [was: Re: car's computer (new project)]||Ken||10/25/12 7:42 AM|
I just uploaded the abovementioned wiring sketch showing how to connect
your car's stereo system, along with the two schematics of the car
stereo I managed to lay hands on. Find all these and anything else
about this project I or someone else chooses to upload at
The two schematics for the car stereo have tables on their right sides
showing what the pins are for... well, in most cases. I get that FR+
means the positive on the front-right speaker, that RR- is the negative
on the rear right speaker, etc. But what is ACC for...? and ILL+ and
ILL- (on the car stereo's mainboard, not its front controls)? And what
are "+B (BACKUP)", "S.GND", and "OPEN (PIN)" for?
>> ... I'd like to add in an FM radio somehow, one
>> which would be controlled from the tablet, of course... but that's not a>> don't know what I/O I'd use on the tablet for that though....
I've thought about this part a bit more and looked at the schematic for
the car stereo's front (controls) panel... it seems that entire IC and
all attached switches might be replaced by a quite simple interface, one
with a bluetooth or wifi. This interface would take the place of the
various switches and dials and send their functioning to the tablet.
Can anyone her think of a such a chip...? one with wifi or bluetooth
|Re: [makersalliance] Amplifier Tip [was: Re: car's computer (new project)]||Jonas||10/25/12 7:41 PM|
I was thinking to pick up a Raspberry Pi Starter Pack to get something rolling for this... thoughts?
|Re: Amplifier Tip [was: Re: car's computer (new project)]||Jonas||10/26/12 5:50 AM|
what about radioSHARK? It might be one option but I don't see any
outstanding reviews on the device. your more technical route might
have better results with some tinkering?
|Re: [makersalliance] Amplifier Tip [was: Re: car's computer (new project)]||Joe ODonnell||10/26/12 6:51 AM|