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computers for cars

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by tecton, Oct 21, 2003.

  1. tecton

    tecton 1/2 ton status

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    by comparison, the computers in cars are reletively stupid...but im wondering what is stopping someone from building their own computer for a car....the software

    so where, who, how can you get software to run, monitor the cars of today?
     
  2. Thunder

    Thunder 3/4 ton status

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    I dont think computers in cars are stupid at all. They do a hell of a lot for their small size They have to react instantly to varying engine loads, temprature, ect, ect'
    They run the seceurity system. Keep you comfortable. Tell you what is wrong whith the vehicle.
    They even know when the engine is low on oil, out of gas, water, ect ect. Which is a lot smarter than many of the people driving on the road these days /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif

    Ever plugged a scanner into a OBDII box?
    There is way more info displayed than the average backyard mechanic's brain can handle.
     
  3. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    Do some reading here: http://www.fuelairspark.com/ Those guys build all sorts of custom stuff, including their own computer to manage the engine. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    A modern PC has WAY more power than what is required for an engine management computer. As a single task device, the CPU doesn't have a need to be super fast for this application. All of the code for the computer is written in machine language, so it operates quickly and requires very little memory.

    I think that the most difficult part of building your own engine management computer would be designing and debugging the interface circuitry for all of the inputs and outputs. You would need A/D convertors for each input from a sensor, calibrated for the correct response from the sending device (TPS, MAP, O2 sensor, intake temp sensor, coolant temp sensor, etc.). Some driver transistors would have to be setup to provide output controls for the injectors (and EGR, AIR switch, vapor cannister, etc. if required to pass emissions).
     
  4. 99firehawk

    99firehawk 1/2 ton status

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    A modern pc also crashes constantly sitting on your desk, how often does your ecm crash? How would a pc handle heat, vibration, shock, cold, water, dirt, dust?
     
  5. tecton

    tecton 1/2 ton status

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    Im not saying build a pc for your car...thats stupid. Im talking about building a faster computer.
     
  6. tecton

    tecton 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I dont think computers in cars are stupid at all. They do a hell of a lot for their small size They have to react instantly to varying engine loads, temprature, ect, ect'
    They run the seceurity system. Keep you comfortable. Tell you what is wrong whith the vehicle.
    They even know when the engine is low on oil, out of gas, water, ect ect. Which is a lot smarter than many of the people driving on the road these days /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif

    Ever plugged a scanner into a OBDII box?
    There is way more info displayed than the average backyard mechanic's brain can handle.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Observation isnt an intelligence intensive operation. All sensors are is just a switch triggered by light, sound, vibration, chemical, whatever...switch is open if there is nothing, closed when there is. Big deal.

    But this isnt what im talking about. Im talking about taking a computer thats older than a super nintendo, and replacing it with a computer of today's standards.
     
  7. bpiccioni

    bpiccioni 1/2 ton status

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    Here's a site I first noticed some time ago, where the owner of a late model VW Jetta really put some work into integrating a PC into his car:

    Dashpc.com
     
  8. Thunder

    Thunder 3/4 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Im not saying build a pc for your car...thats stupid. Im talking about building a faster computer.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    But this isnt what im talking about. Im talking about taking a computer thats older than a super nintendo, and replacing it with a computer of today's standards.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    All vedio games do is react to input from a few buttons that are on or off. In fact thats all any computer does.

    I believe The OBDII system reacts in 1/200 of a second. It samples exhaust O2 20 times a second. Computes data from all the other sensors And instantly changes fuel to air to match needs and Decides how to shift your tranny. This is just a small part of all the functions it may be doing at the time.
    They can be easily reprogramed for better performance because they have EPROM memory. In some cars you can do this with a push of a button.
    I dont understand. /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
    How fast do you want?
    What more do you want out of a computer?
    What else do you want it to do?
    If they get much more sophisicated cars wont need drivers.
    Of course that may be a good thing in some cases /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
    .
     
  9. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    [ QUOTE ]
    All sensors are is just a switch triggered by light, sound, vibration, chemical, whatever...switch is open if there is nothing, closed when there is. Big deal.


    [/ QUOTE ]
    Ah, but that's where it gets tricky. Most of the sensors are NOT a switch. They are variable resistors, whose value changes based on conditions. The constantly changing analog voltage from these sensors must be converted into digital data that the computer can interpret. The MAP, engine temp, coolant temp, O2 sensor, and TPS all provide analog data that must be converted to digital. Then there's the Idle Air Control motor, which is a stepper motor that requires its own special signals to step it forward and backward properly. Designing the circuitry for all of this stuff isn't a trivial task unless you're an electronic design engineer. /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif

    As for PC's crashing all the time, you can thank Microsoft for that. /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif There are plenty of Intel imbedded CPU's in the world that don't run WinDoze and operate flawlessly for years. /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif Even Unix and Linux OS's running on Intel PC's are more stable than when running Microsoft stuff. Of course, much of the stability in the Unix/Linux world is due to the fact that there are fewer applications available that can try to crash 'em. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

    As for using a "faster" computer, it just isn't a requirement. The ECM is designed to have but a single purpose in life, to keep the engine running at peak efficiency. It doesn't have to deal with interrupts from other programs, keyboard or mouse input, video output, network layers, modems, joysticks, hard drives, CD-ROM drives, serial ports, paralell ports, USB ports, etc. And it also doesn't have to deal with hugely bloated, poorly written code to run. It just doesn't require much processing power to perform the limited set of tasks asked of the ECM. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif Running a faster processor would just result in the processor using lots of No-Op cycles as it waited for something to do. /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif
     

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