My new project -- a standalone scan tool (lots of pictures)

Headlights to tailights and everything in between.

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vrg3
Vikash
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My new project -- a standalone scan tool (lots of pictures)

Post by vrg3 » Wed Dec 19, 2007 5:18 pm

I alluded in another post to a project I'd been working on. I thought you guys would like to see it. Some of these pictures are kind of crummy, but they get the idea across.

I built this little adapter:

Image

What do you do with it? Well, you use it with a Mattel Juice Box:

Image

The Juice Box is an electronic toy meant to play MP3s and little videos on cartridges sold by Mattel. It was kind of a flop, so they're cheap on eBay now. I managed to make my own cartridge with my own programming and some extra stuff on it to plug into a Legacy Turbo's Select Monitor port:

Image

It fits really neatly under the stereo console on my airbag-equipped car:

Image

It's powered off the car's electrical system when the ignition is on:

Image

It graphically displays all the parameters that my computer-based scan tool can read (plus a little more):
Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

It reads trouble codes, too:

Image Image Image Image Image Image

And lets you clear the memory (resetting codes as well as learned spark/fuel/etc stuff):

Image Image

I actually think it's cooler than the pictures show. The dynamic graphic display is fun; I've been enjoying it for months. The brightness is adjustable too, so it's readable in the day but doesn't blind me at night. I usually leave it reading coolant temperature, which is the reading it defaults to, because I feel like that's the most useful measurement that's otherwise missing on my dash right now. Now that it's winter I know not to touch the blow motor until the coolant gets to about 100 degrees.
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jamal
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Post by jamal » Wed Dec 19, 2007 6:56 pm

That is sooo freaking cool.


Um, so, are you planning on making any more of these things?

Hocrest
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Post by Hocrest » Wed Dec 19, 2007 6:56 pm

Super cool.
There are a couple guys on the SVX board tearing into the SVX ECU right now, how hard will it be to adapt this to work on the SVX??
Dave
[size=75]-97 Legacy (ain't never gonna die)
-92 SVX (attention whore)
-86 Brat (more fun than the SVX)
-92 SVX Racer (lightest SVX)[/size]

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Post by All_talk » Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:15 pm

SUPER COOL !!!

How much to build me one??

Can it record?

Is the output from the data port serial? Could you build something like this for a laptop?

Gary
No matter how broke I am... I always seem to find two cents.

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Post by Legacy777 » Wed Dec 19, 2007 8:00 pm

That is freaking cool!!!

Is this something we could build ourselves, or find a company willing to build a small batch?
Josh

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1990 Legacy (AWD, 6MT, & EJ22T Swap)
1997 Impreza OBS

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Post by skid542 » Wed Dec 19, 2007 8:41 pm

Wooaaah. That is totally wicked!!

I'm in with everyone else, is this something that we can build ourselves?

I assume you had to build another adapter to allow you to reprogram the cartridge and put your coding on it?

Does this use the same wires that your scan tool uses? I ask because I've already wired in a seperate connector for that.

But seriously Vikash, that is way too cool to just say "here guys, look at my cool new toy" and then just leave it at that :).

There have been very few things that I have to have, and this is one of them.
Lee

93' SS, 5mt swapped, 182k, not stock...
96' N/A OBW 5sp, 212k, Couple mods... RIP
99' N/A OBW, 4eat, mostly stock.

DLC
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Post by DLC » Wed Dec 19, 2007 8:56 pm

Nice work. Look out Cobb!

I want one for my car...
Legacy Central
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asc_up
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Post by asc_up » Wed Dec 19, 2007 9:17 pm

MAKE MORE AND SELL THEM!!


please? lol. i would LOVE one for my car. that is SO AWESOME!!
-Aaron

2000 Audi S4 - 2.7L Twin-turbo, 6 Speed

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Post by Fkyx » Wed Dec 19, 2007 10:16 pm

asc_up wrote:MAKE MORE AND SELL THEM!!


please? lol. i would LOVE one for my car. that is SO AWESOME!!
Seriously. This is some fantastic, top notch work!
Matthew aka F[b][color=red]k[/color][/b]yx
1991 Legacy Sport Sedan "Jillian" - [url=http://bbs.legacycentral.org/viewtopic.php?t=39548]EJ20G swap[/url]

b3lha
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Post by b3lha » Thu Dec 20, 2007 1:14 am

Very interesting work Vikash.

I see the JuiceBox can run uClinux. Does your software run under this or have you programmed the device directly without an OS? Either way it's a very cool project.

Phil.
http://www.alcyone.org.uk/ssm

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Post by smh0101 » Thu Dec 20, 2007 1:53 am

Name your price dude... THis is freaking amazazing...
~Spencer
94 Legacy Turbo (550 Robtune/ej20h v2 Sti RA drivetrain)
94 Legacy Ti Wagon (5mt ej22e)
91 rhd Legacy GT Wagon (factory 5mt, ej20g)
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Post by internetautomart » Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:03 am

depending on price, I'm in for it.
if there really is a largeish call for it, I can probably find a compnay to make it.
94 BC w/ AWD Sold 6/25/08
92 BJ Rust bucket gone
90 BC (I think) Stripper, gone since 2k
86 GL10 Turbo 4wd, Gone since 99

vrg3
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Post by vrg3 » Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:49 am

Wow. I knew some people would want one, but I didn't expect this much interest.

Thanks for all the props, everyone. I am pretty proud of myself for actually accomplishing this. It was more than a year and a half ago that I hatched the plan and it took me pretty much a year to actually make it happen. I learned a heck of a lot.

So, let me turn this back on you guys. How much do you think one of these devices would be worth? I do have enough parts right now to build two -- maybe three -- of them that I would happily sell (I could sure use some extra cash this holiday season), and I could build more as time passes. Aside from the first few, a group buy may be the way to do the rest.

Everyone understands that these only work on turbo models (at least right now), right? And that I can't actually provide you with any kind of express warranty?

Now to address individual questions:

Dave (Hocrest) - I don't know, because I've never even seen an SVX ECU in person. I would imagine that it would be fairly straightforward to rewrite this to work with a particular OBD-I SVX; it may be harder to design one that would work with all OBD-I SVXes. And I don't know if this technology would work at all with OBD-II SVXes.

Before I can work on SVXes, though, I owe the XT community some help with their ECUs, and it'd also be nice if this tool worked with non-turbo Legacies.

Gary - It cannot record. The data stream is a form of serial communication, yes, and there's a little discussion of it in the thread about my laptop-based scantool. Aside from that scantool, I have no current plans to develop anything on a laptop. Of course, I've published the source code to that scan tool, so anybody else is free to improve upon my work.

Josh - I do plan on publishing the research I did to develop this, eventually. With the web page I make, anybody with good electrical engineering and computer programming skills ought to be able to build it themselves. That said, I wouldn't imagine that most of you guys would enjoy the job.

I don't know about getting a company to build them. There are some who would be concerned that this device infringes on patents or copyrights or something, though I'm not one of them. More to the point, though, I haven't come up with any hard-copy design that any company could take and produce. That doesn't mean it can't be done, of course.

Lee - I had to build quite a bit of other hardware to get this project where it is. I had to cannibalize a couple of Juice Boxes as well as make interfaces and reverse-engineer how some of the stuff works.

It does use the same wires as the laptop-based scantool except that it uses one more, since it actually powers the Juice Box from the Select Monitor port.

Dave (DLC) - An OBD-II implementation would be completely different, but I do think someone with the inclination and smarts could do it with this same basic hardware.

Phil - The Juice Box's built-in MP3 player and image viewer do run on top of uClinux. In my hacking around with it, I have actually managed to get a Juice Box to boot my own uClinux kernel, but it's not clear to me that it's actually possible to do anything useful with uClinux on a Juice Box, given how limited the rest of the resources are. This scantool has nothing to do with uClinux; it runs on its own without an operating system.
"Just reading vrg3's convoluted, information-packed posts made me feel better all over again." -- subyluvr2212

mike270
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Post by mike270 » Thu Dec 20, 2007 3:01 am

Very, very cool! I'd certainly be interested in giving this a shot on my own if you are ok with posting a "how-to". I am always up for projects like this! :)

Roughly how often does the display refresh?

vrg3
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Post by vrg3 » Thu Dec 20, 2007 3:08 am

I'd say it refreshes several times a second. Enough that it's fun to watch things like the oyxgen sensor signal or the throttle angle.
"Just reading vrg3's convoluted, information-packed posts made me feel better all over again." -- subyluvr2212

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Post by Fkyx » Thu Dec 20, 2007 3:19 am

With regards to pricing... How much did all the supplies that you were able to purchase cost you? That would give a good base for us to determine how much we can pay for the package.
Matthew aka F[b][color=red]k[/color][/b]yx
1991 Legacy Sport Sedan "Jillian" - [url=http://bbs.legacycentral.org/viewtopic.php?t=39548]EJ20G swap[/url]

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Post by magicmike » Thu Dec 20, 2007 3:25 am

Vikash,
Again you have totally amazed me with your geniousness! you are the smartest guy I have never met lol. I swear, one day i will be telling my friends that i know the guy who just one the nobel prize from a subaru forum i'm a member on lol. At any rate, This is the coolest thing I have seen yet. What i would do if i were you is think about how much it would cost you to build one more unit. Take the cost of the material and do a 2.4% on that and then take the time you think it will take to assemble one (labor) in hours and multiply by $60-$80. That should give you a good idea on if its something you can produce again for a profit. for the dollars per hour I usually use $40 and hour to think about if its worth doing something myself or paying someone else to do it (i.e. tiling a floor). Given that this is something that no one else can do you should give yourself a higher hourly rate. I can say I would pay good money for something like this. By the way, good to see you back.
-Mike

2011 Infiniti G37x Sedan - Current
2007 Ducati 800ss - Current
1994 Subaru Legacy Sport Wagon (White)
1994 Subaru Legacy Sport Wagon (Silver)
2003 Infiniri G35
1998 Infiniti I30t
1995 Honda Civic DX
1987 Subaru GL Wagon
1987 Subaru Loyale

vrg3
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Post by vrg3 » Thu Dec 20, 2007 3:34 am

Matt - Yeah, duh, I guess that would be meaningful information.

I spent lots of money -- more than I ought to admit -- on the R&D stuff... but the physical parts that go into a single unit would probably cost anywhere from $60 to $80. Building the thing would be several hours of fairly precise work.

Mike - Kind words. Thank you. Your suggestions make sense, but that may end up being too much for anyone to benefit from it... Off the top of my head that sounds like around $300 apiece. If I'm selling this thing, it would be kind of nice to recoup some of the investment in making it, but I'm not looking to profit off you guys.

Let's see what other people think and then maybe tomorrow I'll decide on an asking price.
"Just reading vrg3's convoluted, information-packed posts made me feel better all over again." -- subyluvr2212

skid542
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Post by skid542 » Thu Dec 20, 2007 3:51 am

Vikash, I'm still completely awed by your engineering abilities. I've got an AE and I know of other engineers are on the board who very sharp guys, and I've meet a lot of impressive intellegint people (engineers and non). But I can honestly say that I'm truly proud to 'know' you. And your willingness to use that ability to help the rest of the world out is inspiring. Not to be all sentimental and such, but you are the man.


Now that I've got you all buttered up ;), PLEASE put me in line to buy one of these. I will gladly pay your asking price as I have no doubts it will be fair to us. I'm finally at a point where I can really do something with my car and this would be an incredibly useful tool.
Lee

93' SS, 5mt swapped, 182k, not stock...
96' N/A OBW 5sp, 212k, Couple mods... RIP
99' N/A OBW, 4eat, mostly stock.

vrg3
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Post by vrg3 » Thu Dec 20, 2007 4:08 am

Now you're just being silly. Sharing resources and skills is just what forums like this one are about. Thanks though.

We'll see; if there are a lot of people who want one after I pick a price, we'll have to come up with a fair way to dole 'em out.
"Just reading vrg3's convoluted, information-packed posts made me feel better all over again." -- subyluvr2212

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Post by SubaruNation » Thu Dec 20, 2007 4:48 am

you're my hero vikash, serious.
this is so cool, it tells you everything you need to know, all in one handy gadget.
:D

i'm fiddling with slackware linux right now, and thats as close as i can come to your genius. :-D
Zach - Legacy Frankenstin
93forestpearl wrote:Keep up the good work. You'll never know what you are capable of unless you push yourself.

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Post by internetautomart » Thu Dec 20, 2007 4:57 am

so it doesn't do N/A :(
94 BC w/ AWD Sold 6/25/08
92 BJ Rust bucket gone
90 BC (I think) Stripper, gone since 2k
86 GL10 Turbo 4wd, Gone since 99

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Post by magicmike » Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:09 am

I think that $300 is more than fair considering I paid more that that for my apexi avcr and i can barely figure that POS out lol. I have one question though. Can the screen be removed from the "box" portion to be put someplace else on a ribbon cable perhaps. I'd like to mount this thing in the dash where the two center vents are currently.
-Mike

2011 Infiniti G37x Sedan - Current
2007 Ducati 800ss - Current
1994 Subaru Legacy Sport Wagon (White)
1994 Subaru Legacy Sport Wagon (Silver)
2003 Infiniri G35
1998 Infiniti I30t
1995 Honda Civic DX
1987 Subaru GL Wagon
1987 Subaru Loyale

SubaruNation
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Post by SubaruNation » Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:12 am

thats a good idea.
is the screen the same size as the vents?
Zach - Legacy Frankenstin
93forestpearl wrote:Keep up the good work. You'll never know what you are capable of unless you push yourself.

skid542
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Post by skid542 » Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:32 am

I'd agree with Mike as far as pricing is concerned. The ability to quickly read real time values in a nice graphic display vs. numeric output is worth a lot. The whole package is very compact and clean. This is a nice setup.

Being all solid-state and *assuming* surface mount components I'd think it's pretty vibration tolerant.
Lee

93' SS, 5mt swapped, 182k, not stock...
96' N/A OBW 5sp, 212k, Couple mods... RIP
99' N/A OBW, 4eat, mostly stock.

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