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Thread: Feeler: Open Source OBC Firmware

  1. #1
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    Feeler: Open Source OBC Firmware

    I have this crazy idea to hack the 18-button OBC on my E36 and either replace the firmware that's onboard (if the memory is not write-protected) or retrofit a different ECU to the board and write my own firmware.

    The source and DIY guide would be released as Open Source for anyone to use.

    The real beauty of this would be you could expand the functionality of the unit. Some things I can think to add right off the bat:

    1. Automatic 0-60 timer
    2. Compass (using external sensor)
    3. Built-in OBD-I/II interface for code reading/resetting
    4. Ability to adjust other setting such as lighting behaviors, etc.
    5. Ability to adjust audio system (amp/sub levels, etc)
    6. Add an "Int Temp" sensor
    7. Interface to other devices such as garage door openers, radar detectors, etc
    8. Interface to iPod/CarPC for control/display purposes.
    9. Carsoft-like interface to allow other systems to be diagnosed (airbag, ZKE, etc.)

    Any interest out there?
    Last edited by m2pc; 01-10-2009 at 03:23 AM.

    1999 ///M3 TiAg | Heated Power Vaders | DDM Projector36 5000K 55W HIDs | DDM 3000K 35W HID Fogs
    DDM Smoked Corners | DDM Weighted Shift Knob | K&N CAI | Mishimoto AL Rad w/Zionsville AL Shroud
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    E36 OBC is now open! Join the effort: BF.C Thread | openOBC Wiki

  2. #2
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    Sounds interesting. Will you be writing all of the coding?


  3. #3
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    Well maybe the initial "framework"... but my plan is to make it an open source project so others can contribute. I don't know all the ins-and outs of the OBD-II for example, so I'd need assistance with that from people who know the details of the interface.

    1999 ///M3 TiAg | Heated Power Vaders | DDM Projector36 5000K 55W HIDs | DDM 3000K 35W HID Fogs
    DDM Smoked Corners | DDM Weighted Shift Knob | K&N CAI | Mishimoto AL Rad w/Zionsville AL Shroud
    Stewart HiPo Water Pump | Samco Hose Kit | 16" SPAL Puller Fan | Viper 5701LE Security
    E36 OBC is now open! Join the effort: BF.C Thread | openOBC Wiki

  4. #4
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    that seems like a huge project...

  5. #5
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    Sounds awesome, but sounds like a REALLY involved project
    Part outs, parts, cars, etc: Asmod3us's FS Threads
    Lots of parts on ebay: eBay Auctions

  6. #6
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    heck...id buy it
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  7. #7
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Volcom8190 View Post
    heck...id buy it
    Love the sig...


  8. #8
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    Another application: Digital oil temp & pressure, and coolant temp indicators.

    I found a page on Bosch Motorsports that has datasheets on the various sensors used in E36's:
    http://www.bosch-motorsport.de/conte.../html/2895.htm

    Anyone have a dead OBC they want to "donate" to this project?
    I'd use mine but I don't want to ruin a working one.
    I'm mainly intersted in the shell with display and buttons.
    PM me if you're interested; I can pick up locally (SoCal) or pay shipping.

    I'll probably end up using a custom PCB that replaces the one inside the stock OBC since the firmware is probably not very easily upgradeable.
    Last edited by m2pc; 01-13-2009 at 07:18 PM.

    1999 ///M3 TiAg | Heated Power Vaders | DDM Projector36 5000K 55W HIDs | DDM 3000K 35W HID Fogs
    DDM Smoked Corners | DDM Weighted Shift Knob | K&N CAI | Mishimoto AL Rad w/Zionsville AL Shroud
    Stewart HiPo Water Pump | Samco Hose Kit | 16" SPAL Puller Fan | Viper 5701LE Security
    E36 OBC is now open! Join the effort: BF.C Thread | openOBC Wiki

  9. #9
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    Not bad. Once the main system is written, adding options and sensors will be the easy part.


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by fPortal View Post
    Not bad. Once the main system is written, adding options and sensors will be the easy part.
    Yup, I plan to use one of the giant PIC chips (PIC18F4553) that have onboard USB, analog inputs, etc. That particular chip is only about $6 in qty 1.

    Datasheet is here: http://ww1.microchip.com/downloads/e...Doc/39887b.pdf

    1999 ///M3 TiAg | Heated Power Vaders | DDM Projector36 5000K 55W HIDs | DDM 3000K 35W HID Fogs
    DDM Smoked Corners | DDM Weighted Shift Knob | K&N CAI | Mishimoto AL Rad w/Zionsville AL Shroud
    Stewart HiPo Water Pump | Samco Hose Kit | 16" SPAL Puller Fan | Viper 5701LE Security
    E36 OBC is now open! Join the effort: BF.C Thread | openOBC Wiki

  11. #11
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    I wonder if it would be easier to replace the OBC with basically a screen in its place with a "CarPC" type setup behind it, that can still be cycled with the BC Stalk. Maybe even a touch screen.

    Nice find on the chip though.


  12. #12
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    Well I'm planning a CarPC installation, but this would be something that can boot up instantly and be used with the CarPC off.

    Using the USB port on this "OBC" you could easily feed the sensor data to the CarPC for more detailed display/graphing/logging operations.

    1999 ///M3 TiAg | Heated Power Vaders | DDM Projector36 5000K 55W HIDs | DDM 3000K 35W HID Fogs
    DDM Smoked Corners | DDM Weighted Shift Knob | K&N CAI | Mishimoto AL Rad w/Zionsville AL Shroud
    Stewart HiPo Water Pump | Samco Hose Kit | 16" SPAL Puller Fan | Viper 5701LE Security
    E36 OBC is now open! Join the effort: BF.C Thread | openOBC Wiki

  13. #13
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    i'd buy it depending on features..

    More info asap!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by m2pc View Post
    Well I'm planning a CarPC installation, but this would be something that can boot up instantly and be used with the CarPC off.

    Using the USB port on this "OBC" you could easily feed the sensor data to the CarPC for more detailed display/graphing/logging operations.
    Good point.


  15. #15
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    ill buy it!!!!!

  16. #16
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    I would totally buy one. It would be even better if you could do a DIY on the hardware and then distribute the software.


  17. #17
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    That would be a fun project to be in on. Even with the CarPC part, have bluetooth and wifi.


  18. #18
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    My current plan is this:

    1. Open source firmware (most likely written in C)
    2. Open source hardware (schematic and layout CAD files freely available)
    3. Kit form (you get a board and all the components, solder it yourself)
    4. Retrofit kits (you get a board already soldered, just gut your OBC and use this one instead)
    5. "Exchange" program where you send me your OBC and I ship you the "upgraded" one in return.

    Firmware updates could be done on the unit via USB/Serial/Wireless to expand the functionality.

    Any other ideas?

    1999 ///M3 TiAg | Heated Power Vaders | DDM Projector36 5000K 55W HIDs | DDM 3000K 35W HID Fogs
    DDM Smoked Corners | DDM Weighted Shift Knob | K&N CAI | Mishimoto AL Rad w/Zionsville AL Shroud
    Stewart HiPo Water Pump | Samco Hose Kit | 16" SPAL Puller Fan | Viper 5701LE Security
    E36 OBC is now open! Join the effort: BF.C Thread | openOBC Wiki

  19. #19
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    That sounds like a plan. Looks pretty complete as far as the OBC goes. Would you still keep the original OBC functions with the Check Control, or replace it altogether with the new layout?


  20. #20
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    I like the exchange program.

  21. #21
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by m2pc View Post
    My current plan is this:

    1. Open source firmware (most likely written in C)
    2. Open source hardware (schematic and layout CAD files freely available)
    3. Kit form (you get a board and all the components, solder it yourself)
    4. Retrofit kits (you get a board already soldered, just gut your OBC and use this one instead)
    5. "Exchange" program where you send me your OBC and I ship you the "upgraded" one in return.

    Firmware updates could be done on the unit via USB/Serial/Wireless to expand the functionality.

    Any other ideas?
    One question, would you require the Einheit # for check control to work, or find a way to work around it. If you still need it, the exhange program will pose a problem.


  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by fPortal View Post
    That sounds like a plan. Looks pretty complete as far as the OBC goes. Would you still keep the original OBC functions with the Check Control, or replace it altogether with the new layout?
    I do like that feature and I think it's all handled by an external "Check Control" module. I would like to be able, for example, to disable just the "Low Beam Failure" or "Tail Light Failure" messages but still keep the coolant level message.

    1999 ///M3 TiAg | Heated Power Vaders | DDM Projector36 5000K 55W HIDs | DDM 3000K 35W HID Fogs
    DDM Smoked Corners | DDM Weighted Shift Knob | K&N CAI | Mishimoto AL Rad w/Zionsville AL Shroud
    Stewart HiPo Water Pump | Samco Hose Kit | 16" SPAL Puller Fan | Viper 5701LE Security
    E36 OBC is now open! Join the effort: BF.C Thread | openOBC Wiki

  23. #23
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    I wonder if there is a way to bypass the function of the OBC verifying the Einheit #.


  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by fPortal View Post
    I wonder if there is a way to bypass the function of the OBC verifying the Einheit #.
    I thought the Einheit # was just to control what functions were available on the OBC.

    Or are you talking about the "unlock" code?

    1999 ///M3 TiAg | Heated Power Vaders | DDM Projector36 5000K 55W HIDs | DDM 3000K 35W HID Fogs
    DDM Smoked Corners | DDM Weighted Shift Knob | K&N CAI | Mishimoto AL Rad w/Zionsville AL Shroud
    Stewart HiPo Water Pump | Samco Hose Kit | 16" SPAL Puller Fan | Viper 5701LE Security
    E36 OBC is now open! Join the effort: BF.C Thread | openOBC Wiki

  25. #25
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    Kinda, Einheit (Unit) # has to be correct for the Check Functions to work and there are 2 Einheit numbers of 4 digits each.

    BMW wants $100 to connect mine to their computer to fix it.


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