Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Competitive electronics hacking
  (+2, -6)
(+2, -6)
  [vote for,

A tournament where hackers compete to interface with obscure electronics as quickly as possible.

It is a test of one's toolkit, soft and hard. Can you interface with the device electrically? Ok, now can you quickly construct the software to talk to it? Now can you make it to do something cool?

You should look as much as possible like a hacker in Live Free Or Die Hard. In order to do this, new techniques for managing the complexity of interfacing will have to be developed.

justanotherpaul, Feb 16 2008


       good title - welcome - here's your first croissant +
xenzag, Feb 16 2008

       (-) ``Wasn't that cool, that thing I saw in "Live Free Or Die Hard"? Wouldn't it be neat if it were real?''   

       And, no, it won't require "new techniques for managing the complexity of interfacing". Where do people _get_ this stuff? Are you in marketing or something?
jutta, Feb 16 2008

       Here's your challenge - turn this bone into a bun.
Canuck, Feb 16 2008

       Sorta a "if a monkey could hack only a monkey would want to" situation? The whole idea of hacking is that it defeats the intuituve user iterface, it is not pretty or even exciting in the movie sense. I am reminded of the kids who randomly dialed into control centers in the mid eighties and fooled with power switching circuits without even knowing where or what they were fooling with. *855691a ON! *855691a OFF!   

       MoUhahahahah! I'm a hacker!
WcW, Feb 16 2008

       I like it [+]. I don't think this is a WTCTTIS...(etc) as the method to achieve the stated goal is given in the idea.   

       Here's your second challenge - the ECU from my car. There's holes to mount a twenty-pin header for a daughterboard on one side of the PCB; can you a) figure the interface, b) find the switch to use a daughterboard instead of the on-chip fuel map, and c)wire it up so that your custom "fuel map" actually allows the ECU to drive a completely different piece of hardware?   

       For the record, I'm trying to do (a) and and failing. I'm just trying to get some cheaply skilled help...
david_scothern, Feb 16 2008

       What garantee is there that the ecu was ever intended to utilize the Daughterboard? Sounds pretty vestigial unless there was an option that utilized the ECU exstensively. I doubt that it was set up to have a spare set of maps or be switchable. I also doubt that there is an interface for the rom elements that would be understandable. What year are we talking about here? Maybe some of the OBD software is documented and would give some hint? The closest thing to a user interface is the OBD output.
WcW, Feb 16 2008

       I'm not sure this is the place, but I started it, I guess - if [mr.paul] would like us to take it to email, he has only to say so.   

       The main processor is a Mitsubishi Semi 37780; from pinouts of other 377xx chips (the -80 is a custom piece for which no schematics are publicly available), one of the pins is either high or low, controlling whether its onboard ROM is used or whether it reads from a separate chip. I've located that pin.   

       There are then two headers - 30x1 and 20x1, of which forty or so are fully wired into the rest of the circuit, primarily in the form of sixteen-bit data buses attached to the main ICs, so I've confidence that the headers function. The previous ECU used on the same engine (pre-OBD1, so until end of 1995) was similar inasmuch as it had pads for a 20x2 header to which daughterboards are regularly fitted. For this reason, I have confidence that it's possible. For reference, it's a Nissan/Bosch unit from a 1997 shopping trolley (Micra/March).
david_scothern, Feb 16 2008

       I am familiar with the nissan unit. You even have an external input pot on the side of the unit , correct? You could do some really neat things with a switchable map. I imagine a high/low octane setup or some sort of street/race map or a map for making flames come out of the tailpipe. You should find someone who sells the tuned ECU's and pick their brain about what features can be easily implemented through the side input/flashing LEDs.
WcW, Feb 16 2008

       Nope the Nissan unit for 1986+ MAF(MAP also?) cars was a Nismo part I don't think it was even licensed to any other makes. It has this neat diagnostic led setup and input thingy.
WcW, Feb 19 2008


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