STN1170 Reader Goes Open Source!

I’ve finally released my STN1170 Bluetooth OBDII reader as an open source design just like the STN1110 Bluetooth OBDII reader. The STN1170 adds access to Ford’s MSCAN and GM’s SWCAN vehicle buses. You can download Altium Designer sources along w/ gerbers here (links are right above the comments on the linked page): STN1170 OBDII Reader Page

Thanks to everyone who has both donated to this project and purchased finished readers!

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STN1170 Bluetooth Readers

The STN1170 Bluetooth OBDII Adapters are out of stock indefinitely.  You can see comments for the project and downloaded Altium Designer sources here:  STN1170 Bluetooth OBDII Adapter Page.

The PCBs are black this time, and unfortunately don’t have red silkscreen as I was hoping due to the supplier’s lack of red ink apparently.  Oh well.

STN1170

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STN1170 Preorder Update

Just a quick update:  It’s March 11th and well, I wasn’t able to raise the $1200 I was hoping for.  The total came up about $200 short.  However, I’ve decided to go through with the production run even though interest doesn’t seem to be there for the STN1170 based reader.  Thanks to everyone who donated/preordered!

I don’t know if it’s interesting to people or not, but shown below is a picture of the PCB panel that’s being fabbed now:

STN1170 Panel

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STN1170 Bluetooth OBDII Reader Preorder

STN1170 Bluetooth OBDII Reader

STN1170 Bluetooth OBDII Reader

I’ve started a preorder for the STN1170 based Bluetooth OBDII Reader.  Don’t wait to get in on this as there are limited quantities available for discounted preorder!

Use the black menu bar above or go here for details:  STN1170 Bluetooth OBDII Reader Preorder

 

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Rooting the Zealz GK802

news_000_gk802Right before Christmas, I ordered a quad core iMX6 based Android stick called the Zealz GK802 from Geekbuying. Apparently there is a copy out there called the HI802 and they appear to be identical. Geekbuying claims they’re the first, and it sounded like people were waiting a long time to receive their HI802, so I went with Geekbuying instead. Surprisingly, they ship via DHL for free from Hong Kong or wherever and the unit arrived in about a week. Anyway, it worked fine right out of the box and booted up in 720p (you attach it to a HDMI port on your TV/monitor). I wanted to get going w/ some apps that require root figuring a device like this would come rooted, but unfortunately, that’s not the case. It took a while to root this myself since ADB is disabled, but it is possible to do, and I’ll document how I did it along w/ a bunch of downloadable stuff if you’d rather just get yours rooted.

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STN1110 v3.2.0 Update

For those of you that have ordered and use my OBDII module, a software update is available for the STN1110 chip that does all the OBDII protocol handling. The update has some bugfixes and feature additions. See the changelog below for details. All modules I’ll be shipping from this date on will come w/ the latest STN1110 firmware.

If you’d like to update your module, you need to have access to a PC with a Bluetooth adapter/dongle installed. A laptop would be preferable as you’ll need to power the STN1110 to update it (aka have it plugged into your vehicle).  Click “continue reading” for the update procedure!

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Williams System 6 Driver Board Repair

As mentioned in another post, I’ve been doing a little pinball board repair on a few System 6 boards.  A driver board was purchased for $130 (I think) that supposedly was gone over, fully checked out, and guaranteed to be in good working condition.  Just to note, this board was “professionally” repaired, and had the shop’s sticker proudly displayed on the board hoping to get repeat business.

While the board most likely “worked” as I had received it, the quality of the workmanship is quite bad.  I would expect this kind of repair from someone who doesn’t do pinball repairs often or at all, but this is from a place that does these repairs all the time!  I would be embarrassed to put my name on such shoddy workmanship, claim that the board was looked over multiple times for broken solder joints and such, and charge $130 for this.

Click below to read on.  The page will take a while to load as there are a bunch of pretty large pictures to download (right-click on pics and view in new window to see their full size)… Continue reading

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Motorola MCM5101 RAM to FRAM Adapter

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been doing a bunch of repairs on an old Williams System 6 pinball MPU and Driver boards.  There were actually two sets of MPU boards to fix and two sets of driver boards to go over.  One driver board was known to have problems, and the other was supposedly a gone-over, upgraded, tested-good driver board, which cost a good amount of money.  I’ll have a post dedicated to that atrocity shortly.

Anyway, in the process of fixing both MPU boards (neither booted), it just so happened that the MCM5101 SRAM (or 5101 RAM as shown in the Williams schematic) on both boards was bad.  This SRAM is the battery-backed memory that saves game settings, high-scores, and other statistics.  These chips are not in production anymore and haven’t been for a long time, so obtaining new parts would be tough to do, and supposedly even NOS (New Old Stock) parts could be bad too.  This left me with a few options:  Hack some other SRAM I had laying around onto the boards, buy someone’s super-expensive (like $30 each) FRAM adapters, or make my own FRAM adapter.

Motorlola MCM5101 FRAM Adapter

Obviously I chose #3 above, but I did hack on an old SRAM just to make sure that the MCM5101’s were indeed bad.  The other non-5101 RAM passed the memory tests in Leon’s test ROM, so the 5101 RAM’s were definitely bad.  Now, I was left with making my own FRAM adapter.

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Feeling Retro

Alright, so this is pretty pathetic: 4 months go by and the only post is a dumb “here’s how you update the firmware on your OBDII adapter”?  Lame.

My only excuse is that I’ve been busy with a number of projects that while they’re not really ready to appear on here, they’re still being worked on.  These include a clone/improved version of a programmable Sega Genesis cart, a variation of OpenPilot.org’s copter control 3D board (probably similar to their Revolution system I guess), and messing around w/ the Seagate GoFlex Home (which I refer to as the Blackstar!)

Back to the point of this post, I found a VeriFone Tranz 330 in the garbage a while ago.  I finally rediscovered it under a bunch of junk on my bench and decided to take it apart.  Inside, there is a complete Z80 computer complete w/ RAM, ROM, RTC, timer, serial chip, and parallel I/O.  Yeah, yeah, all this stuff comes in many microcontrollers these days, but this stuff was cool 15-20 years ago!

Tranz 330

Just by chance, I searched for hacks on this thing, and this guy’s site appeared which claims to unlock the secret music stored on your credit card!

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STN1110 v3.1.0 Firmware Update

For those of you that have ordered and use my OBDII module, a software update is available for the STN1110 chip that does all the OBDII protocol handling. The update has some bugfixes and feature additions. See the changelog below for details. All modules I’ll be shipping from this date on will come w/ the latest STN1110 firmware.

If you’d like to update your module, you need to have access to a PC with a Bluetooth adapter/dongle installed. A laptop would be preferable as you’ll need to power the STN1110 to update it (aka have it plugged into your vehicle).  Click “continue reading” for the update procedure!

Continue reading

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