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Thread: PC as an ECM?

  1. #1
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    Question PC as an ECM?

    I would like to know if there is any software that would allow someone to use a PC as an ECM. I am aware of the existance of piggy-back car computers and third-party ECM replacements that give you additional control and added function (air/fuel ratio, turbo boost, nitrous and methanol/water injection, etc.), but these things can cost upwards of $1500, which seems like such a waste when a PC has more than enough processing power to handle the job while simultaneously running GPS, playing audio files...whatever your imagination can create...at a fraction of the cost.

    So...is there anything out there like that?

  2. #2
    And then I was mod. Tidder's Avatar
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    lol, would you really trust your car's engine functions/timing/fuel management to a regular PC? ECU's are built more along the lines of industrial grade. Not a good idea to replace with a desktop PC imo. It's a specialized machine for a specialized task.
    Tidder

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  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate MindDrive's Avatar
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    yeah and imagine what would happen while your playing mp3's movies etc for your passengers, and one of them inadvertently crashes your computer while your driving on the highway or one of those cloverleaf exit ramps.... BOOM.... i would rather opt for software that will allow you to program the ECM on the fly rather than have a PC actually controlling the full functions of the car...

    think safety on that one... pc's crash all the time... and theres that one law... anything that could happen will happen... just when you dont want it to

  4. #4
    North of the land of Hey Huns
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    My camaro actually technically runs off of a laptop when I have it plugged in, and once I have a car-computer I plan on having it run off that... but at the same time if the computer crashes it defaults to running off of the onboard chip. I say technically, because any changes I make it realtime uploads to an "emulator" chip, so in actuality it still runs off of an EEPROM.

    I do not believe a PC has enough real-time control to fully control a car, you need a hardware interface to do most of the time sensitive stuff.

    Oh, and Megasquirt is a $150 "piggy-back" OR "total recplacement". Significantly cheaper than $1500, and you can do essentially what I do with my computer which is make changes realtime and watch data coming across.

  5. #5
    Variable Bitrate
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    You'd need peripherals to control fuel injectors, spark, etc. (Not to mention reading all the different sensors.) Since PCs don't guarantee the precise timing control that those would need, you'd need a dedicated processor to make sure that the fuel injectors open at the right time, for the right duration, and to make sure that the sparks go off at the right time for each cylinder. And at that point you pretty much have standalone EM.

  6. #6
    Constant Bitrate MindDrive's Avatar
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    (off topic) ya know tiddr.. i never thought of frogs pooping till i seen your avatar ROFL

  7. #7
    And then I was mod. Tidder's Avatar
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    Well, just to give you the background story, we used to buy the kandoo soaps and wipes and stuff for my son. I saw the frog and always thought it would be funny to animate him and make an avatar. So I went to the kandoo website, and sure enough they had a flash movie on how to use the wipes basically (wtf?) and so I grabbed the flv, ripped the parts I wanted, converted to gif, and then edited out the background. And viola! A butt-wiping frog was born...
    Tidder

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