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Thread: Replacing key ignition

  1. #1
    Newbie smobot's Avatar
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    Oct 2003
    Apex, NC

    Replacing key ignition

    I haven't searched all the forums yet, but has anyone built a system replacing key-based ignition with anything cool like a thumbprint scanner or smartcard reader?

  2. #2
    Maximum Bitrate fluffy2097's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
    Fremont, CA
    Thats a really neat idea. I'd be worried about it's reliability, but I'm sure that could be dealt with. You'd have to make it pretty extensive as well, Thumb print scanners or a card reader on the doors as well. I'm not sure how much power systems like that need too.

    I'm sure such a system is possible. What a cool idea....
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  3. #3
    Newbie smobot's Avatar
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    Oct 2003
    Apex, NC
    USB thumbprint readers are pretty cheap, so if you had a board like the Mini-ITX with multiple ports, you could easily wire a few up. I'll bet you could tap into the electronic lock system fairly easily too.

    Another idea would be to use a USB keydrive for authentication. Stick it into the door or frontpanel on the dash and use XP's hardware autoplay to kick off your ignition scripts. I kinda like that option better because I wouldn't have to take my gloves off on a cold day

  4. #4
    Low Bitrate Linus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    I can imagine the response of thieves everywhere when they see a system like this..."HUH?" As long as you couldn't simply bypass the power, I'll bet this would work really well. Doesn't really prevent anyone from stealing your carputer, but at least the car itself isn't going anywhere...

  5. #5
    FLAC mp3z24's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Chicago Suburbs
    it would probably be pretty difficult to do this.

    the ignition switch has several functions, first of all, it locks the steering wheel. you would have to figure some way to rig up a powered steering lock to prevent someone from stealing your car.

    next, it is the main swtich to flip the power on to the car. if you have a computer doing this, then the power is always on, becuase the computer will have to always be on. the battery will go dead quickly if you dont drive the car.

    you still have to account for the fact that the ignition key also triggers the started motor to turn on. using one thumbprint command to do everything is probably impossible.

    finally, many new cars simply will not work without specialized keys... if your car doesnt need a special key, then there is one good point toward this idea.

    but kudos to you if you can get it to work... without killing your car every night.

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  6. #6
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    this is just related to one fucntion dealing with the starter motor and providing power.... :

    Remote car starters. As for the other function i don't know how the steering wheel is locked, but servos maybee?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    you would never want to replace your key ignition, you'd always want a failsafe backup for when your computer hoses itself.

  8. #8
    Constant Bitrate Magnezium's Avatar
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    Oct 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    How about a servo (or relay) controlled engine kill? Use fingerprint ID to turn off the engine kill, while still using the key ignition. This will allow ALL functions in the car to work without the engine running. If someone wants to steal your car, let them work to push it onto some ramps! They wont be getting far...

    I was working on something like this for a week or so before I ran out of time and money. (Girlfriend likes to spend as much as I...)

    One more idea. Keypad!

    Just your friendly neighborhood computer specialist.

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  9. #9
    Maximum Bitrate deadweasel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Detroit MI
    How about this? Not only would the biometric security (thumbprint/retinal scanner) disable a starter kill, but what about driving a small pin through the shifter column so it can't be taken out of park, and another through the hood release loop, so it can't be taken out of park no matter how they want to get it rolling. That will keep them from bypassing starter kill AND from getting it to roll to get it up on ramps.

    The shifter column concept is one Im working on, using a door lock solenoid or something to that effect. The hood loop lock keeps them from opening the hood once inside the car, and getting under there to disengage the tranny cable.

    Keep in mind, once a thief has gotten into your car, if he finds he can't make off with the prize, he's probably going to trash everything he can get his fingers on in retaliation for having fewer brain cells than you. Of course, that might be where a thumbprint scanner (that saves ALL imprints) could come in handy.

    1) *comes out to ruined car*
    2) "Oh my god! Dammit. Wonder if he touched the thumbprint lock? He DID! w00t!"
    3) *calls police*
    4) "Yeah fuzz? Someone done broked my wheels, and I gots teh pr00f!"
    5) Profit.. sorta.
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  10. #10
    Maximum Bitrate eCarô's Avatar
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    May 2003
    SE Michigan
    A call to AAA:

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