1. ## Starter Risks

Since remote starters cost a ton of money and I'm already going to have a computer in the car, I'm thinking of using a fusion brain to start the car. I realize that there are risks involved in this, but I'd like to calculate the risks first.

So here are the questions:
1. If you crank the starter for too long, how long does it take before it damages the starter?

2. If you crank the starter for too long, is the starter the only thing that gets damaged? Is it possible to damage other parts with the starter?

3. How much does a new starter/installation cost on average?

4. Is there a wire I can tap into which says if the car is in park?

2. You can get cheap remote starters for around \$60, that's about the price of a FB.

1: From from instantly to forever. You can chip a tooth almost instantly.
2: No, you can damage the starter and flywheel
3: At a shop? I'd guess \$600-\$1200 depending on the car. More if you damaged the flywheel
4: There is a "neutral/park safety switch" wire that should let you do just that.

I wouldn't use the FB to start your car. Say the computer locks up in the middle of starting? That's up to and over \$1200 because oops, your computer hiccuped.

I'm not saying you shouldn't get a Fusion Brain, it's an awesome piece of hardware especially for the price. But I would not suggest using it for a remote start.

3. Thanks for the quick response.

Yeah, I already have the fusion brain. I've looked around at the cheap car starters out there, and it seems like the cheap ones all run the risk of blowing the starter also, from the reviews I've read.

Let me disclose my whole plan of how I was going to do this, and see what you think...
I wasn't going to depend solely on the fusion brain. What I was planning on is to first have the fusion brain check the continuity on one of the spark plug lines. Then, if it finds it to be continuous, it knows there are no wiring faults in the circuit. From there it would give power to a circuit which would trigger the ignition on. This circuit was going to have a 2 second timer, so that if the fusion brain didn't realize the car started or the fusion brain locked up, the timer circuit would cut power anyway. There would be one timer circuit on this line right near the FB, and another right at the ignition just in case there was some other wiring fault in between. Still a bad idea? Anyone know of a really safe way I can build such a circuit myself?

4. Anything that involves the computer in the starting sequence besides a single pulse to a real remote starter is not safe. If you want to build it yourself, either reprogram the FB to work without the computer, or build your own board with a microcontroller, but I would suggest neither unless you know how to do it right.

Also, how do you plan on checking continuity of a spark plug line? You accidentally try to check continuity when the car is on, you're gonna fry the FB, your computer, and probably most everything electronic hooked up to it.

Seriously, spend the money to do it right, don't risk your car just to save a couple bucks. If you get a remote starter with RPM sensing you'll be alright. I picked mine up used for \$40, it has RPM sensing so it knows when the car is started.

5. For the continuity of the spark plug line, I was talking about the line before the coil where the voltage isn't ridiculously high yet. I guess I'll have to look around some more for a reliable starter out there.

I was hoping you would say, "Oh a timer circuit, great idea! That will work perfectly!" haha

6. With the addition of a MOSFET driver such as the Fairchild FQP50N06, much larger motors can be driven. The FQP50N06, for example, can drive up to 50 amp loads.
car starter solenoid should be fine with that although personally i would just have a relay, with the brain triggering the relay switch pole.

without knowing everything about the fusion brain as i don't own or use one, i'm not 100% sure if this would work, how ever costs about 3dollars to make and could do just what you want

just adjust the values to achieve say 4-6 seconds, and thats all you need, most factory ones that don't use sensors (like my motorcycle unit) have between 4-6 second on timers. so this timer could work easily for you

7. It sounds like this would require the computer to stay on to catch the signal to start the car, therefore draining your battery and leaving you unable to start the car. Wouldn't that be ironic?

Or at the least, something low powered would have to catch the signal, boot the computer, then tell the computer to start the car. So then you'll be in the driver's seat, ready to go, before the computer finishes booting and starts the car. Unless you're on an incredibly fast booting Linux system...

Don't let me discourage you though. I'm hoping you've already figured out how to overcome these things and just haven't mentioned them, or you did and I missed it.

8. Originally Posted by nalav
It sounds like this would require the computer to stay on to catch the signal to start the car, therefore draining your battery and leaving you unable to start the car. Wouldn't that be ironic?
Ever heard of the sheeva plug?
It's a linux computer in the size of wall wart transformer. Uses 5 watts.

I have an 85 AH deep cycle battery too.
I also have a 5 AH small battery there specifically for the sheeva and the computer during engine cranks.

To go along with this, I've set up a system where my car gets plugged in at night and the main battery, and the computer battery get charged and the computer and sheeva get powered by the house. So even though I could run the sheeva off the battery for days, this puts less stress on the battery and alternator.

I've actually left my computer on all night a couple of times without the car being plugged in and the car still started in the morning.

9. Interesting battery situation you have, now I'm getting crazy ideas forming in my head...

10. Battery + Sheeva = infinite possibilities.

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