Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sounds Like a Dump Truck

Not a whole lot going on these days. I haven't touched the bike in months except for plugging in the battery tender. I do have some parts waiting to be swapped in such as fork seals and since I ordered a replacement master cylinder last May, I might as well put it in when I replace the brake fluid.

The new car had this annoying "safety feature". When you put it into reverse, it sounded like a dump truck with it's beep-beep-beep sounds. To me, it may have been useful as a safety feature if the sound could be heard behind the vehicle but, no, it could only be heard on the inside. It was a reminder to the driver that you were in reverse. Dumb. I had asked the dealer to change the sound to a single beep as I knew it was on option that they could set through their computer. (It says so in the owners manual) But they pleaded ignorance so instead of arguing with them, I picked up this OBD-II Bluetooth interface from Amazon for $21. This allows me to connect my laptop to the computer and change the setting myself.

The procedure was fairly painless thanks to the Internet. I paired the device with my laptop using the pairing code sent by the manufacturer of the device. Then started up my serial terminal program, ZTerm, set it to 9600, 8, N,1 and connected in. For those long time users of the Internet, they may recognize this as 9600 baud, 8 bits, no parity, 1 stop bit. I then sent a handful of "AT" commands to the device to show headers, add a linefeed, set the communications protocol, etc. Then had it connect to the appropriate computer, report back the current setting then I issued the command to change it. The whole process took less than a minute. Again, thanks to the Internet for the command sequences. In case you are interested, here is the command sequence and responses.

ELM327 v1.5
>AT H1
>AT L1
>AT SP 6
ISO 15765-4 (CAN 11/500)
>AT SH 7c0
>21 ac
7C8 03 61 AC 00
>3b ac 40
7C8 03 7F 3B 78
7C8 02 7B AC
>21 ac
7C8 03 61 AC 40

No more beeping. Maybe I should have changed the seatbelt beep at the same time. And time to look into what else I can use this for...

And aren't you glad the Internet has evolved to the current, web based version and we don't need to mess with terminal interfaces.


Roger said...

Clever, I woudnt even know where to start.

Trobairitz said...

It is cool that you can now do it on your laptop. But not cool that the dealer wouldn't do it for you.

When we bought our Nissan they told us we couldn't shut off the horn when we locked it. We read the manual and did it. Same with the Subaru. There are always ways to turn the noise off.

BeemerGirl said...

Hmmm...what other things can I tweak while I'm in here? Update the computer to change the jets and timing and fuel mixture to hotrod the thing?

RichardM said...

The OBD-II interface has been around since the late '90's but I never really looked into how to access it. This was my first foray into seeing what I can do through the interface.

RichardM said...

From the look I got from them, I suspect that nobody's ever asked about it. And from the forums many dealers charge for them to make any sort of change. On the Dodge, I changed the lock behavior within a day of picking it up. I didn't like the horn honking or having to press the button twice to unlock. On the Toyota, these can be changed through the setup menu on the radio/Nav touch screen.

RichardM said...

I learned that I could also get rid of the annoying seat belt beeps. E.g. you decide to carry something on the passenger seat. On many vehicles, you need to buckle the seat belt just to stop the annoying beep. The code sequence for disabling that is also online. Supposedly, the dash warning light will still blink but it will only beep once.

As for engine functions, probably not but monitoring things may be reasonable with an in-car PC.

VStar Lady said...

Sounds like you have a career waiting for you at the Toyota Dealership ...

redlegsrides said...

Sadly, I understand completely the procedure you went through....kudos to you.


Redleg's Rides

Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

RichardM said...

No thank you! Back in 1973-74 I worked as a mechanic at a Mazda dealer. What it did teach me is work harder in school! I think that things are a lot different now than they were back then.

RichardM said...

Aren't you glad that we don't have to troubleshoot modem connections anymore except for back door connections into network gear. This was kind of fun.

Unknown said...

When I first tried to comment you page disappeared. Odd, since my comment was about the computer overlords. All I wanted to say was I think what you've actually done is activate the sentient AI.

I think it's supposed to be more of an easter egg than anything practical, but now that it's going you've got a 50/50 on winding up with either Kit (Knightrider) or a flaming deathmobile. You might want to park out of town for the next month.

Hey, stay safe!

Behind Bars

RichardM said...

I don't know, the beeping was pretty annoying. It would have made more sense if it was outside as the engine can't be used to go in reverse. It's always the electric motor. (No reverse gear in the transmission)

Maybe it'll morph into a self-driving car.

Unknown said...

Well, I hope you survive it, but I think you did the right thing. I think you'd get along with an AI car either way, you're pretty tech-savvy, and I think a future car would appreciate that.

The self driving car thing would be sweet - at least sometimes. I mean, so long as it was smart enough, you know? I wouldn't want a car that was a little absent and wasn't concerned about its own mortality. But long rides, it'd be great. Lay back, read a book, take a nap. Whatever. Pefect.

Enjoy it.

Behind Bars

P.S. I have no idea why I'm so fixated on AI cars today. Sorry man.

Dar said...

Hmmm I wonder if it will unlock a cell phone?

RichardM said...

I would guess not... ;-)