Automotive Electronics

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by DerStrom8, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. DerStrom8

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    Okay, so as most of the members here know, AllAboutCircuits does not allow automotive-related discussions due to liability and safety issues. It has been mentioned that there are other forums that allow that type of discussion, and I thought I might post this for people who wish to talk about this topic:

    http://www.electro-tech-online.com/site-issues-feedback/123901-new-forum-car-electronics.html

    ElectroMaster, the administrator over at Electro-Tech-Online, recently created a new forum intended precisely for this reason. So, if you're here to ask about electrical modifications to your car or motorcycle, or something like that, please save yourself and the moderators here the trouble and ask there instead. There are also many other sites out there for discussing car electronics, but I just wanted to post one for you guys.

    Best regards,
    Der Strom
     
  2. hgmjr

    Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
    9,030
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    That's great news. Thanks derstrom8 for the alert.

    hgmjr
     
  3. praondevou

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jul 9, 2011
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    Not that I'm too interested in discussing this subject, but I never understood why it would be wise or responsible to indicate another website/forum to someone who comes here to ask about these kinds of modifications if AACs concern is about the safety of its members.

    That's similar (a little exaggerated I know) to "I cannot tell you how to build a bomb but I can tell you where you find people that might tell you".

    Truly responsible would be to persuade the person that it is not wise to do modifications if you don't have the experience... and that's it.

    Most modifications people ask for are truly electronics related so not even someone experienced in car repairs or installations could give a good advise.

    If other forums allow this kind of discussion that doesn't mean that their members are more experienced in modifications of a vehicle's electric system.

    Personally I think some modifications people here ask for could be made without danger but since this forum doesn't allow it I won't question these rules.
     
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  4. JoeJester

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 26, 2005
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    You make an excelent point Praondevou.
     
  5. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
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    the answer was in post #1
    Personally, I think the "responsible" thing to do would be to advise the person of the risks that are or may be involved, and then proceed to help them do what they want safely, because if you don't help them, they will just find someone who will, or try it on their own. But, we don't do that here in an attempt to "cover our butt". Other forum owners might not care about "covering their butt", so they allow it.

    I think redirecting them to another forum where we know they will get good advice is far better than just letting them go it alone and "experiment" with highway going vehicles.

    You're just not going to convince people to give up on this "great idea" they had to interface a microcontroller to their ECU. If anything, you inspire them to be stupider; you fuel their fire by giving them the underdog card. They have the added motivation of trying to "do something 'they' said couldn't be done."
     
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  6. GetDeviceInfo

    Senior Member

    Jun 7, 2009
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    worse yet is that they recieve bad advise and have mishap, after being referred by this site. I recommend the OP strike the link and let AAC choose thier own allies.
     
  7. DerStrom8

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    If the mods agree then I wouldn't mind doing that at all. My main goal is to keep other members safe. In this case, I was trying to help with that by sending them to a forum where their questions can be answered, rather than sending them off to try to figure it out on their own.

    Regards
     
  8. praondevou

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jul 9, 2011
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    Where where ? :D

    Yeah , I got it. It's the forum that was created precisely for the reason to help people that want to do mods on their vehicels. The only thing is: the person who makes the request can never be sure to get a qualified answer. This is the internet, you never know who is who.

    When I started in my company (which happens to be one that develops and manufactures electronic devices for vehicels) I was surprised how long the validation list was for, let's say, a simple pedal sensor that has like 10 components inside. What happens if I have a open/bad ground connection, a short between wires, corrosion etc. Will the sensor still behave in a save manner and not send a full throttle signal to the ECU etc...?

    I doubt that anyone giving advise on how to modify your wire harness, ECU, motor sensors etc will give a full list of tests and possible failure modes.

    This is just my opinion.It didn't make sense to me to send them to other forums unless the members would be qualified engineers/technicians.;) If we are concerned about safety why would we send them to people whose qualifications we don't know...
     
  9. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    I've explained the situation to the moderators over here. I've even mentioned I've sent a few folks there because we can't help them here. Since a lot of our members are shared I think it is no big deal.
     
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  10. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
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    Because in most cases, we can be fairly sure that whatever qualifications these people do have, are more than what the asker has. We can be at least somewhat confident that some help is better than leaving them to their own devices.

    Anybody should know that they can't be sure of the qualifications of people on the other side of the internet.

    I guess it comes down to a matter of opinion, and there's mine.
     
    DerStrom8 likes this.
  11. debe

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2010
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    I think its a great idea, As an X Ford mechanic i was fortunate to be able to do some Ford courses on Automotive electronics. we were taught what & how a lot of the electronic modules worked. Not realy taught now, its just replace a part & hope it fixes it & charge a lot of money. At work i used to repair Body Electronic Modules (BEM), most were only dry joints on the boards. Saved the customer several $100. A lot of mechanics have no idea about electronics. Apart from hooking a computer up to the vehicle & hoping it will give them an answer.
     
  12. praondevou

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jul 9, 2011
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    Ok, got it. ;)
     
  13. Georacer

    Moderator

    Nov 25, 2009
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    It's a matter of ethics, in the end. Would you rather say a sterile "no" to the inquirer, try to debate with him for a long time about him abandoning his project, or tell him what's going on and point him to an alternative?

    The directing team prefers the latter.
     
  14. JoeJester

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 26, 2005
    3,373
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    Once again, Praondevou makes the reasoned, cogent point.

    There are alot of hoops to jump through when dealing with automotive issues. Issues that the OP and responders do not address when dispensing advise. I still believe if you want to help someone, you can email them and assist them all you wish. Redirecting them to another forum, shared members or not, isn't a good idea, they will find that forum, or others like it, which may have shared membership, without a nudge from this forum.

    I don't know about you, but, are we really that confident with the qualifications of anyone on the internet when it comes to the litany of requirements for automotive issues in a world wide enviroment? Try researching the codified laws of one country and 50 states to ensure the advise you give is consistent with the laws. Once you dispense that advice, the next poster, from another country would expect that same authority in your response to them. You can put the caveat that your advise only applys to one country, you can bet the OP will assume it's good for their country as well.

    The most common reason the OP posts such requests is the price of the item, as they can build it cheaper. Yes, the component price may be inexpensive, but the cost the OP doesn't see is all the requirements imposed upon the manufacturer of the devices to be within the law.

    The OP has a choice to go elsewhere, even to instructables. A member has the choice to contact the OP and discuss the problem via another medium. The decision was made by the forum leaders not to partake in automotive modifications. I choose to respect that decision. The OP searched the internet and found this forum, so we know they can search and find one that can give them what they seek.
     
  15. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
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    I respect the decision as well. And I'm not debating the decision. This is a separate issue.]
    No, as I said, anybody should know that they can't possibly verify the qualifications of someone over the Internet.
    I am aware of the never-ending pile of paper as far as automotive regulations. I am also aware that it is up to the person to research
    Their own laws in their area and make sure they aren't breaking any. We cant police the information
     
  16. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
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    Basically I'm saying we are not a nanny state. Or shouldn't be anyways
     
  17. JoeJester

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 26, 2005
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    Not answering is not being a nanny state. We have enough problems getting people to post their work in the homework area, I have no doubt, some won't look into the laws of their own country to see if what they are preparing to do violates one of them.

    I do believe it's a matter of ethics though. Although this forum has never developed a set of ethics, I do believe most responders have a set similiar to the one's found at IEEE ... http://www.ieee.org/about/corporate/governance/p7-8.html ...
     
  18. loosewire

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 25, 2008
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    The Admin's and Mod's have taken the safe path.They could liable
    in courts of law.The posts would written evidence,they may have
    insurance already to protect them,and the insurance policy sets the
    rules.
     
  19. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
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    Right, I totally agree. I seriously doubt that any of them would actually look up the law. But, informing them that they should look into the law first is sufficient. Its of no consequence to us whether they actually do the research or not. (With the exception of this forum where it is against to the rules...) To withhold help that you know you are qualified to give, based on the fact that you don't, or suspect the OP doesn't know the laws in his/her region, while 100% your own decision subject to your own belief and feelings, is being a nanny state. The least we can do is refer them to another forum where they can obtain this help. I remain unconvinced that refusing all help will result in a safer world. These people will try this stupid stuff all alone if nobody helps them, and the chances are higher that they will kill somebody that way.
     
  20. JoeJester

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 26, 2005
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    I don't think withholding help will create a safer world, however, it will minimize one's participation in helping create the next winner of the Darwin Award.
     
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