Newbie on board!

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Laird Scooby, May 31, 2011.

  1. Laird Scooby

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 31, 2011
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    Hi All,

    not sure if i'm posting in the right area but thought i'd start a thread to introduce myself.

    My name's Dave and i did an electrical and electronic engineering apprenticeship when i left school many years ago. These days i no longer work due to health problems but spent many years as a Maintenance/Service engineer so have a lot of experience but i'm a bit rusty on some of the finer points of electronics!

    While i'm here, although i've read the T&C's, could i ask for clarification of what constitutes "Automotive Modifications" please? For example, is a lights on warning buzzer off-limits or is it more serious things like self built ABS systems or is it any automotive related project? I'm asking now as i have a few projects in mind for one of my own cars that are mainly instrumentation and don't want to inadvertently fall foul of the rules!

    This is the only area where i'm a little confused by the T&C's, the LED on the mains is pretty self-explanatory! As for the rest of them, i'm guessing most would be against the law anyway!

    Dave
     
  2. KJ6EAD

    Senior Member

    Apr 30, 2011
    1,425
    363
    I can't speak for the moderators but from what I've seen so far, that rule is enforced very strictly. For example, any attempt to build an LED replacement for a tail light would be disallowed as a potential safety hazard could be created. If you look at some of the old threads that have been locked, you'll see what's up.

    Most of the rules seem designed to prevent illegal, anti-social, dangerous or just pointless time wasting threads from getting in the way of more useful discussions. Obviously, the FAQs will have some references to these issues as well.
     
  3. Laird Scooby

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 31, 2011
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    So it's more a safety/legal thing then really. These days there are so many commercially available LED stop lights that it's not worth the hassle of trying to build one as the component cost would outweigh the cost of a proprietory LED bulb.
    Thanks for your reply and from what you say, it would appear that anything automotive related would be barred, even if it was fairly safe to use and couldn't present a safety or legal problem.
     
  4. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
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  5. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
    16,247
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    Sometimes it seems strange. One thread was locked because it was about video parking assist, and another was not locked because it dealt with ultrasonic parking assist. Don't bother to ponder it, just stay away from automotive on this site (including adding decorative lights). There are other sites that handle those types of projects. Better to play it safe than to get shut down in the middle of an interesting conversation and call down the wrath of The Moderators.
     
  6. Laird Scooby

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 31, 2011
    11
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    Hmm, i could be getting myself in a bit of trouble accidentally then as i have a few projects planned but most of them are built using +12Vdc (so arguably could be easily adapted to automotive use) as i have an old car battery in my shed/workshop that i use as a power supply for projects and also as a booster battery if i've not used my car for a while!

    Not to worry for now and thanks for the clarification, if any of my threads get locked because they're built on 12V i'll have to cross that bridge if i come to it!
     
  7. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
    16,247
    6,742
    Never say, "car battery". Call it a Sealed Lead Acid or a Gel Cell.
     
  8. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,764
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    Yep, I saw a thread locked because of a reference to a motorcycle battery, but it wasn't clear to me that it was going to a motorcycle. Since the OP didn't clarify this I have to assume it was a good call.

    As long as the subject is purely electronics without mention to end use you are OK. The moment a word involving a land vehicle is mentioned the thread is a goner.
     
  9. Laird Scooby

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 31, 2011
    11
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    Maybe i should use a wet bulk charge storage facility instead? Or perhaps simply refer to it as a high capacity, deep discharge rechargeable cell? :)

    Joking aside, i do realise the line has to be drawn somewhere, i was simply trying to find out where the line is without "pushing the boundaries" by talking about a self-build cruise control system for example or a variable intermittent wiper delay module (for older vehicles not factory equipped).
     
  10. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,764
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    That would do it, the thread is a goner if either was mentioned. While I don't necessarily agree, I like this site enough to put up with it. However, there are other goods sites out there where you would get the help you want.

    Self built cruise control is a really good example why we don't do automotive. I can easily imagine a home brew cruise control going bonkers and running down a pedestrian or causing a crash. They are neither easy nor straightforward, safety has to be first. The intermittent windshield wiper has been done here (before the new rules). It is a simple 555 circuit, bet you could find dozens on the web.
     
  11. magnet18

    Senior Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    1,232
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    Hi, welcome to the club!

    Stick around and watch for awhile and you'll see what gets closed and what doesn't, the mods are pretty fair here.
    (look over shoulder)
    ;)
     
  12. Laird Scooby

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 31, 2011
    11
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    Self-built cruise control is exactly why i picked it as an example - it's one end of the extreme. At the other end is the wiper control (or could be made into an interior light delay by changing/omitting one or two components) as the worst that could happen is it pops a fuse or maybe 2 if you have a Renault!

    In fact, in the data sheet i have for the 555, there's an application circuit for the wiper control so i'm guessing the manufacturers think that's innocent enough.

    Then again, auto-electrics is a whole different thing to electronics and strange though it may sound, some of the basic rules are changed so nothing is as straight forward as it should be.
     
  13. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    True. I'm sure the windshield timers for this year's cars use microprocessors.
     
  14. magnet18

    Senior Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    1,232
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    One example of things changing, the ground wire for the audio systems in a 1990 mustang is red. Figure that out.
     
  15. Laird Scooby

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 31, 2011
    11
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    That sounds about right - Vauxhall over here in the UK used to do similar except they used brown for the earth/ground on the stereo system. Just to rub salt in, the swapped 2 wires in the ISO-DIN connector plug as well!

    It's all done to try and prevent the home mechanic installing their own stereos!
     
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