Why The "Automotive" Ban?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by NFA Fabrication, Aug 18, 2012.

  1. NFA Fabrication

    Thread Starter Member

    Aug 12, 2012
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    I understand a few of the bans (Weapons, etc.). But why on earth a ban on automotive related projects? I can't for the life of me find a single logical reason for this. I am looking for a solid electronics forum to start learning more, and expand upon what I have already learned, but it being a "no-no" to talk about automotive projects seams to kill a huge amount of learning possibilities for no logical reason.

    What is the primary reason? I was hoping I found a great site for electronics, but adding limitations to the forums like this seems detrimental to forum/knowledge growth. I am not trying to be argumentative in any means, just trying to understand.
     
  2. DMahalko

    Senior Member

    Oct 5, 2008
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  3. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    If this site was located in the UK it would be OK, but it isn't. It is located in one of the most litigious places on earth, the good old USA. While a lot of it is safety related, there is also an element of self protection involved.
     
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  4. DMahalko

    Senior Member

    Oct 5, 2008
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    Paraphrasing: Since some readers may live on Pluto and we can't guess what the laws and regulations may be on that planet, we cannot hope to give safe advice on how to modify their neutrino-powered space bikes. Can't allow any such discussions or AAC may get sued over it if there's a sudden spacetime implosion due to their misunderstanding of what was recommended to them on these forums.


    Though, Wikipedia handles it quite simply with a Legal/Disclaimer on the bottom of every page. It is the encyclopedia reader's responsibility to read that, if there are any questions of legality or reliability of advice given.

    Oddly, I see AAC does have such a disclaimer, under Terms of Service at the bottom of the page, so really it's unknown to me what the problem is.... other than some moderator some years ago getting all worked up over nothing, apparently. ;)
     
  5. NFA Fabrication

    Thread Starter Member

    Aug 12, 2012
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    I made it about 1/2 way into your first link. About whether or not a person is "ASE Certified" and stopped reading. ASE certification means nothing in the real automotive world, it is a random certification and means nothing in the real world just like the "BBB" (Better business bureau). It is simply a company that you can pay money to, to make you look better to people that don't know any better. I have had fully ASE certified techs work with me that can't fix a lawnmower.

    Thanks for your assistance up until now, but it looks like I joined the wrong forum where the knowledge is going to be limited by politics. You are not liable by offering information if it is misused by the end user, but you are seriously limiting your forum growth by eliminating such a huge market directly involved with your forums primary topic.
     
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  6. NFA Fabrication

    Thread Starter Member

    Aug 12, 2012
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    It's the posters responsibility to know the local laws where he/she operates their vehicles. If the poster is asking how to make a certain automotive related circuit work, fine, if they are asking "Is it legal for me to do this?" then ban them. That is not the forums responsibility. Banning it all-together seems to just kill forum growth.
     
  7. DMahalko

    Senior Member

    Oct 5, 2008
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    I don't think this topic is open to discussion or questioning. In fact, I'm expecting this rather impertinent thread to get locked any time now.


    There are some things you don't ask about over here.

    Like, "I want my car to literally rock and roll with my music. Any advice on pulse-wave-modulated valve regulation of height-adjustable gas shocks to make my car shake the ground, in time with the thumping bass from my speakers?" :D
     
  8. NFA Fabrication

    Thread Starter Member

    Aug 12, 2012
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    This is 100% what I am talking about. You guys have grouped a whole mass of possible topics into a NO-NO zone, because of a few idiotic questions like this. Why limit your forums growth like this? Seems a little weak minded to block out huge possibilities over a small percent of possible issues.
     
  9. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    A lot of the questions were about things like the ECU. If that is messed with then we all breath the fumes it produces. From there it went to safety, LEDs do not make good tail lights unless the person knows what they are doing (and many don't)

    Thing is, this site is owned, by one or two people. They have made policy, we enforce it. I don't make policy. Given the shear number of other sites, my suggestion is to take automotive discussion elsewhere. We'll still be here for other discussions.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2012
  10. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    When your parts supplier does not stock the part you are looking for you go someplace else. Right?

    I don't see what's the problem.
     
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  11. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
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  12. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    You keep repeating something about "growth" of the website. To some people, that doesn't matter. Everybody didn't learn that growth for the sake of growth is a primary goal.
     
  13. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
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    This is a great site to learn electronics from (I for one have not had to ask anyone a question, always answering others, and also learn something along the way from others posts :)).

    A lot of the "automotive" related posts on here that have to do with certain things such as "how to have LED's dance to music" can be asked without relating it to an automobile, this can be discussed without the involvement of a vehicle, and the circuit can still be built with a 12-14 volt power source.....

    I use a lot of circuits and components that can be used in vehicles if the user chooses to, so just because there is a ban on "automotive" talk, that does not mean you still can't learn something about the circuits in question without relating them directly to a vehicle. :rolleyes: (Just in case you have not noticed, I include a disclaimer in every post )

    So if you want to learn something about electronics this is the place to be, regardless on where the circuits will be used.... its not like someone from AAC will suddenly show up at your house to make sure you are not putting this circuit to use in an automobile :D
     
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  14. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    Oops :rolleyes:
     
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  15. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
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    I see how you are ;)
     
  16. praondevou

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jul 9, 2011
    2,936
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    Our company develops electronic devices for cars. Safety is everything. All devices are tested under all possible and impossible conditions, shock, vibration, water tightness, sensitivity to EMI and so on. There are endless test for months before a prototype goes to production. All these norms and standards are most likely not applied by someone who has to ask here on AAC on how to modify any electronics in his car.
    While some modifications may not be unsafe at all, others can possibly be dangerous or they may lead to failures that cause expensive repair work. So the forum just decided to not allow any modifications/discussions.

    IMO the main reason is that we can neither be sure that a proper advice is given (this is an open forum) nor that the person who receives the advice has the capabilities of implementing the solution correctly.
     
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  17. cork_ie

    Member

    Oct 8, 2011
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    This topic has come up over and over again.
    It is not because AAC members are Luddites and are anti automotive.
    I have worked for more than 35 years as a motor mechanic, auto electrician and in later years at electronics diagnostics and repairs.

    All modern vehicles have integrated electronics, which communicate over networks. Interference etc. is almost never a problem nowdays but it wasn't always the case. There were plenty of horror stories along the way.

    Drive by wire is now standard and brake by wire is fitted in a few cars too. That means that there is only a piece of (very reliable) software code between your foot on the gas pedal and control of the vehicle.

    If I had my way I would make it a criminal offence to install non OEM software in engine management, braking ,steering or safety systems in vehicles that operate on the public highway. That is how strongly I feel about it. I can think of at least 10 instances where faulty Bulgarian & Ukranian software used in "Remaps" have caused serious incidents. Also a case of a school bus with the ABS system doctored resulted in the deaths of 5 school girls. http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/0606/navan.html

    Having said all that, there are automotive related matters, which I think should be allowed in AAC forums - particularly how to use test equipment eg a multimeter to check a charging system or how to use an oscilloscope etc.

    I also have no issue with anyone wanting some information on how a particular sensor or actuator works in an effort to broaden their education and knowledge. I have learned an awful lot here on AAC over the last year.

    I came here to follow this thread http://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/showthread.php?t=50728 and learnt so much from debe, Wayneh & others.Thank you guys.
    Another memorable thread was http://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/showthread.php?t=14794 ,where I learnt a lot from the way the "perfect circuit" was teased out by Ron H & Sgt Wookie

    I have looked at some of the other "Automotive" forums referred to and to be honest a lot of the information is of poor quality and in many cases outdated or incorrect. Good quality information on how automotive systems work is hard to come by.
    Wikipedia has some great articles but it is unfortunately read only and one cannot ask questions. Many of the automotive forums are overrun with idiots and chancers who love to hear the sound of their own keyboard. I have read a lot of the stuff posted on those forums and I am regularly shocked at the advice given.

    I feel there is a place on AAC for such discussion, but it must be strict and controlled to make it absolutely clear that discussion on modifications of any sort is not allowed. Perhaps one option would be to add a chapter to the e-book on "Measurement and Control" and to include a sub section of that specific to Automotive sensors & actuators.

    Posters with specific question could then be referred to the relevant area , whether it is the already written e.g. Vol1 on DC circuits or in some other part of the book. I will also volunteer to write up some of the info, if it comes to pass. Then, and only then, if there is something a member doesn't understand they can ask for help on the forums.
    I think a good place to start would be to write a 10 Commandments of very clear guidelines on what is and isn't allowed when it comes to Automotive discussions.

    Finally my sincere apologies to all for the very long post.
     
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  18. Meixner

    Member

    Sep 26, 2011
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  19. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    True enough, I've sent people there myself, and am a member there. I like the site, but they are not kind to total beginners, and have a few trolls that seem to be given more slack than they are here.

    This site is for teaching and learning, we make no bones about it.
     
  20. steveb

    Senior Member

    Jul 3, 2008
    2,433
    469
    If a person isn't smart enough, educated enough and experienced enough to phrase an automotive question in a non-automotive context, they are not qualified to safely modify an automobile.

    Also, anyone who says that there is no liability for any death or injury that can be traced back to advice given on this forum, is out to lunch. Attorneys in the USA love to go after anyone who has money, no matter how remote the involvement may be. Aside from the possibility of losing money, think about the stress a lawsuit puts on a person and his family. And, what about a person's conscience? Who wants to live with the knowledge that they contributed to a serious accident? No good deed goes unpunished unless you think like a lawyer.

    EDIT: By the way, even if a person is smart enough, educated enough and experienced enough to phrase an automotive question in a non-automotive context, they are probably still not qualified to safely modify an automobile.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2012
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