H'lo all. Before I enter into the whole story, my question is this: Has anyone used a data acquisition cable (such as this:http://www.dataq.com/products/startkit/di194rs.htm), with a laptop or PC, to monitor the WRX's ECU? Beyond that, what about attempting both data aq. and control?
Now the story.
I've just purchased a harddisk-based Mp3 car stereo called a Riocar (aka empeg2). Although masquerading as an mp3 car stereo, it's really an in-car computer based on Linux, running on Intel's StrongArm chip, w/ 16megs of RAM, two IDE drive bays, and a serial port. It's developed an active hacking community behind it (see http://www.riocar.org). Aside from being able to store and play thousands of mp3s, GPS Navigation and OBD-II monitoring applications are in the works.
The thought -- albeit a bold one -- is to use the Riocar in place of a Unichip. I'd use a data acquisition and control dongle to monitor the same wires that the Unichip monitors (crank angle, map, maf), and get the signals into the riocar's serial port. Then, I'd write the software to first, monitor the signals, and -- if all goes well -- look into controlling the signals piggyback style with the ECU.
There are, of course, lots of unknowns, like whether it's wise to even consider using a linux based computer in a real time control application such as this. Also i'm sure tuners would be reluctant to assist me in tuning via such an unorthodox mechanism. I'm also reluctant to hack into the ECU wiring harness, but the Vishnu wiring harness runs about $120-$150 without a Stage Zero purchase, which is rather pricey for this experiment. (Anyone have an extra or unneeded one lying about, even if slightly hacked?)
If you've thoughts or are interested in pursuing this, please feel to respond publicly or by email.
P.S. Although the riocars are discontinued, they periodically appear on Ebay, and group buys of old stock are sometimes annouced in the "forums" off of http://www.riocar.org