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What's New?
What's New?
Car Customizations
Builder News
Written by Nicholas McClanahan   
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 15:01
How to change your car's configuration with NCS Expert


Don't like the seat belt warning chime?  Want a minute to roll up the windows after the keys are removed?  Maybe you'd like the remote key to unlock all doors on the first push?

You can use NCS Expert with the Car Kracker 3 to customize each module in your car, here's how;

Links and downloads

 
Advanced Diagnostics
Builder News
Written by Nicholas McClanahan   
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 13:05
Advanced diagnostics with the Car Kracker 3


You can use the Car Kracker 3 to read advanced diagnostics in your car - you can read and clear detailed error logs for every device in the car, actuate solenoids and valves, and read real-time data  Here's a demo of INPA, one of the more popular tools;

Other programs are available, as well.  Here's how to do it;

Set up the Car Kracker

In the Kustomizer, begin by setting the default boot mode to 'Diagnostics'

diagnostic_1

Connect to your car

The trunk connection lets you connect to most computers on the car, but not the engine or transmission. If you need to connect to the Engine or Transmission, you'll need to connect to the On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) port.

There are 3 bus connections on the Car Kracker, they're marked on the circuit board D (Data), + (Power) and - (Ground);

Kracker3
With some spare wire, connect these to your car's OBD port.  Older cars have a DLC (Pac-Man) style connector under the hood.  Cars made after 2001 have an OBD port under the steering wheel, above the driver's feet.  Here are the connections;

obc2
(Click to Enlarge)

Again, it's only necessary to connect to the OBD port for Engine / Transmission diagnostics.  You'll also need your computer to connect to the Kracker;

plugged_in_Computer

Hardware setup is all done.  Now on to your software choices;

Software Options

NavCoder

NavCoder is designed mostly for setting / reading accessory options (Radio, A/C, Lights) — you'll use it while connected to the trunk.  It's not as powerful as other programs, but it's very easy to use, especially for setting Radio/Nav options and other customizations.

INPA

INPA is my favorite, it's an internal program used by BMW to do vehicle production testing, and has a simple, fast interface.  INPA also includes NCSexpert, which we'll use to set car customizations later on.

To set up INPA, begin by downloading it (600MB) and unpacking the zip to a new folder.  Start setup by double clicking on Programminstallation\setup.exe. 

If you're using Windows 7, before you run setup.exe, select Properties >> Compatibility and set 'Run this program in compatibility mode' >> 'Windows XP SP 3';

inpa5

You want to set the hardware interface to STD:OBD, the only other setup question you need to pay attention to is the port settings;

inpa1Select the Car Kracker's Com port, and check ''USB-to-serial adapter'.  Once the setup completes, reboot your computer.

After your computer reboots, run  \Referenz.2005\INSTALL\Instprog.exe.  This will update your installation with the necessary scripts for your car.  NOTE: Instprog.exe can't be within a folder that has a space in its name.  c:\users\John Doe\INPA won't work.  Copy the referenz.2005 directory to a folder without spaces, like c:\users\docs\INPA.

On the first screen, just click 'OK', and select English as the install language.

thumb_inpa2

Select BMW Group Recertification Programs UK and click OK;

inpa3

Finally, select Update / Complete on each item;

thumb_inpa4


All done!  Plug your Car Kracker into your car and open INPA(_.IPO). default install; C:\EC-APPS\INPA\BIN\INPALOAD.exe. Your ignition has to be on to read Transmission / Engine data. 

 
The Prototypers 024: Centronics Centroids
The Prototypers Podcast
Written by Nicholas McClanahan   
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 00:00
We learn the best places to get Centronics ports and cheap network cards 


On this week's podcast, we overclock our microcontrollers, share our favorite electronics stores, and talk a little about Kickstarter.

Stream;

Download (mp3)


Subscribe to The Prototypers;
   

Show Notes

Send in your questions and comments to podcast@gadgetgangster.com !

 
Music Mode
Builder News
Written by Nicholas McClanahan   
Tuesday, 09 October 2012 09:53

Tips on using Music Mode with the Car Kracker 3


The Car Kracker 3 emulates a CD changer, and can play audio files stored on a µSD card, or enable Aux-in.  There's also an optional connection for DSP support.  Here are some tips on using music mode.

Setup

In the Kustomizer, set the default boot mode to 'Music Player';

Music_1

In the Music tab, you can remap the CD change buttons on the radio to do other things;

Music_2
I usually remap CD1 and CD2 to switch between CD's.  This also lets you have more than six albums.  If you only want to use the Kracker for Aux-in, set the default audio source to 'Just open Aux-in'.  If you have a DSP, set the default audio output to 'DSP'.  With analog audio, I suggest setting the volume to '2'.

Using Bluetooth Audio

Here's a video walkthrough on setting up Bluetooth Audio;

Any Bluetooth Audio adapter should work, I've been using this one, but there are many choices.  In the Kustomizer, set your audio source to 'Just open Aux-in'.

The Car Kracker 3 also offers 5V power to keep the Audio Adapter powered up.  All the adapters I've found use 5V to charge — look for one that comes with a USB 'charging cable'.

Playing audio from the SD card

You can also play audio files directly from any microSD / SDHC card.  44kHz and 48kHz wav files are supported, which is CD quality, although MP3, AAC, and WMA files will need to be converted.  Audacity is my preferred program for conversion and it's free.  Here's how to convert files;

You can use the buttons on your radio to move between albums and tracks, be sure to map them in the Kustomizer. Albums are grouped by filename, your SD card should look something like this;

01-01.wav
01-02.wav
01-03.wav
02-01.wav
02-02.wav
and so on...

Put everything on the root of the card, no need to use directories.  Most radios support 99 tracks per album.  My radio supports several dozen albums, although the display doesn't count past 9.

 
The Prototypers 023: Faire Time
The Prototypers Podcast
Written by Nicholas McClanahan   
Sunday, 30 September 2012 00:00
The Prototypers discuss faires, forth, and really retro computers


We learn how to do forth programming, and discuss some retro computing.

Stream;

Download (mp3)


Subscribe to The Prototypers;
   

Show Notes

Send in your questions and comments to podcast@gadgetgangster.com !

 
The Prototypers 022: Kiwis
The Prototypers Podcast
Written by Nicholas McClanahan   
Tuesday, 18 September 2012 00:00
This week, we work on LCD displays, PCB graphics, and really retro computers


We learn how to add graphics to circuit boards, and discuss some retro computing.

Stream;

Download (mp3)


Subscribe to The Prototypers;
   

Show Notes

Send in your questions and comments to podcast@gadgetgangster.com !

 
The Prototypers 021: To the Moon
The Prototypers Podcast
Written by Nicholas McClanahan   
Tuesday, 11 September 2012 00:00
We visit Outer Space this week on The Prototypers


This week we discuss space travel, toothbrushes, and ancient knots on a slow news day.

Stream;

Download (mp3)


Subscribe to The Prototypers;
   

Show Notes

Send in your questions and comments to podcast@gadgetgangster.com !

 
The Prototypers 020: Choose your Adventure
The Prototypers Podcast
Written by Nicholas McClanahan   
Tuesday, 04 September 2012 00:00
12,000 Watts, SID chips, and SVN!


This week The Prototypers, we discuss 12V battery testers, the USB specification, Infocomm, SID chips.

Stream;

Download (mp3)


Subscribe to The Prototypers;
   

Show Notes

Send in your questions and comments to podcast@gadgetgangster.com !

 
The Prototypers 019: Squid Droid
The Prototypers Podcast
Written by Nicholas McClanahan   
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 00:00
SRAM, UPENE, and Androids!


This week The Prototypers, we discuss Androids, Android, Bluetooth, and Squid

Stream;

Download (mp3)


Subscribe to The Prototypers;
   

Show Notes

Send in your questions and comments to podcast@gadgetgangster.com !

 
The Prototypers 018: Click to Connect
The Prototypers Podcast
Written by Nicholas McClanahan   
Monday, 20 August 2012 00:00
Simple IDE, water skippers, and BBSing on The Prototypers


Go BBSing this week The Prototypers!

Stream;

Download (mp3)


Subscribe to The Prototypers;
   

Show Notes

Send in your questions and comments to podcast@gadgetgangster.com !

 
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