As if a computer in my car wasn't enough... CONNECT2CAR - Honda Civic Forum



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Old 01-17-2007   #1
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As if a computer in my car wasn't enough... CONNECT2CAR

It's called Connect2Car, it's a MFC that connects to the vehicle (not sure if the PC is required yet) and allows you to control it through a web capable phone or just your computer's internet. I'll be able to control window roll up/down, the air ride, lights, door locks, sunroof (if I had one), or the ignition. If I see some ******* has taken my car for a joyride, I simply log on and turn the car off. Then using the display I can see where my car is and go get it.
My Blackberry doesn't show up as a compatible device for it but I'm hoping I can hack the software in it and see what happens. The website for it is CONNECT2CAR: 3RD GENERATION CAR CONTROL SYSTEMS.

Screenshots of the software:



Vehicle Status:


Lock / Unlock and Remote Start:


Vehicle Disable:


Quote:
FAQs
What is SoftDash?

SoftDash is our Software Dashboard product. It provides you with all the capabilities of your dashboard plus a whole lot more.
And what is the MFC?

The MFC is our multi-functional controller, it works hand in hand with SoftDash providing you with unlimited possibilities such as engine on/off, door lock/unlock, alarm on/off and the list is endless. To use SoftDash you need a compatible device and the MFC
How do I know if my device is compatible?

# For a list of Softdash compatible devices click here
or check your device for MIDP 2.0 with JSR-82 Support (Bluetooth wireless technology API)

What else do I need apart from the MFC?

To use the window roll down/up feature you would need an additional window roll down module. The MFC talks to the window roll down module and tells it when to roll up/down the window.

An alarm system with a negative trigger would be necessary if the MFC is used to control an Alarm System with or without auto-start.Or just upgrade to the MFC V3 package that comes with a complete alarm system with autostart.

Another one is the ignition bypass unit for cars with chipped/encrypted keys. It just sends a tricked signal to the carÕs computer so that it can start the engine. This applies to any general remote starter that is installed in any car with a chipped key (mostly with newer cars). Otherwise the MFC is all you need.

Can my device tell me when my car has performed the action I sent to it? Meaning, can I get feedback from my car to my device? Bluetooth wireless technology communication with the MFC is two way. The MFC will not do anything if it does not see (can not communicate/reach) the controller device, also the controller device will not acknowledge an action response made by the user, unless it gets a reply from the MFC (except if user is running software in simulation mode). So that way neither party (device or MFC), will not proceed with a user action request if there is a break in communication.

How can I get this device installed in my car?

Installation of the MFC is straight forward if you know how to install car alarms/electronics. Any standard alarm/electronics installer can install the MFC system. The unit also comes with a complete step by step installation manual for both software (on the controller device) and hardware (in any vehicle). At the moment we also have affiliated installer locations for convenience in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut Areas, and we continue to expand our reach. If you are an installer, and want to carry the MFC system, or provide installation support, please contact us and we will be glad to add you to installer contact/vendor database. If your local dealer does not carry the MFC, we will gladly assist your local shop on becoming a Dealer.

What is the range of Bluetooth wireless technology?

The MFC 2 way communication tested in an outdoor parking lot produced 55ft of connectivity range and 150ft of communication range after connectivity. Connectivity is the initial process where the 2 devices (car and phone/PDA) search and initiate connection. Once connection is initiated, it received up to 150ft of communication on the class 2 device. This range will be smaller indoors.

Software Configurations.How do I configure it to my own car settings?

In regards to the software setup. The MFC is the device installed into the vehicle. After the installer connects the MFC to the vehicle, the next step is to install the software configurations for those devices, e.g.output1=door lock action, output2= window roll down, e.g. a software button might control multiple outputs, e.g. with the case of engine start, you need about 3 outputs, 1 for the ignition, 2 for Key accessory 1 (radio etc), and 2 (heater controls, distributor etc). So you can configure the button to activate them all in a sequence. Start acc1, wait a sec, start acc2, wait 1 sec, then crank ignition till engine starts, where the engine start is monitored from the tachometer, and timed also. If the tachometer displays a red signal on your device from the engine, then the engine started, if not it keeps trying for the duration of the timeout e.g. 4 seconds. All this can be configured in one button action recipe.

Also you can download already made standard configurations from the site (on software/devices page), and you can also share your cool made configurations with other users by just sending them the recipe file. They would just have to change the outputs in the recipe, to match their own hardware connections. (E.g. the ignition is connected on output 3 in your car but in your friendÕs car, it was connected on output 5 of his own MFC).

Please read the manual for more information regarding the MFC and SoftDash. You can get a copy of the PDF manual here

Are there any software securities? Can someone hack my car system with another device?


No, the wireless communication with the MFC over Bluetooth wireless technology is done over an authenticated and secure encrypted connection. I.e. first you need a password to connect to your car and then data sent over that connection is encrypted.

Other devices can only see (not connected yet) your MFC based on your own settings.
1. Discoverable/Connectable

(Can be discovered and be connected to, where the connection will only be possible based on your connection settings.


2 Not Discoverable/Connectable

(Can not be generally discovered by other devices, but can be connected to by devices that know the address of your MFC e.g. your own cell phone, and connection will only be possible if the outside device passes your connection rules.


3. Not Discoverable/Not Connectable
(i.e. technically a one way street here, you cannot do anything to the MFC,
however, the MFC can connect to you. i.e. your car searches for your device, and
can connect to you, but you can't connect to your car. This mode is not so
convenient sometimes/cases.)

For any connection to your MFC, you can select one of the following options:

Authentication/encryption: (default) Authentication Requires password. You can pair with a specific device, e.g. your own cell phone, and that device will be on your trusted device list.

Authentication/no encryption: No authentication password to connect/no encryption: (i.e. you can turn it off if you want). For more information on Bluetooth wireless security please visit learn about Bluetooth wireless security .

Can this be installed in any car?

Yes. You can install this product in any car. Any alarm installer can install this product, and it also comes with a picture and page by page installation manual.

Is it possible to have my system controlled by two different devices via Bluetooth wireless technology? E.g. my computer and Symbian phone.

You can only control the system by one Bluetooth wireless technology device at any given time (the device also has to pass authentication before connection is allowed). Using Bluetooth wireless technology, either the computer or phone can be connected. Both of them cannot be connected at the same time, except if you also have a serial cable connection for one and Bluetooth wireless technology for the other. For example, outside the car--> Bluetooth wireless technology device, inside the car --> Serial connection (perhaps car PC). If the serial port becomes active, the Bluetooth wireless technology connection is disabled.

Can I put a picture of my car in the software?

Yes. You can customize your own skins in the software, change the sounds and rename or remap buttons e.g.
Can I read my tachometer with my Mobile phone, Palm Pilot or iPaq?

Yes. You will be able to do that and also customize the effects that you want to happen when you hit your shift point and redline settings. You can also customize actions to happen when you hit a certain RPM, e.g. if I hit 5900 rpm, flash my neon underbody kits, or if I hit 6000 rpm, activate the NOS valve.

What kind of things I can control in my car with this product?

You can control most electronic accessories of the vehicle such as, power windows, door locks, lights, engine start, alarm system, strobes, door poppers, actuators, air-ride suspension and hydraulics are just a few examples. So can I control my stereo with my Mobile phone or Palm Pilot/Pocket PC Device?

You can only turn on and off the stereo with the MFC, to change controls such as volume, and change stations etc, you should get a nice universal remote control software that uses the infrared port on your handheld/device. Do a search for universal remote on PocketGear.com: Download Pocket PC Software for your Treo 700w,Dell Axim, iPAQ or other Windows Mobile device. or PalmGear.com: Download Palm Software for your Treo 650/600, Tungsten, LifeDrive or other Palm OS Device. Handango - Windows Mobile, Palm OS, BlackBerry and Symbian Smartphone Software Downloads is another good place


Can I drive the car with my palm pilot/ Pocket PC Device?

No, that would extremely dangerous.

Does the vehicle need to be ON to be able to control the featured functions?

No, the vehicle does not have to be on to control the featured functions, if you have the MFC-V2 which is equipped with a Class 2 Bluetooth wireless technology antenna.




FAQs on PocketPC

In the Pocket PC app I've installed, the "Tach" screen is running. Can you give me some real-world models of how this screen should be used?

There are aftermarket devices called shiftlights, whereby a driver sets a given RPM value where he intends to shift gear, when the engine revs up to the preset value, a light blinks, to indicate to the driver his shift point. They also use this to monitor Redlining of the engine.

e.g's units are Auto Meter - Gauges

Using SoftDash, the tach screen gives the user a software controlled shift indicator, along with all the software goodies such as custom skin, voice over etc, all from their handheld unit.

Furthermore, some people can make custom recipes(in the new software only) that respond to tachometer events, e.g if RPM past a certain value, do some intended action.

On the "Controls" screen, is there any way to customize the names of the buttons?

To access the menu on a pocket PC device, hit the center key. There are drop down menu's on the main screen and the controls screen.

All the buttons are customizable. By going into Menu> Options> Control Switch Settings. In the first drop down menu bar, select desired button. eg. Accessory 1. In Accessory 1- Here you can edit the name and color to be displayed on the main screen. This setting falls under "BASIC" on the top menu bar.

On the "Controls" screen, how would a door lock operate? Would "Accessory 1" unlock the doors and "Accessory 2" lock?

This can vary depending on how the installation was performed. Actually this is where the installer comes into play. Door lock recipes for most cars a pretty much sending a pulse from the unit to the door controller of the vehicle. Some other cars do more things, e.g like a single pulse unlocks driver door only and double unlocks all 4 doors. Anyway, Connect2Car supports recipe logistics for various vehicles, and maintains an active forum and support line for the installers.

I know that recipes could be created, but I'm wondering if you can create a "lock" recipe when button one is activated and an "unlock" when the same button is deactivated.

Yes this the beauty of the product and software.

How do I create recipes? I know they're XML files, but is there an application that can be downloaded to do this? Where do they go once they're created?

Right now the PPC software does not give user access to the raw files, however they get saved in the program folder on the PPC and you can transfer the file to another unit to share such recipes.

With the new upcoming PPC software release, the user is given more control. This new release is also already available for the MIDP phones version of the software.
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Old 01-17-2007   #2
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VERY well done! How come no one cares about carputers but us, LOL.
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Old 01-17-2007   #3
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I'd like to put one in mine...but where? lol
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Old 01-17-2007   #4
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If it's small enough you could probably sneak it into the console next to the pbrake. Most people put the carputer in their trunks and run cabling up to the screen/deck/touchscreen up front.
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Old 01-17-2007   #5
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what about under a seat? or behind one of the side panels in the rear, there's a nice little spot under there behind the rear armrest....
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Old 01-18-2007   #6
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i'd love to put one in. but i dunno about cost, where to buy, or where to mount it. any ideas??
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Old 01-18-2007   #7
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Are you talking about a computer? You can hack it together with parts from around the house for $200 or do it properly for $1500 or so. You can buy everything from the store at mp3car.com | your source for mobile computing solutions and mount it in your trunk.

But this thread is dealing with Connect2Car, it's a different product. It doesn't require the computer, it's a standalone MFC that talks to your car's electrical system and takes commands from a webpage that you log into. You can control your car from anywhere you have internet access. I'm thinking about hooking it up to my locks in case I lock the keys in there, my air ride for shows, and the ignition.
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Old 01-18-2007   #8
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I am definitely going to look into this.
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Old 01-18-2007   #9
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How Much
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Old 01-19-2007   #10
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Dude that is totally sick man. How much skills do you need to rig it up for way less than 1500.
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Old 01-19-2007   #11
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My carputer cost me $1900 but here I'm talking about the Connect2Car MFC, it's only about $300 for the unit and it lets you control your car.
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Old 01-24-2007   #12
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So it's actually about $400 for it and an extra $200 if you want range further than bluetooth. With the addon, it'll switch over to your PDA data plan. This thing is pure hotness, I'm liking it more and more.
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Old 01-31-2007   #13
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urwhat is just really niceurwhat is just really niceurwhat is just really niceurwhat is just really niceurwhat is just really nice
so..... is there a monthly fee for this or what? or is it all through BT... if thats the case, thats no better than a pager alarm... in theory you could set up one of the options of the pager alarm to trigger up a relay and kill the ignition for the car anyway.
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Old 04-11-2007   #14
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Re: As if a computer in my car wasn't enough... CONNECT2CAR

Quote:
Originally Posted by urwhat View Post
so..... is there a monthly fee for this or what? or is it all through BT... if thats the case, thats no better than a pager alarm... in theory you could set up one of the options of the pager alarm to trigger up a relay and kill the ignition for the car anyway.
There is a monthly service fee. $10/month to the data provider for communication to the vehicle which is an iDen unit that I use for my CarPC to go on the internet as well. I can control my remote starter, door locks, trunk release and disable the vehicle from anywhere on my cell phone or computer and get SMS Text and email notification if my alarm goes off. Way better than the two-way paging system and Lojack and I only paid $500 with 3 months of unlimited usage!

See their demo here: www.connect2car.com/track
Username: demo
Password: demo
Click on "View Data"
GPS location, RPM, MPH, Alarm and engine status is viewable.

Click on "Commands" on top to control your car from the cell phone or computer.

I'd show you where I am, but then someone would probably shut my car off while I'm driving! lol
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Old 04-13-2007   #15
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Re: As if a computer in my car wasn't enough... CONNECT2CAR

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Originally Posted by DK888 View Post
I only paid $500 with 3 months of unlimited usage!
What do you mean "unlimited usage"? is it always unlimited or is there a limit? and you gotta pay more? like how does this deal work with the 10 bucks a month?
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Old 05-03-2007   #16
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Re: As if a computer in my car wasn't enough... CONNECT2CAR

yeah that is awesome. im going to look into this. in case i ever lock my keys in my car..... again, lol.
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Old 07-16-2007   #17
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Re: As if a computer in my car wasn't enough... CONNECT2CAR

Control the MFC Anywhere System with the Anywhere Control application for FREE! Download: CLICK HERE

NEW! MFC Anywhere DEMO

Get the MFC Anywhere CLICK HERE

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Old 11-15-2007   #18
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Re: As if a computer in my car wasn't enough... CONNECT2CAR

It would suck if someone hacked into the online account and shut your car off and you couldn't restart it.
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Old 11-09-2008   #19
Delightfully tacky. Yet unrefined

 
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Re: As if a computer in my car wasn't enough... CONNECT2CAR

so here's a thread from the dead. Just wondering if anyone has actually accomplished this?
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Old 11-10-2008   #20
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Re: As if a computer in my car wasn't enough... CONNECT2CAR

I found it was way too expensive, instead you could just use the Fusion Brain instead since it's got more analog/digital inputs/outputs, is more efficient and also cheaper than Connect2Car. I like this guy's idea, I like how he was the innovator but it's not worth it.
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Old 02-07-2009   #21
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Re: As if a computer in my car wasn't enough... CONNECT2CAR

sorry to bring a dead thread back to life but whats the deal with this, it sounds like such a good idea, does anyone have any input on this
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