BMW Remote Part 2

The second component of the BMW remote system is the communications portion. I’m utilizing an older telit GM862-GPS unit that has built in GPS and a python interpreter.  It’s programmed to respond to SMS commands, returning the location of the car, and will be integrated to issue commands to the Arduino for remote door locking control.  

Automotive Electronics

BMW Remote

One of my longer term projects has been to develop a Remote tracking and control interface for my 2000 BMW 323Ci.

The main goals for this system are as follows:

  • Remote door locking and unlocking from a smartphone application or interface
  • GPS location tracking
  • Robust communication method with no range limitations

Due to the costs involved with data plans through wireless carriers, I chose to implement control through text messaging (SMS) rather than an HTTP based communication protocol.  This also eliminates the issue of having to open and maintain a TCP socket from the car side, a requirement for robust and fast control from an android app.

To control the locks on the car, I’m interfacing one of its communication networks through the CD-changer connector in the trunk.  The network is a LIN based protocol, and there are several chips available that facilitate communicating with devices on the bus.  A long time ago I purchased an i-bus interface that is well known in the bmw community made by Rolf Resler.

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Senior Design Project

For my Senior Design Project at UC Davis, I worked with a group of four other students to come up with a new Magneto-Rheological damping system that could be implemented on a bike.  As a part of the project, we fabricated a small MR based drum brake.  My main contribution to this prototype was a simple power supply that could deliver different levels of current to the coil in the brake, thereby adjusting the braking force it produced. read more »


CRX Modding

This is a picture of my third Honda CRX.  I’m going to give some details about the work I put into it, but first I’d like to share a few of the things I did to the first two that I owned.

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