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Author Topic: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator  (Read 5272 times)

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Offline JRinKY

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Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator
« on: November 14, 2016, 09:15:52 PM »
I have finally completed development of a manual replacement for the Passenger Seat Sensor. It connects in place of the sensor module, and has a manual switch to enable and disable the passenger airbag. I have only tested it in one of my cars so far, but will be doing more testing over the coming months. Assuming that it is reliable and universally effective, I will be offering it to the Kappa community at the lowest cost I can manage.

With that in mind, I am looking for an indication of interest, since the quantity made has a significant effect on the price of the circuit board that everything mounts to.

My best estimation right now is that the price will be about $50 each.

Offline 2kwk4u

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2016, 09:28:48 PM »
Be sure to sell it with a huge disclaimer and call it "for off road use only" or some other such BS.  If/when mine ever breaks I'd definitely be interested in a $50 solution rather than fork over big bucks to GM to fix a problem they should have fixed in the first place!

Offline TomatoSoup

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2016, 10:04:52 AM »
JR, when I got the KappaBlinker PCB made I found the cheapest was from http://www.pcbgogo.com/.  Boards came out excellently and turnaround was maybe a week (into my hands).  Only downside was the only shipping method (DHL 2-day air) was more than the board cost, but they may have alternatives now.  Ping me if you want more info from my experience.
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Offline JRinKY

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2016, 11:55:02 AM »
Thanks for the link, TS. Definitely the lowest price I have seen.

The nice thing about this sensor from a liability issue is that the airbag controller tests it every time you start the car, and there is an indicator that provides constant feedback from the airbag controller about what it is doing.

Offline Gentleman Jack

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2016, 12:20:43 PM »
This screams liability to me. Please proceed with caution. You are trying to do something very nice for the community. I hope it doesn't backfire!
Make the right choices now

Offline stungjoe

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2016, 02:13:00 PM »
This screams liability to me. Please proceed with caution. You are trying to do something very nice for the community. I hope it doesn't backfire!
My old S10 (2003) had a place where i could insert the ign. key and turn off the passenger side airbag :idk: So this might not be too different.
Joe
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Offline Sol Asylum

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2016, 02:24:27 PM »
Except GM made or at least installed that device in your S10 and if it failed to work correctly they were the ones to get sued.  Add an aftermarket home made part in there and it's another story.  It just takes one lawyer that thinks he's struck gold to make your life hell.
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Offline Wartie

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2016, 05:49:30 PM »
This screams liability to me. Please proceed with caution. You are trying to do something very nice for the community. I hope it doesn't backfire!

It is a shame the way the world is today. But I believe the you are correct. We make home made wine, my wife wanted to make a wine basket for charity. I told her to buy some to put in the basket. She was pissed for a few days till she realized this is a "sue me" society.
 I home it goes well!!!

Offline Sol Asylum

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2016, 09:19:11 PM »
I home it goes well!!!

That must be some good home made wine.
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Offline Wartie

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2016, 09:12:58 AM »
That must be some good home made wine.

It slur is!!!  :devil:

Offline Sol Asylum

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2016, 02:09:53 PM »
Maybe bring some to the next Mod Meet, I hear GJ will be hosting one in the spring at least that's the rumor I'm starting.
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Offline elff

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2016, 08:55:26 PM »
I personally would suggest you do not do this.
If you sell this to someone they get in an accident and it does not work
You will be the person the lawyers will go after.


Offline DaveOC

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2016, 10:07:48 PM »
I personally would suggest you do not do this.
If you sell this to someone they get in an accident and it does not work
You will be the person the lawyers will go after.

As much as I like the idea behind this, I have to agree with elff.

Disclaimer: I am trained as a lawyer, and at one time was licensed to practice law. I am no longer licensed to practice law and haven't practiced since the mid-1980s.
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Offline JRinKY

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2016, 11:35:48 AM »
Well, it isn't ready for production yet anyway, so I have some time. "My" attorney is a little iffy about it, but is going to refer me to a product liability attorney for a better opinion. We think that the combination of it not being a first-line safety device, having direct real-time status feedback from the airbag controller, and my requiring a fairly detailed waiver may push it into the OK category.

The fall-back option is to assemble a kit, and let people do what they want to with it.

A random thought: TS did his brake light KappaBlinker that, if it failed, would keep the brake lights from working with no warning or indication. Was this level of concern expressed then?

Offline Sol Asylum

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2016, 12:07:24 PM »
We are not worried about TS getting sued, he's made of money.

Actually if what you say is true and his add on would result in no brake lights if it failed then the Kappa performance legal team missed warning him.  I blame lead council GJ for that one.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2016, 02:06:59 PM by Sol Asylum »
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Offline JRinKY

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2016, 12:35:14 PM »
We are not worried about TS getting sued, he's made of money.

Actually if what you say is true and his add on would result in no brake lights if I failed then the Kappa performance legal team missed warning him.  I blame lead council GJ for that one.

I don't know exactly how the KappaBlinker is made, so I can't say what would happen if it failed, but the potential certainly seems to be there.
I am just wondering if connection to the airbag system has everyone more spooked than is necessary, or if I am not thinking about it correctly.

Offline Wartie

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2016, 12:58:42 PM »
I am just wondering if connection to the airbag system has everyone more spooked than is necessary, or if I am not thinking about it correctly.

I believe that your statement is correct. "Airbag" = mass hysteria = we are all cynical.  :gaah:

Offline Sol Asylum

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2016, 02:32:48 PM »
I'm not and expert on TS's blinker mod but I think it's only an add on to the turn signal circuit and if it failed it has no negative impact on the turn signals or the brake lights so those would still function like they should.  That doesn't mean he couldn't still end up in a law suit but it would most likely be easier for him to prove he didn't cause a brake light failure.

The airbag sensor emulator would directly control if an airbag were to deploy when it works correctly.  It's easy to test brake lights and turn signals but have you actually tested the airbag deployment with this device?  How would things work if the emulator were to fail? 

Even if your emulator works fine, if there is an accident and some one dies a lawyer could argue your device delayed the deployment and that's what caused the death.

Because the airbag is a safety device it's more likely to get the in depth inspection than say a failed brake light in the event of an accident.
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Offline JRinKY

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator
« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2016, 03:55:15 PM »
I couldn't remember, and haven't looked up, how the KappaBlinker works or what it does. I only brought it up as another mod to a safety system.

As to how the emulator (and the original seat sensor) works:

Once per second the airbag controller asks the sensor/emulator if the seat is occupied. The sensor/emulator answers. The controller then enables or disables the airbag and instructs the sensor/emulator to turn on the appropriate light in the indicator module. If the sensor/emulator indicates that the seat is occupied, and the passenger seatbelt is not plugged in, the controller directly turns on the #2 seatbelt warning light in the indicator module and requests a warning chime. When the seatbelt is plugged in the warning light goes off and the chime stops. The sensor/emulator has nothing to do with how or when the airbag is deployed so, with one exception, as long as the correct indicator is lit, the airbag function will be correct.

I can think of three failure modes for the emulator, and all of them are obvious:

>If it stops working altogether, communication with the controller will stop, the airbag will be disabled, and the Service Airbag light and message will be activated. In this case neither light will be on, as they are controlled by the emulator.
>If it somehow gets the wrong input from the manual switch, the indicator light will not match the switch position, and the seatbelt warnings will not be appropriate for the indication.
>If the transistor that controls the indicator light gets "stuck" in one condition or the other it will no longer control the light and either the correct light, both lights, or neither light will be on. The emulator is still working, however, and will send a status signal as dictated by the switch. The #2 seatbelt warning light will still respond based on the actual status.

How do you test the emulator?

>Start the car with the switch off and look at the indicator lights to confirm that the OFF indicator is lit.
>Switch the switch to on and look at the indicator lights to confirm that the ON indicator and the #2 seatbelt warning light are lit.
>Plug in the seatbelt and confirm that the warning light goes off.

>At any time, switch the manual switch to the other position and confirm that the indicator changes to match.

Offline TomatoSoup

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator
« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2016, 03:55:50 PM »
The KappaBlinker just operates as a switch in parallel with the turn signal stalk.  If it fails it can either fail 'open' (and just not work/have no effect) or fail 'closed' and the BCM thinks that the turn signal(s) stalk switch(es) is/are permanently on.  In which case it would flash the light(s) all the time.  But if it did fail 'closed' you would know and could just unplug the connector to failsafe.

Would not affect the brake light operation per se. 
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Offline TomatoSoup

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator
« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2016, 03:58:57 PM »
JR, I think you've done a lot of good work - which should NOT be wasted.  It may be that the easiest way out is (as you've suggested) supply them as a kit.

I would prefer mine that way anyway, and save you the effort of building them.  (Believe me, from my KappaBlinker experience, building 40+ boards was a real pain!)
"That is my theory, it is mine, and belongs to me and I own it, and what it is too." (Monty Python)

Offline JRinKY

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator
« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2016, 04:42:17 PM »
Thanks for clearing that up, TS. I should have looked up what I was referring to before I posted, but it was a spur-of-the-moment question.

I was thinking about the two mods that are inserted between the brake light wiring and the brake lights: one is the sequential turn signal, and the other is the CHMSL flasher. Failure of either could disable the light that it is in-circuit with without advance warning.

My work won't be wasted in any case, since I already have mine!

Offline LatinVenom

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator
« Reply #22 on: November 17, 2016, 07:48:46 PM »
I am with everyone else here, is way to risky not only for you but the person who purchase this product.
A lawyer could very well go after both parties in case of death or injury. Is not you who is in the passenger seat, but someone else that could be harmed if
the bag does not deploy and causes harm or death to the person in that seat. You made the decision to purchase and install this in your car.
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Offline JRinKY

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator
« Reply #23 on: November 18, 2016, 11:33:07 AM »
OK, thanks for all of the responses. I have enough feedback to know that it is worth continuing, so there is no further need for anyone to express interest. Comments about usability, reliability, or liability will still be welcome, of course.

Some of the comments have been very enlightening to me, but some of them have made it clear to me that my explanation of how the system works, and what this device will do, have not been clear enough. That is OK, since no one will ever be requested or required to put one of them in their car.

I am still just starting reliability testing, so it will be a while before anything is offered to the community, assuming that I get affirmative legal advice. Once I am comfortable with reliability and usability I will re-start the dialog.

Offline Sol Asylum

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator
« Reply #24 on: November 18, 2016, 12:03:44 PM »
Just out of curiosity, someone mentioned the manual on/off switch that was in an S10 (other GM cars used this too), has anyone looked into whether or not an off the shelf part like this could be used in our cars?
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