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Author Topic: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator  (Read 5271 times)

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Offline DaveOC

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator
« Reply #25 on: November 18, 2016, 12:17:49 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?
I had a similar system in a 1996 Ford Ranger Pickup truck (no back seats).
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Offline JRinKY

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator
« Reply #26 on: November 18, 2016, 01:03:20 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?
It is possible, but I think that it is unlikely. The airbag controller communicates with the seat sensor over a non-standard serial link, and expects very specific handshaking. Unless that communication is standard for GM airbag systems, transplanting anything from another system won't work without a translator, and then we are right back to where we are now.

If it is possible to transplant something, the logical choice would be the seat sensor from another vehicle. The Equinox system seems pretty bullet-proof, and there are lots more of them in the world than there are Kappas. I'll pull the Equinox service manuals out tonight to see if they are similar enough to try, but confidence is low that it will work.

Offline ChrisPrice

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator
« Reply #27 on: November 23, 2016, 07:01:00 PM »
Personally, I would wait until the NHTSA investigation is completed. The long delay in activity indicates we may be in for a recall and/or warranty extension from GM.

But if that falls through, I might be in for one.

OP, I would encourage you to submit a public comment to NHTSA on the open investigation. The mere fact that you were driven to create such a device - is further (real, true) proof that NHTSA should act.

Offline ChrisPrice

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator
« Reply #28 on: November 23, 2016, 07:03:28 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?

Won't work in any of our modern cars. It requires more careful signaling to the airbag computer, especially to enable the airbag.

NHTSA ironically was much more permissive of these solutions back in the '90s. Then people stupidly didn't use them properly, and some people were injured/killed by them.

Offline JRinKY

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator
« Reply #29 on: November 24, 2016, 12:26:25 AM »
Any kind of release is going to be delayed for a while anyway as I have quite a lot of durability testing to do, and driving days are getting to be fewer.

I am not certain that thrusting my little project into the sight of NHTSA is the best idea, but it is certainly something to think about.

I have service manuals for two different S-series trucks, but they are '93 and '97, and the passenger airbag didn't arrive until '98 so I have no technical information about the manual on/off switch and how it communicated with the controller.

I did look in the 2013 Equinox service manual and found that that generation sensor communicates with the controller over the low-speed GMLAN, which is a fairly significant change from the dedicated serial communication used in the Kappa.

My greatest hope is that GM is working on a replacement sensor that adapts the Equinox seat pad (or something equally reliable) to the communication needed for the Kappa. The Kappa requires direct control of the Enabled/Disabled lights by the seat sensor, so it more involved that simply re-programming the communications module, but it shouldn't be too difficult.

Offline ChrisPrice

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator
« Reply #30 on: December 05, 2016, 02:12:48 PM »
Any kind of release is going to be delayed for a while anyway as I have quite a lot of durability testing to do, and driving days are getting to be fewer.

I am not certain that thrusting my little project into the sight of NHTSA is the best idea, but it is certainly something to think about.

I have service manuals for two different S-series trucks, but they are '93 and '97, and the passenger airbag didn't arrive until '98 so I have no technical information about the manual on/off switch and how it communicated with the controller.

I did look in the 2013 Equinox service manual and found that that generation sensor communicates with the controller over the low-speed GMLAN, which is a fairly significant change from the dedicated serial communication used in the Kappa.

My greatest hope is that GM is working on a replacement sensor that adapts the Equinox seat pad (or something equally reliable) to the communication needed for the Kappa. The Kappa requires direct control of the Enabled/Disabled lights by the seat sensor, so it more involved that simply re-programming the communications module, but it shouldn't be too difficult.

If they were going to fix it, the fix would be in the form of the same IEE seat map with a revised ribbon cable that is able to sustain prolonged point loading. There would be no adaptation of newer seat map designs, and I don't think it's needed.

If you make clear your product is for off-road/racing use only, NHTSA won't care. Seatbelt and airbag bypasses for racing are common. And legal. I would encourage you to make sure the packaging that you send out has a 8.5x11 page that clearly is affixed and alerts the customer of this... but that is not legal advice.

My big concern - and while I'd still like you to comment - is that NHTSA may be on a tipping point as to order a recall or not in this case. Any new evidence could tip the scales, and the mere fact something like this was (had to be) built, is further evidence that the problem is more widespread than GM's response may indicate in terms of warranty/repair data.

Offline JRinKY

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator
« Reply #31 on: December 07, 2016, 11:38:56 AM »
First I have to say that there is no way to predict what GM will do. What seems perfectly logical to us may be completely contrary to what makes sense to them.

That said, I think there is some argument that if GM changes the design for the replacement parts that they would go with the current mat design, and re-design the electronics module as needed. The current mat is clearly more durable than the IEE mat, and I don't see them funding a development project to create a new mat design when there is a working one available. Designing and building a compatible electronics module is incredibly easy compared to solving the problems with the IEE mat, testing the changes, and putting them into production.

NHTSA is the least of my worries. They wouldn't get involved unless a significant number of failures occurred, and I don't expect that I would ever even supply that many of the emulators to begin with. Keep in mind that this device is not a bypass, and it has zero effect on the driver's side airbag, so legality really isn't an issue.

I don't see how my development of this device would affect any decision by NHTSA. They respond to failures and complaints, and I have already submitted my complaint to them. What I do on my own is simply my reaction to the problem, and doesn't indicate that it is any bigger. The fact is that there is a simple and readily available fix for the failure, so there is no evidence that anything had to be done. I chose this course of action, it was not forced upon me.

There are two things that could keep me from offering this device to the community. One is an inability to make it reliable. The other is concern (by me or my attorney) that offering the device exposes me to excessive liability.

Offline GGUY

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator
« Reply #32 on: December 28, 2016, 11:26:32 AM »
I would be interested in the sensor emulator.  If the passenger air bag worked with or with out a passenger, I would be happy.
I would rather the airbag would deploy without a passenger than not deploy at all with or without a passenger.

Offline blackbirdracing

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Passenger Seat Sensor Emulator
« Reply #33 on: December 28, 2016, 07:02:10 PM »
To bypass the liability you could sell it for "off road use only"

Like for our solstice race vehicles.

"Solstice race vehicles that never see the road"  wink wink

 

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