Need help repurposing a Windows CE device

Discussion in 'Technical' started by gunbunny, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    Bare with me, as I give you the situation.

    I recently bought a BANKS IQ handheld device to take the place of the instrument cluster in my 97 Jeep TJ. The instrument cluster is actually a set of digital instruments displayed with analog gauges (Huh?). That means, the cluster unplugs from the dash as one unit, with electrical connections only- no mechanical ones at all. You can run and drive the thing with the dash removed, you just won't know how fast you are going or what your engine temp is, etc.

    I'm trying to install a flat dash, so I need a new instrument cluster. OK, no problem, I order up a Banks IQ item # 61201: Banks 61201 Power iQ Can Interface: Automotive because it was what all the catalogs said I needed to connect to my Jeeps PCU through the OBDII system. The unit is supplied with a network hub to plug into the vehicle's OBDII port.

    Unfortunately, this is not the kit for older OBDII vehicles; it's for CAN vehicles. My jeep is too stupid to speak CAN, and that is all the network hub is capable of speaking. I connected it to the Jeep several times with no luck- it just won't read the Jeep. I called Banks tech support, and they told me I needed a different network hub bridge. They would sell me one, for more than half the price I paid for the IQ unit!

    NO thanks. My prospects of returning this item from where I bought it from is pretty much nill since I berated their customer service and burned my bridge. It wasn't my fault I ordered the wrong unit, everybody (and I mean everybody- even other vendors- nobody knows how to classify this device) has it marked wrong in their online catalogs. Banks tech support were the only ones I could talk to that knew anything about the unit. I don't think they would help me hack it and repurpose it, though.

    After spending many hours diagnosing my Jeeps with a Windows 7 PC connected with a universal OBDII reader and open source software, I thought- why can't I just connect the device through that, and run on the banks IQ unit's CE software through the USB port?

    I was thinking of this: OBDKey. OBD Software (Windows, Windows Mobile, Google Android, Java, Palm). to run instead of the Banks software. It will do what I want, without a costly net hub adapter. It would display whatever gauges I wish and be useful.

    The question now is, how do I get it into the little tablet/pad?

    When I was looking over the OS, I got Windows Embedded CE 6.0 core, 120MB of memory with 88MB free. When I connected it to a computer, I get the error "Generic serial (prototype-remember to change idVendor) when it could not connect. Going into the device's start/settings/control panel I get a bunch of items- most notably the USB connection. I switched from active sys to mass storage and I was able to access some files, but nothing I think I can use to download a program to it.

    Anybody here have an idea of what I'm trying to do?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2015
  2. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    Chrysler has some flakey programming to begin with...many times their own software has notable glitches/omissions. Never tried what you intend, although it does seem a viable option if you can get everyone to play nice.

    Best of luck!
  3. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    CAN is a data link hardware system created by Bosch back in the late 80's. It is the basis for the SAE J1939 data link generally used on heavy duty vehicles (over 14,000 lbs. GVW). CAN runs at 250k baud but will be configurable to run at 500k in 2016. The OBD II network used in passenger cars and light trucks under 14,000 pounds is based up the SAE J1979 network and J2012 message protocols. It operates at 500k baud. Sadly these two standards evolved out of completely different committees at SAE back in the 80's and early 90's. Back then electronic controls and diagnostics started on cars, then on the largest diesel truck engines and then those systems migrated over the next 10-15 years from both extremes to the middle sized commercial vehicles, hence the creation of two standards by completely different sections of SAE (I did some work on standards for SAE Truck and Bus committe back then for engines, transmissions and ABS interfaces). Anyway, J1939 and J1979 have about as much in common as the French and Japanese languages - they won't play together without a smart translator in the middle and that still has challenges.

    Now with respect to your problem, I don't know about the panel you bought, but there are Bluetooth devices and apps that allow you to watch the J1979/OBDII data stream on your phone. There are also OBDII to USB interface devices that are like $40-50. These are a couple options that might get you a bit further along. EDIT- just reread your post and see have one of these. Nevermind.

    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
  4. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    I tried a few things today. I have a tablet that I'm going to use for my dashboard instead, running Win 8. I tried to connect the two devices together so I could have a second screen with the smaller, Win CE device. The two connected, but that was all they did. I was not able to get anything to come up in the display section of my tablet. Too bad, it would have been nice to have a dashboard, and a smaller screen for the radio.

    I purchased a program called Dash Command by Palmer Performance- DashCommand - Palmer Performance Engineering, Inc. It seems that it will do more than I need it to, since you can get a couple of additional programs to help you set up your own dash layout for your particular needs. I have the program downloaded and paid for, now I'm just waiting for my license key to get emailed to me for it to be fully functional.

    I kind of hate relying on a computer to make my vehicle work like it should, but to have a complete set of working instruments (a small tablet, ELM327 interface, and software) for the total cost of $100 is pretty nice.

    The only things I have left to figure out is: 1) How to attach the tablet to the flat dash so I can remove it and take it with me. NO WAY am I leaving it in the vehicle to get stolen, frozen, or fried by the sun. It's going to have to be like a key- I put it in and start up, drive, turn it off and remove it. 2) Somehow keep it water resistant.

    My problem right now, is trying to get the tablet to boot up into the DashCommand program when powered up. I don't want to have to sign in, log on, etc. Just turn it on and after it boots up it should run Dash. So far I've eliminated the logging on, but it still goes to the startup screen. Dash will run as soon as I touch an icon, which isn't what I'm trying for.

    Darn computers can't even run on logic anymore; I've installed the Dash icon in the startup menu- it should just run.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2015
  5. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    You are going to have a car, with a detachable faceplate, like a car stereo.:D
    gunbunny likes this.
  6. oldawg

    oldawg Monkey+++

    OK, my 02 worth. A Jeep? For YJ or TJ Stewart Warner analog is your buddy.Even with the various senders dead simple,dependable,and repairable,should the need arise,in pieces rather than replacing that big bucks head.
  7. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    It's a TJ, and ALL of the gauges are digital, they only look analog. The gauge pod plugs into a series of parallel sockets. There are NO direct mechanical connections to the instruments.

    Although I would love to have an analog cluster just like I used to in the CJ-3 and CJ7, it would be far more money then I have to get each and every instrument hooked up mechanically. A speedo itself costs $200, whereas the whole package (if I can get one working correctly) will be less than $100.

    Right now, it seems the whole Android world is stuck on bluetooth wireless donegals. I don't trust that connection and would rather have a hard-wire connection via usb cables. Unfortunately, almost all tablets only have one (1) usb mini or micro port. They use it to charge the tablet, so when I use adapters to attach my ELM327 interface (with a USB A end) into a USB female to USB 2.0 micro OTG cable, it doesn't recognize it.

    Of course not, I have no software driver for the ELM327. They only make a bluetooth version for all those people who trust a wireless entry into their vehicle. Not I.

    So, it looks like android is out. That's ok, I don't really like the way it's set up anyway. The software I ws using demands that I log in to a wifi bubble every time I turn it on so I can punch in my coupon code. That sucks on high. It seems almost everything Android does needs to be connected, and for what reason I don't really know or understand.

    That means, I need to go back to a 7" tablet with windows 7 (if I can even find one anymore, it looks like they all went to Win 8) and a regular USB A port. Good luck, huh?
  8. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    Take that Android spying device tablet! I just performed a camrectomy!
    P3210023 (912 x 684).
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