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Portables (Games)

Game Boy Advance Becomes Car Tuning Tool 52

Thanks to 1UP for its story discussing a new Game Boy Advance peripheral which "turns the GBA into a data logging computer and tuning interface for sports cars". The story explains of TurboXS' DTEC peripheral: "The basic version of the DTEC turns the GBA into a customizable digital gauge for displaying boost pressure, RPM, and different temperature settings. Future upgrades will evidently allow it to show more indicators, like G-forces, knock warnings, and other data."
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Game Boy Advance Becomes Car Tuning Tool

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  • Oh good! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Toxygen ( 738180 )
    Now all those 2am drivers will be able to know EXACTLY how much they can rev their engine before it blows their car into a thousand peices on my lawn!

    Cause, y'know, when that happens they probably wouldn't clean it up themselves. Lazy bums.
  • by mhesseltine ( 541806 ) on Monday August 09, 2004 @06:46PM (#9924775) Homepage Journal

    Now I won't be able to tell if he's sitting at the stoplight playing Metroid, or preparing to drop the clutch at 5,000 RPM.

  • If it could give me the same info as they can pull at the garage, that'd be cool.
    • Yeah, it you could get an OBD-II scanner that hooks into a GBA that would be awesome. Most people aren't concerned with hardcore tuning anyways (That's why I bought an Accessport) and would just like to read the engine codes or look at some telemetry that the ECU is monitoring.

      Or even some open source OBD-II software would be cool. Then somebody could port it or something.
  • by dchamp ( 89216 ) on Monday August 09, 2004 @07:06PM (#9924934)
    Before you all go out to buy this, you need to first purchase a custom ECU for about $1000, and this company only makes them for a handfull of cars (Subaru, Mitsu Evo, Toyota MR2, Nissan 300zx, Neon SRT4...). Follow the 2nd link in the original post for more info.
  • by JPelzer ( 202626 ) * on Monday August 09, 2004 @07:12PM (#9924975)
    It needs a huge wing.
  • by Wizworm ( 782799 ) on Monday August 09, 2004 @07:21PM (#9925026)
    Plus have GPS, Cellular internet and WIFI connectivity.

    And all the games you can cram on.
  • by 77Punker ( 673758 ) <> on Monday August 09, 2004 @07:34PM (#9925107)
    It's just like Gran Turismo for my GBA...just what I've always wanted. :-)
  • Waste of cash (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TwistedKestrel ( 550054 ) <> on Monday August 09, 2004 @07:41PM (#9925144) Journal
    Currently this useless waste of moolah displays only boost temperatures, engine speeds and exhaust gas temperatures, of which only one of those 'gauges' are not normally found in your average car. However, if I understand correctly, you also have to install the sensor for the EGT anyway, which while being logical in itself, proves that this device is completely useless. Apparently you will be able to use it later on to modify the maps in their custom ECUs, but when they advertise stuff like "Automatically retards timing when the knock is detected safeguarding against engine damage" (something my 5.0L 1988 Grand Marquis station wagon did), I would suggest looking elsewhere. For the cost of their dubious ECU and certainly useless Gameboy peripheral, you could at least purchase some quality performance gauges which would tell you this information, all the time.
    • What cars are you buying that regularly come with BOOST temperature and exhaust temp guages? engine temp maybe. Engine speed probably (in RPMS) but the other two? Even my Corvette C5 didn't have that before I traded it in...
      • What cars are you buying that regularly come with BOOST temperature and exhaust temp guages? engine temp maybe. Engine speed probably (in RPMS) but the other two? Even my Corvette C5 didn't have that before I traded it in...

        Your Corvette C5 also didn't have a turbocharger on it as stock equipment, so boost temperature and exhaust temperature are meaningless for that car and engine (the former doesn't exist and the latter doesn't matter for a NA car).

      • BOOST and Exhaust Temp gauges are useful only in forced induction applications.

        That's why your C5 didn't have it. It was naturally Aspirated.

        There are many cars that have the boost/exhaust guages. Boost makes sure you don't have boost spikes and blow your engine. Exhaust temp makes sure you don't go over 1600 degrees and melt your pistons.
      • (I'm replying a bit late, but what the hey)

        Pretty much any car that comes with a turbo, will come with a boost gauge. And I didn't say that any car came with an EGT gauge, but getting this for that purpose is not a terribly good idea. No car will come with an EGT gauge, because it is primarily used for tuning an engine/keeping an eye on it during drag racing. I'm not saying track racers don't use it, I honestly don't know.

        I am saying this is useless, because to the racer, everyone this device offers is re
    • Problem is most stock ECU's can pull too much timing when a knock event happens. This gave rise to many items like the J&S knock sensor products:
      that do a much better job of it. The main thing about the GBA interface to the tuna is not the guages but its ability to interface to the utec ecu's though. Also, the tuna is a wideband O2 sensor, something that is UNBELIEVABLY valuable when tuning your own car. You are correct though, many of these things are present in the stock
      • Right, I'm not really disputing the fact that a stock ECU isn't up to these things most of the time ... I shouldn't have taken on the GBA thingamabob and their ECU at the same time. I guess I'm not really familiar with the UTEC in particular. But when you say "what used to be a cheap product", then I suspect my initial opinion of it to be correct.
        • I wouldn't say that the UTEC has ever been cheap, the cheapest I can remember it being was around $750-800. So now you're paying another $200-250 for a very small portable tool which lets you tweak UTEC maps, where before you'd have to get a laptop. Not easy to find a laptop for $200-$250.
          • Well in reply to this post as well as the parents, the Utec was cheap in comparison to its competitors. Utec at around 800-900 bucks is much cheaper then for example an AEM EMS at about 1500-1700 bucks. Most other standalone engine management systems are near or above that price as well. Utec is hard to compare to standalone ems's though, because it is a piggyback system, but that doesn't show the whole story. It is kind of a hybrid piggyback as it can do full standalone fuel control and piggyback timing co
    • Typically speaking your average car does not display any of those things. Only your average turbo diesel displays exhaust temperature, which is critical because if you shut it off too hot, you're going to fry your turbo. Most cars today are sold with an automatic, and the vast majority of automatics don't have a tachometer, and even many vehicles with manual transmissions don't have a tach for some bizarre reason. As for "boost temperature", I don't even know what that is, is that the intake temp at the th

      • Shit, I don't even know how stuff like that gets garbled from the trip from mind -> keyboard. I didn't mean to say boost temperature, I mean just to say plain old boost pressure. And as I said in another reply above, I did not say that any car came with EGT gauges ... I said that buying this for that purpose is silly (though not in those exact words).
  • by Thedalek ( 473015 ) on Monday August 09, 2004 @08:01PM (#9925297)
    We just need a few more of these senor/diagnostic cartridges to turn a GBA-SP into a Next Generation Tricorder.
  • "Future upgrades will evidently allow it to show more indicators, like G-forces, knock warnings, and other data."

    I drive a diesel, you insensitive clods!
    • This only holds true for smaller diesels... but: If the valves ain't a rattling, you got them suckers to damn tight.
      • Actually, I was talking from a technical standpoint as opposed to "all undesirable noise is called knock" standpoint. Engine knock as the Otto cycle knows it doesn't happen in the Diesel cycle because there's no possibility of pre-ignition since
        1. There's nothing to ignite (clean air is compressed instead of a fuel-air mixture) and
        2. There ain't no stinkin' sparkplugs (no "preferred" source of ignition, the fuel ignites by itself upon injection)

        In a sense, a diesel engine works by knock, relying on ignition

      • This only holds true for smaller diesels... but: If the valves ain't a rattling, you got them suckers to damn tight.

      • "This only holds true for smaller diesels... but: If the valves ain't a rattling, you got them suckers to damn tight. "

        It's easy to burn a valve on an aircooled VW engine, since with air cooling you run much closer to overheating all the time. It's safer to have the valves too loose than too tight. Besides, it makes all those cooling fins ring like little bells.

        Valves too loose hurts your performance a little, but burnt valves hurts your performance a lot more.

        There are VW mechanics who tunes the valves
  • other gba uses (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hiroshi912681 ( 589840 ) on Monday August 09, 2004 @10:22PM (#9926021)
    looks like it's just a cable to multiboot the gba. I have a coder's cable for my gba that allows me to run small homebrew programs. One homebrew program, for instance, lets me use my GBA as a virtual keyboard (or really, a virtual joystick!). I never thought of actually displaying info on it, it's pretty ingenious of them (and pretty cheap to manufacture, just a GBA link cable). Imagine if someone displayed the weather, displayed RSS feeds, or alerted you when you got email? all on it's own little screen sitting next to your PC... that would be a pretty cool alternative to the LCD mods people have on their cases (full colour! high res!).
  • Gameboys are for ricers.
  • by bjb ( 3050 ) *
    I think this is so cool how the Game Boy is being used for non-gaming applications. Recently, I went to a memorial day race at Limerock (a road race track in north western Connecticut) and they apparently had special WiFi cartridges for Game Boys there that you could track the race with. As the commentator on the public address system said, "Everyone who has kids has one (or several) of these things lying around in the car, the house, etc. Pull it out and track the race with them!"

Waste not, get your budget cut next year.