Hijacking the Mazda LCD display

[Pieter] is in the process of adding a turbo package to his ride. He needed a status display for the boost but didn’t have a good way to mount an additional display. He came up with the idea of using the LCD screen that’s already in the dashboard, but the specs for it were not available. Wielding his hard-earned hacking skills [Pieter] used a logic analyzer to sniff out the communications to the screen. He built a controller board that overrides the data coming in from the head unit. The board is also able to query the car’s computer for data and display it in any format you want. What he ends up with is a stock look that he can customize for his needs. Nice!

Comments

  1. wolfman says:

    Sure, now it goes through. LOL.

  2. John says:

    I know it’s an old thread, but I’m very curious about getting into the OS on my Determinator. I was mulling it over, and it occurs to me that the unlocking and reverse engineering discussed in this thread doesn’t *necessarily* constitute software piracy. I’m no copyright attorney, but it seems to me that if you buy the device, and the software is already on it, the act of unlocking it is not stealing software. Neither is disclosing the method by which it can be unlocked an act of piracy. I believe it is comparable to manipulating region codes on DVD drives. A better analogy might be: if your vehicle is capable of producting 200 HP, but the ECM limits the engine’s output to 160 HP for the sake of emissions, crash test safety standards or whatever, you are not violating any law in simply reprogramming the ECM to perform better. It might technically be unlawful to operate that vehicle on public streets after such a mod, but the mod itself is not grounds for litigation. The vehicle, ECM, engine, etc. are already yours, and therefore yours to mess with. I also have a hunch that there is a fair use and/or public domain angle to this question, since virtually everything the scan tool does is based on other companies’ software and interface algorithms, older versions of the system are no longer supported by OTC, and the OS is not proprietary OTC software (I think). In any case, I’ll be digging in to see what I can do, and will post what I find here. If anyone else out there is still interested, feel free to emai me at uvulus1ATyahoo.com.

  3. John says:

    Hi all, I know it’s an old thread, but I’m very curious about getting into the OS on my Determinator. I was mulling it over, and it occurs to me that the unlocking and reverse engineering discussed in this thread doesn’t *necessarily* constitute software piracy. I’m no copyright attorney, but it seems to me that if you buy the device, and the software is already on it, the act of unlocking it is not the same as stealing software. I believe it is more comparable to manipulating region codes on DVD drives. A better analogy might be: if your vehicle’s engine is capable of producing 200 HP, but the ECM is programmed to limit the engine’s output to 160 HP for the sake of emissions or crash test safety ratings or whatever, you are not violating any law in simply reprogramming the ECM to deliver better performance. It might be technically unlawful to operate that vehicle on public streets after performing such a mod, but the mod itself is not grounds for legal action. The vehicle, ECM, engine, etc. are already yours, and therefore are yours to mess with. I also suspect that there is a fair use and/or public domain component to this, since virtually everything that the scan tool does is based on other companies’ software and interface algorithms, and afaik, the OS itself is not proprietary to OTC. I also very much doubt that divulging the methods by which one has unlocked or otherwise modified their scan tool is illegal. If it were, there would be thousands of successful lawsuits against developers who root and unlock android and ios devices and publicly post the instructions. This is basic first amendment stuff. In any case, I will be digging in to see what I can do on my scanner, and posting my findings here. If anyone out there is still interested, don’t hesitate to email me at uvulus1@yahoo.com.

    • John says:

      Oops, sorry for double post. Took a while for the first one to show up.

    • marc says:

      ya im still interested, been a while so ill have to freshen up on the tool but I have a genisys and 2 determinator boards to my knowledge all sd cards are pre loaded with all applications the operating systems ran is an embedded unix (lynxOS) to unlock applications a smart card is serialized to the scan tool so one smart card per application per tool making it impossible to pass along once serialized the startup of the tools or so I think is the os is on the sd card and the bootloader comes from the board lynxos is a real time operating system rtos I know that the tools has 2 boot modes one for the everyday owner and one for the dealers called demo mode. I have heard holding a combinations of buttons at startup will boot into demo mode. i believe that to read what is on the card one would need a apple based computer due to the filesystem or run a windows machine in the right environment. i think the baud rate of machine is 9600. so if anyone wants to get this ball rolling to unlock the tools please join in, no one wants to read a reply to this post saying “i cracked the tool but i cant tell you how because i don’t want to get in trouble”…ya and i have ocean front property in Arizona. anyway to go on a good point to look into is the update process older ver. of tool use a software ngis to link to their server and retrieve files newer tools go through direrct link…the fdirst gen tools have 2 sd card ports one internal to the board only accessible if tool is opened up and one that is on the side second gen tools have only one sd port on side. i tried to clone the sd card of ver 2.0 by dd command but the tool would not boot i think it is because the apple comp as stated earlier, the proper way to go about this project is to go for the bootloader i think if anyone else has positive input on the subject please help out if you want to, if you don’t want to contribute just read the post and stay out…heard a master password in software to be something like a type of fowl with color in its name like blue or brown…cracking system isn’t going to be a youtube video it will require people who are good with embedded rtos Linux and understand bootloader calls…who can help????

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