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Pystalchemyst

I have an idea......where are the engineers?

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Posted (edited)

Okay so after almost thirty years I got one. She's red and I love her. I was supposed to get one when I graduated high school but the price tag was a little bit lofty and thus I got a Jeep. Now don't get me wrong I love my Jeeps and AMCs. But the Reatta stole my heart. Now it's a new century and a fifth of the way into it and I think to myself Buick really messed up by not sticking with the Reatta. So, in light of this, as much as retro can be cool, I seriously think it's time for a little updating. Being a scientist and inventor that modifies damn near anything, when I look at that green screen and the stereo system I have to ask the question: why not modernize the stereo and eliminate the CRT? Why can't we pipe the video feed for the diagnostic and read out functions and climate control into the auxiliary video Jack of a modern 6 and 1/2 in double DIN touch screen stereo (preferably an Android one so that updating is far more easily done)? Then replacing the CRTs slot and either a) using the touch functions of the stereo in place of stock or b) placing the stock capacitive touch control directly on top of the new stereo? Doing this we would be preserving all the functions but now having an upgraded stereo system with higher output and a lower need for inclusive amplifiers and the like to drive a stronger audio system. I should also point out that this will integrate phone functionality as well via pairing beings analog 900 megahertz is not exactly a economic cellular system to use nowadays and who doesn't have a Bluetooth phone on them? Easy people, I know there are still a few of them out there.  Any ideas? Thoughts? Directions to point me towards?

Edited by Pystalchemyst
Typos

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Welcome to the forum!  Sounds like you have some great ideas.  I worked for the railroad. All the engineers I know drive trains. I don't think they would be able to help with what you want to do.  If you figure out how to accomplish your goals let us know how you did it. I'm sure others will want to do the same.

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I'm sorry I should have been more specific....Electrical Engineers...lol.

 

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Not an electrical engineer, but I feel like this would be theoretically possible.  Maybe using an arduino or raspberry pi to help with the interface?

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It is fairly easy to connect to the touch screen system to control a sound system by using the wiring going from the cassette player to the radio. If all you want to do is have a better sound system there are people here that can point you in the right direction for doing that. There are even some problems with doing that because you are basically tricking the radio module onto thinking your iPod, cellphone or whatever is a cassette player.

 

I agree it would be theoretically possible to replace the touch screen with something newer that would control the HVAC, radio and onboard diagnostics like the CRT does but there are several hurdles you would have to overcome.

 

One of the hurdles is the fact that the touch screen isn't a stand alone device that can be easily accessed or modified without causing lots of problems with other devices in the car. It is connected to a data bus in a manner that would be referred to as daisy chaining in the time period the Reatta computers were made. The data bus allows the CRT, IPC, ECU, BCM and probably some other devices to communicate with each other.  Even the ALDL under the dash is on the data bus.  When communication is lost to any of the devices an error code is generated by the BCM and a warning is displayed on the CRT as well as the IPC. A trouble code is set in the BCM. Without being able to reprogram the BCM  you would never be able to get rid of the electrical warnings and codes.

 

A second hurdle is the fact that we don't have access to the programming code for the BCM and we only have limited access to the ECM programming code. To make another device communicate with the BCM to carry out the commands the that are sent to it by the CRT you would need to be able to access and change the programming of the BCM. Since buying my Reatta in 2007 I have never known anyone who could access or change the BCM programming.

 

If anyone has any information about how to make changes like this I would like to know what needs to be done. I don't want to change my CRT but I would like to put the instrument panel out of a '90-91 model in my '88.  That is something that has been in the back of my mind ever since I bought my Reatta.

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