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Onstar Hacked Article

Makarand writes "According to this Mercury News article users of GM's OnStar system are finding that they can modify their OnStar unit to make it work with commercially available mapping software after disconnecting it from the OnStar network. Websites and message boards are rife with step-by-step instructions to personalize OnStar's navigational and communications components. When a driver requests directions from OnStar his GPS data is routed over an analog cellular network to OnStar computers and the directions are read back to the driver on the same network. The price for this service is around $400 each year. Those who tap into their OnStar systems pay no such fees."

Not sure about the legal ramifications of doing this, but found it interesting as to what people think of and figure out to do.
 

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That's some interesting reading.
 

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good and bad if you get into a collision your F****D no gps posotion relayed
 

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chevmeister said:
good and bad if you get into a collision your F****D no gps posotion relayed
You're assuming that everybody who has OnStar sends their $200 a year ransom in to keep it activated. Some of us have it because we wanted heated seats or some other option that GM used as extortion to get us to buy the OnStar box.
 

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Very interesting reading, but Im sure not going to try it! I think Im just fine with my streetpilot 3





Ya, that kinda pissed me off when I found out you have to take a bunch of stuff you dont care for to get the things you want
 

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I'm seriously considering this - at least checking it out further. In my current rig I have installed a laptop on a RAM mount getting an NMEA feed from a Garmin unit. I use GPS moving map software with free USGS topo maps on CDs for the backcountry of the US and CD's containg digitized topo maps for other countries (Mexico, Australia) that I make myself. This is a sweet setup for off roading.

Installing a second GPS unit, when the signal I need is already behind the dash somewhere, runs against my grain. Having one less antenae and GPS unit to deal with is appealing.

I'll post what I find out and my install if I go that far.
 

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From what I found when I looked in to this GM changed the boards in the OnStar Units starting in 03, now the GPS unit is integrated into the circuit boards so you can't isolate it and tap into the required pins to add your own connections. That was almost a year ago now so someone may have found the correct pin out on the electronics and can point us in the correct direction for tapping in to the GPS we bought with our trucks. The GPS unit is a Motorola Oncore, and last time I checked, you could download the software required to use the GPS output directly from there site.
 

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freddyo said:
I'm seriously considering this - at least checking it out further. In my current rig I have installed a laptop on a RAM mount getting an NMEA feed from a Garmin unit. I use GPS moving map software with free USGS topo maps on CDs for the backcountry of the US and CD's containg digitized topo maps for other countries (Mexico, Australia) that I make myself. This is a sweet setup for off roading.




What software do you use and where can I get it?


I have some (Map send Topo from Magellan and Topo) but would liek something better for off-roading.





Thanks!
 

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Hi Mike -

I'm using a Mac so i suspect that my software wouldn't be of much use to you. There are a number of applications out there though for Windows setups. A good place to start looking for info is http://www.gpstom.de/GPS/masterID.htm . You want a package that uses non-propietary drg (digital raster graphics) map data which includes USGS maps which are free to the public and available on various web sites. Your GPS unit should have a connection for an outside antenae and one to feed the raw NMEA data to the PC which does all of the work.
 

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I was talking with some GM salesmen and they were under the assumption that Onstar worked off of satelite communications, they had no concept of there own product. If you are out in BFE when you get into a crash and there is no celluar service available Onstar does absolutely nothing. The GPS antenna and computer might know where you are but no one else will because without cellular service Onstar can't communicate.


I would like to hear if any of us tech junkies have figured out a fairly easilt integrated system that will mesh with our current equipment without having to be an electronics engineer.
 

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Onstar aint worth a poo. Air bags deploy in a frontal impact...onstar system dials onstar and sends gps location...yea with what power source? I would expect 20-30 g's to make my 50 pound batteries weigh 1500 pounds each
and if they survive the crush still be connected to power onstar? I have checked with onstar and there is no back up battery to power the unit. Nice concept but I wont expect it to work when I need it most.





Smokeymax
 

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Smokey,


I hate to disillusion you, but just because a battery is damaged doesn't mean it won't put out power.


When we do an extrication on an auto crash, the first thing we do is disconnect the battery (read; cut) cables. Sometimes they're dead, and sometimes they're not, but any remaining airbags that have not deployed have power......



In that respect, airbags have created a major safety hazard for the folks trying to cut someone out of a wrecked vehicle.
 

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Zeeb said:
Smokey,


I hate to disillusion you, but just because a battery is damaged doesn't mean it won't put out power.


When we do an extrication on an auto crash, the first thing we do is disconnect the battery (read; cut) cables. Sometimes they're dead, and sometimes they're not, but any remaining airbags that have not deployed have power......



In that respect, airbags have created a major safety hazard for the folks trying to cut someone out of a wrecked vehicle.

Ditto, Zeeb.


One of our captains at the FD had one go off in his face. It was pretty funny after we made sure he was okay. Those things can really pack a punch if you're in close to the wheel.
 

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Zeeb,


I could argue with you about the what ifs all day but I'll just say batteries are up front (more so on the 1500's) and common sense should prevail.





SmokeyMax
 

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My family ownsa a body shop and 98% of the cars that come in nom atter how hard ther are hit still have power. Rarely do these cars have no power except for a lot of the Chrysler products. The battery is in the LT wheel well.
 

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it dosent matter if you have 2004 or earlier non digital onstar after feb 16 2008 it aint gonna work. equipment will be obsulete starting in 2004 they are starting to put dual mode digital equipment in vehicles. this is happening because of some fcc ruling. you can read about it on there website once you log in but you all knew that anyway
 

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So we can just "rip" the big brother crud out after feb 16 2008? I know that due to FCC rules that by 2008 most emergency services will have to go to what they are calling "narrow Band" radio's for communications. My Dept is already gearing up. Back to onstar.... can it be dismantaled with out wrecking something else in the truck? that little antenna could be replaced with a good CB antenna. maybe??? just a thought. what do you guys think???? also I know that we cut Batt connections at vehicle accidents, lights (pwr) are always on till then. mho..... AkDually61
 
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