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The FreeEMS Story! Part Two USA Road Trip! NO 56K 
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Posting this intro is a way to force myself to finally tell the story of FreeEMS. I'm going to start in the middle and document the beginning and the most recent parts later. Now that I've posted this and revealed my recently (2 minutes ago) formulated plan, I am now obliged to carry through with it and tell the story and upload photos. I guess it was about time, huh! :-)

I'll do a post tomorrow with the first installment from California and we'll see how it goes from there. I may expand this first post later to list the sections with summary descriptions too.

Note, this story is copyright by me, including the images, and only to exist here for your reading pleasure, not to be copied, etc. I might make a book of it all one day :-)

Fred@3am in Spain!

Comments here: viewtopic.php?f=41&t=1572

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n00bs, do NOT PM or email tech questions! Use the forum!
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Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:09 am
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Continuing on from part 1 of the story, which is to be told at a later date...

The Journey Begins At LAX

I arrived in the USA for the first time (holding-pens in airports don't count) quite late on a Saturday night (22nd Aug 2009) with every intention of catching a train south to San Diego to meet up with Abe.

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Nice Try, No Cigar

Sadly, I missed the last train. So I ended up waiting at the rather beautiful Union Station for an hour or two by myself with a flat laptop battery.

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_________________
DIYEFI.org - where Open Source means Open Source, and Free means Freedom
FreeEMS.org - the open source engine management system
FreeEMS dev diary and its comments thread and my turbo truck!
n00bs, do NOT PM or email tech questions! Use the forum!
The ever growing list of FreeEMS success stories!


Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:42 pm
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My Saviour

Happily, Abe offered to drive up from San Diego and pick me up from the train station in his turbo Miata! After waiting for quite some time eventually I heard the sound of a modified exhaust and walked out to meet Abe for the first time. And yes, he's just as colourful in real life as on the forum, possibly more so!

Sorry, no pics of that exact moment, but some illustrating Abe's colour levels from later:

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Boost Baby, Yeah!

It was a warm summery night, so we cruised back down the freeway toward the Mexican border with the top down, the radio up, and the engine on boost. Abe was kind enough to demonstrate the capabilities of his Miata by constantly driving well above the speed limit. This drew some attention, however luckily, not from the police. Instead we ended up racing a late model corvette against which we didn't do badly and received a thumbs up from the driver. We also came across a car with a pair of girls in it who were waving and winking and so on.

Sorry, no pics/vids of this! So something random but appropriate from later:

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Lights Out

We got back to Abe's place at about 2 or 3 in the morning and chatted for a while before he went to bed; he had to go to work in the morning.

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_________________
DIYEFI.org - where Open Source means Open Source, and Free means Freedom
FreeEMS.org - the open source engine management system
FreeEMS dev diary and its comments thread and my turbo truck!
n00bs, do NOT PM or email tech questions! Use the forum!
The ever growing list of FreeEMS success stories!


Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:09 pm
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Suburbia

The next day I escaped through the back door, jumped the fence and wandered up the road looking for a place to buy some breakfast foods from. I stumbled into a 7/11 gas station and looked around at all of the weird packaging for a while. The attendees must have thought that I was on drugs by the confused look on my face and slow movements.

No pics/vids of this either! So, again, something random:

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_________________
DIYEFI.org - where Open Source means Open Source, and Free means Freedom
FreeEMS.org - the open source engine management system
FreeEMS dev diary and its comments thread and my turbo truck!
n00bs, do NOT PM or email tech questions! Use the forum!
The ever growing list of FreeEMS success stories!


Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:32 pm
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Buying The Car

Over the next few days we looked for a suitable car for my road trip; I wanted a station wagon; this narrowed things down. It turns out that the only viable station wagon options at that time were 90s Honda Accords (rare and hard to get parts for), Ford Escorts (the horrible American one with the awful 1.9 engine) and old rear wheel drive Volvos. It was an easy choice. I test drove two cars, the first was turbocharged and dog slow, the second was not turbocharged and also dog slow, though no slower. The second car was in much better condition so we agreed to take it and bought it from the very suspicious gentleman right there and then.

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_________________
DIYEFI.org - where Open Source means Open Source, and Free means Freedom
FreeEMS.org - the open source engine management system
FreeEMS dev diary and its comments thread and my turbo truck!
n00bs, do NOT PM or email tech questions! Use the forum!
The ever growing list of FreeEMS success stories!


Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:41 pm
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Wired For Sound

It took a few more days to prepare the car for battle by adding essentials such as a stereo, a chilly bin (cooler), cutlery, crocker, detergent, Riedel Vinum crystal, a supply of fine wine, a nice towel, etc.

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_________________
DIYEFI.org - where Open Source means Open Source, and Free means Freedom
FreeEMS.org - the open source engine management system
FreeEMS dev diary and its comments thread and my turbo truck!
n00bs, do NOT PM or email tech questions! Use the forum!
The ever growing list of FreeEMS success stories!


Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:41 pm
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TA Initiation

In amongst these efforts I demanded that Abe retrieve his dusty and virgin (totally untouched, not like Abe at all, really) TA card for us to play with. As you'll recall from the as yet unwritten part 1, I had sent my own bench rig back to NZ in a box with my other possessions.

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_________________
DIYEFI.org - where Open Source means Open Source, and Free means Freedom
FreeEMS.org - the open source engine management system
FreeEMS dev diary and its comments thread and my turbo truck!
n00bs, do NOT PM or email tech questions! Use the forum!
The ever growing list of FreeEMS success stories!


Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:42 pm
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Shenanigans

Of course, the usual drinking and tinkering happened too and I met various friends of Abe's in the process. We had a great time hanging out, seeing the sights, "shooting shit" and sampling various beverages, of which Abe had a significant selection!

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_________________
DIYEFI.org - where Open Source means Open Source, and Free means Freedom
FreeEMS.org - the open source engine management system
FreeEMS dev diary and its comments thread and my turbo truck!
n00bs, do NOT PM or email tech questions! Use the forum!
The ever growing list of FreeEMS success stories!


Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:43 pm
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Where The Story Began

Among these friends of Abe's were two blokes called Josh and Nick who LOVE Volvos. We visited Josh's workshop a couple of times to fix pieces of Abe's Miata. The final time, as we were maneuvering to leave the carpark, Nick, out of no-where, said the famous line which sparked the idea to run the very first FreeEMS car, I'll reproduce that short and simple conversation for you here.

Nick Salyer wrote:
You know that this Volvo is the easiest car in the world to MegaSquirt, right?
Fred wrote:
How is that?
Nick Salyer wrote:
<short explanation of two ECUs and signal paths between them>
Fred wrote:
Shit, I guess I'll have to do it then!

And so the idea was born.

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_________________
DIYEFI.org - where Open Source means Open Source, and Free means Freedom
FreeEMS.org - the open source engine management system
FreeEMS dev diary and its comments thread and my turbo truck!
n00bs, do NOT PM or email tech questions! Use the forum!
The ever growing list of FreeEMS success stories!


Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:44 pm
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I Hate The DMV

I asked Abe if I could take his TA card to do the job with, and he agreed. I got the car all ship shape and ready for a shake down trip north through LA and up to San Francisco and then back with the intent to obtain a US drivers license in San Diego for insurance reasons.

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Comments here: viewtopic.php?f=41&t=1572

_________________
DIYEFI.org - where Open Source means Open Source, and Free means Freedom
FreeEMS.org - the open source engine management system
FreeEMS dev diary and its comments thread and my turbo truck!
n00bs, do NOT PM or email tech questions! Use the forum!
The ever growing list of FreeEMS success stories!


Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:45 pm
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