Introduction to M2

 M2 by Macchina is a key to unlock the control center of your car. Once you are in, M2 can then be used to make changes and tweaks to your car. You can do anything from simple projects like stopping that annoying ding to more complex upgrades like unlocking more horsepower or improving fuel economy. M2 arrives to you as a blank key - you have to cut it yourself. Learning how to cut that key (reverse engineering, writing code, and plain-old tinkering) is the fun and challenging part, but don't worry you can do it, because a community of car nerds already exists. The community supports each other and you by sharing what we have learned and discovered together.

M2 is ready

M2 is an open source automotive interface that can take your car to the next level. Use it to unlock your car's potential or as a development platform for your next product. M2 was engineered to facilitate many uses for most cars. We set out to build a platform of modular pieces that works for beginners and professionals alike. We crammed all of this in a small format at an affordable price. (We don’t claim to be experts in video production, only hardware production.)

M2 is Connectable

M2 accommodates a wide variety of wireless options using the popular DIGI XBee form factor socket. Many inexpensive, plug-and-play boards already exist including BLE, WIFI, GSM, 3G, LTE, GPS and others. You can even reprogram M2 wirelessly. Connect your car to the web, phones, satellites, IoT devices, or the cloud. Many applications have different wireless needs so we went the route of making it completely modular. Pick what you need when you need it.

M2 is

M2's breakout board lets you use your own processor board and save money - just wire it up and get coding! We know everyone has their favorite go-to board and it doesn’t matter if it’s a Raspberry Pi, another Arduino, an Intel Edison, or something you built yourself. There are many advantages to using the board we created specifically for M2, but you may find applications where you prefer something else. In that case, we still want you to be a part of the community! The modular nature of M2 doesn’t lock you into anything so you can always change your mind.

M2 is a Platform

Automotive interfacing circuits won’t change as quickly as microprocessor technology. M2's modular approach allows for simple and inexpensive upgrades. The platform consists of three main interchangeable components: an XBee board, a Processor board, and an Interface board. With this modular approach, you have an almost infinite number of possible combinations. So, we are sure you will be able to create the exact feature set your project requires. Upgrades and changing your mind will be painless and inexpensive.

M2 is Affordable

The one thing that all car hobbyists can agree on is that playing with cars isn't cheap. Open source hardware is the answer! M2 is feature-packed and can go toe-to-toe with more expensive professional solutions. There isn’t anything on the market that can compete with M2 on a price per feature basis. We keep our prices as low as possible so that the community can be as large and inclusive as possible!

More about the Processor Board

We decided to make further improvements to M2 by using the High Speed SD card interface and writing the appropriate firmware libraries to allow for faster data logging. We also added several LED options and a couple switches for a more pleasant development experience. Lastly, we tacked on a EEPROM to store variables after power is cut to M2.

More about the Interface Board

The goal for M2 is to interface and communicate with as many cars as possible. We crammed 2 channels of CAN, 2 channels of LIN/K-LINE, a J1850 VPW/PWM and even a single-wire CAN (GMLAN) interface onto the board. Automotive environments require M2 to be seriously strong, so we built in plenty of protection circuitry. Lastly, we have 6 general purpose driver circuits, each of which can source and sink up to 1 amp of current at 12 volts! This makes M2 useful for cars that predate automotive networks.

Open Source Hardware

For M2 and Macchina to reach its full potential, we need a large, active, and engaged community. Open source hardware and software allow us to more quickly develop and iterate our designs with community feedback. We will learn from one another and create the best tools available. To that end, we will release all design documentation to our development team once our campaign is over and we begin shipping beta units. Going forward, we will release updated design documentation as updated hardware is released.

Getting Started