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Alpine PXA-701 / 700: DIY remote control & PC control

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  • Alpine PXA-701 / 700: DIY remote control & PC control

    Just an early post to share some work on remote controlling the PXA-70x Multimedia controllers.

    Target
    For my new install, I have been looking at no headunit. Like many, this has led me down the PC optical > Alpine PXA700 route.

    I am also looking to limit the amount of boxes/displays/controllers to a minimum, especially 3rd party, on show.

    The RUX controller is therefore being altered to be a "display" only device, within an overhead console. The display will be behind a tinted screen, and will help maintain the "factory look".

    Remote controlling
    For some time, I was going to "hardwire" the micro switches of the RUX PCB. This would create a lot of wiring within a tight space however.

    Time for some good news:

    The RUX does not work on a single data bus i.e. every function (display and switches) working off an unknown word protocol. Instead, the RUX uses basic resistor ladders.

    This explains why the unit uses a 13 pin connector. As you can all see, this creates opportunities!!

    Ideas for implementation

    I'm currently working on the following ideas:

    1) Build a "passthrough box". This would connect to the PXA and the RUX.

    2) Add additional switch panels. Using an exact replica of the resistor ladders, I shall add a couple of switch panels. (My T5 Caravelle has three rows of seats and 2 displays). As these switches are ladders in parallel, there is no real limit. Not all boxes need be the same of course. I'm looking to have 1*full controller for programming, and 1 / 2 "lite" boxes for typical "user" operation.

    3) I shall also remote control these switches for PC control. I'm going to do this by using optocouplers controlled by a Phidgets USB device and girder.
    PC control will allow some user friendly displays of my 6* user presets - displaying the settings and intended uses - music, movies, driver only, centre screen time alignments etc

    Needless to say, you could also make an IR version...

    Encoder
    More work to do on this. Encoders don't like parallel operation typically.

    I have limited time (don't we all) - so may not be able to do much more than share the idea and circuit diagram for now - but will obviously try...
    Attached Files

  • #2
    So this will all be software controllable?

    The way I'm reading it, you're wanting to eliminate boxes....but to do that, you're adding boxes. The RUX is really very thin.

    So you're essentially mounting the display of the RUX one place, then mounting the buttons elsewhere....correct?
    Jan Bennett
    FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi RedGTiVR6,

      More boxes maybe - and you effectively spot an error in my thinking perhaps!

      For clarity, I don't want an Alpine unit on view. I don't want buttons in my overhead install. What I want is a discreet interior, with a few buttons added in appropriate places - in the same style and illumination as VW.

      Maybe one more box (the passthrough) but hidden..

      Maybe sharing my idea on this forum was a bad one - I get really defensive at times like this

      P.S. With optocouplers as switches, you can mimic a button push, and you can add graphics to the memories describing your settings.

      Comment


      • #4
        I actually think this is a fantastic idea, the reason i ditched the h701 was because i hated the cluttered and space ship feel of the rux controller. if i could have gotten rid of that i would have kept the 701.

        a few ideas, instead of using phidgets you could look into fusion brain and have the rux controlled via the computer.

        if you want a more permanent display but hidden, you could get a piece of smoked plexi and get a vinyl cutter to cut out 'buttons' on black vinyl to which youd mount to the back of the plexi. then you backlight it with some leds and use the qprox ic's to create a touch sensitive panel



        Originally posted by Tony G View Post
        Hi RedGTiVR6,

        More boxes maybe - and you effectively spot an error in my thinking perhaps!

        For clarity, I don't want an Alpine unit on view. I don't want buttons in my overhead install. What I want is a discreet interior, with a few buttons added in appropriate places - in the same style and illumination as VW.

        Maybe one more box (the passthrough) but hidden..

        Maybe sharing my idea on this forum was a bad one - I get really defensive at times like this

        P.S. With optocouplers as switches, you can mimic a button push, and you can add graphics to the memories describing your settings.
        New System in progress:
        M10k
        Phaze TD1500 ~> Dynaudio MD130
        Phaze TD1500 ~> Seas g18rnx/p
        Zapco Ref 500.1 ~ 12" tc-9
        Behringer DCX2496 ~ Envision Electronics psu
        Transflective Xenarc

        My Car Pc Install
        My Boat Pc worklog

        Comment


        • #5
          if you can make the Alpine controllable by the computer, and even show the display via the computer, I'll buy one in a new york minute.

          However, by it's nature, you need the display of the RUX to be visible, AT LEAST for tuning purposes. If you completely hide it, it's pretty much pointless.
          Jan Bennett
          FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

          Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

          Comment


          • #6
            tuning and volume control. hell, if he could just figure out how to piggy back the volume control then the rux could be hidden
            New System in progress:
            M10k
            Phaze TD1500 ~> Dynaudio MD130
            Phaze TD1500 ~> Seas g18rnx/p
            Zapco Ref 500.1 ~ 12" tc-9
            Behringer DCX2496 ~ Envision Electronics psu
            Transflective Xenarc

            My Car Pc Install
            My Boat Pc worklog

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi, great idea. Did U get the vol control to work? If so, please tell me how.

              I guess U could just put in a physical switch that desides witch encoder to use (the switch moves the enc_1 & enc_2 wires to another encoder)? I guess U have to put in all the resistors and caps in the extra encoder circuit to?

              Best regards L.

              Comment


              • #8
                I have just added an extra volume encoder to my C701. I used a 2-pole on-on switch and I cut the #1 and #3 legs on the original encoder and wired those to the switch (state 1) and then wires from where the legs used to be connected to the switch (common) then from state 2 from the switch to the extra encoder. I allso wired the leg 2 on the original encoder to leg 2 on the extra encoder.
                It works great! I can't use them at the same time but I can decide w/ the swich which one I want to use. Now I have to figure out how to implement up/down buttons (steering wheel buttons) together w/ the extra encoder, not that easy afaik.

                Comment


                • #9
                  you should def. do a write up about this. I would have def used this technique if i had to do it all over again... i hated the rux!
                  New System in progress:
                  M10k
                  Phaze TD1500 ~> Dynaudio MD130
                  Phaze TD1500 ~> Seas g18rnx/p
                  Zapco Ref 500.1 ~ 12" tc-9
                  Behringer DCX2496 ~ Envision Electronics psu
                  Transflective Xenarc

                  My Car Pc Install
                  My Boat Pc worklog

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    DrLove,

                    Share the love. We would love to see a write up and some pictures to help us out.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'll make a try to explain

                      I'll make a try to explain. I can't show U pictures of the actual mod (I have already installed the C701 in my car) but I have made a schematics of the mod and I hope U can understand what I have done.



                      Next task will be to use a RF transmitter in my steering wheel and a RF receiver and some electronics to mimic an encoder w/ buttons. Can be kind of hard to solve but I will do it!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi Dr Love,

                        Good work! - I shall try to get the full schematics to you.

                        My work and other projects prevent me from progressing at present, but your modifications are moving this idea forwards nicely.

                        Just a thought - In place of the switch, could we use "OR" gates?

                        Tony

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Tony G View Post
                          Hi Dr Love,

                          Good work! - I shall try to get the full schematics to you.

                          My work and other projects prevent me from progressing at present, but your modifications are moving this idea forwards nicely.

                          Just a thought - In place of the switch, could we use "OR" gates?

                          Tony
                          Hi, I have tried OR and XOR but I don't get it to work ok, but I'm working on it!!

                          Comment

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