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Steering Wheel Controls Theory (Will it work?)

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  • Steering Wheel Controls Theory (Will it work?)

    I just purchased a 2012 Dodge Ram 1500!!! Now I want to figure out my Audio system and setup.

    The plan: Single DIN Pioneer receiver/head unit for audio control, with a 7" Android tablet connected to the Pioneer's AUX input.
    I would like to use stock steering wheel controls of my truck. I want Volume and Source buttons to be sent to the Pioneer. I want Track and Pause buttons to be sent to my tablet via a USB interface.

    First, I've found out that I need a CANBUS adapter to convert the steering wheel control's CANBUS signal to an analog signal, correct? Is that output considered resistive?

    So far, here's what I've come up with for parts/modules.
    #1 - PAC SWI-CAN2 Interface (For converting CANBUS signal):
    #2 - PAC SWI-RC (For outputting to Pioneer's wired remote input):
    #3 - Joycon EXD USB (For outputting commands via USB to tablet):

    I can program only the Volume and Source buttons via the SWI-RC's learn mode so that no other commands are interpreted by this module, which will be sent out to the Pioneer.
    I can program only the Track and Pause buttons via the EXD USB's configuration so that these are sent out as keyboard input to my tablet via USB.

    Essentially, it would be configured as follows:

    Click image for larger version

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    Can anyone see a reason why this would not work?

  • #2
    What you show should work, provided your USB interface module doesn't interfere with the PAC SWI module. BTW, there are other steering wheel interface modules besides PAC's that can connect directly to a car that uses CANbus (for example, Metra's Axxess ASWC-1).

    As an alternative, you might look into using a CAN-to-USB adapter, to interface your tablet directly to your car's CAN bus wires. You may have to do some work to decipher the car's protocol, but it could open up access to far more data than just the SWC commands (e.g., engine performance, fuel consumption, status of various systems, etc.). It might even let you send commands back to the car -- to control various settings and functions.

    You'd want to take precautions, since that could potentially let a hacker do things like remotely unlock your car (via the tablet).
    1996 SVX L AWD. Subaru pin-outs & other handy info


    • #3
      I have gone the CAN-to-USB adapter before finally going with designing my own board to read the CAN bus. I have access to a lot of things on my 2007 Dodge Charger... I have wondered if the newer vehicles use the same messages.... let me know if you do go the route of a USB device.