Electronic PRNDL selector possible?
Anybody ever replace an automatic transmission gear selector with an electronic version of some sort?
I saw this cool pic of a car online (maybe off this site?) with an iDrive-type knob for a gear shift control. I think I have the "mechanicals" ironed out, but the electronics have me a little confused.
The mechanical part would most likely be a linear actuator of some sort, attached to either the shift cable itself, or even maybe the shifter "stalk". The car has a floor console with floor mounted shift. Attaching it to the cable would be an option. But I think I may be able to do it more simply by leaving the existing shift mechanism in place, hacksawing the stalk down a few inches, and mounting the linear actuator to it. This also would allow me to shift it manually if the actuator or one of the components fails.
Browsing the web I found these and these. The first one says it is programmable, and I think that means you could move it back and forth a fixed distance based on a signal? That would be a crucial component, precision movement. Correct me of I'm wrong, help understanding this part is what I could use the most.
Having the whole thing controlled by a PC is SO not an option, since the risk of a PC meltdown or reboot could be annoying at best and deadly at worst. So it would need to be an independant, simple system, perhaps with a redundant system in place.
What kind of hardware / controller would the knob need to be? I was searching for a controller that would have defined stops (7) and require a little force to turn, more resistance than a volume knob, and less than a fire hydrant. :)
Oh, and a nice finishing touch would be tying in a nice alpha numeric gear indicator from Dakota Digital.
Suggestions? Ideas? :D