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Thread: arduino to control car hvac..blog/code/reference?

  1. #1
    Variable Bitrate Wayne613's Avatar
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    arduino to control car hvac..blog/code/reference?

    I'd like in the future to remove all of the center console HVAC controls and integrate them into my carpc, and do the skin work and such. The "theory" I get, however I've yet to see anyone actually share any code, or even reference material for how they did it. I've tried a couple searches here and google with no luck. Couple of people here have done what I have in mind, essentially gutting the center console for a larger touchscreen and moving HVAC control to the carpc front-end with the arduino being the interface. Just no further information than that.

    Perhaps someone with some experience might be willing to share the arduino code used, and perhaps even their modified skins for reference? Or even point me to some blog that has some of this?
    2008 Ford Mustang GT/CS CARPC(99%)
    Software: Ride/Road-Runner, Digital FX skin 5.x, iGuidance 2011, GPSgate on Win7 64bit

  2. #2
    Constant Bitrate NoTec's Avatar
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    I have it done in my machine, but am unable to share any of the code as it was pieced together from various sources, a few of which I was told not to share. - However the basis of, as least mine, was incredibly simple.

    Press a button on the screen, which sends out a signal from the arduino to the actual solder point of my HVAC buttons to simulate a button press. The buttons on screen don't know what they are actually doing, and are just sending out signals. I'm not a programmer myself and found someone to help me, without any experience with the arduino, did it it only a few hours.

    If you have any other questions I'll try and help as much as I can.

    Here is an image for reference.


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    Exactly what I've been looking for

    You did exactly what we've been dreaming to accomplish for quite a while.

    Could you go into a bit more detail on how you did this, and where we should start our research? I'm a total beginner to Arduino, but figured that it was the solution to accomplishing this task, but we know very little on how to "connect the dots" together.

    Do you have more pictures of your setup you're willing to share?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoTec View Post
    I have it done in my machine, but am unable to share any of the code as it was pieced together from various sources, a few of which I was told not to share. -
    PLEASE don't read this as a flame! I intend no ill will toward NoTec whatsoever. I was going to ask the same kind of question, but I viewed your replay as, "Yes, I know how, and have done what you want to do, but no - I can't share".

    Now, before anyone gets upset, I know that is completely NOT what you intended NoTec, and I'm just being a grumpy lurker. Props to you for getting done what some of us would like to do but don't have a clue how.

    I'm off to go think of a good apology for even posting this.


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    You can get info for your project at arduino.cc . I am actually doing the same thing right now. code seems straight forward if you know anything about programming.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvbug View Post
    PLEASE don't read this as a flame! I intend no ill will toward NoTec whatsoever. I was going to ask the same kind of question, but I viewed your replay as, "Yes, I know how, and have done what you want to do, but no - I can't share".

    Now, before anyone gets upset, I know that is completely NOT what you intended NoTec, and I'm just being a grumpy lurker. Props to you for getting done what some of us would like to do but don't have a clue how.

    I'm off to go think of a good apology for even posting this.

    Yep...thinking about it for another 30 seconds might have made all the difference. Still, it's a sign of hope that your apology was longer than your (non) flame

    Using and Arduino, fusion brain, phidgets or any of a half-dozen other devices, you can accomplish what No-tec has (although it might not look as cool...he's pretty good). It just depends on how gutsy you are when it comes to pullling out your existing HVAC hardware and going at it with the wire cutters and soldering iron. Here's a quick list of what you need to do:

    1. Decide which micro-processor you're going to use (arduino, fusion Brain etc)
    2. Learn how to read the analog inputs and control the digital outputs
    3. Figure out how your HVAC controls are wired, the voltages used and what signals the system expects to see.
    4. Wire up your processor's digital outputs to the HVAC.
    5. If you don't need automatic climate control, then you simply write an interface that has the necessary buttons or switches to turn stuff on or off or set a particular value (fan speed). If you do want automatic temp control, then you'll need to read an analog temp sensor, determine how the value relates to your goal (is it warmer or cooler than the goal) and then take the appropriate action (turn on fan, turn on heat, turn on AC etc). you continue to monitor the temp and when it meets the goal, turn everything off.

    Simple, huh?

    I was going to give this a go but decided I'd get a spare HVAC control panel first (just in case). Well......it turns out that little 3-dial panel in my Tacoma is $700!!!!

    No guts, no glory, right?......................


    VegasGuy

  7. #7
    Variable Bitrate Wayne613's Avatar
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    Ebay man. Gotta be somebody that's totaled their Tacoma and console parts are being sold online. This is how I swiped a spare for mine. Complete console with HVAC and all for $60.

    Automation with the arduino would be nice, but I decided to just complicate my install for this car in a more basic fashion, and relocate the controls to an created overhead. This would just require too much hack-and-slash with the amount of connections for the 05-09 mustangs for me.
    2008 Ford Mustang GT/CS CARPC(99%)
    Software: Ride/Road-Runner, Digital FX skin 5.x, iGuidance 2011, GPSgate on Win7 64bit

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne613 View Post
    Ebay man. Gotta be somebody that's totaled their Tacoma and console parts are being sold online. This is how I swiped a spare for mine. Complete console with HVAC and all for $60.

    Automation with the arduino would be nice, but I decided to just complicate my install for this car in a more basic fashion, and relocate the controls to an created overhead. This would just require too much hack-and-slash with the amount of connections for the 05-09 mustangs for me.
    See, there you go, gettin' me all thinking and stuff......never a good thing

    I don't know why I didn't think about that before...there's a bunch on there for sure. Well, well, I guess we'll take a look at this one more time in about a week (depending upon shipping).

    Thanks! (I think?)

    VegasGuy

  9. #9
    Variable Bitrate Wayne613's Avatar
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    Always good to help someone gut their car for a new painstaking, time-consuming project. Im so here for you man.

    My new Xenarc 10.2 monitor should be in Wednesday, but my console and general front console will likely be gutted for 2 months still. So Id like to share the misery..
    2008 Ford Mustang GT/CS CARPC(99%)
    Software: Ride/Road-Runner, Digital FX skin 5.x, iGuidance 2011, GPSgate on Win7 64bit

  10. #10
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    I would be hesitant to try and use someone else's code.

    First off, no two systems are going to look the same. The method in which the other person has may not fit your car. (Example: someone with a canbus controlled system and you with a mechanical control HVAC. They only need wires, you would need a thermostat and servo control if you wanted to fully automate.) The code NEEDS to be custom made for the setup in which you use.

    Secondly, if you run into a problem and have to change some code, i.e. variable change, you need to understand how the system works or risk waiting for someone else to decide if they want to take time out to help you with it. Nothing I have ever done came out right the first time, you will have to calibrate and test it. This is the longest part of any project. Slapping some code down is easy to get something to work. The calibrating and polish take forever. In fact, it may never stop as you get better ideas.

    I apologize if I am underestimating your skill and knowledge level, but it seems to me you need to learn about coding and then undertake the project.

    An ardunio is a great place to start and there is more than enough material out there to get you in the right direction. From what it sounds like you are trying to do, I would steer you into the world of Visual Basic (VB). I don't know if anyone else would like to chime in on this, but the combination of VB, an arduino, and some knowledge could get you a system very similar in functionality to the other one in a weekend. Of course, it will probably take months before it has that level of refinement that is in the other system (at least it would with my spare time).

    Sorry if this sounds condesending, that is not the intent. It really is to inform you and point you in the right direction.

    The directions that Vegas gave are pretty accurate and sound simple to anyone that knows how to work with microprocessors (which is why I infer that you don't code). Here's the catch, building it is the easy part. All that testing and analog figuring, blows. Not trying to hate on your project, but it really is a lot of work and time. Mostly time. I do hope you try it though.

    Best of luck, post pics if you do.

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