Thread: Scion xB '06, in-dash Atom 330, Lilliput 889GL; details, pictures, links. Index: pg 1

  1. #1061
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Yet Another Wiring Revision

    This fix comes from a mistake: I put disconnects in the control lines from the PC to the dash so I could connect the PC end, build the control panel later, and connect them when the panel was complete. But I put the disconnects so far up in the dash that I can't reach them without first removing the PC, and that's what I was trying to avoid. So I decided to simply solder in another set of disconnects closer to the panel.

    I wouldn't absolutely have to make this change, but I have a switch in the panel that's soldered to its wire (I got it that way, and just left it), and there's no way as it is to get the switch into a panel without de-soldering it. Since it requires another set of disconnects at the panel end, I decided it was smart to put them in for all the devices.

    I'll start building the panel after the disconnects are in.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
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  2. #1062
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Yet Another Wiring Revision, Completed

    That project turned out to be easy. I went at it thinking it required a lot of work -- soldering in several sets of disconnects -- but all it took was was soldering a new line in for the reset switch. The switch had blade contacts, but the lines were soldered to them when I got the switch. I left the lines soldered, initially, but realized I needed to remove the switch from the line to install it in the control panel (which isn't built, yet). Instead of adding to it, I soldered in new, heavier lines with plugs for the blade contacts on the switch. Everything is reassembled and functional.

    The other switches already had blade connects in use, and the LEDs can be plugged in from the back of the panel, so there's no more to do but design and fabricate the panel.

    I'll start building the panel after I get the radar detector wiring modified.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  3. #1063
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Modding the Radar Detector Cable

    The Beltronics STX radar detector comes with has a mute button in the power adapter, like the one shown here:



    Click images to enlarge.

    The company also offers a direct wire cord like the one shown here (this one's from an Escort, but they use the same cord):


    That direct wire cord -- $30 on the Web -- has a remote mute button exactly like the button in my power plug. I don't plan to power the detector using the accessory outlet (formerly known as the cigarette lighter outlet), because I don't want the cable dangling across my dash and saying "radar detector" loud and clear to thieves. I want the cable hidden and the remote mute and indicator lights built into the new dash bezel, so it's right near the area where my hand will be when driving.

    Since I want to keep the original power adapter -- so I can use the detector in other vehicles I might drive -- I disassembled an extra adapter we have. Inside the upper and lower case halves, there is a small circuit board that contains the indicator lights and the remote mute button, and there are the power plug components. I won't use the power plug. I de-soldered the wires from the board, and prepared new wires. The wires I solder to the board will run to disconnects, so I can easily pull the bezel when necessary.

    Here's how the board and wires look, next to a quarter so you have an idea of size. I picked a quarter from New Mexico, with a nod to freeflashstuff and Tidder.


    Yes, it's a strange polyglot of wire colors, but those are the colors I had available on the disconnects, so I just have to make sure they connect to the data and power wires properly. You'll have to click on the image to enlarge it so you can see these markings: data wires run to the four holes on the left side marked GRN, BLK, RED and YEL; power goes to the hole on the lower left marked R/W, and ground goes to the hole on the lower right marked GRN.

    Now that I have the board and the wires ready, the next job is to solder the new wires to the board -- a delicate operation, because I don't want to fry the board's existing components.

    That soldering job is next.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  4. #1064
    FLAC freeflashstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdholtz View Post
    Here's how the board and wires look, next to a quarter so you have an idea of size. I picked a quarter from New Mexico, with a nod to freeflashstuff and Tidder.

    That's cool that you grabbed a New Mexico quarter. LOL

    Have fun with the soldering job!
    I have bad luck with vehicles...

  5. #1065
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Modding the Radar Detector Cable, Part 2

    I plan to mount the little circuit board in the dash bezel above the relocated head unit, just to the left of the DVD unit, since my right hand is either on the shifter or on the wheel, and both places are near that spot on the bezel. Josh suggested that I drill the three holes required (I'll use the discarded case parts as a template), and attach the board to the bezel with hot glue.

    I'll hide the data wires as they run from the bezel to the detector. They'll run inside the dash over to the left side, up inside the windshield post, and across inside the headliner to the mirror. Even though the curly data cable is long enough to get that distance, the curls wouldn't do well; I need a straight line. The standard system uses a four-pin RJ-11 (telephone-style) plug on the detector end, so I cut the plugs off an Ethernet extension cable, cut off the four striped wires, and crimped the solid-color wires into an RJ-11 phone jack.

    NOTE: I already had a crimper and ends for that connection; they're available at Radio Shack, hardware stores, and home centers, but they cost about $40. If you just need one connection like this, call your friendly local PC shop, and see if they have the tool that crimps both RJ-11 (phone) and RJ-45 (Ethernet) cable ends. Even if they charge you to do it, it'll be cheaper than the tool.

    You could actually do it without the tool. If you just buy a package of ends, and you check out the way the plug is crimped, you could likely crimp an end on with a pair of pliers and a little creativity.

    To get the wires to solder to the circuit board, we had to tin the wire ends first; tinning means to put solder on them using the rosin-core solder, guaranteeing that the wires are ready to accept solder and connect to the board. The board is already tinned, because it already had components soldered to it. I also had to trim away almost all the old solder with an X-acto knife, and clean out the tiny holes with a #56 drill (.0465 in. or 1.18mm)

    Once that was done, we ran the tinned leads through their holes, heated them slightly and touched the solder to them. As soon as the solder made a cone -- not a ball -- we pulled the heat away, let them cool, and trimmed them. They're all on there good and tight.

    Here's the way the soldered-up board looks:



    Click images to enlarge.

    And here it is with the disconnects soldered onto the data and power wires:


    I didn't have a four-wire or six-wire disconnect, so I used a pair of three-wire disconnects on the data cables, but only used the outer two connections on each one. To make sure they're connected properly, I put one male and one female connector on each side of the joint; they only go together one way. I used a different style of connector on the (red) power cable. I put shrink tubing on the wires to add strength, and I'll use the hot glue that holds the board in place to also hold the wire in place so it doesn't flop around and break a joint.

    The other end of the data cable -- the RJ-11 that plugs into the detector -- is in the upper center.

    Now it's time to get the cables run in the car and solder in the power cable. Then it's time to test and, with a little luck, get a big grin on.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  6. #1066
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Modding the Radar Detector Cable, Part 3

    Quote Originally Posted by rdholtz View Post
    Now it's time to get the cables run in the car and solder in the power cable. Then it's time to test and, with a little luck, get a big grin on.
    Well, the grin is ear-to-ear. It works great.

    But I made one mistake in the wiring for it. I wired the power from the main battery, or the auxiliary battery, depending on how a switch is thrown. Josh pointed out that it's going to be on all the time -- there's no setting that allows me to switch it off. I never even thought about that, but he was absolutely right.

    So I popped the cover off the wiring box, pulled the jumper out, got a little longer jumper, and installed that one. Now, instead of getting power from the main battery, it's wired to the ignition input. If the ignition is on, it will have power (or I can flip the switch and it will be powered by the auxiliary battery).

    That ability to switch sources isn't because I want to power it from the aux battery, but rather because I generally run the detector so the default information shown on the display is system voltage. Being able to change power sources means I can measure the voltage in either battery system.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  7. #1067
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Mystery Short Found

    I'd had a problem bugging me for several weeks -- an intermittent short that was eating fuses. Last night, while I was reviewing things for the next complete re-installation of the carPC, I found the problem.

    When I re-installed the passenger seat last time, I accidentally caught a wire in the seat locator pin, just behind the seat mount bolt, and it rubbed just enough insulation off the line to cause problems. I'll cut out the damaged wire and replace it, then get some shrink tubing on the soldered joints.

    It was a bonehead mistake. I remember thinking while I was installing the wires that they ran pretty close to the locator pin, and noting that I'd need to be careful when I put the seat in. Well, "remember to be careful" is an installation trick only for amateurs. Professionals avoid that sort of thing by making sure installers can be a little careless and not destroy anything. In this case I was both system designer and careless installer.

    To make sure I don't repeat the damage, I'll install a floor-mounted wire routing tiewrap to keep wires away from the seat mount and its locator pin. It won't necessarily be idiot-proof, but it'll be a better design, and I'll be more careful. All I could do when I discovered the problem was shake my head, and say to myself, "I gotta do better. I'm smarter than this, honest."
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  8. #1068
    FLAC freeflashstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdholtz View Post
    I'd had a problem bugging me for several weeks -- an intermittent short that was eating fuses.
    You still use fuses? Why not upgrade the mission critical stuff to thermal circuit breakers? They're only $5 for one 30A, and mine have already paid for themselves. I carry a can of compressed air in case they trip, I can spray the air on them for a few seconds and they cool down enough to come back on.
    I have bad luck with vehicles...

  9. #1069
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freeflashstuff View Post
    You still use fuses? Why not upgrade the mission critical stuff to thermal circuit breakers? They're only $5 for one 30A, and mine have already paid for themselves. I carry a can of compressed air in case they trip, I can spray the air on them for a few seconds and they cool down enough to come back on.
    UMMMM... I dont think they are supposed to work like that though, you better check your setup. I prefer fuses, you simply put it in and never worry about it again. If the system runs correctly, you should never ever have to worry about changing fuses. Mine uses the glass fuses, they are easy to find, cheap and sold at 100% auto stores.
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  10. #1070
    FLAC freeflashstuff's Avatar
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    They are thermal circuit breakers. Also known as resettable fuses, polymeric positive temperature coefficient devices or polyswitches. They work based on temperature. There is no reset button/switch. If too much current goes through, it gets hot and kills the connection. The compressed air cools it back down so the connection is restored. Autozone sells them: 30A for $5 or the ones with the reset button for $15.
    I have bad luck with vehicles...

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