Power and ground hooked up, got a buzz from the unit loading up. We're powered!
AAAANNNNNNNNNDDDDDD! NOTHING! Damn!
So basically that pretty much eliminates the ability to put it in the headliner. I need at least 8 feet of cable to get it up there around the windshield. SO the headliner is out, and now it's the dash bezel under the tablet. But instead of just taking the option I HAD to make sure it was in fact going to work. It's like play golf, you have to hear the ball drop in the cup. Well here I had to see it work for myself. So I cut each one about 2' in length giving me 4' total. I figure this was plenty to work with.
Now I didn't want to take the time to put crimp connectors on each one cause I wasn't going to leave them like this. I'll be making molex connectors for each end, and then making a harness cable in the end that way I can remove either end if i need to for whatever reason. However, for the bench testing, twisting and electrical tape will do.
Round two ready............................................. ...nothing! EFF!!
At this point I was getting ****ed. I figured 4 feet would work for sure. I can't imagine a run this short would not work. So I got out my DMM and checked each and every wire. I connected both plates together via electrical tape, and tested all the wires. Non touching, all connected correctly. NOW I'm stumped. But I couldn't stop so I did it again. Cut it down even more. I cut off 10" of the wire and reconnected.
Tried it again! ITS ALIVE, ALLLLIIIIIIIVVVVVEEE!!!!! WOOHOO!!
However, now I may have a problem. I'm sitting at 32" now. Even though the glove box is right next to the dash bezel, I have to go all the way to the front of the glove box, not just to the back end of it. So it may be too short to work with. I need to get in the glove box, figure out where it's going to sit, and then take a string and take a measurement so I know exactly how long I need this to be. I'm also going to keep adding inches until I don't get the face plate on anymore. I'm hoping to get another 4" - 6" out of it, but I have a feeling that I may only get 2".
But at this point, I know where it has to go, which is below the tablet. That will allow me to move forward with the tablet install and know where it's all going. Until then, I'll keep adding inches until I can't go any further.
So there you have it, my work for the weekend! Thanks for tuning in!
a lot of times using cat5 will allow you to extend further than just straight hook up wire. I also like to use data cables for the same reason, a db9 cable or a 15 pin monitor cable even. the twisted pairs and shielded sleeves can help a lot with interference on longer runs. also the wiring your using is pretty heavy gauge for something like this. many of these things actually work better with much smaller wire. I know the thought of resistance can make you think the bigger the better, but when dealing with data transfer this is not always the case. I'd bet that if this was done with cat5 or some sort of data cable it would allow you a bit more distance. low voltage data transfer works much better on a smaller gauge wire and most likely this is what your loosing on the longer heavy gauge wire
I'll try it out. Thank you very much for the info.
Sorry guys, things have been on hold. I've been battling a pretty bad flu bug for the last few days. Fever has been at about 102 for 3 days now, till today! I finally woke up without a fever today. So things are looking up! Anyway, I'm going to try and get some stuff figured out and test the resistance differences between the gepco cable and some cat 5 cable. Then I'm going to test the unit to find out what pins are the power and ground pins and do an isolated power on the faceplate. We'll see what happens. It's either going to work, or I'll have to buy a new faceplate. Either way, I should know by the end of the day. I do think, however, that the voltage on the faceplate is 9v not 12v. So I may not be able to test it today, cause I don't know how to do a voltage drop on it. But that's all I've got for now.
Just got out with the DMM, man am I in need of a new one! But I tested the resistance on the lines. First the gepco 22ga wire that I currently have soldered on. It's a little hard to see in the pic, but I have it set to 200. Don't know if this is right or not, but if not I'm sure someone will be happy to correct me on it, Please! But, as I said, a little hard to see in the pic, but it came to a .06.
Next I took some Cat5 wire at the same distance and tested it at the same 200 setting. I was surprised at a .07 result. By what everyone has said, I was expecting something different I guess. Not that I know what I"m doing anyway.
This is what I was shocked by. I decided what the hell and to test the whole roll, or what I had left of it. It's about 75 feet give or take. At the same 200 setting, I got a 3.2 result. So, now I'm very confused! Not having that much of the gepco cable to use I can't compare.
So I'm gonna go rest for a bit, then I'll go out an see if i can identify the power and ground pins on the unit. If I can do that then I can figure out whether or not I can use an isolated power on the face plate and run data from the unit.
Be back later!
like I said, resistance is not the only factor. the main power to the screen may be one thing but other communications lines can transmit at much lower voltages, could be 1.2V, could even be less than a volt. later model better radios are going to use chips on the faceplate that communicate with the main motherboard, this is why older heads were easy, you could extend them very far with no loss, here were talking about something completely different. it's not resistance that's the problem, when it comes to communications like this then cross talk and interference can be way more of a problem than resistance.
I wouldn't try to power the face seperately, this can cause ground loop issues as well as other problems and this will not solve you issues anyway. I would recommend just replacing the wires you have with the smaller twisted pair stuff. can't promise for sure it'll work but I think it's the best chance & it's what I would try first, for whatever that's worth :)
Ok here we go. I'll try and get through this as best as I can. Hopefully everyone can follow along ok. I'm trying to make this as easy as I can to follow along.
So I just went through testing the resistance on the cables, the gepco and some cat 5 I had laying around. Next I told you I was going to try and test the pinouts on the inside connector to see if I could find some voltage and find out if I had a 12v pin in there or if it was already reduced down to 9v, which I was lead to believe the face plate is when it runs.
So I started first to take the unit apart. I'll go through those pics again, and get to the good stuff.
Top off, and you cannot see anything from this view, because the cd mechanism basically takes up the entire unit area. You cannot get to the board from the bottom because the bottom, sides and back of the cage are all one piece. The top is the only removable piece.
So that being said, the other way to get a decent look at the connector without gutting the unit, is to remove the front. One screw on each side,
A little love, and this is what you get.
Now it was time to put some power to it and get some readings.
Got out the ol DMM, and put the black probe in the cage to ground it, then started checking the connector for readings.
Should've gotten a picture of the connector straight on, but I didn't sorry. There are still 16 connections, 8 top and 8 bottom. Starting at the top left, these were my readings:
1 - 7.40
2 - 0.00
3 - 0.00
4 - 0.00
5 - 0.00
6 - 4.92
7 - 11.94 (MY POWER SOURCE)
8 - 0.00 (I can only guess this would be the ground source, but not sure.)
9 - 0.00
10 - 0.00
11 - 0.00
12 - 0.00
13 - 0.00
14 - 4.72
15 - 4.70
16 - 0.00
So that was straight out of the unit, out of the connector at the bottom of the unit, you can see it in the lower middle of the unit in the picture above.
Next I decided to remove the plate from the front piece, and connect that. Immediately this is what I saw.
Lit up like a Christmas Tree. This is what it looks like when you open the face plate to remove or insert a cd.
I removed the plate and took a couple of close up pictures of it cause I knew I'd need them to write on and to do some numbers, tracking, etc. This first picture is the front of the plate, that goes into the front piece of the cage. This is the connector you see that the face plate connects to. The button you see there in the upper left hand side of the plate, that's the eject button. So the eject mechanism is triggered by this button, which sends data to the cd mechanism and tells it to eject, basically. Don't get all technical on me ok! It's over my head, I'm just trying to make it simple. I'll get back to this later.
We'll call this the rear of the plate. This is the connector that connects to the other connector that I just tested on the unit itself. This brings all that data, power, etc, onto the plate and everywhere else after that. I'll get to that. That's where stuff gets REAL!!
Now on the bottom right had side of this plate, you can barely see a little black switch. Here's a more close up view of it.
This switch is triggered by a little arm that is pushed in when the face plate is in the up position. When it's down, that switch is opened up and the board lights up as I showed before. Here's a little frozen demonstration. You can see my fingers there, my index finger is by the switch but not on it, demonstrating the face plate being opened up or down.
Now my index finger is pushing on the switch demonstrating the switch being pushed, would then be by the arm, and the lights are off.
So after that my interest peaked and I had to dig deeper to see if I was correct truly or not. Correct about what? Correct about whether this plate on the back of the front panel was the place in which everything was changed, voltage drop etc. I'll go through it a little bit now for you. Here you can see I did some drawings on paper based on those pictures I took above, the close ups of the panel itself.
Since you can't obviously read my chicken scratch and it was just too difficult to explain from those pictures alone, I did some editing in photobucket that will be easier to explain for me, and see for you. I'll be right back!
Ok, now it's time to get real! I found my 11.94v pin on the connector on this panel by plugging it into the unit. I used the DMM and found where it showed 11.94, then removed the panel and traced it back to the connector. So here's picture number 1. This shows point 1 on the front side which has two holes through the panel from the connector. Then it goes to point 2 which you can see on the picture, which also has two holes through the panel transferring it back to the rear side. This is 11.94 between both of these points. Again, this is the front side of the connector showing.
Now we go to the rear side, picking up on point 2 which was 11.94v. This goes into two different components, which I have to believe are reducers or resistors or something like that. We'll start with the furthest one, cause for whatever reason I numbered that one #3. That component has a number on it of 303. As you can see in the picture, the voltage goes from 11.94, down to 1.78v. Going back to number 4, the component there is labeled 472 on top, and the voltage drops to 3.70v.
Flipping it back over to the front, this is where it gets a little crowded but I did as best as I could to keep it under control.
Ok looking to the left side of the panel you can see #3 coming through. This is reading 1.78v. It goes up to another component up to the upper left of the panel, near the eject button. This is where it got a little tricky. I tested the opposite side of that component and got a 0.00v reading. I was like WTF?! So I decided to move on. On the middle right side of the panel, just under the connector there, is where #4 comes through, reading at 3.70v. This goes down, up to those two leds, and then back out and around to the middle there. I called this point #5. I put the meter on it and again got 0.00v. I was at this point stumped as hell. I could not figure out how I got voltage from a positive to nothing. Now you can look at the picture and see that these two points that I got a 0.00v reading on, points 5 and 6, are labeled as 0.00 / 9.98v. There's a reason for that.
Here let me show you the reason! Remember this little guy? Yep that's why i got a 0.00v reading. Cause the switch was open. I pushed the switch in, and did the reading again, and got my 9.98v reading, which would be my face plate power. Here's a little drawing I just did. I for whatever reason didn't go any further into it with my testing, maybe cause I'm exhausted, I don't know. But here you can see the yellow line, coming from the switch. It goes into a component, and splits out, one going to #5, and the other to #6. Both again, reading 9.98v when the switch is depressed, again indicating the face plate is up and in the closed position.
The bottom line is this. From what I've gotten out of this little bit of research is that instead of making the connectors as I did on the last go round, I can eliminate those, and go this route. I'll take the panel board and the front panel that it's currently on. I'll move it from the cage to the spot where the face plate will be, hopefully once again in the headliner. Then I'll take the second one I bought, and I'll put it on the front of the cage itself. I'll make a harness that will connect the connector on the unit, and the connector on the panel where the face plate will be, and that should get me better results than the first attempt. In theory. I'm not going to be 100% surprised if this doesn't work. But this is the next attempt in this project. I just have to figure out how I'm going to go about doing it. I have two ways really. I can either solder directly on the board right by the connector, or i can solder directly onto the connector itself. The other way is to try and find these connectors, which I've already looked for at pac parts.com, and cannot find. So I'm most likely stuck with direct soldering them.
I think if I decided to direct solder on the board, I'll have to take the cd mechanism out and get the board accessible. Those are pretty big tabs on that connector, but I'm not sure I want to take the chance.
Here's how things change a bit by doing it this way. By moving the panel, I have to now use the face plate for other things. What do I mean? Well now the eject button is going to not work on the main unit, it will have to be pushed and operated by the panel at the face plate which will now have the board on it. To do this the face plate must be movable. That's not a problem cause it was going to be anyway. I don't however, have to have a face plate or a base or anything like that on the unit itself. Like before. Same thing goes up at the face plate. That switch on the back of the panel, will have to operate and will do so by the face plate opening and closing. The only thing I'll need at the unit, will be to insert a cd, or remove a cd.
So things get a little different, maybe even a little more inconvenient, but if it works, it'll be worth it. I don't think I'll be using the cd player much anyway. So I think it'll be fine.
I'm very happy about all this, so far. Hopefully I'll get to test more soon!
Happy to hear any suggestions or thoughts. Thanks!
So this has pretty much come to a stop at the moment. I am currently selling my civic and will be buying either a Ford Expedition or a Chevy Tahoe/GMC Yukon. Once that vehicle is here, I'll resume this build, or maybe I'll start a new one.