PDA

View Full Version : I've got the steering wheel buttons working!


JT - '02 330i
01-01-2003, 09:31 AM
After nearly 35 hours of working on this one, I've got a working prototype of a device that will permit me to use the steering wheel buttons to control other devices.

For example: You could use them to mute your radar detector, or make your carkit go off hook, and hang up.

The signals for the button presses run on K-Bus, which is a mini computer network that runs in your car, in an e46, a signal is transmited to the K-Bus when you press one of the following:
- Left side steering wheel controls
- Headlights (on off )
- Brake lights
- Reverse Lights
- Blinkers
- Seat Memory / Mirrors
- Windshield wipers
- Windows
- Door ajar

I plan on using it to interface two items in my car: Car Kit and Radar Detector Mute.

I may also be able to push data back to the radio display after I figure out a bit more.

I'm curious if anyone else would be interested in this, and if so, how much would it be worth to you. (If the costs above seem high, the device has to do nearly the same thing as a blitzsafe adapter, and when produced in limited quantities, it gets expensive.)

Device would be installed by removing your cupholders, finding the carkit prewiring, and plugging it in, tuck the module into the console, and then run a few wires to your carkit, radar detector etc.

machmeter
01-01-2003, 04:16 PM
I think he's actually serious.

:dunno: :confused: :confused:

JT - '02 330i
01-01-2003, 05:51 PM
Originally posted by machmeter
I think he's actually serious.

:dunno: :confused: :confused:

Perhaps I'm a bit too enthustiastic.

(Is this more or less silly than $800 for paddle shifting of a steptronic?)

KWiK
01-01-2003, 07:49 PM
While I don't have anything I need to control, I would love to hear the details of this project. :thumbup:

Kaz
01-01-2003, 08:19 PM
I guess interest would depend on what kind of output signals would be available since that'll determine what you could drive with it.

bmw325
01-01-2003, 08:25 PM
I'd just like to figure out how to get the steering wheel radio buttons to act in "seek" mode by default rather than just flipping through the radio presets. Any ideas on how to do that?

Terry Kennedy
01-01-2003, 08:31 PM
Originally posted by JT - '02 330i
Is this more or less silly than $800 for paddle shifting of a steptronic?
I guess it depends on your point of view. The paddle kit includes the M wheel (there's > half the price alone) as well as the updated wheel cable linkage (for the extra buttons). The rest of it is some odds-n-ends of parts, Vince's time to put it together, and his profit. It's a lot simpler than I thought it would be.

Regarding the bus, there isn't a lot to it. You can put together a circuit board with a PIC, a level shifter, and maybe some relays if you need to drive some more substantial outputs. If it was a Popular Electronics project kit, it'd be under $50.

The decoding of the bus and what you need to do to send messages to various things has already been done - for one example, see OpenBMW (http://www.openbmw.com/bus/).

JT - '02 330i
01-01-2003, 08:33 PM
While I probably can't change the default behavior of the button, I probably would be able to look for the single button press and then send the signal as if you had held the button down, and then look for the button release to stop sending the held down button signal.

So I guess operationally, your radio would then go to the next preset and then start seeking. Probably not the best choice.


Along those same lines though.... The Bently book says that the remote is on the same K-bus, so it may be possible for me to impliment the european style, hold remote lock button down, and have the windows and sunroof close feature.

dasWolf
01-01-2003, 08:34 PM
Originally posted by robg
I'd just like to figure out how to get the steering wheel radio buttons to act in "seek" mode by default rather than just flipping through the radio presets. Any ideas on how to do that?

Just press down the up or down key on the steering wheel until the radio starts seeking, then let go. You have to hold it down a while. It took me about 14 months to figure this out.

brave1heart
01-01-2003, 08:54 PM
Radar Detector Mute would ne nice for my V1 but I would not pay more than $50 tops for that...

bmw325
01-01-2003, 09:04 PM
Originally posted by dasWolf
Just press down the up or down key on the steering wheel until the radio starts seeking, then let go. You have to hold it down a while. It took me about 14 months to figure this out.

I know this-- but in practice its very annoying to use the button that way-- i'd just like to somehow rewire it so that seeking would be the default behavior of the button w/o having to hold it down.

JT - '02 330i
01-01-2003, 09:12 PM
Originally posted by brave1heart
Radar Detector Mute would ne nice for my V1 but I would not pay more than $50 tops for that...

Unless I can find a cheaper microprocessor than the current one I'm using, it's not possible at that price point.

Thanks for the feedback though!

operknockity
01-01-2003, 09:20 PM
Originally posted by JT - '02 330i
Unless I can find a cheaper microprocessor than the current one I'm using, it's not possible at that price point.
Which uP are you using, if you don't mind me asking?

bmw325
01-01-2003, 09:20 PM
OpenBMW (http://www.openbmw.com/bus/). [/B][/QUOTE]

Cool link!

Bob330Ci
01-01-2003, 09:22 PM
Originally posted by JT - '02 330i
...snip...
Along those same lines though.... The Bently book says that the remote is on the same K-bus, so it may be possible for me to impliment the european style, hold remote lock button down, and have the windows and sunroof close feature.

I'd have some pretty serious interest in this and the possibility of having coupe rear windows auto close. Say $200 of interest or so.

Ahhh, the things I wish the car did...

B.

JT - '02 330i
01-01-2003, 09:24 PM
Originally posted by Terry Kennedy

Regarding the bus, there isn't a lot to it. You can put together a circuit board with a PIC, a level shifter, and maybe some relays if you need to drive some more substantial outputs. If it was a Popular Electronics project kit, it'd be under $50.

The decoding of the bus and what you need to do to send messages to various things has already been done - for one example, see OpenBMW (http://www.openbmw.com/bus/).

Openbmw.com, was a great help towards getting started. The difficulty is programming the microprocessor to do what you want it to do, and then packaging it like Vince has done. Then supporting everyone who wants to do it. I'm not sure yet that it's worth my time.

I'm not trying to get rich on this one, I've got a day job that would make more than this project ever will.

Kaz
01-01-2003, 09:24 PM
If it would be cheaper to develop a little 'black box' that does generic functions (say either a choice of momentary or latched/toggled +12v trigger) when a button is pressed (the voice button on the wheel seems like a good one since most people aren't using it) and let users figure out ways they could utilize it, instead of having it do specific things, that might find more buyers.

Pulling the signal off the phone connector is definitely a good idea. I'm already using parts of it to wire up my cellphone kit.

JT - '02 330i
01-01-2003, 09:41 PM
I'm thinking along the same lines Kaz, some sort of box with 3-4 outputs, perhaps a dip switch to make it somewhat user configurable.

operknockity, currently I'm doing this with a BX-35, which is a AT90S8535, with some extra parts hanging off of it. For those of us who can do VB in our sleep, and never had a desire to learn assembler, it's the right ticket. Just comes with a $26 premium attached.

Kaz
01-01-2003, 09:50 PM
You mentioned key functions.

There is supposedly some device out there that you can hook up to power-folding mirrors so that arming and disarming the alarm would cause the mirrors to fold/unfold. I read about this in the Tech Tips section on Rogue Engineering's site. Could this possibly be the same sort of thing?

JT - '02 330i
01-01-2003, 09:58 PM
Originally posted by Kaz
You mentioned key functions.

There is supposedly some device out there that you can hook up to power-folding mirrors so that arming and disarming the alarm would cause the mirrors to fold/unfold. I read about this in the Tech Tips section on Rogue Engineering's site. Could this possibly be the same sort of thing?

I'm not sure about the key functions yet, the Bently manual says that the alarm system and key functions are also on the same bus, but I've yet to try and figure out what the data packets (aka telegrams) are.

As soon as I get the escort hooked up to the box, I'll start mucking about with the other stuff.

Anyone know if the radio mute on an escort and the mute on a V1 use the same pins? (ie, can you plug a escort smartcable into a V1 and have it work?)

LMC
01-02-2003, 06:51 AM
Rear fog light on/off...

Kaz
01-02-2003, 10:51 AM
Originally posted by LMC
Rear fog light on/off...

This device isn't what you need for rear fogs.

LMC
01-02-2003, 11:31 AM
Well, not the OE rear fog application, but it seems to me that OE rear fogs on a US-market E46 are just too hard, but running dedicated wire forward to a switch somewhere near the driver might work, and I don't think it would be difficult to physically install the rear light itself.

Kaz
01-02-2003, 11:34 AM
Originally posted by LMC
Well, not the OE rear fog application, but it seems to me that OE rear fogs on a US-market E46 are just too hard, but running dedicated wire forward to a switch somewhere near the driver might work, and I don't think it would be difficult to physically install the rear light itself.

Well, I'm sorta working on this on and off but it MIGHT only require the light housings and wires as you mention, and changing just the face of the light control module and not the ($$$) module itself.

I still don't see how interfacing the K-bus for even the manual switch job would make this any easier, though.

HW
01-02-2003, 01:03 PM
actually, i was thinking of hardwiring an FRS radio to my car since they're so cheap. would be nice to use the phone button on the wheel to activate the talk function. then perhaps have a separate large numeric LED to display your current channel on the back and/or front window. found it kinda useful when going to meet up w/ friends for outdoor activities or multicar roadtrips. cheaper than cell and faster (no dialing).

machmeter
01-02-2003, 02:07 PM
Originally posted by HW
actually, i was thinking of hardwiring an FRS radio to my car.

I've been thinking of putting my ham radio into the new car, but I'm concerned about interference with the cars electronics. Maybe buy a new Yeasu. Any other amateur radio people here?

HW
01-02-2003, 02:25 PM
Originally posted by machmeter
I've been thinking of putting my ham radio into the new car, but I'm concerned about interference with the cars electronics. Maybe buy a new Yeasu. Any other amateur radio people here?

have the certificate to operate one but no licence :( don't see a need for paying the yearly license fee. but FRS is free :D

machmeter
01-02-2003, 02:50 PM
Originally posted by HW
have the certificate to operate one but no licence :( don't see a need for paying the yearly license fee. but FRS is free :D

Amateur Radio Licence is good for 10 years (mine is due in 2006), and I think the only fee is the $12 to take the test. There is no annual fee. Just get your licence and you're done. You can use 2 meter, 440, 6 meter, whatever (except HF) with a Tech license. 50 watts on 2 meters (simplex or use repeaters) sure beats 5 watt FRS. :thumbup:

HW
01-02-2003, 02:57 PM
Originally posted by machmeter
Amateur Radio Licence is good for 10 years (mine is due in 2006), and I think the only fee is the $12 to take the test. There is no annual fee. Just get your licence and you're done. You can use 2 meter, 440, 6 meter, whatever (except HF) with a Tech license. 50 watts on 2 meters (simplex or use repeaters) sure beats 5 watt FRS. :thumbup:

i've taken the test. but i'm pretty sure there is a radio license, at least in canada. anyone w/ a cell phone has to pay that. ~$7/8 per month. there's the other thing, the big antennae that looks kinda silly on our car. only car it doesn't look silly on is a jeep yj, discovery or hummer :dunno:

machmeter
01-02-2003, 03:25 PM
Originally posted by HW
i've taken the test. but i'm pretty sure there is a radio license, at least in canada. anyone w/ a cell phone has to pay that. ~$7/8 per month. there's the other thing, the big antennae that looks kinda silly on our car. only car it doesn't look silly on is a jeep yj, discovery or hummer :dunno:

I didn't notice you're in Canada - that's different, I'm sure.

There are some nice, smaller antennas, that are a bit more discreet. Even one that folds into the trunk. Otherwise, you're right - big antennae can look ghastly!

Pinecone
01-02-2003, 04:44 PM
Originally posted by machmeter
I've been thinking of putting my ham radio into the new car, but I'm concerned about interference with the cars electronics. Maybe buy a new Yeasu. Any other amateur radio people here?

N3MCJ here.

I have an FT90 that is going to be installed in my M3. The windshield sticker says not to run more than 10 watts or something like that. But you don't need more than that in metro areas to hit most repeaters anyway.

I have an FT-8100 in our Jeep Cherokee. But it needs to go back to Yeasu for a new 2M power module. And then I will probably move it to our Grand Cherokee.

For the Roadster an HT will be fine.

Pinecone
01-02-2003, 04:47 PM
I thought that Ron Stygar has someone over from Germnany that had already done this same thing. But I couldn't figure out how to search for it.

But as long as I can program the steering wheel buttons to do anything on the car run by a button, I would love it. I would like to move the DSC button on the M3 to the R/T button on the steering wheel. I keep forgetting to turn it off for track sessions and don't like fumbling for it at speed.

JT - '02 330i
01-02-2003, 04:55 PM
Originally posted by Pinecone
I thought that Ron Stygar has someone over from Germnany that had already done this same thing. But I couldn't figure out how to search for it.

But as long as I can program the steering wheel buttons to do anything on the car run by a button, I would love it. I would like to move the DSC button on the M3 to the R/T button on the steering wheel. I keep forgetting to turn it off for track sessions and don't like fumbling for it at speed.

A couple of things that need to be noted about BMW's:

There are three buses (netoworks) in the car.

K-Bus (i-Bus) Controls all the normal human friendly parts
- Left side steering wheel controls
- Headlights (on off )
- Brake lights
- Reverse Lights
- Blinkers
- Seat Memory / Mirrors
- Windshield wipers
- Windows
- Door ajar

CAN bus
- Engine mangement computer
- Cruise control
- DSC
- Airbags?

M bus
- Climate control

The parts I'm working on engineering only will work with the K-Bus. For liability purposes, I'm not going to muck with the CAN bus. (I'm not interested in having a software bug pop the airbags at the wrong moment.)

So for the moment, The DSC button stays where it is. Although there are chips to interface microcontrollers with a CAN bus. Last I heard some guy down in LA, was trying to make a DSC monitor (little screen that blinks depending on the wheel that is currently being braked by DSC.) Rather cool.

bmw325
01-02-2003, 11:40 PM
I was just thinking about the K-bus related mods i'd like and would be willing to pay some amount of money for:

-arrows on steering wheel function just like arrows on radio-- default behavior is seek.
-R/T button on stereo re-programmed to flip through the different modes: FM1/Fm2/AM/CD or tape
-Passenger side mirror tilt-down in reverse on a car that doesn't have power seats
-close all windows using remote (this is available in europe)
-All lights (including parking lights) switch off w/ ignition even if the headlight switch is on. I guess I don't really need this- but it just irks me that older cars i've had have done this, but not the BMW.