Monday, June 29, 2015

DTMF Tone Generator Terminal Block

I made a simple terminal block for connection to my Voice Box's random DTMF tone generator. The tone generator needs a simple ground pulse from any momentary button that I want to generate a tone which means lots of connections so I whipped this up. I had a piece of fairly thick brass from some electronics scrap I had kicking around. I drilled in some holes and screwed it onto a piece of Lexan plastic to serve as a mounting bed that I can then later screw onto the stock OEM plastic dash under my Knight Rider dash. Using my relay boards I can already get a fair amount of connections through just one wire so this gives me more to eventually connect to should I ever need too.

Later Today Update

I installed the terminal block under the stock OEM dash for the DTMF V.B. tone generator as you can see in these two pictures here (right & left). I have the entire block connected to a connector that connects to the other end of the plug under the Knight Rider dash. This should give me lots of connections for any buttons I want to generate a tone using the Voice Box's built in DTMF tone generator.

Just Realized!

I just realized that I can wire up my Voice Projection Unit's power button to my V.B. Random DTMF tone generator as it's a ground connection button that goes to a Step Relay mounted in under my OEM dash (Top left image, Step Relay on the far left). All I need to do is tap into the black wire just before it goes into the Step Relay and attach it to my DTMF terminal block, that should give me a random tone generated through the V.B. when the system is switched on and off. Something to experiment with today for sure. ;)

Don't do it Michael!

Well apparently the V.B. did not like that plan very well and I think I fried the V.B's Random tone request option because now the V.B. only plays the tones during the start up sequence. The tones work for the buttons in the PANP group but the input for random DTMF request is "Bitched!" :( Either is going to need a new chip or a new V.B.

I.C. Chip Needs Replacing

So I contacted the fine folks at Ideegeniali who make the Knight Rider Voice Boxes, as it turns out it's just the I.C. 1 chip that I ended up burning out the digital inputs. Fortunately it's only going to cost me 10 Euros to replace the chip..... ah this is the kind of thing that happens when you are inexperienced like me with electronics, I'm just surprised it hasn't happened sooner with all of my crazy experimenting. ;)

Further Circuit Isolation Needed

I protecting the Voice Boxes DTMF tone request wire more I figure I'll isolate the two by doing something like this in my reworked diagram, only in place of the mini Songo 12V Relay I'll use an Optocoupler instead. That should isolate the Voice Boxes random DTMF tone request well enough from the rest of the circuit.

This Will Do The Trick

After some experimentation and some very expert advice from Paolo of Ideegeniali this new wiring scenario (left), for isolating the Voice Box's DTMF tone request seems to work very well as the small Songo Relay simply connects the Voice Box ground (-) to the DTMF tone request through it's internal switch. This makes for a very well isolated circuit so there is no chance of me accidentally overloading the I.C. 1 chip anymore.

Here you can see how I have added the small blue 12V Songo Relay onto the back of a piece of circuit board I had kicking around (right), it's a bit big I know but I needed to mount the tiny contacts of the relay onto something as they were too small for my Alligator clip test leads to grip onto. I may swap it out for a much smaller piece of PCB board later on depending on how much space it takes up under my dash otherwise "If It ain't broke, don't fix it." We'll see ;)

I have tested out my Tone requests from my buttons and relay board and they send the needed ground pulse to activate the coil in this mini Relay so that is perfect and just what we want. :)

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Mini Relays Board In Car Test

Upper Console DPDT lighted Rockers

My Switch Wiring Diagram

Here is a diagram showing how I have the switches wired up in my video demonstration. Each side of the rockers switches sends a ground pulse to activate a device via a Relay or Optocoupler.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Mini Relays Board For Space Matt Buttons Part 2

I id some more work on my mini relays board for my Space Matt buttons. Thanks to Andrea Lannaccone one of the very electronics savvy Knight Rider people on Face Book who put me hip to using Diodes in my circuit design I can now get away with using half the relays I figured I would be for my Space Matt buttons. He was kind enough to update my original diagram I had made that showed how I was going to use a series of isolated relays to generate the needed ground pulse for the Voice box's DTMF tone generator, and although it would have worked it would have been a lot of relays, thankfully very small mini Songo relays but lots of them. But now thanks to Andrea I can get away with half of what I would have ended up using. He had another method that involved using what is called an "Optocoupler" but it is currently beyond my level of understanding electronics wise so for now I need to stick with what I can understand. Update later as my knowledge base increases, lol well that's the plan anyways. As long as it's safe and wired right I'm happy.

Here is a copy of the newly updated wiring scheme that Andrea was kind enough to do for me. I have done some simple test with my relays board with some Diodes soldered onto the board and it seems like it should work as the Diodes only allow electrical current to flow in one direction so it should work. When I get around to doing a test in the car I'll do a demo video and we'll see how that works. ;)

Upper Console Update

I marked and cut out my holes into the Upper Console with my Dremel tool. Each hole cut to fit each of my five DPDT lighted rocker switches. I was toying with the idea of making an aluminum plate with the holes for the switches cut into it but the rockers have their own plastic bezels so I figure this should be good enough. I then inserted the switches into the holes and snapped them into place. Next step will be to wire them up. I am going to wire these in a way that they will be lighted only when turned on.

Cowl Induction Hood Modification Part 3

My version of the Cowl Induction Hood modification is coming along slowly as I figure out how to do this. I have been in contact with Antoni J. Hairston
on Face Book who I am closely following for my version of the modification. On his version he says that the green light is hooked up to the Fuel Pump Relay, however on my 1982 Trans Am which has a Chevy Small Block V8 and some other after market modifications, I think my Fuel Pump may be a mechanical one. More investigation there is needed to be sure. But if it is a mechanical one he say for my green light I may need to tap into the hot ignition wire for my green light.

For now though I wanted to see how well my bracket for the lights was going to fit so I installed it temporarily for a test fitting to make sure the lights will be visible and that the unit fits into place well. So far so good. You can see in these shots (Above) how the unit fits inside of the Turbo Hood bulge and in the shots (below) how the lights are visible inside of the air flow opening.

Now keep in mind that this is NOT something K.I.T.T. actually had in the show, this is just what I think is a very 
cool modification that is WORTHY of K.I.T.T.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Cowl Induction Hood Modification Part 2

I picked up some coloured 12V DC Indicator lights from Tip Top Electronics today and installed them into my mounting bracket I had made from some stock aluminum. I'm not 100% sure on the colour arrangement but for now this will do. I have added and extra red indicator light that is going to serve as my "Check Engine" light seeing how the Knight Rider dash electronics does not have one and I feel it is important to have one somewhere, so this seems as good as any place because it will be noticeable especially at night.

I drilled in some holes into the back of the plastic Air Induction Unit to accommodate the backs of the indicator lights as they went back far enough to interfere a little with the back of the air opening. I guess a smaller light would have been better which is something for you to consider if you are going to do the same thing. But even then your wires need to come out somewhere so it's not that big of a deal I don't think. I used a "Step Drill Bit" to do the job.

I then threaded the wires for each indicator light in through the air opening and into each of the holes drilled into the plastic. I then used a couple of small bolts and washers to secure the whole assembly into place. Now all I need to do is figure out how that other Knight Rider Car builder on YouTube wired up this crazy cool set up. My extra "Check Engine" light is easy enough as it's just a simple light wired up the same was as the one from the original Gauge Cluster.

Cowl Induction Hood Modification

I cleaned up the solenoid and actuator arm that controls the air flow flap as it had a little bit of surface rust on it. I cleaned off all of the rust with a gel rust remover, cleaned it up and then painted it black. Left the parts to dry overnight before re-assembling it back together.

Next step was to make some sort of bracket or mount that will hold the lights and allow air to flow freely into the opening. I made this bracket out of some stock aluminum that you can get from the metal centre of most hardware stores. I cut it to fit inside of the air induction unit and cut tabs to mount my light on.

The basic idea here is to do something very similar to what this other Knight Rider car builder has done with his air induction unit. I have added an extra tab that I figure will be a great place to put my "Check Engine" light at the far right of the mounting bracket.

Mini Relays Board For Space Matt Buttons

I started soldering my mini Songo 12V Relays to the piece of Proto-Board I had for my Space Matt buttons yesterday. It was a bit of a pain to get the relays to sit straight on the board because the pins on the relays don't match up well with the holes in the Proto-Board, so they look like they sit at a slight angle. But it works and that's the main thing. So once this assembly is done I'll be able to wire this up to my Space Matt buttons and use some of the relays on the board to request a DTMF tone from the Knight Rider World Voice Box.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

12V Mini PCB Relays Arrive

FINALLY! The mini Songo 12V PCB Relays arrived!! There was a slight shipment issue according to the eBay seller so I waited a much longer time for delivery but luckily the first batch of 10 have arrived so now I can begin work on my Relay board for my Lower Console makeshift Space Matt buttons I had made out of the old calculator. You may remember from an earlier post. I basically want the Space Matt buttons to activate the DTMF tones generated by the Knight Rider World Voice Box. Now given the configuration of how my Space Matt buttons are wired and that I am NOT an electronics expert by ANY means this was the best and easiest solution I could come up with. Now these Songo Relays are very tiny and will more than do the job needed by my Space Matt buttons to activate one Relay for the DTMF tone for each button and also another Relay for any given function I choose.

Now like I say I had worked out a diagram that should do the job needed for my Space Matt buttons. As you can see here the DTMF tone request pulse is isolated from the button device function activation pulse. Someone more electronics savvy may have another option but this was what I came up with given my limited electronics knowledge and the way my Space Matt buttons were configured. The Songo relays are very small so I can get a lot of them into a small space by soldering them onto some Proto Board and wiring them in accordance to my diagram.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Upper Console DPDT Rocker Switches

I got my DPDT Rocker switches from Knight Rider World a few days ago. Took a little while to find a spec. sheet but with dome help from some of the Facebook Knight Rider community I was able to download one on line. After doing some testing with my Multimeter it seems like the lights in the switch are independent of the switch wiring which is consistent with the spec. sheet details. It also looks like the switch can operate four different devices, two should be more than good enough for anything I can think of using them for so I have come up with a wiring scheme to allow me to activate two different devices, one on at any given time per DPDT Rocker switch. In my wiring scheme I have it so as the switch bulbs will only be lighted when either device is turned on, Red for one device and green for another, middle position is off for both devices.