Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Making a Vent Cover For The Temperature Sensor

Although this is not show accurate I am making a combination Vent Cover and Compass indicator lights panel for this part of my Upper Console. I'm doing a few things different with my K.I.T.T. naturally ;) I need to put that Digital DS18B20 Temperature Sensor Module somewhere and this seems a logical as any place. My thought is that if I make a removable vent cover plate or panel then if the sensor ever goes bad it will be easy to replace because all I would need to do it remove the cover plate and unplug the sensor and replace it with a new one. The space on the panel next to the vent slits I figure I'll put 4 LEDs in there to serve as the Compass indicator lights even though the Compass sends data to our Knight O.S. Dash Software I figure what the heck, why not, gives the Upper Console some more lights that actually do perform a real function ;) 

I added the 4 LEDs for the Digital Compass and mounted the Digital DS18B20 Temperature Sensor all to a couple of pieces of Proto-Board. I tested out the LEDs to make sure they were working with the Compass Module and they seem fine, just need to ID each of the wires that I colour coded Green, Red, Blue, Yellow and Black for Ground, that way I'll know which wire is for North, South, East and West indicators. Now I need to glass in a mounting bracket to attach this circuit assembly too and hook the wires up to a Molex Connector.

I drilled the holes for the Compass Indicator LEDs to poke through the Vent plate I made. I had to make a hole template out of some thin card stock just to make sure I lined up the holes right. Once done I could test fit the combo module I made so the next step will be to glass in some sort of mounting brackets to attach the circuit module to the Upper Console. I was kind of hoping to have made the Temperature Sensor Module a little easier to remove if it ever went bad but unfortunately the header pins were soldered in the wrong way so I was not able to do it quite the way I would have liked. However if the Sensor ever does go bad and I replace it I'll make sure the header pins and soldered on in a way that I can just make it so that I can plug it into a socket. 

Then I cut out a couple of "L" shaped Aluminum brackets that will serve as the main mounting tabs. I then glassed those into place. I first cemented then roughly into place using some Bondo Glass that way they would not move around any when I used the actual Fibreglass Resin and some small strips of fibreglass matting to secure the Aluminum tabs permanently into place. once this is set I can make a piece of Aluminum that I can screw down on top of the tabs to hold the circuit assembly in place. I'll put a piece of rubber padding under the top Aluminum strap to add a little cushion.

once the top securing plate is complete the final step will be to connect up the wires to a Molex Connector like I mentioned earlier on and then our little circuit assemble will be pretty much complete. I may install the HMC5883L Digital Compass into the Upper Console too as it seems likely to be the best place, kind of hard to say though as any metal or wires close to it are likely to affect the accuracy of this very delicate Compass Module so that may well involve some experimentation.

I added the Molex Connector for the Temperature Sensor and the Compass LEDs. I used an 8 Circuit Molex which leaves one spare just in case I need an extra one like maybe an extra 5V Power or Ground wire, but at 5V it should be fine. just need to determine a length of wire needed to run across the top of the T-Top window edge and down the windshield column to wherever I'll end up installing the P.C. and Arduino so a little extra will be good just in case, I would rather have too much than too little, not that it's a big issue as I can always splice on extra if I'm too short but and ounce of prevention is good ;)