Tips - Tricks - Hints

D.I.Y. Tire changer. You can save money by picking up a tire changer for under 100 bucks. Most service places charge 20 buck per tire so this makes good financial sense, especially if you learn to use it properly. You can use ordinary dish soap instead of the purchased lubricants, even KY jelly works well. Using your tire changer in a warm environment makes the rubber more pliable and easier to peel off the rims.

TIP: When using your bar to peel off the tires on Aluminum rims, rotate the tip of the bar away from you slightly in order to raise the flat part of the bar facing towards you up slightly, this will help (Along with the lubricant) to prevent the flat part of the pry bar from digging into your rims. Remember Aluminum is softer than steel so a gentle approach is good opposed to a heavy handed one ;)

How To Lengthen A Wire

This is an excellent video showing you how to lengthen a wire by soldering the two wires together which is way better that using Butt Connectors.

How to Test For Continuity With A Multimeter

How To Measure Amps With A Multimeter

How To Wire To A Relay

Tips About Relays

"85 and 86 are the coil pins. Normally, it doesn't matter which way you pass the current, because if you hook it up backwards, the coil will still activate the relay. However, relays sometimes have an odd tendency to turn themselves back on briefly. To counter this, a diode (a one way switch) is placed between 85 and 86. This is referred to as a tamping diode. A diode wall have a very high resistance in one direction, and a very low resistance in the opposite direction. When a tamping diode is used, it is important that you hook the coil up according to polarity. If a tamping diode is used, and you hook it up backwards, you will essentially be shorting a wire out, which sucks, because you can and will burn something up."

If you are not sure if the relay you are using has such a "Tamping Diode" inside of it You can do a continuity test between them to see if a tamping diode is being used. Test with red lead of multimeter on 85 and black on 86, the reverse. If you get a reading either way, then there is a diode beyween them.

Power Draw: The coil of an SPDT or an SPST relay that we most commonly use draws very little current (less than 200 milliamps) and the amount of current that you can pass through a relays common, normally closed, and normally open contacts will handle up to 30 or 40 amps.

What Is A Step Relay?

Knight Rider replicas are full of eye-catching pushbuttons everywhere, but what a pity when you need a on/off toggle-action switch! You hardly find one.
This ain't an issue anymore. With a Step Relay, you can just convert any momentary-action pushbutton into a on/off toggle switch. Push one time: switch to ON. Push again: switch to OFF.
You can wire up the coil for +12V fixed and GND switched or for GND fixed and +12V switched. The same applies to the switch contacts: you can wire up for +12V fixed and GND switched or GND fixed and +12V switched. This is versatile!
You have 4 connection points with screw terminals. Provide 12V via your momentary pushbutton to the relay coil (central connections, marked A1 and A2). And get a on/off switch on the outermost positions (marked 1 and 2).
Contact are rated 10A. This is powerful! KITT buttons cannot handle such big currents, that would destroy them. You may use this relay for POWER button of PANP keys. It will handle 10A worth of electronic devices.

Step Relays can be purchased from places like Ideegeniali or TME.

How To Test Your Dash Outside Of Your Car

One thing I had always been curious about ever since I had started my Knight Rider project was how people were testing their dash electronics outside of their cars, "Bench Testing" I think is the correct term for this procedure. It's basically hooking your dash up to power and trying things out before you go to all the trouble of hooking your dash directly to your car and discovering something is not working as it should or worse case scenario not working at all. Any of the two can be most frustrating so being able to test out your dash before putting it in your car is extremely useful.

What you will need is a portable power supply that will substitute for your car battery, there are may types available. I chose to go with an Eliminator Battery Booster Pack with a built in Air Compressor. Sure much more than I needed for the simple job of supplying power to my dash. I shale tell you why. It was suggested to me that this would also be a good investment because not only will it do the job of supplying power to my dash for testing but it will also come in handy in emergency situations should I ever need to boost my battery or inflate a flat tire. So for me this made good sense, but like I say there are many types available and it just depends what you want to get out of your portable power supply.

Next you will need to connect the power supply to your dash. What I did was pick up an additional Cigar Plug that I could modify slightly with a couple of Alligator Clips and some Red and Black 18 AWG wire to make a custom plug that I could plug into the Battery Booster Pack and then attach my Alligator Clips to my Dash, Red (Positive +) for my Ignition Wire and Black (Negative or Common -) for my Ground.

I have included a simple illustration that shows the correct connection points on your typical Cigar type plug so you can modify one easily. Be sure to check all of your dash connections and go over everything with a Multimeter to look for any bad wiring and make sure you are getting good continuity throughout your entire circuit. As long as you have flowed all of your wiring instructions accurately you shouldn't have a problem. All that's left to do then is plug in your portable 12V DC power supply that you have hooked up properly to your dash and then press the Power Button on your dash and you can test your dash.

How To Select Wire

One thing I have learned is that it is VERY important to select the right wire for any electronics that you are installing into your K.I.T.T. There are many aspects of wiring that were a mystery to me, the whole thing was like "Voodoo" at first but if you look into it it's actually very logic based. I will include some charts and resources that will help you make the right choices when selection both the proper wire for your application and the correct wire length. One thing to remember is that wire has what is called resistance, the greater the wire length the greater the resistance, with a lot of resistance a wire can heat up and potentially start a fire and although fuses will help prevent this it is a good practice to start with selecting the right wire for the job.

This wire chart above will help you select the proper wire based on the wires length and how many Amps that wire can handle for that particular gauge (AWG or American Wire Gauge) standard. 

Now this next resource will help you figure out some of the information that you can use in conjunction with this chart. For example lets say that I have a 100W Speaker that runs on 12V (Volts) and I want to know the Amps my wire will need to handle. Key in the values to this handy Ohm's Law Calculator and it will give you the answer.
In This case my Amps for this 100W Speaker is 8.33333 or around 8.4 lets say just to round it off. So depending on my wire length I am going to need anywhere from an 18 to a 16 (AWG) wire.