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> USB Sockets - Mounting Into The Centre Console, To look like factory fitment
dante giacosa
post 22nd August 2017 12:50
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And, for my next trick (although my gauges thing is not yet complete)

I am thinking about utilising the stock-trim of the car, to facilitate a USB charging point.

In other words- a charging point, without the butchery, or sacrificing something else. As it happens, one particular feature of the 146 handbrake-console that I find particularly surreal; is the rear-window override-switch, mounted 60mm away from the switches themselves.

Such override switches are often used to prevent kids-in-the-back messing with the windows at speed, so, I can't see that a 60mm gap in control functionality is going to stop little hands getting what they want! They'd just turn that off and then continue with the window switches.

(my kids wouldn't do that of course; as I have ABSOLUTE control over them, with just my voice)

anyway! Here are some starting thoughts;

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dante giacosa
post 24th August 2017 13:28
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okay!

so, not 'much' movement on this in a couple of days, as I am waiting for the DC-DC conversion stage with captive USB sockets, arriving from eBay.

In the meantime however, I have decided to go for two USB outlets from this position (you never just need 'one', do you?)

So, I've got a piece of perspex marked up for centres for the two sockets- the perspex will backlight across-itself at night, and some aluminium measured for depth and length bracing. One piece goes the full depth, within the car handbrake-console, onto the top of my euro-spec rear cabin air vent ducting (thank you Shpuncik!). And the other will brace the USB sockets themselves from below.

This is to stop the whole arrangement going 'pop' and disappearing into the console when pressed firmly down into. (this has been held together masking tape for the purposes of this photo)

Separately, I've been looking into backlighting the rotary thumbwheel on the rear-cabin air outlet- you can see by the plastic casting that is was a design consideration during manufacture; which never made it into production. A small epoxy part needs to be made to hold the LED in place though, and I've made that part.

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Antonio
post 24th August 2017 19:58
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Hey! I like this idea, but a good place to put Usb ports is the centre dashboard vent, and put the plugs inside the "gates"..the only downside is that they won't be in the center of the car as your choice is.

I would like to do clever and useful modificactions like this, but I'm always afraid of breaking pureness of the car... no.gif


Awaiting updates... clapping.gif
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dante giacosa
post 25th August 2017 14:40
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Thanks Antonio!

with regard to the pureness of the car, I'm always trying to go for two things; the look of an OE feature- so that if you had never been in one, and were a bit daft, you wouldn't spot that my additions were 'additions'. So, it's all about keeping with the character of the original design ethos. And there is ALOT of style in the 14* platform.

Secondarily; I want to be able to remove- without a trace- the mods that I do; so as to be able to return to standard original spec.

If I had cables coming out of the vents, it might be a bit too obvious! (for me anyway). Plus I don't really do the phone-on-the-windscreen thing, so I am trying to provide for anyone- even in the back (i hadn't really realised that it was in the centre of the car!- but you are right; it is!)


Today saw the first-wave completion of the rear-cabin air outlet backlight. The epoxy-bonding has set overnight and the LED works. The brightness of my workspace prevents me from getting a picture of the 'glow' through the thumbwheel from the front- although a picture of it illuminated from behind was possible.

Such mods in my experience are EXTREMELY subtle, and it will only be with the voltage available with the engine running, and in total darkness, that I will be able to gauge whether this is not bright enough, or too bright; relative to the other cabin illumination...

Initial drop-down resitor value of 1K has been used, and I anticipate tapping pins 1 & 4 of the wing-mirror-control-switch (B36) for night illumination.

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Ganz
post 26th August 2017 21:09
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Liking the idea. Only thing is I don't I could suffer the 'have I got the usb device the right way round. Why is it the usb connectors take 3 attempts before they go in.. Aaaarrgh!

USB C is the answer to my prayers.


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dante giacosa
post 28th August 2017 07:16
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Ah!

there's a trick to that, Ganz!

I work with guys who are developers (computer programmers), and although I'm not 'on the keyboards' myself- I do make a lot of stuff that holds computers (amongst other things) and people are always struggling to fit USB sticks.

The trick is, to observe the CORRECT orientation- if you stick a cable or USB stick in the side of your laptop, you will see that it is 'holes-upwards'.

THAT is the distinction. And once you've noticed it; you will discover the whole worlds' USB sockets are expecting 'holes-upwards' plug orientation!

So imagine yourself holding it in your left hand (see attached pic) and that is how you have to orientate the sockets.

I recently did a double USB outlet in another Italian car at roof level behind the rear view mirror (for windscreen mounted stuff) and I had to do them sideways- you just have to remember to be holding the plug as shown, and when you put you hand up- it works!

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dante giacosa
post 29th August 2017 12:52
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ok!

so, the 12v to 5v DC-DC converter arrived, so work can begin properly.

The metalwork has been sized to fit the USB sockets, and the rubber around the top of the sockets stripped back to present 'just' the metal parts of the sockets themselves, through the perspex top.

An adventure now begins as to how to light the perspex for night illumination. I've found some sub-2mm green LEDs, and I've wired one up through a 1k drop resistor to a fag-socket plug, so I can try it in the car tonight in total darkness, and see if it is bright enough relative to the other illumination within the car...

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dante giacosa
post 1st September 2017 12:25
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they are a bit 'bright' at the moment.

I'll have to do some night-time viewing, in the car, to match green-ness and brightness with existing trim...

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Ganz
post 2nd September 2017 20:56
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Great job you've done on that. Thinking of doing the same.


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Ganz
post 2nd September 2017 21:03
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QUOTE(dante giacosa @ 28th August 2017 08:16) *
The trick is, to observe the CORRECT orientation- if you stick a cable or USB stick in the side of your laptop, you will see that it is 'holes-upwards'.


Great stuff. Can't wait to eliminate this misery from my life. Looking forward to letting my techie colleagues know. Thing is, and this is the thing.. I reckon that if you had holes up first time round b**ger if it would work. Doing a test run tonight...

This post has been edited by Ganz: 2nd September 2017 21:05


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dante giacosa
post 3rd September 2017 22:01
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Thankyou Ganz!

Let me know how the USB-test-run goes..!
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dante giacosa
post 15th October 2017 10:56
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Sorry for the delay- the welding is done, and so the interior has gone back together, and so...

It's in!

And it works a treat, actually- fully charged my dog-toy Samsung in a couple of hours.

Euro-spec rear vent backlighting works too! ( getting that to carry air is another story!)

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shpuncik
post 15th October 2017 11:47
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very well done, looks like factory fitted! thumbsup.gif
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sanitary
post 15th October 2017 12:24
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QUOTE(dante giacosa @ 15th October 2017 11:56) *
Sorry for the delay- the welding is done, and so the interior has gone back together, and so...

It's in!

And it works a treat, actually- fully charged my dog-toy Samsung in a couple of hours.

Euro-spec rear vent backlighting works too! ( getting that to carry air is another story!)



Cool stuff and it looks factory worshippy.gif



san
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dante giacosa
post 15th October 2017 16:49
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Thank you guys..!
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GialloEvo94
post 15th October 2017 17:37
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Lovely bit of engineering thumbsup.gif

Thread now moved to the FAQs section where it will be more easily found smile.gif


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