Wireless Steering Wheel Buttons

My SLC is just about road worthy. For the most part it's a pretty standard build, but I have done a few things differently that I thought I'd share.

So first up, I decided to ditch the factory column and went with a race setup (collapsible D shaft). I did this to gain some room and decided it is more in line with what I want my car to be - more of a street legal race car than a fit and finish supercar.

That left me with the need for buttons on the steering wheel for at least blinkers and horn. I did not want to have a cord from the steering wheel to the dash, nor was I crazy about laying out a grand for a commercial wireless unit like the Cartek one.

So I bought two sets of 12 Channel RF Transmitter/Receivers off ebay and proceeded to hack away. I bought 2 knowing my soldering skills are just so-so, but all went fine so I do have a spare transmitter and reciver. The actual units I bought are here.

The documentation for the units is almost non-existent, but after some fiddling I figured out that using the '5' button to program the receiver set channels 1-6 as momentary and 7-12 as latched.

I did have to remove the buttons from the transmitter, replaced the antenna with a short coil of wire and remove the battery holder and replace it with wires going to a proper battery holder.

I will likely re-do my box once I settle on a steering wheel. Hate to pick one from a picture, so I think I will wait till PRI next year when I can put my hands on all the popular ones. The back of the box is lexan so the RF signal can get out. Of course you could make the box out of whatever material you are comfortable working with - Carbon Fiber would be cool. Or design one and have one of the online machine shops mill it out for you. The lexan was just trimmed with a router. Could have been black plastic as well.

I put in two batteries, only one is hooked up. The other is just a 'spare'.

I have about $70 total in this including the spare transmitter/receiver.

Pictures probably tell the rest. My buttons are, starting from 2 O'clock: right blinker, hazards, race pack dash button 2, race pack dash button 1, horn, dash dim, high beams, left blinker. The Infinity folks can re-program your box to handle blinkers with a momentary button - see their website.





 
One can relate to the soldering of tiny little wires to PC boards and the lack of instructions on Chinese sourced electronics!

I did a similar system, although being only four buttons not nearly as complex as yours.

Neat project,
Thanks for sharing.
 
hugovw1976,

Yours looks very good. I especially like the legends - are they stickers or printed? Have they held up with use?

BTW, I think you need to change your Display Name (it is supposed to be your actual name).
 
hugovw1976,

Yours looks very good. I especially like the legends - are they stickers or printed? Have they held up with use?

BTW, I think you need to change your Display Name (it is supposed to be your actual name).
They are engraved and paint filled, It's made in front panel designer.
The car it's still in process, no real life test.
 
What kind of car are you building?

Really nice work Hugo, but with so many choices I'd be afraid of hitting the wrong button and ejecting the passenger by accident :helmet:

Tiny control (?) module, where is the battery for it?
 
What kind of car are you building?

Really nice work Hugo, but with so many choices I'd be afraid of hitting the wrong button and ejecting the passenger by accident :helmet:

Tiny control (?) module, where is the battery for it?
Inside the black box on the rear of steering wheel, with Li-Po battery and can be charged with any micro usb cable.



Here a better pic of the controls:



I work on a mid engine vw bug, with Audi V8 32v 4.2 engine modified with whipple supercharger. (custom made).



 
Frank, Hugo, very cool work. What is the source of these buttons you guys are using? I have not come across them.

Hugo, what kind of hardware are you using on the receiving side of the wireless signals? Also any special code on that arduino to let you know the LiPo is running out of juice?
 
Frank, that's the same wireless device I'm using for my wireless wheel. Your wiring is simpler than mine. I got mine working along with redundant hard wired controls just in case. I am planning on doing a cover that looks along the lines of an oem steering wheel cover, but haven't tackled it yet. Thanks for sharing the pics!

Hugo, that is an incredible job on your wheel. The icons look great.

A.J.
 
Frank, Hugo, very cool work. What is the source of these buttons you guys are using? I have not come across them.

Hugo, what kind of hardware are you using on the receiving side of the wireless signals? Also any special code on that arduino to let you know the LiPo is running out of juice?
I buy buttons from ebay: 6pcs Mini Switch 12mm Waterproof Momentary Push Button Round Switch 250V 10A New | eBay

The receiver it's on prototype (no relays, all transistors) you can check in this videos:

https://youtu.be/SgbonRGxhfc

https://youtu.be/KHOgF_eJZwE

For the low battery side, I put a bi color led, when the battery it's ok the led show in green every you push a button and red when the battery is low, I base my code on this:

Secret Arduino Voltmeter – Measure Battery Voltage

By the way, the receiver it's a Teensy 3.1 no arduino, because teensy all ready have can bus, and I'm goin to control front lights, rear lights, horn, windshield motor, etc by separate modules all connected by can bus to simplify wires.

This it's how the boards look like when are finished:

Receiver 58mm x 42mm board:



Front and rear modules 60mm x 58mm boards:

 
Very nice Hugo! I'm going to copy your design if you don't mind, I think it's an excellent solution. Less the CAN bus transcribing, I think that's a little over kill for what I'm doing.
 
Hugo,

Very nice solution. You should do a small manufacturing run when you have everything worked out. Bet you could find enough customers to make it worth your while.
 
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