Saturday, February 26, 2011

another car project

So I start all of these projects expecting to do a writeup, and when I'm done I realize that I don't have enough pics. Anyway, here goes. This project was inspired by Bill who did a similar project to this a while back where he turned the "blank" slot into a working button on the DIC control pod. He didn't use his for homelink, but I'm not sure what he used his new button for. This may be a little ghetto how I did it, but it works and I thought it was cool

I took an extra DIC control pod and took it apart. I also had a Homelink unit(one of the ones that goes in the sun visor). I modified an extra button so that it would fit over the resistor and soldered a set of wires from one of the button contacts on the Homelink and tied them to my modified button. As far as the button itself, it says "reset", but I've stripped all of the paint off of an extra and plan on putting the Homelink logo on it. Basically paint it white, put a decal over it, paint it black, and remove decal. It looks like that is basically what GM did on all of these buttons which is why as you wear on any of them the white space expands.

Forgive the crappy and too few pictures, but check the videos out because you can basically see what I did. If I can find the link to Bill's thread I'll include it because he has better pics of how he did the button. I did mine different than he did, but both ways work.

Later I took the blank button and made it look like it came in the car with the Homelink logo and everything.  Even glows at night like the other buttons.



OK, trimmed the extra length off of the button post. Now it sits flush. Also I don't have the problem of the edge of the button catching the lip of the bezel piece. Like butta! Now I just need to work on customizing the decal for a custom button. And yes, I know everything is dusty an dirty. I haven't had any of the dash pieces in for about a month until yesterday so I need to do a little detailing.

Monday, January 24, 2011

had waaaaaayyyyy too much time on your hands?

So I picked up a new center console section at the JY the other day. I brought it in the house and started cleaning it when I realized that there is a light inside the compartment. It has never worked as long as I have had my car(2nd owner). It looks as if there is supposed to be some kind of switch that is activated when the door is opened that turns on the light. Most others have said theirs doesn't work(possible bulb?) or that it isn't there at all. In the pic below it would be plugged into the wiring on the left. I'm assuming that it was always on or something and the previous owner removed the switch(or else my memory is poor wich is a possibility, but I don't remember doing this).

I went to the dealership to find a part number and it's discontinued and they couldn't even provide a part number for me. I was also considering picking one up from the JY, or finding one from someone parting out their car. I decided that it may not work well with the door so I decided to make my own switch.
1st I took the old compartment and drilled several holes to decide what placement I liked. I ended up liking the hole that is the uppermost in this picture. It ends up being just to the back of the door spring inside. The other two holes are too low and the switch I installed interferes with the outer part of the console. Once I decided what hole would work best I measured and put it in the same place on the good compartment.

This picture is the backside of the switch. I soldered it and put heatshrink on as best as I could. I connected the other ends to the wires of the switch connecter that was in the 1st picture. I checked the continuity with a tester and the switch works perfectly.

Here is the picture of the switch inside. This switch was $2.99 from radio shack. I thought about doing ones with the light on the switch, or the push button ones, but in the end I wanted a non-lighted one that looked clean and I ended up liking this rocker switch because it is relatively low profile and really looks like it belongs there. I'll get a picture once I put it back in. I ordered a blue LED 194 bulb that will get here next week sometime. Hopefully it looks good. I may experiment with some other lights in the car.

Let me know what you guys think. Any other ideas appreciated. I'm thinking about trying to figure out some kind of armrest compartment light.
Thanks for reading

Updated. I was unhappy with the light in the center console. It only put a small amount of light over the ashtray. The main purpose was to have ample light to see down inside the console at night. There were a lot of different LEDs and such on ebay, but I decided to go get them from autozone because I could compare the different lights(they have a little battery pack attached). I ended up with the LED strips. You can cut them to different lengths. I cut a 6" strip and stuck it to the top of the inside of the console. Here are some pics

I still have about 18" of LED strips so I may expirement in the armrest compartment or other places.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

wanted to take food to church....

This last week, I realized that I do. Now that I'm married, I find myself attending a "real" ward. I was doing fine until sacrament meeting. All of the sudden I felt like I hadn't eaten for weeks. I had a small bowl of cereal and a banana 2 hours prior, but was sooooo hungry. My theory is that I had a Pavlovian response to seeing food. Typically I see food when I am eating food. I realized quickly that there was tons of food staring me in the face that I could not eat. I guess the days of cheerios for children are long since passed. I saw kids with bags full of delicious looking fresh grapes, chicken crackers, pretzels, and that was in the row in front of me, so I can only imagine what other fine specimens of eatery were located throughout the chapel. Maybe this is one of those congregations where the well off children ridiculed the children with cheerios and now they just try to show off to each other by who has the best sacrament meeting meals.

So I've decided that next week I'm taking food to church as well. What to take is really what's on my mind now. I want something tasty, but not too extravagant. Where do you draw that line? I suppose I will exclude anything that would require utinsils, such as yogurt or any kind of salad. One of the first things that came to mind was nachos. Some might argue that it is purely my love of nachos that instilled this into my mind first, but it does have it's advantages as a finger food. I can put chips in a ziplock bag small enough to fit in Stacy's purse. I'll be prepared for any possible ridicule with a tupperware full of salsa. For an encore I'm thinking that some brownies sound like a perfect dessert. I figure I'll be ready for those about the time the musical number is about to start. Some other ideas include red vines, left over movie popcorn from the night before, and sippy cups filled with pepsi. Any other ideas are appreciated.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

..................wondered why people think that you are ignorant because of your job?! Now that I have a real job again I'm reminded why I hate it. It's not because I inherently have a problem with working. In fact, I love the feeling of accomplishment or creation. I love to feel like I just did something cool or good. I suppose I should try to find something else to do, but I get paid well, and I'm good at it, so I keep doing it. For the most part it's ok, but here is a conversation I frequently have with customers that absolutely drives me crazy.

Sue walks into the store and I greet her in a very friendly corporate scripted manner.

me: Hi, welcome to our store today. What can I help you with?
Sue: Well, I've got this phone and it just stopped working.
me: Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. Let's see what we can do to solve the problem. Can you describe to me more specifically what the problem is?
Sue: I don't know what the problem is, it just doesn't work.
taking the phone from her, trying to turn it on....
me: oh, your phone won't turn on!?
Sue: Yes.
me: how long have you been having the problem?
Sue: I don't know, it just started this morning?
(me thinking, so do you not know, or was it this morning, those aren't really the same thing)
me: ok, well let me take a look at it.
as I take the battery off I can see that the liquid indicator(a little sticker inside almost all phones that changes color when it's been wet) is bright pink(the color most turn when they get wet).
me: Well, I can see why you're phone isn't working, it's been wet.
Sue: What?! It's never been wet! When did it get wet?
I've been SOOOO tempted on occasion to actually say something like,"according to my esp and awesome detective skills it happened exactly 23 days ago at 11:00pm." Sometimes if I'm feeling a little brash I say, "well, that's a question for you to answer."
me: see this little sticker, it turns this color when it gets wet.
Sue: I have no idea how that happened.
me: Let's look at your account and see if you have insurance on your phone.
Sue: Don't I have a warranty?
Here is where I have to hold my tongue again because I'm thinking, "If you spill a soda on your clock radio, how come you don't return that for a warranty exchange?" Why is it that everyone understands that warranties on electronics don't cover physical or water damage, but they cannot recognize that a cellphone is an electronic device?
Sue: Well, I guess that's ok, it was only $30. I'll just buy another one.
me: You can buy another one, but the regular price on that phone is $230. Your account doesn't currently qualify for a discounted phone price.

There are a few variations of this conversation. I get annoyed that people will bring in phones and know that they have been wet, yet try to lie to me. I'm not saying that no one ever gets away with it, but most times, there are ways for me to tell. Most of the time the customer will admit that it has been wet. It takes more effort for me to happily help these customers that lie to me.

Eventually these problems get solved, but often the customer is mad because they feel like they got ripped off, or a myriad of other reasons. I honestly try to be as nice as possible, but there is a delicate balance between showing too much sympathy and being matter-of-fact to keep the customer civil.

I know that insurance is $5 a month or so depending on your wireless carrier. Just buy it. I do. I understand that it feels like a waste of money at times. Please...I'm begging you, just eat at Wendy's one less time each month. You won't miss the meal, and you won't notice the $5. It makes life easy for me and you can get a damaged phone replaced for a minimal deductible.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Have you ever......

..........wondered what this blogging thing is and how it works? I have asked this question many times. Mostly I ask it silently in my head or rhetorically to someone just out of earshot. I've been getting emails from friends and family to "check out" their new blogs so I can keep up to date with everything that is going on in there lives. I have resisted this in most occasions thinking of it more like spam. I mean, if they really want to tell me what is going on in their lives, the telephone(now cellphone) has worked fine for this since the 1870s. I suppose in some regards a blog is better than the email I get just because I ended up in someones contact list because I can look at it or not look at it according to my own desires. That "send to all" button is evil and I think it should be banned from email programs everywhere. One time I even had to "reply to all" to an ex girlfriend stating that, "I'd love to hear from you anytime you'd like to drop me a line, but please take me off of your list."

So now that we have my apprehension and cynicism out on the table I feel that I can continue. I don't really know how faithful I'll be at "blogging", but I'll give it a shot. Also, I'm hoping that there are some crazy people out there that will start to "internet stalk" me. It makes me feel important. These people are easy to identify if you post crazy or absurd tidbits or lies in your blogs. When these topics come up in other conversations you can have that personal satisfaction of officially identifying a bonefied "internet stalker".

My intention is to post a lighthearted bit or a small travellog every so often. I'd like to define "every so often" as less than once a week, but more than once a year. I went to open my journal the other day, and the last entry is from 2002. Wow, time flies.