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Thread: DIY SolidState Arduino Self Canceling Turn Signals

  1. #41
    Senior Member skidd's Avatar
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    Update: The dash is "in" and wired up. Loves me some SpeedHut gauges. Found a small issue with the wiring. Not serious, but made me scratch my head for a bit. So I have my 4-way flashers wired in with the flasher module that came with the wiring harness. I did make the turn-signal-module capable of also doing 4-way flashing, but chose not to employ it. Basically, I figure I just want 4-ways to work in the most dead simple way possible, and eliminate any risk of them not working when I need them to. So.. it was easy enough to in-line a pair of 10A diodes after the 4-way toggle switch to feed each of the left&right signal wires of the car. Worked perfectly.. but.. get this. When the 4-way is turned on, every time the lights flashed on, the whole car powered on, and then back off in sync with the flashers. D'Oh! Somehow, power from the flashers is bleeding back into the main circuit. In the end, it was easy enough to find, the 2 mosfets I use to send 12v to each left and right light circuit, are not capable of blocking the electricity from bleeding back through them from the 4-way, back into the main power circuit. I just didn't even think to try and test for that when I was bench-testing the module. In this install, the fix was pretty trivial, I just inlined a nice big 10A diode to the main power feed to the control module. Now, the 12v can't bleed back into the main circuit. Worked perfectly. Hopefully, there is something I can do with the mosfets to keep them from flowing backwards.


  2. #42
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    Nice work. Is the big red button a push to start switch?
    John S.
    #8866
    Blueprint 306, T5z, Forte hydraulic clutch, 3-link w3.55 & Moser axles, PS

  3. #43
    Senior Member skidd's Avatar
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    Yep.. S2000 push-button. I'm using a DEI 2102t PKE system to prevent unauthorized access.

  4. #44
    Member JRD56's Avatar
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    Very cool. I am an electrical engineer (retired) and love stuff like this, including the programming part. Please us informed.

  5. #45
    Senior Member skidd's Avatar
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    Update. Wired in the headlights, turn and tail lights today. First official complete test with everything installed and working. And... Worked perfectly!! Drove around the neighborhood a while, and it all worked as expected. Self cancelled as it was supposed to on turns. Easy to activate and manually cancel as needed. I'm really happy with how this is turning out.

  6. #46
    Brandon #9196 TexasAviator's Avatar
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    Very well done. I too am not an electrical engineer but I have a background in electronics. So relaxing to trace boards and work in the shop on circuits.

    One thing around here, I love about the mods in this community, is the ingenuity that people have.

    It might take months to happen, lol, but you all impress me.

  7. #47
    Senior Member skidd's Avatar
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    Update. My car became street legal a couple days ago... So I've been putting on a bunch of around town miles. Good tests for the module... Which is working perfectly!!! The self cancel had not once yet missed a turn. Its performing every bit as good as I hoped it would.

    I have 2 prototype boards on hand, one in my car. I plan to pack up the minimal parts needed to retrofit it into someone's car with an existing toggle switch setup, and sell the extra one for the cost of the parts. Mounting box, module and IR sensor. I figure 2 cars on road should be a fair test bed/proof of concept. I still need to get title, inspection and final reg, but after that, I'll make the 2nd one available.

  8. #48
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    Super cool, definitely interested if you decide to sell these.

  9. #49
    Senior Member cgundermann's Avatar
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    Interested as well...

    Chris
    MK4 Basic Kit #7404, 347 EFI - Pro M Racing ECM, 30# injectors, 70 mm throttle body, 80 mm MAF, Edelbrock Performer aluminum heads & RPM II intake, all new G-Force T5, 3:55 gears, Pro 5.0 shifter, 3-link, carbon fiber dash/custom Speedhut gauges and paint by Da Bat.

  10. #50
    Senior Member Fixit's Avatar
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    But is it from a "Furguson".... ?
    John D. - Minneapolis 'Burbs

    1965 El Camino - LT-1, 4L60e, 4wh discs, SC&C susp.
    2013 F-150 Platinum - Twin Turbo 3.5
    2018 Mk4 Roadster - #9365 Build Thread

  11. #51
    Senior Member skidd's Avatar
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    Just a friendly update.. I've been getting a few PMs from people interested in this little project of mine... which I'll admit makes me knowing people have found value in this.
    I'm happy to say, I'm still actively working on this.. but.. I'll admit.. at a pretty slow pace. My car is currently on the road, and it's starting to get pretty hot here in S.Texas, so I don't spend a lot of time in my garage as of late.
    At present, I have 1600 miles on my GelCoat roadster with the 1st prototype, and it's still working flawlessly.
    That said.. I'm actually in the middle of a minor redesign to the circuitry to do a little better job of some of it's intended features.
    Namely, the ability to easily retrofit into an existing car.
    I really want it to be as easy as possible for both existing, and new builds to use this.
    Also to easily include the ability to run the modules built in 4-way flasher system, or an existing already configured one.
    I like the idea of using this modules 4-way system, because it will also allow me to swtich all of my lights to LEDs. The existing 4-way flasher module I currently have is one of those old-school ones that come with the kit, that requires an incandesant to work. It also flashes too fast for my 3-4-wire trailer brake signal converter I used to keep my brakes and turn signals separate. Again, forcing me to use a solid-state 4-way flasher. Just turned into a few too many moving parts for my taste.
    Once I'm done with the circuit re-design (almost done), I'll most likly spinn off a few bare PCBs. Then I really want to retrofit the new module into my car to .. once again.. shake out any bugs and problems.
    I just don't yet know when I'll get to putting it into my car.. since the current prototype forced me to make a few wiring changes to account for a few design flaws (inline 10A diodes).
    I'd like to reverse these wiring changes, and that'll be much easier with the body off. Something I don't plan to do any time really soon.
    But.. I doubt I'll be able to wait that long, so I suspect I'll just bite-the-bullet and pop off the body and install it.

    So.. in short.. I'm sorry I'm moving at something of a snales pace on this, but I promise I'm still moving on it.
    2016 MK4 | '99 Explorer 5.0 | E303&600cfm carb | T5z + 3.55 | 3-link | SN95 | PB/PS | FR500 17" 315&275 |

  12. #52
    Senior Member skidd's Avatar
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    So.. here is part of the reason this project is talking so long to get moving forward... I was looking for an easy way to produce "on-demand" PCBs. Easier than the Laser-Printer&Iron method. Recently bought myself an Anet A8 3D Printer. I modded it to accept a Sharpie Pen, so Now I can draw PCB trace masks directly to pieces of Copper PCB boards.
    https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2956622

    Hers is the outcome after learning to use FlatCAM.


    A short video of the PCB being drawn.
    https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=C9f2XlPntug

    So.. another step closer to getting a small handful of modules ready to go out.
    2016 MK4 | '99 Explorer 5.0 | E303&600cfm carb | T5z + 3.55 | 3-link | SN95 | PB/PS | FR500 17" 315&275 |

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  14. #53
    Senior Member skidd's Avatar
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    Finally got the hang of FlatCAM and using Isolation Routing to make the etch mask on the PCBs I have. Worked out really well. The mask was way cleaner than using a Sharpe.
    This is a photo of my 3D printer, using a piece of sharp steel rod to scrape away the copper for etching.



    Just a finished the 1st of 2 proper prototypes with actual PCBs instead of a bread-board.


    Another step closer to having at least 1 to sell (the other goes in my car) to someone willing to do some testing with a initial release version.
    I'm doing some final tweeks to the box design, and will be using my 3D printer to create them... in what ever color I want!!
    2016 MK4 | '99 Explorer 5.0 | E303&600cfm carb | T5z + 3.55 | 3-link | SN95 | PB/PS | FR500 17" 315&275 |

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  16. #54
    Senior Member skidd's Avatar
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    Done! Well.. in that the 1st proper prototype is done.
    With the recent purchase of a 3D printer, I can now print a purpose built bracket and box. the IR sensor bracket is designed specifically to screw to the 3/4" square tube just under the steering shaft. The circuit board box can now be printed in any color (I have on hand, Red, Blue, Gray, Black, GlowInTheDark.. etc).
    I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. I'm going to try and get this prototype installed in my car in the next little bit.. and start assembly of prototype #2.. which I'll sell to someone here if interested. Someone willing to attempt an install of a Beta Ready product and help a brother out with some constructive feedback.

    P.S. I came up with a name for this little Pet Project of mine.
    HotRodBlinkin





    2016 MK4 | '99 Explorer 5.0 | E303&600cfm carb | T5z + 3.55 | 3-link | SN95 | PB/PS | FR500 17" 315&275 |

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  18. #55
    Senior Member SSNK4US's Avatar
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    WOW!!!
    Give me the pieces and I could build it. But the theory behind the electronics of it makes me lost in space lol
    Just about ready to take the body off our build so it’ll be a while before I’ll need one. But it appears my plan
    of a RT turn signal switch and a quick release steering wheel is not feasible? If that’s the case count me in!!!
    So basically your “flusher” hits a left or right microswitch to activate the system? You mentioned you can cancel
    it too? Just hit the flusher again to cancel? Your retrofit is thinking of using the momentary toggle? Do you think
    if you go to some type of production, I know small scale, someone could get the microswitch version too?
    My brain is more mechanical so my wheels are already spinning on a different version of the flusher lol Picturing a
    model A or T? throttle stalk thing? TBD LOL! Also it looks like you have some kind of chime/buzzer on that board too?
    I can’t wait to see where this goes! In any case I will want to buy or build (just tell me what the goodies are lol) a
    HotRodBlinkin! I’m thinking that kinda came from the song? If so I wonder how many out here know that song lol
    Ok I’m done rambling.....

    Kurt
    If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough....

    Build thread

    MKIV complete kit # 9395 delivered 7/31/18

  19. #56
    Senior Member SSNK4US's Avatar
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    I watched the video,... I get the canceling now.
    So awesome!!!

    Kurt
    If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough....

    Build thread

    MKIV complete kit # 9395 delivered 7/31/18

  20. #57
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    Hey Skidd, you have really brought this project a long way forward. Very professional looking! Looking forward to adding this to my car...

    Todd
    Mk3 F5R4937, Carb'd 460BB, C4, 3-Link, A/C, APE Hardtop

  21. #58
    Senior Member skidd's Avatar
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    Long overdue update. As I'm in the final stretch of final assembly of my car, I pulled out the original prototype, and installed the 1st official production ready variant.
    The first prototype never once failed me the whole year of 2018 and 2800 miles.
    I've yet to drive the new module on the road, but it basically works the exact same as the first prototype, just with a few much needed improvements.
    - Proper Hazard light flashing, with no more bleed-over of the 12v power from the normal signals. And no need for any isolation diodes.
    - A little piezo speaker to make the good-ol Tck-tck sound. Not that I expect to be able to hear it over the side-pipes.
    - Ability (though still un-tested) to run LED bulbs in all corners due to the switching being fully solid-state.
    - Simplified wiring. Switched 12v; Ground; Hazard 12v; Left+, Right+. Single plug-harnes for the IR sensor and the left-right switches.

    My car should be back on the road in amount 2 months. After which, I'll finally be able to make a handful of these for any interested parties.

    Oh yeah.. I came up with a name for this thing too.
    Hot Rod Blinkin.


    The new main brain box mounted where the original was. (I need to move the left mounting hole lower)


    The IR sensor aimed at the steering shaft. You can see the black paint.


    Top view of the IR sensor.
    2016 MK4 | '99 Explorer 5.0 | E303&600cfm carb | T5z + 3.55 | 3-link | SN95 | PB/PS | FR500 17" 315&275 |

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  23. #59
    Senior Member HiggyMK4#9579's Avatar
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    Very nice job!! Got yourself a winner.
    Higgy
    Picked kit up on 4/3/19
    Build plan 351C, 3 link, 15's

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  25. #60
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    Excellent thread! I too fell into the Arduino/vehicle rabbit hole (including the use of the same 3d printer). I never got to the PCB stage, but packaged the breadboard well enough for my needs. My arduino calculates gear position, fuel level and temperature in a way that my cheap Chinese speedometer can understand (for a motorcycle).

    IMG_3716.JPG

  26. #61
    Senior Member skidd's Avatar
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    FYI update...
    I've put a decent amount of miles on the car with the new control module design.
    It's working perfectly.. as hoped.
    So.. I finally got off my butt.. and ordered a set of 15 PCBs from China (should be here in 2-3 weeks).. so.. I'll finally be able to make a few modules for anybody who will be interested.
    This project will be OpenSource too.. so.. once I'm finally done making a few modules, and the DIY web-site is done.. I'll post it all here.

    @snowdave.. hey.. have you found those screw-terminals hold up just fine on a motorcycle? The screw terminals I've used for this module seem to hold the wire just fine.. but.. it's the one part I wonder about.
    2016 MK4 | '99 Explorer 5.0 | E303&600cfm carb | T5z + 3.55 | 3-link | SN95 | PB/PS | FR500 17" 315&275 |

  27. #62
    Senior Member Walt's Avatar
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    Skidd, when you get some ready i would be interested in a unit!
    Thanks
    Walt
    FFR8237 Donor build 89 GT , MK 4 , T5 , 17 " hallibrands 9" front 10.5 rear ,4×4 headers stainless mufflers, dual chrome roll bars, coil overs all 4

  28. #63

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    Skidd, VERY impressive thought process and work. This might be related of sorts, but does this unit allow the turn signal stalk to be used as a high beam flasher? I wonder if the reason for the floor mounted switch is the amperage, or is it just personal choice? I don't like to move my feet too far from the clutch when driving, so the stalk would be a winner for me. Anthony

  29. #64
    Senior Member skidd's Avatar
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    This module has no provision for controlling the headlights.. but.. I also don't have it setup with a "proper" stalk either. It's just a make-shift momentary toggle switch of sorts. I mean. lol.. I made it out of a toilet flusher handle. that said.. this module will work with any sort of momentary toggle switch you can think of, so a modified stalk could easily be made to work .. with a bit of fiddling.
    2016 MK4 | '99 Explorer 5.0 | E303&600cfm carb | T5z + 3.55 | 3-link | SN95 | PB/PS | FR500 17" 315&275 |

  30. #65

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    Love the resourcefulness, I will stay tuned...

  31. #66
    Senior Member JIMOCO's Avatar
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    I very much like this device. I have the Russ Thompson turn signal. My thought is to remove the auto-cancelling components of the RT turn signal making it a momentary switch and install the Hot Rod Blinkin system. Nothing about the appearance changes but I think it will be more reliable moving from a mechanical to an electronic system. I am using the button on the end of the stalk for my horn. I do not plan to make any changes to that portion. I would think that if you can make the stalk a momentary switch for the turn signals only and leave the wiring and mechanical function for the high beam as is, it will continue to function as it does now.
    Mk4 Roadster, Picked up complete kit 8/22/14. Most FFR options except Wilwood brakes and IRS. First start 11/11/14. Go-kart 3/8/15. 347 Stroker, TKO 500, 3-link/3.27 rear. PA street legal 7/29/15.

  32. #67
    Senior Member chmhasy's Avatar
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    In case some people are looking to make some PCBs
    I have tried and like the free version of autodesk's eagle cad https://www.autodesk.com/products/eagle/overview
    and to have the PCB made for a low price at oshpark https://oshpark.com/

  33. #68
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    did I read correctly that you are planning on making a few of these? what might you be looking to get for one? thanks, jake

  34. #69
    Senior Member skidd's Avatar
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    You read correctly.. I ordered a small batch of bare PCBs from China... and will building a few to "share" with my fellow F5 owners. I think I'll have to build a few to get an idea of the effort for their worth.. but.. I'm not planning to do these for profit making reasons. So, they won't be expensive. Once I have a few on hand, I'll have a better idea. Plus.. I need to finish the "How To" website too.
    2016 MK4 | '99 Explorer 5.0 | E303&600cfm carb | T5z + 3.55 | 3-link | SN95 | PB/PS | FR500 17" 315&275 |

  35. #70
    Senior Member skidd's Avatar
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    PCBs arrived in the mail today. I need to order a couple more small parts... then.. time to start putting a few together.
    2016 MK4 | '99 Explorer 5.0 | E303&600cfm carb | T5z + 3.55 | 3-link | SN95 | PB/PS | FR500 17" 315&275 |

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  37. #71
    Senior Member SSNK4US's Avatar
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    Awesome!!!!!!
    If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough....

    Build thread

    MKIV complete kit # 9395 delivered 7/31/18

  38. #72
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    Just a note to compliment you on your great work on this. I can't use it, because I already have the RT turn signal installed, using the button to activate cruise control. That said, you've got a brilliant design here.

    - m

  39. #73
    Senior Member skidd's Avatar
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    Thanks for the props guys....
    .. one down... First official production ready unit. Going to 3d print a new case for it now, and install it in my car this weekend.
    2016 MK4 | '99 Explorer 5.0 | E303&600cfm carb | T5z + 3.55 | 3-link | SN95 | PB/PS | FR500 17" 315&275 |

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  41. #74
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    Sign me up coach!

  42. #75
    Senior Member skidd's Avatar
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    New "Branded" case. HotRodBlinkin'. I'm about 75% done with the "How To / Instructions" web site too.



    2016 MK4 | '99 Explorer 5.0 | E303&600cfm carb | T5z + 3.55 | 3-link | SN95 | PB/PS | FR500 17" 315&275 |

  43. #76
    Senior Member skidd's Avatar
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    Production unit 0001 Installed and working perfectly!!





    2016 MK4 | '99 Explorer 5.0 | E303&600cfm carb | T5z + 3.55 | 3-link | SN95 | PB/PS | FR500 17" 315&275 |

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