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Ipod Steering Wheel Control


shane_85
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As promised in the AUX thread i started, heres the next project i have been working on....

For people out there with slightly advanced knowledge in electronics etc (and even those that dont keep reading!!!) this is a really nice addition to the AUX on your stock HU.

Basically all i have done is to tap into (not modify in any way!!) the stock steering wheel controls. I have a microcontroller sitting there monitoring the line voltages and when they change id deciphers what button has been pressed depending on what the voltage drops to.

To this same microcontroller i have connected the 30pin dock connector for an ipod/iphone through the serial port.

Through serial communication with the ipod quite a lot is possible, check out what you can do here - for simplicity reasons i have thus far only used mode 2.

So basically i can connect whatever functions i like (from the above link) up to any button press (or button press sequence) on the steering wheel!!

I have a fully functioning version of this in my car at the moment and it has been in there for about 8 weeks now with no probs so far. I have tested it with an iphone 3gs, ipod nano 3rg gen and an ipod classic 6th gen. It SHOULD work with any apple ipod/iphone which uses the above protocol.

the functionality i have given my unit so far is to switch on the ipod/iphone and begin playing when the unit is plugged in (with the car on of course!) and for the track up and down buttons to work with the track up and down on the ipod . SIMPLE!

The only prob i have at the moment is that i can not find the cable that i need, so unfortunately i have a control cable (in the form of ribbon cable) and a shielded cable running to the unit separately which i do not like the look of.

Please keep in mind this whole thing is a prototype that i threw together in a day, it worked perfectly and i havent touched it since!!

post-16654-1269744761_thumb.jpg post-16654-1269744805_thumb.jpg

post-16654-1269744836_thumb.jpg post-16654-1269744888_thumb.jpg

I would really like to make one of these units properly - that is get a proper pcb made up and make it out of surface mount components. I could get it down quite small (bout 20x20mm roughly) and make it look tidy (unlike my prototype!!).

Before i continue, id just like to add that: im not trying to make money here, im not interested in making money from these projects and i am posting this purely because it interests me and if i can help people out in achieving the same things i have then i will be happy - my two projects thus far have certainly made my driving life much easier and more pleasurable. If in any way i am breaching rules etc of this forum let me know as i my intentions are all positive.

So.. i would love to get a batch of these made up with properly manufactured PCB's and surface mount components. Would any of you guys be interested in being a part of this?? Not saying this is going to happen just wondering if its a feasible option to consider and gauging what the interest would be.

Also, any ideas on what sort of functionality you would like to see in this? i love playing around with this stuff and would welcome every suggestion as to how to make this a more useful device for us all.

If anyone is interested in further details (code, schematics etc) let me know.

Edited by shane_85
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Good stuff mate. Appreciate the time you have taken to do the research and to build the device. I'm sure there would be quite a few people here that would be interested in these.

If only I was still at uni. I could have borrowed their facilities to etch up some PCB's at minimal cost to get this thing going.

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As promised in the AUX thread i started, heres the next project i have been working on....

For people out there with slightly advanced knowledge in electronics etc (and even those that dont keep reading!!!) this is a really nice addition to the AUX on your stock HU.

Basically all i have done is to tap into (not modify in any way!!) the stock steering wheel controls. I have a microcontroller sitting there monitoring the line voltages and when they change id deciphers what button has been pressed depending on what the voltage drops to.

To this same microcontroller i have connected the 30pin dock connector for an ipod/iphone through the serial port.

Through serial communication with the ipod quite a lot is possible, check out what you can do here - for simplicity reasons i have thus far only used mode 2.

So basically i can connect whatever functions i like (from the above link) up to any button press (or button press sequence) on the steering wheel!!

I have a fully functioning version of this in my car at the moment and it has been in there for about 8 weeks now with no probs so far. I have tested it with an iphone 3gs, ipod nano 3rg gen and an ipod classic 6th gen. It SHOULD work with any apple ipod/iphone which uses the above protocol.

the functionality i have given my unit so far is to switch on the ipod/iphone and begin playing when the unit is plugged in (with the car on of course!) and for the track up and down buttons to work with the track up and down on the ipod . SIMPLE!

The only prob i have at the moment is that i can not find the cable that i need, so unfortunately i have a control cable (in the form of ribbon cable) and a shielded cable running to the unit separately which i do not like the look of.

Please keep in mind this whole thing is a prototype that i threw together in a day, it worked perfectly and i havent touched it since!!

post-16654-1269744761_thumb.jpg post-16654-1269744805_thumb.jpg

post-16654-1269744836_thumb.jpg post-16654-1269744888_thumb.jpg

I would really like to make one of these units properly - that is get a proper pcb made up and make it out of surface mount components. I could get it down quite small (bout 20x20mm roughly) and make it look tidy (unlike my prototype!!).

Before i continue, id just like to add that: im not trying to make money here, im not interested in making money from these projects and i am posting this purely because it interests me and if i can help people out in achieving the same things i have then i will be happy - my two projects thus far have certainly made my driving life much easier and more pleasurable. If in any way i am breaching rules etc of this forum let me know as i my intentions are all positive.

So.. i would love to get a batch of these made up with properly manufactured PCB's and surface mount components. Would any of you guys be interested in being a part of this?? Not saying this is going to happen just wondering if its a feasible option to consider and gauging what the interest would be.

Also, any ideas on what sort of functionality you would like to see in this? i love playing around with this stuff and would welcome every suggestion as to how to make this a more useful device for us all.

If anyone is interested in further details (code, schematics etc) let me know.

great idea , i thought someone would have come up with this idea. Saves me leaving the ipod touch collecting dust in my study if i can fit it up to the aurion ( wife digs me about the mazda sp25 having ipod conection ,lol)

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Good stuff mate. Appreciate the time you have taken to do the research and to build the device. I'm sure there would be quite a few people here that would be interested in these.

If only I was still at uni. I could have borrowed their facilities to etch up some PCB's at minimal cost to get this thing going.

I have had my eye on this site for a while seem to have a pretty good price on thier pcb's. i.e. assuming 20x20mm; for 10 without silk screening, $29.00 ($2.90ea) or 10 with silk screening, $41 ($4.10ea) which is not too bad. Silk screening would be nice but its not a must have, especially with how simple the board looks at the moment. Will do some rough calcs and take a ROUGH stab at how much it would cost us for a batch of say, 10.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Shane,

I'm interested. Just wondering if we can circumvent the MODE button to still control the standard HU.. ?

You obviously now know the output voltages from the 'menu' button. Although, how do you cycle the IPOD/Aux into the regular menu logic.. and then apply volume & track controls to the ipod when the radio/cd logic is triggered? Or am I overcomplicating it, and it should just work?

cheers,

Kieran

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my god I need to gather all my thoughts and dump them in one reply.

re:cabling.. perhaps just appropriate a full width Ipod cable? Do they exist? Off track but wow are the USB data lines used to control the Ipod, how do other devices control the ipod (e.g. all the in-line cable controllers that are out there)? or are the serial pins never connected to the header of a garden variety Ipod plug? e.g. the standard USB to Ipod pc plugs?

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  • 2 weeks later...

my god I need to gather all my thoughts and dump them in one reply.

re:cabling.. perhaps just appropriate a full width Ipod cable? Do they exist? Off track but wow are the USB data lines used to control the Ipod, how do other devices control the ipod (e.g. all the in-line cable controllers that are out there)? or are the serial pins never connected to the header of a garden variety Ipod plug? e.g. the standard USB to Ipod pc plugs?

Ill see if i can remember all your questions....

I have all the appropriate gear to do the programming of the atmel; hadnt thought about updates too much but if it was absoloutely required the board would easily fit into a standard envelope.

The way in which i have approached this project is to not modify the car looms at all and to just "hang off" of the existing wiring. You could use the mode button but you would need to modify the wiring (to stop it changing the mode when you pressed it); the channel up and down buttons are the only two that do not have effect on the head unit when in AUX mode.

The standard usb cables do not connect to the serial pins, i have actually found it quite difficult to find accessories which have a plug that supports serial and went through a few before i found a suitable one - Radix supplies new ipod plugs but havent bothered ordering any from then yet.

If any of you guys wanted to try this project yourself and build the board etc etc im happy to give more detail with what i have done for wiring etc and also happy to program an atmel and send it out to you at no cost above the purchase price of the chip.

Not sure if that answers your questions

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Shane,

I'm still interested. I'm not an electronics expert, but I've built plenty of kit electronics things from Jaycar... everything is a lot simpler when soldering to an etched board vs. veroboard. I don't have the gear to etch though.

I'm going to have a crack at the Aux input mod, but I really want it to be noise free. I'm thinking of trying to use an Alpine KCi ipod cable that I had from my old alpine uni from my camry. The shielding on that might be an improvement. Also, the noise could possibly be coming from poor contacts at the plug (possibly). I want the best possible fidelity outcome from this, so I'm going to have to probably try a few different cables.

If that doesn't work out, then there's not much point going with the Steering Wheel control.. so you'll hear back from me when I've got that bedded down.

all the best,

Kieran

my god I need to gather all my thoughts and dump them in one reply.

re:cabling.. perhaps just appropriate a full width Ipod cable? Do they exist? Off track but wow are the USB data lines used to control the Ipod, how do other devices control the ipod (e.g. all the in-line cable controllers that are out there)? or are the serial pins never connected to the header of a garden variety Ipod plug? e.g. the standard USB to Ipod pc plugs?

Ill see if i can remember all your questions....

I have all the appropriate gear to do the programming of the atmel; hadnt thought about updates too much but if it was absoloutely required the board would easily fit into a standard envelope.

The way in which i have approached this project is to not modify the car looms at all and to just "hang off" of the existing wiring. You could use the mode button but you would need to modify the wiring (to stop it changing the mode when you pressed it); the channel up and down buttons are the only two that do not have effect on the head unit when in AUX mode.

The standard usb cables do not connect to the serial pins, i have actually found it quite difficult to find accessories which have a plug that supports serial and went through a few before i found a suitable one - Radix supplies new ipod plugs but havent bothered ordering any from then yet.

If any of you guys wanted to try this project yourself and build the board etc etc im happy to give more detail with what i have done for wiring etc and also happy to program an atmel and send it out to you at no cost above the purchase price of the chip.

Not sure if that answers your questions

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Hi Shane,

I'm still interested. I'm not an electronics expert, but I've built plenty of kit electronics things from Jaycar... everything is a lot simpler when soldering to an etched board vs. veroboard. I don't have the gear to etch though.

I'm going to have a crack at the Aux input mod, but I really want it to be noise free. I'm thinking of trying to use an Alpine KCi ipod cable that I had from my old alpine uni from my camry. The shielding on that might be an improvement. Also, the noise could possibly be coming from poor contacts at the plug (possibly). I want the best possible fidelity outcome from this, so I'm going to have to probably try a few different cables.

If that doesn't work out, then there's not much point going with the Steering Wheel control.. so you'll hear back from me when I've got that bedded down.

all the best,

Kieran

my god I need to gather all my thoughts and dump them in one reply.

re:cabling.. perhaps just appropriate a full width Ipod cable? Do they exist? Off track but wow are the USB data lines used to control the Ipod, how do other devices control the ipod (e.g. all the in-line cable controllers that are out there)? or are the serial pins never connected to the header of a garden variety Ipod plug? e.g. the standard USB to Ipod pc plugs?

Ill see if i can remember all your questions....

I have all the appropriate gear to do the programming of the atmel; hadnt thought about updates too much but if it was absoloutely required the board would easily fit into a standard envelope.

The way in which i have approached this project is to not modify the car looms at all and to just "hang off" of the existing wiring. You could use the mode button but you would need to modify the wiring (to stop it changing the mode when you pressed it); the channel up and down buttons are the only two that do not have effect on the head unit when in AUX mode.

The standard usb cables do not connect to the serial pins, i have actually found it quite difficult to find accessories which have a plug that supports serial and went through a few before i found a suitable one - Radix supplies new ipod plugs but havent bothered ordering any from then yet.

If any of you guys wanted to try this project yourself and build the board etc etc im happy to give more detail with what i have done for wiring etc and also happy to program an atmel and send it out to you at no cost above the purchase price of the chip.

Not sure if that answers your questions

You should check for a ground loop as this will generate unwanted noise. If you don't know what this means then google it or check for a connection between the cars negative and the audio ground as this is what it is.

Edited by fuel miser
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