Well, I got my perf board in from Parts-Express, and of course I had to start assembling the final version of my remote start cell phone trigger, so here we go.
First things first, I screw up ALL the way through this project. From the first picture of the tools, to the final assembly where I have a loose wire, this whole thing was a cluster. But what fun is it for you to read about something that went perfectly? It’s not. So I’ll take you through the ups and downs and ins and outs of what I did, and how I fixed it. In the end, it all worked out.
First, the tools:
These are the tools & parts. In the picture are: The ethernet cable headphone jack thing, solder, flux (I know, I know, the wrong kind of flux…), epoxy, project box/plate/screws, perf board, mixing stick, 2-pin connector, electrical connectors, relay, optoisolator, jewellers tweezers, helping hands, needlenose, soldering iron and screwdriver. Not listed is the relay jack/dongle thingy and the hobby knife.
Ok, that was boring. Next I took the opto and mounted it on the perf board. At first I held it in place with tape while I soldered it, but then I realized I was an idiot and I took the tape off and just bent the 2 unused pins down.
- Alright, not too bad. Next I soldered on the jumper wires. Easy enough, but wait…they don’t touch? How to I get the jumper wires to touch the copper on the hole over? I’ll just solder a trace! (NO, no you won’t. This is forkin hard, and anyone who has successfully done it, it usually looks like crap.) I ended up just bending over the jumper wires so that they touched and soldered all together. I think I will use this method all the time. It was easy, and worked well.
I didn’t want all the wires soldered directly to the perf board and sticking out of holes in the project box, so I scavenged some sweet little connectors that I would use to bridge between the box and ‘the outside world’. Here is my first attempt:
Yeah…something is wrong here… It looks good, nice solder job… Oh damnit! This is the part that was gonna go on the OUSTIDE of the project box! Crap, now I have to desolder it and solder on the other part of the connector.
- Yeah, there we go. All ready to go. Now I just have to, wait… this connector…the other connector… the box, click, outside, here, there… … … AUGH! Sunnava*$@*! This connector is what goes FROM the phone TO the other connector on the outside of the box! Dangit!
- So right about now I went and got a glass of milk, sat in my chair and collected my thoughts. I was getting a little rushed and ahead of myself, making silly mistakes. “What is the next thing I had to do? After that?” I took my time and planned the whole thing out, one logical step at a time (or so I thought).
- Next, put the square connector into the outside of the project box, and solder wires to it from the board. GO!
- There is another connector (you can see it in the first picture of all the parts that everyone ignores) that I wanted to use to hook up the heavier wires from the relay. These wires aren’t gonna have a lot of current, they are just heavier cause the manufacturer thought they ‘might’.
- I wanted to keep these holes small- because… just because. I decided the best way to do this would be to burn them in with something. But what? The answer was right in front of me.
That’s a spade connector on my soldering iron. This worked exceptionally well. probably not an original idea, but I like it.
Here are the connectors epoxied in place.
Aaaannnd, solder the wires to the pins/spades on the connectors.
- Next time around (I have to build some of these for friends), I’ll probably use A) Longer Wires, B) More flexible wires & C) Solder them BEFORE I epoxy the connectors in place. It’s a little cramped in there.
- Next thing, I attached and soldered the crimp type connections to the end of the relay socket wires.
- Now this picture highlights the next time I got into a hurry. The blue wire is the wire that will connect to ground (I know it should be black, but I am too lazy to disassemble the socket and switch them). It should not have that round junk on it, rather it should have an extension and a male spade connector, as it needs to reach over to the ground and span inline with the ground wire (you’ll see later). The red wire is correct, however I need to create a sister wire for it that comes out the other side of the screw terminal and connects to the Remote Start Accessory Input. The black wire and the white wire are correct, as they are going to go inline with the current Accessory output from the remote start. Poo on putting a fuse on that, it wasn’t originally fused, and doesn’t need a fuse cause it’s running through a 30A relay. I don’t care if you are an Electrical Engineer, I’m not gonna do it.
Yeah, the caption is right. Remember I said that I needed to extend the blue wire to ground and make another red wire to go out from there to the Remote Start? The Blue wire should not even be hooked up there. Straight from the relay to ground.
In the end it all worked out…AFTER I hooked it up and it didn’t work.
Turned out that the little white connector I used broke. Why? Because I soldered the ethernet cable to the little tiny original wires and they could not handle the strain, so I pulled it apart, spread the crimp connector and soldered the ethernet directly to the pin. Good. No… The pins were female and I soldered the entire opening full of solder. So not only did I screw that up, I destroyed the pins in the connector attached to the box trying to jam them in.
So I rummaged some more, and managed to find an identical connector! Yay. This time I took my time and made sure I did everything correctly. That connector turned out GREAT!
But it still didn’t work. I checked for shorts, and found that one of the spade connectors on the back of the screw terminals block wasn’t soldered very well and broke off when I was soldering on the other connections. Sooo, I melted the everliving Christ outta the project box resoldered the wire back into the hole in the spade connector, taking care to not contact the plastic with my soldering iron.
With that, the whole thing was together, and once installed in my car, worked like a charm. Since using it for about a week now, I have come to the conclusion that I probably will not purchase more minutes with the cellular provider, rather I will simply use the calendar on the phone to set events for when I leave for work or leave work to go home. This is what I have been doing most of the time thus far. There have been a few occasions where I used the call function, like when I left work early; but for the most part I leave at the same time every day. A recurring event on the calendar takes care of that just fine.
- Remote Start – $35
- Phone – $10
- Minutes – $20
- Perf Board – $0.45
- Project Box – $2.10
- Relay Socket – $1.79
- Relay – $1.69
- Solder, tools, wire, optoisolator – $Free (Had or Scavenged)
Overall Cost of project: $71.03
Well worth it if you ask me.