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gow589 01-24-2013 07:06 AM

Alternate Turn Signal - - outside the box
I am building a Pantera. I have adapted a universal steering from speedway with a quick release wheel. I have still to make the trim piece which meets the wheel so it looks narrow right now.

Obviously there are no turn signals. I am using a programmable circuit for the heater called the Arduino. The Microcontroller controls 8 servos to control the function of the heater box.

I am working on incorporating turn signals and flashers into the same circuit. I built a short steering section and built a rotary encoder for the end of the shaft. With a rotary encoder I am reading the position of the steering wheel.

I got the rotary encoder to reliably read the position of the column which was the hard part. I turn the wheel right or left and it knows how much and which direction.

With that info the Micro controller reads input from the turn momentary switch to turn on and off the flashers. With this kind of set up there is no "cam" for the column to deal with. This is nice because there is always a spot on the cam where you have to turn your wheel back to get it to arm. You won't have this here.

With the circuit controlling the turn signal, it also controls the flashers and such. I can add things like, if the turn signal is on for 5 min, turn it off.

I can also do things like, when the flashers are on, and I wish to make a left turn, flash 2x, left turn signal 2x, flash 2x, left turn signal 2x, etc.

I am using a marker light up front for the turn signal so it will be able to manage this as well as a marker light and a turn signal.

Joe G 01-24-2013 12:00 PM

That's a neat idea using the rotary encoder. The microcontroller based turn signal systems I have used just have a timer that counts down from 8-10 seconds, but suspends the timer anytime the brakes are activated (so you don't have to keep re-activating the turn signal if you're stopped at a traffic light).

I'm currently working on an Arduino based device for a hotrod as well. Mine is a gauge calibrator that allows you to make any sender work with any gauge, and also allows you to re-scale the output for irregular shaped fuel tanks.

After that I'm going to make an Arduino device to control a Vintage Air unit with the stock heater controls on a '53 Dodge.

Good luck with your project...:thumbup:

gow589 01-24-2013 12:17 PM

That's cool. I would like to hear more about what you are doing with the Arduino when you use it. Doesn't seem like too many people doing to much with it yet.

gow589 01-24-2013 12:24 PM


Originally Posted by Joe G (Post 1638320)
After that I'm going to make an Arduino device to control a Vintage Air unit with the stock heater controls on a '53 Dodge.

Good luck with your project...:thumbup:

BTW, some time back I used a 555 chip to build a servo driver to control the internal flapper in the MGB heating system. This replaced the lousy cable drive mechanism they had:

gow589 02-13-2013 09:14 AM

It buttoned up nice in the steering column. There is a cover over this section:

timothale 02-13-2013 10:22 AM

temp range ?
What is the reliable operating temperature range. I have seen problems when the " Brain" gets too hot or cold.

gow589 02-13-2013 11:29 AM

The controller has a range -40C to 85C.

vicrod 02-13-2013 07:01 PM

Kiss inside the box
Turn signals are so simple it seems redundant to make them complicated.
A left side switch and right side switch with a flasher module and an annoying buzzer so you shut them off after the turn.
KISS from the old school. It works.
Simplicity, check it out.


gow589 02-14-2013 08:05 AM

Perhaps, but I enjoy this nd it solves several problems. For instance:

It does automate them in a nice way. The encoder is at the end of the column not near the front so you can do what ever you like with the column trim without the dealings of mechanical stuff.

Frankly turn signals which shut off are nice.

Turn signals which automatically go off after 5 min if you left them on.

The encoder works better then a cam. With a cam you often are sitting on a spot where you have to turn the wheel more to get the mechanism to trigger; not with an encoder.

With the circuit controlling the turn signal, it also controls the flashers. This means you can do things like have turn signals and flashers. For instance in a left turn I am thinking of a sequence such as "Flash Flash" "Turn" "Turn" "Flash" Flash".

I can also mix lights with marker lights. With a lights on signal, I can turn on a marker and flash the same marker.

I can also do a marker where it is half bright as a marker and 2x as bright for flashing.

Once the circuit is designed, it really is not that complex. Put on encoder, plug in a few items and your done.

We are not in hot ridding to pull parts off the shelf at auto zone and do it the same everyone has done it before. New ideas are the very essence of what we do.

OLNOLAN 02-14-2013 09:45 AM

While some may say its like reaching over your shoulder to scratch your butt, I applaud your ingenuity.:thumbup: The fact that its built from scratch and directly from your imagination is cool stuff. Nolan

gow589 02-14-2013 09:54 AM

Thanks Olnolan. I think the journey is some times better then the destination. I obviously would not be doing it if I did not have an interest in the electronic portion.

gow589 03-13-2013 12:14 PM

Here is a short video of the Turn signal operation.

Note how the front is set up as a marker and turn signal. I have the left set up to flash back and forth between half bright and bright. The right is on/off. Not sure which one I will use.

Notice how the flasher still allows you to use your turn signal:

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