Saturday, October 28, 2017

mini love - part 30

There are a lot of pieces of parts for the GoPro Hero 5 Black camera to configure the way I want for used with Harry's Laptimer. I have been procuring the pieces serially instead of all at once. Some of the part selection only becomes more apparent only after I have receive others. It is better to specify them right the first time, instead of wasting money for parts that does not fit.

The Hero 5 Black uses USB-C interface. Because of it using external microphone(s) requires this $49 USB-C microphone dongle. Unlike the older GoPro cameras, there is no analog bus sharing on the USB-C. The dongle is an active device with a built in ADC(s) for the microphone(s). While supporting a stereo microphone it still allow the use of the USB-C port.

Pro 3.5mm Microphone dongle

I have this compact Sony stereo microphone a very long time (from the Minidisc days). It requires phantom power and fortunately the dongle supports it. It also need extra gain which the Hero 5 Black also supports.

the purpose of the microphone is to capture the muffler sound

while the RAM mount base that I first bought for attaching to the passenger side headrest post work OK, I later found this one that is design to clamp to 3/8 to 5/8 inch post securely. It is also more compact which is important for safety reasons being that I am attaching to the hear rest.

the clamp base comes with 4 sets different inserts for different post diameter

the flanges of the new clamp on the right is more compact

it fits perfectly

I am still waiting for the 6 inch long arm to arrive, so I just use the standard 3.75 inch arm for testing.

more happiness purchased from Amazon - I derive the most happiness if I buy just enough to meet the $25 minimum with sub-Prime free shipping; that 5 automotive fuse holders cost a mere $1.99 which are always very handy for electronics projects

I also received this 1" ball head with integral GoPro tilt mount so out goes the temporary made shift standin

I am quite please with the result of this RAM mount based camera mount. It cost less than half that of the BMW boutique counterpart.

Ideally I prefer not to have the microphone adapter dongle hanging off the side of the camera. To change it will require getting a USB-C extension cable, which I suspect is not a permissible design per USB-C specs. Ignore the specs I can only find 1m long extension cable. My plan is to use the power outlet in the Mini's boot (rear hatch) to supply the GoPro camera.

I only have as short 4-foot cable for this microphone so for now it does not reach the tail pipes

even with the temporary short arm you can see the camera mount will work quite well

taking advantage of the few dry days we have left I proceed to install the universal multi-function steering wheel adapter for the Alpine head unit

this is PAC SWI-RC that is one of the best seller but the installation requires taping into the MFSW's command line that is also connected to the Mini's CAN bus.

the left side buttons are the audio controls - there are only 4 and seems hardly worth the trouble

The Alpine car audio head unit has been without this trim cover for many months now. It is extremely difficult to remove and one breaking it so I only want to re-install it when I feel that I am unlikely need to pull out the head unit for a while.

the delicate trim of the Alpine head unit

I hate dealing with car interior trims, as often even with care, one risk breaking the delicate plastic interlocking tabs

I need to get to the white/red/yellow wire on that white connector

documenting how the plastic interlocking tabs of the steering column trim covers

the mating interlocking barbs

 this is the connector harness in question

the connection to the CAN bus is severed and then this audio control command bus is brought to the audio head unit for used by the SWI-RC adapter

all the electrical wiring connected and ready to teach the SWI-RC the four control commands

I made another batch of char siu; I save the excess in vacuum bag and store in the freezer

lo mein topped with char siu 叉燒撈麵

To fill out Amazon's free shipping purchase minimum I bought a few things that has been on the wishlist. Among them are this Knipex pliers and a Gardena car washing soft bristle brush.

I have been wanting this Knipex pliers quite awhile now, and I jumped on an opened box deal

the new Gardena car wash brush (top) is a spare for the one that I have since college (decades); its durability is second to none and you have to have one if you hand wash your cars; it has built in shut off to conserve water

Update: one more thing
For as long as I have an iPhone I have meant to find a satisfactory and secure mount for it in the Mini. Unlike most other car, space is severely constrained in the Mini interior. Over the years I have brainstorm on many ideas and none I deem acceptable. While playing with the development the mount for the GoPro camera I realized that I may be able to utilize one of the two round bases that I have to form a secure foundation for it. The two round bases that I have, one is plastic and the other aluminum.

Just as I thought they fit nearly perfectly into the tiny cup holders in the Mini which no one uses as the name suggest as you have to till a small cup just to insert it into the holder. What make this an ideal location for the phone mount is it is essentially a dead space, yet it is perfect for a smartphone or GPS map. It is within easy hands reach and affords excellent view and distance to the screen. Additionally, inside the cup holder is an anchoring screw for the center console assembly, which means no holes need to be drill if I done the design right.

the plastic 2.5 inch round base

the aluminum 2.5 inch round base

I chose to use the aluminum base as as surface of the base plate is flat. I just drilled a new hole to align with the location of the screw. As the 2.5 inch base plate covers almost the entire flat bottom of the cup holder cavity it is extremely secure even with only one screw. I consider adding a piece of 3M VSB tape but decided it is not necessary. All I need to do is find a slightly longer screw.

the 2.5 inch RAM Mount base installed inside the cup holder

here is with my purpose-made iPhone 6S plus cradle

I can shift the phone more to the center of the console but this slight offset to the driver side make it less likely to be obscured by the gear shifter

a view low from the side; this is also an ideal and secure location for using Harry's Laptimer on the track

while you can buy one of this but it would not work in the tiny cup holder in the Mini and its confined space

Update - still one more thing:
Well, the installation of the universal multi-function steering wheel adapter for the Alpine head unit didn't go as well as I thought. During the training of the adapter, I unwittingly forgot to reconnect the airbag connector as well as the connector for the audio control and cruise control. By switching on the key to ACC position the airbag fault is logged into the system. This led to the airbag warning light illuminates even after I reconnected the connectors.

airbag warning light illuminated

A lot of work and I finally able to clear the warning light using INPA. To get the INPA to work, I went through hell as the original installation I did back in June was no good.

Like I always like to say, what does not kill me makes me stronger. I persevered and succeeded. Here are the screen shots of the two airbag error codes logged, before and after I cleared them.

airbag error codes logged

airbag error codes cleared

INPA is a bit flaky and I have to try a few times. It gave me some error message the first time. Sure enough once the codes were cleared, the airbag warning light extinguished. To be sure I started the engine to verify.

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